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  1. #1
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    Ready to buy an entry level bike

    Hi all..So after years of riding a full suspension Mongoose that I purchased in 1996 (yeah I know..thats terrible) I am ready to make an upgrade (which won't be all that hard to do).

    I mostly ride single track in the mountains of western NC. I am looking at buying a hardtail in either 27.5 or 29er. Was wondering what y'all think might be better for me out of these three:

    1) Bikes direct: Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point3 29er Mountain Bikes

    I have done some research and understand the downfalls to buying online.

    2) Airborne Gaurdian 2.0: Airborne Bicycles. Guardian 2.0

    or
    3) Scott Aspect 740 from a local shop: SCOTT Aspect 740 Bike - SCOTT Sports
    Also, the SCOTT is a 27.5..would this be a better fit for someone my size (5'5")?

    The Scott from my lbs would cost a few hundred $ more, and have some cheaper components?, however the lbs does offer lifetime tune-ups (which I'm sure will more than make up for the difference in cost after a few years). I have not had much experience working on bikes, but being handy will surely be learning too (and looking forward to being able to do my own tune-ups). However, going from a bike that is 17 yrs old to a bike with disk brakes, and all the fancy new components, I figure I'll let the lbs do the initial set-up even if I go with an online bike.

    What are your opinions on these bikes as far as best bang for the buck?

    Thanks and any suggestions are appreciated!

  2. #2
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    The scott has much lowerend components especially the fork and it cost more. Youtube can show you how to do tuneups and none of it is very hard. You can still pay the LBS to do the initial setup if you want/need to. As for the 27.5 vs 29er for your size he maybe right. You would have to ride one of each to know for sure though. Bikedirect does have a few 650b bikes but all of them have crappy suntour forks just like the scott. 650b stuff is still more expensive. You might also consider just going 26er though I don't see any great deals on those on bikedirect atm either.

    http://bikeisland.com/
    That is bikesdirect's scratch and dent sale site and is worth a look too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    I've got the Gravity 29point3 (since November 2011 and it has been a great bike for me. The components are much better than the Scott, and I really love the geometry of the 29point3. The current sale price of $599 is the lowest I've seen it priced at ever.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies!! I think I may rent a Scott for the day and see how it feels... though I don't think they are renting the 27.5. Still very much on the fence. The deals on bd seem hard to pass up, plus free shipping.

    Based on all my searching, it seems as though the fork is a selling point on a new bike. So how much is it to buy a good one? Is the suntour that bad? I'm guessing it would last me a little while.
    Last edited by markley; 12-31-13 at 06:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    Wouldn't worry too much about the fork on an entry level bike, as at that level, they are disposable, as in the cost to service is normally the same or very close to the cost of replacing, preferably with a better fork. At the level you are looking at, would be most interested in the frame, from your list, the Scott wins here, also, with you height, thinking of the choice between 29er or 27.5, 27.5 would be better for you.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice! Think I am leaning towards the 27.5. I will say too, that I may be willing to go a little higher in price (maybe low 1,000's)...would that be worth it?? Would there be enough benefit? Or is still low end components in that range?

    Say one of these:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y/29point6.htm
    or
    http://www.airbornebicycles.com/prod...13-goblin.aspx
    Last edited by markley; 12-31-13 at 08:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markley View Post
    Based on all my searching, it seems as though the fork is a selling point on a new bike. So how much is it to buy a good one? Is the suntour that bad? I'm guessing it would last me a little while.
    I'd avoid Suntour if your budget permits. A new Reba fork is about $500 -- I upgraded my Gravity 29point3 this summer by adding a Reba, though honestly the XC32 that came on the bike really was not that bad (I just got "upgrade-itis").

    Quote Originally Posted by markley View Post
    Think I am leaning towards the 27.5. I will say too, that I may be willing to go a little higher in price (maybe low 1,000's)...would that be worth it?? Would there be enough benefit? Or is still low end components in that range? Say one of these:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y/29point6.htm
    or
    http://www.airbornebicycles.com/prod...13-goblin.aspx
    The 29point6 that you mention, and $100 cheaper 29point5, as well as the Goblin really are great values with Reba forks and very nice components -- but just to clarify, you know these are 29ers, right?

    There are less bargain 27.5/650B bikes to be found, but that is starting to change. BikesDirect has some cheap ones with Suntour forks that I would avoid if possible, but you might consider the Nashbar Bees Knees 650B 2x10: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_544777_-1___
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  8. #8
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    Thanks! Yeah, i know they are 29ers..I am heading out right now to demo a 29er to see how one feels. The 26" that I have ridden over the last 15 yrs is probably a little big for me, so I am use to riding a bigger bike..so we'll see.

    The Nashbar looks like a pretty sweet bike! Thanks for the link!!
    Last edited by markley; 12-31-13 at 09:45 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markley View Post
    Thanks! Yeah, i know they are 29ers..I am heading out right now to demo a 29er to see how one feels. The 26" that I have ridden over the last 15 yrs is probably a little big for me, so I am use to riding a bigger bike..so we'll see. The Nashbar looks like a pretty sweet bike! Thanks for the link!!
    Glad to help. So you know, the Gravity 29point6 (or 5,4,3,2,1) use a frame with almost identical geometry as the Trek Mamba and Cobia -- so if you try those you should have a pretty good idea of fit for the Gravity 29ers.
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  10. #10
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    Well..well..after riding a 29er I was indeed sold!! Ended up biting the bullet and bought a Santa Cruz High Ball DXC from a lbs. Definitely a little higher in price than I wanted to go at first, but am extremely happy with the purchase. Plus being a newbie to working on bikes, it will be nice to have free lifetime tune-ups at the lbs which is only a few miles from the house! Can't wait to get it out on the trail tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all the advice!! Definitely helped steer me away from the low end entry level bikes.IMG_20131231_163903.jpg

  11. #11
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    ^^ Much better choice than some BD POS. Enjoy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markley View Post
    Well..well..after riding a 29er I was indeed sold!! Ended up biting the bullet and bought a Santa Cruz High Ball DXC from a lbs. Definitely a little higher in price than I wanted to go at first, but am extremely happy with the purchase. Plus being a newbie to working on bikes, it will be nice to have free lifetime tune-ups at the lbs which is only a few miles from the house! Can't wait to get it out on the trail tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all the advice!! Definitely helped steer me away from the low end entry level bikes.IMG_20131231_163903.jpg
    That's a nice looking bike, have fun!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member BeginnerCycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    ^^ Much better choice than some BD POS. Enjoy.
    There's no need to be rude, dminor. My BD bike is a great bike, and plenty of other folks like their BD bikes too.
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  14. #14
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    Only people that have a problem with BD bikes are bike snobs. Got to have the right stickers on your frame or you aren't one of the cool kids.

    The Santa Cruz looks like a nice bike and should last you a long time.

  15. #15
    Dismember cyclops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canker View Post
    Only people that have a problem with BD bikes are bike snobs. Got to have the right stickers on your frame or you aren't one of the cool kids.

    The Santa Cruz looks like a nice bike and should last you a long time.
    Nice bike - enjoy.

    I never realised you were cool D
    Mmmmmm, shiney.


  16. #16
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
    I never realised you were cool D
    I didn't either; why am I the last to find these kind of things out?

    In fairness to BC, I probably was a bit harsh. I think I'm just tired of BD bikes continually being shilled here as some sort of panacea. They have their place, and you get a lot of decent parts albeit hung on a generic, cataolg frame. I still think I'd rather see a newb get into an LBS brand like a Diamondback or Jamis and get the support that comes with that.




    Oh, and the only stickers that go on my frame are sponsors. I don't advertise anyone for free .

  17. #17
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    I will say that I am glad that I chose to go local..the lbs is only a few miles down the road and are a great group of folks. Plus, the have beer on tap while they do their free tune-ups!!

    Anyway, I took the new bike out for a ride yesterday and man what a difference. It seems as though I can go twice as far as I was going on my old bike. The only downfall is that I now will have to upgrade my wifes bike so that she'll be able to keep up

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