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Need help debating between two MTBs

Old 03-04-16, 06:14 PM
  #1  
SethB
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Need help debating between two MTBs

So, I'm kind of on a budget, just to get that out there. Here is what I am going to be using my MTB bike MAINLY for.

I will be doing most urban area riding, with occasional easy trail riding, nothing too harsh on the bike. However, I would love to get a little crazy OCCASIONALLY. The trails I will mainly be doing are flat with some aggressive hills mainly dirt with varying off-road conditions. When not having fun with it, it will be my daily commuter back and forth to school/work.

With the above info, here are the two bikes I am debating on:

Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike

29" Mongoose Ledge 3.5 Men's Mountain Bike, White/Red - Walmart.com

They are both 29ers, I definitely want a 29er.

The Diamondback is 24 speed where the mongoose is 21 speed, to me, 3 gears really won't mean much, I don't think. I currently have an 18 speed Roadmaster full suspension from walmart, and it does quite well in terms of taking abuse. I am very used to the 18 speed, but I have always loved 21 speed.

For both the bikes, I will be upgrading the front fork with air suspension, obviously, buying the walmart one would allow me to do this more easily. I will probably also upgrade the rear shock with an air shock as well in the near future.

My current roadmaster, has a horrible derailleur. I could NEVER get that thing tuned just right. If I ever did, one day out on the trial it was out of whack again. I mainly lived with it. But from the reviews, that mongoose seems to be pretty good for the price.

The rim and disk brakes to me are the same. I can manage with either one. I also read disk brakes will end up costing more in the long run due to bending rims and the cost of the pads. I rarely went through brake shoes on my current rim brake system on my Roadmaster.

Also, if anyone else has any other websites I could check out that have bikes around the 500 price range, that would be awesome.

Thanks everyone for your expertise!
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Old 03-05-16, 06:46 AM
  #2  
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Same dealer or different dealers?

If it's different dealers, which shop's people do you like best? Who would you rather talk to for advice, service or if you have a warranty problem? Buy whichever brand bike they sell.

If it's the same dealer, which color do you like best? If every time that you look at your bike you think "I wish I would have gotten the other one" that would be bad.
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Old 03-05-16, 12:24 PM
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If I had to choose between only those two, I would go with the Diamonback. That Mongoose from Walmart is junk. The Diamondback at least has some recognizable parts. It does have a low end drivetrain, but that low end drivetrain is miles above the Mongoose. As for the brakes, the Mongoose is disc front, linear pull rear. WUT? The Diamondback should have better stopping power with the dual disc brakes.

For the $500 range, have you checked your local Craigslist? You may be able to get something a little older, but better than both of these. For this price range, I would stay away from anything full suspension that is new.
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Old 03-06-16, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
If I had to choose between only those two, I would go with the Diamonback. That Mongoose from Walmart is junk. The Diamondback at least has some recognizable parts. It does have a low end drivetrain, but that low end drivetrain is miles above the Mongoose. As for the brakes, the Mongoose is disc front, linear pull rear. WUT? The Diamondback should have better stopping power with the dual disc brakes.

For the $500 range, have you checked your local Craigslist? You may be able to get something a little older, but better than both of these. For this price range, I would stay away from anything full suspension that is new.
+1 The idea of upgrading that mongoose falls into the lipstick on a pig category. In fact I question the viability of using any dual suspension mountain bike for your intended purpose. Adding an air fork can easily cost hundreds of dollars that would be far better spent on buying a better bike in the first place if you can even find one that would work on either of these bikes. A rear air shock would again cost a considerable amount of money better spent on an initial purchase. Remember, when you upgrade a brand new component, you will have bought it twice, and your second purchase will not have the advantage of the huge purchasing power that the initial manufacturer enjoys, they can buy parts at a small fraction of the retail price

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Old 03-06-16, 02:56 PM
  #5  
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Read the MTBR reviews for earlier years when the Recoil was made: Diamondback Recoil XC Full Suspension Reviews - Mtbr.com If you read the "cons" for a couple of the threads there are several who mention cracks in the swing-arm for the rear suspension or in the frame. If I saw one of those I wouldn't be particularly concerned but to read a couple of them would put me off - way off.
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Old 03-06-16, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Read the MTBR reviews for earlier years when the Recoil was made: Diamondback Recoil XC Full Suspension Reviews - Mtbr.com If you read the "cons" for a couple of the threads there are several who mention cracks in the swing-arm for the rear suspension or in the frame. If I saw one of those I wouldn't be particularly concerned but to read a couple of them would put me off - way off.
As I said in my earlier post. Buying a low end dual suspension bike isn't the best way to go if it is being used primarily as a commuter. It also may not be a great choice off road as well. Upgrading a marginal bike looks like a great way to throw good money after bad

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Old 03-06-16, 06:56 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
If I had to choose between only those two, I would go with the Diamonback. That Mongoose from Walmart is junk. The Diamondback at least has some recognizable parts. It does have a low end drivetrain, but that low end drivetrain is miles above the Mongoose. As for the brakes, the Mongoose is disc front, linear pull rear. WUT? The Diamondback should have better stopping power with the dual disc brakes.

For the $500 range, have you checked your local Craigslist? You may be able to get something a little older, but better than both of these. For this price range, I would stay away from anything full suspension that is new.
I have been looking on Craigslist. I cannot find anything that is a 29er. There is a really nice 26er though.. Why should I stay away from anything full suspension that is new? Just because of my price range meaning that things that are full suspension in that price range are cheaply built?

Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
+1 The idea of upgrading that mongoose falls into the lipstick on a pig category. In fact I question the viability of using any dual suspension mountain bike for your intended purpose. Adding an air fork can easily cost hundreds of dollars that would be far better spent on buying a better bike in the first place if you can even find one that would work on either of these bikes. A rear air shock would again cost a considerable amount of money better spent on an initial purchase. Remember, when you upgrade a brand new component, you will have bought it twice, and your second purchase will not have the advantage of the huge purchasing power that the initial manufacturer enjoys, they can buy parts at a small fraction of the retail price
Well, for the Diamondback, I found a fork suspension (air) for 200.. and a rear suspension for 250. So another 450 on an already 500 dollar bike. I can't afford that. So I guess I would just keep it stock until I could afford the upgrades.

I was gonna get the mongoose cause that would allow upgrades.

In the end, is there ever a such thing as a good MTB with full suspension for less than 700? There were A LOT of 800 to 1500 dollar bikes that I found that, from reviews, were excellent.

Thanks everyone for the replies!!
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Old 03-06-16, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
I have been looking on Craigslist. I cannot find anything that is a 29er. There is a really nice 26er though.. Why should I stay away from anything full suspension that is new? Just because of my price range meaning that things that are full suspension in that price range are cheaply built?


Well, for the Diamondback, I found a fork suspension (air) for 200.. and a rear suspension for 250. So another 450 on an already 500 dollar bike. I can't afford that. So I guess I would just keep it stock until I could afford the upgrades.

I was gonna get the mongoose cause that would allow upgrades.

In the end, is there ever a such thing as a good MTB with full suspension for less than 700? There were A LOT of 800 to 1500 dollar bikes that I found that, from reviews, were excellent.

Thanks everyone for the replies!!
IMO no. You get what you pay for. Plenty of decent used hard tails with 26" wheels that would make excellent commuters for not much money.

So it may not be possible to find what you want at your budget. Don't buy junk with the hope of upgrading later. As others have said, it is like putting lipstick on a pig.

OP, you have been warned.

Last edited by MRT2; 03-07-16 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-06-16, 07:46 PM
  #9  
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If all you really want is a comfortable commuter, you don't need suspension---fat tires should be enough. If you really want a bike with a fork ... any fork you get for $200 is probably going to be pretty poor, which means heavy, of very limited effectiveness, and not very durable.

Why do you want a 29er anyway? The deal with 29ers is they roll well on fast, flowy trails ... but if you plan mostly to commute, they won't do anything for you. Nothing against a 29er, but a 26 will work just as well, so I wouldn't make that the basis for my decision.

If you shop around you should be able to find a decent front-suspension MTB for $500 ... relatively heavy, with lower-end but perfectly serviceable components and a fork which won't break after a year of normal use. Should even support the occasional craziness. Both new and used options should be available---obviously you will get more bike for the money used, but also possibly a lot more wear and a lot less life. If yuo think you can spot a good deal, jump on it.

Don't buy anything in Wal-Wart if it costs over about $20.
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Old 03-07-16, 09:20 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
In the end, is there ever a such thing as a good MTB with full suspension for less than 700? There were A LOT of 800 to 1500 dollar bikes that I found that, from reviews, were excellent. !
I just finished this search about a month ago. I found that BikesDirect had a decent but not really good in the *850 range, but I ended up spending a little less and getting an awesome deal on a used F/S Cannondale .... I got lucky that the spring and fork still had some life in them (though the guy said the shock might be needing a rebuild in the no-to-distant future.)

The deal with F/S is that cheap F/S is going to cost a lot of money for nothing ... it won't work real well and it won;'t last really long. That said, there are people who have bought the $700-$800 F/S Motobecanes from BikesDirect who liked them ... but I doubt they were demanding a lot.

I used to have a budget F/S/ Univega back about 15 years ago and I loved it (after I replaced the fork) but after the initial $850 and the fork and all the other stuff I added it was probably a$1200 bike, which is where I should have started.

And really, rear suspension isn't going to do much for you unless you ride a lot of roots or small rocks, or do a lot of fast downhill. For what yuo are describing as what you plan to ride, rear suspension will mostly just be weighing you down and sucking up pedaling power.
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Old 03-07-16, 12:03 PM
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Mongoose Brand name has been Sold Off too Diamond-Goose probably a coin Flip .

From the Box store, take it to a Real Bike shop to have the safety check .
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Old 03-07-16, 12:09 PM
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(ALWAYS) Get the bike that doesn't come from Walmart.
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Old 03-07-16, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
I will be doing most urban area riding, with occasional easy trail riding, nothing too harsh on the bike. However, I would love to get a little crazy OCCASIONALLY. The trails I will mainly be doing are flat with some aggressive hills mainly dirt with varying off-road conditions. When not having fun with it, it will be my daily commuter back and forth to school/work.
I don't know what crazy means or what kind of trails there are where you live, but the rest of this doesn't sound like anything you need a suspension for. Big tires are real comfy, plenty enough for commuting on pavement.
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Old 03-07-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't know what crazy means or what kind of trails there are where you live, but the rest of this doesn't sound like anything you need a suspension for. Big tires are real comfy, plenty enough for commuting on pavement.
Or occasionally. A couple of times a year? Twice a week during the summer and fall?
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Old 03-07-16, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I just finished this search about a month ago. I found that BikesDirect had a decent but not really good in the *850 range, but I ended up spending a little less and getting an awesome deal on a used F/S Cannondale .... I got lucky that the spring and fork still had some life in them (though the guy said the shock might be needing a rebuild in the no-to-distant future.)

The deal with F/S is that cheap F/S is going to cost a lot of money for nothing ... it won't work real well and it won;'t last really long. That said, there are people who have bought the $700-$800 F/S Motobecanes from BikesDirect who liked them ... but I doubt they were demanding a lot.

I used to have a budget F/S/ Univega back about 15 years ago and I loved it (after I replaced the fork) but after the initial $850 and the fork and all the other stuff I added it was probably a$1200 bike, which is where I should have started.

And really, rear suspension isn't going to do much for you unless you ride a lot of roots or small rocks, or do a lot of fast downhill. For what yuo are describing as what you plan to ride, rear suspension will mostly just be weighing you down and sucking up pedaling power.
Thank you very much for this. I figured I would need to spend quite a bit of cash to get a great bike, I just do not have the funds right now. I understand that I should really just buy the expensive bike and not do upgrades. Which is probably what I will end up doing, just not right now as I am broke. The only reason I want the full suspension is because I have it now on my current bike, Roadmaster from Walmart, which I can't really complain about. For how much it sat, it surely did its job, it was a gift given to me many years ago. I guess for me, its the same as HD, once I was spoiled with it, every electronic device I have MUST support full HD if not greater..

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
(ALWAYS) Get the bike that doesn't come from Walmart.
I know this, but what the heart wants and the wallet can afford don't always play nicely together! :/

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't know what crazy means or what kind of trails there are where you live, but the rest of this doesn't sound like anything you need a suspension for. Big tires are real comfy, plenty enough for commuting on pavement.
By crazy, I mean 3+ foot drops, bunny hopping onto picknick tables, riding down steps, etc etc. I did about a 2 foot drop off a boulder with my current walmart bike and spent like 20 minutes getting the derailure back together and shifting properly.

Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Or occasionally. A couple of times a year? Twice a week during the summer and fall?
Occasionally means whenever I feel like it. I could be pedaling home from work/school, and decide to get crazy. It really isn't going to be a 'planned' occurrence. lol.


I may end up just getting the one from Walmart for the time being and going easy on it until I can afford a nicer bike. I am still contemplating that 26er from Craigslist, but my teacher at school swears by 29ers, he does marathons, 5ks, you name it he is there. He is also 45+ years old, not quite sure of his exact age. And in my mind, a 29er would fair better in the city for getting over curbs, steps and the like, then again I can just hop up them with the 26er..

Thanks everyone for the conversation and tips! Never really made an expense quite like this on a bike, feels like I am buying a car again!!


Also, by "big tires" do you mean a fat bike?
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Old 03-07-16, 06:46 PM
  #16  
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Honestly, don't go full suspension. It's not worth it at that price range. You don't need full sus. to go off of three foot drops. Trust me. Buy a nice hardtail and upgrade when you have the money. The wal-mart bike is going to be so heavy I'd be surprised if you could bunny hop it high enough to get onto a picnic table. It's not worth upgrading the wal-mart bike. Period. The frames are heavy, badly built, badly welded and will probably break shortly. Not to mention that EVERY component on it is crap.

Buy a low end brand name bike for around $500-$600. (Your price range for upgrading the wal-mart bike.) It will be plenty of a bike to do whatever you want. And it will come with low end, but still name brand reliable components.

Raleigh Bicycles - Tokul 1

The tokul is an extremely solid frame for future upgrading and will suit your needs perfectly now.

Take advice from someone who regularly works on both wal-mart bikes and nicer bikes. You don't want a wal-mart bike. Especially if you want it to EVER run/ride correctly. Wal-mart bikes are extremely difficult to get working/shifting perfectly.

Don't believe me? Go take a wal-mart bike for a test ride. Immediately go to a bike store and take their CHEAPEST bike for a ride. It'll be a world of difference.

EDIT: For the record, I would not, under any circumstances, take a wal-mart bike down stairs. I'd be afraid it'd break in half, and it probably will. Maybe not immediately, but it will eventually. (And by that, I mean within a few months if you do it consistently.) Where as a cheap name brand bike will last you forever provided you keep up on maintenance.

Last edited by corrado33; 03-07-16 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 03-07-16, 06:49 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
So, I'm kind of on a budget, just to get that out there. Here is what I am going to be using my MTB bike MAINLY for.

I will be doing most urban area riding, with occasional easy trail riding, nothing too harsh on the bike. However, I would love to get a little crazy OCCASIONALLY. The trails I will mainly be doing are flat with some aggressive hills mainly dirt with varying off-road conditions. When not having fun with it, it will be my daily commuter back and forth to school/work.

With the above info, here are the two bikes I am debating on:

Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike

29" Mongoose Ledge 3.5 Men's Mountain Bike, White/Red - Walmart.com

They are both 29ers, I definitely want a 29er.

The Diamondback is 24 speed where the mongoose is 21 speed, to me, 3 gears really won't mean much, I don't think. I currently have an 18 speed Roadmaster full suspension from walmart, and it does quite well in terms of taking abuse. I am very used to the 18 speed, but I have always loved 21 speed.

For both the bikes, I will be upgrading the front fork with air suspension, obviously, buying the walmart one would allow me to do this more easily. I will probably also upgrade the rear shock with an air shock as well in the near future.

My current roadmaster, has a horrible derailleur. I could NEVER get that thing tuned just right. If I ever did, one day out on the trial it was out of whack again. I mainly lived with it. But from the reviews, that mongoose seems to be pretty good for the price.

The rim and disk brakes to me are the same. I can manage with either one. I also read disk brakes will end up costing more in the long run due to bending rims and the cost of the pads. I rarely went through brake shoes on my current rim brake system on my Roadmaster.

Also, if anyone else has any other websites I could check out that have bikes around the 500 price range, that would be awesome.

Thanks everyone for your expertise!
You need to stop buying cheap bikes. These are no different than a roadmaster.

You need to find a used bike with no suspension.
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Old 03-07-16, 07:04 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
Also, if anyone else has any other websites I could check out that have bikes around the 500 price range, that would be awesome.
ATX 27.5 2 (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States
Revel 29er (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States
Raleigh Bicycles - Tokul 1
https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bik...0-d513edab3583
Marlin 5 | Marlin | Sport mountain bikes | Mountain bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes
3500 | 3 Series | Sport mountain bikes | Mountain bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes


And MANY more. Every single one of those bikes is better than the ones you posted.

I'm assuming you're young considering your bike choices and plans. If you can't drive have your parents take you to all of your local bike stores. Walk in and say "I want to look at bikes around $500, but no more than $600." Ride every one. Buy the one you like the most.

Besides, a (crappy) full suspension bike is pretty much the WORST thing you can buy for commuting. No lockouts means half of your energy will go into compressing the suspension every time you pedal. Don't do it.

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Old 03-07-16, 08:33 PM
  #19  
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Redline makes a sweet 29er. Monocog I think.
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Old 03-07-16, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
Thank you very much for this. I figured I would need to spend quite a bit of cash to get a great bike, I just do not have the funds right now. I understand that I should really just buy the expensive bike and not do upgrades. Which is probably what I will end up doing, just not right now as I am broke. The only reason I want the full suspension is because I have it now on my current bike, Roadmaster from Walmart, which I can't really complain about. For how much it sat, it surely did its job, it was a gift given to me many years ago. I guess for me, its the same as HD, once I was spoiled with it, every electronic device I have MUST support full HD if not greater..


I know this, but what the heart wants and the wallet can afford don't always play nicely together! :/


By crazy, I mean 3+ foot drops, bunny hopping onto picknick tables, riding down steps, etc etc. I did about a 2 foot drop off a boulder with my current walmart bike and spent like 20 minutes getting the derailure back together and shifting properly.


Occasionally means whenever I feel like it. I could be pedaling home from work/school, and decide to get crazy. It really isn't going to be a 'planned' occurrence. lol.


I may end up just getting the one from Walmart for the time being and going easy on it until I can afford a nicer bike. I am still contemplating that 26er from Craigslist, but my teacher at school swears by 29ers, he does marathons, 5ks, you name it he is there. He is also 45+ years old, not quite sure of his exact age. And in my mind, a 29er would fair better in the city for getting over curbs, steps and the like, then again I can just hop up them with the 26er..

Thanks everyone for the conversation and tips! Never really made an expense quite like this on a bike, feels like I am buying a car again!!


Also, by "big tires" do you mean a fat bike?
Poor analogy. HD is almost always better than SD. In cycling, sometimes, less is more. Lightweight, and strong beats cheap, heavy, and not likely to survive your first ride down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-07-16, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Poor analogy. HD is almost always better than SD. In cycling, sometimes, less is more. Lightweight, and strong beats cheap, heavy, and not likely to survive your first ride down a flight of stairs.
Agreed. This isn't a case of "wal-mart bikes are bad because we're used to such better bikes." That's not the case at all! Wal-mart bikes are bad because they're BAD. Terrible parts, terrible frames, terrible assembly. You couldn't buy a worse bike. I would sooner pick an 80s-90s trek that's been left outside for 5 years and is rusted to crap before I'd pick a wal-mart bike.

Seriously, take our advice, buy a low end name brand bike like the ones I posted above. Don't get caught up in the hype of words. 29ers are no better than a 26 inch bike for commuting and simple trails. Most companies actually use wheel size to size their bikes now-a-day. Smaller bikes use smaller wheels and larger bikes use larger wheels. If you are small and want a 29er, you're going to end up with an awkward bike.
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Old 03-08-16, 12:11 AM
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I'm going to chime in with, don't go brand new. Find a 10yo Trek or Specialized or Cannondale or Giant, or one of the cool MTB brands like Santa Cruz, on Craigslist, where your $ will go a long way. The sort of bike I'm thinking of costs about $1000 new today but depreciation brings it into your target zone. Nicer bikes often have more mileage because they're bought by people who intend to use them, but they can also tolerate it better and they get maintained. Don't get too hung up on specific brands or features, there are a couple of brands of forks and a couple of brands of drivetrains and they each have many levels, but as long as you have real damping and good shifting you'll be fine. Hydraulic disk brakes may be nicer but cable V-brakes work great and are pretty hard to screw up. If you post your location we forum rats will help you look, we enjoy that sort of thing.
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Old 03-08-16, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I'm going to chime in with, don't go brand new. Find a 10yo Trek or Specialized or Cannondale or Giant, or one of the cool MTB brands like Santa Cruz, on Craigslist, where your $ will go a long way. The sort of bike I'm thinking of costs about $1000 new today but depreciation brings it into your target zone. Nicer bikes often have more mileage because they're bought by people who intend to use them, but they can also tolerate it better and they get maintained. Don't get too hung up on specific brands or features, there are a couple of brands of forks and a couple of brands of drivetrains and they each have many levels, but as long as you have real damping and good shifting you'll be fine. Hydraulic disk brakes may be nicer but cable V-brakes work great and are pretty hard to screw up. If you post your location we forum rats will help you look, we enjoy that sort of thing.
While I agree with you, it's hard for people with little bike "sense" to find a "good" bike to buy on craigslist without lots of effort. It's much simpler to buy a new, cheaper bike even though it's technically lesser quality. Now, if the OP would post his local craigslist I'm sure we could find some suitable bikes for him.
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Old 03-09-16, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
While I agree with you, it's hard for people with little bike "sense" to find a "good" bike to buy on craigslist without lots of effort. It's much simpler to buy a new, cheaper bike even though it's technically lesser quality. Now, if the OP would post his local craigslist I'm sure we could find some suitable bikes for him.
Also, if he buys from a shop he can get the lifetime tune-ups and hopefully a good set-up. If he buys from Craigslist he might end up having to take the bike to a shop anyway, and ends up spending just as much---or finding out he bought a bike with a terminal illness.
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Old 03-09-16, 01:58 PM
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Both of those are terrible rear shocks,, for the $525 of the Diamondback you would be better off with hardtail, something like a Giant ATX ATX 27.5 2 (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States And first time you are going down a hill with wet rim brakes and can't stop you will wish you had disc.
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