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Old 08-07-17, 05:31 PM   #1
UndefinedBiker
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Choosing a decent first MTB.

Hi, I'm fairly new to biking and am having a hard time figuring out how these part group sets are going together to make a "better" build then some others and would really appreciate some help and advice. I'm not in the market for a large budget bike, aiming for under 1,000CND out the door. The bike is going to be used to learn how to attack much tougher trails and inclines that my current bike just breaks on. I've found a few bikes that seems like they would fit the bill for what I need which is :
  • Need something more reliable then a boxstore supercycle (mine just breaks)
  • Would like to keep the bike and just pay for small upgrades as I go.
  • I am a girl and really do want to have a soft colour on my bike (i.e light blue pastels)

I'm just hoping someone can give me a little direction as to what I need to be looking for or avoid. The bikes I've found I'd like some feedback on, please feel free to pick them apart, information is handy when approaching bike shops.

norco storm 7.3 forma 649$

Felt Nine 80 769.95$

Kona Tika 899.95$

and my friend suggested this, a bit out of my range but is it worth it?

Marin Bobcat Trail 5 1,099.95$

Last edited by UndefinedBiker; 08-07-17 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Needed to add bike use
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Old 08-08-17, 02:24 PM   #2
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Old 08-12-17, 07:44 AM   #3
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Post links to the bikes in question.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by UndefinedBiker View Post
I'm just hoping someone can give me a little direction as to what I need to be looking for or avoid. The bikes I've found I'd like some feedback on, please feel free to pick them apart, information is handy when approaching bike shops.

norco storm 7.3 forma 649$

Felt Nine 80 769.95$

Kona Tika 899.95$

and my friend suggested this, a bit out of my range but is it worth it?

Marin Bobcat Trail 5 1,099.95$
Hey, what's up?

First let me start off by saying that you can't really go wrong with bikes from any of those manufacturers. Norco and Kona make quality bikes, as do Felt and Marin, although I'm not too familiar with either company or their products; I'm more familiar with Norco and Kona.

Second, I think it'd be good to determine which wheel size you want to go with. The Storm and Tika have 650b/27.5" and the Felt has 29" wheels; the Marin is available in both according to their website.

Next, if you're buying the bike from your local bike shop (LBS), then I'd suggest going there and trying each bike out to see how each fits you and how it feels riding them--even if just around the parking lot. How the bike fits and rides should ultimately be your deciding factor. If you're not buying the bike from an LBS, then try to find LBS's that sell those brands and visit them to check out fit and feel before buying the bike from wherever you're going to buy it from.

As for the specific bikes you've mentioned, if you end up choosing the Norco, I'd suggest opting for the 7.1 over the 7.3, mainly due to the brakes spec'd on each. Hydraulic disc brakes are far and above better than mechanical disc brakes. You'll also get a better parts spec. Other than that, minus the Marin, they're all spec'd pretty similarly and are pretty good entry level bikes (the Marin, as the cost suggests is spec'd better than the rest).

Last edited by rasheed; 08-21-17 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 08-20-17, 03:13 PM   #5
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I am a big Kona fan and I have beaten their frames pretty hard. The big difference between the Marin and Kona is the fork they have on them. In my opinion, the Marin is spec'd a little better due the the Rock Shox over the Suntour. That will also make the resale value on the bike a bit better if you decide to upgrade to a fully or something else. I don't know of any bike shops that would steer you in the wrong direction, they may even have something in shop that might be a better suit that isn't on the above list.
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Old 08-22-17, 01:24 AM   #6
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Hi, I didn't look into the specs like the others did but just want to say that you might also look into Liv Tempt series, it's a women's specific brand by Giant. Both my 5'-7" wife and 5'-4" daughter ride one (a Tempt 2 and a Tempt 0 respectively). Additionally, both of them are on 27.5 size wheels as they both liked being a little more nimble and closer to the ground than the 29er. That said, my daughter is a pretty avid racer now and will probably be on a 29er very soon for the momentum it carries as well as its ability to roll over anything. FYI, the 27.5 rolls over pretty much everything, too!
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Old 08-22-17, 01:27 AM   #7
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"If you're not buying the bike from an LBS, then try to find LBS's that sell those brands and visit them to check out fit and feel before buying the bike from wherever you're going to buy it from."

Not cool at all. Really bad form to do this. Shops don't carry their overhead to support online sales from someone else.
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Old 08-22-17, 03:20 AM   #8
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"If you're not buying the bike from an LBS, then try to find LBS's that sell those brands and visit them to check out fit and feel before buying the bike from wherever you're going to buy it from."

Not cool at all. Really bad form to do this. Shops don't carry their overhead to support online sales from someone else.
Actually the smart ones don't mind at all, they often get sales that way, and it costs them nothing but the time staff who are already paid to be there put out. Win Win.
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Old 08-22-17, 12:29 PM   #9
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Hi, I didn't look into the specs like the others did but just want to say that you might also look into Liv Tempt series, it's a women's specific brand by Giant.
The Tempt is an awesome entry level women's specific bike. I bought my wife a Tempt 5 before Giant moved the line under their Liv branding.

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Not cool at all. Really bad form to do this. Shops don't carry their overhead to support online sales from someone else.
While I'm all for supporting LBS's--with the exception of my childrens' bikes (which were all bought used), my bikes and my wife's bike were all bought from an LBS, whether it be in store or online--we don't know the OP's situation or intention. All we know are the bikes she's mentioned, that she wants direction on what she should be looking for or avoiding and that she's set a budget of $1000 CAD (including tax) for whatever bike she's going to get.

Given all that, I thought I'd cover both possibilities: 1) that the bikes she listed are bikes she found through an online retailer or some other online site (e.g., Kijiji, Craigslist, etc.) or 2) that they're bikes the LBS's near her carry and sell. My aim in the advice I gave was to help her the make best possibly informed decision on what bike to get, not to give her my thoughts on good or bad form when it comes to dealing with an LBS. Being that I told her that how the bike fits her and how it rides is what should ultimately be her deciding factor, the only way she'd find that out would be to go to an LBS that stocks those bikes and test them out.
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