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quality entry level MTB - monocog 29er? other options?

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quality entry level MTB - monocog 29er? other options?

Old 04-28-08, 12:04 PM
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quality entry level MTB - monocog 29er? other options?

I haven't owned a good bike for a lot of years. Last summer I rediscovered the joys of riding around on two wheels on an old Mongoose beater that I've since ridden into the ground. Recently I've been riding a friend's Kona dirt jumper around a lot and having a blast. It's convinced me I need a mountain bike of my own. I like the simple durable aspect of a dirt jumper, but they're also heavy as hell and not optimal for cruising around.

I'm looking to by an affordable bike for recreational trail riding, cruising around campus, beer runs and the like. I'm probably not going to be hitting jumps and doing drops but I want something that can be ridden hard and take a beating. Basically, I want a reliable, trail ready bike with decent build and components that will last. I'm pretty wary of $500 mountain bikes with 21 speeds, shocks, and disc brakes, because I can't imagine such a product really contains quality components. I'd much rather go with something with less bells and whistles and better build. The Monocog 29er is pretty appealing to me because it fits perfectly in my price range ($400-$600), and seems to be a quality bike with room to upgrade. The stock configuration seems fine for my purposes and it has room for upgrades like disc brakes and a suspension fork in the future. I've ridden some single speed bikes and I liked the simplicity, and since I'm not planning on long endurance rides one gear seems like plenty. All the rave reviews I've seen just top off the appeal of this bike. Still, I don't have my heart set on this bike or 29 inch wheels so I'm completely open to other suggestions.

I'd love some thoughts on the Monocog 29er and other suggestions for good starter bikes in the same price range.
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