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picking a price point

Old 04-25-12, 09:23 AM
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SW7783
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picking a price point

I've decided I want to get a trek 29er but can't decide on a price point. I've decided that I want at least a Marlin for the lockout on the fork. I don't know how deep I'll delve into offroad riding, but I have a feeling that once I start I'll want to do more. I have a few trails nearby but I've never ridden them, but my LBS recommended a Marlin, or a Mamba for something more sturdy and nicer. I've also looked online at the Cobia and X-Cal. They all look to have the same frame, except the chainstays on the higher end have a different dropout. I think if I really wanted to I could save for an X-Cal but I figured its probably above what I need and the bike will get plenty of road / paved trail miles on it. I don't know what my LBS is asking for Cobia and X-Cal, but are they in a different league than the Mamba and Marlin that it wouldn't make sense to buy for recreational riding? As I said, I thino I could save for a +$1000 bike, but I do want to own a mountain bike this summer. So I was wondering if anyone thought might be able to help suggest where to draw that fine line. I originally just was going to get a Marlin and be done with it, but I got to thinking maybe I should spend a little more now than later. I think the biggest difference between each model is the fork, and then just higher level components with almost identical gearing. I'm open to all suggestions, hank you.
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Old 04-25-12, 11:31 AM
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pablosnazzy
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This isn't a bike question, it's an economics questions. Do you want instant satisfaction or long term satisfaction? Do you want to get something decent now or something super awesome later? Will the something decent be enough, will the something super awesome be overkill?

of all the bikes you mentioned, there isn't a bad bike in the lot of em. the lowest low level bike you mentioned is a far superior crazy awesome bike compared to the bicycles people rode all the time five years ago.

the higher end models have different grade frame and "better" components, you can ALWAYS get something "better," but is the "better" necessary or noticeable?

figure out what works best for you, being honest with yourself, and if you need more advice, i sincerely (i'm a serious about this) consult the I Ching.

http://flytrapinteractive.com/~complimentary/iching/
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Old 04-25-12, 01:21 PM
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Thanks Pablo , ah yes, the i-ching.
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Old 04-25-12, 01:58 PM
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I have 2 friends that ride mambas and i can safely say those are very capable bikes. If you upgrade the tires and brakes youll have yourself a runner. Even in stock form its still a pretty good bike especially for the money. One buddy has ridden that mamba everywhere I take my FS rig and he still beats me on the climbs.
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Old 04-25-12, 05:02 PM
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That's good to hear. I think my main debate is marlin vs Mamba, and I'm having a hard time.
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Old 04-25-12, 05:36 PM
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I think that once you get some trail riding behind you that you will really enjoy this stuff.
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Old 04-28-12, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by GEOlson View Post
That's good to hear. I think my main debate is marlin vs Mamba, and I'm having a hard time.
Can you afford the higher-priced Mamba? If you can afford it, I truly do not think you will regret having spent the money. You get Shimano-brand hydraulic brakes. I've a set of the same model brakes one one of my own bikes and like it very much, and would prefer it over the Tektro mechanicals on the Marlin. The drivetrain and shifters and derailleurs are all a bit nicer on the more expensive bike.

Hmmm....The Mamba is nine-speed. That would clinch it for me. Nothing wrong with eight-speed per se, but when you go to upgrade components you'll be really glad for having nine-speed. Higher-end nine-speed parts like shifters and deraillers are readily available. There is much variety to choose from. Such is not the case with eight-speed. No one really makes high-end eight-speed parts anymore.

BTW, I believe the frames are the same across the line on up to the Superfly level. I don't see any differences called out in the catalog page descriptions on the Trek website. They are all "Alpha Gold, butted and so forth" until you reach the Superfly. So my take is that the frame on the Mamba is the same as on the Cobia and the X-Cal.
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Old 04-28-12, 08:41 AM
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Thanks Jonathan, I think for all the reasons you listed I want the Mamba. I didn't know about the lack of 8 speed replacement options though, but I do like that the 9 speed will have gearing closer together than the 8.
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