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First Bike in a long time - 1 bike to do it all?

Old 04-19-21, 08:54 AM
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Fenny07
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First Bike in a long time - 1 bike to do it all?

So the family is finally at the age where we can start biking as a group. I have 4 kids (4, 8, 13, 16yo) and a wife who enjoys cycling as well. Over the next few years we will be doing more and more as a family now that the kids are getting older. We currently trailer the 4yo for the family rides but next year we'll be starting him on his own bike and doing a mix of bike/trailer. I am not a pro or knowledgeable on bikes, I'm currently riding an old Schwinn Mesa Dune, that has served me very well for many years...but it's now time for something new and the mesa will be passed down to my son. In the Barrie area (Ontario Canada) quality bikes are sold out until end of summer so I'm in no hurry, it will be a purchase in prep for next summer. Used bikes actually seem to be going for more than retail these days so I'm not even looking at that option right now. In the meantime I've been doing research to get caught up on the industry and narrow down my selection. As I can't try out any bikes in person due to shortage and lockdowns, I thought I'd pick the brains here.


About myself: 5' 11", around 200lbs moderate shape but would like to loose 10-15lbs over the next year, I was about 220 last summer and have been slowly getting into better shape. I do spend time in the gym, but almost exclusively with the weights. What cardio I do is on a spin bike as I hate jogging and find most cardio stuff boring, as a general rule. At least on the spin bike I can watch a show. I have no desire to get out on a road bike for cardio, as I find that kind of pointless. Just not my thing. I would like to get out in the woods for cardio runs but I don't have any close easy access from the house and would have to either bike there or take the bike by car. I have 2 jobs, 4 kids and a historic home that takes up A LOT of my time to maintain so I don't really have time to drive out for a cardio run when I could just spin in the basement.


So most of my riding is paved paths (60%) and hard packed dirt (30%) with the family. We've been doing shorter runs (1-2 hours) but they are getting longer as the 8yo gets better on the bike. I, on rare occasions, get out with buddies to try more rigorous trails, but I'm over 40, have no time for racing and these buddies are both moving away next year. I know my wife would be good to go out on the more challenging trails, but it would be about 10% of the time as getting away from the kids is a big limiting factor. However, over the next couple of years this will slowly increase as the kids get older and as we can get out on our own more. I'm actually looking to plan a 3 day weekend getaway for my wife and I once COVID runs its course (2022) with the focus being trail running on the bikes. We both enjoy casual, but challenging, trail running over distance road riding. With that said, we're not looking to do anything craze, ie. jumps, crazy terrain, down hill, etc... but do enjoy decent speed through the woods, roots and stuff is fun. My wife is pretty hard core with exercise and enjoys pushing herself so we are good for being aggressive, within our limited skills and experience.


In my research I was looking at the Trek Dual Sport 3 and the Marlin 6 as two options. I like the higher gears options for road/casual running for longer destinations vs the single gears and so these two models fit that bill. I like the DS, but my one big concern is the front fork for when I do get out, getting over taxed. I like the lockout on the Marlin 6 for all the road running, but at the same time I wonder if I should be focusing more on a more road focused bike. I feel like the marlin 6 is more future proof for mountain biking, but at the same time, my future plans are not set in stone and the DS better addresses my current needs. Essentially my gut is saying Marlin 6 and my head is saying DS 4. As I can't test run either one, any thoughts?


My second question is 27.5 vs 29 tires. I've read through the various pros and cons of each and although I understand the textbook purposes of each I was curious how it would best apply to my specific needs. I'm leaning towards the 27.5 simply because speed and aggression are not top priorities of mine. I feel the 27.5 would probably best apply to my current situation. Thoughts?


I'm open to other suggestions, having looked at a dozen models I feel like these two were good options. I'd prefer to buy from a local small shop than the big stores. I'm currently trying to stay around the $1000 mark. Thanks guys.

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Old 04-29-21, 11:25 AM
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Both of the bikes you are looking at would be a great option. Remember; a more aggressive tire and bike can be road on pavement easier than a skinny slick on gravel/dirt. I am normally one to give up a top gear in favor of a lower gear knowing that at some time I am going to need it. Also later on, if you are maxing out in top gear and feel like you are spinning you could have a local bike shop help to re-gear the bike so you have a bigger top end; or buy a second bike!
Tires? either would be fine. 29's roll easier of bumps but are heavier.

Your height and size gives you lots of options. Get whatever bike you feel more confident with and then later you can get a second bike(or third) secondhand from someone who is looking to upgrade to a lighter road bike or a better MTB. I am 6ft and 175lbs. All three of my bikes I bought second hand for 1/2 price when the original owner wanted something newer/faster/better. Great way to get a $1,000-$3000 bike at a great deal.
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Old 04-29-21, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I was starting to think I wasn't going to get an answer! I've pretty much given up getting a bike any time soon and am now planning on a purchase for next year instead. I've called over 60 shops and I can't find anything in stock or due in stock soon. Best I can get is end of summer or September if I want to put a down payment in and get in line. The good news about having to wait is that I can increased the budget. I've now doubled it to $2k CAN which has expanded my options. I agree with your comments and the dual sport and has been eliminated from the running. I think I'd outgrow it's off road capabilities very quickly and I don't think it will work if I get out with my buddies. They ride fast and rough, I think it would be really stretching the capabilities of the DS.


I'm leaning toward these three now:

- Rocky Mountain Growler 40: Looks like the most aggressive (and most expensive) of the three which will be good for riding with the guys. However, I'm not sure how this one will feel riding it x-country with the wife. Once things open up more I'd like to schedule a weekend bike trip with the wife and put down some serious mileage behind us.

- Trek X-caliber 9: Seems to be more of a good all-round option I don't see any big flaws other than bang for the buck the others seem to have some better components.

- Giant Fathom 2: Another good option, seems to be a pretty solid side by side option to the x-caliber


I'd also keeping my eyes open for good used deals but used is going for the same, if not higher , than retail prices. So if those prices don't change soon I'm just going to put money down and get in line for one of these new. What do you think?
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Old 04-29-21, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post
So the family is finally at the age where we can start biking as a group. I have 4 kids (4, 8, 13, 16yo) and a wife who enjoys cycling as well. Over the next few years we will be doing more and more as a family now that the kids are getting older. We currently trailer the 4yo for the family rides but next year we'll be starting him on his own bike and doing a mix of bike/trailer. I am not a pro or knowledgeable on bikes, I'm currently riding an old Schwinn Mesa Dune, that has served me very well for many years...but it's now time for something new and the mesa will be passed down to my son. In the Barrie area (Ontario Canada) quality bikes are sold out until end of summer so I'm in no hurry, it will be a purchase in prep for next summer. Used bikes actually seem to be going for more than retail these days so I'm not even looking at that option right now. In the meantime I've been doing research to get caught up on the industry and narrow down my selection. As I can't try out any bikes in person due to shortage and lockdowns, I thought I'd pick the brains here.


About myself: 5' 11", around 200lbs moderate shape but would like to loose 10-15lbs over the next year, I was about 220 last summer and have been slowly getting into better shape. I do spend time in the gym, but almost exclusively with the weights. What cardio I do is on a spin bike as I hate jogging and find most cardio stuff boring, as a general rule. At least on the spin bike I can watch a show. I have no desire to get out on a road bike for cardio, as I find that kind of pointless. Just not my thing. I would like to get out in the woods for cardio runs but I don't have any close easy access from the house and would have to either bike there or take the bike by car. I have 2 jobs, 4 kids and a historic home that takes up A LOT of my time to maintain so I don't really have time to drive out for a cardio run when I could just spin in the basement.


So most of my riding is paved paths (60%) and hard packed dirt (30%) with the family. We've been doing shorter runs (1-2 hours) but they are getting longer as the 8yo gets better on the bike. I, on rare occasions, get out with buddies to try more rigorous trails, but I'm over 40, have no time for racing and these buddies are both moving away next year. I know my wife would be good to go out on the more challenging trails, but it would be about 10% of the time as getting away from the kids is a big limiting factor. However, over the next couple of years this will slowly increase as the kids get older and as we can get out on our own more. I'm actually looking to plan a 3 day weekend getaway for my wife and I once COVID runs its course (2022) with the focus being trail running on the bikes. We both enjoy casual, but challenging, trail running over distance road riding. With that said, we're not looking to do anything craze, ie. jumps, crazy terrain, down hill, etc... but do enjoy decent speed through the woods, roots and stuff is fun. My wife is pretty hard core with exercise and enjoys pushing herself so we are good for being aggressive, within our limited skills and experience.


In my research I was looking at the Trek Dual Sport 3 and the Marlin 6 as two options. I like the higher gears options for road/casual running for longer destinations vs the single gears and so these two models fit that bill. I like the DS, but my one big concern is the front fork for when I do get out, getting over taxed. I like the lockout on the Marlin 6 for all the road running, but at the same time I wonder if I should be focusing more on a more road focused bike. I feel like the marlin 6 is more future proof for mountain biking, but at the same time, my future plans are not set in stone and the DS better addresses my current needs. Essentially my gut is saying Marlin 6 and my head is saying DS 4. As I can't test run either one, any thoughts?


My second question is 27.5 vs 29 tires. I've read through the various pros and cons of each and although I understand the textbook purposes of each I was curious how it would best apply to my specific needs. I'm leaning towards the 27.5 simply because speed and aggression are not top priorities of mine. I feel the 27.5 would probably best apply to my current situation. Thoughts?


I'm open to other suggestions, having looked at a dozen models I feel like these two were good options. I'd prefer to buy from a local small shop than the big stores. I'm currently trying to stay around the $1000 mark. Thanks guys.
Since you are on pavement or hard packed dirt 90% of the time, why are you looking at mountain bikes? Shouldn't you get something that will be more enjoyable for 90% of your rides, and good enough to get you through the occasional rough stuff?
My suggestion is to go with something with a solid fork and maybe somewhat plush tire, like the Kona Dew plus, the Jamis Renegade, or Jamis Sequel. Or a Surly Cross Check. Any of these would be a lot lighter and more fun to ride than a heavy front suspension mountain bike, at least on pavement.
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Old 04-29-21, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Since you are on pavement or hard packed dirt 90% of the time, why are you looking at mountain bikes? Shouldn't you get something that will be more enjoyable for 90% of your rides, and good enough to get you through the occasional rough stuff?
My suggestion is to go with something with a solid fork and maybe somewhat plush tire, like the Kona Dew plus, the Jamis Renegade, or Jamis Sequel. Or a Surly Cross Check. Any of these would be a lot lighter and more fun to ride than a heavy front suspension mountain bike, at least on pavement.
That's a good point. Looking at my original post, I tossed those numbers out without really thinking on them much. We have only just started this year so if I break it down a bit more:

30% on pavement: odd running around town, friends, post office, etc... anything I could walk to, but don't want to. Also when we do the odd family rides with the 4 year old who still needs the firm ground.

30% trail riding, but relatively easier trail riding. Stuff the whole family can handle for the most part. Last year we did more paved stuff but my 8 year old has progressed a lot and it looks like we're shifting most of the family rides to the woods.

20% trail riding with the wife. This is more challenging trails (but not overly hard, no jumps or drops), speed and distance but always back country trails, no paved stuff unless we have no other options.

20% the harder more challenging runs with the buddies or practicing on my own. I'll be pushing myself, but not competitively, more for just experience, fun and fitness. Here I'll be slowly moving into jumps, drops and speed, as my courage and experience builds.

All the riding I'm doing will be progressively getting more challenging every year. We all prefer trails over paved but stick to the easier stuff because of the younger and inexperienced kids. As they get older and as my wife and I can get out more together or alone, the rides will get more challenging, rougher, faster and longer. So my idea was a bike I won't out grow in a year or two, something I can grow into as I get more experience and more time to spend on it.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:55 PM
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Well; talk to your biking buddies and let your Facebook friends know you are looking for a great intro bike for mostly trail riding but also around town with the kids; you will be surprised to find out that a co-workers uncle has a 2012 Trek xyz sitting in his garage that he hasn't ridden in 4 years because of ABC medical issue and will sell it to you cheap. Buy that bike; find out what you really want/need and then buy a $2500 bike in 12-18 months that fits your needs to a T.
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Old 04-29-21, 09:08 PM
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Excellent advice, my plan was always to buy used. But I had no idea how crazy the market was right now! It seems the used bikes are basically going for the same price as new. I was looking at a "used once" 2020 Rosco on kijiji and it was priced higher than new!

I sent the word out a few weeks ago but so far nothing has come up. I've found a few bikes online in my price range but I have a really hard time paying new prices for a used bike. Only a couple of my buddies ride, they're the ones slowly pulling me in, but they both run FS bikes that are worth more than my car. We'll see, maybe I'll get lucky while waiting and doing research.
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Old 04-30-21, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post
That's a good point. Looking at my original post, I tossed those numbers out without really thinking on them much. We have only just started this year so if I break it down a bit more:

30% on pavement: odd running around town, friends, post office, etc... anything I could walk to, but don't want to. Also when we do the odd family rides with the 4 year old who still needs the firm ground.

30% trail riding, but relatively easier trail riding. Stuff the whole family can handle for the most part. Last year we did more paved stuff but my 8 year old has progressed a lot and it looks like we're shifting most of the family rides to the woods.

20% trail riding with the wife. This is more challenging trails (but not overly hard, no jumps or drops), speed and distance but always back country trails, no paved stuff unless we have no other options.

20% the harder more challenging runs with the buddies or practicing on my own. I'll be pushing myself, but not competitively, more for just experience, fun and fitness. Here I'll be slowly moving into jumps, drops and speed, as my courage and experience builds.

All the riding I'm doing will be progressively getting more challenging every year. We all prefer trails over paved but stick to the easier stuff because of the younger and inexperienced kids. As they get older and as my wife and I can get out more together or alone, the rides will get more challenging, rougher, faster and longer. So my idea was a bike I won't out grow in a year or two, something I can grow into as I get more experience and more time to spend on it.
So your desire is more aspirational. I get that. The problem is, a good mountain bike is going to be fairly expensive, but it won't be great for the paved stuff or even the easy trails. I have been there. I have a mountain bike, but even when my main bike was in the shop, I wouldn't take it out for road rides because it just wasn't that enjoyable riding a heavy mountain bike with knobby tires and suspension fork on pavement. Even with the suspension locked out..

Last edited by MRT2; 04-30-21 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
So your desire is more aspirational. I get that. The problem is, a good mountain bike is going to be fairly expensive, but it won't be great for the paved stuff or even the easy trails. I have been there. I have a mountain bike, but even when my main bike was in the shop, I wouldn't take it out for road rides.
Yes, aspirational as well as based in past experience. I did enjoy biking as a kid and my wife has always enjoyed physical exercise of any sort. She's a phys'ed teacher and thanks to covid has been able to integrate biking into her program at the school, which has re-kindled her enjoyment for the sport (again). Her one frustration is that the school riding caters to the lowest common denominator which means they aren't very challenging and have to stick to easy trails.

We did try and get into the sport about 9 years ago, between our second and third kids. We thought the family was pretty much done growing so we took our bikes and started hitting the more challenging stuff, including down hill lift runs and xc trail running. However, as much fun as that was, we didn't have the bikes for it. We still had a blast we just went slow. However, it was very short lived and then came kids 3 and 4 which put a damper on the plans. Now that the youngest is old enough to start going with us we're getting back into it; as a family, as a couple and on my own.

So the challenge I'm faced with in bike selection is not "IF" I'm going to be doing more riding, but exactly "WHAT" type of riding I'll be doing. Because that's not set in stone and will develop over the next few years. If I took the advice of my buddies I'd drop 6k on a full suspension system and be done with it. However, they are all either much younger or much older than I am and none of them have the young family obligations I have. This is why I'm looking for a middle of the road bike that I can do-it-all on right now. If I end up getting hooked on the rough stuff I can pick up a much more appropriate bike down the road. However, in the meantime I'm still doing easy weekly family runs but would still like to challenge myself with the longer xc runs with the wife as well as out with the buddies. IE, keep the options open until I'm in a more stable like situation.

Make sense? This is why I figured bikes like the fathom 2 and growler can kind of do it all. They won't be ideal for either situation, but they will allow me to try anything without inhibiting the experience.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post
Yes, aspirational as well as based in past experience. I did enjoy biking as a kid and my wife has always enjoyed physical exercise of any sort. She's a phys'ed teacher and thanks to covid has been able to integrate biking into her program at the school, which has re-kindled her enjoyment for the sport (again). Her one frustration is that the school riding caters to the lowest common denominator which means they aren't very challenging and have to stick to easy trails.

We did try and get into the sport about 9 years ago, between our second and third kids. We thought the family was pretty much done growing so we took our bikes and started hitting the more challenging stuff, including down hill lift runs and xc trail running. However, as much fun as that was, we didn't have the bikes for it. We still had a blast we just went slow. However, it was very short lived and then came kids 3 and 4 which put a damper on the plans. Now that the youngest is old enough to start going with us we're getting back into it; as a family, as a couple and on my own.

So the challenge I'm faced with in bike selection is not "IF" I'm going to be doing more riding, but exactly "WHAT" type of riding I'll be doing. Because that's not set in stone and will develop over the next few years. If I took the advice of my buddies I'd drop 6k on a full suspension system and be done with it. However, they are all either much younger or much older than I am and none of them have the young family obligations I have. This is why I'm looking for a middle of the road bike that I can do-it-all on right now. If I end up getting hooked on the rough stuff I can pick up a much more appropriate bike down the road. However, in the meantime I'm still doing easy weekly family runs but would still like to challenge myself with the longer xc runs with the wife as well as out with the buddies. IE, keep the options open until I'm in a more stable like situation.

Make sense? This is why I figured bikes like the fathom 2 and growler can kind of do it all. They won't be ideal for either situation, but they will allow me to try anything without inhibiting the experience.
Except that they can't (do it all). At least not when it is set up for what it was built to do. FWIW, it sounds like you actually need 2 bikes. One for riding around with the kids, and the other for single track and other types of mountain biking.
I know that isn't what you want to hear, but I think it is the truth.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:36 AM
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You really should have two bikes for what you want to do between family and friends.

And bikes ARE NOT that hard to find. Look on Jenson or Back Country or some other online supplier if you want to buy new. Otherwise all sorts of used bikes available on Pinkbike, Ebay and numerous Facebook bike classifieds groups.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Except that they can't (do it all). At least not when it is set up for what it was built to do. FWIW, it sounds like you actually need 2 bikes. One for riding around with the kids, and the other for single track and other types of mountain biking.

I know that isn't what you want to hear, but I think it is the truth.

I agree, but dropping serious $$$ on two bikes isn't an option, especially considering I'm not 100% sure exactly how my riding time is going to be divided up over the next couple of years. I'm essentially trying to figure out where to compromise. I may not be able to get one bike that will excel everything (very understandable), but I should be able to find a bike that will at least let me get out and do them all in some form or fashion. Right now it looks like riding with the buddies is the most demanding/challenging of the requirements, but it's also the lowest priority as family time and rides with my wife are more important. So I'm thinking sacrificing at that end is the best compromise. So I'm hoping that something like the growler or the fathom, which with obviously function just fine for the family rides even if it isn't the best option, should still let me go out with the buddies. I'll go slower and be more cautious than if I had a better bike for that kind of riding, but at least I'm still out with them. If I get something like a dual sport 4, which would be better for the family runs, I'm skeptical it that would even survive the runs with my buddies. Does that make sense?

Again, 2 bikes would be best and maybe 2-3 years down the road that will be the plan. At that point I'll have a much better idea of exactly what type of biking I'll be doing as well as having a bunch more time on my hands. Then I can look into getting a more task specific bike and spending serious cash on a bike that will make a big difference in the riding I'm doing. I just can't justify that kind of investment when I'm still discovering my interest and time availability. So one bike for now.

Thanks for all the wisdom, it's great having all the videos and stuff posted but I've always preferred real feedback from people who can share their experiences.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post
I agree, but dropping serious $$$ on two bikes isn't an option, especially considering I'm not 100% sure exactly how my riding time is going to be divided up over the next couple of years. I'm essentially trying to figure out where to compromise. I may not be able to get one bike that will excel everything (very understandable), but I should be able to find a bike that will at least let me get out and do them all in some form or fashion. Right now it looks like riding with the buddies is the most demanding/challenging of the requirements, but it's also the lowest priority as family time and rides with my wife are more important. So I'm thinking sacrificing at that end is the best compromise. So I'm hoping that something like the growler or the fathom, which with obviously function just fine for the family rides even if it isn't the best option, should still let me go out with the buddies. I'll go slower and be more cautious than if I had a better bike for that kind of riding, but at least I'm still out with them. If I get something like a dual sport 4, which would be better for the family runs, I'm skeptical it that would even survive the runs with my buddies. Does that make sense?

Again, 2 bikes would be best and maybe 2-3 years down the road that will be the plan. At that point I'll have a much better idea of exactly what type of biking I'll be doing as well as having a bunch more time on my hands. Then I can look into getting a more task specific bike and spending serious cash on a bike that will make a big difference in the riding I'm doing. I just can't justify that kind of investment when I'm still discovering my interest and time availability. So one bike for now.

Thanks for all the wisdom, it's great having all the videos and stuff posted but I've always preferred real feedback from people who can share their experiences.
Well, nobody is saying you need to spend big bucks on your family bike, even if it is the bike you will ride 60 to 90% of the time.. An old hybrid or comfort bike might work. Or even a older touring bike or road bike from the 80s or 90s might work. Shoot, I gave a 1997 Bianchi Advantage hybrid to my cousin in Chicago a couple of years ago. That would be a perfect bike for everything you need except for challenging single track. And that bike was in tip top shape. Only ridden by me, my son, and a handful of friends and relatives visiting us over the years. And kept indoors for at least half its life. And fully tuned up by a local shop just a couple of years earlier. You could probably find something like that eventually for $200 or less if you look around.

A few years ago, I picked up an 80s era Gitane road bike for my son. Somebody put 90s era road components on the bike, so it had indexed shifting. Now that was a deal I made in late November, so the bike shop who sold it to me was eager to flip it quickly rather than have it sit till spring. I don't remember what I paid, but it wasn't much, maybe $200 or so. And the frame had a few scratches on it, and looked a little rough. The reason I bought it was, I spent almost $1,000 on a new mountain bike for my son, who was competing at that time for a local team, so my bike budget for the year was already stretched thin, However, 4 years later and that bike is still running great and my son uses it almost every day as a campus commuter, and occasional weekend road bike. That $1,000 mountain bike. He rides it maybe 4 or 5 times a year when he is home from school. But mostly it sits unused in my garage.
I know your budget is tight, but there is no one bike that can do it all, and the bikes you think can do it all really can't.

Last edited by MRT2; 04-30-21 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:08 AM
  #14  
prj71
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post
I agree, but dropping serious $$$ on two bikes isn't an option, especially considering I'm not 100% sure exactly how my riding time is going to be divided up over the next couple of years. I'm essentially trying to figure out where to compromise. I may not be able to get one bike that will excel everything (very understandable), but I should be able to find a bike that will at least let me get out and do them all in some form or fashion. Right now it looks like riding with the buddies is the most demanding/challenging of the requirements, but it's also the lowest priority as family time and rides with my wife are more important. So I'm thinking sacrificing at that end is the best compromise. So I'm hoping that something like the growler or the fathom, which with obviously function just fine for the family rides even if it isn't the best option, should still let me go out with the buddies. I'll go slower and be more cautious than if I had a better bike for that kind of riding, but at least I'm still out with them. If I get something like a dual sport 4, which would be better for the family runs, I'm skeptical it that would even survive the runs with my buddies. Does that make sense?

Again, 2 bikes would be best and maybe 2-3 years down the road that will be the plan. At that point I'll have a much better idea of exactly what type of biking I'll be doing as well as having a bunch more time on my hands. Then I can look into getting a more task specific bike and spending serious cash on a bike that will make a big difference in the riding I'm doing. I just can't justify that kind of investment when I'm still discovering my interest and time availability. So one bike for now.

Thanks for all the wisdom, it's great having all the videos and stuff posted but I've always preferred real feedback from people who can share their experiences.
Good bikes aren't cheap. That's the reality.

Find a used hybrid bike to play with family and invest some good money in a good mountain bike to play on the trail with friends.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:45 AM
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NRissy
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I agree with what many have said. Find a old used bike that is in good shape for your family bike (mine is a Trek 3700 MTB) then buy a nice bike for yourself. Also you have a 16 year old your going to give your old bike to. Any bike you buy can double for him(guessing a boy?) also join some local bike groups for your area post that you are looking for a family bike and a nice mountain bike. Include a photo of your family (this is how I got my tandem at a great price). A guy who could no longer ride it with his wife was supper excited for me to be able to make memories with his old bike.
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Old 05-01-21, 03:42 PM
  #16  
Fenny07
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You really should have two bikes for what you want to do between family and friends.
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
And bikes ARE NOT that hard to find. Look on Jenson or Back Country or some other online supplier if you want to buy new. Otherwise all sorts of used bikes available on Pinkbike, Ebay and numerous Facebook bike classifieds groups.


Lol, I beg to differ! It’s nuts here in Ontario Canada. I called over 70 shops and NOTHING in my original specs was available. The absolute best I was able to do was a possibility of one in June and another one in August, and those weren’t even the specific models I was looking at. They were compromises with similar specs. Even the two I did find were from other provinces where the demand isn’t as crazy high. I’d be tacking another $200 on for shipping. No one will take pre-orders here and most have waiting lists for 4+ months. The last place I called has everything spoken for out into 2023! It is crazy here. I’ve been watching pinkbike and kijiji for a few weeks and bikes that are a couple of years old are going for at-new or above new prices. Anything resembling “decent” pricing is gone in minutes it seems. It does seem to be more reasonable with bikes more than a couple of years out.

Unfortunately, for someone like me who is still learning about bikes looking at older bikes is a total roll of the dice. There looks to be some more reasonable prices on older ones, I just don’t know what a good deal is when I see it!

So taking this two bike plan forward (gonna be fun getting the wife onboard with that one) what would I be looking for as far as older model mountain bikes? I’m not worried about finding a cheap dual purpose bike, but a good quality mountain bike might be harder for me to spot. Any models/years you’d recommend I keep an eye out for? My budget would be around $1500US. Is it doable in that price range?

Originally Posted by NRissy View Post
I agree with what many have said. Find a old used bike that is in good shape for your family bike (mine is a Trek 3700 MTB) then buy a nice bike for yourself. Also you have a 16 year old your going to give your old bike to. Any bike you buy can double for him(guessing a boy?) also join some local bike groups for your area post that you are looking for a family bike and a nice mountain bike. Include a photo of your family (this is how I got my tandem at a great price). A guy who could no longer ride it with his wife was supper excited for me to be able to make memories with his old bike.


Thanks, I’ll give that a shot!
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Old 05-01-21, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenny07 View Post

Lol, I beg to differ! Itís nuts here in Ontario Canada. I called over 70 shops and NOTHING in my original specs was available. The absolute best I was able to do was a possibility of one in June and another one in August, and those werenít even the specific models I was looking at. They were compromises with similar specs. Even the two I did find were from other provinces where the demand isnít as crazy high. Iíd be tacking another $200 on for shipping. No one will take pre-orders here and most have waiting lists for 4+ months. The last place I called has everything spoken for out into 2023! It is crazy here. Iíve been watching pinkbike and kijiji for a few weeks and bikes that are a couple of years old are going for at-new or above new prices. Anything resembling ďdecentĒ pricing is gone in minutes it seems. It does seem to be more reasonable with bikes more than a couple of years out.

Unfortunately, for someone like me who is still learning about bikes looking at older bikes is a total roll of the dice. There looks to be some more reasonable prices on older ones, I just donít know what a good deal is when I see it!

So taking this two bike plan forward (gonna be fun getting the wife onboard with that one) what would I be looking for as far as older model mountain bikes? Iím not worried about finding a cheap dual purpose bike, but a good quality mountain bike might be harder for me to spot. Any models/years youíd recommend I keep an eye out for? My budget would be around $1500US. Is it doable in that price range?



Thanks, Iíll give that a shot!
I think so. Hang around here and you will get a sense of what is good and what isn't. When looking for used bikes, condition is important, but also look for bikes that were decent when they were new. In the mountain bike world, an bike that had Shimano Deore components or above (Deore XT, Deore LX) was probably a decent bike. In the hybrid world, stay away from no name brand components, and Shimano Tourney, which is entry level. Altus is the next level up, Acera, the next level, and Alivio the next level above that. Above that is Deore, which was built for mountain biking. For road components, Claris is entry level. Older bikes might have 2300, which was the group that preceded Claris. The next level up is Sora, then Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, and finally, Dura Ace. The thing is, even older Deore LX or Ultegra, even from 20 years ago should still be pretty decent.

To give you an example, the Bianchi Advantage I gave my cousin is from 24 years ago, but it is a decent family bike. It is 7 speed, which was decent 24 years ago, today would be entry level. But the derailleurs are STX, which is an a level below Deore, but above Acera, so pretty decent. It also comes with SRAM gripshifters, which still work fine. But if they ever wore out, Shimano makes 7 speed shifters that should work fine with older 7 speed derailleurs.
Another example of a family bike I got some years back was an old Trek 800. The derailleur was shot, so I put an Acera derailleur,and it worked fine with the original Altus shifters. Any of the Trek 7xx or 8xx bikes would make an excellent family bike. And shouldn't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars.
The Gitane I bought for my son has very old 8 speed 105 brifters on it, and they shift great. The rear derailleur is a Shimano 2300, which is entry level, but again, the old 8 speed 105 works fine with the modern derailleur.

For mountain bikes, stick with bikes with Deore level components and you should be fine. After that, fit, and condition is key.

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Old 05-22-21, 07:02 PM
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I am primarily a road rider but do enjoy the occasional hard pack dirt trail with my Orbea Terra gravel bike. Out of necessity due to rough (paved) road conditions in some areas I enjoy, I decided to experiment with 32c GP5000ís on my Orbea rather than riding my usual Carbon road bike.
I utilized a spare set of American Classic wheels I had laying around so that I could simply switch wheels whenever needed.
Iíve discovered that while the Orbea is not as fast as my dedicated road bike, it is much more comfortable on rougher roads making 50-60 mile rides in these areas more enjoyable.

Iíll be using it this weekend on an organized century as I expect the road conditions to be less than ideal. By switching wheelsets it has allowed me to come close to that ideal ďall-aroundĒ bike at least for my purposes. However I do own (and ride) about 9 other bikes so I didnít ďneedĒ that type of bike, it just sort of happened......
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