Looking for MTB info/suggestions

Discussion in 'The Steam Vent' started by Soccerkid830, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    Hey everybody,

    Looking to get a little more into mountain biking with my wife. I have an older bike that has served me well, it's nothing fancy by any means, Trek 3700 from ~2005 or so.

    She does not have a bike at all. So for now, I'm looking to get her a bike and do not know hardly enough. We have gone to several bike shops in the area and they all keep trying to push us up in price range past what we would like to spend. We're hoping to spend somewhere under $600, maybe pushing up into the 6's if it is clearly beneficial to do so. Otherwise, it seems like $400-600 would be enough for a starter bike. Probably not going to be hitting jumps, on purpose anyway. Mainly trail riding, with pavement riding in between as well.

    One bike shop we went to sold primarily KHS bikes. I haven't ever heard of this brand, but it could just be my negligence about the sport. Are they a worthy brand?

    The bikes we've been looking at at the KHS Winslow, KHS Zaca, Trek Wahoo for 29er's. Haven't seen many 26" in store because everyone keeps pushing us towards the 29er's. I'm not sure if we want a 29er for the extra speed and ability to roll over things if you truly compromise control and maneuverability like I've read.



    Any insight would be great. I know there are quite a few MTBers on this forum. Any recommendations for a bike right around the $500-600 range that would be a great starter bike for my wife?

    She's on the taller side at about 5'10 if that should matter.

    Thanks!
  2. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    Used, Used, Used...

    Since she is that tall, you should be able to find a lot of decent bikes on the used market.

    I would shoot for a 29" hard-tail with at least X5 or LX components.

    KHS markets the heck out of their bikes and make some cool looking bikes but I have never seen on single person riding one in 25 years of biking. That may not mean anything but it sure seems weird.

    GT and Giant usually have the best bang for the buck if you are buying new.

    Try to find a local bike club forum and check out their classified section. Much better than CL or EB.

    I purchased my wife a $600 bike when she wanted to try it. I told her if she liked it and rode a lot she could get whatever she wanted after a few months. She ended up with a $2,600 bike that was then upgraded with all my old gear and is likely around a $5,000 bike now. She has since feel in love with road biking and the MTB stays in the garage most of the time. I asked her if I could sell it and she said "no, I'm going to MTB during the winter".
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
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  3. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    X5/LX ??? I looked it up to find that those are the sprockets in front/rear, correct?

    Is there a major difference between Sram and Shimano? It seems like they're pretty interchangeable from what I have seen. People tend to go one way or the other but it doesn't make a huge diff. Is that the case?
  4. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    X5 and LX is a level of components. There is not a major difference, they just feel and work differently. I prefer Shimano but have SRAM on my bike, my wife prefers SRAM and has Shimano on her bike....long story...
  5. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    I found a bike forum. It's a Michigan bike forum, not in my area specifically, but nonetheless. The bikes are all >$1,000!

    I have seen quite a few single speed bikes, why would someone go this route? I feel like I couldn't do a lot of the trails I've ridden on with only one gear, unless that gear was a fairly low one.
  6. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    Single Speeders are just like analog audiophiles, just a little niche market. A lot of people will run SS for part of the season to force them to build stronger legs and learn to stay off the brakes.

    Keep looking for used, they are out there.
  7. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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  8. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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  9. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

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    The Raleigh looks ok but will be to big for her.

    The Kona might fit and is a decent frame but I have no idea what the comp level is. It does have the better fork out of the ones posted

    The Specialized is pretty decent but once again, no specs are listed.

    The rest are junk.

    Components have come along way the last 4-5 years so stay with a 2010 or so.
  10. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

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  11. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    If I were to email these guys and ask for some info, what kind of info should I even be looking for?

    Make/model of the components?
  12. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    I would want to know year, specs and what fork is on there. If you don't think you would be competent on fitting her, I would go ahead and purchase new at a store, as fit is the most important thing in biking.
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  13. gholt Full Audioholic

    gholt
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    I would 2nd what ParadigmDawg said.

    Too bad you're not in Utah. there are literally hundreds of used MTB available on any given day. I would keep to bikes 2010 and newer, and I would like to know what specific shocks front / Rear, model and when it was last serviced. If they need service it could run $100 for either front or rear, unless you know how do it yourself. But, suspension not working isn't fun on a bike.

    If you can't size the right bike for her on your own, it would be good to get it sized and get a new one at a shop, as getting the right size is imperative.

    I haven't seen any KHS on the trails. I've seen many Kona, specialized, giant, trek, gary fisher, and the botique brands. Best bang for your buck, new would be the Giant.


    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
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  14. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    I've been checking CL for three weeks now and have found only one Mtb that was in my pricerange and meet my needs, was 2nd to call about it but it had already sold.. I'm probably just going to go for a new Giant Revel 29er.

    I was looking at diamondback but would have to order online without getting a feel for it.
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  15. gholt Full Audioholic

    gholt
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    You call some of the shops and see if they are selling any of their demos at the end of the season. I do that frequently here. Not sure if the shops do that there. Good way to save some cash. on a not so used bike.
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  16. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    In regards to a 26" 27.5" or 29er. Should we definitely go for a 29er? They definitely seem like the way to go right about now. I rode a 27.5" the other day at a bike shop and honestly didn't notice much of a difference between that and my 26". When I rode a 29, I definitely could feel a difference. All I did in terms of "testing" was hitting curbs straight on without hoping up over them at all.

    I liked the ride of the 29" I rode and didn't notice a whole lot of loss in mobility like the salesperson said. I'm still a beginner in every aspect of mountain biking I think, but I don't think I'd have a problem riding one. Would a brand new beginner have troubles riding one?
  17. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Warlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    29" for sure for a beginner, it just makes everything easier.

    If you have a lot of experience, then any of them will be fine, just whatever you prefer. I was a die-hard 26" fan and held out as long as I could on the 29" but there was just no denying the fact that I am way faster on a 29". If you have a lot of experience, then any of them will be fine, just whatever you prefer. I was a die-hard 26" fan and held out as long as I could on the 29" but there was just no denying the fact that I am way faster on a 29". I can rail corners, jump logs and fly through tight switchbacks faster than I could on a 26" which doesn't even make sense.

    Now, one downfall to a 29" is weight but if you throw enough money at it, it can be light. My Yeti ASR5 was 23.23 lbs and my Jet9 RDO is 23.46 lbs. I had to throw a bunch of money at each.
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  18. Soccerkid830 Full Audioholic

    Soccerkid830
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    We've been looking at a few bikes from shops, so... new seems to be where we're headed. Haven't found much on forums just yet, but still looking.

    Trek Marlin and Trek Wahoo are right in the price range I'd like to spend.
    The Trek Mamba is a bit above it, likely too expensive but would it be worth it as novice riders?


    At another shop who dealt with primarily Specialized, we looked at...
    Hardrock Sport Disc, 29 which was marked at $700 I think.
    As well as the more expensive Rockhopper Comp which was marked at $1100.

    Honestly, I couldn't tell a difference between the Rockhopper Comp and the Marlin I rode today. I feel like it's mainly because I just don't know how to tell the differences in components. Pretty much anything I ride feels better than the bike I personally have.

    The other half rode a GT bike today. I didn't like the look or feel of that bike when I rode it. Is GT a decent brand to go for? I'm not sure what she rode, and can't seem to find it on their website. But they did have the Karakoram 3.0 as well as the Karakoram 4.0 there.


    The guy who helped us today said it's best to wait til the 14's come out to see which 13's go on clearance, and maybe any new styles/colors that we might like in the 14's. Their stock was very low from what they said. Only small and large frames left primarily, only a few mediums here and there.

    Any suggestions between those bikes listed? I would very much like to stay away from the $1k mark of the Spec RH Comp and the Mamba unless it'd really be worth it to go that route. But as I said, I personally could not tell a difference.
  19. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Specialized

    Sorry for late to the thread, just got back from Mountain Biking Vacation in Whistler BC Canada:D

    Personally, I am a Specialized fanboy all the way. I ride the Carve 29er. In Canada, I rented the Rockhopper 29er.

    Yeah, the 29er isn't typically considered quite as nimble as the 26ers (with possible exception of the Carve). But having ridden 26 for a long long time, I don't think I will ever go back to the 26 after riding the 29.

    If you are considering full-suspension, then maybe consider a 26. If you are looking at front-suspension-only, then I say 29 all the way.

    If you are really wanting to stay cheaper, then the Specialized Hardrock has an almost cult-like following. It gets you a lot of bang for the buck. The Rockhopper is the next step up (then the Carve that I ride, then the Stumpjumper which is world-class bike).

    Like I said, I am highly biased, Specialized has been my brand for over 10 years with a full suspension Rockhopper 26 and now the hardtail Carve 29. Giant, GT, Trek, all make pretty good stuff too. Yes, used can be good. People buy bikes all the time, then realize that it's a lot more work and sweat than they expected and sell a practically new bike.

    If you do go new, most bike shops will throw in the first couple of tune ups for free. If they don't mention, ask about it. New bikes will need more adjustments as components break in and cables stretch, etc.

    Personally, if I were in your situation, this is probably what I would be buying without a second thought. It is actually the same bike you posted, but not quite as good components so it is about $120 cheaper on MSRP.

    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
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  20. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    I like a 29er hardtail myself, in my case a 2009 Cannondale 29er1. Not SOTA anymore by any stretch, being aluminum and all, and Cannondale isn't what it used to be in 2009, so I don't even recommend them now, but I love that bike. It's so much fun to ride I even use it on the street. One PITA, the Lefty front shock is so sexy that anytime the 29er1 is on the carrier there are kids coming over to check it out, and I know what's on their minds. I can't have it out of my sight for a picosecond, but in four years of ownership it's nothing but smiles, and I've never seen another one like it.
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