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Kelly Johnson
July 8th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Hey Guys

I don't ride much. Mostly on the road but like to get dirty soemtimes. No real mountains or anything...I'm 36 and don't jump anymore.

Looking to get another bike but not sure...any opinions or pros and cons to each?

I'm looking in the $6-800 range.

chuck7413
July 8th, 2006, 11:27 AM
If you are looking for a mountain bike, check out the Gary Fisher bikes.
I have a 2002 Marlin and I love it.

mdewitt71
July 8th, 2006, 11:36 AM
I have been into Biking for many years both road and MTBs, I have had Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized, Raleigh, Iron Horse, Jamis, Giant, and even a few others.
For the $$ I really like Raleigh hardtails and Jamis full suspension MTBs. Not taking anything away from Specialized and Gary Fishers :wink:
Now, if you ask my wife, she lives by Trek....

I have had a Raleigh M60 hardtail with a Marzocchi fork and XT comps. for many years and no probs what so ever.

Look around and get the best componants you can get in your price range.

Kelly Johnson
July 8th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Trek Dealer had a bunch of Gary Fishers. I'm admittedly a novice...never heard of them but they are sharp.

The Cannondale's seems to have better Accs for the price though...or look "cooler" to my untrained eye.

mdewitt71
July 8th, 2006, 02:18 PM
I would look at all Alum frame the higher the grade the better.
A Rockshox fork is my favorite along with Marzocchi (RST models are cheap).
Get at least an 8 speed if not 9 (7 speeds are outdated).
The more shimano comp. the better.
Shimano XT is VERY Good.
Shimano LX is a lil less quality than XT
Shimano Alivio or Acera are lower grade, but still good.

You can PM me anytime for more specific info or questions.

Kelly Johnson
July 8th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Mike...you rock!

Thanks for thr info guys. much obliged.

chuck7413
July 8th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Yeah, Trek owns Gary Fisher now.
The Fishers are nice. I am still a beginner and like I said I love my my Gary Fisher Marlin.
It has Shimano Alivio components and it cost me about $500 when I bought it. My front fork is a Rock Shox, but now they come with a Manitou fork.

mdewitt71
July 8th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Yeah, Trek owns Gary Fisher now.
The Fishers are nice. I am still a beginner and like I said I love my my Gary Fisher Marlin.
It has Shimano Alivio components and it cost me about $500 when I bought it. My front fork is a Rock Shox, but now they come with a Manitou fork.


GF Marlins are nice bikes, I have always liked Gary Fisher Tassajara and Hoo Koo E Koo models.

mdewitt71
July 8th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Germany 02
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a283/mdewitt71/FamilyBikeRideJun03.jpg

Near Austria 03
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a283/mdewitt71/BikeridearoundChiemseeLake.jpg

chuck7413
July 8th, 2006, 03:13 PM
GF Marlins are nice bikes, I have always liked Gary Fisher Tassajara and Hoo Koo E Koo models.
The Tassajara with disc brakes will be my next bike.

PWAXON
July 8th, 2006, 06:04 PM
From what you describe Iíd say either Trek or Cannondale would serve your needs. I personally would go for the Cannondale but itís a lot like the car debate (A Ford guy will say buy a Ford) For that price range and limited off roading stay with front suspension only. If itís going to be your only bike spend the extra money on a second set of hoops with road slicks. Idí say check out a few more shops and brands before you decide though. I have 3 bikes and if I didnít have so many other hobbies Iíd have more.

Kelly Johnson
July 9th, 2006, 08:08 AM
Definitley getting one with just front shocks (Hardtail?)

I bought a Trek back in 99 and it got stolen last month which is why I'm looking again.

A lot has changed since than and I didn't pay that much attention than anyway:wink:

You guys are great man. Thanks for the info.

Dodgedude
July 9th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Bike fit is a very personal thing. Each company has their own ideas about how to fit a person on a bike. For myself, I fit better on some bikes than others.

Heres a few other things to keep in mind:

The more you spend, the more likely your bike will be race oriented. Less money is geared towards the cruisers, while more money is for the the hard-core riders who need the performance for some serious off-road use.

It depends on your size and riding style how effective a full suspension bike would be. Plus your looking at a lot more money.

For me, steel v. aluminum is easy. Steel. By the nature of the materials, Al is a lot lighter, which is nice, but is also weaker. In order to get an equal strength of steel, Al tubes are oversized, sometimes dramatically. Steel can bend and flex, Al can only flex so much before it fails. The other thing big tubes do is increase the harshness of the ride.

For me personally Treks dont fit that well. I have a long torso, and the Treks seem to run short on top tube length. Cannondales fit me ok, but Im not an Al guy. I would look for a Giant (http://www.giant-bicycle.com) or my personal favorite Specialized (http://www.specialized.com)

If your looking at limited non pavement use, you might be better off to look at a hybrid type bike and put on bigger tires for excursions on gravel and such.

Kelly Johnson
July 9th, 2006, 05:05 PM
That's the thing is I don't really do any planned excursions (yet).

I usually take a trip down the street....get bored on the pavement and look for mud, streams, dirt, hills, jumos etc.

I have the best intentions of "just some cardio" when i leave but I always come home with treebark rashes and mud in my teeth:monster:

I guess I'm looking for the perfect balance. I dont' mind the harsh ride of a tougher frame...If it can break...I'll break it as a general rule.

Ack
July 10th, 2006, 01:23 AM
Kelly........I would definitely look for an aluminum frame bike with a front shock....pretty basic. Within the last few years the prices of mountain bikes has gone through the roof, but when you look at the components you are getting it is really a pretty good deal.

It's good to hear that you are willing to spend a little money for a decent bike...so many people nowadays just go down to Wal-Mart, pick up a Mongoose for $100 and think that they have a GREAT bike....all I will say about that is that you get what you pay for.

For the price range that you gave, you will be looking at bikes with Shimano LX components at the very best, but as Mike stated LX is somewhat mid-range....XTR is the best, then XT, then LX, then Alivio. One good thing is that you can always upgrade to better components if you want, but it is still a better deal to get them when you buy the bike.

A $600 bike will usually be heavier that a $1000 bike, because as Dodgedude said the more expensive bikes are usually a little more race oriented, thus requiring lighter parts. You have to remember that a lighter bike will get you farther down the trail in the end because you are not pushing as much weight for a longer period of time.

I personally ride Specialized mt. bikes and have nothing but great things to say about them. I raced XC here in MI for a few years but backed off about 5 years ago when the family thing came along. In my opinon Specialized is one of the best bikes out there, but you will not go wrong with Trek, Cannondale, Giant, or even Raleigh (for the money). I also own a Trek road bike which literally has thousands of miles on it and still gets me down the road, but it is getting close to being replaced with something a little newer.

Buying a bike is just like buying a new bow....go to a few of your local shops and look at different brands to see what "feels" the best to you....DO NOT JUST GO BY HOW IT LOOKS!!! Be sure that they take plenty of time to fit you to a bike...there is nothing worse than riding a bike that is too large or too small. If at all possible, put as much money into the bike up front....it will last A LONG time if it is taken care of.

Hope this helps a little....if you have any other questions at all about different models feel free to PM me here or over at Michigan-Sportsman....I can look into them on the web for you to see what might be the best deal. Good luck with your bike search!

TravisinWV
July 10th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Does Cannondale even make a lower tier bike in 6-800$ range? sounds like for what your needs will be that a Trek would be fine. if you have a Giant dealer near, you should check them out. Some great low priced bikes. I ride Giants and their top shelf bikes are freakin' awesome! :darkbeer:

cobowhntr
July 10th, 2006, 06:41 PM
Kelly,
Check out mtbr.com or craigslist.org. You would make your $ go a lot further buying someone else's used bike. have bought $1000.00's off of mtbr with only a few worked out hickup's & craigs is all about local.:)
jeff

Kelly Johnson
July 10th, 2006, 09:16 PM
Thanks Ack..thought you looked familiar:wink:
Great stuff here guys and it's much appreciatted.

Jeff...That used is usually my style with archery gear, music instruments etc.
But these are things I know about.

Bikes don't fall into that category anymore:wink:
I'll look and thanks for the sites but I'll spend the jack and get a "pro" to hook me up on this one I think.

Awesome advice guys. Many thanks.

redneckarcher29
July 10th, 2006, 09:38 PM
I love my Cannondale and its really light. I have the head shock on it and you can turn it on and off so when u ride the road its great or the trails you can turn it on. all with a twist or the knob.

Tenspot
July 21st, 2006, 11:50 AM
I am partial to TREK, but of course I taught them how to use lasers to cut frame tubes many years ago.:wink:

woodchuckssuck
August 10th, 2006, 10:33 AM
im not really a fan of any commercial bikes...i prefer to buy my frame and go from there, BUT most people dont have the tools/knowledge to do so.

i think for the money, JAMIS bikes are pretty hard to beat, and they are top-notch. They always seemed to be overspec'ed when compared to other bikes "in their class" also, go NO lower than shimano LX components. i run a full LX line in my "good" offroad bike, and i have a cheap beat around/semi-road mtb with alivio and acera, and i hate the way it shifts, rough...and yes i know how to set up derailleurs (its fun).

unless your doing serious off-roading, there is no need for full suspension, in fact i love hardtail myself :) and im 220lbs.

lastly, if youve never used clipless pedals/shoes, now is the time to try them. Shimano's pedals are more forgiving and easier to get in/out of than anyone else. i used to love my TIME ATAC, but then i bought some shimano...wow..i can get in and out when i NEED to....

lastly: have fun with whatever bike you get! get out and RIDE :)

Ack
August 11th, 2006, 01:28 AM
im not really a fan of any commercial bikes...i prefer to buy my frame and go from there, BUT most people dont have the tools/knowledge to do so.

i think for the money, JAMIS bikes are pretty hard to beat, and they are top-notch. They always seemed to be overspec'ed when compared to other bikes "in their class" also, go NO lower than shimano LX components. i run a full LX line in my "good" offroad bike, and i have a cheap beat around/semi-road mtb with alivio and acera, and i hate the way it shifts, rough...and yes i know how to set up derailleurs (its fun).

unless your doing serious off-roading, there is no need for full suspension, in fact i love hardtail myself :) and im 220lbs.

lastly, if youve never used clipless pedals/shoes, now is the time to try them. Shimano's pedals are more forgiving and easier to get in/out of than anyone else. i used to love my TIME ATAC, but then i bought some shimano...wow..i can get in and out when i NEED to....

lastly: have fun with whatever bike you get! get out and RIDE :)

Try some XTR derailuers on your "good" bike....you will more than likely throw your LX stuff in the trash! Trust me, the difference between the two is night and day. Not sure if I agree with you about the pedals, ATAC's are hard to beat in my opinion....I have been running them for many years.

mdewitt71
August 11th, 2006, 09:24 AM
I run shimano pedals and have had many, many other brands and types on my MTBs and end up putting SPDs right back on em.
Now for Road I run Look pedals.

whiskey
August 13th, 2006, 06:53 PM
I have been riding a Cannondale F400 for a couple years now. I love the headshock and the Shimano XT accs.

I ahve a buddy with a Specialized Rockhopper that is nice.

The cannondale fit me better than other same sized frames. Go sit on several bikes and ride them around to see what fits you best.

MooseXing
August 25th, 2006, 02:51 PM
If your looking for the best price I would personaly go with Giant. I say this with experiance building and repairing bikes. They keep the mountain bikes lite and simple and have the best cusomer service that i have delt with. Trek and Specialized tends to be over priced. it realy comes down to what feels the best when you take it for a test spin. Defanitly go with a hard tail for your price range and Stay away from disc brakes. Make sure when you buy the bike you look at every piece of componentry and compare it to the makers specs. Some bike shops will put on cheaper parts I'v seen it hapen before. Always bargan they will usualy drop a few hundred of the price for you or throw a few things in. hope this Message isnt to late hope this helps with your purchase.

Cheers:darkbeer:

ELITE@LAST
February 13th, 2007, 11:38 PM
what about GT!!?? they make a really good bike

BuckeyeRed
February 14th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Trek Alpha Aluminum series bikes. You can get a 3700 w/ front shocks, strong light n frame, 21 speed for around $320 brand new. Great bike, I ride mine all the time, even take it out to Idaho for elk hunting.

kraiza
February 20th, 2007, 06:08 AM
All I can say if $600 to $800 is what you want to spend then it dosn't matter what you buy. Most Mt bikes are same in that price range HEAVY and SLOW stering. Trek or Cannondale are very good companys and are easy to sell if you don't like it.
Just get the bike that fits you the best and you will ride it more. I have race Mt bikes for years and as you move up in price the bikes do get better and ride diffance also the weight comes down a lot. I like Trek alot and RockyMt.
One of my riding buddy hates the ride on the Trek and like his Cannondale better. When you get to the $5000 + range you do get picky.

Tundra_Hawk2003
March 24th, 2007, 05:12 PM
I don't ride much. Mostly on the road but like to get dirty soemtimes. No real mountains or anything...I'm 36 and don't jump anymore.

Sorry Kelly,
A bit late on this thread but here goes nothing. Mostly road with some dirt. MTB's are nice but the mostly road part leaves a lot to be desired with 26" tires + the heavy frame as well.
Try looking at a cyclocross bike. It is designed to be road worthy as well as dirt worthy. Light enough to toss on the shoulder & , get this, run up a hill, over an obstacle, or whatever, that you cannot ride up/over. The small knobby tires gives you just enough traction to get you through the worst trails that you may want to venture in but not so fat that it is troublesome when you want to go for a fast road ride.
Look it up, you would be surprised. Think of it as the SUV of the bike world. Got one myself, a 2001 Trek XO1. I race cyclocross, venture single track, some light touring 50-100km stuff, duathlons, & ride with friends/family too.


Me... Defender of Last Place!

Wishbone
July 8th, 2008, 02:04 AM
I ride a 04' Gary Fisher Sugar 3 , don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon..:)

dodgensince74
July 12th, 2008, 08:44 AM
If your looking for the best price I would personaly go with Giant. I say this with experiance building and repairing bikes. They keep the mountain bikes lite and simple and have the best cusomer service that i have delt with. Trek and Specialized tends to be over priced. it realy comes down to what feels the best when you take it for a test spin. Defanitly go with a hard tail for your price range and Stay away from disc brakes. Make sure when you buy the bike you look at every piece of componentry and compare it to the makers specs. Some bike shops will put on cheaper parts I'v seen it hapen before. Always bargan they will usualy drop a few hundred of the price for you or throw a few things in. hope this Message isnt to late hope this helps with your purchase.

Cheers:darkbeer:


Why do you say to stay away from disc brakes:confused:? I am looking at buying a MTB in then next 2 months. It will be my first one so I want to make sure of what I am buying. I was leaning towards the disc brake models but now you have me wodering why I shouldn't go that route. I know you pay more for them then you do for non disc brake models.

Hutnicks
July 12th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I have been riding a Cannondale F400 for a couple years now. I love the headshock and the Shimano XT accs.

I ahve a buddy with a Specialized Rockhopper that is nice.

The cannondale fit me better than other same sized frames. Go sit on several bikes and ride them around to see what fits you best.

I'll have to second that. The Rockhopper and HardRock have distinct advantages for the rider who is mainly a road rider but ventures off road occasionally.

They are incredibly light for a steel frame, have a terrific ride, decent components and are virtually indestructible. Easy to accelerate and steady under braking on all surfaces, speed into and out of manoeuvre rivals a BMX and dirt cheap (excuse the pun) on the used market.

Pick one up used, save 600 bucks, and if you don't like it you can sell it for what you paid for it.

promod1385
July 12th, 2008, 11:48 AM
Here is my $.02. I am a former elite racers and have worked in a few bike shops in my younger days. I agree witht he gentlemen above and would advise someone like yourself to look at cyclocross bikes!

A cyclocross bike will allow you to travel at a very reasonable pace on road while still being comfortable (if you want to get a 2nd set of wheels and put road specific tires on them you could really keep up witht he roadies). Everyone keeps saying Aluminum and i disagree with that! Aluminum is the least comfortable ride, you will get the most roadbuzz coming through the frame with aluminum. I would look for something in Steel! "Steel is real" is the saying in the cycling world. It will be the most confortable and it will not tend to fatigue as much with time as an Aluminum frame will.

Bear in mind that if you shop for models a year or two old you will be able to get a ton more bike for the money. I had a friend who bought a new 2006 Cannondale road bike recently (Aluminum with Carbon seat and chain stays) for $900! It would have been over $1800 when it was the "new model". If you want to find a reasonable steel framed cross bike. i would look at the Masi Speciale CX http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/speciale_cx.php I might pick one up as my new commuter this year, its really a sweet alternative to building up another custom Gunnar frame.

Hutnicks
July 12th, 2008, 04:59 PM
Here is my $.02. I am a former elite racers and have worked in a few bike shops in my younger days. I agree witht he gentlemen above and would advise someone like yourself to look at cyclocross bikes!

A cyclocross bike will allow you to travel at a very reasonable pace on road while still being comfortable (if you want to get a 2nd set of wheels and put road specific tires on them you could really keep up witht he roadies). Everyone keeps saying Aluminum and i disagree with that! Aluminum is the least comfortable ride, you will get the most roadbuzz coming through the frame with aluminum. I would look for something in Steel! "Steel is real" is the saying in the cycling world. It will be the most confortable and it will not tend to fatigue as much with time as an Aluminum frame will.

Bear in mind that if you shop for models a year or two old you will be able to get a ton more bike for the money. I had a friend who bought a new 2006 Cannondale road bike recently (Aluminum with Carbon seat and chain stays) for $900! It would have been over $1800 when it was the "new model". If you want to find a reasonable steel framed cross bike. i would look at the Masi Speciale CX http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/speciale_cx.php I might pick one up as my new commuter this year, its really a sweet alternative to building up another custom Gunnar frame.

Slick Bike! And I would agree with you assessment except that a lot of folks are very uncomfortable with race geometry and riding position. Few have the desire to put in the effort to get accustomed to the butt in the air nose down attitude we all love:wink:

Agree totally with steel (Satan will be wearing snowshoes before I give up my Team Steve Bauer bike:D) For the imagined weight savings to come into play you'd need to be putting in 100k a day. Durability and crash resistance make it an unbeatable choice for roads that are shared with real traffic.