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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just recently started biking and I enjoy it a lot. I finally decided to invest some of my paycheck into buying a decent bike. However, I have a hard time deciding what to get and what is right for my level of experience. I have read all of the new bike threads in this Beginner's Corner. Some people suggest getting a bike online to get good deals, other suggest going to a local bike store to get some assistance. But after reading all the threads, I am still a little lost.

Let me list a few questions I have:

1. I just want a bike for pavement cruising, occasional trails, and occasional off road. What type of bike should I look into? FS, Hardtail, etc.?

2. Since disc brake seems like the new thing, should I purposely looking for a bike that has it?

3. I agree that it is important to test ride a bike first before purchasing it. Checking the comfort level, size and everything. Besides comfort level and size, what else should I pay attention to when I test ride a bike in a local bike store?

Thank you very much. I understand my question might be repetitive, and please forgive me for that. :thumbsup:
 

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local trails rider
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Hardtail, definitely, for your stated purposes: good rear suspension makes life easier on rough trails but it comes at a cost ($$, and otherwise) and it sounds like you will not need it.

Disk brakes are not essential. Good V brakes are better than bad ( =cheap) disks.

Size is the essential thing: the bike should not bee too long or too short.
If you are very light or heavy, can the front suspension (if any) be adjusted for your weight?
Does everything work (did the shop do a good job assembling the bike)?
 

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Welcome to the forums

Looks as though you've done a good bit of research and have educated yourself well. Given what you've stated, I say it's best you purchase your first bike at the LBS. With that said, a good hardtail mountain bike is what you should be looking for. If you buy a hybrid or comfort bike, they will do well on the paths, but will be lacking off-road. On the other hand, a good mountain bike will do well on any of the types of terrain you describe. Depending on the tire tread of the bike you choose, it may have a lot of rolling resistance on paved paths, but that's a cheap fix by buying a set of tires that will roll fast, yet give traction off-road.

When you test ride the bike, other than physical comfort, make sure the bike shifts smoothly, and that the brakes will stop the bike with minimal effort. You also want to give consideration to how the fork works. Not too soft, not too firm, and it should compress and rebound back to original position without feeling like a pogo stick.

As for disc brakes, I agree 100% with perttime. They are not a necessity, and cheap discs can be a bad choice. There are many good rim brakes out there. If you happen to be a heavier rider (say 200 lbs plus) this is where you really will see a difference in how a good disc performs, especially once you begin doing off-road riding.

Best wishes in choosing the right bike, and keep us posted.

Bob
 

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I'd think a nice hardtail would work well for you. Disc brakes aren't a must have. I hit the trails pretty hard, and still find that I am content with sticking with the rim brakes.

Do go to a LBS... ride some bikes, ask some questions. Especially when getting that first bike. Quality assistance is invaluable to get the right start.
 

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ride hard take risks
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Cant top what was said. Check into Ibex bikes, that is one of the net companys. They have a large selection to pick from to fit many different styles of riding & budgets. If you compair components of Ibex against the LBS brands you will usually find for the equall $$'s spent you get better quality on the Ibex. The customer service at Ibex is very good also. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

https://www.ibexbikes.com/

https://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-650-Details.html

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello, thanks for all the tips and advices. I actually stopped by my LBS today, and looked at a few bikes. I tried mostly Specialized today, and its 2006 Rockhopper was pretty comfortable. I was wondering if you guys have any opinion on this particular series?

Here is the link to their site:

http://specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12989

P.S. the shop is asking for around $460 for the 2007 model.

Again, thank you!
 

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local trails rider
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Specialized is a good brand and Rockhopper is a decent bike. I cannot comment on USA prices.

Can you find a different model/brand in a similar size, for comparison.

I have an oooold rigid (no suspension) Specialized Hard Rock (a "lower level" model) as commuter/errand bike that I sometimes take on smooth trails. It fits me well, no need to change to something else.
 

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I have about 2 years on a rockhopper and got it at an LBS for $440. Love the bike for the money. I think it was a left over at the time, but am looking to up grade components now.
I did replace the tires with Norkian NBX with lite tubes and feel this was really worth it. See if you can get a price when you buy. There are a lot of similar tires out there with low rolling resistance. Buying from your LBS for your first bike is a good idea because of sizing. If you don't it will cost you in the long run. Upgrading from this bike does not make sense for the money and after you know that you like and are using the bike if you kept it in good shape, sell and buy on line. I am looking at the Ibex and Kenley(spelling?) for upgraded components right now.
 

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Nice, entry level bike

savagedriver said:
Hello, thanks for all the tips and advices. I actually stopped by my LBS today, and looked at a few bikes. I tried mostly Specialized today, and its 2006 Rockhopper was pretty comfortable. I was wondering if you guys have any opinion on this particular series?

Here is the link to their site:

http://specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12989

P.S. the shop is asking for around $460 for the 2007 model.

Again, thank you!
The Rockhopper is a nice bike for someone getting started out. In fact, based on specs, I've been recommending the Rockhopper Sport Disc to many people lately. Hard to comment specifically on the 2007 base model Rockhopper, as they don't have it posted on the web site. If it's comparable to the 2006, then it's a decent deal. Not quite sure why they are discounting the 2007 models already, but I'd take them up on the offer unless they've downgraded the specs for 2007.

Bob
 

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local trails rider
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Fletch6 said:
Norkian NBX with lite tubes and feel this was really worth it
I have understood that the NBX is a very good tyre on trails but it shares one thing with other excellent trail tyres: the soft rubber that gives it good traction does not last long on hard surfaces.

This does not mean that Nokian NBX tyres are bad tyres. It just means that they might not meet the needs of savagedriver.
 

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I have a Rockhopper.. so far so good. Have put 700 miles on it over the last few months. Have done some hard riding on it... no issues. I've become quite fond of it actually. Here's a pic of me and the bike, taken today, 1/2 way into a 35 mile ride.

 

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Pugdawg1 said:
I have a Rockhopper.. so far so good. Have put 700 miles on it over the last few months. Have done some hard riding on it... no issues. I've become quite fond of it actually. Here's a pic of me and the bike, taken today, 1/2 way into a 35 mile ride.
Very nice :thumbsup: Dang i get worn out after 10 miles, awsome :rockon:
 
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