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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What experience have you had with Salesmenship and Advertising Hype? Have you bought something based on salesman "recommondations" or hype that you later found out was all hot air? ?confused?

What about bowing down to industry standards? I often find just because a particular brand/model is the "Industry Standard" for that level in reality you can actually do with something cheaper (the money could go toward gear or better parts elsewhere).

Generally speaking, Experience > Marketing :p

Any good ones out there?

:)
 

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Still riding my hardtail...

for Michigan XC trails. I don't buy the hype the mags wanna sell me about how great Fully is for the kind of riding I do. Sorry, Charlie. Marketing, sheesh. Bike companies are selling more bikes to less people with the annual advent of new improved sus stuff, and I'm sure that in other parts of the country this stuff really does improve the ride experience, but around here, all it seems to do is add some weight, a little bob, more maintenance, more to fail, and a bunch more dinero to the bottom line. Thats my opinion, but hey, I could be wrong ;^)
 

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In 2001 a snake oil salesman at a LBS sold me my first full suspension. A GT i-drive 5.0 (note this was before the backruptcy and Pacific). Three years later I've spent more than the purchase price in keeping the thing running from all the busted parts, 5 chains, 4 cassettes, 3 cranksets, 3 pedals, 2 bottom brackets, a rear hub, a front deraillure, and more. I upgraded as I replaced mostly, all the parts were mega nine. That bike as of this moment is either dead or in need of more service than I can give (either I put the new eccentric bearing in wrong or the pivot is going).

I was so impressed with the current mega nine standard and frame designs that for my current bike I turned to ebay, bought a frame and outfitted it with componets I'd had last twice as long mileage-wise. 1997 GT Karakoram frame (4130 cro-moly hardtail), 8 speed LX or XT everything. I may get a newer front shock, but the 1999 vintage one that is on there works for me. Also I'm staying with square taper BB's, I've had an octa-link go south on me, and the new outboard bearings look like a nice design, but lots of posts on this site saying very poor metal quality on them. I'm also staying with V-brakes, the disks are probably nicer, but I can stop the bike fast enough to send me 4 feet through the air with V's (I do know that from first hand experience), and the pads/parts are the right price. Plus I don't need a new hubset if I overtighten a rotor, just a new nipple.
 

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or you could be right

RobW said:
for Michigan XC trails. I don't buy the hype the mags wanna sell me about how great Fully is for the kind of riding I do. Sorry, Charlie. Marketing, sheesh. Bike companies are selling more bikes to less people with the annual advent of new improved sus stuff, and I'm sure that in other parts of the country this stuff really does improve the ride experience, but around here, all it seems to do is add some weight, a little bob, more maintenance, more to fail, and a bunch more dinero to the bottom line. Thats my opinion, but hey, I could be wrong ;^)
I ride daily in and around the "rocky" mountains here in Durango, and I totally agree with you.
 

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Based on posts here

I'd say I've been very fortunate to have missed out on so many expensive disappointments. I currently ride a hardtail with square taper BB, 5-bolt compact cranks, 8 speed drivetrain (everything except crank rings), and Time ATAC pedals. Most people are familiar with the "new and improved" replacements for those parts that in my opinion aren't.

Two items I did get burned on: a lightweight wheelset heavily recommended on this site at one time - turned out to be a poor quality item and a maintenance nightmare. Bought the King wheelset and I've been perfectly happy ever since. Also, Avid Flak Jackets. Pure pants. It seemed like such a good idea, but the execution was terrible - lots of drag and tubes weren't perfectly sealed so once dirt got in, it stayed in until you took the whole thing apart. Just put any regular compressionless housing on there and it works much better - much, much better if they are run full length.
 

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I have to hear a billion good things or read as many good reviews before getting sucked in to spending a whole bunch of moolah. But when I was told "your bike is holding you back as a rider" from one of the gals, I went from retro grouch to FS in no time!

What products don't live up, hmmm.......the padded undershorts that "can turn any pair of shorts into bike shorts." Not! Lycra/chamois under baggy running shorts is an oxymoron. The non-biking shorts always snag on the seat.

Oh, and some cute socks that dig into my ankles, cut circulation and leave deep marks.

Everything else has either met or exceeded expectations so far.
 

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Step backwards?

I'd say 9 speed in every way.
The brake lever shifting on MTB. Integration = Group Failure. Fixing non-problems
Full suspension is great except for : extra weight, extra price, extra headache.


My good old 04 Stumpjumper hardtail is working great with tubeless tires. I'll ride full suspension when someone else pays for it and maintains it(not gonna happen).
 

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Stelvio said:
Step backwards?

I'd say 9 speed in every way.
The brake lever shifting on MTB. Integration = Group Failure. Fixing non-problems
Full suspension is great except for : extra weight, extra price, extra headache.

My good old 04 Stumpjumper hardtail is working great with tubeless tires. I'll ride full suspension when someone else pays for it and maintains it(not gonna happen).
I'll take Stelv and Christine one step further (as a certifiable retro-grouch). Indexed shifting, in general, has me just perplexed. I would just LOVE to have my old Deore non-indexed thumb shifters back. I could slide all over that MASSIVE :cool: 7 spd freewheel with my ULTRA chain with NO chain clunk back in the day.

OH, and before it was cool, I loved running XC (rigid front and back) with no granny chainring...something like a 32/40 was plenty...

-BG
 

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ButtGumbo said:
I'll take Stelv and Christine one step further (as a certifiable retro-grouch). Indexed shifting, in general, has me just perplexed. I would just LOVE to have my old Deore non-indexed thumb shifters back. I could slide all over that MASSIVE :cool: 7 spd freewheel with my ULTRA chain with NO chain clunk back in the day.

OH, and before it was cool, I loved running XC (rigid front and back) with no granny chainring...something like a 32/40 was plenty...

-BG
Grouch away: https://www.paulcomp.com/thumbmtn.html
Even better:
 

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I've bought into the hype but have more fun w/ basics

Currently my FS is in need of a few repairs with a blown shock. The hydro discs are great but don't stop me any better than my vee's.

For the most "smiles per mile," my steel hardtail wins. I am also a northeast rider and have plenty of rocks and roots to cross. With a little speed, the hardtail does as well as the FS. I really like the lower center of gravity on a hardtail.

I'm not against a little salesmanship though. I've bought more than one item because of a recommendation by someone I never met nor will ever ride with. Oh, well.

I am toying with the idea of taking the parts off the FS and building up a longer travel hardtail to go with my race one. Retrogrouch? Nah, probably not. I have too many current things to claim that and only am sticking with the 8-speed on the hardtail cause I'm too cheap to upgrade. With 8-speed items being more difficult to get, I will eventually put 9-speed on the HT. I have 9-speed on the FS and they are no more or less a problem than anything else.

I've used the new combo levers and found them very easy to adjust to. Would I buy them? No because I like my Paul levers just fine on the HT and the hydro brakes on the FS don't allow me to go in that direction.
 

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I have a spare set of those shifters if you want to trade.

In general LBS salesmen can run from one end of good to the bottom of bad but I have been lucky, best advice last year was "get these 2.3 Nokian NBX they really hook up". No chit they REALLY do, best 32$ /tire I ever spent ;)
 

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Here are my thoughts:

1) Everything gets hyped when it first comes out. I ignore these things for a year or so. If people are still talking about how great they are, then I consider them. How many best new tires have we seen that a year later everyone says suck and you should use x or y instead?

2) There is something about the retro movement that holds appeal. Riding a ridged single speed lets you focus on riding rather than the bike. Also, those same trails that you can ride down your sleep on a 6" dual suspension bike are much more challenging and fun on a ridged or short travel hardtail.

3) We have moved significantly along the progress curve in the last few years. Improvements are much so much innovation as evolution now. Look at how much better forks became from 1996 to 2000 than 2000 to 2004. When you got that first fork you were in awe of it. Then you upgraded to the 2000 model which was way better than the 1996 fork with worn elastomers. Then in 2004 you get a new fork and find that while it is better than the 2000, it is only incrementally so.

4) We tend to remember things better than they were.
 

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I omitted that on purpose

OokieCookie said:
What was the offending lightweight wheelset? Do tell.
The brands and names have been withheld to protect the innocent. The wheelset in question actually had some merits - it rolled smooth as butter, was light weight, wasn't expensive, and was easy to work on. For the right application - say racing in dry conditions - they would be a reasonable choice. However, I was looking for an all around riding wheelset that would be used in dry, wet, snow, or mud conditions and would be used as my regular riding wheelset, not just a wheelset used once in a while (like a racing wheelset). For my application, they turned out to be tons of maintenance (lubing and cleaning all the time) which in turn started to wear some of the "fastener" type parts after the first 6 months. I don't recall anyone saying that they were racing wheels and people claimed they used them for xxxx miles with no problems.

Sorry I couldn't be more explicit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some good advice and stories here. :)

I'm not against salemanship but when some guy in one of the first LBS I visited tried to convince me I needed a $1699 cdn "Entry-Level XC Bike" for my 50km/week commute and weekend fun, I have learned to be on alert.

As I met a wider range of salepeople I began to uncover the truth about components, durability and and where quality matters. But I had to dig, go back multiple times to see other people on the staff. There are good, honests guys out there (r:cool:ck :Dn) on who really get a bike for you but there is a sea of those you just want to put you in a bike.

It would be nice if I could ride an Entry Level XC RACER to and from work everyday with the occational trail ride but do I really need it? Most definately not. That style of salesmenship is not helpful.

I like testing out my salespeople.

I'm not completely new to MTB and with a little research on the internet I brushed up on what I needed to know about buying and sizing a MTB. When I get engaged by a salesperson I acts as though I know close to nothing about bikes.

I will ask them a few simple qualifying questions to see what kind of response I get. See what they do and don't do. Do they start asking questions about my needs and wants, or do they just pick a bike and start selling.

Sometimes it is more specific things like components. I know now that components in certain areas are more important then others and chances are you will wreck a component long before it actually wears out. I test salesmen by asking whether I need all XT stuff or will Deore be fine.

If I get an honest, thoughtful answer I know I can trust to ask him about other things. If they begin to try and sell me something I don't need I won't ask him again.

I like talking to mechanics too they can be helpful if they aren't busy. I found out through them Marz and Manitou forks are better then Rock Shox in the Pacific Northwest weather.

This thread we inspired by my recent experience MTB shopping. I did quite a bit of XCing and some DH in my senior years of high school but dropped it for a while. So I'm not a complete newb but I never had a "nice" bike so I'm a newb-like-dat. :p

Keep the thoughts coming! :)
 

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Rev Bubba said:
With 8-speed items being more difficult to get, I will eventually put 9-speed on the HT. I have 9-speed on the FS and they are no more or less a problem than anything else.
8 speed parts hard to get? How?

Shimano still makes a wide range of cassettes in both 7 and 8 speed. Chains? Many choices. Ditto chainrings, for the most part.

Shifters are harder, but Paul's thumibies and a set of still-in-production 8-speed Shimano bar-ends and you'll be clicking away in 2024. Indexing bar-ends and D/T shifters are well-nigh indestructible.

Granted, many shops don;t stock this stuff, but there's always QBP.

--Shannon
 

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I said more difficult, not impossible

How? Simple, Shimano will either stop making 8 speed or only offer very low end products. Other manufacturers may offer substitutes but for all the bad mouthing that goes on with Shimano, there products still work the best when you match them with other Shimano products.

Bar end shifters? Paul Thumbies? Not for me although I do use Paul Brake levers.

Actually, it was the mail order places like QBP that were having a more difficult time getting parts to my LBS.

Instead of fighting it, I'll just move on to 9 speed when the time comes. There comes a point when its just not worth the effort to try to stick with an older system. Anyway, 9 speed derailuers work fine with 8 speed systems as do 9 speed rings in front.

But, like I said, its still not impossible and I'm not rushing out to replace my 8 speed as long as I can keep it going.
 
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