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Hi,

Looking to pick up a bike mostly for trails; nothing too technical. Would like discs - and hydraulics would be nice. Not really interested in 29ers right now. Trying to stay around the $700 - $800 point. Shortlist is:

* Specialized Rockhopper Comp
* Cannondale SL3
* Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc

Does anyone do it better (including ones I haven't mentioned), or are they all pretty comparable at this level?

Thanks
 

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For the most part, Bikes in that same price point are speced with similar quality components. You get a slightly better frame and slightly worse components when you buy bikes like Trek, Gary Fisher, and Specialized...... On the flip side, you get slightly better components with brands like diamondback, mongoose(not the ones from walmart), Jamis, Felt...... but you don't get the brand name(and sometimes warranty) with these bikes.
 

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crash test dummy
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At that price point, there is a wide variety. Money can be saved in several areas, but the most important areas to look at are fork, frame, and wheels. In your price range, two of these components are probably inexpensive, and the third a bit higher quality.

The Rockhopper actually manages to put a decent fork on an excellent frame though.

What is really not at all the same is geometry and frame feel. There is a HUGE difference from bike to bike in this regard. As how the bike fits and matches your riding style is far more important than the components, I suggest you forget about whether the bike comes with SRAM X.7 or a Suntour fork and focus on how well the bike fits. Over time, everything is going to break and be replaced anyway except (hopefully) the frame.
 

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good advice above. I suggest letting go of the hydro brakes. that will run the cost up. in general, looking for sram over shimano components might be a good idea MHO.

The point about Geo is very critical. two different bran $700 bikes are going to be very different.
 

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Truly Doneski
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Bikes in this price range are as similar as bikes in any price range I would say. In a given price range, componentry is going to be very similar, even if it is made by different brands etc, things will be roughly equivalent.

What will be totally different is frame geometry and "feel". This is a huge part of how the bike rides, and makes bikes, even with similar components, different.
 

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Good points about geometry. I dont know if I would consider a Rock Shox Dart3 a better fork then any of the suntour forks that come on other $750-$1000 bikes. The darts 28mm stanchion tubes are super flexy and the turn key damper is just as good(or bad) as the speed lock damper that comes in most suntour forks which have 32mm stanchion tubes. Regardless of brand, The quality of components that comes on similarly priced bikes is going to be about the same. Definitely look at geometry though, as that is more about the style of bike then the price point.
 

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Lesson learned: pay particular attention to the geometry measurements if you're going to order a bike vs buying one from your LBS. i bought a beautiful Tahoe SL frame only to find out that what Fuji considers a Small for that frame year is what other brands would call an XSmall.

also, i would encourage you to first make a list of what your prospective bike must have, what you absolutely dont want, and what you like/dislike but can live with/without. from there, you should be able to narrow your search and pick the best bike for you.

good luck!
 

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+2 on fit of the bike. i don't know much about the cdale, but the wahoo and rockhopper are similar. i think they both come with a suntour fork though.

i'm sure you checked this, but just want to make sure- check for leftover 2010s too. at some LBSs in the chicagoland area, there were great deals on the HKEK around 850 or so as well as a piranha- you can get some great deals on year old bikes as many LBSs are cleaning them out for the new shipments.

good luck!
 

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rlouder said:
The GT Avalanche 1.0 may worth looking at if you have a performance store within driving distance. Their webdsite shows 700, but a recent mailing flyer advertises 649. The stores will match the price or you can have it shipped to the store and assembled for free.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1078446_-1_1586000_20000_400308
I like the the 1/2 degree slacker head angle that the GT has compared to the Diamondback. That by itself would make me choose the GT instead.
 

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from someone who owns a GT (1996 Pantera) I would advise to stay away. The bike ultimatley didnt perform that well and is not very durable
 

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Ya, pretty funny post. At least the OP will know to stay away from the 1996 GT Pantera! Although GT still does make some pretty awful low end bikes.
 

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To the best of my knowledge, (which i admitt is limited about bikes) GT has not gotten better over the years since, but worse. And im not judgeing anything, just giving my .02 cents based on personal experience. Take it or leave it.
 

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mach1219 said:
To the best of my knowledge, (which i admitt is limited about bikes) GT has not gotten better over the years since, but worse. And im not judgeing anything, just giving my .02 cents based on personal experience. Take it or leave it.
No, GT is up there with all the top brands. Maybe you're thinking of Schwinn? Schwinn no longer makes good bikes. Looks like they did a complete turn around from high quality to WalMart quality. 450.00 list price for their top of the line FS bike.:lol:

http://www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/mo
 

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A freind had told me years ago that schwinn and GT were basically in the same category at that time........it looks like schwinn has contined to go much farther down than GT since then. Although my GT isnt completely awful, ($1,000 back in 96' for a ball burnished model) I would have liked it to last longer than it did. just starting having a lot of issue after a few years of relativley easy riding.
 
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