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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So following some (hopefully) good advice, I have come here in search of my first 29er HT. I was initially looking for a new (to me) FS bike since thats all I have ever ridden, mostly all-mountain style. But being 6'4 and 200lbs, it has been suggested numerous times to get a 29er instead, so here I am.

I live in Dallas right now so there isnt really anything that REQUIRES a FS bike at all, and I will be PCSing to Pensacola soon so I definitely won't need it there.

Most of the local guys have suggested the Access 9.7 from Performance, but I don't want to just leave it at that. First because I have never heard of Access, and second because I like to do my research. I have found lots of good reviews on here for the Access 29er, but being out of the sport for several years, Im not up to date with what is good, what isnt, what is worth the money, and what is overpriced crap. So if you could please enlighten me on what is a good (or better) path to take for a HT 29er for <$1000, please let me know!
 

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Its going to be hard to beat the build spec on the access, thats what it has going for it. You are looking at quite low end parts (especially forks) looking for sub 1000$. I just finished this same search. The best new options I found was the xtc2 and rockhopper expert. both coming in just over 1000$ after shopping around (less than 1100). But they are still a little under built.
The giant uses alivio shifters and front deraileur, but a nice tapered steerer and through axle fork that felt pretty darn good (especially after riding a couple sub 1000$ bikes with suntour forks)
The Specialized is a more even build (still some alivio) and a tora fork.

I decided to buy used and got a marin nail trail 29er with SLX, XT, Elixer and fox. for 900$ I am confident in my bike repairs though, so I don't mind buying used as much (although I love my lbs)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats what has me worried is the price tag on a hardtail, just doesn't seem as versatile as it could be, but then again I haven't really ridden in years. I really dont have much of a choice but to stick to my budget, and at this rate I have already found a Specialized enduro and Santa Cruz Superlight for <1000, which obviously have a great build on both, and for the same price I can get a bare bones 29er.

Seems crazy to me, but again, I want to understand.
 

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As already mentioned, the Giant XTC 29er 2 for the fork alone! No other company has a bike spec'ed with a 15mm qr thru axle fork for less then $1600!

Another bike that is also well spec'ed for about $100 less then the XTC is the Fisher Cobia. No qr 15, but the drive train is a bit better. Just needs a 12-36 cassette.

Both have great warranty coverage!

You mentioned 2 bikes in your last post. The Specialized Enduro and Santa Cruz Superlight. Are they new or used? If used, check them over really well and if you decide to buy either one, be sure to get new bearings/bushings for the frame (a must!) and have the fork/shock rebuilt. If they are that cheap, they are either very old, in need of some servicing or repairs or there is something wrong with them. If you want a dual suspension bike that is worth every penny and as cheap as a 29er hard tail, there is only 1 bike I can recommend. The Giant Yukon FX!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Endothermic Cavewalker said:
As already mentioned, the Giant XTC 29er 2 for the fork alone! No other company has a bike spec'ed with a 15mm qr thru axle fork for less then $1600!

Another bike that is also well spec'ed for about $100 less then the XTC is the Fisher Cobia. No qr 15, but the drive train is a bit better. Just needs a 12-36 cassette.

Both have great warranty coverage!

You mentioned 2 bikes in your last post. The Specialized Enduro and Santa Cruz Superlight. Are they new or used? If used, check them over really well and if you decide to buy either one, be sure to get new bearings/bushings for the frame (a must!) and have the fork/shock rebuilt. If they are that cheap, they are either very old, in need of some servicing or repairs or there is something wrong with them. If you want a dual suspension bike that is worth every penny and as cheap as a 29er hard tail, there is only 1 bike I can recommend. The Giant Yukon FX!
Yes both are used bikes. They aren't cheap, they are really just spot on for their age/model, both at the top end of my budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I still really want to pursue the 29er HT instead of going to a 26 FS again, what other <1000 options are worth a look? Performance is doing a sale for 10% off till the 14th which makes their 9.7 2010 model just over 800, seems like a steal. That Giant sounds great, but at $1200, its a little out of my range. I absolutely love Konas, so is their entry level geared 29er worth it? Any other suggestions? The fisher looks like Trek is making now, unless I go w/ last years model.
 

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Have you looked at the Scott Scale 29er Comp? I tested a Scott and liked the setup/ geometry. Also my brother owns a specialized rockhopper 29er and it is a budget friendly, good weekend bike that has had no issues for two years.
 

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My LBS was going to sell me my '11 Cobia for $1000 + tax until I decided to upgrade some parts and a mamba frame swap because I liked black/gray better than black/orange. Still figuring out what pedals I am going to run.
 

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the access for just over 800$ would be a good deal, plenty of people here like em enough. I would go ride it, if it fits and feels alright, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thatdirtykid said:
the access for just over 800$ would be a good deal, plenty of people here like em enough. I would go ride it, if it fits and feels alright, go for it.
Hell, if they have any in stock anymore. Online they are sold out of both of the 9.7s :(
 

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I too have been looking for a 29er for < $1200 (here in ABQ). Have been leaning toward Cobia after test ride. Decent front fork (RS Recon) for price. Not sure about sweep bars though. Really liked the Kona Big Kahuna-great components (RS Recon shock & Easton rims) but a few hundred more than I want to spend. Basic Kahuna drops to low as far as components. LBS as had Felt Sport for $900 but again components were low end-had RS Dart fork. Any one ever road a Breezer? Have seen a Jet Stream Sport on line with decent components in my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rode an Access 9.7 today, had a decent spec but it was one of those cases of the whole not being greater than the sum of its parts. It was just mediocre, nothing that inspired. The Cobia felt much better, even from the "extensive" parking lot tests.
 

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there were still two at my local last week. They also had a fuji built with a recon fork and slx/xt/juicy5 demo bike for 800$
 

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91bottlerocket said:
Rode an Access 9.7 today, had a decent spec but it was one of those cases of the whole not being greater than the sum of its parts. It was just mediocre, nothing that inspired. The Cobia felt much better, even from the "extensive" parking lot tests.
sounds like you may be one of the guys who prefers the G2 geometry. Get to some other dealers and ride a few more bikes before you decide, but you may feel the need to stick with the trek/fisher.
 

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A noob needs entry level 29'er

I thought I would just follow in this thread since I am totally new to mountain biking, though have done my share of road biking years ago. I am looking to test ride a few 29'ers near the $1,000 mark, but don't really want to go much if at all beyond that price point. The new models I have been looking at on paper are the Trek Mamba, Specialized Rockhopper SL, and the Cannondale SL 29 2. Anything else I *should* be looking at in this arena? I'm 6'4" and 225lbs, so I'll be going with a larger frame.

I'd like the usual combo of reasonable weight, good components, and a sturdy frame and fork.

Thanks,
K-
 

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bungalowed said:
I thought I would just follow in this thread since I am totally new to mountain biking, though have done my share of road biking years ago. I am looking to test ride a few 29'ers near the $1,000 mark, but don't really want to go much if at all beyond that price point. The new models I have been looking at on paper are the Trek Mamba, Specialized Rockhopper SL, and the Cannondale SL 29 2. Anything else I *should* be looking at in this arena? I'm 6'4" and 225lbs, so I'll be going with a larger frame.

I'd like the usual combo of reasonable weight, good components, and a sturdy frame and fork.

Thanks,
K-
check out the cobia- a step up from the mamba- many places you should get it around $1K before taxes.
 

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So, with the Cobia upgrade from the Mamba one gets hydraulic brakes and an air shock fork. Are these really worth the upgrade? I got a mixed message about these from my LBS, but since all the better bikes seem to have these, there must be a good reason they are popular on the more $$ bikes, right?
 
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