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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

So this is my first year riding, I spent this summer in japan where some buddies and I went biking every weekend in the mountains. Now I'm hooked and am planning on buying my first MTB when i come back. I've been doing a lot of research and have narroed it down to three bikes:

Specialized Rockhopper Disc

Giant Rainier

Cannondale F5

I chose these cuz i need a DECENT bike under $1000 so i can upgrade as I get more familiar with the sport. Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated (and if you have any other bikes you wish to recommend feel free)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, i'm still fairly new to the sport so i'll probably need a good LBS to get me started, but looking more into these bikes I found another dilemma. I want a bike that i'm gonna commute in during the week for work and school, but then during the weekends take it to some trails and literally ride it into the ground.

Looking at the cannondale's components I was very concerned to say the least, http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/cusa/mountain/hardtail/model-7FS5.html,
It seems if i do anything to intense with this bike it'll fall apart on me, but i'm thinking the frame is top grade and if I pay only $600 for the bike then i can upgrade the fork right away and have that bike that can take what I give it on the weekends and still keep me going during the week. Or....

I looked more into the Giant Rainier bike and it's components and it's an all around solid bike for $800, http://www.giant-bicycle.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/10/28390/,
though the review for the bottom brackett scared me a little bit. But then if i do buy the bike it'll leave liitle room for upgradeable parts ($1000 cap is what i'm shootin for)

Any opinions?
 

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All three companies make good bikes. You should take a ride on them and choose the one that fits you best. Personally, I would rather have a bike with a few "lesser" components that fits me well than one with great components that didn't.
 

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I got the F5 with the intention of upgrading parts wether they need it or not.

Im 6'3, 285# and the frame so far hasnt let me down. I havent done any off road riding yet as Im still out of shape. My last bike was a Fisher OCLV frame and my Cannondale so far feels just as good.

Either of the bikes you listed I would think are fine. Ive always gone with the frame that works for me knowing everything else can be replaced or upgraded as needed.
 

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I have no experience with canondale bikes, but I looked into the Giant Rainier and the Specialized rockhopper disc quite a bit in the past week or so.

I really like the looks of the Giant, but the frame just felt a little small from end to end. The price wasn’t bad (I believe it was $650) in the matte silver finish with the avid disc brakes and all of the goodies.

But I ended up going with the Specialized rockhopper disc, the price was a little better ($20 less) and the people at the specialized dealer were much easier to work with…they were way too pushy for my taste. The bike fit me better also, I'm 6’ tall and about 240lbs, so I needed a bike that I felt comfortable on and one that would hold up. I didn’t do much reading on the two before I purchased mine, but I'm happy with my decision. The shimano parts on the specialized are working smooth as silk so far, I have only put about 15 miles on it since last Thursday (10 or so miles on the trails and 5 on the road) but it has been flawless so far.

The best thing you could probably do is go and ride both of them, I did and I felt a lot more comfortable on the rockhopper over the rainier so that’s what I came home with.
 

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FWIW, the best bike i've ever owned (so far) was a C'dale F900. i bought it in '97 and just got rid of it about 3 months ago. it was a nimble and quick trail warrior, and the only reason i sold it was because i got a new C'dale in Feb.

10 years and it was still in perfect riding condition. best bang for your buck, IMO. and its american made.
 

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Cannondale has a great product. I bought one in 1980 something, upgraded things now and then. I just got a new one, F3 for $1000. They did a few improvements over the years, Love Cannondale.

 

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I really want a cannondale single speeder but I cannot find a dealer in my town and I am not sure of where in my state (sorry not michigan, but colorado)

Cannondale has overall a good reputation. Being the only american made bike, a cool name, and good quality bikes in general. Really wish I could find one. :/

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention, found my mother a bike today too. It is a GIANT - Yukon. I think that is an older bike but the guy said he bought it for $500 and used it for the trails (the same thing we will be using it for, except exercise around town). It is a nice bike considering we got it at a garage sale in the richer part of town. Good deal at a tenth of the price. It had two flats but I am going to go get inner tubes now. It has shimano gear too. It was a great deal and she actually likes the color (its like a deep purple, with this weird crack design).
 

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Rose, if you are looking for a good all around trail/commuter bike I would seriously consider looking at a Surly Cross Check. It's a cross between a MTB and Road Bike. You get the speed (almost but faster than a MTB) of a Road Bike for commuting and the trail riding benifits of a MTB. They run between 700-1000 and are so versatile you'll be wondering where were these in the first place. I've been riding since the late 80's and wish I would have found these early on.

But any of the manufactures mentioned above are all good for the nu be. My first MTB was a Canni, then a Raleigh, then a Trek, then a Cusome Leader, now the Surly Cross Check.
 
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