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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been out of the game for a number of years now--since my last bike was stolen in college.

I'm looking for something it the $600-800 range--an entry level, well rounded bike that will mostly be used for trailriding. Hopefully some downhill at some point.

I'm between the following I've looked at in my LBS'.

-2008 Specialized Rockhopper Disc - $660
-2007 Gary Fisher Tassajara - $550
-2008 Gary Fisher Hookooekoo - $850

With all accompanying gear, I'd really prefer not to exceed $1000, and I'm leaning towards the Rockhopper.

Keep in mind I'm not going into anything extreme--yet, so I just need something upgradeable, with an excellent bang-for-buck factor.

Advice would be great!
 

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From your list, I'd go with the Gary Fisher Tassajara. It also seems to be the cheapest, by coincidence.

Personally, I'm looking for a GT Force 3.0 cheaper than $1200.
 

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Mobster
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the rockhopper disc is a solid bike. Since GF is owned by Trek, why not look at some treks? I have a '07 Trek 6000 and its comparable to the rockhopper. The rockhopper does have some better components though. 2 of my friends ride rockhoppers and they are nice bikes.
 

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Huh. I didn't know Trek owned GF.

*edit* - Just checked out Trek. They didn't have a single FS bike under 2300 bucks. No thanks. And I didn't care for their HT designs...
 

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Huh? Specialized better equipted??? That is their shortcoming when comparing like models. Treks, when comparing like equipted are overpriced, even to their Gary Fishers. That is consistent for both Trek and Specialized at each level.

2008 Spec Rockhopper Disc vs. GF Marlin Disc vs. Trek 6000
Trek is $749 where others are in $650 range. Same BB5 brakes, Trek and GF 9 sp Deore/SRAMx5 while Spec downgrades to 8sp Altus/Alivio/Acera. Dart 3 forks, however GF's Dart 2 with "optional" lockout is equivalent per RockShok's site. If the GF geometry doesn't fit you, for a more traditional geometry add the Giant XTC2 and Cdale F5 to the $650 comparison (SRAM X5, Dart3, Hayes/Shimano competitive disc brakes). Then the sleeper in that category - if you can find it - Raleigh Mojave 8.0 - upgraded fork to Tora with Deore and BB5's.

Finally - 2008 Hoo Koo E Koo for $850 - in a heartbeat or what's wrong with it? The MSRP on that is $1130 with X7/X9, hydraulic Juicy 3 and Recon SL.

2007 Tassajara for $550 - very nicely equipted superior to the $650 grouping above. Price appears fair however GF archive site doesn't list what the MSRP was on 07. In 08 the GF line made significant equiptment changes, but the Tassajara is close and has an MSRP of $899 (and the identical 08 Trek 6500 to the 08 Tass has an MSPR of $1149 - see what I mean!)

Of them all, the 07 Tassajara really stands out, assuming it and all the bikes are new.
 

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Stone Jack Baller
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HKEK without a doubt! It isn't even close. The hoo koo has the zr9000 frame, tass doesn't. Components are way better too, but the frame can never be changed. I had a big sur a few years ago, and it was the best feeling bike I ever sat on. I tried to buy it back from my buddy recently, but he wouldn't sell it back. Hoo koo has same frame. :thumbsup: However, if it is not on the floor of the bike shop, you wont be able to order it. Fisher is out of them.
 

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I agree with everyone who has recommended a GF to the OP.

When buying a bike it's the frame that's most important to get right as components can easily be upgraded as the original ones wear out.

Imho, the Specialized frame design is flawed. I'm not talking about frame geometries (as that is fine, but the GF does ride slightly better with a more roomier and faster xc race sensation), no, I talking about the minor annoyances like cable stop placement and cable routing.

My ideal frame would have the cables routed either through the top tube (Klein had a good idea there) or along the top of the top tube. This way, the cables are kept away from water/mud splatter and fitting a front CrudCatcher mudguard onto the down tube becomes less of a hassle.

And, if you do come accross a stream that is too deep to ride through, or a mud section that is too sticky to traverse or a hill that is too rocky and steep to get over, then you will greatly appreciate how the cables are routed as slinging the bike onto your shoulder (ie holding/supporting it along the underside of the top tube) is the easier, most comfortable way of lugging it over to the other side.

My ideal frame would also have a forward facing seat tube clamp so that splashes from the rear wheel entering the frame and causing a seatpost seizure is reduced.

A conventional head tube using cup aheadsets (ie not internal or integrated headsets - a CK recommendation).

Wide tyre clearances; and derailleur hangers that are easy to soucre (GF bikes uses the same hangers as Kleins, Lemonds and Treks).

If I were being loyal to my national brand, then here in the UK, I would choose a bike designed by Orange as they've often met my frame design criteria.

But, given the choice out of the three bikes as stated by the OP, I would choose the Hoo Koo E Koo myself.
 

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standard3x said:
I agree with everyone who has recommended a GF to the OP.

When buying a bike it's the frame that's most important to get right as components can easily be upgraded as the original ones wear out.

Imho, the Specialized frame design is flawed. I'm not talking about frame geometries (as that is fine, but the GF does ride slightly better with a more roomier and faster xc race sensation), no, I talking about the minor annoyances like cable stop placement and cable routing.

My ideal frame would have the cables routed either through the top tube (Klein had a good idea there) or along the top of the top tube. This way, the cables are kept away from water/mud splatter and fitting a front CrudCatcher mudguard onto the down tube becomes less of a hassle.

And, if you do come accross a stream that is too deep to ride through, or a mud section that is too sticky to traverse or a hill that is too rocky and steep to get over, then you will greatly appreciate how the cables are routed as slinging the bike onto your shoulder (ie holding/supporting it along the underside of the top tube) is the easier, most comfortable way of lugging it over to the other side.

My ideal frame would also have a forward facing seat tube clamp so that splashes from the rear wheel entering the frame and causing a seatpost seizure is reduced.

A conventional head tube using cup aheadsets (ie not internal or integrated headsets - a CK recommendation).

Wide tyre clearances; and derailleur hangers that are easy to soucre (GF bikes uses the same hangers as Kleins, Lemonds and Treks).

If I were being loyal to my national brand, then here in the UK, I would choose a bike designed by Orange as they've often met my frame design criteria.

But, given the choice out of the three bikes as stated by the OP, I would choose the Hoo Koo E Koo myself.
Don't overwhelm the poor guy. It takes a long time to become that picky :p
 

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LOL WUT?
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ncfisherman said:
If you can get an 08 hoo koo e koo for $850 then get it as long as you like how it rides. I wish I could have found one for that price.
hkek's are nice, my buddy had a tassajara for a while but only rides trials now,,, but GF makes good stuf, trek, GK, GF, Bontrager, all the same....
 
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