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What's up everyone,

Well, after many posts on the forums here, my wife and I finally got our bikes.

She got the 17" Specialized Myka Sport, and so far she likes it (except her butt hurts too, read my full review below). One thing I will say about the myka sport is that she kept up with the trails and the long haul pretty good for riding for the first time in about 8 years. Again read below to appreciate this. For her bike we paid about $380 +tax, that was good news for us because her bike made it through the following story:

I got my GF Cobia 29r, 19" Gunmetal Grey. I paid $830 +tax. For some reason my front derailler is a SRAM X-9, my rear is an X-5, and when i read on the specs on the website, it said X-5 throughout... did I get blessed out of the factory?

Well, the LBS adjusted the front fork, and tires pressures for my heavy 220lb butt, and that night, I rode the bike around down for about one mile awaiting the next day. Well, the next day came, and here is our story - Thursday 19Jun2008.

(When reading this, if you are a woman, especially a wife, you will realize it was not the trip that I survived, but the wrath of my wife)

This is the first time EITHER of us (my wife and I) rode in about 8 years, literally. I'm 28, and she is 30, sorry hun, she is living her 2nd 29th year. Anyway, we took a 3-mile road trip to Tobyhanna State Park from our house. All road. When we got there, we decided to run the trail around the bige lake (light gravel, some grass), well about 1 mile into this trip I saw a "yellow" off-road trail. I said,"let's try it," She said we should stick to the trail around the lake so we can get home at a reasonable time (we left around 10:30am), but she gave in. Well, half way into it, this rooty / rocky trail turned into boulders, and huge fallen trees... then it only got worse. Steep up hills, rocky downhills, and swamps! Yes, at this point my wife was Mad at me (to say the VERY least) for trying to be the adventurous idiot who got us into this mess. Well anyway, this turned out to be a 4-mile trail (which felt like 10 because of the rough terrain). At the end of this trail we were on the west side of route 196 (about 5 miles pass the PCP development). We had already traveled about 10 miles, 4 of which was terrible trail! Then, when we got to the road, I said "go left", she said "right", well.. right was the right answer, because after traveling about 2 miles, we found out we were heading AWAY from home. At this piont I was trying to keep a decent distance from her because I knew it was my fault we traveled about 15 miles and were about 10 miles from home (Honestly, I am usually vry good with direction, not that day). Did I mention route 196 was all up and down hill? I know what some of you hardcore riders were thinking at this point... cool! No dudes... not cool. My legs were jello, and my A$$ was numb. to be more precise, my a$$ bone felt bruised like I was one of those kids from "Dazed And Confused." Well, we back-tracked, and got to the exit of the "trail of woe" (that's what I called it after our 4-mile trip of horror through it). We knew not to go back through that trail because.. well just because. So we stuck to the road, up and down hills, and finally we saw a sign for our town (10-miles ahead). Yup, we had traveled nearly 20 miles already, and we still needed 10 more. Up and down hills the entire way, until finally we reached the State Park's entrance again. Don't ask how I managed to get us that far from home, but I did. So, to cut this long story short, we traveled about 30 miles, 4 of which through a VERY rought trail, and about 20 of them up and down large rolling hills. By the time we got home, we were spent. I went to military high school, and college,, I and I know what it feels like to push your physical limits, and let me tell you, this day, we did. She was in a better mood at this point ( I fired up the grill right away, and poured her some sweet iced tea - then got out of dodge). By the way, I forgot to mention I ran out of water in the middle of the 4-mile trail because i didn't expect (or pack) to be gone that long. By the time we got home we were parched. SO here, after this first day "break-in" of the bikes, I can honestly say I can give a good review of this bike. And before i begin, here's a bit of advice - unless you are in a VERY adventerous mood, do NOT go on trails w/o researching them first! We left the house at 10:30am, and didn't get home until almost 5pm! The experience, well gave us an experience, and something to talk abou, but we were seconds from hitching, or calling the police on our cells. I'm proud of my wife for sticking it out, and I'm even more proud she didn't hit my head with a rock, and leave me in the woods. We went to dinner that night, and had something to talk about (though it still hurts to sit).

OK, so here's my review of the GF Cobia.

The bike climbs like a champ. If you keep weight on the rear wheel, and peddle tough, the bike will pull, I never took the front gears to the granny, I kept her in 2nd, and used the full granny in the rear, and I think i climbed just about everything thrown at me that day from rocky uphill, to grassy, to muddy (though near the end of the trip I was running out of gas and walked the bike up a handfull of big hills).

The gears work great, I only had a few instances when the geared took more than 2 seconds to shift, other than that, I was shifting tough all day (literally).

The bike feels good and strong over the rough terrain, but well into the trip, my hands were getting numb. The handlebars were unforgiving.

The peddles always seemed to smack the floor. I was either smacking the peddles (while I was trying to peddle through rough terrain) on rocks, or high sticks, anything over about 4 inches off the ground. This got real anoying, and I got to the point where I wasn't peddling over these, I was trying to stand on the peddles, keep them equal and "coast" over this terrain, but i lost speed often.

The geometry of the bike is "sporty." I ride a suzuki GSX-R1000 (sport bike, croth rocket, whatever you like to call it), and it feels the same (almost). it gets tiresome over a period of time, but gives you a good feeling of control.

The tires and wheels are tough (so is the front shock). Consider a 200lb guy, thrashing up and down on rocks and boulders.. I put this bike through the test. I always hear people saying to upgrade to the X-caliber or spend Sub $1000 on a mountainbike is pointless, well I am here to tell those people they are full of S$%T. Get off of your ego, get on a decent bike and ride. I didn't feel like anything was lacking all day. I am sure small upgrades here and there make a difference, but again, I brought that bike through a lot and it held up just fine. I had a lot of fun on it, even at the end when i was dehydrated, and only 10 miles from home.

The bike corners wel, and has good traction, i think the loss on any of thise comes from the rider (me) losing balance, or not distributing my weight correctly.

It looks pretty. This bike is great looking. You sit high off the ground, I like that.

I would love to hear your comments or opinions, or constructive criticism, or whatever - thanks.

If you are even considering a 29r, and want to save $ - don't fall for the high number part names, or other peoples comments like spend a few hundred more get the X-caliber or something else. I got this bike for under $900 out the door, and it is awesome. If you tink you need a better bike, you better be competing and making money using it. If you're really into the sport and want more performance, fine, but if you're a noob, don't let your ego get out of control, this is a great ride for the $.

If anyone has any tips for me to save my A$$ bone the next time i ride, PLEASE giv eme some ifo... I usually don't sit too much, except when climbing and when i'm getting tired, but the seat was unforgiving as well.

i will update this thread as I get responses. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

I WILL POST REPLY'S WITH PICTURES AFTER THIS.
 

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Sounds like you got a nice rough intro to your local trails. You might be surprised how much more you will enjoy that frustrating trail as you learn more. My local trails are very rocky, and as I was learning last summer I became pretty angry and frustrated and almost gave up on mountain biking because of how difficult it was and how often I had to push my bike around. Now those are my favorite trails, lol.

The stock Bontrager saddles have a reputation for being uncomfortable. See if your LBS will let you try out some test saddles to find one that is more comfortable for your particular butt. The WTB Speed V is an affordable saddle that many people find comfortable. A good saddle should keep you from being numb or uncomfortable.

That said, if your butt feels bruised, especially in the tailbone, then you were sitting over bumps you definitely shouldn't have. I ride a hardtail as well and I spend a lot of time out of the saddle. Going over any bump or rough section I have my butt hovering inches above the saddle. This keeps me in almost the same position as sitting, but lets me use my legs as suspension and move my weight around. And going downhill I never sit down no matter how smooth the trail. I either have the saddle close to my stomach, pinched between my thighs, or I am atleast standing over it, all so I can keep myself from going over the bars and to absorb any bump that might come.
 

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I have the same bike. Just picked it up today and took it for a quick spin on a local trail (Still in my riding gear right now trying to cool down haha). Upgrades I did right off at the shop and you might try these because it made the bike feel 100X better than it did when I first test rode it.

1. Ditch those cage pedals with the straps and get some bike shoes (Lake is what I have) and some shimano 520 clipless pedals. They aren't very heavy and it's easy to learn clipless pedals!

2. Get a different set of grips. The stock grips have no padding and literally felt like a condom over the hard bar. I got the ergon grips with the mini bar ends. I have ergons on my trek and they are amazing. You will feel much better with a grip that supports more of your upper body weight. I love ergon grips!

3. Ditch the bontrager saddle that came stock and if you want for a quick $25 or so you can get a bontrager xcrus sport saddle. It is the same size as the stock saddle, but has the hard foam on the inside and a plush but not too plush memory foam over top. I rode tonight with this new saddle and no sore ass at all. I usually ride with mountain bike shorts on with chamois under them and even then my stock bontrager saddle on my trek 4300 makes my ass numb after about 45 minutes. This new seat has fixed that.

Some future upgrades for me if I want them
- A new stem after I eventually bend mine
- Upgraded cranks or brakes depending on how I feel

The reason you feel the pedals hit everything is they are 175's I think and are a bit longer than other crank arms. My trek 4300 has shorter crank arms and so the cobia cranks feel like they hang very far down, but this wasn't much of a problem tonight since the cobia has a little bit higher of a bottom bracket clearance due to the geometry.

The good thing about these longer crank arms is it trains you really quick on where you place your pedals at on obstacles. I only had to smack my foot against two rocks tonight to learn that pedals should be level and not up and down.

Hope you like your new bike! you got yours for a little cheaper than mine, but I didn't haggle price on mine and was just happy to pick up the last 29er in my size at the local shop! I love my new cobia!
 

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Group Rides

Check with the local shops to see if they lead any group rides. This is a good wayt to learn the local trails, meet others to ride with and maybe pick up a few pointers along the way. This is a great intro to the sport and can help you and your wife to get the most out of your new toys.
 

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levonius said:
If anyone has any tips for me to save my A$$ bone the next time i ride, PLEASE giv eme some ifo... I usually don't sit too much, except when climbing and when i'm getting tired, but the seat was unforgiving as well.

i will update this thread as I get responses. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.
Great story...

Anyway... I ride a GF Paragon G2 and I hated the Bonty seat so I purchased a WTB Devo and it is wonderful!:thumbsup:
 

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I agree, that seat is about the biggest torture device that I have ever sat on.

I also agree that you cant go wrong with an "entry level bike". If you like the sport, it wont take you a year to figure out exactly what you want/need in a bike.
 

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Cool story man,

I'm much more of a roadie but I recently started into this mtb thing. Oh sure, when I was a kid I rode in the woods all the time and have owned a hardtail Klein for a few years but never rode it. I gave that to my brother to match his roadie Klein and built myself a 29er. I blasted the local trails last week and had a great time getting "lost" in the woods. I wasn't actually lost (as the area is surrounded by roads and I know every one of them) but had no idea where the trails went.

As for spending big $ on a bike...depends what you want I guess. I'm into my 29er pretty cheap: I bought a used On-One Inbred with KM fork, RaceFace crank, SPD pedals, WTB saddle and post, Michelin tires and some tubes then added brand new WTB wheelset, Origin 8 stem, Pig HS, BB5's with FR-5 levers,brake cables and (just tonight) Candy C's. I'm into the whole thing for less than $750 and I love it! On the other hand my road bike was $2,200 then I added $800 wheels!

Eventually I think I'm going to go 1X9 though.

Good luck riding and get a Camelbak or fill those bottles and always carry a few bucks so you can stop at the convenience store (if there's one around) as a last resort.

J
 

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You ride the bike, not the price tag!

I recently got a GF COBIA 29ER! Great decision. Looked at reviews on the rockhopper, cannondale & cobia. Obviously went with the Cobia. Why? GF invented the 29er and found a bike dealer that I COULD TRUST! Also it's about the frame and all components can be upgraded. I'm a big guy, 280lbs, and ride rough. So far have upgraded to Easton Fatboy pedals and Easton lowrise monkey handle bars. Only because I didn't like the stock cage pedals, took a fall, and bent the flat handle bars. Coundn't be happier with either upgrades. Next will be the saddle and probably in the near future upgrade to X.9 or X.0 derailer set. Being a new rider, just wouldn't make any sense to spend anything over a grand, especially when you really don't know what your spending your money on! That is until you gain experience! How do you gain experience, by riding, and listening to those who have plenty of experience! That's why it is important to find a reputable BIKE SHOP! You ride the bike, not your ego!:) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First,

Thanks for all of your comments everyone, I appreciate your advice. At this point I am in the market for a seat, grips, and possibly pedals in the future. I don't want to go out and spend the $ just yet (I just bought this thing) - but it is day 3, and my butt is still sore.

Notice the X-9 front? How did this happen?

Enjoy the following pics:

If you want to see more of my dog, go to:

www.myspace.com/leonidasdane
 

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Levonius, beautiful great dane! I have the exact same bike. Definitely change the pedals, try looking at those Easton Fatboys I put on mine. Platform pedals that grip like no other! Not big on clipless pedals being a novice rider. Easy exit and entry with the platforms. Also I need to replace the saddle forsure. Any suggestions? Your great dane make my to minpin's look like mice. Also good for you with the X-9's! Never seen that before!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
whats up rookie joe

Thanks for the compliments. He is about 13 months old, and growing like a weed. He weighs about 145lbs at this point, he will get to around 175 like his dad was.

I was looking at the following saddles, because for the $35 shipped range, i think they are the best bang for the buck. WTB Speed V Comp or New WTB Speed V ProGel (about $45 shipped). I've heard good reviews, and I'm 220 pounds, so I'm not worried about adding 100grams in the saddle, or paying $100 to lose it... I think I should weigh about 200/195 lbs, then i'll worry about shedding grams off the bike, lol. Can you link me those fatboys? I am looking for pedals that will help with ground clearance, are very tough, and do NOT have straps, lol. I was thinking of maybe getting clipless peddles and shoes, but for now I would just like a small profile, and tougher set. I love this bike. Honestly I would have rode an hour or so today if it wasn't for my A$$ bone being so bruised from our first day out. Geez....

And yea.. the X-9 in the front.. VERY Strange, but I'll take it as a gift from Above, thanks Lord!
 

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About to head out for the evening! Go to Blueskycycling.com! Great prices on all equipment and cheap shipping. Will order all my components in the future from them and seem's pricing is reasonable.
 

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try the shimano 520 clipless pedals. You will get used to them quickly and you will be amazed how much easier it is to hammer up hills with push and pull on your pedals.

Clipless + 29er + fatty clydesdale with uber huge quads = John Deere Tractor
 

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Get a thudbuster suspension seatpost and a more comfortable saddle. Ergon grips are great.

Where are pictures of your wife and her bike?

Great looking dog. He really has some balls!
 
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