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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Newbie here, looking for some buying advice… I'm interested in getting a used Gary Fisher* hardtail as a starting bike. I'm 6'2" with a longer torso than inseam, mid-20s, looking to do some XC and trail riding, but nothing too serious (yet). I'm hoping to spend less than $400, and figured if I bought something used I could get a higher level of quality for the same price compared to buying new.

* I owned a Gary Fisher a while ago, and really liked the fit. I've read that the Genesis geometry is good for people like me with longer upper bodies, so I'm planning on sticking with a Fisher for now.

I've found a couple appealing options, and wanted to get some thoughts on which is the overall better deal and better long-term bike:

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1999 Procaliber (downgraded from stock specs, it seems)
Drivetrain: LX shifters, front derailleur, and crank; XT rear derailleur
Brakes: Avid 1.9 levers, Avid 2.0 calipers (v-brakes)
Fork: Rock Shox Judy XC (long travel)
Tires/Rims: Brontrager Race Hub/rim (front); Rhynolite rim & Shimano Silent Hub (rear)
Other: Shimano Silent Hub, some kind of bar ends (doesn't matter that much to me), SPD pedals. Pretty decent condition for a bike that's been used -- some scratches on the chainstay from the chain slipping, but otherwise in reasonable shape for a bike over 10 years old.

Price: $275 (not $200 -- oops)


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1997 Supercaliber (seems closer to stock, with a different fork)
Drivetrain: XT
Brakes: Shimano XT v-brakes
Fork: Fox Float 100 RLC
Tires/Rims: not sure
Other: In better cosmetic condition than the Procaliber, but not perfect.

Price: $350


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So… a couple questions:

I realize the Procaliber is the "higher level" bike and a couple years newer, but given that the Supercaliber has all XT components and what seems to be a better fork, which of these do you think is the better deal overall? Or -- are the prices reasonable in the first place?

If you were me, which would you buy: Procaliber, Supercaliber, or neither?

Thanks in advance.

--Brendan

PS: I originally posted this in the Gary Fisher section, but realized it should have been posted here -- sorry for the double-post. I couldn't find a delete option, so if a moderator can delete the thread in the Gary Fisher forum for me that would be helpful.
 

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Holy retro Batman!!!

97 and 99 is pretty old....even with newer components. At 6'2 im assuming you are a fairly big guy and i would recommend a newer frame.

there is a slightly different feel with the G2 geo, but its nothing like the idea that if you are tall then G2 will fit you perfectly.

I got a 1 or 2 year old GF wahoo for $250 with helmet and tools and it was actually a pretty decent frame. IMO i would look for something newer.
 

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That's a tough one. First, I think they're both over-priced. I'd shoot for something like $250 for either one (maybe lower on the Procaliber). Components wise, they're probably hashed by now anyway, so you'll most likely have to swap out the worn parts. Buy which ever is in better condition, both cosmetically and component wise.

I'm partial to GF's, too, as I had a 98 Big Sur back in the day, that was stolen 3 years later... Still miss that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your comments. Both prices are firm, so I don't think I'll be able to get them for any less than the asking prices. I have a few months to look (in school right now without much time to ride, but will have more time in the summer), so I'll see if I can find a newer rig with components in better shape for a good price.
 

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The first thing that jumped out at me when I saw your post is the pics. Those appear to be two different sizes. You will regret buying any bike that's not a good size for you, no matter the price.

There are other bikes besides fisher that have longer top tubes. Off the top of my head: Cannondale, rei's house brand, stumjumpers, trek 8000 series.... You may have an easier time finding something if you broaden your search.

An analytical approach would be to compare different bikes by the ratio of the effective top tube / stand over or seat tube. Those specs are available on manufacturers' websites.
 
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