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Hi, I'm a new guy on here and I'm looking for some help in getting a new bike. It will be my first bike since I was in high school, so its pretty much my first bike (that was a Walmart special). I'm not lookng to spend a lot of money, about $300-350. I'm going to be using it mostly for riding to work and taking it on some trails, probably a few times a month. I have been doing a lot of research and asking a few friends since I really don't know whats good and what isn't. I have narrowed it down to a few choices:

Specialized Hardrock Sport
Ibex Alpine 350
Gary Fisher Advance or the Tarpon

From what I can tell they are pretty much the same, but I don't know the little difference between them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Josh
 

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Yasco
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I recommend Ibex Alpine 450. It costs $399 + shipping. I ride it mainly on trails in Bay Area and sometimes to my office, 10 miles aeach way.
These are arguments:
1. It has better components than all bikes listed above
2. It is lighter than all bikes above
3. It is very nice on XC trails, due to its geometry.
If you know which size you need and know to maintain your bike (adjust cables, replace tires etc.) this is the best value for your dollars.
My opinion is that $50 more will pay off in 2 rides.
 
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