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In Georgia selecting 1st bike. Tips/ideas/advice??

518 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  j. r. eaton
Posted in here because I'm out of Suwanee, GA. Looking to get my feet wet (once I locate bike) and meet up for some rides. I posted the message below in the Beginners section. Thought I'd throw it in here to see if y'all had any tips or knew of a bike.
I'm an old Ironman guy. My latest was Ironman Couer d'Alene back in 2006. I was 41st overall out of 2600 and threw down a sub 5:15 bike leg on the 112 miler through the mountains. Didn't say that to brag, but I do take biking pretty serious. Problem: that was just about the last time I got on the bike and that was about 25 lbs ago and a lot of lost muscle.

Always thought I'd get back into triathlon, but I think if I do it would be Xterra. I'm finally selling my tri bike this week and hope to get around $1,500 for it. I'm planning on throwing $1,200-$1,500 into a MTB.

I'm on the east coast (Georgia) and am looking to get something that will help get the mtb wheels under me (never really ridden off road) and could be a good racer should I ever want to get into Xterra tri's or any kind of race.

I'm 5'6, so I'm assuming I'd need a small frame. I'd like to race at some point, so I'm hearing a hard tail is the way to go. Not really interested in downhill.

I was sponsored by Specialized previously, so I somewhat tend to search eBay for these. Don't know a whole lot about other brands. Any input?

I'd like to try to find a gently used bike that would get me all set up. Any ideas or direction?
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Not too sure why I said 'old ironman guy'. I'm 31.

Not too sure why I said 'old ironman guy'. I'm 31
For that price point, you should be able to find a good deal, whether at an LBS or online. Specialized makes some good bikes for sure, but you may also consider steel or a soft tail frame. I'm 36 and ride / race enduro. My bikes are a Walt Works rigid steel SS and a Salsa Dos Niner -- both are 29ers and the Salsa is my main steed. It's a soft tail, which is just enough suspension to take the beating off your back and allows for the rear wheel to remain on the ground without a lot of bobbing / wasted energy.

You could still do tri's -- there's the Xterra series, which is an off-road tri. Plus, if you still have your road / tri bike, then plan to use it for conditioning. Most folks I know have both road and mountain bikes for two reasons:
1. cross training
2. having something to ride when the trails are wet so you don't tear up the trails.

Let me know if you have further, more detailed questions. I'll be glad to help and live in the ATL area too.
If you plan on riding this area, you have a great set of trails a few miles up I-985 called Chickopee which is a fast free flowing trail system as most trails are in the Atlanta area. Your best bet would be hit a bike shop, Outback bikes has a satellite shop at Hamilton mill off of I-85 north of I-985 and they sell specialized. Their main store is in little five points in Atlanta. At 5'6" more than likely you would want a 18"/medium frame mountain bike. $1500.00 would get you a fair hardtail or an entry level full suspension. You also have to consider 26 or 29 inch wheels I have a 2003 Specialized stump jumper 26” FS and a 2007 Haro Mary XC HT and spend most of my time on the Haro because I like the 29 inch wheels, I’m 5’7”.
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