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I've been biking for the better part of 2 months. I have an old Hard Rock from the late 90's that I've been riding. It has front shocks and could get me down most things.

I've been doing 15-20 mile rides over single track in South Lake Tahoe and Marin trails in the Bay Area. The past couple of rides I've done had long downhill sections that wore out my brake pads and I'm thinking I could hit them a lot harder with a FS bike. So, I was looking for an upgraded bike with FS and disc brakes.

Both Mike's Bikes and another shop has the 2009 Rize 3 for $1699. I rode it today and it felt fine. It was only around the shop and not on trails. Since I don't have any experience with bikes and/or parts, is this a decent bike? I saw some reviews online but the reviews are over a year old. I don't know if things have changed since then or not.
 

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It is a great bike plus you get the "Lefty" shock. If you need more details, head over to the Cannondale forum.

It handles well in just about all terrain and for a FS it climbs really well.

I would negotiate the price a little...
 
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