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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to mess around a lot on various bikes that we constructed from frames we had laying around, garage sale bikes and the like... A few street bikes, and whatever we could throw together to take hits from the trails.

Many years later i'm considering going back into rideing on more serious note. As I look at actually purchaseing a bike, I really don't know which direction to head. Really I need to go talk to some shops, but thought i'd throw out the questions while i'm here.

I want a bike for trail rideing, i'm currently stationed in OKlahoma, but I am from Oregon. So I need something that can handle fairly rocky/hilly terrain with moderate comfort on paved pathways. I am not looking at flying down hills.. Also, the bike needs to be moderate to light in weight, since I expect to have to carry it at points.

so questions.. Dual/full suspension bikes, are they worth the step up in price, and are they applicable to this form of rideing (nvr been on one)? If not, then go "hard tail" or...?

secondly, frame size. I look at many manufacturer's sites and see listings of (S/M/L/XL); most sites have #s next to them. I've yet to really analyze the #, where is this measurement taken? The real question on this is, what size would i need? I am a trim build 130-140 lbs, and about 5' 6" tall.

Third, which brands should I lean to for this, and which should I particularly avoid. There will probably be more on this later as i narrow down on my bike.. but for now I just need some basic guidelines.


Thanks in advance guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
any info will help, it looks like dual suspension is the way to go..

if you don't have all the answers that is fine, so long as i get a question dropped.
 

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so questions.. Dual/full suspension bikes, are they worth the step up in price, and are they applicable to this form of riding (nvr been on one)? If not, then go "hard tail" or...?

Go FS, you won't regret it. there are too many reasons to list.
secondly, frame size. I look at many manufacturer's sites and see listings of (S/M/L/XL); most sites have #s next to them. I've yet to really analyze the #, where is this measurement taken? The real question on this is, what size would i need? I am a trim build 130-140 lbs, and about 5' 6" tall.

Use top tube length as the determining factor for your "cockpit" area, - the saddle to bars area- as diff bike/mfrs use different "standards" :rolleyes: Fit is Key, it's THE most important part of the purchase.
Third, which brands should I lean to for this, and which should I particularly avoid. There will probably be more on this later as i narrow down on my bike.. but for now I just need some basic guidelines.

Any brand name is fine, but IMHO I'd start using the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 120 as a benchmark. that class of bike will do well on lighter trails, road (low rolling resistance tires), and when/if you get back to Oregon, it'll be perfect for Hood, Bend, or whatever you want to throw at it except major hucks/jumps and hard FR/DH. Like cameras and stereos, it's hard to buy a poor bike in this range, so shop around and come back with more questions if you want.

Thanks in advance guys.[/QUOTE]
 

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soft vs. hardtail

i have had 2 hardtails and 2 full suspension bikes. i ride on a lot of really sharp, rolling-out-from-under-you-and-throwing-you-into-a-large-cactus rocks. yeah, that did happen and yes, the thorns are still embedded in my forearm. i would fully recommend a full suspension for that reason. you can get away w/ not being the best technical rider w/ the fs as your shock will absorb a lot of the rough stuff.
i'd go for a simple design without a lot of funky gadgets...don't make it too hard on yourself when you just get into it.
 
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