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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there! I'm new to mtb and I'm getting my first bike. I've been riding a friend's FS 26" and I've decided that I'm going to take the plunge and get my first bike. I've been doing a lot of research and have decided on a 29er HT.

I'm here to ask what you recommend. I'm on a tight budget and am looking for something around $800. So far I've found a couple of Specialized bikes that fit my budget.

Rockhopper http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=45801&eid=4340&menuItemId=9253

Hardrock http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=45758&eid=4340&menuItemId=9253

Anyone riding these bikes? I haven't found many other 29ers around these prices. I'm leaning a bit more toward the Rockhopper as I've found one for $799 new.

I want suspension fork and full gears. Any help or suggestions would be rad! Thanks!
 

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The Motobecane Fantom 29 Pro is right at your budget, and with some higher-end components than the Specialized. Budget brand, but really devoted owners, and they put out some nice bikes. Check out the Motobecane section of this forum for more info on the brand.
 

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Pay attention to the fork in this price range. Most people will recommend that you move up from the Dart and into a Tora if you can.

The fork is the single biggest difference between the bikes posted so far.
 

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Also mechanical vs hydraulic disc brakes. I like the Avid Juicy hydraulics. I see the Moto has 185 mm front rotor. That's a plus on braking power. The C-dale specs say 185 but it comes with 160 mm...a little lighter but a little less power. A heavier rider would benefit from the 185mm rotor.
 

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Go used and you can get a bike that retailed for ~1800 a year ago, is in perfect condition, and fits your budget.
 

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If your in a hurry to get a bike i would say the moto but if you got time i would also say look for a used bike either way you will have a ton of fun with your 29er
 

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How much do you weigh? If over 175 I would say step up to the Tora fork. But it also depends on how hard you are going to ride it. Nasty rocks and roots go for the Tora. If you think the dart will work for you, I know alot of guys on here have bought the Marin Apline from ING for CHEAP.
 

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Go used and you can get a bike that retailed for ~1800 a year ago, is in perfect condition, and fits your budget.
Understand that if you do so, you do it without the manf warrenty. If your a big or aggressive rider, that could make a difference in your decision.

Also mechanical vs hydraulic disc brakes. I like the Avid Juicy hydraulics. I see the Moto has 185 mm front rotor. That's a plus on braking power. The C-dale specs say 185 but it comes with 160 mm...a little lighter but a little less power. A heavier rider would benefit from the 185mm rotor.
At the price range to OP is looking at, I doubt that there are very many NEW bikes out there with hydro discs. But when looking at mechs, I would ALWAYS prefer Avid BB7's over just about any other mechanical disc.

Pay attention to the fork in this price range. Most people will recommend that you move up from the Dart and into a Tora if you can.
I agree 100%.

Lot's of good advice here. But the most important thing to remember when purchasing that first bike is this. MAKE SURE THAT THE BIKE YOU BUY IS THE RIGHT SIZE! That trumps every other consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the great responses! I'm 6'1" and weigh around 185. I was wondering what size frame I should get. 19 or 21?

I'm leaning toward the Moto Fantom as it seems like a good bike with great parts for a good price.
 
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