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My Trek 6500zx is getting old, and I'm riding more than I ever did, so it's time for a new bike. I'm looking at hardtails around the $800 range have found the Marin Nail Trail and Kona Cinder Cone to have the specs I want and the right price. The Rocky Mountain Trailhead is up there, too, although it's not specced quite as well.

Since both have similarly attractive specs, my question comes down to the frames. Is anyone familiar enough with Marin and Kona to comment on how the frame qualities compare? Are the geometries significantly different? Is the Rocky Mountain frame worth paying the same amount for lesser components?

Unfortunately, the few shops around don't carry these bikes, so I'd like to get all the info I can before trekking all over the state for a few test rides. Thanks.
 

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inner peace to make peace
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Kona's great, but Marin still offers steel mtbs

Raucko said:
...anyone familiar enough with Marin and Kona to comment on how the frame qualities compare....[/QUOTE

I really really love riding & racing my my Kona steel mtb.
i've put $2000+ upgrades over the years to my original $600 Lavadome bike, so that only the much scrached up frame remains from the original bike.

If my Kona got stolen and my cash flow was "tight" i'd have to get a steel $1300 Marin Pine Mountain or I'd get the Kona Explosiv steel frame and build up with Sid/Marta SLs/lightest tubeless wheelsets/XTR&SRAM/Moots ti bars&post etc. Kona used to offer cool steel and ti. bikes/frames. Their FS lines are great, if you like FS (I do not race DH so i don't want a FS, cause 95% of my riding does not involve 4' drops or long sections of rock gardens)

I've riden Marins: they're good

Rocky Mountain bikes seems good. their owners sure like 'em.

Really, close your eyes and grab any bike of the similar setup from these three companies and you'll be doing great.

I like Kona designs but still favor ht steel for frames, retro me i guess
 
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