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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys, after researching and recommendations from this forum I have come up with a brief list of 29ers that I am interested in. I have included pictures too! Let me know what you guys think of my list. I am expecting myself to spend $800-$1200 the most.

I am basing my choice 50% on quality of components, 30% on reputation (what forum members/owners think of them, 10% on how friendly/helpful the staff was at that particular LBS, and 10% based on looks (if I am going to spend $800 to over $1,000 I think its important that I like the way it looks!).

First one up is the Jamis Exile 1
Its got the Dart 3 shocks, Maxxis Ignitor tires, Shimano Deore, Tektro I0 mecahnical disc brakes. COST $825

Jamis Exile 1

Second one is the Cannondale TRAIL SL 29'ER 4
Its got the RST Deuce shocks, Kenda Small Block Eight tires, Deore, Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc brakes. Weights ?? COST $1,059

Cannondale Trail SL

Third one is the Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29
Its got the Dart 3 shocks, Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport tires, Deore, Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic disc, COST $980

29er rockhopper

Forth one is the Gary Fisher Cobia
Its got the RockShox Tora, Bontrager 29-3 tires, Deore, Avid BB5 mechanical disc, COST $1,099

Gary Fisher Cobia 29er

Fifth one is the Haro Ally XC
its got the RST M29 Pro fork, Kenda Nevegal 2.2 tires, Deore, Hayes MX4 Mechanical Disc w/ 6" Rotors, COST $875

Haro Ally XC

So guys as of now these are my 5 top picks. Do any of you guys think I am missing an valuable 29er competitor? Here is where I stand. I am not sure how the RST shocks compare to the Rock Shoxs.....such as the RST Deuce shocks vs the RST M29 Pro and how these RST's compare to the Dart 3's and I know the Tora is better than the Dart 3's but thats about all I know when it comes to shocks.

Some of them have hydraulic disc brakes while others don't even though I have heard that the Avid BB5 are decent. All of them have the Deore. As far as looks, I like the Rockhopper, GF Cobia, and the Cannondale Trail. What do you guys think? Am I missing anything?
 

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The Tora is going to be the most reliable of all the forks, though I've heard good things about the M29 as well. Honestly, the Fisher is probably going to be the best choice; the Cobia is kinda heavy, but a solid bike and has a good warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really like the Cobia especially that it comes with the Rock Shox Tora shocks! But, since I am getting a 29er as opposed to a 26er, the bike is already going to be heavier. I am a beginner which means I'd like to learn the basic tricks such as bunny-hopping etc and I feel as if a heavier bike might hinder my riding skills. I tried to find the listed weight for each bike, but could only find it for the Jamis which was 29.7 lbs and I have been told that the manufacture lies about the weight anyways.

Stupid question and NO.... I am not going to base my choice off of this, but out of curiosity which brand is the most premier and highly respected? For example plenty of people drive Kias and swear by them, but lets not lie..... a BMW is considered to be more luxury regardless of cost and reliability.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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The three most important things on a bike are the frame, wheelset and fork, in that order.

The frame's geometry has to match your riding style. Since it is your first bike there is no way to know without riding them. Test ride!

The wheelset, no information about any of them so you're stuck there.

The GF has the best fork out of your choices.

Based on what I've seen and ridden I'd go with the cobia, but you need to test ride.
 

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hellocook said:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom29pro_SL.htm

$999 shipped, no addional taxes.

plays in adifferent league with reba, xt, juicy 7, wtb and ritchey. geometry looks good as well.
With the usual caveats of the BD sales model (especially if the rider is unwilling or unable to do some of the maintenance tasks that an LBS would take care of)...

I don't intend that as a slam against BD, but I think the the OP should be aware of the trade-offs of buying a bike off the Internets vs. his LBS.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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Bikesdirect is known for bad service and screwing people on warranty stuff aren't they?

With that said, pretty good spec for the price.
 

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Motobecane

Are you kidding me...The Motobecane looks like a "MUCH" nicer build than the other bikes mentioned. If the frame sucks, just e-bay it and get another frame (maybe a left over 2009, or something).

Reba SL, XT Shfters and Juicy 7's...Way better than the other bikes...IMO...:madman:
 

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Ariolimax columbianus
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maybe checkout some of the raleigh & redline offerings and the surly karate monkey. at that pricepoint you'd probably be better off w/a rigid fork instead of some junk that might need repairs soon. like other's have said look for the better wheelset, brake, drivetrain value. steel's a bit more springy than aluminum for bike frames. save your money for accesories or a pair of shoes or new pedals if you haven't got any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A $900 increase in price is a bit more than what I would consider a modest increase in price!!! haha 25 pounds.... sounds awesome!

I do not have any qualms about buying a bike from bikesdirect, but since this is my first bike I would feel much more comfortable being able to ride the bike before buying. Plus, both of my LBS offer LIFETIME servicing for the bike if I buy from them. So I definately want to get a bike from a LBS, besides it would be great to support such bike shops espeically in this enconomy!

One of the posters said I'd be better off with a rigid fork since the frames with front suspension at this price range would be junk. Serioulsy??? I understand that most hardtails at this prince range will not hold up well at all with excessive jumps and drops, but for normal singletrack riding, I thought it would be just fine!!
 

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big_slacker said:
Bikesdirect is known for bad service and screwing people on warranty stuff aren't they?

With that said, pretty good spec for the price.
in a word
NO; we never screw customers and our warranty service is above normal for online and better in some cases than shops. That said: warranty claims on any high grade bike are exceedingly rare
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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bikesdirect said:
in a word
NO; we never screw customers and our warranty service is above normal for online and better in some cases than shops. That said: warranty claims on any high grade bike are exceedingly rare
I don't have any personal experience with bikesdirect, I just do web searches for any online companies I think about buying from. I did so for bikesdirect a month or so ago and came up with quite a bit of back and forth negative stuff and responses from bikesdirect staff, mostly dealing with warranty issues and customer service issues. That type of stuff is a red flag for me and I take the better safe than sorry route.

Once again, its a very good spec for the price, better than any of the others. And it is correct that warranty stuff isn't likely on good equipment. And you have the assurance of a bikesdirect (owner? employee?) here on the thread that they're a fine company. Hell, he replied to a forum post quickly, at least that means if they blow you off on the phone or e-mail you can post here. :D

You pays your money and takes your chances.
 

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I have been riding a Cobia for over a year now and I am very satisfied. The Tora shock has not given me any problems at all. I would not hesitate to buy another one.
 

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i got the phantom pro sl from bikesdirect. liked the price and the parts spec, decided i'd buy myself a nicer frame when i deserve. it needed some overall adjusting and disassembling when i received it, but it's been great ever since initial setup!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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don't try this at home
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Elonheater said:
A $900 increase in price is a bit more than what I would consider a modest increase in price!!! haha 25 pounds.... sounds awesome!

I do not have any qualms about buying a bike from bikesdirect, but since this is my first bike I would feel much more comfortable being able to ride the bike before buying. Plus, both of my LBS offer LIFETIME servicing for the bike if I buy from them. So I definately want to get a bike from a LBS, besides it would be great to support such bike shops espeically in this enconomy!

One of the posters said I'd be better off with a rigid fork since the frames with front suspension at this price range would be junk. Serioulsy??? I understand that most hardtails at this prince range will not hold up well at all with excessive jumps and drops, but for normal singletrack riding, I thought it would be just fine!!
what you might be paying to get a low-grade suspension fork, you may be paying for in other components.

look for an 09 salsa el-mariachi. i just got one for wifey on ebay for $1099 new in box. i've seen others in the price range. it's got X9, BB7's, XT/Salsa wheelset, and a rigid fork - a smokin deal imo. you can even run it as a single speed if you want. i'm sure it would come with lesser parts if it had a low-grade fork.

one thing a rigid fork will teach you is how to pick a good line. sure you can learn that with a suspension fork, but you'll learn it faster rigid.
 
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