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Hello everyone,
I asked this question and did not get a response from my posting so I'm asking it as a new thread in hopes that I will get the answer soon. I also have been pointed towards going and checking out the Clydesdale forum and that they will be able to give the advice I need. So not only will I be placing this in the Beginner's Corner but also in the Clydesdale forum to widen the response I need so I can begin once again to ride. I have two bike shops near me and a few more that aren't so near. One dealer sells Trek Bike's and the other sells Specialized Bike's. I know that if I go to the first dealer whoever that will be that they will want to sell what they stock as their brand. So I'm hoping that by asking here that I will get the answers needed to make a intelligent decision in purchasing my bike.
Here goes, most of the bikes I have seen and told about are Trek and Specialized bikes.
Which make is the better one?
What are the difference between a Specialized P1 all mountain and the Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Crosstrail and Specialized Stumpjumper?
The difference between a Trek Mountain Hardtail and the Trek Mountain Full-Suspension?
Or what is the difference between a mountain bike and the hybrids, and comfort bikes?
I’m a person being 6’1 tall with the weight of 330 pounds. I use to be 385 and have gone on a diet to lose the extra weight I don’t need. I use to ride a bike and I only weigh 185 pounds. I may never get back down to that weight again but if I can even get closer to that weight from where I’m at now will be a plus. Also thinking that riding a bike is both low impact and fun at the same time. I went to the Clydesdale forum and took a look at some of the photo’s of your bikes and found them all amazing. Also with so many different designs that I was seeing too, pose more questions for me about designs. I want to ride the bike on pavement to lose some of this weight and endurance. After I use to riding and I have trimmed down I would like to take it on trails in the back woods here in Florida and Wyoming for some of the Mountain Trails there. Anybody been on the Medicine Bow Mountain Trail in Wyoming?
I know that this letter has been long but having your viewpoints to guide me is priceless. So thank you all in advance for your help and thanks given to me so far. I do appreciate it !
Tom
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I know a Specialized P1 is a dirt jumper, so it wouldn't be ideal for what you are looking to do.

Hardrock is an entry level mountain bike, but it would suit you well to begin with. If you plan to start on roads, I would get slicks or tires with less tread for the road riding. You can swap tires once you get into the off-road stuff. Stumperjumper is a higher end bike.

Trek 3 or 4 series would suit your road riding and then get you started into mountain biking, similar to the hardrock.

Full-suspension on road seems to be overkill. Plus, a good FS will set you back well over 1k. I'd look at a hardtail just based on the cost to begin with. You can always sell the hardtail and pick up a FS after you get into the actual mountain biking.

Hybrids are a combo between a comfort bike and a road bike. These are great bikes for commuting, but usually the tires are slim and they don't make the best mountain bikes later on.

Comfort bikes are meant for road riding or smooth trails, like urban trails or maybe smooth forest roads. These are great if you like a leisurely ride around your neighborhood. But, the components probably won't hold up to mountain biking should you make the transition to the trails, especially if ridden by someone of your size.
 

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Tom34461 said:
1 Which make is the better one?
2 What are the difference between a Specialized P1 all mountain and the Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Crosstrail and Specialized Stumpjumper?
3 The difference between a Trek Mountain Hardtail and the Trek Mountain Full-Suspension?
4 Or what is the difference between a mountain bike and the hybrids, and comfort bikes?
:thumbsup:
I will try to tackle your main questions.

1. In general there is no "best" when it comes to the major mountain bike brands. They all make ver similar bikes with slight variations. To determine what the best for you is you should test ride as many bikes as possible. See which ones fit you best and that you feel most comfortable on.

2. It used to tbe there were just mountain bikes. Now there are many different styles to suit personal perferences and riding styles. I would suggest reading this article on wikipedia. It has a lot of info that should help you decide what you need.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_biking

3. A hardtail bikes obviously has no rear suspension. The plusses are that they are cheaper, lighter and simpler to maintain. In general they are faster over easier and hilly terrain. Full suspension makes the ride softer, and helps get you through techincal and rocky terrain. They will make tough trails much easier for someone with limited skills. The downside is they are heavier and can be more challenging to climb hills with unless you have a lockout on the suspension.

4. Hybrids are made for mainly road riding and very light offroading. They cannot handle any real mountain biking. A comfort bike is for people to just cruise around on, no one who is is seriously interested in biking should ever purchase a comfort bike, they only thing they have to offer is comfort hence the name.

These are short answers. A whole book could be written about this stuff. If you are serious about getting into biking and want to buy a new bike I would suggest you spend a lot of time researcing your purchase. Bike shops are pretty useless for getting info, all they want to do is sell you whatever they have on the floor. My advice to newbees is to buy used. Once you have ridden a while you will get an idea of what you like and what you don't. Then when it is time to purchase your first new bike you will know what you want as opposed to asking other people what you want. You will also avoid having a very expensive bike sitting in your garage unused if you find you don't like biking.
 
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