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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to buy a hardtail for riding to work and then hitting the trails on the weekends and after work. Want to keep the price around $500, give a $100 or take more. I want something that I can abuse for years to come and not have to return it or upgrade it next week. I've done all my homework and test rode just about everything. I considered Specialized, Gary Fisher, Giant, Jamis, Raleigh, Haro, Kona, and Trek, but for geometry/price/components, I've come down to the Marin Hawk Hill SE or the Canondale F300. Can't decide, both great bikes, so I'm open to suggestions.
 

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my girl rides also
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Although I've never ridden either of your final choices, I'd suggest that you get what feels the best....if you're stuck between two great bikes that both fit, put on a blindfold, spin around a coupld of times, and whatever you touch first, go for it. I don't see how you could go wrong with either......you're going to have a killer time reguardless!! Good luck!
 

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buy the Cannondale

My biased opinion says to tell you "buy the Cannondale" because I have not riden a Marin I liked so far, but I would have to agree with VA2SLOride - if your stuck between two bikes then its time to test ride them on the trail - tell the shop that your torn between two bikes and need an extended test ride on other surfaces then just the parking lot - try them out and compare every aspect of how the bikes feel to you - when you feel the right one you will be able to tell - especially if you take both of them out to ride on the same day.... thats my $0.02
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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Supergo has brought back the Iron Horse Rogue (2005 model) for $579. This component spec would be extremely hard to beat for that money:

Rock Shox Judy SL fork with U-turn adjustable travel- (70 to 108mm), Truvativ riser bar and Five D ISIS crankset. Shimano Deore 9 speed shifters and front derailleur. LX rear derailleur. Hayes hydraulic HFX9-XC 6" disc brakes & WTB Speed Disc rims. WTB Weirwolf 2.1" tires. Wellgo WAM-M919 clipless pedals
 

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I'm Riding It
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652 Posts
Gary Fisher

xc_ted said:
Looking to buy a hardtail for riding to work and then hitting the trails on the weekends and after work. Want to keep the price around $500, give a $100 or take more. I want something that I can abuse for years to come and not have to return it or upgrade it next week. I've done all my homework and test rode just about everything. I considered Specialized, Gary Fisher, Giant, Jamis, Raleigh, Haro, Kona, and Trek, but for geometry/price/components, I've come down to the Marin Hawk Hill SE or the Canondale F300. Can't decide, both great bikes, so I'm open to suggestions.
Get a Gary Fisher Marlin Disc. That bike takes alot of punishment and is great quality. It has a lockout on the front shock too, which can be nice. Overall the Gary Fisher or the Cannondale are good picks, but I'd go with the Gary Fisher, much nicer...
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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LIke some said, go for fit.

I had a Cannondale before, and I think it was a very good bike, I don't know about the Marlin.

If you feel both feels ok, buy the one with the best color.... I think both are good bikes. And, once you buy the bike, stop looking around shops, it may give you a case of severe upgraditis!

Just remember to buy a helmet, I really like the backpacks with hydratation (well, camelback, but theyre turning the name into the generic). I bought one very good at wallmat, the brand is Outdoor and it was good and cheap (around 30 bucks, 2 lts capacity, enough space for tools, pump, spare tire, snacks and windbreaker.
 

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Although I agree that you should look closely at the parts offerings on each bike, it really boils down to what geometry fits you best. I've test ridden a lot of bikes but I've always come back to Cannondale(have had 5 now) because they just feel right to me. On the other hand, a friend of mine just does not feel comfortable on Cannondale's geometry and finds that Kleins are the best choice for him. Parts can be upgraded but the frame is forever - unless you sell it of course.

I recently took a friend out looking for his first real mountain bike. He test rode the Giant Iguana first and "liked it". He was ready to slap down the money right then and there but I reigned him in and convinced him to test ride the GF Tassajara down the street. The GF fit him so much better and he absolutley "loved it" . It was definitely the better bike for his body type and had a comparable component mix. The Iguana had disk brakes while the GF have Vs but the GF was disc ready for the future if desired.

Don't get me wrong, component specs are important but be patient and take the time to really evaluate how the bike FEELS underneath you. Also, make sure the guy(or gal) at each LBS takes the time to pick the right frame size for you and adjust the saddle height correctly - that way, you will be able to make a good and fair comparison.


happy hunting - Chip
 

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L1MEY
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If you like them both, the components are similar, they both fit you well and both suit your price, then they are both the bike for you. Pick the colour you like the best :)

Having said that, the Marin has disc brakes, which are nice. Assuming they both fit you equally well, I'd go with the Marin for that reason.

- Jen
 

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jeffj said:
Supergo has brought back the Iron Horse Rogue (2005 model) for $579. This component spec would be extremely hard to beat for that money:

Rock Shox Judy SL fork with U-turn adjustable travel- (70 to 108mm), Truvativ riser bar and Five D ISIS crankset. Shimano Deore 9 speed shifters and front derailleur. LX rear derailleur. Hayes hydraulic HFX9-XC 6" disc brakes & WTB Speed Disc rims. WTB Weirwolf 2.1" tires. Wellgo WAM-M919 clipless pedals
http://www.supergo.com/profile.cfm?LPROD_ID=25875&lsubcat_id=7&lcat_id=7604&referpage=#

I found that one here for $649.00. That's still a great price. I'm looking at the Trek 4300 when I come back from Iraq.....only a newer version may be out by then.

Later.
 

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Specialized is far more common...

So it will most likely be easier to get upgrade advice. It's a pretty sweet looking bike too. It has good quality components. It will allow you to grow, fairly inexpensively too. I personally am a Gary Fisher fan, but Specialized will get you there too. Especially since it's got disk. If you don't like that, try the GF Wahoo. It's about the same price.
 
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