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Discussion Starter #1
After doing some posting in the beginners forum and trying out bikes at my LBS, I have decided that a 29" would be good for me.
I am an ex BMXer who would like to get into MTB riding and dont know much about MTBs in general.
Being that I have never really owned an MTB, I dont want to build one up like I did with my old BMX bikes. I would like a basic complete that allows me to ride trails and maybe dabble in some street and jumping.

I feel very comfortable working on bikes and as time goes on, if I need to replace/upgrade I will do it just as I did with my BMX. I just want something to get me riding and enjoying this beautiful DC weather.

My budget is around $600. I have been doing a lot of reading and research and I think that these bikes below would be good, but I dont know much about the comparisons or how they stack up. All I do know is I need something that would fit me (6'1"), with discs and a fork that locks out.

Any help would be appreciated. I have been scouring CL and Pinkbike locally for something, but so far I have yet to see anything.

These are the bikes I am looking at. Feel free to make suggestions or post up bikes I may have overlooked.

Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Trail

Diamondback Overdrive 29er Mountain Bike - 2012 Special Buy at REI-OUTLET.com

Airborne Bicycles. Guardian

MARIN BIKES  |   Mountain HT  |  29er   |  Bolinas Ridge 29er
 

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Havent ridden any if those, but i would never buy a bike i couldnt ride. I heard the Diamond Back Override got some positive reviews. I have a Marin dealer close , but thet had nothing in a small. I am currently choosing between a Scott 29er Comp and a Cannondale Trail sl 4 29er. Good luck and ride a bunch.
 

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From those you listed it looks like the Airborne has the best components, and I would limit it down to the Diamondback Overdrive or Airborne Guardian real quick, then go from there.
 

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I am also looking at buying my first 29er. The Diamondback over drive is something i have been looking at as well as a bunch of others. Specialized Hard rock 29.


and the redline D-600


I am so confused I don't know what to do.

any help would be great.
 

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Do you have a specialized dealer near by? They often have test bikes you can sign out for the weekend. It provides an oportunity to try one out. I'm not saying you should buy one but it does give you a reference point to start from.
 

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Three of the listed bikes use the Suntour XCT or XCR forks, which are not up to the task of real off-road riding. They're fine for casual trails and fire roads but not much more. Even Suntour openly admits this and labels the forks "Recreational Use Only".

The Airborne has the RockShox XC28 which replaces the Dart 3 for 2012. While being a low end fork, it is actually up to the task of handling some true off-road riding. For that reason alone I would lean towards the Airborne.
 

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space monkey
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I have noticed that Felt 29ers under a grand get outstanding reviews. Also, i just found this with the help of google, Breezer Thunder Mountain Bike - 27 Speed - Commuter Bike Store[/url], $649 for my personal favorite brand of bikes - they still make me smile and/ or laugh involuntarily when i get on one - 6066-T6 is good metal- feels like steel to me only stiffer laterally, and the geometry is just so. I hope that helps - i like the idea of being on a bike that you don't see everywhere (e.g. Specialized, Trek, Diamondback...), not that there's anything wrong with the big brands per se...

I'd love to tell you where i found that Breezer, but i don't have enough posts to post links, the forum informs me - and ironically, as much as i'd like to help, my main motivation for posting this in the first place is that i tried to post a question but was informed that i have not posted enough times yet to start a thread...

I'm starting to feel a little unwanted here. Maybe being oversensitive, but let's just say i can take a hint... Let's see if i qualify to express my feelings non-verbally: :confused::madman::rolleyes:
 

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airborne guardian gets my vote. the best buy of the group and good components. diamondback overdrive is very heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Im going to go to a few more LBSs today and see if I can find anything used.
I keep checking CL and Pinkbike but nothing has caught my eye.

I really like the airborne though, but im just trying to see if I can find anything used before i pull the trigger on the guardian
 

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gearing

You may want to compare the gears on those bikes. I know most of the bikes I have looked at are 3x9 or 3x7. There are some out there now that are 3x10 which is very nice traveling uphill.
 

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I got this rocky for 700 and I love it its a soul 29, It does have the low end suntour xcr but it had 100mm of travel and hydraulic disc instead of mechanical which you dont find in the sub 800 price point often

 

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Three of the listed bikes use the Suntour XCT or XCR forks, which are not up to the task of real off-road riding. They're fine for casual trails and fire roads but not much more. Even Suntour openly admits this and labels the forks "Recreational Use Only".

The Airborne has the RockShox XC28 which replaces the Dart 3 for 2012. While being a low end fork, it is actually up to the task of handling some true off-road riding. For that reason alone I would lean towards the Airborne.
That was foremost in my mind when I went in to ride the Gt Karakoram, which had the Rockshox Dart on it.
It was one of the worst rides I had.

I ended up buying the Kona Mahuna, which has the Suntour XCT fork on it.
To date I have put over 80 miles of trail riding on single tracks, including 4,000 feet of technical descent in Colorado last weekend and have been very pleased with the SUNTOUR XCT. Did I mention that I am also 275 pounds? I put that 100mm shock through a workout and it held up fine for me.
That being said, the RS XC28 is probably a better shock, but the Dart shock I rode was horrible on the GT karakoram. Component wise the GT was the better bike, but the Kona's that I rode blew it away, and I had all but eliminated Kona bikes from what I was going to buy before riding them.


Bottom line: Ride the bikes to determine what works for you.
I would have been pissed if I had ordered a bike with the rockshox Dart fork on it and assembled it at home only to find out how bad it was.
 

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I finally went with the 2012 Redline D600. I rode on a Specialized, the Diamondback and a 29 Cannondale.

When I saw that Redline built a 29er I just knew I had to go with it. I had a redline BMX as a kid so I know it's something I can trust. Know one in the Seattle area had them in stock so I had to order it. I got it for $80 below MSRP and I will have it on Monday. I can't wait. It will be the first time I have ever used SRAM components so if I don't like them I can easily change hem out. I am really excited to get my new bike.

I will let everyone know how it goes. It is one sexy all black bike.
 

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I just bought a 2013 Specialized HardRock Sport 29er - $680 plus tax. Comes with Lockout fork and hydro brakes. Good entry level ride. I looked at Diamond Back, GT and Cannondale bikes. The Specialized seemed like the best value and fit me better than the others.

I figure I can upgrade if I need better equipment/

Good Luck.
 

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Any updates from the guys in this thread who bought a bike? I have been shopping for awhile and am pretty much looking at Redline D600 and the Specialized Hardrock 29er Disc (or the Sport version for about $65 more).
Guy at a LBS has been really pushing a Fisher Marlin for $499, but I'm really liking the Redline right now.

Curious to know how you guys feel about your new bikes after a month on them.
 

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sir_n0thing, I ended up buying one of the Scott's I was trying. All I can say is.......I am so freaking happy with my choice. All the research, listening and reading comments really paid off. I went in a slightly different direction then I had originally intended (26" FS bike), but all-in-all, I am happy and have been riding about every other day. I am already down 12 pounds too.
 

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Any updates from the guys in this thread who bought a bike? I have been shopping for awhile and am pretty much looking at Redline D600 and the Specialized Hardrock 29er Disc (or the Sport version for about $65 more).
Guy at a LBS has been really pushing a Fisher Marlin for $499, but I'm really liking the Redline right now.

Curious to know how you guys feel about your new bikes after a month on them.
I am just short of a month into my 2013 Hardrock Disc Sport... and probably a bit shy of 100 miles. I am new to mt biking,.. but spent a ton of time on BMX (w. some racing) growing up. So far I have loved it. I'm in north west jersey and it has done right by me on the trails around here... for me that has been mostly some of the intermediate single/double track and fire road we have. Some technical sections, fairly rooty and rocky. Haven't stepped up to the more advanced trails yet. The handling of a 29er has taken a little time to get used to for me.. but i am getting there. Definitely a different experience bunny hopping and getting the front wheel up vs my old Haro Group1.

I did just snap my derailuer hanger and bent up the rear derailuer but I am blaming the stick fairies for that.. not the bike. So its in the shop and I am getting my first upgrade.
 
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