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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm looking for a bike that's good for urban riding but can also handle some trail riding. for the most part i ride around downtown which is a combination of roads, curbs, and some small jumps here and there. occasionally i hit the trails, which generally have moderate terrain. ideally, i'd like the gear set up to be closer to a road bike so i can stay fast on the road. a local bike shop recommended a gary fisher cobia (29er). i'm a beginner and would like to spend no more than $1000.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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I'm guessing they had a Cobia in stock? ;)

I ride a 29er HT, and love it, so I have nothing against them.

I would probably need for you to clarify your definition 'small jumps' and if you mean dropping off of curbs or slamming into them at speed. Those were the two red flags that went up for me.

If you're going to treat it like a 13 year old at a strip mall treats his skateboard, you could reduce a Cobia (or something similar) to a sad bucket of bolts, so I'd steer you toward something like a Kona Stuff. Fast on the road and durable enough for jumps and curbs don't exactly go hand in hand.

If you're more or less ridng around town like you would on an XC trail, then the Cobia would probably be fine.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Would you like to do a triathlon too? ;)

Hopping curbs on a traditional road bike is no problem, but they're not exactly forgiving about bad transitions, and I've been too chicken to try more than two steps at a time on any of mine.

Mountain bikes are not as fast on the road as road bikes unless you're a world class sprinter with the benefit of some other guy's wheel to suck on. You can get pretty close to the same low-speed efficiency with slick tires, but the riding position is too high and too wide on most MTB setups that make any sense as MTB setups.

What's "occasionally hitting trails" mean? A skilled rider can do singletrack quite well on a cyclocross bike, but I wouldn't want to learn on one.
 

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I just purchased a Giant Roam about a month ago on sale for $450 + tax. It has the geometry of a mountain bike but with 29 inch wheels, but they are a little skinner than what you would find on a regular mountain bike or 29er. It has a great combination of ruggedness and speed. You may also consider some of the "dual sport" bikes by Trek, such as the Katai.

I'm not sure how much space you have, but if your budget is $1000, I'd pick up a Giant Roam for your road and light trail rides, then I'd pick up a $400 mountain bike from Bikes Direct for your mountain biking. The Roam can handle the trails if they aren't too rugged, but why beat it up? I will say that you will feel a lot more confident on it when you go over bumps on the road compared to a road bike, and its much better than a hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the sidewalks around downtown are pretty beat up in parts, with nice little ramps formed by roots underneath the surface. i like to jump those and anything that will give me a little lift. i've been riding a full suspension schwinn (bix box) that was handed down to me, but its really heavy and the components have been frustrating. i tried my wife's bianchi cyclocross, but it's too akin to a road bike and has no suspension. that type of handling and ride is not suitable for me, whether on the road or trail. i guess i've been spoiled by the suspension and handling of the schwinn.
 

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minimaltrix said:
the sidewalks around downtown are pretty beat up in parts, with nice little ramps formed by roots underneath the surface. i like to jump those and anything that will give me a little lift. i've been riding a full suspension schwinn (bix box) that was handed down to me, but its really heavy and the components have been frustrating. i tried my wife's bianchi cyclocross, but it's too akin to a road bike and has no suspension. that type of handling and ride is not suitable for me, whether on the road or trail. i guess i've been spoiled by the suspension and handling of the schwinn.
That's exactly why I recommend the Roam - it has thick enough tires to deal with the kind of terrain you are dealing with, and its much more comfortable than a cyclocross. It also has a front suspension, but won't be nearly as clunky as the full suspension you mention.
 
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