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I messed around some on BMX type bikes when I was young and have been riding mountain bikes on and off for the last 5 years. Now that I'm out of school and have a little more time and money I'm looking to purchase a new bike. Bikes have come a long way since my old Trek 6000 but I think a Freeride type bike is what I'm looking for. I have about $800 to spend and I'm pretty sure a good full suspension bike is going to cost at least twice that so I'm thinking hardtail is the way I'll have to go. I ride mostly singletrack trails and enjoy the downhill technical stuff a lot more than the big uphill cranks. I like doing wheelies, small jumps, etc and I'm very intrigued by trials riding. I'm assuming a good hardtail freeride bike would serve well as an all-arounder for the different types of riding I mentioned.

Here are the bikes I'm considering:
Marin Rocky Ridge--Seems like a good out-of-box bike with a good fork and quality components. I can get one for $850 from my local bike shop since I'm also buying my wife a comfort type bike at the same time.

Kona Stuff--Looks to be a good value and is a little cheaper than the Rocky Ridge, though I've heard they have weak stock rims.

Diamondback Apex--About the same price as the Kona but I'm not to keen on the local shop that carries Diamondback.

I'm looking for input on these bikes and also very open to other suggestions.
 

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I'm feeling dirty, you?
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jbordwine said:
I have about $800 to spend and I'm pretty sure a good full suspension bike is going to cost at least twice that so I'm thinking hardtail is the way I'll have to go. I ride mostly singletrack trails and enjoy the downhill technical stuff a lot more than the big uphill cranks. I like doing wheelies, small jumps, etc and I'm very intrigued by trials riding. I'm assuming a good hardtail freeride bike would serve well as an all-arounder for the different types of riding I mentioned.

I'm looking for input on these bikes and also very open to other suggestions.
It's great to see a 'newbie' recognise a top-quality hardtail is better than a poo-poo full-susser for the same money.

The Marin you suggested at that price I would grab it ASAP. It's an aggressive hardtail.
The Kona is more of a Dirt Jump bike, so meaning pedalling trails are going to be tricky.
The Diamondback Apex doesn't do it for me.

Have a look at Orange, they have:
Hardcore offroad (Agressive XC): SubZero and a true "Freeride" hardtail, their SubZero BH (Burly Hardtail).
DJ: MsIsle and Hitman
www.orangebikes.co.uk/main/main.php

Ah... trials. Check these websites:
www.biketrials.com
www.trials-online.com
Trial bike and bits makers:
www.onza.com
www.middleburn.co.uk
www.brisabikes.com
Check out this modified trials bike...
 
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