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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to cycling, well technically, yet to begin... I'm looking for a bike in the $1500-1800 range. In my research I've decided a 29er hard tail would be the best bike for me. I'll be using it mostly for commuting to work daily, about 5 miles each way, and some recreational riding on the weekends. For the most part, everything will be streets, roads and bike paths, but I'd like the option to go off-road if the urge strikes me in the future. Nothing too technical as I've not ridden a bike in over 25 years. It'd probably be easy fire roads and singletrack, at first. That's why I'm looking for a hard tail mtb. So far I've been checking out the 2010 Gary Fisher X-Calibur and Paragon. But before I make a purchase, I wanted to get some more input. Are there any other bikes in this price range that I should take a look at? I'd like to stay away from buying from an online vendor, so something that I could get through a local bike shop would be best. I'm in the Southern California area.
 

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1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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I agree a hardtail is the way to go. If you can afford it posibly have another set of wheels with dirt tyres opposed to slicks...personally I don't like riding the road with myb tyres. Slower and wears them out. The other option would be to try cyclo cross tyres first up for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I was going to go with some road tires. In another thread, it was recommended to go with Schwalbe Big Apples or Marathon. So, I was going to ask my LBS to swap out the Bontrager XDX for these. Or I would buy the apples/marathons, have them installed and keep the XDX for a spare to use with backup wheels later. This would give me offroad capability at the flip of a switch/lever... :)
 

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boba fett on a bike
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Since you haven't rode a bike in so long I'd recommend starting off on a cheap Craigslist special. I got a Trek 3700 for $200 in excellent condition and was barely used.

I'd also recommend you test ride as many bikes as you can at the LBSs (local bike shops) in your area. Don't rush to buy anything. That's why I recommend picking up a cheap used bike first. After riding for at least a couple months you might start to understand what you like and don't like.

Now for the good stuff. Here's a list of bikes in your price range that I've tested and really like in no particular order:

-Specialized Stumpjumper 29er Comp HT
-Gary Fisher Paragon (you'll have to find one discounted to meet your price range)
-Redline D660 (I love Redlines...I have a Monocog Flight 29er)
-Scott Scale 29er (new 29er just came out, but it's a great bike for the money)
-Surly Karate Monkey (Surly makes great products)

I have no personal experience with either, but I hear a lot of great things about Niner and Salsa. These are two brands I'd like to look more into in the future. Unfortunately there isn't any LBSs around here that stocks them to test out.

Good luck. :D
 

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Spear & Magic Helmet
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I'm not trying to spend your money, but it seems to me that as much as 2 grand is a real money to risk on a sport that you haven't done for 25 yrs. Try looking a Preformance - they are mail order and brick and mortar - almost as numerous as Starbucks. The Access 9.7 is totally respectable at a little over a grand, and sometimes less on sale. They also cary the Fuji Tahoe and the GT askar 9r. Or the Sette Razzo from Pricepoint. Okay, that is mail order, but the headquarters are in the L.A. area so kind of local and the bike is rather nice. The cyclocross bike is another good idea. With a mountain bike you'll be dragging the suspension fork back and forth with no real benefit (unless you go full rigid). Or something in between like the Cannondale Bad Boy Disc.

On the other hand, if you are the type that who just likes to have the best - testify, brother! I can relate. Both are fine bikes. Lots of other nice bikes in this range. Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, Niner EMD9 (depends on the parts mix), Giant XtC 29 2, Cannondale Flash 3, Felt Nine (but there's a bit of a gap between the Race and the Comp), Kona Big Kahuna, Marin Nail Trail and Pine Mountain, Haro Mary, Redline D660, blah, blah, blah - to many to name. My hand is cramping. Anyway, ride them all and find out which one you like. Or, if you really like the Fishers and you like the shop, just buy it and ride it - a much better use of your time. And keep the off road tires for the times you're ridin' dirty. If you find you are changing over too much then invest in a second set of wheels.

And don't forget there is a price for all this free advice: you must post up (pictures) once the bike is ready.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most definitely pics will be forthcoming!

I have a question on sizing... I'm 6'-0" with a 30" inseam. The inseam measured by putting on my riding shoes, standing against a wall with my feet shoulder width apart, using a book to mark my crotch, and measuring the mark... When looking at the geometry specs on the GF website, that would put me with a clearance of their Medium 29er. This just seems odd to me being that the last medium anything I ever had was in 6th grade, and that was a mens medium shirt! Are the stand over geometry numbers accurate on the bike sites? Does this sound right that I would ride a medium? Being that I will have to specially request the LBS get a bike shipped to them for me to check out, I don't want to request 2-3 bikes of both medium and large sizes, just for me to check ball clearance, then buy one leaving them with inventory they may have difficulty moving.
 

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boba fett on a bike
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DezFX said:
Most definitely pics will be forthcoming!

I have a question on sizing... I'm 6'-0" with a 30" inseam. The inseam measured by putting on my riding shoes, standing against a wall with my feet shoulder width apart, using a book to mark my crotch, and measuring the mark... When looking at the geometry specs on the GF website, that would put me with a clearance of their Medium 29er. This just seems odd to me being that the last medium anything I ever had was in 6th grade, and that was a mens medium shirt! Are the stand over geometry numbers accurate on the bike sites? Does this sound right that I would ride a medium? Being that I will have to specially request the LBS get a bike shipped to them for me to check out, I don't want to request 2-3 bikes of both medium and large sizes, just for me to check ball clearance, then buy one leaving them with inventory they may have difficulty moving.
I'm 5'10" with a 30" inseam and I prefer to ride a Medium, 17 or 18" Mt Bike. Is there any other LBS you can get some test rides in? I would just start riding as much as you can to get a better idea of what feels best to you. From my experience most people that ride off road prefer to have a bike slightly smaller and less stretched out in comparison with riding road bikes,

Just remember you can always play with stems, seatposts and handlebars later. I have a Thomson seatback seatpost on my Medium Epic now and it has really improved my ride.
 
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