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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I would like to say I have been lurking this board for a while now and am impressed by the knowledge and its free flowing nature from all the members active here...

Im 19, almost 20...less than two weeks....
I used to ride bottomland, creekbeds and old swamp lands up in Indiana, all on un-blazen trails cut by me personally, so I have yet to ride on a well established trail, but hope to do so soon out at the LBL.

Ive only ever had Wally World specials, partly because of money issues and because where I used to ride would destroy the really expensive bikes too (albeit not as fast I would assume) I used to ride in some pretty hairy stuff... I once actually lost a bike in a swamp bog that I didnt know was there, by the time I realized what I was in the bike was up to the shifters and gone by the time I got myself out of the stink....

So, now Ive grown up (a little) and am ready for a good bike. Ive narrowed it down to two bikes at my local LBS, I have ridden both over the past few weeks and feel equally as comfortable on each of these two, my dillema comes in that I am not familar with the different parts and theyre quality as to what each bike is spec'd with.

Im looking between the Cannondale F7 which I can get for $610 assembled, fitted and out the door, or the Trek 4500 for $669 out the door.

Could anyone maybe help me out alittle and give me some advice on which is spec with better quality parts?

I am unsure of the RST Gila Pro that the Cannondale coes with, but am pretty confident the RS Dart 3 is pretty good on the 4500.

There two things steering me toward the Cannondale right now: Disc Brakes, and the sexy blue it comes in (I know, I know, that shouldnt matter...but its so pretty...)

So, I apologize for the long post, but I am really new to this and really exited to hit the trails ASAP, but dont want to go in underequipped or uninformed, so any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi! And welcome to the board. Both of the bikes are great choices. You will be happy with either one. Personally I like trek better so i would lean you towards trek, but you say the trek doesnt have disc brakes. One word of advice is it is better to get the things you want now rather then later cuz it will cost you alot more in the long run.

As far as color, of course it matters. If the cannondale was hot pink im pretty sure you would not even consider buying it (although some would). You need to take everything into consideration when buying a bike so you will be happy when it goes out the door at the lbs or when your taking it for its last ride.

Cant really give you a good answer to your question because its all about personal choice and like i said you will be happy with both. But if i were to pick id say the cannondale because it already has disc brakes and you like the color. Hope this helps a bit,

chris
 

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Between the RST and the Dart, the Dart is the better fork. However, I would think that the disc brakes on the Cannondale would be beneficial to you, judging by the description of your riding style. Everything else looks pretty close to being the same, so it's really going to be up to you to decide which is more important to you: brakes or the fork. Also, if you've ridden both bikes enough to know that you're comfortable on both, you should have noticed which fork you liked better. It's fairly obvious. If they both felt relatively the same, then I would just go with the Cannondale because the fork won't really make a difference to you...if that makes sense. And you're right, the Cannondale is a pretty color :p

Good luck and welcome to the forum and the sport. :)
 

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I was going to go the other way and say I hate rst and you should go for the trek, but the brakes are bb5's. Those are nice for a bike like that. Can you scrape together $200 more bucks and get a 6 series from trek? Then you get the better fork, and the dart, and x5 derailleurs. You will spend that much just to upgrade the fork.
 

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Welcome to the forums. I have one piece of advice. Whatever you do, try not to lose your brand new $600+ bike in a swamp bog. When I read that I couldn't help but laugh. :D

Bike choice is all you but I'll ask this... have you factored in the price of helmet, tubes, pump, hydration, multi-tool, etc..?

Good luck to you. It definitely sounds like you're ready to go bike. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heh... I dont ride those backwoods bottomlands anymore... I have since mved to Kentucky and am really close to the LBL with 40 some miles of trails that are established and all inside a Park.

As far as the accessories are concerned, Ill only need to get a Helmet and tubes...the rest of it I have covered...

By the way, can anyone reccomend a good, comfortable helmet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, ok today has changed a lot of my thinking....

I went to another shop in town that I wasnt aware had bikes until recently, they are a Haro dealer.

I looked at the Haro Flightline Comp they had listed for $699... It has the disc brakes I was looking for, is a satin black color that beautiful, Shimano Deore front and rear Derailleurs, Truvativ ISO Flow 3.0 / Truvativ Square drive BB crankset and BB....

This seems better spec'd than both the Cannondale and Trek I was looking at and for nominally more money, initially that is.

The best thing about all this beyond the sepcs I like better and a nice color there are two things leading me to this shop over the other.

1) Id have to order the F7 and it was looking like about two weeks to get it and another week to build.

2) This new shop is giving me free tune ups for the life of the bike, where the other shop was free tune ups and adjustments for a year...

Unless some of you more experienced guys know of a reason to not go this route, I think I will.

The reason I say so is that I just dont see much about Haros on this site and was wondering if there was a reason for that...
 

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Haros are fine bikes. My boyfriend started riding on a Flightline Comp, and absolutely loved it. They are a smaller company than either Cannondale or Trek, but that doesn't take away from their bikes. If you rode the Haro and it felt good to you, then go for it. That's the most important part.
 

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Look in the manufacturing section and there is an entire sub-forum devoted to Haro. :thumbsup:

I say go for it. You sound happy with the bike and it sounds like the tune up deal is pretty good as well.
 
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