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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been away from mtn biking for a while concentrating on road biking. Have a 2005 Ventana Salt and thinking about a 29r hard tail for what my wife and I call 'urban assault' riding. Looking at about $2000 - any thoughts on Stumpjumper Comp 29 vs. Fisher Paragon 29? One thing is that I am 6'4" with long legs. 21" would probably be correct size, but Stumpjumper does come in 23" as well. Any other suggestions?
 

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I really enjoy my heavily modified 7300fx hybrid for city rides.

A full rigid with 45c tires can be a nice, light, and RELATIVELY CHEAP urban ride. Mine handles curbs, pot holes etc, just fine.

Something to consider. Then you can save some cash and put it towards your full off road ride.
 

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FWIW, I use my singlespeed road bike with 38's on the singletrack. Have you looked into cyclocross bikes?

Also, are you set on those two? I think the GF is a better bang/buck and can be had for well-under $2k. But for me, I'll only ride steel/Ti/CF. Built up a steel 29er recently for $1200 (SS) and very happy with it. It rides better than the Spec or GF that I've demoed. (Alu frames)
 

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Total noob here. I was in the same boat as you, but I hadn't bought a bike in 10 years, and haven't had a bike in 2 years. Just needed something to beat around with my kids on. I actually tried out both of those bikes last week, I much more prefered the Fisher. I liked the way the stumpjumper looked, but the Fisher felt/ballanced better for me, and I liked the Fox shock compaired to the Rock Shox. Didn't buy either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any 29r MOUNTAIN bike around $2000 would be considered. I have two road bikes and a 26" full plush moutain bike. Looking for 29r hard tail, not a hybrid, not a cross bike, a 29r hard tail in $2000 range. What is best bang for buck? Also, if a 29r full plushy can be had for around $2000 I would consider that as well.
 

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Could you clarify what you mean by "urban assault" riding? Do you mean just riding around town, hopping curbs and such?
 

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The best "bang for the buck" is bikesdirect.com. The downsides are:
1. You must assemble the bike yourself or take it to LBS ($50-100)
2. If you don't wrench on bikes, you have to pay someone to tune is ($25-40)
3. Warranty support is over email or phone and sometimes requires shipping them the faulty part back. I broke a seat post, but they just sent me a new one after I sent pics.
4. No brand name recognition (if you're worried about that sort of thing)

Now, the good part is that you'll save $500-1000 over a comparably equipped "big name" bike. The quality is the same, as evidenced by MTBR reviews, members, riders, etc. I actually like my $700 Cliff 29er better than any other hard tail I've ridden for under $1200. Assembly is easy, and takes under 2 hours and just a small tool kit: crescent wrench, screwdrivers, hex wrench set, t-32 torx wrench (for disc brakes). And if you learn to tune a derailler online, that's likely all that will need to be done out of the box.

For $2,000 you're going to get a nice bike from the likes of Trek/GF, Cannondale, Specialized, etc. BUT, with bikesdirect for that same amount of money you'll get components that only appear on bikes costing twice as much. For instance:

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29 (great bike!) - $1800:
Al alloy frame
Reba SL 29er Fork
Avid Elixir R CL hydro brakes
FD: Shimano SLX
RD: SRAM X-9
Shifters: SRAM X-7
Crankset: Shimano FC-M542, integrated BB
Wheels: DT Swiss rim, Spec/DT Swiss Front Hub, Shimano M525 SL Rear Hub
Stem/Bars/Post: Specialized

Motobecane FLY Team 29 - $1999
Titanium frame (< 24# total bike weight)
Reba Race w/ MotionControl, FloodGate, etc
Avid Elixir CR
FD: Shimano XTR
RD: Shimano XTR
Shifters: Shimano XTR
Crankset: FSA Afterburner MegaExo w/ FSA BB-7000 external BB
Wheelset: Vuelta XRP Team SL rims/hubs
Stem/Bars/Post: Ritchey Pro

OR, if you want to save some cash and get a similarly equipped bike to the Stumpy, check out the
Motobecane Fantom Pro 29 SL - $995:
Aluminum Frame (~27 lbs.)
Reba SL 29er fork
FD: Shimano Deore
RD: Shimano XTR
Shifters: Shimano XT
Brakes: Avid Elixir Hydro w/ 185mm front rotor
Crankset: Truvativ FireX w/ GXP external BB
Wheelset: Gravity Forumula hubs/ WTB LaserDisc rims
Stem/Bars/Post: Ritchey Comp Al

IMO, I'd rather spend $1k for the Fantom Pro and maybe another $700 on a killer tubeless wheelset with Hope hubs than $1800 on the Specy. That's just me though, to each their own.
 

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2010 or 2011 XTC 29er 1! Can't stress it enough!

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Giant has probably the nicest fork, but the rest of the components seem sub-par when compared to the Specialized or Fisher at the same price level.
 

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Clones123 said:
$2k for Avid Juicy 3's ?

I'm just saying...
You get better geometry and frame. The brakes are easily upgradeable. Hope Tech M4s for me soon.
 

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Motobecane geometry is the same as the Gary Fisher G2, but it doesnt have the suspension corrected fork = terrible handling.
 

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You could build up a nice Vassago Bandersnatch (note bike pictured is $3131. When I built it cost $1500)
 

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TheRealKTrain said:
Motobecane geometry is the same as the Gary Fisher G2, but it doesnt have the suspension corrected fork = terrible handling.
Not according to folks over in the Motobecane forum... the people who actually own them seem to think that they handle just fine.
 

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I ended up with the Stumpy Comp 29 and really love the bike. I did test ride a Fisher X-Cal but not the Paragon 29. The G2 geometry really did not suit me, but that is always a matter of personal preference. I did like the Fox fork better on the test ride, but since getting the Reba dialed in, I don't have anything to complain about. You probably need to just test ride them and see what you like best. Another bike to consider is the Scott Scale 29. It is optioned as well as my Stumpy, but for less money. The problem is that many of the 2010 29ers are getting hard to find at this point. So, you may need to hold off until 2011 models hit the floor to get some test rides in.
 
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