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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this is old question.

I live near the beach in Mt. Pleasant (Charleston) SC. Looking at purchasing my first REAL bike. It appears there are 2 main dealers near me. One carries Trek and Specialized and the other carries Kona and Bianchi.

Most of my riding will be sidewalks and wooded trails in the area although I will be making some trips with friends to NC to the mountains to do some 'fun' ridin'. I'm assuming double walled rims would be better for those instances for not much of an adder.

The bikes I've mainly been looking at in order of interest are the Kona Fire Mountain '06 appears LQ parts from '05(disc), Trek 4300 '06(std brakes), Specialized HardRock Sport '07 for Shimano shifters cause I heard they were better???(std brakes) and Bianchi Ocelot '06(std brakes).

It appears that most complaints about all of these are the forks, so I would assume they are similar to each other. Any ideas? Suggestions?

5'11", 185lbs,

Any help would be appreciated

Brian
 

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I can help you!!

It appears that you are trying to stick arround 500 bucks? But why not the Spec. Hardrock sport disc? if this is the case, you are looking at some solid bikes for the money. Since this will be your first bike, I would strongly recomend a shop, rather than internet orders. Also, if you can find a shop, check out Jamis. From the ones you mentioned, I would probably go with the specialized, but ride em all and see what you think. They are all spec'ed very close, and you probably wont be able to tell the difference in shifint between Sram and Shimano, although I prefer Sram..

Good luck

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Matt.

Reasoning against Spec disc is as follows:
As you mentioned, they all seem very close specwise. Around here, the Hardrock Sport std is $429 ('07) or $419 ('06). With disc it's $529 ('07). I have been leaning towards the Kona Fire Mountain because will spec's being very similar component quality, it is the only one with disc and that's at $459. Trek is $419 and Bianchi is $369 (I think), but only single walled rims.

So for $30 more, I can get disc brakes....unless the Specialized has better components???
 

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The only components that you need to look at (at that price range) are the derailuers. The cranks will be a wash, almost every time. Stem/bar/seatpost/grips will all be about the same. The only play you will find a noticable difference in performance is the derailuers. and they are about the same in all of em. Go ride em, and if the Bianchi feels best, get it, etc. you wont really go wrong with any of em, and for mostly paved/arround town trails, the V-brakes will be fine. Take your time on the mountain, and you wont have any issues with any of the bikes.


I do like the Kona as well as the Spec better than the other 2, but that is as much a personal thing as anything else. Find the best fit, and you will have fun


Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will do Matt. Thanks for the help.

Now if I can just get my LBS to get some Kona's in stock, I could try them out. He's got a 18" Blast that he said would be my height. I just don't see paying the extra $140 for possibly upgraded forks. Might be right, but I got the feeling he was trying to sell me the only thing he had. 20" will probably be too big.

My brother has a 19.5" Trek 4300 that I've used many times. I can ride it fine, but never tested the distance from frame to crotch.

Kona only has 18" or 20" on the fire mountain. I'll have to check the other LBS for what size Specialized they have in stock.

Kind of sucks that I have the money, am ready to buy, but no bike to try out on the Kona and possibly Specialized too..
 

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Test ride every bike that is about the right size. Try to get a feel for the length of the bike: is it so short that you are cramped or so long that you have difficulties reaching the handlebar.

If there is a tie between bikes that feel best in terms of size/fit, take the one that seems to have the better fork, then the one with better wheels ... better gears.
 
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