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Discussion Starter #1
Hey just wondering what most would recommend. Getting an older bike that has better parts or a newer bike with lower-end parts.

Two used bikes I am looking at:
2005 Norco Rampage: $550
2009 Norco Bigfoot: $450

Sorry I can't post links yet or I would have links to the specs.

Focusing on the front fork:
Rampage has: Marzocchi Z-1 FR2 150 mm travel
Bigfoot has: Marzocchi DJ 3, 120mm travel

The rampage seems quite a bit nicer but is getting up there in age.

The Rampage is 39lbs compared to the Bigfoot 35lbs. How much of a difference will that make when commuting or going uphill?

I plan to get into some moderate down-hill but will also be using the bike a lot for commuting so would like to stick with hardtails.
 

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Look at the time!
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Need more specs to make a call here. What are the wheel sets? What's the cranks and drivetrain? Stem, handlebar, seatpost?

If the forks are in similar condition, the FR2 is better than the DJ3. If it is old and all f'd up, not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yeah sorry, I wanted to post links to the specs but I am too new to the forums to be able to post links.

Judging by pictures, the wear on the tires and what the seller tells me, the 2005 Rampage has been used very little.

I will try to post the full specs here and hopefully it comes out readable:
All specs were taken from BikePedia.


2009 Norco Bigfoot:
Bicycle Type Mountain bike, front suspension
MSRP (new) Unspecified
Weight 35lbs
Sizes 12.5", 15", 17", 18.5", 20", 22"
Colors Black, Coffee Tan
Item ID 16785

-----Frame & Fork----
Frame Construction TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material Hydraformed Aluminum
Fork Brand & Model Marzocchi DJ 3, 120mm travel
Fork Material Single
Rear Shock Not applicable

----Components----
Component Group SRAM Mix
Brakeset Avid Juicy 3 w/ 7" Rotor front/Avid Juicy 3 w/ 6" rotor rear brakes, Avid Juicy 3 levers
Shift Levers SRAM X.5
Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
Rear Derailleur SRAM X.5
Crankset Truvativ Ruktion, 24/34 teeth
Pedals Flat alloy
Bottom Bracket TruVativ Howitzer
BB Shell Width Unspecified
Rear Cogs 9-speed, 11 - 32 teeth
Chain KMC Z9000, 1/2 x 3/32"
Seatpost Alloy, 27.2mm diameter
Saddle Norco Shore
Handlebar TruVativ Hussefelt
Handlebar Stem TruVativ Hussefelt
Headset 1 1/8" threadless FSA TH-855

----Wheels----
Hubs KT disc
Rims WTB Dual Duty, 32-hole
Tires 26 x 2.35" Kenda Nevegal Stick E Rubber
Spoke Brand Unspecified
Spoke Nipples Unspecified






2005 Norco Rampage:

Bicycle Type Mountain bike, front suspension
MSRP (new) $1,699.00
Weight 39lbs
Sizes Small, medium, large
Colors Red
Item ID 93971

----Frame & Fork----
Frame Construction TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material 6061 T6 aluminum
Fork Brand & Model Marzocchi Z-1 FR3 , 150mm travel
Fork Material Aluminum/magnesium, single crown
Rear Shock Not applicable

----Components----
Component Group Mountain Mix
Brakeset Hayes HFX-9 Hydraulic Disc brakes, Hayes HFX-9 Hydraulic Disc front/Hayes HFX-9 Hydraulic rear levers
Shift Levers Shimano Alivio RapidFire
Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio, top-pull/clamp-on 35.0mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX
Crankset TruVativ Hussefelt w/ bashguard, 22/32 teeth
Pedals TruVativ Hussefelt
Bottom Bracket TruVativ ISIS DH
BB Shell Width Unspecified
Rear Cogs 8-speed, 11 - 32 teeth
Chain KMC Z72, 1/2 x 3/32"
Seatpost TruVativ XR Dual Clamp, 30.0mm diameter
Saddle Titec Berserker
Handlebar Titec El Norte
Handlebar Stem Titec El Norte
Headset 1 1/8" threadless FSA Deepcup

----Wheels----
Hubs Front: Novatec 20mm, Rear: Shimano Deore Disc
Rims Sun Rims Single Track, 32-hole
Tires Front: 26 x 2.30" Kenda Blue Groove, Rear: 26 x 2.30" Kenda Nevegal
Spoke Brand DT Swiss stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge
Spoke Nipples Brass nipples


Based on what I have read, the Shimano Alivio stuff on the rampage is better then the Shimano Acera stuff on the bigfoot. I think Hayes HFX-9 are also higher-end than Avid Juicy 3 but I have seen mixed opinions on the two.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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neither...for a few more dollars (700 to 900 range) you can low ball a nicer bike
 

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Huffy Rider
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Agreed. plus parts don't last very long.
I shall stay away from plus parts then....didn't even know plus was a brand.

To the OP, you might have better luck posting this in the XC forum, as this is a downhill forum. You might get better responses from people who ride similar kinds of bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I shall stay away from plus parts then....didn't even know plus was a brand.

To the OP, you might have better luck posting this in the XC forum, as this is a downhill forum. You might get better responses from people who ride similar kinds of bikes.
lol, those darn plus parts :p

I forgot to mention that I am in Canada so these prices that seem high to you are pretty normal for bikes like this in Canada. I have looked at mountain bikes and dirt bikes for sale in the California area and almost cried, lol.

I also figured there would be some hardtail downhillers that would have an opinion on more intense terrain but I guess most of you downhillers are on full suspension.

I am a student so $500-$600 is kind of my max price range. I will also be using it to commute to University and will have it locked up outside my university for 5+ hours a day. Trying to find a good balance between something I can do a bit of XC and downhill on but is also good for commuting and won't be a hot target for thieves.
 

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I was in that position...

I just decided to get something I could afford. Which led me to buy a more XC bike, so I rode XC for awhile. Then after some riding experience, I moved on to trail riding. Fast forward a few years, then I was able to afford a DH bike and had a the skill to take it on. Jumping into downhill without much mtbing experience can be dangerous. I know that the skills and techniques I've learned progressing for the past few years have definitely made me a more confident DH rider.

Also, DH on a hardtail is a terrible idea. You can do it, but I would advise against it. It'll eventually take it's toll on your knees and wouldn't be fun. Unless you're talking about fireroads and dirt trails, as a hardtail will do fine. On rock gardens however, I wouldn't even try.

For commuting, look for a used walmart bike, as one can be bought for less than $50 and you won't have to worry about loosing your one and only bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I'm new to mountain biking but definitely not new to bikes.

I have rode BMX bikes for around 5-6 years but haven't touched it in the last two years so wanted to get back into biking. I have jumped 15-foot gaps before and I used to ride at a local race track a lot.

I have also been reading about my University (will transfer next year) and apparently they have 100 bike lockers for rent. Not sure how much or how easy it will be to get one but if I had a bike locker that would be great.

EDIT:
I posted a thread in XC section as well. Thanks for the advice guys:
My new thread can be seen here: http://forums.mtbr.com/endurance-xc-racing/older-quality-vs-newer-cheap-810552.html#post9643816

I've replaced the Norco Bigfoot with a 2009 Kona Five-o since the specs seem better and it is closer to the Norco Rampage's price.


EDIT: Thanks for the help guys. I ended up getting a 2009 Kona Five-o Deluxe (16").
 
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