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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Budget is $1,500, but could search the classifieds for a used one.

Was thinking about getting a Titus Racer X or a Santa Cruz Superlight (used), but I've decided to go with a HT for my first bike to learn how to ride.
 

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Try out a bunch of them at your local bike shop [LBS] . Buy the best equipped bike that fits the best . Any of the major makers has offerings that fall into this price point , ride as many as you can at as many shops as you can . If you can ride them on the trail that is even better .
 

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Can't feel my legs
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For your budget, you can't go wrong with any established company.
Your choices +
Spec
CD
Giant
Trek
Yeti
Kona
+ anything else I failed to mention
Ride as many as possible, and choose the one that gives you warm, googley feelings inside.
 

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Official ***** Idiot
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First bike, and racing? I want tickets.

Try a bunch of brands, see which one fits and feels the best to you. Then look in a specific line. In many cases, the upper tier "race" bikes share the same frameset as one or two other models that are less expensive. You'll lose some of the superlight parts, and it'll be a mix drivetrain (Shimano LX/XT was common a few years back), but it'll be solid stuff that you can learn on. Get the lightweight stuff when you actually have a need, and a half-pound of weight means winning or losing.

I'd also be wary of buying a used bike, unless you personally know the seller. You don't know what the bike has been through, not all damage is visible on the surface, and people lie. You also have a good chance of having to replace worn parts that will kill any savings you got buying used, and you've already got a limited lifespan on the bike overall.
 

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I'm not sure but my guess is that it has 29" wheels!





If I could have only one bike, and it had to be a hardtail, I would go with a 29er. But that's just me. I think that I have drunk too much of the koolaid over at the 29er forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm digging the Scott Scale 29er! This thing is getting good reviews. I'm going to go up to a LBS and ride one this weekend along with the Specialized 29er. I haven't even been thinking about going 29", but everyone lately is saying to be very open about it. I guess I can't knock it till I try it.
 

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JTPATE78 said:
I'm digging the Scott Scale 29er! This thing is getting good reviews. I'm going to go up to a LBS and ride one this weekend along with the Specialized 29er. I haven't even been thinking about going 29", but everyone lately is saying to be very open about it. I guess I can't knock it till I try it.
Scott makes good bikes for the money. Just basing that on what I've read over the years, couldn't get them in the US for a long time. But no complaints, so that's good.

Just be aware of the small disadvantages. Big wheels, longer wheelbase......steering is slower and tight corners require some extra finesse. Kinda base that on where you ride. Out here, you don't see many 29'rs, it's just too tight for a bike that size. And higher rolling resistance due to the increased tire patch. That's generally made up by the fact you can simply roll over stuff that requires a speed-scrubbing hop on a 26" wheel. I tried one, and I thought I was going a bit faster on the flats and such, but I didn't have a computer to prove it.
 

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heff® said:
Scott makes good bikes for the money. Just basing that on what I've read over the years, couldn't get them in the US for a long time. But no complaints, so that's good.

Just be aware of the small disadvantages. Big wheels, longer wheelbase......steering is slower and tight corners require some extra finesse. Kinda base that on where you ride. Out here, you don't see many 29'rs, it's just too tight for a bike that size. And higher rolling resistance due to the increased tire patch. That's generally made up by the fact you can simply roll over stuff that requires a speed-scrubbing hop on a 26" wheel. I tried one, and I thought I was going a bit faster on the flats and such, but I didn't have a computer to prove it.
As companies have spent more time and effort on 29ers, many of the disadvanteges you list have been minimized or eliminated. Most of todays 29ers have been designed from the ground up around 29" wheels and are not just larger copies of frames designed around 26" wheels. The biggest disadvantage of big wheels is increased rotating mass. If the only trails you ride are tight and twisting with the need to accelerate out of every turn, that could be a disadvantage. Outside of those specific conditions, I honestly feel that a 29er is the superior platform when looking at hardtail mountain bikes. But, that is my opinion. And as mentioned earlier, I have been drinking the Koolaid.
 

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Frozenspokes said:
As companies have spent more time and effort on 29ers, many of the disadvanteges you list have been minimized or eliminated. Most of todays 29ers have been designed from the ground up around 29" wheels and are not just larger copies of frames designed around 26" wheels. The biggest disadvantage of big wheels is increased rotating mass. If the only trails you ride are tight and twisting with the need to accelerate out of every turn, that could be a disadvantage. Outside of those specific conditions, I honestly feel that a 29er is the superior platform when looking at hardtail mountain bikes. But, that is my opinion. And as mentioned earlier, I have been drinking the Koolaid.
I said they were slight...........but you're not going to overcome them completely. Just going with GF, the X-Caliber has a wheelbase of 1110mm (rounding up a quarter mm or so) while the HooKoo e Koo has a wheelbase of 1058mm. Longer chainstays at 440mm compared to 413mm........just little stuff that does make a difference. Plus the extra inch and a half sticking off each end to think about. That's the technical end.

Opinion-wise, I like them. I like the easier rolling over lighter rough stuff that I have to unweight the bike to get over with a conventional size, I feel they go faster in the right situation, and I feel they have a better compliancy than a comparable conventional hardtail. But I do look at it on the situation, too. I don't like 130 or more travel for riding here. 100mm is the most I need. 80mm if I'm doing more XC trail bombing around Mount Snow. Longer travel for what we have for trails here is almost a hinderance. I wouldn't put a 160mm travel fork on my bike for regular riding. It'd be locked down to 115mm all the time anyway.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I've ridden newer models, and I do like them. Just pointing out the few details that may be make or break for somebody that wants to race, is all.
 

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I raced my first mountain bike.

Schwinn Mesa GSX. From one of the periods when they were trying to be bikes sold in shops, rather than "big box" bikes. I managed to finish mid-pack in Cat. C doing 'cross, with a rack still on it. If I could afford it and get my friend to sell, I'd totally buy that bike back from him so I could have a second mountain bike for when I'm in San Francisco.

I'm currently racing a Specialized Hardrock. $1500 will get you a lot of bike. Racing is tons of fun, but don't rush into it - even in the beginner category, most people have been riding for years and make some sort of commitment to riding their bikes a lot or even structured training.
 
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