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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First of all, can someone give me their opinion of whether or not to go to a 29" tire bike? My riding will consist of:
Trail Riding - 70%
Jumping - 10%
Road - 20%

I'm new to this so I don't know if getting a 29 is needed??

BTW, trying to stay under 1K.

Rockhopper Comp Disc $940

A1 Premium Aluminum frame, disc only, double butted TT and ORE DT, externally relieved head tube, internally relieved BB shell, reinforced disc mount, forged 3D dropouts
RockShox Tora 302 SL fork, 100mm, Mag lower, coil spring, alloy steerer, 32mm Cro-Mo stanchions, rebound adjust w/ lockout and preload adjust
Specialized 3D forged alloy stem, four bolt, 31.8mm, 7 degree rise
Avid SD3 forged alloy "V" brakes
Shimano FC-M442-8 crankset, Octalink Spline, 9-speed
Specialized Hi Lo disc hubs, 32h, CNC flange and disc mount, polished races, alloy QR
Specialized Fast Trak tires, 26x2.0", 60TPI, aramid bead


Full Specs Here

This is the bike i was most interested in. They didn't have one in stock. :mad:

Rockhopper Comp Disc 29 - $1050

Full Specs Here

They didn't have any in stock. :mad:

The same place also sells Trek but I don't know much about Trek so wasn't sure what would compare.

Anotehr store has Cannondale or Haro. I don't know much about either but the sales guy recommended Cannondale.

The F4 and the 29'er 4

Full specs on F4. $899

Full Specs on 29'er 4. $999

Neiteher were in stock in my size.

There is one other place that sells Giant but were less than helpful at that store.

I'm not necessarily stuck to these brands (Specialized, Cannondale, Trek) but that's just what is sold around here.

Any advice on what would be the best overall deal?
 

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i prefer 29" wheels, and would recommend them. but really you should take at least a test drive of these bikes to determine which brand and wheel size feels better.

having said that, heres my personal take on the bikes you mentioned:

specialized makes good stuff, but they are newcomers to the 29er game and their bikes seem more "me-too" than innovative or unique. which makes paying the specialized premium for their bikes not worth it for the 29.

i love cannondales, even though their geometry isnt always the best fit for me. and nothing beats their lefty fork for performance. but the f4 doesnt include the lefty, so to me there would be no point in getting the cannondale.

trek doesnt do 29ers, but they own gary fisher, which your trek dealer should also be able to carry. in my opinion, fisher does the best geometry for 29ers, at least out of the major manufacturers, and theyve been doing it the longest. the cobia is similarly priced to the rockhopper, and would be my recommendation for a complete hardtail 29er at around $1000.

to my knowledge, giant doesnt do 29ers yet. haro does, and apparently they make quality bikes. i dont know much about the ally xc, but its in your price range if you go back to the haro shop.

the cheapest, decent hardtail 29er i know of is marins alpine trail 29er at rei for $500-600. but i think theyve sold out, so you would have to see if you could find it elsewhere.

i try to stay away from the online bike manufacturer/retailers who have lower costs but circumvent the lbs. the quality seems hit or miss depending on who you buy from/what you buy, and aside from rei, i would recommend buying through your local bike shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your input, snowdenn. A few follow-up questions.

First of all, I'm definately gonna ride them before I even cosider buying (that's one reason I won't purchase online).

You didn't comment on the Cannondale 29'er 4 specifically. Is it because it also doesn't have the left shock? I saw one in the store with the left shock but something told me it was more than $1000 so I didn't even look.

I saw a couple of GF Cobia's at the Trek shop so I might take one out for a spin. Hopefully they have a specialized 29 and the cobia so I can ride both the same day.

I'm still not 100% sold on the 29'ers in general. I do like the way they look though.

Thanks for any other info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bikinfoolferlife said:
What are your dimesnions and what size bike do you ride?
My inseam on most of my jeans is 30". I'm about 5'10 1/2 - 5'11". I st on a trek 19" model aand it was fine. I could probably get away with the next size up (21??) but it would be close.

Oh, and I don't ride a bike now. Used to have a trek 8000 ~5yrs ago.
 

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You didn't comment on the Cannondale 29'er 4 specifically.
actually, when i mentioned the f4, i meant the 29er version. i said i didnt see the point without the lefty. thats a bit strong, and i would consider the cannondale if it fit me a bit better, but i think their biggest advantage is the lefty. which would mean another $600 or so for the f3.

if you decide to get a bike with the more common 26" wheels, you could probably get comparable frames and specs for cheaper. in other words, a decent entry level hardtail with the smaller wheels should cost you less. unfortunately, theres still a bit of a premium to pay for a 29er. that said, i still cant recommend them enough. but again, you should go by feel rather than just the looks.

i tend to lean towards slightly larger rather than smaller if i am between sizes, and i am just a bit taller than you and prefer 19" models on most bikes. so 21" may be a bit big for you. then again, its all about personal preference, since ive heard of taller people with smaller bikes and (though not as often) vice versa. people tend to like smaller frames, probably for a better sense of control, maybe even for weight savings. but its all up to you. oh, and while your inseam is not unimportant, your upper body and the bikes top tube are much more important in determining how well the bike fits.
 

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Try both wheelsizes, even if all you can get are a few rides around the parking-lot. Try to get a feel for which you like better.

Do you know anyone who rides a 29er? Ride together, and ask to trade bikes for awhile. That would give you a chance to try out a 29er on a trail.

Lots of threads discuss the pros and cons of the different wheel sizes. Just do a search . You'll find plenty of reading material, for sure.

Don't rule out Specialized just because they are (embarassingly!) late to the game. Their Stumpjumper 29er FSR is a very, very nice ride. If you can, try to test ride a Fisher Cobia against a Rockhopper 29er. See which you prefer.

Do read up on Fisher's G2 geometry. They have something there, imho. I like their fork offset and the resultant handling. To offset that though, I don't like that Fisher tends to go long in the top tube.

Good luck deciding. Have fun with the process. Take every opportunity to test ride.
 
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