Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Here is the skinny, I am ready to buy a new bike. I have been away from the road and trail for long time after some back issues. I used to ride both mountain and road bikes in events, for fun and health and to commute. I have always loved to ride my entire life.

My old Mongoose Comp is ready to be replaced. Since I am now ready to return to riding I want to buy soon. However, I am just exhausted trying to find some good advice and rankings in my Internet research on what to buy now. Much of what I find is inconsistent and less than objective. I thought I would give this forum a shot and see what help it might offer from those who ride.

Here is what I am looking for:

A XC mountain bike (open to suggestions as to type) that can handle the trails as well as the pavement and will be rewarding for trail conditioning rides as well as commutes daily to work with pack and gear. I would like to use this bike in all weather conditions, as a long time Ski Patrol Member I don't mind riding in wind, rain or snow.

Since I am older weight is a bit of a concern. I am in excellent shape, perhaps not a significant factor as I am not planning to do this competitively other than in sponsored events for good causes. Although some places I plan to ride will be a bit demanding and of a long distance!

I am looking for quality, I mean the best within a given price range. I realize more quality equals higher price, I understand this. I am thinking of $1000 plus or minus a hundred or two for this purchase.

I had thought of FS for my back but would consider a hardtail for better components and weight. I know that with FS there has to be sacrifices to meet price points. I want it to be comfortable as a high priority and want it to be reliable and well built. I just don't have enough experience with all the brands to know what to expect.

I will buy this bike locally and therefore it will be a Haro, Kona, Iron Horse, or Jamis branded bike. I have tested a few of the XC FS models already and still can't make up my mind each has plus and minuses. I am trying the Hardtails next week. I don't have experience with FS so this is also new to me in many ways. I have some experience with components but specific items/brands to avoid or must haves I would appreciate.

I really don't want to lay down hard earned money, and it is hard earned, and later regret my choice. I am hoping with the wisdom of the group I might have more knowledge and confidence in this purchase and will make one I will be happy with for long while. I know that such decisions are not simple or easy and each individual's perceptions are unique but I think I would feel much better with some feedback from others hoping it might help me with things I am not thinking of or didn't consider fully.

So, I will watch to see what happens. Thank you for reading this far.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you

mtroy said:
"Older" and "bad back" always suggest FS to me. Even if you lose a bit of component quality, that can be replaced over time. The frame is a bit harder to change;)

Since ultimate speed and efficiency is not your goal, go FS. Your back will thank you.
That was my original thinking with the FS but never had one before so didn't know if it was more hype than help. Now, which brand to trust?

Thanks for the post.
 

·
40 & Fast
Joined
·
313 Posts
I am full sus all the way. Because I have a well built quality dual squisher; I am faster in the dirt than any HT (and even most FSs). On the smooth trails or pavement an HT can out sprint me but ultimately isn't any faster.

There is a big difference between cheap full sus and nice. Like you have stated you sacrifice component qualty when comparing same price HT versus FS. I think you should budget more for FS to get comparable components.

Weight is always a hot topic on bikes; but its not as big a deal as everyone wants to make it out to be. Even though my FS weighs 8lbs more than my wifes HT; it is at least 5x faster in the rough as it rolls over or thru everything without losing momentum. The HT will beat you up and wear you out on rough trails and makes fast descents scary instead of a fun reward you worked your butt off climbing for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Which components to look for?

Good points and well taken, thanks. So, what components in your judgement would be "better" than the stock upon purchase. I think the KONA Kikapu I am looking at has Dore components and Maxis rims with an air shock as opposed to coil. So many choices out there, whew hard to decide. I know the hills here can become a challenge, especially the ski resort I plan to do some riding on :). Thanks again...
 

·
I don't huck.
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Deore should work fine, AFAIK. Stuff like cranks, derallieurs (sp?...never could spell that), wheel sets, etc. can be changed as things wear or break. You can look for good closeouts on wheel sets, tires, etc. Try to get as much stuff on there as you can that you feel good about. Shimano VS SRAM, the braking system etc. Do some research in the Reviews of MTBR.com. You don't want to buy it cheap, than throw it ALL away and start over. That would cost too much.

I would look for a brand that gives you a proven suspension design on a frame that is as good as you can afford. For instance, my Cannondale seems to have the same frame throughout the price range in this model. Makes it worthwhile to upgrade.

I have no experience with Kona stuff, but there are a lot of Jamis bikes around here and they seem to spec them very well for the money.

If you stay at 4" of travel, the weight will be pretty good and that much travel should make you pretty happy unless you are riding big stuff.

I agree about the weight concern being overdone. Of course a 40 lb bike would be silly to pedal on long XC rides, but a decent, 30 lb 4" XC bike will be fine and I would rather have that over a 26 lb HT. Just my slant on it.

How it pedals is just as important...maybe more...as how much it weighs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the suggestions

As far as I can remember the Kikapu does come with about these specs. Seems to have a very good frame from what I have read about in reviews. Unfortunately, the dealer didn't have an Jamis FS bikes to look at on hand. I was comparing the Kona to the Haro Shift R3 during the last visit.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

·
40 & Fast
Joined
·
313 Posts
Deore is functionaI but far from high end. I rode Deore for years and had very few problems. Now I have a Sram chain, cassette, Race face diablous crank, X9 shifters / derailurs & it works great; but its new so it better.

I'm so happy with my fox rp23 shock that I wouldn't get a bike without it.

There are many good forks out there, so do a little research for you application, Fox & Marzocchi are pretty safe bets, Manitou and Rox shocks have some nice looking offerings.

I like Kona bikes and haven't heard much bad about them. Kona was on my short list before I decided on Turner.

I saved a little on my build by using mechanical disc brakes instead of hydraulics. so far I have no complaints with my Avid bb7s.
 

·
40 & Fast
Joined
·
313 Posts
Did I mention that I have expensive taste?
I looked up the Kikapu (nice bike, I'm sure you would like it) and had to go up to the king kikapu before I liked the parts mix. The king version has the fox rp23 and a nice fox fork.
The Kikapu deluxe looks quite a bit better than the base kikapu.

You might do well to troll around in the kona forum for detailed info.

Good luck have fun.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top