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That is nice too. He is a bit hesitant of mail order. I don't necessarily blame him.

I was looking at some LBS brands carried around here. Giant, Trek, Gary Fisher, Scott, Specialized.

I'm inclined to suggest he check one of these out:

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12278

They seem to be pretty well reviewed on this site. It's not like he can't upgrade parts like the fork if he decides to get more serious. I think the most important thing at this price point is a good frame (and geometry), decent weight, and components that won't break from recreational bike path and trail use.

I'm hesitant to suggest a bike with disc brakes at this price point. I think I would be more comfortable with a v-brake bike at that low price. I can't help but imagine the discs would be heavy and not so reliable on such a cheap bike. I personally would rather have better parts in other areas. Plus, he will likely never see mud or rain while riding in the foreseeable future (nor will I see a lot, and I have XT disc brakes, but that's besides the point ;)).
 

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Alpine or Hardrock

mkiv808 said:
That is nice too. He is a bit hesitant of mail order. I don't necessarily blame him.

I was looking at some LBS brands carried around here. Giant, Trek, Gary Fisher, Scott, Specialized.

I'm inclined to suggest he check one of these out:

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12278

My first inclination is to steer your friend towards the Ibex. While I understand the hesitancy to buy mail order, Ibex reputation is outstanding in therms of quality of the product and customer service. Any doubts and a phone call to them would help. I own an Ibex bike and have purchased a total of two bikes direct from the vendor. Both experiences were excellent. In the end, your friend probably won't get a better deal than online.

OTOH, if the security from buying from the LBS is needed (and that is a real consideration, I do understand) then the Hardrock is a very good choice, IMO.

Best wishes in finding your friend the right bike.

Bob
 

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The main reason that I'm looking at that model myself is because of the fork and the decent SRAM drivetrain. As I understand it, the Judy J1 is better (but still not good) then the suntour, which is at the bottom of the food chain. The disc brakes are a nice plus that is rarely found that price point.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the #1 consideration seems to be the fork.
 
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