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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm beginning my search for a great XC bike, mostly for front range Colorado terrain. Here's my story. I'm 48 years old. I used to be a road bike racer for 20+ years. I rode a mountain bike too, Proflex 855, for several years in the late 1980s to early 1990s. In 1992 I was hit by a car on my road bike and broke my hip. I gave up riding for 7 years and gained 120 lbs. I'm now in the process of getting back into shape. I've lost 80 lbs, and plan to lose at least another 20 lbs. At 6' tall, I want to weigh less than 160 lbs.

Right now I continue to ride my road bike, a Vail Cycle Works Ti bike, and run (road and trail), but I yearn for another mountain bike. I'm truly in no hurry to buy a mountain bike. Having begun riding again last summer, I'll likely try to get my legs back on my road bike through the summer. By then the itch for a mountain bike will be high. However, I'm also not opposed to get a mountain bike sooner than next fall or winter.

Right now I'm shopping for bikes, but really don't know where to begin. It's been 7-8 years since I've ridden mountain bikes, and the technology has changed a lot. I believe I'd classify myself as a XC rider. I don't think I'll race again, but I like (or liked) fast trail riding, both uphill and down. I like technical, but I'm not a downhill fanatic. My preference, I believe, is for a light and nimble ride.

I've ridden two bikes in the parking lot - a Turner Nitrous and a Giant Anthem X2. I liked them both. Both bikes are a huge departure from my old Proflex. I know I need to demo bikes, and this is something I plan to do this spring and summer. So, which bikes should I consider? As a teacher, I don't have tons of money, and will likely buy used; I want to stay under 2K. However, I like quality and want a solid bike that will last me for several years. My preference (though subject to change) is for a sub 25 lb. bike, full suspension, with at least XT components. I don't need fancy lightweight components.

Any help you can provide in my search for "the perfect bike" is appreciated.

Michael
 

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If you want a lightweight, very reliable, great peddling, at a good price, full suser--then look no further than the Anthem X. (note--this is biased as I own a bike shop that sells them--but we are quite selective in what we stock and suggest).

The bikes changed a lot with the X version in 2008, I'd stay away from the pre 2008 non-X version for general trail riding as they had less travel and much steeper angles making descending more delicate.

You can get a new 2009 X3 on sale right now for $1500 at most Giant dealers, not XT components, but it does have Fox shocks front and rear, and those are the expensive parts.

also, fyi--all the Anthem X frames are the same. At 5lbs for the frame w/ shock it's one of the lightest out there at any price. the frame alone goes for $1500, so getting the complete bike for the same price is pretty darn good.

kaj
 

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Micahel,

I won't get into WHICH bike to buy as I don't think I'm an expert in any way for that.

However, I will recommend that you go to Golden Bike Shop. I spent about 3 months test riding bikes there and never felt pressure yet got a lot of help from everyone there. In the end I felt I got the best bike and build I could for the money I had to spend.

They have a great selection of new and used bikes. I'm a teacher too, so I was looking at the high end bikes :nono: but comparing them to those I could afford as well ;)

I ended up with a Chumba XCL which fit me just right in price and in ride quality.
 

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For what its worth

For the past 4 years I have been riding a Santa Cruz Blur LT1, for the front range this truly is one of the best frames for all terrain.
Great cross country bike, able to handle all the rocky terrain your body can handle and like a road bike has very quick response.

Many bike shops have demos you can take out and sample for a day or two, take advantage of it.:thumbsup:
 

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Good luck. Test ride as many bikes as you can. Trek is making some nice bikes, the Fuel line is worth looking at. The Giant Anthem also looks nice. I think Trek and Giant are a goos value (and may be better than many more expensive bikes), but there's tons of great bikes to choose from these days.
 

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You may want to rent a few different bikes that you are considering for purchase. Some of the local bike shops will apply your rental costs to the purchase of a bike.
One of the riders in my local group rented over a half-dozen different bikes from Wheatridge Cyclery before deciding to purchase the Pivot Mach 5. All of the rental costs were applied to the purchase.
 

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At your height, I would suggest you at least demo a hardtail 29er before you assume you need full suspension for XC type riding. You can likely afford nicer components with the money you save not paying for the extra cost of a rear suspension linkage and shock. Fisher and Specialized both have extensive 29er lineups that you could likely find in local shops to test ride.
 

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Why suck down all that pollution and deal with angry dangerous drivers? Switch to MTB full time, it is safer and more fun imo.

Your body would probably enjoy a Full Suspension bike. A 29er may help you smooth out the bumps you may not be familiar with until you get into the off road mentality a bit more, but you have many more options with a 26" FS bike.

I would suggest a recently used (1-3yrs), high quality, short travel (about 4" front and rear) bike. Even if you spend $2,000+ on it, if it doesn't work out for you, you can always resell it for little loss, and maybe even a profit. (since you are buying low in winter, and sell high in summer).

my 2 cents.

(PS: locally made bikes, like YETI, will likely have higher resale here in CO, than more obscure Canadian or British bikes, irrespective of quality.)
 

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Go talk to Jason at Pedal Pushers in Golden. He seems to know his shop well and he will take the time to help you understand what you might want. Maybe take a look at the Kona bikes and or their website as they have a pretty good selection of the like...

I say forgo the XT components and replace and upgrade as you need/can/want.

Anything bought today will surpass your old mtb's technology. 25lbs on a non racing XC bike is on the verge of weight weenie- maybe 28-30lbs is more realistic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! Thanks for all of the comments and advice. Here are a few thoughts:

1) I won't give up road riding. I started racing at age 12, and except for those seven years where I didn't exercise at all, I've ridden a road bike all of my life. It's my first love.
2) I know next to nothing about 29ers. Perhaps it's time I learn.
3) While I itch to get a mountain bike now, and would likely put it to good use right now, perhaps even commuting to work, my winter regime is running roads and trails. Perhaps I'll train for a marathon or something. Then again, if I win the lottery for the Leadville 100, I'll have a more immediate need for a mountain bike. Then again, I'll mostly likely wait 6 months to a year, learning about and riding demos. My the time I decide to get a bike, I'll be in shape and know my exact needs.
4) I say "XT" only because I want sturdy, reliable equipment. Maybe it's the bike snob in me, but I want quality components. As a road rider, I've had nothing less than Campy Record or Shimano Dura-Ace.
5) 25 lbs. is my goal. I may settle for more weight. However, I don't want to buy a bike in need of upgrades. To me this is a costly endeavor. I'd rather spend a little more at the outset and buy what I want. I've never been one to constantly upgrade my equipment. For example, in a year or two I may need to upgrade my 9-speed Dura-Ace components on my road bike, but my old stuff has lasted me 8 years. Last summer I bought a new stem and bars, but that's been it for 8 years.
6) Buying in the winter is good idea. My fear is that the itch for a mountain bike becomes too strong this summer and I end up buying one during the expensive buying season.
7) Is VeloSwap a good buying opportunity? This means October, 2010.
8) With my age, a full-suspension is probably what I want.
9) I'll check out the bike shops everyone suggests? Are there any good shops in the Springs where I live?
 

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Buying a Kona was a good choice for me as it's been sturdy...that being said I'm 140lbs and I broke wheels. the FSA stock wheels were crap cause the alloy nipples kept shearing off at the eyelet junction. If they don't have FSA wheels then it's nice. Their Magic Link rear suspension technology is fun

If I had to do it over again I would buy a Yeti most likely. The ASR or the 575. Honestly, you won't be racing the bike and you'll wish you had a capable bike for the front range trails. Save yourself some shopping and visit the guys in Golden :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK. Do I throw reason out the window and buy a Giant Anthem X2 now from Colorado Cyclist? $1700 new. 2009 model. There's only a few left. OR do I stick to my plans and start researching and demo riding bikes?

Michael
 

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reason is good.

be patient and find a bike that's great for you.

i'm guessing if you get something right now, you're not gonna be riding it much right now anyways....unless you're one of those crazy redstone cyclery guys that goes out at 11pm during snowstorms to do hall ranch, just because it's a tuesday night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
nomit said:
reason is good.

be patient and find a bike that's great for you.

i'm guessing if you get something right now, you're not gonna be riding it much right now anyways....unless you're one of those crazy redstone cyclery guys that goes out at 11pm during snowstorms to do hall ranch, just because it's a tuesday night.
Thank you for an ounce of reason. Since a year ago when I weighed 260 lbs and tired just walking around the block, I set out to lose weight and get back in shape. Eight years ago I weighed 145 lbs, and exercised 2-5 hours/day. I was a 5.12 climber and biked all of the time. Training was my life. Now I don't want to return to my obsessive ways, but I've had a plan to get back in shape. I now weigh 180 lbs. and plan to drop that weight to 160 lbs. I did a lot of road riding last summer (long slow rides). Now I'm running roads (4-8 miles) and starting trail running. When the days get longer and warmer I plan to return to my road bike and start building mileage and speed. I want to ride a lot of mountain roads this summer. Right now a mountain bike doesn't fit into my plans. Perhaps I need to wait another season so I have the speed and endurance to ride any and all Colorado trails. Eventually I know I'll want to get off the roads and onto trails. I just need to give it some time.

Michael
 

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nomit said:
....unless you're one of those crazy redstone cyclery guys that goes out at 11pm during snowstorms to do hall ranch, just because it's a tuesday night.
I'm surprised you haven't made it out on a Tuesday, Nomit! Actually we wouldn't do that. County OS is closed at night :thumbsup:

Wacomme, go ride a bunch of bikes and pick your favorite. Under 2k for something XT level will probably push you into the used market unless you can find a super smoking deal on a major mfg closeout. Take your time, but don't wait another season. I'm sure you're in good enough shape to put a smile on your face :)
 
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