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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I promise guys, my next post will actually be about me BUYING a bike, rather than continuously fussing about what to buy... but i'm still gathering my last bits of info and opinons...

So I ask you, you have $1000, which of these bikes do you buy?
Trek Marlin 29


Frame

Alpha Gold Aluminum, butted & hydroformed tubing, cold-forged dropouts & bottom bracket, G2 Geometry

Front suspension

SR Suntour XCM w/mechanical lockout, preload, custom G2 Geometry, 51mm offset, 100mm travel

Sizes

15.5, 17.5, 19, 21, 23"

Wheels

Formula DC20 alloy front hub, Shimano M475 alloy rear hub; Bontrager AT-850 disc 29 32-hole rims

Tires

Bontrager 29-2, 29x2.1"

Shifters

SRAM X4, 8 speed

Front derailleur

Shimano Altus

Rear derailleur

SRAM X4

Crank

Shimano Altus M311, 42/32/22

Cassette

Shimano HG31 11-34, 8 speed

Pedals

Wellgo ATB, boron axle, alloy cage

Saddle

Bontrager Evoke 1

Seatpost

Bontrager SSR, 27.2mm, 20mm offset

Handlebar

Bontrager Low Riser, 25.4mm, 5mm rise, 9 degree sweep

Stem

Bontrager Approved, 25.4mm

Headset

1-1/8" threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings

Brakeset

Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes, 6-bolt, 160mm rotors

Grips

Bontrager Race Lite

Giant Talon 29er 1

Frame
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Colors Charcoal/Red
Frame ALUXX-Grade Butted Aluminum
Fork SR XCT 29" (Custom for Giant) w/ Lockout, 100mm Travel
Shock N/A
Components
Handlebar Giant Sport Alloy, Low Rise 31.8mm
Stem Giant Sport Alloy
Seatpost Giant Sport, Alloy, 30.9
Saddle Giant Performance MTB
Pedals MTB Caged, Alloy
Drivetrain
Shifters SRAM X4, 3x8 Speed
Front Derailleur Shimano Altus
Rear Derailleur SRAM X5
Brakes Avid Elixir 1, 160mm
Brake Levers Avid Elixir 1
Cassette SRAM PG 820 11x32, 8-Speed
Chain KMC Z7
Crankset Shimano M311, 22/32/42
Bottom Bracket Shimano Sealed Cartridge
Wheels
Rims Giant S-XC29 2
Hubs Giant Tracker Sport, 32h
Spokes Stainless Steel, 14g
Tires Kenda Small Block Eight, 29x2.1

Specialized RockHopper 29

FRAME
Specialized M4 29" fully manipulated alloy frame, fully butted, disc only, externally relieved HT, forged dropouts w/ replaceable derailleur hanger
REAR SHOCK
FORK
SR Suntour XCR 29" (SF11-XCR-DS-26-LO-SP), magnesium lower, 30mm steel stanchions, 1-1/8" alloy steerer, hyd. damping w/ Specialized Spike Valve and alloy LO cartridge, 80mm travel
HEADSET
Integrated 1-1/8" threadless, Campy-style, full cartridge bearings
STEM
3D forged 6061 alloy, 4 bolt clamp, 7º rise, 31.8mm
HANDLEBARS
Flat bar, double butted alloy , 680mm (S) or 700mm (M, L, XL, XXL) wide,10º backsweep, 4º upsweep, 31.8mm
GRIPS
Specialized Body Geometry XCT Men's, dual compound, Kraton rubber, closed end, 130mm
FRONT BRAKE
Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brake, post mount, 180mm 6-bolt rotor
REAR BRAKE
Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brake, post mount, 160mm 6-bolt rotor
BRAKE LEVERS
Tektro Draco hydraulic
FRONT DERAILLEUR
Shimano Acera, 9-speed, 34.9mm clamp, top-swing, dual-pull
REAR DERAILLEUR
Shimano Alivio, 9-speed, SGS cage
SHIFT LEVERS
Shimano Acera, 9-speed Rapidfire plus, SL type w/ optical display
CASSETTE
Shimano 9-speed, 11-34t
CHAIN
KMC X-9, 9-speed, reusable Missing Link
CRANKSET
SR Suntour, 9-speed, Octalink spline
CHAINRINGS
44/32/22, replaceable outer
BOTTOM BRACKET
Shimano, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 73mm
PEDALS
Composite plastic body, loose ball w/ reflectors
RIMS
Alex RH Disc 29", alloy double-wall, 28mm, pin joint, 32h
FRONT HUB
Formula disc hub, high-low flange, double-sealed loose ball, machined disc mount, QR, 32h
REAR HUB
SBC alloy, mid flange, double-sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flanges, cassette, QR, 32h
SPOKES
Stainless, 2.0mm (14g)
FRONT TIRE
Specialized The Captain Sport, 60 TPI, wire bead, 29x2.0"
REAR TIRE
Specialized The Captain Sport, 60 TPI, wire bead, 29x2.0"
INNER TUBES
Presta valve
SADDLE
Specialized Body Geometry Rockhopper, steel rails, 143mm width
SEATPOST
Alloy, 2 bolt head, 30.9mm, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust
SEAT BINDER
34.9mm, forged alloy, extruded QR lever
NOTES
Chain stay protector, reflectors, clear coat, owners manual

Cannondale Trail SL 29'er 4

Frame

Trail SL 29'er, Optimized 6061 alloy, SAVE, 1.5" head tube
Fork

RST Deuce 29 TNL, 80mm, coil/elastomer, hydraulic lockout, 1.5"
Crank

Shimano FC-M361, 42/32/22, 175mm (M,L,X)
Bottom Bracket

Tange Seiki LN-3912
Shifters

Shimano Altus
Cog Set

Sunrace M66 12-32, 8-speed
Chain

Shimano HG40, 8-speed
Front Derailleur

Shimano Altus
Rear Derailleur

Shimano Alivio
Rims

Alex DC4.5 29'er, double wall, 32 hole
Hubs

Cannondale C4 front, C4 rear
Tires

Kenda Small Block 8, 29x2.1"
Pedals

FPD Platform
Brake

Cannondale Helix 3 Hydraulic Disc, 160/160mm
Handlebar

Cannondale C3 riser, 680x20mm, 6061 alloy
Stem

Cannondale C4, 1.5", 31.8, 7 degree
Headset

Tange 1.5 Custom
Spokes

Stainless Steel, black, 15g
Grips

Cannondale alloy locking grips w/closed end
Saddle

Cannondale Stage 2
Seat Post

Cannondale C3, 31.6x350 (M), 400mm (L,X)

Scott Aspect 29 Sport

Frame Scott double-butted 6061-aluminum
Fork SunTour XCR, 100mm-travel w/lockout
Rims/Wheels Araya
Hubs Front: Scott Disc Team; Rear: Shimano
Spokes 15-gauge stainless-steel
Tires Schwalbe Rapid Rob, 29 x 2.25
Crankset Shimano
Chainwheel 44/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Cogs Shimano, 9-speed: 11-32
Shifters Shimano Alivio
Handlebars Scott Aspect
Stem Scott Comp
Brake Levers Shimano
Brakes Shimano M446 hydraulic disc
Pedals Wellgo platform
Saddle Scott Aspect
Seat Post Scott Comp

Scott Scale 29 Comp

Frame Scott custom-butted 6061-aluminum
Fork SunTour XCR Lo, 100mm-travel w/lockout
Rims/Wheels Alex XC-49
Hubs Front: Scott Team; Rear: SRAM
Spokes 15-gauge stainless-steel
Tires Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 29x2.25
Crankset Shimano
Chainwheel 44/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Rear Cogs Shimano, 9-speed: 11-34
Shifters Shimano Alivio
Handlebars Scott Hot Rod
Stem Scott Comp
Brake Levers Tektro Draco
Brakes Tektro Draco hydraulic-disc
Pedals Wellgo platform
Saddle Scott Racing
Seat Post Scott Comp

Felt Nine Trail

Frame Felt butted 6061-aluminum
Fork SR SunTour SF-11 XCR, 100mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Aluminum
Hubs Aluminum
Spokes 14g stainless-steel
Tires WTB Prowler, 29 x 2.1
Crankset SR SunTour XCT
Front Derailleur Shimano
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Cogs Shimano, 9-speed: 11-32
Shifters Shimano
Handlebars Felt XC riser
Tape/Grips Felt Wing grips
Stem Felt MTB, aluminum
Brake Levers Tektro
Brakes Tektro Novela mechanical-disc
Pedals MTB platform
Saddle Felt Mountain
Seat Post Felt aluminum

I thank you for your help, and look forward to sharing my purchase with you soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Trek Mamba 29er. I've been looking at this bike for a while and might pull the trigger soon.
Is the mamba significantly better than all of these bikes I listed? It's a bit out of range at $990, considering taxes and other stuff I have to buy with the bike.
 

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keeptrollintrollintrollin
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Which have you ridden? I suggest a test drive of as many as you can and go with what fits best and is most comfortable. They are all generally close in specs (somewhat).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haven't ridden any.. and considering I haven't ridden any bikes in 10 years, I probably won't notice a difference on a little test ride. I will test ride bikes at whatever store I end up going too, but all of the stores only carry one or two brands of bikes, so I kind of have to know what I want so I can choose what store to go to.
 

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Take a look at the Airborne Guardian.
Frame 6061 Hydroformed Aluminum Hardtail 29"
Fork RockShox XC28 TK Mg29 with Preload Adjust, Rebound Adjust and Lock-Out, 80mm
Headset Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8"
Brake Levers Tektro Auriga Comp
Brakes Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc
Rotors Tektro 160mm Rotor
Shifters SRAM X-5 Trigger 9-Speed
F Derailleur SRAM X3
R Derailleur SRAM X5 9speed Long Cage
Cassette SRAM PG-950 12-34T 9-Speed
Chain KMC X-9
Crank Truvative E400 22-32-42T
Bottom Bracket Powerspline Sealed Cartridge
Pedals NONE
Rims Weinmann Disc Bull Double-Walled with Eyelets, 32H
Hubs KT HiFlange 32H
Spokes Black 14g Stainless
Tires KENDA Small Block 8, 2.1"
Handlebar AIRBORNE Alloy Flat, 640mm width
Stem AIRBORNE Alloy +/- 7 Degree Rise, size specific
Saddle Selle San Marco SPID White/Black
Seat Post AIRBORNE Alloy 31.6mm Diameter, 350mm Length
Extras Owner's Manual, Clear Coat, H20 Bottle Mounts
 

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I have, but considering this is going to be my first bike. I want to buy something where I will have more support from the LBS.
Most good bike stores will still support you if you pay them to do the maintenance. I had my LBS build my Airborne for me and help set it up for for a reasonable price. I can count on my LBS to do service on it and give me recommendations. Of course I pay for the service but really does not seem to bad. With $650 shipped, the savings can pay for a lot of maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Most good bike stores will still support you if you pay them to do the maintenance. I had my LBS build my Airborne for me and help set it up for for a reasonable price. I can count on my LBS to do service on it and give me recommendations. Of course I pay for the service but really does not seem to bad. With $650 shipped, the savings can pay for a lot of maintenance.
It is $675 shipped now. Than I will have to buy pedals for $50 or so... Than I will have to pay the store to set it up, and pay them again after the break in period... Not sure if it really works out of me considering it's my first bike... I also wish the guardian came in ANY color but red lol.
 

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Ride them. You will notice the difference in geometry. You can't have us pick them out because they are all different in different areas.

Trust us, you need to ride. You literally just listed every mass market bike in the price range.
 

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Sorry to hijack thread a bit, but I want to know also.........the Airborne is nice, but I am not going to drop that much cash on something I can't see and ride in person. My 3 choices are:

2012 Scott 29 Comp
2012 Cannondale Trail SL 4 29 er
2013 Specialized Rockhopper 29er

The Specialized just came out at my LBS, but they downgraded frame and fork, but went down on price by 60 bucks. I am a weekend warrior, but do trails mostly. No dropping down huge plunges and rock work is limited.

Please help a newbie out bro's!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ride them. You will notice the difference in geometry. You can't have us pick them out because they are all different in different areas.

Trust us, you need to ride. You literally just listed every mass market bike in the price range.
it is impossible for me to drive to every store to ride every bike, as I said all the stores in my area only carry one or two brands. I'm just trying to get a consensus of what people perceive as being the better bike, so I can go to the store that sells that specific bike first, ride it, and if I like it, buy it. Trying them all out would have me driving 30 mins to my closest store, 40 mins from there to the next, 45 to the next, ETC ETC.
 

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They are all good bikes. Seriously.

Until you ride at least a couple, you can't narrow them down. They don't seem that different but remember you can upgrade components but you can't change the frame geometry.

I will say you should be able to find the Rockhopper and Mamba fairly easy.
 

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keeptrollintrollintrollin
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Well I can honestly say that I love my Airborne Goblin. There is absolutely no need for your LBS to set it up if you take the time, watch some YouTube videos, read a little on MTB maintenance, and possibly get a little help from a more seasoned rider. Not to mention the benefit of learning how to wrench on your own bike. Trust me, I went from a Trek 3500 to my Goblin and I never touched a thing on the trek... let the LBS do it all. It's liberating to be able to fix and maintain your own bike.

Good luck with whatever you pick but I truly think you will benefit from some test rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, tomorrow the first shop i'm going too sells giant and cannondale, if I ride a bike there that feels good should I buy it? Or should I go to every store and ride every bike before making the decision? I would have to go to a different store for scott/felt, another for specialized, and another for trek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I can honestly say that I love my Airborne Goblin. There is absolutely no need for your LBS to set it up if you take the time, watch some YouTube videos, read a little on MTB maintenance, and possibly get a little help from a more seasoned rider. Not to mention the benefit of learning how to wrench on your own bike. Trust me, I went from a Trek 3500 to my Goblin and I never touched a thing on the trek... let the LBS do it all. It's liberating to be able to fix and maintain your own bike.

Good luck with whatever you pick but I truly think you will benefit from some test rides.
Wish I could afford a Goblin. Stupid reason, but honestly if the Guardian came with the same color frame as the Goblin, I would be a bit more willing to go through the hassle of not going through my LBS. I hate red, that much.
 

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keeptrollintrollintrollin
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Give it a couple of months, save some bones, and wait for the new goblin. I think its going to be black and have even better components than the current model.

As far as test rides.... you are dropping a grand on this baby, trust me when I say that you will want to check every available option. Not to mention shimano vs. SRAM shifters and different brake setups. Every bike has its own feel and you want to get the one that feels good to ride.
 

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1/2 fast or 1/2 assed?
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I kind of have to know what I want so I can choose what store to go to.
Which LBS would you prefer to give your hard earned money to? Is there one that seems to care more than the other?

Being that the bikes are so alike the difference will be the customer service at your LBS. Good luck! :thumbsup:
 
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