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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone of mtb forums! This is my first post so please say if Im doing this incorrectly.

Anyways, lately Ive been looking into getting a new bike to start being serious about trail riding. I am a new rider and I am still learning as we go so I need you guys to help me with your beautiful bike knowledge to decide what I shall purchase.

First some background. I am currently in high school, so I don't have all that much time to go crazy with my bike, plus I live in the middle of Michigan so there isn't all that much elevation change. Another thing is I will use this new bike as more than just for things such as cross country, but also just going on a casual bike ride on something like a paved rail trail.

As for the bikes I'm looking into currently, they are all going to have to be under 800 dollars a piece. I don't have a lot of money to spend but still want a quality bike and want to get the best possible components for the price.

Heres what I have found so far:
  • Specialized Rockhopper Sport
  • Giant Talon 3, or 2
  • Diamondback Line
  • Trek Marlin 6, or 7
  • possibly a Diamondback Sync'r used

Simply put, I need help deciding on a new bike for myself, I am currently 5'11" and might grow.
Suggestions on what to do please?

Thanks
 

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I'm going to throw this out there and then DUCK.. for the potential of angry bike snobs or whatever..

but and admittedly this is over budget @$899 but this Motobecane Fathom29 Elite looks pretty sweet.. I saw some kid riding one of these at the bike park near my house.. I talked to him a couple minutes about it.. he seemed well pleased with the bike and all.

Is is the best bike in the world nope.. but for $900~ it looks pretty good to me.. when I talked to the kid with one, he was in the same boat as you.. and I concluded if it was me in H.S. with limited funds I might well get this bike myself.

Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Elite

Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle fork


/fair warning.. some people might give you **** if you bought this bike ..that personally would make me want it more.. because it would be funny to be faster than them on a bike they mocked**

**assuming you are faster.. meh either way if they didn't like my bike they could feel free to I guess.

Used bikes could be fine and all.. assume you can find something not beat to heck and in the right size that you can check out before handing your money over (assuming you have the skills to assess the bike / a buddy to go with you who can..)

there are downsides to used bikes.. no warranty being the biggest..
 

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I was kind of in the same boat not long ago. Wanting a decent mountain bike for as little as possible, but not just entry level crap.... Looked at some of the same ones you have listed too.
My budget was a bit lower, so I ended up with a specialized pitch sport for $625, which is basically a rockhopper on 27.5" wheels, for $75 less (rockhopper sport is similarly equipped to my pitch sport but its $710) , but with an $800 budget, there is no question of those you have listed the diamondback line is the best (new) bike.

32mm fork stanchions vs 28-30mm on the others
120mm travel vs 100mm on the others
1X drivetrain vs 2x or 3x on the others
internal dropper post ready
 

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Co Springs
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This can be had for around $700 , maybe less. A friend has one and it's a solid bike. I have the next model that's a hardtail. For the riding you describe , there may bet better tire options when it's time to replace the factory tires you get on a trail bike. I moved from Saginaw to CO in 1993, know MI pretty pretty well. :)

https://www.skunkrivercycles.com/product/marin-pine-mountain-308260-1.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was kind of in the same boat not long ago. Wanting a decent mountain bike for as little as possible, but not just entry level crap.... Looked at some of the same ones you have listed too.
My budget was a bit lower, so I ended up with a specialized pitch sport for $625, which is basically a rockhopper on 27.5" wheels, for $75 less (rockhopper sport is similarly equipped to my pitch sport but its $710) , but with an $800 budget, there is no question of those you have listed the diamondback line is the best (new) bike.

32mm fork stanchions vs 28-30mm on the others
120mm travel vs 100mm on the others
1X drivetrain vs 2x or 3x on the others
internal dropper post ready
I think I'm leaning towards the Diamondback Line, but the local dealer is a Specialized dealer...
 

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In the realm of MSRP and conventional discounts (10-15-20%), DB and Marin have some of the spec'd and priced bikes going. Spesh and Trek tend more toward slightly high MSRP.

You can find a steeply discounted anything, from time to time, but those are unpredictable. Kind of like stumbling on a used gem.

A gently used Sync'r (I don't think the model has been around long enough to be severely outdated) is likely to be a really good deal.
 

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If you can save up another $150 you can get a new Sync'r. Buddy of mine got one last year and it's really actually a solid bike.

But a good condition used one would be great too. Use the fact that you can get a new one for $940 to help you negotiate the price of the used one.

If you just happened to live in the eastern WV/western MD/NOVA area...I can get a new Sync'r for $899.
 

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jcd's best friend
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I think I'm leaning towards the Diamondback Line, but the local dealer is a Specialized dealer...
Save for the Sync'r. It's worth it! Sell some of your belongings and grab one. They sell like hotcakes. I think they are currently backordered until June because it's so popular. If you are curious about the Sync'r, watch some of Daily MTB Rider's older videos on YouTube.

If you buy a Sync'r from DB's website, they should ship to your doorstep.
 

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If you buy a Sync'r from DB's website, they should ship to your doorstep.
Free shipping. Get a code for the corp. discount. And sign up to Active Junky or Ebates and get an additional 2-3% cash back. Sometimes there's also a 5% (or 10% if you're really lucky) discount code floating around that you can use in addition to all the above.

I paid $2250 to my door plus $45 cash back for my Release 3 a couple years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Save for the Sync'r. It's worth it! Sell some of your belongings and grab one. They sell like hotcakes. I think they are currently backordered until June because it's so popular. If you are curious about the Sync'r, watch some of Daily MTB Rider's older videos on YouTube.

If you buy a Sync'r from DB's website, they should ship to your doorstep.
So if I save a little bit more I could get a pretty solid bike it sounds like... I did find a Diamondback Line, barely used at all for about $650 would that be worth it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Free shipping. Get a code for the corp. discount. And sign up to Active Junky or Ebates and get an additional 2-3% cash back. Sometimes there's also a 5% (or 10% if you're really lucky) discount code floating around that you can use in addition to all the above.

I paid $2250 to my door plus $45 cash back for my Release 3 a couple years ago.
I guess I didn't even think about looking for better discounts.
 

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So if I save a little bit more I could get a pretty solid bike it sounds like... I did find a Diamondback Line, barely used at all for about $650 would that be worth it?
Line is $720 new so IMO I wouldn't pay only $70 less. $70 is worth it for the warranty. Sync'r is a lot more bike and definitely worth the extra $$$. The Sync'r has current standards...boost front and rear. 11 speed. Tapered head tube. Better components including the fork. Just a better bike all around.
 

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You will always get a better bike if you save just a little more. Got the $950 for a sync'r? well, just save up another $150 and you can get a WAY BETTER bike!!! It goes on and on....

IMO, once you near $1k for a hard tail, thats just silly. I would say stick with your original $800 budget and start saving up for the FS bike you will be getting next year....
Im glad I stayed under $700.

If you had asked me before I got my pitch which was better, a hard tail or a FS mountain bike, I would have said hard tail, I even had plenty of reasons to back it up, all of which went out the window (other than price) when I tried out a "real" (aka, not wal-mart) full suspension mountain bike.....

It depends on where you ride. If dirt roads will be the most "off road" you even go, then yea, spend a bunch on a hard tail and you will be happy. But I can tell you from experience, even green (easy) trails can benefit from rear suspension....

If I had it to do over again, I would likely buy the same bike I did (hard tail), because at least I am out riding, which I wouldn't be doing if I were still trying to save up for a FS bike. I certainly dont wish I had spent more on a more expensive hard tail.... But, I AM saving for a FS bike now....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You will always get a better bike if you save just a little more. Got the $950 for a sync'r? well, just save up another $150 and you can get a WAY BETTER bike!!! It goes on and on....

IMO, once you near $1k for a hard tail, thats just silly. I would say stick with your original $800 budget and start saving up for the FS bike you will be getting next year....
Im glad I stayed under $700.

If you had asked me before I got my pitch which was better, a hard tail or a FS mountain bike, I would have said hard tail, I even had plenty of reasons to back it up, all of which went out the window (other than price) when I tried out a "real" (aka, not wal-mart) full suspension mountain bike.....

It depends on where you ride. If dirt roads will be the most "off road" you even go, then yea, spend a bunch on a hard tail and you will be happy. But I can tell you from experience, even green (easy) trails can benefit from rear suspension....

If I had it to do over again, I would likely buy the same bike I did (hard tail), because at least I am out riding, which I wouldn't be doing if I were still trying to save up for a FS bike. I certainly dont wish I had spent more on a more expensive hard tail.... But, I AM saving for a FS bike now....
Should I look into those Spesh Pitches? Isn't it just like a rockhopper but on 27.5s? spec wise I mean
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Line is $720 new so IMO I wouldn't pay only $70 less. $70 is worth it for the warranty. Sync'r is a lot more bike and definitely worth the extra $$$. The Sync'r has current standards...boost front and rear. 11 speed. Tapered head tube. Better components including the fork. Just a better bike all around.
I'll think about that for sure...
 

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Should I look into those Spesh Pitches? Isn't it just like a rockhopper but on 27.5s? spec wise I mean
I am perfectly happy with my pitch, but I went into it knowing I would be replacing my fork before too long, so I didnt worry too much about the fork that came with it. For me, its easier to pay $625 now, and then $200 later for a decent fork (through suntour upgrade program).
One other caveat I had is the bike had to be green.... so bikes that didn't come in green were not even considered. Yea, I know, but whatever...

Yes, the pitch is almost exactly a rockhopper on 27.5" wheels. The geometry is not exactly the same, with the pitch being a bit slacker (a plus imo), and the other difference with the pitch vs rockhopper, is the pitch gets major upgrades one trim level later than the rockhopper, but is $60-185 per trim level cheaper. Both base bikes (pitch, $500, rockhopper $560) have mechanical brakes. The rockhopper sport ($710) is hydraulic. where the pitch sport ($625) stays mechanical, then goes hydraulic at the next level (comp, $725). The next major upgrade is going from a 3x8 to a 2x9 drivetrain, which the rockhopper does at comp ($810) and the pitch does at expert ($825). Various components get upgraded though the line, and the pitch actually gets the better components when comparing similar price points. Basically the way I ended up thinking about it is the pitch has has an extra level below the rockhopper, so the pitch sport should be compared to the base rockhopper, and so on, so thinking about it that way, the pitch is actually the more expensive bike, but with significantly better components, But I digress...

In the end, long story short, knowing what I know today, if I could get the diamondback line for $740, I would seriously consider getting it over my pitch, despite not being green. At $799 for the line though, I would stick with the pitch without question. The line is better, but not as much as it first seems, and with downsides....

The upside of the line is the 1x drivetrain and thicker fork stanchions.
The downside is, from everything I have read, the line has issues with dropping the chain like, literally multiple times every ride. Thats a problem that you can throw $50 at to make it go away permanently, so that has to figure into the price imo, so at $740, that will still leave it within your $800 budget.
As for the fork, its still a coil fork, so even though its a little better than the one I have on my pitch as far as being stiffer, which is a good thing (stiffer laterally and stiffer against twisting), is still a fork you will want to upgrade to an air fork if you do anything more off road than dirt roads, and its still heavy. When I upgrade mine to an air fork with 32mm stanchions, I will likely drop 1-2 lbs, depending on which model air fork I choose. The fork on the line is basically the same as the one on my pitch, except its beefier, so will weigh more. Upside is you shave off more weight when you upgrade, downside is you have more weight to deal with on the front end till then. The line is still lighter than my pitch, despite a heavier fork, because you save over a pound going from 3x to 1x, as you are deleting two chainrings, and the front derailer and shifter....

In the end, it depends on what you want and where you ride. For me, I actually prefer 27.5 wheels. When I test drove the rockhopper, the wheels just seems ridiculously, almost comically large. (and I am 6'1") When I relayed that to the salesperson, he advised me the pitch is almost the same bike but on 27.5" wheels, but they dont carry them, so I had to go home and look them up. (lucky for me, he actually wasn't a salesperson, he was a mechanic, but they were shorthanded that day, he wouldn't get commission from a sale, so though it more important I be happy with my bike, I think a salesperson would have tried, and likely succeeded in talking me into 29" wheels....)

Haha, super helpfull, right?
So to sum up, and remember this is just my personal opinion, the only real advantage the line has over the pitch is the 1x drivetrain and hydraulic brakes, as for any serious trail riding, you are going to be upgrading the fork to an air fork ($200 through suntour upgrade program)

One other note on that 1x drivetrain, with the lowest gear being 30 front 36 rear, it doesn't have as low a granny gear, basically when you are going up a tough hill and shift to the lowest gear, the lower the front ring and higher the rear ring the easier it is to pedal. The pitch's lowest front gear is 24t, and 34t in the rear. (smallest front, largest rear)
24/34 is 0.73:1
30/36 is 0.86:1
Lower numbers mean easier pedaling, so you wont be as tired when you hit the top of the hill.
on the pitch, the second to biggest gear in the back is 28t, which equals out to 0.89:1.
 

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So to sum up, and remember this is just my personal opinion, the only real advantage the line has over the pitch is the 1x drivetrain and hydraulic brakes, as for any serious trail riding, you are going to be upgrading the fork to an air fork ($200 through suntour upgrade program)
The Line is what I'd consider a highend department store bike. It has a 1 1/8" head tube. The fork sucks. The rear is 135 QR. The brakes are bottom barrel hydros. 1x9 gearing? WTH is that? Bottom bracket and crank are not even decent.

Move up to the Sync'r and you get tapered head tube. Boost front and rear (welcome to the present), 1x11 (11-46 with 30T front so decent low gear for climbing), decent crank and external threaded bottom bracket, much better fork, better brakes. Basically a bike that can be ridden on the trails without immediately having to upgrade anything and one that has current standards so if you want/need to upgrade anything there will be plenty of parts available and current technology. It's EASILY worth the $200 over the Line. No question about it.

If you can swing the extra $150 and even have the thought of leaving a smooth gravel path or paved road and riding on actual trails...I wouldn't even look twice at the Line. It's seriously a low end bike. It might work but it won't work well and it will either leave you having to spend more money upgrading/replacing parts or with a bad experience and maybe not even riding anymore. I've been there and done that when I didn't know better.
 
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