I posted this over at bikeforums....but that place seems to be a ghost town, so I joined up here hoping for some advice:
I will be in the market for a new MTB this year. My current ride is a 2004 GF Wahoo that I bought new 6 years or so ago. The bike has treated me very well as a general all-around bike, but this year I started to get into singletrack a lot and found the Wahoo to be a little lacking.
To begin with, it is very heavy and takes a lot of power to get going. Also, I can't quite put my finger on it but it just doesn't "feel right" when taking sharp corners bombing drops and hammering up through mud. The components are also starting to go. It was a nice all-around bike, but I feel like I have outgrown it and that it is time for an upgrade.
Basically, I am looking for a lightweight ride with mid level components that can handle moderatly agressive and technical singletrack. I don't want to spend much more than $1000.00. I don't think I need a full suspension, as I do not plan to bomb down mountains, but I am not sure whether to look at 29ers or not. Defininately want disk brakes.
There are a ton of bikes in this price/performance range, and I was hoping for some recommendations as to the best "bang-for-the buck" at this level to help narrow the field. One of the bikes I am looking at is the Trek 6500.
If it matters, I do a ton of road riding and also commute on a FG...so I am not a stranger to bikes in general...I am just not up to speed on MTB components and such.
My other thought was to just get a new fork for the Wahoo and some disk brakes, but I dont know if that would be worth it.
I would try a 29er for sure and I like the Trek also. Theres a ton of bikes out there in that price range so I would poke around here in the various forums, internet research, and hit some LBS to figure out what you want. Used prices are so low right now also that you can really snag some deals out there if you know what you're looking for.
Went to a couple LBS today. One shop had a deal on a 2007 Cannondale f3 Caffiene for $699. I don't know much about the bike. I read some of the reviews and it looks like some people have a problem with the fork. It seems to be light and a significant upgrade over my Wahoo. I'm a little concerned that a bike shop still has an 07 model handing around. Bike looked very dusty. No visibile scratches on the frame but some dirt. Cassette was shinney but chain was a little dirty with some rust. Is this a good deal or should I pass? The salesman was very eager to move it, so I am suspicious.
My other idea I have been toying with is to upgrade my Wahoo. I would need to swap out my wheels, upgrade to disk brakes, and get a new fork. Might try a rigid fork to keep cost down, but I don't know if that is practical for doing single track.
i wouldnt use a solid fork for the wahoo, thats just me personally,although it would probably work fine. That dale f3 is a good bike, but its not gunna be a huge improvement than the wahoo. Better yes, but not (omfg this is amazing)...
Then again its what you like, i would look around (for a while, a long while) to figure what you like best... Get out there and test sh*t out. If you get something, then regret it when you see something you never really looked at, your probably gunna regret it.
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