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I'm new to the whole MTB business and I was at a few local shops today trying out a bunch of different bikes. What I'm going to be using the bike for is cross country trail riding, so in my searches today I wasn't looking for a full suspension bike, I was generally only looking at Hardtail bikes.

I tried:
Kona Blast $849 CDN
Norco Storm $849 CDN
Specialized Hardrock Comp $789 CDN
Trek 4500 $779 CDN
Giant Iguana $849 CDN

All of them were 05 models I believe.

At the last shop I was at, they had the Trek and Giant bikes, the salesperson told me that Giant had found a leftover 2003 Warp DS2. This is a full suspension bike and they were selling it for $800 CDN.

I have narrowed my choices down to the 05 Trek 4500 which I really liked, as well as the 03 Warp DS2. I called another place that sold Trek bikes and they said they had the same 4500 model for $669.95 CDN, so when I make my final decision, if it happens to be the Trek, I'll ask this other place if they'll match their price.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Also if I were to purchase the Warp, it would be right off the shelf as is, since there aren't any others. I'm not exactly sure if it's the right size for me. I forgot to ask about how big the frame was. It seemed ok, but I'm around a 16 - 17" frame, so I guess if the warp isn't in that range that makes my decision easy.

Am I correct in saying that the only difference between the two bikes is the fact that you have V brakes, full suspension and 27 speeds on the warp while the 4500 has disc, front fork only and 24 speeds? Basically all I'm paying for is full suspension, correct?

If anyone has an opinion on the subject, by all means let me know. I really appreciate it.
 

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in that price range, i would stay away from dual-suspension. save weight, maintenance, power, etc
 

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It depends

in Calgary, you can ride the flats, the Mtn trails or do Freeride and hucking. You don't say what you're going to do with your new bike, making it difficult at best to answer your question. But if you're not doing FR, then leave the (2 year old) Warp there, it's old and not meant for trail riding.

Jim
 

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Dont get Warped.

ninty said:
Yeah, i'm going to be doing trail riding mostly in the Fish Creek area and perhaps once in a while out in Bragg Creek or Kananaskis.
I would stick with the Trek, Specialized, or Iguana as an entry level bike over the Warp. Like someone already pointed out dual suspension bikes in that range are not very nice. IMO the Warp is not a vert good bike.

I am from Calgary also and you will have fun pounding around Fish Creek. For some other decent trails you might want to check out Bowmont park and Nose Hill in the NW.
 

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Agree....

OK, follow this as a guide if it helps...

1) get the best fit, that is, the best feeling bike cockpit (saddle to bars "feel")

2) best combo of performance, value and service

3) if possible make sure the fork is above entry level, and the bike should have disc brakes, probably mechanical. If not, make sure the hubs are disc ready, have the shop put discs on and remove the Vbrakes.

I don't know all those bikes... but a quick internet check of the Storm covers off most of that, assuming it fits you right.

Good luck, Jim
 

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JimC. said:
and the bike should have disc brakes, probably mechanical. If not, make sure the hubs are disc ready, have the shop put discs on and remove the Vbrakes.
i disagree. Vs are fine for most riding. If you find yourself having trouble locking the wheels when you should be able to then you need more power/weather-proofness/whatever.
 

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hmn...

the bikes he's looking at come with discs, you're suggesting he should retrofit V's? And he's going to be riding some pretty steep and often wet Cdn rocky Mtn trails. V's won't cut it.

Discs are now almost defacto standard for most trail bikes, and many XC also, so why be retro?

I won't enter into a V v.s. disc war, but you might want to read the disc brake FAQ over in Brakes about advantages. IMHO it's like ordering a tape deck in your new car instead of CD/MP3. But that's just me, lots like V's; you can have 'em.

Jim
 

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JimC. said:
the bikes he's looking at come with discs, you're suggesting he should retrofit V's?
no, i wasnt aware of that...
JimC. said:
almost defacto standard for most trail bikes, and many XC also, so why be retro?

I won't enter into a V v.s. disc war, but you might want to read the disc brake FAQ over in Brakes about advantages. IMHO it's like ordering a tape deck in your new car instead of CD/MP3. But that's just me, lots like V's; you can have 'em.
discs are better in almost every way, but not neccessary for lots of riders. i wouldn't pay a pemium to get the same bike with discs, but if you can afford to, go for it...
 

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I have the Trek 4100, and no problems for the last 3 years. Only thing I upgraded was to a Noleen Air fork because the stock fork sucks, but that's not necessary for easy trail riding.

I use it to race, huck off minor jumps (no more than 3ft) and it's held up perfect for a beginner bike. The other thing you might want to do in time if you get into more aggressive riding is a flatter stem, the stock one is like 45degrees lol.

Funny thing, my dad happens to have that Giant Warp full-susser. It's not worth it in that price range IMO, stick to the hardtail.
 
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