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  #1  
Old 10-11-2002, 12:02 PM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
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Question Mountain bike recommendantion

I am in the process of looking for a new mountain bike to replace my trusty, but now almost obsolete Parkpre bike

The bikes that I've been looking at are all hardtails (no rear suspension, I am a purist that way). the makes are Gary Fisher (Big Sur or Hoo Koo E Koo models), Cannondale (F600) or Kona (Cinder Cone or Lava Dome). These are all mid-range models (all under $1k). I can't justify spending over $1k on a bike and...more importantly, I can't afford to pay that much

Do any of you have any recommendations or know anything about these bikes

Thanks in advance

PS: Please don't mention the Mercedes Benz mountain bike (on their catalog). It is a nice bike, I just can't justify paying that much dough for a bike!
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2002, 01:01 PM
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I have a Novara Safari, sold by REI, it is a comfort or hybrid bike, and I ride it almost every day. It is wonderful on road, very comfortable on gravel roads, fun on dirt trails. It has a unique front suspension, excellent hand grip, has a shock integrated into the seat support, comes with a rear rack, front panyard supports, and a 24 speed gear system. On level roads you can ride in the 25 mph range easily, on mild downgrades up to about 32.



Here is a couple of pix

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Last edited by Lebenz; 10-11-2002 at 02:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2002, 01:42 PM
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Marin Eldridge Grade

I bought mine 4 years ago, mainly because I love the long top tubes and sweet ride of a steel hard tail. Recently found out that they are still making it. Mine doesn't have much of the original equipment left, but I'm very hard on bikes. Not sure if its still under $1G though.
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2002, 01:57 PM
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Tracy, interesting handlebars...

...what kind are they? Looks like you use your bike for some serious commuting.

MapMapper...I've also looked at the Marin bikes. Itis getting harder and harder to find a good steel hardtail. Someone told me that within the next couple of years the quality hardtail steel bikes may be a thing of the past.

I've seriously considered upgrading my own bike, but upgrades are nearly as expensive as getting the same package in a new bike, hence my quest for a new steed. (Though I'll probably keep my old bike for purely sentimental reasons; it has taken me through quite a few miles and a lot of falls )
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1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

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  #5  
Old 10-11-2002, 02:00 PM
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what is a steel hard tail and why would someone want a bike that rides hard and uncomfortable?

what's a good all around mtn bike in the $500 range?
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2002, 02:26 PM
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Actually, serious screwing around is more accurate. The handlebars are oem. Don’t know if they are available after market as you’d need the goose neck as well.... If you look closely the yellow thingie is a shock absorber...
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2002, 02:27 PM
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I bought a used Diamond Back a few years ago thats worked good for me. It doesn't have any shocks though. I'd like to put some on the front but don't use it enough to justify the cost. I did change the rear gear set to gear it down, its a stump puller now.


And a poll: What type of shifter does everybody like? I have the thumb shifters that seem pretty nice, but I see most of the new bikes have the twist type. I wonder how they would be, if anybody has an opinion about them.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2002, 02:27 PM
maxboxa
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what type of riding do you do?
i used to do alot of singletrack and cross country and loved my litespeed. titanium frames have been the most comfortable i've found. if you can find a decent used one, i'd recommend that over a new mediocre bike.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2002, 02:51 PM
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Cool I like all the responses that I am getting

I should have mentioned this earlier (thanks for reminding me Max)....

I ride a mix of street riding and trails, mostly fire roads. Lots of hill climbing. (Anywhere you go, around where I live, there are hills to climb).

I am not a fast rider, but I am fairly strong and VERY persistent, espceially when climbing hills.

My main concern with getting a used frame, especially aluminum, is how well it was treated by the PO. That's why I like steel, it is nealry bullet-proof.
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1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

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  #10  
Old 10-11-2002, 03:06 PM
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My old Specialized hardtail RockHopper has a Grivin (sp?) articulated stem with elastomer 'shocks' that work like the one on Tracy's bike. My Specialized M2 hardtail Alloy Stumpjumper (From TiDAWG in this forum - thanks Ron!) has the traditionl shock type fork. The Alloy M2 with the sloped top tube rides faster and more like a road bike on streets, and the shock forks are more forgiving to the entire body on rough trails. Still, the Grivin assembly is pretty good on easing shocks to the arms and upper body, and weighs a bunch less. I enjoy the alloy more than the steel (But I preferred my steel roadbike over the alloy!) I have been thinking about swapping to a hard alloy fork and Grivin on the M2 as it would shave a couple pounds of the bike. But first I have to build back up to where I can ride again!

BENZ-LGB: We live pretty close to each other - if you want to borrow the M2 and see how the alloy rides for a while, it is at your disposal. Otherwise it will just sit there until the docs think I can do that level of workout again.
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jamesnj
what is a steel hard tail and why would someone want a bike that rides hard and uncomfortable?
It means that the frame is constructed from steel tubing (as opposed to aluminum or titatium). 'Hard tail' refers to the fact that the rear triangle has no suspension. Hard tail bikes usually only have a front suspension fork.

I like it because I love climbing, and the hard tail frame gives me a nice rigid base for that. Try climbing a rock strewn trail with a full suspension and then with a hard tail and you'll see the difference. The level of control over the rear wheel is amazingly better.

Its not hard or uncomfortable, just a different ride. The steel tubing flexes more that aluminum or carbon, at a much lower price than titanium. I compare my friends Trek 'Y' bike to riding a couch down the trails, whereas my Marin is like threading a Porsche down a country road.
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:28 PM
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check out "GT bicycles"... they have some good bikes
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:47 PM
maxboxa
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LGB - some of the most fun i had with my bikes in the past was actually building them up. that's another thing to think about. you get to pick exactly what parts you want on it and you don't need to spend all at once. a great place for reviews and a marketplace is mtbr.com .

and i still recommend a nice titanium hardtail frame for all those hill climbs. nice and rigid when you go up and it absorbs just enough to keep your *ss in the saddle on those rocky descents.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2002, 05:10 PM
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i enjoy my specialized hardrock sport very much.

it didn't break the bank and can be accessorized very easily.

just a thought.

peter
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2002, 08:18 PM
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Gary Fisher Kai Tai

BENZ-LGB,

I got a Gary Fisher Kai Tai (just one step down from a Hoo Koo E Koo) two years ago and have enjoyed it. It's aluminum, so the ride's not as nice as a steel or titanium bike, but the shock (Judy xc) helps. The Genesis geometry works fine for me - especially downhill. I live in/near the Southern Appalachian mountains and have access to some really nice local single track and fire roads. This bike works fine for what I do.

If I had to do it over again, though, I think I'd do as Maxboxa suggests and buy a used titanium frame bike. Titanium is forgiving (unlike aluminum...) and is more durable than steel. Oh yeah, and it's light. Litespeed makes some nice bikes, btw. Find a decent frame used and upgrade components as they are needed....kinda like some of us work on our cars...
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