Long time roadie considering Mountain Biking

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Look 566 Rider, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Look 566 Rider

    Look 566 Rider New Member

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    Since I got no response in the MTB forum...

    Good day,

    Seriously considering Mountain Biking... As much as you can in Central Ohio anyway.

    Main concerns for me are, Hardtail or Full Suspension? 26er or 29er?

    Since I am not sure I will really "dig it", I plan to keep trolling Craig's List for a decent buy. Scored a nice Scott hybrid for my wife for $200. Anyone have an idea on what frame makers have less trouble than others with durability?

    I get the rest of the what to expect as far as components and so forth since I have been road riding for a long time. So if I decide I really like this, I know I can upgrade as money allows.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    Do not sell your road bike if possible, so that your new MTB just gives you more riding variety. Having a road bike background favours hardtail. Not sure what to recommend for wheel diameter, i use a 26'.
     
  3. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    Your questions can be better answered if you tell us what sort of mountain bike trails you plan on riding. A hardtail is faster and more responsive on smoother terrain, but full suspension is faster and more comfortable on rough terrain. A 26er accelerates faster and is more maneuverable, whereas a 29er rolls over obstacles easier and provides a suspension effect.

    What is your price point? A quality hardtail 26er should be much less expensive than a full suspension 29er, in terms of both initial investment and maintenance costs. I'm an avid proponent of shopping for bikes on craigslist or discount online retailers like bikesdirect.com, but only if you're knowledgeable regarding bike quality and proper sizing.

    Also, search google for "hardtail vs full suspension" and "26er vs 29er" for more opinions than you have time to read.
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest a 29er. As has been stated they are easier to get over obstacles. You can convert it into an instant hybrid by adding a set of 700 X 35+ tires to ride with your wife. I have a Cannondale SL4 which has Alivio components and the option of adding a rack and rear fender. This may come in handy in years ahead because I plan to use this bike as a grocery getter and foul weather ride. Currently I only use this bike off road on the trails.

    Locally craigs list has three mountain bike listings to every road bike. Craigs list is a good source of used bikes and I would recommend that you look for bikes with Deore or above in Shimano components and X5 and higher in Sram components. Suspension lock out is a good feature so you may want to stick to bikes that have lockouts. Use good judgement and apply your knowledge of road bikes to buying a mountain bike.
     
  5. Look 566 Rider

    Look 566 Rider New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    This bike will be in addition to road riding. I would never get rid of my Mistress (see screen name).

    I have my de-commisioned Cannondale to ride with my wife.
     
  6. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Most of the marked MTB Trails here in Ohio are fairly easily ridden on a 26" hardtail. There are a few over in the Hocking Valley area where a 29er with a suspended fork would have been more in order. If you are going to be blazing your own trails or riding on trails that are not normally designated as a mountain bike trail, then a full suspension 29er might be in order.

    Nearly all of the mass marketed manufacturers have MTB offerings. Specialized has their Stump Jumper series, Hard Rock series, and RockHhopper series MTBs. Cannondale has their Trail series. Then there is Diamondback, Raliegh, etc.
     
  7. Look 566 Rider

    Look 566 Rider New Member

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    Thanks Kdelong. The trail info is helpful. Bike selection will be kept to the "real" bike makers. Now if I could just get the numbskulls on Craigslist to respond!
     
  8. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    I went through the same dilemma two years ago. I was a roadie and wanted to expand my riding experience. I was not sure what to get and after talking to many of my Friend's that ride both road and dirt I decided to get a 29er HT. I bought a cheaper Motobecane so that I could ride it for a couple of years and see if I liked it. I have to say I know spend a lot of time on dirt as well as the road in fact I liked it so much that over the winter I am building my dream mountain bike. If you are like me you are making a great choice on adding a mountain bike to your collection. There is one problem, deciding what bike to ride./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    As far as answering your question on what to get. Well it depends a lot on your budget and what you want to get out of the bike. I would go for a 29er FS. I am very anal and like to have the very best. That being said before I decided on a bike to build I test rode a lot and I did it on trails that I was familiar with. I rode many 26 FS's, 29 HT's and 29 FS bikes. I decided on a 29er FS. I live in Northern Michigan so the trails are probably similar other than I have more hills. The Giant Anthem and Niner Jet Nine stood out above the rest.

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. Look 566 Rider

    Look 566 Rider New Member

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    Should be getting my "new" ride Monday. '09 Specialized Rockhopper 26er. Alivio and Acera with Shimano disc brakes. Comes with SPD Platform pedals. Pretty good shape. Wheels need a little truing. $375 from Craigslist.
     
  10. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    Sounds like a great buy. Now go ride the wheels off of it and enjoy...
     
  11. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Sweet! Nice deal.
     
  12. Look 566 Rider

    Look 566 Rider New Member

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    Update.
    9 mile mostly road with heavy pea gravel trail ride. Rode over every bump curb and off road area I could find in my burb. Think is going to be a lot of fun on a proper trail!

    Rode to my LBS that handles Specialized bikes. They gave it a light look over and said all was OK. The Tech quickly lubed the chain, straightened a slight bend in the front disc.

    Returned today with a plate of Christmas cookies.
     
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