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What XC bike?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ive decided that i need something to work for this summer and I used to enjoy biking very much so what the heck.

I currently have a POS walmart bike, Pacific if i recall correctly. While i am living in burlington im sure that this bike will not be able to survive the trails. Im fact im sure it wont.

I will do 50/50 climbing and downhill. So it cant be too heavy, but im not looking for a road bike. The frame size would probly be 17". Im 5-10 170ish. Id like full systension, 5" give or take travel, good brakes, something i wont have to fix every 5 min but not a tank. Upgradable if i ever see fit. Id also like to have 3 chain rings, while ill be doing trail riding i may also do XC stuff where ill want some speed.

Ive been eyeing the Kona Dawg. The stinky looks to be way too much.

Price right now is up in the air, while lower is better, i may go ebay on this come late spring when i get a job again.

What animal am i looking for any why? What will i want to upgrade and why. Educate me
post #2 of 19

mtbr.com

Without a more specific price range, I'll recomment you go over to www.mtbr.com Look in the "what bike to buy" forum & run some searches for the type of stuff you're talking about. You can get a nice bike for about $1200 or a top of the line one for $3500, and there's everything in-between. You can also get the same bikes for about 50-60% of the new cost on craigslist or ebay if you know what you're doing.

FWIW, I have a Titus Racer X, and bought the frame off ebay for 1/2 retail, but there's lots of good bikes out there & you should look around a bit. some names to add to your list for 5" bikes:
Turner
Titus
Santa Cruz
Ventana
Intense
Yeti
post #3 of 19
In Kona's line, the Dawg is a good "one quiver bike". You won't win any XC races on it. It climbs OK, points downhill with stability and handles light free ride nicely.

That said, the Kikapu line climbs much faster and easier, as well as being much more nimble in tight, twisty trails. You really need to decide. If you are looking for more of an XC bike, the Kikapu is the better choice. If you are looking for something more free ride/ light downhill oriented, the Dawg is a very good choice.

I have ridden both extensively, I own and ride a Dawg Deluxe because of the terrain where I most often ride and my riding style. Occasionally we will head somewhere with smoother XC trails that are tight and I'm fighting the Dawg all day long...like driving a truck through the woods. Get it back on really rocky, technical, straighter terrain and I'm loving it.
post #4 of 19
Coincidentally, I have the same issue. I was looking at the Dawg, but was told today by the local shop that the Kikapu was probably better for my type of riding. Apparently the Dawg is somewhat heavy, which is great for freeriding and jumps, but not that great for uphill. I am old and feeble and therefore have decided on the Kikapu.
post #5 of 19
There really isn't a huge weight difference between the Kik and the Dawg. The biggest reason the Kik pedals and climbs better is it's geometry. You are sitting more behind the pedal's center on a Dawg, more over the center on a Kik, making it easier to climb. The slacker geomoetry of the Dawg overall makes it more stable for jumps and downhill use, but makes it less nimble than a Kik. Between the slacker geomoetry and the big 2.3 tires, the Dawg definitely takes more energy to get up hill.
post #6 of 19
Kika for a good FS trail bike. Might actually be light enough to do some beginner or sport class racing on it.

The Dawg would be another good choice and would be much more fun on the fun stuff. Rock gardens, logs, logpiles, Downhills, jumps, but you pay the price in climbing because of the "slacker" angles. slacker in MTB speak means that the head and seat tube are inclined more towards the rear of the bike. The Dawg recently places second in Mountain bike Action All-mountain Bike comparision.

The Stinky is downhill/freeride bike this is not what you are looking for....
post #7 of 19

Santa Cruz Heckler

I have a almost new 2004 Santa Cruz Heckler in size Large. It was built up using 2005 parts. The bike is equipped w/ Shimano XT everything, Mavic 717 Disc wheels and an Easton carbon Bar & stem. Thompson elite seatpost. The frame is Trans Red, which is the nicest color Santa Cruz has to offer. 5th Element coil rear shock. The fork is a 2005 Fox float 130 RLC. The bike weighs around 30 pounds. It come with all manuals and a shock pump. I will also throw in a near new pair of Kenda 2.1" tires.

The Heckler is considered to be one of the best all-mountain/light freeride bikes available. The bike is in excellent condition. I have used only top end 2005 parts on this bike, since it was my dream bike.

I am asking $3000 (CAD) obo., original retail price was over $4500(CAD).

PM me if you have any questions or want more information or pictures.
post #8 of 19
Don't discount Cannondale either, the Rush or the Prophet (i love my prophet) would definitley be a good look. The Rush is more of an XC, the Prophet is definitely more aggressive but still climbs really, really well. New they start cheap enough, and their solid. Oh yeah, and the lefty's are sweeeet. Also worth a look are the giant reign (last years can be found way cheap) and any santa cruz. If this is going to be your first "real" bike, single pivots are definitley a plus. Their (typically) cheaper and require less maintainance.

Also, being at UVM check out bustedspoke.com for eveything in the northeast, lots of UVM guys if you dont know them already.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
ok, my price range is FAR lower than what your asking, so sorry.

now i know what to look for when i get money.
im still needing an education. What is the advantage of certain types of shocks, frame geometry, brakes, delailures ect. most likly im going to get this bike off ebay as i am broke. So i will have to make sacrafices in what i want exactly, but what should i look for/ avoid?

thanks
post #10 of 19
I'm well acquainted with being broke, but.....

I highly recommend not getting your first real bike on e-bay. There are way too many moving parts on a bike that are crucial to the bike's function. All of them can go waaay wrong if abused and can make your purchased useless, super expensive to repair, or even dangerous.

Go to a reputable bike shop and get fitted for your bike! Just like ski boots, bike fit is more important than manufacturer, model, type, or price. They will stand behind their product if anything goes wrong and most will offer free tune ups for a period of time. Take advantage of these services!! In many cases, they will be happy to coach you through routine maintenance and can show you the problem areas to watch out for. Then, when you're educated and your skills have outgrown your current bike, you'll have a better idea of what to look for on e-bay.

We now buy frames and parts on e-bay and build all our own bikes to our own specifications....however, we've been doing this for 8 years now and have had our share of 'oh sh*ts!' on e-bay purchases.

I'd 2nd the Cannondales! We currently have 4 of our own and have built and given to family members 7 others. We ride them hard and they have held up exceptionally well.
post #11 of 19
Volkgirl has very good advice regarding eBay. I've seen many posts where someone bought a bike there and received it to find out later that the better parts were stripped and it was sold with lower quality components than OEM. If you are not familiar with these parts listed in the spec, you could get burned. DO NOT look at any of the Motobecanes listed on eBay.

If you are looking to spend in the $500 +/- range (most first bike purchaser's price range) do yourself a favor and get a hardtail. It's very difficult to get a worthwhile FS for less than ~$1k.
post #12 of 19
Specialized XC
Trek Fuel (don't know which model number)
Gary Fisher Cake

You won't be disappointed with any of these.
post #13 of 19
I know Kton was selling their rentals, IIRC the Dawgs were 850? I forget, maybe someone else will remember, Bush? Epic?
post #14 of 19
You're looking for a bike with "v" brakes or Mechanical disc brakes. Shimano Deore or LX, or Sram X7 components. RockShox, Manitou, or Marzocchi forks are within your price range.All of what I listed is what you'll find on a dual suspension for between $850-$1500. Iron Horse has really stepped up the last couple years and brought Dual susp. to the next level. The good thing about bikes anymore is if you break something, you can replace the part or fix it. Throw the Pacific in the recycling dumpster and thank Pacific for wasting so many beer cans!
IronHorsebikes.com
trekbikes.com
Specialized
post #15 of 19
If your concerned with price and are going to do mainly XC riding I wouldn't rule out getting a good quality hardtail instead of full suspension. You can get much better components and have a much better bike for a lot less than you could with a FS bike. I personally went from an ok FS bike that I had millions of problems with to a HT 29er and absolutly love the new bike. My bike now is a Gary Fisher Paragon. I'm quite a bit bigger than you but I absolutely love the 29 inch tires, they smooth out a lot of the bumps and that bike is fast. I don't miss the FS at all.
post #16 of 19

good buys

just like skiis, last years new bike can be 50% off at a reputable shop near you, frequently with a free tune up. dont buy used stuff that isnt local. and dont buy to upgrade later. it costs more . i bought a new last years ironhorse for half-price....and just the fork and rear shock as separate parts would have been 3/4 of the price that i paid.
post #17 of 19
Hey Man-here it it is:

You're looking for the most commonly produced bike out there-the xc/ trail dualie..and you're in luck because right now every (!) bike manufacturer makes one--a good one at that-yep-they're all good! The Stump Jumper, Kikapu, Fuel, Trance, Azure/ MKIII, K2 Apache, The Rush, the Superlight, The Marins, --all pretty great bikes available in 4-5 trim levels for all levels of serious bike buyers.

You could drive yourself to the point of insanity weighing the pro's/ con's and finer details of each specific brand--but you know what-at equal pricepoints-they're all pretty much the same. Really. Same taiwanese welding, same shimano/ sram gruppos (with a little Truvativ, FSA and RACE FAce bits thrown in for fun) comparable suspensions pieces, similar geometries...

My advice-Figure out your price-hit a few shops--bring cash if you want the best deals (and go on rainy weekdays)-ride a few bikes-focusing mostly on fit more than anything else. after you have a couple of potential winners-Pick the one that has the most appealing color scheme--and then ride the damn thing till it breaks and do the whole process over again.

Have Fun-I like orange bikes (and mettalic green ones, too)
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmanmlh View Post
Ive decided that i need something to work for this summer and I used to enjoy biking very much so what the heck.

I currently have a POS walmart bike, Pacific if i recall correctly. While i am living in burlington im sure that this bike will not be able to survive the trails. Im fact im sure it wont.

I will do 50/50 climbing and downhill. So it cant be too heavy, but im not looking for a road bike. The frame size would probly be 17". Im 5-10 170ish. Id like full systension, 5" give or take travel, good brakes, something i wont have to fix every 5 min but not a tank. Upgradable if i ever see fit. Id also like to have 3 chain rings, while ill be doing trail riding i may also do XC stuff where ill want some speed.

Ive been eyeing the Kona Dawg. The stinky looks to be way too much.

Price right now is up in the air, while lower is better, i may go ebay on this come late spring when i get a job again.

What animal am i looking for any why? What will i want to upgrade and why. Educate me

Try asking some of your classmates. You go to one of the best ECCC (Eastern collegiate cycling conference) mountain biking schools (I think they won the D1 title this year-- my school won the D2 title, bwhahaha ).

http://www.uvm.edu/~cycling/

Honestly though, more than the bike, make sure the shop you go to is killer. Ask some of guys there where they go-- I'm sure they'll be happy to help, even better, they might be able to hook you up through their shop sponsor (if they have one).
post #19 of 19
I can add a little more to the discussion if you are still in the market. As said earlier, it is wise to get your first bike from a local bike shop (your POS wal-mart wheeled thing doesn't qualify as a real bike). The bike fit is more important than anything else. Before you go into a bike shop, get a sense of how much you would like to spend. Your goal is to buy a good fitting bike in your price range. Try to find a good bike shop that will be up-front with you and not just trying to talk you into buying what they want to unload. This will be the hardest thing to do, but when you find that good bike shop, you will know.

As for specific bikes, any of the major bike manufacturers carried at the bike shops will be good bikes. Just like skiis, somebody will swear by one brand, while somebody else thinks that they are trash. Kona, Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, etc. etc. etc. When at a bike specific shop, they are all good. The same goes for components.

One thing to think of, the most expensive single part of your bike will be the frame. Make sure you get the best frame in your budget, because you can always upgrade the components later.

Also, ask around the bike shops or any local clubs for used bikes. You may get a fairly new bike for less than half retail. Make sure if you buy used that you know the person, or have a bike shop go over the whole bike before finalizing the deal. You don't want to buy a used bike and then have to spend 2-300 dollars fixing something.

This is long enough, but reply or PM me if you want more advice.
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