Newb looking for bike purchase guidance

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Newb looking for bike purchase guidance


This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  kamaaina1 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #213348

    Hi gang!

    I searched, but did not find a definitive answer.  I’m a newb looking for a new bike.  Bike will most like be a 50% street / 50% trail use ride.  I’m a bit on the heavier side 5’7” 200lbs.  So I’m trying to decide between a 27.5 hardtail or FS.  I’ve kinda narrowed it down to either the Santa Cruz Chameleon or Kona Cinder Cone, or the Kona Precept 120 FS.  I live in the Pacific Northwest (mostly wet), if that has any play on decision. Not planning on any trails more advanced than Novice or beginner.  Just want to have fun with exercise built in.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated!!

  • #213369

    See if you can’t try before you buy! It’s worth paying 50 or so bucks to rent a bike that you are interested for a day and getting the right one the first time.


    Out of those you have selected, that Chameleon looks pretty sweet and would be the bike I gravitate towards.

  • #213372

    If you’re going to be spending half your time on pavement and have no plans to get really rowdy off road, then you’re better off getting one of the hardtails.  Either the Cinder Cone or the Chameleon should suit you well.  I will second Chris’ suggestion that you actually try one out before buying.  There’s no substitute for a good test ride, even for a newb.  Buy the one that you feel most comfortable on.  You will ride more and ride better, both of which are good for you.

    As for the wet climate, the bike of choice is not nearly so much a factor as the rubber of choice.  Make sure you get your bike equipped with tires that are best suited to wet conditions.  A good shop will be able to make recommendations.

  • #213436

    Hey! I agree with the choice of hardtail. Also just a thought but look around for a good used bike, perhaps bring a friend who can help. I started with a well used Cannondale and it’s one of my favorite bikes I’ve owned!


  • #213441

    It’s tough to give you a straight answer due many varying factors like personality, skill, intentions, end goal etc. I started much like you but have ended up doing a complete 180 and now spend all my time on trail trying to get as rowdy as possible.

  • #213458

    Well, after test riding a few H/T’s & F/S’s at the LBS, I decided on a 2017 Santa Cruz 5010 27.5 demo.  Pretty sweet deal.  It was only ridden on one trail ride, then turned back in.  They knocked off $200 for an OTD price of $2800.  Bike seems to have some upgrades.  Fox Rhythm 34 shocks, upgraded cassette, tubeless setup, and a few others.  Happy camper here!

    Thank you for your input!!



  • #213459

    Nice, congrats!

  • #213493

    Nice bike, is that an R1 or R2,  SRAM or Shimano shifters?

  • #213563

    Shimano shifters.  As far as R1 or R2, it’s kinda weird.  It’s the R2, but has the S model FOX 34 Float Performance 130 Fork.

  • #213608

    That was a quick decision!

  • #213633

    Yeah, a bit, but I ‘ve been researching for a few weeks now, and my 50% street / 50% trail statement was inaccurate.  Bike will be primarily a Trail bike with occasional (PNW nice days) work commute, which is usually few and far between : )

    I thank you all for your input!


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