I want to buy a hardtail trail bike. My budget is 1K. I am deciding between talon 2, san Quentin 1, and rockhopper sport. I live in long island NY so there are no mountains. I am looking to get something in the 36t or 32t chainrings. What is your take on it?
The less travel a bike has, the more it benefits from wider taller tires. For a Hardtail, I would be looking for at least 29×2.4 tires and 29×2.6 tires would be better.
In addition, I would be looking for a Hardtail with modern progressive Trailbike geometry with something like a ~75 degree seattube angle and ~66 degree headtube angle. Bikes like the Rockhopper have old school XC geometry and narrow tires.
Here are some modern geo Trail Hardtails that have 29×2.6 tires.
I would also look at the Merida Big Trail (this is a new model).
Availability will/may also be an issue. I’m in Australia our local dealer (Trek) can’t get adult bikes.
So we did a 6.5 hour drive and talked to Specialized dealer he said that he hadn’t seen a bike since March. A Giant dealer said that he’d have 2 24″ bikes in for Christmas. So we went to a big multi shop and multi brand dealer ship and put a deposit on 3 bikes with a initial delivery date of 2 months away.
Of those bikes, I like the San Quentin most — I’ve never ridden a Marin, but I’ve heard good things and what I’ve seen online has been great. However, you’re probably more likely to be able to get your hands on a Talon before a San Quentin is available (unless you’re buying used). That said, I’ve own two Giants and absolutely loved them, so I don’t think you can go wrong with a Talon! The SQ will be more aggressive, but if you’re riding mostly near where you live, any of those bikes will be great.
If you have some handy skills or a friend in a bike shop, you could build a great MTB with that budget. I built mine with $1,200 buying online (frame from chainreactioncycles) parts catching discounts. But you have to be patient. If not, I would go with the San Quentin as it has the more updated geometry and the best look in my opinion. Please find attached a picture of my hardtail built.
Thanks everyone for your advice. After looking into the Marin and Giant, I was able to purchase a Maring Bobcat 3. I know it’s not top of the line but I wanted to have a feel for Marin bikes. It has not arrived yet but I am can’t wait for it to be at home. Thanks renehlaure for sharing a pic of your bike. it looks great.