Getting my first real bike but have a tight budget

Mountain bike trails & Mountain bike reviews Protected: Forums Mountain Bike Forum Getting my first real bike but have a tight budget

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    • #124192

      I bought a 2012 Giant revel 1 26 in September 2012 for just cruising around town thinking I may want to go down a trail every now and then, now I am wanting to go ride trails every day. I have been shopping for a good bike on a limited budget and found a few deals at LBSs. They are at the top of my budget but I want something with good components that I won’t have to replace again in a year or two. Here are my options:

      2013 cannondale trail sl2 29er for 999
      Jamis Dakota d29 that one LBS offered to upgrade to all the same components except the derailleur would be shimano xls instead of SRAM x5 for 1000

      Anybody have any thoughts? I am in richmond va where there are lots of great trails, but I will also be doing a good bit of riding on roads with this bike just not sure which is better for what I need, and they are different shops so it’s hard to get a neutral opinion.

      Thanks!

    • #124193

      I haven’t ridden either, so I pulled up the specs on both bikes. The Jamis looks like the best buy to me. One point I like about the Jamis is the Shimano brakes. They’re really good. Hope that helps!

    • #124194

      I have ridden the SL2. It was in the final 3 for me. I really liked it but the winner for me was a F29 1 alloy! The sl2 was real nice. It seemed like the kind of bike that you look at and want to ride. That is for me what the Cdale line does. I love the lefty and really liked the sl2. I got such a deal on the F29 that I could not pass it up. Well speced and at $999 Not a bad price! I haven’t ridden the jamis so can’t comment on it. Jamis seems to have some nice bikes though. Ride em and see what feels right and go from there.
      Good luck!
      Bill

    • #124195
      "fishboy316" wrote

      I have ridden the SL2. It was in the final 3 for me. I really liked it but the winner for me was a F29 1 alloy! The sl2 was real nice. It seemed like the kind of bike that you look at and want to ride. That is for me what the Cdale line does. I love the lefty and really liked the sl2. I got such a deal on the F29 that I could not pass it up. Well speced and at $999 Not a bad price! I haven’t ridden the jamis so can’t comment on it. Jamis seems to have some nice bikes though. Ride em and see what feels right and go from there.
      Good luck!
      Bill

      Thanks for the tip. Where did you find an F29 for $999? That is an amazing deal. I have been looking for a while and the two I listed above are the best I could find in my budget.

    • #124196

      Sorry I paid $1699 for the lefty. Still a real good deal. If I hadn’t found the lefty I would have probably gotten the SL2. Nice bike. Just like the feel of a Cannondale.
      Good luck!
      Bill

    • #124197

      Just found another great deal for a little more money.

      Jamis Dakota D29 Race 2012 for $1199.

      I know it is a much better deal and the components of the cannondale trail sl 2 are not even close, just not sure which frame will be better on the trails.

      Does anyone have any experience with both setups? It is hard to tell which will work better just riding around the parking lot.

    • #124198

      Hey RV, when I was looking at mtb if i couldn’t get on a trail I would run em in a ditch and back out ,hop curbs and anything else I could find just to get a feel for the bike.Its all in what feels right to you. Improvise and ride the POO out of em!
      Bill

    • #124199

      Thanks for all the advice. I did a ton of test rides last week and ended up getting a 2012 Jamis Exile Race, which wasn’t even on the radar. I love the way it is set up, and the components are excellent for what I paid. I wasn’t crazy about the geometry on the cannondale. Like you suggested I took both of them out in the parking lot and rode over curbs and through ditches etc. I actually wrecked the one I bought during a demo. I was a little too comfortable and went flying around a corner in the parking lot. I had to lock up the brakes when someone pulled out in front of me and I bent the rim pretty bad, but I stayed upright. After that I was sold, but I did have to upgrade the rear wheel to something a little more sturdy. Thanks for all your input. Nothing left to do now but have a great riding season!

    • #124200

      Congrats on the new bike! It does look like a pretty nice set up. Now get out there and ride! 😄

    • #124201

      Congrats! Looks nice! Enjoy!
      Bill

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