Hello, and seeking advice

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Hello, and seeking advice

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    • #78222

      Good afternoon. I’ve been checking out the forum for a while, and made a couple of posts recently in the Southeast forum, but thought I would elevate my introduction to the broader forum.

      I’m also in the market for a new bike, and thought I’d see what some of you have to say. I currently ride a Specialized HardRock. It’s probably ten years old, and the only upgrade I have ever made is to clipless pedals. It has no suspension.

      I am no expert rider, but I have put that bike to the test over the years and I’d say it is a pretty solid ride. I’m just ready for an upgrade, so that I can take my riding to the next level.

      My two main goals in buying a new bike is suspension and disk brakes. Regarding suspension, I am uncertain whether to go front or full. Any advice here on the advantages/disadvantages would be great. Cost may end up being the deciding factor in the end. I have seen reference to hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes on the forum, but don’t know much about them beyond that (except that my friends’ bikes stop on a dime, while I squeak along with my old brake pads).

      Based on my experience with my current bike, I wouldn’t mind staying with Specialized, but based on some preliminary research it looks like I could get a similar bike from Trek, for instance, for less dough.

      Budget wise, I would like to keep it around $1,000, but could go to $1,500 without too much pain. Beyond that, I will need some serious convincing (or perhaps a loan).

      Speaking of which, I wanted to pass along that Trek has a credit line that you can take to your LBS and get 90 days SAC.

      I plan to hit up my LBS for guidance too, but would appreciate your advice.

      See ya on the trails.

    • #78223

      Good to have you here!

      I guess I’ll throw in my advice since I have a couple minutes here. If you are looking to upgrade and stay with Specialized you already made a good choice. In my experience the Rockhopper just rocks (well it hops rocks). If you are willing to spill 1k than I might suggest the Rockhopper Expert Disc a good bike for the money. It comes loaded with a RockShox Tora SLite.

      "fleetwood" wrote

      I have seen reference to hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes on the forum, but don’t know much about them beyond that (except that my friends’ bikes stop on a dime, while I squeak along with my old brake pads).

      And judging by the statement above you are slightly jealous? Well it also has hydraulic disc brakes, but they are Tektro and personally not my favorite, but you can always throw on some Juicy 5’s or something that might tickle your bone. But don’t let the non-squeaking fool you, all brakes have the ability to squeak at some point.

    • #78224

      I’d have to agree with Asfyxiate that sticking with Specialized would definitely serve you well. Though if it were me, I’d personally go with the Rockhopper Comp Disc…I’m still learning a lot about disc brakes, but I think a good pair of mechanical disc brakes (like the BB5’s on the Comp Disc) would be better than cheap hydraulic discs (like the Tektro’s that Asfyxiate is referring to). That’s just a personal opinion, though, from a guy with a tighter budget 😀 Either way you’d be getting a great bike. I ride a Gary Fisher Marlin that I recently put Avid BB7s onto, and I absolutely love it. Every guy/gal on here is going to be able to recommend a certain make/model of bike, and likely they’ll all be valid suggestions. You’ll have the fun of being able to sift through it all & pick the right bike for you. A lot of it will probably come down to you test riding a lot of bikes & seeing which one fits you the best. Good luck & happy shopping!

    • #78225

      I had my eye on the RockHopper, but wasn’t sure which model to go with. So, the PRO has hydraulic discs, which in general is the way to go, but the consensus here and elsewhere (I checked out other posts, reviews, etc.) is that Tektro stinks. The Comp has Avid BB5’s, according to the spec sheet, which sound like a good way to go if you’re going mechanical.

      If I went with the mechanical, and wanted to upgrade to hydraulic down the road, would that be a big deal?

      thanks for the advice

    • #78226
      "Mongoose" wrote

      The only real difference between the BB5’s and 7’s is the brake lever, and besides that they work and modulate the same. In fact, I have been told that they are the exact same caliper. The biggest difference between these mechanical brakes and hydraulics is the stopping power & smooth modulation that the hydraulics offer. Mechanical brakes never worked that great with clydesdale riders either.

      I’m only about 160, so I don’t think I fit into the Clydesdale category.

      I just got a lead on a barely used Santa Cruz Blur for what seems like a really good price. I’ve requested the model info, specs, pics, etc. I checked out the bike on the SC site, and it looks real nice. Is anyone here familiar with these bikes? To be honest, I wasn’t previously aware that SC made bikes (years ago I had a SC skateboard).

      I also wonder if there is such a thing as "too much bike" based on riding level and knowledge of bike mechanics.

    • #78227

      Hey folks I just want to add something. On the BB7 you can adjust both the inner and outer pad, it uses a two piece caliper and the pads are the same as the juicy series brakes. The BB5 only has outer pad adjustment..Other than that. they function the same with the same power and both feature the tri-allign system..Either brake work great….

    • #78228
      "fleetwood" wrote

      [quote="Mongoose":14t3trd0]The only real difference between the BB5’s and 7’s is the brake lever, and besides that they work and modulate the same. In fact, I have been told that they are the exact same caliper. The biggest difference between these mechanical brakes and hydraulics is the stopping power & smooth modulation that the hydraulics offer. Mechanical brakes never worked that great with clydesdale riders either.

      I’m only about 160, so I don’t think I fit into the Clydesdale category.

      I just got a lead on a barely used Santa Cruz Blur for what seems like a really good price. I’ve requested the model info, specs, pics, etc. I checked out the bike on the SC site, and it looks real nice. Is anyone here familiar with these bikes? To be honest, I wasn’t previously aware that SC made bikes (years ago I had a SC skateboard).

      Santa Cruz makes very nice bikes. The Blur is a great cross country bike.

      I also wonder if there is such a thing as "too much bike" based on riding level and knowledge of bike mechanics.[/quote:14t3trd0]

      Santa Cruz makes very nice bikes. The Blur is a great cross country bike. I purchased a Blur LT a couple of years ago and love it. The LT (Long Travel) is a slightly stretched out Blur with some extra front end shock length. A new Blur now will set you back about $3500, so you may want to take a look at that used one and at least try it out. They will handle as rough of terrain as I want to tackle. Only downside is the VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension which gives a fantastic ride, doesn’t bob at all, but requires some maintenance about once a year. Pivots and bearings wear out. New Blurs have a grease fitting to help prevent that, but not the old ones. Try out as many bikes as you can and get the one that feels best.

    • #78229
      "Mongoose" wrote

      First off, my apologies about the clydesdale thing, was not insinuating that by no means, just sharing info.

      No need to apologize. I was just stating my weight for technical reasons. It clearly makes a difference when it comes to brakes, so I just wanted to point out that I may not need the same stopping power as a 200+ rider. I appreciate the insight. I’m learning a lot on this site, so I welcome any and all comments.

      I will definitely check out the Blur. What I know so far is that it is a Large SC Blur XC that was purchased in 2004, but only ridden for two years. Additionally, I was told "It’s a full suspension with an anodized aluminum frame…It has full Shimano XT components, Hayes hydraulic disc brakes, Mavic Crossland wheelset (UST tubeless), Manitou Minute fork with stable platform (SPV), Fox rear shock, TIME carbon pedals…" The guy was going to e-mail pictures, but I may try to check it out this weekend.

    • #78230

      Mongoose no worries bro…Hey how are the Ace’s….By the way I think in this case a pair of stroker ace’s would be awsome!…

    • #78231
      "fleetwood" wrote

      I just got a lead on a barely used Santa Cruz Blur for what seems like a really good price. I’ve requested the model info, specs, pics, etc. I checked out the bike on the SC site, and it looks real nice. Is anyone here familiar with these bikes? To be honest, I wasn’t previously aware that SC made bikes (years ago I had a SC skateboard).

      I also wonder if there is such a thing as "too much bike" based on riding level and knowledge of bike mechanics.

      If you can get your hands an a Blur (assuming it’s not more than a couple years old) for the same price, I would so go for it. Santa Cruz bikes are some of the best around!

      Some people do get more bike than they ride (full suspension on bike paths for instance) but maybe your riding can grow into your bike’s abilities. Don’t be afraid to buy a bike with more travel now if you think you can use it later – especially if you get a smokin’ deal! I will caution you in that most of the time extra travel can mean extra weight and more of a freeride geometry which may make the uphills tougher than they need to be.

    • #78232
      "Beaker" wrote

      If you can get your hands an a Blur (assuming it’s not more than a couple years old) for the same price, I would so go for it. Santa Cruz bikes are some of the best around!

      The guy said he bought it in 2004, so it’s got a few years on it. There were some reviews on MTBR and it sounds like there is definitely some maintenance/upkeep with the VPP, as CraigCreekRider pointed out. A few riders also complained about not having SC dealers in their area. Since I have a LOT to learn about bike mechanics, if something does go wrong with it, am I going to be sorry there is no SC dealer in the Richmond, VA area (I’m assuming there is no dealer at this point)? I typically go to Agees, but I know there are a couple of other shops in town. Is there any reason they would not be able to help me if I needed it?

    • #78233
      "Mongoose" wrote

      PICTURE PLEASE!!! 😄 😄 😄 😄

      Here are the pictures I received:

      Image

      Image

      Image

    • #78234
      "Mongoose" wrote

      Nice rig brother and thanks for sharing! Wow, that is one long stem! 😮

      I thought so too. I suppose I could adjust it or replace it if I don’t like the feel.

      "Mongoose" wrote

      Is that the 130mm travel Minute fork? If it is, that is the exact same fork I have on my wifes rig that I ride aggressive XC & light FR on from time to time. One heck of a fork with lots of adjustments for you to play with to make your ride better. Did you get it?

      All I know so far is that it is a "Manitou Minute Two SPV fork", whatever that means. No, I didn’t get it. I am planning to go by on Sunday and take a look. Any suggestions on the critical things to check out while I am "kicking the tires"?

    • #78235

      I just got another lead on a used (rental) 2008 Kona Four ([url:183n9pnb]http://www.konaworld.com/08_four_w.htm[/url:183n9pnb]). It was only used last season, and it sounds like barely at that, before the store went out of business in October. Retail was $1,200 and it is currently listed for $800. Anyone have any experience with this bike?

      And since I would be buying it from a licensed dealer, I would still be eligible for the warranty.

    • #78236

      a question no one ever awnsered for him is fs vs hardtail… i too have a hard rock thou mines a front suspension set up a fs bike will greatly increase your preloading hopping ability and your comfort level too but idk any disadvantages to them seing as i never owned one besides a walmart special i destroyed in with in days of purchase just fyi for you guys it had a plastic gear on the derailer can you freaking beleive it? anyways love my hard tail tho and the rockhopper ne the hard rock look alot alike

    • #78237

      I think your choice should be based on the trails you ride and your riding style. If the trails you ride aren’t real bumpy or have really gnarly and bumpy downhills I would stick with a hardtail. You can get a nice hardtail in your price range. You will only get a low end FS for $1500. A hardtail will generally be lighter and more efficient with less moving parts to break. If I were you I would get a nice hardtail with a good fork and hydraulic disc brakes along with a decent rear derailluer like a Shimano XT or SRAM X9. Good cranks and a decent wheelset are a plus too. You won’t get all that with $1500 or less on a FS. I would look into a Stumpjumper HT if you wanted something new.

      And yes there is such a thing as too much bike. I wouldn’t try to get a heavy freeride bike with 8" travel and 2.5" tires if all I rode were xc trails. As far as too nice? No such thing as too nice.

      Kona makes good bikes but I never rode one. Not a bad price on the Kona especially if it’s in good shape but the components aren’t that great.

    • #78238

      I’d like to thank everyone here for their opinions and recommendations. I’ve driven myself mad the last couple of weeks, but it has been a great learning experience.

      Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours at my LBS and came home with a new Gary Fisher Tassajaro Disc. Now, I can stop reading reviews and contemplating this over that, and get back to riding! Hopefully, my first ride on the new bike will be soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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