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    • #119129

      Hello everyone!

      My name is Matt and I am from lower NYS (Putnam County to be exact). I am just getting back into trails/omountain riding since I stopped when I was just a wee lad. I used to ride my trusty 24" Magna mountain bike all up and down the local trails with ease!! I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy fishing, hunting, shooting, archery, hiking, and soon enough blowing down trails on a bike!! I have a few questions for you guys as far as getting back into it.
      I know, I know… Another new guy who will ask a ton of questions and you’ll answer them the same as always!!

      I am currently looking into a couple of options. Ideally, I would love to get a Specialized Rockhopper 29er. I am just having a hard time justifying the purchase at a little over $900. My concerns with getting a dpt store bike (Diamondback, Mongoose, etc..) Is that I am a bit larger than most. I am 300+ and, to me, buying a "lesser" quality bike scares me. If I am going to be hitting trails, I want to know that my bike can handle them with my big ass on it! I also looked into the Hardrock, but I figure for a little extra I am getting a much better bike… (According to the bike store associate)… I have been regularly checking craigslist and Ebay for used, but good condition bikes. I’ve found plenty of older style bikes in my area, but nothing that I am willing to spend money on and bring it to get looked at only to find out I have to replace $500 worth of parts in order for it to accommodate me. I have had a bad experience with buying second hand stufffrom people.

      Do you guys think that this would be a good starting point for someone my size? I am told by the bike shop that my size is really of no concern for todays bicycle technology, especially with higher end bikes. He said he has had to do some suspension work for larger customers and that they would take care of that with the bike purchase free of charge. I know the theory of spring rates from my track riding days (motorcycle 04′ cbr1000rr). I was a few pounds thinner back than though.

      Anyway, thank you for reading and I hope to meet up with some local guys to tear it up once I get set up and back into shape a bit!

      Take care!!

      – Matt

    • #119130

      Hi there Matt and welcome to the fold! You’re in for some awesome times. Just a couple thoughts about your comments:

      1) Run, don’t walk from a dept. store bike. The difference between that and the Rockhopper is so great that they shouldn’t both be considered the same machine. A Wal-Mart bike will give you nothing but trouble and will cause you to never want to ride again. A quality bike from a reputable local bike shop will be set up correctly and ready to roll. You won’t have to do anything but adjust for some stretched shifting cables a few rides in which they’ll be happy to take care of for you.

      2) Your weight isn’t out of the ordinary in MTB and you were told correctly that the bulk of today’s bikes are built to handle the stresses of what they call the Clydesdale class riders.

      3) If you’re not comfortable with used, then I’m not one to talk you into it, but both my current rides are Craigslist scores. This week, I tripped 2,600 miles on the first one I bought and the other has just over 300. If you’re diligent during the process, there’s nothing to fear from saving a few hundred bucks on a bike someone bought and then decided they didn’t like riding 😀

      Let us know what you end up buying and what you think of it!

    • #119131

      Thanks Schwim!

      I am definitely excited to get back into it!! I remember riding right along the water and stopping off to hang out and enjoy the scenery.

      Good to know about your CL finds. I am going to keep an eye out for something on there. But out of curiosity… Say I do find something, what do you think would be some things I would have to pay special attention to that -could- potentially be costly to fix? Obviously any cracks on rims/ frame/ bars. But say for instance disc brakes… What’s a job like that seem to cost? Fork work too? I guess I should really chat with the store about rate/hr and parts.

      And what’s a couple other brands of bikes that offer the same quality a specialized offers? Ever since I was a kid I have always "Specialized" and thought they were the pinnacle of cycling perfection, haha. But I know other brands such as GT, Trek, Giant offer great quality. Can we keep them in the same class or are they good, but not as good?

    • #119132

      MTI

      Hey Matt it is Matt! I am going to make a bold prediction. When Singletracks newest full time employee Gregg…and a very good employee he is…. sees this post he is going to post a link to the Airborn Goblin. I have a friend who just rode his for the first time and is very pleased. However, I rode a Rockhopper for 3 years and about 2,500 miles and was very happy with the bike.

      There will be lots of different views on buying a used bike. If you find a used bike you like bring a friend who knows a thing or two to look it over for you. You could easily dump hundreds of dollars into worn parts like chainrings, cassettes, wheel repair, forks if you don’t know what to look out for. With that said there are also lots of super bikes out there on the used market just be careful and best of luck riding! Oh yea and as Schwim said…who is a knowlegable man and nice person on top of that 😃 ….be careful of the department store bikes.

    • #119133

      Thanks Matt!!

      I figured the drivetrain would be an issue, but just not certain of how long it could take to wear a bicycle chain and sprockets out. I’m going to check into that bike now as well. Thanks!

      I feel like I am shopping for a new car. I’m going to start dreaming about mountain bikes soon. Haha

    • #119134

      Hi Matt, I would call myself a beginner but when I saw the comment about an Airborne bike … I had to chime in. I have an Airborne Guardian and I can not say enough good about the bike. I went for the Guardian because of price and thought that I was taking a chance buying a MTB online. I had a great experience and would feel comfortable purchasing any of their bikes. I really like the Hob Goblin if I were to purchase a new bike today. However, the Guardian is a very SOLID bike and I am very happy with it. Hope this helps. John

    • #119135

      +1 on the Guardian. For the price point, it is spec’d out as a very nice 29er. Check it out:

      http://www.airbornebicycles.com/product … -29er.aspx

      Welcome to singletracks!

    • #119136

      Concerning your questions on what to be wary of on used bikes: the issue is going to be you’re not familiar enough with the mechanicals yet to know what’s too far gone, but take heart! Both my bikes were purchased from people who literally rode them once. Many people go out, buy a shiny new bike, ride it and realize that they hate mountain biking. As someone new to the sport, that’s what I would suggest you keep as your target bikes. "Like new" ridden once" "hate the sport"…. those are things that you want to look for. Then you only have to be able to distinguish whether they’re telling the truth, which is very easy. You’ll be able to tell if the bike has miles on it or not.

      Stay away from the bikes that were "well taken care of but don’t ride it anymore because I bought a new bike". Once you’ve got some miles on you, you can trust yourself to pick those types of sales apart but for now, I’d stick to like-new bikes.

      And I also agree with the others that if you want a new and incredibly solid and well kitted entry level bike, you really can’t go wrong w/Airborne bikes.

    • #119137

      Thanks for all the info guys… It really helps.

      I stopped by another shop today and ride a couple different Trek models. I was eyeing up the Mamba, and started tlkingmbers with the guy. I ran a question by him in regards to suspension and my weight. He asked his tech and theech said that the only suspension set up that I could set to me was the air chamber shock available on the Trek Cobia. Now while this is fine and dandy; I just went from a $900 bike to a $1200 bike. This is all really discouraging now because it seems that with the Rockshox models on the lower end bikes are all coils. I’m not sure what to do at this point. I checked out that Airborne and it looks like a solid deal, but if I can’t get the suspension to perform the way it should than would I be wasting my time? I’m going to call rockshox tomorrow and see what they say. I find it hard to believe that they can’t respring a fork with stiffer springs!!!

      The hunt continues!

    • #119138
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      Thanks for all the info guys… It really helps.

      I stopped by another shop today and ride a couple different Trek models. I was eyeing up the Mamba, and started tlkingmbers with the guy. I ran a question by him in regards to suspension and my weight. He asked his tech and theech said that the only suspension set up that I could set to me was the air chamber shock available on the Trek Cobia. Now while this is fine and dandy; I just went from a $900 bike to a $1200 bike. This is all really discouraging now because it seems that with the Rockshox models on the lower end bikes are all coils. I’m not sure what to do at this point. I checked out that Airborne and it looks like a solid deal, but if I can’t get the suspension to perform the way it should than would I be wasting my time? I’m going to call rockshox tomorrow and see what they say. I find it hard to believe that they can’t respring a fork with stiffer springs!!!

      The hunt continues!

      Everyone above already mentioned everything I was going to say… not much to add to that!

      As far as stiffer springs, yes sometimes you can get a stiffer one installed, but that’s more $$ to buy the spring and have the work done. Plus, what happens when you start mountain biking and start shedding the pounds? Soon that stiff spring will be too stiff! An adjustable air-sprung fork is easy to adjust to your weight, which is great especially if your weight fluctuates. The action and the performance on the fork is also way better.

      Hope this helps!

    • #119139

      I spoke to Jeff @ Rockshox today and he said just that. So I guess I have to search for an airshock fork a/ hydraulic disk brakes…. I’ll be visiting another shop on Weds. I hope I can find something soon!! I getting antsy haha.

      I’ve been stick on ebay, craigslist, local papers trying to find stuff!! I found a couple 26" full sus bikes, but I was kind of set on a 29er… And the full sus is probably too much for me right now.

    • #119140
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      I spoke to Jeff @ Rockshox today and he said just that. So I guess I have to search for an airshock fork a/ hydraulic disk brakes…. I’ll be visiting another shop on Weds. I hope I can find something soon!! I getting antsy haha.

      I’ve been stick on ebay, craigslist, local papers trying to find stuff!! I found a couple 26" full sus bikes, but I was kind of set on a 29er… And the full sus is probably too much for me right now.

      Airborne Goblin has both of those things 😃 but it is about $1200.

      Personally, if I’m looking to buy a bike, I set a pricepoint before hand and then shop at that price. I decide how much I can spend, and work from there. You can always spend more money on a nicer bike, so it’s important to decide what you can afford.

      Of course, if you realize there are essential items that aren’t available at your pre-determined pricepoint, then that might be motivation to save a little while and spend a little more.

    • #119141

      Thought I’d throw my 2cents in on the stiffer spring issue. I was over 300 and put the stiffer springs in the forks. To be honest, I wound up not getting enough action out of them and went back to the originals. I really wouldn’t worry about it unless you find yourself bottoming out the forks when you take big hits.

    • #119142

      That’s why it’s a little frustrating right now. I had a price planned, but I should have done more research before setting my price I guess. I can save a little longer and get a nicer bike.

      How do you guys feel about Scott? I stopped by a dealer today and was checking out the aspect 910. It’s the same price range as the Cobia (12-1300)…

      I guess that’s my limit now.

    • #119143

      Scott has nice bikes.

    • #119144

      Scott makes some very nice bikes–but their niche is often in weight savings, consequently most of their rides tend to be more than a little flexy under the pressure of a big guy.

    • #119145

      Very good to know, thank you!

      Headed out today to check one of the bigger shops within an hours drive. They stock everything apparently and I’m hoping to ride a couple bikes and make my final decision. I know this is the shop I want to buy from being that they give you free lifetime tune ups on new bikes at any of their shops. And offer a 5% cash discount.

    • #119146
      "skibum" wrote

      Scott makes some very nice bikes–but their niche is often in weight savings, consequently most of their rides tend to be more than a little flexy under the pressure of a big guy.

      You’re right skibum. I own a Scott Ransom with a carbon frame and love it, but I’m only 170lbs. It makes for a smooth, forgiving ride and yet seems rigid enough and very stable.

    • #119147

      Soon enough I’ll grab a nice full sus bike.

      I went again today and they… Again… Tried to upsell me to a Specialized Carve. I asked them, "Why is it every time I come to a shop I get told I need this, or I need that, and you should get this…" I came to find out about different brands within my budget and they just keep pulling a more expensive bike out…

      I think I’m going to get the Cobia. For the money it’s spot on. $1200 I get great components, 29er, double wall rims, hydraulic brakes, and a great warranty. I asked about multi-bike discount because a friend of mine wants one also, they said no. =( I asked about throwing in a couple helmets and they said no. I’m just being a cheapass at this point now lol. Thoughts on that? I figure $3000 in bikes is worth a couple lids.

    • #119148

      Has anyone heard of BAMF?

      http://www.giantnerd.com/bamf-sucker-pu … -bike.html

      Looks like great components and a killer price… Only issue is no dealers around here…

    • #119149
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      Soon enough I’ll grab a nice full sus bike.

      I went again today and they… Again… Tried to upsell me to a Specialized Carve. I asked them, "Why is it every time I come to a shop I get told I need this, or I need that, and you should get this…" I came to find out about different brands within my budget and they just keep pulling a more expensive bike out…

      I think I’m going to get the Cobia. For the money it’s spot on. $1200 I get great components, 29er, double wall rims, hydraulic brakes, and a great warranty. I asked about multi-bike discount because a friend of mine wants one also, they said no. =( I asked about throwing in a couple helmets and they said no. I’m just being a cheapass at this point now lol. Thoughts on that? I figure $3000 in bikes is worth a couple lids.

      Here’s the deal: local shops make some $$ on bike sales, but not that much. Most of their money is made through maintenance and repairs. While I’m not saying they can never make I deal, I don’t think that it’s unreasonable for them to sell you the bike at the posted price. Constantly trying to upsell is annoying, but again not out of the question.

      If you want something extra, ask them about free tune ups after the purchase.

      Also, last note, two of the shops that I’ve gone to that were always giving discounts and bro deals went out of business… if you want to keep your LBS in business, drop some cash there.

    • #119150
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      Has anyone heard of BAMF?

      http://www.giantnerd.com/bamf-sucker-pu … -bike.html

      Looks like great components and a killer price… Only issue is no dealers around here…

      Yeah I have. I’ve actually met some of the people behind BAMF, too. I don’t know if they are still up to the same antics, but I am not a fan of BAMF and the vibe that they try to give off.

      First, how pretentious do you have to be to call your bike company "BAMF"? If you don’t know what it stands for, Google it.

      Second, back in the day they posted crude, angry posts to their Facebook page all the time, slamming their competition in the industry, and even potential customers that didn’t live up to whatever they deem to be BAMF status. I stopped following them, but logged on their FB page to check in. Seems like they’ve mostly quit the incendiary posts but have kept up lewd posts that are totally not bike related. For instance:

      Image

      Maybe you’re into that sort of thing, but I’m not.

      Third, their logo? Yeah, that’s a middle finger.

      Fourth, all of their bikes are just off-the-shelf Chinese frames in matte black. They probably ride fine, but that’s NOTHING to write home about and nothing to have as much of an attitude about as BAMF portrays.

      If there’s one bike company in the industry that I have no desire to work with, it’s BAMF.

    • #119151
      "mtbgreg1" wrote

      If there’s one bike company in the industry that I have no desire to work with, it’s BAMF.

      But, how do you REALLY feel about them?

      😆

      I don’t even like the Pedal Damn It stickers on Niner’s frames…feel like if I had one I’d need to censor it whenever kids were around.

    • #119152

      My friend has a sticker over the expletive on his Niner. Seems like a good spot for a Singletracks sticker now that I think about it.

    • #119153

      Haha. It just seemed like they had great components for a great price. The more I think about it I might just get that Airborne Goblin. Seems legit, only problem is I don’t know how to tune the bike. I’m sure you could find info all over YouTube, but for the initial ride I would to have it done professionally so I KNOW what it’s supposed to feel like.

      Still have a bit of digging to do. The itch is growing though. Check my YouTube history and all you’ll see are downhill, mtb videos, Danny macaskill, and local trail rides…. Why must I always have expensive hobbies.

    • #119154

      Matty, I can’t solve your dilemma for you but did just want to mention this: some LBS’s may not be receptive to tuning and fitting a bike you bought online. In fact, I’ve heard some stories in which the shop told them to call the place they bought it from and ask them for help. Definitely not trying to insinuate that all shops are like this, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

      I can totally understand the reasoning behind it, but seeing as how I would not be able to afford to ride if I paid what is often a 200% markup from what I’m often able to purchase items online for, I’ve just tried my best to learn the process of whatever I needed to do so I didn’t have to weather the wrath for my audacity to purchase parts online.

    • #119155
      "schwim" wrote

      I can totally understand the reasoning behind it, but seeing as how I would not be able to afford to ride if I paid what is often a 200% markup from what I’m often able to purchase items online for, I’ve just tried my best to learn the process of whatever I needed to do so I didn’t have to weather the wrath for my audacity to purchase parts online.

      What sucks is component manufacturers who allow online retailers to completely blow out prices, it screws everyone else. It’s not hard to find some stuff online for less than dealer cost!

    • #119156
      "schwim" wrote

      Matty, I can’t solve your dilemma for you but did just want to mention this: some LBS’s may not be receptive to tuning and fitting a bike you bought online. In fact, I’ve heard some stories in which the shop told them to call the place they bought it from and ask them for help. Definitely not trying to insinuate that all shops are like this, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

      I can totally understand the reasoning behind it, but seeing as how I would not be able to afford to ride if I paid what is often a 200% markup from what I’m often able to purchase items online for, I’ve just tried my best to learn the process of whatever I needed to do so I didn’t have to weather the wrath for my audacity to purchase parts online.

      Thanks Schwim. My friend and I were going to head over to a shop today because he wants to see how big the 1kRR actually is compared to a 26er. I pla.ned on asking how they feel about that sort of thing. I have some knowledge of the workings. I rode track with my motorcycle and did my own work, but I learned it from someone who knew what they were doing. One shop apparently has free bicycle maintenance classes on the first Thursday of the month. I might have to check that out. I just want tobe certain on what I need to do to get it to work correctly ya know? I did read some articles on adjust the derailleur and some basic tune up stuff.

    • #119157

      Just don’t underestimate the power of Google. I’ve found fantastic videos on absolutely everything I’ve needed to do and usually specific for the brand part I’m working on.

    • #119158

      When I bought my Airborne, I was a bit worried about taking it in to a shop, but I never had any issues. I think that most shops need whatever kind of business they can get, and aren’t that picky anymore. And my thought is, if they are that picky, it is time to find a different shop to give your business to!

      I also hate the fact that I can’t afford to buy parts from the LBS. My family is on an extremely tight budget right now, and when I scrape the money together for something, I have to find it online, because it is usually so much cheaper. Luckily I do have a local Performance bike shop, and they will match prices, but that is still a corporate store, not a true LBS IMO …

    • #119159

      I don’t mind paying for parts from a lbs, but when I can get a bike set up better than a lbs for the same price…. There’s no question I would rather buy online.

    • #119160

      MTI

      Matt,

      The debate on buying an bike on line or at a LBS or any product is going to rage forever or until a solar flare permanantly shuts down our communications systems. I know that my bike mechanic skills suck. I can make slight adjustments to my just say rear derailler for example. However one day I took a spill on an off camber turn and no matter what I did could not get the gears to shift smoothly. I brought it to Bryson City Bikes and Andy attached this weird looking tool and showed me rear derailler was slightly bent. He fixed it up in a few minutes and sent me on my way because I bought the bike from him and he services things like that for I think a year. Not going to happen with an on line bike. You will pay for tune ups. As everything in life there will be take a little, give a little. If you have skills to fix or want to take the time to learn…or have a friend that knows what they are doing by all means save some cash. Otherwise it may not be worth the initial savings in the long run.

    • #119161

      On the flipside, I borrowed a brake bleed kit in order to bleed the Formula K24 brakes on my daughter’s bike. They were last bled by a local shop, and they had managed to strip the bleed screw on the rear brake, and the contact adjuster on the front.

      Long story short, now I need to get new brakes. Guess where I’m [i:3ex8v1q0]not[/i:3ex8v1q0] buying them. 😈

    • #119162

      I always try to get my own parts and do all my own work. The shop I would take it to covers a general tune for the life of the bike. That makes me want to buy from them, but again… When I can get 3 the bike for the same price I’ll do my own work. I enjoy that crap anyway. Especially since I am very meticulous when it comes to stuff like that. Lol

    • #119163

      Guess I’m lucky, my bike shop loves me.They help me out a lot, doing favours, so I tend to buy from them as a thanks. Plus they’re cheaper than others and the guys are a lot more fun to talk too.

      Well…it helps that I bring them cookies. 😉 😛

    • #119164

      Cookies always help. Lol

      Still not sure what I’m going top do lol. I sound like a broken record!!!!

    • #119165
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      Cookies always help. Lol

      Still not sure what I’m going top do lol. I sound like a broken record!!!!

      buy the little stuff from the shop and the big purchases that are cheaper somewhere else from the other place.

    • #119166

      Little update for you…

      After some talking to a long time friend who works as a trek dealer in Florida I’ve been swayed from the cobia and talked into a Stache 7.

      While price hunting I came across a shop that had a 2011 Fuel 6 Never owned for $1600… I shrugged it off and kept looking at the HT 29er… But I got home and am now thinking that maybe I should go see about picking that up and offering them $1500 OTD, considering it’s probably 3yrs old..

      What do you think? Should I bother with the FS? I’m hesitant because it seems like a lot more than what I need right now, but it does seem to be a smoking deal..

    • #119167

      Well which one is the better deal? Even if it’s more than you need/are looking for/are deserving up at your current skill level. I’d say just go for the one that offers you the better deal.

    • #119168
      "Ginny_Tory" wrote

      Well which one is the better deal? Even if it’s more than you need/are looking for/are deserving up at your current skill level. I’d say just go for the one that offers you the better deal.

      The Stache 7 is an MSRP of about 1700. They gave me 1549 as a price point.
      The Fuel was an MSRP of about 2000 I think. So 1600 wasn’t too bad I guess.

      It is definitely out of my skill range. I was wanting the 29er over the 26er. I was thinking now though that I could get this FS and pick up a cheaper hybrid to get some mileage on.

    • #119169

      Since these are two very different bikes, I think the best question to ask is: what’s your intended application? If you’re going to be riding rougher, tighter, twistier trails, the fuel 26er might be better, although even that is more towards the XC end of things.

      Also, it’s worth noting that the Stache isn’t your average cross country 29er. Instead, it’s designed to ride like a trail bike and handle more aggressive terrain and large descents, despite being a hardtail.

      There are a number of factors contributing to this trail bike handling:
      -The 68.3 degree HT angle is very slack for a hardtail 29er. Most XC 29ers run about 71. This will make it more stable on the descents, but possibly a little more difficult to hold a line on steep climbs. Some of that can be counteracted by cockpit setup, though
      -The 120mm fork up front is a full 5" of travel. Most 29ers run about 80-100mm (3-4in).
      -Thru axles front and rear increase stiffness and confidence.
      -Shadow Plus technology in the rear derailleur drastically reduces chainslap and the chain jumping from gear to gear on technical descents.
      -dropper post routing for an after-market upgrade is a great touch too.

      So actually, in retrospect, the intended application of both of these bikes is pretty similar, but it’s up to you to decide how you want to attack it. Full suspension and smaller wheels, or hardtail and larger wheels? But both bikes will be capable of handling some serious trail riding.

    • #119170

      Test ride them both (and any others that you can) before purchasing. Go with what feels right.

    • #119171

      I didn’t even really consider buying the Fuel tbh so I didn’t test ride it. The stache they had was a 21" and huge on me. I’m 5’11, 6’+ w/ shoes, but I have an itty bitty inseam. The 17.5 " and 19" were good while sitting, but my boys couldn’t take the stand over on each. Good thing I won’t be standing over it too often.

      But anyway, they all seem to be hesitant to let me test ride the bikes when I go. I tell them I’m paying cash and I will not buy something I can’t put a mile or less on to at least check out. Idk what the problem is. I understand they’re expensive bikes, but how can I buy one if I don’t know if I’ll like it

    • #119172
      "BigMattyD" wrote

      I didn’t even really consider buying the Fuel tbh so I didn’t test ride it. The stache they had was a 21" and huge on me. I’m 5’11, 6’+ w/ shoes, but I have an itty bitty inseam. The 17.5 " and 19" were good while sitting, but my boys couldn’t take the stand over on each. Good thing I won’t be standing over it too often.

      But anyway, they all seem to be hesitant to let me test ride the bikes when I go. I tell them I’m paying cash and I will not buy something I can’t put a mile or less on to at least check out. Idk what the problem is. I understand they’re expensive bikes, but how can I buy one if I don’t know if I’ll like it

      If they won’t let you test ride, go somewhere else. That’s crap.

    • #119173

      I’m 6’4" and ride a 21" so would say that size could be real big on you. I also agree that if they won’t test ride, it is time to find another shop!

    • #119174

      They don’t have my size in stock on the stache or the x-caliber. The fuel was my size, but like I said I didn’t even consider it until I left the shop. I got them to $1485 over the phone. Gonna check it next week and maybe but it.

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