June 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm #265055
Hello, after about seven years of not riding, and getting really bored on this Florida summer, I’m looking to get an entry level hard tail to hit the trails.
So far I’m inclined to get a Roscoe 7, but may get a Marlin 7. Still trying to decide, but don’t want to make it too long.
June 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm #265093
First, welcome! Strongly recommend you not worry about finding the “perfect” bike – make a good choice and get riding! Second, you’re thinking makes a lot of sense for a hard tail with plus tires (2.8″) – its a good combination to get started off-road. I’ve never ridden the Marlin 7 so I’m not entirely sure about the following advice, but I like the Roscoe (and Specialized Fuse) because it/they offer two key components I highly recommend. I am a big fan of 1X gear system (no front derailleur) and seat dropper post. Both Trek Roscoe and Specialized Fuse should have them, and I don’t think Marlin does.
Good luck, make a good choice, and ride the crap out of that thing!
June 29, 2019 at 8:48 am #265095
On the papers the Roscoe 7 is a much nicer bike, and so is the price, LOL, 800 against 1200. My doubt is mainly getting the Roscoe 7 and keep it longer, or get the Marlin 7 to get me going, know how the South Florida trails are and then change it sooner.
Also, as in S.Florida there are no big elevation changes, I wonder how useful are the wider tires. May it be better to have the standard tires, loose a bit of grip and gain a bit in speed? I may be overthinking it, as usual.
I’m considering Trek’s because I have a good store half mile from my house. I have to check where could I see the Fuse in S.Florida.
June 29, 2019 at 11:21 am #265096
Wider tires are a must in soft sand, but if the trails you ride are fairly hard, 2.4 to 2.5in should be fine. I recommend Markham Park to start with, it has all levels of trails, most are firm, and a decent amount are shaded. One of the best trails systems in south Florida is on Virginia Key, but the hurricane a few years ago took down all the trees, so there is no shade anywhere there anymore.
June 29, 2019 at 11:40 am #265097
I fully respect your effort to save some money, but check on the 1X gear setup and dropper post – can’t recommend them enough. As for the 2.8″ tires, I certainly don’t know S.Florida but where they will come in handy is roots and smaller rocks. In my opinion the rolling resistance between 2.2″ and 2.8″ is barely noticeable. So with a hardtail I think the 2.8″ is a great combination. I would push you to a Roscoe or Fuse, but main concern is get you riding.
Here’s another thought – if you really start to get into off-road, there is a good chance you’ll be looking at a serious upgrade in 3-4 years and go full suspension. But even if you go that route, you will still find a quality hardtail with 2.8″ quite useful. I have two full suspension bikes and already thinking about adding a hardtail. Good luck!
June 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm #265098
Thanks for the comment, guys!
June 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm #265099
Salsa Timberjack is another excellent choice, especially after the recent price drops. Good geometry and takes 27.5+ or 29ers, SLX build comes with a dropper and SLX is a pretty bullet proof drivetrain. SLX and even XT 11 speed is also still readily available and crazy low prices for when you have to replace something (maintenance or a crash).
I also like the Timberjack because it’s an excellent platform to upgrade as you grow. With a swap down the line to a Pike or Fox 34 and a wheel upgrade, that bike will be a sweet ride for years and years to come.
July 5, 2019 at 1:20 pm #265420
Welcome! I’m a new person as well and had a similar choice. Here’s what worked for me and I’ll try to find some additional resources for you as well.
I was looking at the Marlin 7, the X-cal and the Stache (I’m 6’5″.) I was attracted at first to the GT Avalanche from Dicks Sporting Goods, but I’d missed a sale on that bike. That lead me to looking at a Local Bike Shop (LBS) and eventually lead me to Trek.
The plus size tires of the Roscoe will give you more options (and in my opinion, more fun) for riding now and in the future. The 1x drivetrain has fewer parts to go wrong and it has better forks. In my estimation, you won’t have to upgrade this anywhere near as quickly as you would the Marlin. The Roscoe will give you the forks and drivetrain to grow and progress. Bonus – the sand you’ll likely find at the bike trail will be easier to deal with when you’re using the plus size tires.
Here’s something from Seth’s Bike Hacks. Virginia Key Park (was mentioned earlier in the thread)
Hope it helps.
July 6, 2019 at 2:44 pm #265431
That is a great video by Seth, I have watched it more than once, but it is from three years ago before the hurricane.
July 8, 2019 at 11:08 am #265471
Eep! Sorry, I didn’t realize that was from before then. But I think some of the points he shares could be helpful. I did see a vid of another person in Fla who took his GT Avalanche to a park in Florida . . . I’ll see if I can find that; it’s from earlier this year.
July 8, 2019 at 11:12 am #265473
July 8, 2019 at 12:10 pm #265476
Markham is not far from Miami and Virginia Key as the crow flies, but it takes awhile driving. Here is a video I took when we were at Markham Park a few years ago. We stayed a week at spring break a mile from Markham, rode 4 days there, and did two road trips one to Virginia Key and one to Ameilia Earhart trails. The video is a trail called Route 66. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0jdoiaVYh8
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