Which MTB noob bike to buy for under $1000

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    • #240512

      Ive been riding a GIANT 2011 Sedona DX hybrid bike on dirt roads just fine. But when I tried to ride a GREEN dot trail. Easy trail. It was horrible and almost killed myself. It made me realize I need a real MTB. I watched all the great <b>Global Mountain Bike Network</b>

      YouTube video’s and know I need to go to a MTB bootcamp. But I want a good entry level bike. I have two Specialized and 1 Giant dealer within 1 mile of me. These are the two models I was looking at. They NEVER have a sale so am forced to pay full retail. That really bothers me but no options. I checked out <span class=”gD” data-hovercard-id=”[email protected]”>Bike Nashbar</span> <span class=”go”><span aria-hidden=”true”>but they do not seem to be as good as these and I will have to pay a Bike store to build and align it. About $100. And its really uncool to do that. Also, my bike stores give me life time free tuneups. The two bikes below have trade offs. I dont know which is more important but I do know I do NOT want a front 3 gear bike. I read that 1 gear is nice. But the Giant is 2 gears. Giant tells me some of its parts are better. Like Crank, wheel bearing, comes with tubeless tires, cost less. But it seems the Specialized has Fat+ tires and better front and rear derailers. Can you guys pitch in and tell me which I should buy? </span></span>

      Im 6’2″, 31″ in seam, cant touch my toes, 265 lbs. Road my Hybrid for a few years around neighborhood and dirt trails.


      Talon 2 2018 $739
      Frame: ALUXX-grade aluminum
      Fork: SR Suntour XCM HLO, hydraulic lockout, preload adjust, 100mm travel
      Shock : N/A
      Handlebar: Giant Connect Trail, 31.8mm
      Stem: Giant Sport
      Seatpost: Giant Sport, 30.9mm
      Saddle: Giant Contact Comfort
      Pedals: Platform, Caged
      Shifters: Shimano Acera
      Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio, Direct Mount
      Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore, Shadow
      Brakes: Tektro HDC M285, Hydraulic Disc, [F] 180mm, [R] 160mm
      Brake Levers: Tektro HDC-M285
      Cassette: Shimano HG400-9 12×36, 9-speed
      Chain: KMC X9
      Bottom Bracket: Sealed Cartridge, Threaded
      Rims: Giant XC-2 Disc, Tubeless
      Hubs: Giant Tracker Sport
      Tires: Maxxis Ardent, 27.5×2.25, Tubeless, 60 TPI
      Extras: Factory Tubeless
      Head Tube Angle: 68.0 degree
      Wheel Size: 27.5″

      Specialized Fuse 6Fattie/29 $1000
      CHAIN: KMC X10, 10-speed w/ Missing Link™
      BOTTOM BRACKET: Square taper, 73mm, internal bearings
      CRANKSET: Stout, 76mm BCD spider
      SHIFT LEVERS: SRAM X5, trigger, 10-speed
      CASSETTE: Sunrace, 10-speed, 11-42t
      REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM GX, Type 2.1, long cage, 10-speed
      FORK: SR Suntour XCM32, 6Fattie, 1-/18″ steerer, 47mm offset, 32mm stanchion, post mount disc, 160mm brake, 15mm thru-axle, 80/100mm of travel
      Stout 110, alloy, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm thru-axle, 24h
      REAR HUB
      Stout 141, alloy, sealed cartridge bearings, 6-bolt disc, 10-speed freehub, quick-release, 10x141mm spacing, 28h
      INNER TUBES: Standard, Presta valve
      SPOKES: Stainless, black, 14g
      RIMS: Stout 38 27.5, 19mm rim depth, 38mm internal width, 24/28h
      FRONT TIRE: Ground Control, GRID casing, Gripton compound, 2Bliss Ready, 27.5 x 3.0″
      REAR TIRE: Ground Control, GRID casing, Gripton compound, 2Bliss Ready, 27.5 x 3.0″
      SADDLE: Body Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
      SEATPOST: Die cast, 2-bolt, 30.9mm, 12mm offset, zinc finish
      STEM: Specialized, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 7-degree rise
      HANDLEBARS: Stout riser, double-butted alloy, 9-degree backsweep, 5-degree upsweep, 15mm rise, 750mm width, 31.8mm
      GRIPS: Specialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness
      FRONT BRAKE: Tektro Auriga, hydraulic disc, organic pads, 180mm rotor
      REAR BRAKE: Tektro Auriga, hydraulic disc, organic pads, 160mm rotor
      PEDALS: Specialized Dirt Pedals
      SEAT BINDER: Alloy, 34.9mm
      FRAME: A1 Premium Aluminum w/ smooth welding, Zero Stack 44 head tube, forged post mount 160mm disc, 141mm QR dropout, alloy replaceable derailleur hanger
      Head Tube Angle: 68.5°

    • #240519

      two very different bikes. The 2.25 tires will handle much different than the 3.0 tires, even on the same bike. You need to test ride a couple of bikes with the different size tires to find which you prefer.

      You might also look at the Giant Fathom 29. Close to the same geometry as the talon, but better components and a dropper seat post. $1040. This might be a better bike for you. The 29in regular width tires would take rough terrain almost as well as the plus tires of the Specialized, and still be a little quicker handling in the tight stuff than the plus tires, but not as quick as the Talon.

      Of course you would need to test ride this too, as some people just don’t like the feel of 29in tires.

      • #240529

        Thank you for the reply. I do not want to spend $1000. Trying a bike will not really do me any good. I would have to ride it for 6 months to determine if its the kind of bike for me. From what you said it sounds like I would be happy with the <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #444444; font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Talon 2 29er 2018. 29″ wheels and much cheaper.</span>

    • #240530

      Do whatever the old guy at your local bike shop recommends. He is trying to save you money and anguish.

      I have owned a Talon for almost two years. This was my first MTB. It’s been very solid, and I rode a lot of advanced trails on it before deciding to plunk down the $$$$ on an upgrade.

      The Talon is fun to ride, but the spec is cheap, and if you ride a lot it will actually start to limit you after a few months. That aside, I still ride it at least once a week, and I’m never ever parting with this beloved beater bike.

      Beware of the false economy. Lots of us get into this saying we will just buy a cheap bike and see what happens, and end up spending twice as much because we were shy about spending the money on a quality first bike. But whatever you decide to do is cool, because we have ALL been there.

      A high quality hardtail is always preferable to a low quality dual suspension bike.

    • #240535

      You should be able tell the difference in the feel, and whether you like it or not, between 27.5, 27.5+, and 29 inch tires in a few minutes of riding.   If you cannot, does it really matter?

    • #240703

      Late to the party but I purchased a Trek Roscoe 7 for my girlfriend to get her into riding.  It does really well in technical terrain and the plus tires help with the lack of rear suspension.  Its also got a nice 1x drivetrain for simplicity.  I’ve ridden it and its a very fun bike and I’d borrow it occasionally if she’d let me.  It has the ability to run a front derailleur and a dropper post if desired, and rack mounts for bikepacking.

      Its a fun, tough, and slick looking bike thats very forgiving to newbies.


    • #241516

      For about $1000, Salsa TimberJack has a good reputation & seems like a good bike.  The NX1 29 — $999.  For $100 more, the NX1 27.5+, I think, is a better deal.

      Many of us, myself included, started with a low cost entry level bike.  Then we’re suddenly riding frequently & realize in just a few months that we should have spent a little more.  Then we have to sell our starter bike & get a better bike. This costs us more in the long run.

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