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Couple of off road tris happening in the southwest which look like fun. I have never been on a mountain bike! What should I look for when purchasing an entry level bike up to $2000. Thanks in advance Kate

PS is it true it can improve your general bike handling skills eg cornering?

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I was in the same position as you last year. Bought a bike and have entered all the off-road tris and duathlons in SEQ. Loads of fun!

I won't dare give you advice on bike buying, I still have no idea!

I went with a dual suspension merida. Love it, but I have absolutely nothing to compare it with.

I think the gurus might tell you that you only need a hardtail for those races. Don't know why.

Definitely is a steep learning curve for learning new bike skills. I guess it does translate onto the road a little.

Edited by Lostkiwi
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I bought one of these just before Christmas from endeavour cycles, less than $2k. This years model has a decent paint job as I saw it this arvo in the store.

 

Can't fault the thing, a lot better than twenty years worth of 26 inch mtn bikes I've ridden. Look for what seems best for the money. I always go hard tail.

 

 

http://www.bicycling.com/mountainbikecom/featured-stories/specialized-carve-expert

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2 k Gets you a lot of bike these days. dual suspension are a lot more forgiving for those new to off road, give you a lot of options and the way dualies are fitted out with locking out forks and rear suspension, can effectively be a hardtail on the firetrails and smoother trails.

The big G in the anthem or trance will give you a lot of value.

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KJT, mountain biking is great fun.

a dual suspension bike will be the most forgiving of riding imperfections and will be the most versatile.

don't get caught up in the whole wheel size thing that everyone else seems to be in. a decent mtn bike will be excellent regardless of wheelsize.

a lot of bike sellers may have some serious discounts on discontinued line.

my LBS has some 2012 stock that is going for 50% or less of the new price, and a bike that was good in 2012, is still a bloody good bike.

especially when they're asking <$2k for what was a $4k bike.

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KJT, mountain biking is great fun.

a dual suspension bike will be the most forgiving of riding imperfections and will be the most versatile.

don't get caught up in the whole wheel size thing that everyone else seems to be in. a decent mtn bike will be excellent regardless of wheelsize.

a lot of bike sellers may have some serious discounts on discontinued line.

my LBS has some 2012 stock that is going for 50% or less of the new price, and a bike that was good in 2012, is still a bloody good bike.

especially when they're asking <$2k for what was a $4k bike.

I agree on the discount buying , but DO NOT buy a 26 MTB , , they won't be around in 12 months so you'll struggle to buy new wheels etc and will never be able to sell it when you want to upgrade to a 27.5 or 29er

Unless you are 4ft high try and buy a 29 hard tail you won't regret it , perfect all round bike and great for starter

This is a great bike for around $1500 but I'd g up as many models as u can for your budget

http://www.trekbikes.com/au/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/superfly/superfly_5/#/au/en/model/details?url=au/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/superfly/superfly_5

Cheers

Ip

 

Edit to add

Make sure u get the tyres to go tubeless, you will never look back, no flats and a real smooth ride

Edited by ironpo
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I agree on the discount buying , but DO NOT buy a 26 MTB , , they won't be around in 12 months so you'll struggle to buy new wheels etc and will never be able to sell it when you want to upgrade to a 27.5 or 29er

Unless you are 4ft high try and buy a 29 hard tail you won't regret it , perfect all round bike and great for starter

This is a great bike for around $1500 but I'd g up as many models as u can for your budget

http://www.trekbikes.com/au/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/superfly/superfly_5/#/au/en/model/details?url=au/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/superfly/superfly_5

Cheers

Ip

 

Edit to add

Make sure u get the tyres to go tubeless, you will never look back, no flats and a real smooth ride

Ironpro,

do you really think a 29 hardtail is the Perfect starters bike?

maybe for you, I mean you do have the Iron and the Pro in your name

I know it all depends on the type of riding that one is doing, and I don't have any idea about what sort of athlete KJT is, other than female & in the the prime of life, so as I said, a dually is, without doubt the most versatile & forgiving type of bike for the greatest range of activities. World Cup XC races are being ridden and won on duallies.

that doesn't for a minute mean that I wouldn't want a 29 hardtail to sit in the shed alongside the 26 carbon spark.

the whole wheelsize situation leaves me cold. the only reason you give to NOT get a 26 is that there won't be any support, not that the others are better, and I think the industry will be supporting the 26 for generations to come, I mean there are 100 of thousands of 26 still out there, and the majority of mtn bike, low-middle spec are still 26.

actually there was a recent review on the Santa Cruz Bronson, 150mm duallie and the designers were developing it as a 26, but then tried 27.5 & 29. the 27.5 matched the performance & feel of the 26 so they went for that, for no other reason than they knew the market they were after wanted the new size, not necessarily a difference in performance

26 = 559mm diameter

27.5 = 584mm diam ( up 4.5%) = 650B

29 = 622mm dia ( up 11% from 26 ) = 700 C = same as the roadies

 

anyway, to each there own, and if my duallie has to be replaced, I'd probably be looking at a 27.5

also I'm glad that the industry has settled on 700c for roadies

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It will depend on what you really want the bike for. If you want to do a couple of off-road Tri's, and that's all, you may want to check out what these courses are likely to be like. A CX bike might be a lot faster for these particular races, as a few of the off-road races I've seen could more likely be called off-bitumen. If however you think you might enjoy riding trails, downhills, x-country etc, talk to a local shop that specialises and they may be able to loan you something to go on one of their shop rides. You'll get an idea of what type of riding you might like & can go from there.

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It will depend on what you really want the bike for. If you want to do a couple of off-road Tri's, and that's all, you may want to check out what these courses are likely to be like. A CX bike might be a lot faster for these particular races, as a few of the off-road races I've seen could more likely be called off-bitumen. If however you think you might enjoy riding trails, downhills, x-country etc, talk to a local shop that specialises and they may be able to loan you something to go on one of their shop rides. You'll get an idea of what type of riding you might like & can go from there.

The tre x races around brisbane definitely need a mountain bike of some description.
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Ironpro,

do you really think a 29 hardtail is the Perfect starters bike?

maybe for you, I mean you do have the Iron and the Pro in your name

I know it all depends on the type of riding that one is doing, and I don't have any idea about what sort of athlete KJT is, other than female & in the the prime of life, so as I said, a dually is, without doubt the most versatile & forgiving type of bike for the greatest range of activities. World Cup XC races are being ridden and won on duallies.

that doesn't for a minute mean that I wouldn't want a 29 hardtail to sit in the shed alongside the 26 carbon spark.

the whole wheelsize situation leaves me cold. the only reason you give to NOT get a 26 is that there won't be any support, not that the others are better, and I think the industry will be supporting the 26 for generations to come, I mean there are 100 of thousands of 26 still out there, and the majority of mtn bike, low-middle spec are still 26.

actually there was a recent review on the Santa Cruz Bronson, 150mm duallie and the designers were developing it as a 26, but then tried 27.5 & 29. the 27.5 matched the performance & feel of the 26 so they went for that, for no other reason than they knew the market they were after wanted the new size, not necessarily a difference in performance

26 = 559mm diameter

27.5 = 584mm diam ( up 4.5%) = 650B

29 = 622mm dia ( up 11% from 26 ) = 700 C = same as the roadies

 

anyway, to each there own, and if my duallie has to be replaced, I'd probably be looking at a 27.5

also I'm glad that the industry has settled on 700c for roadies

All your points are valid

I do think the right 29ht super-fly(great geometry ) is the perfect starters bike (with tubeless tyres) as long as the rider Is not 4 ft high

Mrs IP is over 50 she is probably the most unconfident rider you will find , she loves her superfly. Great for trails ,bike paths and road riding (she has done the 3peaks loop 250k on the superfly)

It's fast , light and very very comfortable

A dualy is just extra wieght that is really not needed in most situations as the tubeless gives your sublime ride and allows you to ride at low pressure to give you fantastic front end handling and grip

 

The wheel size thing is a delemer but I'm sure they will not be making 26 mtbs (making the 26 you buy now worth nothing if you want to sell it when you work out you should have bought 29er)in the near future with the 27.5 taking its place

There isn't any room for 3 wheel sizes in the industry (maybe not even 2???)

 

I am far from an iron pro LOL so please take my advice as you will

But I will quote an X trannie who knows a shiteload about MTBs

GlennC "I would rather slam my balls in a draw than buy a 26er"

Cheers

IP

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I don't think the 26 inch wheels are dead. I ride a 26" dual supenstion XC bike and have done for a few years. I have riden mates 29" bikes of the same model (Gaint Anthems) and depending on what we are riding i.e. fire trail v technical single track depend on which is the better suited bike.

 

Rider height is the other determining factor as small riders can struggle with a 27.5" and 29".

 

If going hard tail then go 29" as you will not be buying it for technical XC riding, but if it is tecnical single track then don't discount the 26" especially if small. Additionally a 26" will weigh less as less bike and wheels.

 

The skills thing is interesting as when i ride with my MTB mates on the non technical parts i keep up or lead due to fitness and ride time, but as soon as it gets technical then i drop back as i can't carry the speed they can through corners, twists etc as don't have the skills. That just comes with time on the bike.

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and i have a 26er HARD TAIL, and do not regret it - the bikeshop owner was trying to push me into a 29; but after riding a few different 26ers and 29; i went with one i felt really comfy on.

riding MTB is different to Road... imo harder <- this greatly depends on tyres

 

(when your out of the saddle bouncing around like a spring on a dual suspension; you'll wish you didnt both with it)

Edited by louey
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Ktj is 4 foot tall haha. A new giant anthem in 650b or similar would be ideal for what I think you want to do, dualies are a lot more fun on the tracks around here, and after all it is for fun right?

If that's the case. 27.5 is the go

Still be worth looking at a HT as you will get a far better bike for the 2k as you are only paying for 1 set of suspension

Unless you are a serious downhiller just go a good HT with tubeless tyres , you don't need a dualy

Arwsome fun

Cheers

Ip

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I bought my first MTB last year and I love it. A Focus 29er hard tail.

 

yeah got myself a focus 29er from Santa also...black and yellow blackforrest....

 

needed a 'cheaper' MTB......for when cruising with the kids so the Sworks could stay home sometimes...oh and it was good excuse to get a 29er... :-)

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Try and get yourself along to a demo day, Giant, Polygon, Specialized, Trek and Boardman (I think?) run demo days where you can try out a bunch of bikes. The subtle changes in geometry impact handling and comfort quite a lot. For me (with zero mountain bike experience) I found the Giant anthem (I think that's the one) the most comfortable and controllable, despite it being a more 'downhill' style bike. The position, suspension and slacker seat tube apparently suited me well. So, if you can, get along and try some out!

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Try and get yourself along to a demo day, Giant, Polygon, Specialized, Trek and Boardman (I think?) run demo days where you can try out a bunch of bikes. The subtle changes in geometry impact handling and comfort quite a lot. For me (with zero mountain bike experience) I found the Giant anthem (I think that's the one) the most comfortable and controllable, despite it being a more 'downhill' style bike. The position, suspension and slacker seat tube apparently suited me well. So, if you can, get along and try some out!

 

george-bob,

the Anthem is Giants' XC race bike, but it is slacker and a lot more forgiving than previos versions. This style of duallie, as well as others from other brands, with well though out geometry & suspension designs can be almost everything to almost everyone.

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(when your out of the saddle bouncing around like a spring on a dual suspension; you'll wish you didnt both with it)

This depends on the bike and the suspension set up.

 

The XC bikes like the Anthem, Epic & Fuels to name 3 don't have this issue as the suspention change to reduce bob. Also gives better climbing grip than a hardtail as the tyres stay on the ground - straight from the marketing speak.

 

Comparing a XC bike to a free ride bike is like comparing a Road bike to a TT bike.

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Thanks everyone for the comments- lots of things to consider! Just to clarify RUSS I am 5 ft and ride 650 wheels on my Time trial and 700 on my specialised roadie. I am definitely in it for fun but have a very addictive personality so who knows where I'll end up! And you can't have too many bikes right???? The races I'm looking at is the x adventure race in Dunsborough which is mainly single track and the Anaconda in Augusta. The tubeless tyres no puncture deal sounds good! Weight would also be a concern as I need to lift it onto Thule roof racks and we have a rule in our house if you can't lift it, carry it yourself you shouldn't be on it!! ( mainly to do with surf craft!)

Off to the LBS to see what they have!! Cheers Katie

PS Tortoise - Thanks;-)

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I just asked a friend. 40 yo 5'0" female, former pro Ironman, MTB and X-Terra racer. Has done everything you can do on a MTB pre-kids, got back into state series racing last year and bought a new bike.

 

"26 for sure, don't be talked into a 29. She will handle a 26 and fit much better, looked at 29 last year but to make it soooo small they muck around with the setup"

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I am riding a 10 year old XC duallie and looked into replacing it last year. From asking a lot of questions of people involved in racing, building etc I wouldn't be surprised if 29 disappears before 26 and 27.5 is the dominant wheel size in a few years.

it's interesting to note that Giant, who you can be certain tend to make the correct business decisions, have swung heavily to the 27.5 camp. That doesn't mean they're discarding 29ers, but the focus, for now is definitely 27.5

 

and for me, my 26 duallie only just fits into my hatchback, so anything with bigger wheels won't. and something apparently trivial can be a deal breaker when deciding what to get

Edited by AVAGO
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. From asking a lot of questions of people involved in racing, building etc I wouldn't be surprised if 29 disappears before 26 and 27.5 is the dominant wheel size in a few years.

 

already happening Parky....

 

27.5 is the new 29er.....40 is the new 30.... ;-)

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it's interesting to note that Giant, who you can be certain tend to make the correct business decisions, have swung heavily to the 27.5 camp. That doesn't mean they're discarding 29ers, but the focus, for now is definitely 27.5

 

and for me, my 26 duallie only just fits into my hatchback, so anything with bigger wheels won't. and something apparently trivial can be a deal breaker when deciding what to get

 

I'm pretty sure their entire 2014 range is 27.5?

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I just asked a friend. 40 yo 5'0" female, former pro Ironman, MTB and X-Terra racer. Has done everything you can do on a MTB pre-kids, got back into state series racing last year and bought a new bike.

 

"26 for sure, don't be talked into a 29. She will handle a 26 and fit much better, looked at 29 last year but to make it soooo small they muck around with the setup"

Cheers sounds just like me except the pro ironman bit ;-)

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I have a Giant XTC Compositie 29er for sale. Size Small.

 

I bought it new August 2012 . We changed the chain ring to a 39/24 which was more suitable for females

 

Did off road triathlons and some mtb races on it. I believe hardtails are good for anything under 50km, over 50km (like The Epic) I think dual suspension would be much more comfortable (speak from experience)

Really loved doing mtb stuff but I've decided to go back to road stuff again.

Have meet some really lovely people doing mtb

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Update! Husband bless his cotton socks bought me a Specialised 29 hard tail Fate for my birthday based on his own research and advice from the LBS who do a lot of MTB!! Will try it out this weekend off road! Absolutely wrapped, thanks for all your advice.

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Good news you will love it ( although only being 4 foot tall may be a problem on a 29er)Lol

:-)

You'll be fine

Despite some negative feedback you got on here about 29ers being obsolete I watched the bright 12 hr on the weekend and I reckon 75/80% were riding 29ers

Cheers

Ip

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  • 11 months later...

Giant will be making 29er race (SL) hard tails again. It is only a matter of time. As for XC Duallies 27.5/29ers I'm not sure. All mountain/downhill etc will all go to 27.5. I think there is scope to do as Trek has and build smaller XC frames as 27.5 and larger frames as 29er. This allows smaller people to get the correct position that 29ers do not. EG I have a friend who has his handlebars on his 29er above his seat because he can't get them any lower. 27.5 fixes this for him.

 

Elite marathons are pretty much all on 29ers in Aust except for a few that are sponsored on 27.5. Even some sponsored riders have whinged until they got back on a 29er.

 

If you are going to run a 27.5, run a bigger tyre.

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I think there is scope to do as Trek has and build smaller XC frames as 27.5 and larger frames as 29er. This allows smaller people to get the correct position that 29ers do not. EG I have a friend who has his handlebars on his 29er above his seat because he can't get them any lower. 27.5 fixes this for him.

 

Or he could run a -30 deg stem

These are made just for this problem

Cheers

Ivp

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Giant will be making 29er race (SL) hard tails again. It is only a matter of time. As for XC Duallies 27.5/29ers I'm not sure. All mountain/downhill etc will all go to 27.5. .

Totally agree with this

Giant have sort of tried to push 29ers out of the market

It hasn't worked as the 29ers popularity continues to grow very fast

Cheers

Ivp

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I certainly don't claim to be a good mtn biker but have ridden all three sizes in hardtail just this week. I have only ever had a 29er hardtail, but picked up both a 26 and 27.5 second hand for son and wife respectively. My 29er is lighter than both the others and the wheel size makes mince meat of trail obstacles compared to the smaller bikes. I struggle a bit on the tighter turns on the big bike but open trail I think the 29er is way quicker. I am very happy I went the 29er first up after trying the other two sizes now.

 

Can't help with duallie aspect but the size is a no brainer in my opinion and I am fairly short but can get by.

Edited by Diamonds
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How about this one: For Sale 29er 2012 Trek superfly elite full carbon med frame xt running gear $2450 noosaville

Another option around that price you could pick up a Specialized Epic Comp / Comp Carbon on clear out from 2014 from few dealers? I like how they ride compared to the Scotts I tried. Haven't ridden the Trek but similar linkage design. The brain's a love or hate thing but I love not having to piss around locking / unlocking the rear shock on courses.

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For 2k would you buy a new alloy frame bike or a second hand carbon frame? And if your answer is second hand carbon, what components, wheels etc would you want?

Depends why you want carbon. Cheap carbon frames are not necessarily a lot lighter and less crashable. For me, same bike in carbon was $1000 extra and frame was 400 grams lighter. For that price you've got some decent wheels etc and cut way more weight.

 

The more expensive models have different carbon and generally lighter. Even though mines mainly an xc bike I still like to jump / crash and thrash it so stuck with alloy, the rocks in WA suck.

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Not a fan of carbon MTB, especially 2nd hand. I look at the number of impact marks on my alloy MTB.

MTB is an impact sport, especially if you ride more all mountain, but even XC. Riding on sunday just gone between 2 of us we put our bikes on the ground about 6 times, during a 1 1/2hr MTB ride.

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http://extreme.com/mountainbike/1025126/aluminium-vs-carbon-santa-cruz-test-labs

 

If you have a spare 6 mins, watch this Rory and your opinion may change. For what it's worth, I wanted a dually, so opted for Alloy since it was what I could afford. If I get more serious I may want to consider selling my current MTB for an upgrade to carbon.

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Great video and for the record if you want to send me a carbon Santa Cruz i will even support the Wallabies.

 

To me carbon MTB frame is like carbon handle bars. Tensile strenght is great but impact is the problem. And there is alot of impact in MTB riding.

 

If buying new then i would be keen but second hand to much risk.

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How about this one: For Sale 29er 2012 Trek superfly elite full carbon med frame xt running gear $2450 noosaville

Good buying there great bike

No problem with carbon MTbs , stronger and lighter than alloy will ever be, and give a FAR superior ride , which means a hell of a lot out on the dirt

 

You do have to be carefull buying second hand but if the bike looks like it's had a fairly easy life (like most have) by looking for hard hits/scratches etc the it will be fine

 

I just left noosaville this morning after a week of training I could have checked it put for you

Cheers

IVP

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