//Trail Status mouse over Java // newbie, any advice on a good bike?

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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2014, 01:15:35 PM »
Being that you're a short guy (almost my wife's height), be sure you don't JUST try 29ers.  You may like that wheel size.  But you may not.  Make sure you also try bikes with smaller wheels (26" and 27.5").  I prefer smaller wheels, but could get used to a 29er.  My wife feels absolutely ridiculous and uncomfortable on a 29er, so she got a bike with 26" wheels last year.

It doesn't matter what models within a brand you look at, or to a lesser extent which brands you look at.  If you're looking at small local bike shops, you're going to find comparable bikes from all of them.  Also, the bike shops around here will not carry a huge selection of bikes that MOST riders in Indiana don't buy.  You're going to find a LOT of 29er hardtails.  Some brands have gone big into 27.5" wheels this year, so if you're looking at something like Giant, you will find a lot of 27.5" wheeled hardtails.  You will find fewer full suspension bikes here.  And most of the ones you do find will be 4-5" travel.  Some shops (but not all) might have some with more.

Full suspension bikes are hard sells for most shops, because they're a good bit more expensive.  Not everybody walks into a shop with a budget of $2,000-$7,000 for a good full suspension mtb.  Ride what's available within your budget.  Pick what is comfortable, and what you like best.  Don't overanalyze things.  It's easy to do, but makes your decision more difficult.


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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2014, 01:47:59 PM »
$1000 will get you a nice entry level bike to start with and you can always upgrade components later.

 Keep an eye on the buy sell and trade forum on here there's always something up for sale that could be a significant upgrade at a fraction of the cost.

When you start looking for upgrades look at rotational weight first, wheels, tires, cassettes and going tubeless will give the greatest performance gains.

Also at your height I would seriously consider a 27.5 bike. I'm 5'10", I bought my first 29er hardtail this year (my last bike was a FS 26).The bike manufacturers have the 29er geo dialed in. I'm VERY happy with the bike and I'm a good minute faster on a local loop too. Hope that didn't muddy the waters for you!

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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2014, 09:25:00 AM »
Not sure if you are still looking, but this popped up on CL today.


Thats a pretty decently spec'd bike for the money. You could even upgrade a couple things and still be under budget.

FWIW, I bought used this year for my first bike. Got a nice FS pretty cheap, and was able to upgrade the wheels to 27.5. Its a pretty fun bike. If you are still wanting a FS, take a look around at our local CL, as well as Louisville's....thats where I found mine.

EDIT: Didn't see that you were 5'5"...carry-on...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 12:34:19 PM by Miller1651 »


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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2014, 10:58:17 AM »
He needs a small. Or maybe a medium in some makes.
$1000= used 29er rigid ss with decent brakes and wheels. Everything else is just fluff.  ;)


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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2014, 11:05:27 AM »
I'll pile in with my $.02, so that you get more than a $1's worth of internet advice. :)  Like others have said, a HT will get you a much better bike for the money.  I moved here from AZ last summer.  My do-it-all bike(DH, DJ, XC) is a Trek Scratch with a 180mm fork and 170mm rear end.  While super comfy for the trails in IN and perfect for AZ trails, it's a pig to pedal on the relatively flat IN trails.  So I've built myself a 26" steel Transition TransAM HT.  The thing absolutely rips up Town Run, that's the only trail I've been able to ride on it so far.  Can't wait to get to Fort Ben and Brown County on it.  HT's also teach you some handling skills, picking smoother lines, how to properly weight and unweight the front and rear.  Like Nate says, fit is key.  If you buy from a shop, they should do a stem/handlebar swap either free or at a reasonable cost.  The trend for shorter stems and wide bars is the way to go.  Although for a shorter fella, wide is a relative term.  For me, 6'1", I'm running 780mm bars/65mm stem on the Trek and 760mm/50mm stem on the TransAm.  A great source for used bikes is Pink Bike.  I've bought three bikes of the Buy/Sell forum and have great experiences every time.  Also like Nate said, I'd push your budget as far as reasonably possible, bike dollars don't count.  The other nice thing about PB is that the sellers often expect to haggle.  A good fork and wheels make the biggest difference.  I don't think SRAM can touch the current Shimano SLX line up, I'm sure some would argue that.  The whole thing is super solid.

Here's a great article about wide bars/short stem.
2012 Trek Scratch
2012 Transition TransAM
Keep the rubber side down!

fst aslp

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Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2014, 02:32:45 PM »
Shameless plug for my racerx29 for sale here


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