Beginner "What bike should I get?" Thread

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Beginner "What bike should I get?" Thread
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Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 18:04 Quote
Ok cool thank you both for the advice. Yeah it is pretty discouraging to get really stoked up about getting back into it and then can't find a bike lol. The shop that was helping me did have a Chameleon coming in but it was the mac daddy version which is just out of my price range.

Sorry for the novice questions but, generally, what makes a hardtail more or less capable of aggressive riding? The quality of components I understand and I have a very basic understanding of how geometry is involved. It might just be something I need to see by comparing bikes in person to understand. Anyways, thanks again!

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 18:59 Quote
HughJaynus wrote:
Ok cool thank you both for the advice. Yeah it is pretty discouraging to get really stoked up about getting back into it and then can't find a bike lol. The shop that was helping me did have a Chameleon coming in but it was the mac daddy version which is just out of my price range.

Sorry for the novice questions but, generally, what makes a hardtail more or less capable of aggressive riding? The quality of components I understand and I have a very basic understanding of how geometry is involved. It might just be something I need to see by comparing bikes in person to understand. Anyways, thanks again!

I don't know a huge amount about hardtail geo, but I would look for maybe a little more travel if you're an aggressive rider. 4 piston brakes are also helpful (though not a strict necessity, I've ridden double black tech at a bike brake on 2 piston brakes, but 4 pistons are very nice). Lastly, how slack the head tube angle is is normally a pretty good indicator of how aggressive the bike will feel (this is absolutely a simplification, but geo is not my strong suit).

For example, the HTA of the giant fathom is 67 degrees and it has 120mm of travel. This won't feel as aggressive as say, a norco torrent (https://www.norco.com/bikes/2021/mountain/all-mountain/torrent/torrent-a2-ht/) with a 64 degree head angle and 150 mm of suspension.

the norco torrent a2 build is $1650 and it looks pretty good to me, I just have no idea if you can get lucky with a dealer. I also have never tried a coil fork or an sr suntour fork so that might not be the best option.

Rocky Mountain also has the growler which has a couple of builds in your price range (I have no idea about quality of these, but they have similar HTAs and travels) https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/growler/2021?tid=72.

Lastly, it really comes down to what feels good to you. Just because a bike is more "aggressive" doesn't necessarily mean the bike is the right fit for you.

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 20:15 Quote
I guess I’m back to being a beginner rider after not riding for many years. I’m looking for something versatile. I will be traveling Europe so I will be shredding around the city and also will be looking for cool trails to hit. I need something that can do both comfortably. Two brands I really like is Santa Cruz and Commencal, but they have sp many models I don’t even know where to start. Should I go for the XC which will give me more pedaling stability in the city? Or should I even go for a hard tail. I used to have a SC Bronson back in the day and it was a little too much for city riding, or maybe the frame I went with was too large for me. Anyway I don’t have a budget really, so for Santa Cruz I’ll be looking at CC frame with reserve wheels.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 9:39 Quote
Can anybody provide some sizing feedback? I am looking at the Salsa Blackthorn. I am 5'9" with a 33" inseam and +2 ape index (long limbs, short torso) which puts me square in the middle of the medium recommendation. I demoed a size medium and it feels great but maybe a little cramped in the cockpit. I have the stock 50mm stem and add a riser bars to space it out a little. Saddle back +5mm. I also got a chance to sit on a size large. the wheelbase was long and I was a little stretched out but a 40mm stem might help with that.


Posted: Apr 11, 2021 at 1:44 Quote
DJR2013 wrote:
Can anybody provide some sizing feedback? I am looking at the Salsa Blackthorn. I am 5'9" with a 33" inseam and +2 ape index (long limbs, short torso) which puts me square in the middle of the medium recommendation. I demoed a size medium and it feels great but maybe a little cramped in the cockpit. I have the stock 50mm stem and add a riser bars to space it out a little. Saddle back +5mm. I also got a chance to sit on a size large. the wheelbase was long and I was a little stretched out but a 40mm stem might help with that.

I think it really depends on what you like and what you normally ride, do you like popping down the trail, or straight lining as fast as you can? I'm not sure about those bikes, but is it possible to use a reach extending headset on the medium? The large does look like the fit is a bit better? And you could also go all the way down to a 32mm stem. Could be a good option.

Posted: Apr 11, 2021 at 1:48 Quote
Synestra wrote:
Hello shredders,

I'm looking to buying an MTB and I've been looking to do mostly bike park riding (there's a bike park about 10mins drive from my home)

I haven't ridden a bike in a good 10 years, not to say that I'm not active I've just been skating and I'm looking to get back into mountain bikes which I was quite interested in when I was in my teens.

I've been looking at duel suspension and damn the technology has changed in the last 10 years I remember seeing a bike with over 100mm travel was pretty uncommon.

anywho that's a little about myself.

bikes I've been looking at at the Trek Slash 7, Norco Sight A2 and the Polygon N9, i feel these bikes will suit well to the bike park but also can be upgraded down the line But am I aiming too high as what is essentially learning to ride again and maybe pick up something like a Norco fluid or Merida one forty. any advice would be much appriciated.
If you've got the money, buying a bike for the trails you will be riding is the better way to go. Under biking just because you are a beginner is probably the wrong mindset. The sight is more on the "all mountain" side, with the poly and the trek are more "enduro". Id recommend the sight if you play on mostly pedaling and maybe doing the bike park 2x a month, and the other bikes if you plan on hitting the bike park park quite a bit. And by bike park, I mean lift/shuttle access.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 10:10 Quote
Hello everyone,
I'm currently looking to snag a Vitus Sentier 27 VR (once they're back in stock) but am not sure which size to get. I'm 5' 11", with a 73" wingspan and a 31" inseam (long torso and arms, & 140lbs fwiw). I'm coming off a 2011 Cannondale Trail SL2 26" with a size medium frame.
Between the sizing chart and everything I've been able to find online, I still can't determine if a medium or large would be a better fit. I'm not opposed to fitting a different stem or dropper post to get things right where they should be, but just don't know if I should size up or down to begin with.
The trails I typically ride are a good mix of technical ascent/descent. Nothing crazy tight, but also nothing crazy fast. I really like my bikes to be playful, but also love to send it when things get steep.
Any advice you can give would be great!
Thanks

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 12:19 Quote
FlyByGuy wrote:
Hello everyone,
I'm currently looking to snag a Vitus Sentier 27 VR (once they're back in stock) but am not sure which size to get. I'm 5' 11", with a 73" wingspan and a 31" inseam (long torso and arms, & 140lbs fwiw). I'm coming off a 2011 Cannondale Trail SL2 26" with a size medium frame.
Between the sizing chart and everything I've been able to find online, I still can't determine if a medium or large would be a better fit. I'm not opposed to fitting a different stem or dropper post to get things right where they should be, but just don't know if I should size up or down to begin with.
The trails I typically ride are a good mix of technical ascent/descent. Nothing crazy tight, but also nothing crazy fast. I really like my bikes to be playful, but also love to send it when things get steep.
Any advice you can give would be great!
Thanks

The current fashion appears to be to "size up" as it gives "a roomier cockpit". Now that is all well and good but if you do end up on a large you need to make sure there is space for a dropper. Are you actually able to shorten the reach if the stem is already 30mm?

Having spent some time shuffling between a bike that probably too small, to one that was actually too large there is no substitute for trying these things out. Fortunately for me the large one fitted my son better as he is taller so go one the correct size.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 18:24 Quote
I'm not new to mountain biking. I worked at a shop for 5 years, was consistently top 3 in local amateur XC races, but I'm lost. I've been out of riding for a bit (more than 10 years), and I need to upgrade, but am having a hard time finding the right bike. My current bike is a 2004 Rocky Mountain ETSX Team, always set to max rear travel (5" I think) and a 6" travel DT Swiss front fork, Tune hubs, DT rims, all Sram XO. I custom built it to be under 25lbs. I want an XC/Trail bike that has modern geo, and longer travel, but lightweight, so I could potentially do some XC racing again. I would say my max would be $5K (CAD). Any thoughts? Please help me!

Posted: Apr 17, 2021 at 12:26 Quote
I am trying to get back in to mountain biking more regularly after about 15 years of just doing a few casual rides on some single track every year.

I used to run a few bike shops, but have been out of the loop for years on the latest gear and tech. To give you an idea of how out of the loop I am, I had no clue that 26 inch wheels and front derailleurs were no longer a thing until a few weeks ago...

I currently have an old Norco VPS drop with a Monster T, think is way too big and heavy for anything I want to do now. I also have an old Giant AC air that I borrowed from my brother which has been treating me well.

Now I am looking for a frame to build a new bike or possibly a complete bike I can upgrade over the years as needed. So I am wondering what I should be looking at. I would like to have something I can do a bit of everything with, single track, climb, decent when I go to lift access parks.

Not really sure on price range as I am not sure what a decent bike costs these days. I would like to get the best bang for the buck, but I am willing to spend on a decent frame that will last me a while. I am thinking 2k for an aluminum frame? Not even sure if that is reasonable or not.

I have been looking at the Trek Fuel, the Norco Sight and the Specialized Stump Jumper EVO, but I am not sure how they compare or if they are even what I am looking for.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be sure to try and give all the info necessary.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posted: Apr 20, 2021 at 19:04 Quote
I found a 2014 trek fuel ex 7 for 900USD. I want to buy but at the same time I think it is to old. Right now I have the 2021 trek marlin 5. Should I buy it?

Posted: Apr 20, 2021 at 21:45 Quote
christobal wrote:
I am trying to get back in to mountain biking more regularly after about 15 years of just doing a few casual rides on some single track every year.

I used to run a few bike shops, but have been out of the loop for years on the latest gear and tech. To give you an idea of how out of the loop I am, I had no clue that 26 inch wheels and front derailleurs were no longer a thing until a few weeks ago...

I currently have an old Norco VPS drop with a Monster T, think is way too big and heavy for anything I want to do now. I also have an old Giant AC air that I borrowed from my brother which has been treating me well.

Now I am looking for a frame to build a new bike or possibly a complete bike I can upgrade over the years as needed. So I am wondering what I should be looking at. I would like to have something I can do a bit of everything with, single track, climb, decent when I go to lift access parks.

Not really sure on price range as I am not sure what a decent bike costs these days. I would like to get the best bang for the buck, but I am willing to spend on a decent frame that will last me a while. I am thinking 2k for an aluminum frame? Not even sure if that is reasonable or not.

I have been looking at the Trek Fuel, the Norco Sight and the Specialized Stump Jumper EVO, but I am not sure how they compare or if they are even what I am looking for.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be sure to try and give all the info necessary.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also getting back into biking after a long hiatus (more like 6 or 7 years). I've always been a gear head in whatever hobbies I have, so I've been doing a fair bit of research while I wait for a bike. I was planning to get a used bike, but after a couple weeks of looking got frustrated with the scarcity, prices, and how quickly things were getting snapped up in these bike-short times (increased demand+massive supply chain backlogs, as you've probably heard if you're looking into buying a bike).

I decided to go with a new Ripmo AF, which seemed to tick a lot of boxes for me at the upper end of my budget with great component spec for the money. I'm still waiting on mine, but should have it by the end of the month.

My last bike was a 26" Specialized Pitch Pro trail bike right as 27.5" was starting to be all the rage. 29" bikes seem to be pretty widely agreed to be the best option for most medium/large/XL Trail/All-mountain/enduro riders, though it seems like mullets (27.5" rear, 29" front) are gaining traction as an option for smaller riders and more gravity focused riders who want a little more flickability, snappier cornering, poppier ride that manuals more easily. All of this is just based on my reading/watching youtube videos since I haven't even been on a modern geometry 29er trail bike (yet).

From the riding you're describing, you might take a look at the Ripley AF (or the carbon one, depending on your budget). I've heard awesome things about the Ripley, and I would probably have gotten one if I didn't plan to do some bike park riding and gnarlier steep and rocky trails we have in Vermont.

A few things I've picked up on in my search for the right bike is that bikes have gotten so much more dialed from so many manufacturers these days than when I used to ride a lot. There are just a lot more great bikes available in the $2500-$3500 range with parts specs that perform much better than more expensive bikes from 5-10 years ago. Geometry numbers also seem to mostly be settling into very similar agreed upon numbers for the most part, unlike in the past when there could be substantially different geos marketed for the same purpose.

If you want a good youtube channel to get you up to speed on modern bike tech, geometry trends, etc., I've found the GMBN channels to be a great source of information. Some of their videos are a little dumbed down for my liking, having a pretty firm background knowledge (if a little out of date), but still worth watching to get a sense of "what's new" in the MTB world. Whatever you do, get an order in ASAP (or buy used, which depending on where in Canada you are, might be the best option since there seem to be so many awesome used bikes on your side of the border in the buy/sell for good prices—at least compared to the northeastern US). Bike availability is crazy right now, and some manufacturers have lead times extending well into next year!

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 3:56 Quote
Jack241 wrote:
I found a 2014 trek fuel ex 7 for 900USD. I want to buy but at the same time I think it is to old. Right now I have the 2021 trek marlin 5. Should I buy it?
I dunno, geometry is very similar to the bike you have, the Fox Evolution forks were recalled around that period, too much I’d want to change, I’d pass...

Posted: Apr 24, 2021 at 4:17 Quote
shammer8 wrote:
christobal wrote:
I am trying to get back in to mountain biking more regularly after about 15 years of just doing a few casual rides on some single track every year.

I used to run a few bike shops, but have been out of the loop for years on the latest gear and tech. To give you an idea of how out of the loop I am, I had no clue that 26 inch wheels and front derailleurs were no longer a thing until a few weeks ago...

I currently have an old Norco VPS drop with a Monster T, think is way too big and heavy for anything I want to do now. I also have an old Giant AC air that I borrowed from my brother which has been treating me well.

Now I am looking for a frame to build a new bike or possibly a complete bike I can upgrade over the years as needed. So I am wondering what I should be looking at. I would like to have something I can do a bit of everything with, single track, climb, decent when I go to lift access parks.

Not really sure on price range as I am not sure what a decent bike costs these days. I would like to get the best bang for the buck, but I am willing to spend on a decent frame that will last me a while. I am thinking 2k for an aluminum frame? Not even sure if that is reasonable or not.

I have been looking at the Trek Fuel, the Norco Sight and the Specialized Stump Jumper EVO, but I am not sure how they compare or if they are even what I am looking for.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be sure to try and give all the info necessary.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also getting back into biking after a long hiatus (more like 6 or 7 years). I've always been a gear head in whatever hobbies I have, so I've been doing a fair bit of research while I wait for a bike. I was planning to get a used bike, but after a couple weeks of looking got frustrated with the scarcity, prices, and how quickly things were getting snapped up in these bike-short times (increased demand+massive supply chain backlogs, as you've probably heard if you're looking into buying a bike).

I decided to go with a new Ripmo AF, which seemed to tick a lot of boxes for me at the upper end of my budget with great component spec for the money. I'm still waiting on mine, but should have it by the end of the month.

My last bike was a 26" Specialized Pitch Pro trail bike right as 27.5" was starting to be all the rage. 29" bikes seem to be pretty widely agreed to be the best option for most medium/large/XL Trail/All-mountain/enduro riders, though it seems like mullets (27.5" rear, 29" front) are gaining traction as an option for smaller riders and more gravity focused riders who want a little more flickability, snappier cornering, poppier ride that manuals more easily. All of this is just based on my reading/watching youtube videos since I haven't even been on a modern geometry 29er trail bike (yet).

From the riding you're describing, you might take a look at the Ripley AF (or the carbon one, depending on your budget). I've heard awesome things about the Ripley, and I would probably have gotten one if I didn't plan to do some bike park riding and gnarlier steep and rocky trails we have in Vermont.

A few things I've picked up on in my search for the right bike is that bikes have gotten so much more dialed from so many manufacturers these days than when I used to ride a lot. There are just a lot more great bikes available in the $2500-$3500 range with parts specs that perform much better than more expensive bikes from 5-10 years ago. Geometry numbers also seem to mostly be settling into very similar agreed upon numbers for the most part, unlike in the past when there could be substantially different geos marketed for the same purpose.

If you want a good youtube channel to get you up to speed on modern bike tech, geometry trends, etc., I've found the GMBN channels to be a great source of information. Some of their videos are a little dumbed down for my liking, having a pretty firm background knowledge (if a little out of date), but still worth watching to get a sense of "what's new" in the MTB world. Whatever you do, get an order in ASAP (or buy used, which depending on where in Canada you are, might be the best option since there seem to be so many awesome used bikes on your side of the border in the buy/sell for good prices—at least compared to the northeastern US). Bike availability is crazy right now, and some manufacturers have lead times extending well into next year!

Thanks for all the great info, I will definitely check out the Ripley.

Posted: Apr 29, 2021 at 14:02 Quote
DJR2013 wrote:
Can anybody provide some sizing feedback? I am looking at the Salsa Blackthorn. I am 5'9" with a 33" inseam and +2 ape index (long limbs, short torso) which puts me square in the middle of the medium recommendation. I demoed a size medium and it feels great but maybe a little cramped in the cockpit. I have the stock 50mm stem and add a riser bars to space it out a little. Saddle back +5mm. I also got a chance to sit on a size large. the wheelbase was long and I was a little stretched out but a 40mm stem might help with that.


I would not get that medium, I am 5'8" and I ride a large Scott Ransom which is feeling great...If I were you I'd get a large


 
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