|First things first, you should definitely not feel skeptical about switching between wheel sizes, be it going from 29" to 27.5" or vice versa. We're at the point now where there are great trail bikes available with either wheel size that everyone is going to enjoy riding. Choosing between a 29'' wheeled Tallboy, and a 27.5" wheeled Habit is really a win-win situation that's kind of like picking either ribeye or tenderloin cuts of steak for dinner - you're getting steak either way you look at it. Regardless, I think you've answered your question by saying that you like the Cannondale more, so that's the one you should buy. The Habit is also one of the first 27.5" wheeled bikes I've ridden that can climb technical, low-traction terrain as well as the best 29ers, which is the type of setting where big-wheelers usually dominate. The one caveat here is the Habit's Lefty fork that isn't up to snuff compared to a Pike or 34 when talking about damper performance, so keep that in mind. That said, the Habit and its Lefty offer unparalleled steering precision, and the geometry makes for one of the best handling short-travel trail bikes on the market. - Mike Levy|
|The font tire of the moment is by far the Schwalbe Magic Mary, which has been the number one choice of EWS enduro and pro DH racers for two years running. And, fortunately, the Magic Mary is available in 26-inch sizes. The soft compound rubber and pronounced edging blocks find traction almost anywhere and in nearly any conditions, and I have yet to discover a front tire that delivers more confidence in the turns. The downside of the Magic Mary is some rolling resistance on asphalt and hardpack - and reports from riders in wet and rainy places who say that the rubber compound can be slippery on wood. |
Another popular favorite that is a go-to for riders in every climate is the Maxxis Minion DHF. It is tough to beat in any conditions and is trustworthy on wood - but it is heavy and also suffers in the rolling resistance department. Finally, the Maxxis High Roller II - a fast rolling tire for hard pack trails - is another popular option (and one of my all-time favorites) that pedals well and cuts a tight apex in the turns. - RC
|The first thing would be to check out the Buy and Sell Safety Tips in the forum. There's pretty much all the advice you could ever need collated together in this one place.|
Try and find a bike within close proximity so you can meet the seller and give your potential new baby a check over, failing this try and get to know the seller over email and judge for yourself if they are trustworthy or not. If you decide to meet up for a cash transaction, bear in mind a scammer would know how much paper you might have about your person; counter this (rare) danger by planning a bank transfer with your smartphone, or it's best to go with somebody (preferably a mechanic) and meet in a well lit public place, in front of a police station is a good idea.
I would concentrate on the frame to start with, followed by the most expensive components, if the chain is worn out it won't break the bank if you don't spot it. Cracks in the frame would be the biggest loser so head straight for the major problem areas around the headtube, bottom bracket, shock mounts and chainstays. Hairline cracks can appear on welds and can be difficult to spot so need careful inspection. Look for crash damage on carbon frames and consider stickers or tape could be hiding something. Check fork and shock bushings for free movement/play and any strange knocking noises or oil leaks. Finally check the small components for wear and tear, and consider that some used bikes may have had a liberal helping of 'Bullshit Spray.' This means a good wash and covering with GT85 or a similar oil-based spray can leave an old knacker looking like new.
I have bought and sold bikes in the past and thanks to the friendly community we are part of have never had any problems. Most riders are genuine, honest people and won't be upset if you change your mind. Remember that once the transaction has been made, it's 'sold as seen,' if you get home to find the headtube falling off it's your fault and you have no come-back. - Paul Aston
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