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Unread 2017-01-18, 20:09   #1
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NocturnalGuy
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So... HYPOTHETICALLY... if I were looking at picking up a new mountain bike, what should I be looking at? Full suspension? Hydraulic brakes? 29" wheels? Single front chainring? Hydraulic seat post? Tubeless? So many new developments since I last bought a bike... I don't want carbon (read: can't afford carbon), and am leaning towards hardtail because I ride on road a lot too... maybe one with lockout?
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Unread 2017-01-18, 21:10   #2
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Ooh, cool, a bike thread besides my ancient one.

You sound like I was a few years ago going into the bike shop thinking, "Two choices -- mountain bike or road bike?" I found out that there were like a dozen of each flavor and even other bikes that didn't fall into either category, like my cross bike.

I did a lot of research and found that if you want to get into a "real" (not poser worthless crap) dual suspension you are going to start out at about $2,500, more or less. Hardtail you can get into niceness as low as around $800, $900+.

Yeah carbon is up there and, while great, is not something that is automatically going to make biking magical. I have carbon now due to an amazing sale and a shop that wanted to help me out because the owner saw me get hit. But a steel alloy frame is going to have a good feel. Aluminum can have you feeling every pebble under your ass but I still wouldn't go with the stereotypes that all aluminum bikes are stiff.

If my road biking experience translates, I'd say yeah on the single front chainring. I never shift it anymore. Then again, I have no elevation down here. Hydraulic brakes will be less to maintain.

I'll defer to the trail guys on the rest. But it is great to see a bike thread. You should look at the Surly site for some ideas. They have lots of bikes that break the mold for options. I could see you having a blast on the Instigator 2.0. Yeah you're right -- so many options!
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Unread 2017-01-19, 20:04   #3
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Well, they'll rebuild my fork for 1 hour labor. In addition,I need a new bottom bracket, crankset, rear cassette, chain, and an overhaul of the headset... for a total of $444. So, decisions. Fix this one and keep riding, or spend $$ I don't have on a fun new toy?
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Unread 2017-01-19, 21:23   #4
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That's a lot to throw at a "vintage" ride. Unless you're really into the old-school aspect of it.

For less than a hundred bucks more you could get into the base-level Rockhopper, for instance-

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...pper-29/115566

The sport for a hundred bucks more (I didn't do the compare to see what you get for that)

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...port-29/115500

Shit, I'll throw a Bianchi in, although I don't know what their MTB cred is, but they only do hardtails-

https://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/mountain/kuma-273/ (you can go to the model under this one for damn near your repair costs, but I just saw that doesn't have a front disc brake).

I did not do heavy research on those specs, but I'm pretty damn sure you'd be walking in with something better than what was 20 years ago. Ain't nothing wrong preserving old bikes, but that might be more of a luxury and not really the practical choice.


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Unread 2017-01-19, 22:20   #5
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Remember these are Canadian dollars though... repairs will be like $330 USD
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Unread 2017-01-20, 7:44   #6
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Beast of the East

Or, similar performance for a little less scratch...

Cujo

You should definitely look at + size tires(27.5...3.0 wide), They are the new hotness.. Although a 29er hardtail with more standard size MTB tires(2.3 inch) would probably be a good match for you too.
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Unread 2017-01-20, 11:51   #7
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Dudes.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Unread 2017-01-20, 12:41   #8
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that was quick!
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Unread 2017-01-20, 12:53   #9
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I had been researching for a few days before this post I also tried the Beast of the East, as well as an awesome Norco hardtail mid-fat. This one was left over from a bike show and they wanted to clear it out.
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Unread 2017-01-20, 14:03   #10
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Great choice! Spending $400 bucks on the old bike wouldn't have been worth it. I love the Habit frame design... simplicity. Nice flats too!
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Unread 2017-01-20, 14:08   #11
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I was planning to swap over the pedals from the old bike, but they were NOT coming off! They gave me a bit of a price break on these, plus they look awesome!
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Unread 2017-01-20, 20:30   #12
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Hey man, those pedals are pretty snazzy. Why not continue the bling a little with some matching valve stem caps?

http://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...ERkaAhUH8P8HAQ [EDIT] oh, it looks like you have Prestas. Same deal though.

...there's a lot of options. I'm not really into bike bling but I have some silver aluminum presta caps made in Japan that really add a subtle finish to things.

Also, btw, it was great that you could find a bike with the right size that they wanted to unload. Did the shop put you up on bike bracket thing and help set seat highth/position? That's stuff you can do yourself but I liked tweaking that at the shop because they have the torque wrenches that are kind of important to use on carbon.
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Unread 2017-01-20, 20:41   #13
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Yeah, I lucked out with this one. Got it for about $1400 Trump Dollars (normally around 2k). I did all the tweaks myself once I got it home. It's aluminum, so no worries about damaging the frame.

Maybe I will order up some red valve caps... why not?

Edit: Just did

Last edited by NocturnalGuy; 2017-01-20 at 20:50.
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Unread 2017-01-20, 21:01   #14
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I have to say I am kind of sold on this Habit from seeing it from you and Repo. Cannondale seems to have it all over Specialized in the way of selection.

I'm not really a brand loyalist. I just happened to get a Spech first. Bianchi has got me to be a bit of a fanboy. The butter-smooth ride and the way cables are dressed, etc. on my current commuter make me appreciate little things I didn't really know what to look for when first getting back to riding.

Anyway, remember to change your bike in Strava if you had a bike linked to your rides. It's always nice to compare stats. I'm surprised I'm coming up on so many miles against my previous bike that I had for three years. It feels good. You'll see my Strava and it's almost entirely "up the trail, down the trail" but it has helped me get my health back naturally and have some goals. I so want to get a MTB (maybe a Habit) in the future.
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Unread 2017-01-21, 10:51   #15
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Now ready for the mud!
Click the image to open in full size.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to be slower on this one on the roads... I could really haul ass on the SJ but this one feels much less aggressive with the different posture and suspension. Gonna get out this afternoon for a bit so we'll see! Trails are going to be too sloppy though, I'm pretty sure :-(
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Unread 2017-01-21, 11:02   #16
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Cool! I fendered my last bike (you can see in that old thread) but my new one didn't lend itself to them.

Instead I got one of these http://ass-savers.com/ for rainy days or post-rain days. What you got is the real deal, though. Those MTB fenders look much less dorky than the road bike ones. Your feet are still gonna get soaked but you knew that.

Again, I really like the design of this bike.
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Unread 2017-01-22, 9:32   #17
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Trails were WAY too muddy, unfortunately. Did about 25 miles on paths/roads though, just to get the feel. I still have some work to do on the cockpit... the wider handlebars mean a very different arm/hand position, and I found it hard on my wrists after a while. The fourth finger on my left hand was tingly/numb for about half an hour after the ride too, which was weird. I'm going to put on better grips (ergonomic ones from the old bike, just got them a few months ago) and slide the controls around a bit... I'm sure I can make it more comfortable.

Other than that, it's feeling pretty good. My average speed was fairly comparable to the old bike too, although I definitely felt like I was working harder with the bigger tires. I really can't wait to get it off-road... I'm hoping that temps drop below freezing again before we get more snow.

Oh, and hydraulic brakes are awesome!
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Unread 2017-01-22, 12:10   #18
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Ahhhh... much better.
Click the image to open in full size.
Just went over to a local skate park to test out the new configuration...

Last edited by NocturnalGuy; 2017-01-22 at 14:00.
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Unread 2017-01-23, 12:18   #19
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Good to hear that worked out... sometimes all it takes are little tweaks. I only have one ride on my new bike due to the weather and it's killing me. This sums up how I feel, I can just sit and look at it:

Click the image to open in full size.20170113_182528 by Josh Delp, on Flickr

I'd agree that Cannondale is doing a great job right now with their lineup and at often at an affordable price which historically has not exactly been their forte. Sure the Scalpel Black still costs as much as a car.

Red caps

Edit: forgot to add, Cannondale did cheap out on the chainstay protection (at least on mine, but it looks like on yours also). The thin strip that came with mine would be chewed up in no time. I'd recommend beefing that up. You can go somewhat pricey with Shelter tape (which is thick but clear and pretty invisible):

Click the image to open in full size.

Or you can cut an old tube and fit it to the stay and throw some zip ties around it to hold it in place.

Last edited by RepoMan; 2017-01-23 at 13:49.
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Unread 2017-01-23, 14:46   #20
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Yeah, I feel like that dog too.
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Unread 2017-01-25, 17:54   #21
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Yeeeeehaw! Finally got out in the woods this morning. Pretty sloppy, but rideable. I wouldn't have been able to get through with the old bike... less clearance over the wheels and rim brakes, would have gunked up right away. Even so, I had to bust out the hose to get rid of the clay when I got home! Unbelievable that I can even run the hose in late January... crazy weather.

Bike is super fun. Obviously couldn't push it like I would have liked, what with the mud, and it was tough going in places, but it was great to get a sense of what it can do!
Click the image to open in full size.
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Unread 2017-01-26, 8:18   #22
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That does look like some serious gunk on the wheels. I hope to get out on Saturday morning. Weather should be OK. Mostly. My bike is in the shop now getting the upgrade on the Supermax Lefty. Interested to see how noticeable an upgrade that is... if at all.
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Unread 2017-02-01, 16:18   #23
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My bike bling just arrived from Hong Kong... matchy-matchy valve caps and handlebar ends! At least she'll look good sitting in the shed for the next couple of weeks...
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Unread 2017-02-01, 16:48   #24
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That really sucks... new bike, weather is OK, and you STILL can't ride it.
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Unread 2017-02-02, 8:00   #25
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Yep that eats it. nothing worse than recovering from an injury.

Speaking of bike bling, I just go the 54 tooth star ratchet upgrade for my rear hub. Now I will get engagement in 6 degrees instead of the 20 degrees that I get from my 18 tooth ratchets. Need to install that tonight. Spent a kind of retarded amount of money on these tiny pieces of metal. Forgot to mention that to the wife.
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Unread 2017-02-02, 9:47   #26
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You could have just put a playing card in your spokes.

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Unread 2017-02-02, 9:58   #27
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Yes a baseball card would have been MUCH less expensive.

hehe that thing is loud as shit. And I wonder if I will get annoyed that I just made my $200 hub a $290 hub and that sound keeps reminding me of it.

Last edited by ash#; 2017-02-02 at 10:18.
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Unread 2017-02-02, 10:09   #28
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Oh, and just got back from clinic follow-up... it's just a Grade 2 separation.
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Unread 2017-02-02, 10:20   #29
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I think mine was a 2 also. I think if you get to grade 3, then they start talking surgery.
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Unread 2017-02-06, 9:56   #30
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Good news!
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