View Full Version : roadie needs a mtn

12-03-2004, 05:09 AM
I decided to start researching for a new mtn bike. Here is what I need: something for rail to trail (ours gets pretty chewed up in places) and the occassional single track. I live in Michigan and we have hills but for sure no mtns near my humble abode. I am not looking to go crazy with it, I just like to get out once in a while and my Giant comfort bike is well, just wrong! I will also use it for errands around town.

I should mention that I am planning to do the Michigander - a 7 day rail to trail about 50 miles a day.

Do most front suspensions lock out now?

I like two so far. If you have any comments, please let em rip. By the way, I am staying entry level (under $600) and I do want a hard tail.

Specialized rock hopper - it fits, I can afford it and it's been around forever.

Gary Fisher Marlin - also fits, affordable and oh so sexy!

12-03-2004, 05:53 AM
I just replaced my 10 year old Rock Hopper with a Stumpjumper Comp - I loved my Rockhopper, but decided it was time to get front suspension and smaller gears. :D

We went with the Stumpjumpers to get the Fox F80 forks. They lock out automatically, which was important to us since our riding is very up and down - as in up a big steep hill and down the other side. We also got some of the last of the 2004s.

I don't think you can go wrong with Specialized for a good basic mountainbike.


12-03-2004, 08:35 AM
I had a Stumpjumper that was a really good value. I saw some Marin's in your price range also that looked terrific. One had discs brakes that could be very nice to have in your neck of the woods as they'll handle nasty conditions better. I've had 2 Marins at various times in my life and was very pleased.

No, lockouts are not the standard and add a teeny bit of weight. However, before you spend the money for lockout and you have a choice between 2 equal bikes, go with the lighter weight bike. Since you'll be buying a hardtail, you've already got some efficiency in the rear. When you go on the rails to trails ride, invest in some narrower, less aggressive tires like semi-slicks or slicks. I assume your rails to trails are somewhat groomed? They're not like a true loose dirt trail? On a 50 mile day, you will appreciate the lower rolling resistance of a narrow tire and a lighter bike more than a lockout.

12-03-2004, 11:32 AM
Some of our rail to trail is DEEP sand! I have been on it with moderately aggressive tires and would not want slicks. On the other hand, some of the days are actually on paved roads. I know I will miss my roadie then! I can get tire recommendations from some people I know who have done the ride.

Thanks for your comment about wieght vs lock out. You are right, one of my main complaints about the comfort bike is the weight of it. The shocks on it do not lock out but man she is a big on the heavy side. Of course you know she is saying the same thing about me!!!!

02-14-2005, 06:55 AM
I'm still shopping. It is getting frustrating! I've pretty much figured out that I like Deore and really like LX. A couple of them have Acera front and Deore rear. I'm not too sure about those. I def. want discs. Now the shocks. I have inched up my budget a little ;).
Remeber, weight is a big factor for me. I noticed that none of the websites mention the weight of the bike. So here is the list from like best on down.

Kona Cindercone (might be too $$)Marzocchi Race
Kona Blast Marzocchi Comp
Rockhopper comp disc (a little too$$$) Manitou Splice
Hardrock pro disc Marzocchi comp
Trek 6500 (has Acera up front) Manitou Axel

I may be getting too frustrated because it is too cold and wet out to really test bikes! My money is burning a whole in my pocket and the itch to ride is driving me crazy!!!!!

02-14-2005, 09:16 AM
Hi Barb,

Have you looked at the Novara Bonita (at REI)? I too am a roadie and just got one yesterday. I love it already! The 2005 model runs $549.95, but I got lucky and got the last 2004 in my size for $389.95! It comes with Deore in the back and Alivio up front (which I believe is one step up from Acera), disk brakes, etc. However, it is not light! I have no idea how much it weighs, but it is a very nice ride. Might be one more to add to your list to check out. You can have a look at the REI site.

Good luck!
Emily in NC

02-14-2005, 04:50 PM
Weight is a huge consideration. I have a Giant Sedona that I can do my rail to trail rides on, but it is soo heavy. 50 to 65 miles a day might kill me on her!

03-02-2005, 11:26 AM
and I will name her Ruby Red Dress. My grandma's name was Ruby (hope she doesn't mind!). I won't have her until mid March but I put some money down and signed the order.


03-02-2005, 11:37 AM
A suggestion with weight. :)

If you have a digital bathroom scale, consider taking it with you as you shop around for different bikes. Also, take a notebook and write down pertinent details, such as weight, cost, manufacturer, frame/fork, etc.

That way, you weigh yourself while holding the bike and get the weight. Then just weigh yourself and presto, you have real bike weight, versus what they advertise. :)


03-02-2005, 12:10 PM
Very nice bike Barb - and I think Ruby Red Dress is an awesome name! Have fun and keep us posted!

03-02-2005, 04:09 PM
She's beautiful! Enjoy! :)

Emily in NC