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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    thoughts on 2012 Trek mamba for entry level?

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    Hi Forum Peeps,

    I am new to mtn-biking and just bought a 2012 Trek mamba 29er, WSD. I just now registered for this forum so there may be more about it in the archives, but just google searching (which also turned up some discussions on this forum), I was kind of amazed at how little info there is about it on the net, it seems that there is mostly reviews and discussion about the 2011 Mamba, which got a big upgrade in 2012, so many of the complaints don't carry over to the new model. People kept saying that it's worth it to step up from the 2011 mamba to the 2011 or '12 Cobia, but now with the hydraulic brakes and rockshox fork, I wonder if the Mamba is the best bike for the price range? Does the Cobia really have so much advantage over the 2012 Mamba as it did over the 2011 Mamba?

    Also do some of you ride the 2012 Mamba and how do you like it? Are there upgrades you could suggest to start out with? I found the saddle to be really uncomfy esp. the WSD one. Also the grippies were not great, and I've heard some people straight away replace the handlebars, seat and tires (to tubeless). I don't want to go to crazy upgrading it after paying $900, just wondered what the most obvious upgrades would be to increase enjoyment of the bike.

    Thanks for helping a newbie! My hubby got the regular 2012 Mamba, it seemed the best deal for entry level. Hope we were right!
    Last edited by countrygirl; 05-08-2012 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    perpetual traveler
    I am not knowledgeable about mountain bikes but the one thing I know is that a lot of people, if not most everyone, on whatever kind of bike they get are unhappy with the stock saddle.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic

    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I am not knowledgeable about mountain bikes but the one thing I know is that a lot of people, if not most everyone, on whatever kind of bike they get are unhappy with the stock saddle.
    Yep, this seems to be a given. I would only upgrade the bars if you have problems with them. As for me, I replaced the grips on my Jamis immediately to Ergon grips and left the bars as they were.

    As far as tubeless tires are concerned, what kind of riding would you be doing? Many of the advanced mountain bikers I know personally do run tubeless, but as a new mountain biker myself I don't see a need to go to that expense given the nature of the single-track that I currently ride. If I progress to the point where I am riding gnarlier terrain then I will go there.

    Congratulations on your new purchase, and whether you decide to keep it or trade it as you've mentioned, have fun, and welcome to TE!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    the dry side
    My understanding of tubeless is that it depends on the terrain and kind of stickers you have in your area. I've been mountain biking for almost 20 years, and very few people in the PNW run tubeless that I know of.

    I'd live with the bike for a while before I stated upgrading.(other than saddle) I mean, if you are going to throw money at it right away, why didn't you just buy more bike? What I mean is, wait and see what needs to be upgraded. Unless of course you are into pimping out the bike with cosmetic improvement.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southeast Nebraska
    Wish my LBS had one of those Cobias in..sweet looking bike and would to give that a test ride.

    I have the 2011 WSD Mamba and like it just fine but I'm a beginner and have only done a couple of rides. The only thing I don't like about my Mamba is that the matte decals are starting to peel which is a common complaint.

    Usually most people upgrade the stock tires, grips and the saddle.

    If you've purchased the Mamba why are you looking at the Cobia? You've got a great entry level bike.

    Have you ridden the Cobia as a comparison?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Hi Ladies, thanks for your input!

    I'm just nutty when it comes to shopping for a big ticket item. We have my BF's new Mamba here, essentially the same one I ordered, and now I realize it's a nice bike. He is thinking to trade it in for a Cobia though, since he's as nutty/OCD as me in this area (we can still return it). At first we were a little freaked out by the gears clicking and not seeming to smooth, but we are also rusty so we were not shifting the bike as efficiently as it needed, also I think the bike needs an adjustment, that's what the shop said, it shouldn't have been quite that loose and skipping even with newbies on it. I guess we were thinking to get a slightly better model just because you might end up fixing parts less and having to upgrade parts less too.

    I think the problem is I was too impulsive just jumping on the Mamba. I have not been on a bike a long time and at first they all felt weird to me compared to the old styles I remember, by the time I test-rode the Mamba I was getting my bike-legs back so it seemed 'better' than Specialized . Now I've been riding a Specialized Hardrock 26er rental out on the dirt trails as well as my BF's new Trek Mamba 29 and I can see they are both real nice bikes.

    I think that best would be to have both a 26 and a 29 if you could afford it, lol, I'm really torn as they both have their charms! I think I am going to get the Specialized Jett Comp 29 though, and just keep my eyes out for a used quality 26er later on down the road. I like the WSD Specialized offers and the new WSD 29ers from that company have gotten good reviews on super handling etc, the woman specific design does seem to be especially well thought out and I did notice a difference for my build. I do live in a beautiful area with both well-maintained dirt roads and much rougher trails so it's been hard to decide 26 vs. 29, they tackle steep rough trails differently for sure.
    Last edited by countrygirl; 05-09-2012 at 09:25 AM.



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