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bruciebaby45

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Does anyone know anything about mountain bikes? I am looking for a bike to ride to school (about 20 minutes) and also to do some cross country stuff and a downhill. If anyone is in the know can you please let me know which of these bikes would suit me best (they are all about the same price).

2000 Gary Fisher sugar 4, full susp, size lg(19"), judy XC front, cane creek rear, Deore LX components
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2000 Specialized Rockhopper A1 comp, FS white/blue 21" frame, 26lbs, plus extras
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2002 Giant NRS-XTC mountain bike, full suspension, race face & Easton upgrades, exc cond
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Rocky Mountain Spice full suspension, exc cond
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Thanks,
Bruce
 

jay16942

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All really good bikes (although I don't know much about the Rocky Mountain). However, I would recommend getting a hardtail rather than a full suspension. The full suspension will be much more plush for downhill, but it sounds like that's not your priority. A hardtail is going to be several pounds lighter, and cheaper (so you can spend your money on better components- very important!). Also, hardtails don't have the "sag" that full suspension bikes do, which causes them to bounce around a lot when under hard pedaling. It might seem minor, but it makes a huge difference in cross country and long rides in general because it makes handling more difficult and wastes power. (On the really top of the line full suspensions, you can get the rear shock to "lock out" while pedaling) I would check out Kona, GT and Specialized, although it's been a few years since I've shopped for a bike.
 
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trauma_junky

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Unless you are going to be taking some serious drops (5 feet or greater) you don't need full suspension.
 

Cerberus

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I have a specialized rock hopper. I love it:) It is a good all purpose bike, though if I did more mountain biking I would opt to upgrade the components.
 

theringworm

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For what you are wanting to do it sounds as though a hard tail would be a better fit. Esp. if it will be used more often for commuting to school than being ridden on the trail. The only exception would be if one of the mentioned FS bikes has a rear lockout. Jay16942 has explained the reasoning behind this. I am not sure if this old of a FS bike even comes with rear lockouts so that may nix all of them. Another thing to consider, which I feel is the absolute most important thing about a mtn bike, is how does it fit you. If you have access to all of these bikes I would recommend taking them for a spin. You don't want a bike that doesn't fit. It can cause a lot of neck strain, back problems, so on and so forth. (If you need help with proper bike fit ask a bike shop to help you out. ) Plus if you are toting a backpack full of books to class, that just makes it worse. So, the first thing I would do is test ride them all if you can. Once you have narrowed that down, then look at components. It is well worth the money to spend extra cash on good components. Definitely do not go below Shimano LX components. I would try and atleast to get XT if its in your budget. I don't have any experience with the Rocky Mtn. so I can't help you there. I have owned a Fisher, and currently own a Giant,and Specialized. In regards to customer service, Specialized is hands down the best, esp. if you bust a frame. Weight shouldn't be an issue for you when buying a bike unless you plan on racing or if the trails around your parts require lots of climbing. I would focus on the Fisher, Specialized and maybe see if you can find a Trek or Kona. Sorry Jay16942, but I would not recommend the GT. I have buddies who have had nothing but problems with them. Bruciebaby45 if you want to PM me with any specific questions please feel free. Good luck.
 

Fusion

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I bought a Specialized Hardrock not long ago (after my Gary Fisher was stolen). They both are great bikes. As one of the previous posters mentioned, Marin bikes are nice as well (and relatively inexpensive on eBay).
 

linus

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buy a huffy from walmart and save about $500 :D
 

UseUrHeadFred

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Specialized all the way. I've had two specialized now, and they're both excellent bikes.
 

SailCrazy

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I love Specialized & I agree about passing on full suspension - or suspension with a lockout.
 

southbelle

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I love guys who like to ride mountain bikes, but to school? twenty minute bike commutes are dangerous. Get a car when you want to drive to school. You'll need a car anyway
 

DocStretch

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bb45, where are you going to school where there's some trails you'll want to ride? I'm curious if there's any schools that have nicey-nice trails nearby. I'm thinking Dartmouth has some solid trails and I've heard UW Madison has lots, are there any others out there?

Ps. Sailcrzy, I see you're a fellow Michigander, u have any favorite trails in the mitten state?
 

bruciebaby45

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Ya if everything works out (will not know until May 15th, damn Canadian schools) there is a pretty good trail btwn my place and the university. You know a little something to wake me up in the morning before class. For that reason, and the fact I want to ride trails more then I let on in my first post, I am looking at dual suspension. I used to ride a lot but have lost touch with the industry over the last couple of years and was looking for some advice before buying a new bike.
Bruce
PS Any and all advice is welcome!
 

autobot

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Get your old bike and build yourself a nice simple single speed to ride to class. I stripped down a trek, took off the super bouncy supsension fork, all the shifters/gears chainrings etc. Want to go faster? pedal faster. Want to go up hill? get your butt off the bike. It makes riding simple, fun and low maintenance. Go single Speeds!!

-autobot
 

Biffer

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buy the rocky mountain hard tail---I second the posts above-no need for a dual suspension bike if just riding to class, etc.

I have a rocky mountain and use it for the very same purpose--its held up amazingly well for the past three years.

biff
 

courtyard

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caution: these are real nice bikes, but if you are planning on riding them to commute, you should also worry about bike theft.

i have soon so many helpless bikes on the streets with missing components on them.

cy.
 

911Med

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stole
stolen
going to be stolen
in the process of being stolen right now.

I think you should buy all 4 and strap them to the roof of a Honda Accord or a Cadillac Escalade and leave the keys in the ignition.

These are great bikes, but unless your willing to take them into class with you, these are sitting ducks outside the library, class etc - u-locks or not.

Save yourself the cash and buy a beater bike - i.e. a Schwinn Varsity. Replace the tires, brake pads, chain, handlebars.

Take the extra $800 and use it on maintenance, pannier bags, and a nice frosty beer each day after class.

This advice coming from a part-time bike shop employee for the past 9 years.
PM if you have any other question.

The NRS is a sweet ride. I have an NRS Air and I love it.
 
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