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Buying a new bike after 15 years. Can I get some help, please?

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Buying a new bike after 15 years. Can I get some help, please?

Old 02-13-20, 01:18 AM
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tekergo
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Buying a new bike after 15 years. Can I get some help, please?

Hi everyone!

So, my good old XC bike got a crack on its frame. Not a big deal, but i was already hesitating if it is worth to refurbish the bike once again. Now i decided it is the time to say goodbye.

(btw yes, i haven't bought a new bike for 15 years, it's a 26" bike with 1.9 tyres, 3x9 system and everything you can imagine from that time on the lower end. I was training, racing, touring on it, keeping it alive by swapping anything that died )

I started looking around webshops and manufacturers' websites, in hope i can find a bike i like. My budget is about 1500Ä, but i can go a bit higher if there's an exceptionally good deal. As you can see, it's a long time investment for me
I think aluminium is better for me, 29er (i'm 1.9m tall) definitely with an XC geometry. I grew up with the handlebar being way lower than the saddle and i don't mind that

I also don't really care about the smaller components, if the frame/wheels/fork combo is already good. The rest can be swapped easier, if needed, and the bike is already pretty much defined by these three.
I like the idea to put a 27.5+ (or just plus-ish) wheel into a 29er, so although i could live without it, if the frame/fork can allow it, that's definitely a plus. Literally

My main problem is, it seems that now almost everything has a 1x drivetrain, which of course has its benefits, i don't really like the idea. I live in a relatively flat area, smaller steps between gears is more important to me than those few grams of the front derailleur. So i would like to have a 2x, that's for sure.

So my question is: do any of you can suggest a bike that could fit me? Or if i can't find any that is the perfect bike, what about building one? I have never done it before, is that much more expensive? Can i even do it right for the first try? (not the mechanic part, but finding the good components that work well together)

I have already found some pretty nice ones so you can see what i have imagined. I can't link them here (i just registered), but will tell their names.

Merida Big.Nine 700
I've heard that Manitou forks are pretty good and stiff for their price, also that Merida frames are quite good. The rims are a big question mark to me, and the only thing i really don't like is the 12 speed cassette. I feel it unnecessary for me, i'm a lightweight and a relatively strong rider (and the 12x system probably has lower lifetime from the narrow chain, bigger cassettes are more expensive to replace, etc.). How does it work? What's the difference between a 10 (or 11) and a 12? Can i just swap them out on the same hub, or they're all a different story, even maybe including the front chainrings?

Specialize Men's Chisel Comp
This is the other one that looks promising to me, although i don't know its exact price yet. Is that fork any good? What about the wheels? The components seem to be a bit lower level than on the Merida, is it because Specialized is a bit overpriced, or is the rest of the bike that much better?

Radon JEALOUS AL 9.0 2X11
This one seems to be great too, although i've never heard about this brand before, i feel it a bit risky. Too bad none of their 2020 models are equipped with 2x dirvetrains. I wish it was optional at ordering.

Rose Count Solo
This one looks to be a great deal too (this brand is unknown to me as well), but that rear brake mounting gives me headaches. It looks a bit dumb compared to all those new ones tightly hidden in the corner of the rear triangle.

So far i would probably go for the Merida if that drivetrain could be reduced back to 10 or so. Or the Specialized, if that is any good.
What do you guys think? Can my worries be solved? Or should i go to hell with all my whining?
Also if you know any other brands that have similar bikes and could be good for me, please don't hold it back! I'm open to any ideas, we'll see how it goes. I'm sure it'll be a big change to me, anything i buy after this 26x1.9 wheeled old bike, but i want to do it right.
It sounds snobbish, but i would prefer a new, 2020 model over older generations, starting real fresh with the geometry for the next several years. If that makes sense.

Thank you very much for your help, any little it might be!
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Old 02-13-20, 01:51 AM
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With regards to drivetrains, the smallest steps you'll find will be on a 10-speed 11-32 cassette, followed by a 10-speed 11-36 (very common for 2x10 setups) and 11-speed 11-40 (which is a 10s 11-36 plus a 40t cog). That said, I encourage you to give 1x a test if you can. Most riders find that the uneven nature of mountain terrain means it's impossible to fine-tune cadence like on the road, and smaller gear steps just means more clicks to get to the right gear.
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Old 02-13-20, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreLowGears View Post
With regards to drivetrains, the smallest steps you'll find will be on a 10-speed 11-32 cassette, followed by a 10-speed 11-36 (very common for 2x10 setups) and 11-speed 11-40 (which is a 10s 11-36 plus a 40t cog). That said, I encourage you to give 1x a test if you can. Most riders find that the uneven nature of mountain terrain means it's impossible to fine-tune cadence like on the road, and smaller gear steps just means more clicks to get to the right gear.
If i lived near the mountains and spent most of my time on rough terrain, i would certainly go for a 1x system. But i also like riding long distances, doing big long climbs, and of course riding to those mountains where i have to use all my gears. And it's not just about the small steps between gears, but the efficiency and comfort too. I'm not really into racing, i just want to have fun on many kind of terrain, be it out on the flat gravel or even tarmac roads, and high up in the mountains. My XC bike did it really good, and i don't want to lose features from an upgrade. 1x systems must be great, also amazing engineering, but i can't imagine being happy with them.

Last edited by tekergo; 02-13-20 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 02-13-20, 08:26 AM
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Doesn't sound like you need a mtb, have you considered a flat bar bike or even a gravel bike with drops? If you haven't test ridden them that's your first next step. No one here can tell you which bike will feel better to you
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Old 02-13-20, 08:40 AM
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tekergo
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Doesn't sound like you need a mtb, have you considered a flat bar bike or even a gravel bike with drops? If you haven't test ridden them that's your first next step. No one here can tell you which bike will feel better to you
Nope, XC is the one for me. Yes, it can be slower on road, but i still spend a lot of time off road. Trail bikes would be too hardcore, and gravel bikes are, well... i can see their point, but i prefer well developed MTB bikes over recently reinvented ones
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Old 02-13-20, 05:08 PM
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1. Get a Trek
2. Get a 29er
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Old 02-14-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tekergo View Post
My XC bike did it really good, and i don't want to lose features from an upgrade. 1x systems must be great, also amazing engineering, but i can't imagine being happy with them.
Wide range cassettes have negated the need for 2x systems.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:26 AM
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Sorry to sound harsh but you need to get over the 1x mental hang up. The gear spread is great, you won't feel gaps between shifts on the mid to higher part of the cassette and you still have the climbing gears you need once you're in the hills. The gaps between cogs are the same as they've always been except for the very lowest ones. Regarding those, you'll be going slow uphill anyway and won't sense a big diff between them (a downshift won't suddenly feel like a hamster wheel). I had the same concern back in 2013 when I got my first 1x and that was before the wide-range cassettes appeared. I also felt the same way when 3x became 2x. I've never looked back.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:56 AM
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I've a '19 Chisel Comp so can tell you my impressions.

It replaced an'04 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp, FS bike, 26", 3x9 as well as very old steel HT. I wanted an HT as they are lighter and tend to be more responsive to pedal input - I saved 4 lbs as BTW over the Stumpjumper and I notice it. I tend to ride flat single track with many short up and downs. The fork is entry level and while there might be stiffer and lighter forks, the next level or two up on a swap is near $600 and no real savings in weight. As well I've found no handling issues with the Judy Gold so will stick with it. I'm a clyde and having ridden the bike for a year and ridden hard I've not killed the wheels, so they seemingly are robust and will not swap those either until I kill one.

I'm an instant convert to 1X as it works very well (it's 11 spd. 11-46). For the riding I do it's a great system to no longer need to plan ahead and shift F & R. This matters as the gearing is pretty perfect for my conditions. I only occasionally miss a tighter cluster, but would not give up 1X. On the other hand I have a gravel bike and would not want 1X on that and prefer the 2X gearing, mostly as I'm not riding a lot of closely paced up/downs. SLX is a great group as BTW, the dirt version of 105 and is a really good group at a good price.

The 29" wheels are all everybody says, they roll over stuff better and they are faster so am glad I didn't go 27.5".

The Chisel is a terrific climbing bike, best I've ridden and is likely a result of Specialized dialing it in with modern geometry, as well as accelerates really quick. Not a stiff frame but I don't notice any flex either as I've read in reviews. Thus I'm very happy with what Specialized has done with this bike. Only mod. I made was to trim the h-bar down to 700mm from 750 as our riding has a lot of tree gates that wide bars have issues with. And I put a 180 front rotor on it.

It lists for $1760 US which is about $1600 Euro's.
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Old 02-27-20, 10:02 PM
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Wow. I read the first post and thought Iíd had an outer body experience. My current frame is not cracked. Like the 5 warranty replacements before. But i think it is time for me to to move away from my 26er. I have the same hesitation about going 1x. Also concerned about handing tight single track with 29er wheels.

To see if I can live with a 1x I upped my rear cassette to a large 36 and try not to stay in the middle up front. Working so far. Iíll bail to the granny up front when needed ESR thjn so one of those new massive cassettes will work. For the road. I think I can do a 12 in the back but this is the next thing I have to work out.

As for those huge 29er wheel. Hope to try one out but following one on the trail they donít seem to hold the pilot back. I jammed a 2.4 tire in my Tora and it works. So last decision is HT or FS. Good read hear pushing me to a lighter HT. Enough rambling. carry on.
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Old 02-28-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal View Post
I have the same hesitation about going 1x. Also concerned about handing tight single track with 29er wheels.
Don't hesitate. 2x or 3x is no longer necessary with the wide range cassettes available now. Pros: One less derailleur to worry about and adjust. One less shifter to worry about. Cons: None.

People are riding 29ers all over tight single track around the country. Not a problem anywhere.
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Old 02-28-20, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Don't hesitate. 2x or 3x is no longer necessary with the wide range cassettes available now. Pros: One less derailleur to worry about and adjust. One less shifter to worry about. Cons: None.

People are riding 29ers all over tight single track around the country. Not a problem anywhere.
Only con is fewer gears. You can with 2X - in theory, run a cassette with tighter gearing that have less pronounced big jumps between the cogs. That might matter to somebody using the bike for flatíish riding on easy terrain. I DO notice the gaps on some of my rides, but itís not typically like road riding where you might be into a headwind for miles. Unless you are and you might then almost want a tightly spaced road cluster.

But Iím not switching and donít miss a 3x or 2x system.
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Old 02-28-20, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Wide range cassettes have negated the need for 2x systems.
Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Sorry to sound harsh but you need to get over the 1x mental hang up. The gear spread is great, you won't feel gaps between shifts on the mid to higher part of the cassette and you still have the climbing gears you need once you're in the hills. The gaps between cogs are the same as they've always been except for the very lowest ones.
These are the 2 big fallacies when it comes to 1x; I will say my mtb is a 1x11 and I love the setup on it, I even converted it from a 2x10. But that is cause my mtb is just that, mountain only. I've got a gravel bike, a road bike, a cross bike, a hybrid, and a couple others of assorted age and quality. As such it never gets ridden on road except to take the kids to school from time to time and then on the way home I experience why it is mountain only; the gearing just isn't high enough, and if the crank was high enough to make it so the 42t would be useless for the steeper climbs, I also notice the jumps enough I'd rather not have a wider range cassette. Personally, for a multi-use bike I would steer my way to 2x. My gravel has a 46/32 with 11-36 cassette and for most of my riding here on the island I stay in that 46 and cruise happily with a reasonably tight rear cluster for handling the small hills we have here. When I head elsewhere or off road I like that I have a chainring that can handle the climbs I'm going to have without having to deal with large jumps. For a dedicated bike 1x can be nice and it has nearly the same range as a 2x, but for a multi-use/terrain/rider especially over longer distances or longer road climbs I like not having to settle as much for whatever will have to be good enough. As such my mtb is the only 1x I have and it will remain that way.
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Old 02-28-20, 10:23 PM
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I'm in the 1X for MTB and 2X for gravel and road camp.
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Old 03-01-20, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Sorry to sound harsh but you need to get over the 1x mental hang up. The gear spread is great, you won't feel gaps between shifts on the mid to higher part of the cassette and you still have the climbing gears you need once you're in the hills. The gaps between cogs are the same as they've always been except for the very lowest ones. Regarding those, you'll be going slow uphill anyway and won't sense a big diff between them (a downshift won't suddenly feel like a hamster wheel). I had the same concern back in 2013 when I got my first 1x and that was before the wide-range cassettes appeared. I also felt the same way when 3x became 2x. I've never looked back.
Thank you! To be honest, since then i sat down and calculated all the gears and the speeds they can offer and it turned out that for some days i would like to have a 36 tooth chainring, and on other days a way smaller one for the steep climbs. Steps are not that big of a problem indeed, it's the 29" wheel that make them a bit bigger than on my old bike. Although it's very rare to me to go 45+ km/h or ride on a steep climb in the lowest gear, i still don't want to lose the joy of doing them.
I ordered the Merida Big.Nine 700, hopefully i won't regret it
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Old 03-01-20, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I've a '19 Chisel Comp so can tell you my impressions.

It replaced an'04 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp, FS bike, 26", 3x9 as well as very old steel HT. I wanted an HT as they are lighter and tend to be more responsive to pedal input - I saved 4 lbs as BTW over the Stumpjumper and I notice it. I tend to ride flat single track with many short up and downs. The fork is entry level and while there might be stiffer and lighter forks, the next level or two up on a swap is near $600 and no real savings in weight. As well I've found no handling issues with the Judy Gold so will stick with it. I'm a clyde and having ridden the bike for a year and ridden hard I've not killed the wheels, so they seemingly are robust and will not swap those either until I kill one.

I'm an instant convert to 1X as it works very well (it's 11 spd. 11-46). For the riding I do it's a great system to no longer need to plan ahead and shift F & R. This matters as the gearing is pretty perfect for my conditions. I only occasionally miss a tighter cluster, but would not give up 1X. On the other hand I have a gravel bike and would not want 1X on that and prefer the 2X gearing, mostly as I'm not riding a lot of closely paced up/downs. SLX is a great group as BTW, the dirt version of 105 and is a really good group at a good price.

The 29" wheels are all everybody says, they roll over stuff better and they are faster so am glad I didn't go 27.5".

The Chisel is a terrific climbing bike, best I've ridden and is likely a result of Specialized dialing it in with modern geometry, as well as accelerates really quick. Not a stiff frame but I don't notice any flex either as I've read in reviews. Thus I'm very happy with what Specialized has done with this bike. Only mod. I made was to trim the h-bar down to 700mm from 750 as our riding has a lot of tree gates that wide bars have issues with. And I put a 180 front rotor on it.

It lists for $1760 US which is about $1600 Euro's.
Oh, thank you for your comment. Since my last visit, i decided to order the Merida. Hopefully a great frame, and i calculated the gear ratios and turned out, i would indeed prefer its 2x system. If i could, i would have chosen an SLX system instead of the XT and have a bit better wheels for example, but i don't think it will be a bad bike.
Yeah, these wide handlebars are totally new to me, mine are still 580mm i think, so the 720 will be a big change
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Old 03-01-20, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
These are the 2 big fallacies when it comes to 1x; I will say my mtb is a 1x11 and I love the setup on it, I even converted it from a 2x10. But that is cause my mtb is just that, mountain only. I've got a gravel bike, a road bike, a cross bike, a hybrid, and a couple others of assorted age and quality. As such it never gets ridden on road except to take the kids to school from time to time and then on the way home I experience why it is mountain only; the gearing just isn't high enough, and if the crank was high enough to make it so the 42t would be useless for the steeper climbs, I also notice the jumps enough I'd rather not have a wider range cassette. Personally, for a multi-use bike I would steer my way to 2x. My gravel has a 46/32 with 11-36 cassette and for most of my riding here on the island I stay in that 46 and cruise happily with a reasonably tight rear cluster for handling the small hills we have here. When I head elsewhere or off road I like that I have a chainring that can handle the climbs I'm going to have without having to deal with large jumps. For a dedicated bike 1x can be nice and it has nearly the same range as a 2x, but for a multi-use/terrain/rider especially over longer distances or longer road climbs I like not having to settle as much for whatever will have to be good enough. As such my mtb is the only 1x I have and it will remain that way.
I totally agree with you. I made an excel sheet with all the gear ratios i used so far and what i would get from a 1x system with different chainrings, and although the steps are not that bad, the range and versatility is still not enough. For my style, at least. I like riding my bike on flat tarmac and steep hills too, a 2x system can easily handle that. The only compromise is that little extra weight, but since i don't plan to race anymore, it doesn't matter.
I chose the Merida, hopefully will get it in a couple of days.
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Old 03-01-20, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CodyDog View Post
I'm in the 1X for MTB and 2X for gravel and road camp.
I can totally understand. However i use my MTB as a "gravel bike" too, meaning i ride everywhere from the flattest tarmac roads to the steepest climbs. After all, i went for the 2x, hopefully won't regret it
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