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Advice on new mountain bike?

Old 06-14-21, 08:34 AM
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Chziime
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Advice on new mountain bike?

Hi all,

For many years, I've been riding my Nishiki Colorado 29er, bought at Dick's Sporting Goods. It has 24 gear combinations (I usually use 2 on the front and 6 or 7 on the back). It's always treated me well, but I'm curious to eventually pick out a new bike.

I mostly ride it on roads and trails, but I like having a 29er mountain bike (as opposed to a street bike) because of the flexibility... hopping up curbs, easily biking on any grass or light rocks that come my way. It gives me a sense of power, and I am not necessarily interested in speed.

Does anyone have suggestions for 29er mountain bikes that might fit my needs? I was thinking something around ~$1000. Thank you for any advice.
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Old 06-14-21, 09:09 AM
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Cannondale Trail 5.
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Old 06-14-21, 09:23 AM
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How about keeping the Nishiki hardtail frame and upgrading the wheels and suspension shock. Something like an older Manitou air suspension fork with a straight steerer at let's guess $400. Then find a decent carbon wheelset on AliExpress for another $450 or so. That leaves $150 for sundry items, maybe tubeless tires or improved brake calipers. Replace your outer ring with a bash guard. Anyway, it'd be a solid upgrade and likely better than you could do for a complete $1000 bike. Think about it.
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Old 06-14-21, 10:15 AM
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Kona Lava Dome or Mahuna
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Old 06-14-21, 11:24 AM
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Thank you all.

I was also, for fun, looking at the Vitus Mythique 29 VRS, but it's out of stock, and I don't do much heavy trailing anyway at the moment.

A hardtail like the Kona Mahuna, Cannondale Trail 5, or even the Vitus Nucleus 29 VRS would be better for some light trails as well as casual, yet distant, road travels?
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Old 06-14-21, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chziime View Post
...but it's out of stock...
You're going to find this to be a recurring theme right now. Even finding parts for an upgrade could be challenging. If you're current bike works for you, I would advise to be patient and wait for the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic to resolve. Once bike shops can actually get bikes back in stock your selection will be much broader.
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Old 06-14-21, 09:12 PM
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I would probably find a bike that is more practical for your riding and also not jump curbs. Curb jumping is not recommended on any bike and you should take a lane anyway or ride extra slow on the sidewalk and be careful I guess (but that is boring). Mountain bikes are not necessarily more durable or anything like that, maybe potentially some are but really they are designed for a specific purpose and if I am not going to be using it for that purpose I shouldn't get that bike.

I can likely get a better hybrid with better parts since I am saving money but not going with a suspension fork, I will also save weight and get rid of an item I do not need. Suspension is really handy for off road riding or on a really heavy bike going at higher speeds (like my R+M Supercharger 2) but on the road not so much as you lose more energy bobbing up and down instead of going forward.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:38 AM
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I see, thank you. I never really considered a hybrid bike. What would you suggest then, a bike for long, casual (yet still off-road) rides? $1000 or a bit more is fine.
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Old 06-15-21, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Chziime View Post
I see, thank you. I never really considered a hybrid bike. What would you suggest then, a bike for long, casual (yet still off-road) rides? $1000 or a bit more is fine.
How tall are you?

BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 06-15-21 at 06:37 AM. Reason: bikeisland has a few in stock
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Old 06-15-21, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by phil_gretz View Post
how tall are you?
5' 9.5"
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Old 06-15-21, 11:04 AM
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A used Surly Ogre fits your needs pretty well. It's a rigid mountain bike with a lot of hybrid features and many ways to build it up. A Karate Monkey or Krampus are similar, but more trail focused. Especially the older builds of KM for you, the current ones have suspension forks and dropper post and are a lot more expensive.

$1000 is a tough ask for a decent mountain bike any more. You are looking at something with maybe no dropper and a really compromised suspension fork. The Cannondale recommended above is a dead end for upgrades due being built to old standards.
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Old 06-15-21, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post

$1000 is a tough ask for a decent mountain bike any more. You are looking at something with maybe no dropper and a really compromised suspension fork.
+1
I would rather ride a rigid hybrid than a hardtail mtb with a crappy low end suspension fork. They donít work very well and weigh a ton. Unfortunately a hardtail mtb with a quality lightweight suspension fork will blow past your budget. To be honest, for the sort of riding you describe, you probably donít need a mountain bike. A fully rigid frame with decent tyres will take you quite far off road.
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Old 06-15-21, 11:40 AM
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Surly Bridge Club is also a good one, it can be bought as a MTB or hybrid build and the frame is essentially an Ogre/Troll with the fancier features most people don't need deleted.

I'm not getting on the hybrid bus for this OP, those are designed to never leave the ground and that's no fun. But he also seems like he isn't looking for a mainstream mountain bike, more suspension and budget than he wants.
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Old 06-15-21, 11:41 AM
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My budget is admittedly arbitrary... I am not really familiar with the price tiers of bikes.

What would you suggest, then, if I could go above $1000? Of course it doesn't need to be a "mainstream mountain bike." Commuting, pleasure riding, light trails with flexibility to be able to have plenty of fun off road.

The Surly Ogre looks nice...

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Old 06-15-21, 12:39 PM
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The problem is that there are now few remaining "real" mass production mountain bikes that don't have an air spring, hydraulic damping suspension fork, dropper seat post, and hydraulic disc brakes, and that all drives the price up. The ones that are cheaper (like Trek Marlin series) are mostly compromised in some way, like having no dropper, or a coil spring fork that allows no rate adjustment and the other leg has no damping at all, or built in a way that prevents fixing the compromises with later upgrades. There are a few like the Surly or Jones that just represent a different viewpoint on what a MTB should be and those are the kind I'm recommending. I don't really like the "tough hybrid" bikes like the Trek DS, they seem indecisive about what they are for, like a soccer mom's AWD SUV that looks like a truck but isn't.

There's also some price hikes going on this year. That's just business, good luck...
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Old 06-15-21, 01:06 PM
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How about a "gravel" bike? Which is basically a road bike with wider tyres and a slacker geometry. If sticking with a more classic mountain bike, then quality hardtails are closer to $2000 these days. Something like a Canyon Exceed would be a really nice versatile ride, but they start at around $2k. But a Canyon Grail gravel bike is about $500 less and would probably be the better bike for casual road and easy trail riding. Giant is another brand to consider for best value/spec.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:34 PM
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I got a polygon siskyu d7 for 1$699 6 months ago.

https://www.bikesonline.com/2021-pol...xoCuUwQAvD_BwE

They have less and more expensive versions depending on the components. It's online, so I had to self assemble it myself. The dropper seat was kind of squirrely but I got it to finally work. I had a Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ for 15 years prior to that. which I loved. But with the bigger sized wheel(I got 27.5, not 29) and the new gears, I'm pr'ing all the old trails that I used to do both up and down hill.
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Old 06-15-21, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chziime View Post
I see, thank you. I never really considered a hybrid bike. What would you suggest then, a bike for long, casual (yet still off-road) rides? $1000 or a bit more is fine.
If the budget is arbitrary, this is a fun little bike: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/di...ext=96220-3002 or if you have more budget concerns: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/di...ext=96220-5602 or if you are like me and want steel: https://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/urb...itness/sequel/

You could also look at the Specialized Sirrus X line up. The 4 and the 5 would be great options.
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Old 06-16-21, 06:02 AM
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With all these choices and low/no stock, at this point, how would I choose between these sub-$2000 options... Surly Ogre, Diverge Comp E5 EVO, Sirrus X 5.0, etc?
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Old 06-16-21, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Chziime View Post
With all these choices and low/no stock, at this point, how would I choose between these sub-$2000 options... Surly Ogre, Diverge Comp E5 EVO, Sirrus X 5.0, etc?
I gave you a perfectly executable plan that will yield an improved bike. Replace/upgrade the existing frame with: air suspension fork, new wheels, and better tires. With a bit left over for unknowns. Why not move out on that immediately? You want to spend more but not get more in return?
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Old 06-16-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I gave you a perfectly executable plan that will yield an improved bike. Replace/upgrade the existing frame with: air suspension fork, new wheels, and better tires. With a bit left over for unknowns. Why not move out on that immediately? You want to spend more but not get more in return?
Sorry, I didn't mean to seem like passing this by entirely. I just have no experience upgrading bikes. I'd go to a shop, and there's still the question of which parts to get. On top of that, my Nishiki is old, rusty, and I have a sense of wanting to start anew.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
I highly recommend you look into Canyon mountain bikes, the Exceed CF7. It's out of your anticipated price range but you get a very nice bike as it is severely underpriced. The bike competes, and as good as more expensive $3000- $4000 bikes. You are getting a lot for the money and you won't regret later...
Ah yeah, the Canyon Stoic was also recommended to me for this reason.
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Old 06-16-21, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chziime View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to seem like passing this by entirely. I just have no experience upgrading bikes. I'd go to a shop, and there's still the question of which parts to get. On top of that, my Nishiki is old, rusty, and I have a sense of wanting to start anew.
That's why there is a mechanic's sub-forum.

As to what is old and rusty, I'm assuming that you're referring to steel parts, and these are mostly fasteners, ferrules, and the chain. The frame is aluminum, isn't it? Upgrades aren't difficult to understand. You have to learn to think in terms of what defines functionality and performance, what defines mechanical interfaces, and where to locate components that satisfy those things.

Your bike will "feel" like new with the right selections. But you'll have to learn a bit as you go.
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Old 06-16-21, 01:39 PM
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these days, I would think in-stock availability should contribute to a buying decision. buying local helps our bike shops. maybe go into some shops & see what they have, that you can take home today? you might get lucky w/ a great used bike
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