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Old 05-09-2008, 11:17 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rayodder View Post

I didn't want a heavy bike, so it didn't have a front suspension, one thing that was high on my list was disk brakes, they sit higher up off the ground, so the occasional mud puddle wouldn't fowl up the brakes as easily, and the stopping power of a disk brake is simply amazing.
They don't sit higher off of the ground. The standard mounting points for cable assisted brakes (most likey V-brakes nowdays) are on the frame of the bike itself. Disc brakes are attached to the hubs of the wheels.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:21 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiba-Kun View Post
They don't sit higher off of the ground. The standard mounting points for cable assisted brakes (most likey V-brakes nowdays) are on the frame of the bike itself. Disc brakes are attached to the hubs of the wheels.
but the braking surface on a V brake is the rim
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:39 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone for your help. I'll let you all know what I get. From what I've been reading looks like it will be more of a mountian bike to fit the terrain up here and what I'm going to be using it for.

I really appreciate hearing I should spend more money since it pays out in the long run, but with the amount I have time to ride a bike, I'm still going to be of the mindset that less is more. I honestly am just not "into" biking enough to spend that much money. I won't be riding all the time, it will primairly be April through August. I have a ton of other interests to keep me busy so it isn't top on the list of stuff to do either.
Particularly since I have no intentions of disc breaks, I don't need that many speeds, I might get some front shock set up at the very most for shocks, and I'm going with some kind of bike I can purchase in person up here at a store so I can try it out. I'll just wait till Anchorage and depending on how much it irritates me, this could turn into a pair of rollerblades.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:25 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I've always prefered mid range mountain bikes over whatever they're called now (we always called em 10speeds) with the skinny tires. they'll ride on the street pretty much as well, unless you're aiming for insane speeds, they'll handle going somewhat off the trail, in fact will handle far more then I could offroad. and they're usually not horribly heavy. personally I also believe "less is more" if getting into something. so long as you get at least the minimal decent amount. if I were to get a POS walmart bike, I'd likely never ride it. I swear they're called mountain bikes because thats how heavy they are. but a half decent trek or giant'll do you for most everything you need, and if you find that you're riding your bike more and more, or want to start doing more serious trails, then upgrading to a cannondale or the like isn't as much of a problem. I mean you've only spent $250-$350 on that giant/trek a couple years back (already paid for itself, I figure) so it's not like you're out $1500 on a bike you only end up riding a handful of times. and we ALL know you've got half a dozen guns (this goes for most of us) that cost us $250-$350 and we never play with them. so it's not THAT bad of an investment anyway.

what I'm trying to say is if you're planning casual riding invest a min of $250 and a max of $350 into a decent bike thats not made of pot metal, but also isn't made of space age composites that'll cost more then a car. you could also look around and see if someone's selling one used for less (the $250-$350 is core price of said bike, not what someone might be selling it for in truth)
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Old 05-10-2008, 01:10 PM   #35 (permalink)
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More confusion for you! LOL
looks like we have about a 1/2 dozen places you can go too when you come down.


Bicycles: Is bigger better?
29-inch tire fans say bigger bikes handle better, fit taller cyclists

By MELISSA DeVAUGHN
mdevaughn@adn.com

Published: April 26th, 2008 11:06 PM
Last Modified: April 26th, 2008 03:44 AM

Dan Bembenekwas among the first to jump at a chance to have a bigger mountain bike. The head bike technician at the Spenard REI store, the 6-foot-3 Bembenek faced the same challenge many tall or big riders encounter: Their bikes feel like toys.

So when the 29-inch wheel mountain bike emerged -- or 29er as it is called these days -- it seemed custom made for him. Manufactured by mainstream bike builder Gary Fisher since 2002 but around since the late 1990s, the bikes are a slightly more refined version of their 26-inch counterparts. The difference is in the wheels, which at the larger diameter are said to ride smoother, handle obstacles easier and give more traction and control on trails.

"I like the snappiness (of the bikes), the stability and the traction," said Bembenek, who has worked at REI for 18 years. "As far as I'm concerned, 29ers are the way to go. I own three of them right now."

When the larger-wheeled bikes first came on the market, the debate raged: Which was better? Was the 29er a fad? Would another size just confuse consumers? Why change sizes in the first place?

The problem, said Rose Austin of Paramount Cycles, one of the first shops to offer off-the-rack 29ers, is that the original configuration of 26-inch tires was arbitrary. There was no technical or performance-based reason for that size.

"Someone along the way said 'What if

we put bigger wheels on these?' " said

Austin who owns both a 29er and 26-inch wheel mountain bike. "(Twenty-six inches) just happened to be the size that they were using rather than evaluating what would be best. Once they looked at it, they saw that the bigger diameter wheels give you more tread on the ground at one time, which gives you more control."

Furthermore, Austin added, the larger wheels go over obstacles much more easily.

"If you're going over a log that has a 6-inch diameter, you're hitting it easier, and that bump is going to feel a little bit smaller," she said.

And they're not just for taller or bigger riders. Anchorage attorney Adam Bartlett is 5-foot-8 and rides nothing but 29ers.

"I m pretty sold on the whole 29er thing," Bartlett said. "I can go fast -- not like zoom fast -- but fast, and I like to go for long rides. With the 29er, it feels like you can just keep pedaling for 10 hours, 12 hours."

Mike Morganson has been a 29er convert since he got his first Karate Monkey bike frame, made by Surly to accommodate 29-inch wheels, back in 2003. He went to the larger bike because it fits him better, rides smoother and is more maneuverable. He had intended for the 29er to be his secondary commuter bike, but after riding it for a few weeks, he realized he'd never go back to his 26-inch bikes.

Now the 29er is the only bike he rides. "You can go a little faster because you have a larger contact patch with the ground. You get the same kind of control you'd get with a 26-inch full suspension but in a 29-inch hardtail."

Just a few years ago, Morganson said, the debate over 29ers raged but today, he thinks the size has proven itself worthy.

"It's way past the fad stage," he said.

The only downsides to the 29ers, some consumers say, is that the wheels are heavier, which in cycling is always an issue, particularly in high-level racing. Also, the bikes are not always comfortable for smaller riders, who can find them unwieldy.

Nonetheless, Austin and Morganson's wife, Teri, are both 5-foot-5 and they like their 29ers.

"I'm all for the right tool for the job," Austin said. "The 29er for certain applications is a nice choice, for commuting to work or use as a bike that I might want to use for camping and not have to haul a BOB trailer.

"It's a personal preference on what works for you."

Whether the 29er is destined to be a niche market or will one day be mass-produced like its smaller-wheeled cousins remains to be seen.

Also in the mix is an in-between tire size that the racing community, in particular, is trying. The success of these 27.5 inch wheels are still being debated, Morganson said.

"I guess the marketplace will decide on that," Morganson said.

As for 29ers, both Morganson and Austin think they are here to stay.

At REI, Morganson said, there are several off-the-shelf options made by Marin, Kona and other makers for 29er fans.

The same is true at Paramount, which specializes in Gary Fisher Bikes, one of the first big producers of 29ers for mainstream riders.

"This is the first year where we're starting to see people coming in seeking out the 29er," Austin said. "I think now that that new period is over, they are becoming more widely accepted." Also huge for Alaska riders, Austin pointed out, is the availability of 29-inch studded tires, which didn't hit the market until last November. That, she said, is telling.

"The manufacturers don't want to mass produce something if they don't have the market," she said. "So they must see something by making these available."
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Listessa, I can recommend both Specialized and Redline as options. Last year I bought an 06 Specialized Rockhopper Comp for a reasonable $600 and this year I bought a Redline Monocog 29er. Very happy with either bike and would say either is a good choice. I also hae a Giant Rincon from the mid 90's and it works just fine, so I would say Giant would also be in the running.

I know you are in Alaska, but below is the addy for the Michigan MTB Assocoiation. From there you can easily find links to the manufacturers sites.

MMBA :: Home

Are you looking for a multi-geared bike or would a single speed do you?
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:43 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I have a Jamis Trail X 3 that I picked up for biking around college. Penn State has a huge campus. It's treated me very well. I'm not that big of a fan of the disc brakes. Mostly for the reason that they really do squeal when they get wet. I didn't see what your price range was, but I can definitely say that you get what you pay for. I bought a Schwinn bike from Walmart first semester and had to buy another bike by second semester. Cheaper bikes just can't take the beating that higher priced ones can. Here's a link to my bike:Trail X 3 I really love this bike and would highly recommend looking into Jamis Bikes.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:17 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Trek 3700

My girlfriend and I just got into biking and bought Trek 3700s. We haven't really taken them off-road yet, but it handles nicely on the road for a mountain bike. I did notice that the gears don't always shift on the first try, but maybe they need to be broken in a little bit or adjusted. Even still, I always look forward to riding it. We got them brand new from a small shop here in the low $300 range.

I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but try and shop around and get your bike from a reputable shop (just like shopping for a decent marker!). We went to the first shop and thought we got good advice. As we shopped around and talked to people, we found out the first shop was just trying to get rid of their in-stock and it wasn't what was best for the rider. When we went to the shop where we actually bought our bikes, they took their time and explained the whole process. They let us try several different bikes and frame sizes. Absolutely make sure you ride before you buy...

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Old 05-10-2008, 09:30 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listessa View Post
Thanks to everyone for your help. I'll let you all know what I get. From what I've been reading looks like it will be more of a mountian bike to fit the terrain up here and what I'm going to be using it for.

I really appreciate hearing I should spend more money since it pays out in the long run, but with the amount I have time to ride a bike, I'm still going to be of the mindset that less is more. I honestly am just not "into" biking enough to spend that much money. I won't be riding all the time, it will primairly be April through August. I have a ton of other interests to keep me busy so it isn't top on the list of stuff to do either.
Particularly since I have no intentions of disc breaks, I don't need that many speeds, I might get some front shock set up at the very most for shocks, and I'm going with some kind of bike I can purchase in person up here at a store so I can try it out. I'll just wait till Anchorage and depending on how much it irritates me, this could turn into a pair of rollerblades.
Well, if you are going to Anchorage where, I assume, you will have access to more than one bike shop your best bet is to shop around and find a shop where you are happy with the service, they don't try too hard to upsell you, help you find something that will fit your needs, your body and your budget and forget about what brand you are getting. At the level it sounds like you will be riding at and your budget brand isn't going to make much difference.
Once you are getting into the $1000+, full suspension, etc. range then brand become more important because they all have their own suspension designs, geometry, frame material and, yes, coolness factor to consider.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I talked to B at his shop a couple weeks ago (while dropping off my KP for a tune up ) about the Smith & Wesson brand bicycles we use in my dept. for bike patrol. He believed they are most likely re-branded Giants. We've had decent use out of them, and they've held up well as average use bicycles. Granted, they aren't used every day, but they do go out on patrol at least once a week in primarily off-road trail areas. Not typically downhill racing or stump-jumping applications, but they do get exposed to plenty of rocks/ruts/dirt and keep rolling without any major issue. Decent bikes for the money, at least for our purposes. We had a few older Treks before the S&W's showed up.
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