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Mountain Bikes and Such
June 11, 2012
7:36 pm
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
June 20, 2011
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So I know there's a few of you out there (including JS). I recently had mine hardtail stolen - so now I'm in the market.

 

But here's the catch: I want to buy a really nice Santa Cruz and a commuter-ish hardtail that doesn't break the bank. And I'm also looking for the best ways to secure it.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for some places to buy in the California area or online for good prices? I've only been missing my bike since Sunday but I already have realized how reliant I became on it!

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June 14, 2012
12:22 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Chris:

If you understand bikes enough to navigate the used market, Craigslist is my favorite place to buy commuter-ish bikes...older used bikes are far less likely to be stolen than anything new.  If you want new, bikesdirect is about the cheapest place to get something new that isn't junk...although the latest Costco 29er ("Northrock") is a great deal at under $500 if it's your size (it only comes in 17.5") and you can reassemble it yourself (I don't trust any big-box bike assembly).

For security, Kryptonite locks.  No question.  Their warranty and CS is first-rate...remember the recall a few years ago where they replaced every Kryptonite lock ever made because people figured out how to pick those tubular cylinders?  And if you wrote down the key number somewhere, you'll always be able to get replacement keys no matter how old your lock is.  Just look on their website, figure out how much weight you're willing to carry, and go from there.

Online retailers are generally better sources for cheap parts than for complete bikes.  That being said, places like Jenson USA, Cambria Bicycle Outfitters, Universal Cycles, Greenfish Sports, and even Nashbar/Performance will sometimes have good deals on completes.

Where do you ride, and what sort of FS bike are you looking for?  Santa Cruz is a big name, but there are dozens of other excellent frame makers out there.

JS

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June 15, 2012
8:46 pm
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
June 20, 2011
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Thanks for the feedback JS!

I definitely looked at all those places, but it just felt weird since my stolen one had a great frame and lots of love put into it! Ha ha.

I was getting antsy because I use my bike everyday and was missing its convenience so I headed up to the Marin Factory shop. I've always liked the people there and at Santa Cruz. Which is why I'm partial to them, ha ha! That's good to know about kryptonite, I grabbed an ARB but I might grab a spare when I grab an SC!

I ended up grabbing a hard tail that was an updated model of my previous one and a 29er. Wow I forgot how upgraded components make a difference!

If I'm ever up towards Tahoe I'll bring it out and you can school me!

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June 18, 2012
10:49 pm
First-Eater
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February 22, 2010
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Chris:

Did you buy two bikes or one so far?  And which Marin?  I'm partial to 29ers myself.

JS

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June 19, 2012
6:40 pm
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
June 20, 2011
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J. Stanton said:

Chris:

Did you buy two bikes or one so far?  And which Marin?  I'm partial to 29ers myself.

JS

Hey JS!

 

So far I went out and bought one, a bit of a compromise but a nice bike. I grabbed a with some upgrade components:

Marin Bolinas Ridge

It's not a bad ride so far. I probably should upgrade that fork and the disc brakes are ok. The shifters, derailleurs, and brake handles are pretty good though. Tires and wheels are bad either! I can't complain. I took it out for its first ride this weekend (even with an injured wrist, ha!). A lot better than my old ride, which was this model 2010 but the components on it made me want to scream sometimes.

I'm waiting a bit for that Santa Cruz. But I'm still chomping at the bit to get it. I live a bit of a paradox in trying to restrain myself ;) I think I've decided on a Tallboy LT; such a sweet ride! I test rode a few and it was pretty awesome. Awesome cornering, silky smooth ride (relative of course). I'm sure the components helped a TON. But a guy can dream, right? ;) I've fallen in love with the 29ers myself. The leap in control and ride was amazing! I should have known this though because I built my Jeep up as well for all the trails I do, etc.

 

Hope you're getting some rides in, it's been gorgeous out!

 

P.S. I'm still drinking milk directly out of the bottle. ha ha.

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June 23, 2012
8:25 am
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
June 20, 2011
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Random JS, you mentioned being really good at Craigslist hunting for bike parts (or do you know any other sites?).

 

I'm thinking of replacing my new fork with Float 29 Kashima FIT RLC 100 or 120 or a Rock Shox Recon Silver Air 29er and any help would be awesome!

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June 23, 2012
12:19 pm
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Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Chris:

That's a completely plausible ride.  Do you dislike the fork, or do you just have upgradeitis?

If you want to upgrade, I'd grab the Manitou Tower Pro that's on sale at JensonUSA for $350 right now.  (I've been running the older version for several years and the Absolute+ damping system is great.)  I strongly prefer 20mm TA on 29ers as it gives much greater stability to the front end -- but that would probably require a new front wheel, so your call.

JS

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June 24, 2012
9:43 am
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
June 20, 2011
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So far it's not a horrible fork, just something about the spring is getting to me already. I can't pinpoint the ride feel yet. Maybe I haven't worn it in enough? Also is already "squeaking" when locking it on the road (not trail) and I pedal hard. I guess it's more of a high pitched whine but I've never heard a shock or fork do that before - searching the internerds was no help either. Bummer. But mostly, when I was doing some XC the last couple of weekends something just felt off about the experience. The frame felt fine, and granted I was pushing a hardtail pretty hard on things it wasn't necessarily meant to do (a couple of 3-4 feet drops... oops!).

 

That being said it could be upgradeitis. Ha ha. I tend to get in a mind frame where I like just having something I know will last and work. But maybe I could wait until this one dies out... Might just flatline the way I ride it pretty quick.

 

I'll check out the Manitou Tower Pro, I've never actually heard of it and didn't even think Jenson was still around!

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June 26, 2012
12:43 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Chris:

High-pitched whine sounds like tight, squeaky seals.  Does putting a touch of grease on the stanchions help?  Also, some forks come low on oil from the factory...Marzocchi used to be famous for this.  Unfortunately I have no idea how to tear down a Suntour, but I'm sure your Internet skills are up to finding out.

The Manitou Tower 29 (used to be the Minute 29) is a solid fork, especially in 20mm.  I have no interest in ever going back to a QR front wheel: the difference in tracking and confidence is remarkable.  Even 15mm isn't nearly as stiff, and I'm still displeased with Shimano/Fox for pushing yet another unnecessary, proprietary "standard" when 20mm already existed.

JS

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July 11, 2012
8:45 am
Pensacola, Florida
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
April 26, 2012
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http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/collections/gary_fisher/mountain/sport/29er_sport/wahoo/#

 

Not too many big hills down here in Florida's panhandle, but this is my bike.  Kind of a beginner/cheapie compared to what I'd like, but it does the job, so no worries, right?

 

Had it up to Oak Mountain in Birmingham, AL and found it to be quick and nimble.  Looking forward to a trip this fall into the Carolina mountains to do part of the Appalacian trail with it.  Hard to train on flat ground for this trip, but it makes a great gas free way to get around.  :)

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