First Post and TONS of questions!!


Sep 4, 2003
My 2 cents on cannondales-

people either love them or hate them - Ive found that all the people i have spoken to who own or have owned cannondales love them. I have a f500 hardtail among other bikes and I LOVE it. Its true they arent the best value on the market, and I think one reason ppl like to bash them is because they have made quite afew bikes that arent really pleasing to the eye. I wouldnt reccomend a cannondale to everyone, but if youre looking for a world class xc hardtail, its a good option. The gemini line also looks impressive and hits a good price as well.


Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
Portland, OR
I haven't looked at hardtails for a while so I may be out of the loop a little bit but as I recall the Giant Ranier was about the best value out there for gentle riding. Even a big rider should do just fine on a bike like this, it's got straight gage tubing, which means that the tubes have the same wall thickness along the entire lenght of the tube as opposed to double butted which removes material from the wall thickness towards the middle of the tubes where the stresses are lower. If you are worried about your wieght then you can't be as worried about the weight of the bike and straight gage tubing is a cheaper stronger solution while not being a lot heavier. The Ranier has decent drivetrain parts, a good fork for the price and avid disc brakes, they are the only mechanical disc brake you should consider anything else will leave you wanting more stopping power, hydraulic discs are better though. A good shop should be able to point out the differences between bikes and give you a good idea of the advantages of each.

It would be a good idea to let shop personnel know that you are looking for a bike to ride on the street with the tires touching the pavement until you can get used to riding a bike again then you would like the option of riding in the dirt. That way they'll know what kind of bike to sell you.


Dec 12, 2003
washington dc
Originally posted by derekbob
Its true they arent the best value on the market

yeah... maybe, but i dont really buy this when they build all their rides here in the USA and spec them with cool stuff like the lefty forks.

and I think one reason ppl like to bash them is because they have made quite afew bikes that arent really pleasing to the eye.

what? you didn't like the 'wood scheme' paint from one or two years ago? ;)

anyway... i've been reading this thread for a while now, i recomend a decent xc rig... i don't think he's gonna break it


Apr 22, 2003
Don't call it a come back
MTBR.com mat be your best sorce of info.

My .02c . You should get a basic hardtail. Don't get suckered into spending a bunch this time. Get a soilid bike shop brand at a bike shop. They will fit you, let you try out different seats ect.

Some basic Deore equipment should be your prime concern as well as frame stiffness.

Save your money for 2 years while riding said basic eqipped standard hard tail to bliss. You will drop a bunch of weight ,develop your skills to a point where this bike is not right for you anymore. And you have a bunch of cash saved to buy the bike suited to your riding style now defined.

Good luck and get riding.


Sep 28, 2003
Boone, NC/N. Greenville county, SC
Ok ill see if I can give a more illustrated definition of some of your questions.

Hucking might look something like this:

This is street, or urban, but not limited to this type stuff:

This would be dirt jumping:

This is "trail riding" which is a mildly ambigious term that would be what most people like doing. Whatever kind of trail you feel like doing. I prefer rocky technical (technical is sort of the oppisite of smooth trails, difficult with lots of roots, logs, etc) riding. Riding like the picture could also be "downhilling" which is just really extreme trails.

XC riding or racing is typically smoother, less technical trails than what most people would call trailriding that involve both climbing and descending.

Hope this helps! Try not to get caught up in all the hype about definitions and limits on riding. Just have fun with it. I would get something that is marketed as a "trailbike" for you, since you are big and will break XC race bikes. Dont start riding the street, start on smooth dirt roads and trails, you will get the hang of it real quick.