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newb here, about to get a bike

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nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
whats up guys, only been on a mountain bike once, and it was my roommates walmart special, so I dont know alot about them, well I want to get into it so I went to the local bike shop, two bikes caught my eye around my price range, one was the hardrock by specialized, the cheap ver. of it without disc brakes and the other was the durango sport by jamis, well first I like the jamis better because the disc brakes, and I was talking with a guy that worked at the store and I was explain to him what type of riding I want to do, mostly mountian, and he said to deff. go for the durango over the hardrock, and I was just wonder if he was right and was worth the extra $140, or was he just trying to push the more expensive of the two bikes.
Thanks
 

dhmtbj

Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
469
1
Boston
Well, at this level of bikes most of the comonents are going to be pretty similar at a given price point. I would focus on which bike has a nicer frame as this will let you swap out other parts over time if you would like to. I'd say the specialized would have the higher quality frames. They are a larger company with higher end bikes that have advanced manufacturing. While you won't see that advanced manufacturing on this bike, the technology finds its way onto more inexpensive models over time. After checking out the two bikes in question the jamis part spec is nicer than the hardrock sport. However, the price jump from that hardrock sport to the sport disc is the same jump as going to the jamis. So I'd say go for a hardrock sport disc. The price and parts spec is on par with the jamis but the frame will be nicer.
 

erikkellison

Monkey
Jan 28, 2004
918
0
Denver, CO
If you ride in inclement weather, then disc brakes are definitely worth it. But, I'm sure you'd be happy with both bikes. Buy one, get out and ride it a ton, and you will learn what parts you need to upgrade as you improve and your riding style becomes more demanding. Good luck!
Oh, and what kind of fork on both bikes? That's another important piece.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
22,444
2,118
In my pants
Depending on where you ride, rim brakes might be fine for you. The advantages of discs are found when you ride in wet conditions, since there's little if any difference in braking power and on really long descents where a good disc brake doesn't take quite as much force to engage. There's also the advantage of being able to ride home if you really damage your wheel. A bent wheel will rub on v-brakes but not on disc brakes.

Other than that, you should hop on both bikes and pedal them around a litte bit and just see which one feels more natural to you. Fit is more important than anything.
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
both forks look the same, seem to have the same type of suspension, but like I said Im a newb that doesn't know a lot about the bikes yet (I'll learn). And for the disc brakes working better when wet, I will be riding through some creeks and its about to be winter and Im sure I'll go out and play in the snow from time to time, so it still looking good for the jamis, but I am going to ride both bikes around and see which one feels better for me. thanks :thumb:
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
Jamis "a Manitou Six fork and a Shimano drivetrain"
specialized "FORK RST Gilla Plus-T6, 100mm, preload adj, 30mm Cro-Mo stanchions, coil/MCU
FRONT DERAILLEUR SRAM 3.0, 34.9mm clamp, top mount, bottom pull

REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM SX-4, 8-speed, mid cage"
 

Inclag

Turbo Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
2,341
61
MA
Thrillkil said:
Just make sure the bikes use at least Shimano LX or SRAM X7 parts.

:think: You are joking right??


At the pricepoint you are looking at there isn't going to be a major difference in the components, besides the additional cost of disc brakes. What is nice about a bike with disk breaks already on it is that you have a better platform for upgrades if you want to upgrade in the future. The wheels already have disc compatible hubs on the Jamis, which is a significant upgrade if you were to ever do it with the Specialized.

Besides that just try both and go whatever you feel most comfortable with.
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
I'd also look at the Iron Horse bikes, they are an amazing value.

As far as the disc vs vee brakes debate goes, I'd actually give the nod to vee brakes, unless you're paying for a high end disc brake the performance of a disc brake isn't really any better than a vee brake. Ridding through a creek won't cause you any trouble with vee brakes, ridding in snow might be a problem but unless you're ridding the bike daily in snow discs might be overkill.

Other things that are more subtle but make a big differance are things like the saddle, which one feels best, don't just sit on it but pedal around, does one dig into your thighs in an uncomfortable place, does another feel too narrow. Do the handlebars have a comortable amount of back sweep, do your hands fall naturally on the bar? Is the stem the right rise and lenght, do you feel like you are arching your neck back in order to see ahead of you, do your shoulders feel comfortable, can you balance easily on the bike? Which bike has tires that seem to grip the best, do the tires feel like they are going to wash out if you turn tightly, especially when you lean the bike over onto the side knobs? Does the bike come with flat pedals or clipless, which do you want? There are a lot of things that you can easily overlook with the rationale that they are parts that are easily replaced, but the cost of replacing the handlebars, the stem, the saddle, the tires, the brake levers and pedals can easily eclipse the cost of a nicer bike that comes with all the upgrades you want and a nicer frame.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
Kornphlake said:
I'd also look at the Iron Horse bikes, they are an amazing value.

As far as the disc vs vee brakes debate goes, I'd actually give the nod to vee brakes, unless you're paying for a high end disc brake the performance of a disc brake isn't really any better than a vee brake. Ridding through a creek won't cause you any trouble with vee brakes, ridding in snow might be a problem but unless you're ridding the bike daily in snow discs might be overkill.
I'd have to agree, if you aren't buying good quality disc brakes, get the V brakes. Similiarly priced Vbrakes and discs will have a major difference in performance...with the V brakes coming out ahead.
 

mcA896

Turbo Monkey
Aug 15, 2003
1,160
0
Cape Cod, MA
i am in no way bagging on the original poster, this is just an observation. most newbs seem drawn to the downhill forum. whatsup with that? are we really that intriguing? :thumb: to us!
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
7
wine country
If you get a bike with parts you don't like, you could sell them while they have a new value and buy slightly used or new parts on ebay. This way you can get alot for less money, than just buying new parts.

Where do you live? In CA, the supergo bikeshopshave nicely speced Iron Horse bikesbikes with quality frames for very cheap. Go to supergo.com

I think a hardtail is the way to go for a first mtb. Its cheaper, simpler, and will make you smoother becasue it will teach you to move it around (and land right off jump) and not make the bike do all the work.
 

dhmtbj

Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
469
1
Boston
I'd also say check out the ironhorse rigs, I got my girlfriend the warrior disc which is in your price range and its a killer ride for the money. Handles awesome and spec if great for the price :thumb:
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
mcA896 said:
i am in no way bagging on the original poster, this is just an observation. most newbs seem drawn to the downhill forum. whatsup with that? are we really that intriguing? :thumb: to us!
thats more the style I want to ride, so I thought I would ask the ones that do downhill, but I can't speak for the others :)
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
I went with specialized, Im pretty happy with it as of right now, I went and hit a couple hills with it today but what would you all suggest upgrading first?
 

hiphop

Chimp
Oct 13, 2005
6
0
Hmmm.. The main difference between vee brakes and disk brakes is that disks are off the rim and that way water doesn't get too much at it and if you do bend your wheel you can get home safely. Riding the trail is also nice with disks because the dirt that's kicked up from your tire doesn't affect breaking performance. Disk brakes also have a nicer feel for a longer period of time when setup properly. I was showing a customer at work today the specialized hardrock pro but even though it might seem a step up from what your looking for it comes with a deore rear derailleur and avid bb5's and mz race fork and ditch witch wheelset your getting alot more for what you pay, and the frame is basically identical as the comp. Anoter bike that's worth taking a look at it might be the Giant Iguana. Same price point as the hardrock your talking about. I'd reccomend the hardrock pro just because it's got the strongest wheelset out of the lot and the brakes are far superior. The fork is also more trail riding friendly when compared to the others. Also..if you know what area of biking (cross country, downhill, dirt juming, street, freeride) you'd like to go into you might be able to find a good deal on a second hand bike for the same price range. You need to know exactly what your looking for though. Hope that helps! Good Luck!
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
I'd like to do a lot of everything, but I've already bought the bike see the post above, so your saying the first upgrade I should look at is disc brakes?
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
7
wine country
Disk brakes or a new fork. You could sell that fork and get something a little used and get more for your money. A marzocchi dj2 '03 (5") would be nice on that bike. Thats what my bike has and I do all those riding types.
 

black noise

Turbo Monkey
Dec 31, 2004
1,033
0
Santa Cruz
Maybe. I think that guy missed your post about you buying the Specialized. V-brakes might be ok for you for now. If you do get disc brakes, my advice is to go with hydraulic ones as opposed to mechanical (cable) ones. Hayes make good, more inexpensive hydraulic discs as does Avid. If you do want mechanical discs for whatever reason (they're somewhat cheaper than hydros), stay away from Hayes mechanicals. They suck, I speak from experience. Avid makes good ones. I just noticed that disc brakes will not work for your bike because the hubs don't have mounts for discs. I think, by looking at the picture. If on the left side of the hub there are 6 holes for screws, then you're set.

After looking at the bike I think you got (the 05 Hardrock Sport), I'd say one of the main things to change is the rear derraileur. The Acera is at the bottom of Shimano's line, so as soon as you start having issues with it you might want to get a new one, like a Shimano LX. If you get new brakes, you'll also have to get new shifters. Normal Deore shifters are fine.

You could get some real pedals. Either some nice BMX-style platform pedals if you do more jumping, freeride stuff (beware of bloodied shins as you get used to them) or some nice clipless ones (you'll also have to get special shoes for these).

And then the fork. A new fork is key. It will be stiffer and plusher than your current one and will make the bike handle a whole lot better. Most good forks will cost about what your bike did though, so beware. Also some forks don't come with v-brake mounts, so if you still have v-brakes then don't mess up and get a fork without the mounts. All forks have disc brake mounts. Some ideas are Rock Shox's new lower-priced forks, or if you want to jump and huck the Marzocchi Dirt Jumpers are good. You could also look for a used Marzocchi Z1 or Manitou Sherman, both of which are very nice forks.

I hope all this helps. Ask questions if any of it doesn't make sense.
 

black noise

Turbo Monkey
Dec 31, 2004
1,033
0
Santa Cruz
Let me also talk a little about Marzocchi Dirt Jumper forks. They are heavy, but I've never really noticed the weight and I ride and race my Dirt Jumper 3 a lot. Their performance is not the greatest, but it's good if you do jumping and hucking (big drops and jumps) and not a whole lot of bumpy trail riding. They're also burly as hell, and you'll have a very hard time ever breaking one.

Get a Dirt Jumper if you don't have a lot of money, you beat on your bike and you want a fork that won't break on you.
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
7
wine country
I do tunnel on it. It can handle bumps if you can. I raced slalom at parkfield, fr trails, urban riding, dirt jumping and xcish trails. I like the stiffness of it.
 

black noise

Turbo Monkey
Dec 31, 2004
1,033
0
Santa Cruz
mtnbrider said:
I do tunnel on it. It can handle bumps if you can. I raced slalom at parkfield, fr trails, urban riding, dirt jumping and xcish trails. I like the stiffness of it.
I raced DH with my 6" DJ2 for a season, I know it's ok for bumps. However it dies when you compare it to something like a Z1. For someone who might not want an indestructible jumping fork, there are better choices.
 

kinghami3

Future Turbo Monkey
Jun 1, 2004
2,241
0
Ballard 4 life.
Transcend said:
I'd have to agree, if you aren't buying good quality disc brakes, get the V brakes. Similiarly priced Vbrakes and discs will have a major difference in performance...with the V brakes coming out ahead.
Dunno about that. I find the biggest advantage is that even cheap disks are less of a hassle to deal with, and still have comparable breaking power (not the walmart crap, but low-end hayes and avids).
 

DH SB RIDER

Monkey
Aug 31, 2005
180
0
Santa Barbara
Kona makes really strong frames imo, id say look into there dirt jumping seris, i rode a kona stuff bike for 4 years, DH, little drops, i raced xc on it and did long all mountain rides. I think you should start of with a hard tail(no rear suspension) because in the long run it will make you a better rider. It will make you a better rider by teaching you the right lines to pic and how to land a jump smoother. IMO, Patrick was actually right for a change(mtbrider) CONGRATS!
 

nomav6

Chimp
Oct 14, 2005
22
0
thanks guys, I'll check out my forks and see if I can do disc brakes, if not I'll just save fore disc and new forks, I did think that my suspension was a little soft, hit some ruff stuff yesterday and it was ok getting through it but thought I would be much more in control if I had something a little stiffer. Thanks for all the help so far :)
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
7
wine country
DH SB RIDER said:
Kona makes really strong frames imo, id say look into there dirt jumping seris, i rode a kona stuff bike for 4 years, DH, little drops, i raced xc on it and did long all mountain rides. I think you should start of with a hard tail(no rear suspension) because in the long run it will make you a better rider. It will make you a better rider by teaching you the right lines to pic and how to land a jump smoother. IMO, Patrick was actually right for a change(mtbrider) CONGRATS!
Are you that stupid? Read the thread before you post. He alreadygot a bike. Why do you think that now there is no talk about frames, just components.

I'm not going to tell you what bike he got. Yes, I know its hard, but your going to have to READ the other posts for yourself. Thats the point of being on a forum. :mumble:

The schools in SB aren't bad, its not the schools fault.......
 

mcA896

Turbo Monkey
Aug 15, 2003
1,160
0
Cape Cod, MA
nomav6 said:
thats more the style I want to ride, so I thought I would ask the ones that do downhill, but I can't speak for the others :)
awesome. DH, as you will discover, is the BEST form of mountain biking, arguably. :thumb:
 

sunny

Grammar Civil Patrol
Jul 2, 2004
1,108
0
Sandy Eggo, CA
black noise said:
Maybe. I think that guy missed your post about you buying the Specialized. V-brakes might be ok for you for now. If you do get disc brakes, my advice is to go with hydraulic ones as opposed to mechanical (cable) ones. Hayes make good, more inexpensive hydraulic discs as does Avid. If you do want mechanical discs for whatever reason (they're somewhat cheaper than hydros), stay away from Hayes mechanicals. They suck, I speak from experience. Avid makes good ones. I just noticed that disc brakes will not work for your bike because the hubs don't have mounts for discs. I think, by looking at the picture. If on the left side of the hub there are 6 holes for screws, then you're set.

After looking at the bike I think you got (the 05 Hardrock Sport), I'd say one of the main things to change is the rear derraileur. The Acera is at the bottom of Shimano's line, so as soon as you start having issues with it you might want to get a new one, like a Shimano LX. If you get new brakes, you'll also have to get new shifters. Normal Deore shifters are fine.

You could get some real pedals. Either some nice BMX-style platform pedals if you do more jumping, freeride stuff (beware of bloodied shins as you get used to them) or some nice clipless ones (you'll also have to get special shoes for these).

And then the fork. A new fork is key. It will be stiffer and plusher than your current one and will make the bike handle a whole lot better. Most good forks will cost about what your bike did though, so beware. Also some forks don't come with v-brake mounts, so if you still have v-brakes then don't mess up and get a fork without the mounts. All forks have disc brake mounts. Some ideas are Rock Shox's new lower-priced forks, or if you want to jump and huck the Marzocchi Dirt Jumpers are good. You could also look for a used Marzocchi Z1 or Manitou Sherman, both of which are very nice forks.

I hope all this helps. Ask questions if any of it doesn't make sense.
:stupid:

Hey nomav6,
Good purchase! You'll really enjoy the Specialized. It's a great frame that will take care of you and be with you a long time.

This is really good info (what black noise wrote), which I think should be emphasized...
1. V-brakes do the job adequately
2. Disc brakes require a compatible wheelset with rotor mounts on the hubs (disc hubs)
3. Disc brakes require caliper mounts on the fork and rear triangle
4. Hayes hydrolic or Avid mechanical
5. Better rear derailleur = smoother shifting. But I thought the HR Sport came with SRAM (???)
6. If you like jumping and end up getting beefy, grippy pedals, get some shin guards too. You'll thank yourself.
7. If you want to improve your climbing, get some clip pedals. You'll need bike shoes that are cleat compatible. Cleats are included with most pedals. Shimano pedals are adjustable; you can loosen the clips so that you can practically fall out of the pedals (which is really great when you need to bail). However, Shimano pedals are not so good at clearing mud. For a rider new to clips, I'd go with them anyway because the tension is adjustable. Get a pedal wrench so you can change out your pedals. There will be days when only the flats will do, and others when you'll want the clips.
8. Used is often a good option when looking for a fork.

Enjoy your new bike!! :thumb:

Hey, black noise,
I don't understand why he would need new shifters if he gets new brakes. Please explain. :confused: Thanks!

-sunny