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Thread: "Affordable" Marin, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, K2?

  1. #1
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default "Affordable" Marin, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, K2?

    I know this topic has been beat into the ground, but I'm looking for info relating to current '08-'09 model so I thought I'd wing it and start a new thread. I may sell my box-store mountain bike to my sons buddy and buy a new mountain bike. I don't want to spend a lot of money and my criteria are pretty simple.

    *I'd like to buy something affordable (hard tail is fine), but descent quality-like the one's I mentioned in the title

    *I'd like the best quality components for the money (seems like EVERY bike--box-store included--has shimano components which tells me they must make poor, fair, good & excellent components)

    *Brake style doesn't really matter (seems like pads may be cheaper to maintain and work well for riding on muddy/rocky terrain)

    *Ability to carry/haul a trailer

    *A FRAME THAT FITS! My last bike I bought didn't fit well.

    *I'd definitely want to stay below $500, but would much rather spend $300-400. The bike will mainly be used for riding in our neighborhood, bike trails with the kids, to and from work, and for scouting/hunting/over-nighters on resurrection.

    So, I guess my question is: do any of the above (or other) non-box store brand bikes make something that fits my needs? Or do I need to haul my cheap hindquarters to Sports Authority and buy a Mongoose?

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Scrounged Avalanche's thread for ideas and came up with a couple. Checked out a Marin and Trek 820. Both seem reasonable and a lot better than any box-store bike. $500 & $330 at Sunshine and Bicycle shop; haven't been to REI yet. Can't find a Giant or K2 locally, yet. Bicycle shop had a Specialized (Hardrock) for $390.

    Tim

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    I picked up a K2 Zed 2.0 for myself last summer from REI website and had it shipped and put together at REI for no cost. However, I don't see K2 bikes on their website any longer. Furthermore I went to the K2 bike website and they still are showing only 2008 catalog. Maybe they are going to get out of the bike business and focus on skis??? I don't know.

    If I had to do it over again though, I would watch craigslist like a hawk and save atleast a couple hundred dollars. Decent bikes ($500 range) are being sold in Anchorage more often on there than you might think. Just a thought once you figure out what features and size of bike you'd like.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Yea, that may be my best bet to get the most value for my money. I've got a buddy whose a little more bike-educated than I am that could help me with that. I have been on there recently but didn't see much.

    Tim

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    Member JustinW's Avatar
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    I know money is tight with everyone but I think you would really be served a lot better by increasing your budget. Those lower end parts wear out faster and break easier. In your price range suspension is elastomer bumpers which freeze up in the cold, so they really won't work at all and cheap v-brakes don't do a lot of good in the mud and ice. Decent paved bike paths during warm weather are good places for an inexpensive bike, but I really think you should get something with coil or air sprung suspension and hydraulic disc brakes. Today a frame is a frame, just get the right size for you. Drivetrain parts are made in taiwan and are basicly the same for all brands. You really just want to look for what will work well for your riding. A broken chain or sheared gear in a hub miles out isn't fun. You probably already know a lot of this stuff, but food for thought for anyone else that doesn't.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Solid advice. Do you think disc brakes work better in mud/trail conditions versus v-brakes? I thought v-brakes may work better is mud/trail conditions.

    Tim

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    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    take a look at the cannondale F9 is has the same frame as the high end ones such as the F5 just without all the bells and whistles of the F5 or F7

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Alaskankid13 has a good point - most high-end bike manufacturers will produce an "entry level" model that has the same frame as their higher-end models simply because it's more cost effective for them to use the same frame. The frame is the most expensive component, so you have a good start that in spite of being an "entry level model", still has better components than any box-store bike. Then over time you can upgrade the components you want and wind up with a high-end bike. I did that with my last MTB, an 01 Giant Rincon that eventually got some top-shelf components. I put well over 3K miles on that bike and was never disappointed. I am looking to get back into riding myself and I like the Canondale F series.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I picked up an '08 K2 Zed 4.0 at Sports Authority in Wasilla a few weeks ago for $350. That was about half price. I like the bike quite a bit. They had three sizes of frames available. I have no idea if they have any left, but it's worth a look.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Whoops..that was actually a Zed 4.4
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Default My 2 cents

    I also was in the market for a new bike. For the same reason as you! Scouting resurrection and messing around on local bike trails. I ended up going with the TEK 4300. The Bike was only $450 and seems to have sold Components. The saddle has a lot to be desired and the tires need to be changed over to something a little knobbier for muddy conditions, but other than that I think it will be a great bike

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    I BOught an 08 Marin Pioneer trail at sunshine sports for $380 its got good components and breaks

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