29er MTBs (Budget bikes still set my wallet on fire?!?)

Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm going to be hopefully buying a mountain bike in the next couple of days and I'm hung up on getting a 26" or a 29"

No matter what I get, I'm gonna get a hard tail and it has to be an XL sized frame. Since my budget is sub-$1000 I'm in the realm of entry level bikes. I'm also interested in buying new. The used XL MTB market in LA is pretty rough in the sub 1k range and I really don't feel like waiting around a month to get a bike.

Right now its between the Cannondale Trail SL 3 and the Scott Scale 29 Comp.

While the Cannondale is a 26", it has a much higher quality fork. (I'll also have to buy a new set of tires but my REI discount takes care of that)

The Scott is a 29er, which appears to be the new thing, however it has a fork that I will probably have to upgrade down the line.....

Any thoughts?

If I get the Cannondale, I'll probably scrap the whole bike when I go to make upgrades, whereas the Scott 29er might be able to last me longer provided I upgrade the fork at some point.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Hard tail? 29er.

    Specifically, this one.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Some brief googling suggests the 'dale has an RST deuce and the Scott has a Suntour XCR. They're both basic budget forks so I wouldn't base my choice on that. Spec wise they seem very similar: basic shimano octalink cranks and the same tektro brakes, unbranded finishing kit. The Cannondale seems to get most of a Sram X5 group and the Scott a mix of different Shimano parts, mostly Alivio with an SLX rear derailleur.

    Have you ridden either/both of them? If you're set on picking between those two I'd probably make a decision on which feels the best and/or suits you better.

    Is the US Talon the same as the UK Talon? I remember it being launched here a couple of years ago as a trail-centre biased UK special. Giant basically described it as a slacker XTC with a more trail-friendly spec. Either way, people like them a lot.

    EDIT: For what it's worth, I prefer SRAM kit to Shimano, but that's mostly because it's a lot more tolerant of sticky mud, which may not be an issue for you. In terms of upgrading, I think if you ride a lot that the fork will become a limiting factor at about the same time on either bike, and it's worth bearing in mind that you can still generally get a better deal on a 26er fork than a 29er.

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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    You're sure about XL?

    Frame size is somewhat different than with road bikes and a lot can be done size wise with choosing the right components. Also mountain bikes must never be to big because of the need to move around on it while driving.

    26 vs. 29. Some have been saying 29 is the new black for like a decade or so. It has benefits and drawbacks and if on a budget then you most certainly need to go for 26 as the choice of gear for that size is much much larger so finding good deals will be so much easier.

    As for the bike you mention I think you can do better. Do a searh on mountain bikes in this forum as similar threads have been here again and again. Also buy a couple of MTB magazines and get a feel for the scene plus don't buy anything before looking it up on mtbr.com

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  • bikkibikkibobikkibikkibo Registered User regular
    Hard tail? 29er.

    Specifically, this one.
    I own this bike. It is a good bike, takes a beating. I haven't bottomed out on it.
    Some components are obviously entry level, though.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Romero ZombieRomero Zombie Registered User regular
    You can get a good 26 inch hardtail for around a grand with pretty solid components - I have a FS 26 and one of my riding buddies has a FS 29 with similar components and my bike seemed to handle everything his could - take that as you will though.

    Another thing in your favor is a lot of the 2012 bikes will be coming out here relatively soon and your LBS will probably be marking a lot of their 2011 ones down.

    Reference to your post though - I nearly bought that same Scott bike and liked it, just elected to save up for a FS bike instead. What is your riding capabilities right now? Are you just getting into mountain biking? For an entry level, that Scott will be more bike than you need for a bit until you get your riding ability up there

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  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    japan wrote:
    Some brief googling suggests the 'dale has an RST deuce and the Scott has a Suntour XCR. They're both basic budget forks so I wouldn't base my choice on that. Spec wise they seem very similar: basic shimano octalink cranks and the same tektro brakes, unbranded finishing kit. The Cannondale seems to get most of a Sram X5 group and the Scott a mix of different Shimano parts, mostly Alivio with an SLX rear derailleur.

    Have you ridden either/both of them? If you're set on picking between those two I'd probably make a decision on which feels the best and/or suits you better.

    Is the US Talon the same as the UK Talon? I remember it being launched here a couple of years ago as a trail-centre biased UK special. Giant basically described it as a slacker XTC with a more trail-friendly spec. Either way, people like them a lot.

    EDIT: For what it's worth, I prefer SRAM kit to Shimano, but that's mostly because it's a lot more tolerant of sticky mud, which may not be an issue for you. In terms of upgrading, I think if you ride a lot that the fork will become a limiting factor at about the same time on either bike, and it's worth bearing in mind that you can still generally get a better deal on a 26er fork than a 29er.

    I test road the Scott this morning and hated every minute of it. I don't think I'm going to like the 29er because of the loss of agility and the fork was absolutely terrible. I felt like I needed more bike already. Luckily I can test drive the Cannondale next weekend.

    Probably going to have to increase my budget to get something I won't have to replace in a year. I usually ride single track stuff in So Cal and I tend to ride pretty hard so I' worried about breaking components. I've been in LA for a while now, but I've always rented a bike since I haven't had much time to go out. Usually they get returned broken.

    I went down to performance bike and checked out a 2010 Access XCL 9.7 that was on clearance ($950) and it seemed alright, if not a bit heavier than the Scott. Haven't really heard anything about Access though. They guy at REI also suggested the next step up from the Scott which was apparently $1200


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  • Romero ZombieRomero Zombie Registered User regular
    Have you checked out www.mtbr.com ? Lots of reviews on bikes and components there - helped me make my decision.

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  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    If you can find a deal somewhere on this bike, it's a 2010. I got mine from JensonUSA.com for a little under 900$. Pretty damn good deal for an awesome bike that is respectably equipped.
    http://www.focus-bikes.com/gb/en/bikes/bikes-2010/category/mtb-hardtail/subcategory/sport-pro/model/black-forest.html

    It's from a German bike manufacturer, but they make all their frames in Germany not in Taiwan or the Philippines like most companies now.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
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