View Full Version : Mountain Biking

Rich Konopka
10-06-2005, 8:08 PM
Just wondering if anyone is into mountain biking when they need to clear the air of all that sawdust. I have been riding on and off for 15 years and recently got my youngest hooked. It seems that my old Fugi Thrill MTB is on its last legs and I'm looking to upgrade to a newer bike.

In doing some research it seems that everything is made In China with the exception of a few. What strikes me is that the prices do not seem all that reasonable for something made with cheap labor.

I like the Cannondales and they are out of CT and PA. I would be interested in what you have for a MTB.


Rob Russell
10-06-2005, 8:30 PM
We bought mountain bikes shortly after they first came out and didn't get the use out of them that we thought we would. We have gotten more use out of the road bikes, at least I have.

The bikes we have are steel Treks. To give you an idea of when we got them, it was just after hyperglide came out. Comparing our bikes to new ones - they're heavy, hardtails and are rather like tanks. They are hanging in the shed collecting dust.

Bob Johnson2
10-06-2005, 8:35 PM
Got a Kona Blast that I really like, it's a few years old now but I think it may still be a current model. I did some looking and it was between the Konas and the Specialized as those are what the local dealers carry that were in my price range.

Andy Halterman
10-06-2005, 10:12 PM
My current favorite is a Rocky Mountain Flow hardtail. Built like a tank to take abuse. (I like to jump things) Just put a Marzocchi AM3 fork on it today. Five inches of plush travel. Disc brakes front and rear. Second favorite is an Intense Uzzi SLX. Six inches of suspension on each end. I like to call it my "40 pounds of uphill fury" bike. No fun climbing but I can ride over you and not even feel it on the down side.

C-dale are ok bikes. I say just ok because they have a reputation for frame failures. I've never owned one so I can't verify this. They don't fit me very well. I'd look at Kona as I think they have some great bikes. Giant also makes some nice models. Specialized has been doing this forever and they continually put out nice bikes. Trek makes a nice bike but I don't care for how they treat some of their dealers. (personal thing from my years in the bike biz) Lance may ride one but I won't be spending my money with them.

Make sure you get sized properly. Try to score a ride one some trails if possible. Bikes handle much differently when the flora and fauna suddenly dart out in front of you. :)

Regardless, have fun and enjoy the ride. I've been doing it for 16 years and I still can't seem to get enough of it. In fact, I'm leaving next week for 17 days of biking/hiking in UT and AZ. Can't wait to get my fill of desert singletrack.

Andy Halterman

Ready for the fall break in Hendersonville, NC™

rick fulton
10-06-2005, 10:22 PM
I ride a Cannondale Scalpel 2000. SWMBO rides a Specialized S-Works hardtail.
Ever consider building a Bike out of wood?

Jim Becker
10-06-2005, 11:01 PM
Not me...but SMC member Robert Tarr is a cycling enthusiast. As a matter of fact, he's doing some kind of competition this weekend not far from here that uses bikes that are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike...tires like the mountain bike and a frame similar to (but not identical to) a road racer. Mud and obstacles are involved.

10-07-2005, 7:20 AM
I used to ride and race a lot. I like Cannondales. Mine has taken a heck of a beating. As a downhiller, I was no stranger to impact. I like the headshock and the frame geometry fit me well. I think fit and weight are more important than brand.


Keith Foster
10-07-2005, 11:06 AM
Don't spend too much time trying to find bikes NOT made in China. They are few and far between. I had a bike shop in the late 80's and early 90's and even then most bikes were made in China (the rest of the parts were from Japan). Giant Bicycle Co. is one of the largest bicycle producers in the world and they are a Chinese company. Many of you may have heard of Giant as they came out with their own brand about the same time I had my shop. However, you might be more familiar with their bikes through a company they built for - Schwinn.

Actually took a new Schwinn bike out of the box one day and it seems it slipped by QC - it had the Giant logo on the head tube! :D Having said all of this, I will also add that the bikes I received while I had my shop were well constructed, durable, and came with a lifetime frame warranty. They were excellent bikes.

Guy Baxter
10-07-2005, 5:25 PM
No wooden bike, but custom made wooden bar ends at this site.
Not too far off topic I hope.

Happy Trails

Robert Tarr
10-10-2005, 1:42 PM
I ride a few things (all US made) with a mix of parts.

My primary mountain bike is a Litespeed. It is made in TN., but it is not really in the realm of most folks that aren't crazy about this stuff (like me..) The frame (and most of the parts are Titanium) and the frame cost more than a Unisaw. I also have a Spooky made in MA.

I ride Cyclocross as well (the bike Jim mentioned above..) it is a Voodoo and isn't sold in the US anymore.

I have had a couple aluminum bikes and while light and fast, they are very stiff and that translates to bum absorbing bumps on a hardtail. In the racing and serious cyclist circles, Treks and Cannondales are all over and are good bikes, but everyone knows of someone with dented and damaged aluminum frames....I personally call Cannondales (except the heavy duty down hill oriented rigs) beer can bikes....tube members are made the same way as beer cans.

Long story short, I would only buy a bike from a shop that would allow you to take a bike for a ride. Most decent shops will have an area for a semi technical ride.

Have fun and ping me if you need more advice.


Rich Konopka
10-10-2005, 3:04 PM
Thanks everyone for the info. I am looking at a Jamis Durango. I'd appreciate any comments on them if you are familiar. I am a weekend warrior when it comes to MTB and I don't want to break the bank. ;)

John Shuk
10-10-2005, 8:09 PM
Robert Tarr coming down a trail on my butt? I'm moving out of the way! Thats a big man! Talk about momentum.

Robert Tarr
10-10-2005, 9:01 PM
Just remember, momentum is your friend....Yeah, I am a big guy and that brings up another point...don't be afraid to buy parts/bikes that are built for your style of riding and your body size. I ride a super light mountain bike, but it isn't the lightest, but arguably one of the strongest.


6'3" 220 lbs

10-11-2005, 10:05 AM

I agree with you there. Leave the superlight parts to the little guys.
I was preparing for a racing season one year and bought a slew of lightweight parts for my bike. Before the first race I went on a shakedown ride to make sure my bike was working well with all my new parts. My brand new superlight superexpensive cranks snapped on a landing ... cracked rib for me. Not too much later my lightweight bars broke in a minor crash and stabbed me in the leg, nice and deep. After two trips to the ER caused entirely by parts failure, I learned to balance light vs. strong.

Jay - 6'3", but a mere 190lb when I was in race shape

Robert Tarr
10-11-2005, 10:28 AM
I used to race at about 172-182 pounds but usually stayed around 177. That really isn't that heavy for most parts, but I shed way to much weight in the search for speed and ended up with a titanium pedal shaft breaking and that took a couple stitches in the leg to close up. I also folder up a super light front race wheel (in a race) and broke 3 ribs, shoulder and a finger.

Rich, Back to your question about Jamis. I have been out of the scene for a while and just now getting back into riding and racing, so take this as dated info. Jamis used to make a pretty solid bike with a good parts mix and price. The best part was support and dealing with the company if you had a problem....Jamis wouldn't sell through every bike shop, they sellected the ones they wanted to sell their product. May have changed but used to be a good product with good support...sounds like a winner to me (if it still the same..)

Who just did the math and figured out that I am 50 pounds heavier than when I used to race....back to the gym....

Rich Konopka
10-11-2005, 6:32 PM
Thanks Robert !! The dealer is a local shop which will let me take one out for a weekend. Not bad.


John Weber
10-11-2005, 10:19 PM

My wife and I have Trek steel bikes, an AL tandem hybrid, and we each have new Cannondale road bikes. Our mountain and road bikes were made in the US, and the Fuji tandem is an import. I'm a big fan of Cannondale and Trek. I believe all Cannondales are made in the US, but only the upper end Trek's are anymore. Steel is nice for a mountain bike, but the new Cannondale frames are stiff and forgiving, I wouldn't have any problem with a new Cannondale mountain bike. Just ride a lot of different bikes and try and find what fits the best. I ride a 19.5" mountain bike and a 58 cm road bike, inseam is around 35cm.