I want a ‘mountain bike’ for city, winter, and (hopefully more than) occasional off-road riding. Nothing serious, but better than entry level. Right now I’ve ridden and liked a 2008 Specialized Rockhopper and the Gary Fisher Cronus (which I know is not being made for '09).

Any experience with either one? I know nothing about mountain bikes. Suggestions of other bikes similar to those that I may want to check out?

(I’d love to be able to find it used but that’s not a requirement)

don’t be a pussy, build up a pugsley.

I have an 05 Rockhopper. I really like it, and for $500 it was a pretty good investment. I’m pretty sure they are more expensive now.

Upgrading to discs is expensive, so buy them now if you want them. My Rockhopper lacks discs, but I haven’t wished I had them yet. But then again, I’m not riding in snow. Ever.

what is mountianeer bike?

I have the 08 rockhopper 29er and love it despite the fact that the stock wheels suck ass. I only use it for riding trails and for riding to the trails though, so I can’t really vouch for its performance on the roads.

can’t help with those specific models, but i don’t think you can go wrong with a gary fisher. personally i’m a 29er convert. which i would reccomend for city use as you can use pretty much any 700c tire, although anything under 700x28 would probably be too narrow.

i ride a gt peace 9r (rigid ss) and have been out of the loop on mtn bikes, so i can’t speak too much for gears, suspension, disc brakes, or 26" wheels. so take what i say however you want.

expanding on 29ers - keep in mind the wheels/tires will be heavier, and the handling will likely be slightly more sluggish depending on specifics (i have no problem with fast, aggressive cornering).

I would consider a Specialized or even have a look over at Bikes Direct.

I really want this guy: Good deal but I don’t really want to spend any money. I’ll ask him if he’ll trade for a road bike or a guitar.

If you can find an old Specialized Stumpjumper or Rockhopper from the 80’s or early 90’s, those are pretty cool, IMO. Nothing super special, just solid, dependable mountain bikes that won’t totally suck to ride on the road. If you don’t think you’ll be taking it out on the trails a lot, a rigid fork is probably your best bet, since decent, affordable suspension forks are rather heavy (compared to a rigid fork) and will make riding places on the road seem painfully inefficient. Also, if you wanted to run the bike single speed or fixed, a lot of the early mountain bikes have horizontal drops, too. If you’re using a derailleur, though, those could get frustrating if you’re a flat-prone rider.

Probably the best bike you could find for these purposes would be a Bridgestone XO or MB series bikes from when Grant Peterson was in charge. Those frames are pretty similar to the Rivendell Bombadil, minus the pretension, and were pretty much designed for the kind of riding you describe. Peterson’s various writings about what he thinks a MTB should be demonstrate to me that he doesn’t really understand mountain biking in the modern sense (he thinks suspension forks are superfluous, for example), but it seems to me like he understands practical riding better than almost anyone else in the business.

Ya he understands practical riding but from the way he talks about mountain bikes sometimes I feel like he has never really done some heavy trail riding.

Maybe he never did any Northeast style trail riding?

Maybe he never did any Northeast style trail riding?[/quote]

Haha so true. We do have it rough over here.

Have you thought about a CX bike? If you don’t see yourself riding rocky singletrack it may be a better choice for an all around bike.

But, If I was in the market for a complete hard tail I’d be looking at as an earlier poster said…


Haha so true. We do have it rough over here.[/quote]

rocks and roots are the best

^^^ Cape Ann riding is in a class by itself.

i need to practice more. i feel so lame having bruce and toms down the street and not being able to make good use of it

Thanks for the suggestions. I really like the Gary Fisher. The fact that it’s a 1x9 appeals to me for some unknown reasons, and I like the rigid fork. I do worry, though, that if I get into doing more off road stuff I’ll wish I had suspension. But at the same time, suspension would probably get pretty irritating for riding in the city.

Definitely want discs (both models I look at do), but I don’t know about 26 vs 29 (I can get a rockhopper in 29, I believe).

Still completely undecided between the two…

Suspension with lock out? Its getting a lot more common on XC and even AM forks. My Fox has a pseudo lock out that turns off all low speed compression and has a separate knob for high speed or blow off when “locked out” and turns it into rigid fork that still will take a hit. It’s also an air spring so its super light too.

Edit: looks like the low end rock hopper for 2009 has lock out. Its the low end Dart which could be rather lame depending on your weight / what you are used to with a suspension.

What is your budget?

The rockhopper I was looking at had lock out, but it still had about an inch of travel.

I don’t want to spend more than $800, and would love to find a nice bike used or on closeout for less.