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Old 07-02-2012, 07:31 AM   #24376
Ridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RxZ View Post
Well, this past week the family and my in-laws went up to Angel Fire, NM for some relaxation and relief from the Texas heat and humidity. While there, we looked at some trail maps and myself and my father-in-law figured we could tackle the South Boundary Trail from a trailhead outside AF over the mountain, and then down to Taos. Right at 20 miles. We finished, but it took 7 hours, and I was more spent then I have ever been (totally my fault, 3 bottles of water was not enough, along with the fact that I am not in shape for that kind of ride and at that altitude). That said, I am rather proud of myself for finishing that brutal (for me) trail.

All that said, it has rekindled my desire to ride MTBs. Not for competition, but for enjoyment and exercise. My local bike shop has a Trek Marlin 29er that I think I would like. The bikes we rented in Taos were Treks and I liked the way they felt, but they were 26 inch tires vs the 29er that the Marlin is. I do not want to spend a ton of money on a bike, and this one looks like one that would allow me do hit the trails around my house, and get into the sport at a reasonable price.

So, after reading through so many of the pages in this thread, do any of y'all have any experience with this bike? It gets pretty good reviews online, but I trust the opinions here more. Oh, and what's the best way to negotiate for a bike, or is that a taboo thing to do?
Whatever price point you are trying to hit, 29er is definitely the way to go. The pros of a 29er in comparison to a 26 far outweigh any price differences. I don't have any experience with the Marlin line up of bikes other than to say the only place I've seen them locally is in REI. I have never seen one on the trails around my parts. What is your budget? Knowing that would help these guys offer more accurate suggestions. I built up my Soma Juice about 2 years ago for around $1200 complete. It could have been done a bit cheaper, but there are some components that are just worth the upgrade in the long run for ease of maintenance.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #24377
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So I changed my mind again re: 26ers vs. 29ers

Yesterday I spent four hours skillz training at Santos. This time I decided to take my 29er for a change of pace. My expectation was that it would be harder to thread through the technical portions of the Red trails, but it actually felt easier than it did on my 26er. It did particularly well on the uphill rock gardens, which always seem to snag my front wheel. This time I made it all the way through without having to put a foot down.

I decided to have a beer afterwards to celebrate my victory. Unfortunately I happened to pick what is surely the worst beer I've ever tasted -- some dreadful concoction called 'Swamp Ape', made in Melbourne, FL. One swig of that horrible brew was all I could stand -- the rest of it went down the drain. I mention this only as a public service to other riders. If you see a bottle of this stuff somewhere, don't come anywhere near it.

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Old 07-02-2012, 08:20 AM   #24378
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Yesterday I spent four hours skillz training at Santos. This time I decided to take my 29er for a change of pace. My expectation was that it would be harder to thread through the technical portions of the Red trails, but it actually felt easier than it did on my 26er. It did particularly well on the uphill rock gardens, which always seem to snag my front wheel. This time I made it all the way through without having to put a foot down.
Which rock garden in Santos... there are so many that I have donated blood to; most of them on the vortex side. Although Ant hill has claimed blood a few times as well.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #24379
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Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
Which rock garden in Santos... there are so many that I have donated blood to; most of them on the vortex side. Although Ant hill has claimed blood a few times as well.
The one that gives me the most trouble is located on one steep uphill climb on the Sink Hole trail. I think the credit for this goes to my 29er, which is far less wheelie prone. My 26er always lofts the front wheel on steep uphill climbs, making it impossible to steer. If I slow my pedaling speed to bring the front wheel down, I lose my momentum and get stuck between the rocks.

That steep rocky descent from the top of Ant Hill is a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen. I'm surprised I made it through alive.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #24380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
Whatever price point you are trying to hit, 29er is definitely the way to go. The pros of a 29er in comparison to a 26 far outweigh any price differences. I don't have any experience with the Marlin line up of bikes other than to say the only place I've seen them locally is in REI. I have never seen one on the trails around my parts. What is your budget? Knowing that would help these guys offer more accurate suggestions. I built up my Soma Juice about 2 years ago for around $1200 complete. It could have been done a bit cheaper, but there are some components that are just worth the upgrade in the long run for ease of maintenance.
I hear that most people are going 29er now. The local Trek shop doesn't even carry the 26" models! They will order them though if that is what you want. My price point is about $6-700. I know, its a low starting point, but the Marlin frame is the same they use on some of the more expensive bikes, so it is upgradable once I figure out what needs upgrading to better suit me. Also, I went in to look at it this past Saturday and was told not to buy it because there is a trek sale starting July 3 (tomorrow)! If they knock the price down at least 10% from the current $680 MSRP that would be great for me!

I do live in a rather small, medium sized city. We only have two bike shops, one that carries Specialized, the other Trek. The Trek one is closer to my house, and they carry a lot of MTBs. The Specialized dealer never has any MTBs on display when I go in, so I wonder how much they actually care for that business??? For those reasons, I have been looking at Trek more so than other brands. I am not opposed to something different though.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #24381
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Originally Posted by RxZ View Post
I hear that most people are going 29er now. The local Trek shop doesn't even carry the 26" models! They will order them though if that is what you want. My price point is about $6-700. I know, its a low starting point, but the Marlin frame is the same they use on some of the more expensive bikes, so it is upgradable once I figure out what needs upgrading to better suit me. Also, I went in to look at it this past Saturday and was told not to buy it because there is a trek sale starting July 3 (tomorrow)! If they knock the price down at least 10% from the current $680 MSRP that would be great for me!

I do live in a rather small, medium sized city. We only have two bike shops, one that carries Specialized, the other Trek. The Trek one is closer to my house, and they carry a lot of MTBs. The Specialized dealer never has any MTBs on display when I go in, so I wonder how much they actually care for that business??? For those reasons, I have been looking at Trek more so than other brands. I am not opposed to something different though.
Perhaps CL? With your proximity to Dallas, there would have to be some deals on garage queen 29ers that need a new owner to give them some love. Obviously, you should also figure out what size frame will fit you. This is a good start.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/bik/3112512112.html

http://dallas.craigslist.org/sdf/bik/3111656322.html

If you can swing a little extra and it fits you, I would jump all over this one:
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/bik/3099227855.html

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bik/3103250112.html

http://dallas.craigslist.org/sdf/bik/3083806440.html
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #24382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Yesterday I spent four hours skillz training at Santos. This time I decided to take my 29er for a change of pace. My expectation was that it would be harder to thread through the technical portions of the Red trails, but it actually felt easier than it did on my 26er. It did particularly well on the uphill rock gardens, which always seem to snag my front wheel. This time I made it all the way through without having to put a foot down.

I decided to have a beer afterwards to celebrate my victory. Unfortunately I happened to pick what is surely the worst beer I've ever tasted -- some dreadful concoction called 'Swamp Ape', made in Melbourne, FL. One swig of that horrible brew was all I could stand -- the rest of it went down the drain. I mention this only as a public service to other riders. If you see a bottle of this stuff somewhere, don't come anywhere near it.

You've got to be more specific as to why you didn't like it. Its an IPA, so its got a specific taste profile its looking for. Did it not hit the hoppy profile? Is it skunky? What specifically didn't you like?

Me? I'm a fan of Sierra Nevada, so hoppy isn't a problem.

Spent 90-ish min on the road. Splain to me why someone HAS to squeeze between me and the pickup coming up on us? Can't wait another 30sec to make a safe pass?!

I haven't ridden but one 29er off-road, so don't have any comparison, but I HAVE ridden my cross bike off-road lots. Except for having to watch for bottoming out on the 34c tires, it works really really well.

M
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #24383
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pictures from the 600k

A few pictures - from http://www.saltlakerandos.org/

The beginning - I'm the second from the right - the big duffus - don't let the little lady in the middle fool you - she's reportedly done 10 or 20 of these. She'll ride you into the ground! In fact, the guy on the right did the 400 and of the other four, three finished. The lady on the left had severe GI issues - I lost count of the number of times she threw up on the first night.



Early morning, day 1:


Second morning:


At the finish - I was done - ready to get a shower and some real food eaten slowly and enjoyed!
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #24384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
You've got to be more specific as to why you didn't like it. Its an IPA, so its got a specific taste profile its looking for. Did it not hit the hoppy profile? Is it skunky? What specifically didn't you like?
It was very bitter, and the taste was overpowering. 'Skunky' is a good way to describe it; if you could convert the noxious odor of a skunk into a flavor, that's what it would be like.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #24385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
Perhaps CL? With your proximity to Dallas, there would have to be some deals on garage queen 29ers that need a new owner to give them some love. Obviously, you should also figure out what size frame will fit you. This is a good start.
Thanks Ridge! I'll keep looking at CL as well. I had been looking there, but just hadn't found anything that was quite "it". The one you like is a nice bike, but too small for me unfortunately (probably too expensive as well if you ask my wife ).
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:12 AM   #24386
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Originally Posted by RxZ View Post
Thanks Ridge! I'll keep looking at CL as well. I had been looking there, but just hadn't found anything that was quite "it". The one you like is a nice bike, but too small for me unfortunately (probably too expensive as well if you ask my wife ).
Wife's don't need to know everything!
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #24387
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Wife's don't need to know everything!
true. always practice the 60-75% rule when quoting prices to wives. depending on the wife's response, you always quote a maximum of 75% paid price on any given object of desire. of course this means you have to maintain a skunk-works fund at all times, but such is necessary to maintain harmony in the world.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #24388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RxZ View Post
Well, this past week the family and my in-laws went up to Angel Fire, NM for some relaxation and relief from the Texas heat and humidity. While there, we looked at some trail maps and myself and my father-in-law figured we could tackle the South Boundary Trail from a trailhead outside AF over the mountain, and then down to Taos. Right at 20 miles. We finished, but it took 7 hours, and I was more spent then I have ever been (totally my fault, 3 bottles of water was not enough, along with the fact that I am not in shape for that kind of ride and at that altitude). That said, I am rather proud of myself for finishing that brutal (for me) trail.

All that said, it has rekindled my desire to ride MTBs. Not for competition, but for enjoyment and exercise. My local bike shop has a Trek Marlin 29er that I think I would like. The bikes we rented in Taos were Treks and I liked the way they felt, but they were 26 inch tires vs the 29er that the Marlin is. I do not want to spend a ton of money on a bike, and this one looks like one that would allow me do hit the trails around my house, and get into the sport at a reasonable price.

So, after reading through so many of the pages in this thread, do any of y'all have any experience with this bike? It gets pretty good reviews online, but I trust the opinions here more. Oh, and what's the best way to negotiate for a bike, or is that a taboo thing to do?
As "Ridge" stated, search CL. Also, eBay. Take your time. The right bike will come along. I've paid 45%-60% of retail on the bikes I've bought off eBay.

Lastly, you really need to get a CamelBak. Get one with a 100oz bladder and fill it only as much as you think you'll need. Figure at least 20oz per hour of riding. They have "NV" models and those are the ones to get, as they're much cooler to wear. Personally, I have a CamelBak Mule NV.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:33 PM   #24389
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Personally, I have a CamelBak Mule NV.
I've got the same one. I found it on line for half what it costs in stores, and it's turned out to be one of the best purchases I've made. It's unbelievable how much water leaves your body as sweat after several hours of riding in the woods.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:41 PM   #24390
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I've got the same one. I found it on line for half what it costs in stores, and it's turned out to be one of the best purchases I've made. It's unbelievable how much water leaves your body as sweat after several hours of riding in the woods.
Ditto, although I did upgrade the reservoir inside to the new "antidote" style. Huge difference in ease of use, maintenance and size. Well worth the money to upgrade.
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