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Discussion Starter #1
For the people who like to cut to the chase, I'm considering a 29er MTB, possibly one of the 2011 Giant Talons, or a Specialized Hard Rock Sport.

Now some background information that helps inform you about what might work or not work for me:

Okay, so 25 years ago I bought my first "real bike." I looked it up recently,and it was a 1985 Trek 300. I road it a lot in the beginning, but then we started having kids, and I started putting on weight, and after awhile it felt skittish under me. I wound up not riding it for years, and I sold it about 15 years ago. I'm 5'9" (male) and weighed around 155 when I bought it. Within 5 years I was over 200, and just a few months ago I was 270.

I've recently made a new commitment to my personal fitness (something about the being 100 or more pounds overweight,and hitting 50 years old that woke me up). I've dropped 50 pounds and plan to drop at least 50 more, and I want to start biking again.

I'm very active in boy scouts with my boys, and do camp, raft, canoe, hike...

I live in South Florida and have access to decent (but always busy) roads, and some nice trail riding at various parks. Two weeks ago I was thinking "hybrid." And two shops were pushing me towards the Trek 7300, and a third was mentioning the Specialized Crosstrail.

As I've done more research (including reading/lurking in this bike forum and a couple of others, and reading lots of bike reviews) I don't think a hybrid is what will work best for me. I went and visited 4 more local bike shops and got more to think about.

The hybrids just won't work for the trails at the parks around here. There's some really nice off-road trails, and you need a mountain bike. All 4 shops I visited today were unanimous about that. However, I would like it to be an all-purpose bike, where I could ride on paved paths/roads, and possibly do some longer road rides as my son works on the cycling merit badge.

I have a friend that owns a K2 mountain bike from Sports Authority for trail riding, but he realized after putting 23 miles around town he needed another bnike and he bought a K2 hybrid and loves it. On the other extreme, I have a friend who bought a Cannondale Bad Boy hybrid, did a lot of road riding (about 70 miles a week, with 50 milers on weekends) and he recently sold that and bought a more expensive aluminum Cannondale road bike (I think it's the CAAD9 4).

I don't want to buy two cheap bikes, and I can't afford two good ones right now. I have a feeling I might do more trail and recreational riding, with the occasional road ride thrown in. I'm not interested in competing or racing, just having fun riding.

Sorry for being long-winded, but I wanted to give any of you experts, some background information.

One of the salespeople (and a friend of mine, another scouter who is a firefighter, but used to work at a bike shop his dad owned) said that you could get a mountain bike and change the tires for the different ride you're going to do.

So that's how the 29ers came into play. I test rode the Giant Talon2 today, and it felt great under me...in the parking lot. I test rode a Specialized Hard Rock Sport 29, and I don't like the shop. The sales guy just pulled it off the floor and rolled it out the door for me, while the Giant sales guy took it to the back and checked the tire pressure, adjusted the seat height for me, rode it himself once around the parking lot to make sure it was riding right, then gave me a quick inservice on the shifters. While riding the Specialized when I coasted with one leg up and one leg down, my thigh would rub against the seat stay.

I actually liked two of the shops today, (and they both are Giant dealers...coincidence???) They told me I could buy 700c tires, in the 35-45 range and switch them out for road riding. The front suspension locks, and the seat post is quickly adjustable for a trail vs. a road riding position. I would think of adding end bars to offer a little variation in hand position.

Some specs on the Talons: Both have disc brakes, 100mm suspension forks, both have SRAM trigger shifters and rear derailleur. The Talon 1 is about $150 more, and for that, key upgrades include hydraulic rather than mechanical disc brakes, an upgrade on the suspension fork to an SR Raidon 29, a front derailleur upgrade from a Shimano Alivo to a Deore, the trigger shifters and rear derailleurs upgrade to a SRAM x.5, as well as an upgraded hub and wheelset.

First question, Am I out of my mind to try and make this MTB a road worthy bike by simply buying a second set of tires?

Second question, are the upgrades on the Talon 1, worth spending $150 more?

Third question (kind of piggybacking on the first), should I consider just buying a cheaper MTB, and see if a decent used road bike ever becomes available?

If you're still reading this, I thank you, and I look forward to any input.
 

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How "hard core" are the trails youre talking about riding? Would a cyclocross bike work? Able to go off road, but does well on the road, too, especially if you're running 700/ 30-32 tires on it. Changing tires is a pain - I have 2 wheelsets so I don't have to change tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've never been on the trails. I've heard them described. They are ranked beginner, intermediate and advanced. I know they are about 10 miles of single-track trails and can get very technical. These trails are at the eastern edge of the Everglades, and there's lots of limestone rocks, packed sand, bridges, some short but challenging climbs and drops, some skinnies.

The first guy who was recommending this bike rides these trails, and I was talking to him about two different wheelsets. The 2nd Giant dealer was recommending just changing tires. I'm thinking just changing the wheelset would be easier.
 

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If the trails are intermediate to advanced, a mtb would be better. I'm not familiar with the Talon - I don't think you're crazy to make this a multipurpose bike for the trails and the roads. I have friends who have full suspension mtbs, and they have said that even fully locked, you're still going to have motion in the bike that you wouldn't on a road bike. Is a hardtail an option for you? I would also say go with the lightest weight bike you can get, as that will make it easier to ride on the roads.

From experience, get the second wheelset :) Is it "necessary"? Of course not! But it sounds like you'll be switching between the different riding styles frequently enough to justify having that second set.
 

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Ridin Dirty
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I ride my MTB on the roads all the time, no biggie.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the trails are intermediate to advanced, a mtb would be better. I'm not familiar with the Talon - I don't think you're crazy to make this a multipurpose bike for the trails and the roads. I have friends who have full suspension mtbs, and they have said that even fully locked, you're still going to have motion in the bike that you wouldn't on a road bike. Is a hardtail an option for you? I would also say go with the lightest weight bike you can get, as that will make it easier to ride on the roads.

From experience, get the second wheelset :) Is it "necessary"? Of course not! But it sounds like you'll be switching between the different riding styles frequently enough to justify having that second set.
Talon 29er 1 (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

The Talon is a hardtail.
 

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First question, Am I out of my mind to try and make this MTB a road worthy bike by simply buying a second set of tires?

Second question, are the upgrades on the Talon 1, worth spending $150 more?

Third question (kind of piggybacking on the first), should I consider just buying a cheaper MTB, and see if a decent used road bike ever becomes available?
input.
i ride a mountain bike on mix of roads trails paths dirt mud grass etc for 8 hours a day and love it (most of it on sidewalks and pavement)

i dont think the upgrades are worth it (to me anyway) but the hydro disks are kinda neat... had a guy tell me the x.5 is an upgrade from what the x.4 was basically the same set up just faster and smoother and allows for a 9 spd rear
 

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Younger than Hack
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I ride only a mtb I got it due to the roads being narrow and figured it could handle it better if I was forced off by a car. It is a Cannondale F4 with 26x 2.10 Kenda Nevegal tires on it. When I ride the roads I kick the pressure up a bit and when I am out on the trails I drop it just a bit. That way I am decreasing the rolling resistance on road and getting the benefit of the tire conforming more to the trail while off road. I have zero complaints about the set up. I enjoy both ride situations. And I feel that I am getting good exercise out of it in both areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm probably going to buy a Jamis Quest

Reynolds 631 tubing
Shimano 105 gruppo, with Ultegra rear derailer.
Mavic Aksium wheels
About $1,300

2010 JAMIS BICYCLES - QUEST
 

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that is a nice looking bike. But I am surprised, judging from your earlier posts I would think that you would have gone with a bike from bikesdirect.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Actually, I really didn't want to buy my first road bike since 1985 online if I could at all help it. I wanted to find a local shop that supports me, although I do have a friend that's a good bike mechanic. I was more worried about fit on a road bike, and keeping it dialed in, as I know I'll spend a lot more time in the saddle of a road bike than my mtb.

I have had some issues with some of the local bike shops (and one bad experience prompted a mini-rant thread), and many of the local dealers have stopped carrying Jamis for some reason. But there bikes have always been high on my list. So I was really pleased when I was able to find a shop that still carried them, was well-stocked on them, and was offering some good discounts.

Now for my next bike, maybe a bikesdirect bike, who knows. One purchase at a time!
 

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My last bike purchase was made online. Does craigslist count? Well like I said earlier that is a nice looking bike. I wish you many happy miles:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My last bike purchase was made online. Does craigslist count? Well like I said earlier that is a nice looking bike. I wish you many happy miles:)
Thanks. Yeah, my last bike purchase was made online through bikesdirect.com (the Motobecane Fantom 29). But my next one (maybe tomorrow, my wife has said) will be local.

I'm excited.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Because I know it doesn't really exist without pics:

Here it is:
2010 Jamis Quest
(stock configuration)
631 Reynolds air hardened size specific tubing
Carbon fork
Shimano 105 front derailer
Shimano Flight deck compatible brifters
Shimano Ultegra rear derailer
Mavic Aksium wheels
Vittoria Rubino 700x25s








 

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:thumbsup: What? Didn't ride it home? :rolleyes:

Nice bike btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
:thumbsup: What? Didn't ride it home? :rolleyes:

Nice bike btw.
I should have had my wife drop me off at the shop, although it is about a 15 mile ride, since I haven't ridden a road bike in over 15 years, the heat and the distance would have worked against me. The South Florida weather is usually around 91-94 degrees in the afternoon with high humidity.

Riding to the shop and back would be a decent 30 mile ride though.
 
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