Wife and I want to get into mountain biking a little. Mainly using them for easy trail riding with our kids, paved or gravel, but we both also want to explore some beginner to Intermediate single-track. I tend to study the hell out of things before I purchase so I figured out that I wanted a step up from true entry level. I wanted disc brakes, preferably hydraulic, fork with a lock out and tried to avoid the very bottom of derailleurs etc. I was disappointed to find that even at 700-800 you're still getting Shimano Acera/Alivio's which seem to be near the bottom or their lineup. Both of these have Acera in the front, Alivio in the rear.
I actually ordered a Diamondback off Amazon
, the overdrive sport 29, but while I was in REI
looking for my wife I found this 2013 Cannondale which had it's price cut from $949 to $750ish then put on clearance because the 2014's came in, $553. At first, it was all about the look and that it matched my truck
but it also felt great in the saddle. Canceled the Amazon order.
At a different REI store my wife tried several different bikes, the Navaro Bonita womens bike and the Novaro Terero mens 29er which she like the best. After an hour or two of looking around and riding 3 different bikes a different sales person reminded our guy of the 2013 Raleigh womens 29er they had hanging in the back. For whatever reason she felt way better and in more control on the 29er than the 26" or even the one 27.5" she rode. This one was also marked down from $749 to $650, $550 and then $450. She rode it and liked it the best. Lucky.
I'm amazed at how much markup there is in bicycles, the moment the new years models come in they slash the prices by as much as half. Lucky for us. Good day of shopping and the crew at REI is awesome. 10% more off hers for membering up and free 6mos tune full ups. I have a Cabelas a mile away so almost all of my outdoor shopping is there, the closest REI is 25 miles away.