Looking for some help (buying my 1st mtb)

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Looking for some help (buying my 1st mtb)

Viewing 11 reply threads
  • Author
    • #309470

      Hey everyone,


      I’m about to buy my first MTB and I’m looking for a hardtail trail bike. I did a bunch of research and kept coming across “good first trail bike” articles. From those, I’m probably choosing between a Giant Talon 29er 2 (2019 model), the Kona Mahuna, and Rocky Mountain Growler 20.

      I want something that isn’t too crazy in price for a first buy, but I’m also trying to hit trails with decent jump lines and what not. Are these good options and if so, what is the top pick?


      Any help is much appreciated!

    • #309474

      Nice bikes, but I prefer a full suspension bike. Checkout your local bike shop, ask them for advice on what is a decent bike to ride your local trails.

    • #309511

      I think hardtails are best when they come with 29×2.6 tires and modern progressive geometry.  So here’s some you should consider.

      Rocky Mountain Growler

      Specialized Fuze

      Marin Pine Mountain

      Norco Torrent HT

      Salsa Timberjack and Rangefinder

      However, I think you might be happier with a 29er full-sus bike.  You can get some pretty decent full-sus bikes for about $2000

      YT Jeffsy 29 Base

      Trek Fuel EX 5

      The Jeffsy is an amazing bike for the price but you have to assemble yourself.  The Fuel is not quite as well equipped but you can get one at your local bike shop.


    • #309546

      I am not going to suggest a full suspension although I hear many good things about them. Hardtails can do plenty especially as you improve and dial in your suspension and tire pressure. I have a 2017 Salsa Timberjack 29er currently with 2.4 tires but can hold up to 2.6 and the bike can easily be converted to 27.5. I also have 2019 Santa Cruz 27.5 with 2.8 wheels but can hold up to 3.0 tires and also is easily converted to a 29er. Both bikes are very capable and fun in different ways. Both are easily converted to different wheel sizes. Specialized Fuse and Giant Fathom are a couple of other bikes that are similar. These should be close the price range you are looking at. Both my bikes I bought used and got really good deals. My thoughts but there are plenty of others on this site with useful advice.

    • #309582

      I started mtb 2 years ago and hardtail is the way to go for your first mtb. Modern geo is a must. What I’d did was go out for 6 months by myself and kinda learn on my own or if you know of others that have hardtail stick with them first as they can show you how to ride. Which is alot different from full suspension. But you will still enjoy the experience.

      Started with a trek x caliber 7.

      Also have now  2019 stumpy.

      You will have fun you just need to build up endurance to enjoy the bike fully. The last 2 weeks I have been on the hard tail and it’s such I different experience but I great way to start mtb. Hardtail then full sus.

      But remember the more you ride the better you’ll get.


      Hope this helps


    • #309598
    • #309659

      I’m a big fan of the Salsa Timberjack as anything from a beginner bike, all the way to a loaded up trail machine.

      I don’t agree with starting with a full suspension bike. You don’t learn to properly ride a lot of trails and can miss out on a lot of valuable skills. Same reason I suggest starting out on flat pedals. You may spend the rest of your mountain biking days on both, and that would be awesome, but starting on a full suspension bike is a mistake.

      I personally don’t like plus tires for the long term, but beginners might like them for comfort and confidence. If you want higher performance, plus tires just don’t deliver. Versatile bikes like the Timberjack allow you to run a ton of wheel and tire options, have great geometry and respond to upgrades very nicely. Once you put your time in on a hardtail, then move on to a full suspension bike if you choose.

      but they absolutely cost more to do right, take more attention and maintenance. Once you have a solid foundation on how to ride a hardtail, a full suspension will allow you to naturally progress. Suspension should be a tool, not a crutch.

    • #309850

      Good luck with the advice above because it’s all over the map. Needless to say, everybody has their own based opinions. Since you’re new to the sport, you might want to stick with something sold by a local shop for maintenance and potential warranty work. I don’t know much about the bikes on your list but a quick search of reviews from ACTUAL owners shows that most people are pretty happy with their Kona Mahuna https://www.mtbr.com/product/bikes/29er-Hardtail/kona/mahuna.html It definitely looks better specced than the Talon I looked at.

    • #614614

      Go with the fuse


    • #614726

      I built my first real MTB from a Rocky Mountain Growler frame last year and I love it! Great geo, 29ers are great on it, and room for quite a bit of travel. I really think you’re going the right path with a hardtail trail bike.

      Not sure what availability looks like right now, but if you think you want to maintain your bike yourself instead of relying on a LBS, I would highly recommend building up a bike. Hardtails are dirt simple, and building my own made me tons more confident wrenching on it. That said, it takes a ton of research and patience to find parts that will work together, especially with the state of the industry rn.

    • #621856

      Hi! I have Rocky Mountain Growler 20, a very nice model. it can overcome even difficult tracks.

    • #621963

      So did you get a bike?  What did you get?  More importantly, where are you riding?  Making the decision to get out there is more important than the decision of what you get out there on.

Viewing 11 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.