Mountain Biking - another noob needing help
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06-19-09, 01:15 PM
I know you're all probably sick of people asking for your opinions on a first bike, but I really don't know what I should be looking for. I need to stop by the lbs but i'd like to go in there with an idea of what i want. Im 6 ft 175 lbs and looking for a bike to ride around college and also take on some trails, so clearly a hardtail. Im looking at spending no more than 500, since my wife also would like a bike. Between specialized, trek, GF, and giant, is there anything i should avoid or be leary of? does one stand out as the most bike for the money? how about being the most user friendly? thanks
06-19-09, 06:59 PM
I think at that price point the major brands' offerings are pretty similar in terms of frame quality and components. You might find a bit better component or two, or a particular fork, on a given model that makes one a bit better buy, and what's available to you at a given price locally can make one more attractive than another. Still, you'll have to do some research to understand the hierarchy of the components or what forks perform best at that pricepoint. Really won't do you any good to go into a shop thinking you know a lot when you don't (there's a lot to know), let the shops do their sales pitch, sometimes the shop that gives you the most comfort factor and assistance can be important, too. Basic is to get a bike that fits you well, being uncomfortable doesn't work.
06-20-09, 08:10 AM
I think the Cannondale F5 shows some pretty good value.
06-20-09, 08:34 AM
Not to knock high-line bikes and the LBS (I shop at and support mine), but sometimes the paranoia over "what to buy" and the correlation to quality gets comical.
I live in a university town (Tuscaloosa, AL) and there are thousands of students who do perfectly fine with a wally world bike for their four years on campus. They ride them daily, leave them out in the rain and elements, and then throw them away or donate them to charity when finally done with them. A few of those bikes may get an occasional shot of lube on the chain, but my sense is that most of them suffer 100% neglect. But they keep working -- at least good enough to get the kid to class and back, and to the strip on nights and weekends.
My point with this is to say don't obsess on componentry and other such things to the point of making yourself miserable. At your price point the quality is going to be such that any bike you buy at the LBS is going to last you for years. If you really take care of it, it may well be something your own kids can ride. In fact, my college aged kid rides the Specialized Hard Rock that was the first LBS bike I ever bought.
If you buy at the LBS you get the bike, the warranty, probably some initial tweaking and adjustment during break-in, the good will, and an ongoing relationship with a local businessman or woman who shares your appreciation of quality. So I think you are starting off on the correct foot.
Beyond that, find something that fits and then just enjoy the ride!
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