Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Suburban Kansas City, MO
Bikes: 08 Spec Sequoia Elite, 98 Spec Hardrock Sport, 04 Spec Stumpjumper, 93 Burley Rock n Roll, 11 Trek Transport
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I wouldn't worry about brand too much. I'd focus more on components, especially the fork if you're getting a MTB.
Check Craigslist for something used. I don't think $700 buys you a very good MTB new. For your weight and height, I'd want a susp fork with 32mm stanchions, something like a Rock Shox or better...and I'd be a bit leery of the cheaper 28mm stanchion, lower end fork stuff out there. I'd also want some tough rims. I don't think you can get into something like that for 7 bills new, something that would be tough enough for you. I'm not a big fan of cheap suspension forks. I'd guess you'd be around $1000 to get a new MTB with a decent fork. Someone may re-educate me on that.
If you aren't familiar:
However, for that money used, I bet you can find a good used bike that cost a lot more than that amount new, and is of higher quality but a couple seasons old.
If you go new, REI has a ridiculously good return policy, that might be something to consider. The REI here locally is having their big garage sale this Saturday. I don't know if they have bikes in that, but if they do, good time to score a deal. They have 20% off coupons and sales on bikes pretty regularly, and the coupons are good on Novara bikes sometimes.
Last edited by syncro87; 06-12-14 at 02:49 PM.