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Old 05-18-11, 09:52 PM   #1
GEOlson
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Bicycle Recommendations

I'm sure recommendations are always being asked, and I hate to be cliche in asking for advice on a new bike. Anyway, I'm considering getting into mountain biking and not quite sure what would be a proper entry level bike. I've got a road bike that I've just started riding regularly for the season again. But I'd also like to have a bike that can go places a road bike can't. I live in Illinois near the Mississippi River, so the majority of terrain is flat or hilly, but not rocky.

My main expectations of where I think I'll be riding are crushed limestone / gravel trails and dirt paths / in the woods. I don't think I'll ever do courses although I've never seen or tried them so I can't say for sure. I've been looking at Treks / Gary Fisher because I already ride one Trek and like it very much. I know other brands like Specialized, Raleigh, Fuji, and Giant a common as well. I didn't know if Diamond Back and GT made as quality bikes.

My favorite local bike shop is also a Trek, Gary Fisher, GT, and Schwinn dealer. I've been in other shops in my area but this one is by far the friendliest and I don't feel a disconnect with the workers. I haven't decided that I need a "Mountain Bike" necessarily, I've looked at Trek's other models like the 7000, Navigator 1.0, and Trek 720. I am trying to keep price in the lower end because I'll need two of whatever bike I get so I can ride with my wife. I know that the 7000 and 720 are more for a paved trail because the tires are 700c x 35, but that could probably be changed, although probably not quite to a 1.9" wide tire. The 7000 also doesn't have a front shock, which I didn't know how important that would be, nor do I know what good (for entry level) is either. Mountain bikes seem to have a lot more components than road bikes and so I don't know much about mountain bike hardware.

I've read across multiple forums about such-and-such bike sucks and to spend more for something nicer... I've mentioned my expected uses and don't think I need something over the top, just a good bike that can take me off the paved road. I'm kind of hoping that $400 would be the MSRP because I'd like to buy a pair of similar bikes.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations and advice!
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Old 05-19-11, 11:26 AM   #2
Nightshade
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Any name brand rigid MTB will do the job for you while not draining your bank account.

Rigid MTB are old school but well proven for what you say you want to do.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:47 AM   #3
GEOlson
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Thank Nightshade, that's what I'll look for. It's just a little tricky location them on websites since the base mtbs have a front fork.

I appreciate your advice!
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