I want to buy a mountain bike and don't want to spend more than $500. I'm considering a Specialized Hard Rock Sport Disc, but am open to other bikes. I'm a complete novice to biking. Is it better to buy a new bike for $500 or to buy a better quality used bike for this amount? What bikes would you recommend?
I recommend the GT Aggressor 3.0. It's listed on GT's website for $370. I recently saw it at a bike shop for only $320. I've owned one for nine years and have put well over 5,000 miles on it. I mostly use it for urban transportation, but I also got some good use out of it riding on dirt trails. I love it.
Don't let someone talk you into buying a mountain bike with disc brakes. Disc brakes are more expensive and unnecessary unless you'll be doing some serious mountain biking through muddy and wet conditions. I can stop on a dime with the Aggressor, which has standard V-brakes.
If you have any specific questions about the Aggressor I'd be happy to answer them. Best of luck.
Last edited by GeraldF; 04-19-13 at 10:40 AM.
Finding a nice used bike on a site like Craigslist, gets you a better bang for the buck. Its just takes some time combing through it everyday as great deals come and go very fast. My friend found a very nice 2009 Felt Virtue 2 for $800.00 on there and I've found a few good deals myself.
Some new bike options (within in your budget) would be...
Airborne Skyhawk - $349.99
Marin Skytrail - $399.99
Motobecane 500HT - $399.99
Fuji Nevada 29er - $399.99 (on sale at Performance Bikes)
GT Avalanche - $349.99 (on sale at Performance Bikes)
Nearly every big company makes a bike in that price range. Lower end gruppos with average forks. The Hardrock Sport wouldn't be a bad place to start either. Just go out to your LBS's and start test riding bikes.