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Old 05-18-05, 06:53 PM   #1
thaiRONE
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My First "GOOD" Bike

Hi Everyone,

I hope you don't mind answering some questions for somebody new to the sport.

I am looking to get my first good mountain bike. Other then the one my parents bought me when I was a kid from a department store. I have been looking at my local bike shops and the internet and I still cannot come up with a conclusion on what bike to get. I guess I am looking for a few good tips so I can narrow down my search a little faster. So I can get out there and ride.

I am planning to use the bike for commuting to and from work. Actually what I really want to do is hit the trails. So I am looking for a bike that can climb and descend hills with the best of them. The price of the bike would have to be around $1000, I don't really want to pay alot more then that. I talk to people and they have told me that a really good hardtail with good components, rather then getting a okay full suspension bike.

I am just looking for good advice, please help.

-thanks
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Old 05-18-05, 07:14 PM   #2
Good Times
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You can have a blast on a trail, or bombing down a mountain with a hardtail and still take plenty of hits. The full is definatly going to allow you to go bigger and faster as it sucks up the bounce but it will cost you as well. For a grand you can get a great stiffy but a full suspension of the same price will have a lesser set of components. Go rent a hardtail for a ride then rent the full, it will give you an idea what you're in for. Do you leap off off mountains or do you just cruise the trails? It is easy to buy a lot more bike than you need nowadays as everyone is pumping the big suspension but the hardtails are great too. Me I just got a new full suspension and love the change. Its a whole new mountain!!
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Old 05-18-05, 07:18 PM   #3
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im rididng a 1000 doler haro escape 8.2 hardtail and its great, i say go to a local bikestore that oviously doesnt suck, basicly just look about how u htink its gona work long term, cus i strated breaking pieces realy fast after the firs couple months, thats why imn spending about 4 grand on a full in bout 2 weeks
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Old 05-18-05, 07:22 PM   #4
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It all depends on how you want to ride, where you ride and why you want to ride...

If you must commute and ride when you can, get the hardtail - it's lighter (typically) and learning on a hardtail will ake you better on a full-susp

If you ride some rough roads, lots of trails - look at a full-susp, they wear a little more but sometimes the cushion is worth it

If you ride for pure speed - get a hardtail or a short-travel full...both will be really fast (if you push em' ahrd enuf)

If you ride just to stop every five minutes and look at what you just jumped - go ahead and get more suspension, but you will be hard pressed to find something quality for a $1000.

One thing about a hardtail @ $1000: you can always keep upgrading parts little by little if ya need to. You can also do the same with some full-suspension bikes. My first dually was $800. Within two years, I upgraded parts (usually @$200-$300 every 4 months) and before long it was comparable to the newer bikes...although for $800, it wasn't the latest and greatest (it was a single-pivot with a coil shock...however with the new SPV stuff, it seems everyone is building single-pivots again)
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Old 05-18-05, 07:23 PM   #5
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The hardtail idea is smart, get an HQ bike rather than an entry FS.
Commuting, maybe you can do a tire alteration, I run a semi-slick rear to reduce the rolling resistance.
Are there lbs near you? =you need to ride a few bikes and see what works for you.
You also need to figure what size of bike you ride framewise, and decide what type of HT you would like.
Types are XC, All mountain, Freeride. The best for all around might be into XC, the bikes have less travel forks, are ridden with the seat higher and pedaled while sitting.
Most downhill, freeride bikes are run with the seat low, they have long travel forks and you can jump them.
Respected names such as Kona, Trek, Specialized, Brodie all have good bikes, I'd stay with a company that first was a mtb builder.
Marzocchi is the premier suspension fork company.
SRAM is a good drive component company, Truvative also.
Shimano gets a bad rap, but the higher end stuff will do.

You need to run a few frames to see what works for you. Shoot a little lower than your total $$$, to buy a helmet, padded gloves and a bike tool.

Stems can be purchased to get the 'perfect' fit if you don't get it done @ purchase.
Buy from an lbs for the free tuneups, and often they will swap out a component or 2 within reason to get you set. A good lbs relationship is useful, and since you may need some repairs -the place you bought the bike is the best place to go.

The $500 mtb thread stickies should give you some general ideas.
The "around" $500 MTB thread.
http://www.mtbr.com/ has reviews on bikes\products.
Find some bikes, and ask some opinions.

I have no idea WHAT bike you should buy.
Maybe a chromoly one?

Last edited by jeff williams; 05-20-05 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the response.

I went to a lbs and he had a Diamond Back Apex that he recommended me. It was about $800. Does Diamond back make good Mtn Bikes? I remember them as a BMX builder mostly, maybe that has changed. I didn't get to test ride it yet, I should have. What type of components should I to look for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff williams
Commuting, maybe you can do a tire alteration, I run a semi-slick rear to reduce the rolling resistance.
That is a good idea. Do you do that because a semi-slick works better on concrete?

I am going to continue looking and trying bikes at my LBS. This is going to be an exciting. I hope I find the best bike for me.

-thanks
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Old 05-19-05, 10:15 AM   #7
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I didn't know you could get kids from a department store.. 8-) sorry couldnt help myself..
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Old 05-19-05, 10:26 AM   #8
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lol
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Old 05-19-05, 05:05 PM   #9
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I can tell you from personal experience that Diamondback's customer support absolutely sucks. That's why I took back the DB I'd purchased and went to a shop that carried different bikes. The brand of bike a LBS carries will always be "exactly right for you" if you ask them. Shop around to several shops. I ended up with a Trek but that doesn't mean a Trek is right for you. You also have a bit more to spend than I did so you've way more options. Good luck and take your time. A $1000 bike that doesn't fit you will in the end be no better than the dept store bike you already have. Make a solid, informed decision on a bike that fits you..
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Old 05-19-05, 06:29 PM   #10
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Specialized Stumpjumper can be had for around $1100 (depending on lbs). Anyone I know that has one absolutely LOVES it for the trails. Light weight, with a great front shock. As far as a commuter i'm not sure? I'd definitely plan on getting road wheels to change out if you plan to do a significant amount of road riding.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:26 PM   #11
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I will go to my LBS soon hopefully tomorrow after work and check out the Specialized Stuntjumper. I seen it real quick one day when I was out to lunch. It looked like a really nice bike but I didn't have enough time to ride it.

So DB customer service is not that good. That is sad to hear because the man at the LBS was really nice. He explained alot of stuff to me. I guess his best advice was to go and check other places and make sure I found the perfect bike for me. It is just a little intimadating when I do not know all the terms that he was using. When I go into a bike shop I have no idea what I am really looking at as far as parts. which parts are good and which parts are not so good.

I been doing alot of surfing on the internet, I guess I gotta study a little more.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southern91love
im rididng a 1000 doler haro escape 8.2 hardtail and its great, i say go to a local bikestore that oviously doesnt suck, basicly just look about how u htink its gona work long term, cus i strated breaking pieces realy fast after the firs couple months, thats why imn spending about 4 grand on a full in bout 2 weeks

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Old 05-19-05, 11:35 PM   #13
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That cracks me up everytime!
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Old 05-19-05, 11:37 PM   #14
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I should probably not make a blanket statement that DB's customer support sucks, but I can tell you it sucked for me. I'd bought a bike that had lower level components installed than what diamondback advertised. When I called them about it I got the run around for 4 or 5 calls, and then was put thru to a manager. The manager apoligized and stated that they'd made a mistake on their webpage and in their already printed catalogs. He offered to send me a diamonback pump or t-shirt. When I let him know I simply wanted the correct parts as promised in their own literature and on their own webpage, he informed me that ultimately it's my responsibility because I walked out of the store with it.

Anyway, good luck in your search..
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Old 05-19-05, 11:37 PM   #15
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Drugs are bad m'kay?
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Old 05-21-05, 07:01 PM   #16
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Diamond Back sucks. If you ride serious trails you will never see a Diamond Back ridden by any competent biker.

You should easily be able to get into a nice bike in either the Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, Marin lines. Do your research on mtbreview.com and see which bikes get the nod. Every bike maker has a bike in your price target so have fun trying them all out. Seriously, go to every freakin' bike shop you can get to and just ask them what they have in your price. If you want then take notes and come back here to post the details of the bikes you liked and we can advise you as to which has the better components and reputation.

sw
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Old 05-21-05, 07:08 PM   #17
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$1000 and you could build frame up.
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Old 05-21-05, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn

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Sorry, but... Best Picture...ever.
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Old 05-21-05, 10:41 PM   #19
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Oh. you should add Kona to that list as well.
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Old 05-22-05, 12:34 AM   #20
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Sorry, but... Best Picture...ever.
I concur.
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Old 05-22-05, 07:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slago
Diamond Back sucks. If you ride serious trails you will never see a Diamond Back ridden by any competent biker.

You should easily be able to get into a nice bike in either the Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, Marin lines. Do your research on mtbreview.com and see which bikes get the nod. Every bike maker has a bike in your price target so have fun trying them all out. Seriously, go to every freakin' bike shop you can get to and just ask them what they have in your price. If you want then take notes and come back here to post the details of the bikes you liked and we can advise you as to which has the better components and reputation.

sw
So if you get your butt dropped by a guy on a D-Back and he's not competent, what does that make you?
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Old 05-22-05, 10:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
So if you get your butt dropped by a guy on a D-Back and he's not competent, what does that make you?
Do you have a DB? If so, I'm sorry.

Let me clarify: Anybody who is competent, skilled and trained is usually knowledgeable about the available equipment. Those in the know, know what to buy and they don't buy Diamond Back bikes. If you did then you either bought before you knew your ass from a hole in the ground or you are mentally incompetent.

There is that better?
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Old 05-23-05, 09:30 AM   #23
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Hey Everyone,

I just got myself the Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. I haven't had a chance to pick up the bike from my LBS yet because I was so busy this weekend with graduation. I am picking the bike up today! I can't wait, 7 more hours until I get off work.
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Old 05-23-05, 10:09 AM   #24
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Nice, have fun with it and don't forget to post pics!
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Old 05-23-05, 11:05 AM   #25
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I will as soon as I get it.

Man work is boring. I have nothing to do.
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