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Old 06-01-05, 11:59 AM   #1
dave197878
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just want to know which are the Top 5 or 10 Mt bikes for under 1300.




Bare with me I am new to mountain biking and know next to nothing about it.
I am looking for a decent bike 1000-1300... thinking I might go used I would rather pay 600 used for a 1200 bike if it's in good shape.

I know allot has to do with personal preference and taste but I would appreciate some opinions on the subject so I know were to start what to look for.. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dave197878
just want to know which are the Top 5 or 10 Mt bikes for under 1300.




Bare with me I am new to mountain biking and know next to nothing about it.
I am looking for a decent bike 1000-1300... thinking I might go used I would rather pay 600 used for a 1200 bike if it's in good shape.

I know allot has to do with personal preference and taste but I would appreciate some opinions on the subject so I know were to start what to look for.. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.
You have to first start by stating what you want to use the bike for and provide that here. Then I recommend you head over to MTBR.com to get a good feel on bike ratings.

Anyway, around here the biggest woodies are produced for Kona and Specialized so you'll have to sort of expect bias from individual bike owners.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:45 PM   #3
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We need to know what sort of riding it's for.
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Old 06-01-05, 01:18 PM   #4
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We need to know what sort of riding it's for.

Come on guys. Do we really need to know where and how he's going to be using this? I mean he's new to mountain biking. I doubt highly that he's going to go hucking or freeriding or downhilling. Probably doesn't even know what those are. (No offense if you do dave197878.) Have we become such a facture sport that we can't recommend a bike to a newbie?

Okay Dave197878, here's the skinny. Lurk here for a while and read what people have to say about bikes. The suggestion to go over to MTBR is a good one but take what you read there with a grain of salt. Some of the info is good, some not so good. In the $1000 to $1500 range you are looking at either really good hard tails or mediocre dual suspensions. I do ride Specialized mountain bikes but I have other brands in my garage for my wife and kids.

Look at these lines (In no particular order):

Specialized
Jamis
Cannondale
Trek
Fisher
Giant
Rocky Mountain

I didn't list models because there are so many to chose from. But for any given price point all of the models are going to be similar with minor variations. For instance a Stumpjumper at $1300 is going to be about the same as a Trek 8000. Both are good bikes and they will have about the same component mix.

A dual suspension bike will cost more, weigh more and have a lower component mix than a hard tail. It will also be more forgiving on trails but harder to ride on roads. If you are getting a bike just to begin mountain biking and you don't have a road bike, I'd suggest a hard tail. It's a nice bike for just riding around and it will work well for off-road.

Go pour over the catalogs and have fun. Test ride everything you can get your hands on.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-01-05, 01:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Come on guys. Do we really need to know where and how he's going to be using this? I mean he's new to mountain biking. I doubt highly that he's going to go hucking or freeriding or downhilling. Probably doesn't even know what those are. (No offense if you do dave197878.) Have we become such a facture sport that we can't recommend a bike to a newbie?

Okay Dave197878, here's the skinny. Lurk here for a while and read what people have to say about bikes. The suggestion to go over to MTBR is a good one but take what you read there with a grain of salt. Some of the info is good, some not so good. In the $1000 to $1500 range you are looking at either really good hard tails or mediocre dual suspensions. I do ride Specialized mountain bikes but I have other brands in my garage for my wife and kids.

Look at these lines (In no particular order):

Specialized
Jamis
Cannondale
Trek
Fisher
Giant
Rocky Mountain

I didn't list models because there are so many to chose from. But for any given price point all of the models are going to be similar with minor variations. For instance a Stumpjumper at $1300 is going to be about the same as a Trek 8000. Both are good bikes and they will have about the same component mix.

A dual suspension bike will cost more, weigh more and have a lower component mix than a hard tail. It will also be more forgiving on trails but harder to ride on roads. If you are getting a bike just to begin mountain biking and you don't have a road bike, I'd suggest a hard tail. It's a nice bike for just riding around and it will work well for off-road.

Go pour over the catalogs and have fun. Test ride everything you can get your hands on.

Hope this helps

Generally I would agree with you but what I've found for beginners is that they fall into two types of camps. Those that are more XC oriented or those that are more stunt oriented. My belief is that a newbie who is slighly older (like me - e.g. 35yrs old) is more interesed in XC. A 16 year old is likely more interesed in the bikes that are built for DJ, UA, FR or whatever you want to call that type of bike.

That's why we need to know what dave197878 is interested in because if he's 15 he likely wants something like a Kona Cowan. If he's 35 he likely wants something like a Kona Kula. Obviously he can go against that assumption which is why we want to know what he wants to do with the bike.
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Old 06-01-05, 01:58 PM   #6
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Old 06-01-05, 02:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by santiago
Generally I would agree with you but what I've found for beginners is that they fall into two types of camps. Those that are more XC oriented or those that are more stunt oriented. My belief is that a newbie who is slighly older (like me - e.g. 35yrs old) is more interesed in XC. A 16 year old is likely more interesed in the bikes that are built for DJ, UA, FR or whatever you want to call that type of bike.

That's why we need to know what dave197878 is interested in because if he's 15 he likely wants something like a Kona Cowan. If he's 35 he likely wants something like a Kona Kula. Obviously he can go against that assumption which is why we want to know what he wants to do with the bike.
Well put. Also, he isn't talking about a $300 bike where your options are limited. At 1-1.3 g's, bikes tend to get more specialized. He might opt to get a lightweight wheelset and other components not suited for the rigors of general freeriding. Or, he might want a bike he can huck off the school roof and still stay in one piece.
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Old 06-01-05, 02:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Come on guys. Do we really need to know where and how he's going to be using this?
Yes. What if he decides that he loves FR within the first week of riding? What a waste of money it would be if he bought a light XC oriented bike.
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Old 06-01-05, 02:47 PM   #9
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I don't disagree with any of the posts. This would be a really informative thread if I were just starting out.

I think one thing that does matter is your size.Over 200pounds and you start to loose your ability to go light. I find weight vs discipline is a little more important to start, although knowing how you want to ride might help. Also at a heavier weight there are extra costs to consider. Stiffer springs on the rear shock (on a dually) and the fork itself.

There is a lot to consider. Definately read through some past posts about new bikes and see what interests you. Some things to ask yourself

1 - do you want a dually or a ht. Dually will affect one aspect of performance by generally limiting your ability to go up (for some people) but will help with the learning curve on anything technical. You will generally feel more confidence on the rough stuff as well. A ht is easier to whip around and generally recommended for beginners, but not always. If I were restarting I would go with a dually.
2 - As mentioned your size does matter
3 - Look at the various disciplines within the sport. You might not know exactly how you want to ride to start but you might have a general idea, it helps narrow down the huge number of choices you will be given in that price range.

DJ, DH, XC, FR, Trails, Roads... You do all this with a MTB?

Thats a decent thread of the multiple disciplines. Check out a2's post for some good details
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Old 06-01-05, 03:33 PM   #10
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if you're a big'un (or even medium'un), consider a 29er. they roll.

tutorial here, under '29" wheels':
http://www.fisherbikes.com/fisher101/

and yes, if you're new to it, a used bike is the way to go. you'll have more money left over to change the things you don't like. i'd only recommend new bikes to folks who don't need me to recommend anything - they know what they want.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:39 PM   #11
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Yes. What if he decides that he loves FR within the first week of riding? What a waste of money it would be if he bought a light XC oriented bike.
The alternative is also true. What if he buys a free ride bike and decides in the first week that going up hills would be a fun thing to do My experience with newbies is that they generally don't like the idea of throwing themselves off of stuff a sane person wouldn't throw themselves off of without a bear chasing them! A cross country oriented bike will serve 99% of the population, whether it's a dually or a hardtail. I stick by my suggestions.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:42 PM   #12
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The alternative is also true. What if he buys a free ride bike and decides in the first week that going up hills would be a fun thing to do My experience with newbies is that they generally don't like the idea of throwing themselves off of stuff a sane person wouldn't throw themselves off of without a bear chasing them! A cross country oriented bike will serve 99% of the population, whether it's a dually or a hardtail. I stick by my suggestions.
Point taken. Good form.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:44 PM   #13
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and yes, if you're new to it, a used bike is the way to go. you'll have more money left over to change the things you don't like. i'd only recommend new bikes to folks who don't need me to recommend anything - they know what they want.
I'd really suggest the other way around. I know how to look at a bike and see if it's been abused, someone new to the sport may not. I also know what needs to be changed and how to change it. A newbie will have to spend lots of money to have someone else change out all the stuff that needs fixin'.

New bikes don't need all that and they come with warranties!
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Old 06-01-05, 03:48 PM   #14
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Point taken. Good form.
I understand your point too. Whatever he chooses at $1300 he's headed into sweet territory! I usually have to deal with suggestions to cheapskates who want bikes like mine for $200. Ain't gonna happen
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Old 06-01-05, 04:23 PM   #15
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I'd really suggest the other way around. I know how to look at a bike and see if it's been abused, someone new to the sport may not. I also know what needs to be changed and how to change it. A newbie will have to spend lots of money to have someone else change out all the stuff that needs fixin'.

New bikes don't need all that and they come with warranties!
It's true, but...
  • There are tons of used bike deals out there. Find a friend to help look. Find one that doesn't need much/any fixins.
  • It's cheaper to tailor a used bike to your desires/fit/uses.
  • Without maintainence a $1300 bike can become a $1300 POS. If you know maintainence, learning to wrench difft parts of the bike isn't so hard.
  • There are shops that sell used bikes and stand by 'em.

YMMV. I'd say that for most hobbies - start small. Get something decent and all-around, and see if you like it. See what you want to change about it. Of course, going out for a new $1300 bike and later abandoning it just leaves me more used bike deals to choose from...

If you don't have an ounce of DIY in you, look for a good LBS over a good bike. A good shop will have good bikes, but your relationship with the shop will be more important than one model or another.
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Old 06-03-05, 12:39 PM   #16
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Thanks for our help guys.. If you need a lil more info I am looking for a hard tail bike.

I am 27 5'10 190 and I would be riding on cross country type trails some steep hills.. As I said i am inexperienced but would like to start off with something decent..
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Old 06-03-05, 01:15 PM   #17
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Thanks for our help guys.. If you need a lil more info I am looking for a hard tail bike.

I am 27 5'10 190 and I would be riding on cross country type trails some steep hills.. As I said i am inexperienced but would like to start off with something decent..
Good info. With a budget of $1300 you're looking as some pretty decent hardtails. I would be tempted to try out the Kona Kula but I would take a serious look at a Specialized Stumpjumper or a Specialized Rockhopper Pro disk.

Either way, find your LBS (local bike shop) and see what they carry. Ask to try out the bikes and go with the one that feels the best.
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Old 06-03-05, 01:34 PM   #18
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Here is a list of hardtails in no particular order for +/- $1000
You might consider keeping $1000 for the bike and a bit left over for some extras(there are always extras)


Kona Cinder cone List $850
Kona Caldera $1000
Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc. $1,100
Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc. $900
Specialized Stumpjumper $1,300
Trek 6700 $1,100
Giant XTC $1,000
Gary Fisher Hookooekoo $920
Gary Fisher Xcaliber (29er) $1270

Consider new 2004 models. You can get a good discount on a brand new year old bike
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Old 06-03-05, 02:05 PM   #19
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Here is a list of hardtails in no particular order for +/- $1000
You might consider keeping $1000 for the bike and a bit left over for some extras(there are always extras)
Consider new 2004 models. You can get a good discount on a brand new year old bike
Unfortunately you are probably in the "average" size frame which means that all the good 2004 deals are long gone. Now if you were able to shorten yourself by say 10", you could find some really sweet deals
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Old 06-05-05, 08:18 AM   #20
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Unfortunately you are probably in the "average" size frame which means that all the good 2004 deals are long gone. Now if you were able to shorten yourself by say 10", you could find some really sweet deals

lol.. ya.. I might be able to pull that off.. any one got a saw..
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Old 06-05-05, 04:32 PM   #21
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lol.. ya.. I might be able to pull that off.. any one got a saw..
I got the saw. It's the putting it all back together after that gets kinda involved. Want nails or screws?
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