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  1. #1
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    MTB under $200.00

    Hello,

    I'm a 33 yr old guy shopping around for an inexpensive bike and i need your expertise and suggestions. I will be using the bike on weekends on park trails only and in my neighborhood parks. I prefer one with the classic frame so there's a place to put my Water Bottles...


    so, Which brand is the best buy for under $200.00 ?


    Huffy
    Mongoose
    GT
    Murray
    Fuji
    used expensive bikes like Trek, Cannondale etcetera...


    I went to Target, Walmart, Kmart, Sports Authority and Ebay but i can't decide which one to get. I have not been to any Local Bike Shops but i planned on visiting one.


    Any suggestion is much appreciated.


    Thanks.
    SST_DefiantED
    SST ALLIANCE

    Live ForEver SST

  2. #2
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    go with the used... from a good owner who's taken good care of it. those department store bikes are just plain painful. my body was a wreck after renting one from a cheap bike shop one weekend.
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  3. #3
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    $200 isn't much of a budget for a "real" mountain bike, certainly not a new one, so keep your expectations in line.

    A lot will depend on your riding intentions.

    1. Around town riding.
    2. Dirt roads and bike paths.
    3. Trail riding.
    4. Single track and technical off-road riding.

    You get the idea.

    The more you plan to ride and the more demanding your riding style and terrain, the more bike you'll need.

    A $200 new bike won't last long off road, and it will be painfully heavy. However, it will be fine around town for a few years.

    A $200 used bike might be better, but you'd better bring an educated friend along to help evaluate any prospective purchase.

    If you can up your budget to $500 to $700 you can get a true, entry level MTB that may be worthy of upgrades in the future, and will be moderately trail ready off the showroom floor.

    Also, keep in mind that the "big box" retailers have notoriously poor service and mechanical ability. Best go to your LBS, spend more and get a much better bike and establish a relationship.

  4. #4
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I work at sears and we used to sell bikes. One guy got out in the parking lot, hopped a curb and the front wheel came off (he's now suing our store). Moral: don't work retail. Oh, and don't buy department store bikes if you want to have a reliable ride. Huffy, murray, mongoose, etc. are built to minimize cost, which means they use cheap alloys, cheap components and cheap labor, plus have little or no warranty. They will last you a little while, but can't really be upgraded, are heavy, and don't operate nearly as smoothly or efficiently as bike shop bikes.
    I strongly advise asking your local bike shop about used bikes. They give it a look over and usually tune them up for you. The frames are way more durable and the components more reliable.
    On the other hand, increasing your budget a little bit can get you a new bike. When you visit the LBS, look at the lower end new bikes. I know the trek 800 is a rigid (no-suspension) for around $250 (US) new, and the 820 is a hartail (front suspension) for just under $300. These are steel framed bikes that would probably fit your proposed riding style, but don't give you a lot of room to grow.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  5. #5
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    oh, my god. Clear anything you decide to buy here.
    Jeff

  6. #6
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by iamlucky13
    When you visit the LBS, look at the lower end new bikes. I know the trek 800 is a rigid (no-suspension) for around $250 (US) new, and the 820 is a hartail (front suspension) for just under $300. These are steel framed bikes that would probably fit your proposed riding style, but don't give you a lot of room to grow.
    I've looked at both of these bikes - and the frames are the same as the entry level Giant Boulder / Boulder SE and components are the same sort of level, so if you can get a deal on one make go for that over the other.

    They'll certainly cope with town riding or dirt paths well enough. The components are basic - work reasonably well but won't last with hard use, but are also cheap enough to replace if they break. The frame is a little heavy, but better than most at around this price.

    I wouldn't go any lower in price than this, and would recommend going a little higher if you can. If you can go a little higher concentrate on getting a reasonable frame, that way if you get into riding you can simply upgrade the components to suit more strenuous use.

    Now's a good time to be buying in that the new years models are just coming out and you might get a deal on last years paint job.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Freerider's Avatar
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    well, all i can suggest is try to buy your bike from a local bike shop. Retail bikes dont last long. If your searched through a GT or Mongoose site very hard im sure you can find a bike for 200 or under.
    Its not the bike, Its the Rider!

  8. #8
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Buy used, it's the only way you'll get something that won't fall apart for $200. I'd also suggest only getting something you can test ride (no eBay) so you can see the quality and make sure it fits (very important). Check classifieds, pawn shops and local bike clubs (like MORE in MD).
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  9. #9
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    I recently purchased a Trek 820 for 269.00 new (2002 model) If you can pop for the extra 70 bucks, it has been a good buy for me. I ride rail trails and gravel roads, and it handles these fine.

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