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Old 09-04-02, 05:49 PM   #1
Schwartzman
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Mountain bike for beginner

What type of bike would you recommend for a beginner? I am looking to spend about $300 and would like a mountain bike with versatility...a bike that I can do some use on the road with and do some entry level mountain biking as well.
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Old 09-04-02, 06:37 PM   #2
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Try looking at some used bikes. A 2 year used bike at $700 will last longer than a new $300 bike... and you get to ride the used one harder
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Old 09-04-02, 06:44 PM   #3
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I would agree. Although if you are looking for new I know Norco, Kona, Giant and Specialized have decent bikes in that price range. 300 american works out to 500 or cdn. Yep there is a good selection of hardtails in that range.

Personally I never buy used bikes. Frames yes but I hate replacing parts on bikes when you can't really tell what is blown or not.
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Old 09-04-02, 07:11 PM   #4
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If you buy used buy it from a friend, know the bike history. My last two bikes have been used from my friends and in turn re-sold them to other friends. saved tons of money.
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Old 09-04-02, 07:31 PM   #5
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The problem with buying used is that it is very difficult to evaluate a used bike without a fair amount of experience. Even if you are very shrewd, you still don't know how the bike's history and you are always taking a chance.

Stop into a local bike shop or three and see what they have available in your price range. The fact of the matter is that the brand really does not matter that much, especially at your price point. The bikes will be very similar in quality, so you should make your decision mainly on how the bike feels to you. I'd look for a rigid frame and fork if one is available or, failing that, a hardtail (rigid frame and front shock). Remember, if money is going into a suspension then it is coming off of somewhere else, which is why I would very strongly recommend against a full suspension.

Now, having one bike to ride on- and off-road is going to be a small compromise. Knobby tires really slow you down on the road. If the trails you are exploring are hardpack, then I would recommend putting on something like a 2.0" slick or semi-slick, balancing your choice of tire profile against how you split your riding time. MTB gearing will be too low to race on the road but it should be enough for most riding and commuting. If you think you will be on the road a lot more than off then you might also want to consider a hybrid.

You should be evaluating the shops as well, since you will want to have a place to go to if you have a problem and when you need an adjustment made, which you inevitably will. Most shops will give a free adjustment after about 30 days to fine tune things as they have 'bedded in'. They should be making sure that the bike fits you and not simply pushing the remaining sizes they have left over from the summer. Also, they should be willing to make minor adjustments to the riding position to help 'dial it in'. You should be able to get a good price at this time of year so don't feel a need to rush into a sale.

I'd recommend staying away from department stores and especially the full suspension bikes which they carry. Besides using inferior components [the 'Shimano' label notwithstanding], they typically are not always very well assembled and usually require adjustments to even be considered safe, let alone comfortable. Beyond selling you the bike or accepting it's return, department stores are of no help to new riders and this is the difference a good bike shop makes which you should not underestimate as a newer rider.

Do some reading at http://www.sheldonbrown.com and consult the glossary ( http://www.sheldonbrown.com/glossary.html ) for any terms relating to bikes which require explanation. Also, don't hesitate to come back here with more questions before you settle on something.

Last edited by bikerider; 09-04-02 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 09-05-02, 09:43 AM   #6
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Almost every decent bike manufacturer has an entry level mountain bike below the $300 price point. Go to ALL your local bike shops (LBS) and test ride as many as you can. Buy the one that "FEELS" best, even if it's not the best deal. If it's the one that fits best, it'll be the long term "DEAL".

Also, don't buy last year's closeout model in the wrong size, same reason. If it doesn't fit, you won't ride it and you'll have wasted all your money! A bike is like a car, the minute you buy it and take it out of the store, it's worth 1/2 as much if you try to sell it!

Also, don't be blinded by a full suspension X-Mart bike. They're junk, and heavy. A $300 bike shop bike is far superior, professionally assembled and available in different sizes to fit you!
Plus, it usually carries a warranty and maintained by bike mechanics, not stock boys!

L8R

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