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Old 09-25-02, 06:52 PM   #1
jgarner
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Need help getting started mountain biking

I am new to this and I would like to know what is a good inexpensive bike to start with. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-25-02, 06:57 PM   #2
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A little kids bike with training wheels.
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Old 09-25-02, 07:02 PM   #3
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I am sure you keep a lot of members here by giving immature remarks like that.
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Old 09-25-02, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by jgarner
I am sure you keep a lot of members here by giving immature remarks like that.
You are correct. Just ignore him.
Several people have asked that question in the past. You might do a search or just browse through some of the past threads. I remember that a few people have bought a Giant Rainier. A really good bike for the money. Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-25-02, 07:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply man. I did not even think of doing a search.
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Old 09-25-02, 08:08 PM   #6
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It will depend on how much you would like to spend. When you say inexpensive, are you thinking around 200 or 300USD or more like 600 to 1000USD? Inexpensive will be relitive to your income. If you get up around the $500 mark then you will be able to get a very decent hardtail with good components. Most of the manufacturers have HT's in that range, you just need to find one that fits.

Slainte
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Old 09-25-02, 11:13 PM   #7
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Inexpensive means different things to different people. The Giant Rainier is around $700 US, which seemed like a lot to me when I started my own search for a bike, but now seems mid-level. As others have noted, it is a good bike and even comes with disc brakes (not neccessary for a hardtail, but extra capability never really hurts). The major companies all make bikes ranging from $300-$1500 for hardtails and price does have a definite effect on quality and performance.
Some of the more popular brands you might look at are Giant, Specialized, Trek, and Gary Fisher. Chances are there are bike shops in your area that deal these brands
Two important things I would look for in a bike:
1 - Comfort: the bike should fit and feel "right" so that riding is enjoyable
2 - Warranty: most bikes come with a lifetime warranty on the frame. Also see what kind of service your bike shop offers with a purchase. Mine had a free tune up, free "service bucks" and a discount on labor for upgrades.

For information on specific bikes, go to http://mtbr.com. You'll be able to find owners' reviews on just about every bike out there. It was a huge help when I was doing my search.
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Old 09-26-02, 02:03 AM   #8
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Don't take KleinMp99 too seriously. He's apparently young 'un with an axe to grind when it comes to newbies.
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Old 09-26-02, 03:00 AM   #9
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Mid range ($500-600) bikes good value, and are all pretty rideable. At this range, a little extra cash can buy a lot more bike. Ive done difficult technical trails on a Trek 800 (non suspension model); its not the flashiest bike around, but what a blast.
More important is to find a good bike shop, because you will be going back for servicing , tuneups and repairs. A good shop will also ensure that the bike fits you well.
Also budget for some basic equipment, helmet, gloves, bike shorts, small repair kit. Other bike-specific clothes are more nice-to-have than need-to-have, but these 3 are definately "need".
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Old 09-26-02, 09:36 AM   #10
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If you stick to good brands like what was mentioned above you'll get a good frame. Look through the yellow pages and see what brands you local bike shops (LBS) carry. Generally those will be the ones to consider.

GT and Schwinn are now owned by Huffy (or the company that owns Huffy), so some shops are either dropping them or are limiting what they carry (partly due to parts availability). Schwinn still sells good high-end bikes, but these will likely be out of your price range.

After the frame, you need to look for component quality. The manufacturers all pick from a similar pool on components. Shimano drivetrains (derailleurs, chain) and shifters are very popular, but you have to pick the level. Acera is a general use level, Deore is a higher grade, with LX, XT and XTR levels to divide it up (these are all by Shimano).

SRAM makes the GripShift, which used to be considered a low-end option. But many skilled riders are finding that they like shifting with them. GripShift is a gear shifter that spins on the handlebar, rather than a set of levers that you pull with your fingers. Many riders fear that, bouncing along the trail, you will accidentally shift often. But the design seems to prevent this pretty well. You'd have to try it to know for yourself, but many bike stores won't let you take a bike on a trail to test it - but ask anyway!

Starting out, you can do well with LX components (if you go for Shimano, which is a fine choice) or, dare I say it, Acera. Don't feel like you have to spend for XT or XTR because others are. There are cheaper options than Acera, so it's not low-end, just the low end of what you should consider for MTB'ing.

You will run into brand snobs who look down their nose at a bike with anything less than XTR components. Ignore them! Drivetrains wear out, so you'll need to replace it anyway in a few years. Being new, you'll need time for your skills to improve. So pay a little less now, beat it up as you fall and improve, then upgrade when the parts wear out and your skills warrant it.

For brakes, the V-brakes are very common, with disc brakes being an expensive extra on higher-end bikes. V-brakes used to be the high end and they have, and still do, stop tires for the best riders well enough. If you get serious about riding, then you can consider discs, but not now.

After that, think about the front suspension. Rock Shox, Manitou and Marzochi make good ones. Stay away from Suntour, RS or any other shock you'll find on the cheapest bikes. As with the drivetrain, you don't need the best shock you can find starting out, but it should be a good all-around performer. You'll probably find a Rock Shox Judy TT on $500 bikes. Above that, the bikes might offer a Rock Shox Duke or Psylo. The Judy TT is a fair shock for mtb'ing, but it's at the low end. Being new, you'll probably be fine with it. If you want a good, quality shock, the Marzochis (such as their Bomber shocks) are first rate.

Think about the time you want to put into the sport. If you might get discouraged after falling and getting a few cuts on your shins, then an expensive bike is too much. If you're willing to take the punishment to improve, and you have time to get out often, then a more expensive bike could be worth it.

Who knows, you might find that other distractions (girlfriend, job, baseball games, ...) keep you off the trails more than you expect. So don't pay for a Lexus until you know you'll get your money's worth.
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Old 09-26-02, 01:29 PM   #11
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Try VINER
http://www.rlaenterprises.com/cycling/viner/index.html
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Old 09-26-02, 01:46 PM   #12
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i dont know that many bikemanufacturers, but i just got a nice 800$ 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara with Disc Brakes. I think its a good buy for all the components you get. Definitely an improvement over the 2002 GF Tassajara from what i can tell. Better saddle and Rock Shox 80mm.

-c
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