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Old 03-16-06, 08:52 PM   #1
tonylucini
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help please, getting in to the sport, correct bike choice??

ok so i am an adrenaline junkie, and sense i broke my back and arm in december from an all mountain skiing accident im looking for a new sport. im not entirely new to biking, when i was younger i raced BMX bikes so i do have some experience on a bike, i am though for the most part new to mountain biking. and i did read the mountain biking FAQ and it helped alot, but i had a few more quesitons i was hoping i could get answered. im looking for an all mountain bike BTW.

i know that it says that "newbies should never buy a bike online" but you can get SUCH good deals online that its tempting. for example, i have around $500 to spend on a bike, online i can get a used $1000 bike for $500 which overall is used but better correct?? or a new not as good $500 bike. what is the better choice?

thanks
and any other info you think would be good is appreciated
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Old 03-16-06, 09:17 PM   #2
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for all mountain i wouldnt go with a used bike. definatly not over the internet. and since it is your first mtb i would go to a shop and get it. the guys at a good shop are a priceless resource when you are starting out.
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Old 03-16-06, 09:19 PM   #3
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The only way I could see buying your first bike online would be if you could ride the same bike at a LBS to make sure it fit first. And most likely also be able to have it shipped to a LBS to be assembled. The thing about buying a used bike is if you can't actually go to see it it's hard to tell what kind of shape it's in sometimes. I just got a new Fisher Pirahna for $600 and personally I liked that route better than online because now I have a shop I can go to and hopefully form a relationship with. For me I didn't mind sacrificing some quality in components for that but I guess for others it may be different.
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Old 03-16-06, 09:32 PM   #4
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The reason you shouldn't buy online is because fit is more important than componentry, specially on an entry level bike where frame geometry and fit makes the difference and components are pretty much the same. Go to your local bike shop (LBS) and test a few bikes in your range, pick 2 or 3 you really like and come back here.

I really like the Rockhopper (520$) base model, great frame, great geometry (very light, very comfortable, very strong) and the components on it are no slouchs (Judy J3 w/LO), the Hardrock Sport at 380$ is also a popular choice, its frame is strong enough and its geometry is just right to function as a beginner do-all bike (drops, jumps xc, newbie dh/fr) but then again don't worry since every XC bike can be put through 5' drops easily, just not over and over and over and over again.

At 500$ your options are limited and you are most likely to see Acera/RST Gila T6 componentry on sub 400$ bikes while you'll see stuff like Alivio/Deore (The RH has LX) and Judy forks (or Manitou Axels or similar around-100$ forks) on the 500$ price point but all bikes will be similar, it all comes down to which bike is more comfortable to you.

I recommend you try (but don't limit yourself to that alone) the Specialized Hardrock Sport, Specialized Rockhopper, Trek 4500 (the 4300 features the same frame so thats an option too) Gary Fisher Marlin (Or Wahoo), KHS Alite 500 and the entry level HT Ironhorses (I think they are the Warrior line).
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Old 03-16-06, 09:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chone
I recommend you try (but don't limit yourself to that alone) the Specialized Hardrock Sport, Specialized Rockhopper, Trek 4500 (the 4300 features the same frame so thats an option too) Gary Fisher Marlin (Or Wahoo), KHS Alite 500 and the entry level HT Ironhorses (I think they are the Warrior line).
I like the list Chone provided. I would add Giant as another possibility. You should also consider shopping this weekend. If you live in a well-populated area, there may STILL be a few 05 leftovers around at 20-30% below list. Get your savings and a new bike at the same time.
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Old 03-16-06, 10:29 PM   #6
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ok thanks guys
one more question i got when looking at those different types of bikes mentioned online is what size do i want. most of them have sizes from 13" to like 24". is tthe size purely a comfort thing? or is it more than that?
thanks
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Old 03-16-06, 10:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tonylucini
ok thanks guys
one more question i got when looking at those different types of bikes mentioned online is what size do i want. most of them have sizes from 13" to like 24". is tthe size purely a comfort thing? or is it more than that?
thanks
More than that. I'm no expert but, This is where you need an experienced MTB mechanic/sales person to explain it all. But, I know that your seat position, not just up and down, but forward and back, along with stem length and lift and finally, frame size all play a role in how aggressive you can position yourself on the bike. All these factors are important on the trail. Eg., I'm an older rider, so my LBS outfitted me with a smaller frame, with a short high angle stem so that I don't have to lean over the bars as much. If I were younger, I would be upset with that setup! So you need to have your bike set up by a pro. One comment, be sure the frame size is correct, not just the only one the LBS has. A good bike shop will try different frame sizes regardless of the model, then decide what model you want and order it if they don't have it in your size. By all means, demo the bikes as much as possible. I took rides on dirt at the LBS's parking lot and took a couple of 6 inch obsticles to see if I liked the bike.
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Old 03-17-06, 01:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tonylucini
ok so i am an adrenaline junkie, and sense i broke my back and arm in december from an all mountain skiing accident im looking for a new sport. im not entirely new to biking, when i was younger i raced BMX bikes so i do have some experience on a bike, i am though for the most part new to mountain biking. and i did read the mountain biking FAQ and it helped alot, but i had a few more quesitons i was hoping i could get answered. im looking for an all mountain bike BTW.

i know that it says that "newbies should never buy a bike online" but you can get SUCH good deals online that its tempting. for example, i have around $500 to spend on a bike, online i can get a used $1000 bike for $500 which overall is used but better correct?? or a new not as good $500 bike. what is the better choice?

thanks
and any other info you think would be good is appreciated
a really good method of finding the right bike is to go into the bike store with a blindfold on...seriously, you want a bike that has the right geometry and feels go to YOU...not what it looks like or what other people say about it...get the right frame size and you'll love biking
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