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Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

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Old 05-24-06, 01:25 PM   #1
tracerit
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Mtn biking looks exciting, should I get a mtn bike first or hybrid?

EDIT: So I've decided on getting a mountain bike first since it's so much more versatile and will suit my needs in the future. I'm pretty much set on a Specialized Hardrock Sport (non disc comp, what is comp anyways?). The bike is $370, a little over my budget. Should a noobie to cycling start off with a bike like this? I pick stuff up quick and will be using this bike to ride on paved roads 80% of the time, and maybe once a week go off road.


I've decided to get into cycling and looked at road bikes, but they turned out to be too expensive for something that i'm just starting to pick up. I then looked at hybrid bikes which are more affordable and was going to get a Trek 7200 but stumbled upon this subforum and i think i'm hooked already. I used to jump off curbs and ride in the grass when i was young haha, it was fun but it's nothing compared to mtn biking as i see it on this forum.

my question is, should i go ahead with a mtn bike right away to ride on the roads (pavement trails actually along a river) then use the same bike for mtn biking? or should i get a hybrid for pavement riding, build up the necessary strength associated with riding (whatever that may be), then get a mtn bike a few months later? or i can just ask, will a mtn bike give the same workout as a hybrid bike? my primary reason to get into riding was to lose some weight, but now i found that it could be more exciting by mtn biking.

Last edited by tracerit; 05-24-06 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:29 PM   #2
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Get a mountain bike. Got a price range?
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Old 05-24-06, 01:32 PM   #3
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Well one thing to think about. A mountain bike can be used on a road or paved trail, a hybrid can't (safely) be used on a trail.

Go with the mountain bike.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:34 PM   #4
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Get a mountain bike. Got a price range?
I'm thinking $200-300 not including the equipment like helmets, camelbak, etc.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:36 PM   #5
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ouch. Well there are a few bikes in that price range. Giant boulder is one, Trek 820 is another.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:48 PM   #6
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It's funny that you mentioned the hybrid. when I first started cycling I thought it would be the perfect compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike. I soon found that the only thing the hybrid did well was commute back and forth to work. It doesn't ride trails well, and not much better on the road than the pure mountain bike. You will have more fun on the mountain bike than the hybrid, hands down. If there is any way to raise about $500.00 you can get into a much more serviceable bike, but as mentioned there are some in the lower price range. Have fun!
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Old 05-24-06, 03:07 PM   #7
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after looking through a few threads, i've decided upon the Giant Boulder and Specialized Hardrock (looks sexy ) The price difference is there, around $150. Here are the stats on both:

Specialized Hardrock http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec

Giant Boulder http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030...sp?model=11393

Also, what is the difference between wheel sizes? Do they vary for performance or rider size?
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Old 05-24-06, 03:10 PM   #8
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My first bike was a hybrid. If I had known more about bikes I would have bought a mountian bike. Hybrids seem to be more for people commuting or taking leisurely rides.
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Old 05-24-06, 03:25 PM   #9
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My first bike was a hybrid. If I had known more about bikes I would have bought a mountian bike. Hybrids seem to be more for people commuting or taking leisurely rides.
Mtbing can be very leisurely aswell, just remember you can take a mtb on road or trails. It may be a tad bit slower on the roads, but its not like your racing or anything.
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Old 05-24-06, 04:42 PM   #10
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Wheel sizes vary for different sized riders or for different disciplines. 26 inch wheels are the most common amongst Mountain bikes, 24 " is used for smaller riders or dirt jump/street riders that prefer the smaller wheel size. 20 " is almost never used, and if it is, it's used in childrens bikes. Although, 20" is often used in Mod Trials bikes.

Tire size is another variable for mountain biking. Larger tires are basically for the more aggressive riders that do DH or Freeride, they usually have between 2.35 and 3" tires. Xc and most entry level MTBs use tires around the sizes of 1.95-2.1.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:38 PM   #11
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I tried a hybrid for a bit. My conclusion: tries to do it all and fails at everything. The geometry was awful for both on and off road and the wheelset and a couple other components were meant for leisurely riding making them unsuitable for off road abuse. Instead of the scale going from road bike to mountain bike with hybrid in the middle, insert "cyclocross" as the median option. So, in my opinion, if you were considering a hybrid and a cyclocross-style bike isn't what you want, go with the mountain bike.

My opinion of expensive and yours may differ (having cycled for a while, that is; any addicting hobby becomes expensive), but you can build a cyclocross bike relatively inexpensively if you don't like the pre-built options or don't want to spend that much just yet.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:49 PM   #12
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If you are considering upgrading in a couple oif months if you like the sport I would advise to save your money and invest in a mt bike you will enjoy. It will serve all your needs and you will enjoy it even more!!
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Old 05-24-06, 07:55 PM   #13
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If you are considering upgrading in a couple oif months if you like the sport I would advise to save your money and invest in a mt bike you will enjoy. It will serve all your needs and you will enjoy it even more!!
is the Hardrock a bike that I will grow out of and find inferior as I increase my experience?
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Old 05-24-06, 09:02 PM   #14
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Eventually you'll grow out of the hardrock skills wise, but that will be a long time down the road. By the time you get to that point you should have a good general knowledge of what you want in a mountain bike, so you will know what to look for then (like a year or more down the road).
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Old 05-24-06, 09:10 PM   #15
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"comp" is short for competition. The HArdrock sport comp is a great first bike!
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Old 05-25-06, 12:36 AM   #16
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The Trek Bruiser 1 looks good too, but I can't find one for sale anywhere, going to call some more LBS tomorrow.
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Old 05-25-06, 01:21 AM   #17
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A used bike might be a good idea too. Go to a local shop and find a bike that feels right to you during a testride. Then check local listings like craigslist to see if anyone's selling one thats a couple years old. Normally, the geometry of the frame doesn't change too much from year to year, just make sure the frame is the right size and doesn't have any major dings.

You can probably find a pretty nice used bike for around $300-$400.
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Old 05-25-06, 04:51 AM   #18
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A used bike might be a good idea too. Go to a local shop and find a bike that feels right to you during a testride. Then check local listings like craigslist to see if anyone's selling one thats a couple years old. Normally, the geometry of the frame doesn't change too much from year to year, just make sure the frame is the right size and doesn't have any major dings.
I always hate it when I read that advice!!! If you have no intentions of buying the bike at the shop don't waste their time test riding their bikes.
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Old 05-25-06, 05:02 AM   #19
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I agree, also i would be happy buying a new bike instead of an old for that price. Everything works and is good on a new bike, with a second hand or year old bike everything would have worn down that extra bit and there could be hidden 'problems'!!
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Old 05-25-06, 05:05 AM   #20
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That might be a way to drive yourself crazy too - the bike shop is going to have new bikes - there might be a lot of really good used MTBs for sale - that you won't see in the bike shop.

Do some reading, figure out how to know if a bike is right - and then check out used ones. Most of the bikes used you can read their specs on line.

I agree with the statement - don't bother with a hybrid unless you are just commuting.
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Old 05-25-06, 06:53 AM   #21
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I agree, also i would be happy buying a new bike instead of an old for that price. Everything works and is good on a new bike, with a second hand or year old bike everything would have worn down that extra bit and there could be hidden 'problems'!!
Also, some shops might have leftovers from the previous model year hanging around that they will usually give a decent discount on.
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Old 05-25-06, 02:48 PM   #22
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just called around asking for a Trek Bruiser1, but none of the stores carry them since they were last year's model. At least one store was honest and told me their sale will begin July when they start phasing out the 06s and bringing in 07s. I can't wait two months though
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Old 05-25-06, 03:39 PM   #23
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Personally? I think you should get the hybrid to start with. You say you'll spend 80% of your time on pavement, makes no sense to get a bike designed to go offroad. If you really take to cycling and want a mtn bike later, then i think you should buy one then. Unless you have immediate intentions of riding trails, then i dont think a mtn bike is the right first bike. I recently picked up a hybrid and its much better than my real mtn bike on the road and is perfect for my commute. Not to mention i dont have to worry about locking it up outside the supermarket.

I worry (well i dont really but you should a little maybe) that you'll buy a bottom of the line mtb bike and outgrow it ability wise and want something better. Sure you can upgrade a good frame, but that gets really expensive really fast and it doesnt seem like you have alot of money to throw at bikes (thats just an assumption, sorry if you do, i mean no offense). If you go the hybrid, you'll have a capable bike for your intended usage right now and in the future, and if you want something more in terms of offroad capabilities you can save for something you wont outgrow.

Whatever you choose, i hope you enjoy it. Good luck.
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Old 05-25-06, 03:53 PM   #24
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I would say, go mountain bike, even if all you do is ride it mostly on pavement for the time being, it'll suffice for that, and when you do decide to start trail riding you won't have to fork over another sum of money to buy another bike, and by the time you start riding off road, you will have money saved by not buying two bikes to upgrade if you choose, or put towards a better bike as your skills increase. I would only recomend a Hybrid if you have NO plans at all of riding trails, and only want a bike to commute and ride paths. Get a mountain bike with the right geometry and you're set.

If you happen to find a Trek Bruiser I would jump on it, I have one, I love it. Just my opinion though
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Old 05-25-06, 04:55 PM   #25
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now i'm thinking that i should go with a used hybrid or road bike because i'm not so sure if i'll go mountain biking enough to justify purchasing a new mtb. i googled the difference between a mtb and a road bike and this guy said that riding a mountain bike on pavement for fitness will have increased pressure on the groin and be more uncomfortable because of the upgright position. i thought that the only major diffference between a mtb and road bike were the tires.

i have not had any success in finding a Trek Bruiser1 in orange county, ca so my next choice would be the Specialized Hardrock. But if the above comment is true, then I might just get a hybrid used.
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