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  1. #1
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    Newbie needs help choosing bike

    Hi,

    I've been riding on the street for years mainly for exersize. Now i want to start mountain biking for the same reason, but also for the view ! Let it be known that i'm an old guy i don't want a killer bike and i'm not into having the hot setup and all that. I just want something that will hold up and perform simple tasks well, IE: shifting without a world of problems. I also want a front disc on a full suspension bike. Other than that i don't care about having the lightest bike on the trail or any of that. In fact, the street bikes i have always bought were always under $300 and worked fine. As i said, i'm mainly into exersize.

    Anyway, i want to spend as little as possible, probably no more than $700. (less would be nice too!!) So far the one bike that appeals to me the most in my range is the Schwinn maob DS2. Any opinions of it would be appriciated. Trek is out of the question by the way, so don't bother recommending them. I had 2 and they were both basket cases very quickly, so i'm very gunshy there.


    So any recommendations would be appriciated, along with some opinions on the MOAB. Oh, and one more thing....what size would be best for my 5'9" frame? 17"?

    Thanks all......

  2. #2
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    Hmmm...it seems as though with your choice for a Schwinn, might put you in a league you may not want to be in. Schwinn is not the company of old. They are now sold through such retailers as Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and I think Target. What this means is that they are much more over-produced, made more cheaply, and as a result are not really a great choice per se. The other problem is that usually in these stores the bikes are put together(unless you do it yourself) by someone who may or may not know anything about bikes. With this being said, if you did encounter a problem then mostly likely you would have to take it to a real LBS (local bike store) to get work done on it. I really wouldn't trust a Wal-Mart employ to properly bleed disc brakes, or true my tires. Just an opinion.

    With all this being said, you may want to go that route if you are really not sure what you want, and just want it for some weekend warrior stuff. I can understand the draw of a 100-300 pricetag. And Schwinn used to make really good bikes prior to the big sale. I own myself a 1998 Moab hardtail frame which is like steel and can take a beating.

    I would check though some online reviews such as MTBR.com. For $700 you can get a decent entry-level bike, without the whistles. Here are some good bikes in your price range:

    Fuji Discovery 2: retail $479.00
    Diamondback Coil SS: 549.00
    Giant Warp DS3: 550.00

    check out the websites for these models and see what you like, and where dealers are. Best to test ride bikes, as I'm sure you know. Hope this all helps!

    Ah forgot to add. Disc brakes at that price bracket are going to be a little fuzzy. Any good set is going to cost at least 2-300 dollars so, most bikes until you break 700+ don't even bother with them. Is there a reason why you want them? TO tell you the truth, my current set up I don't have them and have never experienced any problems, I hear that some people experience slipping, but only in extreme conditions (ie.-mud, wetness, etc). For your riding though, they might not be cost effective for the range you are wanting.
    Last edited by MuddyRabbit; 01-30-03 at 02:03 AM.

  3. #3
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    MuddyRabbit has made some excellent points. Decent Full Suspension bikes generally don't start until the $1,000 price point. Are the cheaper ones bad? No, not really, just heavier and the suspension components are suspect. But if, like you said, only using it recreationally and no big jumps, I don't see anything wrong with the bikes listed. They will all work fine if you keep them maintained and are not abusive. Doesn't sound like you would be.

    The other suggestion I have is to try the used market! There are a lot of really nice bikes that their owners have decided to abandon the sport, or move up to an elite bike. Many are barely ridden and you can save a lot of money going used.

    Regarding size; height doesn't matter. Inseam does! Are you long legged or short legged? I'm 6'0", but have a very long torsoe (i.e. short stumpy legs) and I ride a Medium size frame. I can actually fit on either a Med or a Large, but prefer a smaller bike for the type of riding I enjoy!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info. I'm thinking maybe i WILL go a notch higher and maybe even look at used as a2psyklnut said. I said i don't need to go high, but everyone including the friend i'll be riding with keep pusing me up the $$$ ladder bit by bit !

    This happens every time i want something i know little about.........i research and end up spending a lot more than i initially thought i had too.

    Oh, and any suggestions as to what else i might look at in a bit higher price range that the 3 MuddyRabbit listed?

    Thanks...

  5. #5
    Senior Member slcpunk21's Avatar
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    Man everyone has already said all that needs to be said! Deffinately check out giant's stuff! They make a pretty good procduct and with a good price on it too!

    Not sure how much higher you plan on going, but if you can afford it check out some of specialized's stuff, like the rockhopper fsr comp. the msrp is around 1100, it's a bit more than you were looking at, but have a great suspendion design! One of the best around, and as you get into the sport I'm sure you'll enjoy it a ton and be glad you spent a few extra bucks. (my opinion) But honestly those bikes that muddy posted are really nice for the cash!

    On the disc brake issue, I'd stick with v's like the others said until you get up into the higher price ranges! I'm building up a spare hardtail and I'm gonna use v's on it....they just work. Got disc on eveything else though.

    Used bikes are the way to go when you first get into mountain biking...get alot for your money, and since you have been riding road for a while, I'd assume you know about adjusting der. and other parts. So you don't have to worry about that on a used bike. Then when you figure out what you really want go buy something new!


    Well let us all know what you find! And make sure to keep us posted on your first ride!
    if you aren't having fun, then you get rigid, stiff, crash, cry and then you make your new friend run away..... (there don't you feel less nervous now?)

    when it's snowin check this place out http://www.treelinemedia.ca/phpBB2/index.php

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    So many to list!

    Look at Specialized, Haro, Giant, Trek....etc.

    Look for leftover bikes from last year that your LBS's may be trying to move!

    You anywhere near Bradenton, FL????

    If so, I have some deals for you!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  7. #7
    Senior Member slcpunk21's Avatar
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    if you aren't having fun, then you get rigid, stiff, crash, cry and then you make your new friend run away..... (there don't you feel less nervous now?)

    when it's snowin check this place out http://www.treelinemedia.ca/phpBB2/index.php

  8. #8
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    slcpunk21,

    I did look at the rockhopper, and if i could get a good discount i might go that way. Theres a Supergo near me where my friend got his stumpjumper for 25% off, so if i can get 25% off of a rockhopper i might go there.

    I just looked at some used bikes online, but it just hit me that i don't know how hard they've been ridden. For all i know the frame may be stressed big time, so a $1500 bike for $500 wouldn't be such a deal afterall.
    Last edited by dazco; 01-30-03 at 11:44 AM.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  9. #9
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    ok, i just called supergo and they quoted me what i think is a really lousy deal on the rockhopper FSR. He said about $200 off, which is about 18%. I know most if not all bikes are made in china or whatever, and other such common consumer goods regularly sell at a startiung point of about 25% without even wheeling and dealing. In another hobby of mine I usually pay about 40% under list for music gear. This guy must have been playing me, and hopefully in person with cash in hand he'll do much better.

    I gotta figgure that whatever the lowest price around is, supergo must be able to match it with thier reputation. What do you think would be a great deal on the $1100 rockhopper FSR? I'm thinking $800 would be acceptable, which would be just a bit better than 25%.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  10. #10
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Well the markup on bicycles is pitiful, I don't know what musical equipment's markup is, but I'm guessing close to 50%. With bicycles, shops are lucky to get 30%!

    $200 bucks off is actually a decent deal!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  11. #11
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    dont forget about the Jamis Dakars
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/03_2dakar_sport.html

  12. #12
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    Ok, after some research i'm leaning towards either the specialized rockhopper FSR comp, and the diamondback XSL. The XSL has discs, but according to my buddy the specialized has a better fork and is better overall because of it's extraordinary ride. Thats his take anyway.....whats yours? They're almost exactly the same price....which would u pick and why?

    Thanks for all the help by the way. I DO appriciate it very much !!

  13. #13
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    It depends what you value. Overall ride the Specialized takes it hands down. I have an FSR and love it to death(2002). If you want the value now get the Diamondback. I'd get the Specialized and upgrade later. I think Raiyn in this forum has that exact bike

  14. #14
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    Thats what i keeps hearing/reading.....go with specialized. Well, after looking long and hard at them, i'm falling into that old familiar trap. You know the one.......where you decide on spending a certain amout, then as you continue looking that amout keeps creeping up. Now i'm considering the stumpjumper FSR, which i think i can probably wheel and deal at supergo for about a grand. I guess i'll try and see how low i can get em to go. In any case, i think i've narrowed it down to either the SJ or the RH.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  15. #15
    I ride a REAL Schwinn!
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    dazco,

    It seems as though you are moving up in the price range, but if you decide to stay within the $700 range, look at the Giant Rainier. I know that some things have changed for this year, but last year's bike was a great deal. Not the lightest thing out there, but it came with Avid discs and an LX/Deore mix, with some in- house but upgradeable parts.

    If you are looking at the around $1000 range, take a look at the Giant NRS lineup. I'm planning on picking up an NRS 2 for this or next season. The suspension design is well-respected, and the parts mix is great for the price. In my researching a new bike, I have found that Giant seems to be the best value overall. I also know many people who ride and love the FSR's, so I would feel comfortable going that route also, especially if you think you can get a deal on one.

    You will definitely have a better bike than the Moab DS2 if you go with one of the bikes suggested in this thread so far. Just to clarify, I don't believe that the Moab is one of the Schwinn bikes being sold in Wal-Mart, but I have checked the parts specs and I would shy away from them. I have a 2000 or 2001 Moab hardtail from before Schwinn was purchased, and it has been proven to be bulletproof and very reliable for the most part. I have put a lot of money into upgrading it and am very happy with it. Make sure you post some reviews about whatever bike you get if it is in the $1000 range, as I will soon be deciding on a 1000-2000 dollar bike.

    Good luck in your search for the perfect bike!

    -Moab
    '00 Schwinn Moab 3 - XTR/XT/Thomson/Rhyno Lites/Skareb Super
    Lemond Nevada City - Almost Stock!

  16. #16
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    I would say go with the rock hopper. I rode the rockhopper hard tail and the FSR at my LBS and they are both very nice bikes especially for the price. As for 200 bucks off thats a great deal(I'm assuming that price is for a 2002 model, if its for the 03' its even better). The FSR is definetely a tried and true design as well. Specialized are also very upgrade worthy bikes incase you want to some racing or something later on. Good luck, have fun and be safe.

    Matt

  17. #17
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    Well, i'm getting kinda hooked on the SJ FSR. I stopped on the way home and looked at a new chrome one and i think thats all she wrote !!! However, when the moment of truth comes this saturday at supergo, i may not have the balls to part with that much moola. It just depends on how low they'll go. The little shop i stopped at today was only about $110 off of the $1360 list.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  18. #18
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    You're never going to get a bike at the same kind of savings you see on musical gear. I have worked in a couple music shops and currently work in a bike shop. You can safely sell musical gear at 40% off retail and still turn a (small) profit (of course, we all hate going to Guitar Center and dealing with idiots to get such pricing and lousy service, much like Supergo and the like). On nearly all bike lines, selling a bike at 40% off retail will lose the shop money.

  19. #19
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    Yea, i see that now. With my new desktop background (guess what it is ! *S*) i think i'm doomed to just say #@$% it and drop the wad on a SJ FSR whatever the cost. I'm doomed i tell ya!! That beautiful chrome looking chassis keeps calling my name and i'm becoming helpless. Could i be helplessly becoming a MTB addict in one day?! Geez, i hope i can retire on a buck fifty !
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Dazco, waldo is right about the sales. Bike shops usually don't run sales, but thrive on consistancy. They do, however, occasionally have really good deals on closeouts. I've seen previous years models go for 30% off by new years day. But, this is a little late, most places are out of closeouts.
    That being said, a decent full suspension bike is feasible in your price range if weight is not a serious concern. The Jamis Dakar http://jamisbikes.com/bikes/index.html
    retails for just over $700 US (Copeland's Sports = $729). Mountain Bike Action gave the 2002 awesome reviews, inspite of its 32 lb weight. I believe the Dakar sport is about a little over $1000, comes with better components, disc brakes, and is lighter. Don't think, however, that I would say anything against FSR, or the Giant Rainier (hardtail).
    Could i be helplessly becoming a MTB addict in one day?!
    Wow, it took me a whole week, I guess it's the slower internet connection...
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  21. #21
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    Well, i DO have DSL at work............

    I think i'm a future SJ owner.........i've been brainwashed by what i've read on this site, my friends, and last but certainly not least, that 2003 SJ FSR i drooled over (i think they're probably still mopping up the floor where i stood drooling) at the shop after work today.

  22. #22
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll be dissapointed. IMO, the suspension design on the FSR is the best available. The 4-bar Horst link (that's what it's called BTW), is incredible. So many other companies have liscensed the design to use on their own bikes.

    I had a '98 FSR, that was one of my favorite all time bikes. I just recently (Nov I think) bought an Intense Uzzi-SL that uses the Horst link! I've never had a better bike!

    Go get that FSR, you won't regret it!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  23. #23
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PeterG1185
    It depends what you value. Overall ride the Specialized takes it hands down. I have an FSR and love it to death(2002). If you want the value now get the Diamondback. I'd get the Specialized and upgrade later. I think Raiyn in this forum has that exact bike
    Yep Rockhopper FSR but not completely stock, I made some upgrades before I ever took delivery,details

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