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  1. #1
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    Going to buy my first mountain bike soon, need advice.

    Hey guys,

    The past month or two I've been getting in to mountain biking and biking in general, just been hitting some local trails nearby, just pedal'n around and attempting small jumps. Now, the bike I've been using is an old, beat up generic mountain bike that doesn't switch gears well, tires are worn, and it is too big for me. I've been looking at purchasing a nice beginner mountain bike that will do well on trails and also be able to do jumps well, and a *little* downhill. *I want to do everything * (not as well as one that is specifically designed to, but I'm not hitting any extreme jumps, just little ones). Now, since I am a beginner, I was hoping you veterans might be able to give me some nice choices in the $400-$500 price range. I've poked around, and I've come across the Gary Fisher Marlin/Wahoo, a Mongoose Fireball, and some others, but I really have no idea what I'm looking at.

    Thanks in advance,
    Femto
    Last edited by Femto; 08-08-07 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    .................gosh, i really don't know. you could PM Santiago ,Gastro or junkyard. They are pretty up on those bikes.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
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    I filled out the matchmaker at Fisherbikes.com, and it came up with this:

    http://fisherbikes.com/bikes/bike_detail.asp?bike=Opie

    Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Go to your local bike shops (LBS) and see what they have in your price range. Try out the bikes and buy the one that feels the best to you. At this price point there is little difference in terms of components and quality. What does differ is how the bike feels to YOU. And knowing is half the battle.
    First Class Jerk

  5. #5
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    Good point. There's a bunch of bike shops around where I live. I'll have to go shopping

    When I get it, I'll be sure and post back on my experience.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Femto View Post
    Good point. There's a bunch of bike shops around where I live. I'll have to go shopping

    When I get it, I'll be sure and post back on my experience.

    Thanks
    Sounds like a plan. And knowing is half the battle.
    First Class Jerk

  7. #7
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Buy a red bike. It's faster than the rest. Unless you are south of the Mason-Dixon line. Then blue is faster.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  8. #8
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    What brands are sold near you? A buddy of mine rides a Trek 4300 over some really technical terrain, and while the bike can't do some of the things a $2000 fully suspended bike could do, it has held up well to regular abuse of extreme-XC type riding. If you have $500 to spend, getting the model with discs may help out. I was going to buy the same thing, but found a good deal on a used Giant with low miles. If buying used, check craigslist.org and ebay regularly.

    When you say, "downhill" are you referring to the type of downhill where people take ski lifts up to the top of a mountain and ride down for 20-30 minutes? You might have to spend more than $500 to get something good for that since this puts so much stress on a bike's frame & parts.

  9. #9
    pedal head
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    Buy a decent used hardtail off craigslist.

    If you have to ask whether you need a full suspension, the answer is no.
    [SIGPIC]http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q82/probable556/BF_Sig_Small2Custom.jpg[/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
    Hardrocker
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    advice: spend as much as you can on a stock bike (well, assuming you're sure you want to go into the sport), or else you're going to be constantly planning or actually making upgrades, which is less cost effective.

  11. #11
    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Femto View Post
    Hey guys,

    The past month or two I've been getting in to mountain biking and biking in general, just been hitting some local trails nearby, just pedal'n around and attempting small jumps. Now, the bike I've been using is an old, beat up generic mountain bike that doesn't switch gears well, tires are worn, and it is too big for me. I've been looking at purchasing a nice beginner mountain bike that will do well on trails and also be able to do jumps well, and a *little* downhill. *I want to do everything * (not as well as one that is specifically designed to, but I'm not hitting any extreme jumps, just little ones). Now, since I am a beginner, I was hoping you veterans might be able to give me some nice choices in the $400-$500 price range. I've poked around, and I've come across the Gary Fisher Marlin/Wahoo, a Mongoose Fireball, and some others, but I really have no idea what I'm looking at.

    Thanks in advance,
    Femto
    I shamelessly recommend Specialized Rockhopper for your price range. Even if the components are not as good as some other offerings, the frame and the riding quality of that bike is really great (specially for the price). Trek 4500 is another decent option.

    If you want most value for your money - Giant, Jamis and Iron Horse bikes are the way to go...

    good luck. and keep asking questions...

    (for a relatively new rider, I highly recommend buying new from a LBS, rather than buying an used one from Craiglist or ebay).
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

  12. #12
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    I agree with sherpaPeak. The rockhopper is a great bike for the money. Another option could actually be the Cannondale F6. My brother just picked one up. They're relatively light and have middle of the road components. Decent fork with the dart-2. The only reason its so cheap is because it has v-brakes. Im not sure what type of disc brakes are coming on $450 bikes. For the riding you're doing, you may even consider going with the v-brakes to save you money. They've worked for years and will work for you. However, before make you choice between v-brakes and discs, realize that they're really no going back. If you wanted to switch out the brake type you'd have to buy a new fork, hubs, and wheels in most cases. In the end it would cost you just as much to buy another bike. Just keep taking you're time dude and ride a bunch of bikes and go with what feels good. Good Luck!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard
    Buy a red bike. It's faster than the rest. Unless you are south of the Mason-Dixon line. Then blue is faster.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzymemory

    What brands are sold near you? A buddy of mine rides a Trek 4300 over some really technical terrain, and while the bike can't do some of the things a $2000 fully suspended bike could do, it has held up well to regular abuse of extreme-XC type riding. If you have $500 to spend, getting the model with discs may help out. I was going to buy the same thing, but found a good deal on a used Giant with low miles. If buying used, check craigslist.org and ebay regularly.

    When you say, "downhill" are you referring to the type of downhill where people take ski lifts up to the top of a mountain and ride down for 20-30 minutes? You might have to spend more than $500 to get something good for that since this puts so much stress on a bike's frame & parts.
    Well, the bike shop that I am going to head to today stocks Trek, Gary Fisher, Klein, LeMond, Serotta, Rocky Mountain, Electra, etc. When I refer to downhilll I don't mean anything like what you're describing, more small sections of downhill, where you go somewhat casually, then there is a big drop, then flat, then drops, flat, mounds, drops, jumps, flat trail, etc. More, "moderate, infrequent drops, then terrain, plus some fun jumps". Not "pure" downhill, but integrated into the trail, so I probably won't need a downhill bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by probable556
    Buy a decent used hardtail off craigslist.

    If you have to ask whether you need a full suspension, the answer is no.
    I saw a couple of used Gary Fisher and Trek bikes on craigslist in my area. Also, my friend has a full suspension Cannondale, I rode it around the neighborhood a little bit (haha), and I think it is safe to say I won't have a need of that much shock absorbtion.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi
    advice: spend as much as you can on a stock bike (well, assuming you're sure you want to go into the sport), or else you're going to be constantly planning or actually making upgrades, which is less cost effective.
    Well, seeing as I'm enjoying these little trails in the local woods on my old mountain junker, I think I would really like to go into the sport. As for parts/upgrades, for me, if it is not hindering my abilities or causing me discomforting problems, I probably won't worry too much. Though, if it is bothering me, or I feel like I might need an upgrade, I'll go ahead and do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    I shamelessly recommend Specialized Rockhopper for your price range. Even if the components are not as good as some other offerings, the frame and the riding quality of that bike is really great (specially for the price). Trek 4500 is another decent option.

    If you want most value for your money - Giant, Jamis and Iron Horse bikes are the way to go...

    good luck. and keep asking questions...

    (for a relatively new rider, I highly recommend buying new from a LBS, rather than buying an used one from Craiglist or ebay).
    I'll take a look at both of those bikes on the net and in the store. I went to Bike'N'Hike, a local bike shop and they had a rather large collection of Giant bicycles. I didn't really have a taste for them, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by nibarlo
    I agree with sherpaPeak. The rockhopper is a great bike for the money. Another option could actually be the Cannondale F6. My brother just picked one up. They're relatively light and have middle of the road components. Decent fork with the dart-2. The only reason its so cheap is because it has v-brakes. Im not sure what type of disc brakes are coming on $450 bikes. For the riding you're doing, you may even consider going with the v-brakes to save you money. They've worked for years and will work for you. However, before make you choice between v-brakes and discs, realize that they're really no going back. If you wanted to switch out the brake type you'd have to buy a new fork, hubs, and wheels in most cases. In the end it would cost you just as much to buy another bike. Just keep taking you're time dude and ride a bunch of bikes and go with what feels good. Good Luck!
    Another vote for the Rockhopper, I'll definitely check it out. I'll also have to take a peak at that Cannondale. As for brakes, after testing some out on a friend's bike, I really have taken a liking to them, more so then the brakes on my old bike, which I'm pretty sure are V's.

    Thanks guys

    I think I might head to the Bike Gallery tomorrow to see what they have.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    The giant yukon is worth looking at.

  15. #15
    dan the man
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    dose anyone no anything about jump bikes i'm looking for a single speed bike preferably with no suspension i looked at the DMR transition and drone both nice.
    so if you do know any more jump bikes worth looking at could you tell me?

    thanks
    dan

  16. #16
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    theres a lot here, and i dont have time to read it all so ill just post

    i have a 2007 Norco Katmandu. it weighs 34 pounds so its a little heavy on XC trails, but it can take a good beating. ive jumped it off 5 ft jumps and its fine. i think it could take very light, easy DH, but i havnt tried it yet. the first thing that u would have to replace is the forks, cuz Suntour isnt a very good brand, but since theyre cheap, u know. anyway, mine was $450 CAD, without tax, so its a good price and ya, just thought id suggest it. good luck and ride on!
    Live to ride, Ride to live

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmeruz View Post
    dose anyone no anything about jump bikes i'm looking for a single speed bike preferably with no suspension i looked at the DMR transition and drone both nice.
    so if you do know any more jump bikes worth looking at could you tell me?

    thanks
    dan
    I'm kinda a Norco freak, but anyway, the 250 is a singlespeed dj bike, its $1200ish, 26" wheels, here's the link, check it out

    (the 2007 model) http://www.norco.com/2007bikes/Mount...view=1&deets=1

    (the 2008 model, no specs til Aug 30, then it will be on the norco site, but heres a pic) http://www.whistlermountainbike.com/...php/photo/1020

    hope that helps!
    Live to ride, Ride to live

  18. #18
    Senior Member JonnyV's Avatar
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    I love my Giant Yukon. However, I am considering some component upgrades once I finish my road bike build.
    Some people are just like Slinky's. Not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

    2012 Fuji Altamira 1.0

  19. #19
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    I agree that you should just go to local shops and see where the best deal is. Don't get stuck on brand loyalty, just find where the price is best. You will find great deals that way if you remain flexible and open. With that said, the Trek, Specialized, Gary Fisher bikes in that price range are quality.
    2007 Stevens Fluent (MTB)
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  20. #20
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottluebke2004 View Post
    I agree that you should just go to local shops and see where the best deal is. Don't get stuck on brand loyalty, just find where the price is best. You will find great deals that way if you remain flexible and open. With that said, the Trek, Specialized, Gary Fisher bikes in that price range are quality.
    I think you almost have it right. I agree you should go to the local shops and to not get stuck on brand loyalty. However, before price, the bike that fitst best is the one that you should be after. The prices of these bikes differ by little and buying one that does not fit right because it was $50 cheaper than one that does is just plain silly.
    First Class Jerk

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