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  1. #1
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    Rookie Deciding between GT Avalance and Schwinn Mesa GS

    Hey everyone, I searched around and could not find a thread to answer my question. I am a college student with very limited funds, I've been searching for a better-than-wal-mart bike up to the 350 dollar price range. I've found two that I am interested in.

    First is a 2006 Schwinn Mesa GS. It has the J1 Rock shox. I found it on ebay for $300 total. I like a lot what I heard of the reviews of the bike and the shocks. However, I am not sure about the reputation Schwinn has recieved due to the Wal-Mart Bikes they make.

    On the other hand, there is a 2005 GT Avalanche 2.0. This one has a Rockshox Judy TT shocks. I found this one on ebay for $250 plus 60 shipping.

    I'm making a big deal on the shocks because I was about to buy a Trek 3700 before I was told that the RST 191 shocks would not last more than a couple of months on the riding I do.

    I consider myself a beginner to intermediate rider, riding a lot of single trails with some technical sections and at most 3-4 foot drops. I have researched all I could find online but I haven't found anything convincing me to one over the other.

    I appreciate any help you can proivde.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    You consider yourself a beginner to intermediate rider.....what are you riding now?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
    Doortrapper popluhv's Avatar
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    I'd go for the GT. I assembled several Schwinns last year; high and low end, and they really seem to cut every corner imginable.

  4. #4
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    I put it in that order because I am pretty new, however, I have done some of the harder trails at the places I go. Right now I ride an old Diamondback Ascent EX, lets just say I've had it for over 10 years, 8 of those were in my parents garage. I'm upgrading because this is the first time I have had the money for it.

  5. #5
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    The main reason why I am looking at the Schwinn is the improved suspension. The J1 gets much much better revies than the Judy shocks, and the schwinn has full SRAM components as well.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    You consider yourself a beginner to intermediate rider.....what are you riding now?
    I don't like what you're suggesting. He can still be a competent rider while still riding a piece of junk. Provided, that group is a minority of the Wal-Mart bike users, yet there are some. I've seen some people rock on some very cheap bikes. I saw this one guy who rode a stock Hardrock Sport harder than most owners of 2000+ bikes. The fact of the matter is, while there is a strong correlation between the skill of the rider and the bike they own, its not always true. Although, humility is always good

    Juanma, I don't personally know how you ride, but drops don't define your technical skill. The most important thing is fit. Bikes at this price range generally are the same componentry wise. So if this is your first real mountain bike, get out to a lbs, try a couple out, and see how they feel.

  7. #7
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    I don't like what you're suggesting. He can still be a competent rider while still riding a piece of junk. Provided, that group is a minority of the Wal-Mart bike users, yet there are some. I've seen some people rock on some very cheap bikes. I saw this one guy who rode a stock Hardrock Sport harder than most owners of 2000+ bikes. The fact of the matter is, while there is a strong correlation between the skill of the rider and the bike they own, its not always true. Although, humility is always good

    I don't really care if you like what I post or not. I didn't suggest anything,I just asked a question to guage where he's at and where he's going. I could care less if he's on a frikkin tricycle.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  8. #8
    Hardrocker
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    you are clearly associating skill with bike

  9. #9
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    you are clearly associating skill with bike
    You are clearly clueless.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  10. #10
    Hardrocker
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    and once again we have shown we can turn a normal conversation into a flame-fest. Congratulations

  11. #11
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    I'd get Scott Reflex 30 or 20

  12. #12
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    I was just wondering which one you would think is a better bike. The bike I can buy now is the bike I will use for the next 4-5 years more than likely (I plan on doing grad school), so I need something that can handle cross country and single track (if I am butchering the lingo, I apologize, I am a rookie still) and still last me for a while. I don't believe I'll be taking it off drops that are too high or any ridiculous trails, just something to challenge me (again, pretty much a rookie.)

    Out of the two, which would you recommend?

  13. #13
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    and once again we have shown we can turn a normal conversation into a flame-fest. Congratulations
    Not we. I just asked a question. You decided you would read into it something that's not there.Pat yourself on the back there big guy.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  14. #14
    Senior Member dingster1's Avatar
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    Well, my son rides the Schwinn Mesa and it rides well,(I've taken it for a quick spin, his is Xl, he's a teen clyde). Gets my vote

  15. #15
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    Does he ride the GS or GSD (with disc brakes)?

  16. #16
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juanma View Post
    I was just wondering which one you would think is a better bike. The bike I can buy now is the bike I will use for the next 4-5 years more than likely (I plan on doing grad school), so I need something that can handle cross country and single track (if I am butchering the lingo, I apologize, I am a rookie still) and still last me for a while. I don't believe I'll be taking it off drops that are too high or any ridiculous trails, just something to challenge me (again, pretty much a rookie.)

    Out of the two, which would you recommend?
    Rookies shouldn't be buying bikes online at all. See our FAQ
    Please Read Before asking Question: MTB FAQ.
    and get thee to a BIKE SHOP

  17. #17
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    I wish I could, however, I have gone to LBSs, got fitted (I need a large preferably 20 inch frame but 19 will do). The main issue is that I cannot afford any of the bikes there, I have searched all the bike shops in Miami and have not found anything that will hold up to my weight (225 lbs) over the terrain I ride. I was told this by my independent mechanic in Gainesville who has riden the trails and by the LBS people here in town who know those trails well. I wish I could afford 500-1000 for this bike, but I can't. I can only afford 350, and that is pushing it with a lot of romen noodle over the next couple of months.

  18. #18
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    My wife got the Mesa GS (2005) just a couple months ago and it's a decent rig. She got it for $230! Via ebay, brand new, factory sealed, full warranty. It was so cheap cuz it's the 2005 model with deore rear derailleur. We did look at the 2006 though and it's basically the same bike except J1 rather than the manitou 6 and Sram rather than shimano. The sram stuff (x4?) is an improvement over the shimano imo, and it's nice that the brake levers are seperate from the shifters, on the 2005 it's the shimao deore combo unit. That's a personal preference thing though, you may not care.

    Anyway, she's a newbie so she doesn't exactly barrel down hills but it's been performing nicely so far. The frame is plenty strong, the components are good enough, it even comes with decent tires and saddle. The biggest weakness is the wheels. They're just pretty cheap, is all. But I think they would hold up to moderately agressive riding for a while, long enough to save up for a pair of $100 deore/rhyno lite wheels or something like that.

    One thing- the frames run small. She's 5' 6" and the 17" fits her. I'm 6 and the 19" would fit me well enough. The 17" feels almost like a bmx.

    We also looked at the GT and like you said, the forks get lousy reviews, and actually it seems like the GT's frame is a step down from the schwinn. You wouldn't be wasting money if you upgraded components on the schwinn, the GT... I dunno, it just felt cheap to me.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  19. #19
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    Thanks TimJ, I wound up getting neither, I found something else online but thanks again for the reasoning that you have given me. Thanks again.

  20. #20
    Hardrocker
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    juanma, it doesn't sound like you're in a financial position to be buying a "real" mountain bike. I would rather not have a bike than sacrifice my health (eating lots of ramen noodles). My advice to you. Get a bike (hardtail or rigid) from your local Wal Mart or other box mart for $50 or so and ride it for transportation. Don't do any trail riding on it, and don't shift under load or anything like that.
    Finish college, and if you still want to get into the sport, get a real bike. Don't sacrifice your health

  21. #21
    Hardrocker
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    ...or go used

  22. #22
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    juanma, it doesn't sound like you're in a financial position to be buying a "real" mountain bike. I would rather not have a bike than sacrifice my health (eating lots of ramen noodles). My advice to you. Get a bike (hardtail or rigid) from your local Wal Mart or other box mart for $50 or so and ride it for transportation. Don't do any trail riding on it, and don't shift under load or anything like that.
    Finish college, and if you still want to get into the sport, get a real bike. Don't sacrifice your health
    You are out of your mind! Heck yes, eat ramen noodles to free up money to feed your habit. If you really think like you just posted you're just a guy with a bike.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  23. #23
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    I am a guy with a bike, again I wish I could afford the nice bikes I've seen elsewhere on this post, but I do love biking, and mountain biking is growing on me (used to be strictly road rider) and I want something to replace what I had (the diamondback broke beyond repair.) I want to go offroad, I don't want to get a Wal Mart bike to commute, for that I have my Miyata road bike, I use that for commute and it hasnt failed me yet. I want a Mountain Bike to go off roading, anything from Wal Mart will not work. Thanks to those who helped answer the question, and I'm sorry my post got people riled up.

  24. #24
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juanma View Post
    ..... and I'm sorry my post got people riled up.

    Oh no you didn't! Getting folks riled up is great. What did you find online? If you're willing to wait and take your time you can stumble on a stupid deal from time to time.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  25. #25
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    I checked the mtbr.com reviews for it, and I found a Motobacane 500HT, I know its not up in the lines but I saw the shocks got good reviews and all the people that had them have had no issues with them. Its used, so I wound up paying about $300 total including shipping. It has the disc breaks, which I'm not sure if they are better than the line breaks the schwinn came with. I'll be able to give a full sight inspection review when I get it in about 5-6 days.

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