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Old 09-08-07, 10:10 AM   #1
rousseau
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Roadie wants MTB winter beater

Dedicated road biker here. I'm interested in getting a cheap MTB so that I can bomb around roads and trails for two months in the winter snow. It would be strictly a winter bike for the days/weeks when I can't take the road bike out, though I wouldn't rule out the occasional summer jaunt on a trail.

I don't know a thing about MTBs, so I was hoping for some advice. I understand the arguments against department store bikes, but I was wondering if any of these might suit my purposes anyway?



SuperCycle Outcast, $139 (reg. $349)


Supercycle Vortex, $159 (reg. $399)

I'd be able to go over the department store bikes to make sure everything's tight, because I know that assembly is a problem with them. But would you dissuade me from getting one, anyway? If so, what would be my best option for a $200 or under MTB on Craigslist or from a local eBay seller?

Thanks,
R
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Old 09-08-07, 10:12 AM   #2
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having owned a supercycle hooligan. Yes, I would still dissuade you from getting a department store bike

Last edited by BenLi; 09-26-07 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:13 AM   #3
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Avoid the Supercycles at all costs. That rear "suspension" will rob you of all power and you will be bouncing down the street. You need a hardtail or even a rigid bike.

At $200 definitely look for Craigslist, Kijiji.ca and Ebay.ca bikes. You will definitely find a decent winter beater for $200.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:13 AM   #4
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try http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...d=07HardrockXC

and

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...dtail/820/820/
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Old 09-08-07, 10:18 AM   #5
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Avoid the Supercycles at all costs. That rear "suspension" will rob you of all power and you will be bouncing down the street. You need a hardtail or even a rigid bike.

At $200 definitely look for Craigslist, Kijiji.ca and Ebay.ca bikes. You will definitely find a decent winter beater for $200.
+1. and to add to the supercycle complaints. They weight a ton, so from a road bike, you'll feel a huge difference. Their forks rarely work, and when they do, they have no dampening, just a spring. I know. I've taken apart a "Mercalli" fork before. The likely "Tourney" Shimano group will fail very quickly. Their bikes are simply horrible (and in the winter... brakes are important). Especially the one with disc brakes that you linked to, expect those brakes to be horrible.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:18 AM   #6
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NOoooooooo. Don't get a department store bike. Unless you go to Dick's and buy a mongoose.
Please don't get a Fully suspended department store bike. Buy used or new but don't spend 130 on those. You'll be very sorry. They look ok, but the suspension is crap and they weigh a ton.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:50 AM   #7
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Okay, okay, I won't buy a Supercycle already!

What about this one, then?

Trek 4300 for $450



What's the deal with the low seat? Can I assume it's just a teenager affectation, and that the seatpost can be raised? It's a 16-inch bike. I'm 5'11' with a 32-inch inseam (road bike sizing between 55 and 57, if that means anything on this thread). Would it be the right size? Is this the kind of bike that would be good for bombing around in the snow?
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Old 09-08-07, 10:54 AM   #8
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Or how about this one?

Norco full suspension for $400

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Old 09-08-07, 11:08 AM   #9
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The trek 4800 is the better of those choices. As a roadie you might really want to avoid cheap suspension. You loose all your power to bob.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:12 AM   #10
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The first will be too small for you. You'll probably need a Medium or Large (17", 19") given your inseam size.

The second bike is an older style Y-frame. At this price point forget about full suspension and it is more of a hindrance at this price point.

This doesn't look too bad and appears to be local to you.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ALMOST-NEW-KONA-L...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 09-08-07, 12:17 PM   #11
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I'm getting the feeling that no suspension is better than cheap suspension. Okay, no suspension then. Or, at least, no rear suspension.

Thanks for the advice!

R
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Old 09-08-07, 05:41 PM   #12
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check out ebay for older frames with a rigid fork, and braze-ons for fenders and racks. probably what you'll find is mostly steel frames, which would seem to be a poor choice for winter muck, salt and wet, but if you Framesaver the insides, a good steel frame should work just fine as a winter beater, provided you keep it clean and maintained. probably should be able to find something fairly cheap.

buy a set of fenders for it, mount them using the braze-ons, and you're good to go.

something like this

http://cgi.ebay.com/90S-BRIDGESTONE-...QQcmdZViewItem

except that Bridgestones go for a bit of a premium on ebay.

maybe this, buit I can't tell from the pic whether it has braze-ons or not.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Specialized-Hard...QQcmdZViewItem

not so up on other brands, but any Trek 800 or 900 series bike, or any Specialized Hardrock or Rockhopper from the late 80's/early 90's should fit the bill.

Last edited by rufus; 09-08-07 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:07 PM   #13
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The Trek looks like a 2006 model http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...chive/4300disc

The LBS in my area is selling new 2008s for $500 with disc brakes, and $400 with regular brakes.

You'd have to compare the component specs between the 2006 and 2008, but saving $50 on a used (and possibly abused) bike doesn't seem to be a good deal.

The size of the 2006 that you showed is most likely much too small for you. I'm 5'6" with a 28" inseam and 16" mountain bikes fit people my size, I think.

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Old 09-08-07, 08:24 PM   #14
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sportchek has ironhorses, it would be more than a supercycle, but it wont cost as much to get it running..er..rolling
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Old 09-08-07, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
Okay, okay, I won't buy a Supercycle already!

What about this one, then?

Trek 4300 for $450



What's the deal with the low seat? Can I assume it's just a teenager affectation, and that the seatpost can be raised? It's a 16-inch bike. I'm 5'11' with a 32-inch inseam (road bike sizing between 55 and 57, if that means anything on this thread). Would it be the right size? Is this the kind of bike that would be good for bombing around in the snow?
the low seats don't initially make sense if you're used to riding more on the road than off, but if you think about it, you don't want to have more stuff between your legs if you're bouncing around all over things, bunnyhopping things, etc..if you fall and the seat is closer to your junk, there's more likelihood of pain.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:45 AM   #16
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Any thoughts on the Motobecane Outcast for a winter bike for a roadie? They're selling for $400 shipped on ebay.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I'm getting the feeling that no suspension is better than cheap suspension. Okay, no suspension then. Or, at least, no rear suspension.

Thanks for the advice!

R
Or at the very least, make sure the rear suspension is adjustable. I really don't know if all rear suspensions are. Mine is adjustable (Columbia Twin Peaks by Ironhorse), and I've tightened it up, and probably go some more. It does make a difference.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:56 AM   #18
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I had the same idea last year...bought a Zellers Sportech as my winter commuter for $99.99.

It lasted 5 days...the cog set exploded, stranding me 18km from home

So this year I've gone to my original habit of buying good used bikes at lawn sales...usually $20-$30 gets me a Raleigh, CCM, sometimes something better. They only last 1 year as they rust up during the summer...two years ago my free wheel seized making it a fixie for a day...pounded the heck out of my ankles
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