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Old 06-13-04, 11:20 PM   #1
andthestarfalls
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newb is going bike shopping

first off i'd like to introduce my self and i'd just like to say that i think these forums are great and incredibly informative, my name is alex and im 17 years old from south florida and a total newb.
im goin bike shopping tomorrow,now i know your all probably just goin to tell me to save up some more money but for my first mtn bike im goin cheap, i AM gonna buy from sporta suthoity or walmart or the like. what i'd like to know however is what i should look for in a bike at this price range? they seem to have some decent looking dual suspension as well as hardtails.... what should i looke for? metal pedals? v brakes?... i just want to get a semi decent bike to start out on, i'm just gonna be riding the tame trails at my local park and around the neighborhood some.
thak you
alex
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Old 06-13-04, 11:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by andthestarfalls
first off i'd like to introduce my self and i'd just like to say that i think these forums are great and incredibly informative, my name is alex and im 17 years old from south florida and a total newb.
im goin bike shopping tomorrow,now i know your all probably just goin to tell me to save up some more money but for my first mtn bike im goin cheap, i AM gonna buy from sporta suthoity or walmart or the like. what i'd like to know however is what i should look for in a bike at this price range? they seem to have some decent looking dual suspension as well as hardtails.... what should i looke for? metal pedals? v brakes?... i just want to get a semi decent bike to start out on, i'm just gonna be riding the tame trails at my local park and around the neighborhood some.
thak you
alex
How cheap is cheap? If your gonna be spending around 200ish, there are some other choices you may wanna look into but if you have your heart set out on a X mart bike, I recommend you get a hardtrail. Less parts to worry about.

Many people on these forums will recommend you to visit your LBS (local bike store) and buy a bike there. Not only will you get a decent bike, but you'll pick up a few things along the way. Some stores also provide free tune ups for a period of time.
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Old 06-14-04, 12:10 AM   #3
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The thing is if you buy the walmart bike and you decide that you will really get into riding with a little more adventurous and serious attitude then that bike will not do. But if you are just doing it at a light weight level then that bike will do. What to look for, to tell you the truth any bike at that range will all have about the same kind of parts, so to make any comments on them would be so so. Just consider not the full suspension ones, for they are too weighty.
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Old 06-17-04, 03:25 PM   #4
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I'd advise against Walmart type bikes. They are heavy and often have like-designed components that look cool but don't work like the real thing. You may be better off buying a good used bike...my favorite bike was a non-suspended Stumpjumper (stolen).
Sometimes the differences are not visibly obvious, and frankly, some department store bikes are so poorly made I consider them dangerous.
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Old 06-17-04, 04:26 PM   #5
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Hey im a total newbie too.. but heres my experience...

For years I have been getting bikes from supermarkets and Halfords etc, and for years ive been renewing my bike almost anually...

So, I told my mum I was gonna look for a new, half decent bike...

She went to the local bike store (behind my back) and asked the guy "What will you give me for around 400"... The guy asked what kinda bike I was looking for etc, and he slashed the price of my bike by about 300 (Only because it was last years model and he felt he could sell it for 400)

They are also a really friendly bike shop and I have subsequently gotten to know them quite well. Whenever I have a quick problem they fix it on the spot, free of charge - they wouldnt do that in Walmart would they??

Also the fact I got a quality bike (for free ) out of it

Try and avoid supermarkets and the like, after all they arent there solely to sell/repair bikes are they
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Old 06-21-04, 12:22 PM   #6
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Suspension on low-end bikes is low grade. It will wear out and need maintenance. You really dont need sus on a bike, esp in mountainous Florida.
You are better of spending the money on a lighter-weight and better grade ridgid bike. Riding a non-sus bike will make you into a better rider, more responsive to the terrain.
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Old 06-22-04, 01:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by andthestarfalls
first off i'd like to introduce my self and i'd just like to say that i think these forums are great and incredibly informative, my name is alex and im 17 years old from south florida and a total newb.
im goin bike shopping tomorrow,now i know your all probably just goin to tell me to save up some more money but for my first mtn bike im goin cheap, i AM gonna buy from sporta suthoity or walmart or the like. what i'd like to know however is what i should look for in a bike at this price range? they seem to have some decent looking dual suspension as well as hardtails.... what should i looke for? metal pedals? v brakes?... i just want to get a semi decent bike to start out on, i'm just gonna be riding the tame trails at my local park and around the neighborhood some.
thak you
alex

I know you just want to get into it...but your average wal-mart bike isn't even safe for off-road use. The stems are often flimsy, many retaining bolts are made from cast metal instead of the proper materials. Often the brakes are of poor quality and won't survive an emergency stop. Given the schwinns and other recently acquired names aren't as bad as the bulk of them...but they still don't hold a candle to the cehapest bike you can find from a bike shop. I paid $200 for my bike...and well...if it can take my overweight butt without breaking...it's a good solid bike. Trust me on this, I had a wal-mart bike....you can feel the difference from jsut riding around the block...the pedaling is smoother, the fit is far better...no knees up to the handlbars...replacment parts are easy to find (and trust me, eventually you will break something)...and most of all....bike shop bikes usually have a year of free maintenance (within reason...dont take that as an excuse to take a $200 bike on a demolition run...it's a courtesy to cover normal wear and tear over the first year of use).

Or jsut look used. You can prolly find an used steel frame diamondback outlook for $100 or so...and that bike would still make the wal-mart bikes look terrible...even that nice shiny schwinn.


EDIT: well..if you must buy froma sport suthority....look for a hardtail...dual suspensions in that price range will usually say somewhere that they are NOT for off-roadd use...which is about the most stupid thing I have ever seen...dual suspension jsut for looks..

V-brakes is a must...I have yet to see a respectable mtn bike made recently that uses calipers. Even standard cantilevers would suffice.

Look for name brand componentry. You will most likely be looking for Shimano at your price range.

Don;t fall for any gimmicks...for your price, you should be looking at a very basic bike. Front suspension is the norm for base model mtn bikes anymore...two good names for forks found on base model bikes is Suntour and RST. Once again get familiar with name brands and be very weary of anything with an off-brand name, since usually a cheap bike maker will make their own name up for their generic suspension forks. Softer forks are not better...go for a fork that dips slightly under your weight load..but is stiff enough to not bottom out on the easiest of obstacles. Actually the most sucessful off-road fork designs were longer travel and not more softness...but at the price your looking at fork travel is irrelevant since travel costs money.

Make sure to have some kind of proof of what the frame is made of. usually they will either say aluminum of cro-moly. I learend to steer clear of teh ones that say "alloy frame"...since all bike metals are alloys to some extent...It's jsut a matter of if the maker has to market-spin a fact to put in as a specification..something is amiss.

Most importantly...fit. If it doesnt feel comfy..dont buy it.

Last edited by catatonic; 06-22-04 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 07-01-04, 12:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by catatonic
Or jsut look used. You can prolly find an used steel frame diamondback outlook for $100 or so...and that bike would still make the wal-mart bikes look terrible...even that nice shiny schwinn.

Hello,

I'm a total newbie too. Could you please tell me where to look for these cheap (around $100) used bikes you mention? Can you recommend me any good online sites?

And also I came across these two bikes at the $100 price range. I know you'd say they're worthless and you're right but if you were to choose something what would you say about them? Thank you.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...oods&n=3375301

http://store.yahoo.com/twau1999/micargim90.html
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Old 07-01-04, 12:46 AM   #9
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I dunno bout those...at that price getting a no-suspension bike is best.

Just look in your paper, on graigslist, and at the salvation army/thrift store. Sometimes you find a gem in the rough.

Be weary though of thrift store/salv army bikes, you have to inspect them thoroughly, and some require repair work of varying degrees. I have heard of folks getting great bikes that way however. Stuff such as 70s raleighs for $30 that only needed about $100 in repairs...so for $130 they got a nice roadbike. Things like that.

I estimated $100, since about 3 years ago, the steel frame outlook new was about $170. Still I think gouing to an LBS and getting a new diamondback Outlook or Raleigh M20 would be a good choice, and they are about $200 at the moment, for a front suspension, aluminum frame hardtail with shimano tourney equipment (basic stuff, nothing great, but it's reliable), aluminum rims, grip shifters, vbrakes....basically everything you would want if your going to put any decent time on a bike.

Of course it's all up to you, but I do reccomend at the least you go and test ride bikes from a bike shop and see how you like them. I usd to have a wallyworld bike, and when i test rode the diamondback at the bike shop...it was like a revelation. Just how solid it felt gave me confidence in doing the things a mtn bike should. Given this is a bottom end bike...the higher end stuff is so much nicer...just dont try those out yet...too tempting to buy one after you have...good bikes are like crack....one ride your hooked
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Old 07-01-04, 07:41 AM   #10
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DEFINITLY go to your LBS, they will treat you better than the non-english-speaking employee at walmart! My LBS 's prices are a little more expensive than other places Iv checked, but he gives awesome service, and recognozes me when ever i come in, the other, closer stores just have some kids who needed a job, and fell at bike store, and know some of what they are doing. I would much rather spend the extra cash and support the other guy!
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