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Old 12-05-10, 05:11 PM   #1
TierraBiker
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My First Real Mountain Bike.

Hello everyone. A couple of months ago I picked up mountain biking and have realized that the performance of my wal-mart bike is a bit lacking. I'm 5'8" , 120 lbs. I figure a 26" would fit me the best but I don't know anything about the geometry or anything and I guess as a beginner it doesn't much matter. I'm still a highschooler and do not have a job so I'm counting on santa to pay for this one.

Riding:
about 50% on road 50% off road
(off road being anything from just a bumpy dirt/gravel road to some intense rocky downhill...but what does intense mean for a noob)
Rarely, if ever, will it get more than 8 inches of air off a jump but there is a very short (50ft or so) dirt bmx course that I ride a lot so a maneuverable bike would be preferred. Where I ride there is just as much up hill riding as down hill so the lighter the bike the better. I ride at Mission Trails Regional Park between Tierrasanta and Santee/San Carlos in case anyone else rides there too. There are lots of people biking in that area.

Price:
$200-$400. $400 MAX, probably even too much. anything from an lbs would be a step up from my old department store bike right?

I know to stay away from department stores and plan on checking out a couple local bike shops. One question I have, other than "what bike should i get", is what about a Mongoose brand bike? They seem to make good quality bikes but i have yet to hear or read about anyone buying a Mongoose bike.

Please feel free to ask any questions.
Thank you! and thanks for reading my post.
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Old 12-05-10, 05:58 PM   #2
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i'd keep an eye on craigslist, you can sometimes find a great deal, as long as the bike is your size. go to your local bike shop and get a decent entry level bike. Raleigh makes decent entry level affordable bicycles.

mongoose used to be a good bike, not so much anymore.

as far as sizing...26" is the size of the tire, has nothing to do with your height. you want a "medium" sized bike, which, depending on the brand, could mean 16-20," so you really need to sit on the bike and see how that feels, that is the only sure way to know the bike fits you.

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Old 12-05-10, 06:05 PM   #3
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Tyax Sport isn't too awful a bike, but MSRP is $89 above your absolute max. Perhaps you can find a 2010 on clearance that would meet your price requirements if you've a Mongoose dealer with one on the floor down in SD.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:10 PM   #4
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On the subject of the bike size, check the clearance over the top tube if you have to jump off the saddle in a hurry. When I bought my bike the guy at the LBS said based on my height I should be on a 23" frame but I was unhappy at the lack of clearance over the top tube so bought the 21" instead.

You don't say if you're male or female, but I'm sure you can imagine the discomfort if you have to jump off the saddle and sensitive areas land hard on the top tube.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:20 PM   #5
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On the subject of the bike size, check the clearance over the top tube if you have to jump off the saddle in a hurry. When I bought my bike the guy at the LBS said based on my height I should be on a 23" frame but I was unhappy at the lack of clearance over the top tube so bought the 21" instead.

You don't say if you're male or female, but I'm sure you can imagine the discomfort if you have to jump off the saddle and sensitive areas land hard on the top tube.
I'm a guy so I would imagine the pain is horrible. On another note, how are frames measured? How does a 16" frame compare to a 17" or 18" other than the obvious "its smaller".
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Old 12-05-10, 06:28 PM   #6
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On another note, how are frames measured? How does a 16" frame compare to a 17" or 18" other than the obvious "its smaller".
There's really not enough of a standard for frame measurements for the numbers to mean much of anything from one brand to another (unless you dig through the complete specs and compare STA, HTA, chainstay length, front/center, wheelbase, etc.) You've just got to try them out. One brand's 15" can fit me perfect, while another one will be way too small.
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Old 12-11-10, 04:06 PM   #7
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There's really not enough of a standard for frame measurements for the numbers to mean much of anything from one brand to another (unless you dig through the complete specs and compare STA, HTA, chainstay length, front/center, wheelbase, etc.) You've just got to try them out. One brand's 15" can fit me perfect, while another one will be way too small.
Got it, Got it. thanks everyone for the excellent information! hopefully I can make it out this weekend to a bike shop or two.
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Old 12-11-10, 08:38 PM   #8
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In the interest of gaining more knowledge...what it the major difference between these two bikes here?

http://bicyclewarehouse.com/product/...ke-75391-1.htm
http://bicyclewarehouse.com/product/...ke-60602-1.htm

they both have the same components except in a few areas, so what is the big reason for the price difference? is it just higher quality parts in the 5.0?
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Old 12-11-10, 08:52 PM   #9
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Typical part upgrades to bring it to the next price level. Better fork (theoretically...neither will be that great), better drivetrain, 8-speed vs 7-speed, nicer bars/stem/seatpost, V-brake vs. mech disc. I can't say either would be my first choice, but if I were limited to those two, I'd definitely go with the 8-speed with mechs.
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Old 12-11-10, 09:15 PM   #10
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Typical part upgrades to bring it to the next price level. Better fork (theoretically...neither will be that great), better drivetrain, 8-speed vs 7-speed, nicer bars/stem/seatpost, V-brake vs. mech disc. I can't say either would be my first choice, but if I were limited to those two, I'd definitely go with the 8-speed with mechs.
Either of these bikes, though, would be a step up from a department store Schwinn?
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Old 12-11-10, 10:07 PM   #11
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Hard to make a head-head comparison at the moment as I don't see any Schwinn hardtails in that price range and dep't store websites are so vague about specs you can't really say without seeing one in person. If you got one of the Raleighs at a good bike shop, there's a good chance it will be assembled more properly. Dep't store bikes are typically assembled by folks who get paid very little on a per-bike basis to yank them out of boxes and put 'em on the floor.

If Schwinn had a hardtail at the $320 price point, I bet it would rival the Talus 3.0. I'm basing that opinion on what looks to be an almost-respectable $330 full suspension at Target.
But plan on spending $50 or so to have a professional bike mechanic double check the assembly.

I'd rather try to score a Tyax sport than either the Talus 3.0 or the Target Schwinn, however.

Schwinn Frontier Expert rivals the Tyax, dunno if you'll see it in dep't stores, however. Might be the low range at LBS only. If you can find a local shop that'll price match that price, I might pull the trigger if a test ride made me happy.

Wow, $320 Schwinn 3-speed with fenders and rack and recumbent trikes at Target! Wild and wacky stuff on those sites sometimes.

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Old 12-11-10, 10:13 PM   #12
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Oh, I forgot to share this, funniest MTB I've seen in some time.
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Old 12-11-10, 11:40 PM   #13
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IF you're kinda big and the bike's in good shape and not stolen, this is the bike for you.
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Old 12-12-10, 12:05 AM   #14
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hmm seems like a nice bike, although I'm only 5'8" 120lbs. that bikes seems a little big.

I've been keeping my eye on craigslist and I don't see a whole lot of quality mountain bikes...just a lot of dust collectors that need some TLC. Maybe I'm not searching for the right thing, but whenever I put in a bike model the search comes up blank, or with one or two parts for that bike. need some help?

Thats a nice price on that tyax sport there too, though i guess ordering a bike online without test riding it is a fairly bad idea.

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Old 12-12-10, 12:18 AM   #15
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Here's a sweet Trek 930 for $50.
Might be a little small, but could work with a longer, flatter stem. Needs a new chain and you can put a 2.5" tire on front and that'll be just about as good as any of the lowend sus forks you're looking at.
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Old 12-12-10, 01:12 AM   #16
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Here's a sweet Trek 930 for $50.
Might be a little small, but could work with a longer, flatter stem. Needs a new chain and you can put a 2.5" tire on front and that'll be just about as good as any of the lowend sus forks you're looking at.
All in all how much would you say it could cost to make this bike rideable? fyi I'm a noob so what exactly is th "stem" of a bike and how would a flatter one vs. a less flat one function?
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