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Old 06-30-11, 09:51 AM   #1
audan94
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Hello & HELP with mountain bike purchase.

I posted this under the introductions, but felt this might be a better place to get some feedback.
First off Hello to everyone out there. Second, please help with my up coming mountain bike purchase. I am new to mountain biking and have been looking around for about 3 months for a bike. I will be doing some biking at some parks around my area. I think I have narrowed my search down to 2 bikes, but like I said I'm new so I don't really know much about the components and how to compare them against each other. The 2 bikes are the Trek 3500 and Giant Revel2.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...ck/7509/44529/

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ries/3500_2011

I would appreciate any feedback on which bike has the better components and which bike you all think is the better all around bike.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 06-30-11, 03:57 PM   #2
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They're both fairly comparable as entry level bikes. The components on both make me cringe and I think it's sad that's the best these big name bike companies will give you these days for $400. You could definitely do a lot better in the used market at the $400 price level, but I realize that's difficult if you don't know what you're looking at. Check craigslist, check ebay, and see what kind of bikes you can find at that pricepoint. Then you could ask a local friend that knows about mountain biking, or you could post links to the board and maybe someone can give you some feedback. For $400, I'd buy new as a last resort.
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Old 07-01-11, 07:56 AM   #3
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Sad is right.
Third option is online/mail-order - you can get something with much better components in the same $$ range. Only hitch is you will need to do some partial assembly and tuning. Not difficult if you are even slightly mechanically inclined, but if you're not comfortable with that then stick with the LBS.
As to your actual question, the Giant has a much better fork, the rest of the components are a coin flip IMO.

Last edited by scyclops; 07-01-11 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 07-01-11, 08:51 AM   #4
audan94
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scyclops, do you have any online/mail-order suggestions? I checked out Bikesdirect, but they are sold out of almost everything in my size and price range.

Thanks
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Old 07-01-11, 11:23 AM   #5
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A quick search of the usual suspects has caught me by surprise. The last time I looked, Amazon had some decent hardtails in the $400 range, and ebay was loaded with some fairly nice bikes (GT Avalanche 1.0, e.g.) in that $ range. Wow. The stuff that is available has suddenly jumped in price, and a lot of options seem to have just dried up.
Your best bet is to just keep checking your LBS, ebay, and the major online dealers for deals and closeouts. Look for Shimano Acera or better / SRAM X4 or better, and avoid anything with less than a 80mm fork (these are very minimal standards, mind you).
Failing all else, if you can get a decent deal on the Giant Revel you could do a lot worse (but that Trek is solidly in Walmart territory, component-wise).

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Old 07-01-11, 12:12 PM   #6
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I too would definitely go with the Giant. And I too am surprised to see that the bike prices seem to have jumped. That's disappointing. If you can, search out your local CL for a couple weeks and see if anything pops up. If you happen to see something on there with a suspension fork and half way decent components for ~$200 or less, grab it. Even if it needs a healthy tune-up, you could re-cable it, new chain, and probably rebuild the fork/entry level new fork and you'd have a better bike for your $400. Unfortunately it's difficult to know what you're doing with something like that when you're new to the hobby.
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Old 07-01-11, 12:14 PM   #7
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What size are you?

I don't really know anything about these particular bikes, but the lower priced ones give you plenty of spending room to upgrade a couple things or put a nicer fork on them.
http://columbusga.craigslist.org/bik/2436082392.html
http://columbusga.craigslist.org/bik/2472299788.html
http://columbusga.craigslist.org/bik/2459749874.html

EDIT: Actually, the first one has a 63mm fork. Might be hard to replace that because there aren't really any nice ones available.

Last edited by 3speed; 07-01-11 at 12:23 PM.
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