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  1. #1
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    New to mountain biking, need help selecting a bike!

    I am going to start mountain biking for the first time and I have been looking around at some nice beginner bikes. I found a Specialized Hardrock at my local bike shop for $350 (new) which seems like a good price to me.

    I am 6'3" 260 and am quite athletic, I didn't know if for mountain biking I would need a certain size bike/frame/tires or if I can get away with the Hardrock.

    Thanks for your help and I am excited to begin!

  2. #2
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    yes you need a certain size.

    bike frames come in either small, medium, large, xlarge, or inches, depending on company.

    if you are 6'3", you need an extra large frame, or 20" -24"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Wheelie's Avatar
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    Do you have a gnar crew that have extra bikes laying around? See if you can't talk them into letting you "test ride" a couple of them, with them, of course. At the price you are looking at, you might want to look at used bikes. Some can be VERY LIGHTLY used, but still in very good condition. I don't know where you are located, but craigslist is also a good place to look.

  4. #4
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Just some advice re Craigslist... I am in the process of helping a friend find a good used MTBike. I am amazed at what is found on CL... old, low technology, roughly handled bikes at really high prices. I for one know what bikes cost and when I see a 1996 old school fully listed for $1200 I am amazed. If you go that route educate yourself first. Know what bikes cost new, know component groups and whether or not they add value to a bike, and understand new v. old technology. Something that was high end in 1996 is now on low end Walmart bikes!

    Also I know cost is important and sometimes an issue but consider the following:

    1) Do I really like this sport and see myself getting into it
    2) what do I like to do? What type of trails do I like or want to ride?
    3) My age and how rough trails and little or no travel will affect me?

    A $350 bike is really good for simple bike paths and trails. Of course you can do technical stuff with it but just know a price may be paid. Hopefully you know something about bike mechanics and can make your own repairs. An OK MTBbike that will handle technical dirt generally starts around $750 - 800.

    The Hardrock you are looking it does of course come in various sizes from small to XL. At your height I suspect at a minimum you need a large to XL. Of course you can also consider a 29er but that's a whole other niche to consider. I would stay with the standard 26er and see if the sport is really for you.
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    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  5. #5
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Ditto what Pamestique said about knowing your bikes before you buy off Craigslist. Better still, take a freind who knows mountain bikes with you. Yes you can find good, late model, used bikes that were used very little. You can also find someone's ancient bike with a elastomer fork that's long since hardened and worthless. Take your time and look carefully. Try developing a checklist to take with you to check out each bike.
    BTW, I like the new Hardrock for someone just starting out, but that's just me.
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  6. #6
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    Hi there MDS78!

    On the other hand,

    If you're the least bit mechanically inclined, you could complete the assembly of this brand new GT mountain bike (MTB), in the privacy of your own home.

    Alternatively, if you live near a bicycle co-op, you could just become a member of the co-op and assemble it there, under the watchful eyes of seasoned bicycle mechanics.

    Whatever the case may be, you won't have to roll dice with CL while searching for a decent hardtail MTB.

    Thanks to bikesdirect.com your search is over!

    The Dawes Haymaker 1200 ~ $380
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/hay1200xi.htm

    Welcome to the Mounting Biking Forum, my friend!

    - Slim

    PS.

    www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
    (Just watch the video as many times as necessary to assist in the bicycle assembly)

    Edited for greater quality of recommendation
    Last edited by SlimRider; 03-07-12 at 10:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Hi there MDS78!

    On the other hand,

    If you're the least bit mechanically inclined, you could complete the assembly of this brand new GT mountain bike (MTB), in the privacy of your own home.

    Alternatively, if you live near a bicycle co-op, you could just become a member of the co-op and assemble it there, under the watchful eyes of seasoned bicycle mechanics.

    Whatever the case may be, you won't have to roll dice with CL while searching for a decent hardtail MTB.

    Thanks to bikesdirect.com your search is over!

    The GT-Aggressor ~ $300
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_aggressor_1.htm

    Welcome to the Mounting Biking Forum, my friend!

    - Slim

    PS.

    www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
    (Just watch the video as many times as necessary to assist in the bicycle assembly)
    Is this a nice beginner bike? I could definitely put a bike together, I was also looking at the Trek 3700 disk. I think my best bet is to go to a bike shop and see what they have on sale and see one that fits my need. I have done some biking in the past but I have never had a "true" MTB with shocks, I am interested in doing some technical trails but if a $400 bike prohibits this so be it. Thanks for your help!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mds78 View Post
    Is this a nice beginner bike? I could definitely put a bike together, I was also looking at the Trek 3700 disk. I think my best bet is to go to a bike shop and see what they have on sale and see one that fits my need. I have done some biking in the past but I have never had a "true" MTB with shocks, I am interested in doing some technical trails but if a $400 bike prohibits this so be it. Thanks for your help!
    Just remember:

    There are many bikes available at bikesdiect.com

    Here's a Motobecane 500 HT for example! @ $360

    www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/5ht_new_xii.htm

    - Slim

    PS.

    There's also REI and the REI OUTLET online store. Right now REI has the following MTN bikes on their Clearance sales list:


    The Marin Trail Bike @ $370
    www.rei.com/product/832396/marin-pioneer-trail-mountain-bike-2011-overstock
    Last edited by SlimRider; 03-07-12 at 10:40 PM.

  9. #9
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    both of the suntour forks in those two suggestions by slim will be woefully inadequate for technical trails with roots, rock gardens, any really rough terrain, for a 260 pound rider. I wouldn't have much faith in them at 160.

    however, I completely agree with Pam and others suggesting that you start small and see if you like the sport. I would get real cheap and see what you think, and if you fall in love then you should fully expect that a cheap bike will stink and you'll be selling it for half what you paid. but half of $300-400 is a better than going in on bike over $1500 and then letting it rust.

    get super cheap now, and fully expect not to be riding it next year one way or another.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    both of the suntour forks in those two suggestions by slim will be woefully inadequate for technical trails with roots, rock gardens, any really rough terrain, for a 260 pound rider. I wouldn't have much faith in them at 160.

    however, I completely agree with Pam and others suggesting that you start small and see if you like the sport. I would get real cheap and see what you think, and if you fall in love then you should fully expect that a cheap bike will stink and you'll be selling it for half what you paid. but half of $300-400 is a better than going in on bike over $1500 and then letting it rust.

    get super cheap now, and fully expect not to be riding it next year one way or another.

    I could very well be wrong here, but the way that I interpreted what the OP is saying is that he eventually wants to break into the technical side of MTN biking, but right now, wants a beginner's MTB.

    I really wasn't focused so much on recommending anything that he could eventually do technical riding on, due to the pricepoint. I just wanted to let the OP become aware of his online opportunites for making MTB purchases.
    Since he's a beginner, Craigslist might not be an option without the assistance of a knowledgeable and seasoned MTN biker.

    Also, all of the bikes that I recommended can be easily sold for almost the purchase pricepoint, once he has decided that the more advanced technical riding would really be for him. IMHO, the next step after realizing that he really wants to go technical, would be to purchase a full suspension MTB. That's really the only way to go the pure technical route, 100%.

    At the very least a HT MTB that can really begin to meet really technical challenges in the field will cost upwards of a grand ($1000), and full suspension will add at least another grand to that grand. Hey! DH and Freestyle MTN biking with all of the technical manuevers, makes this an expensive sport! In order to really exploit it for all you can get out of it, requires that you be inclined mechanically , have a decent amount of disposable cash, have amazing healing powers, and an unstoppable mental resilience, that won't allow you to quit.

    Your starting point should be just about any HT MTB where you can get a feeling of how it rides and manuevers across the country trails. You should get the hang of keeping both your eyes and thoughts, on the quickly approaching trail changes ahead. You need to practice on steps. You need to know how to bunny hop. You also need to practice 1-2 ft jumps.

    You need to practice ascending and descending medium hills. Once you've mastered these minimum basics, it then will be time for a more expensive FS MTB, if you're still interested.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 03-07-12 at 06:23 PM.

  11. #11
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    maybe a better idea for a big guy is just to get a rigid 29er. a lot of those are singlespeed, and that might work well somewhere relatively flat like Kansas (our singletrack isn't flat, but also sure ain't Whistler) but it also could be an exercise in misery for a rookie. part of what makes a singlespeed doable is being good enough to flow and not slow unnecessarily.

  12. #12
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    Alright MDS78,

    It would appear that Pamestique and Pablosnazzy are the only people who have really come closest to addressing your original question about the Specialized Hardrock. I guess that's because, maybe we all got the feeling that the Hardrock might be too small for you or something. At least, that was the feeling that I was getting anyway.

    You are a big tall guy. That means that you're going to most probably need an XL sized bike. However, it's always best to actually mount and test-ride whenever you have the opportunity. My advice would be to go to every bicycle dealership that sells MTN bikes in your area, then mount and test-ride as many MTN bikes as the law will permit. You have a really good feeling by then, just exactly what size your are. Then return to the Specialized Hardrock for the last time and test-ride it for the final time, for comparison.

    If it fits, grab it! So yes! It would be a nice beginner's bike IMHO...

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 03-07-12 at 11:00 PM.

  13. #13
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    $350 is a good price, if you really want to buy a bike, you can test it first, then you can know your certain size

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