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  1. #1
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    Follow-up to Newbie advice (150 bucks or less)

    Yesterday, I posted a question for advice on a first mountain bike on a budget (<150 bucks). I do appreciate all the advice greatly and as a result, I'll be checking around for used bikes at LBS's and Pawn shops, but just an FYI for everyone...I will NOT be riding down hills, doing stunts, wheelies, racing, or anything else flashy. I will riding straight ahead on a finely crushed gravel trail. This is simply something I want to do for exercise. I couldn't give 2 craps about tricks. I don't know if that changes anyone's opinion on what requirements are truly crucial for a beginner, but I've got a friend with a K-Mart Huffy he's had for 3 years. He rides the same trail I'll be riding about once a month (10-20 miles each time) with the same intention (exercise), and he hasn't had any problems at all. Would a Schwinn Sidewinder, Mongoose EFX, Mongoose MGX, etc. not get me started? Is more of a bike up front, until I found out if this sticks with me, not potentially overkill?

  2. #2
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    Why couldn't you just post a reply to your first topic... ?

  3. #3
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    In case no one would revisit and maybe to get fresh opinions. Sorry if this is an unacceptable practice on the board.

  4. #4
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    Well, I'm guessing when Mael or Kona wakes up, they'll merge the threads and delete my 2 posts in it

    I still think you'd be fine if you didn't do tricks and the like.
    Are there any of those bikes with only one chainring in front? That's certainly a plus in my book. Chain dropping is a problem even with a 'decent' bike, like mine.

  5. #5
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    What's the point of excercising once a month?

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Seperate thread worthy!

    If all you are going to do is ride a gravel path and get introduced to the sport than I see nothing wrong with one of the BIG BOX BIKES. Schwinn is probably the best of the worst. Mongoose isn't too bad.

    Just realize that these bikes are bottom of the barrel in regard to components. For the occasional gravel path ride they're all you really need. However, if you do get more involved in the sport and begin to hit some more aggressive trails, your bike may not hold up to repetative abuse. They're just not built that well.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  7. #7
    Senior Member Billy Brown's Avatar
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    Definitely, if that's all you are going to be doing, then a discount store bike will work fine. I still think a used bike made by Trek or Specialized would be better, though. And if you buy a bike at Walmart or whatever, you might take it to a bike shop to make everything is correctly installed.

  8. #8
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    Finally, some really good feedback! That was like pulling teeth. I guess it's my fault for not letting people know I wasn't looking to be Mr. Trickster.

    In reply to "notfred", I never said I was only going to exercise once a month. I stated that my buddy rides the trail once a month.

    Thanks again...sounds like if I can't find a good used one, I should get the Schwinn Sidewinder and get it checked out or tuned up.

  9. #9
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I've been a bike mechanic for almost 20 years. I've seen my share of 'junk' bikes.

    The problem that I see with the new "x-mart" bikes is that they try to put too much in for too little money.

    If you can find just a front suspension bike you'd be much better off. Full Suspension cheap bikes, weight a ton, are horrible designs, and the suspension components are worthless.

    If you buy a hardtail, the fork isn't going to be great, but it'll work for just riding a gravel path. Also, avoid disc brakes. They will be worthless on a sub $200 bike.

    What WILL go wrong is that the shifting will come out of adjustment within the first month. Guess what? That happens on EVERY bike with cables. Even $7,000 Litespeed's. (Titanium Super Bikes). You'll have to learn how to adjust your cables, both shifter and brake. Besides that, if you do any type of jumping (you said you wouldn't) the handlebars will bend. If you land hard on the seat the seatpost clamp will strip.

    Also, before you buy make sure the spokes criss-cross each other. I've seen "x-mart" bikes where the spokes don't. What I mean is that as the spoke leaves the hub, it goes over two spokes and then under the other one. Not just crossing, but over and under. Hard to explain, but look at a decent wheel and you'll understand what I mean.

    If and when you get your bike, you're going to have to learn how to do some basic maintenance on it. There is a "bicycle mechanics" forum. Go there and do some reading. Also, there are some Barnett's Bicycle Repair Manuals that you can download. I suggest doing that regardless of what bike you buy (expensive or cheap).

    Good luck.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  10. #10
    Kiwi Cyclist NZ_Rida's Avatar
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    You can buy a Giant Boulder. they are fairly cheap and ain't to bad or a used bike as mentioned in other posts
    My Bikes:

    2005 Marin Northside Trail
    2004 Giant Rythym
    2004 Specialized Hard Rock Sport (Gone! traded for a new bike)

  11. #11
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    i still stick with my post, get a huffy, schwinn or mongoose. no full suspension and disc brakes, etc etc. simple is better

  12. #12
    the man behind the camera
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    trust me, u will soon become very, very bored of gravel tracks and the like, i was once like you, and well, in the other thread you can get my point

  13. #13
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    I went to target the other day and saw a Next bike with disc brakes. I thought it was pretty crazy, those things really work on that low end of a bike?
    I am Signature-less

  14. #14
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    no

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH_FISH
    trust me, you will soon become very, very bored of gravel tracks and the like, i was once like you, and well, in the other thread you can get my point
    Why is it so hard for you to use full words? It's TWO extra keystrokes for ******* sake

  16. #16
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    because it saves .000003 seconds
    Rides: 06 Demo8 II, Yeti DJ
    Pin it baby!

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbike
    because it saves .000003 seconds
    Oy

  18. #18
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Why is it so hard for you to use full words? It's TWO extra keystrokes for ******* sake
    I figured that was an improvement. 1 word out of a few. Gotta give some credit. Usually it is every other word.

  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    I figured that was an improvement. 1 word out of a few. Gotta give some credit. Usually it is every other word.
    I suppose so, he did spell it properly the rest of the time. there is such a thing as an edit link too.

  20. #20
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    there goes that .000002 seconds that he saved by using that edit link! Therefore he can't use it.

  21. #21
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    oMg, yOoH gUyS sUxKzz!! dUnT yOooH gUYz kNow dAt iSh wAs lAsT yEar tHanGG, nOOw iSH aLl bOuT aLt cAPz N oTeR cRaP. lOlz hEs A nOob

  22. #22
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Oooo Vey!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  23. #23
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanPanX
    oMg, yOoH gUyS sUxKzz!! dUnT yOooH gUYz kNow dAt iSh wAs lAsT yEar tHanGG, nOOw iSH aLl bOuT aLt cAPz N oTeR cRaP. lOlz hEs A nOob
    good luck fixing that, raiyn
    Rides: 06 Demo8 II, Yeti DJ
    Pin it baby!

  24. #24
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    I've always had something to say, but never found the place to say it. Heres the place. I have a CCM REvenge, a department store bike. My friend rides a Mongoose dual suspension. Surprisingly, my current front SIS derailler shifts better than my alivio. Big Box bikes aren't as bad as most people think, that's the truth. Saying one (a new one that has been checked to make sure that everything is assembled alright) will just break down on a simple trail is a complete lie. It's just that bikes at your LBS are more suited to the sort of riding and are overall more comfortable and efficient to ride. My friend caught 5 feet of air off a ramp, screwed up and all he had to do to fix his bike was to tighten some spokes.

    Of course, I wouldn't reccomend doing something like that. But seriously, department bikes (in Canadian tire and zellers in my case) aren't as bad as you would think. The only thing I could find bad with them is the assembly (of course components, but that's how its like for under 300 bucks for a new bike). And it was the simple assembly, so it wasn't hard to fix. Big box bikes are what you need if you're not going hardcore. Why go overkill on something your never go use the limits of. I Got my scrap because I knew I would be ripping sooner or later and I needed the bike. For my rides to the grocery store, I just use my CCM Revenge.

    haha, my CCM shifts better than my scrap overall. No chain skipping, no chain breaks yet. No screwed up driver train yet. (Just the rear derailler's hangy thing at the bottom wasn't straight so all I had to do was knock that into the right place. It wasn't something I regret buying.

  25. #25
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    hooligan, i thought you had a kona shred or something, not a 'ccm revenge'

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