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  1. #1
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    Which mountain bike to buy?

    Hi everyone,

    My first post here! I hope this isn't the wrong sub-forum for my question.

    I have been riding a bike since I was four, so for about 16 years now. I really enjoy casual biking, but want to start hitting trails with others and try my hand at that. So, I'm looking for a mountain bike.

    I know that since this is a specialized forum, "consumer level" products are probably sneered upon, and for good reason, I'm sure. However, I do have a couple of requirements for a bike:

    1) Sub $250.
    2) Light (not heavy); maybe aluminum frame?

    What would you guys recommend? I don't know anything about the bike market!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    well there are two things i can say. For 250 you will buy yourself a pile of problems. A wheelset alone can go over 600. Look in hte 500 dollar mountain bike thread, and also a bike under 5 hundred will not be light.

  3. #3
    Senior Member incipit's Avatar
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    You are going to have to go Used for that budget check ebay for used bikes that are in the $400-500 range when new. You can usually score one of these for $200-250
    '03 Trek 4500, Marzocchi MX Comp ETA, Avid mechs w/flak Jackets, Shimano XT Deraillers, XT Hubs w/Rhynolites

  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    yep, used is the route to take in this range, go to a pawn shop. Ive seen some very nice deals for under 250

  5. #5
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    As others have stated, for 250$ you'll be getting a bad bike, short-life, bad components which will break. You know what happened with my 180 euro bike (=250$?)?
    After 9 months the suspension is broken, the gears are messed up, the crankset is bent, the wheels are a bit bent, the brakes suck and all this with relatively light riding.
    Trust me: Either get a 500$ mountain bike used or save up some more money. (when I get enough money I'll be getting the Specialized Hardrock Sport, great bike, 425 euros but I think in the USA it's around 400$, maybe you should check it out and see if you can find a used one on eBay)

  6. #6
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Does your town have an annual police auction? If so, there are often great deals to be had. Otherwise, keep an eye on eBay. You might be able to find something decent that falls into your price range, especially if it's an older bike.

    For instance, I'm selling my Trek 6500zx from 1998 for less than $250. Sure it's older, but in this case it was mostly used on streets and didn't see much hard trail riding. I bet you'd be able to find something similar to fit your needs until you are able to spend more later.

    And you're better off doing that than buying a new $500 bike, because you'll be wanting to upgrade when you can, and you won't be out much money if you buy used now.
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  7. #7
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    Guys,

    Thanks for the replies!

    I can spend $500 on a bike, except I'm not sure whether I'd actually end-up using it to its full potential. Could I get a bike with an aluminum frame for under $500?

    Thanks and I'll be sure to look at the MTB under $500 thread, too.

  8. #8
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Yes.
    Umm..chromoly steel bikes are more expensive than Alu frames new.
    You won't have a choice, alu is what you can afford.

  9. #9
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    A 250 dollar bike and trails do not mix. I recently went bike shopping with my GF, and the mountain bike she picked up is totally trail worthy, for around 450 bucks canadian. I would be wary of riding anything much lower cost than that offroad. It will literally fall apart.

    For 250 bucks, you can easily get a decent used bike. I'd look into that as well.

  10. #10
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    If you can figure whats hot and not, go used.
    Craigslist can be a way http://www.craigslist.org/
    Select closest area, under for sale- bikes.

    On a new bike in that price range, anything suspension or disc brake would be garbage.

    http://www.firstflightbikes.com/atb.htm this site dedicated to older mtb. If you see any names in the paper that match these -you might have a contender.

    But @ 250$ it'll will not be pretty, will need replacement parts and upgrades.
    But the investment can be spread over time and wrenching bikes is a great part of the cycling hobby..(can't believe I said hobby-SPORT).

    You might even get to ride a STEEL bike, I do.
    My example:
    $150 used old T.R. ATB, it took $550 to uprade and replace most everything. I took a year to do it.
    Usually rebuilding old is considerd a waste, but with handbuilt racing bikes..oh ya!

    If you can get a good FRAME (most important part) you can pick up a second bike with 'problems' and swap out components, but it requires bike smarts...and calipers.

    Best to get a few more $$, and get Kona or Treks entry level bike.

  11. #11
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    Despite what some say about 250 $ bikes I will share my experience with you. I’ve purchased my first mountain bike in 2000. It was Raleigh M20 all rigid and steel frame-fork. The tag was 300, but the guy sold it to me for 250. After about 2-3 years of use I have replaced brakes, got a suspension fork, headset, new handlebars, saddle, pedals, cassette and chain(but these wear out with time on any bike). NONE of mentioned items was replaced because of brakege or dysfunction of the original components. I bent my bars in crash, ripped saddle to shreds in a different accident. Replaced pedals(came with plastic) for better grip and upgraded to suspension because I was doing more off-road stuff, same goes for brakes. Now I got slicks on it and use it for commute/pleasure riding. Nothing has given up on me in any shape or form as of yet. I’m not familiar with what’s on the market right now for the amount you are willing to spend, but if you get steel, it sure will get you through most of the trails you will probably do as a beginner. See if you like the sport and then move on up in 1-2 years to a different/better equipped bike. Just buy in bike shop, they’ll assist you with proper frame size and will probably give you free maintenances/tune up for some time.
    Last edited by Chuvak; 02-11-05 at 03:35 PM.

  12. #12
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    Yup find your self a bike co-op or bike club, make some friends and go garage sailing
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  13. #13
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    For $500 go get a new Trek 4500 and beat it up. Good bike, aluminum frame. For $400 it's pretty good, I owned one. In the $500 range, it is probably the best selling.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottluebke2004
    For $500 go get a new Trek 4500 and beat it up. Good bike, aluminum frame. For $400 it's pretty good, I owned one. In the $500 range, it is probably the best selling.
    I still think the Specialized Hardrock Sport is better.
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
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  15. #15
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    Guys,

    Thanks for the replies!

    I read the Under $500 thread and checked out the Trek 4500, and I must say, I like it quite a bit.

    However, no one around here seems to carry it. They say it has something to do with Trek not allowing you to carry other brands if you carry theirs.

    Anyway, the nice dude at the local shop offered me a Giant Rincon (http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030....sp?model=10764) instead. Same price ($330ish), similar specs. By the way, here's the page for the Trek 4500: http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/mountain/4500.jsp

    What do you guys think of the Rincon?

  16. #16
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Treks better components.
    Giant has some issues:

    fork SR/Suntour XC60 suspension w/pre-load adjustment =No
    pedals Steel w/ resin body =No
    handlebar Steel 1.25" riser =No
    rims Alloy, 32H black w/ brushed sidewall =No
    hubs Alloy,QR, 32H, double seals =No
    cranks Giant, 22/32/42T =No
    cassette Shimano 11-30T, 8-speed =It's probably fine, but the Trek is SRAM.


    Trek:
    HANDLEBARS: Bontrager Sport, 25mm rise =better
    FORK: RockShox Judy TT =better
    PEDALS: Alloy platform =better
    WHEELS: Alloy front, Shimano rear hub; Matrix 750 rims (these rims actually have a company name, unlike the Giant.)
    CRANKSET: Shimano MC08 42/32/22 =better.
    CASSETTE: SRAM 850 11-32, 8 speed =SRAM is a respected company.

    That is a start, some other stuff makes me go with the Trek, I'd go Shimano on the Trek over 'Giant house brand' anyday.

    Bontrager is a good component\ metal company, lots on the Trek.
    My take anyway.
    Last edited by jeff williams; 02-12-05 at 04:44 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    I'd probably go with the Trek.
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
    2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport

  18. #18
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/05_durangosptsx.html

    Jamis puts together a nice entry package. Durango Sport SX -around $450 you get:

    Fork: Manitou Six, 80mm travel
    Front Der: Shimano Acera®
    Rear Der: Shimano Deore™
    Shifters: Shimano Acera®
    Brake Levers: Shimano Acera®
    Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc
    Cassette: Shimano® HG30
    Chain: KMC IG-31
    Crankset: Truvativ ISOFlow
    Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Sealed cartridge
    Headset: Tange TG-4
    Saddle: Jamis ATB SL
    Seatpost: Alloy micro-adjust
    Handlebar: ATB Riser, alloy
    Stem: Jamis alloy threadless
    Tires: CST Racing knobbies
    Wheelset: Weinmann ZAC 2000 double-wall rims, Formula Hi-Lo disc ready hubs, 14G stainless spokes

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product.aspx?i=BI606A00

    Worth consideration. A 2004 might be had just under 400$ if they need to move for 2005 models?

  19. #19
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    The 4500 is definitely better than the Rincon
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  20. #20
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    Thanks, all!

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