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Old 03-31-13, 01:36 PM   #1
Vanch
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Looking To Buy MTB, But On A Budget - Any Recommendations?

Hi guys,

I currently train 5x a week at my home gym, although I'm looking to add some proper cardio into the mix to prevent too much fat gain & to increase my endurance.

I live in the UK & decided to pick up a bike, as it would get me out in the fresh air & help to burn calories etc. The only thing is, I have around 150 ($230) or so max to spend on a bike. I realise many of you will be wanting to advise me NOT to purchase a bike for a price as low as this, although at the moment I have no other option. I understand that you can have problems with cheaper models, although I've had cheap(ish) bikes in the past, and never really had any major problems with them, therefore I feel seeing as I'm not trying to get into competitive cycling or anything like that, a bike for around 150 should suit me fine for the time being.

Anyway... The problem is, I don't really want to just spend 150 on any old bike. I'd rather get the best bang for my buck, and get the most out of the price I'm paying for the bike. Granted, 150 is not that much, but I'd still rather get the best possible bike I can for that price as opposed to just buying any old thing. Therefore, can you guys recommend any bike make or model which may fit my budget? Seeing as there is so many bike stores online and so many makes/models, I'm not quite sure what to go for. I've seen full suspension Raleigh models on Amazon, Argos etc for 150 and even cheaper. Raleigh is probably the only bike make I'm actually aware of, so I don't know which to look out for.

And finally, for my budget would a full suspension bike be worth buying or will it just be noticeably low quality? I heard that if you're on a budget, you should probably avoid suspension bikes due to the fact that the suspension isn't very good, although ideally I'd LIKE to get a bike with suspension.


Thank you!
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Old 03-31-13, 01:49 PM   #2
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Well I didn't see much in your post that explains why you need a mountain bike, which is where a lot of the money goes toward on the higher end mountain bikes. The frames are stronger, the suspensions are better, etc. They are just better suited to taking the beating that serious mountain biking will put on them. Obviously they also have better all around components in other areas, but I don't see a reason you need to spend 600+ on a mountain bike if you can't afford it. If you needed a mountain bike for trail riding I would say wait until you can afford it, but if you are just going to be riding relatively benign terrain then I would say any decent Hybrid will do. I don't have specific models in mind for you because I don't know much about hybrids and I don't know much about the English market, but I'd say our best bet will to be go used. I've heard the saying that the best 2000 dollar bike you can buy is a 4 year old 5000 dollar bike. I'd assume the same applies here. The best 150 dollar bike you can buy is a few year old 700 dollar bike.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-31-13, 02:07 PM   #3
Vanch
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I'm just going to be using it to ride on cycling paths or non busy pavements etc. I won't be taking it into any rough terrain pretty much at all. The reason I decided to go with a mountain bike as opposed to a road bike though, is A) Because of the price difference, and B) Because some of the roads/areas I will be traveling down tend to have potholes & cracks in the road etc. I just don't want to be flying all over the place due to lack of suspension.
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Old 03-31-13, 02:10 PM   #4
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At 150 anything with full suspension will be a BSO, and isn't worth it. For your budget, you are looking at the very bottom of the lowest spec bikes out there, anything from a Supermarket, mail order catalogue, Argos, should be avoided, the best bikes for 150 are going to be from brands like Decathlon, http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider...d_8238214.html if you can stretch a little to the 200 mark, more opens up, like this http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_165534 This isn't an MTB, but from the sound of your post, is what you need rather than a MTB.

If you want an MTB to go off road, you will need to increase you budget at least 2-3x and be prepared for part needing to be replaced, off road riding isn't cheap, also you haven't noted anything like helmets, gloves, eye protection, shoes, clothes, if you want to go off road, you need to budget for all of these as well.

For the ideal of 2nd hand, we don't have the same market as the US in used bikes, if looking on ebay, anything good will go for reasonable money, making, Gumtree is an option, but there is a lot of junk on there.
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Old 03-31-13, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanch View Post
A) Because of the price difference
There is a big difference in prices for road and MTB's due to STI's (they cost a lot more than MTB shifters / brakes), and demand, until the Wiggo effect, the road bike market was very small, expect to see more cheap road bikes on the market, but none at your price point.

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Originally Posted by Vanch View Post
A)B) Because some of the roads/areas I will be traveling down tend to have potholes & cracks in the road etc. I just don't want to be flying all over the place due to lack of suspension.
You don't need suspension to ride on a rough surface, unless it is mid-high end, having suspension can be worse than not having it, for UK roads, try finding one now which isn't more potholed, they are a rare find now.

From what you are describing you want to ride, a rigid hybrid is what you want, as I have linked to from Halfords above, but you would need to increase the budget for that.
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Old 03-31-13, 03:19 PM   #6
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Entry level MTB's start at about $400 U.S. Dollars around here, Much less than that and they are boat anchors, walmart bikes n such..
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Old 03-31-13, 08:53 PM   #7
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Buy a rigid frame bike - flatbar hybrid a nice choice.
You should go used. Do you have pawn shops?
In the US, a lot if bikes end up at pawn shops and thrift stores.
A keen eye and some patience could net you a nice bike for less than your budget
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Old 04-02-13, 08:38 PM   #8
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The used market is your best bet. On your budget, stay away from anything with a dual suspension. If it's new it's a big box store bike that's crap, if it's used it's either a low end heavy bike or an old design with too much "bob" in the suspension. A hardtail fits your needs perfectly. See what you can find for your money in the used market. Right now 26ers are selling at low market value. You might get lucky and find an older MTB that's still in good shape for the kind of money you're spening. Those bikes will weigh much less than a new Walmart bike and perform much better.
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Old 04-09-13, 05:03 PM   #9
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Brand new bikes are always nice. But you can get such a good deal on a nice used one if your patient.
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