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Old 07-12-14, 05:30 PM   #1
Harry Muscle
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Looking for opinions on some entry level hard tail mountain bikes I'm considering

I'm trying to avoid getting a department store bike, however, my choices are a bit limited in my price range. Here's a few bikes that I've been able to located locally that I can afford and I'm looking for some opinions and possibly suggestions on what else I should try looking for. I like to research things to death, so walking into a bike store and just asking what they have that's good and cheap isn't my thing

Jamis Trail X2 Grenade - 2014 - $400 (plus $100 of free accessories)
GT Timberline 1.0 Mech 29R White - 2014 -$400 (plus $100 of free accessories)
GT Aggressor 1.0 White - 2014 - $440 (plus $100 of free accessories)

Thanks,
Harry
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Old 07-19-14, 04:57 PM   #2
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Those are all fine bikes. I would probably compare components. For and entry level bike the one that feels the best riding would be the one to buy.
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Old 07-19-14, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Muscle View Post
I'm trying to avoid getting a department store bike, however, my choices are a bit limited in my price range. Here's a few bikes that I've been able to located locally that I can afford and I'm looking for some opinions and possibly suggestions on what else I should try looking for. I like to research things to death, so walking into a bike store and just asking what they have that's good and cheap isn't my thing

Jamis Trail X2 Grenade - 2014 - $400 (plus $100 of free accessories)
GT Timberline 1.0 Mech 29R White - 2014 -$400 (plus $100 of free accessories)
GT Aggressor 1.0 White - 2014 - $440 (plus $100 of free accessories)

Thanks,
Harry
Look on eBay - you'll be able to find an early to mid 90s rigid MTB DB steel rig between $200-$400. They're mucho better than the entry level alloy entry MTBs you can find today.
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Old 07-19-14, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have done ok on Craigslist, keeping a constant eye out for sub-$100 mtb in such good condition I can resell to break even if I don't like it. You just have to be very patient. Key is 26 inch, and to avoid anything that is rusty and needs obvious parts replacements. Tires can be found for $10 in such good condition that you can buy different ones just to try out, then give to a charity. Lastly, minimal maintenance and repair skills are necessary because the 1st trip to the LBS blows the deal.

If you want to spend $400, you can do very very well, but again be super patient, scan the ads daily, and of course be careful of stolen bikes.
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Old 07-20-14, 10:15 AM   #5
Zephyr11
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The components on bikes in that pricerange will be very similar. In fact, the Aggressor and Timberline have the EXACT same components.

First, decide whether you want 26" or 29" wheels. Your riding style, terrain you ride the most, bike-feel preference, and your height all play a role. The Aggressor and Trail X2 are 26", and the Timberline is 29". Then go and test ride them, see what fits and feels best, because the geometry on all the bikes will be slightly different. The bike that feels best is the best choice.
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Old 07-20-14, 11:43 AM   #6
hybridbkrdr
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There's also 27.5" although I don't know if they're still price-gouging with that. I believe the height of the rider corresponds to the size of the wheels. They all have their fans though I prefer 26 inch at 5'8" or 173cm.
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Old 07-20-14, 01:56 PM   #7
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If you can turn a wrench, you need to look at BikesDirect.com... I've put together 3 of their bikes & have been impressed with each of them. Shipping is free, and for the $400 to $440 you're looking to spend, you'll get much better components at BD. All of the frames at this price point are made by the exact same plants in Taiwan (GT doesn't actually make them in other words.)


My Windsor has several thousand miles on it & the only mechanical failure was 100% my fault. To get a "name brand" bike this good, I'd have spent two to three times as much.

Whatever you do, just take your time in shopping & teach yourself about components and frame materials.

Different grades of aluminum, what butted frames mean Deore vs. Acera etc...
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