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Hard tail mountain bike for commuting

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Hard tail mountain bike for commuting

Old 11-05-10, 07:37 AM
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Hard tail mountain bike for commuting

Winter is looming, and I want to get a bike to use instead of my road bike for when there is snow and ice on the ground. I have been looking around for a sub $400 hard tail with "non suspension" fork. I have been looking on craigslist but since I live in a college town the price of used bikes is severely inflated. I don't want to pay $200 dollars for a jazzed up used department store bike because students are stupid if I can find a good new bike for a reasonable price.

I have looked at Kona and they have a promising option the, Lanai (here) but it has a suspension fork which I don't want and don't want to pay for, since I will basically never take it off road.

Other than kona and a single speed 29er from bikes direct I am really stumped for where to look. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-05-10, 08:08 AM
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Have you thought about a hibrid with rigid forks and all season tires? It might be hard to find any rigid fork mtb these days new. I havnt been looking but I really do not see too many with rigids.
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Old 11-05-10, 08:12 AM
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I agree with gunner rigid fork MTB's are hard to come by these days, you could do what i did bought an old MTB and converted it to 1" threadless you can buy the forks for about 30 bucks. Also IMHO the older MTB's such as hardrocks and what not are better than the new low end stuff anyways.
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Old 11-05-10, 08:20 AM
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Try looking in local pawnshops, thriftsores, etc. in addition to CL for rigid fork mtbs. I've found a couple @ pawnshops for very good prices. Like you said most new bikes are made w/suspension forks that add unnecessary weight for commuting.
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Old 11-05-10, 08:40 AM
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An old chromoly steel mtb or a more recent aluminum mtb and buy a chromoly rigid fork from Nashbar, CL, etc. Both options a very smart way to go.
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Old 11-05-10, 09:02 AM
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Check Estate sales and Garage sales as well.

You could do what I did... in the divorce I traded with my ex. She got my 62 Falcon wagon and I got her rigid frame Specialized Hard Rock. I made out, don't you think?
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Old 11-05-10, 09:04 AM
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I'd suggest looking in other nearby CL regions (if there are any) where the college presence is less. It might be worth the trouble to drive an hour for a great bike.

This doesn't help much, but I have no trouble at all finding rigid mountain bikes in my area, they're very undervalued here still...
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Old 11-05-10, 09:08 AM
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finding a suspension fork MTB and switching out the fork with a rigid one is not a bad way to go, as rigid fork MTBs are a dying breed. when i swtiched my old MTB to a rigid fork, i was able to find a suitable cro-mo fork on ebay for only 30 bucks. it's not exactly the lightest fork in the world (it's probably only about a pound lighter than the old suspension fork, if that), but it's for a foul weather/winter bike not some time trial speed machine.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fizzaly
I agree with gunner rigid fork MTB's are hard to come by these days, you could do what i did bought an old MTB and converted it to 1" threadless you can buy the forks for about 30 bucks. Also IMHO the older MTB's such as hardrocks and what not are better than the new low end stuff anyways.
Build your own? I ride $89 Nashbar rigid MTB frame with a$50 Nashbar rigid fork. I'm waiting for the new Surly Troll to come out
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Old 11-05-10, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ
Build your own? I ride $89 Nashbar rigid MTB frame with a$50 Nashbar rigid fork. I'm waiting for the new Surly Troll to come out
I worded it funny i just say swap out to threadless cause i dont car for threaded headsets never have never will. But yeah nashbar is almost always having a sale and they have best prices ive seen for new forks.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:16 AM
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I think pawn shops around here have some pretty solid deals. I could get a working full riged mountain bike here for less than $100 any given day. You will get stupid offers for crap and overpriced stuff, but you could try a WANTED ad on CL for the type of bike you are looking for. I did that for a mountain bike for my wife this week and got one soid option, but I am going a much cheaper route via thrift store bargain yesterday (heavy steel 1993 Schwinn Sidewinder for $10) or maybe if this Trek 820 that was listed this morning works out... If all you need is a fork I have some I would probably be willing to give up for free or cheap (depending on how picky you are) plus shipping. Shoot, I have a couple complete bikes minus wheels hanging around in my garage. =)
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Old 11-05-10, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas
Check Estate sales and Garage sales as well.

You could do what I did... in the divorce I traded with my ex. She got my 62 Falcon wagon and I got her rigid frame Specialized Hard Rock. I made out, don't you think?
That's my do everything bike, and I'm still glad I've got it.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by math is fun
Winter is looming, and I want to get a bike to use instead of my road bike for when there is snow and ice on the ground. I have been looking around for a sub $400 hard tail with "non suspension" fork. I have been looking on craigslist but since I live in a college town the price of used bikes is severely inflated. I don't want to pay $200 dollars for a jazzed up used department store bike because students are stupid if I can find a good new bike for a reasonable price.

I have looked at Kona and they have a promising option the, Lanai (here) but it has a suspension fork which I don't want and don't want to pay for, since I will basically never take it off road.

Other than kona and a single speed 29er from bikes direct I am really stumped for where to look. Any suggestions?
I'm a fan of going the used route, esp. for a winter bike, but if the market is bad, and you're looking at new, you could consider the Kona Dew for $10 more than the Lanai, no suspension fork. I rode the Dew Plus, and now the Dew Drop, and I'm pretty content, including some light 'off roading' on occasion. I wouldn't recommend trying to go MTBing with friends, though.

I was about to recommend "or spend a little more, and get the Dew Plus with Discs, which might be really nice" when I looked at the price... C'mon Kona, $200 more for Discs? Seems steep! I think it was $50 more last year. I imagine you could easily convert the Dew to disc using used parts if you wanted.

OTOH: I wouldn't hesitate to watch CL for a while, and look for a likely candidate that's over priced, and make an offer... esp. if it is someone who re-posts it more than once or twice. And definitely look at garage sales!
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Old 11-05-10, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ
Build your own? I ride $89 Nashbar rigid MTB frame with a$50 Nashbar rigid fork. I'm waiting for the new Surly Troll to come out

Wow! nashbar has some cheap frame prices. I am gonna look into grabbing a frame, wheels and bottom bracket and building the rest from scratch.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by math is fun
Wow! nashbar has some cheap frame prices. I am gonna look into grabbing a frame, wheels and bottom bracket and building the rest from scratch.
Prolly the best bet
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Old 11-05-10, 11:55 AM
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You can look at multiple places. LBS that sell used, CL, Coops, Police Auctions, garage sales, etc. Even if you can't find a rigid MTB whats wrong with a hardtail. The suspension fork may add some weight and rob you of some forward momentum, but if that's what you have or is available then ride it.

I commuterized my hardtail and love it. Slick tires and Ergon grips make it fast and comfortable. Its lighter and faster than my all around bike bad weather bike.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:10 PM
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Copy the following line to a Google search window:

"trek 930" site:craigslist.org/bik/

Now, go back and replace the 3 with a 5 and then a 7.

True temper OS Platinum tubing, US made, Imron paint, rigid fork, eyelets front and rear, perfect base to make a winter commuter.

When you score, ping me back for the address to send the "Thank You" six pack.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by math is fun
Wow! nashbar has some cheap frame prices. I am gonna look into grabbing a frame, wheels and bottom bracket and building the rest from scratch.
That frame is regularly $99 but I've seen it as low as $69 on sale. It's pretty solid too. The rear dropouts are nice and beefy with separate mounts for rack and fenders. Lots of cable routing options. I've been riding mine since last Winter, pretty much daily, always loaded, so far handles very well.

Also Nashbar 700 touring frame is getting good reviews as well.

They're good deals.

You can get solid wheels for around $120 from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. I got most other parts from eBay, Jenson and Universal Cycles. Universal just had 2009 Shimano XTR rear derailleur for $115!!! I usually get my dual action Shimano XT shifters on eBay, they're often around $60. They're my favorite so I stocked up on them. New models go for over $200.

Last edited by AdamDZ; 11-05-10 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:19 PM
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Now, go back and replace the 3 with a 5 and then a 7.

Why stop there ? I had a 17 " 990 some years ago (Ineed at least a 19") Beautiful bike . Go for a rigid Trek 990 ! I think rigid Mtb's from the beginning of the nineties are some of the best deals for a commuter.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk
Now, go back and replace the 3 with a 5 and then a 7.

Why stop there ? I had a 17 " 990 some years ago (Ineed at least a 19") Beautiful bike . Go for a rigid Trek 990 ! I think rigid Mtb's from the beginning of the nineties are some of the best deals for a commuter.
Yeah, +1. Especially for urban commuting. Mine was a 94' Fuji Discovery. Paid 50.00 from a pawn shop. I rode the daylights out of that bike. It came w/Alivio comps. Replaced the wheelset at one point, put a road crankset w/one chainring(Rocket Ring now Origin 8) and changed out the stock brake pads. Got a set of short stack chainring bolts(pyramid) from www.bikepartsusa.com and a 103mm Sugino sealed bb from www.universalcycles.com. Also, replaced the cassette, chain and cables from bikepartsusa. This all was over a period of time as parts wore out. Not bad for 5 rough years of loaded urban commuting.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:40 PM
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thanks for all the help, I went to one of the local bike flippers and explained what I wanted and he dropped the price to 70 for me, once I explained I wasnt a college student. I got a nicely kept up raleigh mountain bike. its a little heavy but I dont mind the weight. Tonight I am gonna break it down and repack the hubs, lube the chain and wait for new tires and fenders from nashbar to show up.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:42 PM
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I dunno as far as city driving goes I like suspension forks. What little power you may lose is easily made up for by the ease with which one can jump curbs.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ
I'm waiting for the new Surly Troll to come out
I think the Troll will be my winter build project. Nice frameset.
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Old 11-05-10, 06:30 PM
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would a MTB with lockout suspension have similar results?
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Old 11-05-10, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tlminh
would a MTB with lockout suspension have similar results?
Yes. With the added benefit of improved control on rutted roads when the shock is unlocked. But you aren't likely to find a lockout on a sub $400 mountain bike.
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