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Old 03-24-11, 01:05 PM   #1
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Need Advice on Bike Purchase

Looking for advice on what bike to buy.....
I need advice on buying a mountain bike. My husband and I ride locally in forest preserves, etc. in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and southern Wisconsin. We also ride in Breckenridge, Colorado. Time for a new bike! I have no clue what bike to buy and seem to be mis-guided when going into local shops. We've been riding for about 4 years....What should an athletic, fit, 51 year old female cyclist purchase? We ride on single-track terrain...roots, rocks, etc.
Thanks....and hoping for some good advice! Budget is about $800.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:15 PM   #2
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We have some very experienced mountain bike riders in 50+.
You can also post in the Mountain Bike Forum for help.
Fred "The Real Fred"
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Old 03-24-11, 01:39 PM   #3
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Here's a 26" hardtail for about $800

26" Full Suspension for $600

Here's the 29er Hardtail I ride:

Giant and Specialized make some nice MTB's.

You need to think about do you want full suspension or hardtail?
Giant and Specialized make some nice bikes. Do you want a mixte frame or not? 29er or 26?


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Old 03-25-11, 10:58 AM   #4
Time for a change.
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Problem with mountain bikes is the quality you require for the price you want to pay. Those of us with experience would recomend a known manufacturer that is known to make a good frame- with a minimum of LX as the groupset but with a Fork and set of wheels that will stand up to you and your riding style. But that is for those of us that will take the bike out on some pretty nasty trails that will punish the bike and the rider.

I am not saying that you are not up to that grade- but for $800- you are not going to get everything on that list.

The heart of any bike is the frame and that is why I would suggest looking at Trek-Specialised-Giant and a few other top marque manufacturers. If you have the frame to start out with- then upgrades as parts wear out are worthwhile. This is what I used to do on the MTB's before I got soft and went road. My current ride is old- too old by modern standards but it is still a good frame. Running gear is XT- and the wheels are Mavic Crossrides. Forks and they now need replacing but are a set that suit my riding style.

But when I got it I knew that the original forks were not going to last- The wheels were replaced after 2 years when they started to wear out- and the Groupset was replaced so that over the years it had a good set on it. Same day I got this bike- a mate started riding and he got a Low end Giant Boulder. Wheels were replaced very quickly- Cranks and they wore out within a year- Forks broke within a month. But gradually over the years he replaced with what he could afford but finally had to replace the bike last year as he broke the frame. But 8 years of 4,000 miles a year with 260lbs on it and it lasted well. The Boulder cost him around $400- He has just spent 2,000 on a custom build bike that will last him another 10 years (Hopefully).

Only advice I can offer is look at what is available in your LBS. See if any deals can be done on a 2010 bike- and be prepared to replace parts with an upgrade as they wear out. Within your price range is the bike on the link. This would allow for a couple of upgrades before purchase or for those extras that you think you may want.

Something like this could suit you- but do look at other Known makes of bikes aswell
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 03-25-11, 12:00 PM   #5
just keep riding
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I suggest going to several bike shops and see what they have to offer at that price level. Sounds like you would want a general recreational bike or XC type hardtail. Something like this. I would be wary of any full suspension bike that inexpensive. There would have to be too many compromises in components and wheels to make up for the expense of a rear suspension system that probably wouldn't work very well anyway.

After seeing what several shops show you, you will get a feel for what you like and be able to spot the better deals. Most of the bikes you see would probably have very similar features and components. This type of bike tends to be very sturdy and should last a long time with moderate use and reasonable maintenance.

Last edited by BluesDawg; 03-25-11 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-26-11, 12:53 AM   #6
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Whatever bike you choose, "Fit" is critical. Talk to the staff at the LBS about fit and test ride bikes with the seat and handlebars adjusted for the way you want to ride. Take long testrides! Once around the parking lot is not enough to really feel a bike.

And enjoy the process of selecting a bike.
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