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Mountain Bike or Hybrid

Old 04-08-21, 06:04 PM
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ccollins3890
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Mountain Bike or Hybrid

Hi everyone. This is my second post outside of my introduction, so forgive me if I should have posted somewhere else.

I posted a similar post in the hybrid section, but want to hear from mountain bikers too.

I am looking at getting back into biking after more than 10 years of not owning a bike. I live on a farm (with wooded trails) and live near a city with many parks and trails in Michigan. I know I will be riding on the road at times and on park trails at times, as well as on grass around the farm. I have been looking to buy something for around $600 or less (a little flexible) but am not sure where to start. There is so much out there, and I'm not even sure if a hybrid is the way to go or a mountain bike, so I guess that's my first question. What would you all do in my shoes?

Also, I would like to eventually get a bike trailer to pull my two kids under 3 years old around in so the bike needs to work with that. Does this work better with either a mountain bike or hybrid, and does it really matter?


Thanks,
Chris
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Old 04-08-21, 06:07 PM
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Moisture
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I would recommend looking into a gravel bike. It will do nearly everything well.
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Old 04-09-21, 06:15 AM
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I've never even heard of a gravel bike before. Something new to look into. They seem pretty expensive though after doing just a quick search.
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Old 04-09-21, 06:33 AM
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Something with fattish tires and no suspension. Like an old rigid MTB. Or a used Surly Troll or an Ogre, if you can find one. They even have a spot to fit a trailer hitch on the rear dropout.
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Old 04-09-21, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ccollins3890 View Post
I've never even heard of a gravel bike before. Something new to look into. They seem pretty expensive though after doing just a quick search.
Good bikes cost money. $600 doesn't get you much above a department store bike in terms of mountain bike, gravel bike or hybrid bike. If the wooded trails on your farm are moderate this might fit your needs.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/toughroad-slr-2
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Old 04-09-21, 09:36 AM
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An older used mtb, in very good condition, would probably fit what you are looking for; if you want flat bars and not drops.

The difference is really leverage and speed... and comfort, if that matters.

Gravel bikes are basically road bikes designed to handle dirt roads, and other off road terrain, at speed. They usually have drop bars.

Mountain bikes are really designed for more technical, ricks, ruts, roots, etc. With flat bars and an upright riding position they not for aerodynamic speed.

So riding on the road will be slower, but riding on trails might be easier, depending on the trail.

John
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Old 04-09-21, 09:48 AM
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go to local bike shop see what they actually have in stock. a hybrid or entry level MTB will be fine for what you describe.
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Old 04-09-21, 09:54 AM
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$600 will get you above a department store bike but it won't get you a bike of quality. If you are serious about riding you will want to spend a bit more. Something like this is a decent option and will last a while and give you decent shifting and braking as well: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/si...ext=92421-7100

I wouldn't buy a mountain bike unless you are mountain biking. If you are mostly on paved paths and grass and such just having something with clearance for wider tires is a good thing but if you are going to mountain bike expect to spend 1k on up and the more you spend up to a point the better components will be and the more reliable and comfortable the fork will be and you will also get into other more modern mountain bike features that have proven themselves quite useful.
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Old 04-09-21, 10:39 AM
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You can obtain a decent new bike for that money but you're best off taking your $600 dollars to the classifieds and patiently scour until you find a good deal. In the meantime, id recommend you start to get an idea of what sort of frame would fit your proportions best and see if you can try out a couple bikes at a bike shop for reference.

Begin with the stack, reach, top tube length, and stem length as the absolute basics. Find a bike that feels roomy enough for you to stretch out as much as you need to depending on how racy and leaning forward you want your position to be.

This is really the absolute basics. Your best bet will be to look into some frame fit guides on Google.
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Old 04-09-21, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
$600 will get you above a department store bike but it won't get you a bike of quality. If you are serious about riding you will want to spend a bit more. Something like this is a decent option and will last a while and give you decent shifting and braking as well: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/si...ext=92421-7100

I wouldn't buy a mountain bike unless you are mountain biking. If you are mostly on paved paths and grass and such just having something with clearance for wider tires is a good thing but if you are going to mountain bike expect to spend 1k on up and the more you spend up to a point the better components will be and the more reliable and comfortable the fork will be and you will also get into other more modern mountain bike features that have proven themselves quite useful.
That's a good recommendation. My GF has that bike.
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Old 04-10-21, 07:51 AM
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Thanks everyone. I know $600 won't go very far. And I also fully expect to buy something used at this point. Yesterday a 2016 Giant Roam 2 came up for sale, but it was sold before I could get it. It was $390 so definitely within my range. I also see an old Specialized StumpJumper that looks to be in good condition, but it's listed for $800 and I don't want to buy a bike from 1997 for that much. Looking at Craigslist and OfferUp is helping me to look into different brands. There are so many! I also want to go over to my LBS like everyone has been saying.
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Old 04-10-21, 10:12 AM
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Id say that the 90's produced some of the best quality bikes ever. It was the high quality materials of the 80's with a more modern touch on equipment and frame butting. For your needs, the stumpjumper would be a good buy if its equipped with a rigid fork. Unless you're planning to do more technical single track id stay away from suspension (especially the fork you will find on the roam)

But 800 for a stumpy, absolutely no
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Old 04-10-21, 10:16 AM
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Moisture What is a doable price for an old StumpJumper if it's in good condition? I would post the link, but I haven't hit 10 posts yet.
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Old 04-10-21, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ccollins3890 View Post
Moisture What is a doable price for an old StumpJumper if it's in good condition? I would post the link, but I haven't hit 10 posts yet.
It is always hard to say as the used bike market is dependent on local factors. A few years ago, you could find a used mountain bike in good condition for $100 to $200. Clearly things have changed and it is a seller's market.

My personal rule of thumb is to never spend more than half what a decent new bike would cost.
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Old 04-10-21, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
It is always hard to say as the used bike market is dependent on local factors. A few years ago, you could find a used mountain bike in good condition for $100 to $200. Clearly things have changed and it is a seller's market.

My personal rule of thumb is to never spend more than half what a decent new bike would cost.
Thanks. Yeah, I wish I would have gotten into biking a year and a half ago! Do you think the market will come back down?
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Old 04-10-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ccollins3890 View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I wish I would have gotten into biking a year and a half ago! Do you think the market will come back down?
Eventually, yes. Enthusiasm for cycling goes in waves. Last year the pandemic caused a mini cycling boom as people stopped going to gyms and were looking for an outdoor activity they could do and socially distance. But some people will give up on cycling and sell their bikes eventually.

But if you want to start riding, you probably don't want to wait until next year or the year after to get started.

The thing about used bikes and why you don't want to spend too much is risk. I just spent over $250 on my own bike that was totally unexpected. Most was on a new wheel, and back tire, but my mechanic also recommended i replace the bottom bracket, and some shift cables and cable housings. And next year, my bike will need a new chain, cassette, and brake pads, so hopefully next year's repair costs will only be around $100 to $150. My point though is, even a well maintained bike will need some money put into it every year.
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Old 04-10-21, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Eventually, yes. Enthusiasm for cycling goes in waves. Last year the pandemic caused a mini cycling boom as people stopped going to gyms and were looking for an outdoor activity they could do and socially distance. But some people will give up on cycling and sell their bikes eventually.

But if you want to start riding, you probably don't want to wait until next year or the year after to get started.

The thing about used bikes and why you don't want to spend too much is risk. I just spent over $250 on my own bike that was totally unexpected. Most was on a new wheel, and back tire, but my mechanic also recommended i replace the bottom bracket, and some shift cables and cable housings. And next year, my bike will need a new chain, cassette, and brake pads, so hopefully next year's repair costs will only be around $100 to $150. My point though is, even a well maintained bike will need some money put into it every year.
That makes sense on both subjects. Maybe the bike boom will come back down when it's time for me to upgrade in a year or two once I get comfortable with whatever I find now. It's much more difficult to buy used when you don't know what you are looking for. I'm just worried that I will get hosed. This is my 10th post I guess, so I should be able to post a link to anything I'm considering starting tomorrow (the 5 per day rule means this is my last post of the day).
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Old 04-10-21, 12:21 PM
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The sooner you find yourself a good bike, the better. The market continues to become more and more ridiculous. As long as you are patient you are guaranteed to find a good deal on a bike that will work for you. I don't know enough about stumpjumpers to answer your question but I think maybe half the asking price would be a good starting point...

if youre just going to ride paved trails, gravel and maybe some light dirt trails here and there you'd be best off with a road bike. This is what nearly all of my riding consists of and I do it all on a road bike which I converted to flat bar. Its fast, stable, very efficient and great fun.
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Old 04-17-21, 10:35 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies and the advice. I ended up with a great bike for me and another for my wife and was able to stay just within our budget when the two were combined thanks to the help and kindness of an experienced rider in the greater area. The Verve 3 for me and the FX3 for my wife. It's what was available in the market, and I figured it was better to start here, get comfortable, and get a separate MTB once my physical level, skill level, and finances are ready for that. We went out on our first family ride yesterday (me pulling the kids in a bike trailer) and it was a blast! And I even got to meet a great guy on top of it! Happy riding everyone, and I'll see you around!
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