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New To Mountain Biking!

Old 04-17-22, 10:28 PM
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cdnorth
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New To Mountain Biking!

Hello everyone! I have some experience road biking, hiking and backpacking and everytime I'm out on the trail and I see mountain bikers or bikepackers, it looks like a lot of fun! I have a friend that's been getting into it and apparently bought a REI DRT1.1 and said it's been great so far. My question is, should I go for a new bike like this or potentially get a higher end used bike?

I've seen some full suspension bikes for around the same price ($600) but they are certainly much older. For comparison purposes, I found a 2008 GT Marathon 29er that looks to be in fairly good shape with an extra set of wheels for $600. I'm certainly not sold either way, just want a good solid bike that I can grow with as I potentially expand where I want to bike and what I want to do. I can certainly see myself getting into bikepacking as it's always interested me so I'd want a bike that works well for that too potentially. Let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance!

Last edited by cdnorth; 04-17-22 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 04-17-22, 11:06 PM
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tungsten
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Tech and frame geo have moved on from 2008. Buy as new as you can afford.
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Old 04-18-22, 08:16 AM
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I bought an older, used GT for $220 about 5? years ago that I've been having a blast with. I wish it weighted 1/2 as much as it does. but I'm a big fan of pre-owned bikes

btw, reg: getting into MTB'ing ... get ready to meet the ground!
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Old 04-18-22, 09:25 AM
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I would put the money towards a new bike of quality, avoid mechanical brakes (unless building a custom bike with Paul Klampers because you are balleur like that) and tourney and try and find forks that use air rather than springs (unless it is a high end spring fork but those are few and far between). Used bikes can be fun but you have to know what you are getting into if the fork needs service or the bike is in rough shape or something you may not have the knowledge to notice right away or the seller may not divulge that info or know themselves. A new bike will get you all the warranties and service yes you will probably be spending around 1200 on up to get all the decent features but you will have a capable machine that is potentially worth upgrading in the long term rather than just looking at new bikes each time. The Chisel from Specialized is a great option for a decently high end aluminum frame with reasonable components on it and $1600. It is 12 speed Deore with a RS Judy fork and boost wheels so modern and easy to upgrade but totally ready to roll out of the box (or shop).

Plus with the used market right now it is a sellers market so people are asking the moon for some of this stuff and getting it no problems. Not that bike prices at a shop have been going down they haven't but at least again with the new bike you get warranty and say with Specialized if you register your bike after you purchase you have a lifetime warranty on that frame so 11 years down the road when your bottom bracket cracks they will send you a new frame or potentially a new bike depending on the situation as they did in my case (and no you won't necessarily crack your B.B. it is just my specific example of a fluke that happened to me) I would say that is worth the price of admission alone as I can ride it and not worry so much because I know they will have my back on the frame plus whatever warranties come with other components.
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Old 04-18-22, 09:29 AM
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Have you ridden off-road yet? I ask, as while it looks like fun (I think it is!), not everyone takes to it. It is LOTS different than road riding. If you can borrow, or rent, a bike, might want to try trail riding first to be certain you are going to like it before spending a bunch. Might even want to start on an inexpensive, but quality, used hardtail to get some experience and trail miles. Learning on a hardtail will force you to learn to pick the best line, where to move on the bike when approaching roots and rocks. A full susp will certainly make it easier, just wanted to throw it out there. Whatever you do, hope you enjoy it and find a bike that works for you!
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Old 04-18-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
Tech and frame geo have moved on from 2008. Buy as new as you can afford.
^^Best advice here for getting a mountain bike.

$600 will get you into something decent for road riding, cuz not much has changed there excecpt the move to disc brakes, but not mountain biking. I'd be looking at something 2015 and newer if I were you.
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Old 04-18-22, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Have you ridden off-road yet? I ask, as while it looks like fun (I think it is!), not everyone takes to it. It is LOTS different than road riding. If you can borrow, or rent, a bike, might want to try trail riding first to be certain you are going to like it before spending a bunch. Might even want to start on an inexpensive, but quality, used hardtail to get some experience and trail miles. Learning on a hardtail will force you to learn to pick the best line, where to move on the bike when approaching roots and rocks. A full susp will certainly make it easier, just wanted to throw it out there. Whatever you do, hope you enjoy it and find a bike that works for you!
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I haven't actually been mountain biking before but traffic has been getting worse to where I have a strong desire to get off the road. We also have a lot of good trails around Phoenix, I've hiked them all practically and biking definitely sounds like fun for these urban trails!

Part of the reason I'm looking used is that I kinda want a bike that I can beat up a little and not feel bad. If I get really into it, I can always upgrade but I wouldn't mind getting a bike that I can stick with. I'll also probably commute to work on it and like I said, maybe explore some bikepacking so I want a bike that can be used for variety. I did see a 2016 Ghost Kato 2.7 FS for sale that the person said he'd take $800 for. Since this is newer, what are thoughts on something like this? Maybe I'm not searching the right stuff but it seems to be harder to find hard tails but this bike seems like it may be a good option, albeit with full suspension. Thanks again for all the help!

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Old 04-19-22, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by cdnorth View Post
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I haven't actually been mountain biking before but traffic has been getting worse to where I have a strong desire to get off the road. We also have a lot of good trails around Phoenix, I've hiked them all practically and biking definitely sounds like fun for these urban trails!

Part of the reason I'm looking used is that I kinda want a bike that I can beat up a little and not feel bad. If I get really into it, I can always upgrade but I wouldn't mind getting a bike that I can stick with. I'll also probably commute to work on it and like I said, maybe explore some bikepacking so I want a bike that can be used for variety. I did see a 2016 Ghost Kato 2.7 FS for sale that the person said he'd take $800 for. Since this is newer, what are thoughts on something like this? Maybe I'm not searching the right stuff but it seems to be harder to find hard tails but this bike seems like it may be a good option, albeit with full suspension. Thanks again for all the help!
You are asking too many things for one bike to do comfortably and do well. You need to prioritize what you will do most. Having the right tool for the job is why many of us have multiple bikes. A bike that is good for trail riding will suck for commuting and vice versa. A bike that is good for bike packing will also suck for mountain biking but work kinda ok for commuting.

The Ghost will work for trail riding, but realize it's an entry level bike and the Suntour suspension will not be as nice of a ride as something from Fox or Rockshox.
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Old 04-19-22, 12:02 PM
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In the early-mid 90's the MTB got diced up into trail bikes with fat knobby tires and front suspension, and hybrids with medium-width treaded tires and no suspension. The two categories have been further diced over the years but generally it holds. You can find hybrids with front suspension (Trek DS) and at the inexpensive end of MTB's you can find rack mounts (Trek X-Caliber).

But go up a bit in spec, and the MTB's become more focused on trail riding, with better suspension parts and brakes, and the hybrids aren't built to that price level. Go up even further in price and you are headed into either racing or needlessly-premium-but-cool territory. These bikes are just not great for commuting, they don't have any provisions to mount any relevant accessories and the tires will slow you down a lot.

A third category does split the difference, bikes made for bike packing or offroad touring. They still tend to be really heavy and slow for commuting, but the right tires can make the difference. A good example of this is the Surly Bridge Club that comes in an offroad plus tire build and a road hybrid build, the biggest difference being the wheels and tires. And it's got mounting points sticking out everywhere
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Old 04-19-22, 06:44 PM
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We all have opinions... here's mine. I'm recently very invovled in offorad - coming from many decades of 'roadie', and very casual MTB...
Until this past Aug, 99.5% of riding time was road - but now I'm fully 40% time doing offroad (mtb & gravel - gravel being the same stuff, just hairier... LOL!)
New is nice, but getting something with mid-level usability is gonna be well over $1K, well over...
Used is good also, but needs an eye and hand on the goods to decide if it's worth it.
no matter what you buy, it'll be higher cost than a yr or 2 ago.
You're in PHX - similar to what we have in trails and conditions - except one thing. We (Santa Barbara area) don;t have flat rides - anything 'flat' is measured in yds, not miles.
And anything which isn;t in the few coastal green spaces is 'technical', lots of climbing, rocky, dry, hot, sunny, dangerous drops in steep canyons.
So equipment makes a difference - not as much a skills...
Good/decent Forks make a huge difference around here. On New you won't get that level fork until at least $1500 and up (mostly higher).
But 'used', you can find something under $1K.
stay away from 26", I prefer 27.5 over 29, great rollover, but much easier to handle in very tight, 'no mistakes allowed' sections. I'm not a big guy and old, so skill over brawn for me.
And FS is way more desirable for me, over a hardtail... Way better for my skill level and way less abuse in a long, tech ride.
"Trail' class of bike is more than enough for quite some serious riding, at an intermediate level... however long one rides at that level... I'll prolly be an 'intermediate' for the rest of my life, cause if I crash hard I will not come through unbroken...
... so I'd suggest looking for a decent value and level bike - used

You mentioned that Ghost Kato 2.7 FS. I did some research on Ghost because I knew nothing about that brand (was sold thru REI for a number of seasons..). I was impressed by what I found. A very nice riding bike brand with slightly higher components for the price points.
I think that 2.7 msrp was around $1400, and if in good condition, it's prolly worth $700 - in my money...
My opinion is - the Kato 2.7 is somewhere between a Siskyu D5 and D7, but very much closer or the same as the D7... component & performance-wise.
Lightly used MTBs are out there... just gotta have patience... or able to make a decision when one pops up.
If you can mooch rides on MTBs, do...
Ride On
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Old 06-08-22, 12:24 AM
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If i make the suggestion outsourcing a bike frames and wheel handlebar etc and sram groupset locally for a cheaper cost and build it by your own or local BS,you will learn a lot from the experience.
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Old 06-08-22, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MTBbumpcrush View Post
If i make the suggestion outsourcing a bike frames and wheel handlebar etc and sram groupset locally for a cheaper cost and build it by your own or local BS,you will learn a lot from the experience.
Building a bike from scratch is going to cost more than buying complete.
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Old 07-19-22, 10:23 AM
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New to mountain biking!

Are you thinking about taking up mountain biking or riding for the first-time in a while? Perhaps you have a bike, but aren't sure what to do with it.

Have no fear! If you're new to cycling, we understand how intimidating it can seem. We love helping beginners, and we are always available to give tips on how to use your bike.

The beauty of a mountain bike is its versatility. There is no other bike that can be as versatile on so many surfaces. You can pedal on roads, paths, and, most importantly, trails. This is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of cities and cars. Animals and nature, like humans, tend to seek out places farther away from cities. You can also travel further and faster with a mountain bike than you could by hiking.
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Old 07-19-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Maarkhenrii View Post
Are you thinking about taking up mountain biking or riding for the first-time in a while? Perhaps you have a bike, but aren't sure what to do with it.

Have no fear! If you're new to cycling, we understand how intimidating it can seem. We love helping beginners, and we are always available to give tips on how to use your bike.

The beauty of a mountain bike is its versatility. There is no other bike that can be as versatile on so many surfaces. You can pedal on roads, paths, and, most importantly, trails. This is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of cities and cars. Animals and nature, like humans, tend to seek out places farther away from cities. You can also travel further and faster with a mountain bike than you could by hiking.
OK, bot.
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