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Best bike for $200 budget

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Best bike for $200 budget

Old 04-16-08, 10:53 AM
  #1  
Denman007
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Best bike for $200 budget

Help me choose the right bike. I am 50 and looking to do some biking with my kids and on my own.

I'd say it would be used for 30% off road. What is most important? Quality shifters? Shocks? Can I get quick release seat post and front wheel?

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:08 AM
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Most all bikes come with quick releases these days except for fixed gears. I would say that for $200 you're looking at bikes at Wal-mart or Sports Authority. Patrol CraigsList daily for used bikes; you'll likely get the most for your money that way.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:14 AM
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$200 is a pretty sketchy budget. I'd have to agree that used is the best way to go if you're looking for quality.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:17 AM
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We normally discourage any purchase from big box chain stores and suggest dealing with a local bike shop.
They can fit you with different size frames. The dept store bikes are one size fits all, and really aren't designed for real trail riding. The used bike approach is a good suggestion.
If you can up it another 75 you could check out a new Giant Boulder.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies.

How does this one look? Seems like it has nice shifters for under $200.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4016707
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Old 04-16-08, 12:56 PM
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I'll go against the grain and offer you a bike from a chain retailer. I recently purchased an iron horse maverick 1.2 from Dick's Sporting goods. It was $199 plus tax, and came with comparable parts to a specialized hardrock xc. Looking back, the Iron Horse warrior for 299 is a much better bike, but i'm still generally happy.

The one thing that I immediately had to do is scan the bike for loose bolts, etc. and ensure that it was properly put together. This is not always the case when buying form the big chain retailer. The bike isn't bad at all. It runs solid, and the fork sucks. Otherwise, not a bad bike.

For light use, and a little bit of knowledge, this bike suits my needs.
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Old 04-16-08, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Denman007 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies.

How does this one look? Seems like it has nice shifters for under $200.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4016707
If it's for general farting around the neighborhood, a Wal Mart Hardtail is fine. If ANY offroading is to be done, you need an actual bike due to safety and durability issues. I second the suggestion to get a nice used bike.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:43 PM
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troie
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Weight: 40 lbs.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:48 PM
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My recommendation: buy a used, rigid (no suspension) bike from the 90's, back when parts were tough and are now cheap to replace.
Or, save up another $100 and get a low-end bike from a bike shop.

Stay away from department store bikes, for your own safety.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
My recommendation: buy a used, rigid (no suspension) bike from the 90's, back when parts were tough and are now cheap to replace.
Or, save up another $100 and get a low-end bike from a bike shop.

Stay away from department store bikes, for your own safety.
+1, Giant has an entry level bike that goes for $275 and a Trek 820 is still under $300.
One problem with an X-mart bike is the person assembling the bike. It's usually a store clerk, not a trained bike mechanic and you can't take it back for adjustments because they don't do that at X-Mart. The Ironhorse from Dick's is a better choice than an X-mart bike. While it varies from store to store, some Dick's have bike mechanics so you've got a better chance of the bike being assembled and tuned correctly. In addition, you can take it back to Dick's for adjustment. Still, I would spend the extra 75 to 100 and go to a LBS for a low end bike/
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Old 04-16-08, 09:39 PM
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I really agree with the comments on Dick's Sporting Goods. You may be able to find yourself a deal, but assembly is the wildcard. I had things that I needed to attend to prior to even taking the bike out for the first spin.

For me, the bike shop prices around here were nearly double the iron horse for an entry level bike. It seemed like a no brainer when i did the component comparison. However, I do feel guilty that I didn't support the lbs.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:58 PM
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40 pounds, thats insane for a hardtail.

I'm going to tell you the same thing I told my friend. Wait abit, and tack at least an extra $100 onto that budget. While the differences get smaller as you get higher up, the difference Schwinn for $199 and a $300 giant from an actual bike shop will be huge. The schwinn will give you alot of problems down the road, and you'll spend more time than you'll want to on keeping that bike in good shape.
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Old 04-17-08, 10:51 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for the discussion. This was for my friend.

We went to a local bike shop today and they had some really nice prices. The Giant Boulder was $235. He ended up getting the a Giant Sedona for $285. I think this was a more comfortable bike for the riding he planned on doing even though it was a little over budget.
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Old 04-17-08, 11:54 AM
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Ive posted this before but..... One of the fastest roadies in my town, has a sedona that he trains on. he has bar ends and aero bars on it. Has a big chain ring the size of a pie plate, and he turns semi slick tires
at 1.8 inch wide. I hate to admit this but I can't hang with him on the road bike, even when he rides his Sedona!
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Old 04-17-08, 01:34 PM
  #15  
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Not the answer you want to hear, but if $200 is your budget I would look at a pair of shoes.

I agree with others - look for a 90's MTB from GT, Trek, Giant, GF, etc. Trust me when I say there are a lot of them out there that have been very lightly used. A bike that was about $500-$700 in the mid to late 90's will have decent gear on it and will be a solid bike. It will be a much better bike than something from Dicks. Look for no rear suspension for sure and most likely a solid front end.

You might have to look a bit and negotiate with sellers, but if you put in the time you will find something.
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Old 04-17-08, 10:26 PM
  #16  
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Hey Dream, of the bikes you posted I favor the Giant Boulder the most. I've ridden that model and it is a fine starting bike.

Try to look for a bike specific store to buy it from as they will usually offer service at discounts and will be more experienced with what to do about your bike during setup and service
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Old 04-18-08, 10:46 AM
  #17  
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Better things can be done with your kids for $200.
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Old 05-16-08, 03:35 PM
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I got a 2007 Schwinn Mesa for $179.99 plus tax from Performance Bike. They offer lifetime service on the bike which is worth way more than the $179 I paid. If I bought a higher end used bike on craigs list, I would probably spend $179 over the first year in service/parts alone.

I compared the ride with an Iron Horse Warrior 3.0 for $450 with Deore components and found that the ride and shifting quality was not worth paying almost 3x the Schwinn.

Sram SX4 groupo may the their lowest, but they are still pretty damn good. Schwinn is a great value for < $200 including lifetime service.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:05 PM
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here's another from Performance.

$229 on sale, Ironhorse.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050
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Old 05-16-08, 07:31 PM
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Keep an eye on craigslist. I recently found a Giant Rainer SE for around $200, which I thought wasnt too bad. Granted, had to do a little maintenance on the brakes, but beyond that, a great ride.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:40 PM
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You might be able find a previous year's model low-end bike at an LBS for not much more money. I saw a 2007 Specialized HR-XC for $260.
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Old 05-18-08, 07:37 PM
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just pay some extra... it's worth it as a wal-mart bike will just sit in the garage while if you buy a quality bike it'll be a motovator to get out and ride.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:52 PM
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I would try and find a used bike as many before have said just in the last week at some local yardsale's i saw a few nice 90's bike a trek 930 a stumpjumper and GT timberline all in good shape stx-rc lx and alivo compents way under 40lbs and under $150, craigslist is another good bargin bike spot.
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