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Asi 07-02-13 05:52 PM

New to MTB, what bike to get?
Hi, I'm new to anything wider than road tires, and i've been needing a mountain bike for trails and downhill (on those trails so no really aggressive things)

I have two options for second hand bikes:

1. A "du Mont" frame (never heard of it but seems sturdy)
RST Aeraso BAS fork - found some info about it.. looks ok, no play in it, air fork, very light (1.6kg), has disc mounts.
Full shimano XT line on 8speed with rim brakes parallelogram style, XT seatpost, XT RD FD shifters and brakes, XT cassette, XT cranks, XT hubs, all from 8speed XT era
ITM stem and handlebars
I think I saw square taper cranks and not sure if cassette is unglide or hyperglide (lockring or no lockring)
Wheels are some mavic not knowing model of it.
Peddals are junk (probably got swapped from spd's to cheapest platforms)
i feel it's on the light side.. estimate at hand under 13kg

Looks like a close to top tier bike from the early 2000 (or what year would that be? based on the fork and 8speed xt line?), but the chain is stretched, the tires are narrow 1.5-1.75 (and would like to replace them to go 2.35+), cassette is toast, and chainrings are a mildly worn but still in decent shape.
Downsides: it is an oldie (i like old stuff, like dura-ace from 1980's and other 70's stuff), no disc brakes (and the hubs do not have disc mounts, but the frame and fork has), 8speed (not really a big downside as if it's 8speed hyperglide there are tons of cheap cassettes like SRAM PG-850, and the chains are cheaper than 9speed)

2. Trek 4400 frame
Manitou Black Super 2006 90-120 rtwd coil lockout fork
Truvativ Stylo black 22-42 with extern BB GXP
DT Swiss X430 (Specialized) wheels
Deore M486 hydraulic disc brakes with SLX RT61 160 discs
RD Deore RD-M592 shadow 9speed
FD Deore FD-M530
Deore SL-M590
SRAM PG950 11-34 cassette
SRAM PC951 chain
Specialized XC 620mm handlebars
Specialized 90mm stem
Specialized grips
Specialized seatpost
RCZ Race CR-MO saddle
Specialized VP peddals
new tires Kenda Small Block Eight 2.35.
Weight 12,5 kg.

In very good condition

So by the time I replace the tires cassette and chain (and probably some chainrings) for 1st bike it will be the same price with the second one that is somewhat more on the modern system (which i believe it's a good thing)

So what will it be? does older XT line and air fork worth not having disc brakes. or go with the newer one that has a frame brand that I've heard about and decent newer components?

jimc101 07-02-13 08:55 PM

For the 'du Mont', thats a mid 90's bike, M950 was the first 9 speed groupset, and was introduced in 1999. Getting high quality spares for 8 speed is now virtually impossible, plenty at the low end, but anything at XT level has been extinct for 10+ years now, unless you can find NOS parts.

For gthe fork, would consider it disposable, if working now, great, don't expect to be able to get parts to service it. For your intended tire swap, being a mid 90's frame, can you fit a 2.35 tire in it? Not following you on the cost of chains, a good 8 speed will cost more than a mid range 9 speed, 9 speed has been dominant in for MTB's for the last 10 years, although this is now becoming obsolete from mid level up, as 10 speed has taken over.

For the Trek, it has a fork from Manitou's not so great time; and the bike is a mix of parts, but has the advantage of discs.

For which bike is better, a lot depends on where you are going to ride, and how adventurous you want to be. the du Mont has potential issues with souring parts, although if you go low end, it isn't an issue. Both bikes will have narrow handlbars compared to modern bikes, add to that old geometry, and could potentailly need replacement forks, if servicing is not possible. Your choice...

Asi 07-03-13 12:58 AM

Thanks, the 2nd bike is exactly this one:
For the 1st bike I don't have any pictures. but at least is has oversize threadless headset so it's not that vintage. Fork is made in 2001 but probably got changed in 2001-2002 and the bike is still mid 90's as you said IDK.

And the most I'd like to do with it at low speed are some trails like this:
I've been on this trail with my brother in law's bike and although crappy (steel frame, full shimano tourney, fixed fork) I managed to go there.

I like refurbishing old bikes, my newest bike is 1989 so.. go figure and i have the skills in mechanical stuff up to car engines, AT transmissions, etc. So an old bike is not so terrifying for me. Yet by the stretch of the chain in that XT bike is horrid and cassette is toast => ridden hard and maintained very poorly so I'd expect some other components are not top shape like BB and hubs.

That trek looks ok enough for me. Will look further for other bikes as well.

Prices for the bikes 1st is 1000ron (293$), 2nd bike is 1500ron (433$)
For a new bike with entry level components acera-altus with low end hydraulic discs from merida-cube-haibike-univega and in that area with forks like SUNTOUR XCM MLO T:100 is about 2000-2200ron (586$ - 645$) and a decent bike with nicer components SLX level and forks like RST Blaze 100mm, is about 3000ron (880$).

My budget is about 600$ but can go higher if it really worth it yet I'd like to not spend too much money on a MTB, I'm more of a roadie and fixed gear rider and need just a decent and cheap mtb to get me around trails on mountains at low speed - no competitions, just so I can go with my friends offroad and not stay at home looking at my road bike.

jimc101 07-03-13 02:55 AM

If the photo is common to all you riding (looks nice), you could get away with a rigid (which can be better than a budget fork).

For the headset, not sure what you mean by oversized, 1 inch was standard till about 1993/4, when 1 1/8 inch took over, Evolution or 1 1/4 briefly appeared on some bikes.

For the price difference, would probably go with the du Mont, as the difference should cover cables, cassette, chain & possibly chainrrings.

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