Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

Bike for 17 yr old

Old 07-22-13, 08:31 AM
  #1  
wphamilton
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,469

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2471 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
Bike for 17 yr old

I need some perspective please from mountain bike experts. I'm planning on purchasing or building a mountain bike for my son's 17th birthday. Currently he likes riding his mom's bike, an entry-level mountain bike, but only so far for short trips and paved trails. She'd probably have an adverse reaction if he beat it up on real mountain trails, so I'm getting him his own. He has a cruiser that he never rides - in truth it's pretty crappy so I don't blame him. I ride on the roads, also commuting and paved trails but no mtb'ing so my opinions are probably skewed.

It's going to be entry level regardless because I don't know how much he'll ride and racing any time soon is extremely unlikely. No idea if he'll take to challenging downhill mtb trails - he hasn't shown much interest in that kind of riding so far. And at 17 he's going to want to drive all the time, obviously. But I'm leaning to a hardtail, in fact non-suspension if they exist. Yet that's probably prejudiced on my part. Is bouncing over logs and jumping ditches going to be irresistible? Is it a no-brainer to just buy a full suspension bike? Given that in all likelihood the vast majority of riding will be flat trails, city streets or easy mtb trails? Is a hard-tail a significant handicap on more challenging trails?

What other factors should I take into consideration?
wphamilton is online now  
Old 07-22-13, 08:55 AM
  #2  
ColinL
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good background reference there.. but a few key things are missing.

1. How big is your son? Do you suspect that he's going to get much taller?

2. What's the budget? A very cheap full suspension bike is in fact not an advantage over a better quality hard tail. (EDIT: I'm talking about wal-mart quality FS bikes when I say 'very cheap'.)

3. Are you only interested in new bikes, or would used be on the table at all? Giving someone a used birthday gift is generally awful, I know, but a lightly used MTB can be a big bargain compared to new. However, you are lucky in that right now is the time to buy 2013 bikes.
ColinL is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 11:26 AM
  #3  
wphamilton
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,469

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2471 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
1. How big is your son? Do you suspect that he's going to get much taller?

He's about 5'8" probably will grow 3-4 inches

2. What's the budget? A very cheap full suspension bike is in fact not an advantage over a better quality hard tail. (EDIT: I'm talking about wal-mart quality FS bikes when I say 'very cheap'.)

I'm capping it at around 500, should be plenty, right? less is better of course

3. Are you only interested in new bikes, or would used be on the table at all?

Going that route I'd probably buy a new frame and a used bike to donate parts. I wouldn't have a problem with finding a good used road bike, but mountain bike is another realm.

Oh, another possible roadie prejudice - I'm not wild about disc brakes, and prefer to avoid them. Is that a controversial attitude in the MTB world?

Last edited by wphamilton; 07-22-13 at 11:41 AM.
wphamilton is online now  
Old 07-22-13, 11:44 AM
  #4  
ColinL
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bummer. All those things do add up to a used bike, but like I said, I totally understand not wanting to give him a used bike. If you're handy with a wrench and you have some time before the bday, you could strip, paint and reassemble a used bike.

I would call your local shops and see if they have any 26" Trek or Giant hard tails, that's going to be your best bet for a new bike in the budget. Something like a Revel or 3500. You can of course buy wal-mart quality bikes, and since he's still growing and the budget is low, this will also get him out on the trails.
ColinL is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 11:50 AM
  #5  
wphamilton
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,469

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2471 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Bummer. All those things do add up to a used bike, but like I said, I totally understand not wanting to give him a used bike. If you're handy with a wrench and you have some time before the bday, you could strip, paint and reassemble a used bike.

I would call your local shops and see if they have any 26" Trek or Giant hard tails, that's going to be your best bet for a new bike in the budget. Something like a Revel or 3500. You can of course buy wal-mart quality bikes, and since he's still growing and the budget is low, this will also get him out on the trails.
No walmart quality bikes. But what do you think of the entry-level bikes on Bikes Direct? I'm confident in any assembly and adjustments needed, or in replacing parts if some component turns out to be below the bar.
wphamilton is online now  
Old 07-22-13, 12:05 PM
  #6  
ColinL
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In the sub $500 price range I personally doubt that BD has anything over a Trek 3500 or Giant Revel. They're going to have one of several very basic forks-- Suntour XCT, Rockshox Dart, Rockshox XC28, and so on.

To me the value in BD is if you spend more money you can get good components on a junk frame, far cheaper than a brand-name bike with those same components. When spending <$500 though, I think they've all got basic components and I would guess that Giant has the best frame.
ColinL is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 12:40 PM
  #7  
wphamilton
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,469

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2471 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
re BD, Alivio and Deore are ok I'd guess even with the Acera trigger shifters I see on those (?). I know jack about the suspension fork but I'm seeing a lot of Suntour (as you mentioned). Are those adequate?

Do you think the Motobecane 500HT frame is junk? It kinda looks good to me. Or the Dawes 1200 - I don't have much base to compare the frames.

Last edited by wphamilton; 07-22-13 at 12:43 PM.
wphamilton is online now  
Old 07-23-13, 08:31 AM
  #8  
gunner65
Senior Member
 
gunner65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lexington KY
Posts: 476

Bikes: Salsa Casseroll for Street and Airborne Hobgoblin for dirt

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A friend of mine was recommended the Diamondback Overdrive as his first. I checked it out its a nice ride for ~$500.

http://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Ov...ds=diamondback
gunner65 is offline  
Old 07-23-13, 08:54 AM
  #9  
wphamilton
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,469

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2471 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
A friend of mine was recommended the Diamondback Overdrive as his first. I checked it out its a nice ride for ~$500.

http://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Ov...ds=diamondback
I hadn't even thought about a 29 inch, now the idea is growing on me.
wphamilton is online now  
Old 07-23-13, 09:21 AM
  #10  
ColinL
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Regarding "junk" frames, I mean very basic and heavy. That is the whole premise of BD, cheap frames mated to brand-name parts sold very cheap.

I like the Diamondback idea as well.
ColinL is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
chico1st
Bicycle Mechanics
0
02-07-10 01:27 PM
coppertop4646
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
3
03-09-09 07:38 PM
johnnyedge
Bicycle Mechanics
4
06-10-08 03:53 PM
elbows
Bicycle Mechanics
5
10-06-06 06:07 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.