Entry-Level Advice; What do I have here?


New Member
Jul 21, 2006
First, I must apologize for being somewhat of a newb. I am interested in getting into casual mountain biking, and I anticipate going on somewhat leisurely strolls through wooded trails with varied (mildly technical) terrain. I'm 30 now, but I was quite the bicyclist in my youth, so I think I'd still be a little daring from time to time.

Can anyone recommend a good entry level mountain bike? Something comfortable, reasonably affordable, and good quality that will allow me to occassionally test my limits?

That brings me to my second question - I currently have a Schwinn Impact which I purchased new around 1990 by my best guess.


How does this bike compare to contemporary bikes? Would it be a good option to restore and use this bike as my entry-level platform? Or would I be better off selling this bike and getting something newer? What do you think it is worth?

Thanks for your help! :)


Jul 30, 2004
I had the exact same bike, in storage, but ended up giving it to a friend from work. I now wish I had kept the bike and put on some slick tires - it's the perfect bulletproof urban bike.

My advice is to start riding it and see if it works for your needs. It's older and doesn't have the latest bells and whistles, but it is still a capable trail/fireroad bike. By today's standards, it's biggest drawback is no front suspension. In my opinion, if that bike will require more than $100 worth of new parts or repairs it's not worth fixing. In good working condition, the bike might sell for $100 give or take.

The price of a new, decent, low-end mountain bike with front suspension starts at about $350 and goes up from there. Do not buy a department store bike. Good used bike deals can be found on Ebay, craigslist, etc., but you should educate yourself thoroughly before buying.

Most importantly, make sure you have a bike that fits. A local bike shop can properly size you and provide a beginner with needed advice and customer support. If you decide to go it alone, follow this link for a guide on bike fit.



New Member
Jul 17, 2006
My first Mountain bike was a Schwinn Impact. A friend sold it to me for $100 when he bought his new bike, back when I was in college.

I loved that bike. I beat it to death and back and it just kept on going. I was in Utah at the time, and I learned to Mountain Bike on some really great and sometimes very intense trails with it. I finally got rid of it a few years ago when I upgraded to a Specialized (kind of wish I'd have hung onto it sometimes). While my Specialized is a great high performance bike, I've already had more problems with it than I ever had with the Impact.

My advice is, assuming the Impact is in working condition, don't worry about getting the latest and greatest just yet. I think that after riding it a while (I'm thinking years not days), you'll feel when/if its time to upgrade. Mine was a super beginner bike that could handle the intense trails. The only drawback is no front suspension, but that doesn't matter too much especially if you're just beginning (you won't know what you're missing anyhow).



New Member
Mar 7, 2006
I agree with scotty dog,ride and ride some more to see what kind of ridding you prefere and then go and get the bike that fits your needs.
My three bike theory.
your first bike that gets you hooked ,your second bike that lets you know what you should have got when you upgraded from the first
and your third bike you take out a morgage for and sleeps in the bedroom with you.


New Member
Apr 28, 2006
Schwinn had some great bikes back then. I, too, kick myself for getting rid of my first mtn bike, a Schwinn Sierra MOS. I paid $500 for it back around 1990 (maybe '89) and rode the fire out of it around Oklahoma State. I just spent about the same on a GT avalanche 2.0 disc. I'm happy with it but don't think I'll ever find a bike that is as awesome to me as my Schwinn.

I agree with the 3 bike theory now that I think about it. First the Schwinn, now the GT, now wanting a road bike for the times when I can't get offroad.