Looking for a good budget bike i can grow into, not out of

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Motosonic, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Good Morning
    I'm an avid road cyclist and am looking into picking up a Mountain Bike to try it out.. hopefully I'll like it and stick with it.
    With that said, I have an opportunity through work to buy Diamondback bikes deeply discounted. What I'm looking for is a bike that can handle whatever, is comfortable to ride and I won't want/need to replace without spending a fortune (Right now, I reserve that for my road wheels, lol). So, I'm looking at the Diamondback Release 1.. I just know.. nothing about Mountain bikes or their components.. Before I start research, etc.. I figured, why not ask the people who ride Mtn the most.. get your opinions, before I fill my head with mindless internet research.

    Basically, what it boils down to is component-wise, it doesn't need to be top tier, the bike doesn't need to be carbon.. but, I don't want to buy an 'entry-level' bike, either that I'll want to replace as soon as I get into the sport.
    I'm 5'7" 195.. so, I'll need some help with sizing as well.

    I'd like to add the Raleigh Kodiak 1 (and Kodiak 2) to the mix as well. This one is more in my price range.

    What I'm hoping is that something like this, component wise, etc.. will be a good bike to buy as a beginner and grow into (without growing out of too quickly)
    thanks again!

    Thanks folks!
     
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  2. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Link to the Kodiak 2.
    I've actually been told already that the Kodiak 1 is below what most would consider 'entry level'.
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    My biggest question to you is do you plan on doing fast aggressive downhill (DN) rough terrain with lots of big drops etc type of riding a lot? If not I question the need for a fully suspension bike when a rigid bike (meaning no suspension front or rear) will work better, have less issues, less long term costs, hold up longer, weigh less, take less physical exertion to ride, and have less maintenance issues.

    If all you're going to ride is some gravel roads, fire roads, dirt trails, all you may need is a hard tail bike which means just a front suspension fork; heck even in those cases cross racers don't even use suspension forks, but not sure what your riding is going to be all about.

    The beauty of a cross bike is you can take it almost anywhere, granted you can't do aggressive DN stuff but cross racers are known to do some rugged crap but they also carry their bikes over the roughest stuff, but if you plan on doing mostly roads, smooth dirt trails etc then a cross bike would give you the best of both worlds with a stronger frame and large tires than a standard road bike.

    But since right now all I know about what you want is a full suspension bike and it sounds like you can get a huge discount for Diamondbacks lets look at those; and Diamondback bikes are pretty decent bikes by the way especially in the price range you're considering. Since this is a large discounted price you're getting it would be stupid and go with the Mission series because at the prices you'll pay it would be crazy not to get the top of the line series...IF you plan on some very rough riding with it, again if not then you need to look outside of full suspension bikes.

    Another option for a mountain bike is the new breed of fat bikes, they are hard tails and some have rigid forks and some don't, but the big fat tires smooth out rough terrain but will take more energy to ride on the street than a cross bike. Look at the Diamondback El Osa series in that selection.

    If you decide to go cross style after doing some research and finding out more about how you intend on using the bike, then look at the Haanjo lineup. With the Haanjo series you can even get carbon fiber framing that will be close to the weight of a regular CF road bike but with a stouter frame for use off road, thus it will perform well on several different type of surfaces. The Haanjo Comp has the all Shimano 105 transmission which is a very reliable mid grade group that is the work horse of the Shimano line; the Trail version steps up to Ultegra which is great stuff too just not so sure if you really need to go that high up when the difference between the two is only found on weight and not function, and the weight difference isn't all that great maybe a 100 grams, plus if a part should break it's more cost effective to replace 105 instead of Ultegra. They both use the same frame and fork so there is no advantage over one vs the other, the only question I have is that they use two different manufactures for the brakes and since I'm not an expert on disk brakes someone else would have to tell you if the more expensive Trail is worth buying due to the brakes being significantly better than the Comp brakes.

    I hope I didn't confuse you more, but if you think further about this before you pull the trigger first you'll be sure to get the bike that will fit your long term needs and riding style and you'll be a lot happier with the choice.

    Congrats on being able to get a huge discount through work, not many companies do that for their employees, take advantage of by buying the best bike you can afford because the better the bike the longer it will last well after the employment may end, and you may never get another chance to buy a bike that heavily discounted.
     
  4. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    This is great info. A lot to take in. I've never ridden a fat bike, always thought they looked overly heavy and clunky, so I'll test ride one. Seeing I'd have to mail order a DB, I'll have to go to a Lbs to test ride a Specified or something to see what I may like.

    I'm also looking at the overdrive series 27.5 and 29. Not sure if 29 would work for me based on what I've read. Because I'm not tall, lol. I guess I don't need full suspension, but I would like to ride trails. I don't foresee myself at my age catching air and doing any dangerous biking, so I probably don't need anything pro level or designed for doing that crazy crap I see on YouTube videos, lol.
     
  5. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    I've narrowed down my choices to the Diamondback Overdrive comp 27.5 & the Raleigh Tokul 3 and Tokul 4130.
    I'm going to just go hard tail.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I've never ridden a fat tire bike either, and I think the same way you do, but people that own them swear by them, I just don't have a need for something like that.

    Keep in mind if you eliminate any suspension, front and rear, you can put down more power on the road, if all you're going to be doing is roads and trail I would avoid any suspended bike rear or front. Here's the weird thing about all of that, I have a mountain bike with a front shock which I rarely use, sometimes I'm out riding my road bike with 700c x 25 tires on it, I'll see a gravel or a dirt trail going somewhere and decide to travel down it on the road bike! I've never broke anything doing that on a road bike either. Of course I'm not bombing down the dirt trail and especially not the gravel ones, but if I want to go I'll just go and forget about the kind of bike I'm on. But I do mostly roads and maybe 5% trail/gravel stuff, if I was doing maybe 75 road and 25 or more trail I would have bought a cross bike.

    I use to live in California where there are mountain trails, that's what why I bought my first mountain bike but it was non suspended, and guess what? I went pretty fast down some crappy rock strewn trails, faster then I was comfortable with, but I was also a lot younger then so no way would I do that today suspended or not! LOL!! I also rode a few fire roads up in the mountains of California and did all those on a road bike with just 23's on them back then. I even got away from a cop once on a road bike with 23's, I blew a stop sign on a steep mountain road and a cop was off to the side of the road tried to pull me over, as I was looking for a safe place to dismount I saw a dirt trail about a foot wide heading up a fairly steep grade going into the Los Padres National Forest, hmmm I wonder where this goes? so off I went up that trail and the cop never did give me that ticket! So a lot of interesting things can be done just on a road bike, believe me. Oh, and those 23 wide tires were spinning all the way up that up that trail but still got enough traction to move me fast enough. I followed that trail for roughly 4 maybe 5 miles before finding out it dumped me off onto another road.

    The only issue with gravel roads around where I live is that parts of the road will be rather tightly packed and others will be very loose, and a bike with 23's or 25's will want to groove into the gravel, and if your going to fast could get quite dicey, even for an old man like me at 63 my bike handling skills are still pretty good, I can ride those roads as long as I'm careful of course, I prefer to gravel roads on my touring bike which has the older 27 x 1 1/4 tires (31.75mm) and have no problems with those, and a cross bike can even wider tires up to the 42mm.

    The other thing about a cross bike is you can put on narrower tires if all you want to do is faster road riding, and then switch to a wider tire if all you want to do is trails and gravel. Don't forget too that a cross bike makes a fantastic commuter bike, and if it comes with double rear braze on's for mounting fender and pannier racks can be used for light touring, even it come with just one set of braze on's you can get snap on fenders when the pannier is on. Lots of options with these type of bikes.
     
  7. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    I'll test ride and consider a cross bike, but I would like to try some more technical stuff at some point, and from what folks have told me, a cross bike really has no place there. Like rocky climbs and downhills, just rough terrain. But I'll give it a test ride and see. But the flat bars really are a preference for this bike.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    there you go, you are starting to reveal more about what kind of riding you
    want to do. But you did confuse me a bit because you said earlier you were too old for the crazy stuff. So ok, then look at some MTB's and decide if you'll have the need for full suspension or just a front suspended fork, and that will depend on how fast you want to do that kind of riding.

    Hybrid bike is not a good thought, most who buy hybrids will eventually turn to either road style or mountain style of bikes.
     
  9. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    lol sorry about that. What I meant by crazy was what I see on Youtube with guys going what seems like 45mph down a skinny mountainside path and then launching off a 60 foot jump and landing on yet another skinny cliffside..

    My first bike was a hybrid.. while it got me into road cycling.. I very quickly grew out of it.. it had a harsh ride, even on road..and it was not fast at all..was heavy too.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Get the highest quality bike you can squeeze your budget for on a mountain bike because the better the bike the better and lighter the suspension system will be. Cheaper mountain bikes weigh so much you'll think your old Hybrid was lightweight racing bike!!
     
  11. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    That is exactly what my end goal is. Problem is.. my knowledge on MTN bike components, like drivetrain, shock, etc. is little to none.. so, I lack the knowledge to know what to look for and what to stay away from.

    I'm going to see if any of the LBS rent MTN bikes and take one out for a good ride and see what I like. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Raleigh Tokul 4130. I'm told for the $1,000 I'm willing to spend, it's a great deal.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry too much about the details, once you get into the higher end stuff there isn't going to be a lot of difference between say the top of the line SRAM VS Shimano, the same will be true with shock brands. At roughly $2,000 level one company is not going to give you a crappy shock and another a great one, there will only be marginal differences.

    Do you and us a favor, once you rode several and start to lock into 2 or 3 models post them here and let us help look at the components etc, we may find the differences to be nil and just till you to pick according the color you like! LOL. I know that seems crazy but sometimes that's what it might boil down to if all three fit the same and feel comfortable; but they're may be some subtle difference that may be worth considering one over another. So post when you get to that point. During this time of course pick the brains of LBS's but be careful because they want to sell you a bike they sell, they don't really want you walking away buying through you work, but some LBS's are honest and will give you the straight dope on stuff, and then you can support that with whatever we say here.
     
  13. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    This part will be tricky because none of the LBS sell Diamondback.. but I may be able to find a Raleigh dealer. The LBS here WAS a Raleigh dealer... but they too 'consolidated' and went only Specialized and Trek and they have a few Yeti and Salsa mixed in. So, if I can't find a Raleigh to test ride, I'll likely be test riding Trek, Specialized or Cannondale..none of which I'll be purchasing unless I can find a nice pre-owned one.. because I don't see the point in spending $1000 and getting a lesser Trek when I can get a much better Raleigh or DB due to my discount. I'd love to be able to consider those brands and buy at the LBS, but for my $1000, I'm not going to get much of a bike, sadly.
     
  14. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    So, I'm looking at 2016 Raleigh Tokul 4130 and 2017 Raleigh Tokul 4130.

    They're similar.. The 2017 is $1019 and the 2016 is $899

    Other than the seatpost, I can't really tell what the major differences are and if it's worth it to go with the 2017. The 2016 is definitely more in the area that I want to spend.

    any thoughts?
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Of those two I would probably select the 2016 model with the Shimano Zee derailleur system, it seems to be higher reviewed then the SRAM NX which is Srams bottom of the line model.

    In addition to that the 2016 model has the Fox front shock fork, previous models sucked, but Fox corrected the issues and now people are really impressed with this fork plus it's a tad lighter than the 2017 model...THIS IS ASSUMING that the 2016 Raleigh is using a 2016 Fox fork, if they're using a 2015 Fox fork then that fork would not be very good, you would have to ask someone at Raleigh, I think, note the key word "think" it's the newer one due to having thru the axle dropouts, but check to make sure. Forks are subject heavily to user opinion, some like the feel of one over the other but they both seem to have their equal admirers.

    The 2016 model also comes with slightly better Shimano 506 hydraulic brakes vs the TRP in the 2017 model.

    The frame on either are identical so there is no headache choosing one over the other.

    That's it, those items I listed are the major items, everything else is just small parts, but it appears to me that the 2016 Raleigh is the best choice from what I could determine.
     
  16. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Interesting. I haven't got access at the mtbr forums yet, but I'll ask over there as soon as I can. What I've heard so far is a 1:1. One person says the 2017 because of the dropper post and the wider range cassette. But, some have reservations about the weight of the 2017. I did find a local shop that has a 2016 in stock.. although I don't know if I'll be able to test ride it because it's in their 'warehouse'.. and they want $1800 for it. But they are trying to get rid of Raleigh as far as I know, so maybe they'll meet me at $899 like my discount will? lol
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Buying a different cassette is cheap compared to trying to upgrade to slightly better components that the 2016 offers, at around $45.

    The dropper post are expensive, at around $92 for the model that is on that bike, (but can go up way higher than that lower end model is at) but that's probably why they went with lower level components on everything else so they could throw in the dropper post! The problem with dropper posts is: are they absolutely necessary? NO! And the low costing ones, like the one on the 2017 are unreliable; all that means in order to get a reliable dropper post you'll need to spend about $400! Specialized makes a pretty good one for $350 called the Command Post but it's mechanical not air, the nicer air ones will cost about $450. Most people don't need a dropper post and you don't want a cheap one that will give you trouble. In addition it takes a lot of practice to master the use of a dropper post on the fly, and they are more for those doing big drops. With a standard QR seatpost you simply lower your seat mechanically by loosening up the QR and retightening before you start out on a rough ride. All the times I rode mountain trails the thought of having a post that could drop and rise at a push of button never crossed my mind as a need.
     
  18. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    With that said, I think I need to find a couple of 27+ mtn bikes and test ride them.. One with a dropper post and one without. Seeing as I've never ridden either, this might give me a good idea of what fits me best. I feel bad going into an LBS and test riding 2 bikes I have no intention of buying.. but, I have a budget, man! lol
    With that said, it would be SO nice, if I could get the same kind of deal at an LBS as I could with my corp discount. That'd make my life a whole lot easier. But, sadly, if I buy at a LBS my $1000 is not going to get me a very good bike at all. :(
     
  19. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I know some people get a bit excited about people going into bike shops and "wasting" salespeople time test riding bikes, but I disagree with that because it's not unlike going to various car dealerships and test driving cars. Now I do disagree with going into a bike shop and picking the brain of a salesperson concerning a part or product, for example a dropper post you want to buy, then find that model of that post online and buy it cheaper, I never do that sort of thing, if a salesperson helped me with a part or item that I need then I buy regardless if I know I can save 50% (example) buying it online, (99% of the time I know what I want anyway due to experience so I rarely need to pick a brain of store person so I just go straight online). But over the 40 plus years I've been riding I've ridden a lot of new bikes and never bought the first bike I test rode at a shop. It's also not unlike going into say Best Buys to look at appliances, and then you go to Home Depot and several other places, so did you "waste" the time of the salesperson that you didn't buy from? No, that's just part of the game of retail business.

    My last new bike I bought was in 2013, for a year prior to that I test rode a bunch of bikes at various shops in my town and other towns, I ended up buying a Lynskey online without ever riding one, but I had test rode a few titanium bikes at bike shops, the problem was those bike shop ti bikes were horribly expensive, in excess of $6,000, (I also had two friends that had TI bikes so I rode their's quite a bit too), but after test riding a zillion CF bikes and a few TI bikes I decided to get a TI bike and got it online for less than 3 grand, so I saved over 3 grand from buying a "boutique" brand of TI bike.

    So I said all of that to say this, don't worry about what others here might think about you riding bikes knowing you're not going to purchase it from the shop, it is what it is, people do it all the time, it's part of the retail game, but just don't let that get carried away later when you need a part or item and spend time picking the salespersons brain and then get it online. It would be better if you want to save money on some part or item to pick the brains of those here on this forum then go buy it online if you can't afford it at the local shop.
     
  20. Lia Rener

    Lia Rener New Member

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    01427153.jpg I live in a city, therefore I choose a city bicycle. In my opinion, you can buy mountain one. It all depends on the characteristics of the bike, the price and the terrain of your region. Choose a technique with hard forks that have a low weight, low price, but, nevertheless, are very reliable.
    Pay attention to the choice of wheels for its components - tires, chambers and rim. When choosing a rim, pay attention to the fact that it has a double wall and special shiny pistons, also the weight of the rim is of great importance, namely - the less, the better. I ordered my bike on this site http://bestadviser.net/ , having previously read the description and reviews on the Internet about this model. Basically, I am pleased with the purchase)))
     
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