Looking to buy a mountain bike...HELP!

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by alohamiss, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. alohamiss

    alohamiss New Member

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    Hi there,

    A couple of girlfriends and I are looking to buy a good beginner's mountain bike. We've done a little bit of research but don't see any huge differences between the brands (Kona, Cannondale, Trek, etc). We would like something that isn't too expensive ($500 and less US dollars) but that will be a good bike for us to start with. Does anyone have any suggestions for us....We could use all the help we can get. Also, what are the main things we should be looking for or asking about before we purchase?
    Muchas gracias!!
     
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  2. MtnBikerChk

    MtnBikerChk New Member

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    so many questions.... so little time.

    where do you live?
    what kind of riding will you be doing?

    best bang for the buck right now = Giant.

    differences between brands = personal preference! You will get a million different responses from people saying what is the best.

    be conscious of frame material - cro-mo is heavy, aluminum is most popular for mtn, titanium is the lightest but mucho expensivo.

    Get a good frame with mediocre parts - those can be upgraded later.

    how's that?
     
  3. Chi

    Chi New Member

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    I've been in the market for a new entry-level bike for a couple of months now and personally I prefer the Trek 4500 for the design, price, and lifetime frame warranty (aluminum frames are usually only warranted for 5 years). The shop I'm thinking about buying it from is also offering a lifetime service plan, which is very nice compared to most shops' 1 year service plans.

    Most Treks have fuh-ugly paint jobs but the 4500 has a decent black/gray one.

    The 4500 is priced at around $400, which is where my budget is.

    I've also been advised on looking at eBay for better deals, where people tend to ride a few times and then change their minds and sell their really expensive bikes for a fraction of the original price. The only problem here is that if the seller is far away, you can't test ride the bike to see if you like it. I guess you really have to know what size you really want.

    Most bikes are made in China, like Giant and Raleigh. Specialized makes them in Taiwan. Both countries have come a long way in quality control and they seem to produce very decent bikes. High-end Treks are made here in the US, and so are Cannondales.

    I just wished these cheaper MTBs had longer top tubes, like the high end Treks do.
     
  4. redandblack

    redandblack New Member

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    If I were you, I'd try out a Specialized Hardrock. they are decent bikes, and I bought my FS for $400.00 (US) I don't know about 2003 hardrocks, but I'd wager they'd be about the same price for a decent bike with front shocks.
     
  5. dexmax

    dexmax New Member

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    yes, trek 4xxx are good and cheap.
     
  6. justin_l_edward

    justin_l_edward New Member

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    My girlfriend has a Giant RINCON which she purchased because a few of the other guys in the group have them - they are entry level, but we have done between 50-100km every weekend off-road for the last four months - bike is running well! we just hose it down and spray some lube on the chain after every ride. She finds it comfortable, gear changes didn't take long to get used to. All I've replaced are the brake pads (downhill = heavy on brakes!)

    We ride fire-trails, single-trails, to some fairly technical tracks.

    This was a good value bike for a beginner rider (which she was - never off-road before). Plan to get 12-24 months out of it - you will either be hooked and know what you really want by then or it will have rusted in the garage...

    The other thing she has invested in is a pair of shin-guards - which I would never have considered, but then I don't wear skirts :)

    I also have a Giant - NRS2 - have quite a lot of faith in the brand personally (no other connection than credit card repayments).

    Check out some reviews on www.mtbr.com - I usually have a scan before I buy stuff - but take it all with a grain of salt...

    I have a friend has an IGUANA and it is a really good bike to ride - I have had a few pedals on it.

    In summary - IMHO you would do well to start with a RINCON, YUKON or IGUANA.

    Don't forget a decent pair of gloves!
     
  7. aero

    aero New Member

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    I've got a a trek 4300 I got 2 years ago and I like it alot. It has the same frame as higher end treks under $700 or so, it just that the componets arn't as good.

    I got mine intentionall in the fall and got a 15% off deal. Bring my prict down from $320 to $280 tax included. I would highly recommend not buying a bike you havent ridden however, even if it is a good deal. Becuase if a good deal is what you really want then wait until the fall when bike shops start having sales.

    But if your budget is $500, I'd probably get a trek 4500 and you would come out with probably $50 to spare.
     
  8. rick

    rick New Member

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    My colleagues are all correct in their opinions. When I bought my bike - (a Diamondback Vectra Sport) I made sure of a few things.

    1.) The frame size and geometry suited (fit) me. Make sure the top bar (which basically determines how far you reach for the bars) is the right length for you and therefore comfortable over a long period. Also make sure that when you straddle the bike (feet flat on the ground) that your crotch has good clearance over the top bar. Finally and what I found most important - get a bike that allows at least 1-2 inches of height adjustment on the bars. It seems that most MTBs sold now insert spacers between the headstem and the bars which can be adjusted to suit your riding style / comfort. Check out "Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance" and look at the picture on the front cover and you'll see what I mean, although I would prefer a little more adjustment (ie. a few more spacers) than those shown.

    Remember that nearly all mass-produced bike frames come from only a couple of factories in either Taiwan or China and the quality is pretty good. The size / geometry may vary but the raw material and the welding etc. is the same. Main difference is the fancy paint and stickers.

    2.) Ensure you get good running gear - ie. Front and Rear Derailleurs, cranks (and pedals), cluster, hubs, chain, bottom bracket, etc. For that price you could get at least full Shimano Deore - maybe including Deore brakes. These are all the moving parts and the bits most likely to wear / break so get the best you can.

    Finally - check out what you like / can afford. Shop around, talk to as many bike shop guys you can and importantly - take your prospective bike for a ride before you buy. Sit on it (pardon me Fonz) and ride it for a while (15 - 20 minutes at least).

    Enjoy!!!!
     
  9. zen_grrl

    zen_grrl New Member

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    As a girl it's also worth considering bikes that are "women specific" which means that the geometry of the bike is designed with a woman's body in mind rather than a guy's. This site gives you a little more detail on why and has details of a lot of the women specific bikes out there www.citybikes.com/bikesfor.htm). This aside though, the most important thing you can do is find a good bike shop that will fit you with a bike that's the right size for you. A good bike shop will also let you test ride the bike beyond the car park! It's important that you find a bike that "feels" right, so try as many as you can. Good luck!
     
  10. gregg

    gregg New Member

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    Go to MTBR.COM
    That is the best place to find used stuff- and they are in the bay area.
     
  11. Banatean

    Banatean New Member

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    My fiancee just got a Specialized CrMo 4130 and she loves it,her's it's the yellow/gold one,it's beautifull (well my fiancee it way more beautifull thou).
     
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