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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a new mountain bike and plan on spending between $400 and $650... Anyone have any suggestions for brands or size or anything really?


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I love my Specialized recently upgraded to a 29er fs and love it!

But for that price range you will end up with a nice hardtail.

I would strongly look at Specialized, and Gary Fisher's. Both are a premium bike. Most likely have to go to multiple bike shops since they can not sell both brands under one roof.

Ride a hand full of models and see what fits you best and is comfortable as well.

Lots of places to demo days at local trails where you leave a cc for deposit and can ride for the day. And lots of shops have demo bikes they rent out daily as well usually for 20-30 a day and you get that put towards a bike if you buy from them.

Also check ebay/craigslist lots of people go buy top dollor chit only to realize they dont enjoy the sport. So thats sweet if you can make out with there "second hand" stuff.

Also I know that here there is a state wide MTB association website, see if you have one too.

And if you get tore between two bikes, go for the one with the better brake/drive train package.

Good luck, get out there and have fun!
 

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It really depends on the kind of riding you plan on doing. 29ers and singlespeeds are the new rage these days. If you plan on a mix of cross country type stuff and road riding, a hardtail with disc brakes will do the job. A Giant XTC is a nice bike. Specialized makes a nice bike too.
 

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Always been a fan of Trek and owned one. The bike I own currently is a '08 Diamondback Response hardtail. I think I paid around 500.00 for it. Specialized and Fisher is great stuff too.
 

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I've always been a fan of Gary Fisher and Cannondales that were made prior to production being shipped overseas.


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unfortunately your really not going to get much with that low of a budget unless you get a good used deal. If you just plan on cruizing dirt roads or dirt bike path, you colud probably find something from Trek or Specialized cheap... but then agiain it will be very low end. If you want something that you can ride a bit harder then plan on spending between $1000 - $1500. Check out Giant too, they make some good entry level bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input guys, I'm not going to be doing hardcore riding anytime soon, mainly because it's very flat here.

Always been a fan of Trek and owned one. The bike I own currently is a '08 Diamondback Response hardtail. I think I paid around 500.00 for it. Specialized and Fisher is great stuff too.
How do you like the DB? I ask because the shop near me has leftover 11's that are going for 50% off right now.



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Im riding a 2012 Gary Fisher Mamba 29'er right now, and I absolutely love it. A few years ago him and Trek kinda sorta merged and he has his own line of Trek bikes. If you want to go with a 29'er the Trek/Fisher line is hard to beat, with their geometry you feel as if you are in the bike, where with Fuji and Giants I felt like I was on top of the bike. If you are looking to stay in your price range you can get a decent 26" hardtail when it goes to a 29'er you can tack on about another $300. Just make sure to stay away from the 'v" brakes and go to something with a disc, if you can go hydraulic disc thats even better. Your other big price area is on your front shock if you are going with a hard tail. The more high end stuff will be more durable, and have more travel.
My Mamba was a little less than a grand, and you can expect to add another $400-$500 extra in accessories if you are just starting out when you look into add bike racks, repair kits, camel backs etc. Check out your local shops, a lot of times they will have bikes that people trade in when they upgrade to a newer model, or just realized they dont ride that much and decide to sell it. Im not a big fan of ebay or craigslist for something like a bike because you have no idea how well it was maintained. A bike shop will usually service a used bike before they try to sell it.
Another idea is now every month or 2 Trek offers 0% financing for a year, That will help you step up into a better bike and not hurt as much. They are also pretty generous with how much they will give you on the credit limit. I know my credit is pretty good, but I wasnt expecting them to give me a $4500 limit when I was only looking for $1000-1200. The last thing is that if you do get a nice bike dont skimp on the carrier, there is a thread on here that talks about carriers. I know Im not going to trust my bike to a cheap harbor freight type carrier.
 

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How do you like the DB? I ask because the shop near me has leftover 11's that are going for 50% off right now.
I have a buddy who has a DB, its spent more time getting fixed than it has on the trails. It started off with his saddle breaking,it was replaced and now it wont tighten enough to hold his seat, so every couple miles he had to get off to tighten the mounts again, and now its back in the shop. Im not trying to be an elitist bastard or anything but there is a reason you will find them in big box stores like Dicks Sports. They seem to be a step above walmart, but several steps below Trek, Specialized, Giant, Fuj, etc
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info, I'm going to a few shops and test riding tomorrow.


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If you are not planning on riding trails or "mountain biking" then don't get a mountain bike. I think a lot of people make the mistake of buying a mountain bike because it looks cool - the equivalent of a MallCrawler Jeep.
If you mainly plan on riding around your neighborhood and a few parks, with an occasional curb jump or something, then get a bike like a Specialized Crosstrail.
If you don't get the correct bike for the type of riding you want to do, then you won't ride it because it will be uncomfortable.
I have a Specialized Camber and Crosstrail - The Camber sucks on the road - too much rolling resistance, wrong geometry, etc. - but it is hands down a much better (and more expensive - about 4x) bike. The Crosstrail is a great road/park bike, but it would not last a week of trail abuse.

My sister is a great example - she went to a LBS and said she wanted a mountain bike - they did not ask what type of riding she planned to do, her riding level, etc - they just pull out a bike that fit her price range. It has since been in her garage because the massive off-road tires, suspension, and geometry suck on the road - she hated riding it and assumed she hated biking.

My 2-cents - watch craigslist or the boards at your local shop for a bike 2-3 years old that someone bought and never rode. You can get a great bike in your price range if you identify a few models and trim levels you want. You can usually see if a bike is worn out with a simple visual inspection.

Happy riding
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you are not planning on riding trails or "mountain biking" then don't get a mountain bike. I think a lot of people make the mistake of buying a mountain bike because it looks cool - the equivalent of a MallCrawler Jeep.
If you mainly plan on riding around your neighborhood and a few parks, with an occasional curb jump or something, then get a bike like a Specialized Crosstrail.
If you don't get the correct bike for the type of riding you want to do, then you won't ride it because it will be uncomfortable.
I have a Specialized Camber and Crosstrail - The Camber sucks on the road - too much rolling resistance, wrong geometry, etc. - but it is hands down a much better (and more expensive - about 4x) bike. The Crosstrail is a great road/park bike, but it would not last a week of trail abuse.

My sister is a great example - she went to a LBS and said she wanted a mountain bike - they did not ask what type of riding she planned to do, her riding level, etc - they just pull out a bike that fit her price range. It has since been in her garage because the massive off-road tires, suspension, and geometry suck on the road - she hated riding it and assumed she hated biking.

My 2-cents - watch craigslist or the boards at your local shop for a bike 2-3 years old that someone bought and never rode. You can get a great bike in your price range if you identify a few models and trim levels you want. You can usually see if a bike is worn out with a simple visual inspection.

Happy riding
I do plan on riding trails and mountain biking, I just have to leave jersey to do it. The only real trails around this state are very sandy and only good to ride in the fall/winter months, over the bridge there are quite a few trails in Delaware and PA.


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Look into the Specialized Hardrock 29er with disc brakes. I have one and its a nice bike. Upgradable if you wish to ride more but they still come with some ok components to start out with. If you want to spend a little bit more the rockhopper is similar but comes with better components.
 

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I have 3 mountain bikes. 2 high end "racing bikes", and a "cheap" time.
The "cheap bike" is a Gary Fisher "Rig". 29" hard tail, with a 80mm front shock. I ride that ride more than the other two combined because it is soooo much fun. It'll run (about) $1000 new
 

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Go to a bike shop and see which one is best for your height. Makes a world of difference man. I have a KHS XC-204 full suspension. I love that thing. Good luck to ya!!!
 

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29er is where it's at. If you are big enough for the bike.

You can get into the lower end 29ers in your price range and seeing as the frame is generally the same throughout the lineup, you can upgrade stuff as you go.

My current bike is a Marin Alpine Trail 29er. I purchased it through REI because they had a good deal on that model. It was around 700. I rode the Marin 29er series at a bike shop and I love it but they were the higher end models with the same frame. I've since been upgrading parts. In the end it's more expensive to build it as you go, but you end up spending big money on parts important to you and less or none on parts you don't need to upgrade. Not to mention it's like a jeep so it's just fun building it. I've dropped big coin on other bikes in the past, and still ended up changing parts here and there anyway, so buying the lower end model has worked out well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I ended up with a 12' DB Overdrive 29er. I rode a few 26" bikes then got on the 29's and knew I was going to stick with that. The DB just felt the best for me and it was in my range. I've put a few miles on it already and am pleased with my choice still. Thanks for all the input guys, I went and test rode and found one I was good with.


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I ended up with a 12' DB response 29er. I rode a few 26" bikes then got on the 29's and knew I was going to stick with that. The DB just felt the best for me and it was in my range. I've put a few miles on it already and am pleased with my choice still. Thanks for all the input guys, I went and test rode and found one I was good with.


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Congrats on your new ride. Now. On to accessories. You thinking about clip ins??
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got confused because I test rode a Response but I ended up getting an Overdrive 29er, Sorry about that. Anyway, I don't think I'll be doing clip ins because I am a bk amputee and the lack of ankle control I just didn't like the way the clip ins felt. They would be fine for a road bike I think but I just wasn't comfortable using them offroad because I did test them at the place where I bought the bike, they had an area behind the store for playing offroad with the bikes.
 
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