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  1. #1
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    Looking to buy my first mountain bike! Advice needed

    Whats up guys, I just recently decided that it was time for me to start being more healthy and active. The first idea for me to do this was to take up a new hobby, and mountain biking is what I decided on. Since I live in Arizona, there are plenty of places to ride. Also, I have a few friends who ride a little so I would be able to go with them.

    Now to what I need help with. With the little researching that I have done, I have narrowed it down to a hardtail 29er. This would be in my price range (max of $500). I have looked around quite a bit and read through these forums but still don't know what exactly I want.

    I have looked at:
    Trek Marlin 5 ($499)
    Trek X-Caliber 4 Gary Fisher Collection ($499)
    Dawes HayMaker 2900 ($369)
    Motobecane Fantom29 Sport ($399)
    Motobecane Fantom 29 LTD ($399)
    Gravity 29Point1 ($449)

    One of the main websites that I have been using is bikesdirect.com.

    If you guys could help me out, that would be awesome!

  2. #2
    cowbell
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    Here's some advice. You're probably looking at a bunch of bikes that have SR Suntour forks on them. It's going to be a crap fork at that price. So ignore the fork. Find the bike with the nicest components on it otherwise - I'm talking drive line stuff. Pick that bike up. Save the next $200 you can get your hands on as fast as possible, and use the SR loyalty upgrade program to put a Radion air sprung fork on whatever you get. That will make the whole thing a completely different ride. But resign yourself to the fact that you'll need to spend more money on this bike after you buy it to make it a decent bike.

  3. #3
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    The 460mm chainstays of the Motobecanes make them turn like a bus.
    There is no geo info for the Dawes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Here's some advice. You're probably looking at a bunch of bikes that have SR Suntour forks on them. It's going to be a crap fork at that price. So ignore the fork. Find the bike with the nicest components on it otherwise - I'm talking drive line stuff. Pick that bike up. Save the next $200 you can get your hands on as fast as possible, and use the SR loyalty upgrade program to put a Radion air sprung fork on whatever you get. That will make the whole thing a completely different ride. But resign yourself to the fact that you'll need to spend more money on this bike after you buy it to make it a decent bike.
    Ok thanks for all the advice. Since there is a Trek X-Caliber 4 by my place I'm going to check it out. Do you think that one has good enough specs to start out from? At least before upgrading the Suntour forks on it.

  5. #5
    cowbell
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    I don't see that bike on the trek site, and frankly, I don't want to spend time digging for it - post up the parts spec. You should honestly educate yourself on what the different parts grades are - SRAM Xn parts are higher grade as numbers go up. Stuff below 5 is junk, 5 will work til you wear it out. Shimano is more difficult to learn, but learn it you can.

  6. #6
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    Save your money, you either won't like any of these bikes. Or you'll quickly realize you want something better and you're stuck with this cheap, heavy bike.

  7. #7
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    How about the Airborne Guardian? $599 online. Better spec than anything you listed.

  8. #8
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    Just a thought here but you may want to look at craigslist. I just left Phoenix after a decade but i bought several bikes on there and had great luck. You need to be able to ride whatever you're going to buy. Fit is super important. I agree with some of the other posts here but i don't know you personally so i won't say what will or will not work for you but you can find a bike with a higher spec in good shape and not break your budget. Then when you fall in love with the sport you can upgrade. Plus the trails out there will beat the thing up until you figure out where to put your body in different situations and banging up a bike that has already seen some use won't hurt so bad. Good luck and happy hunting!

  9. #9
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    I just got a 2014 Breezer Storm Sport on closeout for $549.99 shipped. It has decent specs, probably better than the ones you listed. It has a Shimano drivetrain. I can't stand Sram shifters after 20+ years of Shimano.

    I bought this bike because of the geometry. It has short chain stays 71/72 angles. It corners unbelievably well. Yes as mention before it has SR forks that are lackluster to say the least, especially after being used to Marzocchi Bomber Z2 forks. I am in the process of saving up for the upgrade program mentioned earlier.

    I too had around a $500 budget to get a 29er. I knew that the most important thing is the frame, everything else can be upgraded. I have been very happy with my choice.

    I got it here:Breezer Storm Sport 29 | Giantnerd

    They now only have Small and Medium in stock as I bought the last Large. They pre-assmble the bike and check it out before they ship it. All you have to do when it arrives is put the handle bars, front wheel, seat post and pedals on.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking to buy my first mountain bike! Advice needed-breezer.jpg  


  10. #10
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    Jeffco, there is a facebook page called "Stevebay" for us Arizona people. It is a page where cyclists buy/sell/trade bike stuff. There are a lot of used bikes people are selling, and you should be able to find something there for around that price that is a better bike than any of the ones you are looking at.
    Vassago Verhauen SS
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