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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    First timer who needs some help!

    Hello MTBR community!

    I am currently in the process of buying my first Mountain Bike, and I have a question! What should I look to spend on my first bike? After a few hours of online reading, I understand that there are many different opinions. I know that if I want to do this process the "correct" way, I should look to spend $700-$1000 on my first bike. However, I am a broke college kid that currently waits tables for money, and am looking to spend around $400 for my first bike. Is this do-able? There are many other expenses(such as gloves, helmet, etc.) that I will be purchasing, so I am hoping that $400 will at least get me introduced to the sport on a decent bike. I would appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you, I look forward to going the Mountain bike community.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: twd953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    $400 probably won't get you much brand new from a bike shop in terms of a bike that will be suitable for serious trail riding. For the price range you are talking about, I would suggest starting with a used hardtail rather than anything brand new or full suspension, since you get more bang for your buck.

    It would help if you had a friend that could help you find a good used bike, but plenty of people post "is this a good used bike" threads on MTBR. You might want to try posting something like that in the "Beginner's Corner" forum when the time comes. You could also ask around in one of the regional forums for the state you live in.

    Also, since you are a college student, see if there is a mountain bike club at your school that you could hook up with. I would hope they would be willing to help someone out that is just trying to get into the sport, but sometimes those clubs/teams can be pretty racing oriented rather than beginner friendly.

    When it comes to looking for your first bike, I wouldn't get too hung up on wheel size. The majority of bikes sold in the last 3-4 years will have either 27.5" or 29" wheels. 26" wheeled bikes were the standard for many years before 29" and 27.5" wheel sized gained widespread popularity. Used bike prices will be pretty comparable between 27.5 and 29, but 26" bikes prices are usually really low since they have fallen out of favor for most types of riding.

    What that means is that you may be able to find a really good deal on a 4 or 5 year old hardtail with 26" wheels. For a first bike, I wouldn't let wheel size be the deciding factor of what bike to get. I'd take a 26" bike with better components and suspension fork over a 27.5 or 29" bike a crap fork.

    Also, since college campuses are notorious for bike theft, save some money for a very good bike lock, do whatever you have to do to store your bike indoors, and don't ever leave your bike outside unless it is well locked and/or within your sight.

  3. #3
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    ^ Good advice.

    Even if doubling your $400 and going new, as a first bike in a college town, this is a better plan (aka keep it simple) that should work out well for you.

    Think about how you will use the bike mostly ie; Fun- trails/recreation or main transportation , commuting- shopping hauling stuff. Get a bike that is purpose-suited this time around for covering your expectations.

    Good luck, buying bikes is fun !!
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  4. #4
    Anytime. Anywhere.
    Reputation: Travis Bickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    You can get paid for this. My short, scary career as a sperm donor.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    consider a used bike, classifieds are decent, or try and find a deal from another student.

    check if your college impounds bikes that are left on campus and whether they are sold later.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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