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  1. #1
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    Hope Help Choosing my first MTB under $1500

    Ok so I am a noobie 26 years old, live in Florida, have some nice trails a few blocks from my house so I decided to pick up mountain biking.


    I wasnt sure if I should go with a HT or FS but after careful consideration I figured if I went with a FS my joints will thank me when I am older. I am also 6ft 210 lbs. I decided on 27.5 for the new bikes because I read they are more versatile.

    So I am trying not to spend more than $1500 on a first bike and I narrowed it down to these new bikes:


    1. Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles
    2. https://www.scott-sports.com/global/...park-760-Bike/ (closeout at $1399 at lbs but my university already offers me free service on my bike any kind of work just throwing this in cuz i know how u guys recommend lbs)
    3. http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...IihRoC2wHw_wcB




    I also found these 2 used bikes on craigslist:


    1. 2014 18.5 Trek X-Caliber 8 29er mountain bike (agreed $700. This one is an HT just throwing it in the mix in case its worth it.)
    2. Trek Fuex EX 8 27.5 Mountain Bike


    (agreed on $2000)

    thoughts, suggestions, any other bike model suggestions?

  2. #2
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    From your list I'd go with the Scott Spark or the Giant Anthem. They are both proven platforms, both on trails and on the racecourse. The Trek Fuel EX is a good option too, but a new bike comes with warranty and possibly some form of after sale service, which is important when you're new to bikes.

    Both the Scott and the Giant are capable racers that can double as efficient trail bikes. They have a wide range of use but they're not freeride sleds. If you dream of hitting big jumps or blasting through rock gardens there are other tools for the job.

    On another note, consider a hardtail. I have no idea how tech Florida trails are, but a quality ht is pretty capable, plus it'good for developing good technique because it doesn't mask mistakes as a fs may do (can of worms opened).

  3. #3
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    Help Choosing my first MTB under $1500

    id get the Scott
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  4. #4
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    Have you test ridden any bikes yet? If not, that should be your first step. The bikes you listed skip all over the place. You have:

    -what looks like 80 or 100mm 29er XC hardtail
    -2x full suspension 120mm 27.5" bikes (Fuel EX8 and Scott Spark)
    -100mm full suspension 27.5" bike (Giant Anthem)
    -150mm Motobecane full suspension

    At first glance, I would suggest either the Anthem or saving up a little for the Fuel EX8, but you need to ride some bikes to get a feel of if you will like the ride of a full suspension or not. I suspect in Florida a full suspension might not be that necessary. Bike fit is pretty important, so ordering online could be dicey since you're new to the sport since you won't be able to ride the bike beforehand. Also with an online order you would need to assemble the bike. It's not hard to do, but you should be comfortable with tools in your hands or plan on paying a shop for assembly.

    You also need to factor in any accessories you'll need into your budget. Think about things like a helmet, gloves, padded shorts, flat repair kit, multi tool, and hydration system.

  5. #5
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    First off thanks for all the great advice. On a side note my local trek store has a 2014 fuel ex 8 27.5 on sale for $1999, msrp is 2800$ .

    They also have the 14 superfly fs 9 for 2250, msrp 3800.

    What do u guys think? I feel like it's overkill at skill level 0 lol

  6. #6
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    (//edit - wow this turned out long, I blame the Brown Shugga' for that)

    (//edit2 - be sure you get an air fork, I'd skip the Scott on that account alone)

    Depending on fitness, dedication, and access, you may find your skill increasing dramatically in short order.

    I see two ways to approach this - buy a starter bike as cheap as possible, see what you think, and develop technique, skill, and knowledge prior to investing in a second bike.

    OR

    do your best homework ahead of time, learn as much as you can absorb (there's both a shocking lot and quite little depending on how you look at it), and make an educated purchase.

    Owen raises this point somewhat as well.

    If you've got 1500 to spend, you probably should focus on a HT - you can get a nice one for that price and it won't beat you up to bad if you learn to ride it.

    If you can make it to 2500, then you should look at FS if your terrain would suggest it.

    From there, think about the type of riding you want to do: XC or AM.
    This is a good primer What's the difference between All-Mountain, Cross Country, Freeride, Downhill bikes? - Bicycles Stack Exchange

    I started with an XC bike (after a 10 year hiatus) because I wanted the least expensive "real" FS bike I could get. After a season and a half on it, I bought an AM HT to mix it up.

    AM riding blew me away compared to XC. Taking a bad spill on the XC bike (because I was riding like an AM knucklehead) led me to sell my XC and buy an AM.

    In the time I had the XC bike, I learned a lot lurking here and was able to confidently buy used, saving a bunch of money (which I since blew on upgrades, haha).

    Lucky me, in this time AM bikes advanced to the point that there's very little penalty to choosing AM over XC, unless you're racing.

    I'm on a Trance, so I'm partial to them all of a sudden.
    Trance 27.5 3 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States
    This would be my go-to for a low-price (relatively speaking) AM FS bike. There are lots and lots of comparable others.

    A (big?) step down is the Stance - it lacks the sophisticated Maestro rear suspension (which really is amazing) but it's a looooot cheaper:
    Stance 27.5 2 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    There's a lot to read and learn in this hobby/sport. My advice is to take your time, read as much as you can, then check out the bikes in person, meet the shop owners, talk to them about where/how you plan to ride, and then demo a few. Most shops will rent bikes for a day so you can get them in the dirt. Highly recommended.

    Just remember - if you're new, you'll find your skills improve rapidly, so don't focus on getting something that's easy to climb with at the expense of downhill stability and confidence.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
    2015 Gravity Monster

  7. #7
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    kyle thanks for detailed info will follow your advice. one thing tho did u see the deals on treks i posted are they not worh it ?

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    I didn't really look to be honest. I found Trek's to be overpriced locally, and the store a little snooty for my taste...

    It's helpful, when asking for input on a particular bike, to link to the mfg's spec page. I'm a geo and spec nerd.

    The Xcal is gone...

    Fuel EX 8 27.5 - Trek Bicycle

    The fuel 8 is a split-pivot rear (not sure how that stacks up against DW or Horst, probably better than single pivot), has an Evo32 fork (which may not be all that great, mine was so-so)... 120mm and 68* HTA are right at the XC/AM changeover. I had 110FS, then 130HT, now 160/140FS, so take my opinion with a grain of salt - as gnarly as my terrain, more travel is seldom a bad thing, particularly Maestro which seems to be magic on the uphill).

    Is the warranty transfer included in the price?

    Seems like a good enough deal if the bike fits right. I just like going to the LBS and getting your feet wet over giving a stranger 20 Benjamins.

    The superfly is an XC bike, and I'd pass on general principal (possibly to my ultimate disadvantage, frankly, but AM is where it's at).
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
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    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
    2015 Gravity Monster

  9. #9
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    My best advice is: (1) stay away from getting the bike on the internet; and (2) stay away from a used bike. Unless you're very familiar with working on a bike you won't get the bike tuned right. Used bikes can be a great bargain over new bikes but you have to know what's in good condition and what's waiting to fall apart. Mountain bikes are ridden hard; that's why people ride them. Some people maintain their bikes better than others and some people beat on the bike more than others. Stick with a good bike store until you get more comfortable and knowledgable. Note that your price range jumped from your first post to later posts. Definitely buy the most bike you're comfortable with (cheaper in the long run compared to "upgrading" components) but don't get too sucked in.

    When looking at a bike, don't fall in love with the derailleurs and brakes; something the companies and stores use as eye catchers. Look at the fork, shock, wheels and crankset. Those are the most expensive components to replace and will offer the most marginal change in ride quality. The companies, in this price range, are typically using their own rims and hubs. You may also see WTB rims or Formula hubs. Wider rim will generally offer a better ride compared to a narrower rim. Given the choice, go 23mm internal diameter or more. For the fork, go with 32mm or larger diameter stanchions, and air spring vs. coil. Derailleurs and shifters will be a mix with the RD usually being higher in group. The shifter, though, is more important than the derailleur. The more XT and SLX, or X9/X7, is on the bike the better (difference between XT and SLX, for example, is mostly weight). Any bike with a 3x9 drivetrain is likely to be quickly converted to 2x10 or 1x10, so if it comes down to 2 bikes with these drivetrains, go x10 rather than 3x9. I don't have a problem with 9 speed drivetrain - I'm running a 1x9 - but there's next to no use for 3x upfront and you'll quickly be looking to convert. Not a big deal but something to bear in mind.

    Whether you go HT or FS depends a lot on the trails you plain to ride and your personal preferences. Talk to the bike stores and check out the trailheads you plan to ride. See what people are riding and talk to them. There's probably a local bike club with a forum you can post to. You'll get a wealth of good, local info at the trailhead and off the local forum.

    Most definitely test ride any bike you're interested in; you can't decide on a bike by looking at a pic. If you can demo on a trail that's best, but don't count on it. The bikes you've listed span XC and trail. The trail bikes will give a more relaxed geometry, a bit more travel and will move around the trail a bit better. The XC bike will be stiffer, pedal better (less travel + stiffer = pedal better) and are built for climbing hard and fast. The Superfly FS 9 you referenced (at $3,800 MSRP) is a carbon frame, not aluminum. You're paying for the frame. Go aluminum and your money will go farther. That bike has a nice component mix but you can get the same or better from an aluminum frame bike for less money. If you're wedded to full suspension, of the bikes you listed, not counting the internet and used bikes, the Fuel is giving a nice package for trail riding: 120 mm travel on Fox Float front and rear; Shimano SLX and XT. The Spark is cheaper and it shows up in the components: 120 mm travel in the front with RockShox XC30 fork and X-fusion shock, on a 3x9 drivetrain. I'm not a fan of the XC30: 30mm stanchions with no real adjustability. 30 mm stanchions may feel "noodley"; go with 32mm stanchions or 34mm for trail riding. If the Fuel is in your budget, you're getting a "better" bike. Without knowing you or your intended riding it's hard to say, but generally I'd say stay away from the XC bikes.

    Also, give the hardtails a good looking at. There are a bunch of nice HT bikes on the market and you'll get more bike (plus a lighter bike) for your money. When the trail gets rough, get out of the seat and use your arms and legs for suspension. It's not a substitute for FS but you may be over-stating the need for FS for the riding you're doing. On HT you also won't need to worry about the suspension settings; just ride. A good FS bike can ride poorly with a bad setup.

  10. #10
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    I see you are from Tampa, so I am assuming you would be riding Alafia and Balm Boyette. I have only ridden that area once and you being young with zero experience I really think a hardtail would suit you best. Especially within your budget. There is nothing there a hardtail can't handle.

    Get a bike that fits you. There are a few site out there that tell you how to fit yourself. Don't get too wrapped up into it. Just get the general ballpark so you know what you should be looking at. If at all possible ride or demo and see which bike feels the best to you.

    Whatever you do don't get a spring shock. There are some exceptions but not in the entry level arena.

    Get hydraulic brakes, if you can. Shimanos have the least maintenance. Avids can be nightmares.

    Most importantly ride the hell out of it and have fun, we will see you here again shortly about unnecessary upgrades, although justifiable, and then again in a year or so to upgrade to your next bike.

    Just and FYI "All Mountain" means heavy duty trail bikes that can handle jumps, drops and gnar. Not all purpose mountain biking. I don't care where you post, just as an admitted noob I thought you may want to know, as if you don't know any different it would be easily confused. I know I was in the beginning.

    Cheers
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  11. #11
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Spring front shock

    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post

    Whatever you do don't get a spring shock. There are some exceptions but not in the entry level arena.
    Whats wrong with a spring fork shock? My lbs has a 14 fuel ex 5 on sale for 1399 I was seriously considering getting this but I read someplace the front fork is spring. can you confirm this. is it that bad?

    Trek Fuel EX 5 29 - Trek Bicycle Superstore


    Thanks for the help.

  12. #12
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    shortnangry

    thanks for the good advice trying to take it all in lol.

  13. #13
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    I wonder if there's a big weight difference between $1000 bikes and $1500?

    I see most $1000 bikes hovering around 30 pounds new. $1500 should be 28?

  14. #14
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    Help Choosing my first MTB under $1500

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