1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    $800 budget mtb for a beginner?

    Hello bike community, I am a 17 year old looking to buy a bike to use as a singletrack/crosscountry bike that I will later take to college with me. My budget is set at $800 -+100. I have looked into the:
    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Specialized Sport disc 29
    X-Caliber 7 - New! - Trek Bicycle
    Trek X-Caliber 7
    I have also considered buying used and/or part swapping.
    Some insight from a more experienced rider would be appreciated!Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Im 19 and just got my 2012 Rockhopper for $750 and love it. My shop said it was a little better than the 2013 hardrock (such as fork and lockout). If you get one a year older your shop might give a discount. Just something you might consider.

    Btw I wouldn't ride any of these options on campus. I hear a lot of bikes get stolen.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the speedy reply! I'll keep a post dated model in mind..

  4. #4
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    Rockhopper 29 and one hell of a lock!! Bike has decent frame, and could be fitted with some upgrades better suited for trail riding.
    Bike Doctor



  5. #5
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    I feel like $800 is an unhappy-medium pricepoint. On the one hand, you still don't get components you're going to want to keep long-term. On the other hand, you still spent $250 more than the bare minimum for a retail bike.

    I really like used for bikes under $2000 or so. Consider that when someone buys that $2000 bike, it drops about 40% of its value the minute he walks it out of the shop. Every year and every scratch after that knocks off a little more. Could you afford a $2000 bike from a couple years ago with your $800? Sure. Especially since inflation means that they weren't so darn expensive a couple years ago.

    With used bikes, condition is king. And with all bikes, fit is really important. Try to ride a few. For this reason, if you can buy from a shop that specializes in used bikes, or at least used sporting goods, you can hang onto a lot of the value-added that buying retail provides while still stretching your buck almost as far as buying on Craig's List.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I feel like $800 is an unhappy-medium pricepoint. On the one hand, you still don't get components you're going to want to keep long-term. On the other hand, you still spent $250 more than the bare minimum for a retail bike.

    I really like used for bikes under $2000 or so. Consider that when someone buys that $2000 bike, it drops about 40% of its value the minute he walks it out of the shop. Every year and every scratch after that knocks off a little more. Could you afford a $2000 bike from a couple years ago with your $800? Sure. Especially since inflation means that they weren't so darn expensive a couple years ago.

    With used bikes, condition is king. And with all bikes, fit is really important. Try to ride a few. For this reason, if you can buy from a shop that specializes in used bikes, or at least used sporting goods, you can hang onto a lot of the value-added that buying retail provides while still stretching your buck almost as far as buying on Craig's List.
    That is a good point you make. I'll see if I can find a local dealer who has some used bikes. Thanks for the foodback

  7. #7
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    for new the best components and therefor bike you'll get for $800 is not from a LBS but online deal. check bikesdirect and airborne goblin, and ebay. there were some gt bike deals on ebay lately.

    for used,ebay auction style is your best bet. It'll take some research to know what components are good and bad, and whats a good deal.
    this post can get you started
    Newbie - Used bikes

    if you're going to college, where areyou gonna lock this thing. college is not the place for an $800 bike imo. even brining inside your apartment/dorm is such a a hassle it'll get jacked while you're in class.

    I'd get a beater where you wont' cry if it's stolen. If you want a cool bike, being 17 usually means more time than money, customize it.

    ride enough and you'll still kick our butt on your beater bike on the trails. It's the rider, not the bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    for new the best components and therefor bike you'll get for $800 is not from a LBS but online deal. check bikesdirect and airborne goblin, and ebay. there were some gt bike deals on ebay lately.

    for used,ebay auction style is your best bet. It'll take some research to know what components are good and bad, and whats a good deal.
    this post can get you started
    Newbie - Used bikes

    if you're going to college, where areyou gonna lock this thing. college is not the place for an $800 bike imo. even brining inside your apartment/dorm is such a a hassle it'll get jacked while you're in class.

    I'd get a beater where you wont' cry if it's stolen. If you want a cool bike, being 17 usually means more time than money, customize it.

    ride enough and you'll still kick our butt on your beater bike on the trails. It's the rider, not the bike.
    I don't necessarily want a "cool" bike but an effective one. I will be in Oklahoma and I understand that there are some good trails within driving distance of the house I will be staying in (so no worries about a bike being stolen either). And I am currently riding my fathers 24 year old Schwinn Impact, a good bike at the time but it doesn't even have a front suspension ha. I am ready for an upgrade regardless but a budget friendly one. Thanks again for list of sites, I will have to check it out!

  9. #9
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    Check out the Giant Revel and Talon lines, both come in 27.5 and 29.

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