1st post Hello
I am new to the mountain bike world and will probably have all kinds of questions...sorry in advance...lol
I am looking in the $1000 range...5'9" 179lbs and have a BMX background. Turning 40 soon so I'll take it slow to start...I am open to advice and any help is appreciated.
Living in Lansing area of MI and would love some riding places too.
Thanks again and I'm looking forward to the ride!!
Go to a bike shop, ride everything in and around your price option. Then go to another bike shop and do it again. Then come back if you have any questions. Buying a bike isn't as hard as everyone thinks, you have a budget so there's a finite range of options available to you. Ride as many as you can. Everyone will tell you one bike brand or one wheel size or one type of bike is better than another but they're full of it. All that matters is that you like it and that it matches what you expect to do on a bike.
Head over the the regional forum for MI and see what's up as far as trails, there's also a trails section up there at the top of the page which might be useful. Once you get an idea of your options try and figure out what you might like to do on a bike. With a BMX background, you might like hitting jumps so maybe an AM style bike is up your alley. Or if you're planning on entering races to be competitive then consider an XC race bike. If you're unsure then a 4-6" travel bike would be a decent place to start. $1000 puts you right on the edge of full suspension options; one of my favorite entry level FS bikes was the Giant Trance but it seems like they've moved on to 27.5 and that's brought the price up.
You could consider used bikes, but only get into that path if you know you can identify what makes a good deal because it's easy to clean up a ratted out bike and make it look like it's worth a lot of money. Having a friend who knows a lot about bikes will help you immensely here. I generally prefer buying new. The internet brands offer a lot of attractive options but you can't ride them before you buy them and that's a huge risk in my book. They also tend to overstate the "value" of their bikes so beware of that. Yes you can usually get better parts attached to a frame, but it's not like they're generously gifting you these parts, you're paying for it one way or another. Usually through really cheap wheels, bars, and other parts or frequently through using older or cheaper frames and frame designs.
Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?
At the top of this page is a tab for Trails. That will lead you to local info.
MMBA is the site for Michigan mountain bike forums.
The most important component on your bike at the entry level is the fork. Avoid a Suntour, it is designed for bike paths not rocky, rooty fun trails.
In a 29 hard tail you could be a 17.5 or medium.
The most important thing is not to listen to the wheel size debate and just get a 29er
I lived in the area several years ago. I was in Okemos and worked at Denny's Central Park Bicycles. There are other shops in the area, too, around MSU, and on the south side of Lansing. I'm not sure who's got what these days, but the shop on the south side of town (not far from Burchfield Park, where there are some fun trails) carried some different mtb brands. $1,000 would get you a pretty decent hardtail, or a low end full suspension. I'd rather go with the hardtail at that price. Try some out.
As for trails, there's Burchfield Park, which has some technical obstacles, and a sand excavation area where people goofed off with drops and jumps. I never messed around there because I like to keep my wheels on the ground for the most part. My favorite place to ride was at Rose Lake, northeast of town. The trails there were more rugged, less groomed, and less traffic. There's hunting, and horses, though, so you have to take those other activities into account. You can also find more trails as you get closer to some of the Detroit suburbs, and over towards K'zoo and elsewhere. I also rode a little bit up north, near Grayling one summer.
Also, keep in mind that the trails tend to be pretty unrideable during the spring thaw. When you guys are going through spring thaw up there, you may find rideable trails farther south. Lots of MI riders come down to Brown County in Indiana to ride during that time. And lots of Hoosiers go up to MI when our spring thaw is occurring, and your trails are still frozen.
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