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.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
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    2003 Tomac 98 Special

    I am looking at getting into Mountain biking as I started riding for triathlons last year and absolutely loved riding. Guy here has a 98 Tomac Special for $300, bike is stock. Should I go after this upper end used bike or go after new but lower end bike (say a Trek 4300) for a beginning MTN bike?

    All comments appreciated!

  2. #2
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    What is the condition of the Tomac. A full suspension bike can get pretty ragged out over 12 years. If it is in good condition then it is a good deal for $300. But if it is worn out, you are better off getting a new lower end bike. If you don't know how to properly inspect a used bike, then you should pass, because you could end up spending a lot of money making it trailworthy. Suspension and hydraulic brakes can give a lot of problems with leaks as they age.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
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    1987 Haro RS1

  3. #3
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    Tomac 98 Special

    The bike has V-Brakes, which are pretty standard. I don't know how worn out it is, as I have yet to go check it out. I have been riding road bikes for 2 years, so I think I can gauge what sort of shape it is in. I will be checking for frame quality, components life such as braking and ease of braking. From the pictures, it looks like it has either sat inside for a while, or been cleaned up really nice...

    Any recommendations for checking the life/condition of the rear shock?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Sneaker man
    Reputation: mik_git's Avatar
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    98 would be one of the originals, for $300 i'd buy in any condition... but thats me... tomac fanboy i am

  5. #5
    Sneaker man
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    ba i see 2003 98 special... thought 98 was a bit early, so not original one... far less exciting.. but if in good condition, would still be a great bike

  6. #6
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    My first fs bike was a brand new '03 98 special. It was fine but there is a long history of the chainstay breaking on those bikes. I never broke mine but if you search (maybe in the Tomac) forum you will begin to dig up the history of that bike. All bikes break, but this was an excessive problem.

    Anyhow, overall I liked the bike just fine. For xc stuff it should be great, if it's in primo condition. I built mine for almost 2 grand back in '03 so $300 seems like a pretty good deal, IF..........IF the frame has no hairline cracks AND it has a decent fork and shock. If it's got something like a Judy xc on it, I'd offer much less.

    One more note: That bike is best suited with a rear shock that has a lockout. Mine came stock with the Fox RPL. Without the lockout mine bobbed badly on the climbs. Forget standing up and mashing.

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