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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    2012 Trek Mamba...is this a good deal?

    Hello, first post. Did a little browsing so far and like the site.


    A little background, a couple years ago I picked up a cheap Walmart bike to ride for exercise purposes, mainly just on the road. A) Because I wasn't sure it was something I'd stick with and B) I didn't(and still dont) know squat about bikes. After wearing the Schwin out I decided I liked riding but needed something better. I ended up finding a hybrid of sorts, a 2011 Raleigh Misceo(pictured below), used from a guy who had put 4 miles on it and decided it wasn't for him. I love that bike, and have since put countless miles on it riding the streets around home. That is until a few weeks ago, I bought my girlfriend a 2012 Specialized Crosstrail(again used, see a trend?(also pictured below)) for her to use around campus, do some riding with me but also because I started looking around and there's several trails available in our area and we wanted to give them a shot, nothing overly extreme or challenging. We went check out a local trail and had a blast. Her Crosstrail did fine and while the Misceo did better than I expected I noticed that I now have a wheel just a hair out of true. My worries are that I'll eventually just beat the crap out of it if we continue to ride trails, which I want to do. Which brings me to my question(s)...

    I've decided the best option would be to get another bike, isn't that always the best option? Keep the Misceo for road/around town useage and buy something more trail oriented. I had sort of set a budget of ~$500, with the intent of checking a few LBS to see what they'd offer in that range but haven't gotten around to doing so.

    However I found this 2012 Trek Mamba listed locally and I think I'm going to go check it out. Basically I'm looking to confirm if this is as good of a deal as I think it is. He had priced at $700 but dropped his price to $500, and will throw in a Garmin Edge 500(was $250 new). He's ridden less than 4 hours, 100% on the street. A quick Google search showed the 2012 Mamba was picked as the Best MTB under $1000(good I suppose) and that the 2012 had better components than the 2013(again I don't know squat).

    Should I jump on this at $500? Pending the bike fits me and is in good shape?

    2012 Trek Mamba...is this a good deal?-null_zps17824d16.jpg



    2012 Trek Mamba...is this a good deal?-null_zps20c883c0.jpg


    2012 Trek Mamba...is this a good deal?-null_zpsb4eb517c.jpg

  2. #2
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    I think that's a pretty good deal. The Mamba is a good bike and is one of the few entry level bikes that has a Rockshox fork. Most bikes at this level have low level Suntour forks that are not meant for hard trail riding (although they are probably Ok for the type of riding you and your girlfriend intend doing). Also if your budget is $500 that's a much better bike than you'll get new for $500. Just make sure it's the right fit/size for you.

  3. #3
    o<o NYC pebble jumper!
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    Save the money... bring the wheel to the bike shop and have them true the wheel (This will be something that you will find yourself doing through the course of owning bikes).

    Do you really find yourself needing anything that your current bike does not have?
    Unless the bike really cannot handle anything which you are currently doing (This I doubt... as if you are doing cross country riding you do not need all that much)

    Maybe it's just me, but that bike looks a bit small... Maybe on the medium side, that well all depending may or may not fit you. But if you are having no problems with the current bike... just ride that until you crack a frame or finding yourself doing trails that exceed your current skill and bike's capability.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you want a mountain bike, buy a mountain bike.

    Ride a few, buy your favorite. Since you're near a college, chances are good that there's a bike coop or something that can help you stretch a buck.

    I bet for $500, you can get something with a name-brand fork. The Mamba wouldn't be a terrible choice. Be aware that it was $870 new, according to its bikepedia.com entry. So $500's not a brilliant price. Do you even want a GPS?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    To be honest, no I have zero use for the GPS. Reading up on it it seems like the free app on my phone does everything it'll do. I'd rather he keep it and drop another $100 or so off but it seems he won't. I did go back and ask, the frame is a medium(17.5"). Being that my current bike is a 19" Im guessing this frame may be a little small for me.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The Misceo's a hybrid, right? You can't necessarily compare the geometries directly.

    For me, the biggest driver of frame sizing is Effective Top Tube length, which is published in most geometry charts. So it wouldn't hurt to look that up, and see where your current bike falls against a typical mid-range hardtail. Many brands' entry-level hard tails run short, so there again, you need to look up the numbers.

    Nothing really replaces a test ride, but it can save you some time and some trips to be able to eliminate really unsuitable bikes sight-unseen.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I'm going to check out/ride the bike tomorrow. Several of the sizing charts I've looked at actually put me needing a ~17.5" frame so I was wrong there. I have him talked down to $450 with the Garmin which I think is fair, odds are I'll just throw the Garmin on Ebay or sell it to someone.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I think the precision of those sizing charts is plus or minus a full size. They're not bad for ballparking, but but don't follow them rigidly. If the bike doesn't feel right, walk.

    Good luck.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Understood, I appreciate all the advice. I'll post up tomorrow how it goes.

  10. #10
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    The deal itself is a good deal. if you have the money and you fancy it, do it.

  11. #11
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    So I bought it. Ended up getting the bike, GPS, and he threw in a pickup truck bed bike rack, all for $450. I'm happy with the deal and I really like the bike. I intended to take it to some local trails but we got a good bit of rain today so that was a bust. Hopefully I can take it out soon but I'm quite happy with my purchase.

  12. #12
    Redcoat
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    Good for you pal. Grats on your new bike

  13. #13
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    Ok so ummm I feel a bit dumb for having to ask, but how the heck do you put air in these tires? The stems are completely different from what I've seen before.

    2012 Trek Mamba...is this a good deal?-null_zpsebeb19dc.jpg

  14. #14
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    Those are presta valves. You need to unscrew the top part of the valve slightly. Also, if you don't have a pump with a presta head, you can get a presta to shrader adapter. Look here for more info.

  15. #15
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    Awesome, thanks for the help! I'll check to see if my LBS may have some, if not I'll order some.

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Most recent bike pumps will work with both. For myself, I'd rather use an adapter on the pump than the valve, if I have to use one on something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Bit of an update, the weather has been pretty crappy here but I was finally able to take it out on some small local trails. I really like this thing, it took some getting used to at first because as expected it handles totally different than what my hybrid did on the same trails. I think I need to play with the front end a little bit but as I got more comfortable I found myself going faster and pushing it a little harder. It was also a humbling reminder that while I've made strides to better my health and conditioning I am still no where near where I want to be. Good thing is I'm getting healthier and having fun doing it. I think I'll definitely be chopping off about an inch off each side of the bars as I found them to be a bit wide.

    Overall I'm very happy with my purchase. I've began using the Bed Rider carrier that he gave me a good bit, it's alot better than just tossing bikes in the bed of my truck. Also threw the GPS up on Ebay, looks like they go for about $150ish used which means I'd have about $300 tied up in this bike, can't beat that.



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