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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    Any Suggestions on solid entry level bike?

    So I've been riding bikes my entire life, and over the past couple years gotten pretty serious into road racing and triathlons... But I have never really done much mtn biking until the past couple months when I've joined some of my friends on the trails around southern Michigan. I've been using a basic trek thats been sitting around my parents garage for probably 10+ years now and it's really not cutting it any more, so I've decided I want to get more serious into the sport and purchase a decent entry level bike.

    I've been looking mostly on CL and around some used LBS and have come across a few potentials, but nothing that has really stood out. My budget maxes out at about $450, so I'm definitely looking for something a couple years old that has been treated nicely.

    The brands I've been looking at are Specialized (rockhoppers mostely), a few Gary Fishers (Marlin, Tassajera), and some Giants. Are there any other quality brands/models that might fall into my price range? Or do you guys have any other advice for where I should be looking??

    Also anyone around southern Michigan looking to get rid of their bike... I'm definitely open to hearing about them

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    I'd suggest starting with searching this forum. There are at least 10 threads on the first page alone discussing the pros/cons between different bike brands.

  3. #3
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    add trek and jamis

  4. #4
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    i started out with a Trek 3500 disk and its awesome. spent less than $300 from the LBS.....labor day sale

  5. #5
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    It probably goes without saying, but spending more up front will get you better components. Wish I had done that to begin with.

  6. #6
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    Look at Performance Bicycle (if there is one in your area) and see if they have one of the 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0 bikes left in your size. They have been selling them for between $450-499 depending one the sale they are running each week.

    Solid, entry level, 26" hardtail.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Look at Performance Bicycle (if there is one in your area) and see if they have one of the 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0 bikes left in your size. They have been selling them for between $450-499 depending one the sale they are running each week.

    Solid, entry level, 26" hardtail.
    Nearly bought one of those for my kid. I only passed on it because it was more bike than he was ready for. It's a good bike for the price. Solid frame and at that price upgrades will be easy to afford.

  8. #8
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    Costco in Madison Heights and Ann Arbor has some NorthRock 29ers. There's a thread on 29er bikes. 480 now may be reduced to 384.
    Otherwise the Airborne Guardian is 600 shipped until 7/30.
    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Look at Performance Bicycle (if there is one in your area) and see if they have one of the 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0 bikes left in your size. They have been selling them for between $450-499 depending one the sale they are running each week.

    Solid, entry level, 26" hardtail.
    I gotta agree. GT makes excellent entry level bikes up to pro models. GT has been around a very long time and has been doing a great job year after year.

    They equip there bikes very nicely , compare to other in the same price class. They compare very well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxpower220 View Post
    It probably goes without saying, but spending more up front will get you better components. Wish I had done that to begin with.
    Me too, I bought a trek 4300.
    2 weeks latter bought a Santa Cruz super light 29er.
    I realized I shoulda put more money in off the bat. Now I have
    the trek that I'm unsure what to do with.

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