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
    I am the walrus.
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    New question here. Beginner Bike 300~400

    I'm looking to start Mountain Biking and I need some help finding a bike. One of my friends is really into biking told me that it would probably be best to buy a hardtail bike and that any full suspension bikes would be significantly more expensive that what I'm willing to spend.

    I'd like to spend around 300 to 400 dollars and get a good all around bike that is reliable through rough terrain (nothing really crazy yet) but also decent on the road (I'm going to bike to work and stuff).

    Also, is it worth getting a separate set of tires for driving on the road (slick tires) and another set for dirt?

  2. #2
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    hello

    Do you want to get this bike locally or via online.

    I would recommend a HARD TAIL. Any FS bike for <400 is likely a POS.


    I would recommend Ibex, www.ibexbikes.com or a forge from target for online choices

    http://www.target.com/Forge-Sawback-...3Aforge&page=1


    ( there are lots of threads on ibex and forge)


    Locally, try maybe a raleigh, they send to be pretty nice bikes and are just as good, if not better than equally priced treks, gary fishers and what not because the do not have a big name premium.
    [SIZE=1]<IBEX ASTA EXPERT X9><Motobecane Fly Pro><[/SIZE][SIZE=1]HOOK EM' HORNS[/SIZE][SIZE=1]><Go Cardinals!><Scotty Doesn't Know>[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Trek 4300 - I have owned two so far in my lifetime and my 4300's have handled trails, fire roads, pavement, paved trails, and currently my 2008 model is my commuter.

    Specialized hardrock - A good frame that is pretty bombproof, and has about the same components as the 4300.

    Gary Fisher Marlin

    - Those are just a few you could try to get into mountain biking. The 4300 ranges anywhere from $300-400 and is a good entry level bike. Almost all the bikes in this price range wiill have good frames and lower end components, but are great for upgrading as you get into riding, and if you don't like mountain biking you aren't out much cash.

  4. #4
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    The Forge is a good bike and my LBS has the Trek 4300 for $300,also a good bike.Here's a couple of other choices for you...

    http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....19&category=56

    http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....19&category=56

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    I just bought a Windsor Ghost 6500 from www.bikesdirect.com for $419.99(it retails for $850. It was ordered on the 20th and is on schedule for delivery now for the 25th and shipping was free. The bike comes with the manuf. full warranty from Windsor and it is a very nice 5 year warranty. I am in your same situation and I think I made the right choice.
    [SIZE="3"][08' Windsor Ghost 6500][/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"]Rock Shox Dart 1 - Tektro Discs - WTB Velociraptors - Alex DP17 rims[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="3"]Ride it like you stole it.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    Trek 4300 is a decent bike for that price range, I got one for my g/f a couple summers ago and has held up well, even when my friend took it in the trail with me.

  7. #7
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    gary fisher advance or a hardrock Id say

  8. #8
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    the Specialized hardrock disc is a great starter... got a friend into singletrack riding on his newly bought one... turned a road goer into a part time trail rider
    Keep on Ridin

  9. #9
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    I have some GT Outpost Disc Bikes in Stock 369.00, It's a great bike for the money.

    Jaysled
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Cannondale F7 $399 mine has been great on and off road for two months now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallstream
    gary fisher advance or a hardrock Id say
    +1 on the Advance, it was an awesome bike and actually handled trails very well.

  12. #12
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    I just bought a Trek 4300 a couple weeks ago. Awesome starter bike and the price was right where i wanted it to be. Took it on some trails over the weekend and it performed well, hell the bike performed better than i did cause i was exhausted making the climb up. The downhill back was totally worth it though. Go to a few local bike shops or even call and ask what they have in your range, that's what i did and was able to come across the 4300 from a shop 4 miles away. Good luck with your search.

  13. #13
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    Specialized Hardrock

  14. #14
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    jet429, switch out that god awful pogo stick they call a front fork and get a dart fork for it and it's like butter then. That's what I did with mine. I ditched the gila fork and added a dart fork and it's now actually a decent off road bike. I just couldn't handle the extreme squishiness of the gila fork. You may feel differently, but with a different fork it rides like a completely different bike. You can get a dart fork pretty cheap through nashbar right now.

  15. #15
    spec4life???..smh...
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    Im gonna go with bwheelin up there.

    I got an 08 and am lovin it

  16. #16
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    I personally purchased a Specialized HRXC disc. Good bike but youd might as well consider the front fork to be rigid. I have really no complaints as far as the bike, except the chain tends to come off, and the shifting isn't the best.

    I rode my brothers trek 4300 discand it is a lot better overall, heavier but overall it is a better experience. He bought his for 470 new, I wished I would have known and just spent the extra 70 bucks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNickels
    jet429, switch out that god awful pogo stick they call a front fork and get a dart fork for it and it's like butter then. That's what I did with mine. I ditched the gila fork and added a dart fork and it's now actually a decent off road bike. I just couldn't handle the extreme squishiness of the gila fork. You may feel differently, but with a different fork it rides like a completely different bike. You can get a dart fork pretty cheap through nashbar right now.
    Yeah i've heard the Gila T8 isn't the best fork out but i just started MTB'ing last week and am really in no rush to start upgrading parts already. Once i outgrow this Trek i will probably upgrade to something better with better components. I may even build a bike since the people i ride with are pretty knowledgeable with bikes and components etc. I'll probably keep the 4300 for a couple years then upgrade to maybe a FS bike. Thanks for the recommendation though.

  18. #18
    I am the walrus.
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    I ended up buying a Trek 4300. I haven't been doing any real mountain biking yet (just riding along bike trails to get in shape). I like the bike (the seat is terribly uncomfortable though). But I'm having problems with the grips sliding off the handlebars and my hands start to go numb after 20 minutes or so. Any ideas on how to fix this? I've heard getting new grips and new handlebars can fix the problem.

  19. #19
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    A few things before you go spending, seat adjustment/height(aft and fore), spinning the handlebar so it leans a little closer to you. Then, I would get grips if that doesn't help.
    Also, not gripping like you're about to die will help a little.

    I've notice my hands really hurt after an uphill, I tend to really effin' clench my fists when I go uphill.

  20. #20
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    I ended up buying a Trek 4300. I haven't been doing any real mountain biking yet (just riding along bike trails to get in shape). I like the bike (the seat is terribly uncomfortable though). But I'm having problems with the grips sliding off the handlebars and my hands start to go numb after 20 minutes or so. Any ideas on how to fix this? I've heard getting new grips and new handlebars can fix the problem.
    Try the seat adjustments, but I had the same problems with the trek 4300. I had the bike shop throw on some ergon grips which are good for people with wrist problems. I have no more pain and numbness in my hands and the grips are lock on style so they do not slide off. As for the seat a pair of padded bike shorts helps, but a simple switch of the seat at your trek dealer would work. I picked up a Sport cruiser seat from the trek dealer for $25 and it's not any wider than the current seat on your bike, but has an extra layer of memory foam padding. It is much easier on the tail on long bike rides now.

    Try the ergon grips for starters and try adjusting your seat further up. If that doesn't work then you could try riser bars. Unfortunately the 4300 has quil style stem so there isn't a quick stem switch out you could do to get a longer stem.

  21. #21
    I am the walrus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNickels
    Try the ergon grips for starters and try adjusting your seat further up. If that doesn't work then you could try riser bars. Unfortunately the 4300 has quil style stem so there isn't a quick stem switch out you could do to get a longer stem.
    What?

  22. #22
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    yeah...what?

  23. #23
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    Ergon Grips

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/ergon-gp1-grip-review/

    read about them. They are great for stopping numb hands. They have a wider grip base so you can rest your hands over a larger area and stop compression of the ulnar nerve and radial nerve. They do work.

    you were complaining of pain and numbness during riding your trek 4300. Most higher end bikes have a piece called a stem. Most of these are separate from the head set. The 4300 has something a littler different called a Quill stem that is one whole piece not just a stem and head set piece so to stop arm numbness you can add some riser bars that will let you keep your arms closer to your body, or move the seat further forward (there is a rail under the seat connected to a clamp on the bottom of the seat, you can loosen the clamp and slide the seat forward on the rails. This will decrease your cockpit length and take pressure off your arms and wrists.

    Understand?

  24. #24
    I am the walrus.
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    Can I upgrade to a regular stem instead of the quill stem?

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