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. #26
    fly on the wall
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    A 4 year old entry level bike vs a 2 year old one really isn't a big deal. But yes, tell him you know it's not a 2010 as he advertised, and because its in fact an older one, you'll offer him $100 less than his price. See what he says.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjjackson36426 View Post
    It's still any ones game, but really starting to believe the price has to come down from $500 for the GF. Seller had it listed as '10 model but said it could be a '09. I discovered it was a '08 with the help of bikeapedia. $500 for the 10 would be a done deal no questions, 09 question. An '08 I feel he has to come down, especially when you consider the ware & tear. I feel like if he wanted 500 for a 2010 he should want less for a 2008, is that logical thinking when it comes to Mt. bikes?
    That's generally logical thinking. How long has he had it? How much riding? I had a 2008 bike I sold recently that had the same components as a current model with a few nicer parts added to it. I bought it brand new from a shop in 2011. I'd say here's a lot of bikes sold new that are last year's model. All of that to say...find out how much it has been ridden. Inspect it well. How much would you feel good paying?

  3. #28
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Get the newest one...and why are you so rushed? Take some time and get more bike for your buck.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuarte View Post
    Addressing your question about which is better between the two, it would be the GF. It is certainly worth more than the Specialized as long as it's not too worn out. Here's why:

    -The GF components are SRAM X5 level. For SRAM, the larger the number-3, 5, 7, 9-the better quality it is (except for X0, which contradictorily is a top shelf component set). It is commonly held that X5 is the minimum level required for durable use in dirt. The X3 parts on the the Spec are more commuter-grade. Side note on SRAM and Shimano - as a rule - their drive train controls don't mix and match well, so if you have any plans down the road about swapping parts, ask first.

    -The GF has a 9 speed rear cassette, while the Spec has 7 speed. The long explanation is that the GF has a modern freehub, and the Spec has an out-dated freewheel cassette. The short explanation is the GF is easier to swap a new cassette onto.

    -The GF has a 100mm fork. The fork itself isn't anything to write home about, but it means the bike's geometry was designed to handle a 100mm fork. And if you were to ever upgrade down the line, 100mm forks are much easier to find than 80mm.

    To put it another way, the GF is a Honda Accord, and the Spec is a Mitsubishi Gallant. The Accord is better in every way, but don't expect a race car.

    And heed what people say about how it fits. If the GF isn't the right frame size for you, just let it pass by. You said earlier you were 5-11"? That sounds like a 17.5" GF size. I would hesitate if the GF turned out to be a 19". Keep the family jewels in mind.

    edit - come to think of it, maybe GF's 19" size means its fine for your height. Go see.
    This...

  5. #30
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    I finally got some time off so I pulled the trigger and went to test ride bikes and ended up getting one. I hope with the guidance and tips all of you gave me that I made the right decision. The GF was in OK condition, mostly cosmedic but I could tell the seller was misleading me on a few things, so I thanked him for his time and left. Had the time so went to check the Specialized but got side tracked. Found out about another GF that was supposed to be in real good condition and decided to check it out first. Ended up being a 2006 GF Cake 3 disc in great shape Lady had bought it for her son to ride around campus at Auburn University, when he graduated she put it in storage. It still has the little rubber nipples on the original tires. And I know you might not believe it but yes, some Auburn Alumni can be trained to ride a bike. Anyway paid $500 for it and a pedro air pump. I know it is older than the rest, and I did read that the shocks are not the best. But I think it will last into the spring then I probably will go ahead and replace it. It's in considerably better shape than the other GF and I believe has more to offer than the Specialized. Good purchase?
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...e#.UNOoOuSaXx5

  6. #31
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    I had a 2009 trek 4500 and it was a great bike, I'd highly recommend it to any novice or budget rider!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    I had a 2009 trek 4500 and it was a great bike, I'd highly recommend it to any novice or budget rider!
    I talked to 2 people with '08 & '09 4300's they were very nice bikes but I was not sold on them being $350 and not having any type of disc breaks. And owners believed they were worth $450. What u ride now?

  8. #33
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    Ya I'd say that's a bit much for a 4300, I just sold my 4500 this fall for 300! I'm on a carve comp now...debated for a loooong time between a 29er ht and a 26 fs, but I think I made the right choice.

    However I feel that disc brakes on an entry level hardtail aren't really necessary, unless you ride in really wet conditions. Most novices aren't going to do too many long, steep descents. I rode mostly xc trails in dry conditions on my 4500 and my rim brakes worked just fine.

  9. #34
    fly on the wall
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    Congrats on the new bike! That's certainly a step up from the hardtails you started out looking at. And thanks for giving us a conclusion of your hunt.

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