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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    Which is the better deal?

    So ive been riding a whole assortment of things. I had a$130 bike from wal mart I was using to get around. Now that im looking to do more id like to upgrade. I dont have a big budget so im looking at used stuff. Right now im on top of a 2004 Cannondale F600 for 400, a 2008 Cannondale for 200, and a Trek 4300 for 285. All are in pretty good condition, the F600 rarely used, Trek has 100 miles. Are any of these opportunities one would jump on or nothing special?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which is the better deal?-5i35la5t53la3nb3h2c7g8f00672b14951970.jpg  

    Which is the better deal?-5ke5j85mb3g53i33h1c7p413ea94d34bf1dc3.jpg  

    Which is the better deal?-5z35f35j63l53j33l9c7k60b571b42ed91806.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I would go with the cheapest one. Even though the 2004 was rarely used its still 4 year older technology then the 2008.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  3. #3
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    But the 2004 seems to be better built though. Seller said he paid 1k and it checks out.

  4. #4
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    Do you know if any of these bikes actually fit you? Forget about year, components, everything else at the very beginning of your search. A $7,000 brand new mountain bike that doesn't fit you is worthless to you as a bike to enjoy riding.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  5. #5
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    From what I know, they look about my size. You are referring to the height right?

  6. #6
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    Bike stand??! Whoa, lol. The Cannondale at the bottom has disc brakes and looks better too, I'd get that.

  7. #7
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    Does anyone have anything to say about the Trek though?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by propane1909 View Post
    Does anyone have anything to say about the Trek though?
    You don't mention what year the Trek is. And, it's really difficult to see anything in that pic.

  9. #9
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    the trek is 2009

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by propane1909 View Post
    the trek is 2009
    HERE, I'd still go for the Cannondale. You could always upgrade the fork later if rigid isn't your thing, plus it has double bottle cage mounts

  11. #11
    undercover brother
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    Pending that they all fit you, I'd go with either the 2004 cannondale, or the Trek. If you could talk him down from 400 to around 300, you'd be getting a great deal. The cannondale is a little more bike than the Trek, even though it is 5 years older. If that head shock isn't your thing, you could always upgrade to a newer decent fork and that bike will be good to go for a while. Just my two cents. In all honesty, they are all surprisingly pretty good deals. Craiglists and local sellers around me post there 1998 rigid treks and specialized rockhoppers for $450...

  12. #12
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    The more expensive one, right? (reffering to adonis)

  13. #13
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by propane1909 View Post
    The more expensive one, right?
    Yea, but you may be able to talk them down a bit.

  14. #14
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    The problem is I already talked the Cannodale owner down 150 in order to get to 400

  15. #15
    undercover brother
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    Hmm, well you can get a new bike of about the same quality for about 400. The quality of both the other Cannondale and Trek will go up significantly once you take the kick stands off of them! But in all reality. As long as they fit you and prove to be in good shape, any of them will be great bikes to start out.

  16. #16
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    Kickstands are a negative? Sorry if i sound like a complete greenhorn.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by propane1909 View Post
    Kickstands are a negative? Sorry if i sound like a complete greenhorn.
    Nothing wrong with asking! But yea, typically among bike savvy people, kickstands are frowned upon. Plus its utterly unnecessary extra weight.

  18. #18
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    They all overpriced. Ask the sellers for a listing of the parts. Drivetrain , shifter, shock, brakes, saddle, etc. $400 is way too much. Maybe the $200 one. Make an ebay account and looked at completed listing.

    All of these bikes below are way better value imho.

    this is what a $500 bike looks like
    Gary Fisher Cake 4 Deluxe Full Suspension Mountain Bike | eBay
    full suspension
    manitou good fork
    hydro disc brakes
    deore drive train

    $600 bike
    2008 Specialized 4 bar link XC Comp 26er - Size Large 19inch | eBay

    $700 bike.
    Brodie Hellion Hardass 18 in hardtail trail, all-mountain bike | eBay


    For a recent bike, here are the different levels of parts.

    bike gear levels
    From my research and pricing, I came to this. If any knowledgeable ppl can add to this, let me know.

    Read this thread for ideas on what others pay for used bikes Post your less than $400 mountain bike

    Frame material:
    from cheapest to most $$. aluminum < carbon < titanium
    from heaviest to lightest: aluminum < titanium < carbon
    from least to most durable: carbon < aluminum < titanium

    Shifters Derailleurs + shifters:
    from least < best
    Sram: x3 < x5 < x7 < x9 < xo
    Shimano: acera < alivio < deore < deore lx/slx (not sure which is better) < deore xt < deore xtr
    in terms of shimano vs sram, x9 < xt < xo

    XC (Cross country) shocks
    from least < best
    Suntour < rockshox dart 1=2=3 < rockshox tora < rockshox recon = manitou tower/minute elite < rockshox reba = manitou tower pro (29er)/minute (26er) pro < fox
    *tower/minute has a lot of lovers in the shocks forums. They appear to be less popular than rockshox/fox because they dontí come as foften equipped on new bikes. read more here https://www.google.com/search?sugexp...-suspension%2F

    Brakes Disc
    from least < best
    mechanical: tektro < avid bb5 < avid bb7
    hydraulic: tektro < avid elixir 1 < avid elixir 3 < avid elixir 5 = hayes stroker trail < deore/deore xt (2012 or newer) < $$ brands
    *hydraulic brakes are finicky but better modulation than mechanical., as a newb I spent 10+ hours getting my brakes to finally work (broken out of the box).
    Last edited by bob13bob; 07-26-2012 at 12:32 PM.

  19. #19
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    i'd go with the cannondale with rim brakes. you could always upgrade to disc at a later time, bb7s for 100 bucks... the fork may like a rebuild but is probably ok for now. the trek is pretty low end, and i'm not a fan of low end treks, they're pretty much garbage. the other cannondale, too much money. for 200 bucks, the cannondale with rim brakes.. ****, i'd probably buy it if it fit me lol

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate the help

  21. #21
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    I bet the cannondale will hold its value a little better than the others

  22. #22
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    Just get the one that fits best, like others have said. I just got a Scott for $400 that I LOVE because it fits me. I also have a $1500 bike which is good. You need to ride them to see which one you like... If you cannot? Go buy a new bike that you can try out. Anything will feel like heaven after the Wal-mart mistake. (no offense)


    EDIT: If the Cannondale was made in the states, buy it imo.

  23. #23
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    I am a newbie here and started getting interested in mountain biking. I intend to mostly do trail riding not very adventurous. Looking for new or used bikes under $500. I rode my hybrid bike all these years but offlate I have been riding mostly on trails and that bike is not well equipped for that kind of surface. Also, it is pretty old (about 12 years now). Anyway, all the information presented here is very helpful and I am certainly learning a lot. Needed some advice:

    I was thinking of Motobecane 450HT or 400HT. Or perhaps the Dawes Haymaker 1000 that bikesdirect is selling for pretty cheap. Some of the parts seem to be at par with recreation quality or perhaps below that. I don't want to buy a bike and later realize that I might have to change a lot of parts for me to get a good quality bike. So, started looking at CL as well. Would like your opinion.

    Here is an interesting bike (Raleigh Mojave 8.0):
    sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/3297780168.

    Appreciate your feedback.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhrona View Post
    I am a newbie here and started getting interested in mountain biking. I intend to mostly do trail riding not very adventurous. Looking for new or used bikes under $500. I rode my hybrid bike all these years but offlate I have been riding mostly on trails and that bike is not well equipped for that kind of surface. Also, it is pretty old (about 12 years now). Anyway, all the information presented here is very helpful and I am certainly learning a lot. Needed some advice:

    I was thinking of Motobecane 450HT or 400HT. Or perhaps the Dawes Haymaker 1000 that bikesdirect is selling for pretty cheap. Some of the parts seem to be at par with recreation quality or perhaps below that. I don't want to buy a bike and later realize that I might have to change a lot of parts for me to get a good quality bike. So, started looking at CL as well. Would like your opinion.

    Here is an interesting bike (Raleigh Mojave 8.0):
    sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/3297780168.

    Appreciate your feedback.
    Use the parts heiarchy list I posted in this thread, and buy the used hardtail that fits with the best components in ur price range. See the ebay examples I posted to get an idea of what componentry level is possible at different dollar amounts. Ignore frame brand, aim for 2008-2011

    You'll end up with a used $1200 bike instead of a new $500 one.

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

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