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
    mtbr member
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    Brand new and need advice for first Bike

    Hi all,

    I am brand new to these forums and need advice regarding my first mountain bike. I used to ride a Trek HT 4300 for mountain biking, which worked ok. But I was wondering if you all had any suggestions for a good entry level FS?

    My price range is between 400-700$. Is there a way to get a decent full suspension bike for that price range or should I just get a HT Cannondale trail 5 or 6?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Hi There!
    Reputation: thegweed's Avatar
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    Sorry to say, you won't find an anywhere near decent full suspension for mountain biking in that price range. Have you considered buying used?
    NTFTC

  3. #3
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    Ok first what are your thoughts on this bike:

    Amazon.com: Diamondback 2013 Recoil 29'er Full Suspension Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels: Sports & Outdoors

    And second what are your thoughts on something like the Cannondale trail 5 or 6? I mean is a hard tailed bike ok to start with?

  4. #4
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    You should do some searches and read through similar discussions and recommendations on the Beginner's forum. Opinions are very diverse and only you can really decide which one to latch on to and what suits you given your situation.

    Full suspension bikes are complicated and therefore much more expensive that hard tails. Given your budget I'd avoid a FS bike including the Amazon linked one.

    At the top of you budget you can get a new hard tail bike (especially if you shop for bargains and deal a bit) that would last and be suitable for most types of riding. If you want new then shop for discounted 2013 (or even older) models based on fit, features and lbs. At that price point don't have your mind set on a specific model.

    If you know bikes sufficiently or have a friend who can help you consider a used bike. If you find a 2-4 year old hard tail in good condition at a decent price you could end up with an excellent bike -- even an excellent full suspension bike.

    Many if not most people in your situation buy a bike and ride it for a couple of months and then either never touch it again or use it once or twice a summer for short rides. If you suspect that this may be your destiny then practically any cheap bike will be sufficient. However, if you think that you will actually get into this sport then you will accumulate thousands of hours on a bike over the years. In that case think about your budget and consider spending more upfront. Also keep in mind that you'll need somewhere between $75 to $200 worth of gear on top of the bike (helmet, bottles, cages, floor pump, shorts, gloves, possibly shoes etc.)

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Do you still have the Trek?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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