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
    MilitaryBrat
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    Brand New would like some opinions!

    Okay, first off...I am not in shape at all...so I'm looking to start with a hybrid and get used to riding paths and roads before I bother with mountain trails!

    Second, I am pretty broke, can only afford about $400 US so I was looking at the Raleigh bikes. What can you guys tell me? My dad is more into Bianchi and is a road rider and in way better shape than I am...but he's had his bikes for years and years and hasn't bought a new one in quite some time so I don't ask him questions LOL

    Thankfully I'll be living with them for a year and he plans on teaching me how to maintain my bike so I don't have to worry about that part

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Ride road for the rest of this year and borrow from your dad. Save for something of CL next spring.

  3. #3
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    bikesdirect.com is what I did - they have some decent prices on new "entry" level bikes 450ht (Motobecane) good luck! don't wait to long you will get hooked quickly on this great sport

  4. #4
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    If you want to ride trails you should get a mountain bike ,if you ride 2 or 3 times a week ,you could be on easy trails with in a month. Shop and test ride as many bikes as you can ,find one that fits ,that you like and buy it. Don't worry about the brand name they are pretty much the same.

  5. #5
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    my response here may be relevant to you. $400. used will get you a lot more bike than new, even from bikesdirect.
    Newbie -- Looking for some bike purchase advice

  6. #6
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    Looks like you have a craigslist budget. It seems like your dad is handy with at least basic maintenance so craigslist is more enticing. I personally wouldn't recommend to much of anyone a hybrid bike, they just aren't very good at any one discipline. Just my opinion. My suggestion would be to get a hardtail XC bike and a set of slicks (assuming knobbies when you get it). It would be competent on pavement and swapping out tires would give you something competent on XC trails or better. A lockout fork would be of benefit for road use. A cyclocross bike would be another option that sways towards the road side of riding. Should be able to find something in the HT or CX variety on CL for ~$400 with some looking.

    Looking a little on CL in my area there are a few decent road bikes that can be had for ~$150 that you could peddle for a while and save up for a nicer trail bike later.

    Don't forget the cost of a helmet and padded shorts if you don't have them. A helmet is a given and I think shorts are a necessity as well. Nothing stops you from riding like not being able to sit on the bike.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    MilitaryBrat
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    Oh yeah, I still have a helmet from when I was 16 LOL still fits So then it would be best to just take my old bike in and have them repair it? I've been toying with that for a while but the last place I went to said that it would be better just to buy a new bike than to replace what was needed to be replaced (price wise)

  8. #8
    duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by annandael View Post
    Oh yeah, I still have a helmet from when I was 16 LOL still fits So then it would be best to just take my old bike in and have them repair it? I've been toying with that for a while but the last place I went to said that it would be better just to buy a new bike than to replace what was needed to be replaced (price wise)
    It really depends on the condition and what is wrong with your old bike. Try and get a second opinion. But shop around and see what there is, and I would recommend staying away from dept store bikes, they tend on being throw away and not easily repaired or upgraded.

  9. #9
    MilitaryBrat
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    Yeah, my dad gave me a Scott Laredo years ago...it's been sitting in storage for a long time. I was going to buy a Raleigh from our local bicycle store...but if it's best to fix up my old bike I'd rather do that. I just hope this place doesn't quote me 500 dollars like the last place did (a year ago when I had only a couple hundred to fix it)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    What needs to be repaired? I wouldn't put any money into it unless it is THE bike you want to ride. If it isn't, don't put any money into it, but.... If you can put some sweat into it and get pedaling it while you save up a bit more to get THE bike I would do it. Maybe ask your dad to show you how to repair it and see if you can get him to bankrolling some of the repairs. Used to do this all the time to my dad. Its good for bonding too.

    If you aren't going to get it going throw it on CL and get some more money for the bike you want. Some people love retro bikes. Every dollar counts.

  11. #11
    MilitaryBrat
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    Something with the shifters, I can't remember...I'll ask the guy at the LBS. I figured might as well take it in and see what they have to say. Another question is, does it really matter where the bike was made? Naturally I want to get something made not in China or Taiwan but does it really matter?

  12. #12
    MilitaryBrat
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    *Also, I won't be living near my parents for another couple months...right now I live in beautiful Colorado! I was hoping to get on a bike now and get into some decent shape here in the thin air so I can ride comfortably with my dad!

  13. #13
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    Its a world market. I may like my tires made in Germany and my drivetrain made in Japan. I'm not overly concerned about where my bike is manufactured nearly as much as I am how well its manufactured and designed. At your budget you can't really be that choosy anyway.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    my response here may be relevant to you. $400. used will get you a lot more bike than new, even from bikesdirect.
    Newbie -- Looking for some bike purchase advice
    Unfortunately that only works if..

    ~ You have enough knowledge of bikes to be able to inspect every bike to determine overall condition/quality of parts/Pricing (or someone who does that you can take with you to inspect every potential purchase).

    ~ There are decent bikes actually up for sale locally to the purchaser. (here in Houston there has been virtually nothing actually worth spending $400 listed on Craig's list for the past two months.)

    Something like this:

    BlueSkyCycling.com - GT Karakoram 3.0 29er Bike

    or this:

    Nashbar AT-3 Mountain Bike - Mountain Bikes

    or this:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 500HT

    Will let the guy at least get out riding on the beginner trails now.

    After all, he can always spend an extra $100-200 a few months later to upgrade the fork on any of those bikes to something more advanced as his skill progresses.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  15. #15
    MilitaryBrat
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    Thanks guys! I took the Scott in to my local store and they only asked 140 to repair it! Better than the 400-500 the other place quoted me! They said it should be done in a week due to their other mechanic being on vacation but will try to get to it sooner
    Also, I'm a girl
    Can't wait to get on my ride, I actually have missed it a lot lately. My dad used to take us on awesome paths in the German forests.

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