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.
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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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    Cool-blue Rhythm Build or buy...?

    So as of now I'm a big free rider. However I wanna dip into downhill and such. To the question dude what should I do? I'm in the market for a bike period... Should I buy or build? I know most downhillers like full suspension for obvious reasons, I have never ridden full suspension. Only hard tail, but the suspensions going to help a lot with downhill right? I know building a bike is expensive, thinking of throwing together a Frankenstein. Found a k2 frame for like 140$ but its a hard tail. Let alone never ridden a k2, so I'd love some input on those frames I'm totally up for any suggestions. I'm looking for something of course cheaper since I don't have a huge cash flow. If its a project and takes time why not that seems cool. So what ya say?



    Peace, J.

  2. #2
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    Ya wanna a D/H bike or a bike that goes down hill?

    Serious question. I can't imagine anyone choosing a ht bike for true d/h over a f/s unless you are talking about smooth smooth fast trails. At least where I live.

    To the point though if you have the time you could scour the net/ebay/pinkbike etc for parts over time. if you have the money and don't have parts to swap over to a new frame then a full build would likely be cheaper, at least for building with new parts.

    If you want a true d/h bike I suggest posting over in the d/h forum and asking for frame advice on the cheap.

  3. #3
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    I always build my bikes from the ground up but I'm been working on bikes for 30 years..

    In your case I will say buy it already build, since building your bike piece by piece can end up far more expensive, plus you need to know the compatibility of each part or if not you will spend even more money and time..

    For now Read READ and rEaD until you figure out what you want..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    I always build my bikes from the ground up but I'm been working on bikes for 30 years..

    In your case I will say buy it already build, since building your bike piece by piece can end up far more expensive, plus you need to know the compatibility of each part or if not you will spend even more money and time..

    For now Read READ and rEaD until you figure out what you want..
    Man that's so much easier said than done. I know what I want to ride, but as far as what bike my price range is low. I'd take an old bike 2000 and up but find those is tough it appears. Ill take a bike that's 10 years old as long as its decent and cheap.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    Man that's so much easier said than done. I know what I want to ride, but as far as what bike my price range is low. I'd take an old bike 2000 and up but find those is tough it appears. Ill take a bike that's 10 years old as long as its decent and cheap.
    Look for an old Speshy Big Hit for an affordable d/h bike

    2003 Specialized Big Hit this one is $550.

    All of Craigslist specialized demo 8 Replace Demo 8 with Big Hit in the search bar

  6. #6
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    Single purpose bike like a xc race bike or DH bike are not cheap. However, used one can be had for very good deal but you gotta look for one that's not too abused. Check out pinkbike.


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I think the problem is OP is looking California but feeling Minnesota.

    it's a tough find but it's out there...somewhere.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    Man that's so much easier said than done. I know what I want to ride, but as far as what bike my price range is low. I'd take an old bike 2000 and up but find those is tough it appears. Ill take a bike that's 10 years old as long as its decent and cheap.
    Even if you have tons of parts are you disposal, still much easier and cheaper to buy a complete bike from somebody that did "their home work" already

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    Looking at your situation, I think you oughtta buy used and then upgrade as you go along.

    For DH, you should be looking at a FS and not a hardtail. Also look at some of the Freeride bikes - they are close to DH bikes but are a tiny bit more versatile.

    Ebay, Craigslist are great starting places to find a used bike. Make sure you know the value of a bike before committing to it, and also make sure you fit the bike since your comfort is probably the most important thing.

    -S

  10. #10
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    Well I am most definitely on the hunt! Any. Body knows other good sites to look for the cheaps let me know. I know about pink direct Craig's and eBay. Thanks for the major input everyone. Honestly I just want to get out there bad, I need to ride.

    Peace, J.

  11. #11
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    Here's a REALLY NICE bike for DH/FR. A little old but it's nice!

    Cannondale Raven Full Suspension Downhill Mountain Bike Carbon Fiber Frame | eBay

    You could ride it and then update it at your lesiure.

  12. #12
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    Another big deal I'm thinking about is a 29er fs. I love that big tire, that's what my stolen specialized was.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Here's a REALLY NICE bike for DH/FR. A little old but it's nice!

    Cannondale Raven Full Suspension Downhill Mountain Bike Carbon Fiber Frame | eBay

    You could ride it and then update it at your lesiure.
    No way is that a really nice bike for DH/FR. That bike is old carbon and it's lucky to to still be rideable let alone excel at anything. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're going to buy a used full suspension bike then you need to buy one that's less than 10 years old. Anything older and you risk running into non-replaceable suspension technology, wearing/worn out parts which can not be replaced (like linkages or pivot kits), and poorly functioning designs.

    OP, what exactly do you want to ride with your new bike. You say you've never even been on a full suspension bike, how do you know that a DH/FR bike is right for you? DH bikes are a completely purpose built machine. They do not go up hills unless you're pushing them or riding a lift. A FR bike will go uphill begrudgingly but will be very unpleasant to pedal.

    DH/FR bikes are for someone who gets a ride to the top of the hill, if that's not how you would describe your riding, look elsewhere.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  14. #14
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    I get what you're saying. I think hard tail maybe best for me at least as of now.

  15. #15
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    Trek Mountain Bike

    Right now I've got my eye on this one. Any input?
    It seems like a decent trek. Don't think it's a 29er.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    No way is that a really nice bike for DH/FR. That bike is old carbon and it's lucky to to still be rideable let alone excel at anything. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're going to buy a used full suspension bike then you need to buy one that's less than 10 years old. Anything older and you risk running into non-replaceable suspension technology, wearing/worn out parts which can not be replaced (like linkages or pivot kits), and poorly functioning designs.
    I guess the perception is all relative. I do have a strong background in CF manufacturing etc (we do some aerospace composite work at my engineering company) and would always feel more confident of a CF frame despite its age. Perhaps because I know what to look for and how to inspect for problems, and fix it if necessary.

    Then again, it seems like OP isn't quite sure what he's in for when dealing with a DH/FR bike - the part about hitching rides uphill is the bit you miss in all those helmet cam videos.

    Hardtail or FS, it's all based on what fits you best, Falcon.

    -S

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    Trek Mountain Bike

    Right now I've got my eye on this one. Any input?
    It seems like a decent trek. Don't think it's a 29er.
    Well, there's a big red flag right in the description: "Frame size is 17.5, I'm 6'1"and it fits me." this defies conventional fitting advice. Do you know what size bike you need to be shopping for? That is absolutely the first step in choosing a bike no matter if you get it used, online from a deal site, or new from a dealer.

    Overall, that's a decent looking bike assuming it fits you. Definitely trail capable, the Dart fork isn't my favorite but it's common at this price point especially on a relatively new bike.

    I noticed you are looking at the PGH craigslist, what trails are you planning to ride? That might help determine what bikes are appropriate to be looking at.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    Trek Mountain Bike

    Right now I've got my eye on this one. Any input?
    It seems like a decent trek. Don't think it's a 29er.
    Looks like a decent bike. How tall are you? What's your build like? The bike may be a little small for you if you're over 5'10-6'

    -S

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    I guess the perception is all relative. I do have a strong background in CF manufacturing etc (we do some aerospace composite work at my engineering company) and would always feel more confident of a CF frame despite its age. Perhaps because I know what to look for and how to inspect for problems, and fix it if necessary.

    Then again, it seems like OP isn't quite sure what he's in for when dealing with a DH/FR bike - the part about hitching rides uphill is the bit you miss in all those helmet cam videos.

    Hardtail or FS, it's all based on what fits you best, Falcon.

    -S
    I'm also an aerospace composites engineer but the thing is that a lot of the early CF stuff the bike companies worked with isn't the same as what everyone is using now. The technology wasn't where we're at now and I've seen enough broken 90's carbon bikes that I offer caution when purchasing one. Add to that what appears to be an old URT design and unknown mechanical condition overall and it becomes less attractive of a purchase.

    A great nostalgic bike to own but money will be better spent on a newer hardtail bike.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Looks like a decent bike. How tall are you? What's your build like? The bike may be a little small for you if you're over 5'10-6'

    -S
    I'm 5'11" 200lbs. I was thinking 17.5-19 frame size.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    I'm 5'11" 200lbs. I was thinking 17.5-19 frame size.
    I assume the bike's local to you. Go test ride it to make sure it fits since it's important that you feel comfortable on it before you dump money into it.

    -S

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I'm also an aerospace composites engineer but the thing is that a lot of the early CF stuff the bike companies worked with isn't the same as what everyone is using now. The technology wasn't where we're at now and I've seen enough broken 90's carbon bikes that I offer caution when purchasing one. Add to that what appears to be an old URT design and unknown mechanical condition overall and it becomes less attractive of a purchase.

    A great nostalgic bike to own but money will be better spent on a newer hardtail bike.
    You're right in that the technology has changed significantly and I've not had much exposure to 90's carbon frames to see what could happen. Then again I'm known to buy bikes out of nostalgia (hehe still have my Klein Mantra Comp - another crazy URT bike).

    BTW, looks like the Cannondale isn't URT though. The rear suspension pivot is on the frame, above the BB.

    -S

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Well, there's a big red flag right in the description: "Frame size is 17.5, I'm 6'1"and it fits me." this defies conventional fitting advice. Do you know what size bike you need to be shopping for? That is absolutely the first step in choosing a bike no matter if you get it used, online from a deal site, or new from a dealer.

    Overall, that's a decent looking bike assuming it fits you. Definitely trail capable, the Dart fork isn't my favorite but it's common at this price point especially on a relatively new bike.

    I noticed you are looking at the PGH craigslist, what trails are you planning to ride? That might help determine what bikes are appropriate to be looking at.
    Well I will be riding deer lakes, Boyce park moraine. And we will be build a park here in butler at alameda park. So I ride a large amount of different trails.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    You're right in that the technology has changed significantly. Then again I'm known to buy bikes out of nostalgia (hehe still have my Klein Mantra Comp - another URT bike)

    -S
    Oh man, if I had a the money, I'd probably buy that Raven myself! But if I had to pick one bike over another at that price range I wouldn't choose the Raven first.

    OP, shibi is right in that you need to test ride the bike and see if it fits. I would also suggest (or suggest before you test ride the Trek) that you go to your LBS(s) and test ride some bikes there. At an LBS you get to ride an assortment of bikes back to back in several sizes. Even if you end up buying a bike used or online (be up front with the sales person, a good one will help you even if you might not buy from them) at least you can be pretty confident that the type of bike you choose and the size of bike you choose will be right for what you expect to ride.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrider View Post
    Well I will be riding deer lakes, Boyce park moraine. And we will be build a park here in butler at alameda park. So I ride a large amount of different trails.
    I'm originally from NWPA so I'm reasonably familiar with those trails. Unless you're hitting jumps and drops then a hardtail bike will be a great choice. It'll be a rougher ride than a FS but you won't be out of the realm of what others ride. Even the "FR" stuff in the region like Dr J is fun on a hardtail bike. Short of packing your bike up and riding the lifts at Seven Springs, you won't need a big DH/FR bike.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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