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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    Smile To build or not to buildÖÖ

    I would like to ask the community about the best way to purchase a new mountain bike.

    I donít know if buying a premade bike or building my own is the best deal. I built my own computer and I know itís better than the premade PCís in the store. Is this the same for mountain bikes? I have been doing some research and believe that a hard tail would be my best option. I plan to ride it in town and on dirt paths. Iím 6í2í and 215 Lbs.
    If I was going to give you $500.00 to build me a mountain bike (from parts), what would you buy (best deals on internet) and from where? If you told me that $650.00 would build a much better bike, I would not be opposed to spending the extra $150.00. I want something that is durable and will last a long time. Iíve also seen some really cool bike frames with well-rounded or designed tubing that I liked, basically appearance kind of matters.

    Or do I buy a kit bike from bikes direct? I know they claim to sell really good bikes at a deep discount but Iím not sure if they have good parts. I donít need the best parts but I want something that wonít let me down. I refuse to spend my money on a bike from walmart.

  2. #2
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    It all depends. One thing I did is start from a nice Used frame from Craigslist. I bought all my other parts from there and built it all up. It was cheap, yet I still got good items. Bad thing was, it took A LOT of time. I had to go to multiple people, make sure the parts were functional, drive, etc. It's either you pay more money for less labor for yourself, or more time and less money to build it yourself.

    - Make sure before you build a bike you get all the measurements of your bike. Then compile a "grocery" list of all the parts you want/need to build the bike. So that when you go shopping/browsing you know what to get/buy instead of generating a lot of confusion on which part to get. If you go out and buy the wrong part, you've just wasted time, money, etc.

    Planning is the key to building a bike. Make sure to do the research.

    Places to get parts:
    Craiglist (Be careful, you are dealing with other people. Avoid scams, bad people, etc. Do this at your own risk. For me, I've NEVER had a problem, but still be careful).
    Here @ MTBR Classifieds
    Those are my favorite places to look.
    Easy Does It.

  3. #3
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    Is there a parts wholesaler on the internet? I don't want to use Craiglist, too many stolen bikes IMO.

  4. #4
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    Price or value....

    Quote Originally Posted by manchu6 View Post
    I would like to ask the community about the best way to purchase a new mountain bike.

    I donít know if buying a premade bike or building my own is the best deal. I built my own computer and I know itís better than the premade PCís in the store. Is this the same for mountain bikes? I have been doing some research and believe that a hard tail would be my best option. I plan to ride it in town and on dirt paths. Iím 6í2í and 215 Lbs.
    If I was going to give you $500.00 to build me a mountain bike (from parts), what would you buy (best deals on internet) and from where? If you told me that $650.00 would build a much better bike, I would not be opposed to spending the extra $150.00. I want something that is durable and will last a long time. Iíve also seen some really cool bike frames with well-rounded or designed tubing that I liked, basically appearance kind of matters.

    Or do I buy a kit bike from bikes direct? I know they claim to sell really good bikes at a deep discount but Iím not sure if they have good parts. I donít need the best parts but I want something that wonít let me down. I refuse to spend my money on a bike from walmart.
    You can not build a bike for the same price as you can get one pre-built. OEMs realized economies of scale that you can't match.

    If I were you, I'd go to a local bike store (LBS) talk with them about the type of riding you're looking to do. Test ride a bunch of different bikes and select the one that feels best to you. Any bike you select from a local shop will be a good starter bike.

    Appearance may matter to you but fit (geometry) is really important. Test ride several bikes. The right one will find you.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  5. #5
    CSC
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    I had a friend that built a single-speed roadie, and it cost him waaaay more than if he had just bought one pre-made.
    Unlike the computer industry, bike parts carry an individualized premium, i.e, Trek gets a bulk discount, you don't! (whereas in the PC world, you pay extra to have someone put it together for you)

    For $500, you'll do way better buying pre-built. And even better at the $650-700 range (and you start to get close to really nice used rigs, too...I'd suggest looking into high-end used bikes in your area).

    I got my bike from the LBS for $650, and upgraded the brakes for an extra 100 (BlueSky.com runs deals). Compliments from the shop guys and other riders, good components, and performs as well as a bike twice the cost if I keep up the maintenance.

    And, if you play your cards right, you can get a real good frame with decent components hanging off of it, and as you get into riding more, you can upgrade the components (rather than buying a whole new bike again).

    Also, as Ken said, the right bike will find you...though I have found that some brands fit individuals better than others...kinda like shoes, haha.

    Ride on

  6. #6
    CSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by manchu6 View Post
    Is there a parts wholesaler on the internet? I don't want to use Craiglist, too many stolen bikes IMO.
    BlueSky cycling
    JensonUSA
    PricePoint (some might disagree)
    NashBar
    Performance bikes
    ..and many more

    Though I still suggest you sink the $650 into a pre-made or used bike...better deals!

  7. #7
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    most of your money is prob going to go towards wheels and a fork. i don't think you're going to have any near top end performing components other than those 2 at that price range. you could say, oh well i don't need the best fork ever, and get away with a decent set of brakes, but now you're looking at shifters saying, well... plastic? really? well, the wheels don't have to be *that* good. though, for 500 or so you're not going to be getting the best of anything either. thats pretty much the beginners starting point. all in all though, between the seat, cables, stem, headset, etc... you're really just better off getting a new bike. it'd be one thing if you had a decent donor bike that had some parts you needed like cranks and wheels or something to get you started, but to build entirely from scratch is going to be expensive. and if you're asking where to buy the parts and whatnot, i'm just gonna guess (not to be insulting in any way) that you may cut the wrong corners and end up pretty unhappy/poor, depending on how much you *really* want to dump into it after you think you're done.

    best bet is probably a good used bike for that price, and i think you'll be pretty happy. just make sure it fits, but hey if it doesn't, you've got a great frame swap project.

  8. #8
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    about bd, i've ordered numerous bikes for other people off of there and assembled them, and their parts are pretty much better than anything you're going to find new at a bike store for the money. frames are decent, nothing special, nothing fancy, which i like. my only real complaint with them is that they clear coat over their decals so they're hard to remove. if they weren't put on at all, or at least removable with a heat gun, i'd be 100% happy with them. but they have the stupidest names for their bikes. but, for the money, definitely worth it. my friend got the cliff 4900 or whatever the hell it is. minus the "trail tires".... which were pretty much slicks, its a perfect fit for him and he loves riding it, so it worked out great. i gave him a set of my tires a few weeks ago because he was just sliding everywhere. soooo, if you get that one, buy some tires too.

  9. #9
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    What you can't do w BD or any other online retailer is ride the bike.

    As a new rider, being able to ride and gauge the fit of the bike to you is a consideration for your purchase.

    IMO, frame fit is more important than components (except maybe the fork) For an entry level purchase.




    Sent from my rotary phone and compiled with a telegraph machine.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have a lot of decisions to make.

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