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 build, that is my question...

    Greetings everyone!

    I have a few questions and I thought the experts (you) could help me out a little on a new mountain bike.

    About a year ago, I build my first computer with better parts and at a cheaper price than you would get with pre-made store PC like a Hewlett Packard. So, I'm not sure if building a bike is a better option than a pre-made bike. I want a decently strong bike for ride on trails and street. After doing some research, I think a HT would be a realistic bike for me.

    My real question is if I gave you $500.00 to build me a mountain bike, what would you buy? If you told me that you could build a much better bike for $650.00, I would not be opposed to spending the additional $150.00. Which parts do I buy and where from (best value) ? I'm 6'2" and 215lbs.

    Or do you think buyng a bike from bikes direct would be a better buy due to my price range?

    Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Bikes are not like computers, they are much cheaper to buy as a complete thing. Especially when a bike is under 1,000 dollars.

    For $500 you'll be getting a very entry level bike. It may not be the best choice if you plan to ride hard off-road. Also, make sure you get disc brakes and a fork that isn't made by SR-Suntour.

    On the other hand, if you bought a hardtail in the 1500 dollar range you'd be getting a bike that would be 2x the price if you bought all of the parts separately.

    Lastly, buying online can be great, but when it comes to bikes it's worth it to buy them locally. That's because you'll be able to try the bike before you buy it and you won't have to pay to have it assembled. The mechanic who assembled the bike is just as important as the company that made the bike.

  3. #3
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    Bikes are not like computers. It is cheaper to just buy a complete bike. If you are going to build one though, you would need enough miles in the saddle to know exactly what kind of performance you want and which parts you can compromise on while still reaching that performance goal.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racerx8000 View Post
    On the other hand, if you bought a hardtail in the 1500 dollar range you'd be getting a bike that would be 2x the price if you bought all of the parts separately.
    not really.

    lets look at the trek xcal as an example.
    x7 drivetrain $400
    reba fork $400
    wheels $400
    frame $200
    so we're at $1400 and still need some cheap parts. not to mention tools or install fee's for headseat/bb but its not $1400 worth.

    even if you compare the airborne goblin its not 2x the cost. ( probably the best bang/buck in the ht 29er market)

    bikes direct will have the best bang for buck ( or close to it, airborne is also pretty good), as long as you dont mind working on it yourself. in the $500 range theres not going to be too much different unless you find one of their clearances that fits.

    as for computers it isnt much/if any cheaper to build your own until you get to gaming rigs/professional workstations. or your comparing prices with mac pro's.
    Last edited by Slozomby; 07-16-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    3RD option: Buy used.
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  6. #6
    no trees are safe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racerx8000 View Post
    ...
    For $500 you'll be getting a very entry level bike. It may not be the best choice if you plan to ride hard off-road. Also, make sure you get disc brakes and a fork that isn't made by SR-Suntour.

    ...
    Whats wrong with suntour forks?

  7. #7
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    You will spend more if you build, but you will learn a lot while puzzling those components.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by manchu6 View Post
    Greetings everyone!

    I have a few questions and I thought the experts (you) could help me out a little on a new mountain bike.

    About a year ago, I build my first computer with better parts and at a cheaper price than you would get with pre-made store PC like a Hewlett Packard. So, I'm not sure if building a bike is a better option than a pre-made bike. I want a decently strong bike for ride on trails and street. After doing some research, I think a HT would be a realistic bike for me.

    My real question is if I gave you $500.00 to build me a mountain bike, what would you buy? If you told me that you could build a much better bike for $650.00, I would not be opposed to spending the additional $150.00. Which parts do I buy and where from (best value) ? I'm 6'2" and 215lbs.

    Or do you think buyng a bike from bikes direct would be a better buy due to my price range?

    Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    I've also been building my own computers for years. I'm the same height as you and just got an XL DB Overdrive Comp from Amazon on sale which was right in your price range. I think you'd be hard pressed to buy all the individual parts and build it yourself for that price.

    I get where you're coming from, but I agree with the others that they're two different things.

  9. #9
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    Building a computer doesn't require special tools...building a bike requires several items to assemble it. Bottom bracket wrench, headset press, and such. just something else to be aware of.

  10. #10
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    Building a bike can be cheap if you build to a price - and probably can't buy the same bike.
    Go rigid, a decent fork is almost half the price of the bike.
    Go 1X9 - no front derailleur or shifter. Sell the other chain rings.
    Pick up wheels and tires from Craigslist.

    Even cheaper if you can share wheels from a second bike. Some of my bikes, I've only bought a rear wheel and share front wheels between bikes.

  11. #11
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    I just recently went thru the same thoughts. I ended up pricing everything out and ended up with something used in great shape that was about 1/4 the cost. I love my new/used bike way more than my older bike would have ever been if I tried to buy all the components and build it up from scratch with modern parts.

  12. #12
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    I appreciate all the feedback. Buying a new bike is definately harder that I imagined. A lot of LBS in Sacramento have bad ratings so I just have to make the purchase when I find a bike that I like.

  13. #13
    no trees are safe
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    Get a branded bike. For 500$ you cant get better. Even at greater budgets most people buy a branded bicycle.

    Its like buying a car.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hOlykamOtie* View Post
    You will spend more if you build, but you will learn a lot while puzzling those components.
    And could end up with a bike you hate.

    While building is great it is best left until you've been riding a while and know what you want and aren't guessing.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

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