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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    Buying my first mountain bike

    I've been mountain biking a few times and have decided to invest in a bike. I am considering buying from bikesdirect. Could someone help me choose an entry level bike?

    I'm considering the Motobecane 500 HT vs 550 HT. What are the main differences between these two? Should I get the 550 HT since it's only $20 more and presumable has better components? I like the paint job on the 500 HT more, but I guess that shouldn't really matter much.

    2013 500 HT $379:
    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 500HT

    2014 550 HT $399:
    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 550HT

  2. #2
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    If you have a local bike shop, I'd go there first and test ride a bunch of bike and generally ask a lot of questions. Our LBS is awesome, and very knowledgable, every time I leave there I have more good info than I know what to do with. They can help you out with fit, figure out what kind of bike you need based on the kind of riding you want to do. After that you can decide if you want to order something online, or maybe spend a little extra and get a bike from the local shop.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by davesupra View Post
    If you have a local bike shop, I'd go there first and test ride a bunch of bike and generally ask a lot of questions. Our LBS is awesome, and very knowledgable, every time I leave there I have more good info than I know what to do with. They can help you out with fit, figure out what kind of bike you need based on the kind of riding you want to do. After that you can decide if you want to order something online, or maybe spend a little extra and get a bike from the local shop.
    Thanks for the advice. I've been to my LBS many times. I've owned a road bike for many years and feel comfortable doing basic repairs and assembly. So I don't feel like I would gain much from talking to them as their bikes seem very overpriced. I know my size and feel comfortable ordering online. Mainly I just don't know much about the different levels of mountain bike components and wanted to see if the 550 HT is worth getting.

  4. #4
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    The 550 has a much better brake setup. The only other difference is SRAM drivetrain vs Shimano. Both are entry level, but they shift differently. Here are some heirarchies:
    SRAM MTB Component Hierarchy | Derailleur | Crankset : ChooseMyBicycle.com
    Shimano MTB Component Hierarchy | Derailleur | Crankset : ChooseMyBicycle.com

  5. #5
    o<o NYC pebble jumper!
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    So because the product that they pitch is overpriced, you do not want to ask advice about equipment?
    The bikes that BD has and maybe your LBS, you should be able to find bikes that have comparable parts. Would it not be in your best interest to ride these bikes so that you can see if you actually like the way the part is shifting, braking, maneuverability.

    Sorry I'm not really understanding your reasoning on not asking someone that works day in and day out around these things.
    Just also keep in mind that if you order one of these bikes, and you don't happen to like the way it rides, then not only did you end up wasting your time on it, but others that helped get your order going.
    You should already get a feel for what other's opinions are on these bikes cause they are discussed every day. If you have not done so already... Do a search on the forums.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Fit on a mountain bike is just as important as it is on a road bike. I don't think there's a reliable correspondence between people's road bike and mountain bike sizes. So, I think you'd be better served by buying locally. A used bike can be a great way to avoid paying the premium involved in retail bikes, and you can still ride it before you commit.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I'm also a big fan of used bikes for beginners, specially those comfortable working a bikes already. If there's a decent market for them in your area, that is usually the way your money will go farthest. Local/regional biking club's forums are a great place to look too. You could likely hunt down an older hartdtail in your price range that might take a little tuning up and replacement of wear and fit parts, but would ride and hold up much better overall. (A new bike's going to require the same work anyway, just maybe not right away.)

    If you've pretty much decided that one of those two bikes you listed is going to be 'the bike', they're similar enough that I would go with the one that you like the paint job on. It'll make you more stoked to ride it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm also a big fan of used bikes for beginners, specially those comfortable working a bikes already. If there's a decent market for them in your area, that is usually the way your money will go farthest. Local/regional biking club's forums are a great place to look too. You could likely hunt down an older hartdtail in your price range that might take a little tuning up and replacement of wear and fit parts, but would ride and hold up much better overall. (A new bike's going to require the same work anyway, just maybe not right away.)

    If you've pretty much decided that one of those two bikes you listed is going to be 'the bike', they're similar enough that I would go with the one that you like the paint job on. It'll make you more stoked to ride it.
    Couldn't agree more. I always advise people to spend less money when they first start and start with a used bike just to see if this sport is for them. Most of them quit cycling anyway in just a few short months and let their bike collect dust.

  9. #9
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    Oh, I want still want to see all the money spent. He or she'll just end up getting higher quality bike for it. You want to find that dusty bike that somebody spent too much on a few years back, then didn't end up riding, and you want to buy if for half of what they paid for it.

    And worst case, if you do the same, the original buyer already took the big depreciation hit while you'll be able to recoup most of your dough selling it off again.

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