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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    Buying a used bike for versatility in Southern Utah. HALP!

    Oh boy.. I'm insanely new. I've been riding the $200 Walmart Mongoose for a few years a few times a year is all. I want to really get into riding. I live in Southern Utah.. so Home of the Redbul Rampage and other events. People here are quite serious about MTBing. I would love love love a great downhill/Freeride bike, but there are a ton of great XC trails here. I would love some recommendations.. I'm shopping for about a dozen or so online and have found some (what I believe) are great deals.

    I want to spend MAX $800 (If I spend $800, i can't buy any upgrades or do any pricey services). So I have some options... not a TON, but some.

    Could anyone suggest from the following;

    Ironhorse SGS - $450
    Ironhorse Yakuza kumicho - $750 (Local so YAY)
    Rocky Mountain Switch SL - $750
    2007 Jamis Parker 2 - $775
    Banshee Scream - $800
    GT MARATHON ELITE - $600
    2003 Diamonback XTS Moto - $400 (Local so YAY)
    Santa Cruze Bullit - $800 (Local so YAY)

    Again.. I mostly want a good FR bike. But I will be doing some pedaling (which I loathe).. So.. Thanks for everything and it's great to be here.

  2. #2
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    I am assuming these are all used? If so a lot of that has to do with the condition of the bike, so hard to say from your list, but my first choice would be the SC Bullit.

    You may want to consider an All mountain bike. The freeride/downhill bike may be fun when gravity is involved, but as you said yourself you have a TON of great XC trails so you will want to get something that makes the uphills less horrible. I think a 5" to 6" travel bike will do you better. I have even owned a "all mountain hardtail" that has no rear suspension but can keep up with a bike that does without blinking an eye. So with all that in mind keep your eyes pealed for a solid all mountain machine and i think you will be a lot happier with your purchase in the future.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  3. #3
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    Well, which one fits you? Which one is in good mechanical shape? Which one fits what trails you are likely to ride the most?

    Buying a FR bike is great but only if you're going to be hitting FR trails. They're miserable on most trails you'd have to pedal. How much do you know about bikes? I would start by reading reviews of the bikes you're looking at then test riding a few to see what you're getting for your money.

    First things first, do you know what size to buy?
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Well, which one fits you? Which one is in good mechanical shape? Which one fits what trails you are likely to ride the most?

    Buying a FR bike is great but only if you're going to be hitting FR trails. They're miserable on most trails you'd have to pedal. How much do you know about bikes? I would start by reading reviews of the bikes you're looking at then test riding a few to see what you're getting for your money.

    First things first, do you know what size to buy?
    I don't really. I'm about 6'0'' and our local bike shop said i looked more natural on a medium. I'd probably agree.. Logic tells me a smaller bike might be easier and more fun to throw around. The Iron Horse is a 17" and I might go see how i like it tomorrow.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    I am assuming these are all used? If so a lot of that has to do with the condition of the bike, so hard to say from your list, but my first choice would be the SC Bullit.

    You may want to consider an All mountain bike. The freeride/downhill bike may be fun when gravity is involved, but as you said yourself you have a TON of great XC trails so you will want to get something that makes the uphills less horrible. I think a 5" to 6" travel bike will do you better. I have even owned a "all mountain hardtail" that has no rear suspension but can keep up with a bike that does without blinking an eye. So with all that in mind keep your eyes pealed for a solid all mountain machine and i think you will be a lot happier with your purchase in the future.
    Thanks for the info! I'm also trying to hit a moving target too. I'm notorious for researching the hell out of something.. Purchasing it, only to realize my need has evolved in the wrong direction.

    I think right NOW i want an all mountain/XC bike... But I might get really into FR/DH. Not sure. But I think you're right.. I really will look at some good XC bikes. Any recommendations in my price range?

  6. #6
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    I have had 3 generations of Specialized Enduro's loved them all. You may be able to find an older model in your price range. But would take some time and luck to find it. It may be worth saving a couple hundred bucks more over the winter and pick it up in the spring early summer. You may not get quite as good a deal, as now is a good time to buy a bike, but if you can get over that $1000 mark, i think you will be able to get a solid steed for your riding endeavors.

    Doesn't hurt to go looking, and don't hesitate to throw a leg over a few of these bikes, you may have one of those "this is the bike for me" epiphany moments. Otherwise either post back in this thread as you find stuff, or look at the reviews of the bike on MTBR. This site is a great resource.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  7. #7
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    Go test out the bikes, ride them for around 15 mins each to get a good feel of them. You probably won't discover a poor fit in a 3-minute test, since most of the problems like sore backs, arm numbness etc come during an extended ride.

    You have to be comfortable on a bike or you won't fully enjoy the biking experience.

    Also, bear in mind that frame sizing varies from bike to bike. There's a general sizing and then you have to factor in the geometry. That's why you get a proper fit when buying a new bike, or if you're buying a new one, make sure you fit it first.

    -S

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leejin View Post
    I don't really. I'm about 6'0'' and our local bike shop said i looked more natural on a medium. I'd probably agree.. Logic tells me a smaller bike might be easier and more fun to throw around. The Iron Horse is a 17" and I might go see how i like it tomorrow.
    Get this... I'm 5'5" and I'm most comfortable on my 19.5" Large frame Stumpjumper. My medium frame Klein gives be a backache and creates a significant pressure on my hands which end up numb (i.e. carpal tunnel symptoms). A 6' person would most likely ride a large.

    There are exceptions to the sizing rule that go either way. If you enjoy a decent read about fitment, look here:
    Revisionist Theory of Bicycle Sizing

    Once you get close enough to fitting a frame you really like, you can further adjust it with stems, handlebars, seatposts, seat positions etc to get that perfect fit.

    -S

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