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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    Listen! cheap beginner's bike?

    I'm looking to buy a bike, but I have no idea where to start... right now I'm just looking for something I'd be using pretty much exlusively on the street, I've never done any serious mountain biking, but I wanted to get something I could use for trails too. I went to my local bike shop, but they only sell really high-end bikes and I was hoping I could find something for less than $1000. I'm pretty tall (6'5") so that probably makes a difference too... if anybody has any recommendations about brands or models I could take a look at for a solid, basic, meat-and-potatoes set-up for under $1k, I'd appreciate it. Thanks much in advance

  2. #2
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meegs8287
    I'm looking to buy a bike, but I have no idea where to start... right now I'm just looking for something I'd be using pretty much exlusively on the street, I've never done any serious mountain biking, but I wanted to get something I could use for trails too. I went to my local bike shop, but they only sell really high-end bikes and I was hoping I could find something for less than $1000. I'm pretty tall (6'5") so that probably makes a difference too... if anybody has any recommendations about brands or models I could take a look at for a solid, basic, meat-and-potatoes set-up for under $1k, I'd appreciate it. Thanks much in advance
    The major bike makers (Trek, Specialized, Fisher, Kona, Giant) all make entry level bikes that are between $400 and $800. They are all hardtails. I would suggest two things. First, see if there are any shops that will rent you a bike for a day. Rent and try a couple of brands (they will usually rent inexpensive hardtails, much like you would want to buy). You need to get a feel for what size frame you need and what frame geometery feels best. Second, go to the library and find some issues of mountain bike magazines that include tests of entry level bikes. That way you can get a sense of which brands are putting the best components on their bikes, which brands perform best on the trails, which brands offer the best bang for the buck.

    Another idea for getting frame size is to go over to wrenchscience.com and put all your measurements into their online sizing calculator. Then, when you go into a shop, you will have some idea of what frame size you should be looking at, and you won't fall victim to an eager young employee trying to make a fast sale.

    Finally, good shops--the ones that want you to have the right bike for you so you will ride it often and come back to them for adjustments and parts--will offer to fit you to a bike. They will take your measurements and let you try out a couple bikes to see how they fit. If you buy from them, they will swap out parts for free to get your bike to fit correctly. This sometimes means spending a little extra money--especially if you are buying a sub $1000 bike--but it can be worth it.

    Just be sure you take some time making your decision, since good fit is the single most important factor in enjoying the ride.

  3. #3
    pronounced may-duh
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    Check out Ibex bikes. I have heard they are good. I've looked at their pricing and I'm sure you can get something very nice for under 1000.00.

  4. #4
    ride hard take risks
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    Ibex deffinatly has great bikes, awsome bang for the buck. They are a net company so they can keep the quality of high but the price low.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-650-Details.html

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/TR-COMP-Details.html

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/IGN-3-Details.html

  5. #5
    Working on my Drops
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    i believe some magazine (maybe MBA) rated the low end full suspension mongoose that you can get at Walmart as one of the best beginner mtn bikes for around $500. I checked the Mongoose website and it might be the Wing Elite or Wing Comp. maybe someone will remember the article.

  6. #6
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    i think i would stay away from all wal-mart bikes. read the beginners and dept. stores bike thread and you will understand why.

    like another said, look at the big names (Trek, Specialized, Fisher) and buy a good hardtail. try to ride them all and see what fits you best. fit is the most important part of purchasing. if it fits you, you will ride it more. if i had to make a recommendation, i would say one of the fishers might fit you well with its genesis geometry. go try them out and see what you like.

  7. #7
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    The $300-$600 market for bike is huge. You have a tremendous selection of almost all manufacturers in this price range.

    Follow Guyechka advise if you can. Many shops have demo bikes you can test ride for a small fee.

    Remember you're looking for inexpensive, not cheap. Cheap = dangerous, inexpensive can be a safe and fun way to get into the sport. Bike shop employees build bikes for a living so they do it right, wally world employees assemble bikes and then go sell shoes or something else not related to bikes.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
    Prof. Frink.

  8. #8
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    check out Giant Pistol 2 - full suspension 800 bucks, I would recomend F/S to anyone.

  9. #9
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    Idea!

    $1,000 doesn't sound cheap to me, but if I had that dough to spend I would probably consider a trek fuel or this giant full sus. at a LBS for 800.

  10. #10
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    Haro makes a good line of bike for that price ($1,000). Just go to your LBS and talk to them.

  11. #11
    sushi lover
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    ditto -- head over to several LBSs, chat with the people, do some test rides, and go with your heart!

  12. #12
    There's no app for this.
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    Wrong

    check the 1st (sticky) post at the top; Walmart and mongoose got slammed.
    MBA rated an expensive DH bike.

    Please check your facts before "helping" out a poster?

    Jim

  13. #13
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    Race-ready benchmark @ $700.00

    year after year this bike get mentioned as a great value. here

    A few pointers: it must fit right! You're a big man, make sure the cockpit (butt to hands on bars) feels just right, or walk away. You won't ride it if it's all wrong.

    2) The bike above is a great benchmark, and can serve as an entry level racer; use it as a guide. There is a glut of excellent product out there, take your time, and find the right bike.

    Good luck~! Jim
    Last edited by JimC.; 05-17-2006 at 09:55 PM.

  14. #14
    wannabe corporate shill
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    Speaking of Ibex

    I have an Ibex (Alpine 550) hardtail. I paid about $450 after shipping and am very happy with it. The components are good, great price, etc. I've put about 220 miles or so on it so far and have mainly just cleaned and re-lubricated the chain. As a satisfied Ibex customer, I'd reccomend them. With that said, also take a long, hard look at what is offered at your Local Bike Shop (LBS) as they generally will provide free/low cost tune-ups...which is not a possibility for Ibex. I am not afraid to buy some basic tools and get my hands dirty, so I don't personally need the support of a LBS...

    Regardless, if you are willing to spend $1k on a beginner/general use bicycle you have plenty of options.

  15. #15
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    dollar for dollar performance

    If you are looking for a good full suspension bike for under 1000$ i would say go with the giant pistol2.i bought one about 5 days ago.and im very very impressed supension is great and it has hayes disc brakes. for what you pay you really get dollar for dollar performance!its survived my 5-6ft dropoffs.this bike runs about 800$

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