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.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54

    First FS bike buying advice !

    Hi guys,
    I am planning to buy a FS bike for an entry level trail riding. I won't be doing any incredibly aggressive riding (33 years old). I just want to really learn and improve my practicing techniques and such in the African nature...

    What region of the country do I live in? I am planning to ship my bike to Africa where i am currently working...

    How much time do I plan on devoting to this hobby? Once a week (few hours)

    What is my previous cycling experience? I do ride bikes since I was a kid.
    Have I participated in other hobbies, sports or activities that may give me relevant skills? running, hiking, wall climbing, tennis, hunting...

    What are my mechanical abilities? very good
    Do I currently own a bike? yes

    Do I currently own a helmet, gloves, padded shorts, proper shoes, Cyclocomputer, Finish line bike wash, Finishline brush kit, shop rags, chain lube, chain stay protector (I like Shelter), Gloves, good socks, solid tire pressure gauge, floor tire pump, on trail tire pump or cartridges, shock pump, good three way hex, mufti tool, spare bottles, cages, backpack to put all your gear in? most of them...

    Why do I want to buy a new bike? never had a FS before. I really feel like riding my bike in the plain nature (outdoor trails) where I normally hike, I want to pump up my adrenaline...

    How much research have I already done and do I have an idea of what I want? I had in mind to go for GT SENSOR 9R EXPERT 29ER MOUNTAIN BIKE (currently sold at $1,400)... I hope it is not way more than what I actually need

    Do I have friends who are into the hobby? What's their mechanical and riding experience? very good

    What kind of bikes do my riding buddies ride? HT & FS

    What kind of bikes do I see on the trails I plan to ride? (Full suspension & Hardtail)

    Can I really afford this hobby? Are my credit cards paid off? Do I have savings in the bank and money to burn? I should be able to afford it

    How much money do I want to spend on this hobby over the next year? let me start first

    What am I trying to accomplish by participating in this hobby? Get more in touch with nature and exercise

    How do I expect my life to be different a year from the day my new bike arrives? to ride 3 times a week...

    thx in advance !!!!!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    100 views, not a single reply
    I don't mind to go for a used bike as long as it is in a very good condition..
    not looking for a racing bike... my need is simply a durable, heavy duty and relatively lightweight with good components bike... I like the look of a niner (29er)
    no need to be a 2012 or 2013 bike.... not looking for a specific brand...
    for now I prefer not to exceed the $1,500 (if possible)...

    I would also highly appreciate if I can be directed to any of the ongoing Cyber Monday's offers....

    Thx in advance for your quick help

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,146
    More quality at your price area will be available with a HT 29. A used Scott Scale Elite with a dual air Reba would be a good find. Shipping to Lebanon is something to check into. Canyon offers the Grand Canyon 29 in AL and carbon. Both are excellent values in the 7.9 AL or 8.9 CF.
    Canyon | Mountainbikes | Grand Canyon AL 29 7.9
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First FS bike buying advice !-grand-canyon-al-29.jpg  


  4. #4
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,948
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakkoush View Post
    100 views, not a single reply
    I don't mind to go for a used bike as long as it is in a very good condition..
    not looking for a racing bike... my need is simply a durable, heavy duty and relatively lightweight with good components bike... I like the look of a niner (29er)
    no need to be a 2012 or 2013 bike.... not looking for a specific brand...
    for now I prefer not to exceed the $1,500 (if possible)...

    I would also highly appreciate if I can be directed to any of the ongoing Cyber Monday's offers....

    Thx in advance for your quick help
    Durable, heavy duty and "relatively lightweight". Uh - those 3 don't quite go together. Depending on what you consider "relatively lightweight". I'd say you are going to spend several thousand dollars if you want to go below 27 pounds for 29"er FS. The price will drop below several thousand to the $2K - $2K+ for something in the 27-28 pound range.

    Bikes Direct is probably about all you will find new in your price range (and it won't be light). You might want to comb the European online shops for all the new 29"ers coming out in Europe (brands that are not sold in the US). Again, your budget will be the limiting factor.

    Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles

    Or their ultra-cheap version: Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - 29er Full Suspension Gravity FSX 29ONE

    I'd expect that one to weigh close to 35 pounds and not be a very supple ride compared to other bikes available.

    With your budget, I think you are better off going with a HT 29"er. If you upped your budget to the $2000 - $2200 range, you might find some nice deals (examples being the Salsa Spearfish and Horsethief).

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    I prefer to limit my budget if going for a HT to $1,000... I wish I can get a Carbon Fiber HT bike within the 1K budget... any advice is appreciated...
    Don't worry about shipping to Lebanon... I have cousins living in the USA... so I will buy my bike online from the states and my cousins will help me to ship it abroad...

    Are you aware of any cyber Monday deals?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    soooo much appreciated bud; thank you...
    Most probably I will go for the 2013 Motobecane 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Fantom 29er4BY4 COMP...

  7. #7
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Well if you want to get a HT then BD may be a good place to go, but when it comes to full suspension I'd stick with big brands for starter. GT latest gen iDrive is pretty good and very plush on the descend. I'd also keep an eye out for a giant anthem 29er deals.

    Take many test rides as you can, if possible ask the shop to set up suspension correctly for you before taking it out for a test ride, demo ride is best if one is available in your area.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,761
    Find out what it's going to cost you to ship a bike. I get that your cousins are helping you, but unless they're willing to foot the bill themselves and they don't change their minds when they find out what it will be, I bet it eats up the savings from a lot of Cyber Monday things. I think you're better off sourcing geographically closer to yourself (Lebanon?) even if it means paying a bit more upfront.

    I'd also be looking at availability of maintenance parts. When something breaks, are you going to have to ship it from abroad? How long will that take? Is there a level of MTB that won't require that kind of thing? (Maybe choosing a closer manufacturer for a FS, for example.)

    Check out Focus bikes in Europe. They're a similar business model to bikesdirect or Airborne, but in Europe.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    35
    I have the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX for $1599.

    Amazing bike for an amazing deal. The retail cost of the components is the same as the price of the bike. The bike weighs about 31lbs stock. I have only swapped the saddle and cut a little off the seat post. The wheels are heavy on this bike, but are quality wheels. This bike has yet to let me down and it actually bails me out with it's surprisingly outstanding performance. I imagine the 26" Full suspension bikes Motobecane has are quality as well.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyP View Post
    I have the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX for $1599.

    Amazing bike for an amazing deal. The retail cost of the components is the same as the price of the bike. The bike weighs about 31lbs stock. I have only swapped the saddle and cut a little off the seat post. The wheels are heavy on this bike, but are quality wheels. This bike has yet to let me down and it actually bails me out with it's surprisingly outstanding performance. I imagine the 26" Full suspension bikes Motobecane has are quality as well.
    Dear SonnyP, could you please send me your Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX stock box dimensions to calculate its shipping cost accordingly? thx in advance.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'd also be looking at availability of maintenance parts. When something breaks, are you going to have to ship it from abroad? How long will that take? Is there a level of MTB that won't require that kind of thing? (Maybe choosing a closer manufacturer for a FS, for example.)
    Mate, you have a point here; but generally speaking or in normal situations the parts that are most likely due to break down on a bike are all universal parts, right?
    as I mentioned earlier I won't be doing any incredibly aggressive ridings

  12. #12
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,563
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakkoush View Post
    I won't be doing any incredibly aggressive riding (33 years old).
    What does 33 years old have to do with it?

    I am 39 and only started riding about 4 months ago.
    I may not be considered "aggressive" in the eyes of the people that have been seasoned in the sport but I am constantly improving my skills and riding stuff that I see younger much more experienced people walk.

    Don't let your age determine your ability

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    What does 33 years old have to do with it?

    I am 39 and only started riding about 4 months ago.
    I may not be considered "aggressive" in the eyes of the people that have been seasoned in the sport but I am constantly improving my skills and riding stuff that I see younger much more experienced people walk.

    Don't let your age determine your ability
    It is true... However mate I honestly don't see myself racing nor jumping between rocks or flying in the air... at least for the meantime

  14. #14
    Rod
    Rod is offline
    Endorphin Junkie
    Reputation: Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,221
    Does this bike have to be a 29er? I noticed that is the only bike you have listed, but you could find some great deals on full suspension bikes for 1,500 from ebay. Keep a hundred or two set aside just in case the fork may need rebuilt in the near future. I would check ebay for deals since you are okay with used. You will get more bang for your buck within that budget.

    A Giant Anthem X 29 has sold from anywhere between 1,300 and 2,300 depending on the part specifications. This would be better than bikes direct because the suspension design is excellent. I don't know a lot about other brands, but I know Salsa Spearfish also sells within your budget. Good luck to you, but if going with a full suspension bike I would buy from a well known company with a good suspension design. Get your cousin to ship you an additional chain, cassette, chain whip, and the cassette removal tool when you buy the bike so you can do some routine maintenance.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Durable, heavy duty and "relatively lightweight". Uh - those 3 don't quite go together. Depending on what you consider "relatively lightweight". I'd say you are going to spend several thousand dollars if you want to go below 27 pounds for 29"er FS. The price will drop below several thousand to the $2K - $2K+ for something in the 27-28 pound range.

    Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles

    With your budget, I think you are better off going with a HT 29"er. If you upped your budget to the $2000 - $2200 range, you might find some nice deals (examples being the Salsa Spearfish and Horsethief).
    All the owners of the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX seems to paise their bike a lot...
    in your opinion experts here, what is the difference between the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX and a Salsa Spearfish and Horsethief bike ? is it the weight factor mainly? since the components of the MB are 1st class AFAIK...

    Would I gain a lot in terms of quality and durability for my bike by upping my budget to 2K - 2.2K for a FS (plus or minus 4 pounds is not that big deal for me..)??
    The less thing i care for is the bike brand; I don't want to end up paying for the brand name...

  16. #16
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,024
    As always, when your original post said you want to spend no more than $1500 my mind instantly goes to the Giant Trance. Trance X3 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States If you were lucky, you might be able to find one on sale.

    I think a lot of people start out thinking they won't be too aggressive and don't need a burly bike up front but end up breaking or replacing their bike in short order to something more aggressive.

    A hardtail is plenty for most riding and your budget of $1000 can buy you a lot of hardtail goodness. The internet bikes are appealing for price, but personally I don't like buying bikes that I haven't had a chance to see if they fit properly or ride well. I'd buy something locally that you've had a chance to test ride and see if you fit the frame.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    As always, when your original post said you want to spend no more than $1500 my mind instantly goes to the Giant Trance. Trance X3 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States If you were lucky, you might be able to find one on sale.

    I think a lot of people start out thinking they won't be too aggressive and don't need a burly bike up front but end up breaking or replacing their bike in short order to something more aggressive.

    A hardtail is plenty for most riding and your budget of $1000 can buy you a lot of hardtail goodness. The internet bikes are appealing for price, but personally I don't like buying bikes that I haven't had a chance to see if they fit properly or ride well. I'd buy something locally that you've had a chance to test ride and see if you fit the frame.
    Based on Bikes Direct website, they claim that their bike the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX of $1,599 is to be compared to $6,000+ Trek, Giant Anthem 29er... same symphony with the owners of the Fantom ... I see you people telling me here that the suspension system and the quality of riding a Giant bike must be totally different than riding a Fantom bike

    However I don't want to end up as zebrahum ""people start out thinking they won't be too aggressive and end up breaking or replacing their bike...."""

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    35
    Bikesdirect has free shipping in most cases and their site says average Box Dimensions= 54x8x30.

    Frame geometries are easy to find and compare if you must sit on a bike first. The kona hei hei is within mm of the same size. I lucked out and the bike was an absolute perfect fit. The quality of the bike design and frame will not disappoint. I find it hard to buy a bike for the same price with lower grade components simply for the name.

  19. #19
    Rod
    Rod is offline
    Endorphin Junkie
    Reputation: Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,221
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakkoush View Post
    Based on Bikes Direct website, they claim that their bike the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX of $1,599 is to be compared to $6,000+ Trek, Giant Anthem 29er... same symphony with the owners of the Fantom ... I see you people telling me here that the suspension system and the quality of riding a Giant bike must be totally different than riding a Fantom bike

    However I don't want to end up as zebrahum ""people start out thinking they won't be too aggressive and end up breaking or replacing their bike...."""
    I was just saying the Maestro system is fantastic. I have ridden and raced this. Before I purchased my Giant I timed my friends giant anthem on an uphill road climb against my hardtail using the same wheelset. The times were almost exact.

    It is a fact that bikes direct uses an older suspension design. Can you still have fun on that design? Of course, but I prefer a newer design and it is within your budget. Other brands besides Giant have great designs, but I have not ridden them so I do not recommend them. Do you want to ride the bike before buying? I don't want to drop 1,500 dollars before riding the bike or riding an exact replica. You could go to a bike shop, hop on a bike, and ride it before purchasing.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  20. #20
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,024
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakkoush View Post
    Based on Bikes Direct website, they claim that their bike the Motobecane Fantom 29er FS XT/SLX of $1,599 is to be compared to $6,000+ Trek, Giant Anthem 29er... same symphony with the owners of the Fantom ... I see you people telling me here that the suspension system and the quality of riding a Giant bike must be totally different than riding a Fantom bike

    However I don't want to end up as zebrahum ""people start out thinking they won't be too aggressive and end up breaking or replacing their bike...."""
    Don't trust Bikes Direct's claims that their bikes are equivalent to this $6000 Trek or that $4000 Giant; the only thing that they compare is the price of the components that are attached to the frame. The quality of the frame or frame design is not factored into the price comparison they make.

    You absolutely do get better parts attached to the frame when you buy from BD.com, but they make up for that cost through frame design and direct marketing. The Fantom 29er FS runs a simple single pivot (nothing wrong with that, I ride one) with unknown quality rockers, bearings, and linkages. Giant's Maestro (for example) has been refined both functionally and structurally over many years; I do not know if the same can be said for Motobecane, perhaps it can.

    Is the Motobecane a bad bike? I don't know for sure, but I doubt that it is a bad bike. Is the Motobecane automatically a better bike than the Giant because it has more expensive parts attached to it? No, because there is more to a bike than the parts that are attached to it. Does a more expensive front derailleur make a bike more lively on the trail? Does an upgraded crank help the frame design pedal more efficiently?

    I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I hope my point is getting across: there is a legitimate reason that the "brand name" bikes cost more and it isn't just that the big brands spend more in marketing. Only you can decide what factors are more important, and only you can decide what bike is best for you. Including internet company bikes is a good plan, but don't forget to consider the bigger names from bike shops as well. They're not (necessarily) overpriced crap, sometimes they're genuinely worth the money they cost.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    35
    As stated, the suspension design for the fantom is not the latest and greatest. Bikes with the same design rarely have owners that are unhappy with the performance. the components of the 26" giant for the same price are around 2 tiers lower nearly all around. Personally, I would probably feel the difference of the shifting, braking, and shock performance before the frame difference. Also, parts are transferrable to other frames. Like someone said, the cost of the bike is nearly the same as retail for just the parts.

  22. #22
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyP View Post
    As stated, the suspension design for the fantom is not the latest and greatest. Bikes with the same design rarely have owners that are unhappy with the performance. the components of the 26" giant for the same price are around 2 tiers lower nearly all around. Personally, I would probably feel the difference of the shifting, braking, and shock performance before the frame difference. Also, parts are transferrable to other frames. Like someone said, the cost of the bike is nearly the same as retail for just the parts.
    Part of the reason would be the fact that most bd owners are new. BD's ads is quite misleading, especially when compares to "similar bike at 4x the price". I have first hand experience with many FS BD's owner when they switch bikes the difference in suspension performance is in your face difference. The best way that was describe to me was its like driving a camery vs Impreza rally car.

    The heart of any FS bike is the suspension design the rest are merely icing on the cake. Get a good FS frame upgrade when needed you'd have a great bike, on the other hand get a fs bike with good components you'd get the bd bike.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    35
    So you know people that have switched from this specific bike and had night and day differences? How about other faux bar designs by popular brands? From my experience and research, the difference is not that extreme.

  24. #24
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyP View Post
    So you know people that have switched from this specific bike and had night and day differences? How about other faux bar designs by popular brands? From my experience and research, the difference is not that extreme.
    Bd is not a 4-bar design, and not all 4 bar design are equal. Short stroke/high ratio shock can be a disaster to tune, not to mention you'd not get the full travel advertised. Most fs bikes nowadays have specific tune shock to fit the frame. Rumor has it that Gary Fisher has different tune shock for different trim of the same model as compare to RS monach oem on BD top tier fs.

    Giant Maestro, DW link and many others dual mini-links alike can just be set it and forget it and they'd just perform. Just give one a try on your local trail, hope you can see the difference.

  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,761
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakkoush View Post
    Mate, you have a point here; but generally speaking or in normal situations the parts that are most likely due to break down on a bike are all universal parts, right?
    as I mentioned earlier I won't be doing any incredibly aggressive ridings
    Not on a full-suspension bike. The linkage is proprietary and the bearings and bushings vary. Some of this stuff wears out over time, so it's not like whether or not you're opening the throttle is going to make a huge amount of difference. Lately, there are a few newer bottom bracket and axle standards on mountain bikes too. Just go to some of the bike shops in your area and have a look at what they carry and what they can order. Maybe I'm overestimating the difficulty of this.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •