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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    First mountain bike for hunting use

    I've been thinking of getting a bike for use out west while hunting and pulling a small trailer behind it(possibly a BOB). This is probably something I'll use maybe a dozen times a year. I went to a local bike shop and they showed me a 2013 Giant Revel 1, which I liked but the price of $545 was more than I am wanting to pay for such limited use. There really isn't much on my local craigslist that have 29" tires and disc brakes. Is there anything else available that will work for limited use around the $300 range, I don't mind buying used but I have yet to find something locally. Any other tips would be helpful as this is the first time I've ever really looked for a bike. Thx

  2. #2
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    $300 is really, really tight...especially for a 29'er with discs. In that budget you'll have to be very patient and keep tabs on Craigslist. You won't find even a quality beginner 29'er for $300 new. I'd say watch Ebay too, but for those who will ship a bike, the price is automatically going to jump $75+.

    If you'd consider a 26 inch bike and an extra $50, the Airborne Skyhawk is $349. Bikes direct has similar deals.
    Earnest Hemingway once said "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

  3. #3
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    Save Up To 60% Off Road Bikes, Bicycles, Mountain Bikes and Bicycles with Bikesdirect.com, New with full warranties

    I don't know a ton of models, but I'm sure someone else on here can help you out with what to look for used.

    Like mentioned above, +$50 you could get a 26'' .

  4. #4
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    Thx for the info. I've realized $300 is pretty tight and might have to go w/something in the $500 range unless I get a cheapy walmart one. Is there a major benefit a 29" has over a 26" other than being able to go over ruts and such a little better? Also is the Revel 1 a decent bike to start out with for limited use? There is another local shop that carries Trek bikes which I'm going to visit this week.

  5. #5
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    There are tons of threads and blogs comparing 29 to 26, a quick google search will provide you with several hours worth of reading on the subject. My take on it is that a 29 rolls better, but a 26 is more maneuverable.

    I have this bike....some say it sucks...bad fork, no disc brakes blah blah blah. Others give it great reviews. Frankly, I don't care. It works for me.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - GT Karakoram 3.0 29er Bike

    There is a 2.0 on there for $500 that fits your specs also.

    Whatever you do, just make sure you get a bike that fits. Truthfully, I didn't even know there was such a thing as bike size until about 2 days before I bought mine.

  6. #6
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    ^As far as the bad fork, for under $500 you can almost guarantee you will end up with a Suntour XCT or the only slightly better XCM. In that range I wouldn't let an XCT deter you. It's all you can expect. That's a good price on that Karakoram.
    Earnest Hemingway once said "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

  7. #7
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    Thx, is this bike worth looking into. Again I wont be doing any rough trail riding or anything just to my hunting camp and possibly light riding at my local park.

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 SPORT

  8. #8
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    Make sure if you get a 29" that it doesn't have a 12mm rear axle... most 29" bikes now do and the Bob is not compatible. I'm buying a 29" full susp this week and I had to hunt around to find one that had the traditional 5mm skewer. Looking fwd to trying the Bob trailer on my next hunt.... I had a 50lb+ capable cargo box on my old hardtail that packed in my backpack and have packed out a couple javelina and a bull elk head- rode pretty squirrely though with that much weight over the rear tire. I'm hoping the Bob does better...

  9. #9
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    The Moto Fantom is a very worthy consideration for the price. Some assembly required but it is fairly basic and easy. Otherwise, a similar bike from a local shop may run $100-$150 more. Or keep an eye out for used.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyleberry View Post
    Make sure if you get a 29" that it doesn't have a 12mm rear axle... most 29" bikes now do and the Bob is not compatible. I'm buying a 29" full susp this week and I had to hunt around to find one that had the traditional 5mm skewer. Looking fwd to trying the Bob trailer on my next hunt.... I had a 50lb+ capable cargo box on my old hardtail that packed in my backpack and have packed out a couple javelina and a bull elk head- rode pretty squirrely though with that much weight over the rear tire. I'm hoping the Bob does better...
    Thx for the heads up on that. I'm now not even sure if I should get a 29". It's all so new and there's so much info that some say get 29 and some say get 26. I guess in the end it's up to each person. I've also been looking at the below 26"

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Windsor Cliff 4500

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blb078 View Post
    Thx, is this bike worth looking into. Again I wont be doing any rough trail riding or anything just to my hunting camp and possibly light riding at my local park.

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 SPORT
    That bike has a 6 speed freewheel rear cassette which isn't serviveable.
    This bike is the same price with a nine speed freehub.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    If you start doing more with your bike Suntour has an upgrade program for the fork. 175 for a Raidon air fork that will handle all trail conditions.
    You can read reviews in the thread in this section.

  12. #12
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    Re: First mountain bike for hunting use

    Most 29" bikes Do Not have a 12mm rear axle. Especially hard tails. The Revel 1 is an excellent entry level bike for the money. You haven't mentioned this but do you already own the BOB trailer? That will add a quick $300 to your costs.
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

    http://www.facebook.com/AdventureEarthRides

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Most 29" bikes Do Not have a 12mm rear axle. Especially hard tails. The Revel 1 is an excellent entry level bike for the money. You haven't mentioned this but do you already own the BOB trailer? That will add a quick $300 to your costs.
    No I haven't bought one yet, but that is a separate budget. Looks like I'll be looking for a 26" now due to finding a 29" that will work for with a BOB.

  14. #14
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    I work in a shop that carries primarily 29" wheeled mtb's and we don't have a single one with a 12mm rear axle. every single one has a standard skewer. we only have a couple with 15mm front axles, too. anything that comes with a 12mm axle in the rear is going to be WAY over the OP's budget and outside of what he needs, anyway.

    OP, I suggest expanding your budget to $500 or $600. the problem with online bikes is that you cannot test ride them before you buy them. I think that model works better for higher end stuff with riders who know the frame dimensions they need already and can simply look at geometry specs to see if it will fit their needs. I'm not convinced it's the best way for new riders to go who may not even be aware what a bike that fits even feels like.

    I am curious how much weight you intend to put in the trailer? BOB trailers max at about 70lbs and that's not very much elk if that's what you're hunting. Something like a Surly Ted will haul up to 300lbs, though that'd be pretty rough doing steep grades in the mtns.

    Ted Trailer | Bikes | Surly Bikes

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blb078 View Post
    Looks like I'll be looking for a 26" now due to finding a 29" that will work for with a BOB.
    29" hard tails will work perfectly with a BOB if you get the BOB with the tongue for 29" wheels.

    And Nate is right about weight concerns with a BOB. A small deer or halving a larger one is about all the BOB would carry safely. Lots of trips if you want to pack an elk out with one. The Ted is a better consideration.

    Just have to throw this pic in this thread. This is a homemade job I did in the late 80s. It has about half our camp gear and two small Muleys on it. Luckily the pack out to the truck was somewhat flat LOL.

    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  16. #16
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    Yea I realize the BOB isn't going to haul out a full elk which is fine. I like the single wheel design to help get in tighter areas. Also I'm not so sure I'd want to haul much over the 70lb limit while going down a hill and stuff. I can also put a rack w/panniers on it if I want to for helping to haul out a front shoulder and such. When you figure a mature bull elk is 200ish pounds of deboned meat, plus the head/antlers, plus your gear, while that might be nice to get out in one trip, not sure I'd want 300lbs pushing me down hill. Another thing is this is really only going to be used for maybe 4-5 trips a year for hunting, any other use is going to be basic trails that are mostly walking/biking trials, not a true bike trail like what most people probably use theirs for.

  17. #17
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    29er wheels is of little concern for you. In fact, so is a front shock. For your small budget look for a used rigid 26 with a strong steel frame. That is great and all I use for riding trails and I use a bob trailer with mine when I need to. 29ers are great for speed as are shock absorbers. At slow speed you don't need either. If you said you are going to use the bike for fast mountain biking the rest of the time, I would then say increase your budget a little and get a better bike with a decent front shock. There are still some mountain bikers that have a rigid bike in their stable and they do just fine for adventure riding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by blb078 View Post
    Thx for the info. I've realized $300 is pretty tight and might have to go w/something in the $500 range unless I get a cheapy walmart one. Is there a major benefit a 29" has over a 26" other than being able to go over ruts and such a little better? Also is the Revel 1 a decent bike to start out with for limited use? There is another local shop that carries Trek bikes which I'm going to visit this week.
    you are towing a trailer it will be like an anchor over roots

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