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.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    first MTB advice

    Hi, new to your forums. I ride wth my kids a lot. Have two in college and a 9 yr old. Have a GT now that more of a x over/ hybrid. Have several places here in Mo. to ride wth lot of hills/trails and want a more dedicated bike for this. I found a Specialized M4 s works fsr xc that is real clean and a lot of upgraded parts such as crank/ susp. Is a older bike but a good one back then. Fits me good and he asking $ 400. Good deal or should I just look for new one that is 500-1000. Cant justify spending more than that right now. Thanks for any advice. Im 5' 9" 170 and 50 yrs old but in pretty good shape.

  2. #2
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    If its a 2005-newer model then I would say its not a bad deal. If its an older model, then I would definitely look for a newer bike even at the $500 price range. The 2004 and older models don't come with mounts for disc brakes. Or was it 2003 and older?

    What kind of trails will you be riding?

  3. #3
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    The trails are mostly wooded hills wth rock outcroppings on some. Wil have 5-6' drops off these. Bigger ones here but will start on smaller ones. Im an old motocrosser and like to jump stuff alittle. Bike in question is a 2001. It was their top xc bike or close to it. $3600 then. No disc brakes. Thought might be possible to add disc to front. On mx bikes almost all stopping power comes from front brakes not real sure on mtb. new at this. Might be better off getting a decent hardtail starting out. Gonna keep reading in the forums to learn what I can. Just thought a used high quality would be a better starting point rather than a lower quality" new" bike starting point. As far as something to start with.

  4. #4
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    You can add disc brakes to the front, but you may have to change out the fork to do so and even then, you wouldn't be able to add a disc brake to the rear since it doesn't have the mounts for it so it makes very little sense. To do that, you could end up spending another $300+.

    It does sound like you would need a full suspension bike and if its something you plan to stick with, then I'd suggest going into the higher side of your budget.

  5. #5
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    My old brain kicking in. I have a " Iron Horse Showdown" in shed I think unless boys did something with it. It had disc brakes. Hayes I think but not hyd. Gonna go dig around and see. I agree with you on newer bike though. What would be a good one to ck out? What are good used ones to look for? Thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor1 View Post
    My old brain kicking in. I have a " Iron Horse Showdown" in shed I think unless boys did something with it. It had disc brakes. Hayes I think but not hyd. Gonna go dig around and see. I agree with you on newer bike though. What would be a good one to ck out? What are good used ones to look for? Thanks
    Where are you located and how much do you want to spend?

  7. #7
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    Im in Missouri north of St. Louis. Not sure on what to spend. Bug hit me when doing some riding. Work construction all summer and have winter off to mess around and like to ride. So here I am trying to feel things out about options as far as bikes go. Might be able to find bike in Colorado. Go on a few ski trips there each winter with guys from work.

  8. #8
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    Skip one of the ski trips and buy a bike in the upper end of your budget.

  9. #9
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    Jamis Dakar Mountain Bike

    2006 GT I-Drive 3.0 Full Suspension Mountain Bike - Like New

    May want to make sure what size the GT is, but I've always like the I-Drive. Of course, most people can be talked down a bit on CL as well.

  10. #10
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    You're not going to want a light XC race-type bike for jumping and 5-6' drops, particularly an old one, unless you're in the mood for a whole lot of broken parts and very possible an emergency room visit. I would very strongly suggest you look for something heavier-duty that was designed for those types of moves.For Specialized bikes, you would want something more like an Enduro or if you're really serious about air time and rough terrain (but not exclusive to chairlift riding), something like an SX Trail. These would be a bit tougher to climb with, but feel a whole lot more like what you're used to from MXing.

    Your money will definitely go a lot farther on something used.
    Sinister Bikes
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    Jamis Dakar Mountain Bike

    2006 GT I-Drive 3.0 Full Suspension Mountain Bike - Like New

    May want to make sure what size the GT is, but I've always like the I-Drive. Of course, most people can be talked down a bit on CL as well.
    Both of those would be awesome first bikes.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input guys. I've contacted these and working on meeting them this wkend if not sold by then. Should I look at one of these more than other or are they pretty equal. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    They would both be good bikes, you should look at both. I think the Jamis is a better bike top to bottom, but if the fit isn't right, or there are issues, skip it.
    Jamis:
    MSRP New: $1,900
    BBB Value:
    $659 (Like-New)
    $628 (Excellent)
    $565 (Good)
    $421 (Fair)

    GT:
    MSRP New: $1,500
    BBB Value:
    $479 (Like-New)
    $457 (Excellent)
    $411 (Good)
    $306 (Fair)

    Noob Guide to Buying a used MTB

  14. #14
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    I would put the Jamis as the first option, but both bikes would work great. Make sure to go through the suspension as well to check for leaks. Make sure the stanchions are somewhat clean with no deep gouges as these problems would cost you much more money to fix them.

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