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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    Fix up my old bike or buy a new one?

    Hey all -

    So I am sort of a former mountain biker who is considering getting back into the sport. On Thursday, I am finally moving out of my parents' house into the city. The neighborhood I'm moving into is very bike-friendly - lots of trails and bike lanes on most roads. Of course, I want to take advantage of this and get a bike that can take me around the city as well as the occasional trail ride on the weekends. I want something that will stand up to some abuse - I guess I'm a "beginner" now but I was riding some pretty intense trails back in the day and I'd like to get back into that.

    My initial thought was to buy a new bike. My budget is roughly under $600. I know I won't get anything world class for this, but I found a few good options that seemed to suit my needs. At the top of my list is a Diamondback Overdrive Sport, thanks to its decent fork and hydraulic brakes for under $600. My second choice is a Jamis Durango 29 Sport, mainly because I love the Jamis brand and the fork on this bike is marginally better than most of the garbage available at this price point. Aside from these two, most other manufacturers seem to have the same offerings on the entry level.

    My other option is to fix up my old bike - a 2004 Jamis Durango Sport SX. This is an awesome bike that has served me well, but it's in dismal condition. My youthful exuberance and lack of understanding of the concept of "maintenance" coupled with my falling away from the sport has basically left this thing completely neglected. I think the brake pads are the original ones from 10 years ago. The bearing in the pedals is shot, and the left pedal falls out from time to time. The seat is totally shot too.

    I figure I could get this thing back into shape for less than $300, but my main concern is the frame size. I was about 12 or 13 when I got this bike, and despite my dad's attempts to future-proof it by buying a frame that was a bit too big for me at the time, I think I may have totally outgrown it. I'm 6'3" and I believe this bike has a 17" frame.

    This ended up being more long-winded than I intended, so sorry for the long read. My question is: Should I buy a new bike or not, and if so, which one.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Until I saw your size v. frame size my thought was get the old one going and save for a better build. Now I think you should donate the old bike to a worthy cause. Maybe one that has children in mind.

    If you like Jamis then there is no reason to stray from the brand. Get the new one. What kind of trails will you be riding? Will most of your riding be commuting?

    Check Craig's List for used cyclocross bikes. They may be the best of both worlds for you. And don't listen to your dad on the next bike, get something that fits. LOL

  3. #3
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    Bikes direct! You can get a 29er that'll be fine for your use for under 500 and it'll fit. I recommend a 29er not because of the fad, but because you'll be riding it on the street too, and the bigger wheels should help. You could go cheaper and still get something decent, and then go with an epicon fork off Amazon for 200 down the road and just replace as it breaks. But you should be looking at a deore or x5 mix in the 500 range.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input.

    I can get a 2014 Diamondback Overdrive Sport for $560 shipped from Amazon...this seems to be the best deal I've found. XCR fork (much better than the XCTs that usually come in the price range), hydraulic Shimano discs, and Acera derailleurs. Anything that should stop me from jumping on this?

  5. #5
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    Any x series is pretty bad.. I don't know how one is better than the next to be honest.

    The bikes direct bikes would come with much better shifters and derailleurs than the bottom end ones on the diamondback, and you'd probably spend less than 500 for it.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    You're right, there are some good deals on bikesdirect with much better drivetrains like Deores and SRAMs. However, they all come with bottom of the barrel Suntour XCT forks. I have a low price point and I can't have it all, I guess.

    I think it might be good to pick up one of these bikesdirect Motobecane bike with the XCT fork, then swap out the fork later down the road. I figure it'll be easier to replace a fork than derailleurs.

    How does this guy look? - Save up to 60% off new 29er Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 X4 with Custom Colored Wheels + Hydraulic disc brakes

  7. #7
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    You have to replace the fork with an air Epicon from ebay to get a BD bike setup for trails. About 200-240.
    The Gravity Point 1 has better geo than a MB. 460mm chainstays for the MB is going to be like driving a bus.

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