Frist All Mountain Bike
I'm new to the forum and MTB in general. As a kid I always loved going out into the woods and making a new trail or jumping small dirt piles. I have since forgot about how fun it was and now that I'm older have decided to take it up again.
What I'm looking for is something durable enough to take a few spills, handle some light jumping "3ft and below", and at the same time get me to and from class. I'm on a budget of about $400. I have been looking into the Trek 4300, but not sure if it would be able to take the jumps. Not sure what the LBS has, I mostly have been looking for used bikes. I'm thinking used is the way to go considering the budget and what I want from it.
Is this the correct thought process? Or am I getting way ahead of myself and should be looking more for the trek 3700 which is half the price and "looks" the same to me. I'm no professional here, nor do I aspire to be one. Just another weekend warrior.
Thanks in advance
I just bought a mediocre AM bike from www.bikesdirect.com I bought the $419 Windsor Ghost 6500. The frame is a recycled 06' Fuji but all the other components are name brand. The frame isn't an issue to mee since I just wanted a decent bike that won't freakin' break every time I hit the trails. (I had 2 Walmart Mongoose bikes and I took them both back.
[08' Windsor Ghost 6500]
Rock Shox Dart 1 - Tektro Discs - WTB Velociraptors - Alex DP17 rims
Ride it like you stole it.
Those are both fine from a fine company, but not what most would call AM, and not at all intened for jumping. If you want a Trek it would be the Jack models that are made with more durability. They have similar Fisher branded offerings.
I am where Trek and Pacific are located, a college townn and a trail building leader so I see lots of young people and people on a budget using the dirt jump and trials types of bikes as one moderately priced bike that can jump, ride from point A to B, and not break the bank.
The most popular of this type are the (alphabetically to be fair) Giant (STP), Pacific (Canondale, GT, Mongoose, Schwinn), Specialized and Trek (Trek Jack, Fisher Opie, Mullet) offerings. The Pacific offerings might be under-appreciated or misunderstood because they have lines that are not for discount department stores and I see their local riders doing very high level riding on those bikes.
This may blow your budget, but the dual suspension bikes with 130-150 mm of travel are often thought of as AM. The Mongoose Teocali gets good reviews, doesn't cost a lot, and I see their employees riding production models and prototypes very hard on local trails. One of the best area riders has about a $1000 Teocali and he puts people on $6000 bikes to shame, so that might be the best entry ticket to what most call AM.
Our other area company - Trek - has some greatly improved dual suspension bikes, but I am quite sure they will cost more.
It's a competitive environment so I think you can't go wrong with something from any of the industry leaders who have been around.
Good luck and have fun.