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
    kv2
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    good newbie mtb for ~$500?

    Greetings, all!

    I have a $99 bike from Sears I bought probably 10 years ago that is kind of falling apart which means I haven't ridden a bike in years.

    I want to get back into it and try some beginner trails as well (new hobby time). So my bike will be for just everyday casual street, park, light trail use. No jumping off mountain ridges for now, maybe in a couple weeks.

    But point of this post.... I'm looking for a pretty good all-around mountain bike that is reliable and... i don't know what else.
    I'm pretty small, about 5'8", 140 pounds so nothing too gigantic please.

    I'm all ears now and also welcome any advice for newbs looking to get into the sport!
    thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kv2 View Post
    Greetings, all!

    I have a $99 bike from Sears I bought probably 10 years ago that is kind of falling apart which means I haven't ridden a bike in years.

    I want to get back into it and try some beginner trails as well (new hobby time). So my bike will be for just everyday casual street, park, light trail use. No jumping off mountain ridges for now, maybe in a couple weeks.

    But point of this post.... I'm looking for a pretty good all-around mountain bike that is reliable and... i don't know what else.
    I'm pretty small, about 5'8", 140 pounds so nothing too gigantic please.

    I'm all ears now and also welcome any advice for newbs looking to get into the sport!
    thanks!!
    You may want to search this section a bit. This question has been covered not too long ago I believe.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Re: good newbie mtb for ~$500?

    I bought my first mtb, a Specialized Hardrock disc in the 500-600 range... it was a great starter bike and held up to about 1500 miles of abuse pretty well.

    Lots of used stuff can be found. Since this is ur first bike in a really long time it is important to make sure the frame size, fit, and saddle position are all correct.

    Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk 2
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  4. #4
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    For that budget I will try CL. You'll be surprised at the deals you can find there. Also, try and visit your local lbs to see what deals they have. There will probably be closeout deals on previous year's model bikes. You can also get a 26er for a steal at any lbs since the market for them is dwindling as more people are jumping into 29ers.

    Test ride bikes and see which ones fit and feel good to ride. At that budget most big named brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant etc.) will likely be offering products that are at par when it comes to specs, so what really matters is which ones fit you best rather than components. Examples of bikes you can try out are-- the Trek Marlin, Giant Revel 29er 0, and maybe Felt bikes Six 70. All of those are comparable in terms of specs as most other bikes in that price range.
    I'm hard yet soft, I am coloured yet clear, I am fruity and sweet. I am jelly. What am I?

  5. #5
    kv2
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    hmm... craigslist I think you would need to know a little bit about bikes and know what you're looking for in order to determine if the deal is good or not lol. I'm not that experienced with bicycles yet.

    I found a couple bike stores on yelp so I'm probably gonna check them out next week and looks like they got a lot of different brands within my range: Trek, Giant, Diamondback, Cannondale. also gotta start do a little reading.

    thanks all

  6. #6
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    This BikeDirect bike is in your range. Compare it to what you see at shops.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes

  7. #7
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    Re: good newbie mtb for ~$500?

    I don't think u could go wrong with that Gravity bike, it's a good start for a 29er. It would have been better if it came with an XCR fork...if there is a version of it that have it for just a lil more i would get that!

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    This BikeDirect bike is in your range. Compare it to what you see at shops.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    That is the bike that I got several month ago. Really like it so far, I think its the best bang for the $ for a noob. I think I like it more than bikes I tested in LBS in 500-700 range.

  9. #9
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    also check out airborne.

    For $500, i'd be looking for used hardtail.

  10. #10
    kv2
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    Thanks for the Gravity bike suggestion, guys.
    The only thing is I can't find that brand of bike in any of the stores near me so I don't know how far I'd have to drive to find that. I'd prefer to try out a bike before buying it online too... kinda like a car y'know.

    I'll keep lookin though.

    On a side note, is there specific clothing that you guys recommend wearing... like long sleeves? and helmet, of course

  11. #11
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    If I were you, I would go to as many bike shops as you could, and just ride all and any mountain bikes in your price range. It will let you know what you like and don't like right off the bat. Ask any questions that pop in your head, make the bike shop employees think a little bit, it won't hurt them much.

  12. #12
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    No good

    I've had a lot of experience at being a noob over the past six months, and I could blab about what I've learned in that time, but I'll pare it down to two comments:

    1. Don't be afraid of hybrid bikes. For five hundred bucks or less you'll get something that won't excel in any category, but rolls just fine and will give you a very good idea of how and what you like to ride.

    When the time comes to invest in a long-term bike, that will be cheaper than hopping on a merry-go-round of frames, bike fits, salesman pitches and the lure of online accessory shopping.

    2. Speaking of sales pitches, read this.

  13. #13
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    Re: good newbie mtb for ~$500?

    Airborne guardian maybe? Just a shade over your range.

  14. #14
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    good newbie mtb for ~$500?

    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    I've had a lot of experience at being a noob over the past six months, and I could blab about what I've learned in that time, but I'll pare it down to two comments:

    1. Don't be afraid of hybrid bikes. For five hundred bucks or less you'll get something that won't excel in any category, but rolls just fine and will give you a very good idea of how and what you like to ride.

    When the time comes to invest in a long-term bike, that will be cheaper than hopping on a merry-go-round of frames, bike fits, salesman pitches and the lure of online accessory shopping.

    2. Speaking of sales pitches, read this.
    If you're looking for a mountain bike to ride mountain bike trails, avoid a hybrid. Weak wheels and components won't hold up to mountain biking.

    If on the other hand, you're riding paved or rail to trails, by all means consider a hybrid.


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  15. #15
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    a list of $500 sold bikes on ebay
    Sporting Goods > Outdoor Sports > Cycling > Bicycles & Frames > Mountain Bikes| eBay

    use to price and find a bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    If you're looking for a mountain bike to ride mountain bike trails, avoid a hybrid. Weak wheels and components won't hold up to mountain biking.
    YMMV, as Americans say. My priority was a city commuter that can handle fire trails occasionally, and a cheap hybrid would have been a learning experience that saved me hundreds in the long run.

    I ended up with a great bike, in any case, so my final bit of advice is get a Surly if you can!

  17. #17
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    OP this is what I have been riding and can't really complain:

    www bikesdirect com / products / motobecane / 5ht_new_xii .htm

  18. #18
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    Got a Giant Revel 1 for my first MTB. It's in the low $500 range. Seems decent enough at this point in my riding life. Only thus far, I think I have about $1500 in other stuff for it due to the reason for me purchasing the bike (camping equipment and such). Tomorrow I'm dumping another $500 into it QQ

  19. #19
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    I also have a Giant Revel 1. New to mountain biking and have put about 50 miles on it in 3 weeks both trail and road. Not a bad ride, the only the I would change is the spongy fork and pedals. Other than that good starter bike

  20. #20
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    I just got a Gravity 29er SS, it's a great starter bike and for $350 shipped no tax it was a smoking deal. Mostly name brand components (the ones that matter), I couldn't be happier. If you are dead set on test riding, then prepare to get a much lower grade bike or up your budget a bit. You can do craigslist, but if you don't know what you're looking at and the real market value you're more likely to get screwed than ordering a bike online from a reputable seller like Bikesdirect. That's my 2c.

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