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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    Hardtail recommendation - $500 budget

    New member here. Looking to get back into mountain biking and have around a $500 budget to work with. I've ridden nothing but department store bike in the past and they have usually lasted me a few days of hard riding before I've had to replace/fix parts.

    I think my budget puts me in the beginner hardtail category which is fine since I haven't really hit the trails in about 8 years. Just wondering if you guys had any advice on a bike in my budget and what I should be paying. I've looked at Specialized Hardrocks, Trek (I think 3900 Disc). Oh yeah, disc brakes are on my must have list.

    Any advice you can give would be helpful. Great site. Can't wait to get back into riding! Thanks!!

    Jason

  2. #2
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    Maybe something like the Specialized HardRock?
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  3. #3
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    You may be able to pick up a Specialized P All Mountain at that price range, depending on your local bike shop and what they charge. Linky

    Maybe look at the Giant line as well. They seem to run a little bit cheaper than the other bikes for similar components.
    Since I don't like writing, I don't have a blog to pimp. This space for rent.

  4. #4
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    I looked at a Giant (Boulder I think). I guess I'd like a good frame to start with..I could always change components later on.

  5. #5
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    I'd check out: Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc and the Forge Sawback 5xx. The latter is a Target bike that is cheap (~$370) but has surprisingly good reviews and excellent components (for the money).

    The Trek 3900 Disc, Gary Fisher Advance Disc, and Raleigh Talus 5.0 are also nice bikes in your price range, but I'd try to find Avid mechanical discs rather than the Promax.

  6. #6
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    Go into all of your local bike shops or call them and ask if they have any 2009 models on closeout. Sometimes you can score a great deal and find a $700 bike on sale for $500 only because its last years model. Your on the right track with the major companys like trek,specialized,giant,cannondale...etc. Make sure you get the right size/fit. Good luck.
    I may not have the best of everything, but I have everything.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsmosher
    I'd check out: Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc and the Forge Sawback 5xx. The latter is a Target bike that is cheap (~$370) but has surprisingly good reviews and excellent components (for the money).

    The Trek 3900 Disc, Gary Fisher Advance Disc, and Raleigh Talus 5.0 are also nice bikes in your price range, but I'd try to find Avid mechanical discs rather than the Promax.
    I think that's what I've been leaning towards is the Hardrock Disc.

    Avid and Promax are different brake manufactures? Why are Avid's better?

  8. #8
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    Jamis Komodo2009 can be bought at that price. I picked it over all the listed options and you can probably see my thread on this same search in here. I am extremely happy with it. the brakes and forks will all be low end on models at this price so I would not worry too much about it.

  9. #9
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    Avids are better because they don't make loud squeaking noises and they stop faster.

  10. #10
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    i just built and tuned my Motobecane 700HT from bikesdirect.com last friday. im very happy with it so far and am confident i wouldnt have gotten anything else brand new and in my size for the money. its $499 shipped to your door step. of course you do have to assemble about 10-15% of it.
    brakes are super easy to tune, derailleurs are somewhat difficult if you dont have experience but those dont cost much to have tuned once the whole bike is together. just my $.02
    ps, dont let people turn this into a good vs bad for bikesdirect (happens a lot on here), only a suggestion

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    I have been very happy with my Jamis Trail X3. I would look into on of them. However, try test riding as many as you can and find the best fit for you.
    2009 Jamis Trail X3 -- 1700 MILES AND COUNTING!
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the input! I ended up goin with the Hardrock. Guy at the LBS gave me the hook up so I couldn't say no. Took it out the other day and MAN, what a difference from the pieces of **** I've ridden in the past. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this bike!

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