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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Thread: Hello, new here

  1. #1
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    Hello, new here

    I've owned a mountain bike for quite some time but always kept my riding very tame. Currently own a Schwinn Mesa GS I had bought with money from my first job when I was 17 (or was it 16? been a while). I've been through a lot on my Schwinn and I didn't really know a lot about it other than it was a mtb with sweet rock shocks - didn't do any research really at the age of 17 when I bought it from my LBS.



    Now I find myself more interested in the hobby than ever and since my bike has seen better days I've been looking into new bikes. I spent $450 on this when I bought it back then, I'm not sure if it's worth getting fixed, the drive train I was told was in need of some replacing and it's likely more than the bike is worth...

    I'm guessing I should just get a new one that fits me better and is more appropriate for getting more involved than just dirth paths and gravel.

    Thoughts for me?

  2. #2
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    Where are you riding? type of terrain? weight? etc.

    Thanks

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    trail riding, the terrain goes from very smooth to seemingly impassable, I suppose these are just trails in very rough condition. I'd say a good mix of terrain, honestly don't have a great deal of experience yet, haven't wanted to be more serious in the past other than neighborhood and surrounding trails. Would like to explore what's out there but I don't feel confident on my current ride.

    I'm about 160lb, 5'11"

    My LBSs carry Marin, Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, and GT

    was looking at a Raleigh Talus sport, a Trek Mamba, a Marin Bobcat or alpine trails, I'm sure there are other bikes I should be considering but that gives you an idea of what I'm willing to spend, more than $1k is kind of pushing it I feel but maybe I'm wrong and it's actually worthwhile to go this high for the components. Just worried about getting a bike that's right for me and my level of experience and ability.

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    That's a good start... What part of the country do you live? And do you have a rough budget in mind?

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    South western NH. my budget would probably be $1k

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geohound View Post
    South western NH. my budget would probably be $1k
    Do you also consider used bikes?

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    In that price range you are looking at a pretty good new/entry hard tail. All the brands you mentioned have great options. I would urge you to consider a 29er. Go ride a few and come back to us with your top picks.

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    And yes... Follow Craigslist for a potential used option.

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    I will try the raleighs and gt, tried the trek - that was alright I think. I'm thinking I want to stick with Andy's cycle - an LBS that I bought the bike pictured above from, I just got better service and attention from them. I shouldnt have too much trouble finding something that works for me amongst 3-4 different manufacturers of bikes right?

  10. #10
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    The bike with the best fork would get my vote, but all different bikes have subtle differences in geo which can really effect the ride. It's best to test them on the terrain you want to travel, and yes, you should be able to pick from that lbs selection.
    Round and round we go

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    Fork, wheelset, components are all factors. Narrow down to 2-3 options and this group will give you our opinion on all. That is unless you find one to be an outstanding fit.

    Don't discount Marin. They make a great rig too.

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    I would ask for advice at the LBS since you like them. Those 4 brands have all sorts of options. The first step is to ride what's available and start to get an idea of what fits and what doesn't. Then you move on to components and price.
    He who dares....wins!

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    Here is a thread about the schwinn mesa

    Schwinn Mesa, yea or nay?

    Depending on the year it might be worth it to get it working smoothly. An SLX drivetrain isnt that expensive. You might not even have to replace the entire drivetrain, you might just need rings, cassette and chain.

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    So then I suppose its a question of fit right? It's a 19 inch frame, I'm not an expert on sizing but I know my shoulders and lower back ached some on it. Wondering if this is a strength issue or just me growing out of the bike... if you guys think this bike is worthy of component upgrades then I'm game for it but I think I should make sure I can be comfortable on it first. If worst comes to worse I could maybe just learn a lot mechanically from it and turn it into a good commuter bike?

    .S. I'm a mechanical newb too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geohound View Post
    So then I suppose its a question of fit right? It's a 19 inch frame, I'm not an expert on sizing but I know my shoulders and lower back ached some on it. Wondering if this is a strength issue or just me growing out of the bike... if you guys think this bike is worthy of component upgrades then I'm game for it but I think I should make sure I can be comfortable on it first. If worst comes to worse I could maybe just learn a lot mechanically from it and turn it into a good commuter bike?

    .S. I'm a mechanical newb too
    At 5'11" you are right in the middle of most manufacturers M and L sizing (usually 17' and 19"). If you have a short torso the a 17"ish frame might fit better. Also, a shorter stem (65mm range) might make a 19" work. You really need to give it a try... as in at least 30 min on each bike, not a single parking lot lap.

    For the price I would ditch the old bike and start over. Being a Newb to both the sport and mechanics will only lead to bike building trouble.

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    I think your right, I was thinking today that I really wanted to ride a 29 inch wheel anyways. I still want to learn how to tool with bikes on my Mesa though, in the mean time I can rely on the LBS for maintenance on the potential new bike. I really think the Mesa could make a great around town bike that I won't be afraid to leave outside a grocery store or get caught in the rain while I'm at work.

    I also noticed that my Mesa has a fairly long stem in comparison to the bikes I was looking at, at least I think this is the case. So you may be spot on with that.

    I say all this and then realize how much I like being a minimalist, in that sense, the thought of owning 2 bikes does bother me a little, I'm always trying to get rid of stuff haha. I suppose it's all good if I use them both on a regular basis though yeah?

  17. #17
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    I know you want to buy from your LBS but check craigslist and/or ebay for a used. Giant Yukon FX. They are a sub 1000$ for suspension with either sr suntour xcm v3 (newer models-2011 and newer) or rock Shox dart 2 (???-2010). Used they usually go for about 650 to 800$. I just got a 2010 off of craigslist for 650$.

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    I was checking craiglist the other night and didnt see anything worthwhile in the area. I will check ebay though, not a bad idea, but again, I'm not a mechanic (yet) and dont feel confident that I would know if the bike was in fine condition
    Last edited by Geohound; 06-13-2013 at 01:51 PM.

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    Going to be test riding some bikes Sunday morning, I have a good feeling about a Talus 29 elite that they have marked down to $1,200, has a Fox fork and what I believe to be deore or better components, seems like a great looking bike and I'll have time to try that and others that day, likely making the purchase then so if that bike doesn't work for me geometry wise then I'll find one that does, be it the Raleighs, GTs, or Specialized. I must admit, the specialized have specialized prices haha.

  20. #20
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    Good luck

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