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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    Help me pick my 1st bike

    Alright, I'm looking to get my first real bike. I haven't really ridden a bike at all for nearly a decade now, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. After reading here and talking to a friend of mine, I think I've narrowed it down. The friend i just referred to works at the LBS(that does stand for local bike shop, right?), and they have a pretty nice looking GT Avalanche 3.0 disk. The local Dick's has a Diamondback Response, and an Ironhorse 1.3. These are my local options, and I like the Avalanche solely because it looks the best. I know that's vain, but I seriously doubt I'll be able to tell the difference in components anyway. It's a large, btw. My other thought is to get a used bike off of ebay. My friend has a Gary Fisher Piranha, and I kinda like the Fisher lineup. I've noticed that I could pick up a used Wahoo/Marlin/Piranha/Tassajara for about the same price as my local options, and I understand that they're better bikes.

    So, that leaves me with two questions: First, should I stick with buying something locally, or take a chance on a better bike from ebay? Second, and this kinda ties into the first question, what size should I get? I'm 6'4", 215 lbs, size 34 or sometimes 36 inseam on my jeans depending on brand. I'm sure XL is probably the correct size, but I've never even sat on an XL, let alone ridden one. My friend's Piranha is a Large, and it feels fine, but then again I guess I don't really know enough to say that it feels fine, either. The LBS doesn't even have an XL in stock, so I can't really try one out. The next closest thing to an XL locally would be the Diamondback at Dick's, which being 20" is kind of in between an XL and L...

    I already won an XL Tassajara with XT components and a Reba fork on ebay, but the seller backed out and decided to sell it to a friend instead. Probably didn't like that it went for cheap, and got a buddy to offer more. But I can't prove that...

    I'm really torn here, and just want a friggin' bike so I can get out and enjoy it. But I also don't want to be kicking myself down the road for skimping. Ugh, I've never had this much trouble buying something before. Sorry for the long-winded post, and thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason miller
    First, should I stick with buying something locally, or take a chance on a better bike from ebay?
    I would highly recommend riding the bikes you've narrowed it down to especially since this is your first time buying. How a bike feels (once it's set up for you) is very important and a lot can be learned from a simple ride around the LBS parking lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by jason miller
    Second, and this kinda ties into the first question, what size should I get?
    Let the LBS take care of you there and once again hop on the bike and try it out. I'm 5'10 and ride a 17" but could also ride a 19", so it's not specific. Test it out and see what feels the most comfortable.

  3. #3
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    Your missed ebay purchase is common. Many people don't bid until the last few seconds of the auction. That gives the bidder an edge, as others don't have time to counter a higher bid.

    You can also check out Ibex, Randall Scott, Bikesdirect ... They sell larger bikes, and you generally get a little more bike buying direct. You would have to finish assemble, same as an ebay purchase.

  4. #4
    don't thread on me
    Reputation: Roswell52's Avatar
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    Step 1 - Go to MTBR Forums and type "newb needs 1st bike" into search box.
    Step 2 - Randomly point at one of the results.
    Step 3 - Go test ride that bike
    Step 4 - Buy it if it feels good to ride it.
    Step 5 - Repeat Step 4 until you find the bike that fits right.

    And yes, I am serious. It will save you alot of time, effort and pain filling your brain with useless info.
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