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.
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2

    How to find a solid beginner mountain bike for a decent price

    Hello everyone!

    I am new to the sport of mountain biking. I have been going to local trails and riding for only a couple months with a few friends but I have fallen in love with the sport! I have been riding my dad's old bike for the time being. It is an old 19" Trek bike with 26" wheels and no suspension of any sort. I am looking into buying a new bike for myself that has suspension of some sort. I am currently leaning towards a hardtail. The only problem is I am a college kid and do not have enough money to drop $350+ on a new bike.

    Can anyone give me any ideas on where to buy a solid beginner mountain bike that won't break my bank account?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Clicker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    179
    Step one: Get another job.
    Step two: Enlarge your bank account
    Step three: Craiglist is your friend

  3. #3
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,602
    Save your money, and ride your Dad's bike as long as you can. If he will give it to you, that is a bonus.
    '13 FELT TK3 / '09 Jamis Sonik
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.
    2014 miles - 3036/2500

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Collidoskope's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    27
    I'm in pretty much your exact position, and so far have done pretty well for myself-
    I did days and days of homework/fact checking, and then started watching Craigslist (for my city and the three closest cities) constantly. I checked the pages about once an hour.

    I ended up finding a little Trek that's about 10 yrs old, but most likely spent 9+ years in the corner of someone's garage for about $150. I figured it's sturdy enough to tie my over until I can save up for a real bike. :]


    When craigslist'n, BicycleBlueBook is your beeeest friend, I've learned (also here, obviously).
    Rider Specs: new grand master of the "tactical dismount and barrel roll" combo

  5. #5
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    327
    Quote Originally Posted by kstew View Post
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to the sport of mountain biking. I have been going to local trails and riding for only a couple months with a few friends but I have fallen in love with the sport! I have been riding my dad's old bike for the time being. It is an old 19" Trek bike with 26" wheels and no suspension of any sort. I am looking into buying a new bike for myself that has suspension of some sort. I am currently leaning towards a hardtail. The only problem is I am a college kid and do not have enough money to drop $350+ on a new bike.

    Can anyone give me any ideas on where to buy a solid beginner mountain bike that won't break my bank account?

    Thanks!
    My first mtn bike was around $330 in 1991,, no sus at all just basic components. I'd guess it's like your dads bike. Finding something basic like that means few complications so you make sure the chain, gears and brakes work. That option means spending $45 to $80 (my guess) and you can add a new, used or rebuilt fork to it later. It becomes a hardtail and you learn to do some maint and repairs along the way. You barely spend anything and get a bike that lets you become a good to better rider as you get out there.

    If you go used and front fork, you are guessing as to the condition of the fork or if it needs work, rebuilt or even worth the parts and effort.
    Because it has suspension, the asking price may be a few hundred so you are in a different league financially and might not be much better off if you need to add work/$ to the fork.

    My other bike is an 01 alum frame front sus. Bikes of that era are probably had for $100 - $200 depending on upgrades, newer parts and condition. If you stick with newer bikes, demand disc brakes that are good and want any suspension, you might have your work cut out for you. The rigid bike your dad has will let you become a good rider and any bike similar you get for yourself is not a waste for the tiny amount it'll cost you. The fancy bikes allow good riders to use their skills but their skills didn't come with the new bike.

    That's my vote... go basic, simple and inexpensive but a solid brand like Raleigh, Trek, Giant or Splzd. Think of the next bike as the higher $ investment either used or new.
    Today's $600 bikes are amazing values and will be used $200 bikes in the not too far off year/s
    or $1500 will be $600 etc...
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    10
    Not sure how big your school is, but check to see if theres a "craiglist" for your college too. Also, figure out "how much bike" you need, then work from there. If the quality of bike you want is difficult to attin with your budget then save up a little more.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    14,290

    Re: How to find a solid beginner mountain bike for a decent price

    Quote Originally Posted by kstew View Post
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to the sport of mountain biking. I have been going to local trails and riding for only a couple months with a few friends but I have fallen in love with the sport! I have been riding my dad's old bike for the time being. It is an old 19" Trek bike with 26" wheels and no suspension of any sort. I am looking into buying a new bike for myself that has suspension of some sort. I am currently leaning towards a hardtail. The only problem is I am a college kid and do not have enough money to drop $350+ on a new bike.

    Can anyone give me any ideas on where to buy a solid beginner mountain bike that won't break my bank account?

    Thanks!
    For $350, don't bother. At least, if your Dad's old ride fits you okay.

    Take your time, and do a good tuneup. See if your school has a bike co-op. They can be excellent resources.

    If the bike sat for a long time, new brake pads can help. Tires have come a long way too.

    What kind of brakes does the bike have? Can you post some pictures?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,776
    I agree with riding what you have because you need to save more for something new that's decent.
    2013 Bobcat Trail 29
    These 2013 Marin Bobcats on ebay can show you an example to compare against.
    The most important component for trail riding is the fork when you use front suspension.
    This bike has a good mid level air fork with 32mm stanchions for straight tracking.
    Metal bushings inside. Adjustable rebound - no pogoing.
    Weighs 4.3 vs 6.2 lbs. for a XCR,M,T or lower grade spring fork.
    Has a sealed oil damper for no maintenance.
    2013 Marin Bobcat Trail 29er 19" MTB Hardtail Bike Shimano 9S Hydraulic Disc New | eBay
    In a couple months or sooner the current bikes in shops will be on sale and you may find a similar deal.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ColeSJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    83

    How to find a solid beginner mountain bike for a decent price

    I bought a bike about 6 months ago to see if I wanted to get serious about it. I'm a college student as well but I only had a <$100 budget. Wound up getting a 5 years old(ish) Schwinn Sidewinder. Had a front shock on it but it wasn't really anything to speak of. Saved up some dough and scored an awesome paying internship and just bought a Giant Trance X 29er about a month ago. My advice is find one within your budget, ride the LIVING HELL out of until the replacement parts cost more than the bike is worth. (After replacing both rims twice, I stopped investing in the Schwinn.) Then, after you get hopelessly addicted, and you will, save up some cash and buy something high quality. Search craigslist and wait for a good deal. They come, you just have to be patient. This was the ole sidewinder.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Giant Trance X 29er
    Schwinn Sidewinder

    EMAW - GO STATE

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Collidoskope's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    27
    Oh, see if your University (or even your city) does a bike impound auction, too... though making friends w/ someone who's familiar w/ bikes might be necessary to short the junk from the treasure.

    At my University, they do them in early fall (they collect them at the end of spring semester, and wait 90 days b/f starting the auction).
    Rider Specs: new grand master of the "tactical dismount and barrel roll" combo

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ColeSJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    83

    How to find a solid beginner mountain bike for a decent price

    Wow. Just realized the two paragraphs that I typed before that picture didn't appear on here. Screw technology.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Giant Trance X 29er
    Schwinn Sidewinder

    EMAW - GO STATE

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    494
    $350+ will get you an awesome USED bike, with some patience. Can confirm, payed less than that for a 2011 Trek 4300 that had less than 20 miles on it. Picked it up in 2012.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ColeSJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    83

    How to find a solid beginner mountain bike for a decent price

    Agree the the above statement. Takes some patience but you can find some great deals on Craigslist. I almost got a Giant Revel 1 for $150 (which is a great entry level bike by the way). Just gotta keep looking. If you know of some areas that you'd be willing to drive to that have a good mountain bike community, look there too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Giant Trance X 29er
    Schwinn Sidewinder

    EMAW - GO STATE

Similar Threads

  1. Decent Bike Vice For the price ?
    By Tinman in forum Tooltime
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-07-2013, 09:08 AM
  2. Solid Beginner rig?
    By nicog92 in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-07-2012, 05:30 AM
  3. Is this a decent price for this bike?
    By dkbikes4life in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-02-2011, 11:38 AM
  4. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-02-2011, 11:40 AM
  5. A decent mountain bike
    By HUnderwood in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-23-2011, 06:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •