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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    Smile I cant decide which bike to buy.

    Hi guys/gals. I am new to mountain biking, and currently in the market for a bike.

    I have max 1100 dollars to spend, but would like to keep it around the 800 dollar range.

    I am unsure if I should buy a HT or a FS bike. I do not really know what brand / models I should keep an eye out for. I am interested in Down hill / freeride, but once I get comfortable on a bike again would like to go back to dirt jumping too.

    I am looking at a 2012 Santa Cruz Heckler d am for 1100, but am in the process of getting the price down to 700-900 dollars if that is even possible.

    Please let me know what brands / models you think i should get. I am 6' 240 " on a cut though so will weigh less soon " ..

    Thanks..

  2. #2
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    If you can find a Giant Reign X in your budget and in good condition it would be awesome too. Heckler is a great buy.

  3. #3
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    what years ? newer the better?

  4. #4
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    well yeah But a few years old on the reign is ok as long as they are in a good condition.

  5. #5
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    Newer doesn't mean less worn or beaten .You need to look at everything.Those kind of bikes take a beating ,look at them real careful.

  6. #6
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    ok i will...

  7. #7
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    FS vs HT depends on type of riding.
    for $1100. If you want FS i'd go used., a new $1100 FS bike is heavy and makes hard compromised on lower end suspension.

    For used, look at ebay.
    for new, I'd look at airborne, bikesdirect, and ebay.

    see list for component tiers.
    Newbie - Used bikes

    I advocate value bikes, the most components for the $. Since all bikes are build with same components this makes for easy comparisons. I believe the engineering difference between frame brands of similar design is inconsequential compared to the components. Especially hardtails.

  8. #8
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    Check your local shop NOW for closeout 13's.. Also Jenson and Performance bikes have some absolutely awesome deals right now.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Don't know if you noticed or if you are a woman or how tall you are ,but thats a female, small bike with low end parts .

  11. #11
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    So basically I probably need to keep saving.. Seems like I cant get into a decent bike for less than a couple thousand. I will stalk the used bike sites just incase i can snag one cheap.

  12. #12
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    I am in the same boat as you.

    After doing a great amount of research and seeing what people have to say here...I ordered an Airborne Guardian 2.0 this past Friday.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbvet View Post
    Hi guys/gals. I am new to mountain biking, and currently in the market for a bike.

    I have max 1100 dollars to spend, but would like to keep it around the 800 dollar range.

    I am unsure if I should buy a HT or a FS bike. I do not really know what brand / models I should keep an eye out for. I am interested in Down hill / freeride, but once I get comfortable on a bike again would like to go back to dirt jumping too.

    I am looking at a 2012 Santa Cruz Heckler d am for 1100, but am in the process of getting the price down to 700-900 dollars if that is even possible.

    Please let me know what brands / models you think i should get. I am 6' 240 " on a cut though so will weigh less soon " ..

    Thanks..
    Quote Originally Posted by Gedemer View Post
    I am in the same boat as you.

    After doing a great amount of research and seeing what people have to say here...I ordered an Airborne Guardian 2.0 this past Friday.
    Downhill, freeride and dirt jumping on an Airborne Guardian?

    The Guardian is not aimed at downhilling, freeride, or dirt jumping. It's straight up XC

    ==================================

    I think a (lightly) used Reign is a good suggestion. They will take a licking and are a good all around bike. Lightly used is more important than what year you get in the case of the Reign. If you do get one, I would (if it hasn't been done already) swap out the upper pivot bearings to Enduro (full complement) bearings. Once that is done, they are very reliable and stout. they can be found for relatively reasonable prices if you shop around.

    I bought two new 2005 Reign frames (with shock) in 2006 for $400 each from WheelWorld. My son is still flogging his (I have moved to 29" wheels) and even races collegiate DH on it. Great bikes.

  14. #14
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    You CAN get a decent FS bike for less than $2,000. But it is a bit of a minefield.
    My friend bought a 2012 Cube FS for the equivelant of $1,100 and it is a great bike in VGC.
    We are in the UK, but l cannot see why it should be any different in the US.
    In the UK ebay is full of little used 1-2 year old bikes that people have bought and seemingly are gathering dust in sheds.

  15. #15
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    buy a full suspension bike even if it's a low end unit you have to save up for.

  16. #16
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    It depends on the type of riding you intend to do, to some extent.
    I started back in mountain biking earlier this year with a HT but as l got back into it realised l would be better with a FS as l tend to hammer my descents.
    I took a friend out who is a beginner, he had a Cube FS and l was on my HT.
    He is younger and fitter than me and he wasted me on the climbs, l will get him back on descents l thought.
    So l really went for it only to look round and see him not far behind, bouncing along on his full susser.

  17. #17
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    Long-travel hardtail. Cheaper than FS and you don't have a rear linkage to absorb your boost when you jump. Some brands' 4X bikes would probably be perfect.

    In my region, they're a little less common on Craig's List, but still show up from time to time.

    There are a few FS dirt jump bikes out there too. For $800, you could certainly buy a used one.

    Give anything you buy a good inspection. Bear in mind that something can be badly wrong with a used bike and still let it save you money relative to a comparable new bike, although that's a bummer way to start.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Look around for a used specialized demo

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4

  19. #19
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    I think i have decided on this KONAWORLD basic kahuna - found one used on ebay for like 800 bux New 2012 Kona Kahuna 22" 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike | eBay

    I really do not want to spend 2k on a bike right now when snowboard season is upon me.

    Im not 100% sure that mbing is going to do it for me yet either. I havent been on a bike in over 10 years, and from the videos of mbing im not sure if its right for me per say. I would rather hit some trails that are closer to a dj rhythm section then 1 mph up hill pedaling. I could be totally off base, and maybe i will love it it, but rock gardens dont impress me like hitting a fat double if you know what i mean. I used to bmx / dj " way hardcore into djing" back in the day, then gave it all up " becasue i moved out ot state, and the new place i moved no one @ school rode bikes ... Ever.....

    The Kahuna looks like it has decent components? maybe the forks suck?!?!
    Im guessing hte drive train is ok though since its sram " what is sram? " but its only x5, and not hte boss x9?

    I really have no clue what im looking at when i check out specs, i have just been comparing to otehr bikes that are higher priced.

    Right now i just want to ride it on the street until I can ride a wheelie / manual wheelie , then once i feel like i can control it well on the street, only then will i take it to the trails. THe last thing im trying to do is spend 800 bux on a bike, and take it directly to the trail only to taco a rim, and have a 4 mile hike back to my car..

    Ok now that i brought up the rims, the rims that come stock on this bike are ****.. I think i need at least double walled rims for my fat ass, plus i KNOW when i get back into the swing of biking i will be very aggressive...

    Can you guys just link me maybe 1 or 2 hardtails that i should consider? OR do i need to just buy a frame and build a bike " i really dont want to deal with that because its been too long, and I am not a bike mechanic" Not saying i wont learn, but I would like to ride something within the next couple months before it gets super cold..

    Please tell me what you think about the kona kahuna !!
    Thanks guys. NEWBVET OUT!

  20. #20
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    That looks to be a crosss country bike and a 22" frame is probilly too big for someone 5'11"

  21. #21
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    OP, all your posts have been about wanting something in the AM/FR/DH/DJ spectrum.

    Get a dirt jump bike. It's not really my discipline, but wander over to this site.
    http://www.transitionbikes.com/2013/Bikes_PBJ.cfm

    Look at the ones labeled as "dirt jump," "slopestyle," "4X," etc.

    They're not the only game in town. Have a little patience and keep watching Craig's List.

    Since it is almost ski season - I switched back in my mid-twenties - shops doing a bike-and-ski format are going to be trying to clear up their sales floors. So make a few calls too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    Re: I cant decide which bike to buy.

    You are a beginner then? You won't be doing downhill that soon. Get a xc bike, way more practice and easy to enjoy. DH bikes are $$. For lift riding, rent a bike for a day to see If its worth it.

  23. #23
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    First off - where do live/what kind of trails do you have access to? Are there jumps around? Thinking you might do any street or skatepark type stuff? Or are you out in the sticks surround by nothing but woods around?

    My recommendation on what to buy would really depend on what you think you're gonna end up wanting the bike to do best. From a couple things you were saying, I'm wondering if you might not have a good time on a bike that leans toward park/DJ. You've gotta have the right places to ride to really make the most out of one of those though. If you BMXed a lot, you might have a good time on something like one of these

    2012 Santa Cruz Jackal | Mountain Bike Components and Reviews

    2012 Mongoose Fireball Dirt | Mountain Bike Components and Reviews

    You'd definitely need a long-ass seatpost so you can pedal it when you have to, but if something along those lines would work for you, they're pretty affordable compared to a other styles of mountain bikes and they're usually built a little tougher. Doesn't sound like your gonna be looking to do a bunch of XC-type riding, and given your riding background, I'd definitely consider one.

    If I were you, I'd also try to hit a local bike shop and sit on some bikes, maybe spin a couple around the parking lot.

  24. #24
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    I live in Oklahoma where the trails are weak sauce at best. Will never hit the skate parks, but I will start riding the first few months on the street; tearing up the urbans natural little jumps and stuff, practicing wheelies / manual wheelies.. Then after I feel that I have complete control again I will hit the shitty little trails around here. I do have access to a open bmx track with the usualy features. I.E - table top, whoops , doubles etc...

    I cant justify spending 2k on a fs bike for the riding I will be doing around here. I stopped off at a bike store earlier today and spoke with a cool guy about what bike i should get. He is a seasoned mb rider, but he told me that he usually only rides in CO, and that the all I would need for the trails around here is a HT MB. He recommended getting a Kona Mahuna for riding here. He also said that I wouldnt break it if I hit the trails around here aggressively. For 800 its worth a try...

    His advice seemed legit, but then again he might have just been a really good salesman lol...

    Ya I probably should just get a DJ bike, but I think im still months away from that. Once i feel its truly time to start hitting jumps again then I just buy a new bike for dj.

    So what do you guys think about a Kona Muhuna 20" 29er? I am reading all of your posts, and taking your advice, but I am kind of limited on what I can get..

    And I am a total beginner....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Downhill, freeride and dirt jumping on an Airborne Guardian?

    The Guardian is not aimed at downhilling, freeride, or dirt jumping. It's straight up XC

    I think a (lightly) used Reign is a good suggestion. They will take a licking and are a good all around bike. Lightly used is more important than what year you get in the case of the Reign. If you do get one, I would (if it hasn't been done already) swap out the upper pivot bearings to Enduro (full complement) bearings. Once that is done, they are very reliable and stout. they can be found for relatively reasonable prices if you shop around.

    I bought two new 2005 Reign frames (with shock) in 2006 for $400 each from WheelWorld. My son is still flogging his (I have moved to 29" wheels) and even races collegiate DH on it. Great bikes.
    Love that Reign too. I bought 2 frames just like you did. Love it. The 05 reign pedal lighter than any other 32lbs FS out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    You are a beginner then? You won't be doing downhill that soon. Get a xc bike, way more practice and easy to enjoy. DH bikes are $$. For lift riding, rent a bike for a day to see If its worth it.
    If you are not sure this may be the best way to go. You can also do the Demo day for free, all it takes is checking out the day they are doing the demo. Trail bike is the best type of bike to start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbvet View Post
    I live in Oklahoma where the trails are weak sauce at best. Will never hit the skate parks, but I will start riding the first few months on the street; tearing up the urbans natural little jumps and stuff, practicing wheelies / manual wheelies.. Then after I feel that I have complete control again I will hit the shitty little trails around here. I do have access to a open bmx track with the usualy features. I.E - table top, whoops , doubles etc...

    I cant justify spending 2k on a fs bike for the riding I will be doing around here. I stopped off at a bike store earlier today and spoke with a cool guy about what bike i should get. He is a seasoned mb rider, but he told me that he usually only rides in CO, and that the all I would need for the trails around here is a HT MB. He recommended getting a Kona Mahuna for riding here. He also said that I wouldnt break it if I hit the trails around here aggressively. For 800 its worth a try...

    His advice seemed legit, but then again he might have just been a really good salesman lol...

    Ya I probably should just get a DJ bike, but I think im still months away from that. Once i feel its truly time to start hitting jumps again then I just buy a new bike for dj.

    So what do you guys think about a Kona Muhuna 20" 29er? I am reading all of your posts, and taking your advice, but I am kind of limited on what I can get..

    And I am a total beginner....
    If you like the wheelie/manual and ripping the urban park, you would not like 29er.

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