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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    I desperately need a new bike.

    I recently rediscovered my love for biking after 6 long years without it. However, my old mountain bike is unacceptable to me now and I would like to turn to your sage-like advice.

    I bought a cheap Wal-Mart bike in late February when things started warming up and promptly snapped the handlebars in less than a week (totally learned my lesson the hard way). I live in St. Louis so I would mostly be riding the bike on paved streets and the small bike trails around, but I also enjoy going offroad on my bikes (hence me looking for a mountain bike and not a road bike).

    My budget is ~300 dollars for something decent that I can start off with. A friend of mine pointed me towards bikesdirect and I was looking at the Dawes Haymaker 1000 and the Windsor Cliff 4500, but then I found this forum and that those bikes aren't particularly famous around here lol. Any suggestions within my price range would be greatly and immensely appreciated, as it seems I've taken my first step into a larger world. :P

    P.S. I was looking at the Giant Roam 1 and it seems absolutely perfect for what I would use it for. So do you think it would be worth the wait until I can afford it or can something pretty close be found for around 300 bucks?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcreek27 View Post
    I recently rediscovered my love for biking after 6 long years without it. However, my old mountain bike is unacceptable to me now and I would like to turn to your sage-like advice.

    I bought a cheap Wal-Mart bike in late February when things started warming up and promptly snapped the handlebars in less than a week (totally learned my lesson the hard way). I live in St. Louis so I would mostly be riding the bike on paved streets and the small bike trails around, but I also enjoy going offroad on my bikes (hence me looking for a mountain bike and not a road bike).

    My budget is ~300 dollars for something decent that I can start off with. A friend of mine pointed me towards bikesdirect and I was looking at the Dawes Haymaker 1000 and the Windsor Cliff 4500, but then I found this forum and that those bikes aren't particularly famous around here lol. Any suggestions within my price range would be greatly and immensely appreciated, as it seems I've taken my first step into a larger world. :P

    P.S. I was looking at the Giant Roam 1 and it seems absolutely perfect for what I would use it for. So do you think it would be worth the wait until I can afford it or can something pretty close be found for around 300 bucks?

    Depends on what you want? A comfort bike that can take you on a dirt path, or a bike thatll work on single track that'll obviously still work on the pavement.

    If it were me I'd pick the MTb bike, look at giant boulder/revel. Gt avalanche specialized hard rock. Trek 3series. Trek gf wahoo I think they still makes these. Or access (performance brand) sette (price point) plenty people buy the windsor and seem to like it

    Great deal can be found on 2010 bikes even 11 now that 12 are bout to be out

  3. #3
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    Well, I'd prefer a bike that could take me basically anywhere I would like to go (short of straight up [or down] a mountain) so I guess a bike that'd work on single track. Like I said, I only know what I've read on here about different bike builds and gear, but I want to start riding again as soon as I can. There's a bike shop near my place called South Side Cycles that I'm going to check out, as that seems to be where I'll get the most for my money in terms of customer service.

    By the way, thanks for pointing me in the general direction and for the speedy reply! I've been sitting here hitting refresh in excited anticipation!

  4. #4
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    if you are absolutely fixed on the $300 mark and want to buy new i would aim for a diamondback response. otherwise if you can spend another $100 go for a trek 3 series. check you local online ads for a used mountain bike as well, never know what you could find. you may even find deals on 2010/11 bikes at your LBS as well.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  5. #5
    MTB B'dos
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    For that budget, if you're serious I say scour your Craigs List for a used bike, when you find them in your price range simply Google them to find out the specs and what the MSRP was, also check BikePedia and if anything come back here and post a question in regards to price - be careful, there's a lot of tools out there trying to sell 5-10 year old bikes for what they paid for them or even more to unsupecting individuals. Since you don't seem very familiar with bikes I'd also recomend you ask that the bike be inspected by the local shop to make sure everything is working properly and the frame isn't cracked/damaged.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  6. #6
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    I am new to MTB as well, and I bought an '08 Felt Q620 used off Craigslist for $250. It is a good bike with a great but heavy frame. It will hold up to just about anything if you are not worried about weight. The components are entry level but work quite well and it has disc brakes.
    Look for something like this used and you will get more bike for your money and repalce the stuff that breaks (even good stuff breaks) with better stuff.

    Wayne

  7. #7
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    ya, craigslist is your best friend for that price, ha ha.

    well, upgraded schwins are not that bad and usually weight around 30ish lbs (hardtail) and you can get them for around 300ish with decent disc brakes. Not the best shocks, but the components are "somewhat" decent.

  8. #8
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    Thank you all so much! I'll let you know of any success I have!

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