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 Got $1000... What do I buy?!

    Looking to get my first mountain bike. I was enamored with the a full suspension but I talked with my LBS owner and he suggested a HT 29er to learn proper technique and such. he offers trek and specialized but i don't know if i want to go that route.

    I looked into Airborne as well as Marin.

    I'd love to stay around $700-$850 but i got a grand to work with. any ideas?

    God Bless and Speed

    Aaron

  2. #2
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    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point4 29er Mountain Bikes
    This 699 delivered Gravity Point 4 has good drive components and a RockShox air fork.
    On sale Cyber until 12/6.
    Avoid a Suntour fork if possible.
    Trek had 15% off for black Friday, which your dealer can match if he wishes. I got an additional 3% off for cash. I had a $100 off coupon from a Trek Factory Demo ride.
    My dealer also offered to swap components at favorable terms when the bike I wanted came in. This wasn't a in stock only price.

  3. #3
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    Definitely go for a hardtail in that price point. That Gravity has a good part spec for the price and would probably be a good bike for you. Airborne has some great options as well. Be sure to factor in any extra gear you'll need into your budget, such as helmet, pump, flat repair items, hydration setup (either hydration pack or water bottles), etc...

  4. #4
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    What kind of riding are you interested in doing? Although I agree that an HT 29er will teach you proper techniques, that doesn't mean its always the best choice, especially for someone on a budget. Example...I've been riding a FS for quite some time now and usually hit up some pretty aggressive trails. A friend of mine wanted to get in on it and even with a heavy BMX backround, he thought of himself as a beginner and picked up a Giant Talon HT 29er. After a few easy rides to introduce him to the sport, I took him to some of my normal spots and it really kicked his ass in terms of terrain. He ended up spending more money to pick up a BMC Trailfox which suits him better on those trails. Most HT 29ers usually come with 100-120mm of travel which is great for XC riding but can be rough on AM rides and definitely not recommended for any DH types. Not to say its wouldn't be impossible, but just not ideal. Its nice to think of a beginner bike, but you also want to look at the long term purpose of a bike. If you're doing strictly XC riding, then a 29er HT would be perfect. If you're riding with friends that are experienced and they're people you plan to ride with, look at their bikes and see what they're riding. If they're riding FS bikes with 140-160mm of travel, then they could doing some pretty gnarly rides that a 29er HT may not be able to handle.

    A great way to go and to get more bang for your buck is to look into getting a nicely used bike.

  5. #5
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    Yeah i'm kinda wanting to get into the DH stuff eventually but i want to learn how to take car of a bike and all that stuff first before i get into a FS. i will get there eventually though.

    I have heard form multiple people that going the used bike route is a bad idea. why would they say that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucmule6 View Post
    I have heard form multiple people that going the used bike route is a bad idea. why would they say that?
    I'm not sure why. IMO, its one of the better ways to go. For $800, you'd be getting a bike that is close to being a beginner type with lower end components. You can probably purchase one that is 2 years old for that price with much nicer parts. Although the frames have changed in terms of head tube sizes, bb heights, stand over heights, chain stay lengths and so forth...not much has changed in the components area. A 2 year old XT gruppo isn't gonna be much different, if any, from one you would get if you were buying a new bike with XT. If you're looking to for a bike to learn riding and to maintain, then a used bike would be a good way to go. Ride that until you feel comfortable getting a nicer one.

  7. #7
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    If you're an online shopper type and want a new bike with a priority in value, check out (in no particular order):

    REI (Novara)
    PricePoint (Sette)
    planetx (OnOne, Titus, PlanetX)
    bikesdirect (various brands)
    GiantNerd (Bamf, etc)
    JensonUSA (Fuji, Jamis, GT, Focus, etc.)
    IBEX
    Fezzari
    Airborne

    Else, do some classifieds hunting for used. Focus on something that is in safe good working condition before worrying about quality.

    The bigger 29er wheel size will assist in your learning, easing you into technical things at a less demanding pace (compared to smaller wheels and no suspension), and there's less complexity in a hardtail (no rear suspension, but with a suspension fork), so less to worry about, as you can easily get overwhelmed by learning new stuff. Once you can afford a FS and learn a bit more about basic maintenance, go for it, as that opens even more opportunity to learn, go faster, and experience new things (and new thrills), but the decent ones tend to start around $2500 (MSRP).

    I was given a personal offer by JensonUSA to invite friends interested in purchasing new bikes, to call them up, as they are now willing to negotiate on price (may be a limited time offer), so if something's close to your budget, don't be afraid to call up their Riverside location. Call up the other places too, and perhaps they may be willing to match that offer, but I think the Riverside JensonUSA guys are trying to compete with the JensonUSA Corona store for sales figures (for ego purposes) and have been given the okay by management to do promo discounts.

    Nothing wrong with walking into a local bike shop, and perhaps seeing what is on sale. Pickings tend to be slim and offers of "lifetime free tune-ups" tend to create long wait times when it comes to mechanical coverage. If you're young and have time and the will, it's probably better to learn how to work on your own bike. Working on cheap bikes is a great chance to learn, as they actually need it and benefit more from frequent maintenance, based on the generalization that higher end parts tend to be engineered to perform more consistently with less maintenance, while low end parts tend to get clunky, loud, etc. in short order.

    I did a quick search on JensonUSA's site and found something close to your budget, the Fuji Outland 2.0 29er full suspension, for about $1300. I wonder if you call them up and see if they can hook ya up (I wouldn't expect too much off an already deeply discounted bike). There's a 3.0 for less, but the suspension and brakes on that look like they took a big cut in quality. I think I rode the higher end 1.0 in a demo, or it might have been the previous year's model, and thought it was really fun, fast, and capable, but only got about 30 minutes on it cause I got a pinch flat, which I consider is a sign that I was probably going too fast over the rocky stuff (simply fixed with a tiny bit more air pressure into the tire next time). The Jamis Exile Race looks like a great HT option at $900, but the popular sizes are sold out.

  8. #8
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    Re: I Got $1000... What do I buy?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ucmule6 View Post
    Yeah i'm kinda wanting to get into the DH stuff eventually but i want to learn how to take car of a bike and all that stuff first before i get into a FS. i will get there eventually though.

    I have heard form multiple people that going the used bike route is a bad idea. why would they say that?
    'cuz they kick themselves every time a friend spends $600 and gets a race-ready bike.

    Wait, that's me. And I do tell people to get used bikes.

    Used bikes are not a problem-free option. If you're buying from an individual, you have no guarantee they haven't trashed it. Replacing a drivetrain is expensive. It's sort of like buying a used car, although I think it's a lot easier to understand and work on a bicycle. You also may give up a couple of the value-added aspects of shopping retail - trying a bunch of different bikes and a bunch of different sizes.

    I have two bikes I bought used, and have bought a couple others that way in the past. I bought the recent ones from individuals and while I did test-ride them before committing, I already had a good idea that they would fit right before I went and looked at them. It's potentially a lot of trips and a lot of time spent if one doesn't have a good idea of how a bike should and will fit.

    I think riding several bikes all at once and starting on a bike that's been tuned well are both values added by bike shops. So my advice for people buying their first adult bike for less than $3000 comes down to this: phone a bunch of shops and find the used shop in your area. Take note of shops clearancing good candidates for you too. Nobody wants to still have their '13 bikes at this point.

    Then, ride a lot of bikes and buy your favorite.

    If you want FS eventually, don't pass up an opportunity to get one now. Don't get a crazy amount of suspension. But I think up to 140 mm would be fine. They're not super-weird at low speed and you still have to pick lines and manage your weight distribution.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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