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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    Idea! I want a used XC hardtail for less than $400, what should I be looking for?

    So NEW bikes like the diamondback response or overdrive 29", or the forge sawback go for ~$300-400.

    Therefore I'm assuming slightly better bikes that might have gone for $500-700 upto 5 years ago can be had for about the same price USED. But what models of relatively newer HTs would be a little better than the ones I listed? Browsing craigslist is confusing when I don't know what models I should be looking for.

    I've ridden bikes all my life but totally new to MTB. I want a 26" for socal trail riding. Lightweight and decent front shocks probably outweighs other preferences.

    Thanks for any help, guys.

    P.S. as long as I'm making a thread, what do you guys think about these (if they seem to really vary in terms of quality it's precisely because I'm really not sure how they stack up - esp in terms of the more subtle but probably more important stuff like geometry, suspension etc.)

    FS
    1. Jamis Mountain Bike <-- specially this one, frame from 2000
    2. Diamondback Racing Mountain Bike | eBay
    3. 26" Specialized FSR High End Mens 27 Spd Mountain Bike Like New
    4. 1999 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC
    5. Specialized Ground Control Full Suspension 24 Speed Mountain Bike

    vs like these used HT
    6. Gary Fisher Marlin Mountain Bike 15.5" Yellow Frame Nice Shape
    7. Trek 4300 Alpha Mountain Bike
    Last edited by infinitejest; 04-23-2013 at 09:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Afric Pepperbird
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    What should you look for?

    Fit! All else will be inconsequential in that price range.

  3. #3
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    What is the normal type of riding will you do? if it's a ton of paved trails or fire roads, go with a hard tail. Ensure the size of the frame fits you. You will get solid performance from octalink cranks and bb. Forks its all preference, I've never had luck with SR forks.
    Full suspension bike on open trail will suck a ton of energy from you and add a bunch of extra weight. A lot of the time you will end up locking out the suspension or wishing you could. I would go with the DB and upgrade the cranks, bb, and saddle personally. 26 vs 29 is a whole other subject. 29er are quicker downhill and climb better, the 26ers more agile. You could also consider the braking system, entry level v brakes work better than entry level disc brakes.

  4. #4
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    This new bike is 450. Like anything in this price range you will need to upgrade the fork for trail riding. 175 Raidon 240 Recon Gold.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes

  5. #5
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    I recommend dont buy anything older than 2007 with a $500 budget. there is no reason too when there are excellent bargains to be had


    Sporting Goods > Outdoor Sports > Cycling > Bicycles & Frames > Mountain Bikes| eBay

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the help. It seems like a pain in the ass to have bikes shipped and trying to find something on ebay that's close to you AND specific is unlikely. I kinda changed my mind about 26 v 29 though.

    Can people please list 4-5 bikes that are:
    -hardtail
    -29er
    -likely to be found found for less than $400 new (or used bikes that might go for about the same amount of money)
    -preferably the lighter the better

  7. #7
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    Use this for prices on used bikes.
    Bicycle Blue Book - Trade With Confidence

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