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 22 of 22
  1. #1
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    Looking for a 29er in the $700-$950 range. So many options I can't narrow it down...

    Hi Guys,

    I'm a relative beginner (This bike that I'm looking for would be my second serious mountain bike). I'm thinking I would probably want a 29er unless there's a reason I should really get a different size. I'm about 5'2" and 110 lbs, but will definitely be growing a lot. Also, if I'm going to get a good amount bigger, should I wait to invest in a nice bike until I'm full grown? It could be like 4 years. Anyway...good 29ers. Yeah. I'm looking for 'em.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Your size now may be challenging-- so I would test ride some smalls at your lbs to see about fit.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Do you still have your previous bike? How big are the wheels?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    @eb1888: My current bike is a small, and its getting pretty small...I'm a very stocky 5'2" person as people go.
    @AndrwSwitch: My previous bike has 26" wheels, and yes, I still have it.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    You might consider cannibalizing it to build a new frame. Bike frames are not that expensive if you don't want them to be, and while you'll likely bump into some incompatibilities, as long as you're staying in the same class, those shouldn't be too bad either.

    Another thing to think about is a "rolling chassis." It's not a terribly common offering, but I think On-One does it. It would be a frame, fork and wheels, and let you leverage the parts you already have to step up to a little nicer bike. Probably not as economical as just buying a complete 29er used, but something to think about.

    Since you have a bike and it's too small, you can also use it to help you pick a catalog bike. How long a stem do you have?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Well, my problem is that I don't want to pour resources into a frame that is almost too small on me already, only to buy a new frame and find that the parts don't fit it. Also, my technical bike know-how is quite limited, and my frame is not particularly nice. I'm not sure how long my stem is...could you point me in the direction of my stem (sorry, that's probably a very novice question, but what can you do...)? Also, what's a catalogue bike? A bike that you buy out of a catalogue?
    --Edit--
    Also, I came across the Airborne Seeker and Guardian...how are those? They seemed well specced and reasonably priced: Airborne Bicycles. Cross Country 29"

  7. #7
    turtles make me hot
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    I don't think I've seen anyone on here complain about Airborne ever.

    I've seen a couple of Goblins at my local trails and they're good lookin' bikes.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    If I was to buy an Airborne bike and not really know how to put it together, would it be lame to bring it to a local bike shop and pay them to do it for me? Like would that be too much like hey, I didn't wanna buy from you but I don't know how to do this? Also, the $75 shipping is sorta offputting.

  9. #9
    turtles make me hot
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    They'd charge you to do it.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    I know, but like 20 bucks or like 100?

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Don't spend any money yet...

    The stem is the component that connects the handlebars to the steer tube. They come in a wide range of lengths to accommodate different riders and styles. There are some other specs that can change too, but they're not as important.

    If the cockpit of a bike is too small, a longer stem can make it bigger. Eventually that ruins the bike's handling, but if your stem isn't that long, you can probably go longer. You might even see an improvement.

    I don't know how you're built, but at 5'8", 'M' bikes are largish for me. I think you should take a little time to understand your bike's fit before you throw hundreds of dollars around.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Thank you, and don't worry, I'm not planning to go buy a size of bike that I've never ridden. I was planning to get somewhere in the region of a 15-16" frame...I'm not sure how that stacks up with a medium, but it seems to be the next size up. I realize this isn't exactly scientific, but up until this point my rule of thumb has been "If the seat doesn't go any higher and I need it higher, it's time for a new bike." Admittedly, my previous bikes have been nowhere near as expensive as what I'm looking at now. My current bike cost about $350 and both of the derailleurs (not sure I spelled that right) are somewhat screwed up...the front one takes forever to shift into 1st gear, and the back one can't shift into 7th gear without jumping the cassette. As I said, I'm a little nervous about trying to upgrade a bike that wasn't exactly super high quality to begin with. It's a Trek Singletrack 820. My stem is 1 1/2", if that seems right...I'm still not totally clear where the stem starts and where it ends, but I'm pretty sure that's the right length. Thanks everyone for spending so much time answering my questions!

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Well, maybe just get a new bike. One of the patterns people sometimes get into is buying a $700 bike, riding it and doing no maintenance for two years, then buying an $800 and repeating, etc. At the end of it all, they've paid for about five bikes but only have one and it still doesn't work.

    Most sizing systems would equate a 13" and "extra small." So a small would be a step up, and correspond with the numeric sizes you mentioned.

    $950 is kind of a bummer pricepoint at retail. But shops are clearancing their '13 bikes right now. Ride a bunch of bikes, check out a few sizes, and see where you're at.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Yeah. Doesn't seem like a good pattern to get into...I should probably learn how to maintain bikes better than I do now. However, my long-term plan is to not keep putting lots of upgrades/money into a single bike until I'm fully grown, just because it seems like I'll basically be burning money till the next bike. But, your point about the new bike pattern is a good one. And what do you mean by $950 being a bummer pricepoint?

  15. #15
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    I can't narrow it down...

    I have a Giant Talon 29er 2 that I got for $599 new and I love it. Upgraded the pedals and the fork. It's sweet. Nice frame for future upgrades as well.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into it. My local bikeshop is discounting a lot of bikes for the end of the season...think I should look into some stuff there?

  17. #17
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    My area has a group of Trek stores under one name. They are discounting at 25%. But just before labor day they had a 35% off sale which you could still now negotiate for if you knew about it. That gives you a range ... Look for a sales person you can connect with and work a deal. My guy also mentioned reduced 2014 prices start in 2 months.

    When you go to shops ride small and medium 29ers for fit info.

  18. #18
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    So do you think I should ask bike shops in my area about labor day discounts?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    So do you think I should ask bike shops in my area about labor day discounts?
    You can ask about past and upcoming discount times. Another Spec shop does a discount weekend they send you the info on if you sign up for email alerts. Fish around and give an air of patience--you're willing to wait for a good deal and you want to buy from him. if you can find out the most discount they will offer tell him you are ready to purchase at that price now or whenever he can give it to you.

  20. #20
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    Ok! I'll find some mailing lists...Is a Spec shop a bike shop or a Specialized bikes shop?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    Ok! I'll find some mailing lists...Is a Spec shop a bike shop or a Specialized bikes shop?
    Specialized, but I recommend Trek and Scott for the better geo. Giant and Cannondale also have 'old' geo.

  22. #22
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    Do you know what AndrwSwitch meant by $950 being a bummer price range?
    --Edit--
    Also, is it not an economical idea to buy all the different parts and put the bike together myself?
    Last edited by TheAtomicGoose; 09-21-2013 at 09:37 AM.

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