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
    mtbr member
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    Looking to buy a bike via Criagslist, complete newbie here.

    The last time I was on a bike was 5 years ago at a resort in Canada.

    In any case, I have been getting semi-bored of 'just hiking' and want to do some mountain biking here in Southern CA. I am looking at all these bikes.. and not knowing what red flags to look out for. If I wanna spend under $250 for a used bike, do any of these stand out to any of you? I wanna get one this week.

    orange county bicycles classifieds - craigslist

    Thanks.

    (Also, first post, hello everyone, nice to be here and stoof! -Steve)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeltripper View Post
    The last time I was on a bike was 5 years ago at a resort in Canada.

    In any case, I have been getting semi-bored of 'just hiking' and want to do some mountain biking here in Southern CA. I am looking at all these bikes.. and not knowing what red flags to look out for. If I wanna spend under $250 for a used bike, do any of these stand out to any of you? I wanna get one this week.

    orange county bicycles classifieds - craigslist

    Thanks.

    (Also, first post, hello everyone, nice to be here and stoof! -Steve)
    Welcome to the forum Steve I'm fairly new to the MTB world myself. So I won't be too much help. But for me, Reading this forum and getting advise from other members certainly helped point me in the right direction, so I'll give it a shot. A budget of $250 will limit your options. Your best bet will be a older hardtail. You won't find a full suspension in your price range. The Fuji Nevada looks nice, but again my knowledge is certainly limiited. I'm sure others will chime in soon to help you out. Cannondale, Trek, Specialized, Giant etc.. Are good brands. There are tons of bike brands out there... I hope this somewhat helps. Good Luck.
    2014 Cannondale Rush 2

  3. #3
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    Personally for that money, I would look for mid 90's rigid bike for $70- $100 and spend the rest replacing the worn out stuff on the bike. I bought a '97 gary fisher Wahoo for $80 and spent a bit on new tires, deore front and rear derailleurs, lower gearing and new grips. A great adventure bike. I can go anywhere though I can't race on it but I never would anyway. Later you could then buy a more expensive bike if you find you love it and want speed. Any cheap bike is going to have crap suspension anyway and will just be more time trying to fix it. Mountain biking started with no suspension and you can start that way too.

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