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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    New question here. Looking to get into MT Biking - Advise needed for a noob!

    Good morning!

    I'd like to introduce myself - My name is Chris I am from Southern CA located in Corona/Orange County I am looking to get started and am seeking some advice on what type of bike I should start with? I am looking to go with a hard-tail, as I will be doing some up hill riding along with street to/from the up-hill trails that are local to me.

    My main reason for wanting to get into MT Biking is multi-purposed

    1. I have always like it as a kid and my sisters husband use to ride for the sheriffs academy (15years ago) so needless to say things have changed!
    2. I am looking to build more endurance and cut my bodyfat percentage down.
    3. To have a good time out on the trails and enjoy the out doors!

    My budget is pretty tight right now so I will not be walking into a shop and picking anything up. With that said I am looking to go used, not sure what I should expect my budget to be at this point but I am assuming $300-500?

    Thoughts/suggestions welcomed!

    Thank you!

    CJC

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I would think that $300-$500 will get you a good 10 year old $1200-$1500 hardtail. You do need to figure out what size will fit you. Then go look at reviews of older mtbs.

    An example is an early/mid 2000's Stumpjumper or Rockhopper. You need to find one that has not been abused. It would be best if had little use. Buying used may mean the bike needs a little maintenance, but not anything major or it is not worth it.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, I have been to a few LBS and I got a mix of sizing... one guy told me large another Medium.... I am 5'11 I was told that is right in between the two for the most part and either or would be fine... Id think a large is correct?

    I was actually looking at this bike here just now:

    LBS wants $500 for it.
    ULTRASPORT 2.0 | KHS Bicycles

    and another LBS:
    GT Bikes Aggressor 1.0 Bike 2014 > Complete Bikes > Mountain Bikes | Jenson USA

    Correct me if I am wrong but I was told Air shocks would be a better suit for me as well.

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking to get into MT Biking - Advise needed for a noob!

    Sounds like your budget may be flexible? Do a little soul-searching. I think $300 is tough, but by $500, you should be looking at reasonable hardtails secondhand. For a retail bike, I think hardtails get good around $1500 and FS bikes around $2100. Everybody's situation is different, but to my mind, retail should be a last resort for budgets under $1500.

    I bought a new bike for $600 several years ago, and my feelings about that are mixed. I had my reasons for buying new and it got me back into MTB, but it also ended up costing a lot on the back end, and I kicked myself every time I told one of my friends with that budget to buy used and they did. My feelings about the bikes I bought secondhand and the shiny new one I blew a couple thousand on are not so mixed.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    This. Or compare any alternative to it.
    The fork is the most important component when you ride fun/difficult trails.
    The Raidon on this bike is an air fork. Best to set the sag for different weights.
    It has adjustable rebound..no pogoing.
    32mm stanchions...not flexy 28s.
    4.3lb. weight vs. 6.2lb. for most others in this price range.
    Tapered steerer/ht allows future upgrades.
    Real metal bushings inside..no plastic.
    Maintenance free sealed oil damper..not a greased spring.

    Decent Shimano Alivio/Deore drive components.
    Brakes would be good to upgrade to SLX or Deore in the future.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Sounds like your budget may be flexible? Do a little soul-searching. I think $300 is tough, but by $500, you should be looking at reasonable hardtails secondhand. For a retail bike, I think hardtails get good around $1500 and FS bikes around $2100. Everybody's situation is different, but to my mind, retail should be a last resort for budgets under $1500.

    I bought a new bike for $600 several years ago, and my feelings about that are mixed. I had my reasons for buying new and it got me back into MTB, but it also ended up costing a lot on the back end, and I kicked myself every time I told one of my friends with that budget to buy used and they did. My feelings about the bikes I bought secondhand and the shiny new one I blew a couple thousand on are not so mixed.
    I agree and after this week, my biggest suggestion will be to go to your local shops and have them look to see if there are any closeout bikes available for whatever brand they sell. I say that because I managed to get a $3000 bike on Monday for $1600. It was a 2013 closeout. So, if there's anything that was $1200-1500 new, you could possibly get it for $500-700.

    Shops shouldn't mind looking if they think/know you are serious about buying. They make just as much off one of these bikes as they do a current year bike. I know because the price I paid was the price after my shop added their standard markup to their price on the closeout bike I got.

    Just a thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I agree and after this week, my biggest suggestion will be to go to your local shops and have them look to see if there are any closeout bikes available for whatever brand they sell. I say that because I managed to get a $3000 bike on Monday for $1600. It was a 2013 closeout. So, if there's anything that was $1200-1500 new, you could possibly get it for $500-700.


    Shops shouldn't mind looking if they think/know you are serious about buying. They make just as much off one of these bikes as they do a current year bike. I know because the price I paid was the price after my shop added their standard markup to their price on the closeout bike I got.

    Just a thought.
    +1 to this. I got my 2012 Trek fuel for $1300 when the retail was $3000 the current year model.. Granted it was an XL frame and apparently everyone in the local area were midgets.

  9. #9
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    i wish i could score something like that.. 50% off a brand new bike, are u guys regulars or what, my LBS goes like $100 off per year old, which is not really all that great...

  10. #10
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    Looking to get into MT Biking - Advise needed for a noob!

    Quote Originally Posted by joel787 View Post
    i wish i could score something like that.. 50% off a brand new bike, are u guys regulars or what, my LBS goes like $100 off per year old, which is not really all that great...
    Nope wasn't a regular. Log story short, decided it's time to upgrade to a full sus. Always loved the trek fuel. Called a random shop just to see if they had my size in stock just to feel it because I would never spend that kind of money....turns out he did and said it's a crazy good price. I came in, told him $1300 cash and he took the deal.

    Became a very regular customer. Bought my gf a full suspension trek through him. Bought all components through him. Everything. Turned out to be amazing. Unfortunately I moved a few months ago out of state.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel787 View Post
    i wish i could score something like that.. 50% off a brand new bike, are u guys regulars or what, my LBS goes like $100 off per year old, which is not really all that great...
    First bike I bought at this new shop. You LBS is ripping you off if that's all they are discounting the bikes. The bike company is selling the older bikes to the shops at a huge discount. The shop should be able to add their normal markup and still offer the bike at 35-50% off retail. That's exactly what my shop did. Took Cannondale's price to them, added their markup percentage whatever that was, and sold me a $3000 bike for $1600. I got a screamin' deal, the shop made their money, and they earned a new regular customer in me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  12. #12
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    A n00b here too. I got the Trek X-Caliber 4 a month ago, and in Socal as well. It's enough bike to start out with and have a hell of a time. The fork is suspect on high speeds through rough sections, but is manageable for now. I wish I had gotten a used as well, but my bike knowledge is not that great when I first bought the bike.

  13. #13
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    Doh, replied to the wrong post somehow.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcjc119 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I have been to a few LBS and I got a mix of sizing... one guy told me large another Medium.... I am 5'11 I was told that is right in between the two for the most part and either or would be fine... Id think a large is correct?
    I'm 5' 10" and I was right on the line for a Medium or Large. The LBS should be able to tell you what size is ideal for you, based on all that. I went with a Large and haven't had any issues.
    2012 Specialized Carve Comp 29
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  15. #15
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    Alright guys after a few weeks I finally got a bike! Looked around put thought into it etc... I walked into Jenson USA with the intention of buying a gt aggressor 1.0. (They didn't have my size) after talking to the guy he showed me a few other bikes close to the 1.0, they had another GT on sale for $615 normally $850. Was nice however (didn't have my size) The guy showed me another bike "Rocky Mountain Fusion MSRP $1099) On sale for $685, I asked what I was getting compared to what I was looking at and it was better all around. I asked the guy if he would match the price on the other GT. Got it for $615 out the door.

    It is a 29er I wasn't really focusing on that but for the riding type I told the guy I was going to be doing he told me this would be more ideal until I am ready to get into harder tracks/trails/downhill (If I ever do). I have done my fair share on of research o 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 and 27.5/29er seem to be pretty good.

    I am a noob here but I suppose over time I will learn and hey its my first bike! I am exited to go on my first ride. I got a spare tub and of course a helmet... Need to find myself a nice pack now, but ill use my back pack for now.

    All in all I am stocked and ready to get my time in! I was really wanting a GT but Rocky Mountain has been around for 33years so that has to count for something! What do you guys think? - Don't be to harsh =D

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