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.
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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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    Mountain Bike Recommendation, sub-700

    Het, im new here and want to buy a bike, i dont live in the states so i cant test it and in my lbs they are very expensive and the used ones are usually medium or small, im 6ft btw.

    I can buy used in the south florida, miami area because i have a friend there, and im thinking about spending 700 on a hardtail.

    I want a bike that could take a commute of about 4 miles, mostly a steep hill so i want a light bike and some trail riding.

    Here's a video of the trails i'll be riding the most, i know they are DH trails but they are five
    minutes away from my house, i'll also go for some rides on the mountains from time to time.

    youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=eawqEvIxUP0


    I might also buy a better bike in the future and convert the one i'm buying into a commuter bike, s this a good a idea, and if so, what type of brands, frames and wheelsize do you recommend me for this purpose.

    Also if i can't find anything good used, i'll go for an Airborne Guardian for about 700 including shipping and pedals, good components but i don't know if the frame is light compared to similar bikes.

    Thanks for reading it.
    Last edited by nathaks; 11-19-2012 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Or should save and buy a used full suspension all mountain bike that could take some light commuting, then either buy a hybrid, road or electric bike for full commuting?


    I don't have to commute everyday as my university is walking distance.

  3. #3
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    I think the previous response was correct, don't expect any single bicycle to do both downhill duty and efficient commuting up a 4 mile incline.

    Where do you live? I doubt that every single bike on the used market is too small for you. I think two used bikes could come in below 700, if you're talking US Dollars, and if the used market is similar to the US.

  4. #4
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    The voodoo at the top of the list maybe used, or a Boardman - these two are highly rated in the UK & in your price range unless you're in the US then it would be different bikes

  5. #5
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    I live in Colombia , I just happen to have a friend in miami that can send my anything i buy in the us, well the bikes are pretty expensive here and a used 2011 hardrock is about 750 US, so you make yourself an idea.

    I think what i'd like the most i All Mountain, little XC but with nice drops, jumps and downhill, a good AM bike is about 1.2k used, but i think that will suck completely for commuting, even though i won't commute more than 3 times a week and will usually be 1 or 2 or none, so I was thinking about getting an Airborne Guardian for 700US and use for all purposes, then when i have more money transforme the guardian into commuter (buy a set of wheels) and buy a good AM bike, which will be a little more than 2k in the end, without the shipping costs to my country.

    What holds me back is that for 300 more I could get a really good all mountain bike that could take commuting, maybe bad but could, and then save some money and buy a prodecto phantom X (electric bicycle 1.300) that would be the perfect commuter and would end with the best of both worlds.

    Any opinion or idea please, also what's your take on 26 vs 29 for me?

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Take the money you will likely spend on two lower grade bikes and get a decent 29 HT and build a good aluminum wheelset. The original wheels can be setup for commuting with road oriented tires at higher psi. Use the 4 mile incline commute to build endurance. Single speed it and after awhile you should be able to run it in the next smaller rear cog, etc.

  7. #7
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    Check airborne and bikes direct. Other option is ebay used bike that ships outside USA. Does ur friend know about bikes? Can they ship the bike to you free from Florida?



    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

  8. #8
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    I would treat commuting as an afterthought actually. I have a Hardrock. When it rains and the trails are closed, I air the tires to full pressure (60psi on these particular tires) and do a loop around my town for 10-12 miles and it rides just fine. Just get what you want as far as trail goes, and increase pressure on the tires for your commute, decrease for trail use.
    They call me non-sequitur

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Take the money you will likely spend on two lower grade bikes and get a decent 29 HT and build a good aluminum wheelset. The original wheels can be setup for commuting with road oriented tires at higher psi. Use the 4 mile incline commute to build endurance. Single speed it and after awhile you should be able to run it in the next smaller rear cog, etc.
    That's good advice, an airborne guardian is fine for the job? or should i strive for a better one like the goblin for 1300, but whats the point in a bike like that when i could buy a used 26er FS for 1.2k? and about the aluminum wheelset, I have no idea what brands offer good value, what brands or references should i look for?

    Thanks
    Last edited by nathaks; 11-20-2012 at 02:17 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsymage View Post
    I would treat commuting as an afterthought actually. I have a Hardrock. When it rains and the trails are closed, I air the tires to full pressure (60psi on these particular tires) and do a loop around my town for 10-12 miles and it rides just fine. Just get what you want as far as trail goes, and increase pressure on the tires for your commute, decrease for trail use.
    Thanks for the feedback, now buying a road bike is completely out of the question, i'm going for a very good HT 29er

  11. #11
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    yeah,Just get what you want as far as trail goes, and increase pressure on the tires for your commute, decrease for trail use.

  12. #12
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    Judging from that video and what I know about Columbia (which isn't much) a 29" XC bike is inappropriate. You can ride any trail on any bike, but your performance will be limited. You're going to want multiple bikes if you are doing DH and commuting. Depending on how far you are commuting and where you are locking up your bike, I'd just pick up a junker dept. store bike for that and get a solid All Mountain or DH bike. Are there any MTB clubs in your area? Anyone who knows anyone who is replacing their bike? You are going to be hard pressed finding an appropriate bike for that price. Buy right once.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Judging from that video and what I know about Columbia (which isn't much) a 29" XC bike is inappropriate. You can ride any trail on any bike, but your performance will be limited. You're going to want multiple bikes if you are doing DH and commuting. Depending on how far you are commuting and where you are locking up your bike, I'd just pick up a junker dept. store bike for that and get a solid All Mountain or DH bike. Are there any MTB clubs in your area? Anyone who knows anyone who is replacing their bike? You are going to be hard pressed finding an appropriate bike for that price. Buy right once.
    I completely agree with Wmac. I own a 29 hardtail with "nice aluminum wheels" and I would never take it on a downhill course. Almost all 29 hardtails are cross country bikes. It sounds like you need an all mountain bike. I would purchase one of those and then pick up another bike for commuting. A mid 90s hardtail Trek or something like that dirt cheap and use the all mountain bike until then.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I completely agree with Wmac. I own a 29 hardtail with "nice aluminum wheels" and I would never take it on a downhill course. Almost all 29 hardtails are cross country bikes. It sounds like you need an all mountain bike. I would purchase one of those and then pick up another bike for commuting. A mid 90s hardtail Trek or something like that dirt cheap and use the all mountain bike until then.
    There is a local course in town, and i had taken my 29er hardtail down it a few times.. other then chicken running one 4' drop it was the most terrifieing thing i have ever done on a mountian bike. no matter what i do i was fighting back to not go over the bars, ever root and rock bucked me.. i still have rubber marks on my ass from being so far back on the really steep parts..

    im sure hardtails on DH courses can be done skillfully.. but im just not that good of a rider
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  15. #15
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    You're going to want the slack head tube and extra travel of an AM or DH bike.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  16. #16
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    i mean honestly if you want to ride DH, get an older DH bike and then pick up a commuter for 1-200.00

    you should be able to scoop a 2004 ish DH rig for about 700, maybeless but your prolly going to end up putting 300into it over the next year to get it up to par.

    commuters are cheap and dont require alot to keep them going, hell craigslist one for 50$
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  17. #17
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    This frame is built by Pacific, they build Niner and others. Says 15 but is actually 18" the only size it was sold. $40 and it will take heavy use.FlowEx wheels and a Reba or Manitou Tower Pro fork carefully shopped for and you are on your way

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Judging from that video and what I know about Columbia (which isn't much) a 29" XC bike is inappropriate. You can ride any trail on any bike, but your performance will be limited. You're going to want multiple bikes if you are doing DH and commuting. Depending on how far you are commuting and where you are locking up your bike, I'd just pick up a junker dept. store bike for that and get a solid All Mountain or DH bike. Are there any MTB clubs in your area? Anyone who knows anyone who is replacing their bike? You are going to be hard pressed finding an appropriate bike for that price. Buy right once.
    Ok that's pretty eye opening, as i said, commute is less than 4 miles and mostly on steep cement roads on the sidewalk, well there's indeed a DH club here but as I told earlier, the bikes here are pretty expensive, 2'000.000 US and up, and I could get a used one on craiglist for less including shipping.

    Now that you mention the thing about two bikes, if i get a nice all mountain bike, i should be able to do both DH and XC right? and then i'd just need a commuter, so should i go for a cheap road bike? i won't go less than 200 because it wouldn't be worth the shipping.

    Or buy a 500US HT for commuting and XC and a DH bike?

    What would be more convenient, given that the Downhill scene in my city is really big.

    Thanks for the advice, and i completely agree with the Buy right once principle, i don't want to be replacing parts in a year and things like that,

    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGB View Post
    i mean honestly if you want to ride DH, get an older DH bike and then pick up a commuter for 1-200.00

    you should be able to scoop a 2004 ish DH rig for about 700, maybeless but your prolly going to end up putting 300into it over the next year to get it up to par.

    commuters are cheap and dont require alot to keep them going, hell craigslist one for 50$
    Another one for two bikes, I don't want to put parts on it after a year, want a good bike on the start, i was thinking of an all mountain bike and maybe a road bike or a cheap HT.

    What do you think?

  19. #19
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    keep an eye out for a good used cheapish AM bike, but even if you find say a reign or a stinky for 5-700.00 if the shocks arnt 100% you can be looking at 2-300.00 to get them rebuilt in your first year.

    An AM bike can handle DH, but not as easily as a DH bike can. DH bikes will usually be coil sprung as AM will be for the most part air, and i think the coil are a little more rugged and may not require the rebuilds as soon.

    the biggest issue with buy used is if its been ridden its going to need a few hundred to get it into top shape again, unless you luck out and get a barely ridden bike. which does happen. But a 700$ used can become a 11-1200.00 dollar bike pretty quick.

    Performance bikes that you ride though are always going to be eating up parts, shock rebuilts, new coils for your weight, break pads, warped rotars, rear derailers get caught and bent, chain rings wear out, cassets, cables. It all adds up fast



    not trying to discourage you, just letting you know what you can be getting into. Its always worth taking a used bike to a shop and getting them to check it out. (always offer to pay for their opinion and time, and usually they wont charge you anything).
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGB View Post
    keep an eye out for a good used cheapish AM bike, but even if you find say a reign or a stinky for 5-700.00 if the shocks arnt 100% you can be looking at 2-300.00 to get them rebuilt in your first year.

    An AM bike can handle DH, but not as easily as a DH bike can. DH bikes will usually be coil sprung as AM will be for the most part air, and i think the coil are a little more rugged and may not require the rebuilds as soon.

    the biggest issue with buy used is if its been ridden its going to need a few hundred to get it into top shape again, unless you luck out and get a barely ridden bike. which does happen. But a 700$ used can become a 11-1200.00 dollar bike pretty quick.

    Performance bikes that you ride though are always going to be eating up parts, shock rebuilts, new coils for your weight, break pads, warped rotars, rear derailers get caught and bent, chain rings wear out, cassets, cables. It all adds up fast



    not trying to discourage you, just letting you know what you can be getting into. Its always worth taking a used bike to a shop and getting them to check it out. (always offer to pay for their opinion and time, and usually they wont charge you anything).
    The sub 700 was a guideline, i could always save more, so given the state of things and that i cant afford downhill, im going for a 700 HT to do light downhill, commuting and cross country, the airborne guardian looks very good to me, all the used in this price range that i find are worse than the guardian or bad FS

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