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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    Mountain Bike under $600

    Hey everyone. I am new to mountain biking and am wanting to find a decent hardtail for under $600. I have been doing a lot of searching and reading reviews but was wanting some options from other people.
    I will be riding singletrack trails and some paved trails. Most will be beginner to intermediate trails for now.

    Any advice is good advice!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    One that I am looking at is the Motobecane fantom29 sport on bikes direct. I would rather have the fantom trail but they do not have my size in stock and I am not sure when they will have it again. I have never rode a Motobecane and was wondering how they rode?

  3. #3
    --Raleigh--
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    Craigslist, you can get a very nice hardtail for that budget on there even if you have to travel a few hours its usually worth the savings
    2011 Raleigh Talus 29 sport Commuter Mode
    2001 K2 Zed V Mountain Duty
    1994 GT Outpost Steel, Rigid Awesomeness

  4. #4
    official eMpTyBRain
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    If you are new and want to keep it simple, an Airborne Guardian is gonna give you your best bang for the buck. You order directly from the factory.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately the Guardian is a little over my budget right now. I am looking into the Giant Revel 1, a lot of the reviews seem good on it for a decent price.

  6. #6
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    Mountain Bike under $600

    You can get the following from REI which should all fit the bill. Plus, their 100% satisfaction guarantee makes it easy if you decide on a different direction later.

    Cannondale Trail 5
    Marin Bolinas
    GT Karakoram 3.0
    Raleigh Talus 29er
    Novara Torero

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    OP, do you have any friends who ride mountain bikes and know gear?

    $600 is a really tight budget for a retail bikes. It's still not all that good for clearance and catalog bikes. But for a used bike, it can get you quite a lot. I helped a friend of mine pick up a race-ready Scott Scale a couple years ago for that. And kicked myself for having bought mine at retail. :-P
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Re: Mountain Bike under $600

    You should be able to pick up a talon 2 for $599...might be over your budget with taxes. That's the same price as the Guardian, which is a really nice entry level bike.

  9. #9
    eff
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    Quote Originally Posted by aw2013 View Post
    Unfortunately the Guardian is a little over my budget right now. I am looking into the Giant Revel 1, a lot of the reviews seem good on it for a decent price.
    Well it is still under $600, lol.

    I have the 2012 Revel 1, and the Guardian is a much better value even though costing more. If you do go with the Revel 1, the first thing you will want to do is upgrade the fork with the Suntour upgrade program ($150-$175 more). If you do that, the Raidon for is much better than the XC28 that the Guardian comes with. The stock XCM fork is really suited to nothing more than bike paths and roads.

    That said, I really love my Revel. I have upgraded the fork, and complete drive train to a 1X9 setup essentially doubling+ my original cost.

    Go over the the Revel thread in the Giant forum for more information about them.

  10. #10
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    how tall are you. In this low/mid tier price categoris, 29" carry a ~2lb weight penalty which is substantial.

    if you want the best bike for under $600, go used.

    if you want new and the best value will be bikesdirect or airborne bikes. Look at the component list, as well as fit. Post in the motobecane subforum and airborne subforoum of your height and inseam to ask opinions on fit.

    Do not buy, then upgrade. Just buy a better bike in the first place, you get much more value this way.


    for pricing used bike
    Look on ebay for pricing info, this will get your started
    Sporting Goods > Outdoor Sports > Cycling > Bicycles & Frames > Mountain Bikes| eBay
    Last edited by bob13bob; 04-01-2013 at 11:28 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post

    Do not buy, then upgrade. Just buy a better bike in the first place, you get much more value this way.
    truth is that even at $600-700, almost all bikes still come with SR suntour XCM or Rockshox XC 30, which you will still end up uprading sooner or later. And again, bikedirect gives you good bang for your buck but they cheap out on fork on all the bikes they sell
    Last edited by epic-gamer; 04-01-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aw2013 View Post
    One that I am looking at is the Motobecane fantom29 sport on bikes direct. I would rather have the fantom trail but they do not have my size in stock and I am not sure when they will have it again. I have never rode a Motobecane and was wondering how they rode?
    The Moto 29er is a nice ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by aw2013 View Post
    Unfortunately the Guardian is a little over my budget right now. I am looking into the Giant Revel 1, a lot of the reviews seem good on it for a decent price.
    I also have the 2012 Giant Revel 1 and I have NO troubles on the trails around here. I have upgraded the grips and will be getting my new Suntour (upgrade program) Raidon and new pedals put on this week. You wont be dissappointed in a Revel 1 especially for an entry level bike. I would recommed upgrading the fork however. PM if you have any questions about my bike.

  14. #14
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    I appreciate all of the input!

    I checked my LBS' for the 2012 Giant Revel 1 but they are out of stock.
    I am stuck between getting a 26 or 29er, a lot of people I have talked to recommended the 29er for mainly trail riding but they are also a little more expensive.

    I am considering checking out the following:
    2013 Giant Revel 1 29er
    2012 Specialized Hardrock 29er disc
    2013 Motobecane fantom 29er trail

    The motobecane was my first choice but not being able to ride one before and bikes direct is out of them at this time.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Considering checking out? Just go ride them.

    Phone around and see if any shops in your area carry used bikes. IMO, used from a shop is a really good value - you get to keep some of the value-added aspects of buying retail, while getting a higher spec for your dollar. Anyway, if you have a shop, or a couple, doing this, you can ride them at the same time and then just buy your favorite, new or used.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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