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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    Need Advice On Buying My First Mountain Bike

    So I am looking into buying my first mountain bike and have doing quite a bit of research but cannot decide. The bikes that I am considering at the moment are:

    Diamondback Response XE - $400
    Specialized Hardrock '12 - $423
    Specialized Hardrock '13 - $440
    Specialized Hardrock Disc ' 13 - $520
    Giant Revel 2 '12 - $370
    Giant Revel 3 '13 - $440
    Giant Revel 1 '12 - $500
    Giant Revel 1 '13 - $525

    Ideally I do not want to go over $500 but if the quality saves me in the long run from shelling out more money than I can bite the bullet. I am looking to go trail riding in North Carolina. i eventually might like to ride around on the road but would look at different bikes if I decide to go that route. I have not had a chance to test ride any of them yet but am hoping to tomorrow to see firsthand. I don't know much and may be wrong but from what I am reading I don't the components are too much different for most of them. I was looking more at the Response or the Hardrock Disc based on them having disc brakes but is this a necessity? Will this be a big deal if I passed on disc brakes? Would the disc brakes on the Response be quality? The Response seems like a great price but I am not sure how I feel about buying it from Dick's unless I get the extended warranty. The local bike shop will let me test ride them and will also offer service as well so that is a plus. What would you recommend? Am I going to notice a big difference from the others as opposed to the Response? I don't really want to buy something I end up upgrading later but I also don't want to pay a ton since I am getting started and want to make sure I want to stick with it. I went to one of the LBS around and the guy recommended a RockHopper. I think his advice was great and he was wonderful it is just more than I want to spend on a bike. I think he knew his stuff well but I just can't go that high.

    Sorry for the long winded post but what would you recommend?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Your main problem is getting experience on trails to see if you want to be involved in the sport. If you can get that out of the way before you decide how much to spend your choice should be easier. Go with a friend on his second bike, rent a good quality bike or attend a demo day to get the info you need.
    The bikes in this price range are designed by the manufacturers to be used on bike paths and easy trails not the fun/difficult ones in North Carolina.
    The brakes aren't the min problem.
    The $60 Suntour fork doesn't have adjustable rebound damping(pogo), the 28mm stanchions are flexy at speed over multiple bumps. You'll be on the brakes all the time to compensate for a lack of control. You won't have a realistic view of the sport.
    You can use the Suntour upgrade program for a fork designed for trails(Raidon or Epicon).
    You can get a used bike off ebay or CL.
    Maybe you are naturally talented and can ride anything anywhere.
    The first and third ideas at the beginning of the post are free.

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