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 help picking a good mountain bike -- calling on experts

    I'm new to the MTB world. I've been running "professionally" for several years now and am looking to get into the MTB-ing sport.

    Not willing to spend tons of money on a bike till I know what I'm getting into. Sub-$600.

    I definitely need Double-walled wheels/rims (durability, people said the singles cause flats all the time) and Disc brakes.

    I've been looking at the Trek X-Caliber 4. I've read reviews and it seems like half the time bikers are so biased to their $3,000 bikes the cheaper ones get beat down all the time. My other interest was the Specialized Hardrock Disc, but my local bike shops don't carry the Hardrock line and my Scheels only carries Trek for the most part.

    I'll obviously be a beginner, and will be riding on gravel roads, road, and singletrack trails (nothing extreme, like downhills or mountain climbing).


    Any suggestions would be great.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Go Speed Racer
    Reputation: mtbdennis's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of MTB! For Sub $600 new you are not going to get much (thats just the truth). You may be able to find a good closeout deal for last years model or something like that, but at that price range I would DEFINITELY stick with a hard-tail (not a full suspension). Basically what you are going to get is a very low end bike that will probably weigh close to 40 pounds.

    As someone who likes to compete, I have a feeling you will probably love the sport, and trade this bike in quickly for something better. If you do buy something in this price range, I would not suggest upgrading any of the parts once you get it, just ride it, and if you decide to stick with the sport down the road, sell this one (or keep it for wife/kids/backup), and get better bike.

    You may also consider getting something used from ebay/craigs list/local shop. You can probably find something that is a few years old that is MUCH better than what you can get new for that price...
    -- Bikes are effin cool --

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Welcome to the world of MTB! For Sub $600 new you are not going to get much (thats just the truth). You may be able to find a good closeout deal for last years model or something like that, but at that price range I would DEFINITELY stick with a hard-tail (not a full suspension). Basically what you are going to get is a very low end bike that will probably weigh close to 40 pounds.

    As someone who likes to compete, I have a feeling you will probably love the sport, and trade this bike in quickly for something better. If you do buy something in this price range, I would not suggest upgrading any of the parts once you get it, just ride it, and if you decide to stick with the sport down the road, sell this one (or keep it for wife/kids/backup), and get better bike.

    You may also consider getting something used from ebay/craigs list/local shop. You can probably find something that is a few years old that is MUCH better than what you can get new for that price...
    I'm more interested in durability factor over comfort.

    Would you say thats the case for these bikes?

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    For $600, you can get a very durable, functional used bike or a new one that's not really fit for purpose for trail riding. There's a reason people get $3000 bikes, and it's not just status. The cheap ones don't do great on durability, since you've mentioned that as important to you.

    Do you run with a team? Ask around and whine on Facebook. See if you can shake loose a nice old hardtail someone's had in the garage lately. Make a few calls, too, and find out which of your local shops carries used and if you have a shop specializing in that or a co-op in your area.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Talk to some of your running buddies. I'm sure some of them ride too and can help you get into a good used bike. Your $600 would be better spent there as opposed to a entry level bike. Just be patient and what until the find the right deal.

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