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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    Need a Low Priced Mtb

    I am a college student at Texas State University (poor college student ;D) and I was looking at road bikes, but then I think that I would end up wanting to do some offroading trails in Austin, TX on the weekends.

    Can anyone recommend me a fairly inexpensive option for a new Mountain Bike that would be optimal for offroad (maybe hilly college campus life as well; but not a priority)

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    What do you consider fairly inexpensive. That is a different value to everyone.

    My advice for any of my friends who want to get into mountain biking at low cost is to look for used.

    here are some resources:
    Bicycle Blue Book - Used Bikes
    BikePedia
    Noob Guide to Buying a used MTB
    Noob Buyer's Guide

  3. #3
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    Sorry for the vague response. I would like to spend 250(unrealistic I know)-450 at max.

    I was looking at bikesdirect.com

  4. #4
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    I understand the whole "broke student" thing. I've been there myself living on Top Ramen. I know it all too well. Is this something you want to do once in awhile or do you plan on really getting into it and sticking with it? Because if its something you just want to do to get out a couple times a month, then something from bikesdirect should work out just fine. But if you're in it for the long haul, then I'd suggest getting a slightly better bike. Nothing wrong with the bikesdirect stuff, but at the $300 price range, the components are pretty crappy. For a few more hundred bucks, I'd look into getting an Airborne Guardian 2.0. You get a decent groupset and a nice fork to start. It will save you money in the long run. They also have a "Bill Me Later" option as well that a few of my friends have used on their bikes. Its slightly above your max budget at $599.99, but I think you'll be getting a pretty nice bike.

    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian 2.0

  5. #5
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    go visit the Yellow Bike Project, or even better, the Orange bike project to work on whatever bike you have.

    check out Frankenbike:
    FrankenBike # 99 ~ October 27, 2013 ~ 10am-4pm ~
    Clown Dog Bikes ~ 2821 San Jacinto Blvd ~ 78705
    or start cruising craigslist. we can help you sort the junk from the good stuff. keep in mind that a used bike can often turn into an expensive bike if the parts are worn out. you might think that the 5 year-old hardtail you got was a steal for $200 until you realize that the suspension and drivetrain are worn out and require $350 in parts and labor to make it safe to ride again.

    bike shops are starting to mark down 2013 bikes as 2014 models start to roll in. check some of the local shops. you can throw a rock in any direction in Austin and hit one nine of of ten times. REI has some interesting mark-downs sometimes.

    online bike stores can be a bargain, but sometimes they are not. there are tons of discussions on this forum about the value of these bikes. consider the cost of assembly (get a bike mechanic to set up your bike the first time!) and maintenance in your purchase. put a helmet, lights, flat repair kit, and a lock in your budget.

    as for Austin trails, most of the trails here are f-ing brutal. you can ride them on any bike, some people supposedly shred the BCGB on fixed gear 'cross bikes, but riding the ledges and loose rocks in the Greenbelt or Emma Long (have not been there yet, heard stories of horror and dismemberment) on a low-end bike will require a certain level of ... commitment. you are going to get frustrated and bored if your bike cannot handle that abuse. on the other hand, Austin has endless possibilities of paths, roads, parks, etc where you can ride a entry-level bike or hybrid. I enjoy riding certain trails on my mountain bike and long country roads and bike paths on my touring bike equally. the Shoal Creek route is safe, long, and tons of fun.

    if you are considering (and you should) a new bike from a local bike store and you want to ride Austin trails, I would say you're wasting your money on the brutal, rocky, technical trails around here if you spend less than $1000 on the bike.

  6. #6
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    The BD Gravity Point 1 is $419 delivered.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    It has a Suntour fork designed for bikepaths. Lots of bikes priced under 800 have them.
    Suntour says---
    RTR: Recreational trail
    Work out with your buddies: No rough terrain, no steep climbs or downhills!
    Just floating along the city, river or through the forest behind your house.

    But Nick at Suntour has a $200 with shipping upgrade program. You get a Raidon air fork with trail level performance.
    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

    So ride the GP1 and if the fork beats you up on the fun trails, upgrade.

  7. #7
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    "The BD Gravity Point 1 is $419 delivered.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    It has a Suntour fork designed for bikepaths. Lots of bikes priced under 800 have them.
    Suntour says---
    RTR: Recreational trail
    Work out with your buddies: No rough terrain, no steep climbs or downhills!
    Just floating along the city, river or through the forest behind your house.

    But Nick at Suntour has a $200 with shipping upgrade program. You get a Raidon air fork with trail level performance.
    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork

    So ride the GP1 and if the fork beats you up on the fun trails, upgrade."

    Seems like a very viable option.

    Can anyone else comment on this? Thank you -Nic

    Found this (idk how good it is; also no pics yet) : 2012 Scott 29er Mountain Bike Large

    Amazon.com: Diamondback 2013 Overdrive V 29'er Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels: Sports & Outdoors

  8. #8
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    Also what size would be ideal?

    I am 5'9" 170-190lb depending weight lifting phase

  9. #9
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    "Medium" size frame. Probably 16"-18" frame. I am about your size and i usually end up on smaller 16" frames but you could ride a 18". A "large is usually more like a 20" and probably too big for you. The only way to be certain is to test ride that SPECIFIC model and size. Every company sizes a little differently.

  10. #10
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    Alright; right now I'm looking at these 3.

    Diamondback Overdrive - $399.99 Amazon - If I love offroading I can upgrade the fork/shock.
    Amazon.com: Diamondback 2013 Overdrive V 29'er Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels: Sports & Outdoors

    Amazon.com: Diamondback 2013 Overdrive 29'er Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels: Sports & Outdoors

    Airborne Guardian 2.0 - $599.99 - Looks amazing in black/red and has great specs from what i've seen and heard (no upgrades needed)
    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian 2.0

    Karate Monkey - $ no clue - apparently you can upgrade it to gears/shocks

    Of course I'm still a noob when it comes to bikes so I'm just browsing and posting what I find has "decent" reviews for entry level. Although like stated Austin, TX has trails that beat bikes.

  11. #11
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    I ride a 16" karate monkey. It's awesome but probably outside your price range. I have ridden it single-speed and rigid but recently put a suspension fork and a rear derailleur on it so it's a 1x9 drive. If you're not committed to self-torture and humiliation, you will not enjoy it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Need a Low Priced Mtb

    Check out some of the diamondbacks on eBay. Bikesdirect value is not as good as it used to be. I think there were some $400 bikes on there.


    You can see my post history which links to a tier list of components.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    Check out some of the diamondbacks on eBay. Bikesdirect value is not as good as it used to be. I think there were some $400 bikes on there.


    You can see my post history which links to a tier list of components.
    Thanks

    Edit: Holy crap. I was leaning towards the Airborne but it's $70 shipping and you need to buy pedals -.-
    Last edited by Gedemer; 10-03-2013 at 06:03 AM.

  14. #14
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    That Scott Aspect 29er would be a good first bike. You could also probably get it for $400.

  15. #15
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    Alright so far; since I havent been to REI yet I am deciding between eb1888's option:

    Gravity 29Point1 and then later if needed upgrade the shock. (although the bike is fairly ugly)

    Or:

    Just biting the bullet on the Airborne Guardian (599.99 + 70 shipping + 40 for pedals)

    So Airborne Guardian (either white or black/red) with these pedals (black or yellow)
    Electron Pedals

  16. #16
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    The overdrive has been 374.99 from performance bike for some time now. I bought that bike a few weeks ago as a first time biker trying the sport out and I love it. For the price, I am extremely happy with it.

  17. #17
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    Oh, it's 374.99 for the disc brake version of the Overdrive, as I saw you were looking at the Overdrive V with linear brakes for 399.

  18. #18
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    Yea I prefer disc brakes.

  19. #19
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    Re: Need a Low Priced Mtb

    Also, try visiting your local bike shop. The prices on the 2013 models should be way lower than the corresponding MSRP, because the 2014 models have started coming in.
    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

  20. #20
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    What's the consensus on size? 16 vs 18.

    170-190lbs, 5'9" barefoot, 33 waist

  21. #21
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    Go to pedal powers and look at their bikes

    Last year's bikes are usually 40% off. Ask nicely

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skewe View Post
    Go to pedal powers and look at their bikes

    Last year's bikes are usually 40% off. Ask nicely
    That's funny. Cause I never knew it was even there until about 15 min ago when I was driving on the frontage road and saw it. Too bad it was closed. Will go tomorrow

  23. #23
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    You cant go wrong with trek. I would think at your price, you might be able to get out with a trek 3500 and if they have a 4300 around, you might be able to get it.

    Look for last year's model as there is no point getting the latest n greatest.

    Check craigslist too
    SA and Austin

  24. #24
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    Are these pedals acceptable?

    Nukeproof Electron Flat Pedals 2013

    Deity Compound 2013

  25. #25
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    Don't understand why you are looking at a 30-40$ pedals when you are looking to buy a 250$ bike. You are spending the wrong way, but that is your money. The pedals cost 15-20% of your bike?

    Get a $2000 bike then worry about getting good pedals.
    Pedals will be the last on my list

    Get the bike, then
    -helmet
    -Fox gloves

    I highly recommend the helmet and the Fox gloves.

    p.s. don't wear the gloves on campus

    All the best

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