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.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Never ridden before - looking for insights!

    Ok, so not totally true, but I haven't been on a bike since I was 6 or so.. But now I live in the city, and want to green my life a bit. My lady also rides quite often, and it would be nice to take her on trail rides and such.

    That being said, where do I start? My budget is 500$ or so, but I could go up if its deemed necessary I suppose.

    I did find a Cannondale Trail SL 29er 5, for around $600 at my local Costco. There is also a Cannondale SL4 for 700$ that is on eBay.

    Any thoughts on either of these? I will be doing some reading, but thoughts are definitely welcome!

    Thanks

    Also, not sure if it matters, but i'm a taller guy around 6'5 ish, so im guessing I would need a larger framed bike?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I am hoping you get a pile of suggestions and all of it is good.

    To start, do you have any friend/family/co-workers that ride? They can be a valuable source or advice or understanding and cheap parts!

    As a piece of general advice, a new rider can get 80-99% of the benefit of a new bike out of a properly tuned and adjusted used bike of almost any age, for a fraction of the money. The trick is discerning a good used bike from a less good one. That's where a buddy comes in.

    Don't sweat the components. I have never ridden a suspension fork that cost less than $300msrp that was actually better than a (much less expensive) rigid fork. Not every part in cycling has a linear more money -> more better function. Sometimes you are paying for the image (barely functional suspension forks on lower-end MTBs and hybrids give the impression of capability through the image of the fork, but you don't start getting the substance until a higher price point. Dig?

    Some stuff really is linear. Shimano Deore better than Alivio, SRAM X7 better than X4, but even here, the cheapest models still work. Most improvements are in the form of durability, weight-savings, and image.

    Anyhoo, if you choose a new bike, nearly every new bike nowadays is fine. Just make sure you get the right sized frame, and get the fit right (stem, seat height adjustments, etc). Then go riding. It will take a while before you know what you need to change, and then you'll know what to change!

    At 6'5" you are on most companies' XL or (maybe) XXL. Shorter bikes let you sit more upright, which makes for better ergonomics and comfort, and even better handling of tricky trail stuff.

  3. #3
    Hi There!
    Reputation: thegweed's Avatar
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    Most bikes for that amount of money will be about the same quality-wise, best advice I'd give is go around to some local shops, look at bikes in your price range and test ride them. Fit is so very important, and a good bike shop will insist on getting you the right fit. Maybe after you do that post up on here which bikes are on your short list and see what advice the folks have to say.
    NTFTC

  4. #4
    Cow Clicker
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  5. #5
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    Very good information and thoughts. Thank you very much! Lots to investigate! And thus far, i'm really leaning towards the '12 SL4 bike, looks to be an XL, but there isnt much listed as far as components. Not sure if that is a big deal or not.

  6. #6
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    For $450 you can get a Gravity Point1 from Bike Direct. It's Suntour fork is designed for bike paths and easy trails. If you want to ride the more difficult/fun trails with rocks, roots and fast downhills Nick at Suntour offers an upgrade Raidon air fork for 175+ship. The thread is in this section with reviews. It really does make a major difference.

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