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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    New to it all!!!

    i got some questions? but first a little bit of info. I ride a crappy fred meyer brand full suspension bike i got for $15 off craigslist.org. the quests are as follows:
    What are the pros and cons of hardtail and full suspension?

    i obviously need a new bike please give me suggestions for one? remeber im a kid with very little money $500 used is pushing it!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by yimer999
    What are the pros and cons of hardtail and full suspension?
    ...
    i obviously need a new bike please give me suggestions for one? remeber im a kid with very little money $500 used is pushing it!
    One big con of full suspension is that it costs -- a lot. With $500 to spend, I suggest staying with a hardtail. I also suggest sticking with a major brand like Giant, Trek, Specialized, at least if you are buying new. Giant models to look at include the Yukon and Rincon. Specialized has the Hardrock, and I think the Rockhopper in your price range. Trek has their 4300 and 4500 models.I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much better a good hardtail is to ride than a cheap, full-suspension model.

    Since you asked, the pros of full-suspension include: 1) Better traction, because the suspension keeps the tire planted, and 2) a plusher ride that is easier on your body. Cons include high cost, higher maintenance needs, generally greater weight than a comparable hardtail, suspension bobbing when you climb.

    Good luck in choosing a new bike.

  3. #3
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    okay ty for the help but i was wondering if i could take a almost new trek 3500 and put a rock shock on it.

  4. #4
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    which fork from the rock shox lineup is it? is the fork new? (uncut steerer tube to fit the 3500) what size headtube is the fork? and i would make sure the travel of the fork isnt more than 120mm or you risk putting more stress on the frame than intended and the fork has to have v brake bosses (if the hubs arent disk hubs)

    if you are looking to buy the fork new and the bike new than its way cheaper to buy a model up say the trek 4500 and get all better parts than just upgrade a fork

  5. #5
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    What Spazzy says is good. I'll add that you should think through the cost very carefully. A Rockshox Dart 2 with 80mm of travel goes for $120 on Bikeman.com. Figure another $50 on the outside to have a dealer install that fork for you. (I advise against attempting the install yourself until you gain the correct tools and more experience). You'll be spending in the neighborhood of $170 to cobble a suspension fork onto a bike that appears to be designed more for street riding than for mountain-biking. Even if someone gives you that 3500 for free, it might be better to save the $170 towards something better down the line. If someone gave me a 3500, I would very likely just ride the bike in its fully-rigid configuration.

    Also, I just looked up the specs for the 2006 version of the 3500. I notice the chainrings in the front are sized larger than what you find on typical mountain-bikes. The rings on the 3500 have 48, 38, 28 teeth respectively, whereas a typical mountain-bike has rings with 42, 32, 22 teeth.. What that means is that your low gear on the 3500 will not be as "easy" to pedal in as it would be on, say, a current model 4500. That may not matter to you, but it's worth knowing about in advance.

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