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 Bike - 3 bikes I am considering

    Ok, I have been to a few LBSs, REI, and ***** Sporting Goods. I've decided that I'm going to buy a bike through bikesdirect.com.

    A couple of things....

    1) I'm a hotrod guy, so I'm not afraid of tools

    2) My budget is pretty strict...nothing over $380.

    With that in mind, I've compiled a list of 3 bikes. They all sound good to me, but I have no idea which bike actually has the better equipment/best bang for the buck.

    So here are the 3 bikes. I'd be grateful to anyone who could offer their opinion on these bikes and/or the hardware they include.

    Also, if there is another bike within my budget that I missed, please don't hesitate to suggest.

    Thank you!

    Gravity BaseCamp 2.0 $379.95

    Fork: SunTour XCT V3 long travel, preload, advanced LOCKOUT
    Front Derailleur: Shimano Acera
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio
    Brakes: Tektro Novela mechanical disc 160mm rotors
    Cassette/Freewheel: SHIMANO MegaRange 8 speed CS-HG308 11-34T-8


    2012 Motobecane 500HT $369.95

    Fork: SUNTOUR SF11-XCT-V3 + Lockout
    Front Derailleur: SHIMANO ACERA FDM360M6 TOP PULL
    Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO DEORE RDM591SGSL BLACK long cage
    Brakes: TEKTRO Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes
    Cassette/Freewheel: Cassette 11-32T 8 Speed (24 speeds total)

    2012 Dawes Haymaker 1200 - $379.95

    Fork: 26" SUSPENSION FORK, SUNTOUR XCT V4 ML W/LOCK OUT
    Front Derailleur: SHIMANO Top Swing (FDM190)
    Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO DEORE RD-M591L (H-normal)
    Brakes: TEKTRO NOVELA Mechanical Disc Brakes, 160mm Ventilated Steel Disc Rotors
    Cassette/Freewheel: SHIMANO CS-HG30-8spd 11-30T

  2. #2
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    Here is another one I would recommend looking at in that price range:

    Airborne Bicycles. Skyhawk

    The Skyhawk has slightly better specs, including hydraulic brakes.

  3. #3
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    You could just compare the retail value of the Wheels and the Forks to see which one's a better buy, but I think most are going to be fairly comparable at that price point... This Airborne Sabre is within your range after taxes and shipping, but I'd spend a little more and get the Skyhawk suggested above.

  4. #4
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    Wow, 2 Airborne suggestions already. Are they really that good? I've never heard of them until now.

    The Skyhawk looks nice, but after shipping & pedals, I'm looking at almost $100 over my strict budget.

    The Sabre looks nice too, but the specs appear to be lower than the 3 bikes I originally listed.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
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    I would say it's very hard for manufacturers to churn up bikes at that price point and still make a profit. I have an Airborne and my opinion is probably biased towards that because I think they're well made. If I were you, I'd flip a coin or just pick one of those bikes that "look" better in your eyes. When you think about it, it cost near $100 to have your LBS assemble the bike - that's almost a 1/3rd of your budget

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999cm999 View Post
    Wow, 2 Airborne suggestions already. Are they really that good? I've never heard of them until now.

    The Skyhawk looks nice, but after shipping & pedals, I'm looking at almost $100 over my strict budget.

    The Sabre looks nice too, but the specs appear to be lower than the 3 bikes I originally listed.

    Thank you.
    It isn't necessarily that they are "that good", it is that they offer a lot of bang for your buck just like the bikes direct bikes. With Airborne bikes, you seem to get slightly better components compared the the equivalent bikes direct bike.

  7. #7
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    adonis, Great point....I have a feeling you are right.

    What Airborne do you have? Are they an easy company to deal with?

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999cm999 View Post
    adonis, Great point....I have a feeling you are right.

    What Airborne do you have? Are they an easy company to deal with?

    Thanks
    I have the Guardian (29er) and yes they're very easy to deal with...give 'em a call

  9. #9
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    I am actually in the same boat with budget. Originally I budgeted around $500, so I was looking at the Skyhawk, but the Guardian is a decent amount better between the fork and 29 inch wheels so I might up my budget to go with the Airborne Guardian (which would be about $700 all-in).

  10. #10
    undercover brother
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    Another vote for the Airborne. Never ridden one but have only heard good things. Best of luck and post up pics of what you get!

  11. #11
    Airborne Product Dude
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    I hope no one minds me chiming in here, but I wanted to mention that Airborne is running a free freight promo at the moment.

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  12. #12
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    You mean shipping is free?

  13. #13
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Yep, free shipping to the Continental 48 States. We normally don't do this so this is a bit of a rare occasion. The free freight deal will run thru 7/30 then it is back to business as normal.

    Hope that helps!

    Jeremy
    Last edited by BigDaddyFlyer; 07-20-2012 at 10:42 AM.
    Airborne Dude.

  14. #14
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    Wow, that's awesome. I'll take a look at the Skyhawk again and compare to the 3 bikes I listed above.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999cm999 View Post
    Wow, that's awesome. I'll take a look at the Skyhawk again and compare to the 3 bikes I listed above.

    Thanks
    Looks like I might be getting the Skyhawk as well. After talking to Jeremy at Airborne back and forth I think I determined that although the Guardian is easily worth the $200 more, I am afraid that I won't do the bike justice and it was out of my original price range as well.

    Also, I was just told that the free shipping ends in July, rather than August 19th. I am sure he will update his post though. But just figured I would give a heads up.

    EDIT: It looks like he already updated the dates
    Last edited by xceebeex; 07-20-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  16. #16
    nOOb
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    Yep, free shipping to the Continental 48 States. We normally don't do this so this is a bit of a rare occasion. The free freight deal will run thru 7/30 then it is back to business as normal.

    Hope that helps!

    Jeremy
    So the free shipping promo ends 7-30 instead of 8-19 as stated on Airborne's Facebook page? Makes a big difference.
    '09 Cannondale F7
    '00 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  17. #17
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    Never heard of Airborne in my life. I'm not bashing the company but this whole thread sounds like a plug in.

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you don't mind used, there are some nice early 2000s bikes floating around that should come in for about your number, give you the opportunity to test ride, and have nicer builds.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlallak View Post
    So the free shipping promo ends 7-30 instead of 8-19 as stated on Airborne's Facebook page? Makes a big difference.
    It was an internal miscommunication, I hope it doesn't cause too much trouble for you. We will be updating the FB page with the 7/30 date.
    Airborne Dude.

  20. #20
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    Thread does sound like a plant. lol

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