Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 52
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28

    New here and looking to get a bike...

    I have done a search and tried to get more recent information than the Sticky thread.

    I have not owned a bike in almost 3 decades. Back then, you went to KMart and picked one up. I went to my local bike store and they were nice enough to try to get me to buy a $3000 bike. I told them I would just buy a cheap used car instead and walked out. Not to take away from those that have expensive bikes and that this is more than just a hobby. I understand the need for great gear that lasts. Just not in my budget now.

    I am looking at getting a bike that complements my New Year's workout program and to be able to start riding with my 6yo daughter. We have a greenway trail that borders our neighborhood and want to start riding it. I am not doing any mountain biking like most people here would do. It would mostly be riding across some grass to get to the greenway, riding on neighborhood roads, and a paved greenway. It traverses through the woods, so there could be any number of things on the ground. I would guess I would be doing about 15 miles 2-3 times a week.

    I am looking for some advice on what to get. My budget is around $500 (I am from the buy once, buy right group and not the buy once, need to sell then buy right group). I know it is not that much for what many have, but it is about all I can afford at the moment. I would spend $600-$700 if it would get me a much superior bike, but I would need convincing that it would.

    I am not even sure about bike sizes either. I am 6' tall, about 240Lbs (need to get to 200). Here is what I have seen at some of the local bike shops that I think fit my bill (I do not know though). I do not know where else to look or what to look for, but noticed Bikesdirect.com here and saw many options there.

    Any guidance or help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance from a new biker in Raleigh NC.

    Trek Bodega
    Trek 4300 Disc
    Trek Marlin SS
    Motobecane
    Dawes

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: drwx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    401
    for $500-600, you can get a brand new specialized rockhopper or a trek/gary fisher wahoo hardtail. Those would be what i would buy if i were going to buy new for $500.


    With that said, if you look at the used market, you can get much more for your money. For $350, I got a 2005 Giant VT2 full suspension. Since then, I've replaced the entire drive train, but am still only in for around $750 for pretty much a brand new bike. Before that, I was riding a 2005 Trek 4500 hardtail that i got for $175. I've regularly seen gary fisher marlins for between $300 and $400.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    thanks for the feedback. If I knew what I were looking for in a used bike or even where to look, that could be an option. Right now, I am too noob to know. I will start to look around at CL and other classifieds to see if there is anything local.

  4. #4
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,118
    If you're not going to ride on dirt then you don't need a mountain bike per se. You ABSOLUTELY do not need to buy one of those god awful bikesdirect full suspension bikes. They are poorly designed, very inefficient and heavy. If you were looking for a mountain bike, I would still be exactly as opposed to your purchase of one of those pieces of junk.

    Here's what you need to do; go to a bike shop and talk to someone. Have them size you on a bike and take a few in your price range out for a ride. Even if you don't end up buying at a shop (and I think that you should) at least you'll know what size you're looking for and have a baseline of how the bikes you're interesting in might feel.

    A hybrid bike (like the Bodega) would be very good on paved surfaces, adequate in the occasional grass crossings dirt roads or rough pavement, and not suitable to off road trails (mountain biking territority). A mountain bike (like the 4300) will be slow on pavement and will get better the rougher the surface becomes. A mountain bike can be fitted with more narrow tires to emulate a hybrid but a hybrid can not usually be fitted with tires to make it suitable to off-road. The Marlin SS wasn't quite the bike you linked to. SS means single speed, and that has its merits but you should really make sure that you're ready to have only one gear to pedal in. However, the larger diameter wheel of the Marlin (and Marlin SS) means that they will usually roll faster than a standard 26" mountain bike.

    I would suggest visiting as many bike shops as you possibly can, test riding every bike in and around your price range, and purchasing the bike you enjoy riding the most. If you don't have a ton of options for rides, then buy the one you like the best out of what you can test ride. I would avoid buying a bike online until you know exactly what you're buying.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for the feedback. I do have to go look at LBS. I will not get one from WalMart. I just listed some things as examples in the price range I am at. I just need to find a store that has more bikes in my price range and a sales guy that is not forcing me into a $3000 bike. I found a few more places near me that I can take a look at.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: db09jku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedNole View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I do have to go look at LBS. I will not get one from WalMart. I just listed some things as examples in the price range I am at. I just need to find a store that has more bikes in my price range and a sales guy that is not forcing me into a $3000 bike. I found a few more places near me that I can take a look at.
    I had a LBS (Authorized/Exclusive Trek Store) say and try to do the same thing to me. He asked if I would ride any trails, I said yes, he said, don't look at any of these bikes,, 3, and 4 series, that they are not real AM bikes. Then pushed me toward the higher end bikes that he didn't carry, but could order, and to look online.

    I left.

  7. #7
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,118
    Quote Originally Posted by db09jku View Post
    I had a LBS (Authorized/Exclusive Trek Store) say and try to do the same thing to me. He asked if I would ride any trails, I said yes, he said, don't look at any of these bikes,, 3, and 4 series, that they are not real AM bikes. Then pushed me toward the higher end bikes that he didn't carry, but could order, and to look online.

    I left.
    So you are mad because the sales person was trying to save you from buying a bike you would ruin? I don't get it.

    Did you continue the discussion after he said you should buy a higher end bike? Maybe mentioning that you weren't looking to spend that kind of money and actually talking about why the sales person was telling you to look at a higher end bike? Did you discuss the pros and cons of purchasing the 3 and 4 series bike vs a more expensive one? Or did you just storm out assuming they were trying to con you into a bigger sale?

    A lot of people under-buy their first bike and put a lot of money into keeping an inferior bike running when they could have saved money down the road by spending for the more expensive model up front. Maybe a lack of tact got in the way, but it is possible the sales person wasn't actively trying to screw you.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: db09jku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    So you are mad because the sales person was trying to save you from buying a bike you would ruin? I don't get it.

    Did you continue the discussion after he said you should buy a higher end bike? Maybe mentioning that you weren't looking to spend that kind of money and actually talking about why the sales person was telling you to look at a higher end bike? Did you discuss the pros and cons of purchasing the 3 and 4 series bike vs a more expensive one? Or did you just storm out assuming they were trying to con you into a bigger sale?

    A lot of people under-buy their first bike and put a lot of money into keeping an inferior bike running when they could have saved money down the road by spending for the more expensive model up front. Maybe a lack of tact got in the way, but it is possible the sales person wasn't actively trying to screw you.
    Not mad at all. I had told him what price range I was looking in as well and after that he said go look online at the higher end bikes and we will order something for you, he walked off and ended the conversation, leaving me standing there. I don't think he was trying to actively screw me, I think, since I balked at a $1000 and up bikes, he wasn't interested and didn't "have time" to show me around the 3 and 4 series bikes. So not really mad or offended, I was willing to listen and learn, he wasn't willing to advise or teach. His loss.

  9. #9
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,118
    Quote Originally Posted by db09jku View Post
    So not really mad or offended, I was willing to listen and learn, he wasn't willing to advise or teach. His loss.
    It's sad there are so many bike shops out there that this would be a common story at. Pretty spoiled where I live, there are dozens of shops and there are only a few that I don't consider to be good shops.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: db09jku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    It's sad there are so many bike shops out there that this would be a common story at. Pretty spoiled where I live, there are dozens of shops and there are only a few that I don't consider to be good shops.
    I did find another one, that is closer to me anyway, that seems to be the place to go. They sell Cannondales, and the two guys there that talked with me, asked the questions, what my preferences were and showed me around. Their supply was limited as well. During our conversation, one of the guys did say, and don't worry if you get your bike with us, used, online, wherever, and it doesn't matter what kind, we will help you anyway we can. I've only been in once, but I will be going back to order/buy some other stuff, accessories, etc, and possibly get it tuned if I have any issues with my build. Might need a little help with the derailleur. I've built several bikes from scratch, but never dealt with a derailleur.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GotoDengo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    893
    From your description, it sounds like just about anything (except for the bouncy, heavy cheap FS bikes) will do.

    As for the experience with the Trek dealer, based on your initial description you are not riding "trails", as you mention you told him. It's a subjective term, for sure, but to most MTB dealers it implies some sort of frequent, abusive behavior on the bike's components. Grass/pavement/greenway/dirt-path riding doesn't demand high-qualify components... components being the biggest difference between a cheap bike and an expensive one.

    He was correct that the 3000's aren't really "trail-worthy", but I think if you described your expected riding conditions to him more accurately, the 3000 or something similar is ideal. Dealers make most of their money on bikes in your price-range anyway... they're not really out to soak you.

    I would stay away from used or an online bike. In your price range even one trip to the shop will eat up any savings. I would suggest a LBS, who will give you free tune ups for some period of time, help you get fitted correctly, etc.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    86
    I don't think you need a mountain bike at all. Poking around the Trek site at least, there are several options that look good for what you want to do. I have no experience with any of them and would suggest trying to find a dealer to try them out. I live in a small rural town with one bike shop so I recognize that can be easier said than done sometimes. Based on your description though, I'd be looking at one of these 4.

    Under $500
    Navigator 1
    7.1 FX

    Over $500 but not by much, has a small amount of front suspension if you are worried about uneven pavement or twigs on the trail
    8.2 DS

    Just over $600, but highly regarded. Reviews at Kent's Bike Blog He's s Trek mechanic, has done the Tour Divide twice and still rides a $600 bike around town.
    Allant

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    174
    BigRedNole, if you are still looking at Bikes Direct this would be better option for your type of riding.
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
    Very flexible bike that can setup to do may things.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    I appreciate all the feedback so far. I went back to the same Trek shop on my way home. Unfortunately, I had my 6yo daughter with me. I spoke to a woman there and described what I was looking to do. Very sweet and knowledgeable.

    She was extremely familiar with what I am looking to do and it is a reason they opened a shop where the did. geographically, it is within about 2-4 miles of the greenway that I will ride. There are about 3-4 feeder paths to the main path that allows the different communities to access. I never thought of that.

    Her recommendation was very clear and she explained the reasons (at least for as long as my daughter was not wreaking havoc). She agreed with me that I need more time to talk with her, but she showed me a few options in their stands. I am meeting with her again tomorrow or Thursday. There is no guarantee I get a Trek bike, but she is going to take me through all of the differences between the options and why a mountain bike is not the right choice. Her recommendations were hybrid and comfort.

    Possibilities she pointed out:
    Hybrid: Trek Bodega, 7.1FX, Neko, Kaitai, DS

    She recommended, without measurements, a 19" or 21". Will know more when I can actually sit on a bike and check them out.

    There is another Trek store I will go to, another that carries Fuji & Raleigh, and Performance Bicycle carries Transit, Fuji, GT, and others.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    I went to another LBS at lunch since the rain stopped. Talked with an extremely knowledgeable pro there. I explained what I was going to need a bike fore, what my expectations were, and the little bits of info I have read here and other places. He met me at the door, pointed out the showroom, and explained why they had it setup that way.

    1. Kids bikes were at the far corner because it is the lowest part of their business
    2. The most expensive bikes were on the back wall racks. I think bikes over $1500
    3. On the other wall were mountain bikes up to $1500
    4. Road bikes (what I would have called 10 speeds back in the 70s and early 80s) were on the other wall
    5. In the middle were all of the hybrids which is a large part of their business.

    I explained what I was planning on doing. He proceeded to tell me that the part of the greenway I will ride is 1 mile from the store. Since I have never been on it, he proceed to explain what to expect. This is the reason for all of the hybrids in the middle of the store taking up about 60% of the space. They had very few hybrids without disc brakes. I asked about that. He gave me and another customer an education. The reason is that the greenway is often wet with puddles. He said disc brakes are much better suited and they definitely try to steer customers that direction.

    They had a several options without disc brakes on the lower end Trek and Specialized bikes. I do not know which models because I honestly did not like how they looked (compared to the others. He showed me the Specialized Crosstrail and Trek 8.4DS. He went through showing me the exact differences and why one was a little more than the other. He brought over some of the lower end bikes and showed the differences there as well.

    It started to rain, so no test ride. I was not dressed for it anyway. So, I started asking a few questions and asked about cyclocross bikes. He gave me a big education on those as well. He said he only steers people in that direction based on their goals and expectations. The cheapest was $1500 and significantly out of my reach. He did say that people that get the "cross trail" type bikes (8.4DS and Crosstrail) that really enjoy it do upgrade to cyclocross.

    I feel very comfortable with this LBS. I will visit 3-4 others while in my search. I believe that used is definitely out of the question unless it is a recommendation from on of the LBS. I simply do not know enough.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    207
    The 8.4 DS is a wooooonderful bike and that's coming from someone who has a couple of fairly high end All Mountain bikes. I have a friend who rides it on and off road, on the many trails that criss-cross my area. It stands up to even the more abusive end of his riding extremely well. It sounds to me like it would be just about perfect for what you're wanting to do.

    I think the cyclocross bikes might also be a good fit, but most of them tend to be set up for racing and as such are going to be very much above your initial price point.

    If you haven't gotten a chance to ride the DS I would definitely do so.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, cyclocross bikes are over my budget by a large margin. The 8.4 DS is at the extreme high end of my budget. If they had the 2011 model in my size at their clearance price of $649, I would have bought it today.

    I am trying to see if I can swing the $900 for the 8.4 DS. If I can find a way to do it, that may be the best route. The only cyclocross I have found at that extreme end of my budget is the one below. I am trying not to spend $900 though. I really want to be at $700 or less.

    Motobecane Outlaw

    Much more in my price range:
    Price Range

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GotoDengo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    893
    If it's mostly about riding with your 6yr old, frankly even a big-box bike will do fine. It's all about getting what you want, and feeling good about your decision, of course, but there's really no great reason for spending $900 for bike paths, IMO. What about the 8.3 or 8.2 DS? Even the 3500... which is essentially the 8.2 DS with knobby tires.

    If you get into biking, spending less on a casual bike will give you more funds for a better bike more suited to what you ride (road or mtb). There's nothing wrong with bikedirect, but you won't know if you like the look or feel until it's already on your doorstep. And, again, if you have any issues setting it up, or after you ride it a while (things "stretch" after a few rides and need adjustment), factor in the costs taking it to a shop. They won't help you set up an online bike for free. Think of it as $100 or so of free service included in a LBS bike, or $100 not reflected in price of a BD bike. That's not including any potential warranty issues, in which case you'll have to pay to ship the bike/part back to BD for claim processing... a LBS will handle that for you if you purchase from them.

    Post a pic when you make your decision!

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for the response GotoDengo. I will be riding more than just with my daughter. I prefer to be a buy it once buy it right group. I really liked the Trek DS line. The 8.3 was very nice, but sitting next to the 8.4 makes you look.

    Based on what I have seen at the LBS, I think I am going through one of them. It is going to be a matter of finding the best bang for the buck.

  20. #20
    Professional Speed Bump
    Reputation: captainjoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    755
    One of the biggest problems with buying your very first bike as a beginner is that you really don't know what you want out of the whole biking experience even if you say you do.

    Pretty much everyone goes through the process of "I want to only do this and that" but end up needing more or less after they get in to it.

    Most people who get in to it, only for the sake of exercise or to ride with the family often give up after a short while because it's not as fun as they had expected. Only a handful of people will keep going with these objectives because riding for exercise can get repetitive and boring. Riding with family will only happen when your family members want to ride (which won't be all the time).

    BUT if you're like most of the beginners who come to this forum for advice, then likely you'll end up on the dirt trails and will soon be hooked.

    Even though it's difficult to predict the future, I think you need to consider your personality as a reference for what you may end up doing with this biking thing.

    As an example, I started biking on paths because I wanted to exercise and had absolutely no intentions of hitting dirt. And after several weeks of boredom I was riding less and less with little motivation to keep going. Luckily a friend of mine suggested we try a bit of dirt on a local trail that I didn't even know existed.

    I've been riding dirt as well as paved for around 5 years now and I don't think I'll ever stop.

    ANYWAYS, sorry for the long post but I just wanted to point out that finding that perfect bike NOW, for all your future rides may be unrealistic.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thanks captainjoon. I appreciate any insight I can get. Fortunately, I have a medical necessity to get my weight and cholesterol down. Biking is in addition to a workout program. I definitely will not be biking every day. I plan to get out 2-3 time per week. I also want to get my daughter out more so she is not one of those XBox, cartoon babies eating hot pockets 12 hours a day.

    I wish I could say I would not be doing any trail riding, but I can't. I do know I will not be doing anything hardcore. If I did now what I did growing up, you can spark up the oven now and cremate me: 10' jumps over an empty pool (10' + the bottom of the pool is a long fall), playing knights by throwing broom sticks in each others front spokes (nothing like getting tossed over your handlebars and on your face for "fun").

    The Trek dealer did say that the rims on the 8.4DS can accommodate a different tire that is on one of the Trek mtbs. Another LBS told me that a hybrid is great at nothing but can do a little of everything. They recommended to get a mountain bike and deal with negatives of neighborhood riding.

  22. #22
    Titanium junkie
    Reputation: Loudviking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,422
    I just thought I would chime in and offer some help, I don't know were you are in the
    U.S. but my favorite local shop sells Masi bikes. Took one of the cyclocross out for a spin,
    and was very impressed, impressed enough to want one now. Very striking frames with
    very sound components, and if memory serves me I believe they are in your price range.
    Don't know if one of your shops close by would have them, but take a look.
    Good luck.Masi Bikes - Cyclocross - CX UNO
    My LBS has this model marked down to 699.00

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    30
    I'm also a noob at mountain biking. I have been looking for the right bike for a while, but my # of lbs is limited.
    My local Cannondale shop is very small and less than a year old. The owner is a really nice guy and he knows that he needs to offer some great service to stay in business.
    I talked to him a couple of times about what I was looking for and he found a nice selection of 2011 closeouts for me. I was leaning toward a Trail SL4 for under $500, which is originally $700 at the lbs.
    I finally decided on the Trail SL2 for $600. The original price was $1000, so I was thrilled with the deal and it had everything I was looking for.
    I can understand why you were turned off by the guys trying to push a $3000 bike on you. I did a lot of reading on this website and then reading more details on specific bike maker's websites.
    Get some ideas of what you like from the comfort of your home and then take that info with you to the lbs. I would definitely stick with the shop that offers the best service and seems to value your business. The biggest lbs that sells a lot of high end bikes may not have much time to help you in the future. The more you can prepare before going into the lbs, the less you will need to deal with the recommendations of workers trying to steer you toward a bike that's out of your price range.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Well, last night I took a hit. Wife's computer died. That doesn't necessarily mean my budget has changed.

    I went back to Performance Bikes and there was an extremely knowledgeable salesman that helped me. He started off on the low end and went up to the high end. Believe it or not, I kept eyeing the low end bike. The main reason is that it has all of the capabilities to upgrade in the future.

    Low End:
    Diamondback

    High End (extreme high end of my budget):
    Focus ***The probably do not have my size anyway

  25. #25
    better than I deserve
    Reputation: roblee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    478
    10 years ago a bike in that $8-9 hundred price range came with XT der.s and better components and now they come with middle of the road Deore and generic stuff.I can`t see buying any of the new bikes. I`d rather find a good clean used bike for so much less money.JMO

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    710
    2011 GT Avalanche 1.0 is like $599 at performance. Id get that for your budget. Plus if you don't like it return it. Plus performance staff doesn't try to get you to buy the most expensive bike just so the company gets the money.

    Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk

  27. #27
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,118
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedNole View Post
    Well, last night I took a hit. Wife's computer died. That doesn't necessarily mean my budget has changed.

    I went back to Performance Bikes and there was an extremely knowledgeable salesman that helped me. He started off on the low end and went up to the high end. Believe it or not, I kept eyeing the low end bike. The main reason is that it has all of the capabilities to upgrade in the future.
    It really doesn't matter how much a bike costs or how much money off you get when you buy it. The only thing that matters is that the bike fits you and you feel comfortable riding it.

    I would suggest not spending to the top of your budget because you'll probably want to buy things like a decent helmet, some gloves, tools to carry with you for emergencies like patch kit and a pump or maybe a multi-tool, and you might want to get some cycling clothes which (believe it or not) make the experience much better.

    What "capabilities" are you speaking about in regards to upgrading? Buying parts separately to install on the bike is almost always more expensive than if you could buy them on the bike already. There is rarely a good reason to just upgrade a new bike, and I always suggest to wait until you break something before you replace it. Of course, that's easier said than done but buying a bike just to upgrade it is rarely the best course of action.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for that. I meant component upgrading way down the road, not buying a bike now and buying a component immediately to upgrade. I will be getting the Trek 8.3 DS, Trek 8.4 DS for one LBS or something from Performance Bikes. Those two places were the most welcoming and offer great after sale service. The one store offers lifetime maintenance on the bike (less parts if required).

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    I went to the LBS to check out the 8.4 DS. The guy talked to me for a bit, asked where I lived, where I planned on riding, etc. He actually recommended a mountain bike over the hybrid. He has been on the greenway where I live, knows what I have to go through to get to it, and knows trails that are off the greenway. He said if I planned to go the route I wanted to get to it, I would be carrying a hybrid most of the way. He said 2 or 3 times of that and I would stop. He brought the path up on Google Maps, showed me some of the trails he has done.

    I test rode the 8.4 DS and a Marlin 29er. The 8.4 DS was better on the rode, but not as good as the Marlin on the gravel and trail they have there. The Marlin was not as good on the road, but more than adequate.

    I am more confused now

  30. #30
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,118
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedNole View Post
    I am more confused now
    Easy:

    Hybrids are completely ill equipped to handle off road conditions.

    If you think that you might be interested in riding dirt trails, rough dirt roads, or loose surfaces then you need to buy a mountain bike. If you will be sticking exclusively to paved and smooth surfaces then a hybrid is the possible better choice.

    Mountain bikes can be made more on-road friendly, but hybrids can not be made to handle off-road conditions. Put a pair of thin high pressure tires on a mountain bike (especially a 29'er) and make it very similar to a hybrid bike, but you can not put thick tires on a hybrid due to frame constraints. If you are considering that dirt trails could be in your future then the only bike you should be considering would be a mountain bike.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    86
    Now you've opened a whole new can of worms.

    I started out looking at the Marlin, thinking that was about all I wanted to spend. That was prior to finding these forums. After reading a bunch of these threads, learning about the differences in components, and what it costs to upgrade stuff later, my X-Caliber comes in next week. You might notice my join date is last July so it only took me 6 months to figure it out. Also that gave me time to save up the extra money I needed. Might not work for your situation of course but that's what happened for me.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CheesePuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    30
    Have you tried the Diamondback? It'll probably ride just as well as the Marlin and save you a few bucks to get some accessories you'll eventually need. Then later on if you really get into MT biking, you'll know exactly what you'll want and what type of riding you like most.

    I got back into riding because of my kids. My daughter wanted to ride a bike since she didn't know how and her friends rode. Once I taught her to ride, I then taught my son as he needed to get off the Xbox. Once he learned to ride, somehow i had to be able to watch them ride on the streets and keep up, so I wound up getting a bike, which was just as well since i needed the exercise.

    I wound up getting a Gary Fisher Wahoo, 26" version. It had "lower" end components and V-brakes, but for where we rode , streets and river basin trails that had more mud than rocks it was perfect and at a price point i could afford. It wasn't until later when we moved and got into a more mountaineous area (southeast region), I realized we had to start upgrading as our bikes weren't really cut out for some of the trails we were going on. And yeah when you start looking for specific purpose bikes, those $1500 bikes start looking cheap.

    So IMHO stick with your lower end budget and try not to push it as this would be your first bike in a while. Get the bike that you'll use, fits well and is comfortable to ride . Any extra money you save, put it into your daughter's bike (see the family biking forum for ideas) . That way you get an instant riding buddy who hopefully will like to ride as much as you do!

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    54
    Nole, I was recently in a similar situation. I was sure that I was purchasing an 8.3 DS. I ended up trying one out on the local trail (it runs right by the LBS). I then tried a Specialized Crosstrail. Surprisingly, I wasn't too hip to either of them. The LBS employee then had me try the Trek 4300 and explained why he thought it was a better choice. I immediately felt more comfortable on the 4300 and was impressed. I went back the next day and bought the 4300. I have put quite a few miles on the 4300 and have no regrets at all. It's a great bike for the money.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster."

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    I purchased the 19" 8.4 DS this afternoon. I love the bike. I got tired of the searching and knowing I would probably get that one anyway. The LBS provides general maintenance lifetime for free. They also offer a 5 year full warranty as well. I have a year to decide on that.

    I am very happy with my purchase.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,367
    Welcome Red.

    EDITED:

    I was sort of in the same boat as you when beinning biking as an adult, and replied to you. However, forgot to hit Refresh before I replied, and now see you got something already, so what I wrote is no longer applicable. It won't let me delete the whole post, so I edited it and will take the opportunity to say "hi" and enjoy your new bike.

    Congratulations. I am at Trek fan myself, and think you will like yours. It looks like a lot of bike for the money. I think it is heavy-duty enough to try on cross-country mountain bike trails if you get a chance.

    How much is the warranty? It has one year already, so you would be purchasing an extra four years, right?
    Last edited by DennisF; 01-14-2012 at 08:47 PM.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Warranty would be 4 extra years. I can purchase it within the first year of ownership. It is only $75. It covers parts and labor. I will have to research this and make a decision.

  37. #37
    Clyde on a mission!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    719
    Congratulations on your new bike. It's hard to pick out a bike before actually being used to biking, I went through the same problem half a year ago and ended up pulling the trigger on a decent hardtail with nice parts, just like you did.

    As for the weight loss, cholesterol, training thing, I highly recommend starting out easy and adding a tiny bit of extra distance every run. I started out with 2 mile, 10-15 minute rides, then added another 2-300 yards every run. It feels a bit silly at first and some days I felt like I could go for much longer rides, but I called those days "easy" and stuck with the plan of only adding a tiny bit extra.

    The important stuff at the beginning is making it "manageable", if you go "hero" on your fifth ride and put in an hour, you might be too bombed to do an hour the next day too and you'll start making excuses as to why you can't really afford to spend an hour away from the family. So start out easy, a 10 minute ride is a great first ride. No matter how bad a shape you're in you can do 10 minutes and convincing yourself to do 11 minutes tomorrow seems easy enough too. Just keep adding 2-300 yards every time you ride, your body gets used to it, it feels easy and in a month or two you're doing 15 miles 1½ hour rides without blinking. Your body will be used to it and your family will be used to daddy spending time on a bike.

    Throw away your scale while you're at it. In the beginning you won't lose much weight, and riding for a month only to discover that you're not any lighter yet really kills the motivation. Put the scale away with the christmas ornaments in the attic and just stick to riding a bit further every time - I promise you, that in two months you will feel completely different and know for sure that everything has improved, you sleep better, your stamina has gone up, you don't get winded on stairs, sex life improves too, your kid feels you're happier, trust me, you will know.

    Pep talk over, enjoy your bike!

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Riding for weight control/loss and staying healthy is only a compliment to my workout. I am on a 6 days a week, 45 minutes per day workout program. Riding is only going to add to it. An example was yesterday. I worked out for 45 minutes, went to look at bikes. I test road 3 bikes for about 10 minutes each through the parking lot and around a neighborhood. Maybe 0.75 miles each ride. My legs were on fire and I was sweating like crazy after.

    I am definitely not taking it hardcore. If I get 1-2 miles in a day, I will be happy. If the weight loss goes down 20-30 in 3 months, then it will be an all new ball game at that time. For now, it is riding with my daughter around the neighborhood.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: db09jku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    113
    I went 9 miles, 5 on trail, for the first time ever on my new bike. I'm a runner, ran a half Marathon in December with a time of 1:52. I'm not bragging but in pretty good shape. That MB ride kicked my ass in a good way. My legs are not really "sore" but I feel the workout I put them through yesterday.

    First real ride in over 20 years, an I'm hooked!

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Richard_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    for $500-600, you can get a brand new specialized rockhopper or a trek/gary fisher wahoo hardtail. Those would be what i would buy if i were going to buy new for $500.


    With that said, if you look at the used market, you can get much more for your money. For $350, I got a 2005 Giant VT2 full suspension. Since then, I've replaced the entire drive train, but am still only in for around $750 for pretty much a brand new bike. Before that, I was riding a 2005 Trek 4500 hardtail that i got for $175. I've regularly seen gary fisher marlins for between $300 and $400.
    I'm in the same boat as the OP , trying to narrow it down , I started looking at Santa Cruz bikes , then soon realized they are way out of my budget , damn nice bikes , the Hekler made me all tingly , and since I am new to this sport , I figured baby steps , I am wanting something that can handle some abuse , so far I have looked at the Trek Marlin , I live close to Black Rock , and would like something that would be a good bike for the area , I like the idea of buying new for the idea of a warranty and maintenance

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    for $500-600, you can get a brand new specialized rockhopper or a trek/gary fisher wahoo hardtail. Those would be what i would buy if i were going to buy new for $500.


    With that said, if you look at the used market, you can get much more for your money. For $350, I got a 2005 Giant VT2 full suspension. Since then, I've replaced the entire drive train, but am still only in for around $750 for pretty much a brand new bike. Before that, I was riding a 2005 Trek 4500 hardtail that i got for $175. I've regularly seen gary fisher marlins for between $300 and $400.
    Don't buy a new entry level Trek or Specialized. They come with Shimano Tourney components. Switch to another manufacture such as GT or Fuji. You'll get better components on their entry level hardtails.

    For those that don't know... Toruney components are the some of the same components you buy on a WalMart bike.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Richard_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    Don't buy a new entry level Trek or Specialized. They come with Shimano Tourney components. Switch to another manufacture such as GT or Fuji. You'll get better components on their entry level hardtails.

    For those that don't know... Toruney components are the some of the same components you buy on a WalMart bike.
    I looked on the GT sight , Tourney components are used on theirs as well , I'm looking for a good all around bike , I wish I could justify spending $2400.00 on a bike , but right now it doesnt make sense . it would be nice to find one make in the USA , but it seems all sub $1000.00 bikes are made in China

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    The Trek Marlin 29er is a nice bike. I almost went that route when the store talked me out of it. They gave me 90-day return on my 8.4 DS if I chose to change to another bike. They did that only because they believe they are right in their recommendation.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    Giant makes 60% of all the bike frames in the world.

    You'll be hard pressed to find a US made frame for less than a couple grand...
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Richard_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedNole View Post
    The Trek Marlin 29er is a nice bike. I almost went that route when the store talked me out of it. They gave me 90-day return on my 8.4 DS if I chose to change to another bike. They did that only because they believe they are right in their recommendation.
    how is the 8.4 DS in the rough stuff , I want something that can handle the abuse of off road

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GotoDengo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    893
    Nole-

    Totally overlooked in your OP that you were in Raleigh, as am I. Just food for thought on the 90-day return:

    The 8.4 isn't going to hold up at all to any of the single-track here. None of the trails around here are all that technical, and we're fortunate to have a dozen+ trails within short driving distance, but they're all very rough and rooty. You will need a dedicated mountain bike, something in the 4000-series at least. You will bend the 8.4's rims the first trip out, and the cranks on it are geared towards road-riding.... most MTB trails have sections where grade is steeper than what you find on the road, and you won't have the easier granny gears to fall back on.

    For exercise on greenways, the Tobacco trail, Umstead park gravel road, etc, the 8.4 is fine. Just letting you know that, if you do get the bug, you will need to pony up for a bona fide mountain bike -- another $800+ from a LBS.

    As Zebrahum said, you can make a mountain bike halfway-capable on the road by simply switching the tires . It doesn't work the other way around. Sorry if I'm introducing any second-guessing or anxiety . But since you said you were going to "check out the trails"... just wanted to give you a heads-up that you may in fact bend the 8.4's rims if you hit Crabtree, Harris, Chapel-Hill, etc. Food for thought on your decision whether to keep it...

    Good luck!

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Thx for the input. I will not be doing any trail riding. For me, it is across grass and a gravel road at WRAL Soccer Complex to get to the greenway. I had gone back and forth on the MTB/Hybrid decision many times over. If it comes down to doing any trail riding, I will need to buy another bike.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_ View Post
    how is the 8.4 DS in the rough stuff , I want something that can handle the abuse of off road
    Hybrids are not the way to go then. You need a mtb. Depending on how rough you want to make it, the price will go up quickly as I have found while shopping. The 8.4 DS is perfect for my needs. I will ride of soccer field grass and a gravel road a little to get to a paved trail. That is about all the abuse I think it can handle or is designed to handle.

  49. #49
    New MTB XC Racer
    Reputation: Rum Runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    253
    Good luck with your new wheels
    When you go riding with your daughter you will see that you both will be able to go much farther and longer than you realize while having fun together.
    Cheers,
    Paul

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    24
    Congratulations on your new bike!

    Is it kind of silly that I feel a new bike is pretty much as exciting as buying a new car? Here's to hoping you have many happy miles on it on your road to a healthier life!!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •