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 MTB (Question on bikes)

    What region of the country do I live in? Long Island, New York
    Where do I plan to ride my new bike? Local Trails
    Are there any YouTube videos of the trails I plan to ride? I don't think so.
    How much time do I plan on devoting to this hobby? As much as I can. Probably go out 1-2 times a week.
    What is my previous cycling experience? Used to ride around in the trails and BMX 5-10 years ago.
    Have I participated in other hobbies, sports or activities that may give me relevant skills? No, but I am an athletic person. I snowboard, played football, lacrosse, and basketball all my life.
    What are my mechanical abilities? Nothing crazy.
    Do I currently own a bike? no.
    Do I currently own a helmet, gloves, padded shorts, proper shoes, Cyclocomputer, Finish line bike wash, Finishline brush kit, shop rags, chain lube, chain stay protector (I like Shelter), Gloves, good socks, solid tire pressure gauge, floor tire pump, on trail tire pump or cartridges, shock pump, good three way hex, mufti tool, spare bottles, cages, backpack to put all your gear in? i got a backpack!
    Why do I want to buy a new bike? becuase i don't have one.
    How much research have I already done and do I have an idea of what I want? i done a bit of reasearch, i don't really know much about bikes in general but i've been looking towards the giant revel 1.
    Do I have friends who are into the hobby? What's their mechanical and riding experience? nah
    What kind of bikes do my riding buddies ride? -
    What kind of bikes do I see on the trails I plan to ride? (Full suspension, hardtail, rigid, single speed, geared) don't know
    Can I really afford this hobby? Are my credit cards paid off? Do I have savings in the bank and money to burn? i have around 600$ to burn at the moment
    How much money do I want to spend on this hobby over the next year? well i hope after i buy my bike i am willing to throw around another 200$ for upgrades
    What am I trying to accomplish by participating in this hobby? cardio that's enjoyable
    How do I expect my life to be different a year from the day my new bike arrives? i expect my bike to be a year old. not really sure what kind of question this is lol i expect to be in better shape and a lot better bike rider.


    I'm pretty much new to MTB, I used to ride the trails back when I was younger around 10 years ago. I'm very comfortable on a bike and can handle myself well. I'm 5'9-10 around 185 lbs, athletic build. I have a budget of around 600$ and after reading a bit I have sorta made up my mind. I'm pretty sure I want a 26" instead of 29", I believe i'd rather have the maneuverability that comes with the 26", at least I think so, not exactly sure. I live in Long Island, Ny, so if you have any ideas on Bike shops that I should buy from or take a look at please let me know. And buying online is out of the question right?
    i have sorta slimmed my selection down to 2 bikes (but totally still up for any suggestions)
    trek 3500/3700 or giant revel 1.
    are these good "beginner" bikes? i don't plan on riding on roads at all, strictly trails.
    sorry if my writing is all over the place right now, i'm recently getting over jaw surgery and my jaws wired shut so I just took my pain meds and my mind is fried

    i personally don't think USED is a good way for me to go due to the lack of knowledge in bikes.

  2. #2
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    Those are both great entry level bikes from what i've seen so far you will probably be guided more toward the giant. Honestly if thats what you narrowed it down to specifically ride them both and find out which one you like the most. Specialized bikes such as a hardrock or an on sale rockhopper may be worth your time to look into as well. Honestly over all just check out what you can in that price range and test them all.


    I'm sure someone else will come along with a more elaborate answer if this doesnt help you quite enough.

  3. #3
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    The thing is I didn't really like "narrow" it down, those are just 2 bikes I've heard that were good for beginners. I'm open to all suggestions!

  4. #4
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    The Suntour fork on some of these bikes limits them initially to bikepaths and easier trails. No adjustable rebound damping and internal metal bushing not spec'ed for speed and multiple bumps. Suntour is offering an upgrade air fork in another thread. A lot of these bikes get resold after a year or less. They would be a good bike at the lower price with a fork upgrade. A 2010-12 RockShox Reba dual air fork would drastically upgrade their capability.

    If you find a fun trail, expect your upgrade budget to increase. Most bikes, even up to $k benefit from a light wheelset. and lighter faster tires. SLX brakes are another good upgrade over Avids.

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't rule out bikes

    Craigslist and the MTBR classifieds both provide markets for higher end used bikes. You don't need to be an expert to evaluate a used bike, you just need to do some Googling about the brand and model, be able to evaluate the size for your body, look for cracks in the frame, rust in bolt heads, etc. You can save a lot of money buying used and replacing the brake pads, grips, chain and cassette yourself. Park Tools gives online instructions. PricePoint has lots of tools that perform the same functions as Park, but cheaper for less frequent use. Throughout the last 20 years I've used those tools and knowledge more frequently than I expected.

    Starting out there is a lot of value in a good, e.g. helpful and knowledgeable, local bike shop and buying new you'd get the warranty that many manufacturers offer. If your 600 allows you to get a Specialized with a decent (not 20 pound) fork I'd initially look in that direction. Like you I don't see any need to go the 29er route. 26 inch wheels work very well for me, and I don't need to chase the latest craze ($$$) when my current equipment works just fine for what I ask it to do. If I was riding bikes for a living then maybe it'd be worth it.

    Just focus on riding for fun, however you define it, and don't get too wrapped up in the latest equipment upgrade marketing campaign (2x10 MTB drivetrains and remote dropping seatposts come to mind).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Zulu View Post
    Craigslist and the MTBR classifieds both provide markets for higher end used bikes. You don't need to be an expert to evaluate a used bike, you just need to do some Googling about the brand and model, be able to evaluate the size for your body, look for cracks in the frame, rust in bolt heads, etc. You can save a lot of money buying used and replacing the brake pads, grips, chain and cassette yourself. Park Tools gives online instructions. PricePoint has lots of tools that perform the same functions as Park, but cheaper for less frequent use. Throughout the last 20 years I've used those tools and knowledge more frequently than I expected.

    Starting out there is a lot of value in a good, e.g. helpful and knowledgeable, local bike shop and buying new you'd get the warranty that many manufacturers offer. If your 600 allows you to get a Specialized with a decent (not 20 pound) fork I'd initially look in that direction. Like you I don't see any need to go the 29er route. 26 inch wheels work very well for me, and I don't need to chase the latest craze ($$$) when my current equipment works just fine for what I ask it to do. If I was riding bikes for a living then maybe it'd be worth it.

    Just focus on riding for fun, however you define it, and don't get too wrapped up in the latest equipment upgrade marketing campaign (2x10 MTB drivetrains and remote dropping seatposts come to mind).
    Exactly. Used is the best way to go but looking through my local LBS for 600 you cant get really any bike with an amazing fork. But same bike used will mostly likely leave enough space in cash to upgrade the fork and get more of what will benefit you. For beginner bikes there are a few worth while out there both of the bikes you said plus the ones I said. There are more brands to look into but those are most popular. If you take a good hold to the sport in a few years you might want to upgrade your bike anyway and therefore it may not be necessary to have spent big cash on upgrades. Just keep that in mind.

  7. #7
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    i really don't know what i'm looking for on craigslist though hmm

  8. #8
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    :deleted:
    Last edited by keith421; 01-19-2013 at 02:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Cannondale - $500 (Elmhurst)

    what kinda bike is this? it looks good. what should i ask the guy, what kind of information/details should i get?

  10. #10
    clown question, bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith421 View Post
    Cannondale - $500 (Elmhurst)

    what kinda bike is this? it looks good. what should i ask the guy, what kind of information/details should i get?
    It's a 2011 [I think] Cannondale Trail SL 2. It should have 26" wheels rather than 29 as well. Spec wise, it's going to be quite a bit more bike than what you will get new in the $600 range as it would have retailed for north of $1000 just a couple years ago.

    Looks to be in good shape, but it's hard to say from one cellphone pic. I'd definitely take a look at it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  11. #11
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    Go to The Bicycle Planet in Syosset, NY and have a look around. They carry many different quality brands like Giant, Trek and Specialized. They will let you rent the Specialized model named Hardrock model for $40 a day. This is a fantastic bike for a beginner that is in your price range and should have a good resale value if you enjoy mountain biking and want to upgrade to a different model in the future.

    I don't have any connection to The Bicycle Planet, nor have I ever been to it. I don't even live in your area but just looked up bike dealers near Long Island and they look like they have a good selection. As a beginner, I think it is extremely important to develop a good relationship with what is known as your "LBS" - local bike shop. If you like the staff and they are helpful to you, then that is who you should buy from. Nothing wrong with buying a used bike and perhaps you have a few LBS there on Long Island who deal in reliable used bikes. Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith421 View Post
    Cannondale - $500 (Elmhurst)

    what kinda bike is this? it looks good. what should i ask the guy, what kind of information/details should i get?
    That cannondale still has the reflectors on it which makes me think it wasn't ridden too hard.

  13. #13
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    Yeah it does look like its in pretty good condition. Although the seller is a bit fishy, I asked a couple questions such as; what kind of riding it has been through, how much he has ridden it, and if he has any other photos that I can look at or if he can take some more. His only reply was "short run" then I replied saying huh and he replied saying "short ride". So I really don't know what's going on

  14. #14
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    You can get ripped off or scammed unless you know about bikes. Ask him for the serial number so you can check the stolen bike registry. If he refuses, keep looking. If you're new, local clubs can be very helpful.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  15. #15
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    You can get ripped off or scammed unless you know about bikes. Ask him for the serial number so you can check the stolen bike registry. If he refuses, keep looking. If you're new, local clubs can be very helpful.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  16. #16
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    2012 Trek Marlin 19" 29er hardtail Mountain Bike - $620 (Mastic)

    Trying to sell my 2012 Trek Marlin. I bought this bike new earlier this year in the spring. The bike is in very good condition and has been maintained and well cared for. It was used up until recently. I rode it mainly at MVH and the occasional GR this season. It has served me well and is quite capable but i want to upgrade at this time because i want to trade up to a better equipped bike. I have also upgraded a few components along the way.

    Here is a link to the original component spec
    TrekBikes.com Bike Archive | 2012 Marlin

    Upgrades over stock components-
    Ergon Gp-1 grips(unused originals included)
    Shimano HG-51 11-30T 8 speed cassette and chain (recently installed)(original parts included)
    SRAM X5 Rear Derailleur 8/9 speed(sorry stick killed original X4)
    Shimano PD- M324 dual platform clipless pedals
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 rear(recently installed/like new)
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25 front(recently installed/like new)
    Tire's are converted to tubeless

    Drive train upgrades performed by LBS. Also rear bearings cleaned, re-lubed and adjusted. Headset as well

    Brand new unused set of organic pads included

    http://imageshack.us/a/img96/8149/img0871bh.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img194/1492/img0872uw.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img252/9412/img0873y.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img407/4043/img0874b.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img856/5360/img0875fr.jpg

    or

    Gary Fisher Marlin - $400 (levittown)

  17. #17
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith421 View Post
    apparently an ad for a 29er
    I thought you weren't in the market for a 29er.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck View Post
    I thought you weren't in the market for a 29er.
    Well at first I wasn't relaly sure. People were telling me it's less maneuverable but then i hear it's not so bad. So i'm keeping my options open.

  19. #19
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    I'm a more DH/FR oriented rider so am a 26erfile, but the majority of my XC oriented friends have gone 29er. Definitely ride them both if you can before you buy. Look at your lbs and see if they have rentals or demo bikes you can try out.

  20. #20
    clown question, bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith421 View Post
    2012 Trek Marlin 19" 29er hardtail Mountain Bike - $620 (Mastic)

    Trying to sell my 2012 Trek Marlin. I bought this bike new earlier this year in the spring. The bike is in very good condition and has been maintained and well cared for. It was used up until recently. I rode it mainly at MVH and the occasional GR this season. It has served me well and is quite capable but i want to upgrade at this time because i want to trade up to a better equipped bike. I have also upgraded a few components along the way.

    Here is a link to the original component spec
    TrekBikes.com Bike Archive | 2012 Marlin

    Upgrades over stock components-
    Ergon Gp-1 grips(unused originals included)
    Shimano HG-51 11-30T 8 speed cassette and chain (recently installed)(original parts included)
    SRAM X5 Rear Derailleur 8/9 speed(sorry stick killed original X4)
    Shimano PD- M324 dual platform clipless pedals
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 rear(recently installed/like new)
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25 front(recently installed/like new)
    Tire's are converted to tubeless

    Drive train upgrades performed by LBS. Also rear bearings cleaned, re-lubed and adjusted. Headset as well

    Brand new unused set of organic pads included

    http://imageshack.us/a/img96/8149/img0871bh.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img194/1492/img0872uw.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img252/9412/img0873y.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img407/4043/img0874b.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img856/5360/img0875fr.jpg

    or

    Gary Fisher Marlin - $400 (levittown)

    If the Cannondale is legit, that's gonna be the better bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  21. #21
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    Id get the cnnondale but I just don't feel like driving for 45 mins to get robbed lol

  22. #22
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    Can you call the dude with the cannondale? Maybe hearing his voice will give you a better idea of how sketchy he is?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan.gurc View Post
    Can you call the dude with the cannondale? Maybe hearing his voice will give you a better idea of how sketchy he is?
    Barely spoke english, wasn't worht it for me.

    I'm now looking at this 2010 Specialized M4 Rockhopper (Medium Hardtail) - Pinkbike what size is Medium? 17",18"? I'm around 5'8-5'9 is this a good size?

    Specialized Rockhopper Disc 17 5in 2012 Demo MTB Hydraulic Brake Front Susp | eBay

    sorry i keep posting these, i'm trying to make a good purchase and you guys know a LOT more than me

  24. #24
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    i saw alot of bikes on craigslist for sale that seem to be good for the money.

  25. #25
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    With the debate over Craigslist and New, find out what the shop offers post-purchase, might push you towards new.

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