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 rider needing info on bikes

    Alright so let me start this off by saying I just rode my first trail yesterday with a friend on his extra bike. I'm really wanting to get my own. His extra bike is just a cheap old thing so nothing I would want to ride on alot. He mainly rides mountain more just through woods on trails up and down hills it was some intense stuff. Alot of sharp turns and big hills. Not really sure as to what kind of bike i need to be looking for. I read some people saying to look on Craigslist.

    I looked on Craigslist and found a khs witch doctor with full suspension 26" rock shox shimano it said they were asking 400 is that a good deal it's from a pawn shop if not what kind of bikes should I look for all my friends ride treks. There are a couple bike stores near by but there prices are higher than online

  2. #2
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    Also I can spend probably around 500-600 not sure if that's enough to truley get started. I'm 6-2 I would imagine height matters

  3. #3
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    We don't know what kind of trails you have wherever you live, so why not get the opinion of your friends since they all seem to ride? For the price range you mentioned, you can get a fairly good bike on craigslist. The KHS you mentioned sounds like it's a older bike, so I would be curious as to more detailed specs on it. And yes, height does matter on the size of frame you purchase.
    Yeti SB-66 Carbon

  4. #4
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    I would suggest you find a used bike in the $400-$600 range and expect to replace it in a year or two, depending on how nice of a bike you can find. That gives you time to save up, learn what you enjoy, and figure out what bike you'd really like to be riding. It also limits your loss if it turns out the sport isn't for you.

    You're looking for a cross-country bike, probably a hardtail (but not necessarily), that has been well maintained. The seller would have posted pictures and listed the size, the year, and the bike's components - not having done so would be a bad sign. You don't really want anything more than 8 or so years old if you can help it.

    Most importantly, it has to fit you. If it doesn't, you aren't going to have fun, and that's a problem. At 6'2", you're going to be between a Large and Extra Large in most bike manufacturer's range, probably closer to a Large. If the frame size is measured in inches, you probably want something from 19" to 22". If it's local, be sure to try the bike out first. Once you get the saddle to the right height, you shouldn't feel stretched out or cramped up.

    Consider disc brakes mandatory. Not that rim brakes wouldn't be good enough, but a used bike without them is probably either too old or too low-end to give you a year of trouble-free use. They don't need to be hydraulic.

    Look for a name-brand fork. You want Rockshox, Fox, Manitou, Marzocchi, and you do not want Suntour or a no-name fork. How that front end behaves can have a big impact on whether you enjoy the bike (and thus the sport), and it is also a good indicator of the quality of the rest of the components if you don't know what else to look for.

    If you look at a full-suspension bike, make sure it uses an air shock - it'll look like a metal cylinder. If you see a really short coil (a couple inches long), it's a cheap bit of junk, and if you see a big long coil (several inches long) you're looking at a bike not suited to a beginner on XC trails.

    You can also look online, either in the classifieds here at MTBR or the buy/sell over at Pinkbike. You'll likely get better bang for your buck and a bike in better condition than on Craigslist, but you won't get to try it out first. I pulled a few listings that I'd say are examples of the sort of thing you're looking for, though not necessarily the right size for you:
    Marin AXC HT - Pinkbike
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Pro XL - Pinkbike
    Kona Cinder Cone w/ upgrades (18" M/L) - Pinkbike
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert - Medium - Pinkbike
    2006 trek fuel 80 medium - Pinkbike

    Let us know how it goes, and if you have any questions post 'em.

  5. #5
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    The KHS you mentioned sounds like it's a older bike, so I would be curious as to more detailed specs on it

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