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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    Noobie commuter.

    Hello All.

    I have been commuting by bike for about 2 months now. I have a cheap Walmart bike (Genesis 29er) (it was all I could afford at the time, and I needed it now.) In the past two months I have had to get the bottom bracket replaced (which messed up the back wheel enough to need to be replaced as well.) So I have spend almost the cost of the bike in repairs alone at this point.

    I'm a big guy, I'm 6'2 and 300 pounds (yep, I'm a fatty) I ride on bike/walking trails. I live in Seattle, so it will be raining a lot here in a few months.

    I need a tank of a bike. I need something that will last me a long time with just basic upkeep and repairs. I ride 60+ miles a week. I would like it to be a 29er, which is what I have now...

    I have heard good things about Giant and Trek bikes. And one of my coworkers has a Diamondback that he abuses, and even after a car crash it's still going strong. So I'm kind of leaning toward that brand.

    My budget is 600. I am going to try to wait a few more months to see about getting an older model bike for cheaper. ***** has a sell right now on Diamondback bikes. They even have a 29er Response.

    I would like it to have disc breaks, but it's not a deal breaker. I would like to be able to upgrade to them down the line if it doesn't have them.

    I would be very grateful for any help.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Since you live in Seattle, go to Recycled Cycles and see what they've got for you. As a disclaimer, Recycled sponsors my team (and several others) but I'd have mentioned them last year too.

    A couple other places worth looking are Second Ascent and Play-It-Again Sports. If you're at Play-It-Again anyway, stick your head in at REI.

    Though if you're not going off-road, $600 isn't so bad for a retail bike either. Where do you live? Neighborhood is fine. Though I guess if you're dumb enough to post your street address on a public forum... :-P

    Nothing wrong with the bike shop level Diamondbacks, but I don't think they're magically better than everyone else's $600 hardtail either.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    In your particular situation, pay attention to whether there are mounts for fenders and a rack on the bike. While not strictly necessary, they make it much less of a fight to mount full fenders once it gets wet and nasty. And those make riding wet streets much less unpleasant. Kona commute bikes and Surly bikes in general are Peggy good about this. Not sure about Diamondback.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I live in South Park. (I work in Renton.)

    Cool thanks for the stores. I haven't heard of any of them. (well other then REI...)

    Short hand for Richard sporting goods is having a sell on Diamondbacks right now. So that's why they are the one that I thought of first. ( I guess the shorthand for Richard is edited...)

    I bought fenders that strap on. Or at lest are easy to mount/dismount from my local bike shop. They work well. But being able to add a basket on the back would be a huge plus.

    Thanks for the help!

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I lived in North Seattle, so I'm afraid that's further south than where I'm familiar with shops. Still, just visiting your three closest wouldn't be a bad way to learn a bit more about what's out there.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    I could always make a day of it and go north.

    And the local bike shop I go to has mostly FS bikes. But ya, just being able to see more of what's out there then what that shop has would be awesome.

    Thanks again for the help.

  7. #7
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    Pay a visit to the commuting forum. Lots of folks there ride all sorts of different bikes. There's a lot of love for the rigid 29er as a commute bike there. Can put fat road tires on it for pavement, or move up to knobbies if you want to take it into more uncharted territory. Also a lot of love for rehabbing a used bike and modifying it to be what you want.

  8. #8
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    Cool, thanks for the tip. I will have to check it out as well.

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