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.
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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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    Ok, so i am naive...

    ...and quite new to the sport.

    I tried ordering my first bike through my lbs today. Apparently they are out of stock at Trek, and in order to get the bike i want, ill have to find it by search the on hand stock at all the local shops. In my search of this bike (the Trek 3900 disc for anyone who cares), i ran across a guy at one of the shops that told me that he didnt have that bike in stock and would never order it for anyone. He said i was a fool for wanting to buy an entry level bike with disc brakes as opposed to v-brakes. He also said that i shouldnt be looking at any bikes that dont come with double-walled tires. Fortunately for me he happened to have another model that had v-brakes and double-walled tires in stock for only $300 more than the model that i was looking for. ($300 over my budget by the way) All the research that i have done up until this point was that disc breaks were prefered over v-brakes and no one has told me that double-walled tires are essential for an entry-level bike. So my question to you guys is...is this guy for real? or is he just trying to sell me a bike?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
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    I don't know too much about the double-walled tires, but I would definitely go with the disc brakes. They might weigh a little more compared to other sets of brakes, but I feel like their stopping power is better than anything else. They'll work wet, dry, muddy, whatever. You don't always have that confidence with other types of brakes. I'll never go back to anything but discs! Sorry I couldn't help with the tires...
    I like long rides. Especially when they're taken by people who annoy me...

  3. #3
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    well with what little i know, the disk brakes are preference until you do DH and or more serious rides. entry level it should not really concern you too much, i have an entry level bike and want disks cause i like them better.
    as for the double walled tire ordeal, the only thing double walled is the rim(that i know of) and it is sturdier and most do not need to be trued as often depending on what kind of riding you do, but they do take drops and stuff better.

  4. #4
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    Probably meant double walled rims which are preferred because of increased stiffness and strength. As far as v-brakes vs. disc brakes...v-brakes are still an ok option. They work and work well. Disc brakes just work better. They are not as finicky about conditions so you can expect them to work regardless of dry, wet, or muddy trail conditions. I don't really know anything about the brakes that come on the Trek 3900 so I cannot comment on those. I do know that my first bike had really low end disc brakes and they seemed to work well enough. I could tell a pretty good difference when I bought my new bike that had BB5's and now I am building a bike that will have BB7's so I hope to see some improvement there.

  5. #5
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    Won't your LBS work with you on a different model? Or a different make? They should be able to order a Gary Fisher Advance for about the same price if they carry Trek. The Hardrock Sport Disc would be another option, and I'd be surprised if there's not a comparable Giant. One $550 hardtail is more-or-less like another, IMHO - you should choose based on fit and whether or not you like the shop.

    I think there's a lot to be said for starting with discs, even on an entry level bike. They're better. If you ride in less-than-ideal conditions, like rain or mud or snow, the difference is huge.

    It's hard to tell whether the guy thought he was being altruistic or just wanted to make a bigger sale. I think that new bikes at the 3900's pricepoint are generally pretty poor value - pretty much everything on them is difficult to tune and keep tuned and the forks are jokes.

    However, if you're willing to spend $530 on a bike and you take it to a dealer selling used bikes, you can get quite a lot. Sometimes you can also stretch it pretty far on a bike that's been on the showroom floor for a season or two.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    That LBS guy sounds like a jackass. I wouldn't give him my business.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopping_Rocks
    That LBS guy sounds like a jackass. I wouldn't give him my business.
    My thoughts exactly.
    :wq

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopping_Rocks
    That LBS guy sounds like a jackass. I wouldn't give him my business.
    +1 I am new to the sport and just got my first bike a couple months ago. I spent quite a bit of time shopping around and asking questions. I couldn't believe the attitudes most of the shops had. Each shop sold particular brands and of course they were the "best" and everything else was crap and "stupid". There were a couple shops that were really great and helpful and didn't try to take you for an idiot, but in my experience 80% of the shops were full of pompous asses who thought they were king shits.

    On the other hand, as a new person to biking, I wouldn't order a bike without riding that exact model first. You need to get a feel for what you like and what you don't like.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopping_Rocks
    That LBS guy sounds like a jackass. I wouldn't give him my business.

    +2 find another shop and or find another brand that comparable to the 3900 that's in stock.
    Last edited by bRyAZSig228; 04-16-2010 at 08:45 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopping_Rocks
    That LBS guy sounds like a jackass. I wouldn't give him my business.
    +3

    And you want disc brakes FOR SURE because if you get V brakes now and want to upgrade to disc brakes down the line... it's not going to be an option. Without getting new hubs and rims... and basically way too much money.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsmosher
    +3

    And you want disc brakes FOR SURE because if you get V brakes now and want to upgrade to disc brakes down the line... it's not going to be an option. Without getting new hubs and rims... and basically way too much money.
    I found a trek new Trek 6500 with V-brakes and is supposedly "disc ready". The guy is asking $450 for the bike and im sure i could get him down a bit. Would this be a good investment? What would it take to convert a "disc ready" bike to disc and how much would it cost roughly?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine3982
    I found a trek new Trek 6500 with V-brakes and is supposedly "disc ready". The guy is asking $450 for the bike and im sure i could get him down a bit. Would this be a good investment? What would it take to convert a "disc ready" bike to disc and how much would it cost roughly?
    All depends what kind of brakes you buy. (Mechanical, hydraulic...)

    But $100+ at the least. Assuming you do your own labor.

    Basically you'd just have to buy disc brakes and install them if the rims/hubs are disc ready.

  13. #13
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    The salesman may have some across as a prick, but there's some truth to what he's telling you. Bikes are built around a price point. Personally if I can get an better drive train with v-brakes vs lower quality drive train with disc. I'd go with v-brakes. Look at the overall package, disc would be nice but try to get the best drive train, shifters & rims you can for your money. A little braking diffence will not impact your ride near as much as cheaping out on the other parts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsmosher
    All depends what kind of brakes you buy. (Mechanical, hydraulic...)

    But $100+ at the least. Assuming you do your own labor.

    Basically you'd just have to buy disc brakes and install them if the rims/hubs are disc ready.
    He said that the rims are double walled and disc ready...would there be any other components that might have to be replaced besides the brakes? Sorry im still not to familiar with everything that it would entail...

  15. #15
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    You're worrying too much about brakes. If they're saying the wheels are disc ready it should mean they have disc compatible rims and calipher mounts on the frame, but you never know what people are talking about until you see the bike. You'd have to mount the disc to the rims, mount the calipers to the bike, run new brake lines and adjust.

  16. #16
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    Disc brakes don't know what kind of rims you have. That's one of the awesome things about them, actually - it frees people up to have 700C road wheels on a 26" MTB, or 650B wheels. If a bike is disc-ready, I'd interpret that to mean it's got disc tabs on the frame and fork and disc hubs. Then, to do the upgrade, you'd install disc calipers, run new brake lines, replace the lever if you're going hydraulic, and bolt rotors onto the existing wheels.

    A lot of V-brake bikes have non-disc hubs. In that case, you need new hubs. Transferring old rims onto new hubs can be dicey, so it frequently makes more sense to buy a whole new wheelset. In addition to getting the brakes themselves, that's frequently more than the value of the bike.

    It really depends on whether you see yourself getting a whole new bike later or upgrading this one as your desires suggest. It would be more cost effective to get a bike that comes with everything to begin with - you'll never get a better deal than a complete bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    The Trek 3900 comes with PROMAX mech brakes which are crap and I would prefer a good set of v-brakes. If they were something like avid bb5 mech brake, would definitely go the disc brake route. The LBS didnt do a good job of explaining why he would go the v-brake route. IMHO the guy was prob just parroting someone else and I would look for a different LBS. A good LBS will give you all the info u need to make an informed decision. BTW u can upgrade the 3900 with bb5 or bb7 cheaper than the v-brake bike he offered.

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