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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    Listen! Redundancy Response Required, please

    Not my first word(s) and hopefully not my last : Hullo.

    Now then, I've spent the better part of two days browsing and searching. Read up many opinions and arguments. I've yet to compliment my lifestyle with the correct bike.

    I've not ridden very actively since I've obtained a car. I've had my run of Wally World bikes and don't believe any sales could ever convince me to deal with bent rims, missed shifts, rubbing brakes or loose seats again.

    This summer looks to offer me plenty of opportunity to hone my skills, though. That said frankly, I'd like to choose a bicycle meant for me and possible progression in this sport.

    My statistical intents:
    ~$3-500 Range.
    Intermediate level riding - local preserves but off trail work mostly.
    A bike that grows with me for at least 2 years. [I'm done with puberty, har-har!]
    I weigh 140 lbs and am 5'10" [in the morning]
    I'm at a two-year for now so I can only stay here for so long.
    I'm nearly 20.

    I have come to the conclusion that some bikes in the IBEX lines will suit me. However, I do wish to make an investment that wont tickle my wallet if curiosity of upgrades begins. Is there a significant difference between the 350-450? I can see the disc brakes and upgraded drive-train in the 550 is worthy but that seems a bit excessive for someone who is just beginning serious riding. I have many years of childhood daredevilism behind me but perhaps safety is nothing to scoff at anymore. I also am situated in the plain-Jane Midwest so though there is some fun to be had - I doubt I will be taking massive trips until I have a decent wage to afford them.

    I also would like to read a few reasons why going the Fusion 1-2 way wouldn't suit me? If the price is worth the investment, I'm willing to wait longer to pay.

    I've already had a go at the LBS around me and they do offer some pretty presentations. However, all of the reviews of IBEX's bikes do not give ample support for more expensive, lesser-equipped LBS models.

    What's the typical CTO of these price ranged bikes over a year or so?

    Lastly - It's great to revive passion, especially with a knowledgeable community to back you up

  2. #2
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    The thing about bikes is that, you do get what you pay for. The first thing I tell/ask someone is How much do you want to spend. If it is under 750 then pretty much all the bikes are the same, unless you are looking under 400. Then the quality really dropps.

    If you think you are going to be really into MTB or are might progress fast I would suggest holding out till you have more money or look into a used bike with decent parts. These can be found in the classified section of MTBR. Sometimes you can find good deals on last years models at the LBS.

    If you think you are going to stay with it, it is nice to hook up with a good LBS. I am very lucky I have Richards Bikes as my LBS. you can check them out at www.rbikes.com.

    I'm pretty harsh on equipment so I go for the higher end. Plus I'm not 20 and in college. But then again I wouldn't want to invest too much and get it taken by someone who thinks they deserve it more than you.

    good luck
    Team MOJO Wheels.

  3. #3
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    As you found Ibex does offer a excelent package, great frames with great components for the price. You get what you pay for, generally the high the price the better the frame & components get. If you feel that you will be stepping your skills up riding with friends then you will be better off with the Alpine 550 at $599. If you are just goin riding & enjoying the day or sunset the 450 is wonderfull.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-450-Details.html

  4. #4
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    Arghh.

    Now the precursory decision has reared its bloodied and gnarled mouth: I'm stuck between the desires of the Alpine 650 and the 550.

    One hand weighs the evidence and the other whips out 16 consecutive numbers on the keyboard. Do I plunge for the better deal at the long-lasting performance pieces or save that 100 buckeroos for needed upgrades/repairs in months to come? The biking season is only so long and if I'm working, I'm too occupied to ride. Plus there's girls and summer, girls and summer, and drunken parties or road trips to Oregon/Maine. What have you fated me with, ill-fit desire?

    Seriously, that extra 100 bucks looks like it goes a long way for the 650 as the Trophy Comp is out of my league. But there's also the worry that I'll have wasted money on a hobby I don't have enough time for. I know you're going to say, "Enough of the personal plagues, mate." Realize, I don't have any friends who like to do this kind of thrill riding. It's kind of boring to work at it alone all the time with no one but myself to impress. Err, perhaps that's more than you needed to know. ;-)

    If the parts on the 650 Trula outshine the 550 and will guarantee a longer life to the bike, I will not hesitate. I can sense the difference between a Civic and an Accord and it seems like these two bikes show themselves to be similarly different. It also seems as if the items on the 650 are really being undercut for price.

    Help, please!?

    Coldsteele - Only Trek and Gary Fischer seemed to be offered at the first LBS while the other one closer to me was run by a family and I already see the limitations towards unbiased price advice. It's also an icecream shoppe. I see what you mean by less than $750 but the other stuff is well out of my price range capabilities. I do have a Huffy I could always repair for $130+ but I'd rather that cash go towards a new bike. It must weigh at least 40 lbs.

    Dogonfr - I've actually read a lot of your posts and you've def. helped me set off the 350 and 450 as incapable of taking the beating I'd want to give them.

  5. #5
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    I would go with the 650....

    your getting better brakes, levers, fork, front and rear derailleurs, shifters, rims, and pedals. To aftermarket upgrade the 550 to match you'd end up spending at least another $500 later. It's always better to get the best bike you can afford, it usually delays the need for upgrades. The 650 you would have to grow into rather than having it grow with you. If you are worried about getting the use out of the bike, you can always use it to commute as well. So spring the extra $100, it's worth it in the long run.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  6. #6
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    New buddies for ya to party with, http://forums.mtbr.com/midwest-il-oh-ky-ia-mo/

  7. #7
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    im not a pro or anything but i agree with the above ppl about getting the best u can get at the moment. u will only regret it if u got a lower model and found out it cost 2x-3x more just to get the parts to match later. i too was stuck betwwen a few bikes. i finally decided to spend the extra $50 buck to get disc brakes (sale on rockhopper) than to add disc later, which would of cost maybe $150-200 more from what a few LBS told me. but then i started looking into hydro disc brakes and then things got crazy. so i just gave myself a limit andspend the extra cash for computer , glove, helm, etc. i was starting to look at full suspension bike, then i knew i was over my head. lol. but get the one u really want now, dont think u will regret it. unfortunately it doesnt go the other way. thats my 2 cents.

  8. #8
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    Squash, you've got the nail beaten flat! I'm going to spring for that 650 as soon as I can garnish some funds.

    dogonfr - some great links for Northern IL there

    chono123 - I know what you refer to: dreams. I think my wallet should speak for my mind and not the other way around :P
    Thanks all, this has been mammoth help.

  9. #9
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    Craaaaap..now I want the Trophy Comp. I've been riding hard on bicycles my whole life - do you think it would be too much to handle? I mean the components at that price range are monstrous!

    The more money I spend, the higher the quality - I know. Help again :-P

  10. #10
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by zvio
    Craaaaap..now I want the Trophy Comp. I've been riding hard on bicycles my whole life - do you think it would be too much to handle? I mean the components at that price range are monstrous!

    The more money I spend, the higher the quality - I know. Help again :-P
    You gots it, if you added the better parts up individually you will find the bike is very inexpensive.

  11. #11
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    I think the 450 is trail ready. The only thing I think you must change is the pedels to clipless. And you will need shoes so budget another 100.00 for pedals and shoes that makes it 500.00

    The 650 is way better in all the parts but you still need shoes. So plan on 50.00 extra for shoes. That makes it 650.00

    I'm a rider so I have no proble spending the extra $ for the 650. But if your not sure how much you will use it. I'm sure the 450 will treat you right for at least 2 years

  12. #12
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    I bought a cheapy $229. Rode it off the lot and cummuted for a while 700 km later it was showing lots of wear.

    Got itno maintance.

    Got better bike, gave old one to the daughter.

    Wore out better bike, fixed it up.

    Still going.

    Point is there are lots out there and you will likely go through a few of them

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    As you found Ibex does offer a excelent package, great frames with great components for the price. You get what you pay for, generally the high the price the better the frame & components get. If you feel that you will be stepping your skills up riding with friends then you will be better off with the Alpine 550 at $599. If you are just goin riding & enjoying the day or sunset the 450 is wonderfull.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-450-Details.html
    Hi Dogonfr. I seen this post and checked out some of the full suspension bikes. So is it safe to say that this is a decent FS BIKE. I bought a FS Mongoose from Wal Mart for $300 a couple of weeks before I found this forum. I might be able to take the wal mart bike back after a coup[le more rides when I destroy it. Today I was on a regular dirt road for a car the front brake cable snapped and got caught up in the disc this is only the second ride where I did some heavy riding and stuff is already squeeking. So if I can trade this in to wal mart is this IBEX a safe bike.
    Big Man on a Little Bike

  14. #14
    pronounced may-duh
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    Check these guys out also: http://www.harveycycles.com/

  15. #15
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminrod
    Hi Dogonfr. I seen this post and checked out some of the full suspension bikes. So is it safe to say that this is a decent FS BIKE. I bought a FS Mongoose from Wal Mart for $300 a couple of weeks before I found this forum. I might be able to take the wal mart bike back after a coup[le more rides when I destroy it. Today I was on a regular dirt road for a car the front brake cable snapped and got caught up in the disc this is only the second ride where I did some heavy riding and stuff is already squeeking. So if I can trade this in to wal mart is this IBEX a safe bike.
    Ibex is a real bike, not a Wal Mart special. If you are looking for a FS bike cheap Ibex has the Ignition 1 for $429. As many people will point out you will be better off spending that same $ amount for a HT, better value. If you must have a FS the brite side of the Ibex is you can up grade components as needed because the frame is good quality. For the type of riding you are mentioning the Ignition 1 is a very good bike.

  16. #16
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    So is a hard tail a better bike than the FS or are you saying I could get a hardtail for the same price as the Ibex FS. I would be loosing the FS but gaining a overall better bike with the hard tail
    Big Man on a Little Bike

  17. #17
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    That is correct you get overall better components with the HT at this price range.

    You need to buy the bike you want though. If you buy a HT for the components but you really wanted the FS you wont be happy.

  18. #18
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminrod
    So is a hard tail a better bike than the FS or are you saying I could get a hardtail for the same price as the Ibex FS. I would be loosing the FS but gaining a overall better bike with the hard tail
    I just don't think the only difference between a full suspension vs hard tail is the price-component stuff. I don't think that one is necesarily better than the other one. A hardtail it's a better bike to begin riding, it will teach you better riding technique than a FS bike. And if you really don't ride rough trails or jump or drop, a hardtail will probably be lighter and maybe nimbler.

    Ibex really seems to offer nice prices for good bikes, but usually low end full suspension bikes don't have a quality shock, fork or wheelset. Which are one of the most expensive aftermarket components, I think.

    In my humble opinion, I would go with the 650, and you can grow it up latter, but it probably has all you need to ride.

    Factor in shoes, helmet, and probably a hydration pack, and glasses (you don't need oakleys or fashion lenses, probably just some safety lenses).

  19. #19
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    Sorry to resurrect old passages but I've splurged this evening on a new bike. Unfortunately, it's not the first decision Alpine 650 but a Marin '05 B-17. I bought it for $399 and I figured with the frame it sports and the decent component set, I've made myself a dandy deal. So things turned for the better, relatively.

    I'm going to explain the past two months though :

    I was convinced I'd purchase a bike and not have time for it so I'd taken up jogging and Yoga. While I enjoyed the exercises, something beckoned to me; something pleaded for fulfillment. I knew that I was leading myself into a path of shadows and the light ahead dimmed with each passing week. Finally, this past week, my desires resurfaced and my bold plans gained a stranglehold of my wallet. I feel proud and eager. I don't care about anything except seeing that bike delivered to my house.

    Wee.

    P.S. I have the specs right here in case they're not available elsewhere. Thanks for all your help, lads and lasses.:
    The ideal entry-level cross-country bike, the Marin B-17 has reinforced, oversized 7005 aluminum Edge Plus tubing for a strong and well-built ride. Manitou Splice Comp fork gives 130 mm of travel for rocky, technical lines. Shift quickly on the ascents with Shimano Alivio components and slow it down with Hayes mechanic disc brakes.
    DRIVETRAIN
    Shifters - Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur - Shimano Alivio
    Rear Derailleur - Shimano Alivio
    Crank - TruVativ Five D, 42/32/22 with Power Spline
    Cassette - 8-speed, 11/32
    Bottoms Bracket - TruVativ Power Spline Cartridge
    WHEELS
    Rims and Hubs - Alex TD-120, Disc, Double Wall Rims, Shimano Disc Hubs
    Tires - Kenda Kinetics
    FRAME SET
    Frame - 7005 Aluminum, Oversize Edge Top and Oversize Edge Plus Dwon Tube AXC XXL Tri-Burner Seat and Chain Stays, CNC Seat Stay Bridge
    Fork - Manitou Splice Comp, 130 mm of Travel and Preload Adjustment
    Headset - WTB Comp ST, Threadless 1-1/8"
    COMPONENTS
    Saddle - WTB Speed V ATB
    Seat Post - Comp Alloy Micro Adjust
    Handlebar - DH Rise Bar
    Stem - Alloy Threadless
    Brake Set - Hayes MX-2 Mechanic Disc with New V8, 8" Front and New V6, 6" Rear Rotora, New Pro 3 Finger
    Pedals - BMX Platform
    Size:
    M(Head Angle 70, Seat Angle 73, Top Tube 22-", Chain Stay 16-", Bottom Bracket 23", Stand Over Height 30-")
    Weight: 31 lb. 12 oz.

  20. #20
    ride hard take risks
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    Whoohoo post a pic i cant read!!!

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