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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    Schwinn Mesa GS or Jamis XC 1.0?

    I'm a beginner looking for a bike. The Schwinn and Jamis are two that I found on ebay in my price range but I'm not sure about the quality. Any input helps. Thanks, BF

  2. #2
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    Both bikes are probably about equal. They are fairly low end and the components are not very good. I personally always recommend that a beginner try to find a bike with at least Shimano Deore level components and at least an entry level "good brand" fork (not RST or Suntour) like a Rock Shox Dart or Manitou Axel. Mainly because Deore components will hold up better than the low end stuff and low end forks like RST and Suntour etc. aren't really good for much other than adding weight to the bike. And forks can cost as much as a bike, so you want to have a decent one. How much are you looking to spend? I do not own one, but the Forge Mountain bike you can order online from Target is $300 and has a great set of entry level components. It may not be a fancy name on the frame, but a few people have them on here and really like them a lot.

  3. #3
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    Yes, I second the Forge, I was looking to move from my Boulder SE, and decided to buy the Dakar 05 sold at Jenson for 462 bucks (I wanted a full Sus), but if I were to buy a decent hardtail I would definitely buy the forge.

    Today at Sams I saw a Turbo bike (mexican brand) with a Suntour suspension with lockout, 8-speed drivetrain with Deore LX RD and Deore Shifters for 640USD, I lifted and seemed to be in the 30lb range or maybe less, but I think that price is high

  4. #4
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    How does Shimanos Deore compare to the Acera?

  5. #5
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    Wow, that Forge is a stellar bike for $300 @ Target! Dont even bother with Acera, if you want to ride a mountain bike, ride a mountain bike, not a phoney. Check out online retailers for GREAT deals this time of the year. Go buy a MTB Action at Walmart or your local grocer, and scope the ads to guide you to the online store. Though a Local Bike Shop is always better for help, the best deal are usually online. Good Luck!

  6. #6
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    The levels of Shimano components for mountain bikes is Acera, Alivio, Deore, LX, XT, XTR (there are some below Acera but these are not really intended for offroad use). Anything below Deore is not really meant for serious riding, they are for "recreational" mountain bikers. So I always tell people that if they are planning to really use their bike off road and ride a lot to at least get Deore. Acera and Alivio will work great when new, but they won't hold up to much abuse and will probably need lots of periodic adjustment.
    Last edited by ljsmith; 12-20-2007 at 09:44 PM.

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