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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    Serious noob here; please guide me on first bike!

    So I've been trying to learn and lurking here a bit but I want to try and see if I can jump on any holiday sales AND I'm very excited to start riding before the amazing weather here just turns to plain hot.

    ~180 lbs about 5 ft 10 in male looking for his first "real bike" in the $450 $550 range. Probably 70% riding will be done on pavement but the rest would be on gravel/dirt roads. Nothing extreme, but I don't want to be stuck just to city roads. Riding for fun and fitness so I don't really need to carry anything more then what can fit in a back pack or something (snacks/food, water, camera, etc for longer rides)

    I probably will purchase from a bike shop, unless I can get it shipped basically completely built/aligned (I saw something on giantnerd.com which offered a build option like that) BUT I would like specific reccomandations from you guys so I can then learn about them online and use the manufactures sites to find retailers.

    The local bike shop either is overpriced, or really only stocks more slightly higher end stuff since the lowest price I've seen is about $700 and mostly in the $1,000 to $1800 range, they're also really intimidating for a total noobie. So I figure its better to first get an idea what to look for, then track down if there's any hidden shops local I don't know about that deal with the specific brand, etc. I'm just seriously lost, want the best I can get for my money, and don't want to get ripped off or talked into a higher price then I can afford. Help guys!

  2. #2
    Titanium junkie
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    If I were you, I would look for a used bike in that price
    range. And probably be looking for a cross bicycle, can do
    some light trail work and perfect for getting around town.
    Check ebay, local bike stores, classifieds or pawn shops.
    Take someone with you who knows bikes.
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
    You're a Tailgunner

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudviking View Post
    If I were you, I would look for a used bike in that price
    range. And probably be looking for a cross bicycle, can do
    some light trail work and perfect for getting around town.
    Check ebay, local bike stores, classifieds or pawn shops.
    Take someone with you who knows bikes.

    Problem is that I honestly know no one that is into bikes that much. I don't think I know anyone that has bought a bike outside of a Fred Meyer / Walmart level actually. So I wouldn't know what price a used bike would be at for a good deal, what items to check for damage or upcoming maintenance, etc. But I guess what I should be taking away from this is the entry level price is really up around that $700 or $800 range that I saw at the bike shop :-/ Sadly that's out of my price range this year.

  4. #4
    Two Wheeled Terror
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    Re: Serious noob here; please guide me on first bike!

    Do your research and hit up craigslist. If you find a decent bike on cl go back and research reviews on the model. Be careful and post up some of the links and someone will probably give you an opinion about it here hopefully. I ride a used bike and while there are "wants" that I wish I had I can't ride at the level this bike can take either.....so shop and dig for deals. Best of luck to ya.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
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    2012 Giant Talon 29er
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29
    These bikes are nearly new and will work for you. They don't get ridden because of the Suntour bikepath fork.
    Nick at Suntour has an upgrade air fork for 175 when you need it as long as you get the original receipt.
    Thread with reviews in this section.
    This BikeDirect Gravity Point 1 is 450 and needs the same upgrade when you find it necessary.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes

  6. #6
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    Just riding pavement or gravel roads, I wouldn't bother with suspension or disc brakes. Something like a Jamis Coda Sport would probably work fine for you. It comes with 32mm tires which is about as narrow as I care to ride on gravel, but if you felt you'd prefer a wider tire I'm sure the Coda could fit wider ones. A cross bike is another option, but some newbies don't like drop bars especially on gravel.

    JAMIS BICYCLES
    Last edited by Geralt; 05-27-2013 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Added link

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    2012 Giant Talon 29er
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29
    These bikes are nearly new and will work for you. They don't get ridden because of the Suntour bikepath fork.
    Nick at Suntour has an upgrade air fork for 175 when you need it as long as you get the original receipt.
    Thread with reviews in this section.
    This BikeDirect Gravity Point 1 is 450 and needs the same upgrade when you find it necessary.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    Giant and Specialized were two brands I were looking at. Are they pretty good for a beginner bike? I totally understand its not going to be the best. I just am hoping for a better fit compared to Walmart quality crap and something that'll last a couple years with minimal maintince/replacement of worn parts. What is the fork issue? I saw a bunch of people talking about that, would that be an issue that came up in the first few months of road/dirt path riding, or something after like a year?

  8. #8
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    You most likely won't get any issues riding on the road/dirt path with those 2 bikes posted. Those are entry level bikes and the people who probably have issues, use it for purposes other than what it was intended for. Pick up a set of 700c road tires for your pavement riding and you're good to go.
    Yeti SB-66 Carbon

  9. #9
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    I would look for a used bike in that pricerange. And probably be looking for a cross bicycle

  10. #10
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    Re: Serious noob here; please guide me on first bike!

    I own a Giant Talon that I use when riding with my kids - it's a very comfortable and relaxed bike that will do everything you need. I've actually done some all day trail riding with it as well as some 10 mile dirt road rides...good bike for what it is.

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
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    Airborne Guardian. I'm actually buying one this week and I'm not a noobie by any means. They're basically 85-90% built. Check it out.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the advice. I ended up buying a new 2012 gunmetal gray Specialized Crosstrail. Was $550 but the guy gave it to me for $500 & service at the 10 hr mark & then an overnight service at 60 days are included free of charge. Different guy was working at the bike shop today & no "pros" were in there so it felt a lot more casual asking noob like questions and stuff. I can always take it back and trade toward something else in the next couple days if I'm not happy but so far on a short 5 mile ride on paved trails I really like it!

    Does the price seem about right?

  13. #13
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    Re: Serious noob here; please guide me on first bike!

    Which model did you purchase? There are several on specialized website

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