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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    Thinking about an entry level dirt jumper, what do I need to know?

    I am thinking about getting a cheap DJ bike to mess around with my kids and learn so
    me techniques that would hopefully transfer over to better trail skills. The two choices I have found cheap are the 09 GT Chucker 2.0 currently at Bikesdirect for $399 and the 08 Jamis Komodo at Jenson for $349.

    GT Chucker 2.0 Mountain Bikes, Mountain bikes, Multi-speed

    Jamis Komodo 1.0 '08 Bike at JensonUSA.com

    The biggest difference I can spot is the GT has promax hydraulic brakes while the Jamis has Tektro mechanical discs. Anything else I should note here? And while I think the price would be out of reach, how much better is the Komodo 2.0, is it worth the extra money?

    Jamis Komodo 2.0 '08 Bike at JensonUSA.com

    Or is there something else out there CHEAP I could look at? Thanks in advance for any and all input. I think I want to go with multi speed fro a little greater versatility but maybe a single speed would be better (lighter anyway)? Is the 20mmthe thrru axle on the Komodo 2.0 a big deal?
    Last edited by Crash Test Dumby; 12-05-2011 at 03:39 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  2. #2
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    I always see used kona shreds or spesh stps on craigslist.

  3. #3
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    I have searched my local craigslist and so far found nothing. Will keep looking though.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  4. #4
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    Airborne Wingman has gotten good reviews
    Good luck..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudviking View Post
    Airborne Wingman has gotten good reviews
    Good luck..
    Looks ok but I think I wanna go multi speed and the price is quite a bit out of the range I would want to pay. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  6. #6
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    Neither of those bikes are really DJ bikes. If you're looking for a heavy hardtail then those are your ticket, but if you're looking for a bike that truly rides differently than your current bike does then you should be looking at something else. Those bikes you're calling up right now are slightly different than your current bike, but they're mostly just built heavy duty. If you go to a true DJ bike then you would be getting short chainstays and low and short top tubes which will make the bike feel much different than your current bike. If you're looking to build skills, you probably want something that feels different than your current bike so that it pushes your abilities. If you're just riding the same bike that you have only heavier then you won't get much benefit.

    Your best bet will probably be checking out the classifieds here and at Pinkbike and looking for a Specialized P bike, a Cannondale Chase, a Giant STP, or some other true DJ bike. I'd even go so far as to suggest a BMX cruiser (24" wheels) if you really want to mix it up: Diamondback Session Pro 24 BMX Bike '12 at JensonUSA.com
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
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    Thanks Zeb, I am not really sure that what I want is a pure dirt jumper though. Basically, as much as my sons and I LOVE taking the MTBs out to the trail, we don't have any real local trails. We need to drive at least 45 minutes one way to the trails, which means we need a 5 hour time slot to get out. And I work 8-10 hours per day 6 or 7 days a week, so those times are few and far between. But my kids have BMXs and the older (12) at least is getting into some amount of jumps and such. So I figure if I get a DJ type bike we can mess around, work on bunny hops and such and don't need huge slots of time. I have considered true DJ bikes, bikes like I linked in the first post, cruisers like you suggested and even true 20" BMXs. Initially would only be used around the neighborhood, but maybe trips to a nearby bike park would come later if our skills seem up to it.

    Anyways, the bikes I originally listed are quite a bit more compact than my Diamondback Overdrive so hopefully would be a little easier to learn bunny hops and such on. Just going off the top of my head, but my Overdrive has an 23.7 ETT and a standover of 29.7. The Komodo 14" and Chucker have ETTs about an inch shorter and standovers about 3" lower. The 16.5" Komodo is almost as long as the Overdrive but still notably lower. Being geared bikes, they would be decent for general neighborhood riding too. And I doubt they are much if any heavier than my Overdrive, it is pretty heavy.

    I actually have 2 good quality BMX frames that I bought from Nashbar when they had the big frame sale a while ago, got a Schwinn Flowmaster (at least partially CroMo, maybe full) and a Mongoose Legion (full CroMo). But even though I only have $70 into both frames building them with good parts is still very expensive. I know people my size ride BMXs but with my achy body from high school sports injuries and 20 years as a shop rat on my feet sometimes 14 hours a day I am not sure a BMX would be a good idea. A 24" or even 26" would probably be a better fit.

    Anyways, any further thoughts would still be welcome.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Anyways, any further thoughts would still be welcome.
    I totally understand where you're coming from and that's basically what led me to buying a DJ bike; I was stuck with no great trails near me so I wanted a bike I could ride around town jumping stuff and messing around. It wasn't until Ray's opened that I realized how great a teaching tool a DJ bike can be for regular riding.

    I still think you would be best off getting a bike that is significantly different than your current bike. The two you linked to, as I said, are just beefy standard bikes. Their top tube length may change the feel a little, but to be honest they're probably equipped with longer stems to offset the change in size so you would never notice. And the standover makes no difference to the way the bike rides at all, so that's a wash between the two.

    I'm having to assume that you are running a 29'er Overdrive because I can't seem to find any that aren't 29'ers to compare geometry with, but if that's the case then a short 26'er with short chainstays will change the way you ride. Check out the geometry numbers on a pure DJ bike and you'll notice a significant difference to your current bike, and if it were me I certainly wouldn't buy a bike that was similar to my current bike. Buy something different, something challenging, something that'll push your skills. Heck, I would jump on a SS DJ bike, it'll change your bike handling skills and help your strength (plus they're quiet and I can't stand noisy bikes).

    But that's just me; I really enjoy having a bike I can take to the dirt jumps or ride down some stairs or take to the skate park and still be sufficient to take a beer run to the corner store or put some knobbies on it and have a (heavy) trail ride.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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