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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    Transition Klunker for beginners?

    This is for all the Beers who are always commenting on beginner suggestions: What are your thoughts around recommending a Transition Klunker for all the beginners who are only in his for exercise and fun?



    32 lbs., solid, won't break, gets them out on the trails for under under $600.

    Last edited by wmac; 01-21-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Resize your picture, my man.

    For me, if I could come up with any amount of extra money right now I would already have one in my possession. I wanted to sell things to get the Gary Fisher Klunker, both times they offered it and this is no different. I'd probably get in trouble for skiddin' up the trails though.

    For beginners, I would probably recommend something that doesn't have such a tall gear and some proper brakes.
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  3. #3
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    I'm on an iPad, it's a PITA. I wish MTBR would reduce their max width.

    Are there any other good 26 inch SS rigids for less than $600 worth buying?
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  4. #4
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    Well the Redline Monocog is around $650 but I'm not sure that riding a rigid single speed is the way to get most people interested in mountain biking. Sure, it's fun but I think it's a small window of people who don't mind suffering on long climbs and getting beat up on downhills. Good as an option, but probably not great for most.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I'm with you. The tough part is an entry level front suspension bike isn't all that much better performance and comfort wise. For guys wanting to begin shape, pushing the bike up hills is probably more exercise than granny gearing it up.
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  6. #6
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    As a relative noob to the sport I just cannot for the life of me see the attraction of a single speed bike. It seems nuts to me. All I can see is lots of pushing the bike up hills too steep for the one gear. No thanks. Surely pedaling in your granny gears is still better than getting off and pushing. Last time I owned a single speed was when I was 10 years old. Then I graduated to a 3 speed Raleigh Chopper that was the bomb at the time. Since then I've owned various road and mountain bikes all with deraileurs. The great gearing is part of the attraction of modern mountain bikes for me. Why anyone would want to go back to single speed is beyond me???

  7. #7
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    IF your sole purpose is to get out into nature, lose weight and feel like a kid, a big BMX bike is attractive. If you want to get from point a to point b in the most efficient way possible, a lightweight, geared, bike is attractive.

    When a lot of people start, even granny gear is too much and they wind up pushing their bike anyway.

    So, depends on your motivations, goals and terrain.
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  8. #8
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    Sure I can see the fun of scooting around a BMX park for an hour or so on a single speed but for trail riding 2-3 hours over sometimes steep terrain I can't see the attraction.

  9. #9
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    Okay, but for guys like me and Zebra, we like the idea of that.

    Most beginners ride trails for an hour and a half once a week or less. I just wanted to get some experienced guy's opinions of whether it would be a good suggestion for beginners instead of the incessant "I've got six hundred bucks" and then they wind up spending another four hundred in Replacements and upgrades during their first year Because they break stuff or are unhappy with the "pogo fork of death."
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  10. #10
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    Oh, and a beginner on $600 bike belongs on beginner trails - which typically means the ascents aren't all that bad.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    Sure I can see the fun of scooting around a BMX park for an hour or so on a single speed but for trail riding 2-3 hours over sometimes steep terrain I can't see the attraction.
    Try it once. The joy and simplicity can't really be explained.

    That bike, while looking like a blast to cruise around on, I can't really picture getting newbs into the sport. I do kind of want one though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  12. #12
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    It actually angers me how much I want that bike. I need to get zen quickly.
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  13. #13
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    IMO, I don't think that bike is really aimed at beginners. Most beginners would likely be put off with the lack of suspension, gears, and hand operated brakes. In addition, the price of $500 is in the range of most entry level XC bikes.

    This is marketed to the guy or gal who already has a stable of bikes and desires something that's low maintenance and simple for thrashing on a day when they want to go back 'to the roots' of MTB.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, you're right. I was just thinking, If I could only have one bike and had to choose: Giant Revel One, Trek 3700 or a Transition Klunker? I'd take the Klunker all day, every day.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Yeah, you're right. I was just thinking, If I could only have one bike and had to choose: Giant Revel One, Trek 3700 or a Transition Klunker? I'd take the Klunker all day, every day.

    Would it be safe to assume you also watch a black & white TV, run a Commodore 64 home computer and have a Motorolla cellular phone that's about the size of a brick?

  16. #16
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    As a recent beginner-level rider, I would not consider this bike if it were recommended to me. Coaster brake, tall gear, 800mm bar is just not gonna work for me in my neck of the woods. I could see someone riding it for the novelty alone however. A $500-600 entry level 29er with a lockout fork will be far more versatile for a new MTBer.
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  17. #17
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    Hey Zebra: How awesome would it be to organize a "Spec Clunker Race?"
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    IF your sole purpose is to get out into nature, lose weight and feel like a kid, a big BMX bike is attractive...
    Ummm, how about an entry-level DJ bike then? Just throw a long seat post on.

    I paid about $550 for my Norco Havoc. This particular one is not rigid, but the frame is CrMo and came with mech. disc brakes. Many entry DJ bikes come with rigid forks.

    It's kinda too obvious maybe you have some reason(s) against it? (other than you want to borrow the Klunker from your buddy )

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    As a recent beginner-level rider, I would not consider this bike if it were recommended to me. Coaster brake, tall gear, 800mm bar is just not gonna work for me in my neck of the woods. I could see someone riding it for the novelty alone however. A $500-600 entry level 29er with a lockout fork will be far more versatile for a new MTBer.
    This.

    The Klunker is like a bike when you have other bikes and you want it as a novelty. Coaster brake 26er is not a good bike to start on lol.
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  20. #20
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    Zebra...you're absolutely right... the blue on black is super HOT....
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katz View Post
    Ummm, how about an entry-level DJ bike then? Just throw a long seat post on.

    I paid about $550 for my Norco Havoc. This particular one is not rigid, but the frame is CrMo and came with mech. disc brakes. Many entry DJ bikes come with rigid forks.

    It's kinda too obvious maybe you have some reason(s) against it? (other than you want to borrow the Klunker from your buddy )
    No, I like this idea! I'll state it again: The reason I threw this out there is because, to me, it looked like a simple option for most beginners to ride beginner trails, which beginners should be on. It would keep them off trails that were beyond their and their equipment's capabilities.

    But I REALLY like Katz' suggestion!
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  22. #22
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    And when your friend decides to invest in a nice bike, you'll get to buy a DJ bike for cheap!

    I'm in agreement with others who said Klunker is more of a novelty bike. The video of Lars Sternberg and friends shredding on Klunkers is akin to Spec Miata racers racing in MGBs and TR4s, just for the sake of getting a little taste of the past, IMHO.

    I've ridden my beater bike on beginner/intermediate trails. The bike handles the terrain without much problem (this rider's lack of endurance is always the bigger problem). It should work out OK for your friend and his intended purposes.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    No, I like this idea! I'll state it again: The reason I threw this out there is because, to me, it looked like a simple option for most beginners to ride beginner trails, which beginners should be on. It would keep them off trails that were beyond their and their equipment's capabilities.

    But I REALLY like Katz' suggestion!
    So when they decide they are no longer beginners and are ready to try some intermediate trails, they need to go drop a handful of Benjis on another bike?

    I have seen some first timers ride every level of trail on their first ride. Then there are some who can barely make it up the hill to get to the real singletrack. This bike probably wouldn't help either type of beginner rider gain the confidence required to ride technical trails.

    Even though I disagree with you, I do believe your heart is in the right place.
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  24. #24
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    Slack head angle and it comes in "one size fits none." I think it's a bar bike.

    If someone let me design an inexpensive starter MTB, it would have the same XC geometry as every other hardtail, a suspension-corrected rigid fork, a 3x9 drivetrain, V brakes, and all the right fittings to go disc. It seems like the places where people get really hosed on a lot of inexpensive retail bikes is that the forks are worse than just doing rigid and the brakes are really crappy. So maybe if I got rid of the crappy fork, I could buy enough chromoly forks to spend less on that part (though I bet economies of scale would screw that up) and I bet I could get functional V-brakes for cheaper than crappy disc brakes, even without a fantasy market that has moved on in reality.

    People would get a bike that goes, stops, shifts, and has much less potential to do something weird.

    Maybe offer the same thing in singlespeed because, wtf, and also, people who've been riding a while don't always want to throw a lot of money at trying singlespeed.

    Some of the smaller manufacturers do try to make their inexpensive bikes more conservative, sometimes, but they don't last very long. I think the market demands bells and whistles.

    While it hasn't exactly been economical, I really appreciate that the Hardrock, at least in '07, didn't have weird geometry. The frame has worked for me through getting back into mountain biking on a halfway whim and several seasons of increasing volume and competition.
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  25. #25
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    I'm with you Switch. That's what I'm exploring here: Is there a better option besides the usual suspects for beginners looking to get outside once a week?

    I mean, if you're looking to get in shape in a way more fun than a treadmill, is a suspended, geared, bike the best way to go?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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