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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    Trek 820 vs Fuji 2.1 Nevada

    Hi Guys!

    I'm interested in getting started with mountain biking. I want to purchase my first bike (not too pricey since I want to feel the sport out). I went to my local bike shop and they recommended either the Trek 820 or the Fuji 2.1 Nevada, both for around $320. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Not a whole lot of differences between those 2 bikes, so I'd say get the one that feels most comfortable. I did have a Trek 820 and I really liked it - rode the heck out of it, but it was mainly on dirt or paved roads. Neither of those bikes are that great for off road riding, at least not anything too rugged.

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    Would you say they're both good beginner bikes?

  4. #4
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    They are ok for light trails and they are fine for road riding. This one here is better for $50 more, as long as you can do your own wrenching:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 500HT

    The geometry will be very similar to the Trek 820 geometry.

  5. #5
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    both of those bikes are about the same in quality. I would trust buying a bike from Trek over Fuji. however, you might not ever really enjoy mountain biking on either of those bikes. if you look carefully at the Trek 820, it has a sticker on the downtube that says "city/trekking bikes," while their higher-end mountain bikes have a "mountain bikes" sticker on them. this is because the 820 was never meant to be a true mountain bike. it's fine for the occasional cruise around a city park or a gravel walking path, but it's not going to be much fun on a real mtb trail. I have built a few of these and the frame is HEAVY steel, the shifters suck, the fork feels like a pogo stick made of wet noodles, and the wheels are flimsy. it's one and a half step up from a Next Powerclimber (which is the worst bike known to man).

  6. #6
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    I don't know about the Trek, but the Fuji Nevada's all use the same 2 frames (Al or Steel), and the price difference is the components attached to it.
    My (Al Frame) 29" 1.9D has a sticker stating that is appropriate for off-road use with 3 foot drops (If stickers mean much to you), and I'm sure a rim would fail long before the frame did.

    Personally,
    As long as you don't expect unrealistic things from either bike, each will probably serve you well.
    Good luck shopping, happy riding, and ... Have you considered buying used ?
    Either of these bikes can be found for well under $200 if you look around.

    Being as it is your first bike, find a place that will let you ride each, get them to make some minor adjustements, and go with the one that feels the most comfortable.
    Either can be upgraded, to a point, but by then, you will probably want another bike.

  7. #7
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    I got into the sport last summer and couldn't believe how much bikes can go for. I was looking in your range and read countless advice to say to spend as much as I could because there IS a difference. I ended up splurging slightly and getting a trek marlin for $620. I was looking to spend about 400 initially. Now i'm completely in love with it and could see spending a lot more then that on a bike.

    Its a tough decision but one thing to remember is that bikes are a liquid asset. If you buy a 400 dollar bike and get really into the sport and want to upgrade. Sell that bike for 300 and put it towards your next bike. You will see tons of threads on here that debate upgrading or getting a new bike.

    Neither of those are bikes you would want to upgrade but you are waaaaaaay better off on one of those then a walmart bike imo.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
    Neither of those are bikes you would want to upgrade but you are waaaaaaay better off on one of those then a walmart bike imo.
    Haha, I found out the hard way. Bought a walmart bike for 120 few weeks back. It's heavy and the chain constatntly falls off, so I returned it.

    As for putting in more money, I think I'm starting to see it as a positive, so I'm looking at maybe a KHS Alite 150 for $440. Any ideas?

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    Dollar for dollar, I believe that KHS is the better value compared to the others. Not only is the frame much lighter, but it's got a 8 speed cassette in the back. This is significant in that an 8 speed cassette can easily slide off and be swapped with a different cassette, should you ever want to change the gearing. The 800 and the Fuji both have 7 speeds cassette, which screws on and off and is largely unsupported by the modern bike parts standards.

    How comfortable are you with looking at used bikes on craigslist? Your dollar will stretch further there.
    ~Always avoid alliteration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by almo611 View Post
    I'm looking at maybe a KHS Alite 150 for $440. Any ideas?
    That's much better than what you were looking at.

    Buy used ... It's the best bang for the buck.
    At this price range, you can get a 1 to 2 year old bike that originally sold for up to twice this amount, if you're willing to look/wait for a deal to surface.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuarte View Post
    The 800 and the Fuji both have 7 speeds cassette, which screws on and off and is largely unsupported by the modern bike parts standards.
    technically i think those bikes come with a freewheel rather than a cassette. a freewheel works on a different kind of hub than a cassette, and due to the design of a freewheel hub, the axle is much more prone to breaking. working at a bike shop, i rarely see broken axles in cassette hubs but I see broken axles in freewheel hubs frequently. definitely steer away from the rock-bottom level bikes like the 820 is going to have ticking time bomb problems like this and it will let you down.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    technically i think those bikes come with a freewheel rather than a cassette. a freewheel works on a different kind of hub than a cassette, and due to the design of a freewheel hub, the axle is much more prone to breaking. working at a bike shop, i rarely see broken axles in cassette hubs but I see broken axles in freewheel hubs frequently. definitely steer away from the rock-bottom level bikes like the 820 is going to have ticking time bomb problems like this and it will let you down.
    I've always called any stack of rear cogs a "cassette", whether it goes on a freehub or freewheel. Maybe I've been using that word wrong. I chose to describe their mechanics instead of using their names for the sake of keeping things simple for the OP. Figured we'd steer him away from freewheels and he'd be none the wiser for the trouble he was spared.

    Good pointers about the weak axle on freewheels. I didn't know that was an issue.
    ~Always avoid alliteration.

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    I just wanted to clarify that, to most people, there is a technical difference between a cassette and a freewheel. if you go into a bike shop and ask for a 7-speed cassette and you need a freewheel, they are going to try to sell you something you don't need.

    carry on.

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    Hi guys, OP here. I listened to what a lot of you said regarding my price range. I decided to increase the budget up to 500. Went to my LBS and tried out the Trek 8.2 DS. I know, it's not a "real" mountain bike, but I don't plan on going down crazy trails either. I wanted something that could handle dirt roads, some bumps, and paved roads well and the 8.2 seemed great. I really enjoyed riding it and the gear shifting felt very smooth (though the only thing I could compare it to was a Mongoose Ledge 2.1 from walmart). Hopefully it'll take me far! Thanks for all the advice!

    Edit: I wanted to add that the so far I have only ridden the bike in the parking lot of the shop and over some potholes to get the feel of the suspension. Unfortunately, rain is scheduled for the next two days, so it'll be a while before I can take it out
    Last edited by almo611; 06-07-2013 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Add more info

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    those DS bikes are very versatile. you can probably enjoy some more rugged trails if you put some fatter tires on it too. I am not sure what the maximum size is that will fit in the frame and fork, but you can probably fit some 29x2.0's in there. you will have to get your LBS to help you experiment if you're interested in that. the bike is still going to limit you to some relatively bland trails though.

    everyone says the exact phrase "I'm not going to do anything too crazy" when they start riding. I have heard some variant of that idea said dozens of times, and that attitude is either overcome, or they allow it to limit themselves. most of the time, they start having fun and realize how relative "crazy" is and how fun it is to push your crazy threshold and start saving for a more capable bike after a few months. i don't think anything I do is remotely "crazy" but I know my limits.

  16. #16
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    I'm not sure of any non-bland trails around where I live (philly suburbs) that don't require at least a 2hr drive and unfortunately my schedule is limited right now because of school.

  17. #17
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    Dude there are tons of trails in this area. The wissahickon for one is pretty wild. Are you in the PA suburbs or SJ. I'm in SJ and there are 4 solid trails within 20 minutes of me.

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