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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    What kind of bike do I need? (Looking at 98 Klein Pulse Race)

    I'm looking into buying a bike to commute to college. Here are a couple of things. First of all I have to take the bike on ice and snow, the commute is about 0.75 miles away. It snows a lot during the winter and I'll bike back at around 12am some days which means ice is on the road. Second of all I'll probably ride the bike fast and I won't ride it on the sidewalk all of the time, if I'm running a bit late I'll drive it over a lot of rocks and up curbs and stairs and stuff like that.

    That is the primary use of the bike. So we're talking about 10 miles a week on the bike. If I get a mountain bike I might take it on the trails and jumps but that is about once a month. I'm not really sure whether I'll become a serious mountain biker or not.

    Anyways my cash flow isn't great as I've mainly worked in unpaid research and stuff like that, so I can spend around $200 to $300 on the bike. I'm going to depend on my bike to get me to important meetings with professors and things like that, and I don't want it to fail on me when I leave for an important meeting.

    Anyways I decided to look at Craigslist and I found a 98 Klein Pulse Race (actually my buddy did). Anyways my buddy says I should get this bike no matter what. He has a $2.2k bike or something, and is a pretty good expert, I just want a second opinion.

    Here is the listing: 98 Klein Pulse Race. This bike is light! Frame is 3.1 pounds and the wheel set is full XTR. It has an upgraded Judy SL 130 mm of travel. Grip shift and V-Brakes. Great bike for all around. Medium size frame.

    From what I've googled XTR is like pro racing level components. Price is $240. I just want to double check (my friend is kind of a bike expert, and I trust him) whether that bike is worth $240. Its in pretty good condition. I mean for the most part I'm pretty sure that its a pretty damn good steal at that price level. I just want to make sure that the bike will last me for another 3-4 years at least with that kind of use.

    Other then used I can pretty much get a Specialized HardRock on Ebay or an internet store/buy a department store bike (bad idea). Or get another used bike. I just wanted to see what "level" of bike I need for that type of commute and double check on the pulse race/see if buying a new bike like the Hard Rock or a department store bike would last me longer. I have serious doubts about the department store bike, but my parents seem to think its a good idea because they think used products are bad news. The bike needs to last 3-5 years. I mean I'm pretty sure from what I understand that the Pulse Race is a great bike especially with the XTR components, but I just want to know whether that is a good price to pay for the bike. From what I understand the bike and its components could go for a lot more but the people who actually understand that the bike is worth that much all have a more expensive bike anyways. The reason being is Klein isn't as well known as Specialized and Trek.
    Last edited by Viggysmalls; 08-01-2011 at 10:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would jump on that bike in a heartbeat for that price. it's cheap because the XTR components are probably about ten years old or more. Klein makes some top notch stuff and honestly I would consider that bike perfect for what you need. Only real problem I can see is that the fork might need a rebuild (but judging from the type of bike the guy probably maintained it pretty well, but you never know). If this is the case you could swap the fork to a rigid, which would also work very well (you could talk to your buddy about options for that sort of thing).

    IMO you're not going to get a much better deal than this. Some others may be able to better shed light on if $240 is a good price, but it definitely is in my books. You never know that others might have another opinion, but I agree with your friend 100%.
    STOLEN: '07 Banshee Viento - See Eastern Canada Forum for Pictures. If anyone sees it contact me ASAP!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpm7 View Post
    I would jump on that bike in a heartbeat for that price. it's cheap because the XTR components are probably about ten years old or more. Klein makes some top notch stuff and honestly I would consider that bike perfect for what you need. Only real problem I can see is that the fork might need a rebuild (but judging from the type of bike the guy probably maintained it pretty well, but you never know). If this is the case you could swap the fork to a rigid, which would also work very well (you could talk to your buddy about options for that sort of thing).

    IMO you're not going to get a much better deal than this. Some others may be able to better shed light on if $240 is a good price, but it definitely is in my books. You never know that others might have another opinion, but I agree with your friend 100%.
    Thanks for the input. Thats pretty much what I thought as well.

    I'm not sure about a rigid fork though, aren't curbs/stairs harder with a rigid fork? I have a couple more questions: Do I need special tires for snow? Also what kind of light do I need to bike home at 12:am with minimal street lighting?

  4. #4
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    That's a good deal on a Klein. There's reason that the frame is 3.1 lb, check the dings and dents on that frame. Pulse has very thin wall. It's a good race bike back in the day.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viggysmalls View Post
    Thanks for the input. Thats pretty much what I thought as well.

    I'm not sure about a rigid fork though, aren't curbs/stairs harder with a rigid fork? I have a couple more questions: Do I need special tires for snow? Also what kind of light do I need to bike home at 12:am with minimal street lighting?
    1. Rigid will makes things harder, but it's more of a back-up plan to have just in case you run into suspensions problems down the road. This is the case for any old used bike though. Not so much to worry about this was more just so you know.

    2. I've never ridden in the snow much but I hear studded tires work well.

    3. I wish I could answer that one, I have no idea.

    For questions 2 and 3 ask the guys at the commuter and lights forums. They know about winter commuting and how many lumens you need to light up whatnot.
    STOLEN: '07 Banshee Viento - See Eastern Canada Forum for Pictures. If anyone sees it contact me ASAP!

  6. #6
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    the HR seems quite popular and I'm thinking of getting 1 of them myself for 1st bike.

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