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 is a reasonable budget for a new bike?

    Hi everyone. This is my first post here, but I have been learning a lot by lurking around the forum.

    I have decided to take the plunge and get a real mountain bike. In your estimation, how much should I expect to spend for a beginner's bike? I was imagining investing $350-400 initially into a solid bike, and upgrading from there (wheels, cranks, pedals, brakes, what-have-you). Is this reasonable? What bikes should I be considering in this price range?

    Or should I wait until I save up a bit more?

    There is a great cycle shop around the corner (Daniel Boone's), but I want to be prepared with some information before I walk in. Any input you guys can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    And remember... first post. Be gentle!

  2. #2
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    Hello Ikonomi

    Welcome to the Forums. Your dilemma is one faced by almost every new rider. Let me first say that yes, you can buy an entry level bike for $300-$400 and upgrade it as you go along. I don't recommend you take this approach for a number of reasons. The two primary reasons would be the fact that in the end, you'll spend way more money upgrading the bike than if you'd saved more and bought a better bike in the first place. The second is the fact that if you save up more money, you'll be buying a bike with a potentially better frame. The lower priced bikes don't have the nice engineering factors and materials used in their builds.

    My advice is to save up about $800-$1000. This puts you in a price range of buying a nice hardtail. Shop around, look at leftover '06 models (or '07 leftovers as you may be saving for a while) or wait until a shop has a sale. In any event you want to maximize your budget.

    I hope this helps.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    Welcome! Call_me_Clyde has a good plan there - you can definitely get into a great hardtail at ~$1k.

    However, for me personally, I'd rather spend the $300-$400 for a entry level hardtail (yes, you can get some capable machines at that price) and be on the trails TOMORROW instead of waiting months and months saving up. Once you are riding a bit, then you'll see what kind of bike you could use with your $1k down the line - after all, you don't know if you're going to want a XC rig, DH, all-mountain, etc -until you ride a bit and figure out what type of stuff you like.

  4. #4
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    so what bike are you saying? could you please specify brand and model. (im in the same boat as Ikonomi)

  5. #5
    College Boy
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    well for some one first getting into mtn biking for a first bike I think a bugdet of 500-600 is a good bugdet because there you get a pretty good starting bike and if you do not like the sport you can sell the bike and not lose as much. If you like it the starting parts on the bike will last you some time the frame is general good enough to be upgrades all the way to XTR level stuff and not look out of place. Yes in the long run it may cost you more to do the upgrades but at the same time you will be doig it over a good lenght of time and as you get more and more into the sport.

    For my first mtn bike I bought I paid around 575 when it was all said and done. 520 for my Rockhopper 07 base and then about antoher 55 for a pair of Clipless pedals and those prices do include the tax. 1 years ago when my brother got back i the sport he paid about the same for his new mtn bike and it servers him very well and now he building up him self a FS santa cruz. He got an 05 Gary Fisher Tas.

    I think going for the 1k budget is pretty high unless you know you will be staying in the sport and you have money to burn. Quite a few people I know who just getting into or back into the sport seem to spend around 500 for the bike and work from there and yes they do get upgrades over time but 500 is just a good entry point.

    Some good models to look at is the Specialized RockHopper, Trek 4500. Gary Fisher Merlin. They are all about the same price point and all pretty good bikes and those 3 brands I seem to think are among the easier 3 to find at a LBS. yes some times you can find others but it seems to me I can always easily find a Specialized, Trek or Gary fisher dealer (or a LBS that carriers all 3) The other brands require a little looking. I also do not know them as well since when I got my bike those where the 3 bikes I look at and then went with the one that I felt the most comfortable on and that happen to be the rockhopper.

    Now I was not complete new to the sport since I was getting back into after 4 years but I will say I am more hook now than I ever was in HS.

  6. #6
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    I have seen a Mongoose Difiant 6.1 I think for a bit over $300 what do you think about that bike. I just turned 17 so i dont have the biggest ammount of money so I wanted a cheaper bike that will last me and I'll probably upgrade parts in summer. The bike has front cable disk brakes but pad back brakes. Does the back pad brakes make for a noticialbly worse stop?

  7. #7
    College Boy
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    I am going to say do not get a deparment store bike just because they are of such lower quility than one from a bike shop and on a 300 dollar bike I would not trust the disk brake.

    Rim brakes and disk brakes for the most part one can control the stopping power just as easily just rim brakes do not handle water as well.

    Black for you budget I would suggest look at the Hardrock by Specialized or other bike around that level from a bike shop. If you want to get in the sport I strongly suggest you get your bike from a bike shop just because it will fit you a heck of a lot better than the one size fits all you get from a department store bike.

  8. #8
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    thanks man sounds great
    I think I'll go to rocky cycle soon

  9. #9
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    Look at the Forge Sawback 500 found here: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000LWH8KC . It fits your budget and is very nicely equipped for the price. However, I agree with the earlier post which indicated that you should save more and buy a better bike, but if that is not an option the Sawback seems to be well regarded here at its price.

    Take a look at this thread if you want to see more detail of the bike I mentioned: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...66#post3007966
    Note: This is silver 17.5 inch version. The target link above is for the blue 19 inch version.
    Last edited by aadadams; 04-28-2007 at 08:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thank you everyone for your helpful input! I think that $500 +/- sounds like a reasonable goal for me. I'm not sure I have the cash flow to wrangle a $1000 bike right now, though!

    I've made myself a note with the brands/bikes you guys mentioned. I am happy that there is a good choice of bikes that fit more or less within my budget (plus $100, but hey). Right now I ride a Schwinn Ranger from Target, which is not terrible for a department store bike, but I only use it for riding to and from school and around the park, and on the occasional tame forest trail.

    I am looking forward to tackling bigger and better things on my "real" bike. And of course, it will give me one more thing to work on and customize! Whoopee!

  11. #11
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    In same boat been looking for awhile and I have pretty much made my desision to get the Trek 6000.. it is about 600 dollars

  12. #12
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    1st bike

    i paid around 800 for my first bike an iron horse warrior. w/ a short bmx history i thought i'd try mtb out and thought this would be good enough. it wasn't i kept the bike less than a year before i upgraded. i bought a used turner which was infact new because the owner built it but never rode it because he was traveling often w/ a band. anyhow, try demo bikes for a day or two, it may seem like it cost a lot but your often able use that demo fee towards a new bike. do test rides or find a friend w/ an extra bike to see if you like the sport enough to put time in it. and if you find yourself hooked, you'd probably want to invest more in it.

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