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
    Level 5 Rider!
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    What would you do in my situation?

    Hey guys. I just started riding last year, and I am loving it. The thing is that I have an entry level bike and that's really all I can afford at the moment. It is a Giant Revel 4. Right now I have about $200 dollars to spend on upgrades. I know that most recommend not upgrading forks, but the fork that comes with the bike is meant for city use and I am already riding almost all mountain terrain. Been riding some black trails (though with less speed than a lot of you guys I would imagine, and have even been off the actual bike trails) What I am worried about is how sketchy the fork is.

    I also kinda hate the gearing ratio on the bike... everyone else that I have riden with has much lower gearing (which on short steep sections doesn't bother me that much, but once it gets to be a long uphill it gets pretty killer)... I don't really know what to do. Selling the bike I would imagine that I wouldn't get much for it and then I would be back to square one. But its got a freewheel... gah so many annoyances.

    I can deal with most of those (after all the gearing just makes my legs stronger) but the forks worry me the most. SR Suntour M2025... but I know that $200 is hardly anything for a set of forks. I was thinking maybe I should just pick up a cheap rigid set? Use that until I can afford a better bike. But is a rigid front fork in amongst roots really better than a crappy fork?

    Anyways let me know what you guys would do...
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  2. #2
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    check pricepoint for the manitou forks. They have been really good lately. maybe not 200 but less than 300. You could also look for a used fork.

  3. #3
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    hmm that sounds a little promising. Used forks are hard cause my bike has v style brakes and most of the forks out there are for disc. I am not sure if the fact that it is setup with freewheels is going to be a problem as well.. (probably will).
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  4. #4
    Rod
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    You can find some forks with V brakes. Here's one that is crazy light. RockShox Sid SL Pure Dual Air Fork 26" Disc or V Brake 80mm Red | eBay To be honest, I would see what you could get out of your current bike add the 200 to it and look on craigslist. The best option would be to keep saving and ride what you have. Once you get 400-600 dollars you could find a nice hardtail within that budget used.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  5. #5
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    You might be able to change the front small chain to something smaller ,depending on the cranks.Google freewheels there might be something out there that has a different range of gears.

  6. #6
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    Maybe that is my best bet. My wife needs an upgrade on her ride as she just has a wal-mart ride. So maybe I get a used bike and she can use my ride. From what I have seen used around here I think I would need 600, but who knows. Been looking at police auctions and stuff like that too... maybe find a bargain there.
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Have you looked into the Suntour upgrade program? You can get a Raidon for $200 or less.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    lol so that is what you would do... Tis tempting for sure... My wife would get a bike and so would I. Not sure if its my size, but thanks for showing me that.

    Gelati, Yeah I have seen it around some think its good others not so much. May ask my LBS what they think and go from there.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
    check pricepoint for the manitou forks. They have been really good lately. maybe not 200 but less than 300..
    This. My first bike had a RS Recon. I have yet to dial that one in. It just doesn't feel right. I then got a RS Reba dual air. I've run it from 60-100mm travel and it works great and easy to dial it in for small bump compliance, full travel, and rebound. I just bought a Manitou Marvel Pro (it was a little less on Pricepoint than it is now) and so far i am impressed. Its pretty light, works through its travel pretty smoothly, and rebound is pretty easy to dial in. I also like how lock out feels like its locked out compared to the slight squish on a Rockshox. I've never ridden a Fox and i'm not sure i would buy it if it was at the price level of a dual air Rockshox at double the price. But, for under $400, i find it pretty hard to beat for XC type of riding.

  11. #11
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    One thing I have seen and am asking about is airborne. They have a bike that is around $600 and you can do bill me later on pay-pal and 6mos same as cash! Food for thought.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy316 View Post
    One thing I have seen and am asking about is airborne. They have a bike that is around $600 and you can do bill me later on pay-pal and 6mos same as cash! Food for thought.
    Nice bike, but I am quite short and so 29'rs aren't usually very feasible for me.

    Thanks all for the help.
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  13. #13
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    I would go with giving the bike to your wife to upgrade hers, and getting another bike.
    Elsewhere on the beginners forum, a guy has found an "as new" 2011 Kona Blast for $300.
    This bike is in a different league to yours (Rock Shox Tora fork, hydraulic discs, lower gears etc)
    My point it, if he found that for $300 then there must be others for similar money.
    Look out for NOS 2011/2012 lower end bikes that cost maybe $600-800 new.
    You could sell your wife's old bike and make a few dollars towards the new one as well.

  14. #14
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    I'm 5'8 and rock a 29er. Wouldn't trade for anything (except a 27.5 )

  15. #15
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    At five foot eight 26" 27..5" and 29" will all be fine.

    More important is the frame size, if it is right for you, whatever size you are.

  16. #16
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    LOL I'm 5'3 with short legs... when I said small I mean it. I am usually at the very bottom of the allowable size for 29's and with my short legs they probably would feel bad. 27.5 is the one I would like to have, but being new they are expensive. Some day.. maybe I will win my companies raffle which is currently sitting at basically $6000 to the winner.. wouldn't that be nice. lol.
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