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
    aan
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    New question here. Where can I find previous year's models? (also, bikesdirect)

    I'm new to the forums here, and recently looking into getting a new(er) bike so I can start riding more trails. By no means am I looking to spend upwards of $700, and I realize that is a low budget for a "good" bike. I am interested in purchasing a bike that may be leftover stock from a year or two ago - I have done this with other things before (cars and ice hockey gear) and have saved a good chunk of change.

    Anybody have any suggestions or can you point me in the direction of a site that sells previous year's models?

    Also, as a side note - I have read a lot about bikesdirect here and on other sites via google and such, if anyone would like to throw in their .02 on that site, I would love to hear it (good or bad). I was looking at the Motobecane 600 or 700 HT, or the Dawes Haymaker 1500 which seem to be good starter to intermediate bikes but obviously I have no experience with any of these bikes

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Formerly mtbnoobadam
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    bikesdirect is good if you can assemble your own bike and you know what size will fit you properly. There's been alot of posts on here from guys who were very happy with their BD bike and at the same time there are alot of guys on here that are totally against it because of the lack of lbs support. At the end of the day its totally up to you, whether you are confident in your wrenching abilities and knowledge of bike sizing. In my opinion you can't really beat the level of component groups on those bikes for the price.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles
    That depends. Can you go fvck yourself?

  3. #3
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    Preface to my comment: I am a newb myself so take my statements for what they are worth. Not intended as advice, just my personal experience.

    2010 model Bikesdirect bikes can be found on Ebay from sellers Sportymama, Chicabike and Bikeislandsite. Got my son a 2010 Windsor Cliff 4900 with Deore/XT 27 speed drivetrain (interestingly the 2011 model was downgraded to 24 Speed Alivio/Deore drivetrain) for $370 shipped from Chicabike. Experience was excellent, shipping was fast. The derailleur hanger was bent in shipment but Liz sent me a replacement free of charge and very quickly. Haven't looked in a while, but the 2010 pickings (Windsors, Motobecanes, Dawes and Gravity) on Ebay were getting slim.

    Take what you've read about Bikesdirect seriously, think about what you need. The bikes are a great package as far as component level per dollar, but many people find the LBS fitment, tuneups and accesory discounts more valuable than a slight upgrade in derailleurs.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The big score in new bike buying is last year's model, locally. So I'd actually start by phoning around to some shops and seeing if they have something for you before hitting the internet.

    For online, bikeman.com and jensonusa.com. I'm sure there are others, but I've never bought a bike this way myself. (Well, and EBay of course.) People have good things to say about Jenson. They're actually a brick-and-mortar shop in Southern California, but with a big web presence. Something to look for with last-year's, especially if you go full suspension, is whether or not the warranty is intact. It's up to you to decide how important that is.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    In agreement with Andrew, don't disregard your LBS as a source of prior model years on nice discount. Before locating the Windsor on Ebay, I had my eyes on a 2009 or 2010 GT at one of my LBSs, originally $590 marked down to $440 and I think I could have gotten it for less. I think it was either an Avalanche or Outpost, not sure anymore. It had lesser components than the Windsor, but all the LBS perks. It ws a tough call really, but I had to go with the lower purchase price, who knows I might regret it yet, possibly at resale time (though that's 2 kids away) when people on CL have no idea what a Windsor is but have heard of GT.

  6. #6
    aan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    In agreement with Andrew, don't disregard your LBS as a source of prior model years on nice discount. Before locating the Windsor on Ebay, I had my eyes on a 2009 or 2010 GT at one of my LBSs, originally $590 marked down to $440 and I think I could have gotten it for less. I think it was either an Avalanche or Outpost, not sure anymore. It had lesser components than the Windsor, but all the LBS perks. It ws a tough call really, but I had to go with the lower purchase price, who knows I might regret it yet, possibly at resale time (though that's 2 kids away) when people on CL have no idea what a Windsor is but have heard of GT.
    This is a very good point you guys make..I will call and check in with the LBS, thanks for the idea!

  7. #7
    aan
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    Thanks everyone for the replies!

  8. #8
    aan
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    Sort of a side-note...but how "old" of models would you be willing to look back for? What I mean is, do you think, for example, a 2006 model would be too old compared to a 10 model?

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The basic design of a XC hardtail hasn't changed much since the late '90s. Suspension forks have gotten longer, though, and there are some small changes that accompany those changes in length. So I'd want early 2000s. Disc brakes being standard happened a little later than that - maybe mid-2000s? IMO, if you want a bike with disc brakes, you should buy one that already has them, rather than buy with a plan to upgrade later. Aside from a couple weird standards on early disc models, it's pretty easy to do a 1:1 swap to change to a different brake, but putting disc brakes on a bike with V-brakes is not always possible and usually requires new wheels too.

    Full suspension bikes are a little bit tougher. The technology is still maturing, and some FS bikes that age are most interesting as steps in the development of designs that actually worked, while some are still in production. So you need to look into the specific model. I don't think I'd want to go more than five years old, but don't know full suspension bikes that well.

    Long-travel hardtails are just weird.

    For a better answer, you need to narrow what you're looking for a little, or consider the ages for different kinds of bikes differently.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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