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.
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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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    Which would you rather have?

    Hey Guys,

    I'm just starting to get back into Mountain Biking after a few years (like 10) off. As I am in need for a bike, but want to limit how much I spend for this year to ensure I'm going to stick with it, I'm going to buy second hand.

    I'm going back and forth between two beginner bikes. Which do you think is a better product?

    The first is a 2009 Specialized Hardrock (standard with "V" breaks)
    BikePedia - 2009 Specialized Hardrock Complete Bicycle

    The other options is a Iron Horse Quantum II (which was a limited edition, similar to a Maverick - I can't find real specs on the Quantum II)
    BikePedia - 2006 Iron Horse Maverick Comp Complete Bicycle

    Look forward to hearing from you guys on your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    BRWhelan

  2. #2
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    Not enough info to make a decision. The condition of the bikes will have a lot of influence. How much are they asking?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  3. #3
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    Definitely needing the condition of the used bikes. Pictures would help tons.

  4. #4
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    So to be honest, I left that out on purpose to get an "if everything equal" answer. If it helps, they are both in good to great condition. The Specialized is $150 but needs a rear tube and the Iron Horse is $200 and needs nothing.

  5. #5
    backwoods and backwards
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    Hard to get jazzed for either bike, but since the Hardrock spec.s a hi-ten steel bar and freewheel set-up instead of a freehub/ cassette... I'd say it's probably less trailworthy than you want.

    What else is in your market?
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  6. #6
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    I'd love a full suspension bike but I'm looking to spend less than $250 for a bike. I'm just wanting a bike to start getting back into mountain biking and ill maybe upgrade next year.

  7. #7
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    Anyone else have some comments they could share? I know these aren't anything to "write home about" but I'm just looking for something to start with.

    I've always had a place in my heart for Specialized bike because my first mountain bike was one, but certainly want to pick the better of the two.

  8. #8
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    Here are the two CL ads, including pictures in both.

    Specialized Hardrock
    http://westernmass.craigslist.org/bik/3254044763.html

    Iron Horse Quantum II
    Ironhorse Mountain Bike

  9. #9
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    the listing for the specialized is gone, FYI. XTR pedals on that entry level Iron Horse?

    an entry level bike is pretty much an entry level bike. if it's in good condition and it fits you, why not? I am skeptical about the ad mentioning XTR pedals on that Iron Horse. I'm having a hard time understanding that "upgrade" but I guess I've seen weirder. It's just that I was using M520's when I was riding a $500 bike. They are not clear in the pic, so it's possible that they could be old, beat up XTR pedals. or not even XTR at all.

  10. #10
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    The owner of the Iron Horse has confirmed that the pedals were an upgrade as it was his "second" bike and his main bike has the same pedals to clip in his shoes.

    He also said that he has slime tubes on it, so there aren't any issues with flats with this bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWhelan View Post
    The owner of the Iron Horse has confirmed that the pedals were an upgrade as it was his "second" bike and his main bike has the same pedals to clip in his shoes.

    He also said that he has slime tubes on it, so there aren't any issues with flats with this bike.
    Don't just take his random word for it. Not without better pics of those pedals

  12. #12
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    Yeah true. I'm still finding myself leaning toward the Specialized anyways. It's a longer drive and needs a new rear tube, but I just feel it would be an all-around better bike for me and would be easier to resell if/when I'm ready to upgrade to something a little more aggressive.

    I appreciate all your help guys and certainly let me know if you think I'm making the wrong choice.

  13. #13
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    If you know or ride with anyone local I would try to bring them along and check them out in person. Tough call to make for anyone sight unseen
    Seeking MB-2 Fork (19.3), Ritchey FD post silver 26.8

  14. #14
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    the Iron Horse: Disc Brakes.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut View Post
    the Iron Horse: Disc Brakes.
    Those could turn out to be a PITA if the owner didn't maintain them properly.

    ...besides, didn't Joytech stop making disc brakes?

    -S

  16. #16
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    i've got an ironhrose maverick team (2006) its a fine bike, but I'd look for a trek 4300 or 3700 with v-brakes over those mechanical discs wet, or dry. Or something even better! An older bike with an actual fork with rebound adjustment is going to make you a lot lot lot more happy on the trails. Its all in the fork, that will make or break the ride,

  17. #17
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    I would snatch up that Iron Horse in a heartbeat over that Spec' (as long as it fits). Mainly because of the disc brakes.

  18. #18
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    At least with the Iron Horse it has disc brakes. They might not be very good but...when you decide to upgrade to hydraulics (you'll want to) everything will be compatible so you'll just need the brakes. If you won't have much money to upgrade I'd take cheap vbrakes setup properly over cheap mechanical disc.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryantreams View Post
    At least with the Iron Horse it has disc brakes. They might not be very good but...when you decide to upgrade to hydraulics (you'll want to) everything will be compatible so you'll just need the brakes. If you won't have much money to upgrade I'd take cheap vbrakes setup properly over cheap mechanical disc.
    I believe the base model 2009 Hardrock frame has the standard ISO rear brake mount on the seatstays, and also ISO mounts on the fork, so switching from V-Brakes to disc isn't that difficult. The premium models also come with disc brakes so it's not unexpected to find the ISO brake mounts on the base model.

    Take a closer look at the standard hardrock model and you'll see the mount points:
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    The Specialized is probably a better bike to start off from a maintenance standpoint and still be easily upgraded later.

    -S

  20. #20
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    Yeah, but don't you need wheels too? ...Though to be honest, those wheels need to be replaced anyways

  21. #21
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    To be honest my old FSR came with nice V brakes....but i would take my Hardrock's cheap Tektro I/O disc brakes on the trails over V Brakes any day.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    yeah, but don't you need wheels too? ...though to be honest, those wheels need to be replaced anyways
    ding ding ding!!! Bingo!!!

    -s

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