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. #3251
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    This is my 2014 GT Karakoram sport 29er, just got it about a week or 2 ago, no upgrade except for a pair of Forté Convert Platform Pedals. I have a pair Forté Pisgah tires but i haven't put them on yet.


  2. #3252
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    Trek X-Caliber 4. Got it a month ago and have been riding it at least 5 days out of the week. Upgraded saddle, pedals, and front tires so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140617_111851.jpg  


  3. #3253
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    Just getting back into it after a long time away. Here is my first and current bike that i built about 25 years ago. I did update the bars and seat.

  4. #3254
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    First time poster!

    So I got the bug to try mountain biking again, I did some when I was younger but that has been many many years ago.

    I ended up checking craigslist, and found I think a 1997 Specialized Rockhopper. It is in OK shape but I got it for.. $80, I ordered some new tires:

    Schwalbe CX Comp, I know they are not true MTB tires but hybrid? I figure I will see how much I actually ride anywhere and if I keep at it for more than a few weeks and have a desire to ride harder / more then I will get some better tires.

    It will need a new seat, cables (serviceable right now), but everything else seems good. I did get to ride it for about 1/2 hour before rear tire blew.


    Edit:
    It looks to have all Shimano components in decent shape.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140622_202921_resized.jpg  


  5. #3255
    Up the hill!
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    Bought this about a year ago (having not been on a bike in over 10 years!) and then went out once or twice. Enter this summer and I've been getting out whenever possible! 2013 GT Aggressor 2.0; not fancy, but it's been a lot of fun! Would be nice to swap out the front fork with a better one down the road, but not to worried about it right now.



  6. #3256
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    On top: 2013 Karakoram 2.0
    Ended up getting it for a great price from Nashbar last year, along with a neighbor and friend who picked one up based on the price.

    Actually had multiple issues both out of the box and in the first year, so as issues occurred, things were upgraded/replaced:

    • Fork: 120mm Manitou Tower Pro
    • Crankset: SL-K 44/32/22
    • Seatpost: Easton EC70
    • Front Brake: XT brake (temporarily)
    • Pedals: VP-001 (Not in photo)
    • Seat: SDG Ti-Fly C
    • Commuter Wheels: Stock Rims with Nashbar Gridlock 700x32 tires
    • XC/Trail Wheels: Black Flag Pros (Front: Ardent 2.25 TR, Rear: Aspen 2.1 [stock])


    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-bikes.jpg
    On bottom: Nashbar AT-3 26"

    I got this back when Nashbar used to sell a nicer 26" mountain bike, and I was, and still am, very happy with what came on the bike for the very low price I ended up paying for it. That, plus a ridiculous Pricepoint sale, means I picked up the bike and then an X9 drivetrain kit (with X7 cranks) for less than $600 total. I did replace the whole drivetrain all at once with the kit, but otherwise, it's all stock.

    These days, my Wiiride bar pretty much stays on this bike, as my wife and 6 year old will ride with me on bike paths while my 3 year old enjoys the ride from the Wiiride child seat.

    The GT saw a lot of upgrades in a short period of time, and part of that was escalating from local XC trails to traveling to other XC trails to riding more technical trails.
    Last edited by peteer01; 06-26-2014 at 06:10 PM.

  7. #3257
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteer01 View Post
    On top: 2013 Karakoram 2.0
    Ended up getting it for a great price from Nashbar last year, along with a neighbor and friend who picked one up based on the price.

    Actually had multiple issues both out of the box and in the first year, so as issues occurred, things were upgraded/replaced:

    • Fork: 120mm Manitou Tower Pro
    • Crankset: SL-K 44/32/22
    • Seatpost: Easton EC70
    • Front Brake: XT brake (temporarily)
    • Pedals: VP-001 (Not in photo)
    • Seat: SDG Ti-Fly C
    • Commuter Wheels: Stock Rims with Nashbar Gridlock 700x32 tires
    • XC/Trail Wheels: Black Flag Pros (Front: Ardent 2.25 TR, Rear: Aspen 2.1 [stock])


    How do you find the Manitou Tower Pro? I'm planning to upgrade my stock Suntour XCM fork next year. The Tower Pro I've heard is an awesome fork to consider next to the entry level RockShox forks and Suntour Raidon.

  8. #3258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoo View Post
    How do you find the Manitou Tower Pro?
    Fantastic, I can't say enough nice things about it. I managed to brake the front XC28 fork on my first Karakoram (which had other issues) while I waited for my replacement Karakoram to show up. Then I proceeded to brake my second XC28 fork on the second Karakoram almost immediately after that. I have had much better luck with Suntour forks on previous bikes than the XC28.

    I posted about the install in an thread back in November, complete with photos and my complete lack of skills. I am now significantly more comfortable working on the fork as a result of that undertaking, and ended up lowering the handlebars (and recutting the tube) again after that.

    The fork made the bike an entirely different bike. The amazing improvement in suspension I expected, but what surprised me was that it took more weight off my bike (well over a pound) than anything else, and in a very, very noticeable way:

    Fork upgrade: 2223g to 1698g (- 525g approximate)
    Wheel upgrade: 2224g to 1868g (- 518g)
    Crank upgrade: 1278g to 848g (- 430g)
    Pedal upgrade: 471g to 354g (- 117g)

    I know I got mine for a steal at $250, which is part of why I pulled the trigger on it, but now that I know what a huge difference it makes, I wouldn't have hesitated on upgrading the fork at a much higher price!

  9. #3259
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteer01 View Post
    Fantastic, I can't say enough nice things about it. I managed to brake the front XC28 fork on my first Karakoram (which had other issues) while I waited for my replacement Karakoram to show up. Then I proceeded to brake my second XC28 fork on the second Karakoram almost immediately after that. I have had much better luck with Suntour forks on previous bikes than the XC28.

    I posted about the install in an thread back in November, complete with photos and my complete lack of skills. I am now significantly more comfortable working on the fork as a result of that undertaking, and ended up lowering the handlebars (and recutting the tube) again after that.

    The fork made the bike an entirely different bike. The amazing improvement in suspension I expected, but what surprised me was that it took more weight off my bike (well over a pound) than anything else, and in a very, very noticeable way:

    Fork upgrade: 2223g to 1698g (- 525g approximate)
    Wheel upgrade: 2224g to 1868g (- 518g)
    Crank upgrade: 1278g to 848g (- 430g)
    Pedal upgrade: 471g to 354g (- 117g)

    I know I got mine for a steal at $250, which is part of why I pulled the trigger on it, but now that I know what a huge difference it makes, I wouldn't have hesitated on upgrading the fork at a much higher price!
    That's awesome. I keep hearing great things about the Tower Pro. Apparently they replaced it with the new "Minute" and "Match" models. There's still some decent deals for Tower Pros on eBay too. I'll have to keep an eye out next year.

  10. #3260
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    I bout my 2006 Giant Yukon for $175 from a room mate back in 2012 when he was moving out and didn't want to take it with him. Thought I would just use it to crack down to the store or just some short trips.

    Just in the past 6 months I started seriously getting into trail riding so I started to replace bits hear and there. So far I have spent more on upgrades than I paid for the bike itself. A lot of the stuff I got deals on from Amazon and PricePoint, plus I bought the Manitou fork lightly used from the LBS. They traded out the fork on a guys Trek for a RockShox after he had only ridden the Manitou for a few rides. Granted, the fork is a few years old but I had the shop service the oil and seals.

    Bikepedia page w/ original specs: 2006 Giant Yukon - BikePedia

    So far:
    Fork: Manitou Splice Super (replaced the blown out Suntour XCR)
    Grips: Bontrager Rhythm Plus
    Tires: specialized captain (front) specialized fast trak (rear)
    Pedals: wellgo mg42
    Brakes: Avid BB7 and Speed Dial 7 levers (came with shitty Hayes GX2)
    New SRAM PG850 8-speed cassette and Shimano PC850 chain

    Oh, and a new FSA Pig headset is on its way per UPS. Once that is installed, I'm taking it to the trails about 30 miles from here in Greenville and trying her out on some actual terrain, not just the local recreation trails around our city lake.

    November 2012:

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-nc_giant-06-yukon-before.jpg


    June 2014:

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-nc_giant-06-yukon.jpg
    Last edited by NC_Giant; 06-26-2014 at 07:29 PM.

  11. #3261
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    I'll play!

    Here's my first mountain bike KHS Alite 1000 & it's bone stock. I've had it for a while but haven't ridden it much. That's changing though, time to get serious about getting into shape. Will probably be making some drivetrain upgrades before anything else. I took the last few days going through this entire thread, some real nice rides posted.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-img_20140618_112522583_hdr.jpg  

    Last edited by mikeb121973; 07-01-2014 at 08:14 AM.

  12. #3262
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    First post.

    Have been reading this thread to get some ideas, but thought I should get involved.
    Slowly transforming my Scott Aspect from entry level to something better. Looking at using the parts to buid up a Cotic BFe or On-One Inbred soon.
    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-bike.jpg

    Manitou Minute Pro 120mm
    Sun Ringle Charger Wheelset
    Truvativ AKA Stem 70mm (too Long)
    Crank Brothers Cobalt Bars 680mm (too short)
    DMR V8 Pedals
    SLX Rear Mech
    XT Shifter
    Rest is basically entry level.. Will upgrade when broken or...whenever.

  13. #3263
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    ...brand new rider here (howdy, everyone)! Last night I brought home a Trek 4500 Alpha I found on Craigslist.

    I think it's an '03, however there's no rust and the tires still have those little nubby hairs on them. Paid $150 (hooray college budget!) so I think I did okay for myself? Currently everything is stock.


    I'm excited to start drinking the MTB Kool-aid.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140701_005110.jpg  


  14. #3264
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    Re: Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)

    Quote Originally Posted by Collidoskope View Post
    ...brand new rider here (howdy, everyone)! Last night I brought home a Trek 4500 Alpha I found on Craigslist.

    think it's a '03, however there's no rust and the tires still have those little nubby hairs on them. Paid $150 (hooray college budget!) so I think I did okay for myself? Currently everything is stock.


    I'm excited to start drinking the MTB Kool-aid.
    Congrats on the score!

  15. #3265
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    Congratulations and welcome to the family. I can't see the rear, but judging by the fork it looks like you can handle disc brakes. HIGHLY recommend converting when you are readyto begin upgrades. As a beginner that will greatly improve your safety as well as handling as you begin to get comfortable on two wheels.

    Have fun!
    GO COUGS
    GO HAWKS

  16. #3266
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    :3 thanks, y'all!

    Coling: here is a full body shot / close up on the back wheel set up...
    My roommate used to be a bike shop mechanic, so I'll definitely have him look at it once he's home so we can guesstimate how much I need to start saving for the upgrade.

    I can't wait to get her all adjusted and take her out for the first time!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140701_093544.jpg  

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140701_093422.jpg  


  17. #3267
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    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-screenshot-2014-07-01-10.41.28.jpg

    Just bought this a couple weeks ago! My first mountain bike - Devinci Jack SX! Love the way it looks and having so much fun on it!

  18. #3268
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    pic(s) and first upgrade

    After a long delay last year due to ACL reconstruction, finally getting the skyhawk out in earnest this year and loving it...and making the first of hopefully more upgrades

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-img_3232.jpg

    stock

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-img_3237.jpgYour Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-img_3238.jpg

    wider bar (640 to 740), shorter stem (100?? to 65), and lockon grips...loving the difference

  19. #3269
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    beginning the upgrades

    Just got my new hard rock. And some new extras
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-20140713_164105.jpg  


  20. #3270
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    updated pic of my 2012 Marlin. 2 stock parts left on the bike.

    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)-imag2876_burst002_1.jpg

  21. #3271
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    Mabye sence all the parts in the WORLD are made there, it may be way different there than what we consider entry level...?
    Just a .02c thought...
    Asia is a very big part of the world. Shimano is mostly made in this area called Japan and SRAM in China. Some parts are made in Malaysia. But not all parts in the world are made in Asia. Formula is based out of and has a factory in Italy. Magura is made in Germany. Hope from UK. Thompson stems and seat post from USA. Mavic France, Romania.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  22. #3272
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    My Airborne Seeker:



  23. #3273
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    Your Entry Level MTB (Pics and Upgrades)

    Quote Originally Posted by UFMatt View Post
    My Airborne Seeker:


    What year is that seeker? It looks like a nice bike. How do you like it?

  24. #3274
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    Here is my 2013 Hardrock Sport Disc 29er.

    -Commuter wheels with Geax Evolutions
    -ODI Grips
    -Wellgo MG1 peddles
    -Tora Air Fork


  25. #3275
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennyblanco2121 View Post
    What year is that seeker? It looks like a nice bike. How do you like it?
    Brand new, only had it a few weeks, so far so good! Really like the air fork over the coil that Iw as using prior to this bike.

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