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  1. #1
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    Smile Buying my first bike, help is appreciated

    Hi everyone, new to the community.

    I started mountain biking this year, I live in Jersey, we have a lot of good trails here.
    This hobby is really fun and a great excersise.

    Right now, I am riding a Woman's Raleigh bike(I'm a guy, but short 5'7 155lbs) which looks like it was bought at a walmart.

    The bike handles the strain I put on it, and I'm reasonable happy with it, but the trouble starts when going uphill. The bike is like a hybrid city/mountain bike, so the seat position is way off... I deperatly need a new bike before I hurt myself..

    Here is my dilema, I don't want to spend a lot of money (no more than 300) and I get very stressed out reading about used bikes... I don't want to get greeked and there's information overload.

    Memorial day is coming up and I'm sure there's going to be some great deals out there. Can anyone help me decide on a bike? Point me in right direction? Any information is much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  2. #2
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    I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to mountain biking, but a friend of mine had a Specialized Rockhopper or Hardrock that did the trick. You may want to upgrade some of the parts as you get a little money and get better, but he really liked it. Solid frame to build around. I'm sure you can find one new for about $350-400.. maybe last year's model.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm

    Here is my dilema, I don't want to spend a lot of money (no more than 300) and I get very stressed out reading about used bikes... I don't want to get greeked and there's information overload.

    Memorial day is coming up and I'm sure there's going to be some great deals out there. Can anyone help me decide on a bike? Point me in right direction? Any information is much appreciated.
    Well, you're plenty tough enough for the sport if you're mountain biking on that thing.

    My opinion is that buying a new bike under $300 for mountain biking would be wasting your money. On that budget, you might get something that looks like a mountain bike, but that's it. I think used is your only rational choice unless you're willing to spend more like $500 or $600.

    If you want to keep it easy, you could focus on bikes that are less than 5 years old that have mostly (Shimano) Deore or Alivio components. Something like, say a 2007 Specialized Rockhopper is realistic on your budget and would be a good bike. There are lots of choices. Just make sure you get the right size, your LBS can help you with that.

    If you're not sure about a particular bike you're looking at, post it here, people will give you feedback on whether its a decent deal.

  4. #4
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    You guys can be very convincing...
    Specialized Rockhopper/Hardrock look like great bikes, but the prices you guys are stating and the prices at my local bike shops differ..

    Memorial day is coming up.. and I see REI has 20% off..

    Where should I start looking to buy?
    Has anyone had luck with Ebay?

    I found a 2011 Hardrock for 428 Shipped on this site.
    http://www.chicosportsltd.net/store/...-Hardrock.html

  5. #5
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    Hey there friend,

    Allow me to suggest that you purchase a steel framed MTN bike. Purchase your bike at the height of your budget knowing that your components will not be the best. Meanwhile, learn how to disassemble and reassemble your bike. Find someone who can assist you in learning about bicycle mechanics.

    Once you've learned about the mechanics of your bicycle, you will be able to easily replace your cheap components with quality components. You will then have a bike that you will be able to enjoy for many years to come.

    At your budget, I would strongly advise you to look at the Jamis Trail XR bike. This is a steel framed bike and if it's not permitted to oxidize, it will last a lifetime. Of course, components and accessories need constant replacing. A bicycle mechanic makes a good MTN biker.

    Good Luck!

    It's Beautiful!

    Buying my first bike, help is appreciated-11_trailxr_bl.jpg

    Jamis Trail XR

    PS.

    The Raleigh Talus 2 and the Schwinn Pioneer are also steel framed bikes within your budget...
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    Last edited by MoabiSlim; 05-27-2011 at 08:40 PM.
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm View Post
    You guys can be very convincing...
    Always easy to spend someone else's money.

    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm View Post
    Specialized Rockhopper/Hardrock look like great bikes, but the prices you guys are stating and the prices at my local bike shops differ..
    Yeah, I was talking about used, not new.

    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm View Post
    Memorial day is coming up.. and I see REI has 20% off..

    Where should I start looking to buy?
    If you're set on buying new, I think REI is a smart choice if you're not entirely certain about what bike you want. They will give you a full refund on a return of a used bike, which no LBS I know of can do. Gives you a chance to ride it for a couple weeks without being locked into keeping it. Their store-brand Novara bikes are pretty well regarded for the money. But, then again, buying from your LBS has real advantages too.

  7. #7
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    Since you mentioned REI, here is one they have for $339 that looks decent for that price:

    http://www.rei.com/product/788084/no...rtal-bike-2011

    It is an entry-level mountain-bike, but I don't see any parts on it to complain about. If $300 is your budget, then the Novara is worth a look.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for doing this everyone, this is very helpful.
    REI is very close to me, I'm going to go check it out today and try the bikes suggested.
    I am definitely going to have to ride them and see how I like it.

    Also another LBS is marty's reliable cycle (martysreliable.com)
    They do have the Specialized Hardrock Disc for $519.
    The non disc is $419.
    (I know the rockhopper is even better but they are asking 719.. it's too much for me)

    Those bike rotors sure do look pretty fancy though, but are they worth the extra 100?

    I will haggle them and bring the price down a bit, or increase warranty/tune up expiration.

    As a bonus to you guys helping me, here is a video of me tumbling into mud/water last Sunday.
    You can see the bike I am riding too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNsB-1_RGAk

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  9. #9
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    Kevin, that's a nice trail. Thanks for the posting up with the video. Sorry about the crash.

    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm View Post
    Those bike rotors sure do look pretty fancy though, but are they worth the extra 100?
    Get them if you can afford them. The question of whether to go disc or v-brake is sometimes hotly debated. My observation is that most riders sooner or later want to make the move to disc. (I know I like them). The forum is littered with posts from riders owning bikes with v-brakes wanting to know how to upgrade to disc. To upgrade that $419 bike, you will likely need a brand new wheelset, so upgrading that bike will cost far more than the extra hundred to buy the model already having disc brakes.

    But don't break the bank and destroy your budget either. You mentioned a $300 budget. Only you know how "elastic" that budget is.

    And if you're willing to spend $500 at the Specialized dealer, then be sure to look at what REI has on offer at that same price point.

    Good luck. Looks like you have some nice trails to ride.

  10. #10
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    Actually, that REI bike looks pretty good with good reviews to boot. And lol @ you falling, it happens to the best of us. That trail looks nice, where is it? If you plan on falling into more water, I'd definitely get some disc brakes.

    Another option no one has mentioned is Craigslist. I bought my girlfriend a 2005-2006 Cannondale f300, which was about 600+ bucks brand new. Great bike. The guy road it a few times (not even on the trail) so it sat around his apartment for years. The thing is practically brand new and I got it for like 200 bucks. Not to add to you frustration, but it's another option for you. There are deals to be had!

    Quote Originally Posted by SquallRealm View Post
    Thanks for doing this everyone, this is very helpful.
    REI is very close to me, I'm going to go check it out today and try the bikes suggested.
    I am definitely going to have to ride them and see how I like it.

    Also another LBS is marty's reliable cycle (martysreliable.com)
    They do have the Specialized Hardrock Disc for $519.
    The non disc is $419.
    (I know the rockhopper is even better but they are asking 719.. it's too much for me)

    Those bike rotors sure do look pretty fancy though, but are they worth the extra 100?

    I will haggle them and bring the price down a bit, or increase warranty/tune up expiration.

    As a bonus to you guys helping me, here is a video of me tumbling into mud/water last Sunday.
    You can see the bike I am riding too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNsB-1_RGAk

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  11. #11
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    Jamis or REI

    Hey there SquallRealms!

    On second thought, I'd either go with Jamis or that REI bike that JonathanGennick has posted.

    That looks sweet and you'd be getting it from a very reputable LBS that is known for excellent service.

    You can't beat good service!
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

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