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  1. #1
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    Which bike to buy? $300 budget

    Hi guys,

    I've just decided to start commuting to work (3 miles each way) and am looking for a cheap bike to get me started. I've decided to go with a mountain bike since I also would like to occasionally go on some trails.

    A local bike shop has the Mongoose Tyax Comp 2008 with disc brakes for $290 after tax. '08 Tyax Comp

    I've also been looking on eBay and found this aluminum bike: Windsor Cliff 4500
    That would come to $280 after a 20% eBay coupon I got my hands on.

    Which is the better bike? I'd have to put together the eBay one myself without having tested it which makes me kind of weary. But all the feedback says the bike is great.

    I just graduated from college....so around $300 would be all that I would be willing to spend right now. Add on a couple lights and a good lock and maybe some road tires and i'll be upwards of $400.

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Frt Range, CO
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    IMHO:
    Both those bikes are "ok". If you weigh much over 160lbs you'll need to buy a bike with a frt fork that can have the spring upgraded (>$80 w/labor if you can't DYI). Also, if you go off road or ride in the rain or weigh more than 160 lbs, expect the wheels to die an early disipointing death. For $300 I'd look for a rigid front fork used bike and be able to do easy repairs DYI, otherwise, $300 won't go far.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm 170 pounds.

    I guess it's worth spending an extra $100 upfront than having to replace wheels soon.

    Would the extra $100 (so whole bike costing $400ish) make it able for me to get something far superior than at the $300 price range?

    That Mongoose Tyax Comp supposedly retails for $400 so I guess it's all a matter of finding a good deal on a bike that is on sale for $400.....

    If I was to buy one of the two I listed in my first post, which would you choose?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by ah6tyfour
    If I was to buy one of the two I listed in my first post, which would you choose?
    Neither. I'd spend $450 and get the Windsor Cliff 4900. The wheels will do ok on the street. I bought this bike for my 130lbs son, its doing fine. We do ride offroad quite a bit and the wheels are ready to go after 4 weeks. I bought a replacement set from bikewheelwarehouse.com for ~165 shipped (same set I purchased for my 220lbs son). Next winter when we swap out the shock oil we'll upgrade the Dart 2 fork to the heavy spring ($40). This is the minimum bike I would consider after going through the drill three time in the last 3 months, YMMV. BTW, I bought my 220lbs son a $400 bike from Performance Bikes, with sales tax it was $440. I spent another $200 to get it up to the level of the Windsor 4900 plus $165 for new wheels plus $40 for decent tires plus $330 for a Tora 318 frt fork, cheapest fork I could find for someone over 200lbs.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    I pretty much agree with Pursuiter except that I can`t say anything about those specific models that are being discussed. If the only thing you want to do is a daily 6 mi RT commute, pretty much anything would do the trick, but if it were my money and my ride in question, I`d put that $300 into a used bike. I see a good number of mountain bikes on Craigs list in that price range that look great. Rigid forks are fine, but the market narrows down a bit that way because most of the better mountain bikes have had suspension forks for several years now. My personal prefference is for rim brakes (V-brakes or standard cantilevers) because you can get such nice brakes that way for much less money than decent discs. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening as with rigid forks- it cuts out a lot of newer bikes, though there are still quite a few new and used hardtails available with rim brakes. For $300, my preference would definitely be a used bike. If it turns out that you like riding and want to stick with it, I`d look to upgrade in a few years and think more seriously about buying the next one from a bike shop who can help set you up with a bike that matches your needs at that time. You`ll have a better idea which way your riding is going and what kind of riding you do by then. However it goes, I hope you enjoy your new purchase.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your thoughts guys.

    I did a google search for "best $500 mountain bike" and seems like people like the Trek 4300 or a Specialized.

    What do you think of the Specialized Hardrock?
    $329
    $399 with disc brakes

    Too bad this one is a bit too much for me.... Rockhopper $549

    Do you know how if the disc brakes on the $399 Hardrock make it worth the extra $70?

    Thanks for all your help!

  7. #7
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    The Hardrock is definitely a better option. Sepcialized frames have a lifetime warrany.

    I would say "No", the disc brakes aren't worth it unless you're gonna be riding trails quite a bit. The stopping power is enhanced dramatically but if you're truly on a budget I would save my $70 and spend it on a rear rack, hydration pack or whatever you plan on accessorizing with. Plus, don't forget a helmet!!!

    Don't go all crazy and think you need the most expensive lights either. $30 or less will give you adequate lighting for being seen. If you're looking for good lights to see by then you're going to be looking at an increased expense.
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="3"]Eat to Live[/SIZE][/SIZE]...[SIZE="3"]not the other way around[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Performance is a chain of bike shops and doesn't have the selection or options that the mom and pop shops have. i would go to local bike shops (lbs) and see what they have in stock, they might even have left over 07s or a used bike. A well built used bike can be had for cheep and will provide a better platform for upgradeing when componets wear out.
    Also, test rideing the trek or specalized is very helpful in decideing comfort.

  9. #9
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    The Hardrock in my garage is 10 years old and still looks and performs like new. It's steel and the ride on that older less aggressive frame is just magical. It is so compliant and quiet compared to my newer alum bikes. It would be my commuter, but it's my daughters. I still ride it around the house because it rides so well. Find a used one along those lines.

  10. #10
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    Be sure the internet bike is the right frame size for you.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    Kona Smoke 700c

    Quote Originally Posted by ah6tyfour
    Hi guys,

    I've just decided to start commuting to work (3 miles each way) and am looking for a cheap bike to get me started. I've decided to go with a mountain bike since I also would like to occasionally go on some trails.

    A local bike shop has the Mongoose Tyax Comp 2008 with disc brakes for $290 after tax. '08 Tyax Comp

    I've also been looking on eBay and found this aluminum bike: Windsor Cliff 4500
    That would come to $280 after a 20% eBay coupon I got my hands on.


    Which is the better bike? I'd have to put together the eBay one myself without having tested it which makes me kind of weary. But all the feedback says the bike is great.

    I just graduated from college....so around $300 would be all that I would be willing to spend right now. Add on a couple lights and a good lock and maybe some road tires and i'll be upwards of $400.

    Thanks for your advice!

    Heres a link.............................................. .................................................. .

    www.konaworld.com

  12. #12
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    I bought a brand new diamondback response for $300 from my lbs. You can also find these at sports authority or ***** for about the same price. I weighed 260 when I got it, I now weigh 210. Its about the toughest entry level bike I found. It has all the same components as the Specialized hard rock and about the same geometry. I ride both on road and off and it is a very quick and responsive bike on the road, I was really surprised at how good it handled. The forks feel spongy but at 200+ lbs I have done several 3 ft. drops and have not bottomed them out once, so they hold pretty good. If you compare it to other bikes you will see that it has the same component levels as most $400-$500 bikes. The frames are lifetime warranty also. I have put over 1,000 miles on mine since I got it and it still looks and rides like new. Another bike you might want to check out is the Forge Sawback 5.0 on Target.com. It is only sold online. It gets really good reviews from its owners and you wont believe the compenent package, (comes with Deore). Search the forums for it and you will find plenty of pictures.

  13. #13
    LCI #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by ah6tyfour
    I did a google search for "best $500 mountain bike" and seems like people like the Trek 4300 or a Specialized.

    What do you think of the Specialized Hardrock?
    $329
    $399 with disc brakes

    Too bad this one is a bit too much for me.... Rockhopper $549

    Do you know how if the disc brakes on the $399 Hardrock make it worth the extra $70?
    I've got a Rockhopper that I've modified a bit for commuting, and it's a rock-solid, reliable all-weather bike. The Hardrock will be a little heavier, maybe a step or so down the rungs as far as components go.

    For a commuter, I believe the disc brakes are worth it. They're not as susceptible to wet weather as the rim brakes are, and give you a good bit more stopping power when you may really need it.

    Some essentials to think about adding to your budget:

    1. Lights. State law says you need a white front light and a read rear light, each visible from at least 500 feet away, if you're going to be on the road from between half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, which means just about all of your commuting time from the middle of October to the middle of March in most places. Lights serve two purposes - to help motorists see you, and to let you see where you're going and avoid any obstacles and road hazards. New bikes come with reflectors, which meet the CPSC standards but aren't sufficient to meet state traffic laws. Get a good set of lights, and a reflective vest while you're at it.

    2. Rear cargo rack. To be an effective commuter, you need to be able to carry your stuff with you on your bike. Obviously, the first choice would be a backpack, but you'll be surprised how much more comfortable and efficient it is to get that load of your back and put it on the bike instead. Figure about $30 for the rear rack, and some bungey cords. to strap things down with. Both the Hardrock and the Rockhopper have the necessary braze-ons to fit a rear rack. Both are hardtails, too, so they'll be a little more efficient pedaling on the road.

  14. #14
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    As pscyclepath suggested a rear rack is a must. I have this topeak O/S explorer rack with U-lock mount. It comes with a U-Lock that mounts under the rack itself; the rack also has a spring arm on top. It holds about 60 lbs and takes the MTX bags from topeak. These bags slide into place and lock onto the rack (no straps to mess with and secures in a second) The bag pictured here is the DXP its the largest one they make. The side panniers fold out big enough to hold text books, laptops, etc. The top expands also. Very heavy material. I actually fit two gallons of milk and two twelve packs of soda in this bag before. Something else I carry in the bag that you might want to think about for commuting is an extra inner tube, a small pump, and a small tool kit.


  15. #15
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    You can get a nice Haro for $300+ With adjustable front shocks.
    Larry

  16. #16
    ONe less gear
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    Go on craigslist for your area and you will be surprised at the deals. I would suggest getting a nice road/touring bike though. You could pick up a Peugot or Raleigh or Trek 10 or 12 speed for $150 and get it tuned for another $60 and still have enough money left over for a rack and a Brooks B17 leather saddle. I envy you guys in the States. I can't wait to get back.

  17. #17
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    I liked the Specialized Hardrock when I rode it. My wife has one that my sister bought (and never rode) when we were kids 12 years ago. I also like Diamondbacks/Raleighs for good value bikes.

    Commuting's great on a bike, if you can make it past the people who like to throw out random insults to strangers and the people who try to kill you. I've done it every day for about a year and half.

  18. #18
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    Bugly64 is right if you don't need it today you should scope out craigslist for a better ride. There are alot of bikes sitting in garages totally neglected and in need of a little TLC. Good luck!

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