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  1. #1
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    Good job! Best Beginner Mountain Bike? ~$500

    Hello I'm a new biker, or you could say that. I like to challenge my self with biking, I think I have so okay skills to start going pro in this field. I only have biked for 3 years but never mountain biked (I do down hills but just for fun I don't have a bike for mountain).

    Anyway I don't know if this is the right place to post..

    Here's what I seen:

    Specialized Hardrock disc 29er

    Giant Revel 1

    Giant AC 2 2002 (used)

    Trek 3500 (I think)

    I have right now Carrera Surge a bad mountain bike that I got for $200 from police auction....

    I personally think Specialized is the best choice because of disc brakes.. However any more bikes from anyone would be nice and tell me why. I don't want a bike that breaks from biking.

    What I'm looking for: Well I want a bike like anyone else good and lasts long. I'm 16, 6 foot 1/2 inches. 170 pounds. Like to try hard trails and noob ones too. Or sometimes no trails just random places, so basically a beginner biker who likes to try hard trails too but doesn't want to spend too much on the bike because he is not just MTBing. I will use the bike to go around too. Full Suspension would be better for me but I also like front only because it's faster in urban use.

    Tell me which bikes from my options would you buy and what else would you recommend from your own list or what ever

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    The AC is a good bike but too old for that price range, the Revel and Hardrock have mechanical disk brakes so if you can test ride them get the one that fits better.

    You can also check the Giant Talon line, they come in 27.5 and 29.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    The AC is a good bike but too old for that price range, the Revel and Hardrock have mechanical disk brakes so if you can test ride them get the one that fits better.

    You can also check the Giant Talon line, they come in 27.5 and 29.
    Talon 27.5 5 seems pretty good in budget almost. Thanks! Should I go for new or used bikes? Also is giant better than specialized ?

  4. #4
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    Get the bike that fits the best..test ride alot!
    If you are good with working on your own bikes then used is a common route to take as you will get more bike for your money.
    But is you buy new you get the support of your LBS you bought it from, free tune ups, fitment pick your frame size that fits YOU..so new is a bit better if your new..
    .02c
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  5. #5
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    At this price range, I would stick with a 26" wheel - better handling, much more durable, parts are more reasonably priced.
    29er = Hybrid Bike.

    Priceless TGR comments on MTBR Rep system... http://goo.gl/5ayA2F Rep away!!!

  6. #6
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    A friend picked up a GT Avalanche 3.0 from Performance bike. While nothing special it gets the job done. Solid component spec at that price.

    GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydraulic Disc 26" Mountain Bike - 2013 U.S. Exclusive - Mountain Bikes
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
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    No connection with this ebay listing which I recommend a lot because it has a real fork--trail ready.
    2013 Marin Bobcat Trail 29er 17" MTB Hardtail Bike Shimano 9S Hydraulic Disc New | eBay
    It is several levels better than any bike with a Suntour 'X' series spring and grease fork for trails with bumps.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    Get the bike that fits the best..test ride alot!
    If you are good with working on your own bikes then used is a common route to take as you will get more bike for your money.
    But is you buy new you get the support of your LBS you bought it from, free tune ups, fitment pick your frame size that fits YOU..so new is a bit better if your new..
    .02c
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    Thanks man I should go for new but what bike? I'd look for good dealers around! Test them out.

  9. #9
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    Good bike a bit more than my price range. There will be shipping and taxes and all that too expensive for me. I want something that including everything end up $600.

    It's better then to buy a $500 bike from shop I think though with free tune ups and warranty.

  10. #10
    Oh, the huge-meh-nity
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    Do you have any riding buddies that know their way around the local bike shop in your area? I'd try to find someone local and credible to get an opinion on who to trust. The brands don't matter much compared to the skill of the person putting your bike together. You might also be able to get a pretty good online deal if you know someone local who can put it together and keep it tuned up for you.

    As pointed out, you'll get much better component specs from the smaller brands, but great components can really stink when they're incorrectly installed...

  11. #11
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    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork
    The upgrade program for those crappy bike path forks from Nick at Suntour is $200 shipped. You get the same fork that comes on that Marin already.
    No tax unless you live in MN.
    You get warranty.
    You need to learn maintenance and tuneups. There's no road service or free tuneups out on the trail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PouyaA View Post

    Specialized Hardrock disc 29er
    The Hard rock is what I'm riding right now, and am loving it so far. I'm a pretty big guy at 6'5 and it fits me great

  13. #13
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    Zowie: Well I know a bit, not too much like most bikers maybe more. I don't really know what tune up does to the bike that's really important I meant I can do it anyway. Anyway what do you mean like I should go for CCM? I honestly think the frame is one of the most important parts it needs to be strong and most of the bad brands don't have that.

    Eb1888: I don't think I'd get that, there is taxes in BC Canada. I'd ratter have a good frame on my bike and chain and everything though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArcane View Post
    The Hard rock is what I'm riding right now, and am loving it so far. I'm a pretty big guy at 6'5 and it fits me great
    Yep I think that's what I'm gonna get or Talon will see about it when I test it! I'm still looking for the better bike though if available.

  15. #15
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    Have it shipped to the US and go get it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Have it shipped to the US and go get it.
    I can't I don't have a passport yet I'm still waiting for canada to send me one

  17. #17
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    In early 2013 It was time for me to get back into this awesome sport. Been gone from it for 15yrs+

    I started at the biggest LBS near me, went to every LBS inbetween me and work..test rode..painfully listend to all the sales people telling me why I should buy the bike THEY picked out for me. << it's important to listen but careful listening is important.
    My first look at a 29er the sales guy told me "all 29er riders like the frames higher, not down low like a 26er".. ok? he wanted to sell me an XL21" but I felt better on L19". Even after I told him the XL felt like a circus bike to me and the L was OhhhYEah this is nice...he told me I want the XL.... yeah I did NOT buy it and left feeling like I never wanted to go back there...next day I bought my bike over by my work.
    I got a 2013 Hardrock Sport 29er L 19"
    The geo/fit for me is spot on perfect! I love it and will ride it until I am dead!!!

    I olove doing upgrades and working on my own bike MTBR has been super great resource for opinion and even some good facts :-)
    Have Fun and RIDE!!!!
    Ride MORE = Live Longer
    Love Dirt / Hate Pavement

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    In early 2013 It was time for me to get back into this awesome sport. Been gone from it for 15yrs+

    I started at the biggest LBS near me, went to every LBS inbetween me and work..test rode..painfully listend to all the sales people telling me why I should buy the bike THEY picked out for me. << it's important to listen but careful listening is important.
    My first look at a 29er the sales guy told me "all 29er riders like the frames higher, not down low like a 26er".. ok? he wanted to sell me an XL21" but I felt better on L19". Even after I told him the XL felt like a circus bike to me and the L was OhhhYEah this is nice...he told me I want the XL.... yeah I did NOT buy it and left feeling like I never wanted to go back there...next day I bought my bike over by my work.
    I got a 2013 Hardrock Sport 29er L 19"
    The geo/fit for me is spot on perfect! I love it and will ride it until I am dead!!!

    I olove doing upgrades and working on my own bike MTBR has been super great resource for opinion and even some good facts :-)
    Have Fun and RIDE!!!!
    Okay I'll just test out the bikes and see which one feels better to me Thanks I don't really like any of their looks that much though

  19. #19
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    I hope this adds something constructive, but this post/thread can instill hope and confidence in a new rider, in skill and choice of bike.

    NOOBS!...read this.

    I'm still a beginner and I bought a crappy bike for less than half of what the OP is looking for. I still rode hard and to my ability, and when I noticed that my components couldn't handle it, I started to upgrade.

    Get the bike you like, are comfortable with, match it to your ability and what you can afford. As they say, the rest will take care of itself.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Giant View Post
    I hope this adds something constructive, but this post/thread can instill hope and confidence in a new rider, in skill and choice of bike.

    NOOBS!...read this.

    I'm still a beginner and I bought a crappy bike for less than half of what the OP is looking for. I still rode hard and to my ability, and when I noticed that my components couldn't handle it, I started to upgrade.

    Get the bike you like, are comfortable with, match it to your ability and what you can afford. As they say, the rest will take care of itself.
    The thing is I don't really know my abilities.... I mean I never mountain biked really but I know I'm good at it because I tried it in trails not on mountains anyways if I get $500 and I'm a beginner is okay but I want a bike that's $500 but not for beginner well who doesn't lol. I think best is Specialized Hardrock 29er for now as I heard.

  21. #21
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    I know what you mean. But if you spend ~500 for a brand new mountain bike, you probably wont break it. There's plenty of entry-level bikes you can get brand new from all sorts of brands that cost $500-$600.

    Giant Revel 29er:
    Giant Bicycles | United States

    Trek: (that sites lists three bikes that start below $600)
    Sport - Trek Bicycle

    Cannondale Trail 7:
    Trail 7 - TRAIL - TRAIL HARDTAILS - MOUNTAIN - BIKES - 2014

    Cannondale Trail 29 7:
    Trail 29 7 - TRAIL 29 - TRAIL HARDTAILS - MOUNTAIN - BIKES - 2014

    Specialized (the Hardrock comes in many different flavors):
    Specialized Bicycle Components

  22. #22
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    Which one do you like more be honest. I mean which brand I personally think the cannodale fits me the best as of looks, but I don't know which brand is better I heard Giant is best

  23. #23
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    Trek Marlin 6 is also great with H disc brakes.. I might go for the trek one.
    Actually I'm in love with X caliber bike! they look amazing just as I wanted, but I don't know if Marlin 6 or Caliber would you tell me which is better for trail? Caliber 5 vs 4 vs marlin 6. The Caliber don't come with H disc brakes they come Mech disc brakes. But I think they have better fork and look hell lot better (to me)

  24. #24
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    Because of the low tech fork all those bikes are for bike paths and dirt roads. None are designed for trails with multiple bumps, rocks and roots. Fun/difficult trails have all those and more. Bike paths don't.
    For real trail riding, which is the most fun, the fork becomes the most important component. Looks don't cut it. The difference is inside. One has a grease covered spring, plastic bushings, skinny flexy 28mm stanchion and weighs 6.2lbs. The Raidon weighs less at 4.3lbs. It has 32mm stanchions with metal bushings. It has an air chamber and piston on one side to set the sag. Adjustable rebound damper for no pogoing. The damper is a sealed oil filled unit like a car shock with no maintenance.
    You can upgrade for $200 but you lose the 51mm offset down to 46mm for the Trek bikes and your steering would slow up a little.

    Brakes are very important on those bike because you will be using them constantly to maintain control going down hills with bumps because of the fork.

  25. #25
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Any of the bikes listed above will handle trails just fine. The forks are fine. They are not bomb proof, but they will handle the trails just fine. When your price range is where it is, you get what you pay for. eb1888 - you are consistently deterring people from buying bikes with your bike path/dirt road only statement. Since you appear to be familiar with Michigan trails, I will have you know that I rode Poto on my 2010 Specializec Hardrock 29er with its "crappy" SR Suntour SF10-NVX-MLO 80mm travel fork. I did just fine. The bike didn't explode, the fork didn't disintegrate. There weren't angels holding me up so that the fork could handle all the bumps and roots. It was fine. I got on the bike, pedaled, and had a great time. I have since upgraded to different bikes several times, but that bike was fine for a beginner bike, and in the price range that beginners are looking, that is what they will usually get.

    You say that you are not affiliated with the eBay bike that you posted. You constantly post it however. Not the link to the Marin site, but to that specific seller/auction. Your actions are speaking louder than your words. This is all that I will say regarding it.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
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