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  1. #1
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    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?

    There are so many kinds of mountain bikes out there in today's market. Even experienced riders are having hardtime choosing a right bike.

    What about the beginners? Are they picking up right bikes from the get go?

    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?

    Tell me your funny mistake stories

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    First MTB was a 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Weighed a chunky 33 pounds, an Anvil of a hardtail. The clunky front shock topped-out badly from curb drops and climbs felt like I was on a Tandem, with a legless partner. But for $200/barely used...I could hardly complain. I rode that bike to work every day(18 miles, R/T) for a whole year and lost nearly 70 pounds on it. At the time - it was the best bike for my budget, weight loss goals and skillset.

    I sold it on Craigslist for $235. Everything happens for a reason. For me, it meant losing those 70 stubborn pounds and learning a great new hobby....ALL GOOD!

    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?-2006_trek_4900_disc.jpg
    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 08-03-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Both. I started on a Schwinn Mesa GSX. I think it was the '99 model. Talked my Mom into buying it for me my first year in college.

    It didn't have terribly good components and in retrospect I wonder how suspension ever got off the ground when the forks were comparable to what came on that bike.

    I also did some stupid things with how I set it up. I insisted on buying some Avid Speed Dial levers. Did nothing for the bike's performance, but it felt more like mine. It was my only bike for a while, so I stuck a Continental Cross Country on the back, the 1.5" size, and inflated the hell out of it. Probably the opposite of how I'd set up for dual use now.

    I did well on the saddle and pedals though. Skinny little racer shell and Time ATACs.



    Really, my biggest mistake was selling the thing when other interests took over. Not that it would have been worth shipping across the country when I started riding again, but I regretted having given it up.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    I didn't do it
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    I always rode bikes and bikes have been somewhat an addiction for me. Started out with a Schwinn Stingray, moved to a 10 spd, then some BMX bikes, then a road bike. Then these things called mountain bikes came along. Kinda looked like road bikes but also looked a lot like big BMX bikes or the cruiser class. Intrigued I bought a Nishiki Colorado and the rest is history.

  5. #5
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    It was a great decision. Bought a low-end KHS hardtail for $400 at the LBS. It had crappy v-brakes, Shimano Alivio, and some weird off-brand fork. But I learned how to work on bikes with that, and then it helped me appreciate the reliability and precision of the XTR bits that came on my next bike, which was a hand-me-down from my uncle. I still have that crappy KHS hanging in the garage.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  6. #6
    29ers Forever
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    My first real bike was a Cannondale F9 and at the time, I was in love with it, but one year later, when I was introduced to high end MTBs, I realized that it was a huge mistake on my part.
    But still, even with a brand new bike, and with plans to buy another one in a few years, I could not imagine selling the old F9.

  7. #7
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    Nishiki Alien. Broke four frames before I gave up on it. Love/hate.

  8. #8
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    Love - Scott Scale Comp 29er. Still have it as my greenway bike but it has taken quite a beating and still in great shape. Current bike is a Stumpjumper.

  9. #9
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    My first MTB was a Huffy Savannah and I was AMAZED at how I could practically climb trees with it with the low gearing lol. My wife and I were just married, just bought a house, not much $$ to spare and I think I paid $200 for a pair for the both of us and we had a blast on those bikes. Things are different now and I just built a Carbon FS AM rig and the wife has a nice road bike. We've come a long way bikewise in the last 28 years or so.

  10. #10
    9 lives
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    My first mtn bike was a borrowed 2007 sc heckler which I used for trail riding and first time dh

    <a href="http://s520.photobucket.com/user/veggiecyclist/media/P5250039.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i520.photobucket.com/albums/w330/veggiecyclist/P5250039.jpg" border="0" alt="blue mountain May 25 photo P5250039.jpg"/></a>

    It was a little too heavy for trail riding and a little too big for dh. Despite the problems I continued to ride it for 2 years before I replaced it and bought my own am and dh bikes.
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  11. #11
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    First bike was a walmart special, mongoose something, FS front disc, had it for a few days and took it back, then found a GT Avalanche on craigslist for $140, bought it, it was a size small, I'm 6'0, I knew nothing about sizing back then haha. Rode it for months, upgraded it decently, found a Large Avalanche frame on craigslist, bought it, stripped it, painted it and put GT decals on it. Upgraded it more, found a good deal on a GT idrive 5 (force) 2007 model when they upgraded the dog bone link to one that is on the current GT's FS. And have had it since, it's well eqipped and nothing is stock on it besides the frame and post(soon to be upgraded to a dropper) XT/SLX/XTR mix, rides great and have not had any problems with the bike at all.
    gt avalanche that was too small;
    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?-263930_10150220787011380_1255082_n.jpg
    idrive 5, climbs like a goat and decents like a bat out of hell
    looking at this picture I need to shorten my brake hose haha
    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?-img_20130727_140618.jpg

    looking at getting the 2014 GT Force carbon 650b when they come out, also looking at the Ibis mojo hd 650b/ Yeti 575

  12. #12
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    Re: Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?

    Mine was a Walmart special. $200 genesis 26" fs.

    I actually loved that bike. I changed the forks and got a rear airshock. Oh and better but nothing special tires. Then rode the hell outta it for almost a year. Lost about 60lbs on it which making that 1st goal of hitting 300 lbs and the fact riding had become part of who I am over the first year (last year) wife helped me buy a trek ht 29er that now it importance to me is second only to my wife and kids



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  13. #13
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    when i was in high school i worked my azz off building bikes and other odd jobs at the bike shop on top of my actual paying job of being a dishwasher/ food prep along with mowing lawns, cleaning pools and more odd jobs. My bike wasn't given to me, I worked and earned every penny for the ol' Schwinn 4Banger... It was Love
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  14. #14
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    1997 Trek 830, fully rigid. I still have it because those old rigid mountain bikes are the most versatile bikes ever made, and I keep finding uses for it. It doesn't see much trail time, but when I do get it dirty I'm always struck by how well its handling stacks up against today's bikes.

    If I'd gotten a more expensive bike, it would have come with a crappy elastomer fork like something from RST or *maybe* a Quadra. There's a good chance that I wouldn't have kept it as long.

    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?-317651_2051571732818_928703667_n.jpg

    The picture is from maybe a year ago. If you look closely you'll see some Rustoleum on the chainstay. it's got cancer as a result of neglect and snow-commuter duty, but so far it's still going.

  15. #15
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    My first MTB was a Peugeot Canyon Express, 1985 model. It was the shiznitt at the time, weighed a ton and I rode it like a bmx. I had a rack on the back and I was 15 getting ready for my first car, I had a guy give me a 350 engine block which I tied to the rack and rode easy wheelies all the way home 9 miles, I remember my father laughing hysterically seeing that. I actually had to stand up and lean over the bars to keep the front tire on the road.
    1993 Trek Multitrack 700
    2011 Trek Hifi Plus
    2013 WalGoose

  16. #16
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    I made my 1st mtb using an old Schwinn cruiser frame and handlebars salvaged from a motorcycle junk yard because there were no production mountain bikes yet. Single speed, 820mm handlebars, I was way ahead of my time!

  17. #17
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    I'm still riding my first MTB. A 2010 Hardrock Disc. I've changed the fork, bars, and stem. I have never ridden an expensive bike so it still seems good enough to me!


  18. #18
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    First MTB was a Kent something fully rigid with thumbies bought at Target after working all summer detasseling. Blood money, I tell ya! I was 13 and had ridden my Huffy Desert Rose SS 20" bike everywhere since the age of 6. Like gravel grinders before gravel grinding was cool and ****. Rattle canned the thing black and put BMX bars & seat on it(getting rid of the ape hangers and banana seat that had been on the stock pink bike).
    Anyways...I babied that Kent. It stayed inside, got washed off after each ride, went to college and got parked inside my tiny dorm room. I had that bike until my first bike shop bike, a Diamond Back rigid in green/black camo.

    Definately not a mistake but each purchase was a learning experience after that. What I liked, what I didn't, brands that fit me well and components that work for me. I still haven't had a FS bike and someday, I'd like to get one but to me, they are like the cream of the crop to get a decent one. Besides, the riding I can do right now doesn't necessitate one. But some day, I'd like to travel or move to the mountains, then a FS would be on my n+1 list.
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  19. #19
    The Original Suspect
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    This was my first mountain bike: Diamondback Apex bought new in 1986. I rode it all summer on Catalina Island until some tourist stole it. I got it back in pieces and put it back together but it was never the same. I ended up selling it to a buddy of mine.

    Note: Biopace cranks and brake mounted under chain stays.
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  20. #20
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    My first was both a love and a mistake....GT Talera (bought about 16 -17 yrs ago) - looked cool, within 3 months I broke the front forks (and then read the owners manual that read, "Not for jumping or extreme trail riding".....so I got Manitou suspension forks and rode on, loved riding but later realized I shouldve spent more and got a better bike

  21. #21
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    Cannondale Super-V. Not so hot. Pogo stick on wheels.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  22. #22
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    80's GT avalanche with a U brake. Rode that thing into the ground!
    "if you can't be good, be good at it."

  23. #23
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    Early 90's Novara Ponderosa and it was all love. Come to think of it, I've never made a mistake with an MTB purchase. Road bikes are another story...

  24. #24
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    Not a mistake, but not in love either. My first mtb was a 2000 Specialized Rockhopper A1 FS. It was the best bike at my LBS that fit my budget at the time. Not a bad entry bike at all. I did move up to a Kona a few years later that was my first mtb love.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRandomRider View Post
    ... those old rigid mountain bikes are the most versatile bikes ever made, and I keep finding uses for it.
    I have one of these: 94 Marin Bear Valley which I bought new when I lived in SF.

    Still have it and use it to run errands or ride around the neighborhood. I've upgraded a number of components over the years but I'd never get rid of it.
    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?-imag0409b.jpg
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  26. #26
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    Took me 10 years of mistakes to finally have a bike that made me fall in love with mountain biking. I even posted a thread about it.

  27. #27
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    1985 GT Timberline. Loved it because it was so much better off-road than my old Schwinn Varsity. Got me into mountain biking in the mid '80s and I have never looked back. The bike wasn't top of the line, but at the time it was one of the few in town. I have had numerous newer and better bikes since then, but don't regret that first purchase.

  28. #28
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    My first "real" MTB was a K2 Diamondback FS.(4 weeks ago) Got it 2nd, 3rd hand from Play it again sports. Found out it was what some people call a big box bike. I liked the bike alot. Then one day while riding went over a log and I broke the derailleur hanger. Haven't been able to find one to replace the original. Love riding.....the bike?????

  29. #29
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Try K2 directly. And try DerailleurHanger.com.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  30. #30
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    I loved my first MTB. 1991 Marin Palisades Trail. I rode that bike all over San Diego in 91-93, then it was stolen. I still talk about that bike to this day.

  31. #31
    The White Jeff W
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    My first MTB was a Gary Fisher Marlin. I hated the bike but feel in love with riding on it. I think I had it less than 2 months before replacing it with a better bike.
    No moss...

  32. #32
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    Definitely a love. Back in 89 I was rockin a Huffy and wished I had a legit bike. My brother went to college and we didn't have much money but on Christmas of 93 my bro and my folks pitched in some money and got me a Mongoose Sycamore from our LBS. Granted it wasn't a fancy bike but I rode that bike EVERYWHERE. It gave me some of my fondest childhood memories and so much stoke that I still ride even more so today. I couldn't afford the nicest parts but I saved up for a Frankenstem (couldn't afford a Manitou or a Rockshox fork) and got some Shimano SPD pedals, a seatpack with tools, a camelback and off I went on my adventures with my friends in grade school in search of trails, an adventure.

  33. #33
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    First time I've seen this thread...

    In 1987 I bought my first dedicated mountain bike. It was a recovered theft being sold at a local police auction. An aqua colored 1986 Diamondback Ascent with a missing saddle, one bent rim and missing grips. If I recall correctly, I paid $65 for it. After fixing it up, I rode the hell out of it for a couple of years. Then my first son was born, then the second one and I totally forgot about riding. I missed it, but raising kids didn't allow for a lot of "Me" time. Oh well.

    In around 1997, I remember going into Costco and seeing a full suspension Mongoose with Shimano components, V brakes, the works! I confidently told my wife, "This is the last bike I'll ever need!". She bought it for me for $229. I rode it exactly ONCE! What a POS! It did nothing well and I told myself, "I guess riding wasn't as much fun as I remembered", not realizing it was the bike.

    Four years later, I sold a project car ('62 Corvette) for a tidy profit and my wife (bless her!) said, "go do something for yourself!" and insisted I buy a nice mountain bike. I paid nearly $1200 for a Trek 8000 with full Shimano XT components. Holy Cow! I was hooked! ...and it changed my life!

    Three years later, I found my "dream bike" hanging on a wall in my LBS (my current Silver ano Superlight). The store was going to be sold and the owner made me a smoking deal on the bike! Full XTR, carbon bar, carbon post, right at 24 lbs with the noodly, carbon crowned SID. Here I am nearly ten years later with the same bike, updated with Fox Fork and Disk Brakes, it is an absolutely viable, rideable bike today. Well worth the price of admission!

  34. #34
    Terrain Sculptor
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    Of course I love my first mountain bike. It was a 1959 Henley that I got used in 1963. There weren't many options for off-road bikes back then and the same bike now would just seem ridiculous. But it got me riding trails and more importantly it got me building trails. 50 years later I'm still riding and building and I still love my Henley... R.I.P.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  35. #35
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    I bought a turquoise RockHopper Sport in 1990 (I didn't have the cash for the RH Comp).
    It was love love love love love love love hate (tires) love love love love love love hate (pedals) love love love love hate (fork) love love love love love love love love love love hate (headset) love love love love love love love....

    Well, you get the idea.


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    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  36. #36
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    Trek 830, 1985-ish. LOVED that bike. It was my freedom (I had just turned 10). I could go anywhere on that bike. Literally anywhere. Learned to wrench on that bike, took a class and amazed the instructer (and all the adults in it) that I knew what a bearing cone was and how to adjust it.

    I rode that bike so much I fatigued the mild-steel handlebars. Luckily I didn't learn the hard way, the end result of rotating the bars every 3 months to keep them relatively straight. Went from that to a '93 Zaskar in '94. Like going from a Beetle to a Porsche, mostly the same components, completely different experience.

  37. #37
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    Mine was a 96' ProFlex Beast. I quickly upgraded it to full XTR and Noleen coil over oil. That thing at the time was incredible... to me. Kept it until 2012 when I replaced it with my current rig; 12' fuel ex8. I loved my Beast but it doesn't hold a candle next to these new bikes. Like riding a cloud now in comparison.

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  38. #38
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    It was a mistake that taught me how to love. It was a mid-90's Mongoose IBOC Comp. It's the bike that originally got me into the sport. It was a large.....I'm 5'7" more torso than legs. That was the bike I competed in my first NORBA race on.
    Pedal

  39. #39
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    First "real" mtb bike was a '93 specialized M2. Still have it, now set up as a SS with a kid seat! Loved that bike and still do!

  40. #40
    The White Jeff W
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    Mistake. It was a Gary Fisher Marlin. When I bought it I planned to ride dirt/gravel roads & greenways just to keep my cardio up over the summer for ice hockey. Then I learned that were were trails in the nearby parks where people ride mountain bikes. I gave that a shot & fell in love with mountain biking. Problem was my Marlin was a bit overmatched for the rugged technical terrain and my then 215lb weight. The fork was undersprung for my weight and I was going OTB nearly every ride. The wheels didnt hold up under my weight, the geometry was pure XC, I could go on.

    I sold it and bought a FS bike and was much happier.
    No moss...

  41. #41
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    My first mountain bike was a 1989 Univega Rover. It was really more of a hybrid than a mountain bike, but I didn't know that and took it regularly to Sycamore Canyon when I was stationed at NAS Point Mugu. Good times. Sadly, I sold it in the mid-90s due to shifting interests.

    In 2005 I bought a Trek 3700 as a re-entry to bicycling. It didn't really fit my needs, but it did get my bicycling again which is the important thing. The components on that bike were crap, but I've been collecting parts over the years from clearance tables, Craigslist, online, etc. and re-built it last year as a fully-rigid backup bike. My son uses it to join me on trail rides.

  42. #42
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    Much like the previous poster, my first bike for mountain biking was a hybrid and I basically destroyed it by taking it on terrain that it wasn't designed to handle. I never broke the frame or anything, but 1 good ride after gettng it back from the shop it was so far out of tune it was a pain to ride. It ended up rusting away in my parents garage. So that was definitely a mistake.

    I recently got back into mountainbiking with a Trek Stache that I love. Of course the winter I get a bike is the snowiest year I can remember since moving to Maryland 12 years ago, so I haven't been out as much as I had hoped. But so far the only thing I really want to upgrade on my bike is the out of shape SOB doing the pedaling.

  43. #43
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    Still have it. Bought new in '88. Lots of great memories. Rode the **** out of it on trails that are now covered by McMansions and in a forest that has been burned to the ground.

    edit: Yes that's a U-brake.


  44. #44
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    91 Giant Rincon. I never really took it on real trails, just dirt paths and fire roads. Thought it was the greatest thing ever. Some jerk stole it in college in 1998. After I graduated from College, I picked up a 2012 Specialized Hardrock with an RST fork for 300 bucks. Chromoly frame, rapid-fire shifters, I thought it was amazing, and I rode the crap out of that thing. I sold it to a friend who still has it. I lost a lot of weight because of it, discovered trail riding in Phoenix, AZ, and started down the path of buying bikes from Niner and Pivot.

    I just tell my wife I could spend all that money on strippers and blow. Or even worse, play golf.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

  45. #45
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    LOL!!

    Nice, Rider!

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  46. #46
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    Was your first MTB a love or a mistake?

    Big mistake. 2011 Trek 820. Fork didn't work at all and Trek wouldn't warranty it so I returned it. Damn thing was heavy too.

    I don't think I'll ever buy a new bike again. Used bikes seem to be a much better value.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  47. #47
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Bought my latest bike new. Definitely not a good way to go at a low budget. At the higher end, there's a lower volume of these things that get to CL and it takes a while. I wanted a full-suspension 29er. Not a great selection secondhand yet. Though it helped that I was playing a long enough game to get a decent chunk off MSRP.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  48. #48
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    J.B. Weld, can we see a pic of that klunker? I was 12 or 13, saved up all my $$, went to walmart and picked up a Murray mountain climber. Bright red frame with neon yellow fork. A real P.O.S., but I loved it at the time.

  49. #49
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    My first real (non Wal Mart) mountain bike was a Specialized Hardrock rigid back around '00. It was both a love and a mistake. Frame was too big, I was a roadie and didn't know the difference in frame sizing, so first guess was to go with one that felt like my road bikes. LBS that I got it at (and no longer do business with) was only interested in moving units, so their only advise was for me to hurry and write the check.
    Ended up having a blast on the big 'ol Spesh for over a year. Explored the local mountain bike trails, rode it to and from work, rode with the kids, and learned a lot. Sold it to a guy at work and bought my first front suspension bike (the correct size this time), and the rest is history.
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
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    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  50. #50
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    It was a.. Kona?

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