Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups




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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: THE DESIGNER's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    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


  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    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 06:57 PM.
    "Don't swallow anything Satan rams down your throat.....Jesus comes first, always" - Pastor Joel Osteen

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    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
    Reputation: Mookie's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    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
    Bro is offline
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    Dec 2010
    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
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    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
    AZ is offline
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Nishiki Alien. Broke four frames before I gave up on it. Love/hate.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2011
    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
    Ride Instigator
    Reputation: Ricko's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    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
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    My first mtn bike was a borrowed 2007 sc heckler which I used for trail riding and first time dh

    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" 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.
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2011
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
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    Aug 2012

    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

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk 2
    Trek Marlin 29er

    Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: shwinn8's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    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
    '11 Jedi
    '01 Straight8
    '00 Homegrown

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2012
    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
    mtbr member
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    Feb 2013
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    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
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2010
    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
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2012
    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 shit. 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.
    2014 Big Dummy
    2015 Salsa Beargrease Carbon 1
    2015 Ice Cream Truck

  19. #19
    The Original Suspect
    Reputation: HitmenOnlyInc's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: NYsurfer's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    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" I got Manitou suspension forks and rode on, loved riding but later realized I shouldve spent more and got a better bike

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gasp4Air's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Cannondale Super-V. Not so hot. Pogo stick on wheels.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: yourideit's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cackalacky's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    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
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2010
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    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
    Chicago, IL

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