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  1. #1
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    best bikesdirect in $500 range

    I am looking for a hardtail mountain bike. I have a motobecane immortal road bike that I have liked a lot. I would like to find a beginner mountain bike, and was hoping I could get some suggestions.

  2. #2
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    This will give you the best parts you can have right at the $500.00 budgetSave Up to 60% Off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Dawes Haymaker 1500

    It just may be difficult to get the color you want in the size frame you need...most all of the bike models are sold out and leave just small or very large frames left in colors you may not want..lol

    Good luck to you.
    2014 Motobecane 550HT
    2013 Mongoose XR200

  3. #3
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    Friend of mine has this and LOVES it - Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 / 650B Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 527HT

    If you are 6'1" or over this is a great bike in that range.

    Though I 2nd the Dawes Haymaker advice for what you are getting.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    What's around you and are you interested in smooth trails, rocks and roots, or 3' drops?

    Somewhat depends on height. If you're tall, go 29er. If you're short, the Haymaker listed above is a good deal (although I dislike 26" wheels). If you're average height, a small 29er or the 527 listed above is OK. The biggest problem with the 527 right now is price vs. what you get for an equivalent 29er. The same level of components on the following 29ers will cost less. Of the following, I'd go with the Gravity 29.1. Better drivetrain and has WTB rims, but otherwise a wash on components vs. price.
    Save Up to 60% Off Mountain Bikes - 29er Multi Speed - Dawes Haymaker 2900
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes
    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 429HT

    If you can swing $700, the gravity 29.4 is probably one of their best priced bikes for the money and I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I was looking. Recon silver, hydraulic brakes, 30-speed. I have the 29.2 with a recon silver and BB7 brakes, and it handles anything I've thrown at it. I haven't, but the bike has.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point4 29er Mountain Bikes

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replys, I am 5'8'' and was leaning towards a 26" or 27.5". The 650b bikes don't appear to have that nice of components though, compared to the haymaker 1500. After looking at the site for a awhile, I was already considering the haymaker. Does anyone know if its compatible with 650b wheels, for a future upgrade?

    The next step up seems to be a fantom trail. Would you recommend that bike over the haymaker 1500 for the extra $300? Would it be upgradeable to 650b wheels?

  6. #6
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    I have the Fantom Trail and love it (it's pictured as my avatar). First - IMO 26" is not dead and nowhere near dead. I'm a girl, and 5'6". Love, love, love my bike - it shifts as good as my last bike - Gary Fisher Sugar 3 outfitted with full shimano XT kit. The disc brakes are great too. My only complaint is that my front shock is obviously a lessor part than what I had on the GF, of course I paid a BUNCH more for my GF way back in 2000 (so it's all relative). I definitely think for the components you are getting it's worth the extra $$ to get the Fantom Trail. This is my first Sram bike too, but I love the shifting and I prefer the all thumb action versus the index finger/thumb combo of the shimano stuff. I have small hands and hated to take my index finger off the brake though. Just my opinion so I'm sure you'll be happy no matter what you get. It's a new bike so you are bound to be. :-)

  7. #7
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    I'm 6'5". 26" bikes are dead to me. Wish they weren't. They were a lot of fun, but my 29er has ruined me for rolling over stuff. If you haven't tried it yet, go ride one at your LBS or at a bike demo day. The only thing I'd have reservations about at your height is the standover. I've had a couple falls where I was high centered and couldn't reach the ground.

    The Fantom trail's fork is a rockshox XC30. For a comparable cost, the recon fork on the following bike is a much better fork, but the 29er I linked to above is even cheaper. I also wouldn't rule out fatbikes. Handle like a heavy 29er, but role over everything. Might be pushing it at your height for starting out though

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Front Suspension Gravity HTX 7 SRAM X7 equipped mountain bikes

    FYI, Shimano's 9-speed and higher trigger shifters also allow the same thumb shifting as the SRAM shifters. A litle bit different than SRAM as far as reach, but allows you to use your thumb or your index finger when downshifting. I think their 8 and 7 speed shifters still require the index finger to downshift though.

  8. #8
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    I would like to get a Fantom trail, but they don't have one in a 16" size. I like the sram compenents with 3x10, the shock, and think it would be a good reason to up my budget a little. They don't have my size, and according to them, wont be getting any more in. I might end up going with the haymaker 1500. Thanks for the help. Anymore suggestions would be appreciated.

  9. #9
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    Oh, didn't realize they were sold out. That sucks, I know their stock goes out pretty quick. The haymaker is a good bike though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmc1818 View Post
    I would like to get a Fantom trail, but they don't have one in a 16" size. I like the sram compenents with 3x10, the shock, and think it would be a good reason to up my budget a little. They don't have my size, and according to them, wont be getting any more in. I might end up going with the haymaker 1500. Thanks for the help. Anymore suggestions would be appreciated.

  10. #10
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    I just bought a Haymaker 1500 for my wife. 17" model, she's about 5'8". Seems to fit ok so far, but I'll know more as she rides it more.
    Components are pretty good. I was happy with shifting performance. SLX is pretty good. Brakes were better than I expected from all the negative reviews I've read. If I run into problems with them though, it's a relatively cheap upgrade to go to BB7's.

    The only downside I've seen so far is that the Dawes frame seems much heavier than my Motobecane. Haven't put it on a scale yet but I'd guess a couple pounds heavier. Of course, it's much lighter than the big box bike she had before.

    All in all, I feel good about the purchase... though if there were a Motobecane bike with SLX components in a 26" I probably would have gone with that

  11. #11
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    This is what I have it limited down to,

    Used Cannondale trail 6 at lbs with low end components (suntour xct, and alivio) for 500, haymaker 1500, and the fantom Trail in 18", and the fuji tahoe below. The Cannondale is a medium, and the trail is an 18". I am 5'8'', is the 18" trail going to be to large? Would you pick the Cannondale with lower components over the others?

    Fuji Tahoe 3.0 Bike 2012 | Fuji | Brand | www.PricePoint.com
    Last edited by bmc1818; 06-05-2014 at 02:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    A buddy of mine has the Dawes Haymaker 1500, and its a good bike, but the frame is monstrously heavy. To be expected on a bike of that price range, just be prepared.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    A buddy of mine has the Dawes Haymaker 1500, and its a good bike, but the frame is monstrously heavy. To be expected on a bike of that price range, just be prepared.
    Cheap
    Light
    Strong

    Pick two.

    I bought a Gravity fat bike, should be coming in soon. i will let you know what i think when i get it. bikes don't have to be light in order to ride well, it's never really a priority for me. In this price range the bikes direct rigs get you a lot. alternatively, you can look into used bikes if you know what to watch out for. I have seen some really good deals lately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    Hell of a jump, dawg. Even though they're baggy shorts, I'm surprised that you can fit your balls into them.

  14. #14
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    If you're going 26", the fuji Tahoe all the way. The difference in ride quality is definately worth the price. If that price is a bit much, their Tahoe 4.0 is still a good bike at $600. Almost exact same bike with a slightly lower quality fork, but $100 cheaper. I've used both forks, and you'll be happy with either one.

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