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  1. #1
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    Best mountain bikes under $400?

    Hi, I was just wondering what you guys thought were the best mountain bikes under $400? I'm planning to go on intermediate trails and such.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Gravity Rides Everything
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    the hardrock sport is a pretty good bet. It's beefy enough to be safe on rough terrain. You'll probably kill a lot of the components pretty quick if you're riding it a lot, but that's the nature of inexpensive mtbs. You can always upgrade later.

    Have fun man. it's a great sport.

  3. #3
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    I agree the Harderock is a good buy. However I bought this off ebay for $250 bucks. There is a ebay seller that sells nothing but Motobecane bikes for cheap, brand new in box. I added a custom tuned RST fork and Shimano 9 speed drivetrain and Shimano Deore brakes. I love the bike.

    http://www.motobecane.com/MBUSA4ht.html
    My Bike: '96 Gary Fisher Aquila
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
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    $400?

    Quote Originally Posted by RunGuy17
    Hi, I was just wondering what you guys thought were the best mountain bikes under $400? I'm planning to go on intermediate trails and such.
    Thanks
    Geez.. that is a tigh budget. My hubs alone cost more than that.

    My recommendation would be to look at something used. My girlfriend's first bike was a Specialized Hard Rock... I believe it was somewhere around $600. It lasted a season before it really kind of fell apart and she picked up an Enduro Pro.

    You should perhaps look at some used Specialized StumpJumper Hardtails on ebay etc.

  5. #5
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    I got a Hardrock and converted it to SS so it didnt matter what parts it had on it because I took them off. But if you dont want to go SS $400 is a tight budget for good parts. Good luck.
    '04 Specialized Hardrock Pro Disk - SS Conversion: 175mm FMF BMX Crank w/Salsa 34x16, UN-73 BB, Eggbeaters, Pazzaz 2014 Stem, Bontrager Bar, Odi Ruffian lockons, LX Lever/Mech Disk, Nashbar SS hub/Mavic 217 SUP, 00' RS SID SL, Cane Creek S-2

  6. #6
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    stupid question but how does a hardrock fall apart? equipt not working anymore or the frame breaking ? i dont see why it would, hardrocks seems durable as the high end one, just not as light or better shifting,etc but I dont think it will be less durable... or is it ?

  7. #7
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    For under $400, my suggestion would be a Hardrock Sport. My Hardrock handles daily rides and XC trail. I would like to invest more in the future, but I was in a similar situation. I have no complaints and would recommend the bike to anyone who doesn't turn their nose up to a lower end bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by new2mtb
    stupid question but how does a hardrock fall apart? equipt not working anymore or the frame breaking ? i dont see why it would, hardrocks seems durable as the high end one, just not as light or better shifting,etc but I dont think it will be less durable... or is it ?
    You'd have a hard time breaking a Hardrock frame, they're built like tanks. But at that price level, the components you get will be Shimano Acera level parts, which is to say functional, but heavy. They'll take some abuse, but won't last forever depending how much you abuse them. Shifting will be smooth most, but not all of the time and, along with brakes that will work, may need to be adjusted more often; rims that will get the job done, but may need to be trued frequently. You'll also get a lot house brand Specialized parts, not bad in some cases, but not the bling you see on higher end bikes.

    You'll get a bike with a lifetime warranty on the frame that you'll probably never need, but components that will wear out faster and weigh more. There's an interesting saying I've heard before about MTBs: "Light, strong and cheap: pick 2"

    All that being said, if $400 is your budget, then go for it. It will be better than anything you get at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. If you can, try to get it at a real bike shop and not at Hudson Trail or some place that does "bikes also." A good shop will set it up as well as it can be and stand behind it if there are problems.

    When I first got back onto a bike a few years ago, it was a Giant Warp SE hardtail. Built like the Hardrock, heavy and strong frame with similar parts set up. I had a lot of fun and slowly rebuilt it with a better fork, XT drivetrain, clipless pedals, etc. It held up for over 1500 miles before I finally ended up with an S-works Stumpy 120 last summer. If I were going to buy the Hardrock, the first thing I'd replace would be the RST fork, nothing good about that fork. Manitou has some forks in the $200-400 range from various online stores. Tires would be next.

    Either way, have fun, that's what really counts.

    punga!

  9. #9
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    >>>When I first got back onto a bike a few years ago, it was a Giant Warp SE hardtail.<<<

    I thought the Warp was a FS bike. I never knew they made a Warp hardtail.

    >>>If I were going to buy the Hardrock, the first thing I'd replace would be the RST fork, nothing good about that fork.<<<

    I disagree. I have a custom turned RST fork. 80mm. Rides GREAT. I don't know why RST gets such a bad rep. They have good forks.
    My Bike: '96 Gary Fisher Aquila
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
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    ... and if we just ... Yeah, they made a hardtail version...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    >>>When I first got back onto a bike a few years ago, it was a Giant Warp SE hardtail.<<<

    I thought the Warp was a FS bike. I never knew they made a Warp hardtail.

    >>>If I were going to buy the Hardrock, the first thing I'd replace would be the RST fork, nothing good about that fork.<<<

    I disagree. I have a custom turned RST fork. 80mm. Rides GREAT. I don't know why RST gets such a bad rep. They have good forks.
    They made a hardtail version in 1999 and actually wasn't too bad:


    It came with an RST fork that I eventually replaced with a Rock Shox Psylo (still in service today my girlfriends Norco I built for her last winter). The RST that came stock (291 something, I think) had no external adjustment, was heavy and began making a weird popping sound once I started riding real trails. RST's have a bad rep because they're heavy, built cheaply and have no stable platform technology. All of which are the reasons you don't see them on any bike above the $500 range.

    I'd also add to my previous post, if he can swing a little bit more for the disc version, it might be worth it. Disk brakes, even mechancials, will make riding more fun and safer. It's nice to know you can stop when you want to no matter what.

    punga!
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    Last edited by punga; 08-16-2005 at 05:56 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I agree the Harderock is a good buy. However I bought this off ebay for $250 bucks. There is a ebay seller that sells nothing but Motobecane bikes for cheap, brand new in box. I added a custom tuned RST fork and Shimano 9 speed drivetrain and Shimano Deore brakes. I love the bike.

    http://www.motobecane.com/MBUSA4ht.html

    not to knock your ebay bargain...

    but if you buy at the shop I work at (and lots of bike shops give you similar deals)
    you can get a hardrock sport for 350, and this includes 2 free tuneups (100 dollar value right there) lifetime free minor adjustments, 10% off accesories for 60 days, and a lifetime warranty against defects. I personally think it's a better deal to buy from a shop especially if you're just starting out. You just can't get the support from a mail order company, and with a lot of ebay stuff you stand a chance of getting scammed.

  12. #12
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    i also approve the hardrock. i have one before i switched to stumpy fsr and i still ride it once in a while. the only thing i changed was the pedal, everything else is still stock and is running just fine.

  13. #13
    Portland, OR
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    I wouldent suggest the hardrock sport. I had a 06 HRSPT and it fell apart very quickly so I took it back. if you are wanting a good trail bike I would suggest the sweet 06 Hardrock Comp, though more expencive it isnt going to fall apart as quick

    staying in the $400s I would suggest a Gary fisher Opie or the Giant STP3 ... + the frame on the GF and the giant feels a whole ton better

  14. #14
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    As for what was said about RSt forks - they may not have stable platform technology (useless for me anyhow) but they have adjustable travel and lockout. I like them very much. they get they job done and you don't pay for a name.
    My Bike: '96 Gary Fisher Aquila
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by endurowanker
    not to knock your ebay bargain...

    but if you buy at the shop I work at (and lots of bike shops give you similar deals)
    you can get a hardrock sport for 350, and this includes 2 free tuneups (100 dollar value right there) lifetime free minor adjustments, 10% off accesories for 60 days, and a lifetime warranty against defects. I personally think it's a better deal to buy from a shop especially if you're just starting out. You just can't get the support from a mail order company, and with a lot of ebay stuff you stand a chance of getting scammed.
    But that bike dosen't come with disc brakes or a 27 speed drivetrain...
    My Bike: '96 Gary Fisher Aquila
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  16. #16
    dirty trail dog
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    A Hardrock Sport is perfect for you, considering your budget and the riding you plan on doing. I've had mine for a year, and I've beat the crap out of it, and I ain't no lightweight (250 lbs) and I ride some pretty rugged stuff. Once you've had it a year or so and if your riding gets more serious, then you can shop for a $1000+ FS rig, like I'm doing.

    The only thing that "fell apart" were the Truvative X-Flow cranks, and that was most likely my fault (poorly installed clipless pedals).

    The RST fork is fine. It takes a beating and does its job.

    My $0.02 worth.


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