Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    12

    Best way to spend $500?

    I am looking to get back into mountain biking, and would like some feedback on what direction I should go with a bike purchase. I've got a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of $500-600. I've got a road bike and an old MTB for a commuter, so it would be used exclusively for off road use.

    So my question is, should I go with a fairly nice VRC (I have recently found a Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and a Bridgestone MB-1 on CL within this range); or a newer, but used, mid-level 26er; or a slightly above entry level, used, 29er; or a brand new, but totally entry level 29er? SS maybe? older FS? etc.....

    What's going to give me the best ride/value for my small budget?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    VRC Illuminati
    Reputation: Rumpfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    16,689
    Well thought out question and one we see semi-often.

    Being the VRC forum...we're bias towards older bikes. You can definitely get a lot of bike for your money across the board. If you can find your way to $1k, your options really open up.

    As for what bike to get, it really depends on where you ride and what kind of rider you are. Lean towards the bike thats going to do the things you like best.

    Food for thought...vintage suspension sucks. If you're doing suspension, the newer and higher quality the suspension the better.
    Mass produced bikes will probably get you the most bang for the buck...but if you have a lead on a Yo or MB-1 and they'll let you ride the way you want to ride...both great bikes for the money.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com

    Wanted: Syncros 27.2 x 425 seatpost, 26.8 x 400 IRD seatpost

  3. #3
    GMF
    GMF is offline
    Mmm... Tasty
    Reputation: GMF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    700
    Kind of a hard question to answer not knowing your riding terrain, what you are looking to do, etc. However, for me, VRC stuff is a hobby for tinkerers. Are you into maintaining a bike (not hard to do), or do you want something where you do not have to know if your 8sp drive train can be upgraded to 9 or 10sp in the future.

    With what little I know about your situation, I would probably go with a couple year old mid-range 26er for the most value and least hassle. Shop around for something in good condition and it will serve you well.

    I would also heed Rumpfy's advice on suspension - despite being a smooth enough rider that he doesn't need it (i'll keep up with you next time...) (probably not).

  4. #4
    slow
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,244
    As others have said, your style and terrain will dictate the bike you choose. While I enjoy my vintage rides, I prefer something more modern for every day riding. Keep an eye on your local craigslist for a deal. About a year ago I picked up a 2008 FELT Nine Comp hard tail 29'er with a mix of X-9 and XT and Avid Juicy brakes for under $500. Better than entry level and no rear suspension hassles.

  5. #5
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    7,143
    Gotta help yourself a little bit here too. You named just about every type of bike: 26", 29", HT, FS, rigid, SS, geared.... nobody is going to be able to throw some bikes out here for you if you have absolutely no clue what you are looking for yourself.

    So....give it some thought and then go from there.

  6. #6
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,428
    Entry level bikes are heavy.. but discs brake better than old cantis. A lightweight vintage 26er will climb like a rocket.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  7. #7
    -bustin punks
    Reputation: fatchanceti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    468
    Find an old Stumpjumper M2 hardtail (late late 90s or early 00s) and a more modern 80mm front suspension fork like a Reba or Fox F80. That would be a killer bike that should be doable for $500 +/-.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mainlyfats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    963
    Get something similar to what your riding buddies ride. If you ride alone, unsuspended vintage or simple SS would be my choice for durability.

  9. #9
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,624
    The issue with older stuff, (just playing devils mechanic here) is that if it's worn out, the likelihood of going into a LBS and picking up something that will work, beyond tires, a chain, or some cables and pads, is slim.

    Modern derailleurs don't tend to play well with old shifters, cassettes are crap if you can even fin 7 or 8 speed in stock, chainrings will be tough to source without special ordering, etc.

    VRC stuff is awesome if you're in "project" mode. If you want a ride it and buy what I need on my way home from work sort of bike, go at least 9 speed level modern....

    And yes, older suspension sucks, see "project mode" on steroids.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I know this is probably a thread for the beginners forum, but the bikes you guys talk about on the VRC forum are the ones I drooled over as a kid. I wanted to get your perspective. It looks like going a little newer will be my best bet for a main bike. Thanks for the tips on older suspension, I hadn't thought of that.
    I think I will throw some knobbies back on my old rigid commuter, and spend some time in the hills figuring out exactly what I am looking for in a MTB (Maybe try to grow the budget a bit in the meantime)
    Thanks again all

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    464
    Find the bike that you always wanted as a kid but could never afford it. You can probably pick up a good frame for $100-$300 and the rest of the components for $250-$500 and build it all yourself. $1k is a reasonable plateau to get an older XT or XTR equipped bike with rebuildable suspension components.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    274
    I think the only question that needs to be answered is "What type of trails do you want to ride with it?" If it's mild offroad to pavement then a retro HT is going to be awesome!

    If it's sandyish smooth singletrack then a 29'r might be better.

    If you're an adrenaline junky and will ride aggressive trails hard then looking for a good deal on a Kona Dawg... I love those things.

    I ride aggressively and couldn't live without my Kona... at the same time I'm eagerly looking for a early Ti or steel Kona to put some pavement miles on when I don't have time to drive to the hills.

    Finally whatever you choose, don't be blinded to size if you find a real gem. Get the right size the 1st time.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    12
    I live on the west side of Oregon (the wet side), so trails tend to be a bit moist for a good part of the year (350 days a year ) There is a pretty good mix of trails ranging from smooth hardpack to rocky and technical, here but it usually includes a fair amount of climbing.

    As for my riding style, in my younger days, I would begrudgingly climb hills so I could fly back down them as fast and hard as I could. I would say I had a fairly aggressive style. However, I don't really expect to ride like that any more (it scares me).

    With that in mind, I think I am looking for something that climbs well but won't be too limiting going back down. maybe a hard tail with some decent suspension up front.
    Thanks again for the input.

  14. #14
    VRC Illuminati
    Reputation: Rumpfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    16,689
    Quote Originally Posted by golden tooth View Post
    I live on the west side of Oregon (the wet side), so trails tend to be a bit moist for a good part of the year (350 days a year ) There is a pretty good mix of trails ranging from smooth hardpack to rocky and technical, here but it usually includes a fair amount of climbing.
    As for my riding style, in my younger days, I would begrudgingly climb hills so I could fly back down them as fast and hard as I could. I would say I had a fairly aggressive style. However, I don't really expect to ride like that any more (it scares me).
    With that in mind, I think I am looking for something that climbs well but won't be too limiting going back down. maybe a hard tail with some decent suspension up front.
    Thanks again for the input.
    Nice. I would say, when you can...get full suspension bike. You'll be so happy when the trail points down.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com

    Wanted: Syncros 27.2 x 425 seatpost, 26.8 x 400 IRD seatpost

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    12
    sounds like fun! So with that in mind, and the idea that vintage suspension sucked, at what point did it stop sucking?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Linoleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    852
    Entry level 29ers suck. Chances are the hoops will be weak and components heavy. (well, this is has been my experience)

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    464
    Quote Originally Posted by golden tooth View Post
    sounds like fun! So with that in mind, and the idea that vintage suspension sucked, at what point did it stop sucking?
    I don't agree with the "vintage suspension sucks" theory. I'm a big guy and I ride older original suspension and have zero issues with it. It sucks up bumps still- that's what it was designed for. My current old suspension is a 2000 Marzocchi Jr T that I put on my regular mountain bike. I also use a Fox Alps 5r on my 1997 CT bike. No problems.

Similar Threads

  1. Spend my $200!
    By literally in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-08-2013, 06:51 PM
  2. Don't want to spend so much $$$
    By applehead110 in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-10-2011, 01:14 PM
  3. $250-$350.00 to spend, what should I get???
    By A-Ray in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-22-2011, 05:39 PM
  4. How much to spend on the first MTB?
    By mfa81 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 04-07-2011, 12:37 PM
  5. If you had 200-ish to spend....
    By rainbowlady in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-30-2011, 11:37 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •