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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new entry level MTB

    A friend wants a new complete MTB for light XC riding. Anyone know of any deals right now? Budget of $300-$500.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Looking for a new entry level MTB

    That's really low, best to check the used market such as Craigslist or go single speed (which may or may not work for them).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    That's really low, best to check the used market such as Craigslist or go single speed (which may or may not work for them).
    So there's nothing under 500 you think is worth riding? What about a bikesdirect bike such as this one: Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 550HT

    No good for a beginner?

  4. #4
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    IMO I think that bike will do fine for a beginner, but once your friend starts to get into it, the fork will become junk.

  5. #5
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    I have no experience with bikesdirect, but your friend might want to consider buying from an LBS (local bike shop) if this is his/her first bike. The parts on cheaper bikes will invariably need more adjustment, tuning, repairs, or replacements, than a higher-build bike. It would be tough to get that done through mail order. A local shop usually has a period of free service with new bike sales. Be sure to ask about that. Your friend might save money up front, but pay for it later with repair bills.
    Justin
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    2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
    2006 Specialized Allez Expert Double

  6. #6
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    I would check out the Airborne Skyhawk Airborne Bicycles. Skyhawk

  7. #7
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    How about the GT Avalanche from Performance Bike? You'll have a local shop to go to for help, and with all the deals and rewards they always have going, the 3.0 or 2.0 might be around that range. Try CL too for a used one for even less.

  8. #8
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    If your friend is going to be getting a bike between $350-$400, make sure the Fork isn't SR Suntour XCT, XCT is a garbage fork that company put on to save money. Usually budget bike at this price point either comes with bottom line SR Suntour fork or Rockshox fork, if it is SR Suntur then make sure it is the XCM V2/V3model, not the XCT. Similiarly if it is Rockshox then make sure it is the XC 28/30 model, not the Dart model.

    why?? becasue the FORK is the most important component of the bike, if the fork sucks you're not going to enjoy riding...yes other components are also important but Fork comes first

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic-gamer View Post
    If your friend is going to be getting a bike between $350-$400, make sure the Fork isn't SR Suntour XCT, XCT is a garbage fork that company put on to save money. Usually budget bike at this price point either comes with bottom line SR Suntour fork or Rockshox fork, if it is SR Suntur then make sure it is the XCM V2/V3model, not the XCT. Similiarly if it is Rockshox then make sure it is the XC 28/30 model, not the Dart model.

    why?? becasue the FORK is the most important component of the bike, if the fork sucks you're not going to enjoy riding...yes other components are also important but Fork comes first
    I disagree. The frame is far more important to the fork. If you have a crap frame it is a safety issue.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chef7734 View Post
    I disagree. The frame is far more important to the fork. If you have a crap frame it is a safety issue.
    well of course, but I was referring to 'components', and most bike cheap out on fork before anything

  11. #11
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    Looking for a new entry level MTB

    I started off with a $100 trek off Craigslist. Didn't last me very long cuz I've been told I ride pretty aggressively. I now have a gt avalanche 3.0, and after some upgrades it's a pretty nice bike. It's entry level price too.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    Bikes direct and Airborne Bicycles are the best bet for online or shopping around locally for a closeout model.

    Bought my 2012 Marin Bolinas Ridge for $499.93 at REI. (reg price was $699)
    Great bike for the price.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
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    I disagree. The frame is far more important to the fork. If you have a crap frame it is a safety issue.
    kind of implies
    1) the online brand are any less quality than lbs brands
    2) theres a large difference between frame makers in their frames.

    which neither are true imho. frames breaking under non abuse are extremely rare. In the cases I've read about on here that they do, online brand warranties provide equal if not better coverage

  14. #14
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    In regards to the frame/fork/other components.

    Yes, the frame is the official most important part of the bike.
    It is the foundation of the bike and the part you upgrade if/when you upgrade.

    However, bike direct frames, airborne frames, and many other bargain bike frames are good frames. Possibly even stronger than some high end bike frames. Often they are cheaper because they are heavier not because they are weaker.

    I have seen several Motobecanes out on the trails and everyone I have talked to had been real happy with their purchase from bikes direct. I have seen numerous posts on here praising airborne bikes and bikes direct bikes and have not seen any cases of failure on the frames although I am sure there are some. In addition, I feel very secure about the frame on my bargain bike store bike in which I paid $500 for on closeout. Oddly enough I have seen more failures on frames of high end bikes than bargain bikes. However, I attribute this probably to the that the rider was a more serious rider, rode a lot more, and did a lot more hucking than your average bargain bike buyer ever does.

    That all being said, you will never get a $1000 frame on a $500 bike but you may get a damn good frame, one worth upgrading, and possibly even a better frame than the one on some $1k+ bikes. Don't let price determine quality.

    Now the fork is IMO the most important component....well, maybe the seat but that is a cheap easy fix.....nobody like a sore bum. lol

    Ok, the fork.
    The Suntour XCT is complete trash.
    If you gave me a choice between riding a rigid bike or one with the XCT I would take the rigid bike in a heart beat. The XCM, I don't think is any better. I do have the XCR on my hard tail and that fork is actually pretty decent and it can be found on budget bikes. Anything less, I would plan on upgrading asap unless you bouncing around on a pogo stick and hurt wrists. Does all this mean I would not buy a bike with a XCT? No, it just means I would make sure I had enough money to upgrade the fork soon afterwards.
    Suntour does offer an upgrade policy where if you buy a bike with a suntour fork, you can upgrade cheaply through them. You can buy the raidon through them which is a decent air sprung fork for $150 (26") or $175 (29"). The Raidon is a fork that often comes on bikes in the $1k range so if you play it right, you could get great bike with a crappy fork, spend a little extra and have a great bike with a nice fork and still be a few hundred dollars less. (yes, I know the other components may not be the same but you can just upgrade those as they break).

    Last, I will say no matter what, it is better to be on a crappy bike than no bike at all.
    My first bike was a crappy bike, it was just complete junk but I loved it for one simple reason. It got me out on the trails, helped me to get healthy, and through riding, I met some great friends (in fact all the people I ride with regularly, I met on that crappy bike).
    The bike had low end components including a Suntour XCT fork and the frame always felt weak. Oddly enough you can find that same frame on their $450 model and their $1900 model with high end components so that should tell you price does not mean you will get a good or bad frame.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  15. #15
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    With that budget your options are online or CL.

    In my area CL rarely has good deals.

    I bought a road bike from Bikes Direct. They have great deals. Only downside is you don't get to try them on first.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Ended up with the BD bike I linked above.

    I know that the fork is the most important and they will probably upgrade it as they learn to ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    kind of implies
    1) the online brand are any less quality than lbs brands
    2) theres a large difference between frame makers in their frames.

    which neither are true imho. frames breaking under non abuse are extremely rare. In the cases I've read about on here that they do, online brand warranties provide equal if not better coverage
    I was not talking about online brand and did not imply any of that. I made a statement that the frame is more important than the fork. I never said anything against such brands as Airborne which are great frames for the price by eliminating the middle man.

    You are adding words and implications where there were none.


    My first bike after getting back into riding was a nishiki wasatch. Great frame but not so great components. Bike was a present and runs in the 400 to 500.00 range. The fork was a xct and that is where I was saying the frame is more important than the fork.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadeone View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Ended up with the BD bike I linked above.

    I know that the fork is the most important and they will probably upgrade it as they learn to ride.


    Great bike for the price.
    Since he was willing to spend up to $500, if he has $150 left over to spend, I would just go ahead and get the Raidon direct from Suntour. Really, the XCT is that bad. (IMO)
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  19. #19
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    I picked up a Nishiki Colorado from Dick's Sportinggoods just to make sure I wanted to get into riding again. Over all the bike was a great deal. I will upgrade the forks, but the rest of the components serve me well.

    •Frame: Heat treated/buttoned 6061 alloy with shaped top tube and replaceable hanger
    •Fork: SR Suntour XCT V4, 80mm travel
    •Shifter: Sram X3 trigger
    •Front derailleur: Shimano Tourney TX50
    •Rear derailleur: SramX3, 7-speed
    •Gear: Sram PG-730
    •Cranks: SR Suntour XCT V2
    •Speeds: 21
    •Brakes: Tektro Novella with 160mm rotors

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