Looking to buy first real mountain bike - suggestions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking to buy first real mountain bike - suggestions?

    I've been riding for about 3 months now with a friend on a $500 GT Outpost hardtail that just does not cut it for anything more than the most novice tracks around our house. I'm definitely ready to step up to a full suspension bike after riding a rented Giannt Stance a few weekends ago.

    I have a budget of about $2500, but I could go up to $3000 if I really needed to. I really want to make sure that I can get something that I can keep for a long time and have it handle any trail I throw at it. My friend and I live in Oregon, so we'll mostly be riding Larch Mountain, Sandy Ridge, Mt. Hood Skibowl, Powell Butte, etc on the regular.

    I've been looking on Pinkbike for about a month now for a used bike. The only issue is that I need a size large bike (6ft, 185 lbs), and all of the large bikes on there are either 4k+ monsters or retro bikes from the 90s that I have no interest in. The only two that even fit the bill close on there right now is a Giant Trance 27.5 2 for $1900 and Focus SAM 4.0 for $2100.

    I went around to three local bike shops yesterday to see if I could get a 2015 model at a big discount. I saw some cool bikes, but the big issue I ran into was that every place only had medium sized frames in the store. So I could sit on the bike, but I couldn't really get a great feel for how it would be to ride. The three bikes I was most impressed with was a Kona Process 134 DL for $3000, a Cannondale Jekyl 3 for $2700 and a Trek Remedy 8 27.5 for $2600. All of them would have had to been ordered.

    Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed. There is so many brands, parts configurations, series within brands that I don't know what is a good deal and what isn't. It would be really nice if they had size large bikes in the store that I could go out and ride before I bought it, but that doesn't seem to be an option. What would you guys do in my situation?

  2. #2
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    Take your time and make sure you get the fit right. If this is your first real bike, I'd advise you buy new. Especially first suspension bikes you don't know if the bikes have been serviced or what they've been through and a bargain could really cost you more.

    Find a shop that can demo a bike or can get you fit. Reach and stack will be more accurate than top tube measurement.
    Yeti SB150
    Yeti SB6c
    Pivot 4SL
    Litespeed Ultimate Gravel
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Cannondale Synapse
    Cannondale SuperX

  3. #3
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    All of the above advice is good. I can tell you from years of experience if you need a large frame, you will struggle to find them available on the floor of a shop. As such, I'm going to give you the single best piece of advice I have.

    Be patient. Do your homework, seek out shops that have the bike you want to look at in the size you need, and travel to them. Find out where you can demo bikes you're interested in. Don't buy something without being able to ride it, so you can be certain it's what you're after.

  4. #4
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    Heckler R build (youll want the Shimano Deore brakes). lifetime warranty, threaded bottom bracket (no press fit creaking etc headaches), free pivot bearings for life, low maintenance overall, tried and trued (its been around for like 18 years (updated of course)) and SC makes so of the best bikes period

    note, if your local dealers dont carry SC, SC will ship whatever bike you want to your local dealer

    Santa Cruz Heckler

  5. #5
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    Demo everything you can. If you have to wait 6months to get some demos in, do it.

    I took a friend to a big mountain bike event yesterday with some demos as he has been thinking about his first FS bike, and he's been fairly stringent in spending money or time to demo bikes. After demoing some bikes, he has now seen exactly the benefit to demos and wants to demo more before making a decision. His original budget was 3-4k, now he's thinking up to 5k based on carbon vs aluminum and groupsets.

    Other things he answered were things like travel and got to see the difference in geometries and is now getting more precise in what he wants. He originally though 100-120mm 29er would be not enough, now he's almost certainly looking at 120 with 140 max travel, basically square in the trail category for a 29er.

    When I went through this last year, I demoed so many bikes it was sickening, but it made my final purchase very rewarding. After demoing bikes yesterday, I'm still overly satisfied with my choice.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the great advice guys! I definitely like the look of that Heckler. I'll have to check into that.

    As far as ordering bike in my size at a local dealer, if they do that does that mean I can try out the bike when it arrives and if I don't like it decline to buy the bike? Or is ordering a bike a commitment to buying it?

    Also, I'm really really interested in demoing bikes before buying them. I'm just now sure how demoing bikes work. Do I have to go to certain bike shops? Certain events? How do I know when a demo is occurring?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherman166 View Post
    Thanks for all the great advice guys! I definitely like the look of that Heckler. I'll have to check into that.

    As far as ordering bike in my size at a local dealer, if they do that does that mean I can try out the bike when it arrives and if I don't like it decline to buy the bike? Or is ordering a bike a commitment to buying it?

    Also, I'm really really interested in demoing bikes before buying them. I'm just now sure how demoing bikes work. Do I have to go to certain bike shops? Certain events? How do I know when a demo is occurring?
    It depends on the shop. Shops that sell a lot of nicer mountain bikes would probably be able to sell the bike easily if you decided not to buy it. Smaller shops that barely sell a full suspension bike would hold you to buying it if they special ordered it because they wouldn't be able to sell it easily otherwise.

    As for the demos, again it depends. Most companies have a demo schedule every year where they'll travel around with their demo truck. Additionally some shops will have a demo fleet of bikes and are willing to put the cost of that demo toward a bike purchase. Be sure to check guide services as well, if those exist in your area. We have a guide service close by that has a fleet of full suspensions and hardtails on hand.

  8. #8
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    best part...
    it won't be your last bike!

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