Poll: which bike is the best of the three?

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  1. #1
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    New question here. Bring on the flaming...

    I am 21 yrs old, and a junior in college in PA. so first off, let me say this: if you are a 15 year old kid who has your parents pay for all you stuff, just walk away from this post, because your opinion on most matters are meaningless.
    that said, i continue.
    i am looking into a mountain bike for the summer. i am not looking at spending over 200$ because i have much more important things to spend my money on.
    the only local bike shop i know of is near my hometown (30 minutes from the college), and i have been there before, and although his selection is awesome, i have yet to see a bike at his shop sell for anywhere near my budget.
    so, with that out of the way, i have read the sticky on "dept store bikes".. my ride style is kind of like all mountain, but i don't try to break the bike. the bike i will buy will only be used maybe once a week at best. it only has to handle dirt roads, and wood paths in a few state parks i go to. I am 6' 1", 165lbs
    my choices: (yes, from "dept stores" as they are referred to...)
    Wally world: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=2513008
    the NEXT Shocker, this is the cheapest i would go.. i rode bike in highschool and had a NEXT Bulge for 4 years, it never broke on me, i rode it almost every day, beat the crap out of it...
    Choice 2:
    Dicks Sporting Goods: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...Id=25402695643
    Polaris 450MXR
    Choice 3:
    Dicks Sporting Goods: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...Id=25402724733
    Mongoose Maneuver

    so let the flaming begin. but if your comments are nothing but trash, for everyone's sake, just don't submit them.. constructive criticism only. act like adults if you are, and don't talk trash

    adding a poll to this to see what everyone thinks..

  2. #2
    Uphill isn't a sport!!
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    Check your local craigslist for used bikes in your price range.

  3. #3
    The Martian
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    I think you've read enough to know what our opinions will be.

    I cannot in good conscious recommend any of those bikes to anyone that wants to ride off road, period.
    A budget of $200 can be worked with however. Barely used well cared for Rockhoppers (specialized), Trek 3000 series, Giant Boulders, etc can be had for $100-$200 used. Keep your eyes peeled on craigslist. If you need a normal size (medium or large) they come up pretty often (at least around me). These are all decent entry level bikes that I'd feel comfortable recommending to someone to actually mountain bike with.

    If you absolutely *must* get a bike from a big box store (though I see no reason to) stick to hardtails. The suspension on bikes of this "quality" won't do you any good anyway, so it's just one less thing to break (and slightly less weight) to go without. Still wouldn't recommend a walmart bike offroad, and neither does walmart..

    And for the record I'm not some 15yr old with mommy and daddy funding me. I am completely independent and as such fund my entire bike habit on my own, and I'm a grad student living on a peanut butter and jelly/raman noodle salary in an area with one of the highest cost of living figures in the country...

    It's perfectly fine if you have other things to spend your money on, but if you truly want to mountain bike (and not just get to and from class on campus) you should be taking your safety into account. The appropriate bike is an important part of that. Having ridden Walmart/Target full suspension bikes I honestly fear for the safety of anyone that chooses to ride one outside of a road or paved/groomed bike path.

  4. #4
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    ^^Good Advice^^

    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    I think you've read enough to know what our opinions will be.

    I cannot in good conscious recommend any of those bikes to anyone that wants to ride off road, period.
    A budget of $200 can be worked with however. Barely used well cared for Rockhoppers (specialized), Trek 3000 series, Giant Boulders, etc can be had for $100-$200 used. Keep your eyes peeled on craigslist. If you need a normal size (medium or large) they come up pretty often (at least around me). These are all decent entry level bikes that I'd feel comfortable recommending to someone to actually mountain bike with.

    If you absolutely *must* get a bike from a big box store (though I see no reason to) stick to hardtails. The suspension on bikes of this "quality" won't do you any good anyway, so it's just one less thing to break (and slightly less weight) to go without. Still wouldn't recommend a walmart bike offroad, and neither does walmart..

    And for the record I'm not some 15yr old with mommy and daddy funding me. I am completely independent and as such fund my entire bike habit on my own, and I'm a grad student living on a peanut butter and jelly/raman noodle salary in an area with one of the highest cost of living figures in the country...

    It's perfectly fine if you have other things to spend your money on, but if you truly want to mountain bike (and not just get to and from class on campus) you should be taking your safety into account. The appropriate bike is an important part of that. Having ridden Walmart/Target full suspension bikes I honestly fear for the safety of anyone that chooses to ride one outside of a road or paved/groomed bike path.
    I agree.

  5. #5
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    for the record, i as well am not 15 and have mommy buy my bikes for me..
    don't buy a cheap walmart bike.
    if you only have 200, either save a bit more until you can get something somewhat decent, or buy used. (pawnshops, craigslist, etc.)
    you will be throwing money away on a dept. store bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    living on a peanut butter and jelly/raman noodle salary
    1. thanks for the insight,
    2. same here.. but ours is more $1 microwave dinners from dollar tree...

  7. #7
    wg
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    +1 to CougarTrek's comments.
    Just for grins 'n giggles I went over to Craigslist for Pittsburg (looked at your profile and picked some random PA city) and there are quite a few used hard tails to pick from. Some junk but if you keep your eyes open, I think you'll end up with a better bike than a Wally World or Target thing.
    Don't harsh my mello

  8. #8
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    I can tell you from experience since I ended up buying one of those walmart type of bikes, I know I know :'( I'm still regretting that decision.

    Actually I bought one very similar to the mongoose the OP linked to, and yes it's crap! the suspension is nothing more than for looks only, so stiff and you really don't feel safe riding the bike, also, I cannot tell you how many times I've taken that bike to the repair shop for all kinds of problems (minor yet still annoying).

    I had that bike for what, maybe 3 months until I decided to get me a better bike. One thing about biking tho, it's a complete different world when you ride a good bike, I almost gave up on riding until I bought the newer bike, it's smoother, safer, lighter and plain more fun.

    So yeah, I agree with everyone here, just look for used bikes, the prices are not that outrageous, (ebay, craigslist, even stop by some bike shops and see if the owner knows of someone who's selling a bike! )

    good luck!

  9. #9
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roach570
    1. thanks for the insight,
    2. same here.. but ours is more $1 microwave dinners from dollar tree...
    I upgraded by adding the Pb&J once I got my BS; it was quite a step up!

    It can be a lot of money (anxiously awaiting my tax returns for upgrades!), but I think you can do better and be happier for $200 if you keep your eyes open for a used bike

  10. #10
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    you can get a perfectly fine real mountain bike, used, for 200 bucks.

    you will hurt yourself trying to ride "all mountain" on a 200 dollar bike. you have to be realistic. its like wanting to go rock climbing, but since you dont have a budget for climbing rope you use kite string instead. it just wont work. theres really no "constructive criticism" to be had, just like whats said in the sticky. they're bad bikes, no ones going to recommend you buy a bad bike. theres been a bunch of people here lately trying to stirr up trouble and fight about walmart bikes.. if you want to rehash that argument, the threads are all over the place. if you're dead set on a junk bike, go grab the next. if you want your 200 dollars to go as far as possible on the best bike possible, buy something used.

  11. #11
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    What a friendly first post (oops - was that constructive? )

    Yup, follow the advice here. If you don't know much about bikes yet and you find something on Craigslist that looks worthwhile, posting a link to the ad here might get you good feedback on whether or not it's worth the money.

    Ant

  12. #12
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    Ok, I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend the Schwinn Ranger from Target. Why am I recommending this bike? Because I have two sitting on the porch along with my Specd HRCD. I absolutely rode the living sh** out of the Ranger in ALL weather conditions, year round, and light riding on trails for over a year. It withstood a full on broadside from a blonde driving a Saturn Vue, but the wheels didn't, LOL, and yes, I was on the bike as well. The front fork took some of the brunt and did not bend/warp/crack/break. If you don't want to wait, and you're not wanting to put forth the effort to search for a used bike go the dept. store route.

    I did replace the crankset to a Deore M443 along with a Octalink BB from ebay and it still rides like a champ. The forks are a bit mushy for my Clydeframed 200lb 6'0" ass, but in my honest opinion, it's a good bike in your price range that is fully serviceable and upgradeable by you and will last you if you maintain it properly.

    You have already stated that you have a set range within which you want to spend and this bike is easily in that range and worth the money. The idea is for you to get a bike that you'll be satisfied with given the riding parameters that you've set and have fun.

    Good luck, and if you take my advice... Check every single bolt, nut, screw. cable, and lever on the bike when you buy it. Don't ever trust anyone, especially dept store assembly guys to properly wrench your bike.

    HTH

  13. #13
    EDR
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    Get the 'Next' It's a fine bike

    What do you want people to tell you? If you want us to say buy a walmart bike, we won't. If we tell you to spend more we are not being constructive...

    Just get the Next and with any luck the mods will close this thread before it reaches the 100 mark.

  14. #14

  15. #15
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    You are waisting your money on any of these. Everyone is telling you this for a reason. You will be much better of with a hard tail, as the suspension on those are so bad they are a liability. Even better, get a rigid. Those forks do nothing, and in more technical/rough situations will be sketchier than a rigid fork.

    Find a used rigid or hardtail like some others have suggested. You can get a trailworthy used bike for $200.

  16. #16
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    snag that trek 820 on craigslist!

    even if you go with any of the others, craigslist is the way to go when it comes to getting a cheap decent quality beginners bike.

  17. #17
    Cheezy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berge
    That Iron Horse isn't half bad, and it comes in a variety of sizes, unlike the one-size-fits-all (or not) dept store bikes. You'll have to do some assembly yourself, but that's much better than trusting the department store minimum-wage drones. Look at the reviews on the Walmart bike, half the complaints are because the store assembled them wrong.

    Performance messed up a little on their website, when you click the arrow next to Select a dropdown box appears with colors/sizes. There should be a decimal point in front of each 5, the bikes run from 13.5 to 23.5 inches in size. 23.5 is huge, I'm 5'11" and would take a 19.5 or maybe a 17.5.

  18. #18
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    Sorry - I honestly cannot give you advice. My riding style is too different from what you describe. You seem to be content to ride dirt roads and smooth park trails about once a week. I am more like a weekend warrior out to break the bike on rough trails as often as my schedule (and the weather) allows.

    The bike for you might last me a weekend. My bike would be bored to death with you.

    Tell what you end up buying - and tell us every now and then how it goes. We are trying to keep this forum honest.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  19. #19
    Rod
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    Like the others have said you can find a "real" mountain bike for 200 dollars. I got my wife an 07 Giant Rincon for 225 and that was without me trying to get him to lower the price. It was used, but it was barely ridden and not hurt at all. The bottom line is to look around for a good used bike. Just inspect the bike first. You will get more bike for your money if you go the used route.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  20. #20
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    thanks for all the help, i have since started my quest for a decent hardtail on: craigslist, ebay, and other sites... if nayone has suggestions on where to look for good deals or such, i am available 24/7 on aim as daredevil3287 (nothing to do with the movie... ). again, thanks for all your help..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roach570
    thanks for all the help, i have since started my quest for a decent hardtail on: craigslist, ebay, and other sites... if nayone has suggestions on where to look for good deals or such, i am available 24/7 on aim as daredevil3287 (nothing to do with the movie... ). again, thanks for all your help..

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/632122526.html

  22. #22
    azn
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    my friend has a 820.
    Its a really nice bike for what he uses it for.
    and from what I rode of it, it seems pretty capable.

  23. #23
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    man take it from me the rear swing arm on all those bikes will buckle and snap, and the components will fall apart under light use, i'm not exaggerating i learned the hard way, mongoose xr200 killed in under 3 months, do your self a favor and check out craigslist.org there are some killer deals there, just remember a suspension bike that retails for anything under 800 is a big headache waiting to happen,

  24. #24
    Live Free or Ride!
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    Stay away from department store bikes. They are garbage, they weigh a tonne, the geometry on them does not work, inferior parts, and it will fall apart on you. There is absolutely no reason to get these death rigs
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  25. #25
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    buy used. check local papers, ebay, craigslist.org, whatever you can. you will be better off with an older, but good bike. everything will be better about it.

    edit: skimming the mtbr classifieds and ebay, it looks like they are a little hard to come by, but there are a few there. and that's with not much effort and not knowing what size bike you need.
    Last edited by tomk96; 04-08-2008 at 08:26 AM.

  26. #26
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    Used is probably the best option, as your $200 will get you something above Wal-Mart quality.

  27. #27
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    Seriously, dude

    craigslist.org is your friend. To paraphrase what they would say 10 years ago, if Huffy (or NEXT or Pacific) made an airplane, would you fly in it? Point is, would you seriously trust your life to it? Heck, I've seen quality brand name bikes fail, and it isn't pretty.

    Those bikes from WallyWorld aren't designed for anything more than looking boss on a bike path. They usually lack the low gearing (a 22*32 granny gear to be specific) you would need to crank a 28 pound bike up a hill, much less the 40+ pound bikes those whales tend to be. They are not meant for off-road riding at all. In fact, don't they put a sticker on the top tube basically saying that? Now you wanna go All mountain/freeride the thing? Seriously. I guess its your funeral, but I wouldn't trust one of those things to guess my weight, and don't make me give you CPR while waiting the medivac to arrive. I'll do it, but I'll also be the first one to call you a dumbass when you come to in the ER.

    I'm not trying to sell you on fear, here. I'm just saying spending $150 for something you won't be happy with is $150 wasted.

    You are much better off with a 4-5 year old quality hardtail off Craigslist, and stay off the big drops until you can afford quality equipment designed to handle it.

    Secondly, maybe find a cycling friend who has a decent bike he never rides. See if he will lend it to you. Offer to make payments if he is willing to sell it to you, maybe do some housework, or yard work towards payment. I my case, I have 5 bikes in my stable, (4 mountain bikes) and I'm always willing to lend one to a bud who needs it in a pinch.

  28. #28
    Jesus loved the dinosaurs
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    I think they sell this bike at Walmart, and I'll bet it's under $200.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9w3Gbur74o

    (I know it's been posted before, but it's still a great testament to crap bikes...)

    Pick up a used bike. You'll be much happier in the long run.

  29. #29
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    Go with a used bike over those pieces of crap. And yes, this is constructive.

    I'm a college student and work my ass off, and I own two bikes: an entry level XC bike worth 500$ and a $3500CDN Dirt jumping bike. So I'm definitely not talking out of my ass.

    Getting a bike shop quality bike will really make you see how crappy departement store bikes really are.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roach570
    I am 21 yrs old, and a junior in college in PA. so first off, let me say this: if you are a 15 year old kid who has your parents pay for all you stuff, just walk away from this post, because your opinion on most matters are meaningless.

    so let the flaming begin. but if your comments are nothing but trash, for everyone's sake, just don't submit them.. constructive criticism only. act like adults if you are, and don't talk trash
    Constructive criticism: You should act your age. In particular, be a little more respectful to those just barely younger than you. If you expect to talk trash, and not get any in return, you should know that it doesn't work that way in the real world. How old were you when you became financially independent? If you really want to become a mountain biker when you grow up, listen to the experienced folks on this forum. They really do know what they're talking about. (end constructive criticism)

    Constructive advice: If you really just want to ride gently on dirt roads and wood paths, any of those cheap bikes will do. Just remember to be gentle. Go slow over bumps and pot-holes. Stay away from rocks. Go easy on the hill climbs, and stay in a low gear. Don't try to clear anything but the smallest obstacles. And don't tell your little friends you were mountain biking.

  31. #31
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaky69
    Go with a used bike over those pieces of crap. And yes, this is constructive.

    I'm a college student and work my ass off, and I own two bikes: an entry level XC bike worth 500$ and a $3500CDN Dirt jumping bike. So I'm definitely not talking out of my ass.

    Getting a bike shop quality bike will really make you see how crappy departement store bikes really are.
    I am a college student as well. I too, work my ass off (during the summer) and I'm smart about how I spend my cash. Consequently I ride a $2200 FS bike.

    Not saying you should do the same, but if you need to make a few sacrifices here and there to afford a bike that doesn't pose a health risk, I see no problem with it.
    Axle Standards Explained

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tduro
    Constructive criticism: You should act your age. In particular, be a little more respectful to those just barely younger than you. If you expect to talk trash, and not get any in return, you should know that it doesn't work that way in the real world. How old were you when you became financially independent? If you really want to become a mountain biker when you grow up, listen to the experienced folks on this forum. They really do know what they're talking about. (end constructive criticism)

    Constructive advice: If you really just want to ride gently on dirt roads and wood paths, any of those cheap bikes will do. Just remember to be gentle. Go slow over bumps and pot-holes. Stay away from rocks. Go easy on the hill climbs, and stay in a low gear. Don't try to clear anything but the smallest obstacles. And don't tell your little friends you were mountain biking.
    Wow. Quite good. Creatve, a little offense but not quite insulting. I would rate it at 5.6. Anybody able to beat this?
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  33. #33
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    tduro: i'm sorry(?) if i came off as condescending, but i am on multiple forums and frequently put up with people younger and older than me acting like little brats. i wasn't trying to offend anyone.

    an update on the search..
    after searching, ebay seems fruitless, as does craigslist (cept for that trek for 100).. i looked on performancebike.com (thanks to berge), and found a few that fit my price range and needs... i'm still open to suggestions and any finds... any tips and pointers are appreciated..

  34. #34
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    This is why you should get a used bike, and why you should obey the sticker on dept. store bikes"not for off-road use", this is a post in the dh/fr thread


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9w3Gbur74o&NR=1

  35. #35
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    Got any older out of college biking buddies?

    At over 6' you will never be as happy on one of those one size fits all department store bikes as you will on one that actually fits.

    If you can't find something used that comes in your size and is of decent quality, can you bum some parts off of a buddy? Do you have a buddy with tools that could help you put something together?

    I've bought two of these off of ebay and they are very high quality. I'd go for the 22" at your height. The seat tubes do not slope much at all even though the ad says otherwise. Yeah, I know it's only 1/2 way there, but if you could bum a few parts and get someone to help with tool loans or assembly you could maybe make it work. Most of us bike nuts that have been out of college a while have tons of stuff in boxes that are just too low end to sell on ebay. Alivio / Altus drivetrain parts, OEM saddles, half used tires we didn't like the tread pattern on, low end non-disc wheels, etc. Or if you find a nice used bike well under budget, but the wrong size you could maybe move the parts over and sell the wrong sized frame.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-MTB-Columbus...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-SS-Single-SS...QQcmdZViewItem

  36. #36
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    Please just buy a used mt bike off ebay or c-list. It's not even safe to ride a dept store bike off a curb....and those 1 size fits all bikes will only make riding suck even more. You prolly need a L or XL size frame at your height, and the 1 size fits all bikes are more like a small or medium. You will be in pain just from riding it around town, even if it doesn't crack from riding it off a curb.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  37. #37
    Dirt Deviant
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    The bike Bluetrain posted will be 1000X better. If its not available anymore, look for a deal like this.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

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