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  1. #1
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    First mountain bike - help me decide!

    Sticking to a strict <400 dollars limit
    Looking for a hardtail
    26 or 29 inch doesn't matter
    Looking for in stock Size 19"
    Looking for online retailer

    Trying to find a good entry level bike for sale new online that has a decent set of parts but my main problem is that I don't know enough about parts to be able to tell which is better. I have had some suggestions for the 450ht by motobecane from bikesdirect and am leaning that way at the moment. Given my criteria is there any other bikes that are comparable, better, or that I should be considering for any given reason?

  2. #2
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    Airborne Skyhawk--$350 shipped. On sale.
    RockShox XC 28TK-- $79 Bluesky
    If you are over 175 go with a 32TK for less flex.

  3. #3
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    If the $400 limit is strict as you say, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there is no better option than the current steal on the skyhawk for $350 shipped, just have to add pedals $20. That leaves you $30 for gloves, grips, accessories, or to find a great deal on a helmet or camelback.

  4. #4
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    How about considering a used bike?

    I really don't recommend buying online unless you've tested the fit/ride of the same bike at a store first.... frame sizing is never consistent between brands.

  5. #5
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    Is Wal-Mart a definite no

  6. #6
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    The skyhawk looks pretty interesting, would it be a better component list than the 450ht?

    I don't use riding shoes yet so would I be able to find a half decent pair of pedals for a very low price at say my LBS?

    I have been looking at used bikes but the one's i have been finding on craigslist have been either too used or too close to the msrp for my liking.

    A wally bike is a no as it is what i currently have (or had till it got stolen lol) and even buying their most expensive hard tail model I had nothing but trouble with the thing. For the price though it was a good bike for me to learn on.

    EDIT - I notice the airborne sabre is a very affordable bike, if i downgraded to it from the skyhawk I would save a decent penny. How much lower tier are the parts? Would it disappoint me, a rider who sticks to mainly trail riding and some light commuting?
    Last edited by doctadocta; 09-08-2012 at 08:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    So if you are looking at 400 as a max pretty much no matter what bike you look at is going to have entry level parts. If you are trying to save money so you can get clip less pedals you can find decent deals online but the shoes are also a hefty expense I recommend looking into that. I am not sure what the bike market is like where you are but I bought a stump jumper off of Craigslist for under 400 and it was a really decent bike with disc brake and xt components but I live in a very biker friendly area. This would be my recommendation. I definite recommend riding one before you buy one.

  8. #8
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    Platform pedals even with cast pins and any trailrunning type shoe with some lugs will work.
    There are pedal threads under most sections. There is alearning curve with platforms. Keep your heels low and you will develop the skills and stick without being bounced.

  9. #9
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    I picked up mine from a used bike place by the university. Lots of choices there and ended up buying an "old" 99 Klein Mantra for $500, which was a good deal IMO since they go for around $700-800 used around here.

    The shop did a full tune up, with a 30-day warranty, plus I have the option of upgrading it through them to any other bike just by paying the difference (within 1 year). They did have a very nice GT for like $700.

    What I'm getting at is to shop around... no point rushing in without trying out bikes and find one that fits you comfortably before you make a choice.

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