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  1. #1
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    Justifying an expensive bike

    I'm really interested in getting a new bike and I've already spotted a few that I would love to have but I just can justify paying $1000 for a bike. Did any of you have this problem when you first started out? I don't know if I'm just being really cheap or if it really is impractical. Any advice to take the leap forward?

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    well, I first started out as a child. I think my first 'real' mountain bike was a Specialized Hardrock. It cost about $450 at the time and back then I loved that ride. These days, I won't ride that bike anymore. it's an alright bike for the price and I seem to see a lot of them, but you simply can tell the difference when you ride a $1000 bike. It doesn't mean you won't have more or less fun necessarily, but I personally like my bike a lot. I ride a Norco Range 3, but you can still find great $1000 rides. It's just much better..

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    When people ask me about bikes, I usually tell them, just like computers, buy as much as you can afford. When doing this, it keeps the user from out growing the equipment and also limits the needs for upgrades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    I'm really interested in getting a new bike and I've already spotted a few that I would love to have but I just can justify paying $1000 for a bike. Did any of you have this problem when you first started out? I don't know if I'm just being really cheap or if it really is impractical. Any advice to take the leap forward?

    First I'd say an expensive bikes does not a mountain biker make. Fitness and skill can be developed on a $500 bike.

    Having said that, for $1,000 you are paying for a bike that will not become obsolete in 6-months, does not weigh more than a bucket of leadshot, and that will stand up to to a fair amount of use before parts start to break down. If you end up riding a lot of miles, eventually you need to replace derailleurs, cables, shocks, etc. Better quality components on a more expensive bike will weigh less and tend to last longer saving you $$ in the long run.

  5. #5
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    Find a shop that will let you finance it, so you can pay it off by saving up and putting away a certain amount each check. If you dont work, get a job =)

    And yes, like they said, get the best bike you can afford. If you really like mountain biking, here is how you justify:

    - It will be a hobby for years to come, and that purchase will fund the majority of your expenses (although you will be dropping $ every now on then on upgrades/tools/replacements.

    - It's great cardio, and a great leg work out. It is a great way to get in shape,or keep you in shape if you ride consistently.

    - Its a beautiful hobby. You are outside doing something! Not watching a tv or playing video games or looking at forums =P. After I got into biking I might as well have canceled my cable and sold my PS3, I dont need them anymore! It's much better to be outside flying through a beautiful trail and testing your limits.

    - I used to always sit around bored and say, what should I do? There is nothing to do in the middle of nowhere. Now I can't find enough free time to get out and ride.

    - Try cutting back on a few things to justify. I cut back on eating out and stopped buying movies/games. I cut my food costs almost in half by eating healthy food instead of eating out a lot and that helped me fund my first bike.

    Those were my justifications. I'm sure there are many more from others.

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    mvallejo nails it. What an excellent post. I don't think I can add to it, really.

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    #1. This happened to me finnally upgraded from Walmart bike I was like WTF why so much of my Monies??

    #2. Then I almost purchased a reasonbly priced mountain bike at $500 but decided to sleep on it and do some research before spending the cash. Turn out the Trek 3900 2011 Disc only has Single wall Rims. Something my 220lbs would have bent and tac'ed on my first jump

    #3. Then I considered correct frame sizing. Turns out "cockpit" size and top tube size are much more important than just stand over. I got the right size feels perfect can handle jump dive me and the bike are one.


    #4. Then I considered actual daily use. Well 99% of my riding is Street city Urban riding. With a light trail or 2 once a year or twice. 26" MTB tires loose energy and are slow for street riding 700x37c slicks work out best. So much faster, MTB's for daily stret urband rides make no sense. Much like you won't see road bikes on trails or taking jumps.

    #5. I needed to spend an Extra $200 to get the bike that was right for me. And Every penny was worth it. Really Its an Investment pay for quality.

    #6. Paying for upgrades in my case the next level up bike was $300 more and All I got was Hydraulic brakes and some better components. I would have spend the extra cash, Because The upgrades make your bike "you own" and are worth the money but that bike was Red only color choice. So now I have to spend (If I want) $150 on hydraulic brakes. Not counting LED lights etc. So go ahead and justify the "investment"
    Last edited by Ice Cold; 07-17-2011 at 06:24 PM.

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    That's a sweet looking bike Ice. However it sounds like you should have gone fully rigid. Especially if you ride 1 or 2 trails a year. Rigids work on trails too! Nonetheless, I'm sure it works great and it looks awesome.

    And like Ice said, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Every time I get a bike, it takes me about a month to decide That's probably too long as I can never make a decision, but you get the point. Compare not only bikes but shops against each other. Dont be afraid to ask for opinions about bikes. And be ABSOLUTELY sure your bike fits you, and you are comfortable on it. A wrong sized bike is a nightmare.

  9. #9
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    Its easy, for bikes the old saying rings true, "you get what you pay for"

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    I'm on my 6th bike in 14 yrs, with numerous upgrades and tweaks on the later bikes. Being fairly frugal in general,
    I've always struggled, sometimes a lot, with the bigger outlays. I could still be riding
    my 2nd or 3rd, they were good bikes. I rationalize it in the following ways:

    I can afford it.
    It's my only real extravagance.
    I ride often, and it's good for me.
    Other's pay more for golf or health clubs.
    I do all my own wrenching, and buy used frames/components when it makes sense.
    I'm (your advanced age here). If I keep waiting, I'll be to sick or decrepit to enjoy this newer, funner stuff.
    The more I spend on bike stuff, the better I ride (half true)

    So if you like it, are going to use it to ride more and get better, and can afford it, then buy it.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  11. #11
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    I spent $2,200 for my first MTB, I rode it for five years and sold it for $800.00. Spend the most you can afford, it will be cheaper in the long run.

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    OP, you definitely seem like you are past the 'test out a junker to see if you like the sport' phase
    at this point, I would say get waste deep rather than just testing the waters with your toes when purchasing our next ride.

  13. #13
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    I made some cuts to get my current bike, and every single one of them was well worth it. I enjoy riding it so much, and love the feeling after a really hard ride, where you are all hot and sweaty and stink really bad.

    Get what you can afford. If you can only afford a wally world bike, so be it. If you can afford a bike that is over a grand, go for it. If you love the sport, you can justify it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ice Cold View Post
    #1. This happened to me finnally upgraded from Walmart bike I was like WTF why so much of my Monies??

    #2. Then I almost purchased a reasonbly priced mountain bike at $500 but decided to sleep on it and do some research before spending the cash. Turn out the Trek 3900 2011 Disc only has Single wall Rims. Something my 220lbs would have bent and tac'ed on my first jump

    #3. Then I considered correct frame sizing. Turns out "cockpit" size and top tube size are much more important than just stand over. I got the right size feels perfect can handle jump dive me and the bike are one.


    #4. Then I considered actual daily use. Well 99% of my riding is Street city Urban riding. With a light trail or 2 once a year or twice. 26" MTB tires loose energy and are slow for street riding 700x37c slicks work out best. So much faster, MTB's for daily stret urband rides make no sense. Much like you won't see road bikes on trails or taking jumps.

    #5. I needed to spend an Extra $200 to get the bike that was right for me. And Every penny was worth it. Really Its an Investment pay for quality.

    #6. Paying for upgrades in my case the next level up bike was $300 more and All I got was Hydraulic brakes and some better components. I would have spend the extra cash, Because The upgrades make your bike "you own" and are worth the money but that bike was Red only color choice. So now I have to spend (If I want) $150 on hydraulic brakes. Not counting LED lights etc. So go ahead and justify the "investment"



    my bikes is a 2011 Cannondale Quick CX 3, with Continental 700x37c slick tires.



    with her trail shoes on, Continental Double Fighter 2's 700x37c

    https://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e.../Capture12.jpg
    Isn't that a CX bike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Fluid View Post
    Get what you can afford. If you can only afford a wally world bike, so be it. If you can afford a bike that is over a grand, go for it. If you love the sport, you can justify it.
    +1

    ...and there should be a relationship between how much you ride and how much you choose to afford. Nobody needs a $5K bike to ride a couple times a year, unless $5k doesn't mean much to you.

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    i rode the cheapest entry level full suspension mountain bikes my local bike stores had cheapest one store had was $1,650 specialized camber comp, and a the other shop had a scott genius 50 for $1,900 left over on sale.

    i then test rode some craigslist bike and decided to buy a used one. i should also mention i went to walmart and tried some of their FS bikes and knew they we not for me... the airshock makes suck a difference.

    some of these used bikes people payed 3-4k for and bearly rode them and after a couple years sell them for 1k or less, i think buying used is a good option for you, it was for me

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfox90 View Post
    Isn't that a CX bike?
    That's just Cannondale's labeling.

    This is a CX bike.


    Kona Jake 008 by Andrew183, on Flickr

    If I decide to be serious about a 'cross season and have a little extra money to bolt onto it, I'll get it a compact crank instead of a triple, and a carbon fork. It's already got drop bars and, in this picture, appropriate racing tires for the beginning of the season.

    Ice Cold's would be legal to race in domestic events, as are most mountain bikes without bar ends, but the nature of the courses is such that a fully rigid drop bar setup is usually better.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaGunSlinger View Post
    i rode the cheapest entry level full suspension mountain bikes my local bike stores had cheapest one store had was $1,650 specialized camber comp, and a the other shop had a scott genius 50 for $1,900 left over on sale.

    i then test rode some craigslist bike and decided to buy a used one. i should also mention i went to walmart and tried some of their FS bikes and knew they we not for me... the airshock makes suck a difference.

    some of these used bikes people payed 3-4k for and bearly rode them and after a couple years sell them for 1k or less, i think buying used is a good option for you, it was for me
    There is a huge difference between a Camber Comp, and the garbage that they sell at wally world. We all know that, of course. I was just surprised to see someone post it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    That's just Cannondale's labeling.

    This is a CX bike.


    Kona Jake 008 by Andrew183, on Flickr

    If I decide to be serious about a 'cross season and have a little extra money to bolt onto it, I'll get it a compact crank instead of a triple, and a carbon fork. It's already got drop bars and, in this picture, appropriate racing tires for the beginning of the season.

    Ice Cold's would be legal to race in domestic events, as are most mountain bikes without bar ends, but the nature of the courses is such that a fully rigid drop bar setup is usually better.
    I know what a CX bike is. I was looking into getting one myself to hit the road with and maybe do some racing I was just confused because it kind of looks like a cross bike except the fact it has disc brakes which is illegal and the shock threw me off.
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  20. #20
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    There was a rule change for last season, and discs are now legal in UCI-sanctioned events.

    In the US, they've always been legal except in events that selected for internationally competitive teams. Our rules for various kinds of bike are much more permissive.

    'Cross racing is fun, especially if you've got a lot of top-end power. It's fun to see all the roadies getting dirty.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    when i first started to get back into mtb'ing, i thought the same thing- i couldn't justify spending near 1k on a bike. i agree with spending the most you can for a bike but also compare a lot too. take a look at a $900 bike and then also a $1200 one- for you, are the upgrades really worth it. you'll see the more expensive one will have a better fork and better components but the $900 one will still perform well.

    also, imo, what you can afford doesn't include financing or charging something. affording something means you have the 1k in the bank or just flat out burning a hole in your pocket.

    you'll notice pretty big differences between $500 and $1k bikes- then you will again when you get to the $1500 or $1700 bikes.

    regardless of what you choose, enjoy it and don't look back- hindsight can get you pretty good when spending a decent amount of cash.

    good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Fluid View Post
    There is a huge difference between a Camber Comp, and the garbage that they sell at wally world. We all know that, of course. I was just surprised to see someone post it.


    getting my 1st bike i didn't realized how much of different there was, everyone i talked to who didn't ride said go to sport authority or dicks or walmart they have some nice bikes now, i have to test ride everything so i could see for my self and how many new guys do you see buying 300 full suspension bikes cause they look like the real deal.

    all i'm saying is if you think the nice bikes at the bike shops are over priced, ride the junk they have at walmart and you see why the expensive bikes are priced the way they are

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud Gecko View Post
    Its easy, for bikes the old saying rings true, "you get what you pay for"
    +1



    Don't go into silly debt, but get as much as you can afford. If you ride a lot you will definitely get your money's worth.

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    Pay enough to buy a bike that will last, buying Wal-Mart brand is a bad idea if you want to keep up the hobby.

    Mountain bikes are not like computers, they do not become "obsolete". The analogy is a terrible one. If I install a new program in an old computer, it won't run. If a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it'll go up the same mountain in 2011.

    I bought a Hardrock on CL for $200 a year ago, and it's worked great, and even if it needs anything, the parts are generally pretty cheap. There is NO amount of logic that can prove spending $1500 on an expensive bike with quality parts that last longer will save money.

    I outride people with disc brakes, carbon parts, full suspensions all the time. Instead of worrying about justifying an extra $1000 to save 5lbs on a bike, go out and ride and get in shape and lose 10 lbs. After a couple years of doing that, I can sell my bike, and lose no more than a few hundred invested and upgrade when it's justified.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris948 View Post
    Pay enough to buy a bike that will last, buying Wal-Mart brand is a bad idea if you want to keep up the hobby.

    Mountain bikes are not like computers, they do not become "obsolete". The analogy is a terrible one. If I install a new program in an old computer, it won't run. If a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it'll go up the same mountain in 2011.

    I bought a Hardrock on CL for $200 a year ago, and it's worked great, and even if it needs anything, the parts are generally pretty cheap. There is NO amount of logic that can prove spending $1500 on an expensive bike with quality parts that last longer will save money.

    I outride people with disc brakes, carbon parts, full suspensions all the time. Instead of worrying about justifying an extra $1000 to save 5lbs on a bike, go out and ride and get in shape and lose 10 lbs. After a couple years of doing that, I can sell my bike, and lose no more than a few hundred invested and upgrade when it's justified.
    While this partially true, and it's mostly the rider and not the bike, biking is a sport where equipment certainly does matter. Case in point: getting up a hill again and again on a Giant Boulder with X3 parts is much harder than getting up the same hill with a Giant Anthem with X9 parts, regardless of the rider. A year ago when I made the move from a 26 to a 29, my very first lap on my 29 I cut my fastest time on my local trail down by over 3 minutes (from 33 to about 29 minutes... I know short trail).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris948 View Post
    Pay enough to buy a bike that will last, buying Wal-Mart brand is a bad idea if you want to keep up the hobby.

    Mountain bikes are not like computers, they do not become "obsolete". The analogy is a terrible one. If I install a new program in an old computer, it won't run. If a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it'll go up the same mountain in 2011.

    I bought a Hardrock on CL for $200 a year ago, and it's worked great, and even if it needs anything, the parts are generally pretty cheap. There is NO amount of logic that can prove spending $1500 on an expensive bike with quality parts that last longer will save money.

    I outride people with disc brakes, carbon parts, full suspensions all the time. Instead of worrying about justifying an extra $1000 to save 5lbs on a bike, go out and ride and get in shape and lose 10 lbs. After a couple years of doing that, I can sell my bike, and lose no more than a few hundred invested and upgrade when it's justified.
    While this partially true, and it's mostly the rider and not the bike, biking is a sport where equipment certainly does matter. Case in point: getting up a hill again and again on a Giant Boulder with X3 parts is much harder than getting up the same hill with a Giant Anthem with X9 parts, regardless of the rider. A year ago when I made the moved from a 26 HT to a 29 HT with much better components, my very first lap on my 29 I cut my fastest time on my local trail down by over 3 minutes (from 33 to about 29 minutes... I know short trail).

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris948 View Post
    Mountain bikes are not like computers, they do not become "obsolete". The analogy is a terrible one. If I install a new program in an old computer, it won't run. If a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it'll go up the same mountain in 2011.
    Weird... I can't install disc brakes on my early 90's mountain frame...

    You say that if a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it will go up the same mountain in 2011. I agree. Same mountain... so if a computer ran Window 98 and Office 95 in 1998, it will still run Windows 98 and Office 95 in 2011. That's not the argument.

    But... if you want to run the newest software and hardware, it will only run on the newest computers.

    By the same token, if you want a comfortable ride on a full suspension and you don't want peddle bob, you want to run 9x2 gears and great shifting, you'll have to pay to play. Yes, a full rigid 26 with 3x7 will go up a mountain, but it may not be as comfortable as one that you spent a few more dollars on...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvallejo View Post
    Case in point: getting up a hill again and again on a Giant Boulder with X3 parts is much harder than getting up the same hill with a Giant Anthem with X9 parts, regardless of the rider.
    Absolutely, never said it wasn't easier with a more expensive bike. Thing is, "harder" is a good work out, and any noob will be that much stronger after a couple years of "harder" when his/her skills have improved to where they don't need to start a thread about why they should buy a more expensive bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    Weird... I can't install disc brakes on my early 90's mountain frame...
    Funny, I've never been on a trail where disc brakes are required, so my bike isn't obsolete.

    I do however use programs that my old computers won't run, and the old programs aren't supported anymore, so my computers are obsolete.

    Justify a $1000 or $5000 bike any way you want, but in reality unless you're at some level of pro racing, it's because you want it, not because you need it.

    Edit: Full disclosure, I'm not all that. I recently got smoked by a tremendous rider who was riding a SS 29'er, he was pretty happy with it and told me where I could get the frame and build one like it for less than $1k
    Last edited by Chris948; 06-19-2011 at 08:55 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    Weird... I can't install disc brakes on my early 90's mountain frame...

    You say that if a bike went up a mountain in 2001, it will go up the same mountain in 2011. I agree. Same mountain... so if a computer ran Window 98 and Office 95 in 1998, it will still run Windows 98 and Office 95 in 2011. That's not the argument.

    But... if you want to run the newest software and hardware, it will only run on the newest computers.

    By the same token, if you want a comfortable ride on a full suspension and you don't want peddle bob, you want to run 9x2 gears and great shifting, you'll have to pay to play. Yes, a full rigid 26 with 3x7 will go up a mountain, but it may not be as comfortable as one that you spent a few more dollars on...
    I go up and down all the time on full rigid 26" bikes with 3x7 and have a blast on them. Nobody here may remember it but first generation xtr still shift likes a champ. Mountain biking is about more than just comfort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris948 View Post
    Funny, I've never been on a trail where disc brakes are required, so my bike isn't obsolete.
    You're not riding in the right places or going fast enough. LOL
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    To my friends I usually suggest a progression - decent bike in $500 that has industry standard parts, that can handle dirt paths and properly sized; learning to wrench it, so you know how all the bits work and do not leave stupid money at a bike shop, figuring out what kind of riding you would like to do. Then getting a ~$1000 hardtail, and keeping the first bike as a commuter. A year or so later - then they know what they want.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    You're not riding in the right places or going fast enough. LOL
    People had been racing downhill with canti brakes. That said, modern mechanical disks are simple and perform well.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    I'm really interested in getting a new bike and I've already spotted a few that I would love to have but I just can justify paying $1000 for a bike. Did any of you have this problem when you first started out? I don't know if I'm just being really cheap or if it really is impractical. Any advice to take the leap forward?
    Getting back on the original topic, it occurs to me that good equipment for any sport or outdoor activity does not come cheap. Serious hunters will drop serious coin on a rifle. Some fishermen probably spend more on their boat and gear and radar and depth finder than they'll ever get back in terms of fish that they catch. And I probably don't want to even look at the price of high-end golf clubs.

    Whatever the activity, having good and reliable gear contributes to one's enjoyment. The thing with bikes is possibly that we are conditioned to think of bikes as inexpensive objects from having seen row upon row of bikes selling for $59.99 at the local, big-box store. We spend $1000, and our neighbors picture a $59.99 price tag and wonder about our sanity.

    OP, what bikes are you looking at for $1000? Do you have a specific model in mind?

  34. #34
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    Oh damn, if $1k is a lot I've WAY overspent then

    Seriously, if you're only now getting into MTBing it may be hard to justify spending that much if you're not sure you'll really like it and stick with it, on the other hand, if you only spend $500< and like it in short order you'll be spending more than $1k for sure on upgrades or a new bike So it's really hard sometimes to decide which route to go.
    Problem is that when you're now starting out you have no clue about fit and what suits your riding style etc, so hard to drop big $$ on a big that you may not jive with, so in this case best to get a nice as you can HardTail for around $500 and give it a go, or better yet find a nice used HT for even less.

    For me I spent about $700 US on my first bike, it had Alivio grade parts and when someone who rides saw it they told me that if I rode it like they thought it's be toast in under a year, well they were right. I really enjoyed MTBing and in the first 10 months put 1800 miles on it and all parts were toast, so ordered a much nicer LX level Giant Trance for $1500, ended up upgrading most all parts to XT (so prob another $1k spent on it) and that survived for about 2+ years. Then I bought a 29er FS for around $3k with a mix of LX/XT parts and that worked until last year when I bought a nice AM 29er HT and transfered over all the nice parts from the FS and sold the FS with other parts I had lying around.

    So think clearly and honestly about if you will get into this and ride your bike 3+ times a week, or if you'll just be the guy who hops on on the weekend. Also remember, that compared to a lot of other sports, MTBing is relatively inexpensive and damn good for your health and mental well being
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    I see it as if you want to get Into the sport and end up really liking it you'll wish you bought a better bike. If you don't really get into it you'll have a bike that will last you a really long time instead of a cheap one you'll have to replace every few years

  36. #36
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    $1000.00 isnt' an expensive bike, that is a good starter bike.. by the best bike you can afford, upgrades get expensive real fast.. Happy Trails
    Four wheels transport the body,

    Two wheels transport the soul !!!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Oh damn, if $1k is a lot I've WAY overspent then
    I have stopped counting. It is better that way. It is also easier as I build all my bikes from parts, but probably each one of the seven I currently have is between a thousand and three thousands worth..

    Still much cheaper then a whole lot of other popular hobbies, and healthier.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Still much cheaper then a whole lot of other popular hobbies, and healthier.
    And the health benefits essentially make cycling even cheaper yet. All I need to do is to avoid something like diabetes and the associated medical costs, and I've probably more than paid for all the bikes I own twice or thrice over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    And the health benefits essentially make cycling even cheaper yet. All I need to do is to avoid something like diabetes and the associated medical costs, and I've probably more than paid for all the bikes I own twice or thrice over.
    Well, that is arguable. I know a guy who can no longer walk from a fall that looked rather basic, but the result was quite detrimental. I do it more as a pleasure sport rather than something to stay healthy. If I wanted to be safe while exercising, I'd get a treadmill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Well, that is arguable. I know a guy who can no longer walk from a fall that looked rather basic, but the result was quite detrimental. I do it more as a pleasure sport rather than something to stay healthy. If I wanted to be safe while exercising, I'd get a treadmill.
    I know a guy who fell on a treadmill and ... You could say that about any type of physical activity. Biking is a great way to get in shape and a fun way to do it too. You don't see many mountain bikers driving a cart at the grocery store cause they are too fat to walk. Just sayin.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Well, that is arguable. I know a guy who can no longer walk from a fall that looked rather basic, but the result was quite detrimental. I do it more as a pleasure sport rather than something to stay healthy. If I wanted to be safe while exercising, I'd get a treadmill.
    Treadmill? And all the knee overuse injuries? I will pass.

    Cycling is reasonably safe by any account. Yes, there are safer ways to exercise, but one really have to compare that to other ways of having fun, not just getting some workout. Compare it to taking recreational drugs, like alcohol, or riding ATVs, or going to a shopping mall.

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    What do you mean by can't justify? Can you not afford it or will someone harass you for spending the money or what? Will parrot what everyone else has said - buy the nicest bike you can afford based on how much you plan on riding. Also how long you will keep the bike.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oatbag View Post
    What do you mean by can't justify? Can you not afford it or will someone harass you for spending the money or what? Will parrot what everyone else has said - buy the nicest bike you can afford based on how much you plan on riding. Also how long you will keep the bike.
    Even many enthusiasts around here are perfectly happy with a rigid 29r hardtail. Which can be had for a very reasonable price - and it is a huge fun to ride.

    Common problem is that new riders do not often realize what they need to pay money for. Like when a good fitting hardtail with a good fork and tires can be more comfortable to ride then some crappy full suspension that they had been talked into.

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    I guess "nicest" really needs more definition. A bit vague for sure.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Treadmill? And all the knee overuse injuries? I will pass.

    Cycling is reasonably safe by any account. Yes, there are safer ways to exercise, but one really have to compare that to other ways of having fun, not just getting some workout. Compare it to taking recreational drugs, like alcohol, or riding ATVs, or going to a shopping mall.
    A treadmill wasn't the best alternative recommended for safe work outs. I understand your point, and it is rather valid. I stopped smoking since I started riding, so it definitely saved me there.

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    Just last year in 2010 I decided to get a Trek 6000 hartail for $900, $969 with tax. I regret that purchase alot now as I realize that with a few more dozen dollars or even hundred more I could have gotten alot better bike. My bike has a shitty Rockshox Dart 3 fork, my bro has a bike that retailed for 950(2009 Gary Fisher hardtail), and he has a Rockshox Tora SL fork and entry level hydraulic disc. Same story with my friend who I helped find for $460 a 2006 GT hardtail worth 1055 new, it has a much better Toro 312 fork. I have tried their bikes and their forks are alot more plush and smooth, mine is really jerky and in-effectual, it beats up your arms and upper body real quick on the rocky terrain of Northern NJ and makes downhill treacherous, not only do I have to worry about the back end jumping around, but the front as well.

    The thing is, according to the people on this forum, they will always tell you to spend as much as you can afford. But like I said my friend bought a bike from some guy for $460, who only rode it once or twice, and it was spotless, scratchless. You could end up like that Craigslist dude, selling a moderately priced bike for less than half of retail years later, who knows. If you are lazy, love staying indoors, very out of shape, maybe it is better for you to stay cheap and used, to determine your commitment level. Or maybe you can just rent a bike for one day from a local bike boutique and determine if you are into it or not.
    Last edited by RoyFokker; 06-20-2011 at 08:13 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Just last year in 2010 I decided to get a Trek 6000 hartail for $900, $969 with tax. I regret that purchase alot now as I realize that with a few more dozen dollars or even hundred more I could have gotten alot better bike. My bike has a shitty Rockshox Dart 3 fork, my bro has a bike that retailed for 950(2009 Gary Fisher hardtail), and he has a Rockshox Tora SL fork and entry level hydraulic disc. Same story with my friend who I helped find for $460 a 2006 GT hardtail worth 1055 new, it has a much better Toro 312 fork. I have tried their bikes and their forks are alot more plush and smooth, mine is really jerky and in-effectual, it beats up your arms and upper body real quick on the rocky terrain of Northern NJ and makes downhill treacherous, not only do I have to worry about the back end jumping around, but the front as well.

    The thing is, according to the people on this forum, they will always tell you to spend as much as you can afford. But like I said my friend bought a bike from some guy for $460, who only rode it once or twice, and it was spotless, scratchless. You could end up like that Craigslist dude, selling a moderately priced bike for less than half of retail years later, who knows. If you are lazy, love staying indoors, very out of shape, maybe it is better for you to stay cheap and used, to determine your commitment level. Or maybe you can just rent a bike for one day from a local bike boutique and determine if you are into it or not.
    Thats what I'm worried about, not that I wont be interested in biking or whatever, I love the outdoors but that I'll make a stupid mistake like buying a new bike and learn later on that I only thought it was great because I've never ridden anything better. I convinced myself that its worth spending around 1k on a bike, mvallejo comment helped a lot, the only thing really holding me back is whether I'm really getting my moneys worth. Like, I keeping thinking "man bikes in walmart or w/e look just as good for less than half the price" I was dead-set on getting a Revel 0 before I learned that the dart 2 fork is ****. I think I just need to do more research, review every part of a bike and see how it really holds up.

    I'm interested in the Felt Q620, I've read mtbr reviews on it and its all positive but the fork is SR Suntour SF-XCM and its just short of $1000 at my lbs. If you guys had to buy new and had a 1k budget do any bikes comes to mind? Hardtail or full suspension, either would be fine.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    Thats what I'm worried about, not that I wont be interested in biking or whatever, I love the outdoors but that I'll make a stupid mistake like buying a new bike and learn later on that I only thought it was great because I've never ridden anything better. I convinced myself that its worth spending around 1k on a bike, mvallejo comment helped a lot, the only thing really holding me back is whether I'm really getting my moneys worth. Like, I keeping thinking "man bikes in walmart or w/e look just as good for less than half the price" I was dead-set on getting a Revel 0 before I learned that the dart 2 fork is ****. I think I just need to do more research, review every part of a bike and see how it really holds up.

    I'm interested in the Felt Q620, I've read mtbr reviews on it and its all positive but the fork is SR Suntour SF-XCM and its just short of $1000 at my lbs. If you guys had to buy new and had a 1k budget do any bikes comes to mind? Hardtail or full suspension, either would be fine.

    I have last year's Q520. I quite like it. I'm guessing the fork on the 620 is the next model up from the 520s fork... still likely to leave something to be desired though. There are definately great things about the bike and a few areas that beg for some upgrades (tires, seat, fork).

    Is that $1000 USD? Seems a bit high...

  49. #49
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    I just went through a similar situation (i.e. buying my first bike in a very long time). I tried my hardest to support my local LBS. Went to every single one. 3 of them (all owned by the same person) felt like I was going to a car dealership. Even though they had a Felt I actually really liked, I passed due to the "vibe". 1 really only seemed to cater to experienced riders, i.e. kind of made me feel dumb. Another sounded great on the phone, made the 40 mile drive, only to find them closed (voice recording said they were open). And the last one, which is only 4 miles from my house was great! A very small shop, family owned, staff just oozes passion. But when I went to order a bike, he couldn't as Scott was sold out. But I did buy the wife a Scott Sub 30.

    So that left me with REI. And the more I think about it, the more I agree that for a first time buyer, it is not a bad place at all to buy from. I am not suggesting to abuse their policy. But use it. You can buy a bike with 100% confidence that if you don't like it, you can get your money back, downgrade/upgrade etc.... My local REI has a pretty good staff, and decent wrenches.

    Just a suggestion. And if I get flamed, I am good with that!

  50. #50
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    At $1000, I'd be pretty focused on the suspension fork. It's enough money that a few bikes will have Toras and Recons, some will have Darts, and some will have Suntours. Toras and Recons should perform at least acceptably out of the box, and can be fitted with a very well-reputed damper to make them into a pretty kickass trail/XC fork. Having to change out the suspension fork gets more expensive, though, and for many people it seems to be a bit of an emotional barrier. (Roy, if you like your friends' forks better, why not buy one? They're not that expensive if you don't want them to be...)

    The top three most expensive parts of a bike are probably the frame, fork and wheels. Order varies. Wheels are really as durable as the build, so if your shop throws them up on a stand, checks tension, and tunes them up before you leave with the bike, they should give you a good, long service life. And getting the right frame is why everyone tells you to test ride.

    The other stuff - it's nice to have a nice drivetrain and nice brakes, but those things can be repaired or upgraded relatively cheaply, piecemeal, as they fail or whatever. Even a fairly cheap drivetrain should be good for at least the season with halfway decent maintenance. Expensive cockpit parts are, to me, a little silly. But you can do those one at a time too. Leveraging the bike companies' buying power to get a good frame, fork and wheels, right from the beginning, will stretch your buck the furthest.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    At $1000, I'd be pretty focused on the suspension fork. It's enough money that a few bikes will have Toras and Recons, some will have Darts, and some will have Suntours. Toras and Recons should perform at least acceptably out of the box, and can be fitted with a very well-reputed damper to make them into a pretty kickass trail/XC fork. Having to change out the suspension fork gets more expensive, though, and for many people it seems to be a bit of an emotional barrier. (Roy, if you like your friends' forks better, why not buy one? They're not that expensive if you don't want them to be...)
    At $1000 you can get On One 456 frame, Sektor RL coil fork (got mine from Universal Cycles with their coupon), and cheap single speed drivetrain, BB7 brakes, cheapest wheelset and all the bits from the bottom shelves on the internet. That will be a kick-ass ride that you will keep even after getting some fancy stuff. I have a similar setup with a bit more expensive TransAm frame. Ride it more often then fancy full suspension.

    $50 more gets you '08 Jamis Xam 1.0 on Jenson. DHX air 4.0, Marz 55 AM TST2, Juicy 3.. 160mm both ends. Perfectly nice all around bike.

    Personally, I would just start from a rigid 29r, like bikesdirect's Dawes Deadeye. $340 of fun.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppy View Post
    I have last year's Q520. I quite like it. I'm guessing the fork on the 620 is the next model up from the 520s fork... still likely to leave something to be desired though. There are definately great things about the bike and a few areas that beg for some upgrades (tires, seat, fork).

    Is that $1000 USD? Seems a bit high...
    Yup, in Canada its $900 before tax so about $1200 after. And when you think about it, the stock fork sucks and for a hard tail, a few years ago I could have been riding some top notch bikes for 1k. And I don't want to get a Q520 because the stock fork is also **** and according to mtbr reviews leaks oil...seriously not even a damn $100 walmart pos bike would have the problem. This entire process is really irritating, I haven't found a single bike that makes me feel like I'm getting my moneys worth. Either crap fork or the frame looks like a 10 year old walmart bike like the Revel 0... I'd be really interested in some suggestions.

    EDIT: No offence to revel owners, commenting on a bikes looks while disregarding the specs is pretty shallow.
    Last edited by nikojan; 06-20-2011 at 10:55 PM.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    At $1000 you can get On One 456 frame, Sektor RL coil fork (got mine from Universal Cycles with their coupon), and cheap single speed drivetrain, BB7 brakes, cheapest wheelset and all the bits from the bottom shelves on the internet. That will be a kick-ass ride that you will keep even after getting some fancy stuff. I have a similar setup with a bit more expensive TransAm frame. Ride it more often then fancy full suspension.

    $50 more gets you '08 Jamis Xam 1.0 on Jenson. DHX air 4.0, Marz 55 AM TST2, Juicy 3.. 160mm both ends. Perfectly nice all around bike.

    Personally, I would just start from a rigid 29r, like bikesdirect's Dawes Deadeye. $340 of fun.
    I'm annoyed as is that I have to pay in excess of 2k for a decent full suspension bike, I'd rather buy a $100 walmart pos with chinese manufactured garbage for suspension then a 29er without any at all.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    I'm annoyed as is that I have to pay in excess of 2k for a decent full suspension bike, I'd rather buy a $100 walmart pos with chinese manufactured garbage for suspension then a 29er without any at all.
    What exactly are you planning on riding that you NEED a FS?

  55. #55
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    Pretty rough trails and some decent jumps.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    I'm annoyed as is that I have to pay in excess of 2k for a decent full suspension bike, I'd rather buy a $100 walmart pos with chinese manufactured garbage for suspension then a 29er without any at all.
    You do not have to pay in excess of 2K for a decent full suspension bike. The one I have linked is quite decent.

    Full rigid steel bike is a whole different kind of fun, maybe not your kind of fun, as it seems - but I would recommend trying it out. Nice steel frame and decent tires beat bad fork any day of the week. Heck, people pay thousands for custom rides of that kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    Pretty rough trails and some decent jumps.
    Perfect terrain for a steel rigid.

    J/K of course.. you are the only one who knows.. I am just a dude on the interweb.
    Last edited by Axe; 06-20-2011 at 11:08 PM.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    You do not have to pay in excess of 2K for a decent full suspension bike. The one I have linked is quite decent.

    Full rigid steel bike is a whole different kind of fun, maybe not your kind of fun, as it seems - but I would recommend trying it out. Nice steel frame and decent tires beat bad fork any day of the week. Heck, people pay thousands for custom rides of that kind.
    The 456 frame is limited at 20" which is too small for me (6"5). Either way though building a bike will almost def end up costing more and I'm not equipped to do it anyways. Best case scenario, someone on craigslist offers a bike in my size that I can snatch up. I've tried a steel bike before, you can't ride one on a trail for more than 5 minutes without killing your wrists.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikojan View Post
    The 456 frame is limited at 20" which is too small for me (6"5). Either way though building a bike will almost def end up costing more and I'm not equipped to do it anyways. Best case scenario, someone on craigslist offers a bike in my size that I can snatch up. I've tried a steel bike before, you can't ride one on a trail for more than 5 minutes without killing your wrists.
    24.5" top tube is close to as big as it gets. Yeah, building up is best with somebody who can help around. I learned by a LOT of trial and error.

    Not sure about your wrists, mine seem fine, but as I said - different kind of fun.

    With 25"+ top tube - not sure what to recommend. But 29r definitely seems like a good idea..

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