Need help deciding on beginner bike...-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Need help deciding on beginner bike...

    Hiya! My name is Katie & Iím new to the world of mountain biking. Iíve been doing a lot of research online about what kind of bike to purchase...From what I can gather, I should look for hydraulic disc brakes, derailer hanger, quick release, modular & bolted crank & chain assembly, threadless stem & headset, 1x drivetrain (apparently itís easier & less scary?), and hardtails over dual suspension...? But thatís only what google says! I want some opinions from people who have been in my shoes before & can point me in the right direction. The closest one I can find to these ďrequirementsĒ is the DRT 1.1 at REI, but I cannot find many reviews on this bike. IĎm really just looking for an ďinexpensiveĒ trail bike (being a newbie I want to make sure itís something I stick with before forking over $$$) that Iíll be able to make upgrades on as I get better. Iíd appreciate any help I can get about brands, what to look for, or even good places to purchase one. This is all so new to me! Iím short (5í4Ē) & while I have some muscle to me I donít weigh much so Iím thinking Iíll need a smaller/lighter bike..?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Hi.. welcome always super to see new people interested in the sport...

    the Co-op bike your looking at is about what one expects at this sort of price.. unfortunately for various entry bikes are not that easy to upgrade later on (straight steerer tubes , QR wheel mounts..etc.)

    in my humble opinion the REI bike is the kinda bike you give it a go for a year and if you've enjoyed it you flog it on for whatever you can get and buy a new $2K~ bike...

    HOWEVER.. I looked at REI's site and from what I say they have XS , M and L non of which are the right size for you XS 5' - 5'3" and medium 5'6" to 5'9"

    a bike that doesn't fit is never a good deal as it won't be fun / safe ...

    maybe look at the Liv Temp it is a women specific design the low spec Temp 3 is in the ball park price wise.... it is again kinda be a starter bike that if you are into it you'll want to sell on and get something better next year or whenever. The Small size temp 3 should be a good fit..

    Depending on how much you think you could get into this and your budget..(my wife rides a VERY nice one of these) The Liv Intrigue is a really solid trail bike my wife has a Intrigue advance 0 which is a SPENDY bike.. but the alloy Intrigue 3 at $2100 (yes I know that is a lot)... it is a solid bike that would likely be good for you for several seasons or more to come.

    two ways to go entry bikes are basically not really worth upgrading or go ham and shoot up near about ~$2k price point and get something pretty well sorted and pretty upgradeable down the road. .. the entry bike you basically ride till your skills overtake them and then buy a new bike...
    Last edited by atarione; 04-28-2020 at 08:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Reputation: phlegm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Welcome! I'd say first that you have a fairly random mix of "features" found online. Some are modern standards, some may be found for a bit more money, and some may never be listed in a bike's specifications. Instead of trying to tick the boxes on your list, I'd stick with a reputable bike manufacturer and seller. This should net you a bike with some maintenance and warranty assurances, along with a good initial fitting. Spend to your budget, and consider the convenience and friendliness of the bike shop should you need future service.

    Re sizing, I take @atarione's point, but sizing charts have always been a crapshoot. The XS size might be ideal for you despite being 1" larger than the guidelines, and S might not be as good - or vice versa. As a new rider, on a new brand you're going to have to test these out in person, with someone who knows what they're doing. I'll also call out a couple of things:
    • If a bike fits you, it fits you. A woman does not need a female-specific bike. All the women I ride with have "male" frames.
    • Smaller people can still ride and enjoy 29ers (bikes with larger wheels).

    I would agree that buying an entry level bike with a view on future upgrades can be tricky, and completely agree with @atarione: buy an entry level bike for now, and then revisit later on if you decide that MTB is for you.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Do you have a dollar amount in mind? As in most things you get what you pay for. Most entry level bikes aren't really made to ride dirt trail ride . The forks that come on them don't last or really work if you ride them on bumpy trails. The way that the bikes are designed don't put you in a good position to move your body like you need to. Saying that you can have fun on one , if you buy one don't plan on upgrading ,you might change the saddle and pedals but those can be moved to another bike. If you know someone who is already into mountain biking ,they might be able to help you find something used. That might be difficult because of the size . Those things you found on google ,most either come on most bikes or are nice to have. Disc brakes ,most bikes cheaper ones might have cable operated ,but those can be okay. Quick releases can come on wheels and seat posts, although they have mostly gone away on wheels on better bikes. Better bikes have thou axles .The other type of bottom bracket ,is one piece ,those are on really cheap bikes ,but there are different types modular cranks sets ,again cheaper have the old style square axles ,those work as long as the bolts don't get loose. On those you can find riveted on chain rings ,you don't want that . If you wear out one of the rings ,you have replace the whole thing. Thread less headsets come on better bikes , cheaper bikes use a older style that can work fine as long as you keep it adjusted right. 1 by 12 drive systems come on pricier bikes ,you could find 1 by 11 or 10 or 2 by 10 or 3 by 8,9 or 10. All of those can work well or not ,again depends on quality . Hard tail vs full , it takes more money to buy the same equipment on a full vs a hard tail, they lo take more upkeep .One more thing, it's only a bike , as long it fits and is safe you can have fun.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I suggest this bike once it comes back in stock. M or W.
    It has an air fork. This will be completely adjustable for your weight. It has rebound damping and a tapered steerer tube.
    It has a Boost 15 x 110 front wheel and hub. That's current.
    It has 30mm inner width rims to handle wider tires. More traction and less crashing.
    It has 2x9 drive train with a freehub not a freewheel rear cluster.
    It ships to you in as little as 4 days with free shipping and no tax.
    Get on the email update list for the next shipment of bikes.
    It's out of stock because its popular as a good value.

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