Bike purchase help?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chillout's Avatar
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    Sep 2010

    Bike purchase help?

    Hello MTBR community. My name is Mike and I live in central NY Syracuse area. I am looking to get a good starter bike if not this year then next spring. Just looking for some input as to what I should be looking for. Thanks for any input you have.

    1) Your budget. How much do you have to spend on the bicycle (not including accessories such as helmet, gloves and other accessories).

    $400-600 Might possibly spend more if it is needed.

    2) What bikes, if any, are you already considering? (Please try to limit the selection to a handful if at all possible, and provide links to those bikes. Remember, we don't always know the exact specs of all the bikes out there!)

    Not sure, I have a walmart Mongoose xrcomp FS and I'm sure I want to upgrade to something more trail friendly asap.

    3) What type of riding do you intend to do? (e.g. Cross Country, Freeride, Downhill, paved paths)

    Not many trails around me but I'd like to start on some easier mountain trails and then get into some more advanced trails.

    4) Do you have a preference over a hardtail or full suspension?

    Whatever will be best for my size and ride style. I was thinking hard tail would be better, but not sure.

    5) Age, weight and height. (In many instances very important for a variety of reasons).

    I'm 26, 155lbs and 5'7.

    6) What sources will you consider buying from? (e.g. Your Local Bike Shop, online vendors, or used bike sources such as mtbr classifieds, craigslist, ebay and others)

    I'm checking CL, looking on bikesdirect, as well as talking with some of my local bike shops but I want to find the best that I can afford and then buy from whoever sells it cheaper

    7) Do you want people to offer you alternative suggestions to issues such as budget, bikes already considered, and sources?


  2. #2
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Post in the Beginners Forum

    This is a really common question and asked very, very frequently. Don't overthink this.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chillout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    I figured I would get an answer like that. But I was hoping if I was me specific then maybe I could get some ideas that were geared toward what I should get. I don't have much experience with mtb's so not sure where to start. I guess I will go and talk to the lbs techs. Thanks

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    If you only have $400 to $600 get a hard tail.
    New is good you get a warranty and back up service from LBS. Second hand can be very good value. LBS give good advice. See if they offer free maintenance. Some shops offer varying amounts of servicing from one free service to a couple over a year. Other offer 10% any parts you buy there in the future.
    Lots of shops have sales at this time of year to move last years models.
    If you ride in the wet or mud then disc brakes are good but cheaper ones can be harder to set up. At least get a bike with disc brake mounts and wheel hubs. Most should have.
    I would go for a Rock Shox Tora fork over a Dart if I could.
    Some people like Bike Direct bikes others do not they do seem to be "fair" value for money. I would only do the internet purchase if you know how to do minor maintaince your self and be prepared for warranty problems (if there is any) to take longer to solve (and remember you have to pay the return postage on a warranty claim). Also REI Performance etc
    I doubt you will get a specific brand model to buy. There are so many. Any hardtail cross country bike will serve you well. Avoid Hybrid comfort bikes.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Since you're not in a rush to buy, just keep an eye on craigslist. Look for recent models - 2 or 3 years old max. Look up potential listings on You should be able to determine age by color/stripes. It also shows the stock components.

    Check the surrounding cl's, too. It may be worth it to drive a little if you run across a good bike.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    go check this out:

    then go test ride a trek 4300 and a specialized rockhopper / hardrock in your size. buy the one that feels best.


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