Brand new. Do not laugh. I need a bike for under $300- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brand new. Do not laugh. I need a bike for under $300

    I know some of you guys are hardcore, but I do not have $2500+ to drop right now. I need to start exercising so I want to get a bike. I do not want to spend a lot in case I do keep up with it. I do not know anything about bikes. I will want a mountain bike of some sort, but I will mainly ride thru the streets in the early morn. I know I can buy a couple bikes from Dicks Sporting Goods within my range, but I do not know where to start.

    For my price range:
    1.) what bikes should I consider? Who are good manufactures?
    2.) what bikes should I NOT consider? Who are bad manufactures?
    3.) where is a great place to buy a bike? online vs. local stores
    4.) other factors to consider being brand new?
    5.) what are the most important features of a bike? (brakes, seat, shocks???)

    I am 30 years old.
    Male
    215lbs.
    5' 10"
    I live in Kansas so everything is very flat here; if it matters. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

  2. #2
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    I was walking by a sports store.

    Big sign bikes for sale.

    I bought one for $229.

    Piece of ****, put 500 km on it.

    Gave it to my daughter for University commuting.

    She rode for a year.

    Some ******* tried to steal it and just broke the lock.

    Gave it to the nephew, far as I know it is still rolling.

    Can't remeber the brand.

    Get the drift.

  3. #3
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    Glad your looking to ride a bike...$300 will get you a very entry level new bike that is really not designed to be rode on anything more than dirt roads. But if that is all you are doing, then you should be OK. Pretty much any brand found at a local bike shop will be quality...but my personal favorites are Specialized, Trek, Fisher, Kona, and Jamis. If your going to look online, Ibex seems to get the best reviews.

    You may want to look for an '05 or '06 closeout, as you may be able to score a $400-$500 bike for your $300 budget. These bikes will be much more trail worthy (especially at the $500 level). For your budget, look only at bikes with a front suspension fork only...no full suspension at this price level will be worth a darn (new at least)

    One other option is to look at used. Buying from a private party is always risky, and you wont get a warranty...BUT you can score some pretty good deals. Also, see if you have a local bike shop that sells used bikes. They usually go through the bikes and make sure nothing is wrong...and often at least offer a short (30 days or so) warranty.

    Good luck

  4. #4
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    thank you both so far. I know the money is not alot but I just dropped 10K on hospital bills on my wife and do not have any play money.

    thanks so far and keep it coming folks.

  5. #5
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Check craigslist for a used one, or Costco for a good entry level one. (I like Costco's return policy).

    Stay away from Wallymart, Target, etc...
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  6. #6
    ay Diablo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    Check craigslist for a used one, or Costco for a good entry level one. (I like Costco's return policy).

    Stay away from Wallymart, Target, etc...
    I second the costco Idea. My brother and two brother in-law started out on costco bikes (2
    motiv vortex and Mongoose Pro). They are all still going. My brothers is 6 years old, the only thing that wore out was the headset (but that was due to maintance, my brother doesn't do it ) and he upgraded the fork and shock after having the bike for 3 years. Still rides it around town, and a loner bike for friends when we hit the trails. The mongoose Pro was given to me this month (it was heavely used by my 6'3" 230lbs brother in-law for 6 years, he rides daily, on the streets and trails). He's replaced the crank, and rear derrailer because of the heavy use. I did a quick tune up, and now it's a great loner bike to get my friends started into mtn biking.
    Last summer Costco had a farly light decent speced hard tail, for a good price. I haven't seen what they are offering this year.
    And the return policy is second to none.
    "You know me, I'm too lazy to carry a grudge". Sid the Sloth

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  7. #7
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    hmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    Check craigslist for a used one, or Costco for a good entry level one. (I like Costco's return policy).
    And if your real lucky, it will be assembled by the same guy who puts the barbecues together!

    If you go the Costco route, put aside $50-$80 to get a proper tune up...their builds are SCARY!!!

  8. #8
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    I started on a 2004 Haro V2 and love it. Got it on close out for around $250. New 2007 models go for around $350 and come with disc brakes. I'm sure you could find an 06 for around $300.

  9. #9
    The Mud Stud
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    I can sympathise with you, since Ive been through this before. Here, my friend, is what you seeketh.
    http://www.forgebikes.com/
    There was a thread going a while back on these things, supposedly they are pretty good. Specs are really great too. I cant find it on targets website, so it may be discontinued, but go ahead and give forge a call {number at bottom of page} and ask. If you can find it, then yes it is worth it. If not, no sweat, get something like a specialized or something the guys here reccomend, that should do.

  10. #10
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    Hi there, Its great that you want to start biking. And, you probably can do alot with the $300....if you negotiate about the bike being brand new...

    let me give you my view step by step.

    For $300 the following brands may be interesting options:

    Brands:
    - Iron Horse (Warrior or Maveric)
    - Diamondback (Response, Sorrento)
    - K2 (Zed)
    - GT
    - Even Giant.

    Almost all the major brands make some low priced bike for the starting out entheusiasts.

    Search Process:
    - Search all the local bike store if they have any 2005/2006 leftover or not.
    - If you like something, try to understand how flexible the store is about the price. if you see a weakness.....go with cash the next day and tell them that you will pay them with cash right away.......money talks sometime...
    - Check craiglist.com or local newspaper.....Or post an ad in local bike clubs/groups/communities about what you are looking for.
    - check ebay. its better to be sure about your sizing though. here is how it may work, online sopping does not allow you to find the right fit. so, Pick a bunch of bike that you can afford or like on the internet (ebay)...then, try those brands out locally, either borrowing from friends or going to a local bike shop (or big chain stores). this way you will know your size and get a good price from ebay...
    - Check Dicks Sporting Goods stores...I have recently seen a nice Iron Horse Warrior Team on sale (upstate NY) for about $300 ($299 to be exact)...it was marked down from $500...its a decent bike for waht you want to do. Dicks Also had a few Diamondback response and Sorrentos....Response is a bit on the heavy side...but a decent bike. response is more like a recreational bike.

    Look for with a price range in mind, not a set price. That will give you more flexibility


    some random bike deals from websites.......


    Good quality GT bike: no bling bling, but it is more than enough for what you want to do. Also, I did business with this ebay seller, he is very decent. and he has different sizes available too.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/GT-Avalanche-2-0...QQcmdZViewItem
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  11. #11
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    THANK YOU ALL SO FAR. this is some great stuff and really giving me a place to start. I have a local shop that sells trek but that is all I have local. Please keep the info coming.

  12. #12
    Cuαnto pesa?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Bringer
    I can sympathise with you, since Ive been through this before. Here, my friend, is what you seeketh.
    http://www.forgebikes.com/
    There was a thread going a while back on these things, supposedly they are pretty good. Specs are really great too. I cant find it on targets website, so it may be discontinued, but go ahead and give forge a call {number at bottom of page} and ask. If you can find it, then yes it is worth it. If not, no sweat, get something like a specialized or something the guys here reccomend, that should do.
    Temporarily out of stock..Target should have the Forge SawBack 5xx in around mid April..
    Its a great Bang-4-da-Buck deal..

    Jake..

    EDIT: Correction =
    Quote Originally Posted by cooke
    Hey guys, I just got word back from Forge Bicycles. They expect to have Target restocked with 5xx bikes in early April.
    Last edited by Jake Pay; 03-21-2007 at 01:33 PM.

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    *************************************
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    And if your real lucky, it will be assembled by the same guy who puts the barbecues together!

    If you go the Costco route, put aside $50-$80 to get a proper tune up...their builds are SCARY!!!
    A Costco bike is no different then a mail order bike (other then Costco "thinks" it's ready to ride ) that are dealer ready. You either have to take it to a bike shop, a friend that knows bikes, or tune it your self.
    "You know me, I'm too lazy to carry a grudge". Sid the Sloth

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackde
    just for general information, the website i posted listed it at $320 dollars with free shipping and no tax.. 289 +60 dollar shipping is way more than that

    PS. costco bikes are no different than walmart bikes, they both suck.

  17. #17
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    Not true at all

    Quote Originally Posted by farmboybunk
    A Costco bike is no different then a mail order bike (other then Costco "thinks" it's ready to ride ) that are dealer ready. You either have to take it to a bike shop, a friend that knows bikes, or tune it your self.
    Actually, many of the internet bike shops do a pre-assembly and tune either included in the price (Ibex for instance) or offer it. Its my understanding that even Forge bikes pre-assembles and tunes their bikes before the show up at Target. So while a little assembly is required, it is not a full dealer assembly. Any fairly competent person can do it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Actually, many of the internet bike shops do a pre-assembly and tune either included in the price (Ibex for instance) or offer it. Its my understanding that even Forge bikes pre-assembles and tunes their bikes before the show up at Target. So while a little assembly is required, it is not a full dealer assembly. Any fairly competent person can do it.
    Thats exactly what I'm getting at, any competent person can tune it. And most dealer ready (like what randall scott ships, etc..) bike just need the stem set strait and titghtened, pedals and wheels installed, light brake and drive train tune up, and you're ready to rock.
    "You know me, I'm too lazy to carry a grudge". Sid the Sloth

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo

    PS. costco bikes are no different than walmart bikes, they both suck.
    Ya, no bike from either place is going to be great. but at least Costco has the nice return policy if the bike doesn't work out. Also depends on what they are offering since it changes month to month. The three bikes that I've seen from there weren't half bad. You do have to compare apples to apples, the three bikes i say were $200 or below (and where better then any walmart bike i've seen period, even for more money). So compareing them to $300 and above is double there price. One of them a Mongoose Pro had alvio components and a truvitia crank, and mavic 139 wheels, not bad for $200.
    I'm not a pro costco by any means , but just adding what i've experienced (well actually whet i've seen since i've never bought a costco bike).
    Last edited by farmboybunk; 03-21-2007 at 07:55 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Wow, I highly doubt that costco could have truvativ and alivio for 200, but it might be possible.

    Specialized doesn't get alivio until you pay over 400 bucks.
    Most bike shop bikes are still acera until the high 300s.

  21. #21
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Big difference between dealer ready and cust ready

    Quote Originally Posted by farmboybunk
    Thats exactly what I'm getting at, any competent person can tune it. And most dealer ready (like what randall scott ships, etc..) bike just need the stem set strait and titghtened, pedals and wheels installed, light brake and drive train tune up, and you're ready to rock.
    Wow, apparently your not aware of how a "dealer ready" bike comes. It doesn't need just a basic tune, it needs a complete tune!

    Dealer ready bikes will need the following:
    Hubs adjusted
    Wheels trued and tensioned
    Cables stretched
    Derailluers adjusted (often front derailuer needs positioning)
    Brake pads adjusted (for rim brakes)
    Front brake cable installed
    Brake cables adjusted
    Handlebars and stem installed
    Headset adjusted
    Pedals installed
    Bottom bracket torqued (and threads greased if not done so from factory)
    Crankarms torqued
    If bottom bracket is adjustable, adjusted
    Seatpost and seat installed
    Shifters and brake levers aligned
    Cable housing often needs to be trimmed
    Hydro Disc Brakes often needs housing trimmed and/or bleed
    Rotors installed on disc brakes
    Pedals installed

    A customer ready bikes usually needs this:
    Attach front wheel
    Attach handle bar and stem
    Adjust headset
    Install pedals
    Install seat and seatpost
    Install front rotor (if disc brakes)

    A customer ready bike has been built and then repackaged so all the other adjustments have been made.

    BIG DIFFERENCE!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Wow, apparently your not aware of how a "dealer ready" bike comes. It doesn't need just a basic tune, it needs a complete tune!

    [
    A customer ready bike has been built and then repackaged so all the other adjustments have been made.

    BIG DIFFERENCE!
    Thanks for the clarification. I bought a bike in the past that said it was dealer ready, and came customer ready. I was under the impression thats what dealer ready meant .

    Edit: Heres what Randall Scott says about Dealer ready
    If you purchase your bike in "dealer ready" condition, professional assembly by a qualified bike professional is required:

    Install saddle to seat post and seat post to frame.
    Install Handlebar on stem and stem on fork.
    Adjust headset.
    Install front wheel in fork.
    Install pedals to crank arms.
    Inspect cranks and bottom bracket.
    Connect and adjust front brakes.
    Adjust rear brake, front and rear derailleurs and shifters.
    Inspect wheels for true and round condition and adjust if necessary.
    Install reflectors and inflate tires.
    Last edited by farmboybunk; 03-21-2007 at 08:21 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Wow, I highly doubt that costco could have truvativ and alivio for 200, but it might be possible.

    Specialized doesn't get alivio until you pay over 400 bucks.
    Most bike shop bikes are still acera until the high 300s.
    It's out in the garage right now . You can doubt, but I have no reason to lie, at least that I know of . It also had a Manitou comp fork, and is farly light, for being a inexpensive bike. Thats what i'm saying, you can find a decent bike at costco. But not always, but they are there, or have been in the past.
    Thats the power in buying bulk, and not a lot of over head.
    Last edited by farmboybunk; 03-21-2007 at 08:26 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmboybunk
    Edit: Heres what Randall Scott says about Dealer ready
    If you purchase your bike in "dealer ready" condition, professional assembly by a qualified bike professional is required:

    Install saddle to seat post and seat post to frame.
    Install Handlebar on stem and stem on fork.
    Adjust headset.
    Install front wheel in fork.
    Install pedals to crank arms.
    Inspect cranks and bottom bracket.
    Connect and adjust front brakes.
    Adjust rear brake, front and rear derailleurs and shifters.
    Inspect wheels for true and round condition and adjust if necessary.
    Install reflectors and inflate tires.
    Well, that would be the equivalent of a Costco build...and yes even the bike boxes will say this. But any competent LBS will do a much through build. Randall Scott is doing their customers a dis-service by listing basically the minimum build.

    A little background...I spent 1995-2003 working as a bicycle mechanic, service manager, and warranty manager. I've probably built over a 1000 bikes in my life so I've learned a thing or two over the years.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Well, that would be the equivalent of a Costco build...and yes even the bike boxes will say this. But any competent LBS will do a much through build. Randall Scott is doing their customers a dis-service by listing basically the minimum build.

    A little background...I spent 1995-2003 working as a bicycle mechanic, service manager, and warranty manager. I've probably built over a 1000 bikes in my life so I've learned a thing or two over the years.
    Sounds good, my back ground is I grew up on a farm and use baleing wire, duct tape, and JB weld to fix everything Ya, as you can tell I don't have tones of experience building bike, but I'll never shy away from learning. I bought all the tools (or made them) to service my own bikes and families, minus a trueing stand, but still true my wheels the best I can. And I don't have a clue how to build a wheel. But Derailleur, cranks, and forks and shocks that are user serviceable, I can do.
    Last edited by farmboybunk; 03-22-2007 at 07:39 AM.
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  26. #26
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    you might be able to find a '06 Gary Fisher Tarpon for around $300 or a '06 Trek 3700 for around the same price. Just a thought.

  27. #27
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    I think buying through your local bike shop is the WAY TO GO. When I was in college I had 100 and less to spend. I went to Walmart and bough an 80 dollar full suspension Next bike that weighed 40 pounds!!! I learned how to mountain bike on it. Beleive it or not, it actually had Shimano Deore components. After 2 years of owning it, it was stolen and I upgraded to a Fisher with money I had saved.

    If you are excited and motivated ANY fat tire bike will take you where you want to go.
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  28. #28
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    i would look on ebay, you should be able to find a near new hard tail with disc brakes for around that price. granted it won't be XT components but something to start with.

    for example i recently picked up a barely used specialized rockhopper disc for just over $200 shipped and used it as a parts bike so the deals are definitely out there

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    And if your real lucky, it will be assembled by the same guy who puts the barbecues together!

    If you go the Costco route, put aside $50-$80 to get a proper tune up...their builds are SCARY!!!
    dude... I used to assemble the barbecues at costco.... AND the bikes...

  30. #30
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    My first bike was a 2005 schwinn mesa gsd. That I still have that I use to road ride with some slicks. I got it in mid 06 for 399 from a lbs. b4 I turned that bike into a road bike I took it everywhere. I mean everywhere from shuttle runs to 15 miles of rocky single track I love the bike. There is a guy selling new 2005 mesa gsd on ebay for $270+ shipping. If you have any doubt on this bike dont. I will get you thr and back. Its a really good bike for the money I think its even worth more than it is being sold for. Good luck with what ever you buy I will most likly pick one for my son in a few weeks. Ben

  31. #31
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    Here is what I have so far.

    I have been reading a lot and want to get something within a week. Here is what I have so far. What should I mark off the list and or consider really highly.


    http://www.khsbicycles.com/04_alite_300_06.htm
    KHS – Alite 300 - $329

    http://www.khsbicycles.com/02_fxt_trail_06.htm
    KHS – FXT Trail - $359

    http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....=7&category=55
    Iron Horse- Maverick Trail 2006 - $299

    http://www.thebicycleoutlet.com/inde...shop&Itemid=32
    Schwinn Mesa GSD - $319.00

    Trek 3700 - $325 Local bike shop – New

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...tain/10/28397/
    Giant – Boulder SE - $325 Local bike shop.

    http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...archId=2141953
    Jeep – Scrambler Full – 299.99


    http://www.forgebikes.com/
    Sawback 5xx or the 7xx. Do not know where to buy. Or how much.



    I am 5’ 10” 215lbs. Need to loose weight. Mainly street riding, every once in a while I will go out on trails, but nothing too big.

    Is it worth the extra $50 or so to buy at a local shop compared to online stores?
    What size do I need (19”)?
    Any thoughts?


    Thanks.

  32. #32
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    I was going to suggest the giant boulder se, then I saw it on your list. It's one I'd be considering. Giant seems to give one a bit more bang for their buck.
    '07 Marin Rift Zone
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  33. #33
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    Forge Bikes are sold by Forge via Target.com. Yeah, I know... a retail store. Big deal, if you search you'll see a lot of people are starting to come around on this bike design and quality. Only "immediate" problem is they are waiting on the new 07 shipment to come in. Should be between April 7-15 sometime. If you go to Forge's website you'll see a link to the Target site to buy one when they become available again. I looked at your list of bikes and I like the Schwinn a lot, but I'm kinda waiting to see what Forge has in store for 07. The design of the bikes is also changing a little for 07... their site should be updated with the new pics and stats when the shipment arrives. We'll see I guess.

  34. #34
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    you might consider a Diamondback Sorrento. I picked one up last summer for some mild trail riding here (finally broke my very old school Diamondback against a sleeper rock up at Annadel here in Santa Rosa). For generally pumping around town and getting off into the dirt it has been good enough; less than $300 at the local Sports Authority which did a good build on the bike. I am over 200 pounds. I have about twelve hundred miles on it so far and everything still works fine; I do my own adjustment as I have done for more than forty years now. The Sorrento is not a "rip-your-head-off" tech marvel but it is a good enough bike for me; it is a helluva lot more bike for the money than more money could have bought ten years ago so I think it's all relative when you get to the "elitist" perspectives so common today.

    just a thought.

    ben

  35. #35
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    thanks for all of the advice

    Well story has an ending... I was able to buy a slightly used (24 total miles) "07 Gary Fisher Cobia" from my boss who did not like it for $350. So I went over my original budge, but considering the deal I go there was no way to pass it up. This thing looks flawless and showroom new still. Weather was crap here this weekend but I still rode 10 minutes check to get a feel for it. I am very happy and will post from time to time when on adventures.

    travismp is ready to tear up some crap trails around Kansas!

    Thanks again to all with the info!

  36. #36
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    Nice bike!

    That bike lists for almost $1000. You got a steal on a nice 29er. Enjoy it.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  37. #37
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    Keep me posted on the Forge 07's, I have the 06' (5xx and M Street), of which I'm very impressed. Definitely quality bikes. I'm curious to see what they do for 07'. Best of luck.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
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    have you looked at craigslist.org ?

  39. #39
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    I was in the same boat when trying to find a bike for my GF. We ended up spending a little over 300 ($320) for a Trek 3700. But we were also looking at the Gary Fisher Mako (no suspension) or the Trek 820 (hardtail). IMO if you are just gonna be riding on the streets you don't need a suspension depending on how rough the roads are by you. Jamis also make some bikes in your range. My sis has a Jamis Ranger 1.0 that she picked up for I think 289 ( I know it was under 300). Good luck.

    Steve
    Last edited by jetfan2207; 04-10-2007 at 10:39 AM.

  40. #40
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    HI Everyone. I am in the same league and looking for a decent bike. I'm more inclined towards iron horse as it seems better brand and have budget upto $400. I liked the disc brakes. Do they really make a noticable difference? Also how reliable are the various websites for buying online specifically http://www.rscycle.com and http://www.bicycleblowout.com/ironhorsemtb_07.htm .
    My other concern is regarding full suspension bikes. How effictive they are and which bikes have reliable suspensions.
    I've been researching for past week now and this website and forum is the best source i've found so far. I hope to learn a lot from here.
    As for my requirements. I am 5'11" tall 200 pounds and want a bike to drive around as form of excercise and go to trails on weekends.

  41. #41
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    Iron Horse outlaw

    Can anyone provide reviews for Iron Horse Outlaw bike. It looks decent to me at a great price of $279 http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050.
    I could not find latest reviews even on mtbr. Maybe someone can shed some light on this bike.

  42. #42
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    A 2007 Specialized Hardrock Sport goes for $360.00. I know it is a bit over what you stated in your thread but the extra 60 bucks I believe is worth it for this bike, I bought a 2006 last year and it is a tank of a bike (this bike will chew through the trails, at least mine does! )

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider
    A 2007 Specialized Hardrock Sport goes for $360.00. I know it is a bit over what you stated in your thread but the extra 60 bucks I believe is worth it for this bike, I bought a 2006 last year and it is a tank of a bike (this bike will chew through the trails, at least mine does! )
    I agree wholeheartedly. I got my wife an 06 Specialized Hard Rock Sport Disk for $380.00. She is very happy with it, and I thought that we got a great deal.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by palamrinder
    Can anyone provide reviews for Iron Horse Outlaw bike. It looks decent to me at a great price of $279 http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050.
    I could not find latest reviews even on mtbr. Maybe someone can shed some light on this bike.
    I saw reviews somewhere that outlaw used same frame with warrior but components are
    Iron Horse Maverick Team

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimguroo
    I saw reviews somewhere that outlaw used same frame with warrior but components are
    Iron Horse Maverick Team
    Thanks kimguroo. On other note how are the components on Maverick 5.5. i am getting one for $359(origianally $549) from performance bikes. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050
    I tried it yesterday and it felt nice, but then its my first time buying a bike. My LBS was selling Giant Yukon for $470 and it seemed to have similar components. Also i saw some full suspension iron horse selling for $449, but going by advice from pros here on mtbr, a FS bike in that price range is not a good option to go for. So I am sticking to hardtail and really like the iron horse bikes. Does anyone here own a Maverick 5.5? will it serve the needs of a newbie? i'll be driving it on ramp on weekdays and on trails on weekends.
    Also wanted to get feedback on 2006 IH Warrior http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050 for $449
    Last edited by palamrinder; 04-11-2007 at 09:43 AM.

  46. #46
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    In comparing the Giant Yukon vs. the Iron Horse, I would get the Giant Yukon over the Maverik 5.5. I rode the older Yukon's and liked them.

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