Help getting started- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help getting started

    Complete newbie to real mountain biking... Ive owned some department store bikes (including a JEEP bike if you can believe it, a "wrangler tsi") but nothing serious since the bmx bikes I used to have. Im trying to figure out what kind of bike would suit me best. Dropped my beater off to the local bike shop to have a rim straightened and found myself picking up a bunch of brochures on the way out. So far I've been most interested in hard tails. Currently own a full suspension and want something a little faster and lighter, and it seems a hard tail would be the right choice but I want to make sure Im pointed in the right direction... To be honest, I wont be spending a bunch of time trail riding (Im from ohio...) so the bike will spend at least half of the time on pavement. Still, I want a quality bike thats fairly light and nimble (for a mountain bike), not a big heavy clunker like what I have now. Any suggestions? Feel free to ask questions if I havent given enough info... I really dont know exactly how Id classify my riding habits though. When I eventually buy I doubt Id spend much more than 5 or 6 hundred, but could end up with something lightly used from ebay. Thanks for any help

  2. #2
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    Got another question though while Im at it... Are cheaper disc brakes just gimmicky or worth it? What about mechanical vs hydraulic?

  3. #3
    Nanook of the north.
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    Although I am sure you are far ahead of me in terms of technical aspects of bikes, I am sure you will be able to find in some of my threads some of the answers you're looking for. I'm a new cyclist, and I'm looking to make my first purchase on a mountain bike. Unlike you, however, I am not looking to buy a new bike -- sorry, you said you are considering a used bike, my bad.

    You'll find some EXTREMELY helpful people here willing to go out of their way to give you what you need. I wish you all the best!!!

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forums

    A good hardtail with disc brakes is a good place to start. As for suggestions, there are far too many makes and models to begin making a recommendation. I would suggest that you read up on the different types of riding, and the bikes that would suit that purpose. To give you a start, a large percentage of riders do Cross Country (XC) or All Mountain (AM) riding. This basically entials taking your bike out into the woods and riding the trails. The LBS you took your bike to for service should be able to show you some nice XC hardtails. As for disc brakes, go to the Brake Time Forum here on mtbr and click on the FAQ in the upper right hand corner. That will give you a wealth of information to start with.

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

  5. #5
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Shop around LBSes, test ride all you can, get a feel for what you like and don't like in a bike...
    from there, talk to us, talk to local riders, check craigslist for deals, and you'll end up with the right bike more likely than not.

    Figuring out what YOU want in a bike is more important than anything else for you at this point.

    regarding disc brakes, moving from non-discs to discs, even lower end ones, will be a nice change for you.. I would not worry too much about brakes at this point, especially for the kind of riding you are looking at.
    (personal example: my bike came with Hayes bottom of the line hydros, and they are way more confidence inspiring than any of my previous, non disc brakes)

  6. #6
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    Well, I guess I'll start with the disc brake question- The turth of the matter is that manual discs can be highly effective is set up and tuned right. I upgraded to hydraulic discs a few seasons back due to a season-end sale but not because of lack of performance from my manuals. Unless you are doing some heavy downhilling, a properly tuned manual disc will provide more than adequate stopping power.

    Onto your bike question, you are wise to consider a hardtail based on your budget. In the 5-6 hundred dollar range, you will find many well spec'ed options. While you failed to get into the type of riding you intend to do mostly, I would look into Ibex, Iron Horse, maybe Woodstock. Here are some links:

    http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....&category=-112

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-550-Details.html

    http://www.woodstockbikes.com/505/505.htm
    Ever been to Mountain Bike Tales Digital Magazine? Now if only the print rags would catch on!

  7. #7
    ride hard take risks
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    What brands does your LBS carry
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  8. #8
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    Thanks guys for all the tips, you're probably right that I should do some research and narrow my field before coming back with specific questions. Twisted, the 3 bikes you linked basically show me that there is a much wider selection of hardtails out there to be looking at than I had thought; I hadnt even heard of woodstock to be honest. The reason I asked about the mechanicl discs is because on a trip to Banff Canada I rented a mountain bike for a day with disappointing discs on it. They seemed much smoother than regular brakes but with less stopping power (definitely couldnt endo or anything if I had tried...). The guy at the shop said it was because the brakes were new and hadnt broken in yet. Anyway Ill keep looking and post back. Just wondering about your thoughts on two models Ive come across. First, the Haro base level escape (they have a new 07 line out) looks pretty sweet. Are these overpriced because of the name? Does anyone know what price I'd be looking at for one? Its probably way out of my price range, because the only price I did find was for the escape comp and it ran close to a grand. Also what about the Ralleigh 8.0, seems a little cheaper and my bike shop told me that they offer the most bang for the buck right now. Thanks again

  9. #9
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk87
    Im a little confused on the rim sizes of these things. Ive been seeing a lot of 20" bikes... Is that the norm for hardtails? There was a Raleigh Mojave 4.0 I was looking at in my bike shop, and it too had 20" rims. Probably seems like a ridiculous question but its had me wondering...
    There are alot of numbers to break down. A standard mountain bike usually has 26 inch wheels, there are some manufactures making 29 inch wheels nowadays but the standard is 26.

    Frames are sized in numbers & size, Sm-Md-Lg-Xl or 13-15-17-19-20.

    Back to your Haro question, the Escape is a FR/DJ type HT. Haro makes quality bikes that are up there with the likes of Giant & Trek. When buying a major brand you will pay for that name that is why the component spec is lower then the likes of Ibex or Woodstock.


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  10. #10
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    Im a little confused on the rim sizes of these things. Ive been seeing a lot of 20" bikes... Is that the norm for hardtails? There was a Raleigh Mojave 4.0 I was looking at in my bike shop, and it too had 20" rims. Probably seems like a ridiculous question but its had me wondering...

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Regular is 26" for men... sometimes 29" for those who want it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk87
    Im a little confused on the rim sizes of these things. Ive been seeing a lot of 20" bikes... Is that the norm for hardtails? There was a Raleigh Mojave 4.0 I was looking at in my bike shop, and it too had 20" rims. Probably seems like a ridiculous question but its had me wondering...
    The 20" you saw is referring to the seat tube length, not the size of the wheels.

    Almost all mountain bikes have 26" wheels, so bike shops don't even bother listing the wheel size (but there is a deviant subculture of mtb's that use 29" wheels .) I've seen Target and WalMart advertise the size of the wheel on the bikes, but that is mainly because all their adult frames are sold one size fits all.

    Ant

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio
    The 20" you saw is referring to the seat tube length, not the size of the wheels.

    Almost all mountain bikes have 26" wheels, so bike shops don't even bother listing the wheel size (but there is a deviant subculture of mtb's that use 29" wheels .) I've seen Target and WalMart advertise the size of the wheel on the bikes, but that is mainly because all their adult frames are sold one size fits all.

    Ant
    How ya been doing Ant Man, we need to ride some year!!!
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