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  1. #1
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    i need 2 bikes for less than $400 each.

    im currently looking for 2 different styles of bike for my teenage sons (16 and 18 yrs old). the 16 yr old wants a bike good for off road and street. hes 5'8" 140# and very active and likes to go fast. was thinking maybe mountain bike with some hybrid tires. also we saw the giant roam 2 and he liked it but $500 is out of the question. so maybe another bike like the roam 2 but cheaper.
    the 18 yr old wants something more comfortable. mostly street riding but trails every once in awhile too. hes 6' 240# and kind of hard on his bike. well at least he is with his cheap schwin target bike, which they both have.

    i was thinking maybe the trek 3700 with hybrid tires for the 16 yr old. a shop near me has 10' model for $328. any problems with that idea? maybe something better for cheaper or a little bit more?

    for the 18 yr old he wants a comfort bike but of course he wants it to look cool so more along the lines of a mountain bike style.

    i found this place in chicago (where we live) and they have some good deals on 09' and 10' models. if you want to take a look in the link and see if anything gets your attention or maybe you have a suggestion of your own. thanks in advance.

    http://villagecycle.com/product-list...rb_pr2=300-400

  2. #2
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    keep an eye on Craigslist. look for specialized rockhoppers, trek's 4000 series, etc. put slicks on for your son that is mostly interested in street riding.

  3. #3
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    they will be gifts so i dont really want to buy used. they are late xmas gifts, i decided to wait till tax time to get them.

  4. #4
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    got ya. in that case, I'd call around to some of the local shops and see what they have leftover. ask for an extra discount for buying 2 bikes.

    bobs-bicycles.com is an option as is wheelworld.com, assuming that you are willing to buy online.

  5. #5
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    I'd take them to that shop, tell 'em their budget and that it is firm and let them pick within that range. Let them talk with the sales people, get some education about the bikes, fitment, maintenance, all that. While you'll be writing the check, they'll have some ownership in the selection process.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  6. #6
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    The Trek 3700, 3900 and inexpensive gary fishers come with single-wall rims. Those won't hold up well on trails. You can look at this thread for a little more info. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=638604

    You may want to have a look at Performance Bike. They are a large chain bike store and tend to give a little more value. You should be able to find bikes with double-wall rims and 8sp drivetrains with your budget. Their website appears to be down: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...2g-v2&aql=&oq=

  7. #7
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    Just bought a Forge Sawback 5xx for under $400, haven't got it out on the trails yet. I have yet to read a single bad thing from any Sawback owners anywhere on the web, and they also have hybrid and comfort bikes. just google Forge bikes.

  8. #8
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    didnt really see anything at performance. guess i will just have to go to all the stores. so is a mountain bike with hybrid tires a good idea?

    what are some things to steer clear of? other than single wall rims. any certain componants that are known to be junk?
    the 16yr old really likes this bike. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...basecamp_3.htm
    i know a lot of people talk trash about that company but for the price it looks like a great value. whats the problem with them? the frames?

  9. #9
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    It's not a bad bike, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by chinolofus
    the 16yr old really likes this bike. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...basecamp_3.htm
    i know a lot of people talk trash about that company but for the price it looks like a great value. whats the problem with them? the frames?
    Don't let the inflated MSRP fool you. It's probably a $700 bike. The fork and cranks are suspect at best, and I have no clue if the brakes are any good. My guess is that you'd do as well going to your LBS and buying a 2009 or 2010 leftover.

    The other thing about buying online is that you can't test ride the bike. Fit is incredibly important and the geometry of each bike is different. Test riding is the only sure way to be sure the bike feels right to the rider. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of buying online, you just need to be smart about it.

    Lastly, you need to decide how important the whole "covet" factor is. If your 16 year old is truly enamored with the bike, it might be that nothing else will do. ;-)

    Best wishes in finding the right bikes for your children.

    Bob

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinolofus
    didnt really see anything at performance. guess i will just have to go to all the stores. so is a mountain bike with hybrid tires a good idea?

    what are some things to steer clear of? other than single wall rims. any certain componants that are known to be junk?
    the 16yr old really likes this bike. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...basecamp_3.htm
    i know a lot of people talk trash about that company but for the price it looks like a great value. whats the problem with them? the frames?
    I would say that the hybrid tires would not be a great idea for teens. They are typically lower volume which makes them run faster and wear better on the road but it means that there is more possibility of damage when you hit a pothole or smash a wheel trying to jump up over a curb. I would keep the mountain tires on there at first, see how it works out and change if you see it as a benefit. Hybrid tires are awful for trail riding and I would avoid them if even occasional trail riding is being considered.

    As for bikesdirect, I can't recommended going there. The assistance of a shop is invaluable for picking the right bike, sizing the bike properly, and keeping that bike running as long as you can. Most bike shops will provide a period of service with a bike purchase, typically 2mo - 1 yr and this is a fantastic value. In the first few weeks of your new bike it will need to be tuned up to remove cable stretch. If your older boy really is hard on bikes, you'll make up any price difference to the BD.com bikes in wheel truing savings alone! Of course, it's just my opinion and it's hard to argue with the pricing of those bikes.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    I'd take them to that shop, tell 'em their budget and that it is firm and let them pick within that range. Let them talk with the sales people, get some education about the bikes, fitment, maintenance, all that. While you'll be writing the check, they'll have some ownership in the selection process.
    This is an awesome idea. My dad was very good about things like this, and he solely taught me to make educated decisions and be a good deal maker, even if I had to make a mistake or two along the way. They will definitely appreciate it, the only problem is when they decide they made the wrong decision they can't blame you.
    Bianchi San Jose commute/town duties and fixie trail riding. Bianchi C.U.S.S for days I feel like riding a MTN bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinolofus
    didnt really see anything at performance. ...
    The BD bike is more of a downhill bike and won't be great for roads, light trails or climbing on rougher trails. Notice how the fork is angled. The long-travel fork makes it look cool.

    Performance's website is back up. They have free shipping to their stores, where they will assemble and service it for you before you pick it up. I believe they offer free lifetime service. Plus, they have a no questions return policy. This DB Response Sport is equal to the bikesdirect bike component wise or maybe a little better. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400308

    The Forge is the clear value leader. I've owned one for a few years, and it's a good bike. The downside to it and other internet bikes is you have to learn to adjust everything on your own. That's something a teenager may not be interested in learning.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    The BD bike is more of a downhill bike and won't be great for roads, light trails or climbing on rougher trails. Notice how the fork is angled. The long-travel fork makes it look cool.

    Performance's website is back up. They have free shipping to their stores, where they will assemble and service it for you before you pick it up. I believe they offer free lifetime service. Plus, they have a no questions return policy. This DB Response Sport is equal to the bikesdirect bike component wise or maybe a little better. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400308

    The Forge is the clear value leader. I've owned one for a few years, and it's a good bike. The downside to it and other internet bikes is you have to learn to adjust everything on your own. That's something a teenager may not be interested in learning.
    thanks i didnt know that about the BD bike. the DB looks real nice. thinking about ordering it.

  14. #14
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    lookin at that forge sawback now too. looks pretty nice.

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  16. #16
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    Have you seen http://www.giantnerd.com I was looking around they have some well speced bikes for cheap (out of your price range but a diamondback 29er with a Reba with MC and lockout for 600$?)
    Bianchi San Jose commute/town duties and fixie trail riding. Bianchi C.U.S.S for days I feel like riding a MTN bike.

  17. #17
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    Try to find a mongoose otero super on craigslist I just got one for 300 bucks and i rides better than most of the 2 or 3 thousand dollar bikes ive owned and ridin
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  18. #18
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    The BD bike is more of a downhill bike and won't be great for roads, light trails or climbing on rougher trails. Notice how the fork is angled. The long-travel fork makes it look cool.
    Not a downhill bike by any means. It's really no different from other hardtails in that category. All of them have angled forks (usually in the 69-71 degree range) and with 80-100mm of travel (typical for an entry level xc hardtail). It would be perfectly fine for roads, light trails and the like.

    The bigger issue with BD and other "direct buy" sites is assembly and adjustment. It's not always as simple as it appears to be.
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  19. #19
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    You may be right, Berkley.

    I did a quick scan of the web page, and the couple things that jumped out were "long travel fork" and the name - "Gravity BaseCamp". These instantly made me think of a heavy bike, built for shuttle runs.

    I would not won't a long-travel fork or a heavy bike for general trail riding or roads. Who knows? Maybe someone else would prefer such a bike.

  20. #20
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Yeah, the long travel claim is a bit of a farce. I think these days long travel is considered at least 140mm by most, maybe even more by others. The gravity sticker on the side is rather amusing.

    Plus, when you're looking at bikes under $400, most of them will be pretty heavy, usually 30lbs or more.
    Axle Standards Explained

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    I did a quick scan of the web page, and the couple things that jumped out were "long travel fork" and the name - "Gravity BaseCamp". These instantly made me think of a heavy bike, built for shuttle runs.

    I would not won't a long-travel fork or a heavy bike for general trail riding or roads. Who knows? Maybe someone else would prefer such a bike.
    Trust me, that "long-travel fork" won't be leaving camp, maybe hucking the rocks in the firering but that's about it.

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