New to the sport, need bike :)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    New to the sport, need bike :)

    Well I've been reading up for awhile about what bike to get, but haven't had much luck...

    I am a college student, and although I have the money to buy a nice bike, I don't want to invest that kinda money until I'm out of college, mainly being because of theft around here (i got to ucsb). That being said, my price range is $200-300. Whenever I see a post w/ this price range, all I every see is "save up 100-200 more and u'll get a lot more for ur money." While this may be true, I'd rather not have a flashy bike that will more likely be stolen. I just want a bike that won't break on me. I'll be riding everyday to school and back (only 5 miles), and plan on going up to the moutains once every week or two. I won't be doing anything crazy, yet.

    I've called many LBS around my area, and all seem not to have any used bikes, or 03-04' models. Only 05'. I did however find a Trek 4500 for $200. Not sure the year, etc though. It was at a different location so I didn't get to see it. But so far, that one is the only one that has caught my eye.

    There was a Giant Boulder, for $229 (new). None of the stores had the Boulder SE, which is more what I'm looking for, I think. I also saw a Gary Fisher tarpon for $289 and a Specialized Hardrock Sport for $330.

    I figured LBS's prices would be a LITTLE better then MSRP, but all of them were right on.

    So what bike would you guys recommend? I would like a bike that isn't totally crap and is upgradable. Seems most of these bikes only had Atlus or Acera parts.....execpt the used 4500. What exactly should I be looking for in a used bike?

    EDIT: Just called another place and they had a used Boulder se for $189. Would this be a good bike to start w/?


    EDIT2: I don't know if Copland sports counts as a LBS, but they have Haro v4 for $350, v3 for $300, and v2 for $250. Just looking at the components, these seem to be a very good deal. What are ur opinions on these bikes?
    Last edited by iLLestOne; 02-07-2005 at 06:19 PM.

  2. #2

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    Little update.

    I found a new, 4300 for $250. It's from a friend of a friend, but he says it's NEVER been ridden. It's a 03' model (well at least he said he bought it in 03', so I guess it could be a 02')

    Any opinions on this one?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iLLestOne
    Little update.

    I found a new, 4300 for $250. It's from a friend of a friend, but he says it's NEVER been ridden. It's a 03' model (well at least he said he bought it in 03', so I guess it could be a 02')

    Any opinions on this one?
    That seems like a decent price and the reviews on the 4300 look quite favourable. You did read them right? I would go for it.

  4. #4

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    I just read peoples reviews in forums, no official reviews. I know their are reviews on this site, but I couldn't find one for the 4300...

  5. #5
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    Make sure it fits

    $250 seems a bit high for a 3 year old used 4300. Offer $200 cash. Test drive it for fit. Look closely to see if the tires and saddle have dried out from sitting in a hot garage. If so, there will be tiny cracks in the rubber. Then offer much less.

    Whatever you buy make sure it fits. Also, if you think that you might possibly want to do more than just commute and light trail use, don't buy anything until you get more money. You'll just break it, throwing money away. I learned the hard way.
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  6. #6

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    Alright, I've done more reading and it seems to come down to

    Haro V-series V2 (quoted 250over phone, guy could be wrong)
    Fork RST Capa T5 Preload 75mm Travel
    Derailleur Front SR Suntour XR17
    Derailleur Rear Shimano Acera
    Derailleur Shifter Shimano ST-EF29-8
    Hubset Formula 8-Speed Cassette QR 32h

    Haro V-series V3 (quoted 300 over phone, guy could be wrong)
    Fork SR Suntour XC60 90mm Travel Preload
    Derailleur Front SR Suntour XR17
    Derailleur Rear Shimano Deore M510
    Derailleur Shifter Shimano ST-EF29-8
    Hubset Formula 8-Speed Cassette QR 32h

    Boulder SE used $150 (not sure year or condition)
    fork SR/Suntour XC60 suspension w/pre-load adjustment
    derailleur Front: Shimano C-102, Rear: Shimano Acera
    derailleurshifters Shimano EF-29, 7-speed
    cassette Shimano 14-34T, 7-speed MegaRange

    4300 03' or 04' $250 (used, but never been ridden, lol)
    Shifters Shimano EF29
    Front Derailleur Shimano C050
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Cassette SRAM 850 11-32, 8 speed
    RST Gila T5 w/preload adjust, 80mm

    4500 (not sure the year, or condition) $200
    Shifters Shimano Alivio
    Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Cassette SRAM 850 11-32, 8 speed
    RockShox Judy TT w/preload adjust, 80mm

    HARDROCK SPORT 04' (my fav, haven't found anywhere that has it)
    RST Gilla T4, 100mm travel, preload adjust, Cr-Mo steerer, coil/MCU spring
    REAR BRAKE Tektro "V", linear spring, stainless steel pipe
    BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Altus
    FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera, 31.8mm clamp, bottom pull
    REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera
    SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Altus
    CASSETTE Shimano HG-50, 8-speed, 11x32t

    HARDROCK SPORT 05' $330
    RST Gilla T5, 100mm travel, preload adjust, 28.6mm Cr-Mo stanchion and 1-1/8? steerer, coil/MCU spring
    BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Altus
    FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera, 31.8mm clamp, bottom pull
    REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera
    SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Altus
    CASSETTE Shimano Altus
    RST Gilla T5, 100mm travel suspension fork with preload adjust, coil/MCU spring

    Diamondback outlook 05' $229
    Fork SR M2000 50mm alloy crown, coil spring
    F. Derailleur Shimano Tourney 31.8 TP
    R. Derailleur Shimano TX-30
    Shift Lever Shimano Revo RS31

    Diamondback CoilEX Full Suspention $350
    Fork SR XC 60 100mm w/ preload adjustment, aluminum sliders
    F. Derailleur Shimano TY-10
    R. Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Shift Lever Shimano 7-spd Easy Fire EF-29
    Brakes Promax 700 disc
    Brake Levers Tektro Linear


    I just took the data I see you guys talking about the most, cassette, derailleur's, and forks. I know there are other things to consider, but I thought this might help you guys help me out a little better

    From reading review, it seems the Haro v3, Hardrock Sport are the top 2 choices for this price range....(hardrock sport 04' is my fav)
    Last edited by iLLestOne; 02-08-2005 at 12:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    For $250 the V3

    The V3 looks stronger and has better components. I don't know how good the Suntour fork is but I do know that RST is junk.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkish
    The V3 looks stronger and has better components. I don't know how good the Suntour fork is but I do know that RST is junk.
    RST is junk . . . and so is Suntour

    This is my predition though:
    You're going to buy your sub 300 dollar bike, realize that you no longer just mountain bike, but that you are now a mountain biker. Then your skills will increase and your bike will rapidly start becoming the weakest link while riding. Then you'll save up and buy a yeti 575

    That's what happens to everyone, right? Not just me?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkish
    The V3 looks stronger and has better components. I don't know how good the Suntour fork is but I do know that RST is junk.
    Opps, I switched the v2 and v3 prices. The v3 is $300, v2 is $200. These prices are much below retail (this leads me to believe the guy quoted me the wrong prices). He said he didn't carry any v4's so couldn't quote me a price on that. If they have v4's for $350, then that's prob. what I'd get. Here are the spec's

    Haro V4 (price unknown...)
    Fork Manitou Six 100mm Travel
    Derailleur Front Shimano Deore M510
    Derailleur Rear Shimano LX M570 (do the from and back seems mixed up to you?)
    Derailleur Shifter Shimano Deore 9-Speed
    Hubset Formula Disc 8-Speed Cassette QR 32h
    Brakes Tektro IO Mechanical Disc F & R
    Brake Lever Tektro

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LBguy

    This is my predition though:
    You're going to buy your sub 300 dollar bike, realize that you no longer just mountain bike, but that you are now a mountain biker. Then your skills will increase and your bike will rapidly start becoming the weakest link while riding. Then you'll save up and buy a yeti 575

    That's what happens to everyone, right? Not just me?
    That is what I plan to do Buy a $300 dollar bike now, when I graduate in 2 years and have a real job, then I'll start considering $1000 dollar bikes

    But for now, as I said before, I have a good feeling if I get a really nice bike, it will be stolen (i ride it to school and around, EVERYDAY). I have a 1/2" cable lock right now, and I will be buying a U-bolt to go along w/ it and my new bike

    I really hope I can find a 04' Hardrock. Since it's a year old, it should be a little cheapper, has the same components, and that chrome look is just SWEET looking

  11. #11

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    Good deal. I would be scared to park/lock my bike up at school also.

    Ride the piss out of whatever you decide to buy and then save up for a nicer bike for later on. It'll make you appreciate the nice bike even more

  12. #12

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    Hey Buddy,

    I've got a 03 hardrock pro and for what its worth i think its an excellent bike! The frame is fantastic and definately worthy of future upgrades. The 03 came standard with rockshox judy tt forks which although they are pretty **** are better than rst or suntour forks. having said that they are more than good enough for a beginner.
    I say find an 04 or 05 hardrock and grab it. you wont be disappointed.
    Check out all the reviews of the hardrocks from any year and you will find nothing but great reviews from riders of all abilities.

    Cheers
    JohnnyB

  13. #13

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    Anyone ever heard of Voxer?
    https://www.bigskymountainbike.com/voxer.jpg

    Looks like it has good specs....I found this bike for $375, new. Is that a good deal? I'm 5'9", 32inseem, 150bls, do you think it will fit me right? Seems to be a GREAT price w/ those parts....

    Bike weight: 29.5 Lbs.
    Standover height: 30.5"
    The frame is 16.5" center to center. 18" center to top.
    The TT length is 55cm (c to c), the stem is 10cm, the cranks are 175mm.

    FRAME: 7005 Series A1 Premium Aluminum, fully butted, cartridge bearing pivots, 90mm rear wheel travel, replaceable derailer hanger, 4 pivot suspension design
    FRONT FORK: Manitou Six Elite, 80 mm travel, alloy steerer, oil damped with pre-load adjustment
    REAR SHOCK: DNM - AO - 1AR
    HEADSET: 1-1/8" . threadless Ritchey Comp Fuzzy Logic PRD00310
    STEM: KALLOY AS-6050, R: 5, ext: 17: - 105w / UNO logic, ano black
    HANDLEBARS: HL MTB- AL- 170BT / 580 mm w/ ZOOM logo, alloy, ano black
    GRIPS: VELO VLG 232-D2
    FRONT BRAKE: Shimano Deore BR- 510 V-Brake
    REAR BRAKE: Shimano Deore BR- 510 V-Brake
    BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano ST- M510, Deore
    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Deore LX, e-type, top pull SHIMANO LX FD-M570
    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Deore LX SHIMANO LX RD-M570
    SHIFT LEVERS: Shimano Deore ST-M510 - integrated with brake levers
    CASSETTE: Shimano HG-50, 11x32, 9-speed
    CHAIN: Shimano, 9- speed, HG-53
    CRANK SET: SHIMANO DEORE LX HALLOWTECH FC-M57 1/17" - 170mm, 19+21" - 175mm
    CHAINRINGS: SHIMANO DEORE LX
    BOTTOM BRACKET: SHIMANO DEORE LX BB- ES- 70
    PEDALS: VP- 989AT back body with low profile ano black aluminum cage
    RIMS: Mavic X-139, double wall, ano black with CNC sidewall
    FRONT HUB: SHIMANO DEORE LX FH-M570 QR-TYPE 32H ano black
    REAR HUB: SHIMANO DEORE LX HB-M570 9-speed QR-TYPE 32H ano black
    SPOKES: 15GA, stainless, black, w/ brass nipples
    FRONT TIRE: IRC Mythos XC 26 x 1.95" all black
    REAR TIRE: IRC Mythos XC 26 x 1.95" all black
    TUBES: 26" Schraeder valve
    SADDLE: VELO VL-1044-4- B50, CRMO rails
    SEAT POST: Kalloy SP- 348 black
    SEAT BINDER: Prime AERO 98 QT 98JQT
    NOTE: Chain stay cover, reflectors, owners manual
    COLORS: as pictured
    DECALS: Under clear coat
    PRICE: $600.00 which includes free shipping (I found for $375)

    Pictures
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/suspension1.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/bike.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/gear.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/brake.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/wheel.htm
    Last edited by iLLestOne; 02-08-2005 at 10:46 AM.

  14. #14

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    Although I'm new to these forums, I have to emphasise Jkish's points because I have recent experiance shopping in this price point for my younger brother. Also, I live on campus at UCSC (your sister to the north) and I have a trek fuel which i keep in my dorm room locked to my desk instead of outside.

    That said, I know you don't want to hear it, but it is so very true that 500$ gets you more bang than 300$ does. The component group and frames in the 500 range are solid (for hardtails). At $300, most of the components will be junk, though the frame will probably be solid.

    Don't buy some dude's 3 year old trek 4300. You should be able to find a new 4300 in that price range and you will get a lot more like warantee and if the LBS is any good, some kind of short term service plan.

    Also, the deore and LX components on that full suspension bike you linked to looks interesting, but I bet the frame and the rear shock are crap (the rear shock def looks shady). If you want a full suspension bike, seriously just wait till you can play with the big boys like a yeti mentioned above. A low end hardtail can be upgraded, a low end softtail will be trash in a couple years.

    Go with a major brand hardtail, try to find one on sale, like maybe last year's clearance, and I personally say only buy new.

  16. #16
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by iLLestOne
    Anyone ever heard of Voxer?
    https://www.bigskymountainbike.com/voxer.jpg

    Looks like it has good specs....I found this bike for $375, new. Is that a good deal? I'm 5'9", 32inseem, 150bls, do you think it will fit me right? Seems to be a GREAT price w/ those parts....

    Bike weight: 29.5 Lbs.
    Standover height: 30.5"
    The frame is 16.5" center to center. 18" center to top.
    The TT length is 55cm (c to c), the stem is 10cm, the cranks are 175mm.

    FRAME: 7005 Series A1 Premium Aluminum, fully butted, cartridge bearing pivots, 90mm rear wheel travel, replaceable derailer hanger, 4 pivot suspension design
    FRONT FORK: Manitou Six Elite, 80 mm travel, alloy steerer, oil damped with pre-load adjustment
    REAR SHOCK: DNM - AO - 1AR
    HEADSET: 1-1/8" . threadless Ritchey Comp Fuzzy Logic PRD00310
    STEM: KALLOY AS-6050, R: 5, ext: 17: - 105w / UNO logic, ano black
    HANDLEBARS: HL MTB- AL- 170BT / 580 mm w/ ZOOM logo, alloy, ano black
    GRIPS: VELO VLG 232-D2
    FRONT BRAKE: Shimano Deore BR- 510 V-Brake
    REAR BRAKE: Shimano Deore BR- 510 V-Brake
    BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano ST- M510, Deore
    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Deore LX, e-type, top pull SHIMANO LX FD-M570
    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Deore LX SHIMANO LX RD-M570
    SHIFT LEVERS: Shimano Deore ST-M510 - integrated with brake levers
    CASSETTE: Shimano HG-50, 11x32, 9-speed
    CHAIN: Shimano, 9- speed, HG-53
    CRANK SET: SHIMANO DEORE LX HALLOWTECH FC-M57 1/17" - 170mm, 19+21" - 175mm
    CHAINRINGS: SHIMANO DEORE LX
    BOTTOM BRACKET: SHIMANO DEORE LX BB- ES- 70
    PEDALS: VP- 989AT back body with low profile ano black aluminum cage
    RIMS: Mavic X-139, double wall, ano black with CNC sidewall
    FRONT HUB: SHIMANO DEORE LX FH-M570 QR-TYPE 32H ano black
    REAR HUB: SHIMANO DEORE LX HB-M570 9-speed QR-TYPE 32H ano black
    SPOKES: 15GA, stainless, black, w/ brass nipples
    FRONT TIRE: IRC Mythos XC 26 x 1.95" all black
    REAR TIRE: IRC Mythos XC 26 x 1.95" all black
    TUBES: 26" Schraeder valve
    SADDLE: VELO VL-1044-4- B50, CRMO rails
    SEAT POST: Kalloy SP- 348 black
    SEAT BINDER: Prime AERO 98 QT 98JQT
    NOTE: Chain stay cover, reflectors, owners manual
    COLORS: as pictured
    DECALS: Under clear coat
    PRICE: $600.00 which includes free shipping (I found for $375)

    Pictures
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/suspension1.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/bike.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/gear.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/brake.htm
    https://www.vialinkgroup.com/sell_sheet/wheel.htm

    I have this bike and its a really great bike. I did upgrade it a bit with Avid disc brakes, new rims and fatter tires. But the frame and components are great for the price.

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