Possibly buying first DH bike this weekend.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Possibly buying first DH bike this weekend.

    I have just moved to Montana from California. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time on my bike this year. I currently have a pretty nice XC bike and I dont want to destroy it when I go to Big Sky or similar type DH riding this summer. If I had 2-3K I would be looking at some different options, but I dont. I have found some bikes locally that seem pretty nice but would like some opinions of which one may suit me better.

    Option 1:
    2003 Giant DH Comp
    2009 Rock Shox Totem
    Stock Fox rear
    New Mavic DH wheelset
    Owner says the frame has quite a lot of scratches, but no damage. He also says the fork is practically new. It has Hayes hyd brakes and stock drivetrain. It is currently in ready to ride condition. $600 or less

    Option 2:
    2006 Kona Stinky
    Marzooch Drop Off Triple
    Fox DHX rear
    All stock and hardly ridden with only a few minor scratches here and there.
    Owner says it was purchased with intent to ride, but ended up commuting a couple miles a day to work on this pig. $700 or less

    I will be going to look/ride both of them to see ensure the size is right. I am 5' 11" 210lbs, so not exactly a small guy.

    Thanks for the help,
    John

  2. #2
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    Is neither an option?

    I only say that because I did that exact same thing, bought a 700 DH bike for my first bike and regretted it. I should have just save and bought a better, newer bike. It cost me a bunch or money, was hard to sell and just plain sucked. Newer bikes have newer geometry and all and you would do yourself good to save a bit and get something better

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josie7 View Post
    Is neither an option?
    I have to agree with Josie. Look for a newer bike and you will save money and spend more time on riding. I bought a 2006 bike locally and it was great... for a week. The fork permanently bottomed out and it was cheaper to buy a whole new fork I ended up spending more money by trying to save money.

    Look for a newer bike. Watch craigslist or local classifieds like a hawk or if you don't mind purchasing online then pinkbike.

    Good luck and have fun finding a ride

  4. #4
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    The 2003 Giant DH Comp didn't come with a Fox shock, it came with a Manitou Swinger 6way. just saying.
    You're not entitled to anything until you work hard and earn it. CMQ

  5. #5
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    +1...

    I was looking in the $500-700 and they were all compromises. I ended up saving slowly, intent of buying a newer DH bike in the $1.5K range. I found a 2009 bike with newer stuff (63.5 deg head angle, adjustable rear suspension) for $950 and bought that on the spot.

    I guess the lesson is don't just buy for the sake of... a really good deal might head your way while saving up. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    There is always a risk, that I understand. My thought is that an advanced rider in 2003 or 2006 didnt have a problem riding these bikes. I am not an advanced rider and will probably use about 50% of the capabilities of either bike. I was leaning toward the Kona because it was newer and hasnt seen much actually use at all. Its like finding a sports car that is 10yrs old but only has a few thousand miles. I am sure there are better bike out there, but I dont see myself dropping that kind of cash on something I havent done yet.

    I do appreciate the input, and I havent decided what I am going to do just yet.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonni Nitro View Post
    Its like finding a sports car that is 10yrs old but only has a few thousand miles.
    Bikes have changed a lot more in ten years than cars, just sayin.

    I personally would be worried about the suspension components. If the fork on a $700 bike dies, its going to cost more than that for a new one, or close to that for another used fork that can fail again.

  8. #8
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    As the head school master of Kona Stinkys (owned 10 of them) The 2006 is a OK model, but the 2007 Stinky IMO is the better if you can find one, the swing arm is more solid with less "holes" and more strengthful, if thats a word.

    The Marz. Drop Off is a drop off alright...should be dropped off into a trash can. It gives you a generous serving of brake dive, enough to catapult you into the next zip code. But for trail riding the bike is OK. I am not a Giant fan but I hear they won the SuperBowl. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    As the head school master of Kona Stinkys (owned 10 of them) The 2006 is a OK model
    After some more digging around the net I have found that a lot of people agree. I guess when they moved the pivot to the top tube it created a lot of flex in the rear suspension.

    I have also looked at some new bikes. Does anyone have any dealings with Airborne? The Taka seems like a nice bike. I know it has a 66 deg headtube this can be helped with an angled headset. They are 1399, right now on sale. I know that in the dh world these might get laughed at, but I am not a pro rider.

    It looks like I will probably be holding off on the used bike for now unless I find something that I can live without.

  10. #10
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    I had been searching around for a inexpensive first DH bike for my wife and i can throw you some options i found for reference, but have no experience with the bikes aside from extensive research online.
    Airborne Taka, seems like its decent for the $
    Sette Vexx (pricepoint.com) spec'd nicely for $1799, small only
    Mongoose Pinn'r Foreman, awesome spec for $1699 giantnerd.com
    Same as above but lower spec $1299
    Ended up with a '12 Specialized Status (more than i wanted to spend)

    Used finding for reference
    '11 Big hit 1 ridden lightly$1300 shipped (ebay)
    '09 Rocky mountain Flatline $1200
    '09 e Demo 2 $1500

    Used deals are out there just may have to search a bit. Try local bike shops for Demo'd bikes. I know at N* they usually have a demo bike or a year older model year on sale.

  11. #11
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    and don't worry about spending the money wondering whether or not you are going to like it.. everyone likes it, haven't met a person yet that hasn't loved Dhing, it takes all the fun parts of mtn biking and makes them more fun...

  12. #12
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    <--- bought a used downhill bike and is kicking self in the ass for it... i had to spend 450 bucks just to repair shox.. leason learned.. if you are hell bent on a used bike offer 450$ for the stinky that way you can have cash to fix the bad parts

  13. #13
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    I couldn't agree more with these guys. I have only bought used dh bikes, 2 of them only 1/2 year old and lightly used and still had to dump some time and money into them. If you do go used, get one that looks mint, 1 year old or less, and know how to work on a bike. When you buy used you are usually just buying someone elses headache. Keep in mind that aluminum frames and linkges get fatigued over time and will at some point decide enough is enough and snap. Usually they snap at a pretty inopertune time.
    The more people I meet, the more I like my dog!!!

  14. #14
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    I bought a used 2007 Big Hit, pretty much everything was original on it and it was bomb proof. From what a lot of these guys are saying, it sounds like I got really lucky!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrasher_s View Post
    Bikes have changed a lot more in ten years than cars, just sayin.
    Totally agree and 29er DH bikes are the next evolutionary step in the sport.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonni Nitro View Post
    There is always a risk, that I understand. My thought is that an advanced rider in 2003 or 2006 didnt have a problem riding these bikes. I am not an advanced rider and will probably use about 50% of the capabilities of either bike. I was leaning toward the Kona because it was newer and hasnt seen much actually use at all. Its like finding a sports car that is 10yrs old but only has a few thousand miles. I am sure there are better bike out there, but I dont see myself dropping that kind of cash on something I havent done yet.

    I do appreciate the input, and I havent decided what I am going to do just yet.

    It's more like buying a 20 year old sports car that has been driven into the ground. Be very careful with both of these bikes. The seller might say "great condition" but without seeing them in person, digging into the suspension internals, and examining the wheels and drivetrain you really don't know at all. The forks and shocks could have been ridden on and never serviced, at this point you'd be looking at doing full rebuilds on your suspension which will easily add 300-400 bucks onto your bike. Then there's possibly a need for a new chain, cassette, chainring since those do wear out over time and are rarely replaced often enough. Cheap stuff will go for about 150 for all three.

    Your $700 bike might just end up costing you well over a grand when you're done fixing the problems that it probably will have. From a standpoint of brutally simple economics man, save your dough a little longer and wait till the end of spring/early summer. By then the snow will be melted and you'll have the cash to drop on something that won't be a "mechanic's special."
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DhRoadStar View Post
    Totally agree and 29er DH bikes are the next evolutionary step in the sport.
    Lenz Sport :: The best full-suspension mountain bikes :: PBJ

    yes there are...

  18. #18
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    I say if it was newer say 2008 -2010, the frame and components might be in better shape. And who knows how much fatigue the frame has, it can go at any moment. Anything that is 3-5 years old is just going to need replacement. I agree with others, just save up and buy something new or newer used and save yourself some headach.

  19. #19
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    Your best bang for the buck is a 2 year old bike. If it wasn't raced, or owned by a season pass holder, you can get a lightly used bike for at least half the price of when it was new. Ride that bike for a year or two, and flip it. You won't lose much value either. I bought a 2007 Scott High Octane in 2009 for $1500. Sold it last summer for $1500, and got a 2010 Trek Session for $2500. I can probably get my money back this summer and try something different.

    Just don't buy too old, you'll go broke fixing it during the year, and not get to ride.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickyB View Post
    Your best bang for the buck is a 2 year old bike. If it wasn't raced, or owned by a season pass holder, you can get a lightly used bike for at least half the price of when it was new. Ride that bike for a year or two, and flip it. You won't lose much value either. I bought a 2007 Scott High Octane in 2009 for $1500. Sold it last summer for $1500, and got a 2010 Trek Session for $2500. I can probably get my money back this summer and try something different.

    Just don't buy too old, you'll go broke fixing it during the year, and not get to ride.
    Why would it matter if it was raced or not? When people race their bikes are kept in tip top shape.
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  21. #21
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    yeah i have an 2008 glory zero. It's a dh/freeride bike,and i'm a little envious of newer stuff but it's not a hugh difference, tons of fun. If i was racing i'd buy a new frameset and dual crown fork and switch my parts over.I have very few of he original parts left on it, all upgrades, not replacments for worn out parts.

  22. #22
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    "Why would it matter if it was raced or not? When people race their bikes are kept in tip top shape."

    Pros and cons to a race bike, in my opinion. You're more likely to get a bike with new tires, new brake pads, new drivetrain, and a fresh re-build on the fork. That race bike will shift great, stops on a dime and feel nice and plush. You may even get new bushing/bearings. Frame may be a little beat up cosmetically, but it's a DH bike, don't sweat that.

    The downside, the bike has been ridden to the limits of its engineering design. The frame could be a time bomb, and the shock or fork could blow up. It's just basic physics, do you want a bike with 8 days of bike park usage, or one with 25 practice days, and a dozen races? Since no DH bike frames are warrantied to 2nd owners, you're really rolling the dice with the most expensive part of the bike.

    Either way, it's simply buyer beware. If you can see the bike, and have a technician give it the once over, that's best. But with all the online sales of used bikes, that's not always the case. And in my opinion, I suggest looking for the gently used bike instead of the race bike. They're out there...

  23. #23
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    Sweet spot is $1500 for a used bike 1-3 years old. Its not that you need the latest tech, its just that dh bikes get thrashed hard - even if the bike in question hasnt been ridden that much, after a few winters in damp basements, they get corrosion, seals harden, etc. I've checked out many a $700 used dh bike, at this level its very likely youll put $500 into it by seasons end and still have some deferred maint to fret about. Even if you know how to do all of that wrenching, better to spend that time riding and not have to worry about which part is goong to die next.

  24. #24
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    god luck bud

  25. #25
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    You will spend a whole lot less later on by spending a little more now.
    "Let the wheels spin."

  26. #26
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    I'm not exactly sure where you guys ride but I have 2005 Specialized BigHit frame that I bought used online, built it up and have broken the new parts before anything on the frame ever went bad. If you want a good condition bike, buy from california or SoCal where it never rains. But I do agree that you will need to know how to work on bikes! But then again it's kinda part of the sport learning how to fix and figure out how things work rather than just ride and buy.

    I say buy what you can afford and have fun with it. If I were in your shoes, I'd look for a Ironhorse Sunday or 7point. Even though the company no longer exist there are a ton of bikes parts in the market and they built really solid bikes. Check pinkbike on the daily, as deals go quick. Good luck with your decision.
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  27. #27
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    good luck with all the purchases... just a heads up if you buy online.....
    bikesomewhere.com ... terrible online store!
    anyone else have trouble with bikesomewhere.com?

    i ordered a stem from them and it was the wrong size so i returned it for a new size. three weeks later nothing. i called customer service... no humans and just a message machine....! WOW. next, i sent emails, waited weeks for a reply and they gave me a runaround about not sending it back... but i had a tracking number and states it was received! still waiting on an email for a refund now and its been over 2 months.

    i'm out 130 bucks and no stem! i don't expect them to even refund my credit card at this rate. i hope no one else has had a bad experience but at this point, if no one is there to answer your call, thats a really bad sign!

    i'd stay far away from bikesomewhere.com

  28. #28
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    Dude if you have $130 to drop on a stem it doesn't seem like you would miss $130......

    And, that website is shady as hell....I just have to ask......"why?"

  29. #29
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    what about the airborne taka

  30. #30
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    I've been looking all over for used DH/FR bikes. Now you guys have me worried....

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