Jump to content

Mountain Bike

Recommended Posts

I'd like to buy a mountain bike for training. Is anyone here knowledgeable about them? What should I be looking for in specs? I am 6' tall and 185lbs.

What would be a quality bike for under $300?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well people are going to tell you can't buy a decent bike for $300 and blah blah blah. Of course you get what you pay for, and $300 is a step above Walmart's nicest bikes (which aren't TOO terrible), but $300 will definitely get you started.

IDK how they measure MTBs but with RBs you'd want a 56-58cm, depending on your preferences. At the bike dealers they'll size you up, adjust handlebars, seat, pedals, buy after market parts to make you fit better etc.

Anyway, I believe Specialized had an MTB called something around the "Hard knock" or something... It was around $300, good bike, very basic, but good.

Anyway, here's these guys, they'll know more then the majority here, and you can go into the technical questions with them.

http://www.bikeforums.net/

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most mountain bike frames are measured in inches instead of centimeters like a road bike frame. At 6' you should be needing somewhere in the neighborhood of an 18"-19" frame, and any good bicycle shop will work with you to find the correct fit.

At a $300 price point you can still get a very basic bike with low end (but still very useable) Shimano or Sram components, and a basic suspension fork.

Here's an example at $340.. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/model/boulder/7305/44110/

Another at $350.. http://www.harobikes.com/mtb/bikes/XC-Adventure-Hardtail/3/

If you do some looking at the bike shops in your area you might be able to find something a year or 2 old at a good discount just like a leftover '09 dirt bike would be, that will get you down into your actual price point.

Above all DO NOT GET A WAL MART POS!! The frames are made from leftover water pipe, the components are no name chinese junk, the wheels are weak, heavy, and are usually poorly trued even when new. The brakes don't work, they barely shift, and are assembled by morons that don't know and don't care.

Here's a great Mtn bike magazine site for you to look through.. http://www.mbaction.com/ME2/Default.asp Some great all around info showing up regularly in it.

Have fun with whatever you get.:smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your best bet is a slightly used bike on craigslist, I have a Giant rainer, was $900 new, got it for $200, in great shape a couple years old. If you want new...get this..ik its from target but after alot of reading people said its the best bike you can get for around $400, and it has surprisingly good components for the price and a good frame. Have to order it though, not in stores. Almost bought it before I found the Giant.

http://www.target.com/Men%E2%80%99s-Forge-Sawback-Hard-Tail-Mountain/dp/B000LWH8KC/ref=br_1_1?ie=UTF8&id=Men%E2%80%99s%20Forge%20Sawback%20Hard-Tail%20Mountain&node=16259321&searchSize=30&searchView=grid5&searchPage=1&sr=1-1&qid=1306502004&rh=&searchBinNameList=subjectbin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&searchRank=reviewrank&frombrowse=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Specialized MB last year and I am very happy, but it was really pricey. The March edition of Mountain Bike Action has a buyer's guide you might want to check it out. A lot depends on what type of riding and how much you want to do. And, of course, budget.

If you buy something at Walmart you will probably get something that will allow you to experiment and determine if you want to continue in the sport. But most of the things I have tried under 500.00 didn't last too long, but it all depends on how you use things I suppose: Casual rides on well groomed trails is one thing, bouncing off of rocks, roots, and stumps on some of the same trails and gullies you dirtbike on with a mountain bike is quite another.:smirk::ride::smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At that price buy a hardtail from a reputable brand, like Giant, Specialized, Norco, etc that can be found in a real bike shop. Don't buy from a department store. Also, at that price you definitely don't want a full suspension either. You'll be on an 18-19" or Large size frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your best bet is a slightly used bike on craigslist, I have a Giant rainer, was $900 new, got it for $200, in great shape a couple years old. If you want new...get this..ik its from target but after alot of reading people said its the best bike you can get for around $400, and it has surprisingly good components for the price and a good frame. Have to order it though, not in stores. Almost bought it before I found the Giant.

http://www.target.com/Men%E2%80%99s-Forge-Sawback-Hard-Tail-Mountain/dp/B000LWH8KC/ref=br_1_1?ie=UTF8&id=Men%E2%80%99s%20Forge%20Sawback%20Hard-Tail%20Mountain&node=16259321&searchSize=30&searchView=grid5&searchPage=1&sr=1-1&qid=1306502004&rh=&searchBinNameList=subjectbin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&searchRank=reviewrank&frombrowse=1

That is a well speced bike for $429.

Lead heavy (30lbs) for an aluminum hardtail, but still a good beginner bike for casual useage.:smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several options of course but a Specialized Rockhopper slightly used is a solid choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you plan on riding trails, do not buy a department store bike. Get s specialized, giant, cannondale, or some other reputable brand. You can get a Specialized rock hopper or some other entry-level hard tail for around that price. Go talk to some folks at your LBS (local bike shop).

A walmart bike will not take long to start falling apart on the trail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you plan on riding trails, do not buy a department store bike. Get s specialized, giant, cannondale, or some other reputable brand. You can get a Specialized rock hopper or some other entry-level hard tail for around that price. Go talk to some folks at your LBS (local bike shop).

A walmart bike will not take long to start falling apart on the trail.

If he is going to ride trails and buys a department store bike he deserves what he gets when the forks snap off or the back wheel eats the rear pos derailuer.

I've watched the expression of so many clueless people when they ask how much one of my mtn.bikes are worth and I hear that famous line of "well hell, Wamart has one that looks jus like that for $139.99". :smirk:

Op take some advice already giving and either find a decent named brand bike used off of CL or go around to some of your local bike shops and see if they have any old stock models that are a few years old that haven't sold and they may blow out at cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay away from retail at your price.

No department stores.

Look for a hard tail.

19 inch like others said.

If you can, check out 29ers. The 29er wheel is like peanut butter to jelly when it comes to bigger guys and riding hard tails.

Many of the hard tail frames mentioned in this thread make sense. Just keep an eye on ebay and stuff pops up.

If you can get up into the $600 to $800 range you can find many nice hard trail 29ers that are a year or two old that have MSRPS of $1000 to $1200 from online bike shops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Several options of course but a Specialized Rockhopper slightly used is a solid choice.

I bought one of these used for my girlfriend for $350. They retail for $700+ and this thing had low hours on it (still had the nipples on the knobbies!). Found it on Craigslist. I also picked up a used Specialized Stumpjumper (their high end hardtail) off of CL for a little more than half the cost of new and it was in perfect shape.

I used to frequent the Mountain Bike Review forum alot (www.mtbr.com) and it has great info on mountain bikes, including reviews of parts, bikes, gear, trails, etc.

Like stated above, buy used if possible! You will get a way better bike for half the money than buying new. In your price range, you will be getting a decent entry level bike. 18-19" frame (or Large) should work. Check out the site I listed and there will be plenty of help on there in how to get "fitted" to the proper size. A shop will certainly do this for you, but it's not that difficult to figure out and you won't pay the shop prices for a new bike.

As for components, Shimano and SRAM are good for derailluers, shifters, brakes, etc. Any of the major manufacturers will have good bikes but do some reviews on mtbr.com first (Specialized, Giant, etc.). Specialized gets alot of crap in that forum by some people due to "everyone" having them and some of their business ethics are questionable in their opinion. However, for the price, it's tough to beat their quality and specs. BTW, the product lines often have varying levels of performance and are often labeled with a #. For example: I have SRAM X.9 derailluers on my Stumpy, this is a higher end product. My girlfriend's Rockhopper has SRAM X.7's I believe which is a couple steps below mine. X.4 are a little lower. Also, keep in mind these components are often "modular" so you can always upgrade later. Last years product (or 2-3 years ago) can be bought brand new for much less than current years and will be about the same performance. To be honest, sometimes they don't even change the design so you can get the same parts for half the money, but they are marketed as 2009 or whatever. To my above point about upgrading, the most important thing is to buy a bike with a good frame (and maybe a decent fork). That way, you can upgrade as your budget allows but you'll have a great base to work with. Keep in mind that if you want disc brakes at some point, your frame/forks will need the mounts for these!

I would also advise against the department store bikes. Even though they may have a brand name on them, they are inferior. Cheap materials and quality. There may be exceptions, expecially if you spend a little more money, though. I just had a conversation last night (after a short MTB ride) with some guys about cheap bikes. They were telling me how their friend with a cheap bike had broken a pedal and rim/tube on one ride! It depends on how you plan to use it, but I'd rather spend more money on safer equipment!

Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I paid more for my mtb than I did for my dirt bike.

yz250 - 1600, specialized stumpjumper fsr - $2200. It has served me well. It's 4 years old now, been ridden hard and in great shape. Time for a fork rebuild though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MTB shops are just like Motorcycle shops, if you find a good one. They will help you out with everything and stand by their product. My local bicycle shop was able to fit me to a great bike and I was amazed at how comfortable it was after many years on a sub-par bike. They got me on the best bike in my price range (Shout Out to Jim Rose) and made me into a real fan. No Department stores!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I paid more for my mtb than I did for my dirt bike.

yz250 - 1600, specialized stumpjumper fsr - $2200. It has served me well. It's 4 years old now, been ridden hard and in great shape. Time for a fork rebuild though.

Stumpjumper is a great bike, I have one too and love it --best I've owned. But it ain't going to be inexpensive thats 4 sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I snagged a Diamondback Response Large frame from Dicks for 450.00 and upgraded the cranks to Shimano Alevios under warranty. Its been a great bike, but the forks are crapola, and I need to buy a nice set of oil damped units for it. Many miles on this one, I commuted to work for 2 years on it and occasionaly hit the trails. $300 doesnt get you much in todays bicycle market unless you go used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride an 02 stumpjumper hardtail on the trails and a fully rigid 94 rockhopper as my commuter. Specialized mountain bikes are the shizz. If you only have $350 to spend on a bike, look for an 02-04 Specialized on CL and then test ride it up and down the block a bit. You can always get a solid bike, ride it for a bit to see if you like riding, and then trick it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What would be a quality bike for under $300?

My opinion is you won't get a quality new bike for $300. And definitely stay away from Wal-mart.

First, I highly recommend visiting every local bike shop you have access to and ride as many models possible to get an idea what fits you, and the components you get for the money. Not all 19" frames are geometrically equal. For instance, Specialized frames tend to have longer effective horizontal top tubes, thus making for a longer reach to the handlebars (good for people with proportionally longer torsos). After trying many different bikes you'll eventually get a feel for what's comfortable, then you can get the dimensions and compare with other brands/models. For the most part any established brand a bike shop dealers for will likely be a worthy brand. So don't get hooked on just Specialized, even though they are very good too (I have a Specialized Tarmac SL2 road bike that totally rocks!) There are literally dozens upon dozens of good bike brands out there.

As for buying used, yes you can definitely save money if you're a careful shopper. Do your homework and know what stuff is worth (check final sales prices on Ebay). Learn the various levels of components (Shimano Deore, LX, XT, XTR. SRAM X.4-7-9). And one caveat to buying used is most manufacturers only warranty to the original owner. So if someone tells you they still have x years left on the warranty you should check the company's policy, if it matters to you. I bought a used Moots YBB last year and the seller argued claiming the warranty would transfer. I eventually called Moots to verify and they said sorry, original owner only. And that's a ti frame that sells new for $3000.

How much bike do you need? IMHO depends on who you'll be riding with and how aggressive your riding. If you show up on a $300 bike to ride with guys on $1000 bikes you'll be at a disadvantage right off - you'll likely notice it climbing if nothing else. I'm blown away what local guys spend just to possibly have their name on top of local race standings or win a six pack. (...yes, I'm guilty.)

Lots to know but it's worth doing your homework so to avoid buying a piece of garage wall art.

This is current on Denver's CL. Back in the mid 90's this bike sold new for $2200 (a riding bud bought one).

http://denver.craigslist.org/bik/2407996748.html

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
what would be a good dual shock mtb for around 500 dollars?

No such thing boss.... Gotta go hardtail if your cheap...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×