Help with finding trail bike

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Help with finding trail bike

Postby SB27rider » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:56 pm

Hi all. I am new to mountain biking. I am looking for maybe a 5 inch travel hardtail trail bike. My max price is really low, at 550. Is there any decent bike that fits this description. It doesnt have to be 5 inch travel, but around there.
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby maddslacker » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:32 pm

5" (130mm) is a pretty a tall fork for a hardtail and it instantly puts you in the niche category of the "all-mountain hardtail."

If you look for a 4" (100mm) bike you'll have a better chance to find something in your price range. Also, this is the perfect time of year to fond something used or a left over 2012 model.

Here's a decent example:
4" travel 29er, $329 and even ships for free with Amazon Prime.
http://goo.gl/HNcSH

Here's a 4" travel 26er for $500
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10 ... 1___202617
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby SB27rider » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:34 pm

Would a 100 mm fork handle stuff in Colorado Springs like Ute valley, palmer park, cheyenne mountain state park, and whatever else is here?
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby maddslacker » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:50 pm

Yes.
Come chat about mountain bikes in real time!
http://gotslack.freeshell.org/mtb

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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby John Fisch » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:59 am

"Would a 100 mm fork handle stuff in Colorado Springs like Ute valley, palmer park, cheyenne mountain state park, and whatever else is here?"

Well, that depends on what parts of those venues you want to ride and how skilled a rider you are. I don't consider myself particularly gifted, yet I've ridden my old hardtail with a mere 80mm of travel (a little over 3") at all those places. It's great at CMSP, good at Ute, but I definitely prefer my FS 5" trailbike on the big stuff at Palmer. I suspect going 29er will help as well (my bikes are still 26ers).
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby SB27rider » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:37 pm

skibum wrote:"Would a 100 mm fork handle stuff in Colorado Springs like Ute valley, palmer park, cheyenne mountain state park, and whatever else is here?"

Well, that depends on what parts of those venues you want to ride and how skilled a rider you are. I don't consider myself particularly gifted, yet I've ridden my old hardtail with a mere 80mm of travel (a little over 3") at all those places. It's great at CMSP, good at Ute, but I definitely prefer my FS 5" trailbike on the big stuff at Palmer. I suspect going 29er will help as well (my bikes are still 26ers).


Are you saying your bike couldnt handle Palmer well, or your fs handles it better? Of course, a 100 mm would be better than an 80, but....
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby JSatch » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:09 pm

craigslist

start out with a used bike. you'll get much more bang for your buck, learn the basics of wrenching, and get a better idea as to where you want to go with your riding as it develops.
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby akjoshua » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:58 pm

JSatch wrote:craigslist

start out with a used bike. you'll get much more bang for your buck, learn the basics of wrenching, and get a better idea as to where you want to go with your riding as it develops.


While I can agree with this concept when applied to most outdoor gear (save climbing equipment, which may have been overstressed), when purchasing a used bike you also pick up the previous owners' poor maintenance habits, such as improper or inadequate tuning and neglect.

With a mountain bike, you need a well- operating drive train and shift system if you are to learn to ride anything steep and technical, in addition solid brakes are in order to do so safely. Granted you can always take your bike to a local shop to get it tuned, but you may find this to be even more costly than a new bike.

An example is a bike that was purchased new 3 or 4 years ago by a rider who, although an avid biker has never done more than to oil his chain (I've seen this plenty of times). Over time, the chain wears down which eventually wears down the rear cassette and the chain ring in the front, not to mention to possibility of your bottom bracket and/or free hub needing to be replaced. This scenario alone add's a bare minimum of around 100.00 in parts, but only if the freehub and bottom bracket are still usable. If not, you can count on doubling this cost, then there's the cost of labor . . .

So, while a used bike may seem to be the less expensive option, it may bring unexpected problems that not only bites your budget, but can also steepen the learning curve for a new rider to the point where frustration inhibits the very desire to ride. Go with a new low-cost bike purchased from a BIKE Shop, NOT Wal-mart, Sam's Club, Fred Meyer, Sports Authority, etc. . . This will provide you with a well tuned, reliable ride long enough to get out, get fanatic and learn some wrenching along the way as minor tuning issue begin to arise. A hardtail is the best option for this. Lastly, entry - level bikes are priced low due to lower quality components, but this is really no issue because, as JSatch has stated, you will learn where you want to go as a developing rider which, combined with your developing mechanical skill will allow you to upgrade every component on your bike when and how you desire.

Enough ranting, my bike recommendation is the Specialized Hardrock Sport, which you can probably find with disc brakes in your price range. The compenents are entry level, as mentioned above, but I find the frame weight and geometry very capable for steep climbs, long or short. Plus it comes with a 100mm fork. That's all I got!
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby JSatch » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:38 pm

akjoshua wrote:
JSatch wrote:craigslist

start out with a used bike. you'll get much more bang for your buck, learn the basics of wrenching, and get a better idea as to where you want to go with your riding as it develops.


While I can agree with this concept when applied to most outdoor gear (save climbing equipment, which may have been overstressed), when purchasing a used bike you also pick up the previous owners' poor maintenance habits, such as improper or inadequate tuning and neglect.

... my bike recommendation is the Specialized Hardrock Sport, which you can probably find with disc brakes in your price range.


this is all very true and considerations that should be kept in mind (i abridged the well thought out response by akjoshua for space purposes). as such i would not suggest eBay, but rather craigslist, as this is local and the bike can be seen prior to purchase. as per akjoshua's warning, you will need to bring someone who knows bikes a bit to see what may need repair. as mentioned, the drivetrain is a pretty easy clue to see if the bike's been well cared for or not. for repairs/adjustments the internet is loaded with video instructions to change out/fix anything on your bike. good to learn regardless of what bike you get.

i agree that shopping for used bikes can be frustrating, and time consuming, but you can garner a much better rig for the money, maybe even a full sus. however, there are lots of end of season deals right now for new bikes and as a specialized owner, i would agree the hardrock (or rockhopper, if on sale) is a solid beginners bike. although i'm not an advocate of 29ers, i would go with a 29er for a hardtail, if still within your $$ range.
giant and diamondback also come to mind for companies with good pricing per component/features on their bikes.

remember, once you get a bike the payments won't end there. this becomes a more expensive sport as you progress.

welcome aboard and good luck!
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby SB27rider » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:06 am

what would you guys say about the giant revel 1, as compared to the trek 3900?
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Re: Help with finding trail bike

Postby Tragedy1965 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:01 am

I more-or-less agree with akjoshua's thoughts here, but there's yet another alternative: getting a used bike from a bike shop. Generally they're already tuned, inspected, and, if needed, parts replaced. You may even get a short warranty, too.
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