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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the market for a new mountain bike. I am selling or donating my 12 year old Specialized Hard Rock, which I loved, but it is very old school technology. A couple of parameters -

Less than $500
Aluminum frame
Front suspension
A balanced bike for city/road and trail riding
High quality product (not sure of reliability reputations of bike companies or if there is a material difference between brands)
Won't need to modify/upgrade any components (save that for my B5.5)
Anything else I should be thinking about?

Thanks.
 

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I'm in the same boat, but I haven't set a budget or starting thinking hard about it yet. Except, my bike was 16 years old, saw 15 miles-per-day commuting use and was just dead heavy. I gave it away. While I haven't bought one in over a decade, Montgomery Cyclery was always good to me in sales and service.
 

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psm0110 said:
I gave it away. While I haven't bought one in over a decade, Montgomery Cyclery was always good to me in sales and service.
I was planning on just dropping it off at the Goodwill in Oakley, but then my neighbor said he might be interested. Cash is better than a tax deduction.

I went to Montgomery Cyclerly yestereday. Pretty helpfu in just figuring out what size frame I needed.

Looks like we need to pull together a SW Ohio GTG soon.
 

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You gotta find a frame that works well with your body. Trek makes good bikes, but I can't ride em...wrong geometry. GT frames fit me great. Try a bunch.
 

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Sweet...another mountain biker! I didn't know we had so many on CB5! :p

Stick w/ Specialized, but also look into Diamond Back and GT. I'm pretty die-hard Specialized as all of the S-bikes I've owned and still own are absolutely awesome. A lot of my friends have GT and DB though and they're worth looking into for your price range.

EXAMPLE:

04 Rockhopper


THE FEATURES
-A true performance frame, the A1 Premium Aluminum chassis features a double-butted front triangle, reinforced disc mount, and a replaceable forged alloy derailleur hanger
-Specialized Roll X tires roll fast and corner great
-Manitou SIX with 80mm (13/15") - 100mm (17-23") of travel with preload adjust
-Truvativ sealed cartridge BB and 5-D crank with replaceable chainrings
-Body Geometry Sport MTB saddle
-Geometry (bike metrics)
-MSRP: $440.00


The only thing that you may have to swap is the seat, but that's standard.
 

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Cool! I just bought one a couple weeks ago. I was trying for the $500 range but ended up getting a $1,200 bike!

http://www.clubb5.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75319&highlight=bicycle&sid=bb7ceda489c0b47305371e224ebcdf54

There are some good bikes in that ($500) range.

The Giant Yukon is under $500 and has gotten some pretty sweet reviews:

http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.006.asp?dealerid=&dealercountry=&lYear=2004&bikesection=8841&range=145&model=10763

The Marin Hawk Hill is pretty cool. It was a little heavier then I wanted, but for the money I thought it was a steal:

http://www.marinbikes.com/html/spec_04_hawk.html

Gary Fisher Marlin:

http://www.fisherbikes.com/bikes/bike_detail.asp?series=genesis&bike=Marlin

Jamis Durango:

http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/04_durangosptsx.html#

You will find though if you spend another $200 or so you can move into a whole new level of frames and components. I spent a month or so searching out the right bike. I bought the Giant XTC and am extremely happy even though it was more then twice what I planned on spending.

Good Luck! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Postman, et al...thanks for the great advice. Looks like I have some research (and test riding) to do. As always...CB5 is the source for life's major decisions. Much obliged.
 

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buy the best frame and components you can for the money...you can always upgrade forks but you don't want crap components (derailleurs, brakes, etc) when you're out on the trail.

i used to work at a bike shop and that is my single biggest piece of advice i can offer.
 

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Another :thumbup: for Gary Fisher bikes. I've been riding them for about 8 years and love it. Good geometry for my frame.
 

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Funny this came up. Im thinking about buying one also.

But I dont want to spend alot. I just need a bike to ride around streets but would also like to take it out on the trail...once or twice a year.

This is what I was thinking about....



Is this a good brand? Any thoughts? How much does it weight? I would like something light!!!

Its pretty cheap, full suspension. The only problem is the rear child seat attachments. DO you guys think it will work with this bike?

http://www.thesportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1441290&cp=713103.1764525.887561.886959&clickid=mainnav_browse_txt&parentPage=family

Im not a hard core mountain biker....I never even done it. For recreation only.

If anyone can give me advice I would really appreciate it! Im clueless on bikes.

I would like to spend 200-300 at most. I would like full suspension also.

THX

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Don't buy full suspsension in that price range. If they give you full suspension, they'll give you cheap parts to keep the price low and I'd rather have a hard tail and good deraileur, brakes etc. than a soft ass. If you're not going to be pounding on the bike on trails etc. you don't really need a rear suspension anyway. If having your butt cushioned is that important, get a suspension saddle, there are a couple out there. They only give you about .5-.75 inches of travel but that should be plenty for your use.

I've been riding hardtails for years and its never been an issue. In fact, I spent the extra money on a second set of rims, tires, sprockets so that I could change out from trail tires to street tires and its the best money ever spent on my bike.

Also, generally the brand of bike isn't as important as to what the components are. Mongoose makes some really good bikes, but they also make some not so good ones, like most manufacturers. Every manufacturer needs to capture as much of the market as they can so they put out bikes that meet a price point that will have mass appeal.

If you want a good bike in the 200-300 dollar range, stay with a hard-tail and look for better components and a geometry that fits you. If you have a bit more to spend, I would look into a lightweight frame (aluminum) rather than the chromoly that most of the bikes in that price range will come in.

Finally, if you get a bike, invest $20 in a good bike repair manual/book and another $50 in tools (tire levers, mini-pump, patches, allen wrenches, multi-tool, etc.). You'll can save yourself a bucket of $$$ each spring in tune-ups and you'll get more out of a well maintained bike.
 

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Weight difference - about 30% depending upon frame size.

Disc brakes - not completely informed on this but can't see that its really necessary, you don't need a ton of stopping force since you'll only be traveling at less than 25mph most of the time. My average riding speed is about 16mph.

Tools are necessary - you have them for your car, you should have some for a bike too. You don't want to be stranded out in the woods and have to walk back in. At a minimum, get a flat repair kit, tire levers, a mini pump, small set of allen wrenches - you can find which sizes your bike uses and just bring those or get a multi-tool. Small investment for these and well worth it. You wouldn't drive your car without a spare and a jack would you?

Its not as big a PITA as it sounds. I carry a multi tool, pump and patch kit all in a saddle pack and frame pack, and never even notice they're there until I need them.
 

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00Psst said:
Weight difference - about 30% depending upon frame size.

Its not as big a PITA as it sounds. I carry a multi tool, pump and patch kit all in a saddle pack and frame pack, and never even notice they're there until I need them.
There goes your weight savings :lol:

What is it that is soo much better about aluminum frame besides the weight savings?

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passaturbonium, to answer your first question aluminum bikes are usually lighter in the less expensive frames than steel however aluminum is a less forgiving ride than steel. Having said that light steel frames usually cost a bundle and are most likely rigid frames (no suspension).
Disc brakes are great and require much less upkeep but they are heavier than v-brakes and require a higher initial investmant than regular brakes.
As far as tools go all you really need is a decent bike specific multi tool that any bike shop would have to carry when riding and your regular tools for home upkeep. If you have any other questions I'll answer the best I can, I have been road and mountain biking for years.
 

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steel is real...that's one thing. but nobody puts steel on anything unless it's a cheap bike or a high-end bike.

aluminum is now the main choice for frames. it's stiffer when you combine it with oversize tubes (compare tube sizes of aluminum bikes to stee bikes and you'll see what i mean). they do that because aluminum is inherently less-stiff than steal so they build the bikes w/ large tube diameters and thinner walls to achieve the necessary results. ahh...how i long for my old prestige steel gary fisher procaliber non-suspension bike in team colors.

disc brakes - ideal when going through the muck as they clear better. normal brakes these days are more than adequate for 90+% of the riding. if you can lock up the brakes in any riding condition you encounter then the normal ones are sufficient.

regarding suspension. front suspension is basically the norm now. i'd highly recommend full suspension unless you do downhill or it's a high-end bike. the amount of energy you lose in suspensions is significant, if you're riding light trails or on roads it's a waste, it weighs more and it sacrifices the quality of the components.

my history as well with mongoose (and this is going bike over 8 yrs) when i worked in a shop was that they built a flashy bike that looked great but was crap. no offense, but looking at that pic you can tell it's got junk components. honestly, be aware of this stuff. BUY THE BEST COMPONENTS YOU CAN GET. get the bike catalogs and compare them all the way down the line (down to spokes...). you'll be surprised what some of the specs are.

i'd also recommend getting some of the bike mag buyers guide. i forget the name of the major mountain biking mag (man...what happened to my brain that i can't remember it).
 

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Whatever you do, don't buy that Mongoose. When I first started riding trails I had one. After a week I broke the frame and the fork was crapped out too.

Do your self a favor and get into a good bike. It will be more expensive, but it will save you when you need it most.
 
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