Author Topic: Getting into mountain biking  (Read 2003 times)

morninglightmountain

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Getting into mountain biking
« on: February 11, 2018, 03:34:03 PM »
I live in biking distance of some trails, and ive been interested in taking up mountain biking for some time.

Before I know if I'll stick to the sport or not, I wouldn't want to spend a lot on a nice bike.  Any recommendations? Am I crazy for looking at bikes on Craigslist for ~$100?

Here's an example (Nishiki):

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bik/d/nishiki-american-eagle/6492762126.html

Thanks for any advice!

Askel

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 03:56:39 PM »
I would jump all over that if it were local to me. That's a sweet bike. Throw some racks on there and it can pull double duty as a commuter.

That said, technology has advanced quite a bit on mountain bikes since then.  It's made bikes much faster, more comfortable, and more reliable.  The degree to which, likely depends on what kind of trails you're riding and your personal skill level. 

But is it necessary? If you're hucking big drops on the local black diamond downhill course, maybe. Going for a ride in the woods? Probably not. 

FINate

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 04:23:54 PM »
If the bike is really worth ~$100 then it's probably going to need several hundred dollars of work before hitting the trails. New BB, new cassette, new chainrings, new chain, new cables, new brake pads, rebuild headset, perhaps new wheels/hubs...a lot depends on the specific condition of the bike. Riding a crappy/poorly maintained bike is not an enjoyable experience.

On the other hand, if the bike is in pretty good condition with decent components then it's probably worth a lot more than $100 and a good chance it's stolen.

My recommendation: Start off by renting bikes at your local bike shop. This will let you try out different bikes...different brands, sizes, and features. If you decide you like the sport then you should be able to get into a quality new or new-ish hardtail mountain bike for a little less than $1000.

Jesstache

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 10:45:49 PM »
I'd check your local biking/mountain bike specific bike shops.  Where I live, mountain biking is huge and there is a shop a few blocks away that has ladies only no drop (any experience level) rides twice a month, it includes free bike demos for those who get there early.  You'd also get the experience of what it's like to ride a great bike because a terrible bike can make an otherwise enjoyable ride not so fun.  They also have similar deals for men/coed rides.

That said, you could get a good bike for about $4-500 and get a lot of mileage out of it.  My first mountain bike was a Specialized Rock Hopper.  I think it was $450 new about 12 years ago (gift from hubby).  I rode it for 10 years before upgrading to a nicer bike.  I still ride it most of the time around town because it just fits me well and I don't worry about it being stolen like I would my new bike.

Brother Esau

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 04:23:04 AM »
The renting and ladies group ride with a local shop is probably the best way to go. My first mountain bike was a Haro that I bought on sale for $400. Soon realized that I needed a better bike since I was beating the crap out of it. My bikes now are in the $3 - $4,000 range. Worth every penny to me since I ride 3 to 4 times per week all year round.

wkumtrider

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 01:58:13 PM »
Mt. bikes have advanced a lot since the Nishiki came out.  I would visit a local bike shop.  They may have some used bikes that are only a few years old and you could get a good deal on.  A newer bike will be more enjoyably on the trails, but that is my opinion.

morninglightmountain

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 06:00:54 PM »
I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Nishiki.  The frame was in good condition aside from a couple of rust spots. I'll have to replace the brake pads.

Considering I'm a noob to the sport, this seems like a low-cost way to try it for a season.  If I really get into it, and if the price point makes sense, I could increase my budget to $1,000+.

Thanks for the advice!

jgoody

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 06:25:42 PM »
For what it's worth, I think you made a good decision.  If you really get into mountain biking and decide to upgrade, you can likely sell the Nishiki for more than you paid for it by creating a really snazzy craigslist ad with good photos and listing it in late Spring/early Summer when there will be many more potential buyers.  I've personally listed a bike in winter with zero interest and then used the exact same ad in Summer and had to shut the ad down after a day because my inbox was getting flooded.  On the other hand, if you decide mountain biking just isn't for you, you can still sell the Nishiki for more than you paid for it!  Win-win.

I do agree with posters above, however that if the general sport of mountain biking is fun for you and you get into it, the newer bikes are MUCH faster, more comfortable, etc.  Given the vintage of your bike, I'd stick with pretty easy singletrack/doubletrack rides and don't try going for big air with the Nishiki.  But those easy trails are what you should be starting out on with mountain biking anyway. 

Enjoy!

hadabeardonce

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 05:26:56 PM »
Mtbr.com has a bunch of good mountain bike info. GMBN and Seth's Bike Hacks are fun to follow on YouTube. Parktool.com will teach you everything you want to know about bike repair.

I didn't see the CL ad for the bike, but riding is the most important part. Make sure you spend more time on the bike than looking up bike information and you'll be alright.

morninglightmountain

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 11:19:07 AM »
Jgoody,
That was my thinking. I'll just be taking it to beginner and maybe intermediate trails near me by the time summer rolls around. If I need (want) to upgrade, then I'll have a lot of good options!

Hadabear,
Ha, yes I'll take it out the first non-freezing I get! Thanks for those resources.

Brother Esau

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Re: Getting into mountain biking
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 11:47:31 AM »
Hopefully you really enjoy it and then you'll have to add a fat bike to your arsenal.