Author Topic: Need help picking a mountain bike  (Read 888 times)

a1pharm

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Need help picking a mountain bike
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:26:49 PM »
Greetings smart people!

I am in the market for a new mountain bike (the Craigslist scene is abysmal where I live - so this is just not an option).

I need to decide to go with either hard tail or full suspension - I'm not entirely sold on either one right now.  I'm 90% sure I'll go with 29" tires.

I will mainly be using the bike for up to 5 miles of trails at a time with elevation gains and downhills, but no rocks to go over.  The trails are raw: there is no gravel or other man made "improvements".

My budget is up to about $800.  I would gladly pay way less than that, but money doesn't matter up to this point.

I am average build and height and am in pretty good shape, overall.

I am very handy, and have worked on my other bike extensively (I don't use a LBS to do anything for me - I do everything myself).

I am NOT interested in buying a bike now, and upgrading to a different one later: I want to buy one bike once and use it forever.

Which bike (or style) would you smart bike folks recommend, and more importantly WHY you recommend it?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:29:26 PM by a1pharm »

Slee_stack

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Re: Need help picking a mountain bike
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 10:41:42 AM »
Sounds like you only need a simple XC style bike.

I bought my first MTB from http://bikesdirect.com/products/mountain_bikes.htm.  Since you know how to work on bikes, it should be easy to do the final assembly on one.

I'd suggest a hardtail (HT) with a Rockshox (reba or lower level) front shock.  10sp (or 9spd if you can still find one) would be plenty.

5mi and smooth dirt doesn't need the complication or cost of an FS.


If you were to ride longer distances at a stretch and/or were going to be doing more up/down (AM), drops, etc, than a FS bike might make sense.

I have a FS 29er and it has saved my lower back over the years.   I also ride at minimum  12mi at a go with upwards of 40 mi in a day on rare occasions.  I also tend to prefer a good amount of rocky/rooty and/or man-made obstacles when I ride.

Neva6

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Re: Need help picking a mountain bike
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 07:50:39 PM »
With only $800 to spend Iíd definitely go for a hard tail. You will get better quality components and a more reliable setup as you wonít have all the rear suspension pivots to deal with. You donít want a cheap full suspension bike.

Nate R

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Re: Need help picking a mountain bike
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 11:18:54 AM »
Quote
I am NOT interested in buying a bike now, and upgrading to a different one later: I want to buy one bike once and use it forever.

Good luck. At $800, that's a tough deal for a new bike. There IS a spectrum of getting what you pay for in MTB. Is a $8K MTB twice as good as a $4k? probably not. Is a $2K one more than twice as good as an $800 one? More likely.
I find I'm better off buying better bike up front, and spending less in maintenance later. ie: My last mountain bike came with junky rims, and I ended up replacing one when the non-serviceable hub fell apart. And that was a $1200 MSRP bike! New MTB cost more up front, but will last much longer.

A Rockshox Reba or Recon would be reasonable for a front fork, yes.
I'd DEFINITELY go Hardtail for your description. An $800 FS bike? Your'e asking for CHEAP junky suspension components.

I find hydraulic disc brakes are worth the expense to me.