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Hey Im another person looking to get into the sport of mountain biking. Im 5'9" 185 lb 19 year old with some pretty short arms. Im looking for my first bike to be a hardtail of course because all i have to spend is $500. Ive looked at alot of the threads already posted and know that i definately am not going to WAl-Mart. I live in the bush in Alaska so i wont have the luxery of test riding bikes. Im not even sure what size bike i need. The main type of riding im going to be doing is Freeride and XC. Ive heard alot of people recomending the Fisher Marlin. Giant Rainier, Trek 4500. I was looking at the trek 3500 but i was wondering what your opinions were. Im looking to get into it as another hobby but i have no problem upgraded when needed. I hope it doesnt seem like i was just blabbing but i figured to get the most help people need the most info.If anybody that is about my size could tell me what there riding that would be great to, Thanks for any help.
 

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There's no app for this.
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not sure what's available

in your area but the Giant Yukon fits your budget at $469 with Hayes mech. discs. The fork's a bit weak but can be upgraded later. If you can spring for it, the next model up (Iguana) at $600 has a Marzocchi fork that's way better and will offer a much better ride and last longer than the Yukon (Suntour) fork.

I'd use the Yukon as a benchmark to help you search out your new ride.

Good luck, Jim
 

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well im about 5'7 and about 150lb and i ride a 2004 giant VT2...but thats a bit out of the wallet.sorry about the lack of help but im about ur size and u wanted to know what it was i was riding.

Good luck and have out there :D
 

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Giant is a good choice...

Though alot of people have said this, I can't stress it enough, whatever you choose will be a good bike. You have to choose what you like. Take each person's opinions with a grain of salt. I like Giant, and here is a fact that can't be stressed enough, Giant makes frames for most everybody. Some bike lines just have their frames made at Giant and then they paint their own logos and stuff on them. So, Giant is able to offer better equip for the buck, usually. I understand how isolation is and can only offer a couple of points. What kind of bikes do the riders in your area tend to ride?! The reason I ask this is: some areas get better deals on certain bikes than others do. If you find out what is available, you might find a better bike than anyone here can offer advice to buy. For instance, if Trek and Gary Fisher are predominant ridden in your area, it may be because they offer the best deals for your area. If your group is totally mixed, ask the riders themselves what they think is necessary for your area, then talk to the shops. The advice you get here is just that, advice. When you are starting off, it's best to ask for advice from people who already have the experience from your area. You may find that only fs bikes do well or that ht are the only way to go, either way, you'll be able to put together your own opinion based on the experience you learn from your local riders. The truth is often hard to hear, but here it is, no matter how much experience there is in this forum, no one is better to give you advice than someone who is already familiar with you, your riding styles, the type of riding available (XC, DH, or FS), and or the availability of quality bikes. Then pick something that you feel fits your personality. Not everyone thinks fs is the only way to go, many love their hts and wouldn't trade them for anything. So, good luck and let us know how it goes!!
 

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Haro v3 and v4
Giant Yukon and Iguana (i ride the iguana)
Trek 4300 and 4500
Gary Fisher Marlin
Specialized Hardrock

I think those are all in your price range (400 - 600) but i havent looked lately. I lean towards giant, but try them all out.
 

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xc AND freeride? Those are kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum, so it might be tough to find a bike well suited for both. Make sure you get a strong, solid frame... parts can be replaced/upgraded easily, but the frame is the expensive part. If you can find them, look for Kona or Haro bikes - their frames should be beefy enough to handle some light freeriding. If you can't get your hands on them, Fisher, Giant, and Trek all make good entry level bikes. Of those 3, I'd go with the Giant simply because I'm not a big fan of trek/fisher, especially their entry level stuff.
 

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Phil from San Diego
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Yeah, I went with Giant also because the bikes offered better value. I got the Yukon and love it! =) but wish I had gone with Iguana or Rainer as I'm now looking to upgrade some of the low end components especially the fork. Seems the stock SunTour fork has no rebound damping and makes a loud clang even just jumping off curbs! =/

JimC, any recommendation on a fork upgrade? Seems like you know the Yukon and know your forks. =) (anyone else feel free to chime in. going to post the same question over at "Let's talk about shocks" so I don't hijack this thread)

Back to Freakyboxer, looks like BeenTravelinLite has a good list of bikes in your price range and any would be good choices.. but they all ride slightly different... be great if you can test ride some.. if not, just pick one and get used it, or you can always change the stem/handle bar, seat post/position to make it fit you.

Good luck!


Phil.
 
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