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I am a newbie and looking for a mountain bike, dont know much about them and looking for suggestions. Was told that either Diamondback's or Marin's are good choice and I am trying to stay under $500. Also, told that I should go with disc brakes? Can you please help me decide? I am very petite, only about 5'1. Any suggestions??

So far I have looked into the following:
1. Diamondback Lux Sport
2. Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc
3. Marin Pioneer Trail Disc

Thx!
 

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Have you tried any of those bikes yet? If you haven't I would go and try them or, try as many in your price range as possible. It is possible to get disc brakes for less than 500 but they wont be very good disc brakes. For just about 500, or maybe a bit more you should check out a Specialized Hard Rock Disc. I think for the price range it has the best mix of parts. Try it before you buy it though, you want to make sure it fits you nicely.
 

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I wouldn't necessarily worry about disks personally. At your price point all bikes have someplace (usually several someplaces) where the manufacturer is using lower end components to be able to sell the bike at that price. Disk brakes at that price point, as Dremer pointed out, may not be the greatest. Given that you are petite, good rim brakes are going to stop you just fine. Heck, my first mountain bike had rim brakes and stopped my 180 lb self just fine. Pretty much all entry bikes now sold at least have disk tabs front and rear for possible later upgrades, but if you fall in love with mountain biking by then you may be looking for a bike that fits what you find your riding desires are. If you do think you might want to go from rims to disks down the road also look for disk ready wheels, the bike shop can tell you whether they are or not.

Fit, comfort (very related to fit) and a good shop that will work with you on maintenance (free tuneups, etc.) are more important than any specific bike recommendation, all the big manufacturers have entry level bikes at $500 that will get you out on the trails and having fun. Also look to get shops to throw in some stuff, water bottle, maybe even a basic helmet, etc.

David B.
 

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I got my Giant Yukon from my local LBS for $500 on sale. Being a newbie I am loving the bike. It does everything I can ask for. It also has disk brakes which I am very happy with.
I have two suggestions for you:
Find a LBS you are happy with
Test ride before you buy
I can do most repairs on my 66 Mustang but I don't know squat about my new bike. My LBS has been great when I have a question or need a minor fix.
 

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local trails rider
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Suggesting that you are a girl is a pretty sure way to get responses here...:p

This is great advice:
davidbeinct said:
Fit, comfort (very related to fit) and a good shop that will work with you on maintenance (free tuneups, etc.) are more important than any specific bike recommendation, all the big manufacturers have entry level bikes at $500 that will get you out on the trails and having fun.
A small person needs a small bike frame and those are not always stocked at all shops.

If at all possible, visit some bike shops. As many as you can reach. Try everything that is at all promising. Buy the one you are most comfortable riding.

Disc brakes: discs are much better in wet and dirty conditions. Otherwise V brakes work OK.
 

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One consideration you may want to make is on a bike with V-Brakes the rim of the wheel is essentially the rotor or the braking surface. Over time (as long as a few years) this gets warn down and it will cause the wheel to fail unless you change the rim or the whole wheel. On a disc brake bike you only have to worry about replacing the rotors, and pads. I would say at the very least look for a bike with front and rear disc brake tabs. So later you can upgrade if you wanted too.
 

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Somehow we managed to ride bikes without disc brakes for years before they became available . The insinuation that the wheel will fail from the use of rim brakes is overblown at best.
 

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AZ.MTNS said:
Somehow we managed to ride bikes without disc brakes for years before they became available . The insinuation that the wheel will fail from the use of rim brakes is overblown at best.
Maybe it is a bit exaggerated, but if they are left not replaced you will at the very least have a flat tire, and eventually the pads would eat there way through the side wall if not replaced, correct?
 

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Dremer03 said:
Maybe it is a bit exaggerated, but if they are left not replaced you will at the very least have a flat tire, and eventually the pads would eat there way through the side wall if not replaced, correct?
Very exaggerated , the only point to make is to keep this disscusion real . There is no reason for worst case examples , it does the O.P. a huge disservice otherwise . Not trying to start a flame war , or call anyone out .
 

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AZ.MTNS said:
Very exaggerated , the only point to make is to keep this disscusion real . There is no reason for worst case examples , it does the O.P. a huge disservice otherwise . Not trying to start a flame war , or call anyone out .
Yeah, I'm a worse case scenario kind of guy. I should really stress, anything like what I stated would take MANY, MANY YEARS.
 

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Dremer03 said:
Yeah, I'm a worse case scenario kind of guy. I should really stress, anything like what I stated would take MANY, MANY YEARS.
;) .
 

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I got a Giant Rincon with disc for $530 tax and all. Nice bike. Fork wasn't very good but better than rigid. Just kept it lubed. Came with Kenda Nevegal tires too. SWEEEETT!!!!
Of course 3 weeks later I traded in for a $1400 Specialized FSR XC Comp. Then 4 months later a $2500 Titus Racer X. This mountain biking is addictive. My wife said thats all folks or somebody's gonna die.
 

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AZ.MTNS said:
Very exaggerated , the only point to make is to keep this disscusion real . There is no reason for worst case examples , it does the O.P. a huge disservice otherwise . Not trying to start a flame war , or call anyone out .
To me, rim wear is the only major dis-advantage to rim brakes. I have never had any braking problems with V's or even cantis, but I have worn the sidewalls off a couple of wheels.
Nothing wrong with mentioning something that can(and in the case of riding often in muddy conditions) will happen.
 

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For someone new to the sport, especially a woman, you will certainly want to get a proper fit at a bike shop. It is important because most bikes are built around the specific male figure, unless you are shopping WSD, but even then they are built around a very specific womens build. We all come in different shapes and sizes, so do bikes, so you will want someone to help you get a proper fit, try out some different bikes in your price range, and go with the one that feels the most comfortable. All of the bikes in your range will be very similarly equipped so you will not have much to worry about there. Also keep enough in your budget for a nice helmet, and probably a new saddle.
 

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Dremer03 said:
For just about 500, or maybe a bit more you should check out a Specialized Hard Rock Disc.
Ditto ! I picked up one in 07 to see how I would like a Hard Tail and I haven't been back on the Full Suspension since. The Hard Rock Sport Disk is an awesome buy for the money. A friend of mine still has the one I sold him. Only sold it because I went 29er.
As noted, find a local dealer, ride the bikes in your price range and purchase the one that you like and that fits and feels the best to you. That's all that really matter. If you like it you will ride it.

ODN
 

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Disc brakes are an absolute MUST have. They are pretty much unaffected by rims out of true and trail slop that often renders rim brakes useless. The stopping power between the two isn't even close. They also don't fade on long down hills like rim brakes and the pads last many times longer. There are many ugrades that the techies make a big deal about that don't mean much to me. However, disc brakes bring a smile to my face eveytime I think about my old bike with the rim brakes.
 

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Starkonian said:
Disc brakes are an absolute MUST have. They are pretty much unaffected by rims out of true and trail slop that often renders rim brakes useless. The stopping power between the two isn't even close. They also don't fade on long down hills like rim brakes and the pads last many times longer. There are many ugrades that the techies make a big deal about that don't mean much to me. However, disc brakes bring a smile to my face eveytime I think about my old bike with the rim brakes.
Disc brakes are not a MUST Have.

Go get yourself a bike with new V-Brakes, and a bike with new Disc Brakes. Get to full speed and grab the front brake as hard as you can. Will they both Endo? Yes.

Disc brakes CAN fade when you are doing lots of braking.

Only advantages to disc brakes are, increased stopping power in wet conditions, and they dont wear down rims.
 

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+1 for the disk brakes, especially if you ever have to ride through puddles, mud, etc. Basic mechanical disks will be better than any rim brakes you'll be getting. A worthwhile upgrade, IMHO.
 

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Gasp4Air said:
Basic mechanical disks will be better than any rim brakes you'll be getting. A worthwhile upgrade, IMHO.
Not necessarily.

I love the pretty basic hydraulic brakes I have on two bikes. The pretty basic V brakes (Shimano Deore), that I had on one of those bikes, felt way better than my Avid BB5 mechanical discs (have those on my third bike). The only reason I swapped to hydraulic discs on that "ex-V brake bike" was the wet and dirty conditions I encounter.

Bad disc brakes do exist. They may be worse than the basic Vs.
 
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