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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone I am starting to look for a bike to ride with a couple friends and also my cousin. Which they ride two different styles and Id like to find something that could perhaps do both without breaking my wallet. I'm interested in a bike cause I can travel more ground at a faster speed then hiking. Im a fairly big hiker but noone ever wants to go so I guess if I cant beat em Join em since hiking alone is boring. anyways... I have about $400-$500 to drop on a bike. (Not including Helmet,Gloves etc)

My friends do I guess what would be considered XC and Freeriding my cousin is all about Downhill I know unless I get a downhill bike he will smoke me but I think that I will have so much more fun doing XC/Freeriding. Let alone the price of a legit downhill bike is absurd. and plus any bike can do downhill right? I just dont want to have issues going uphill when riding with the buddys.

My XC friends said to get either a Cannondale or a Felt bike. As far as other brands Im completely in the dark which is why I came here for some knowledgeable help. I really dont have a preference at this point to go FS or Hardtail since I do not know enough about the sport. And do not mind going through craigslist or recycler for a bike or even my LBS for a new I just want to make a smart buy and not be cheap I understand 400-500 isnt that much but should be a good start no?

BTW im 25, 5'11''-6'0'' about 175 lbs right now I do expect that to go up a little since Im trying to quit smoking cigarettes i usually fluctuate between 170-180. Hopefully Biking will help me regenerate my lungs from the damage ive done already. and get rid of my beer gut from the years of Drinking,Smoking and partying like a rockstar. Its time for a lifestyle change and hopfully this will work out. And if $400-$500 will only buy me a money pit suggestions are welcome. Just probably looking for a bike a little more geard toward XC then downhill since having to take a Ski lift or car ride to do it again is kind of a bummer. IMO

Thanks for the help, cheers!

-EvilMonkey
 

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Braille Riding Instructor
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You should be able to get a decent starter for $400-$500, particularly in a hardtail.

However, if you buy a trail/XC bike, I wouldn't recommend taking it on a downhill course (big air, big hits, etc.) unless you wish to shell out another $400-$500 to replace the bike you destroyed. :D

Seriously, ride what you like. If you prefer XC to downhill, then buy a cross-country bike, use it as intended, and try not to let your buddies talk you into attempting something you're not ready for or your bike wasn't made for.

I used to hike all the time, as well. Then I got into mountain biking and now I'm riding many of the same trails I used to hike ... and I'm having more fun, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well I like XC but I also dig the rush of downhill. I just find downhill to be a pain in the ass since like I said its a one way ticket then you gotta use the lift or drive back up.

But id probably get more use/have more fun with XC since I know more people with XC suited bikes then downhill bikes. Plus my cousin can sometimes be a bit of a D bag.

Any recommendations on a decent 400-500 bike?

I havent seen many FS bikes for around 400-500 so Im assuming stick to hardtails?
 

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Braille Riding Instructor
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You can also get a plenty big rush from XC descents. I guess it depends on where you live and what the trails are like there.

Here in southeast Idaho, most of my rides go like this: climb, climb, climb, climb and then whoooooooooooooooop! down you go. There are plenty of hairpins, chicanes, tight fits through trees, rollers, dipsy-dos, narrow bridges, rock gardens and even a jump here and there to keep you out of your saddle.

As for a bike in your price range, I'd recommend doing a lot of research. You basically have three options: 1) purchase a new bike from your local bike shop, 2) purchase a new bike online, or 3) purchase a used bike.

Although LBSes typically don't give the most bang for the buck, there's always the chance you can score a great deal on last year's model or on a demo.

I've never purchased a complete bike online, but others here have and might be able share their opinions and experiences. E-retailers like pricepoint.com and bikesdirect.com probably offer the best bang for the buck, but you don't get to test ride the bike for fit and comfort, and I think some assembly/tune up is required.

There are also screaming deals on used bikes. Check craigslist and other classifieds and see what you come up with. Bear in mind, however, that used bikes are not warranteed and could need work/new parts. Caveat emptor!

Happy trails,

HP
 

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+1 on checking around on 2010 models at your LBS. i just typed this is a different thread talking about some killer deals to be had. just go to all the LBSs and see what they have in your size- give them a test ride and see which feels best.
 
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