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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new to the site and brand new to biking.....

I have come to the conclusion that if I want to maintain a workout plan and healthy lifestyle, then it needs to be enjoyable as well as effective.

My knees can't withstand the rigors of long distance running anymore and I just can't get into the health club cardio scene. (Weight training is great but running/biking in place is just torture)

I love to hunt and fish and I am getting better with the camera all the time so.....

Life has brought me to the place where I want to buy a good mountain bike. For exercise, for exploring, for action, and for fun.

I will be riding logging roads, some singletrack stuff, and a little road riding (just to get to the trails and back)

My question is should I be looking for a full suspension bike or can I get by with a good hardtail?

Factors are #1 price, and #2 my body, and #3 riding style.

I have up to $500 to spend so I know that a good new FS is pretty much out of the question.

But I have some options with entry level HT's.

Do I look for a used FS bike or am I better off with a new HT that will probably have better components?

I am leaning on getting a new bike for the warranty and just knowing all about the bike.

Thanks
 

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Whoah, whoah, slow down there. We've all got jobs! Come back!
To answer your question, stay with a hardtail. Not sure why they get such a bad reputation, but hardtails are honestly the way to go. For a beginner budget in the $500 range, any FS bike is going to be garbage. A hardtail in that price range is going to be a solid bike with a good frame that is worth upgrading as you improve your skills and riding style.

One day, when your skills take you farther than you've ever dreamed, and your wallet is overflowing with $1500, then you can start looking into full suspension. Until then, grab that hardtail from your local bike shop, have them fit you to a good frame, and have a blast.

Also, take some time to search the threads. There's a ton of information on here already, so if you ask a question that's been beaten to death (like the HT vs FS debate) you're less likely to get a speedy response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right on MM thanks.

I have been testing some bikes in the range and reading a lot on this site about the different entry level bikes with at least decent frames and upgradeable(sp).

I wanted to get disc brakes because I live in the Pacific NW and its usually muddy and wet unless you count the 1.5 weeks of sunshine.

Problem is the disc brakes on the bikes that I can afford are pretty much worthless.

Should I just get the bike with a little better components and the cantilever style brakes?

Or.... Are disc brakes something I just can't live without?

Remember, I can't step up to the $650 range where you can get better disc setups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know much about Iron Horse bikes but it does look like better components for the money. I will search the site for reviews on that bike.


Thanks CRed
 

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If you're just getting into it, personnaly I would say V-brakes will do, it's really muddy and wet where I ride but I started out with V's and they served me well. If you're on a budget I wouldn't rule V-brakes out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys.

So far I am liking the Fuji Nevada 2.0 with v brakes and your basic cheap components. I rode a Giant but I forget which one. I want to ride the Hardrock XC but can't seem to find one close by to test out.

The Cannondale bike for $500 has better components but again, the few LBS's don't have one in my size that I can try out. I really want to purchase from a LBS for service and expertise and I also feel the need to test any bike that I buy for feel.

I have lower back issues so a good fitting bike is a must even at the entry level status that I am in.
 

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My LBS has the Trek 4300 at $300,nice deal if there's a Trek dealer around where you live.And I happen to use V-Brakes myself on my custom build,no problems with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:thumbsup: Well, I bought the Fugi and so far I'm loving it. On my first ride I had hillclimbs, downhill runs, tight rooty singletrack, and saw a nice deer. All this within a 10 minute ride from my house.

Now I'm at work and feeling the best I've felt in a long time. So glad I made the choice to get a bike and enter the world flingin' mud on 2 wheels. ( I used to race stock cars on dirt so I am used to flingin' it with 4 wheels).

Easy to see why guys/gals get so into mountain biking. I'm hooked.
 

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The only time I have needed disc brakes is when we were coming down a steep technical section and my brake pads got hot and squishy. We had to stop and wait for them and the rim (which was too hot to touch) to cool.
 
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