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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I’ve been mountain biking on a 200$ Walmart DSB Schwinn and the front wheel completely blew off the frame. It’s time for a real mtn bike, I only been tail riding for 2 weeks now and I am addicted I also race dirt bikes. A few bikes I researched so far are co-op 1.1 DRT, GT aggressor and Trek Marlin 5. I’m looking to stay in that price range up to 700$ I’d say to get into the sport. I ride trails in jersey they are rooted and some small inclines and declines but I would like to ride more challenging trails as well. Help me chose a starter bike!


EDIT: a local shop near me is getting in the Specialized Rockhopper sport any information on that? On top of the list?
 

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Whichever one you can find in your size first. At that level subtleties between bikes are irrelevant. Either a) you're going to outgrow it in a year, tops, and none of those frames are worth spending much on upgrading components, or b) you'll never get into it enough to pick up on the differences and you'll be happy no matter what you're on.

Personally I skipped the intermediate bike and went straight from a "spend a month on it to see if I like mtb" $150 Nashbar special to a good trail hardtail that I knew would last me years and would be worth upgrading components on if I wanted to, and I have no regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Whichever one you can find in your size first. At that level subtleties between bikes are irrelevant. Either a) you're going to outgrow it in a year, tops, and none of those frames are worth spending much on upgrading components, or b) you'll never get into it enough to pick up on the differences and you'll be happy no matter what you're on.

Personally I skipped the intermediate bike and went straight from a "spend a month on it to see if I like mtb" $150 Nashbar special to a good trail hardtail that I knew would last me years and would be worth upgrading components on if I wanted to, and I have no regrets.
What bikes would you recommend if I had a price range up to 1000$? Because I can tell it’s the type of hobby that I’m going to stick with.
 

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$1000 is still going to be limiting. Sweet spot starts to kick in around $1500. But maybe this, if you can find one:


Components are pretty cheap, but frames and geo are solid and worth investing it. Honestly I was surprised to see that bike priced and spec'd that way, but it's cool Marin has a "get you rolling" option. That's pretty uncommon.
 

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Hi, I’ve been mountain biking on a 200$ Walmart DSB Schwinn and the front wheel completely blew off the frame. It’s time for a real mtn bike, I only been tail riding for 2 weeks now and I am addicted I also race dirt bikes. A few bikes I researched so far are co-op 1.1 DRT, GT aggressor and Trek Marlin 5. I’m looking to stay in that price range up to 700$ I’d say to get into the sport. I ride trails in jersey they are rooted and some small inclines and declines but I would like to ride more challenging trails as well. Help me chose a starter bike!
Tough part of this price space is it's hard to find a bike with good trail geometry work upgrading and progressing on. The bikes you have listed a good beginner cross country bikes for smooth flow trails Once the trails start to get steeper and faster you want more wheelbase for stability and slacker head tube angles to make going down steep grades more comfortable and safe.

I'm trying to think of the cheapest bike with somewhat more modern trail geometry. Maybe the Polygon Xtrada bikes from bikesonline? Starts around $800. Not aggressive trail geometry but somewhere between the old 70 degree steep headtubes and modern long and slack geometry.
 

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The minimum I recommend is a Vitus Nucleus VR 29. Link. $700. Get on the notification list.
It has an air fork with a sealed damper. Good geo. OK drivetrain. 30mm inner rim width wide wheels.
The Sentier VR 29 is better. Link. Very good Marzocchi Z2 fork. Better drivetrain. Worth the extra money. $1450.
Even Better is the Ragley Big Al 1.0 also 29. Same Marzocchi Z2 fork. The frame has good rear vertical compliance designed in. Link. $1700.
Review.-
2021 Ragley Big Al Review - How Does a Budget Aluminum Hardtail Stack Up To Sedona's Trails? - YouTube
 

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Impressive your bike lasted 2 weeks. Years ago, I met a kid who just bought a Wal-Mart bike and rode it on the trails. He only rode the bike 300ft and the rear derailleur hanger sheared off the frame when he tried to shift gears. I would visit REI or Trek and have them fit you to the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Impressive your bike lasted 2 weeks. Years ago, I met a kid who just bought a Wal-Mart bike and rode it on the trails. He only rode the bike 300ft and the rear derailleur hanger sheared off the frame when he tried to shift gears. I would visit REI or Trek and have them fit you to the bike.
I’m surprised this bike lasted too the wheel did fall off on my 4th ride going over some big roots. I went to rei today and they had 2 bikes in stock and neither were mtn. Even on this 200$ cheap dsb from Walmart I’m having helluva time at the trails but I’m looking to really get into it without breaking my wallet for my first year.
 

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If you spend the money this year you'll save more than that the next several years.
Plus you have more fun and learn quicker on good equipment.
 

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The way to get a better bike for cheaper is to buy used. The issue right now is that bikes are in high demand ,that has driven prices up on used bike too. My story is close to yours , riding moto's ,wanting to try mountain biking. Bought a $ 350 bike ,this was in 1985ish ,rode it for a few months ,broke the frame ,got a replacement . Rode it another few months ,decided wanted a better bike ,bought a $1000 bike . Rode that few months ,I was talking to a guy at the shop ,and said my next bike would be lighter ,he said his brother was selling a barely ridden custom build Merlin . This bike had all the good stuff ,$ 1800 , I bought it. I rode that bike for the next 9 or 10 years ,wore out a lot parts ,upgraded other parts . Owned it until last summer ,sold it for $2600.
 
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