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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is what I'm thinking. I've gotten a headache trying to figure out what bike would be a good purchase. To make my search easier, I was thinking to do something like this. Buy the best frame that I can, wait for each separate part to brake, wear down, or get on my nerves and replace it with something better. I'm a total noob and dont know exactly what I want or whats best so why not put all the money I can now into a good frame. The foundation of a good bike, a good fitting frame. I'm not going to worry about the components yet, as its not in my budget. I think I should be able to get at least 6 months out of the weaker components, which will give me time to recuperate the funds. Most people would say this is a mistake, and to save up for something a little bit more expensive. Then I start talking about buying this more expensive bike and someone else will say, save up a little more to get this even better bike, and so it continues.

So please enlighten me with your thoughts on this. Why shouldn't I focus on buying the best possible fitting frame, something I really like, and then upgrading around it. Does this sound like a reasonable thought process, because this whole process is making me craZy.

On that note, I would love to hear your recommendations for a solid all round frame. Something that will be able to withstand the test of time. Something I can do jumps with for years without worrying about its ability to hold me up! I'm 5'10 and around 200lbs.

So far the most challenging thing about MTB is getting a bike!
 

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So far you're on the right track: A good frame IS the foundation of a good bike.
However, you're a little to quick on the draw with upgrades. Ease up a bit....even the "low end" components you'd find on a $500 rig are going to last you more than 6 months! I still run many of my no-name parts mix from 9 years ago....and I'm 225 pounds at 6'4". I still run my original STX-RC (discontinued shimano line) cranks, brandless V-brakes, brandless stem, and no-frills Bontrager handle bars (flat bars!). Upgraded wheels, fork, saddle, and pedals to suit my riding styles as I improved, and upgraded derailleurs as my old ones broke.

Even cheaper frames from a major manufacturer like Trek or Giant are going to be fairly decent, and worthy of upgrading, but in the bike industry, you generally get what you pay for. That's not to say a $500 entry level bike is garbage. That bike will actually take you pretty far. At least, that's where I started with my GF Tassajara back in '99, and it's still my only mountain steed after all these years.
 

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Just an idea..... BUT..

You could buy a complete bike, Rockhopper (great bike/price) or something like that.. which is a great frame and you could upgradethe components on it later. (FYI... The 09 Rockhoppers have some good components on it, I just bought one) Depends on what type of riding you will be doing also. Gotta think about that..

Having said that.....

Get a bike you can ride now... Buy another frame (if you don't like the one your riding) and then switch them out and sell the old frame... Either way it's a win, win situation for you.. You get to ride your bike from the beginning... get a better idea on the TYPE of riding you will be doing and what you enjoy, then buy a frame that fits your needs. If you buy something extremely expensive and decide you don't really need that type of frame for the type of riding you are doing, then you have waisted your money.. it's like buying a 4x4 jeep when you live and drive in the city and never take it off road... Get my drift?

Just my 2cents...
 

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The Martian
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You're right, a good fitting frame is very important.

However, you aren't likely to find a high quality, light, worthy of upgrading frame with bottom of the barrel components on it. There is nothing wrong with most of those frames (in the $500 range for a complete bike); they are perfectly fine, but they won't be specialized for a riding style, won't have optimized tubing, won't be fine tuned structurally or in design, etc. They are designed to be do it all, general purpose bikes that can be made fairly cheaply, so you aren't going to get the ride like you would on a higher end frame that is specifically designed for your type of riding and doesn't compromise so much on design/materials vs. production cost.

In sort, they aren't frames I, personally, would be interested in upgrading no matter how well they fit me. I'd go find a nicer frame with similar geometry and upgrade that.

Basically a Hardrock will never be a Stumpjumper HT, a Trek 3700 will never be a Trek 8000, a Wahoo will never bee a HooKooEKoo, etc. even if you upgrade the components to the same levels (at a much higher cost in the long run).

My advice: buy the bike you can afford now. Ride the crap out of it. Fix what is broken, but otherwise don't touch it and save up for that nice bike you really want once you've figured out just what type of bike suits your riding style best.

(btw: I have a Trek 4500 that I still ride. Love the bike, but I have no illusions of the frame being worthy of upgrading. It's still fun to ride occasionally, but it serves other purposes now and I'm moving on to a nicer frame rather than pouring money into a frame that is way overbuilt, heavy, and the wrong angles for what I want.)
 

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There is nothing wrong with upgrading a decent, strong frame. Of course it's better to start with the best....if you have the money. But don't let the gear-heads tell you that your Wahoo frame and your Deore components aren't worthy. ;)

Just ride, man.
 

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I'm in the same boat my friend. I personally want to spend between 300-500. I really want to stay away from the upper limit though because I'm also going to need accessories like a helmet. I've seen rave reviews about the Rockhopper, but the price is at my limit. Therefore, I'm looking toward the hardrock, but hope I don't regret it.

I'm also having issues finding LBS in my area that people don't say is terrible.

I wouldn't mind going used, which you should strongly consider, but it's tough to find good bikes amidst everything out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
UPDATE:

Thanks everyone for your wisdom. I just got my new bike, its a Trek 4300. The price was unbeatable at $120 including a pump and some lube. Very nice condition, I couldn't resist. I figured it would be a great bike to start off on, and keep the spending minimum while I figure out what kind of riding I want to do seriously. It was the bike I had an eye on from the beginning so I'm quite happy and excited to hit the trails.

The only two potential problems with the bike is I think one of the pedals might be bent. I can feel it "rolling" when I ride. Also while standing up and peddling I like to rock the bike side to side. When I really push the bike to the right, something squeaks near the left side of the fork or break pad, I cannot tell which one yet. Any doctors in the house?

Any advice for a Noob? I need to learn some house keeping, I've checked out the sticky so far.
 

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ride hard take risks
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gabrie30 said:
UPDATE:

Thanks everyone for your wisdom. I just got my new bike, its a Trek 4300. The price was unbeatable at $120 including a pump and some lube. Very nice condition, I couldn't resist. I figured it would be a great bike to start off on, and keep the spending minimum while I figure out what kind of riding I want to do seriously. It was the bike I had an eye on from the beginning so I'm quite happy and excited to hit the trails.

The only two potential problems with the bike is I think one of the pedals might be bent. I can feel it "rolling" when I ride. Also while standing up and peddling I like to rock the bike side to side. When I really push the bike to the right, something squeaks near the left side of the fork or break pad, I cannot tell which one yet. Any doctors in the house?

Any advice for a Noob? I need to learn some house keeping, I've checked out the sticky so far.
Congratz on the awesome bike. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Now where's the Porn :ihih:

Squeaks can be hard to nail down because they resonate, what sounds like a fork couls actually be the seat. If your sure its the front sounds like your working it well there Mr. Watson, possibly the wheel is flexing against the brake pad like you said, weak QR can do the same thing. :cornut:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
dogonfr said:
Congratz on the awesome bike. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Now where's the Porn :ihih:

Squeaks can be hard to nail down because they resonate, what sounds like a fork couls actually be the seat. If your sure its the front sounds like your working it well there Mr. Watson, possibly the wheel is flexing against the brake pad like you said, weak QR can do the same thing. :cornut:
Porns on the internet but errr uh whats a QR? Thanks for the help!
 

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QR = Quick release. It's the "axle" thing that holds your wheel on the fork. You close the lever down to lock it, and open the lever to remove your wheel. Turn open the lever, and give the nut on the other end a turn or two, then try closing the lever. Adjust as needed to get a good clamp.

Porn / Pron = Pictures of your bike. See, to us bike fanatics, bike-porn is a bit of an addiction. My girlfriend knows that if I whip my head around in public to check something out, it's usually a hot bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LOL ok I'll get some porn for you soon. Little problem I have to solve first. I decided I really had to readjust the front derailleur, bad decision. But hey I want to know everything about bikes so learning how to adjust the front derailleur shouldn't be a bad thing. But man am I stuck. I was thinking just going into a shop and asking them to fix it. How much does this usually cost? Of course I'll be bugging them with questions the whole time asking what does that do, what does this do /insert cool smilely...
 

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Lloyd
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I picked up a decent 10 year old bike online for about $150 and now I have spent about $200 on it but the bike could now be sold at a way higher price.

It is a Jamis Dakar Sport that has good components on it and is now looking great.

Not too bad
 

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Lloyd
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One thing is that you must make sure that you are in the same gear as what you are making it and then you will need to fine tune it from there but when you tighten it that will make it go into a higher gear and when you loosen it it will be in a lower gear I like to have it as tight as I can get it when I am in two so it will shift more smoothly into the third and the first gear.
 

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gabrie30 said:
LOL ok I'll get some porn for you soon. Little problem I have to solve first. I decided I really had to readjust the front derailleur, bad decision. But hey I want to know everything about bikes so learning how to adjust the front derailleur shouldn't be a bad thing. But man am I stuck. I was thinking just going into a shop and asking them to fix it. How much does this usually cost? Of course I'll be bugging them with questions the whole time asking what does that do, what does this do /insert cool smilely...
Of course I meant your bike. :rolleyes:

http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/index.htm

http://www.parktool.com/repair/bikemap.asp
 

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