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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks, thanks for having me. I'm gonna go ahead and call myself a total noob, although i can ride a bike. I currently have a mongoose blackcomb that I've had since 07(it makes me smile that's key here correct), I mostly ride smooth trails with rolling hills now and don't plan on much more. Often I'm pulling a trailer with a little one or two in it. With that said, my faithful mongoose y dying slowly... I went to my LBS ( see that I'm learning lol) asked about a new bike to get the job done decently for $500 or less. He scoffed at me and told me I would be super happy with the perfect bike for $2000 on top of my $500. Well nope I ain't got that and I'm not going to spend it on a bike. So I asked about getting a few new parts for ol faithful and he straight up went into hysterical laughter. Thanks for the help buddy... Anyway seems I can get a new blackcomb, it works for me or is there a better bike out there for me? Thanks and sorry for the long post
 

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As a former bike shop mechanic, I apologise for that behavior. It's idiotic behavior like that that keeps customers away from spending money at bike shops.

It's true, there are very few decent bikes on the market for around $500. Most of the bikes in that price range will work for you, but you can get a better value if you stretch your budget a little bit. Anything over $1k is overkill for your needs.

I looked up the Blackcomb. No offense, but that's objectively a pile of ****. I'm not going all bike snob on ya, but I can tell from years of experience in shops and in a non-profit bike co-op that those are disposable bikes. Not worth flushing any more dollars down that toilet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As a former bike shop mechanic, I apologise for that behavior. It's idiotic behavior like that that keeps customers away from spending money at bike shops.

It's true, there are very few decent bikes on the market for around $500. Most of the bikes in that price range will work for you, but you can get a better value if you stretch your budget a little bit. Anything over $1k is overkill for your needs.

I looked up the Blackcomb. No offense, but that's objectively a pile of ****. I'm not going all bike snob on ya, but I can tell from years of experience in shops and in a non-profit bike co-op that those are disposable bikes. Not worth flushing any more dollars down that toilet.
I hear ya I was 17 when I bought it, and I bought it because it looked cool... But it has served me well for 12 years I really can't think of a complaint, younger years I would ride 20+ miles a couple times a week now I'm between 5-10 miles a couple times a week. I have access to a machine shop and have mostly replaced all the plastic bushings with brass, a new shock, one chain and both tires, some greese and wd40 is the extent of my regular maintenance on it.
 

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After working in a few bike shops over the years, my experience has been that bikes from brick-and-mortar bike shops in the $500 range end up in one of the following categories:
*Ridden once or twice, then parked in a garage/ basement for years. Pulled out on the first day of spring when owner is confused why the chain is rusty and tires are flat. Sold on Craigslist "like new" for half of what owner paid.
* Bike is ridden with some regularity on neighborhood bike paths but mechanically neglected and left out in the elements. When it finally comes back to the shop for service, it needs extensive work that approaches 1/2 the cost of the bike.
* Bike was sold to someone who is "on a budget" and wanted to "try out mountain biking but not spend a lot of money in case they don't get into it. " Bike is ridden way beyond what it was intended for. Bike comes back to the shop six months later- fork stanchions wobbling like wet noodles in the lowers, brake pads vaporized, drivetrain thrashed, rims in taco shapes, etc. Customer is mad, complains "I thought this was supposed to be a mountain bike! Why was it so expensive?"
 

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Bikesexual
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I think the OP is a good candidate for BikesDirect. If you are mechanically inclined even better, if not? Yes! find another shop. I experienced what you did, and that shop has been long gone.

Anyways, her is my suggestion (or go used but this is w/in budget)

Save Up to 60% Off 29Plus, 27Plus Fat Bikes, Mountain Save Up to 60% Off New Bikes

or

Save up to 60% off new Fat Bikes and Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 2019 Bullseye Fatbikes

Before I get chewed on suggesting BD, let's not forget his current bike. :)

Good Luck!!
 

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I hear ya I was 17 when I bought it, and I bought it because it looked cool... But it has served me well for 12 years I really can't think of a complaint, younger years I would ride 20+ miles a couple times a week now I'm between 5-10 miles a couple times a week. I have access to a machine shop and have mostly replaced all the plastic bushings with brass, a new shock, one chain and both tires, some greese and wd40 is the extent of my regular maintenance on it.
Glad you mentioned WD-40. Please stop using a water displacement substance on your bike. It's only making things worse.

I'd have to see it in person, but with zero maintenance on that bike with thousands of miles, I can guarantee you that the drivetrain is shot, along with a few other things. The problem is that any good bike mechanic can see this, and will give you a quote for exactly what needs to be done. The price of replacing the cranks, bottom bracket, chain, cassette (yikes, freewheel?), brake pads, cables and housing, overhauling hubs, etc is going to cost close to the value of the bike. You can probably get a similar bike that has been stored in a garage for less than $150.

Good to hear that it's held up for you all this time. Something like that might suit you just fine. I suggest you try out a "nice bike" some time. Something that might retail for $800-1000. You'll probably be surprised by how utterly superior a nice but moderately priced, modern bike is. Or it might not phase you. The only way to tell is to try one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think the OP is a good candidate for BikesDirect. If you are mechanically inclined even better, if not? Yes! find another shop. I experienced what you did, and that shop has been long gone.

Anyways, her is my suggestion (or go used but this is w/in budget)

Save Up to 60% Off 29Plus, 27Plus Fat Bikes, Mountain Save Up to 60% Off New Bikes

or

Save up to 60% off new Fat Bikes and Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 2019 Bullseye Fatbikes

Before I get chewed on suggesting BD, let's not forget his current bike. :)

Good Luck!!
This is more the suggestions I'm looking for, thank you now some more questions, I definitely like the suspension the two you posted don't , but I have zero experience or idea of the fat tires I assume they absorb some shock, comparable?
 

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fat tires have more grip and more float in sand, mud, and snow

but are heavy and slower to pedal as well. at really high pressures they'll buck you off...so it takes some time experimenting with ideal pressure

if you experiment with air pressures you can dial them to the type of ride you happen to be doing, so they are versatile, but you cannot get around the fact they are overall slower riding. but totally acceptable as mtb tires....and in some ways you cannot really beat the grip they have, they allow you to ride more types of terrain with less worry

the best way is start a ride at higher pressure, bring a pump with you, and if ride is harsh burp some air out and see how it goes...repeat. pump will get you back if you bled out too much air or (as I do sometimes) I wanna get home fast on pavement I'll pump them way up and jam on the last few miles home on pavement
 

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Bikesexual
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This is more the suggestions I'm looking for, thank you now some more questions, I definitely like the suspension the two you posted don't , but I have zero experience or idea of the fat tires I assume they absorb some shock, comparable?
A rigid fork is a lot better than a cheap suspension fork, and yes the plus tires will help absorb a bit of suspension at the right tire pressures.

I rode a BD bike w/a Suntour fork, pogo stick feeling. I will stay away from those forks which all bikes have in your price range.
 

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In addition to the bikes direct bikes, I'd even suggest something like a mountain bike that was good quality when it came out, but is just old or has some old, but easy to find, technology behind it (as opposed to old and esoteric). I don't see any reason why something like an 1990's - early 2000's rigid steel mountain bike (specifically chromoly steel) wouldn't suit your needs, being smooth trails with rolling hills. Those would also make good commuter/grocery getter bikes. I would think that even in a high market you should one in tip top shape for less than $250, although be advised sometimes people sell older bikes for more than they should.

Anyone else think that's a reasonable idea? I've always found those older chromoly frames to be downright reliable.
 

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For instance, this is a local craigslist ad for me.

https://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/d/saint-louis-specialized-rock-hopper-21/6931589098.html

This bike should probably sell for a little bit less, but would be pretty dependable, I think. Actually the lack of suspension might be desirable for pulling a trailer.

Not sure where you're at, but you could probably browse your local craigslist ads and throw out some things you think you like. I mean, hell you can probably get a barely used Mongoose for $40 or something, but I'd advise you to treat yourself just a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For instance, this is a local craigslist ad for me.

https://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/d/saint-louis-specialized-rock-hopper-21/6931589098.html

This bike should probably sell for a little bit less, but would be pretty dependable, I think. Actually the lack of suspension might be desirable for pulling a trailer.

Not sure where you're at, but you could probably browse your local craigslist ads and throw out some things you think you like. I mean, hell you can probably get a barely used Mongoose for $40 or something, but I'd advise you to treat yourself just a little bit.
Surprisingly the 4 link on the mongoose is no issues with the trailer, my wife's bike is a stiff frame and I don't notice any difference however I do have a next flexor which does exactly what the name implied I got it at a yard sale for ten bucks put the old 750lb spring off the mongoose on it and it's rideable at least if I need it. I've been watching for a lightly used mongoose but haven't seen any I do have an old stiff Cannondale that is pretty much just a frame I could build
 

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Hey folks, thanks for having me. I'm gonna go ahead and call myself a total noob, although i can ride a bike. I currently have a mongoose blackcomb that I've had since 07(it makes me smile that's key here correct), I mostly ride smooth trails with rolling hills now and don't plan on much more. Often I'm pulling a trailer with a little one or two in it. With that said, my faithful mongoose y dying slowly... I went to my LBS ( see that I'm learning lol) asked about a new bike to get the job done decently for $500 or less. He scoffed at me and told me I would be super happy with the perfect bike for $2000 on top of my $500. Well nope I ain't got that and I'm not going to spend it on a bike. So I asked about getting a few new parts for ol faithful and he straight up went into hysterical laughter. Thanks for the help buddy... Anyway seems I can get a new blackcomb, it works for me or is there a better bike out there for me? Thanks and sorry for the long post
Given your tight budget, I'd introduce myself on the relevant regional MTBR forum, you might find someone who has a good 2nd hand bike that he/she's happy to let go
 

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On your budget I'd be looking at slightly used second hand bikes. Way better quality of a bike can be had on the used market than on the new market.

Go here > https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/list/?category=75

There are several categories of used bikes on the site above. I chose to send you to the full suspension XC style bikes. Seems to me those would be right up your ally and you would be happy for years on one compared to your old ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Cannondale frame I have is more complete than I thought (it was abandoned at one of my rentals) pulled it out this morning it's an f500 with the head shock, it needs tires and a chain but in overall ok shape, gonna pick up a chain and steal the tires off my mongoose and try it out
 

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The Cannondale frame I have is more complete than I thought (it was abandoned at one of my rentals) pulled it out this morning it's an f500 with the head shock, it needs tires and a chain but in overall ok shape, gonna pick up a chain and steal the tires off my mongoose and try it out
I would imagine that's ok, especially if it's free! Dunno bout the fork, figure there must be a reason they quit making them like that? But it's worth trying. If you end up wanting a different bike you can swap tires over to that one.

Sent from my LM-X212(G) using Tapatalk
 
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