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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From age 13 to 15 I was really into mountain biking. I would read up on all of the magazines, but as I approached 16 I was faced with a choice. Either save up my money for my first car or buy the bike of my dreams (which at that time was a Litespeed Obed). Well, needless to say I saved my money for a vehicle and never got back to biking.

Here I am at age 29 (13 years later!!), I want to get me a bike now. I simply love the outdoors so much and the idea of being back on a bike on the trials excite me. So I have been looking around at this message board for a couple of weeks now and have learned a bit, but still wanted some input.

I am 6' and about 170 lbs and the guy at the shop recommened a 19" bike frame for my size. Does that sound right? Many of you have mentioned to ride a bike and see if it "feels right", but my butt hasn't sat in a saddle for over a decade and nothing feels "right.... trust me! So I'm not quite sure how I can pick a bike right now based on other things other than looks.

I plan on spending around $600 and do not have any plans on upgrading the equipment. I do not have any plans on riding competitively nor do I have the time to ride my bike 24/7 so my needs for a "hardcore" bike is nonexistent. But, if my budget allows I would like a bike that I can beat up on pretty good once a week and hold up well and would be light enough for a beginner to do the basic maneuvers.

The bike that I really like so far is the Specalized HardRock Sport Disc which retails for about $550. I also like the Schwinn 405 which has a dual suspension, but I do not know if paying $600 for a dual suspension bike means that you are getting a poor dual suspension bike. Then there is the GT Avalanche 2.0 that I like, but it is $640 which might be a bit more than what I wanted to spend, but I am more than willing to spend that much if it means a much better bike.

I have heard a lot of good stuff about the Specialized Rockhopper, but I'd rather not spend $1,000 on a bike since I would not be able to devote the time that it would take to become a "good biker".

Again, I rode all of these bikes and none of them felt right and no bike will feel right to me after not being on one for so long. Can anyone help me between these 3 or point me in a different direction/bike?

Thanks guys!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A friend of mine just recommended the Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc, but he has had 5 Gary Fisher bikes so he is a bit biased! So add this one to the list to critique! Does any of the bikes I have listed above have any obvious pros and cons when compared to others?
 

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haha, I was faced with the same problem like at the beginning of this week. You really shouldn't buy a $600 dual suspension bike because its probably not going to be good one. You should really just stick with a Hardrock because reading what you said up there it fits your needs, it was my first mountain bike too :) Trust me the hardrock is worth EVERY penny.
 

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The Speschy or the Fisher , run away from the Schwinn . 19 " frame size is prob. about right , different makers 19" can be a bit different , have to watch out for that . Dont buy anything you havent ridden , preferably on the trail . Shop around as much as possible , go to different shops if you have choises . Take your time , its a big purchase , ride lots of bikes , talk to lots of people . Good hunting .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a ton for the heads up on the Schwinn!! This is a stupid question but when I ride the bikes in the parking lot.... what the hell am I supposed to do? I cannot do anything except ride around in circles haha. Let alone anything like bunnyhopping the bike! I feel like a little girl in the parking lot riding a bike with training wheels and streamers from the handlebars!!!

I simply feel clueless and a bit silly. Any riding tips on when test riding a bike?
 

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Fit is the most importent thing , cockpit length , not feeling to stretched out or cramped up . If you can demo bikes on the trail it would be much better but that is not always possible unfortunately . At this price point bikes are going to be speced similarly so its all about the right fit .
 

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In addition to fit (which is most important), test out all the gagets, brakes and shifters, maybe you'll like one more than another and that will make or break the deal. Make some various turns, faster speed, lower speed, sharp or long and see how the bikes handle.
 

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I say if you are gonna get serious and can afford it I'd go for the rockhopper with the disk brakes on it already.....I know this wasn't part of your discussion but for the money it's a worthwhile investment because later on you will want the disks (probably) and thats a good $200-500 (accually could be way more) upgrade depends on how much you want to spend......I'm partial to the RH because I ride one daily and can say that its an awesome ride! also it comes with a fork with accuall dampening (that may or may not hold up) but that's an discussion best not started here.... Stay away from the $600 FS
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice suggestions. The help is greatly appreicated guys. I will do some hard turns, braking, shifting gears and see if one bike stands out to me. All of the bikes seem a bit uncomfortable to me because the seat feels too high for me eventhough it is at the apporiate height.... that is one thing that I will just have to get used to. I always rode my old bike with the seat too low.

By the way I really do like how the Specialized Hardrock looks... the red/white combo with the white handlebars stand out to me!! Eventhough I'll be a joke on the trail the first couple months riding... at least I can look decent while looking like a fool!!

The only two bikes that I have not looked into at this price range is the GT and Mongoose. I was really turned off by the Mongoose because I have seen them for sale at Wal Mart. I am sure that the Mongoose that they sell at Wal-Mart and at local bike shops are different.... but still a turn off!! Any thoughts about the Mongoose and GT bikes in the $600 range???
 

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Elonheater said:
Nice suggestions. The help is greatly appreicated guys. I will do some hard turns, braking, shifting gears and see if one bike stands out to me. All of the bikes seem a bit uncomfortable to me because the seat feels too high for me eventhough it is at the apporiate height.... that is one thing that I will just have to get used to. I always rode my old bike with the seat too low.

By the way I really do like how the Specialized Hardrock looks... the red/white combo with the white handlebars stand out to me!! Eventhough I'll be a joke on the trail the first couple months riding... at least I can look decent while looking like a fool!!

The only two bikes that I have not looked into at this price range is the GT and Mongoose. I was really turned off by the Mongoose because I have seen them for sale at Wal Mart. I am sure that the Mongoose that they sell at Wal-Mart and at local bike shops are different.... but still a turn off!! Any thoughts about the Mongoose and GT bikes in the $600 range???
Both are worthy of consideration . Alot of choises , keep shopping and asking questions .
 

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Elonheater said:
I was really turned off by the Mongoose because I have seen them for sale at Wal Mart. I am sure that the Mongoose that they sell at Wal-Mart and at local bike shops are different.... but still a turn off!!
TOTALLY different bikes between the Walmart stuff and the bike shop stuff. Don't let that put you off.
Just read any articles in the mags about most of the "real" Mongoose bikes and they get very good reviews. Or check out the Mongoose forum.

But that Specialized looks like a nice choice too.
 

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does your LBS have any 2009 mtb's left? they will be able to sell you those for a discount.
maybe something like the 2009 RH Comp Disc. It'll be tough now. my lbs hasn't had 2009 bikes since... 2009. They sell out fast here.

If you're stuck with 2010 bikes, see if you can fork out the $$ for the 2010 RH Comp Disc with the disc brakes and disc compatible wheels. I say this because those two are big bucks if/when you want to upgrade brakes to discs in the future. if u were to get the basic RH with no discs you would have to get a new wheelset for at least $150 + the price of disc brakes. saving up a week or two for that will be much more worth it imo
 

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fightnut said:
TOTALLY different bikes between the Walmart stuff and the bike shop stuff. Don't let that put you off.
Just read any articles in the mags about most of the "real" Mongoose bikes and they get very good reviews. Or check out the Mongoose forum.

But that Specialized looks like a nice choice too.
+1 What he said!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would really consider getting the Rockhopper because of the raves that it gets on this forum, but i do not think that I will be able to devote enough "bike time" to make such a jump in my budget.

The basic rockhoppers that I have looked at run at least $1,000. I am an avid fisherman, shoot my guns whenever I get free time, lift weights 5 times a week, am out of town half the weekends on seminars (I am a chiropractor), so I am really hard pressed for time.

If I was considering dropping some of my hobbies to focus more on becoming a better rider, I would definately consider spending $1,000 or more, but I feel as if it would not be practical. It'd also be embarassing for me to buy a $1,000+ bike and have 9 year olds on their Wal-Mart bikes smoke me on the trail!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, I am going to call my local shops and see if anyone still has 09 models left over for GT, Mongoose, Specialized, GF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey guys... I want to post a couple pics of the bikes that I have in mind. How do you post pictures on this forum? I tried to search it but could not find anything!!!
 

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upload them to photobucket, then postpress the button in the reply box thats yellow and looks like a mountain. then paste the link there.
 

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or just copy/paste the code from photobucket on your reply screen. Never mind the mountain thingy.....
 
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