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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll right I'm wanting to get back into riding since I quit when I got into atv's and dirt bikes. Bike would be just for rec use and trail riding mainly. I have random days off work sometimes during the week, and would like to just go out by myself and ride for fun when everyone else is busy and get some exercise. Could also be used to pack/bowhunt in a large conservation area. I'm sure I can learn to wrench on my own bikes, as I'm pretty handy with mechanical things.

1.Would like to stay cheap for now and upgrade as I see fit.
2. I'm 6-1 and about 150, so I need a bigger bike but light as possible.
3. I'm looking at 3 bikes mainly.

Option 1&2 are walmart 29ers cheaper components obviously, but I'm not brand specific, and can upgrade when needed.
$200

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mongoose-Deception-29-Men-s-All-Terrain-Bike/14956326

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Thruster-29-Mountain-Bike/12961432

3rd Option is an Older GT xcr4000 I-drive I've found used. Not sure on the year. Guy was older and didn't use it much looked too be in very good shape. He said less than 50 miles, and paid 700+ for it back when) Tires still had some nips on them and were flat from sitting for the last 6-7 years. Has an upgraded "man" seat, and a little pack on the bars. $250

My concern with the gt is it is a med size frame and I'm not sure it would fit me, seller was 5-10 and said it fit him. I didn't know what to look for when I looked at it so I just took a pic and started researching. I've also read the i-drive is not really self serviceable should I run into troubles with it. Also not sure I need a full susp bike for my needs, and if bikes are like atvs or moto's the susp is set up for someone around 170-190 lbs not my skinny self. So would I have to have it set up for my weight (more $$). Flat black (good if Itake it hunting) and has the cool factor for me the the full susp, but I want to ride not stare at it, or kill myself trying to ride.

Photobucket

Option 4 Look for another used bike.

Any input welcome

Thanks Aaron
 

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I might suggest getting an inexpensive used bike -- like a hardrock, trek 3900, etc. Usually CL is littered with them. If you stick with it, you can usually unload it for about the same price, or "donate it to science" and use it as a platform to practice repairs. Garages are littered with un-used bikes (and other things) with the best of intentions, too, If you get sucked into some other expensive hobby, you won't have dropped too much.

The difficulty with beginners and used bikes is spotting problem areas. A mangled drivetrain or leaky suspension could be more expensive to repair than the bike itself.
 

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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/4ht_new_xi.htm if you're looking for something new? At 6'1" I'd say go with a 19" frame (I'm 6' with a long upper body and that's the size I ride).

Alternatively it may be worth searching out any bike shops locally that have deals on outgoing 2010 models - Specialized or Giant are two brands to look at specifically as their frames will generally be of a better quality and worth upgrading. Either way I would avoid full suspension like the plague at that budget!

If you want to go used then you'll get a better bike but it may need work and/or parts replaced, so check anything over carefully. Again, look for frames in the 19-20" size.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I'd say option 4.

You're too tall for a Walmart bike. They only come in one or two sizes, and they're for an average-sized man in crappy shape. A tall, athletic man needs a longer bike or he's going to feel cramped and likely get some back pain.

Also, don't let someone on the internet tell you what size bike you ride. (I'd predict a 21", FWIW.) If you've got a shop near you specializing in used bikes, awesome - go there, ride a bunch of bikes, and buy your favorite. If not, go to your local bike shop, ride a bunch of bikes, and take note of the size of your favorite. Go online, look up the "effective top tube length" or "horizontal top tube length" and order a bike that matches that. People have been somewhat satisfied with BD purchases in general, and it's always good to have more options.

Your maximum budget is just high enough to get a new bike at someplace like Performance Bike, or maybe one that's been sitting on an LBS floor for two seasons (like a 2009 model.) So that's another option. But IMO, used hardtails stretch a dollar furthest.

EDIT: If you're doing any bikepacking, you may want a rack. People sometimes do panniers and sometimes do a backpack, depending on the amount of stuff they need and how rough the trails are. I also don't know how big your game is, but you may want a rack for bowhunting too. Loading up a MTB definitely screws up the handling, but it may be preferable to carrying extra weight on your back.
 

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i'd keep an eye out on CL and Pinkbike.com for a used bike... the walmart specials will not fit you properly and really are made very poorly.

also check the LBS and get properly fitted and see if they have anything left over from last year or earlier! lots of deals to be had but just have to be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advise guys/gals. This is exactly what I needed to hear, I'm a craigslist whore already just going to have to educate myself and start watching for deals.


I actually went to the local wal-mart earlier and they didn't have either bike I saw online. But I wasn't impressed with the other bikes they had, looks like the same bikes I rode when a was 14, lots of plastic and metallic paint.

I'm trying out option 4 for now, but going to find a LBS and look/ride some bikes and see what I need.

Any MO riders who could recommend a shop in stl area or south? I'm about an hour south of stl.
 

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A_White said:
I'll right I'm wanting to get back into riding since I quit when I got into atv's and dirt bikes. Bike would be just for rec use and trail riding mainly. I have random days off work sometimes during the week, and would like to just go out by myself and ride for fun when everyone else is busy and get some exercise. Could also be used to pack/bowhunt in a large conservation area. I'm sure I can learn to wrench on my own bikes, as I'm pretty handy with mechanical things.

1.Would like to stay cheap for now and upgrade as I see fit.
2. I'm 6-1 and about 150, so I need a bigger bike but light as possible.
3. I'm looking at 3 bikes mainly.

Option 1&2 are walmart 29ers cheaper components obviously, but I'm not brand specific, and can upgrade when needed.
$200

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mongoose-Deception-29-Men-s-All-Terrain-Bike/14956326

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Thruster-29-Mountain-Bike/12961432

3rd Option is an Older GT xcr4000 I-drive I've found used. Not sure on the year. Guy was older and didn't use it much looked too be in very good shape. He said less than 50 miles, and paid 700+ for it back when) Tires still had some nips on them and were flat from sitting for the last 6-7 years. Has an upgraded "man" seat, and a little pack on the bars. $250

My concern with the gt is it is a med size frame and I'm not sure it would fit me, seller was 5-10 and said it fit him. I didn't know what to look for when I looked at it so I just took a pic and started researching. I've also read the i-drive is not really self serviceable should I run into troubles with it. Also not sure I need a full susp bike for my needs, and if bikes are like atvs or moto's the susp is set up for someone around 170-190 lbs not my skinny self. So would I have to have it set up for my weight (more $$). Flat black (good if Itake it hunting) and has the cool factor for me the the full susp, but I want to ride not stare at it, or kill myself trying to ride.

Photobucket

Option 4 Look for another used bike.

Any input welcome

Thanks Aaron
There used to be a huge thread on the Mongoose Deception but the thread was locked and the Deception owners have migrated to another forum. You could have asked questions about the Deception there because in this thread damn near EVERYONE is going to tell you the bike is cheap and poorly simply because it is sold at Walmart.

Well I've had my Deception since the end of December. I mainly ride XC on moderately technical singletrack with a lot of rocks, roots, creek crossings, climbs and decents.

My Deception has not fallen apart, the frame has not cracked, I have not bent a wheel or broken a spoke. I maintain my own bike and the only adjustment I won't do is true a wheel and even when I "thought" the wheels on my Deception were way out of true the wrench at my local LBS quickly corrected me and stated that my wheels were in great shape and only needed minor adjustments.

My advice is to take a trip down to Walmart and look at the Deception before you make a decision based off what someone who does not own a Deception tells you. Also with the Deception, if you buy it and ride it for a few days and don't like it, you can return it to Walmart without a hassle. Try returning a used bike............hassle city!

Another good thing about the Deception is that the frame is a good base to slowly upgrade and build on. There were a few people on the Mongoose Deception forum that owned more expensive bikes than the Deception but actually liked the Deception better. I'm the same way. I just sold my Gary Fisher Joshua F3 because I like the Deception 29er much better AND I can upgrade it as I see fit.

All I'm saying is take a look at the Mongoose Deception and if you don't like it then get something that suites you better but at least have a look at it first. May be just what you're looking for.
 

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Please do yourself a favor

squire366 said:
There used to be a huge thread on the Mongoose Deception but the thread was locked and the Deception owners have migrated to another forum. You could have asked questions about the Deception there because in this thread damn near EVERYONE is going to tell you the bike is cheap and poorly simply because it is sold at Walmart.

Well I've had my Deception since the end of December. I mainly ride XC on moderately technical singletrack with a lot of rocks, roots, creek crossings, climbs and decents.

My Deception has not fallen apart, the frame has not cracked, I have not bent a wheel or broken a spoke. I maintain my own bike and the only adjustment I won't do is true a wheel and even when I "thought" the wheels on my Deception were way out of true the wrench at my local LBS quickly corrected me and stated that my wheels were in great shape and only needed minor adjustments.

My advice is to take a trip down to Walmart and look at the Deception before you make a decision based off what someone who does not own a Deception tells you. Also with the Deception, if you buy it and ride it for a few days and don't like it, you can return it to Walmart without a hassle. Try returning a used bike............hassle city!

Another good thing about the Deception is that the frame is a good base to slowly upgrade and build on. There were a few people on the Mongoose Deception forum that owned more expensive bikes than the Deception but actually liked the Deception better. I'm the same way. I just sold my Gary Fisher Joshua F3 because I like the Deception 29er much better AND I can upgrade it as I see fit.

All I'm saying is take a look at the Mongoose Deception and if you don't like it then get something that suites you better but at least have a look at it first. May be just what you're looking for.
Completely disregard the advice above. There is no such thing as a "good" $200 mountain bike from WalMart, regardless of Squire's passion about his new bike. All you need to do is read the thread at the beginning of this forum entitled "Beginners and Department Store Bikes", and you'll understand why.

Best wishes in finding the best bang for your buck.

Regards,

Bob
 

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A_White said:
Thanks for the advise guys/gals. This is exactly what I needed to hear, I'm a craigslist whore already just going to have to educate myself and start watching for deals.

I actually went to the local wal-mart earlier and they didn't have either bike I saw online. But I wasn't impressed with the other bikes they had, looks like the same bikes I rode when a was 14, lots of plastic and metallic paint.

I'm trying out option 4 for now, but going to find a LBS and look/ride some bikes and see what I need.

Any MO riders who could recommend a shop in stl area or south? I'm about an hour south of stl.
Most Walmart stores are sold out of the Deception so the only way to get one would be to order it from the Walmart website.

At any rate MY Deception works well for the XC riding that I do. There are several other Deception owners that I chat with that have put 500+ miles of singletrack on their bikes without any issues. So like I said before I speak from my own experience and the experience of other Deception owners.

Good luck on your search for a bike and no matter how much the bike costs or what "brand name" is plastered on it, the main thing is to get out and ride!
 

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You will notice that all the people telling you to not buy the Mongoose Deception 29er at WalMart have never even seen one; much less ridden one. They don't have to because they *know* that it can't be good. Many of them will brag that they've never even been in a WM store.

I bought a Deception at a WalMart 30 miles away in November and I've ridden it about 150 miles since. Including icy streets, snow covered grassy hills in local parks, and my standard trail which would have been mushy from melt but the previous night had been cold enough to freeze so it was passable. The Deception is fine for a person 6'1" (which is my height).

I bought the Deception 29er because it was only $199 and I wanted to get an idea of how a 29er feels without spending $700 or $800. My bike weights 33lbs out of the box and the frame, weighed by another owner who stripped his down, is about 4.3 lbs. So you can look at the bike as a "frame with benefits".

You cannot get them on-line any more but there are a lot of stores that have them in stock back in the back disassembled. If you look on the web page you can check stock at local stores and then go ask one of the salespeople to check their stock and bring hte bike out. It's even better to get it disassembled so you (or your LBS) can assemble it and lube and adjust the bike properly.

One big advantage of the WalMart bikes is that if you don't like the bike you can take it back. They won't fix anything but they'll exchange it for you or refund your money with few questions.

If you buy one check the lubrication... especially in the bottom bracket. The bike comes with an old-fashioned "open" BB and any slag from the aluminum tubes can fall into this area and contaminate the bearings. I changed to a sealed bearing for about $30. Your LBS can (and will - despite all the crap you'll see written here) lube and tune the bike for you at a reasonable cost.

I would avoid the glitzy "full suspension" $88 WM bikes if you plan on doing any trail riding but the Deception has proven to be robust and tough on the trails. Go over to www.bigboxbikes.com for some unbiased (and experienced) advice about bikes sold at WM and other big box stores. You can get a decent bike at a good price at WalMart but you can also get a crappy bike. Just like any other store.

My wife and I both have Trek carbon fiber full-suspension bikes in 26er size and I also have a Trek 4500 as well as a few road bikes.

WDR
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Something I'm curious about after glancing at the specs - is it a freewheel or freehub in the rear?

Who makes the brakes, really? Reviews mention ProMax, spec says "Lee Chi."
 

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Truly Doneski
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I would keep an eye out on CL and Pinkbike/mtbr classifieds, but you should do this only after going to your LBS to try a few different bikes to see if there's anything there you can buy and see exactly what sizes you need.

There is absolutely nothing more important about a bike than the way it fits you. A 10,000 dollar ill fitting bike will not perform well.

If you do buy off of craigslist or something similar, try to bring along a frien who knows a lot about bikes so that they can inspect the bike to see what kind of shape it's in.
 

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AndrwSwitch said:
Something I'm curious about after glancing at the specs - is it a freewheel or freehub in the rear?

Who makes the brakes, really? Reviews mention ProMax, spec says "Lee Chi."
My Deception also has ProMax disc brakes which most people on this forum would say SUCK! However you can easily upgrade to Avid BB5's or BB7's since you said you like to tinker and repair your own gear anyway.

I have a 7 sprocket freewheel installed on mine.

I can really relate to what you want to do because I am doing the same thing. I bought a $200 MOngoose Deception which is a "frame with benefits" and will upgrade it with much better components and I still won't crack $800 total which is about what a decent entry level 29er costs in the ATL.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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One person says Shimano freehub and cassette, one person says freewheel.

It's a pretty important difference, IMO. A road cyclist can kill the axle in a 7-speed freewheel hub, and they frequently did.

I gotta say, ditching my BB5s made my bike much more consistent in its performance. I don't think I've had to mess with my current ones since installing them. The BB5s required constant attention. People say 7s are better; one of these days I'm sure I'll get to try them.
 

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Freehub or freewheel? Not everyone knows the difference. I suppose that Mongoose could have put a freewheel on instead of a hub but that would be unusual with a Shimano setup. When I read Squire's post I went back outside - this time with a coat and shoes on so I could take my time - and take a good look at the bike without getting cold. I also could compare it to a bike with XTR components which would be highly unlikely to have a freewheel.

By getting down close I could see (and feel) the splines. So it's definitely a freehub.

I haven't changed the brakes out because they seem to be working ok for the way I ride the bike. If I were doing a lot of downhill it would be different but I have another bike for that. So far I've changed the bottom bracket to a sealed unit, changed the front derailleur (the WM assembler person mashed it up because the open BB was the wrong size (too short - they must have had a bin of them or something and the person grabbed the wrong one), lighter cranks and larger (and much lighter) platform pedals.

The Deception isn't perfect but you'd hardly expect that for $199. But as a frame "with benefits" (e.g.: you can ride it while you upgrade it as opposed to a frame that sits in the shop until it's done) it works fine. I'll just watch craigslist and ebay and collect stuff to put on it as I ride. The frame is certainly strong enough... several people weighing over 250lbs have been riding them on what they say are rough trails and so far no reports of anything breaking.

WDR
 

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Keep The Rubber Side Down
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$$$ is tight due to the economy, so it's totally understandable why you may have to keep your budget as low as possible. But do your best to get either a used Trek/Specialized/GT/Giant or a new low entry level bike from an LBS. Maybe a close out?
 
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