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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for another newbie bike questions but I was having trouble finding the information I was looking for. Most of the threads here say that a good first step is to go to my LBS and talk to them to see what some options are. Maybe it is because of where I live, and the people are a bit more well off, but the LBS spent a lot of time trying to convince me that the only option for a MB is a full suspension costing a minimum of $2500. When I told them that was out of my budget they said that the only other option was a $1200 hard tail. I understand the motto of buy once cry once, but my overall experience in the store made me feel very discouraged and I felt that the LBS was trying to take . advantage of me. Now onto my questions...

So, I am obviously new to mountain biking. I am fit, and ride a hybrid (cheap one) roadbike to work most days. I am not certain of the type of riding I would like to get into, but I am thinking I will cap myself at intermediate to moderately hard single track. I cant see myself doing any massive jumps or incredibly steep terrain, but I will definitely be challenging myself. As far as how much time I plan on riding, I will strictly be a weekend warrior since I work during the week.

As far as new vs. used, I usually lean towards used because you can get more bang for your buck. I would prefer to do a little clean up work on something to get it back to like-new condition than to spend extra money on a new bike of the same value. I will not be buying for a few weeks at least, but when I am ready, I would probably be looking around the $750-900 area.

I realize there is no perfect answer, and in the end, I will be the one making the decision, but any advice you could offer would be immensely appreciated.

Thank you very much for your time!
 

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How tall are you? For that budget a good used hard tail is the way to go. Do you know anyone that knows about bikes? Being fit for the road or commuting is different than mountain biking. As far as challenging yourself you will go allot farther that you think fast.Any other shops around? Any friends that ride? How about clubs or shops that do rides? If you can find someone to ride with your skills will improve quickly.
 

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$900 will get you a very rideable bike, especially in the used market. It can be tough to know what's a good deal without the experience of it behind you. Tap into the forums for specifics or a local FB group. Bummer about the LBS. Is there another close to you? All the major brands offer bikes in your price range and they will be similar in specs. If go the new route, buy what fits and from the shop that will give you good service. IMO for under a $1000, stick with a 26" hardtail. That should get you a dependable trail worthy bike.
 

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Sounds to me like you're on the right track. Used is most likely going to be the best bang for your buck, particularly if you're comfortable with messing with anything mechanical. (Sounds like it's possible you could live somewhere that there are prime pickings for nice used bikes.) There are definitely some decent reasons to buy from a local shop, and you can find fair deals, but IME, you can get markedly better stuff for a good bit less on the used market. Depending where you are, there are also shops that sell used bikes, which is a very good way to buy too. Caveat emptor of course - you'll want to do some test rides and research on bikes you're considering.

Height, inseam, and general locale would probably help people give you some more personalized info. Also, the more you can tell about what you're looking to do with the bike, the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all so much for the input so far! Keep it coming!!! To answer some of the questions, I currently live just outside of Los Angeles (in the military and should be here another 2 years before my next assignment). I am 5'11" 175 lbs. I am going to start looking for a local mountain biking club, but from what I have seen so far there isnt much. Most bike stores here don't even sell mountain bikes. Luckily, I have someone who wants to start mountain biking as well, so I will have someone to learn with, as well as to take the bumps and bruises with.

I kind of expected that a hardtail would be the answer, but what am I giving up by getting a hardtail instead of spending an extra $??? on a full suspension. Though I am definitely on a budget, I also subscribe to the buy once cry once mentality.
 
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