Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 155 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Thanks for having me here, I'm also eager in learning a lot about bikes in general. I did my own research here and there and I will be asking (hopefully) appropriate questions that won't hurt your brains (in the level of my ignorance in the subject). I'm not looking for best bang for my buck but nothing too outrageous.. I do plan to hit trails (since there are NO mountains in FL)... So, I'm pretty sure a HT will suffice. Just looking for stiffness and great components/hardware... as I have shopped around the brands I happened to catch someone say "GO FULL CUSTOM or BUST!" .. I build custom gaming rigs and I mod my personal vehicle so, doing the same with bikes would be simple knowing what I'm looking at...

I look forward to your guidance MTBR... pave or gravel my path... or help me along the way heh...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, I'm sure it's a given but I don't currently own a bike. Which is why I'm seeking insight. Last bike I had was when I was a teenager back in the 90's/00's probably was a walmart brand... So yeah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,900 Posts
You can start with a frame and buy the parts to get what you want.
And I could use some parts I've already got.
Probably the fork and wheels are the more important parts you'd benefit from choosing yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
Without knowing much about bikes and components ,I wouldn't suggest it. There are too many variables . Ask questions here ,go visit some shops, find out what bikes are being ridden where you are going to ride, ask there what they like and why. See if there are any demo days coming up , rent ,borrow as many bikes as you can.
 

·
Shartacular Spectacular
Joined
·
443 Posts
Define “outrageous”...

By many new/non-riders’ (and even some riders’) standards a mid tier full suspension bike cost is considered outrageous.

I try not to give a straight answer when people ask me what my bikes’ cost, I’m tired of the response I typically get. Those who don’t ride typically look at me like I’m nuts and tell me it’s more than their motorcycle/used car/etc etc if I give them number even approaching the actual cost and it’s tiresome trying to explain or even not explain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Without knowing much about bikes and components ,I wouldn't suggest it. There are too many variables . Ask questions here ,go visit some shops, find out what bikes are being ridden where you are going to ride, ask there what they like and why. See if there are any demo days coming up , rent ,borrow as many bikes as you can.
Building anything is simple... it's knowing what parts are quality. Like I mentioned before, I work on my car (way more complex) and build custom water cooled gaming rigs. I'm not scared of building a bike.. hell, I can build Ikea furniture no sweat. It's a matter of knowing the quality brands in the components.. Aluminum/Carbon etc are best IMO... carbon for it's strength and light weight but aluminum is more cost effective.

I do plan on asking loads of questions here mainly and at shops.. usually here in Miami the shops are more sales driven and if you bring too many questions they don't take the client serious. Here, I'm hoping to gather the communities experience in their builds and purchases.

Define "outrageous"...

By many new/non-riders' (and even some riders') standards a mid tier full suspension bike cost is considered outrageous.

I try not to give a straight answer when people ask me what my bikes' cost, I'm tired of the response I typically get. Those who don't ride typically look at me like I'm nuts and tell me it's more than their motorcycle/used car/etc etc if I give them number even approaching the actual cost and it's tiresome trying to explain or even not explain.
Honestly, I'm not looking to spend more than 3K really on a daily trail bike. I know from the reviews I've seen on youtube and a couple of "pro" bloggers what I should be looking for, which is why I came here for a more in-depth from you guys. I would love to go carbon but to keep cost low I'd have to cheap out on more important components. Wheels, tires, suspension, frame rigidity, and brakes are of the utmost importance in any vehicle...

I have reinforced my personal car for autocross and spirited drives (Tail of the Dragon). Coilovers/ front and rear sway bars endlinks and sticky summer tires from a quality brand. ;)

but NOTHING can replace experience from tinkering with your toy.
 

·
Single(Pivot)and Happy
Joined
·
1,778 Posts
The OP says he currently doesn't own a bike nor has he rode in over 20 years. Based upon these two tidbits of information, I'm with RangerRiderDave and would not suggest the OP try and build their first mountain bike piece by piece.

The OP is correct that for the majority of trails located in Florida, a hardtail will be the appropriate type of bike. I am going to suggest visiting bike shops and check out the inventories as well as the employees. Until one gains the experience (as the OP is aware since he builds custom gaming rigs) one will need to rely on someone to maintain the bike and I have found spending a little more on something where you are treated well and appreciated works out much better.

My advice is to first determine your budget. Then understand that a "smoking deal" means nothing if the bike doesn't fit you properly. You will not be able to determine proper fitment by straddling a bike or a lap or two in the parking lot. As suggested above, try to demo as many bikes as possible.

I've known many people that got the bug to mountain bike and for one reason or another did not stick with it. With that said, once you know what a good fit is, there are many 26'er HT's that can be purchased at a fraction of what they were worth (fraction what they sold for) just a couple of years ago. Just an option. And beware, this hobby can end up consuming you (and your wallet). Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not looking for a smoking deal... or anything irrational like something amazing at a price point like $800... I have friends and co-workers around me saying anything from "a good entry level starts at $600" and a really good friend of mine saying, " You're not getting anywhere with an $800 bike".

After I did my reading and vague research I came to the conclusion that going overboard on a bike more than 2K~3K isn't worth it with the sort of trails we have here. So going full suspension and carbon isn't ideal.

I'm more worried about rigidity, comfort (seat/sizing/maneuverability), traction and stopping power. I'm only 5'7" so, I'm not that tall and going by guides provided by manufacturers a M frame would be best which is 17.5"... I could just opt for a Roscoe 7 and upgrade the parts but might be counter productive and not good for the wallet.

I've built many computers and purchasing everything low to mid range to then later upgrade parts is not ideal which is why I would consider building it over a premade bike.

Granted, I would need to get a feel again in riding period and to determine if 17.5" (M) is the correct sizing for me. it ranges from 5'3" to my height. M/L starts below my height so that can be "ideal" too but I have to try it out as suggested. I was also considering 27.5 wheels over 26er's or 29er's. Not too slow and not too heavy.

I have gone to certain stores and they're mostly all sales driven (like a car dealership) most are not focus in concerns of their clients or clarifying questions of a noob... which is why I came to this forum.

If we must put a number I'd say a healthy bike with decent to good components can range my budget to 2K no more than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,900 Posts
At this time of year demo days with different models and sizes of bikes can be scheduled by manufacturers through local shops or on their websites at area trails. Check for timing with all the shops in your area and get on their email lists. You'll benefits from the free on trail testing. Ride every bike in or out of your price range. You can learn what components you like, sizing and about bike weights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
At this time of year demo days with different models and sizes of bikes can be scheduled through local shops at area trails. Check for timing with all the shops in your area and get on their email lists. You'll benefits from the free on trail testing. Ride every bike in or out of your price range. You can learn what components you like, sizing and about bike weights.
Will do, ty sir.
 

·
slow
Joined
·
7,733 Posts
My strategy for years has been to purchase a used bike that fits me well and then replace / upgrade parts as they break or as I find things that work better for my riding. Complete bikes are almost always going to be a better value than building piece by piece. My current investment in several bikes is roughly 10% of their original retail value.

I've also found that for my riding I don't need the top of the line of everything. I usually rode the newest and top of the line bikes / components when I worked in the bike industry, but now I prefer good quality things that work well, but are not flashy or super expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My strategy for years has been to purchase a used bike that fits me well and then replace / upgrade parts as they break or as I find things that work better for my riding. Complete bikes are almost always going to be a better value than building piece by piece. My current investment in several bikes is roughly 10% of their original retail value.

I've also found that for my riding I don't need the top of the line of everything. I usually rode the newest and top of the line bikes / components when I worked in the bike industry, but now I prefer good quality things that work well, but are not flashy or super expensive.
Totally understand, I believe top of the line or close to that for tires... strong and sturdy wheels for the abuse quality suspension with enough travel to not bottom out and get a huge thud, mid range brakes, quality crank/cassette/chain.

Everything breaks, even if it's top notch. I'm not so familiar with the top brands the enthusiasts usually utilize for upgrades. I just know from what I see from manufacturer's sites... like sram, shimano and raceface... if there is something similar or better I'm not aware of them.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
34,576 Posts
The deal with this, OP, is that you simply don't know what you don't know.

It's not all about knowing which manufacturers are quality or not.

Honestly, that's just a small part of it. There's a massive number of manufacturers making quality bike parts. Some of those manufacturers are quite small.

Ergonomics are a HUGE part of it. This is something you simply aren't dealing with on cars or computers to the same level. It's a massive waste of money to spend a pile on a well-reviewed component that you wind up not liking because it simply doesn't fit. Without having any frame of reference, you can wind up doing the same thing over and over and over and over again. Most of it has large elements of personal preference. Preferences that are oftentimes pretty fluid when you're a new rider.

You also don't know the first thing about what's compatible with what at this point. Some things are, and some aren't. There are some very complex compatibilities for some things. There are also quite a few fit standards for certain parts. Keeping the whole pile straight to buy the right stuff the first time takes time to learn.

You're better off buying a whole bike and then learning everything bit by bit as you learn to maintain and service each part, utilizing bike shops a little more to start with, and relying on them less and less as you acquire the tools and knowledge you'll need. After you've ridden a bike for awhile, and demo'd a bunch of different things, and wrenched on your own bike for awhile, you'll be better equipped to build a bike from the ground up. And most of it is about figuring out the ergonomics you like and sorting out other preferences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
And unlike buying aftermarket car parts and computer parts there is a way to say I have this bike now show me what fits it.

Like a car you need an exhaust, brakes, an intake. You go to the site put in your year make and model and bam you see what fits.

There are computer build websites that check compatibility.

That just simply does not exist for bikes. You have to figure out what headset, what bottom bracket fits your frame and what crank fits that bottom bracket. What hub standard the frame and fork use, what type of free hub it has because that determines the cassette type. A lot of little things can be missed or purchased incorrectly because you forgot to look at this spec or that spec.

Not trying to steer you away from doing a custom build, it is a great experience and I do it with all my bikes, it is part of the fun of a new bike. But from experience it can be difficult building up if you are new.

Also set aside a chuck of money for tools. You will need a chain tool, hex keys, maybe a bottom bracket tool or press, hacksaw or pipe cutter, if you are getting carbon bars a torque wrench is a good idea. Not the big ft lb one you also have, on that is accurate at like 5nm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Harold bringing truth and wisdom, as usual. Also good advice from blkangel.

A hardtail is a good starter choice. Gently used if you can find one. A $1000 budget new is kind of minimal to avoid making compromises and might get you a very nice used one.

Things to look for are a fork with an air (as opposed to coil) spring and hydraulic brakes. A tapered headset usually follows an air fork. Through axle hubs (as opposed to 9mm QR) broaden your ability to upgrade wheels and hubs. Tubeless ready rims are nice and save some fussing when you go down that road. A dropper post is nice but easy enough aftermarket.

A 1x10/11/12 drivetrain could be especially nice for you if you have been out of the bike game for a while. They avoid front derailleurs, which are always a bit of a pain, but limit your gear range. Since you aren't used to a super-wide range of gears, might as well start with 1x, as they are easier to maintain. That said, 2x and 3x drivetrains are fine, I wouldn't rule anything out because of it, or pay a lot of extra money to avoid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
See, that's the sort of info I'm talking about. Had to stir you up a bit heh. :p

Just to clarify, newegg and pcpartpicker (which are more mainstream for PC building sites) do not have a cookie cutter compatibility listing as per your build. You have to know what works to build a working machine. I'm not talking about socket types for processors, compatibility with RAM which could cause crashes and even if your motherboard accepts 1151 processors it might not accept a newer version or older as per BIOS version would allow. Same goes with bottle necking the device we weaker components as per balance of CPU and GPU vs RAM.

Car parts are more plug and play via make and model but certain cars do not have such a cookie cutter options like a Civic would have. I have an underdog 2012 B16 Sentra... and it has barely any parts. i Did research and found out the chassis platform is shared with a lot of oversea's JDM models... C-platform and one of it's siblings had a 2 point lower nose bar and a FTSB which I estimated would of be compatible for my car... This is me eyeballing what I had with JDM pics. trial and error... and eureka :)
Here is the FTSB and a 3 point nose bar I had to go get fab'd
https://i.imgur.com/nyHTGC6.jpg

Also fab'd the rear under brace. (it's in red)
https://i.imgur.com/fFZ39Gy.jpg

The 2 point bar from japan (white)
https://i.imgur.com/xeAWtUZ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1oF6Tou.jpg

Fab'd a trunk bar simulating rear strut bar.
https://i.imgur.com/cftfao1.jpg

Chaged my front endlinks swapped out the 23mm front sway bar with a 25mm SE-R Sway bar
https://i.imgur.com/gwuW4S9.jpg

BC Coilovers (no pics of that and retrofitted my headlamps + rewiring everything)
https://i.imgur.com/gYmXvhf.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/FRhQNVQ.jpg

test fit before prep and paint
https://i.imgur.com/ZB1gSxP.jpg

Not trying to sound like a know-it-all here... I'm really comfortable with building and undertaking new challenges but of course under the right guidance which is why I registered here (and on another bike site) Not trying to find something easy... just something right.. for me ;)

I really do appreciate the info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Like i wasn’t trying to steer you away from it, just trying to mention some pitfalls. You seem to be a thorough person so you will probably be in good shape for a custom build. For some people when they are new it is harder for them because I think they don’t put in the time to understand all the different variables and standards. Pick a frame and read up on hub standards and bottom bracket standards. Most of the confusion is in those areas in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have not steered away, I'm actually more intrigued yet, I won't get ahead of myself nor be cocky about things. I will take under consideration and learn as I go with a premade frame and modify that. It's different to view things on the web with few angles and information compared to having it up front to tinker with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What are a good starter/mid-ranged premade frames to look into?
 

·
Single(Pivot)and Happy
Joined
·
1,778 Posts
Not trying to be a d!ck, but do you mean good starter/mid-range complete bikes, as opposed to a total custom build? I admit I have not read every post in this thread.
 
1 - 20 of 155 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top