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Noob seeking quick advice...

802 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Scoredog
I've found a new 2002 Fuji Thrill on the net for $350 no tax, free shipping.

I know that Fuji isn't well loved here at mtbr but I think it may be a pretty good choice for me. I'm brand new to the mountain bike scene. I've always had road bikes and haven't really done that much at all for the past 10 years or so. Now I'm trying to find a new form of exercise since my knees and joints are making it quite painful to run (I'm 33 and hate to run anyway ) So I really only need an inexpensive but reliable 'beginners' bike. I don't wan't to spend tons of $$$ till I decide I'm gonna stay 'off-road'. I like the Fuji cause it's less common than Treks, Giants, etc. and at $350 it seems to be a pretty good value. I know the components are suspect, but again, I'm not gonna be downhill racing or anything competitive for that matter, just exercise at the local county park trails. I've also looked at a $150 'full suspension' pile at Costco ( I know what you guys think about that option) and a 'soft-tail' KHS (maybe comp ST model) at a local bike shop for about $350.

SO my question is, will I be making a mistake buying a new 2-3 year old Fuji Thrill model for $350? I know there are many options in the $500 range (I've read through that thread) but I really don't even want to spend that much until I decide that this is for me. I've still got my road bike and should I decide later that I need a better bike, I can upgrade at that time.

Thanks for the help guys/gals. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

P.S. I may post this in another forum as well so don't shoot me.
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I'd say to look around some more, there are definatly better deals out there. The Ibex Alpine 450 would be worth loooking at as well as the low end offerings from any of the big names. Don't worry yourself too much with disc brakes either. Low end disc breaks are worse than a nice set of rim brakes.
Based on what you said about just wanting to get a taste of mountain biking and not wanting to spend a lot of money, I would say no, the fuji is not a mistake. However, you may be able to get a nicer, newer bike for the same money if you are patient and shop around...the 05 bikes are coming soon and people will be making deals on 04s which may be nicer than an 02 just since that is how technology works. Good luck either way and I hope you make the right decision and join us...come to the dark side of off road goodness... ;)
Thanks for info...

I know that low-end disc brakes leave a lot to be desired. But, my thinking was that the Fuji Thrill has a pretty decent frame (the newer Thrill models have the Altair2 frame, I'm not sure about the '02), so I figured that I could upgrade the components as my needs dictated. In other words, if I got a frame that accepted disc brakes, then I could upgrade to better ones later. But if the bike I got had rim brakes, then I couldn't upgrade to disc brakes later. In my situation, I don't think I'll ever be spending over $1000 on a bike, so I'm thinking that the bike I get now should have future 'upgradeability' if you know what I mean.

That Ibex 450 looks like a great bike for the money. But again, am I better off buying a low-end bike that is pretty much as well decked out (component-wise) as a <$400 bike should ever be (Ibex with marzocchi fork, alivio/deore, etc) or buy a low end bike with lesser components that may have better upgradeability down the road?

Thanks again so much for the info. I'm addicted to Internet forums. There is no better place to get knowledge from those who know. :)
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You have a good point about the upgradability. I think it would be worth your while to check out companies that have very well established warrantees. I would steer you toward Specialized both because they have numerous bikes in your price range, and because they tend to offer great bang for the buck. Even their lowest end frame, the hardrock, is worthy of upgrading. Some of the guys at my local shop ride hardrock frames for XC, dirt jumps, single speeds, you name it. As a bonus, Specialized has lifetime warrantees on frames and have very good customer service. You may not think you're doing anything crazy, but frames break in the hands of regular joe riders too. If you are going to be holding onto a frame and upgrading, you will come to appreciate the knowledge that there is a good company standing behind your frame. Just something to consider.
More specs.

Here are three 'new' bikes I'm looking at, what would you do (in my situation)

2002 Fuji Thrill - $350
7005 aluminum frame
Suntour Magnesium MG-60 fork
Acera front / Alivio rear
ProMax mechanical disk brakes

2003 KHS Crest ST - $375
Chromoly frame
Rock Shox Pilot C fork
Acera front / Alivio rear
Avid 3.0 brakes (non-disk)

2004 Ibex Alpine 450 - $400
6061 Aluminum frame
Marzocchi MZ comp fork
Alivio front / Deore rear
Tektro Alloy V-brakes

Thanks again for the advice, I need all the help I can get... :(
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Just looking at the specs, the Ibex looks the best to me.
The KHS soft tail is pretty cool too. It won't absorb any hits but it should get rid of alot of vibration. I'd say either the KHS or Ibex would be a fine choice.
Thanks guys for your time

I haven't yet completely decided. I found a Specialized Hard Rock Pro on eBay that looks like it may end up in my price range, but it's a bit big at 19" for me (5' 10"). I'm still looking and will take your advice into much consideration.
you could easily ride a 19'' at 5' 10'', my dad very comfotably rides one at 5' 11'' and my step mom can also fit on one fairly well and shes not very big at all
not all 19's are created equal. I would advise riding it first. Also comining from a road bg remember when test riding you don't want as full extention on your pedal stoke as you would on a road bike. Helps when bailing out of jam among other things. I'm about 5 10" and usually find a 19 feeling a little large and clunky. I like the Ibex looking at the specs. V's are good and light.
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