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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. So I have read, and read, and read so much on here since I recently joined as a complete newbie to the sport, that I'm not getting any work done at work! Well... not that I have to do any work anyway, sitting behind a desk...
Anyway, I have been riding a complete Walmart POS that was given to me for a little while, and getting frustrated with the mechanics--but at the same time have realized I have rediscovered a sport/recreation that I have long since lost. I rode DAILY when I was a teenager (14-17), then moved on to motorcycles and cars. Back in the day, I rode out of necessity (transportation)--today I ride out of passion! But the wife is concerned that this may be a short-lived interest and doesn't want me to spend too much money. I have to be realistic. I DO have too many hobbies... It's nothing for me to spend $1300 on a new compound bow, rifle... shoot, I have $1200 worth of clothing on when I go hunting in a cold climate... That's not counting the rifle and scope. OK, y'all get the picture...
So I have scoured craiglist and eBay for about a week. Nothing too great, or no response from possibilities. I know a lot of folks on here aren't big fans of BD, but if I said I have $550 dollars to spend on a less-than-entry-level bike, what should I do? After all of the research, I found what I think is the best bang for my buck. I want to be able to ride on-road and lite off-road until I'm ready for what you big boys do. I have settled on this:
Save up to 60% off new 29er Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 Expert
Remember I'm a newbie just looking to get started. I don't know squat about weight and I don't need rear suspension (not yet!). I just want a good starter bike that has a decent shifter/derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes, 27-speed, aluminum frame, and 29-incher.
I'm looking for the veterans in here to think back to their rookie days and give me a thumbs up or down. Of course, comments are welcomed... Thanks, all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the recommendation. I checked out the Airborne Guardian. I definitely like that better! I spoke to one of the reps on the phone (which you can't do with BD), and was pretty impressed. I like the fact that he didn't trash the competition and actually spoke very objectively about the two bikes. The downside is the cost keeps going up from what I initially wanted to pay. With BD, it looks like the final price is $550. With the Guardian, it's $600, plus $75 shipping, and $40 for pedals. I know, I know, the price is built in in the BD bike... So I'm definitely thinking about it.
Incidentally eb1888, I'm 6'0" and weigh 192 (need to lose about 7lbs to be totally leaned out). I'm not sure if that's considered heavy in this sport, but I think I'm at a less than average weight for my height.
Just in case I wind up with the Motobecane, can I upgrade the fork easily later?
 

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The airborne will be a good bike from a company that stand behind their product.

When bikes are ridden on a regular bases they need maintenance. Can you do this yourself?(tools and skills)

If not a visit to a LBS(local bike shop) might be a good idea.

I don't think upgrading a fork on a $500 bike is a financially sound idea.

Maybe sell the scope and the outfit, once you start riding with the deer you don't feel the need to shoot them anymore.
 

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you also have to factor in someone building the bike for you assuming you aren't doing that yourself. Dont sweat the pedals because no matter what type of riding you do you will likely want different pedals anyway. You can get a better set of cheap bmx style pedals for 20 bucks or so.

If you are going to have to pay a shop to build the bike out of the box from bd or airborne for you....consider buying one from them anyway
 

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I would say you would get a better deal on a better bike checking out Jenson. The BD bikes are ok from what I gather, but like somebody else said, only a really good deal if you compare them to a similarly spec'd Trek or something.. And then you are assuming the Trek isn't built better, which it could be to say the least. Include warranty and service and the Trek you pay 35% more for may not be as bad of a deal as you thought.

First bike getting back to the sport I would usually recommend LBS.. But going by looks and spec and name, I would go with a Jenson closeout over a BD bike all day, unless you are looking at Titanium or Fly series. There are exceptions where it looks (to me) where BD has some superior deals.. But at the 500-1000 price range? Not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe sell the scope and the outfit, once you start riding with the deer you don't feel the need to shoot them anymore.
Haha! I feel ya, Learux! Actually, about 85% of the time I spend hunting in the woods, I'm just enjoying the outdoors anyway!
As far as having the bike built, I am a electromechanical technician by trade (before management) so I feel pretty comfortable with a wrench. The plan is to build it myself, and then just visit the LBS to tweak anything if needed.
$20 for pedals? That's not too bad. I just need platforms right now anyway. I'll look into clip-ins later. So I will stop at another LBS today. I went to Bike Line a day ago, and they turned their nose up at anything under $1200. They don't deal with used equipment either. Kinda put a damper on things. I do have a decent selection of bike shops around. I suppose I really need to hit more of them and see what they have. I am taking the advice to heart.
Now I'm gonna check out these Marin Bobcats and Jensons... Thanks, folks.
 

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Being you are 6' tall, make sure of bike fit before you buy. Noticing a post with 15" and 17" frame sizes made me think of adding this to your check list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have gotten somewhat up to speed on that in the last couple days... Seems that the 29'ers I need the 17.5-18. And the others around a 19. Of course that's just looking at the sizing chart for each particular bike. BUT I do want to get a better feel at a bike shop first. Thanks, Kronk.
 

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I would say you would get a better deal on a better bike checking out Jenson. The BD bikes are ok from what I gather, but like somebody else said, only a really good deal if you compare them to a similarly spec'd Trek or something.. And then you are assuming the Trek isn't built better, which it could be to say the least. Include warranty and service and the Trek you pay 35% more for may not be as bad of a deal as you thought.

First bike getting back to the sport I would usually recommend LBS.. But going by looks and spec and name, I would go with a Jenson closeout over a BD bike all day, unless you are looking at Titanium or Fly series. There are exceptions where it looks (to me) where BD has some superior deals.. But at the 500-1000 price range? Not so much.
+1 here, too... can't beat local support, especially if you're new
 

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Nick at Suntour has an upgrade program for those lower level forks.
$200 gets you a Raidon air fork more than adequate for several years of riding as you develop your skills.
Your weight is going to get a little bit of flex out of the 28mm stanchions on the Guardian fork. 32mm models are better. Don't worry about assembly. It is minimal. Of course you don't currently know how to do the maintenance but you will learn what you need. It is important info for when you ride anyway. No service calls on the trail 10 miles from your car. Problems don't show up while it is parked in your garage.
 

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Keep looking on craigslist. That's exactly what I have done for my mtb I got to start me off. I got it last year on craigslist for $500 its a 2004 specialized epic. The bike is great and some people will take almost anything for something they want out of their house.


Eat, fish,bike,hunt, sleep, and repeat
 

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+1 for Craigslist! Know how your wife is worried you'll loose interest? Well that's because theirs a ton of guys out there that went out and bought $1000+ bikes and rode it a dozen times and lost interest. Now you can buy that $1000 bike for $500! Look every day and be willing to travel a little distance and you can score a hell of a deal!
 

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The bike looks fine to me, I'd say go for it.

My major piece of advice: Maintain and repair it yourself. Instead of paying a mechanic $50 to fix your bike, spend that money on tools.

Enjoy riding!!
 

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The bike looks fine to me, I'd say go for it.

My major piece of advice: Maintain and repair it yourself. Instead of paying a mechanic $50 to fix you bike, spend that money on tools.

Enjoy riding!!
Couldn't agree more - working on and fixing your own bike is every bit as rewarded as the rides themselves. And cheaper. ParkTool has awesome articles and videos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I did it! I pulled the trigger! To be honest, I was really ready to order a bike online. Especially after the last two posts. I was feeling the support. The only thing was, being a noob, I still wasn't sure on the size--since I was right in the middle of two sizes. So I reached back to the earlier posts, and spent the day visiting bike shops To discover which size I needed. I've been to 5 of them in the area. Test rode bikes of different sizes (all 29ers). Believe it or not, the last LBS was Sun and Ski. I expected to see a variety of bikes to try out. There I rode a Haro and a Marin. I guess I had worn the salesman ragged. He was a gruff, wiry avid MTBer, very knowledgeable and likeable. I was looking at $600-$900 bikes. Then the manager appeared and showed me a 2012 Marin Nail Trail 29er on clearance. Just happen to be my size (19 inch)... We nicely haggled back and forth (making my wife the "bad guy"). Long-story-short, I bought it! I'll list the details below:

Marin Nail Trail 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike '12
List Price: $2,499.99
Clearance Price: $1,399.84
Product Code: 7706060041210

• Model Name: Nail Trail 29er
• Model Category: Mountain HT
• Model Series: 29er
• Model Number: A12-266-1F
• Frame: 6061 Aluminum 29er, Triple Butted Hydro-Edge II Top and Down Tubes, Double Butted E4 Anti-Flex Seat and Chain Stays
• Front Suspension: Fox 32 Float 29 RL O/B, 100mm with Rebound Adjustment, Lockout, and Air Spring Preload
• Rear Suspension: 0
• Shift Lever: Shimano SLX, 2 Way Release, 10-Speed
• Derailleur Front: Shimano SLX, 3x10
• Derailleur Rear: Shimano Shadow XT, 10-Speed
• Brakes Front: Avid Elixer 7 Hydraulic Disc, 7” Rotor
• Brakes Rear: Avid Elixer 7 Hydraulic Disc, 6” Rotor
• Brake Levers: Avid Hydraulic Disc
• Pedals: None
• Crankset: Shimano M552, 3x10 Speed, 42/32/24
• Chain Cover: #N/A
• Bottom Bracket: Shimano with HollowTech II Arms, Big Pipe Billet Integrated with Crankset
• Chain: Shimano HG74, 10-Speed
• Cassette: Shimano SLX, 11-36, 10-Speed
• Hub Rear: SUNRingle Black Flag Expert, 28 Hole, 6-Bolt
• Hub Front: SUNRingle Black Flag Expert, 28 Hole, 6-Bolt
• Rims: SUNRingle Black Flag Expert 29” Tubeless Ready
• Spokes Nipples: Wheelsmith Black Stainless Steel
• Tires: Continental Race King, 29” x 2.2" with Folding Kevlar Bead
• Saddle: WTB Silverado Comp
• Seatpost: FSA SL-280, 6061, 30.9mm
• Stem: Marin OS Alloy Threadless, 31.8mm Bar Clamp
• Handlebar: XC Riser Double Butted 2014 Alloy, OS-31.8mm, 20mm Rise
• Grips: Marin Double Locking
• Headset: FSA No.10, 1 1/8”, Threadless Internal Bearing

The deal included:
• An additional $100 off the clearance price of 1399.84
• One free Kali Chakra Helmet for me, and 50% off another one for my wife
• Lifetime tune-ups free of charge--with a one day turnaround
• 5-year Protection Plan ($179.99 value) to include: Broken parts (even normal wear and tear), all service costs, everything except the seat and grips. Even has lifetime flat tire insurance!

I am so stoked! The reason I'm so late on this post is because it was late when I came home, and I had to take it on a night ride!

Thanks again to everyone who posted, gave me advice, steered me to the bike stores, and showed support. I am ready to hit the singletrack tomorrow! The weather is supposed to be sunny and 70! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!
 
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