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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Ya'll,

I am looking to purchase a new Hard-tail. I have ridden many low-end bikes when i ws younger and snapped all of them. Broken chains, cranksets, bent handlebars, forks, etc. I am looking for the best starter bike that is equipped with decent forks, dampening, 100mm plus. Also i need to have strongest crankset available and decent shifters. Another plus is disc brakes, decent at least, i can upgrade them later. I do alot of bunny-hops, curb jumping, small drops, the like. I'm 6' 235lbs. I have searched the forum and tried to determine myself but have come up short. I am open to the idea of a used unit also. Just whatever will fit the bill. So, anyone know of a bullet-proof decent bike at a lower budget? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. PS im gonna hit up the LSB's on tuesday when they open back up. Just researching as to prevent the "Name brand" and "new technolgy" jive some salesman like to throw around, just to screw another newb.
 

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no 400 dollar bike is bulletproof. a lot of us are paying more than 400 bucks for a fork alone. for that you can probably get a semi decent xc frame with bottom of the barrel components that sort of work alright, but are leaps and bounds away from being something one would consider bulletproof.

check out the forge sawback, but you really gotta keep it in perspective.. thats too tall of an order for 400 bucks.
 

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You're a big guy, and you're going to break stuff doing what you do on most bikes nevermind something under $400. Sub $400 pretty much come with the same level of components, may have different brands (ie: shimano vs. sram) but you're not going to see a huge variance. Nor are you going to see ANYTHING bullet proof. If a 100mm fork and disc brakes are important look for the Iron Horse Warrior 1.3 at Dick's Sporting goods, there's not many options and most bikes in an LBS will still have v brakes at the price. Short of riding through heavy rain and/ or mud, v brakes are better than cheap discs any day. All in all $400 gets you an entry level bikes, entry level components and just enough to get you on and off the trail, this isn't bmx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for your input and for re-affirming what i already knew. lol Okay, so i need to take it easy until i decide to spend my cash on a pedal power instead of my motorbike. Are all the $400 range, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Iron Horse, etc, bikes equipped with similar strength cranksets? Or does one have a better crankset but lack elsewhere?
 

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Help us help you....

Jriffe108 said:
Thanks guys for your input and for re-affirming what i already knew. lol Okay, so i need to take it easy until i decide to spend my cash on a pedal power instead of my motorbike. Are all the $400 range, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Iron Horse, etc, bikes equipped with similar strength cranksets? Or does one have a better crankset but lack elsewhere?
Spec those bikes and their crankset. Then we can provide you with the advice you're looking for. I'm not going to research the 4 bikes you mentioned to determine which crankset they all come with.

If any of them come with Shimano LX, that's a good, durable crankset.
 

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Cranksets are going to be fairly similar. Buyers at that pricepoint are probably not going to look very closely at the crankset (or know the difference between a nice set and an entry level set), so instead the MFR's are going to try and dazzle them with high-techy forks and cool paint jobs.

Buy the bike. If you break the cranks, replace them with some stronger ones, maybe from the Hope or Saint lines from Shimano. Those are built to carry 300lbs of armored rider over gnarly terrain at 40mph. They should hold up longer than your frame.

If you're looking for a diesel bike for $400 for jumping curbs and doing drops....you could land a pretty solid BMX bike and still be under budget. But for what you're asking from a mountain bike, you're simply not going to get it for $400 new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, thanks guys. I don't know the difference between and Suntour Crankset vs a Shimano vs a Truvative Iso. I can see they vary a bit in appearance but just thought ya'll could tell me if Giant uses a forged set vs Specialized who has cast. I mainly ride motorcycles now and wrench on motorcycles, cars , heavy equipment. I'm sorry to come in without doing my homework but I just wanted a friendly suggestion prior to my arrival at a LBS.

Also, I do like to blaze trails and want some front susp for rocks and gear changing capabilities, eliminating a BMX. Plus I am too tall for a BMX and have an ACL reconstructed knee that requires a longer stroke which only a MTB can provide.

I am currently checking Craigslist and ebay for local deals. I'll visit LBS tomorrow and hopefully they wont take advantage of me. Thanks again for ya'll input, ya'll have a great forum here.
 

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Take a look on Craigslist. There are some good deals now and then if you know what you're looking for, but then again you're getting parts that may have already been romped on.

One more thing to consider....you may be completely underestimating modern cranks. I'm 6'4", 225lbs, and I ride a single speed. I put a lot of torque on my entry level cranks that came on my bike back in 99, and they've held up very well. No bending, flexing, or breaking.
 

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You might be able to find something used at that price point. You'll need to look around a bit though.

Another option is to go with something that like a Redline Monocog that is a fully rigid single speed so you aren't paying for crappy suspension, shifters, derailleurs, etc.

I have about 100 lbs on you so my views on components will differ from other smaller riders.

I think that the most important part of the bike for heavier riders is the wheelset. If you are doing anything besides riding down a paved bike path you will beat the heck out of stock entry level wheels. Expect a $200 upgrade on any entry level bike.

The next item is the crankset/bottom bracket as you've mentioned. Shimano LX/XT/Hone/Saint are all great options. Expect to pay at least $100 to upgrade.

The fork is gonna be something you need to focus on as well, a good quality through axle fork makes a huge difference for a heavier rider. You will need to spend at least $200 for the upgrade ($400 if you want something decent)

The last of the expensive components that heavier more aggressive riders need to deal with are the brakes, nice hydro disc brakes will make riding much less aggravating and more enjoyable. Expect $200 for the upgrade.

If you want to get on a bike right away and don't want a rigid single speed there are some pretty nice closeout deals out there. With your weight and riding style I would look for freeride hardtail type bikes.

Here's a decent option at your price range.
http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id.14617/.f?sc=7&category=4959

The Jamis Komodo or similar "Freeride Hardtails" should work well for what you are intending. Here's a closeout one that should hold up to you pretty well.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BI300T10-Jamis+Komodo+30+Bike+06.aspx
 

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cheap cranks have cheap rings.. thats really what you're gonna break first. my girlfriend rides very non-aggressively and destroyed 2 rings on her cheap FSA crank quickly. i absolutely destroyed the rings on my truvativ isoflow crank in under 100 miles.

my bike got an xt crankset and no more problems, her bike got new xt rings and no more problems. we both never had problems with the cranks themselves, it was the made-of-butter rings that died.

just ride it until it dies, if you break a ring you can replace them for fairly cheap with good rings. none of the cranks you're gonna get for that price are going to be worth a damn, its kinda splitting hairs to compare. really all the bikes are going to be pretty similar too, 71 degree ht angles, setup for xc and mild use, weak rims and components..

a while ago i was in the same position.. i ended up picking up a motobecane because it had much better components than everything in its price range, so i figured it was a win-win.. the bike felt terrible, the geometry of it never worked for me, and i could never get comfortable. good components or not, i didnt enjoy the bike and ended up selling it for one that fit me best.

buy for fit, not components.
 

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Jriffe108 said:
PS im gonna hit up the LSB's on tuesday when they open back up.
What you really need is to lay off the LSD because you're crazy. You are not going to meet your needs at that budget. Even then you will still break things.

PS. It's LBS.
 

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Jriffe108 said:
Thanks again. What do u think about a Nero Flightline sport? Comparable to Specialized Hard Rock? Iron Horse Warrior?
Go with the hardrock. Got a nice light aluminum frame which is pretty much as strong as steel. It does have lower line components but just replace them with nice heavy duty parts like saints and the like in the future
 

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scralatchtica824 said:
Go with the hardrock. Got a nice light aluminum frame which is pretty much as strong as steel. It does have lower line components but just replace them with nice heavy duty parts like saints and the like in the future
A Hardrock with Saint?? Now that's just wrong :p

Specialized is way overpriced for what they offer.

Get a budget brand bike so you don't pay for their name and marketing expenses. An Ironhorse, Jamis, KHS, Novara, K2, Mongoose, etc. will have a frame that is just as good if not better than the Hardrock for less money with a better parts spec.
 

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Shimano Saint 2008-2009. I've taken so many falls into curbs etc due to clumsiness and the cranks don't even scratch. Going from a Truvativ ISIS Stylo to a Shimano Saint - the difference in power to wheels and flex were immediate from the first revolution. I'm 210 lbs. and Saints inspire confidence. The fact that they have some of the best looks for any DH crankset helps, too.
 

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If you are willing to spend the bucks, the strongest crank on the market are Profiles..bar-none!!!!! I've had a pair on my bike for about 9 years, they have been jumped, thrown,, in fires, brawls...you name it, my cranks have been through it all and then some, and still going, I've toasted many similar cranks within a couple years...I guarantee you wont find anything stronger...period!

Plus they are american made, fairly inexpensive and life time warranted.



https://www.profileracing.com/products_mtb.php
 

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I would definitely go used, something like a used Hardrock with a few upgraded components would be nice. If you want similar handling to a BMX a dirt jumping hardtail would be well suited, can handle moderate trails(they are much better at descending than at climbing, but they work) and a dirt jumping hardtail is bound to have stronger components from the factory due to it's intended use.
 
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