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I need some help. I want to surprise my boyfriend with a mountain bike, but I have no idea what kind to get. He does not have one now and he wants to start mountain biking, so I would need a bike that is good for beginners. He has been looking at some, but I have no idea what kind he was looking at. He is 6' and 180 pounds. I am looking to spend around $400. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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jennap555 said:
I need some help. I want to surprise my boyfriend with a mountain bike, but I have no idea what kind to get. He does not have one now and he wants to start mountain biking, so I would need a bike that is good for beginners. He has been looking at some, but I have no idea what kind he was looking at. He is 6' and 180 pounds. I am looking to spend around $400. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
For a beginner, Id say you should stick with a hardtail at that price point. Kona makes some decent bikes you might get at that price but I think that Giant and Raleigh probably spec their entry level bikes the best at any pricepoint. Sorry I can't give you the names of bikes but Id find a Giant or Raleigh (or maybe even Specialized which would be the best of that group imo) dealer and see what they have. I would recommend that you just go look first. Dont tell the salesperson that you know nothing about this and need a bike for him, you'll feel like you were in a bad prison scene! Note, not every LBS is like this but unfortunately, more often than not....

Good luck, Im sure he'll be stoked you're doing this for him regardless of how it all goes down.
 

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Boy, that's a toughie. I'd ask your local bike shop if they would accept returns on gifts if his bike wasn't to his liking, or if the fit and/or style was wrong. What kind of riding does he plan to do? Trails, jumps, etc? For that kind of money, you'll be limited to entry level hardtails. I have some friends who have the base model Specialized Hardrock and they're quite pleased. At his size, he'll probably need like a 19" frame or so. If you could have him test ride some bikes to give you an idea, that would be helpful. But if it's going to be a complete surprise, you might not like that option. What brands are available to you at your LBS(s)?

There's always a gift certificate.(?)

My wife and I both just bought bikes as early Christmas gifts to oursleves, but we were able to test ride a few different models within our price range and riding style before deciding.

Good luck. You should be able to find some smokin' deals on end-of-year 2005 models.

Ian
Austin, TX
 

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Sale bikes

I would check out your local bike shops for any closeout bikes in your price range. At that price any hardtail will perform very similar. It will all be the geometry of the bike and what feels the most comfortable. I would definately suggest talking to them about exchanging the size later if need be. That might be a problem with a sale bike though. My friend had a specialized hardrock. I thought it was a little too heavy and burly to enjoy the climbing aspect of a hardtail.
 

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my friend just bought a specialized hardrock sport for about 350. he's about 5'11 and much prefered the large frame over the medium, despite my arguments about a smaller frame being easier to handle and toss around. the "comfort" spiel won him over despite basic physics (and adjustability)... the top tube of a bike is really solid whereas your nuts arent...

anyway, it's a good bike with relatively good parts. you can get cheaper, but for a new rider (as my friend is), it really mattered most that he liked the looks. which i can agree on, i love my polished gt over my painted specialized. so make sure it's a good looking bike, the flat black hardrock sport is really cool looking whereas the low end giants are painted froofy red and white and crappy.

i also liked the low end fuji's with a flat tan/olive color. cheaper (on clearance, they're really cheap at around $150), but i dont know anything else about them.

try and get some extras thrown in like a bottle cage and large water bottle. check what their maintenance program is, if they offer free maintenance, lifetime maintenance or nothing.

lots of people try mountain biking and find out that it's actually alot of work. and riding alone can suck for newbies. having friends that ride is a great motivator. bike maintenance can be a chore for some. bikes do not hold their value very well. be sure to guilt him into riding consistently.

and driving to trailheads all the time can be a hassle. if there aren't any trails within biking distance... well... whatever.
 

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Here's a thought

Since buying the right bike for someone else is extremely difficult for a number of factors (fit, style, other preferences) I would say that you would probably be better off in putting couple of mountain bike magazines and books in a wrapped box, along with a nice card from you stating that you'd like him to have a new mountain bike, and that the two of you will go shopping together to make sure he gets one he likes (make sure he also understands you have a budget to stick to, and allow him to put something towards the cost should he choose a more expensive bike). This or some variation of this approach would be my choice, as there would be nothing more disappointing to the two of you if for some reason you made the wrong purchase. Unless you are 100% sure you know what he wants, get him involved in the decision. He'll love the fact that you've taken an intest in seeing him get started in the hobby, and it should be a fun experiecne making the purchase together.

Just my thoughts. Best Wishes on making his Christmas a special one.

Bob
 

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Hear, hear!

First off since no one has said it, he is a lucky guy! Good on you for buying him a MTB

I agree completely and totally with Call_me_Clyde on this. Choosing a bike just based on all the different makes, components and colors would be a difficult task as it is. When you factor in bike size, which in my opinion is the number one thing you need to get right or he will not end up enjoying the bike, I think the little home made coupon "good for one free mountaini bike" is the way to go. In the long run he will be much better off if you go this route than if he has a shiny, new, but wrong sized bike under the tree on Xmas morning.
 

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dont listen to that nonsense. you should have been paying attention to any hints he's dropped, you should know exactly what he wants and dont skimp out on costs because he'll know and call you a cheapskate behind your back. if you just give him a gift cert or a homemade coupon, he'll think you're lazy and inattentive and insensitive. and he'll probably cry to him mom about it. and have doubts about if you're The One.

just kidding, good ideas on shopping together.
 

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what he said...

the bike must fit, just like you buying shoes...get the wrong size and you'll be in pain. The bike will become a shiny, expensive dust -collector in the garage, or similar.

A card and token gift seems best then.... drag him kicking and screaming (Noooooooo! I don't want a stinkin' bike!!!) to a trusty store after Christmas, or before if that suits you both.

Merry non-denominational season to you both, Jim
:p
 

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Call_me_Clyde said:
Since buying the right bike for someone else is extremely difficult for a number of factors (fit, style, other preferences) I would say that you would probably be better off in putting couple of mountain bike magazines and books in a wrapped box, along with a nice card from you stating that you'd like him to have a new mountain bike, and that the two of you will go shopping together to make sure he gets one he likes (make sure he also understands you have a budget to stick to, and allow him to put something towards the cost should he choose a more expensive bike). This or some variation of this approach would be my choice, as there would be nothing more disappointing to the two of you if for some reason you made the wrong purchase. Unless you are 100% sure you know what he wants, get him involved in the decision. He'll love the fact that you've taken an intest in seeing him get started in the hobby, and it should be a fun experiecne making the purchase together.

Just my thoughts. Best Wishes on making his Christmas a special one.

Bob
This is what my GF did for me. I liked taking her to bike shops. My GF even told me to add in cash if I wanted a nicer bike. I didnt, and upgraded later. Good choice, and good luck

M att
 

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Get your bf approval first

A bike is a very personal choice... make sure it is exactly the one he wants. You could ask 10 different people and get 10 different opinions. I'll second the advice for taking him to the bike shops. Also, since you are seeking advice here, it is likely he doesn't know what he wants, in which case he would definitely want to test the bike out himself first.

Good Luck!!!

P.S. Did anyone else open this post in hopes that it was your girl who started the thread?
 
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