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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I have been looking on this website alot recently to try to get an idea about what bike to get. I am a 19 year old, college student complete newb (aka low on funds) who is just getting into mountain biking. I have been reading the suggestions for other people on what to get, but of course I have to post my own details. I would be using the bike for commuting to class daily as well as taking it on trails with small drops and mostly roots, sticks, small logs...in the Alabama/Georgia border area. My roommates are getting a hardrock and a rockhopper, but I feel I can get a better deal than they are getting with one of these. I really can't go over $500 as that's all I can afford at the time. I have been looking at the Ibex Ignition-2 stock from Ibex on sale right now or the Alpine 550 stock as well.
Or, I can get a 2005 Model - Trek 4500 500 miles on it Rally Blue & Metallic Black color (either 19.5 or 22.5 frame not sure..but for a 6'-6.1 male Rock Shocks T T's Shimano Diore - D'railers Shimano Crankset Trek Computer 9-i Shimano Disc Hubs Bontrager Tires Crowbar handlebar set Tekpro brakes Trek - Truck storage under seat Montrager Seat - Leather - upgrade Dual Bottle holders Dual Duty Rim Diore Shimano Shifters Trek Cell Phone Holder
I know the Judy fork on the Trek isn't great, and I don't know how it compares with the Ignition or Alpine, but the Trek has better derailleurs I believe. How do I factor all this into the cost all being pretty equal at $500?
I have been reading that the Ibex's are good bikes with great customer service and I like the idea of a F/S bike with disc brakes. While it may not be necessary, it SOUNDS good to me, although I could be mistaken. Do I need to go with a F/S or hardtail? Or is it just a matter of opinion? Lastly, it seems in reading a lot of posts about Ibex that they require a good bit of maintenance. Is this true? Would it be easy to learn since I really don't know anything? Thanks for all your help. I can't wait to get my bike (whatever it may be).
 

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Get a hardtail.

At your budget, and riding area (on campus) I say stick to a hardtail. Less to go wrong, less flashy, and an all around better choice for your price range.

I sell/fit bikes for a living. I have a very hard time recommending any FS bike less than $900 or so, just because of of the bike being heavier, with cheaper parts, that generally will not handle as good.

As for as the Hardrock and Rockhopper that your friends are getting, those bikes are hard to beat.

If you do not know what you are looking for fit wise, go to a shop that you trust for your first real bike purchase. You will get the fit right, and get a baseline for future rides.
 

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Ibex Maintenance

I recently purchased and Ibex Apogee XT. I am very happy with my decision and highly recommend Ibex products. As far as maintenance, I think they are like any other bike. You can have two people with the same bike, one will require little or no maintenance and the other will forever be at their LBS. Personally, I haven't had any problems with mine. For Xmas I'm getting a maintenance book and will be learning how to do as much myself as I can.

I would also recommend a hard tail. Less maintenance, and less bling to be admired locked to a rack. I also find HT to be more road friendly, but others might disagree.

If available in your area, I would also look at Raleigh and Giant. You should be able to find a decent component set in your price range.
 

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Bikes on campus

Almost everyone that I have seen with experience in riding bikes on a college campus recommends you do NOT ride a nice bike. There's like a 110% chance of it getting stolen. If you're set on getting the mountain bike for off road use, be sure it's kept inside, except when you're riding it. Buy the ugliest beater bike you can find for your commuter. The uglier, the better, as it will not attract a thieve's attention.

Just thought I should toss this out for consideration.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bike Choice

Unfortunately, I can not afford to have two bikes. I would have to just buy a nice bike lock to keep mine safe. There are lots of bikes around here that are pretty nice (specialized...) that are just kept locked up and there usually isn't a very big problem with them being stolen so I believe that as long as it is kept locked up it shouldn't be a factor. Thanks for all the reccomendations. If you keep them coming, I would love to hear from anyone else on the subject. I know you don't reccommend getting F/S bikes for under $900, but I think it is important to take into consideration that the IGN-2 is on sale and I would be getting an $800 bike for almost half that price, especially when the fact that the LBS doesn't have any 05 models left in the specialized for me to get a discount on. Does this change anything? Thanks again.
 

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buy what you like. The Ibex at $400 or so is good price. I'm to lazy to read up on all the specs on the bikes you mentioned but I will say this...

$500 full susp bikes will almost always have inferior components than a $500 hardtail. This is very important if you plan on using the bike a lot. Crappy shifters/derailuers and drivetrain make for a crappy bike in no time.

You don't NEED a full susp bike, but, if thats what you want then go with the IGN. But I would compare shifters and deraileurs first just to make sure it doesn't have some absolute bottom of the line shimano crap on it, if so plan on it not shifting well real soon and often.

I would look for LX Deore in this price range, thats quaility mid-level priced stuff becomming common on $500 bikes.

Also bad disc brakes are worse rim brakes. They can be a pain in the a$$ and not worth the box they came in....just food for thought.
 

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Definitely go hardtail

While i understand the terrific value you're getting in the Ignition, eatdrinkride hits the nail on the head with two points:

1) You don't need full suspension.

2) The quality of the components on a $500 bike will undoubtedly be as good as, or better than the Ignition.

I don't say that to bang on Ibex, as I happen to own one of their bikes. The Alpine would be an excellent value and should be given serious consideration so long as you're OK with buying sight unseen and without a test ride. Ibex will refund you the cost of the bike (I believe you eat the cost of shipping both ways) should you decide you don't like their product and return it.

Best wishes in finding the right ride.

BTW-a beater bike can be had for like $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any suggestions about the Trek 4500 or the Ibex Alpine 550? Any other suggestions for $500? One of my friends has a Jamis, but I can't find any really good sales online for 05 models. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share.
 

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Get the Alpine

UTFAN said:
Any suggestions about the Trek 4500 or the Ibex Alpine 550? Any other suggestions for $500? One of my friends has a Jamis, but I can't find any really good sales online for 05 models. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share.
Reasons: Better fork, disc brakes (not the best, but they're discs), better front derailleur, and IMO, better cranks. To me, the fork alone would be reason enough to choose the Ibex over the Trek.

Best Wishes,

Bob
 
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