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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, My budget is 700$ Max. I am looking for a bike with a good frame worth keeping for later component upgrades. I have never owned a mountain bike. My experience is with bmx/dirt bikes. I have been riding trails with a bmx successfully for years. I can handle pretty hairy trails but i am no expert. I like to take jumps and steep declines and generally push my self to the limit. Again I am no expert. But the bottom line is I would like to riding the expert trails and take some jumps here and there. I dont plan on visiting any dirt jump parks.

Because of my price range I am looking primarily at hardtails.

My confusion begins with the style of bike i should be looking for. I am concerned that a XC bike will fall apart on me, that a FR bike will be too heavy or the geometry will be to specific for my needs, and that a AM bike is too expensive!

Could you please help me with maybe 2 or 3 bikes from any category you think I should be looking at?
 

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noMAD man
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I think the FR bike would be the most expensive choice...not the AM bike. Bikes truly capable of FR duty usually have some better components overall. Don't get me wrong...AM bikes can also be very expensive depending on choice, but you can find decently priced hardtail and FS bikes for relatively aggressive trail riding. A Haro Shift comes to mind for one example of a decently priced full suspension trail bike. You're probably right about the XC model being slightly more fragile and the true FR bike being relatively heavy...and more expensive.
 

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my fun has a hurting
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for what you want to do an xc bike will be set up entirely wrong. they are built to go fast and climb well on fairly well groomed trails. not for playing on technical features and jumps/drops. at your price range you might want to look into something used after the holidays, and ask for bike money from santa...
 

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well if your just getting into mtn biking, i would go for an all around do everything bike. xc and freeride bikes are more specialized bikes. if your doing more up hill and endurance stuff on groomed trails get and xc. if your going down hill most the time and (not really climbing) on scary technical trails with big drops and jumps get a fr. but if your like most mtn bikers you want to do pretty much a little bit of everything get all mountain.

with 700$ your best bet would be a hard tail but you can still go for a full suspension its just not going to have the best components or best suspension design. if i was you i would save my money cause if you go 1000-1300 you can get a pretty nice fs bike. check around at local bike shops too they have tons of deals this time of year with the 09's coming in and most of them do 0% financing options. and i would aslo check around on ebay or craigs list for used bikes. thats the most bang for you buck! my dad just got a lightly used 07 diamondback mission for 1300$. thats a 2300$ bike with fox shox all around 6in travel and easton cockpit and sram components for a low 30 lb bike!!

so ill just throw a few bike out there and you can look at them.

http://www.rscycle.com/2009-Iron-Horse-Warrior-4-0?sc=7&category=531

http://www.rscycle.com/2009-Iron-Horse-Warrior-6-0?CAWELAID=232401901

and on both the rscyle bikes they just had an extra 20% off all bike a few days ago and if you ask them about it that might still offer it for you if you email them.

the haro shift looks good.

giant yukon

diamondback overdrive or response

but then again it just depends on how serious you want to get into the sport. if you want a good frame to upgrade later i still recomend at least going over 1000$ but if you really want to go hard tail with a decent fork theres options out there too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thnks for the response. Like I said my budget is 700. I have been looking at Hardtail freerides because they seem to have frames in that price point that will last. i agree 1000 and up is better for a FS but from what i can tell 700 goes alot further in a hard tail. Bottom line is I want a bike that I can do expert trails with drops and jumps. It really doesnt matter to me what style of bike it is that will allow me to do that. But coming from a none MTB background I dont know where to start. I could get around the trails pretty good on my bmx as it was built like a tank. Climbing was obviously an issue. And the closer together techs and drops could often bounce me right off my bike.
 

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that iron horse 4.0 looks ok for your 700, like the other guys say, you can pick up a FS bike in a sale for $700

But probably the best bang for the buck will be used, check your local craigslist and ebay.

there are usually loads of great bikes going for good prices.
 

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plasma donor
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remotecontrol said:
Thnks for the response. Like I said my budget is 700. I have been looking at Hardtail freerides because they seem to have frames in that price point that will last. i agree 1000 and up is better for a FS but from what i can tell 700 goes alot further in a hard tail. Bottom line is I want a bike that I can do expert trails with drops and jumps. It really doesnt matter to me what style of bike it is that will allow me to do that. But coming from a none MTB background I dont know where to start. I could get around the trails pretty good on my bmx as it was built like a tank. Climbing was obviously an issue. And the closer together techs and drops could often bounce me right off my bike.
http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mullet

Great AM starter build. Good frame, decent, sturdy components, and great gearing while you figure out if you will want gears for your style or not. This bike is designed for clydes to play on, so it will take what you throw at it. As you get familiar with MTB behaviors and establish your riding style, you can upgrade accordingly. You can find cheaper bikes, but it will be difficult to find a cheaper bike that will do everything and stand up to abuse. Many Dirt Jump bikes will come in cheaper, expecially rigid, but they will also likely be difficult to transition to trail riding. Likewise you can find more XC oriented bikes on a budget, but they will likely not be up to hucking. This thing is right in the middle, and it should last while you figure out what parts you WANT instead of what parts you NEED.

As far as tech stuff bouncing you off, that's more technique. A squishy can absorb more, but with poor technique, it will throw you off your line just like a rigid will. I ride my rigid alot, and just switching to my HT throws me off for a few until I get used to the front tracking different.
 

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^^^^ Good choice. I was going to recommend an AM hardtail such as the Mullet. Another one that comes to mind is the Mountain Cycle Rumble. Also, I would go used vs. new. You'll get a ton more bang for your buck. Stay away from full suspension in that price range and stick to a beefy AM hardtail. That way, you won't have to worry about worn bearings, bushings and the like...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I test drove a Stp and I actually didnt like it. For some reason i have been attracted to this style of body. I guess because of the similarity to bmx. And go figure, it feels just like a big bmx. It was not a big enough departure from bmx as I want. As most have suggested I may up my budget up to 1000. I am finding that some bike shops around are desperate to make a sale. I drove a FS commencal meta 5.5.3 and loved it. the bike shop offered to sell it and the bike my girlfriend test drove ( cannondale rush 3 feminine ) for 2200 give or take. From what I can tell its a good deal. Also this bike shop actually resnts out some high end bikes for 15 bucks a day. So I will jump on that. This will give me a chance to try a FS for the first time on some trails!
 
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