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I'd take the properly tuned $50 bike over a more expensive uncared for bike any day...Assuming I didnt have any tools.

My dad took my old Royce Union circa '92 that I demolished in college, put new (used) wheels on it and tuned that bad boy up... think it cost him all of 30 bucks... rides it every day, and he's healthier than ever. I geuss it all depends on what you want to do with it.
 

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I upvoted this on Reddit. My Dad is riding his Royce Union that is at least 22 years old, too! He rides the beach literally every day now. Just replaces stuff as needed, keeps it clean, and rolls onward.
 

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That's great and all but I think the guy probably already had a good bit of mountain bike related things.

A proper fitting helmet, multi-tool, and bike rack to carry your bike on is well over $200.

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With enough patience, anything is possible. Remember the guy that used craigslist, solely, to trade from a phone up to a porsche in just under two years?

Guy Uses Craigslist to Trade Phone Up to Porsche

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So yeah anything is possible, but not very likely or typical.
 

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If you have some mechanical know-how you can definitely get into mountain biking on a low budget by finding an older rigid bike and sprucing it up. It's tough for the everyday beginner to get into it for under $200 because it's unlikely they'll have the skills to refurbish whatever bike they have or know how to tell a good deal from a bad one.

To the average beginner a $100 walmart bike is better than an old steel rigid bike simply because it's brand new...not taking into consideration that the rigid could have been higher end in it's hey day. In addition to that, it's doubtful they'll have any gear whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's great and all but I think the guy probably already had a good bit of mountain bike related things.

A proper fitting helmet, multi-tool, and bike rack to carry your bike on is well over $200
That's why I added $150 to the price he actually paid.
$30 helmet
$20 multitool
$6 innertube
$3 patch kit
$20 portable pump

Is all the accessories you need. Tons of riders can ride to trails or remove wheels to fit a bike in the trunk. With patience and knowledge (this is a biggie), its totally possible. It won't take you two years to trade up either. The key is knowing the difference between an old used bike in good vs bad condition.
 

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The main expense with beginners stems from maintenence and repairs. From the beginning, if you don't know how to tune a bike, it's going to cost you. You can't order online because you'll lose the money you save bringing the bike to the lbs to set it up. You can't buy used because you could be buying a money pit and not know it, and you still have to bring it in to be tuned. If they go that route and it needs a drivetrain they might as well have bought a new bike. So that pushes them to be ultra cheap and buy a really low tier lbs bike, which again, costs them money in the long run, or they spend more than they wanted to, which is also expensive. So, the reality is, learn to fix it yourself. Buy something cheap, learn on it, and don't be afraid to turn a few bolts.

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