//Trail Status mouse over Java // newbie, any advice on a good bike?

Author Topic: newbie, any advice on a good bike?  (Read 5025 times)

williams_450r

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« on: April 23, 2014, 12:17:57 AM »
I'm new to this site and fairly new to the sport. My background is usually more towards to quad and dirt bike racing, but with my first ride at Brown County State Park.. I became addicted to mountain biking..

Can anyone give me advice on what to look for when it comes to shopping for a bike? During my last ride, I noticed there was a few people on full suspension bikes.. Do they offer a huge difference as compared to a hardtail? I'm guessing it depends on what type of terrain you're planning to ride. But for me, most of my riding is at Brown County, Town Run or Rangeline.. Any takers??

MikeVK

  • **
  • Posts: 65
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 08:38:11 AM »

There are lots of great options for bike.  A lot of it comes down to personal preference and budget.  I rode 29er hard tails for years and finally switched to full suspension a couple years ago.   If you are going to be doing a lot of jumping, you'll appreciate the full suspension and it adds comfort and stability.  I think my carbon hard tail was a faster bike, however.


My best advice is to visit a few of the local bike shops (Nebo Ridge, BGI, Mathew's, Indy Cycle), ask questions and get them to let you try out a couple bikes.  You can ride a few in the parking lot, and most of the shops will let you take one to a trail for a day so you can get a feel.


As the weather gets better some of the manufacturers do demo days (I've seen Giant, Specialized, and Trek out).  Those are great opportunities to see how different types feel.  Unfortunately, they aren't always advertised very well in advance.




This article has some good advice on bike setup.  Which won't necessarily help you pick a bike, but will give you some things to look for in size and setup while deciding:  http://betterride.net/blog/2014/mountain-bike-cockpit-setup-better-handling-bike-industry-slowly-catching-lucky/


Fett

  • Should be riding....
  • ***
  • Posts: 1405
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 08:58:17 AM »
All of the big manufacturers (Trek, Specialized, Giant) all have good, well equipped bikes at various price points and are a safe bet for a good bike, especially at the lower end of the price spectrum.
 
The single biggest tip that I can give you is to buy a bike that is the proper size for you. Do NOT under any circumstances buy a bike too big or too small because it is on sale. Many bikes can be "made" to fit, but it will not feel as good as the right size.  Focus more on effective top tube length than seat tube size.
 
Spend your money on a bike shop that is more concerned with getting YOU set up on the bike, rather than features of the bike.
 
Full suspension is nice and I prefer it, but just starting out, you will get more bang for your buck with a hardtail, unless you are jumping in over a $1500 or so price point.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 10:45:47 AM by Fett »
Need a home mortgage?  Let me help.   Click here for more info: www.ruoff.com/jefffetterer

RJ

  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
    • Indy's best bike shop!
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 09:57:34 AM »
+1 on starting with a hardtail. You'll get a lot more bike for your money and it is really all that is "needed" for Indiana riding, especially at places like SWW and TR. Also, do yourself a favor and buy from a local bike shop that'll be there for service and support. I highly recommend Bicycle Outfitters of Indy. Good luck!

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Tapatalk


williams_450r

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 11:49:21 AM »
Thanks for the help, I'm going to BGI this weekend to check some out some of the bikes.  I'm interested in the Cannondales

Proscott

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Trying to have fun without getting hurt.
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 04:21:53 PM »
Spend your money on quality components not full suspension. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy full suspension but don't sacrifice quality for entry level full suspension. I bought a $2800 full suspension Trek Superfly that I love. It isn't as good as a Fuel but it is full suspension and great components. I bought FS because I wanted a softer ride. I recommend Bike Shop in broad ripple. Charlie was the best salesman I met in the city. I visited nearly every shop and The Bike Shop was least pushy and very informative they actually ride mountain bikes. Plus the prices were good. (No I don't work there). BGI was my least favorite.


Ryan
Ryan S.
2012 Trek SuperFly

Raleighguy29

  • Should be riding....
  • ***
  • Posts: 541
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 05:00:43 PM »
One thing to do is have a budget in mind. Especially if your going to bgi. I started with a $600 Raleigh hard tail. Now I have a fs stumpy comp and a Raleigh single speed.  Mathews is a good shop good people their and they also ride. ICS is a good shop the owner Scott is a avid mtb. And grey goat is a good shop try also are mtb. But starting with a hard tail with components is key. Just don't let someone talk you into a $5000 bike you don't need.  And then get out and pedal!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Tubes we don't need no stinking tubes!!

mtbikernate

  • Should be riding....
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 05:51:21 PM »
Any shop will have some nice bikes.  The question is how they treat you as the customer.  Do they ask you about what you want, and about the riding you'll do?  Or do they spend all their time talking about how some particular bike is awesome without showing you why it would work for your riding?


FIT is key.  Find a bike that fits first, before you start looking at anything else.


I like full suspension, but as has already been discussed, unless you have a bigger budget, you will lose out on components if you buy a cheap FS.  And when it comes to FS, the SUSPENSION components are very important.  Drivetrain components less so, because they will wear out and often break in crashes and you'll have plenty of opportunity to upgrade them then.  Wheels and brakes are quite important components, too.


In Indiana, full suspension isn't that necessary.  When you're talking about cross country riding like most of us here do, you're not really going to want a ton of suspension travel.  More than 5" (120mm or so) would be very useful if you frequently travel to destinations with much chunkier trails than we have here.  But if that's all you had and rode it here all the time, it'd slow you down.


A hardtail that fits you would be a great way to get started.  If you find yourself wanting more suspension for certain occasions, you can get that kind of bike later, but the hardtail would still be a great bike for most trails in IN.

williams_450r

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 06:29:01 PM »
Yeah after looking at some of the prices of the full suspension bikes, I'm leaning towards the hard tail. Is there any certain models that Cannondale or Trek makes that's popular?

RJ

  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
    • Indy's best bike shop!
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 06:42:49 PM »
What's your price range?

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Tapatalk


williams_450r

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 07:20:10 PM »
$1000 or less

mtbikernate

  • Should be riding....
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 10:45:17 PM »
Generally speaking push your budget as much as you can. Your money will go further if you can find a closeout from last year or even earlier. A lightly used bike will allow it to go even further.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk


Zinjanthropus

  • **
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 12:46:10 AM »
A few more posts from us and we'll have contributed a whole dollar of wisdom.  :D

Shopping for a new bike is fun and should be an enjoyable experience. However, most people probably either walk in knowing a lot and get exactly what they wanted (but likely spent more $) or they go in blindly and get what sounds good and leaves them with some cash in their pocket, only to figure out 6 months later after being hooked and consumed with the thrill of riding that they'd have been better off spending more $ up front. Which will you be?  :) Seriously, when you go bike shopping take a friend, relative, or acquaintance that knows something about mountain bikes and they will quickly dispel any inaccuracies, intentional or not, provided by a salesperson.

I was in nearly the exact same situation around this time last year. I was hankering to get into mountain biking and was willing to save and shell out big $ for a brand new ride from a store, but then I wouldn't get on a trail until after July! I finally got my desires under control and realized that if I was smart, I'd spend decent money but not go overboard. Clamoring to go full suspension, I started watching the used market. With all the reading I did to research my choices, I eventually started to learn what a good deal was and what wasn't. I also realized that to keep too much age off the bike, I'd need to bump up my budget (also $1000 originally). I did eventually score a bike that I've been very content with. There are a few things I'd do differently next time, but used is still not out of the question for a future mtb purchase for me.

I'm not saying used FS is the right choice, I feel it was for me. Do I want a hardtail as a spare/backup bike? Definitely. Do I also want another full suspension bike? Yes please! I will inevitably choose to spend less on the hardtail and get it first, and it will likely be a new model.

On a full suspension bike, essentially you're paying more $ for the beefier (or better quality, sometimes both) fork, the rear shock, and some for the suspension design tech, all other factors being equal (yes, that's nigh impossible). The weight penalty has to be accepted. I knew I was going to be rolling on a slightly heavier bike, but my goal is to lose weight and have fun, so the more work I have to do, the faster my return is, and I loves me some squish in my ride. It has also helped me ramp up my confidence slowly so I don't think I'm invincible, building more speed as my fitness improves, rather than riding too fast and lacking control before I understood what I was doing. (I'm still by no means an expert of any kind) No doubt a hardtail makes you work for your ride in different ways but they are swift, and dealing with the lack of a shock will force you to become a more astute rider I'm sure. I came off a much older bike with no suspension, and determining I wanted to still ride on 26" wheels, the local new bike offerings were slim. This also influenced my decision to buy used where the quantity and variety of selection was quite high.

Definitely ride as many bikes as you can, you might be surprised at how only one of them just feels better than the rest. And if you are close to 6' in height, I'll even let you try my bike if you want. It isn't a current production model- they revamped it for new wheel sizes in 2013, but regardless, the offer is there. And no, I'm not looking to sell. I've always thought it'd be kool to have a rider/HMBA owner demo day on one of the local trails. Just swap bikes and ID and roll together for a lap or two, you can then both get some good input and feedback along the way.

I'm sorry I can't really speak for the sub-$1000 models from Trek or Cannondale, but if you could stretch your pocketbook and get into a Trek Stache I can't imagine you'd be disappointed. in the end it's certainly more worthwhile to put $1000 into a new hardtail than a new full suspension model at the lowest price point found in a local bike shop.

Funny how I'm long-winded in forums but I'm always out of breath on the trail. :P   Good luck in your quest!


~Yet another Dave

williams_450r

  • Training wheels on
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2014, 02:54:39 AM »
I'm more than capable of spending over  $1000, but I guess I'm looking in terms of what be a good price to start and which bikes to look for as well... Like to me there's so many to choose from  ??? and don't know which model from either of brands to look into.. 
I just like to do some research before I walk into a bike shop.. I'm 5'5" as well..

Zinjanthropus

  • **
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
Re: newbie, any advice on a good bike?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 10:48:36 AM »
Model choice will dictate what the bike is designed more specifically within the "mountain bike" genre. Cross country centric bikes have less travel typically, in the 3"-4" range, a more upright riding position, and are often lighter. Those deemed All Mountain (or now possibly the loathed Endure tag) will see longer travel in the suspension-more like 5"-6", likely a more robust frame design and a tougher wheelset, and sometimes different gear selections in the drivetrain. You don't need a longer travel bike like this to ride the trails in Indiana, but they sure can make it more fun. (opinion)

Within a model the variations will simply be a different selection of brakes, shifters, drivetrain and often also wheelset and fork/shock. You pay more to get better quality (more durable and less maintenance) and sometimes lighter components.

For new bikes you'd be hard pressed to get a decent full suspension bike for $1000, hence people suggested going hardtail. I'd say $2500 is a base to build on for full suspension. There are a ton of bikes in the spectrum of hardtails. Your casual rider/sport user finds models between $500 and $1000, from there you're probably more serious about your equipment and will realize the benefits of putting better components on a bike because it will get a lot of use. The Stache from Trek is one that will always be at the top of my list of considerations if I get a 29er.


I usually follow the mindset of "get what you really want, don't settle". I haven't and don't know that I'd ever drop 5k or more on a bike, but we all come to a pricepoint in our head that we can justify, regardless of affordability. I can afford a $2000 gaming PC, but I can't justify spending that much on tech which is leapfrogged quickly, and I'm not into gaming much anymore.

If you're a tinkerer, you may actually like the notion of buying a bike with basic components and gradually upgrading them over time and installing them yourself. It will go a long ways on the trail to self-educate and become familiar with your bike.

Even though people (including myself) will say to decide what kind of riding/which type of trails you'll be frequenting and that will steer you towards the right style of bike, nothing says you can't ride any bike on any type of terrain. I'm certainly slower on my bike at Town Run (and several other trails I'm sure) than I would be on a bike with less bulk, but that doesn't frustrate me enough to change bikes.
 
Research-  check out these links and their parent sites (there are several others out there):

http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/how-to-choose-your-first-mountain-bike/
http://www.pinkbike.com
http://http://www.mbaction.com/Main/News/The-Lookie-Loo-Guide-To-Mountain-Bikes-4747.aspx  - they offer a print & digital magazine
http://www.bikeradar.com
http://www.bicycling.com/mountainbikecom
http://www.mtbr.com

HTH

~Yet another Dave

 

Important Links

Join HMBA

 

Calendar

 

Trail Guide

 

Links