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Posted: 9/1/2004 2:26:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 10:04:33 AM EST by Philadelphia_GunMan]
I'm a newbie to anything other then department store bikes. I went to a bike shop and test rode a Specialized Hardrock and it blew me away ! I thought all this talk about getting a bike to fit you was just a way to charge more money. They want $240 for it. I also know a guy who is selling a Gary Fisher Marlin that is only a year old for $275. I know the guy and when he says he only rode it about 10 times I believe him. It still is under warranty from the bike shop for 4 more years.

Should I buy one of these bikes or are there some others out there I should consider for under $250 ?

Edited because I wrote the wrong bike name.
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:28:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/1/2004 2:29:07 PM EST by Offspring]
no such thing.

Unless you buy used, but that is still really cheap for a good non-department store bike.
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:38:59 PM EST
I am not a bike nut. Nor very well versed in what they cost. I do ride my mountain bike rarely. But I think I got a fantastic deal on a quality bike and probably the best way to buy one.

Go to a bike rental shop and ask if they are selling off any older inventory. Since they are professionals they would have bought better quality stuff to stand up to renting. And they have maintained it. Probably get one for a lot less than $250.

But other than yard sales and stuff I don't think a quality bike is there for less than $250 news.

Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:39:46 PM EST
Do you plan on riding off of paved roads and bike paths?

Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:47:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:49:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
no such thing.

sorry.

+1 agree with Campy!
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:50:01 PM EST
I have a Diamond-Back Sorrento Sport for sale .....
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 4:21:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
Do you plan on riding off of paved roads and bike paths?




Bike paths and some trail riding is what I'd like to do.

For those who say there is nothing good brand new under $250, what about the Gary Fisher Marlin that I mentioned ? That is a $475 bike new and the guy I know is letting it go for $275 because he is out of work.
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 4:23:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/1/2004 4:28:43 PM EST by Offspring]
Here's a good source for reviews on particular models. I am not familiar with that model, but Gary Fisher/Trek is good brand.MTBR.com

Reviews on the Marlin
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 4:29:59 PM EST
Go to the bike store and check out what they have. I went (actually in October) and they had an end of season sale. I got a nice Gary Fisher Marlin bike for an excellent price (this was like 3 or so years ago).

Give it a shot. I went back and got the wife a "Gitchee Gumee" model for a good price as well.
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 4:47:53 PM EST
Look for a used bike in a college town. Go to the website of a large university's newspaper in your area and browse the classifieds and visit said town's bike shops. I've seen 5 year old bikes in great shape with last generation Deore LX components (really really nice at this price!) and a real oil damped suspension fork for 300 or less.

College kids get nice things
College kids are irresponsible with money
College kids sell Christmas present to buy keg and then pay bail
You get to buy said bike for pennies on the dollar.
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 5:02:52 PM EST
I didn't know you could still purchase a Bike for under $250.00

MT
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 5:07:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sharkman:

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
no such thing.

sorry.

+1 agree with Campy!



+2
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 5:13:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/1/2004 5:36:44 PM EST by Vector_Joe]
I'll probably take a lot of crap for this, but this is what I did. I don't plan on racing, but wanted a good bike that could handle the trail (and my 235 lbs). So I picked up a GT Avalanche 3.0 for around $200 (a model from the previous year). Now I know that pretty much all of the components are crap, but I also know that the frame is good quality (oversized aluminum with good welds). So I figure if/when component start to go, then I replace them.

Just an idea.

Oh yeah, btw unless you are going to be doing some technical downhills, stick with a hard tail.

eta: here are the reviews on it REVIEW Offspring listed the main site where you can look up pretty much any bike you want.

eta2: make sure that if you look up the reviews that you pay attention to the bad ones. They can tell you a lot about the product (or the reviewer).
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 11:02:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:
I'm a newbie to anything other then department store bikes. I went to a bike shop and test rode a Specialized Hardrock and it blew me away ! I thought all this talk about getting a bike to fit you was just a way to charge more money. They want $240 for it. I also know a guy who is selling a Gary Cooper Marlin that is only a year old for $275. I know the guy and when he says he only rode it about 10 times I believe him. It still is under warranty from the bike shop for 4 more years.

Should I buy one of these bikes or are there some others out there I should consider for under $250 ?



If you're looking for a mtn. bike under $250, you're looking for something that's made of high tensile steel frame weighing 35 lbs, non-Shimano bike components, and you're definitely not going to find a bike under $250 with popular brands like Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Fisher, etc. Lastly, for a $250 mtn. bike, it is likely going to be made in China.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 5:58:26 AM EST
My wife bought me a DiamondBack Sorrento three years ago for my birthday. I believe it was the previous years model, and she got it at the end of the season. She paid about $250 for it.

Nice frame (although a bit heavy). Low end Shimano components (but Shimano, nonetheless).

After three years of riding it almost every day (I have a trainer I use in the winter) the bike has held up remarkably well. Mostly paved roads and bike paths, with the occasional off-road trip.

Is it as good as the Smith & Wesson Custom Police I ride at work? Hell no. But then again, the S&W costs roughly 6-7 times what the DiamondBack cost.

As with most things in life (cars, guns, etc.) you are going to run into those that tell you if you didn't mortgage your house for your bike, its a piece of crap. Do your homework, read some reviews. There is some good stuff out there that isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg.

Make sure whatever you get has a good, solid frame. As someone else said, you can always upgrade components later.

Dave
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:10:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By m_jacobs_wife:
If you're looking for a mtn. bike under $250, you're looking for something that's made of high tensile steel frame weighing 35 lbs, non-Shimano bike components, and you're definitely not going to find a bike under $250 with popular brands like Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Fisher, etc. Lastly, for a $250 mtn. bike, it is likely going to be made in China.



My trek was well under $250 new ... the model is 820 I think.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:17:55 AM EST
As it gets colder the prices in the bike shops tend to go down on this years models. Of course a bike brand that actually has model years (like a car) generally run over $250.

You could always buy a good framed bike with mediocre components with the intent of replacing them as the money is available. If you just plan on riding on bike paths and likght trails (without running over stumps, roots, falling trees, deep mud/water) then you probably don't need anything really fancy anyway, just something that is somewhat light and won't fall apart.

I woudl have to agree wit Vector that you probably don't need a soft tail. I think people who don't know shit about bikes just buy them because they look neat, but in reality, if you are riding them on paths and flat trails a soft tail will reduce what you put into it. They are made to absorb the bumps on a serious downhill incline. If you are pumping away on flat land some of that energy is lost when the rear pumps up and down with you... at least that's the way I understand it, although I might not explain it well.


Originally Posted By kindstranger:
Look for a used bike in a college town. Go to the website of a large university's newspaper in your area and browse the classifieds and visit said town's bike shops. I've seen 5 year old bikes in great shape with last generation Deore LX components (really really nice at this price!) and a real oil damped suspension fork for 300 or less.

College kids get nice things
College kids are irresponsible with money
College kids sell Christmas present to buy keg and then pay bail
You get to buy said bike for pennies on the dollar.



That or find your local bike stealing crackheads...
Nothing like taking advantage of someone elses stupidity... whihc is ironic when it's a college student who is supposed to be learning. Derrr

My cousin bought a Wal Mart special for about $75-80. He rides it on the streets and sidewalks in his neighborhood to get in better shape after hearing his blood pressure was too high. For his purposes he got a good deal. He's not competing and not abusing it... just cruising and getting some exercise.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:21:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:

I'm a newbie to anything other then department store bikes. I went to a bike shop and test rode a Specialized Hardrock and it blew me away ! I thought all this talk about getting a bike to fit you was just a way to charge more money. They want $240 for it. I also know a guy who is selling a Gary Cooper Marlin that is only a year old for $275. I know the guy and when he says he only rode it about 10 times I believe him. It still is under warranty from the bike shop for 4 more years.

Should I buy one of these bikes or are there some others out there I should consider for under $250 ?




I worked in bicycle shops for 7 years.

I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THAT YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

The profit margin on a new bicycle is very small. You aren't paying extra, you are getting more.

Most of the department stores bicycles end up needing $125 repairs in less than a year. This is due to poor quality of the bike, and poor quality of the assembly.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:25:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Vector_Joe:

I don't plan on racing, .




That's what 99% of the customer say.

Trust me, if you wanted to race, you wouldn't be looking at $250 or even $400 bikes. Think thousands.


You want a good bike because it will be safer, stronger, lighter, more enjoyable to ride, last longer, require less maintanence, fit you better, hold it's value better................get the idea?


Buy only from a good bicycle shop. Yes, you can find a decent bike elsewhere, IF you know what to look for, but even then you won't get a good assembly job, which is critical.


For example - if they don't grease the seat tube or stem, they will rust in place. A year later, the shop is taking a torch to your frame trying to remove the frozen parts.
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:27:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
Do you plan on riding off of paved roads and bike paths?




Bike paths and some trail riding is what I'd like to do.

For those who say there is nothing good brand new under $250, what about the Gary Fisher Marlin that I mentioned ? That is a $475 bike new and the guy I know is letting it go for $275 because he is out of work.



From my research of a few weeks ago, generally Gary Fisher (which is kind of a subset/branch out of Trek IIRC) bikes have a very good reputation. I test rode a Tassajara (which is touch out of your price range...low to mid 500s) and found it to be a very good, solid bike. I also testrode the Hardrock, and was impressed considering the price ($280 at the place I looked) and how it felt. I definitely preferred the GF to the Spec, but there wasn't such a huge difference.

Ditto the frame comment.....that's the most important thing to look for, cause everything else you can upgrade at leisure.

Just don't do what I did......


Started out with a budged of $750.....spent total of over $1k....
Link Posted: 9/2/2004 6:34:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:


My cousin bought a Wal Mart special for about $75-80. For his purposes he got a good deal.




I've repaired thousands of these.


Often the 1st repair is more than the cost of the bicycle.

Cheap chains wear out the rear sprockets, which are frozen on the wheel, requiring a new wheel, sprocket & chain. $125.

Just a good tune up will involve new cables and brake pads, $75.


Trust me, go to a bicycle shop and spend $125 and you'll be miles ahead of that crap.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:19:34 AM EST
Thanks for the advice guys.

I bought the Specialized Hardrock last week and I love it.

After seeing the things I've done on it already I'm glad I didn't buy the Walmart mongoose I was originally looking at.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:59:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 2:59:21 AM EST by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:
Thanks for the advice guys.

I bought the Specialized Hardrock last week and I love it.

After seeing the things I've done on it already I'm glad I didn't buy the Walmart mongoose I was originally looking at.




Good move! Specialized makes good stuff, and will back up their product.


Make sure you take it in for the 30 day checkup - it's important. Things loosen up as they break in.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:38:10 AM EST
I've been looking at bikes too.
I like the Giant Sedona LX. It's a combination trail and off road for about $500.
Under $250, I wouldn't buy it.
Dual suspension bikes usually start about $800 and then go up, way up.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:52:15 AM EST
For future reference or for those looking for good deals, I second the used bikes from a college town idea. For example, at a Play It Again Sports in a college town, you can get a $500-$1K bike (when new) for $250. That's a nice savings that can be spent on more thrusts per squeeze goodness.
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