Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently earned my bachelor's degree and as a gift my parents have agreed to buy me a nice mountain bike. I've done a few beginner trails on my old Huffy :lol: and have decided to really dig in to the sport.

I need help picking out a good mountain bike for a novice. Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,234 Posts
So I recently earned my bachelor's degree and as a gift my parents have agreed to buy me a nice mountain bike. I've done a few beginner trails on my old Huffy :lol: and have decided to really dig in to the sport.

I need help picking out a good mountain bike for a novice. Any suggestions?
Go to all the local bike shops, get to know the people there and see how they answer your questions. Buy your bike from the shop that you feel the best about (not necessarily where you are offered the cheapest price).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,214 Posts
Ride a bunch of different bikes before buying. I bought four within one year. Already owned two when I sat on a Rocky Mountain Vertex for the first time and fell in love - it fit perfectly.

Frame geometry differs between brands. Size matters, a lot.

This was all news to me. So I gave the first bike I bought to my sister. Sold the second to a friend. The third and fourth are Rocky Mountains and we're having a lasting relationship.

What kind of trails to you expect to be riding? Do you have any idea whether you want a hardtail or full-suspension?

Great gift -- enjoy the shopping and the riding.

And Happy Graduation!
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
What kind of riding do you want to do?

"Mountain Biking" covers lots of different types of riding, and many different frame designs, optimized for each (Cross Country, Down Hill, Free Ride, Multi-Day Backcountry Touring, etc). I participate in many of these and have one or more bikes for each.

Read some issues of Dirt Rag, join their forum and also Bike Forum.

Have a good idea of what type riding you intend to do before you start shopping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What kind of trails to you expect to be riding? Do you have any idea whether you want a hardtail or full-suspension?

Great gift -- enjoy the shopping and the riding.

And Happy Graduation!
:)
Thanks! I'm about 90% sure I'm going to go for a hardtail since I'll be able to get a little better bike for the money. Also, from what I've read it forces you to develop sound technical skills.

In terms of the kind of riding I want to do, I'll probably narrow it down to Cross County and Free Ride although I admit I'm a little fuzzy on the difference.

What should I expect to spend on a decent hardtail? I want something that I don't have to upgrade right away but that will be able to grow with me as I continue riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,720 Posts
find a tall mountain, walk to the side and throw that Huffy over the side. Giant makes some good Mountain bies for about $400. The Rincon($499), Specialize has some good ones, but most are over $600, GT(Aggressor $349or Outpost $399)is another good brand to look at. These will get you up and down all the trails you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
In terms of the kind of riding I want to do, I'll probably narrow it down to Cross County and Free Ride although I admit I'm a little fuzzy on the difference.
Big difference. Free ride is like bmx in the woods. Freeriders like dirt jumps and various wooden "stunt" platforms or obsticles (the word I'm really looking for is lost).

Cross country riding is riding trails in the woods following the natural terrain. In cross country about the only man made thing you'll ride is a bridge.

For some reason, free riders like heavy full suspension bikes with insane amounts of travel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,214 Posts
What should I expect to spend on a decent hardtail? I want something that I don't have to upgrade right away but that will be able to grow with me as I continue riding.
I'd aim for around $1000, give or take. My Rocky Mountains (both well-regarded Vertex hardtails) each cost about $1400 in 2006 and 2007. Look for previous year models that may be marked down. I actually prefer my 2006 to the 2007 -- because the frame tubing was changed in 2007 and it turns out I like the old style better.

I'd make a list of every bike shop around and what brands they carry and take a little note pad to immediately record your impressions and the specific model, frame-size and whatever advice the salespeople may have.

www.mtbr.com has a forum that includes a different section for 48 different brands. So I'd also start perusing and see what brands you'd like to seek out. If I were shopping today I'd be looking at (among others):

Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz, Specialized, Kona, Gary Fisher, Cannondale, Marin, Jamis, Trek.

And then start looking for the best deal.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Big difference. Free ride is like bmx in the woods. Freeriders like dirt jumps and various wooden "stunt" platforms or obsticles (the word I'm really looking for is lost).

Cross country riding is riding trails in the woods following the natural terrain. In cross country about the only man made thing you'll ride is a bridge.

For some reason, free riders like heavy full suspension bikes with insane amounts of travel.
Gotcha thanks for enlightening me :). Cross country definitely is what I'm looking to do then. This weekend will be my bike shopping time. I'm looking forward to it!

Thanks for all the responses by the way. I knew you guys would be able to help me out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
just picked up a Trek Fuel EX8 after 10 years on a hardtail. I mostly rip singletrack. the new rig is great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
After owning too many bikes too count after a few years of steady off road riding year round. My full suspension Specialized Stumpjumer is my favorite bike out of them all. I don't think it's a coincidence that is was the most expensive one either. With most less expensive lower end bikes you will find yourself spending a lot of money upgrading parts over time that you would have saved money buying a nicer bike in the first place. ( Good bikes aren't cheap and cheap bikes aren't good )
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
43 Posts
Maybe it's just me being me (stubborn), but I still have my 'beginner' MTB, a 1995 GT Aggressor, that I've upgraded from the frame out.

Can't bear to part with such a sweet CrMO frame.

Had to add a Judy TT, Core headset and RaceFace downhills, plus upgrading the entire drivetrain to Shimano LX/XT, along with v-brakes and Mavic wheels. Can't upgrade brakes any further (sorry, no discs due to the frame), but I don't think there's anything left that needs attention.

I've gone through three pairs of SPD-compatible shoes, three helmets (just bought the fourth this weekend), three sets of tires. Only one chain, though.

After 15 years and countless beatings, several years of working the Front Range trails near Boulder and Golden before moving back to Florida, it's never let me down, so I don't mind spending more on it than it's obviously worth.

Even the original paint still looks good. Doesn't hurt that decals cover scratches very well.....

My recommendation; buy what you can afford, and upgrade as you improve.
It's likely you'll spend a bit more in the long haul, but at least you can be honest about earning those upgrades, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
So I recently earned my bachelor's degree and as a gift my parents have agreed to buy me a nice mountain bike. I've done a few beginner trails on my old Huffy :lol: and have decided to really dig in to the sport.

I need help picking out a good mountain bike for a novice. Any suggestions?
Parents are footing the bill for a new off road sled? Kool! Go directly to Ninerbikes.com and select your favorite sled. Want a do all best of breed bike? Get the Niner RIP 9.

Fits in the back of the "E" with no problems whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
How is the search going? I have a great LBS down the road from me that offers free lifetime tune ups(2 per year) with every new bike purchase. They deal with Specialized and the sub-brands. Great people to work with too.

If you buy from a local shop there is a better chance that they will have a few parts on the shelf for your bike if you happen to break something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How is the search going? I have a great LBS down the road from me that offers free lifetime tune ups(2 per year) with every new bike purchase. They deal with Specialized and the sub-brands. Great people to work with too.

If you buy from a local shop there is a better chance that they will have a few parts on the shelf for your bike if you happen to break something.
Finding the time to go out to the local shops is proving more challenging than I expected. The search is slow mostly because I just started a new job and I've been busy preparing for my brother's bachelor party and wedding.

I've narrowed the search to a hardtail with disk brakes in the ~$500 range. Just from what I've seen on various websites I'm leaning towards GT but that doesn't really mean anything because I'm not going to buy anything without test-riding first (thanks to the advice from everyone here). I'll keep everyone posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Disc brakes would be a must for a MTB. I plan on adding those to my bike in a year or so if I really start riding on the trails more.

Good luck on the hunt.

Have a great time at the bachelor's party. Just because your brother is the one getting married doesn't mean you can't plan the party with your interests in mind8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have a great time at the bachelor's party. Just because your brother is the one getting married doesn't mean you can't plan the party with your interests in mind8)
Don't worry about that. Paintballing followed by a pig roast and bonfire/camping :grin: I think I'll have a great time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
go here find a forum closest to your area and ask for a good shop and/or what they're riding in your price range. Different parts of the country have different demands on a bike and different selections locally. So ask a local. ;-) This is a car forum with a few mountain bikers, go to a local bike forum to ask bike questions.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top