Mountain bike advice?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Adam B, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Adam B

    Adam B Auditioning

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    I've been road biking for 2 years but now am looking to purchase a mountain bike. I looked for ones that cost less than $600 with no rear suspension and found these.

    Giant Yukon
    Trek 4900
    Specialized Rockhopper
    Cannondale F300
    Raleigh M80

    I rented the F300 and it seemed like a nice bike, that time being the first time I 'mountain biked'(although when I was younger I had a BMX-type bike and was pretty fearless in the woods on it). However, these are all aluminum frames and I am am unsure about how well they hold up. Are there quality steel frame bikes in this price range? Is frame failure among Al bikes a problem, or am I worried about nothing? Any advise welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    I am an avid MTB'er and Aluminum is the way to go. Don't worry about it holding up. I have 5 aluminum frame bikes and beat the snot out of them daily.

    I like the Trek and Specialized bikes but the real deciding factor in your price ramge should be which one fits you best.
    Components will break and you can upgrade as you go so don't worry too much about parts.

    As far as steel goes it is heavy, rusts and gives a rougher ride. Modern alum bikes are simply better and allow you too ride further and faster than steel.
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Failure among any bike these days is rare. You'll hear horror stories with all bikes, whatever they're made of, but steel bikes are the most forgiving of materials as they bend further before breaking. Carbon seems to have the most severe fracture point with AL somewhere in between. But tire pressure, tire pressure, tire pressure. That is more important than frame material and at your price range, you're basically a slave to the mfgrs. That said, I've thought that Raleigh makes a pretty good no nonsense bike that is specced well. The M80 comes with Shimano (deore) LX parts, including BOTH derailleurs and LX is a great price-an-object comp group. The Specialized Rockhopper (at least the base model) has mostly Alivio or equivalent parts. Like Adam mentions, components break and can be replaced, but out of the box, the M80 is hard to beat.

    Steel isn't necessarily heavy. My old '95 Marin Team (Tange Prestige steel) was a rigid bike that weighed 21.5lbs because the tubes are fairly thin. It's my commuter now and probably weighs close to 30lbs with racks and fenders and lights [​IMG].

    I would go with the Specialized frame if you're looking for something that will last but the M80 is a great deal for out-of-the-box happiness.

    Cannondale has a pretty good frame policy, at least my friend's who have had C'dale frames break has said they are good. However, there is something odd that I seem to hear alot of stories about C'dales and breakage too.. Go Figure!


    The Giant Yukon does the normal thing with the Deore (Lx) rear with a Acera front. Typically you're shifting more in the back so many mfgrs spec a cheaper front der. I think the M80 is a better buy than the Yukon..

    All in all, don't worry about frame material that much, unless you live by salt water, then do not go steel!!

    Jay
     
  4. PeteyG

    PeteyG Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Specialized Rockhopper (circa 2001) and love it. The components are pretty good (you can always upgrade) and the frame is solid. I was actually deciding between the Rockhopper and the M80 and finally went with the Rockhopper because I felt overall it was a better bike. The components on the Raleigh M80 were great, but the bike was a bit heavier and after some research and advice, most people recommended Specialized. My bike came with all Deore LX components, but this was a few years ago. The Raleigh's components were definitely a step up (LX & XT derailleurs).

    I haven't regretted my decision once and truly love riding the bike. Handles well on all surfaces, although I need to get back out on the trails!! I would suggest upgrading the saddle, it took many hours on the bike to break it in.

     
  5. Prentice Cotham

    Prentice Cotham Supporting Actor

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    I have a Giant Iguana SE from a few years ago. I think it is a step above the Yukon (not sure). It's has an aluminum frame and I've had no problems whatsoever and I've wiped out once or twice. From what I remember, Giant makes Trek bikes so they are a very reputable product. If you can wait, wait til winter to get your bike. January would be good and so would the prices. You could probably get a nicer bike being clearanced for sub-600 price range.
     
  6. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    I have a Cannondale M500 caad3 that I bought last year and only rode it once. I bought it used but as far as I can tell everthing works OK. I will sell it for $275 plus shipping. Let me know if your interested!
     
  7. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    Isn't it about that time of the year for the new models to come out, and thus some good sales on the current inventory?
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    A few years ago I bought a dealer demo Trek Full Suspension Carbon Fiber frame Mountain bike for $500. That was probably a once in a lifetime type deal but I enjoyed it while I had it.

    2 thumbs up here for Trek.
     
  9. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Some mfgrs are starting to introduce their 2004 lines, but its still a little early but likely if you wait too long, the selection starts to wane.

    September/october is more like primetime for ski places clearing house.. and slightly before xmas season.

    Jay
     

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