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-   -   Best Hardtail for Under 500 bucks? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1182797)

qclabrat 09-05-19 06:43 AM


Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs (Post 21108415)
I've been riding a Schwinn GTX-3 from Dick's Sporting Goods for the past 5 years. It has wear now but not overly expensive to replace some parts. Especially if one does the work themselves. I wouldn't be shy nor embarrassed to buy a Schwinn at Walmart for 2 or 3 hundred dollars. It's not like these bikes just fall apart just outside the door.

I'll tell you what I am embarrassed to say..... I bought a Specialized for $2000 when I could have bought a bike at Walmart that does the same thing as the Specialized for $250.!!! Truth. To the OP.... Think about that. Plenty of good bikes out there for under $500.

I hear you, I have a Pivot which costs more than my car and it's so sensitive. Constantly needs tweaks and hugs to have it optimized. Last few rides, I've just been riding a full rigid 29+ and will soon go back to singlespeed in the Fall when I get a new hub shell from i9 for one that just about exploded. I'm contemplating selling the Pivot and another FS bike as they are too much maintenance for the little riding I'm doing now. Road bikes on the other spectrum take almost no coddling. Box just came out with a 9 spd drivetrain. I don't need 12 spds just the wider gear range to help the old legs out. Simpler is good

terrymorse 09-05-19 08:13 AM

You can pick up a Specialized Pitch Sport hardtail for about $500 now.

We rented these in Whistler, Canada for riding around the valley and on some non-technical trails. They were heavy, but they rode fine.

prj71 09-09-19 07:56 AM


Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs (Post 21108415)
I'll tell you what I am embarrassed to say..... I bought a Specialized for $2000 when I could have bought a bike at Walmart that does the same thing as the Specialized for $250.!!! Truth. To the OP.... Think about that. Plenty of good bikes out there for under $500.

LOL. Such a funny statement. You obviously don't know what a quality bike is.



rodgeman 09-09-19 10:09 AM

The Trek Marlin 4 is $479.99. You can go to a Trek Marlin 5 for $550. I have the Marlin 6 which I got for $649. The 5 & 6 are aluminum with internal cabling.

Trek Marlin

sdmc530 09-09-19 10:55 AM

I got a Specialized Hard Rock a couple years ago for a few trips of gravel riding. Was $499 and been a good bike. Didn't want to spend 1K on a bike I wouldn't ride more than 500 miles a year. Triple drivetrain and I can go anyplace on it. A bit heavier than I would normally ride but still pretty satisfied with it for my needs.

Don't know what they are going for now but this late in the year you should get a decent price I would think!

Good luck!

BirdsBikeBinocs 09-09-19 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by prj71 (Post 21114298)
LOL. Such a funny statement. You obviously don't know what a quality bike is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkMnk_eCDQU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtbj4V5x4U8

Do you believe everything you watch on YouTube. Do you believe everything that you read.?? You might want(need) to make an adjustment.

7tevoffun 09-09-19 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by sdmc530 (Post 21114656)
I got a Specialized Hard Rock a couple years ago for a few trips of gravel riding. Was $499 and been a good bike. Didn't want to spend 1K on a bike I wouldn't ride more than 500 miles a year. Triple drivetrain and I can go anyplace on it. A bit heavier than I would normally ride but still pretty satisfied with it for my needs.

Don't know what they are going for now but this late in the year you should get a decent price I would think!

Good luck!

Thanks for your take, I appreciate it!

7tevoffun 09-11-19 06:31 AM

I forgot about Marin...I had one a while ago and I really liked it, but I'm not sure what their quality is like now. All the reviews I find online seem somewhat canned. Anyone here own one and care to comment?

qclabrat 09-11-19 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by 7tevoffun (Post 21117544)
I forgot about Marin...I had one a while ago and I really liked it, but I'm not sure what their quality is like now. All the reviews I find online seem somewhat canned. Anyone here own one and care to comment?

They are IMO like Giants, good value bikes, definitely worth a look
Another brand is Jamis

prj71 09-12-19 07:58 AM


Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs (Post 21114810)
Do you believe everything you watch on YouTube. Do you believe everything that you read.?? You might want(need) to make an adjustment.

Ummm no. Those walmart bikes on the video are junk. Just like any other department store bike.

You might want to have a clue.

Let's please not compare this Wally World crap to real bikes.

7tevoffun 09-15-19 08:05 PM

So I stumbled across bikes direct and the Gravity brand...it seems a little too good to be true in terms of bang for your buck. What is everyone's opinion on the dealer and the Gravity brand?

chiefsilverback 09-16-19 03:43 PM

I ride some pretty rough trails on my Cannondale Quick, and I save the weight of suspension fork that really doesn't do much, so do you really need a hard tail or might you be better fully rigid? You'll get nicer components at a given price point.

Darth Lefty 09-16-19 05:54 PM

Bikes Direct is pretty much all one company, with a half dozen brands underneath their umbrella. People who buy them don't seem to have a lot of complaints. But they're usually a few years behind the market and not very inspiring designs. The "savings" are present, but overblown.

I say pretty much because they do occasionally come up with some other brand stock, but not often. A few years ago they had Fuji touring bikes, for instance.

7tevoffun 09-16-19 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by chiefsilverback (Post 21125140)
I ride some pretty rough trails on my Cannondale Quick, and I save the weight of suspension fork that really doesn't do much, so do you really need a hard tail or might you be better fully rigid? You'll get nicer components at a given price point.

For me I want some aggressive frame geometry and disc brakes and as far as I can tell the quicks don't have disc brakes and the geometry isn't what I'm necessarily looking for.

Of course I'm not saying I'm beyond reproach, and if I'm wrong feel free to call me out.

7tevoffun 09-16-19 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by Darth Lefty (Post 21125354)
Bikes Direct is pretty much all one company, with a half dozen brands underneath their umbrella. People who buy them don't seem to have a lot of complaints. But they're usually a few years behind the market and not very inspiring designs. The "savings" are present, but overblown.

I say pretty much because they do occasionally come up with some other brand stock, but not often. A few years ago they had Fuji touring bikes, for instance.

I really want bang for my buck, but I also don't want to rely on my small amount of experience to build the bike correctly. Also, the inability to take the bike to the shop where it was bought is something to consider as well.

I did find a 2018 Rockhopper Comp in my city but it still has a coil fork.

It seems like a good deal but I'm not sure...

chiefsilverback 09-16-19 06:37 PM


Originally Posted by 7tevoffun (Post 21125358)
For me I want some aggressive frame geometry and disc brakes and as far as I can tell the quicks don't have disc brakes and the geometry isn't what I'm necessarily looking for.

Of course I'm not saying I'm beyond reproach, and if I'm wrong feel free to call me out.

It looks like the Quick rang has discs from $600 up, and Iím sure itís similar with the other brands too.

Mine does not have discs, but I didnít buy it for off-road, I just started to hit some fire roads and gravel this year, so I put a set of 37mm tires on and it does pretty well.

You could look for a rigid MTB, and if you could find one with suspension corrected geometry you could throw on a nicer fork at some point in the future, and have better drivetrain and brakes from the get go. I just put a Manitou Markhor on my 10 year old Cannondale F5, a nice upgrade from the OEM RockShox Dart.

7tevoffun 09-16-19 06:57 PM


Originally Posted by chiefsilverback (Post 21125426)
It looks like the Quick rang has discs from $600 up, and Iím sure itís similar with the other brands too.

Mine does not have discs, but I didnít buy it for off-road, I just started to hit some fire roads and gravel this year, so I put a set of 37mm tires on and it does pretty well.

You could look for a rigid MTB, and if you could find one with suspension corrected geometry you could throw on a nicer fork at some point in the future, and have better drivetrain and brakes from the get go. I just put a Manitou Markhor on my 10 year old Cannondale F5, a nice upgrade from the OEM RockShox Dart.


That's definitely a good idea. Any suggestions on good rigid bikes? All my experience is from 15 years ago. Haha

Kapusta 09-17-19 07:35 AM

UNDER $500 new.... it gets tough. At $500 (MSRP) you can get a perfectly OK bike for riding around the neighborhood and on gentle paths, but off-road capability will be limited.

If you can go up to $600, bikes like the Trek Marlin or Giant Talon are decent options, and will handle off-road fine, but donít expect a lot.

You could probably get something decent from BD for $500, but I would only do that if you want to wrench your own bike and have the ability to check the build.

When looking at mountain bikes in the $500 to $1000 range, every little bit extra you can afford will make a very noticeable difference. Even just going from a $500 to $750 budget will make a huge difference. And $750 to $1000 will as well.

For under $500 I would be looking at used.

While the idea of rigid sounds good, I donít think you are going to have much luck finding a decent rigid mtb new for $500. Unfortunately, the mass market demands to see a suspension fork on the front of a mountain bike, no matter how crappy it is. New rigid mtbs are more of a niche thing, thus are rarely seen in entry level price points.

And to be honest, even if you could find a new decent rigid MTB for $500, buying it with the plan of upgrading it with a suspension fork is a waste of money. You will end up spending $750 to get a bike you could have bought for $600.

OTOH, if you can find a rigid bike in your price range, I would go with that over a the crappy suspension forks that they are typically speced with, and just leave it rigid.

Of course only you know what you can really afford to spend on a bike right now, but one thing I will warn you about is that with a $500 mountain bike, if you start enjoying riding off road, youíre going to quickly outgrow it and end up buying a more expensive bike anyway. Or upgrading stuff.

The two most expensive ways to end up with a bike worth $1000 are....

1) Buy a $500 bike, and then buy a $1000 bike

2) Buy a $500 bike and then spend $1000 in upgrades.

Fen 09-17-19 09:44 AM


Originally Posted by Kapusta (Post 21125958)
\
Of course only you know what you can really afford to spend on a bike right now, but one thing I will warn you about is that with a $500 mountain bike, if you start enjoying riding off road, you’re going to quickly outgrow it and end up buying a more expensive bike anyway. Or upgrading stuff.
.

I have to say that this is what happened to me. Brand new to the sport, I bought a $500 bike because I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I rode it for a year, and got frustrated very quickly although I knew I loved riding. Then I rode a "better" bike and a light went off. I got myself a $1500 bike and have so much more fun. I also realize that while the $1500 bike is a good bike, I could have spent much more. That's not to say that I didn't have fun on the original bike. I did, but the new one is worth it to me.

7tevoffun 09-17-19 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by Fen (Post 21126153)
I have to say that this is what happened to me. Brand new to the sport, I bought a $500 bike because I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I rode it for a year, and got frustrated very quickly although I knew I loved riding. Then I rode a "better" bike and a light went off. I got myself a $1500 bike and have so much more fun. I also realize that while the $1500 bike is a good bike, I could have spent much more. That's not to say that I didn't have fun on the original bike. I did, but the new one is worth it to me.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I knew this was going to be the case. Guess I have to sell my kidneys for a nice bike.

Kapusta 09-17-19 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by 7tevoffun (Post 21126160)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I knew this was going to be the case. Guess I have to sell my kidneys for a nice bike.

Dude, donít be so rash.... you only need to sell one of them.

Darth Lefty 09-17-19 10:23 AM

And you should be able to get much more for a kidney, assuming you haven't been abusing it.

Re: rigid mountain bikes, they are now something of a niche and so they're not any less expensive than any other "good" bike. An example is the non-suspension version of the Surly Karate Monkey, the ones currently available blue and black:
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/karate_monkey
And they're often also single speed, for maximum grumpiness:
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/lowside

jrhoneOC 09-17-19 10:31 AM

Go to www.bikeexchange.com. Put in your zip code. Plenty of last year new bikes under 500. Like Rockhoppers. Marlin 6. Bikes at 600-700 normally are discounted because they are 2018 or 2019 bikes.

Metieval 09-17-19 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by 7tevoffun (Post 21123916)
So I stumbled across bikes direct and the Gravity brand...it seems a little too good to be true in terms of bang for your buck. What is everyone's opinion on the dealer and the Gravity brand?

buy the Marlin.

I had a gravity, neighbor had a Marlin. The Marlin was worlds better.

If you look for a used bike, you can get more bike for the money.

7tevoffun 09-18-19 05:37 AM


Originally Posted by Metieval (Post 21127315)
buy the Marlin.

I had a gravity, neighbor had a Marlin. The Marlin was worlds better.

If you look for a used bike, you can get more bike for the money.

Cool, thanks! Btw, how do you like your Talon 29er?


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