Bike Forums - View Single Post - Best Hardtail for Under 500 bucks?
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Old 09-04-19, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Moore, OK
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Bikes: '90 Raleigh Technium Prestige, '90 Fuji Thrill - Gone, '18 Fuji Nevada 1.7 29er, '19 Fezzari Abajo Peak

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Here is my take if you have the money sure get the most of what you can but if you spend 1k plus on a bike and you don't like riding mtb you wasted a bunch of money for nothing. if you want to try out mtb or just planning on light trail/gravel use you get a sub 500 dollar bike you won't be on advanced trails anyway in the beginning. once you try it and like it and want to upgrade to try out harder trails then do it. I have a fuji nevada and the trails I ride it works just fine. i'm in my 40s I won't be doing jump lines or extreme downhills. I don't plan on racing xc so I don't need the lightest bike. everyone rode coil forks with elastomers back when the suspension forks first came out. air sprung forks are fairly new. air is better I get that but coil works for what it's designed for. even a bike with lower level bike parts will work for the purpose. I've ridden tourney derailleurs they work great. you are still going to bugger a derailleur or two eventually because accidents happen price isn't going to change that. I've got hydraulics they have the stopping power but so do cable drive disk brakes. Avoid rim brakes if you can. there is a significant difference between sub 500 dollar bikes and department store(walmart bikes) name branded sub 500 dollar bikes will have gone through quality control on the frame specs ie welds etc the parts although cheaper will have gone through same process. most walmart bikes with unnamed parts will not have seen the same scrutiny. once you progress the real difference in a entry level bike and a 1000 dollar hard tail is frame geometry. you get a slacker head angle which is a huge deal on more difficult level trails.

Another thing to consider is just how spoiled we are on technology advances. the guys who started this sport rode 50 pound schwinns with single speeds and custom parts.

OP here is what you should look for at a minimum a threadless stem, disk brakes, frame sized to fit you, quick release or through axle wheels(not bolt on), 27.5 or 29 wheels, aluminum double walled rims, removable derailleur hanger and name branded components. Go to a bike store see what they have sit on them test ride one in the parking lot(most let you do this). Hard for most here to recommend a bike because we all have our own preferences. I like fuji bikes for instance.

I might add this is a walmart bike so not downing all of their bikes.

Last edited by carlosponti; 09-04-19 at 08:41 AM.
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