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Low Budget Mountain Bike Options

Old 02-17-21, 09:17 AM
  #51  
Brett A
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The key is to buy an expensive bike cheap. Buy something 4 years old that's suffered 75% depreciation. I ride a $6k bike I got for $1k.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:40 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Then the advice for these people should be to find a nice used bike, not increase their budget. If they don't want to listen, that's their problem.

I would not recommend anyone buy a brand new $500 MTB. But there are plenty of great used ones in that range.
Any used Mtn. bike in the $500 range will be junk or real old and not really desirable to ride.
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Old 02-17-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Any used Mtn. bike in the $500 range will be junk or real old and not really desirable to ride.
I've gotta ask. How old are you and did you ever ride those old mtbs you dislike so much?

Just curious.as most people who have ridden for a long time recognize new design but still appreciate that older bikes are decent for what they are.

With you it's: "if it's not new or expensive it's junk".
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Old 02-17-21, 01:01 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I've gotta ask. How old are you and did you ever ride those old mtbs you dislike so much?

Just curious.as most people who have ridden for a long time recognize new design but still appreciate that older bikes are decent for what they are.

With you it's: "if it's not new or expensive it's junk".

lol- some guys are just like that. I made a example of my Santa Cruz Superlight. It was a 3k bicycle new (approximately) - guessing you could get it used for about $500 , and that guess is based on a buddy selling his very similar Titus for $500. Fox suspension, Chris King hubs, Shimano XT, - just a really nice bike.
But 29’ers killed the used market for nice 26” bikes.

the fact that a 29’er is faster does not make an older bike any slower. But to be fair, i am talking about bikes with suspension designs that still have some relevance or are still being carried over and used today

Other bikes from the past, like old AMPs, or Schwinn Homegrown, Cannondale V series, i drives, (there are likely dozens we could think of with enough time) - are probably better off as wall hangers
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Old 02-18-21, 10:54 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I've gotta ask. How old are you and did you ever ride those old mtbs you dislike so much?

Just curious.as most people who have ridden for a long time recognize new design but still appreciate that older bikes are decent for what they are.

With you it's: "if it's not new or expensive it's junk".
I'm 49 years old and yes I did. This is my first mountain bike which was a mid 80's Ross Mt. Hood.




My 2nd was a GT Timberline. Believe it was late 80's or early 90s model.




Then I had a Trek 4300...




Then I had a Trek 4500...



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Old 02-18-21, 11:17 AM
  #56  
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5 Year ago purchased this Cannondale Bad Habit 27.5+ and rode it for a few years. Leaps and bounds above those past bikes.



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Old 02-18-21, 11:19 AM
  #57  
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Current Mountain bike steed is 2020 Spot Mayhem, 2016 Niner Air 9 and 2018 Specialized Fatboy and I have a Giant road bike.

The Mayhem is simply awesome...



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Old 02-18-21, 07:48 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I'm 49 years old and yes I did. This is my first mountain bike which was a mid 80's Ross Mt. Hood.




My 2nd was a GT Timberline. Believe it was late 80's or early 90s model.




Then I had a Trek 4300...




Then I had a Trek 4500...


Thanks for answering.

First of all, that Ross is a beautiful bike.

Second, Are you saying that those four bikes you bought were junk and gave you no pleasure while riding for all those years because they were 26"? Did you just keep riding regardless, even though it sucked, until miraculously five years ago you discovered a 27.5" bike?

Somewhat a rhetorical question because I imagine like most people, you enjoyed yourself then, and you enjoy yourself now; maybe even a bit more so because the modern bikes allow more technical range and comfort. So, it's hard to understand the disconnect in that you now have only bad things to say about 26", negating all those years when at least occasionally, you must have enjoyed the riding because.. well.. you bought four of them.

It's one thing to say a modern bike offers more in terms of capability or technical design than older bikes (no argument there) and quite another to say older bikes are junk. They were also good for what they were and a lot of people got out into nature and rode some pretty gnarly stuff on them and had some pretty good times doing that. There's no reason why people today couldn't also get out into nature, ride some gnarly stuff and have a good time on them as well - unless you live in a constant state of comparison with that which you don't have (or in your case do have).
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Old 02-18-21, 11:29 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Any used Mtn. bike in the $500 range will be junk or real old and not really desirable to ride.
1000% false. Your comparison of your old, cheap, nearly bottom-of-the-barrel MTBs to very expensive new ones is pointless. They used to make nice, lightweight, expensive bikes too. And now most of those bikes are very affordable.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:25 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Thanks for answering.

First of all, that Ross is a beautiful bike.

Second, Are you saying that those four bikes you bought were junk and gave you no pleasure while riding for all those years because they were 26"? Did you just keep riding regardless, even though it sucked, until miraculously five years ago you discovered a 27.5" bike?

Somewhat a rhetorical question because I imagine like most people, you enjoyed yourself then, and you enjoy yourself now; maybe even a bit more so because the modern bikes allow more technical range and comfort. So, it's hard to understand the disconnect in that you now have only bad things to say about 26", negating all those years when at least occasionally, you must have enjoyed the riding because.. well.. you bought four of them.

It's one thing to say a modern bike offers more in terms of capability or technical design than older bikes (no argument there) and quite another to say older bikes are junk. They were also good for what they were and a lot of people got out into nature and rode some pretty gnarly stuff on them and had some pretty good times doing that. There's no reason why people today couldn't also get out into nature, ride some gnarly stuff and have a good time on them as well - unless you live in a constant state of comparison with that which you don't have (or in your case do have).
The Ross was an interesting bike at the time. Picked it up in my teens with money I saved up. My neighborhood friend had the same bike and we would ride them all over the place. Yeah they provided some pleasure, but those types of bikes were the only game in town at the time. Full suspension didn't start coming around until the early 90's, but bikes with full suspension weren't ubiquitus at that time. Falls under the category of...You don't know what you don't know.

The angle I'm coming from is that "I've been there, done that" and compared to the comfort of some of today's modern bikes, I would never recommend anyone go ride one of those bikes.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:39 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
1000% false. Your comparison of your old, cheap, nearly bottom-of-the-barrel MTBs to very expensive new ones is pointless. They used to make nice, lightweight, expensive bikes too. And now most of those bikes are very affordable.
Key words: "Use to"

Any old bike doesn't compare to some of the better new bikes. Suspension, geometry and better engineered parts have come a long way since then. An old mountain bike that you pay $500 for right now, even though it may have been the most expensive bike available in 1995, really isn't that good.

I stand by the fact that my statement is 1000% true. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:44 AM
  #62  
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Iíve been there done that too. I enjoyed the hell out of older bikes.

And if all someone has is $500 and can get an older 26Ē Ht for that, they will enjoy the hell out of it too.

My wife is having a blast on a 2007 Karate Monkey. I want to get her something newer, but sheís just like ďI am having fun, why spend more money?Ē Another friend recently got hooked on MTB riding a 2003 GF Sugar.

Seriously, if you canít have fun on any of these bikes, your doing it wrong.

And if $500 is the budget, better to ride than not ride.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:51 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post

The Mayhem is simply awesome...


You do realize that bike is going to suck in a few years, right?

Enjoy it while can.

Last edited by Kapusta; 02-19-21 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-19-21, 09:00 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Seriously, if you canít have fun on any of these bikes, your doing it wrong.
You haven't explained N+1 to her yet?!

It's rule 12!!!

https://www.velominati.com/
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Old 02-19-21, 09:06 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You haven't explained N+1 to her yet?!

It's rule 12!!!

https://www.velominati.com/
Iím trying.

I think she may have caught on that I want to use the KM for an adventure build for myself.
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Old 02-19-21, 09:31 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
You do realize that bike is going to suck in a few years, right?

Enjoy it while you can.
Ha!!! Touchť!!!

See what the bike industry throws at us in the next few years. Between top notch components, disc brakes, well engineered suspension It will be interesting to see what they try to sell us on in the next few years or even if it can be improved upon.

Some of the stuff is fluff and some of it is well thought out upgrades to what used to be available. I can say that I'm not on board with electronic shifting or electronic dropper posts and I'm not sure if Super Boost is all that it's cracked up to be. One thing I do likes is the fact that the bike companies are reversing back to threaded bottom brackets instead of press fit. Press fit, IMO, was one of the worst ideas ever.
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Old 02-19-21, 10:04 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The Ross was an interesting bike at the time. Picked it up in my teens with money I saved up. My neighborhood friend had the same bike and we would ride them all over the place. Yeah they provided some pleasure, but those types of bikes were the only game in town at the time. Full suspension didn't start coming around until the early 90's, but bikes with full suspension weren't ubiquitus at that time. Falls under the category of...You don't know what you don't know.

The angle I'm coming from is that "I've been there, done that" and compared to the comfort of some of today's modern bikes, I would never recommend anyone go ride one of those bikes.
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Key words: "Use to"

Any old bike doesn't compare to some of the better new bikes. Suspension, geometry and better engineered parts have come a long way since then. An old mountain bike that you pay $500 for right now, even though it may have been the most expensive bike available in 1995, really isn't that good.

I stand by the fact that my statement is 1000% true. Your mileage may vary.
I think this is what I alluded to when I said one will not be happy if in a state of comparison.

You would not be happy now on an older bike, but you were happy then. Most of us recognize the last part and know that a person today could be as happy as we were back then on the same bikes. No, it would not be the same as riding a modern bike but it does allow a budget entry point for those who either: a.) can't afford a new modern bike now b.) aren't going to ride trails requiring modern technology c.) are unsure if they want to mtb and don't want to invest in an expensive new bike.

The move to better, more expensive technology in a hobby is pretty common. Fly fishing, vinyl records, RC cars... it doesn't matter really. People at the far end of the spectrum appreciate the nuances and are willing to invest in them but sometimes forget new people need an entry point that doesn't require the same degree of commitment. The recommendation of an older quality mtb that can be had for a fraction of what new bikes sell for and allows for riding many beginners trails is one solution that many people choose.

I should add that, while I'm not poor now, I did grow up poor and can very much identify with wanting/needing to do stuff on a budget.

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Old 02-19-21, 10:59 AM
  #68  
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Why pay top dollar for a new entry level mountain bike. They are pretty much giving them away here in Windsor.

$200 buys a beautiful almost new bike in perfect working order. And $120 gets a very nice bike that works and looks good too.

All thse bikes have no rear suspension to mess up and are perfect for a new rider, Or someone who wants one for recreational use. Put some slick tires on them and you've got an economical commuter too.

The good thing with buying local used is most of the issues these lower end bikes may have had have either been corrected or will be obvious with a test ride.

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Old 02-19-21, 01:40 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I think this is what I alluded to when I said one will not be happy if in a state of comparison.

You would not be happy now on an older bike, but you were happy then. Most of us recognize the last part and know that a person today could be as happy as we were back then on the same bikes. No, it would not be the same as riding a modern bike but it does allow a budget entry point for those who either: a.) can't afford a new modern bike now b.) aren't going to ride trails requiring modern technology c.) are unsure if they want to mtb and don't want to invest in an expensive new bike.

The move to better, more expensive technology in a hobby is pretty common. Fly fishing, vinyl records, RC cars... it doesn't matter really. People at the far end of the spectrum appreciate the nuances and are willing to invest in them but sometimes forget new people need an entry point that doesn't require the same degree of commitment. The recommendation of an older quality mtb that can be had for a fraction of what new bikes sell for and allows for riding many beginners trails is one solution that many people choose.

I should add that, while I'm not poor now, I did grow up poor and can very much identify with wanting/needing to do stuff on a budget.
I'm not in a state of comparison. It's a matter of realizing that an older bike that may have been top of the line / state of art at that time is primitive by today's standards. And it's that primitive factor that may lead a person to become disinterested in the sport.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:42 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Why pay top dollar for a new entry level mountain bike. They are pretty much giving them away here in Windsor.

$200 buys a beautiful almost new bike in perfect working order. And $120 gets a very nice bike that works and looks good too.

All thse bikes have no rear suspension to mess up and are perfect for a new rider, Or someone who wants one for recreational use. Put some slick tires on them and you've got an economical commuter too.

The good thing with buying local used is most of the issues these lower end bikes may have had have either been corrected or will be obvious with a test ride.
Please describe the brand, age and type of bike you get for $120 or $200.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:44 PM
  #71  
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These guys are having fun on < $300 mountain bikes. There are a few episodes where they show the build process, but this is the last where they ride them.


Edit: I agree that you are not going to be fast as a modern bike, but it's about having fun, not about speed. Getting off and walking a small section of difficult terrain does not ruin one's enjoyment, at least not mine.

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Old 02-19-21, 01:47 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Key words: "Use to"

Any old bike doesn't compare to some of the better new bikes. Suspension, geometry and better engineered parts have come a long way since then. An old mountain bike that you pay $500 for right now, even though it may have been the most expensive bike available in 1995, really isn't that good.

I stand by the fact that my statement is 1000% true. Your mileage may vary.
Suspension I'll give you. Though it's heavier than it used to be.

"Better engineered parts" is too vague to mean anything. Today's MTBs seem more disposable than ever, so I hope you didn't mean longevity. And I have yet to find any system that shifts as quickly or cleanly as my old 8-speed stuff.

Geometry LOL. The very first clunkers had huge wheelbases and slack angles. Then MTBs got "short and steep." Guess what is in style now? It's the same thing with wheel sizes. When "29er" came out bigger wheels rolled over obstacles and carried speed better. Now "27.5" wheels are better because they're more maneuverable and accelerate quicker. Just like, wait for it...26" wheels. I wonder what idea they'll recycle next? The point is that no style of MTB is best for everyone, and I think it's a disservice to stick everyone on a full-suspension 29er monster truck when they might actually be a lot happier on an old hardtail (I am, having owned and ridden plenty of monster trucks.)
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Old 02-19-21, 02:23 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
...And it's that primitive factor that may lead a person to become disinterested in the sport.
Did it disinterest you?

I would argue setting the entry bar at $1000+ would cause more to be disinterested.

You say the positive experience of one over the other is determinant but I would say the price, without being able to measure it against any positive experience, would be more of a barrier.

How much to do that? No thanks.
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Old 02-19-21, 02:47 PM
  #74  
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LOL This thread cracks me up.

For the very specific minimal type of mountain biking needs I might encounter, I think something somewhat less than a top-of-the-line MTB probably will suffice. A used one would be even better. I already have a very nice road bike for the other 99% of my riding.

Not everyone has the same needs and wants.
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Old 02-19-21, 03:03 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Suspension I'll give you. Though it's heavier than it used to be.

"Better engineered parts" is too vague to mean anything. Today's MTBs seem more disposable than ever, so I hope you didn't mean longevity. And I have yet to find any system that shifts as quickly or cleanly as my old 8-speed stuff.

Geometry LOL. The very first clunkers had huge wheelbases and slack angles. Then MTBs got "short and steep." Guess what is in style now? It's the same thing with wheel sizes. When "29er" came out bigger wheels rolled over obstacles and carried speed better. Now "27.5" wheels are better because they're more maneuverable and accelerate quicker. Just like, wait for it...26" wheels. I wonder what idea they'll recycle next? The point is that no style of MTB is best for everyone, and I think it's a disservice to stick everyone on a full-suspension 29er monster truck when they might actually be a lot happier on an old hardtail (I am, having owned and ridden plenty of monster trucks.)
Modern geo is not the same as the original klunkers, or anything during the 70s or 80s. There is a lot more to geo than head tube angle.

Seat tubes are MUCH steeper and frame reach is MUCH longer.

Plus, you canít really make direct comparisons of the geo of a rigid bike and one with 5Ē+ of suspension at both ends. I mean you CAN but it doesnít tell you much.

I tend to treat most new trends with a dose of skepticism (though not cynicism), but it is clear that what has happened in MTB geo... and the very underlying assumptions about geo and fit... is truly revolutionary. You may not like it (there are some that donít) but it is absolutely something very different than anything that has come before. And the majority of people who try it... end up liking it... even if it takes some readjusting to.

Last edited by Kapusta; 02-19-21 at 03:09 PM.
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