6'3"185, Beginner, $500 budget

Forums Mountain Bike Forum 6'3"185, Beginner, $500 budget

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    • #318009

      Hi Everyone, seeking advice and want to be concise.


      Want to buy my first mountain bike. I will ride 85-90% on roads around neighborhoods, but want to go out to single track trails as I learn to be a better rider.  $500 Budget. Looking used, but can’t seem to find an XL or XXL frame.

      – Have looked at the Trek Marlin 4 and 5 new.

      – Have a lead on a Specialized Rockhopper 2019 for $425 new.

      Should I be looking elsewhere or at other brands? Thanks for the advice in advance.


    • #318078

      Try local shops, craigslist, or any local for sale websites.

    • #318413

      I recommend that you double your budget and consider the lowest price models of these bikes that come with 29×2.6 tires.

      Rocky Mountain Growler 29 $1000

      Salsa Rangefinder 29 $1100

      The Growler is my first choice because it is cheaper and has better geometry than the Rangefinder.  Either bike is far superior to the Marlin or Rockhopper.

      $500 Mountainbikes are just not up to the task of serious Mountain biking.  They are really just townie bikes that look like Mountainbikes and are quickly destroyed by serious Mountain biking.  For a guy of your size, I doubt that a $500 Mountainbike will last more than a few rides before something is broken.  If you are really serious about Mountain biking don’t buy a $500 bike.

      To make matters worse the Marlin and Rockhopper are bike designs from 10 years ago.  Both bikes have skinny tires and old school geometry.  Modern bikes (like the Growler)  with their wider tires and progressive geometry are so much more capable.  Save for a little longer and buy a better bike.



    • #318628

      Well I had a long post trying to help, but the system deleted it. Not typing again.

      Bike Nerd is mostly right, but tire size and frame geometry is a matter of personal preference and indended use, not necessarily superiority.

      http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29-expert-mountainbikes.htm This is a decent cheap hardtail, my son has one he uses for mostly pavement and easy trails.

      • #318630

        Hi Alvin, I have a copy of what you posted:

        Alvin Mullen wrote:

        As far as what you get for the money I have to mostly agree with Bike Nerd. If you get serious about mountain biking, a $500 bike probably won’t last. But if you are really going to be riding mostly roads and neighborhoods it is a good place to start. Besides that, once you get serious you will probably want another bike almost no matter what you start with, as there are so many different choices, tire size, tire width, suspension style, and a ton of frame geometries, depending on whether you are a into fast and racy bikes, poppy fun bikes, smooth flow trails, hard tech trails, and a dozen other things you just won’t know what you really like until you get out there and try.

        I also wouldn’t say the Rocky Mountain, or Salsa are far superior to the Marin or Specialized, it is more a matter of opinion. I personally like Giant, Santa Cruz and Salsa better than most other big name brands, but most of the brands are quality and it depends on personal taste.

        If you are comfortable working on your own bike, you might also consider the Motobecane http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29-expert-mountainbikes.htm It is a decent hard tail frame with low end to mid quality components. My son has one, as he rarely ever goes to serious trails, and it works fine for him. They also run a little big, he is 6’1″ and a large (19″) fits him fine.

        If you start with a cheaper bike, you can always save up for a better one later, and keep the cheaper bike for just pavement, or to take non riding friends you to get them hooked.

        Another bike to consider at the lower end price is the Giant Talon, or if you decide to step up to the $1000 price range the Giant Fathom. They both come in 27.5 or 29.

        Finally, if you do get serious, you might decide you want full suspension, just for info, I think the sweet spot for quality and bang for the buck in most brands is right around $2500 for FS.

    • #318660

      Thanks, not sure why it disappeared from me.

    • #318831

      I agree with Bike Nerd and I’m constantly telling friends who come to me for advice to avoid the lower end stuff but I also understand that sometimes, there really is no option. Now I’m not saying this is a great bike but the reviews have actually been positive considering it’s price. The review says it runs big but at 6-3, you still may be a touch tall.

      Review: Schwinn Axum – $398 trail-ready mountain bike


    • #319006

      Ok I am going to be the guy that disagrees a bit. I am 6’1″ and currently done to 210lbs but the two previous years I was at 220lbs (no gear). So not as tall but carrying heavier weight.

      The two bikes you are looking at are not bad bikes and as beginner they are fine even for the trail. As you get better and save money these bikes can even be upgraded or beefed up.

      If you have done your research and know what to look for you can find better bikes on Craigslist and Pinkbike for the money. They will be used but better bikes. So $500 is not a bad budget. I found my Salsa Timberjack (brand new condition) for $600 on Craigslist. That is an absolute steal for the bike. Patience and knowing what you are looking for are the keys.

      XL is difficult to find but they do exist on the used market. I have seen them out there.


    • #319195

      Make sure you know what to look out for on a used bike if you are buying used.  A clapped out shock or drivetrain could easily have you spending 50% or more of your original purchase if it requires a complete replacement.  As others previously mentioned, learning to work on a bike is an important part of mountain biking.  Mountain biking does tend to break stuff.

      If you buy new at that price, you will likely find that you want to upgrade if you like the sport.  But that is OK too.  That is the route I went.  I started with a cheap bike, upgraded it a bit, then bought a better bike.  I don’t regret that path because I learned what I wanted in a good bike through riding.

    • #330705

      For someone who intends to use the bike for “85-90% riding on road and around your neighborhood” I would not recommend buying a mountain bike nor spending more than $500.  I’d look at flat bar adventure/sport/gravel bikes.  What you want is something that rolls easy, has decent front suspension and (preferably) updated geometry.  You’ll obviously need to take things easy if/when you venture on singletrack (you don’t want to take such a bike to a down hill park) but you’ll also learn be forced to learn the right skills since the bike’s components won’t be able to compensate.  Ultimately, it will make you a better rider.  I started riding trails on an old fully rigid (no suspension) steel (heavy) bike about 5 years ago.  It’s what got me hooked.  And if you decide, MTB’ing is what you want to do you’ll have a much better understanding of your needs for a true MTB.  As others have suggested, take a look at BikesDirect (new) or Craig’s list/PinkBike (used).    Good luck!

    • #330709

      BTW, I’m 6’2 180lbs.  Sizing for you on most bikes will probably be XL which are usually not difficult to find.  I can’t imagine you’ll need an XXL.  In fact, based on my experiences, depending on geometry and personal preference you’re more likely to gravitate to a L than an XXL if an XL doesn’t feel right.

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