Thinking about a bike
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 15-Jul-21
Snuffer 15-Jul-21
ohiohunter 15-Jul-21
jingalls 15-Jul-21
Z Barebow 15-Jul-21
Tilzbow 15-Jul-21
EMB 15-Jul-21
'Ike' (Phone) 15-Jul-21
ohiohunter 15-Jul-21
jingalls 16-Jul-21
Teeton 16-Jul-21
ND String Puller 16-Jul-21
12yards 16-Jul-21
Will 16-Jul-21
Jaquomo 16-Jul-21
GF 17-Jul-21
sfiremedic 17-Jul-21
sfiremedic 17-Jul-21
GF 17-Jul-21
sfiremedic 18-Jul-21
Grey Ghost 18-Jul-21
GF 18-Jul-21
Jaquomo 18-Jul-21
From: Scoot
15-Jul-21
I'm thinking about getting a new mountain bike, mostly for the purpose of using it for exercise. Not sure I'm going to, but I'd like to. In the past I've had nothing but junk. However, I'm considering getting a "decent" (whatever that is). If I'm foolish in not getting an e-bike, I'd like to hear about that as an option too. However, I don't see using a bike on a hunt very frequently (or maybe at all) as they aren't too good of a fit for the areas I tend to hunt.

How much money do I need to spend to get something decent? I don't want/need a high end bike at all. I just want something that is better than a Walmart special and is fairly reliable. Something that can handle some tar, gravel, and mild/moderate trails. I don't want to clip into pedals. Any biking experts out there? I'm guessing several of you can offer some helpful info! Thanks in advance. Scott

From: Snuffer
15-Jul-21
Hello scott, I use a schwinn boundary bike i paid $248 here in oregon. Its a 29" I use it on closed roads for elk hunting. I add a double basket over back wheel for hauling. Has worked well for 2 seasons now. Steve.

From: ohiohunter
15-Jul-21
How I shopped my bike. Set a starting price point, mine was $1000. Then look at components you want for instance: through axel bolt, disc brakes, quality fork, tire diameter, hard tail or full susp… etc. then adjust your budget accordingly. It wouldn’t hurt to visit a bike shop to discuss advantages of certain components. Just window shop, they may not have the perfect fit for you. Different companies offer different configurations… so try not to be too partial to any particular brand.

From: jingalls
15-Jul-21
I have bad knees and back so I use an e-bike in the elk woods where I can. Keeps me out there! But I train with a mountain bike. I have mine set up with road tires because I ride pavement all the time. You can get a decent bike for $800-1000. Giant, Trek, Specialized would all be good and not break the bank. Mine is a Giant and I paid $800ish for it. Good luck.

From: Z Barebow
15-Jul-21
Scoot- I bought an entry level mtn bike ~ 10 years ago. (Specialized Hardrock) I think it was around $400. It works fine. The only option I wish it had was disc brakes. (It has caliper brakes) Although the caliper brakes have not failed me, disc work much better. (I know a couple of local shops if you are looking for options to purchase)

From: Tilzbow
15-Jul-21
I recently bought a Trex Dual Sport 3 and have been very happy with it. I’ve used it on the road, bike trails and easy dirt and gravel single track and so far so good. It’s definitely not a hard core mountain bike but is a good all around intermediate bike.

From: EMB
15-Jul-21
I bought a 29" Specialized Rock Hopper as an upgrade to my 28" HardRock. At the time the bike was about $850, has front suspension that really absorbs the shock of off road riding, 27 gears, and hydraulic disk brakes. I've got about $1,000 in the bike. The prices for quality bikes go up dramatically from there. It's primary purpose is exercise and riding on the road. I do take it hunting and have saddle and other bags for gear. I also bought a Burley wagon that I use to haul my stand, blind, game carrier, etc. into my hunt area.

15-Jul-21
I’m not sure, but I heard it from a guy, that heard it from another guy, who said EBike’s were and I quote…’Panty droppers!’

From: ohiohunter
15-Jul-21
ShooooWee… I’ll drop my panties for an eBike

From: jingalls
16-Jul-21
Ike…it’s TRUE!-)

From: Teeton
16-Jul-21
Well, if your going to use it in the woods, I'd recommend what ever you get, get a fat tire bike. World of different in soft, muddy ground. .

16-Jul-21

ND String Puller's Link
I bought the wife an aluminum fat tire mtn. bike from Framed. $900 shipped, seems to be built really well. Only took a week to get, just had to install handle bars, front tire and pedals. I was supposed to have an “expert” tune it for warranty, but what fun is that.

We went camping for a week at Devils Lake and took all the bikes with...think Beverly Hillbillies ;) I have to say that fat tire is fun, you can pedal through all kinds of stuff, sand, rocks, rough stuff. Ended up averaging about 5 miles a day without even trying.

Now I have to get one for myself. Maybe you could rent one to try it out first. I tried out an all carbon at a store they are expensive but damn easy to pedal and throw around.

From: 12yards
16-Jul-21
I've been biking quite a bit for exercise on my old Trek 830 mountain bike. I bought the bike in the late 80s or around 1990. It works for exercise and trail riding, has no suspension, and is a 21 speed. Today I think I would get some sort of hybrid bike, something like a Trek Dual Sport or FX series. I would also get fewer gears as I am road riding most of the time (2x9 vs the old 3x7). These bikes would also work just fine on hard trails. If you want to go on more challenging trails, through softer substrate (sand), I'd go with a hardtail mountain bike with a front suspension or full on suspended bike. But then I think you are into some pretty big bucks. The other issue you might have is finding a bike. Hard to find a good bike in a store right now I think.

From: Will
16-Jul-21
Depends on what you want it for, really. If it's all fitness and nothing else, and you have some fitness now, a standard MTB is fine. If you are fairly UNfit, an ebike of the regular mountain biking variety is good. If you want to hunt with it I'd err to a hunt specific ebike if it's in the budget.

Bikes can be HARD to find due to supply chain issues right now. Lots of folks are selling used stuff, and it's being snapped up fast - but it's worth a look at used if you are erring to fitness focused riding. It seems like you can still get some top end bikes if you are cool with dropping 6-12g... but the most common price points from like 1500-5K... those things evaporate the past year and a half. Often sold before the shop unboxes the dang things.

Brands are like bows. Most you could buy at a bow shop are really good and it's about how it feels to YOU and fits YOU. For example a Cannondale may feel awesome to you and a Specialized feel like poo - both are GREAT. Just comes down to what you want/like/feel good one.

Someone above said to set a budget and just go with it - sound advice.

It's easy to spend a lot if you get excited. If you are unsure you will like it, see if any shops in your area have demo bikes you could try a few times OR rent. either option could let you ride a nice rig, and see how it feels, helping you decide if you do enjoy riding or not before investing significantly.

That said, a few things that are worth it if you think you will ride trail, if your budget allows you want:

1.) single chain ring up front - it's just simpler and easier to deal with. 2.) a dropper seat post - amazing how handy that is on steeper down hills (the ability to push a lever and have the seat post drop 2-5" pending model etc). 3.) at least front suspension. 4.) 27.5 OR 29" wheels and unless you want to race cross country events in the future, plus or near plus size tires are great. More traction, you can ride lower PSI so they also add a smidge of extra cushion.

If you are going to ride dirt roads and rail trails - then I'd get 29" tires and front suspension but everything else is debatable and the dropper post I noted above not needed at all.

From: Jaquomo
16-Jul-21
Bikes are a lot like bows for many people. Every year or two many sell theirs and upgrade. My mountain bike racing buddy fixed me up with a two year old high end bike for the price of a new low end, but I decided to go ebike instead, at the time. Not sorry. For pure fitness workouts, pushing a 65 lb bike with 0 or 1 level assist is a hell of a workout. Plus, chicks dig it. We just got back from a 10 mile technical ride to hunt mushrooms (got 6 lbs of King Boletes!) and wife now wants to take an afternoon "nap". :-)

From: GF
17-Jul-21
This is gonna run long, but I love bikes, and I’ve had a little training from each of a bunch of friends who are very skilled Wrenches.

Based on what the OP stated for intended use, the answer is a 700c Hybrid if you want flat/riser bars and a gravel bike if you want drops. The Graveler is going to cost more and weigh less because they are racing” bikes and not just “recreational”. That’s assuming that you are looking at buying new. Budget? I would look at what you have into your bow, accessories, and a dozen arrows as a baseline if you want something in the Perfectly Respectable range. That won’t get you anywhere close to high end - Top End is into 5 figures - but you’re well out of the Crap Zone.

Is it necessary to spend that much? Absolutely not. About 30 years ago, I knew a guy who bought a Wal-mart special and started riding everywhere around town where he would normally have driven to, and he lost 70 pounds in about 6 months. That’s the thing with exercise equipment - it ALL works you use it.

For that matter, earlier today I saw a white-haired guy doing laps on a mid-seventies Schwinn 10-speed, and he was clearly enjoying his exercise. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Anyway…. My wife has a new Graveler and I’ve got 3 MTBs - the oldest is a late ‘80s rigid (with a GOOD (Ritchey) fork) which is set up as a commuter; I’ve got a 50 up front and the Granny is a 28, but I ride it on singletrack when my wife or one of my boys is on my “vintage” 26” hardtail, which still rides great because I dumped the elastomers in the fork and installed Speed Springs that match my weight. I also have a 4” fatbike I bought used a couple years ago. Basically I ride the fatty for pure fun, the hardtail if I want to get somewhere and the commuter if I care what time I arrive. If I were still commuting on a bike, it would be a cyclocross or gravel bike for sure. But one that doesn’t aggravate my neck.

Front suspension is all I have ever done; on the fatbike, it’s pretty well unnecessary; on the road, it’s an Energy Suck; climbing twitchy singletrack at 10,000 feet, it’s worth the extra weight. A good “Rigid” fork is anything but. Better (IMHO) than a cheap “suspension”, which really does nothing but take the edge off of a hit. If it’s tapered and curved and made from cro-moly steel, it’s probably fine. There are no crappy carbon forks that I know of, but I wouldn’t want to ride a cheap steel fork even on the road. For that matter, I wouldn’t even bother with any of the cheap 700c hybrid forks I’ve ever seen. I guess they’re OK if you just want to ride along not paying any attention to what you’re doing without knocking any teeth loose, but…

Problem is that bike shops are sold out these days. The little Indy guy up the street is waiting on $85k in inventory.

If you go looking for Used…. Loads of options. The 700c wheels cover more ground, but 26” wheels are stronger and are pretty much out of fashion. So there are plenty of those bikes around, and you shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for one in good working condition. Rust or a lot of noise is a bad sign. And a new drivetrain can run into hundreds really fast. You will pay more for a used bike at your local shop, but it will have new parts where needed, it will have been tuned up if not completely overhauled, and a decent Full tune-up is probably at least $100. Ask your local shop about rates on tune-ups and overhauls before you buy anything.

Other notes….. Good V-brakes are better than cheap discs. If you wanna ride fast, you need hard, skinny tires. DO NOT just swap out fat tires for much skinnier ones, because that will work Evil Magic on the handling. Don’t buy anything expecting to update the drive train to “modern” gearing because a bike built around a 7 or 8-speed rear probably won’t accommodate anything in the 10-12 range without being forced into it.

Long and short, you can’t go wrong on a bike unless you go too cheap. And even then, you can still enjoy the ride….

From: sfiremedic
17-Jul-21
MTB's are a blast. Just spent a week in MOAB riding trails. They're great for cross training and getting you in hunting condition. As for bikes (like anything else) you get what you pay for. A good site for used bikes is pinkbike. Tons of bikes to look at and give you some ideas. My current bike is a yeti SB140. Good luck, Jeff

From: sfiremedic
17-Jul-21
Another thing, I ride with pedals and MTB flats. not clip-ins. They work great.

From: GF
17-Jul-21
I do like my cleats. But you have to have enough float.

Yeti… LMAO. Not exactly a utilitarian option. That’s like buying Rolls Royce SUV when all you need is an F150 Custom.

From: sfiremedic
18-Jul-21
Put it this way GF... Did you buy tour bow at Walmart? I suspect you shoot a Matthews or Hoyt, a Rolls Royce you might say.

Scoot, top MTB brands (equivalent to Hoyts/Matthews) are YETI, Pivot, Santa Cruz. You can pay anywhere from 3500 and up for a new MTB with full suspension, and dropper post. Another great download is MTB project.. It will have almost all mtb trails where you live.

From: Grey Ghost
18-Jul-21

Grey Ghost's Link
Scoot,

I have a 2008 Fugi Thrill LT 2.0 MTB. It's a dual suspension bike with (at the time) top of the line accessories. The rear shock can be locked out for normal road riding. It's got very low miles on it, and is in pristine shape. I'd let it go for cheap, since I don't see myself riding it much now that I have an e-bike.

See the link above to see the specs on my MTB. PM me, if interested.

Matt

From: GF
18-Jul-21
Well, you suspect wrong, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some good bows. Half of them are “factory” bows and half are somebody else’s custom that didn’t live up to the expectations. They all shoot pretty much the same.

But the OP is looking for an ENTRY LEVEL Real Bike, not an Object of Desire. What you probably know but most people don’t is thar there are a handful of bike factories - all owned by Geant (Giant) which crank out almost all of the bikes in the entire world - except for the boutique brands like those you mentioned - and there is not a damn thing wrong with a well-spec’d, mass-produced bike. Except for being largely devoid of snob appeal.

Direct quote from the OP:

“ I don't want/need a high end bike at all. I just want something that is better than a Walmart special and is fairly reliable. “

You don’t have to spend anything near $3500 for that. My local Craigslist has a spotless Fisher Paragon, fully tuned (XT bike) for $350. If it were the right size, I’d be too busy picking it up for my son to be sitting here talking about it.

You can spend whatever you want, but there are thousands of perfectly good bikes out there that were higher end at the time they were bought, have hardly been touched and can be had for a song.

From: Jaquomo
18-Jul-21
+1 GF. When someone asks me about buying a flyrod to get started, I don't recommend a $1000 Winston or a $3000 cane rod. I suggest a $189 Redington combo that will outperform their ability while being reliable, durable, and affordable.

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