T Nation

Mountain Biking

I am sure some of the people on here are avid mountain bikers.

I have been thinking about getting one for a while. I use to be in the ATV’s but the price of gas takes the fun right out of it. So now I am trading my quad for a mnt. bike.

Any suggestions on what kind? Brand? I do not know anything about them.

I was thinking of taking a long ride once a week and calling it cardio. I have miles and miles of old enduro dirt bike trails that start in my back yard, so I will get plenty of use out of a mountain bike.

Educate me.


What’s your budget? Since you are coming from ATVs and it sounds like you have some pretty gnarly trails to ride, are you planning on going full suspension or hardtail?

My local guy caries Giant and GT. I still ride a GT(I-Drive), but they aren’t what they used to be. Giant has some really impressive bikes out there now, I think I might get one more year out of the I-Drive and then upgrade, especially if I plan to race again.

My best advice is to get in good with your local bike shop. Stay away from Dick’s the the mega-sports-mart. The local guy will take care of you, and hook you up with a lot of discounts and free service if he knows he has your business.

Plus he actaully knows what the fuck he is talking about vs mostly high college kid at sporting goods store that doesn’t know a bottom bracket from a front derailleur.

Avoid dept store bikes at all costs. Go into your local bike shop and look around. You can get a decent bike that you wont ‘need to upgrade’ for under 1k. Most bike shops will throw in free maintenance for the first year.

If you are mechanically inclined you will save a decent chunk of change by shopping online, but that entails some assembly at home with the understanding that you potentially take your safety in your hands.

I would stick to a hardtail model rather than full suspension to keep costs down. Rather have a nicer hardtail than a mediocre full suspension bike. Depending on local terrain hardtails climb better and have less components to worry about.
Good site to start with www.mtbr.com

I agree about getting the hard tail, the full suspension will cost you speed. It is as though that suspension absorbs energy

I concur, hard tails are the way to go.

I got my last bike after attending a bike expo in Madison. Watched some guys doing some pretty crazy stunts with hard tail Giants. After the show as I was looking through the bikes for sale, one of the stunt guys approached me, turned out he was a salesman. He talked me out of a full suspension with disc brakes. It was a more expensive bike, but he said the hard tails were sturdier, and lighter than the full suspension models. Also, if you wipe out and bend a brake disc, you’re carrying your bike out of the woods.

I bought a Giant Yukon and got 4 great years out of it before it was stolen. I replaced it with a Trek 4300 model (also a hard tail) but with disc brakes and don’t like it as much as the Giant.

Giant builds a good solid bike. Also, don’t go for broke on your first Mt. bike.