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Ill agree with Fishing Marshall, Trek has a full line and a strong quality to back them up. Specialized and giant are also fine. I used to race mountain bikes many moons ago before the fad and those three all came into the market at the same time and have a long history behind them.
Next question is what type of mountain bike are you looking to purchase, one for the road and bikeways?? one for strictly off road use? or one for inner city or college commuting? heck maybe youll want to do specialized racing with it like downhill or cross country. Many different types of mountain bikes out there for each type of riding youll be doing. Perhaps a hybrid, crossover, or cruiser bike might be better for you. Can you elaborate on what you are willing to spend and what type of riding youll be doing with it?
This will help us steer you in the right direction so you wont get sold what you dont need.

Also, where are you located, we can steer you towards the local shop that is knowledgable.

Salmonid
 

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I can chime in as well. I was in the Mtn. Bike scene in 99-00 and my favorite bike then(and still is) a 1999 GT XCR-3000. The GT bike isnt as great now since it is not made in the USA, plus they moved to the I-Drive series. Im looking again for a bike and I have my eyes on a 99 xcr-3000. I have no first handexperience with Trek or any of the others named but I know alot of people that rode with us had some and loved them. Like said earlier what will the bike be used for mainly? Are you looking for a road bike or a hardtail or full suspension? Depending on the answers will determine what type of price you will be looking at.


Brad
 

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The fishen marshell got skunked at the maumee......I know, cause I was there gettin skunked with him! Should have gone on a bike ride instead. I have a Giant and I rode it 150 miles two years ago to our property in Pa. It took me 3 days. Seven hours a day, and it was comfortbable.
 

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I'm currently out of riding but I helped design and build www.raysmtb.com, raced downhill for a little while and have done A LOT of cross country riding.

fishing marshall is right on about needing to know what type of riding you plan on doing. That really narrows down the search.

I DO NOT recommend doing this at all because the bikes ARE NOT made for this but I rode a Gary Fisher Paragon for a while. It held up to a little abuse :D

 

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Konfused Kayaker
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Nice photo - it's all in the landing.
You already got the best advice - stay out of WalMart & such, their bikes aren't really worth a dang. Unless you're riding the road or strictly the towpath, stay away from those cross bikes. They're supposed to be part mountan bike part road bike, but they don't do anything really well.

I'm still riding my VooDoo, just not as often as I used too.
 

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Unless you are gonna be SERIOUSLY INTO mountain biking , and doing it all the time on extremely rough terrain,....save some money and go to wal mart . While the suggestions the others made are good , I dont think they are reasonable for the casual biker who is not looking to push the bike and themselves to the extreme . My wal mart bike holds up well and serves me well with no problems, for what I want it to do. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a bike that spends as much time parked or hung up in the garage as it does in actual use.
 

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you know, too many times we overbuy for what we need. I remember doing alot of dirt riding back when I was a kid and they didn't call it mountain bike riding but the bike I rode held up just fine. I have to believe the bikes today are far superior to mine from 35 years ago. I'm with yonderfishin here.

I bought my mountain bike (and my wife's) from Target and for the family riding we do they perform well. I wouldn't hesitate to take it out on a trail as I know it would perform well too; but I don't think I would use it to get as much 'air' as the picture shows.
 

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I'm not a big fan of Dick's (especially since they ruined Galyans), but there are a few areas where their prices can't be beat due to volume -- golf and bicycles. They have exclusive contacts/runs with a few manufactures (like Diamondback) where you can get a decent bike with good components for a great price. Not top-end stuff, but good enough for most. No need to buy a top-end mtn bike unless you're really going to exercise it.
 

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My ex-girlfriend and I bought mountain bikes at Wal-Mart and they were junk. Her bearing went bad in about 45 days and was told it would cost more for the part than the bike was worth.

For X-mas I bought my dad a bike from the Trek store and that is a sweet bike. I think is was about $240 and they called it a hybrid bike. Its pretty much a mountain bike frame with street tires. All he wanted it for was riding on paved bike paths but liked the mountain bike style. Its super light and it rides great with minimal effort. Bikes are like anything else, you get what you pay for. If you are going to be riding alot, get yourself a quality bike with a good track record. If your going to only be using it occasionally I would go with something cheaper. When I bought the bike from Trek they went over the whole bike and made sure everything was put together right and everything was working. When we bought the bikes from Wal-mart they just sent us right out the door. Those are the things that make the difference sometimes.

Jake
 

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Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)
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i got a Giant "Yukon" back in the early 90's. great bike, solid, took a real beating. i should dig it out of the back of the garage. not real expensive. mid range i guess. dont know if they make them anymore.
 

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Just as with anything else you may buy at wal mart, target, kmart or even the high priced bicycle shops ,....there are a lot of choices there, some better and some worse. Even different types or brands. Buying a 50.00 bike at wal mart you may have trouble ( or not ) but buying an 90.00 one at the same place may be a lot better. Just look for one that has the least amount of plastic ( brake handles, shifters, etc. ) and you should have a good one. No matter where you get it from.
 

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Unless you are gonna be SERIOUSLY INTO mountain biking , and doing it all the time on extremely rough terrain,....save some money and go to wal mart . While the suggestions the others made are good , I dont think they are reasonable for the casual biker who is not looking to push the bike and themselves to the extreme . My wal mart bike holds up well and serves me well with no problems, for what I want it to do. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a bike that spends as much time parked or hung up in the garage as it does in actual use.
i agree as well. i own a Giant and a Specialized, they are just a little pricier/fancier than the Dicks bikes but you cant beat the Dicks bikes for the price. especially with the type of riding you are doing you do not need anything fancy. go to dicks, walmart bikes are a joke.
 

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I just went there the other day and checked them out, total garbage and a hazzard if you ask me. On the womens model I looked at, the seat had a rip, frame scratched, evey cheap plated screw was rusted, and when I squeezed the rear brake lever the whole assembly fell apart in my hand. If your on a tight budget and decide to go that route I would suggest that at least you go over it and make sure everything is tight for safety at least. I'm probably going to get a diamond back from dicks in the $300 range for the squeezebox, they have a bunch on sale/discounted when I was there yesterday. I agree with everyones opinions that you get what you pay for and if its just for a weekend crusier I wouldnt go overboard with features/price. I still have my gary fisher that is about 12 years old but I must say it was great in the day when I was young and krazy but its not really a "cruiser" for just tooling around on, what I really want (to build) is a homemade tadpole recumbent 8)
 
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