Trail Bike Suggestions - Beginner

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Trail Bike Suggestions - Beginner
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Posted: Apr 24, 2020 at 6:45 Quote
Hi

I am looking for good mountain bike suggestions. I am based in Twincities area, MN and the trails are usually rooty, and slightly rocky.

My main question would be, do I need a full suspension bike or do I need at hard tail mountain bike. My budget is below 1500, which forces me to go for a hard tail bike. However, used full suspension bikes are also a good bet here. Having so many options, is making my decision making process much troubling, especially not knowing the capacity of hard tail - trail bikes.

I did mountain biking on mostly blue lines, for the past two seasons using a Walmart bike (mongoose XR 75). My experience was, it is extremely rocky and I have to walk up the trails few times. Never did a jump, because I was worried the bike might break and I might crash. I often had knee pain after riding. I am in my late 20's and weigh 150 lbs. I am looking to upgrade now, however at the same time be vary about how it will effect my knees.

With that said, is a plus size tires vs normal sizes, wondering what the effect will be for a beginner.

Thank you

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 at 9:38 Quote
Have you injured your knee before? If not, knee pain is likely due to incorrect seat positioning while pedaling, try raising the seat so your leg is fully extended while pedaling seated. Also experiment with pushing the saddle forward or backward so you're central over the pedals.

At a budget of $1500 that's a tricky spot. If you can find a modern geo full suspension around that price it would probably be best, something like a Giant Trace 29er year 2019+.

Otherwise if it were me I'd look for a modern geo hardtail 29ere with a nicer fork rather than an old geo full suspension.

In other words, I'd prioritize geometry and 29er on a hardtail over full suspension old geo if I had to choose.

Posted: May 2, 2020 at 8:09 Quote
I

Velocimetry wrote:
Hi

I am looking for good mountain bike suggestions. I am based in Twincities area, MN and the trails are usually rooty, and slightly rocky.

My main question would be, do I need a full suspension bike or do I need at hard tail mountain bike. My budget is below 1500, which forces me to go for a hard tail bike. However, used full suspension bikes are also a good bet here. Having so many options, is making my decision making process much troubling, especially not knowing the capacity of hard tail - trail bikes.

I did mountain biking on mostly blue lines, for the past two seasons using a Walmart bike (mongoose XR 75). My experience was, it is extremely rocky and I have to walk up the trails few times. Never did a jump, because I was worried the bike might break and I might crash. I often had knee pain after riding. I am in my late 20's and weigh 150 lbs. I am looking to upgrade now, however at the same time be vary about how it will effect my knees.

With that said, is a plus size tires vs normal sizes, wondering what the effect will be for a beginner.

Thank you

$1500 is an adequate budget. You can find a lot of good used bikes in that price range.

...there's no right answer, but....

You don't need FS for the vast majority of the trails you'll be riding in the Midwest. (MI UP resident here)

I've gone full circle. Got into the activity in the mid 80's when rigid bikes with road geometry was about all that was available. Was out of the loop for adulthood and slowly let my obsession rebloom as time and financial restraints eased.

I jumped into long travel bikes and all of my peers jumped on the FS wagon as well at about the same time.

Lately though, my tastes have pivoted to doing more with less and have settled on plus bikes as the optimal balance.....for me anyway. A plus bike with modern geometry gives me a little padding in terms of performance and comfort while keeping trail riding interesting and somewhat challenging. I've been pretty happy....

Posted: May 15, 2020 at 21:10 Quote
You might consider something like the Hawk Hill 1 or Rift Zone 1 from Marin as decent bikes for around the $1500 mark.
You'll see the frame is the same for the 2 and 3 versions of the bikes, and as things wear out you can always replace to higher end components as your skills improve.

While your trails sound like typically a hard tail would be fine, because you find things "rocky" and "rooty" then you might find having a full suspension helps. And that may also provide some buffer for your knees. Additionally, as you get better, you might start doing some jumps and you might even travel to different trails that are harder than you are currently doing.

Personally, don't see the need to go to plus size tires, but others may have different opinions.

Posted: Nov 14, 2020 at 1:04 Quote
IDK if you found a bike yet, but as a person from that area, I can confidently say that almost all of minnesota can be ridden on almost anything. I wouldn't necessarily suggest an enduro bike, but i regularly ride with friends which one has a santa cruz chameleon, and one has a specialized enduro. Both of them have a blast on the trails, so i think the key here is whatever you get, just go out and ride. that being said, i would say for your budget, a plus tire hardtail is gonna be your best bet. either that or if you can spring for something closer to 2000, there is a nice giant full suspension currently for sale on the minneapolis craigslist.

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