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Thread: Thinking about a new mtn bike - full susp. - disk brakes - entry level - cheap!

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about a new mtn bike - full susp. - disk brakes - entry level - cheap!

    Anybody know about these bikes? Any good? I can't afford a good name brand bike. Looking for a good basic bike for cross country mtn biking, nothing super technical but love a tight twisty course. bikesdirect.com sells the Gravity FSX 1.0 for $330, including free shipping. I have never heard of the them or the bike, but the specs look acceptable for my needs (and budget!). I've got a cheap Schwinn now so almost anything would be a step up. Weight isn't a big issue (they don't list it), I'm sure it will be less then my current one. I THINK I really want disk brakes. Is there any reason not to get them? These are mechanical, not hydraulic.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/fsx_1.htm

    Gravity FSX 1.0 - NOW with 24 speed Shimano shifting technology
    uses an Advanced aluminum frame that features CantiBeam SinglePivot Technology

    + REAR adjustable coil-over cartridge
    + Advanced Suspension Fork with adjustable preload

    FSX Full Suspension mountain bikes feature Advanced Aluminum frames with a Hydroformed tubes, advanced CantiBeam single-pivot rear suspension and trail-ready geometry.

    Features
    Powerful disc brakes and wide range Shimano 24 speed drivetrain for smooth shifting on rough terrain. The plush Suntour suspension fork further smooths the terrain. Adjustable preload provides maximum efficiency.

    Incredibly specified with precision Shimano Acera rear derailleur, tough SunTour Cranks, strong Double-wall rim wheels, Powerful Disc brakes, Adjustable Suspension fork.

    FACTORY DIRECT PRICE only $329.99
    List $995. Only here at bikesdirect.com

    Thanks,
    Vic
    Enjoying God's Beautiful Creation

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  2. #2
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    I got a Nishiki Colorado from Dicks Sporting Goods about 4 months ago. I paid 300 bucks since it was on clearance. It is a great bike. Has Disc brakes, adjustable front fork lock out, etc.

    If you haven't pulled the trigger on the bike your looking at, I would suggest heading to Dick's just to check out the Nishiki.
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  3. #3
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    If it has a "list price" but it's available only from BikesDirect, then WTF is the point of the "factory direct price"?

    I have found that most of the internet-only brands are subpar. I would rather own a well-loved used MTB - you're just gonna get it dirty anyway. If you live near a large college, check out craigslist right now. Students moving out of the dorms will be selling their bikes cheap rather than lugging them home.
    BKCowGod - Northern, CA
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  4. #4
    Christophe Noel's Avatar
    Christophe Noel is offline Expedition Portal Team Adventure Bike Moderator
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    There have been thousands of forum pages dedicated to the discussion of Bikes Direct bikes. Here's the shortened story: Bikes Direct is a company that purchased a few very well known names like Motobecane that are no longer made. Motobecane used to be the Trek of France, but they stopped making bikes. BD bought the name, moved production to China and sold "Motobecane" bikes. The MO for Bikes Direct is pretty simple. They buy the absolute cheapest parts they can find, then hang a few well known parts on the bike. This is why a Trek bike with Shimano XT will be $3000 and a Bikes Direct Shimano XT bike will be $1000. The BD bike will have a $2 stem, $5 bar, $8 seat, etc. But, it will have a real, genuine, nice derailleur because that's what consumers look for.

    BD gets beat up all the time because they'll call a given bike an "XT Equiped bike" when all it has is a buch of crappy parts and one XT part thrown in to catch your eye. I've seen some BD bikes that were really very, very poor quality.

    So, here's the catch. They're not even mid-level bikes, but they're also dirt, dirt cheap. Is that $329 with the $999 "list" price on par with brand name mid level bikes at $999? Not by a country mile. You pay $329 at Bikes Direct, you get a bike worthy of $329. There's no way around value in bikes. Cheaper the price, cheaper the product.

    Personally, I wouldn't want my friends or family to buy through BD.
    Bicycles rule.

  5. #5
    Christophe Noel's Avatar
    Christophe Noel is offline Expedition Portal Team Adventure Bike Moderator
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    By the way, like most bike companies, Bikes Direct sure has learned how to use meaningless buzz words like: Advanced aluminum, and CantiBeam SinglePivot Technology.

    I could sell a can opener and market it with those exact same buzz words.
    Bicycles rule.

  6. #6
    Yup, BD uses the buzz words and sells crap. Youll be happier with a used and maintained bike, even if it has rim brakes. When I worked at a shop we dreaded these types of mkes coming in. The frames werent straight, the pivots werent square. No matter how much time you put into it you just cannot make them perform well.
    This thread is about how snobby and elitist ExPo has become, not about EE's forum. Please stay on topic while bashing this forum on this forum.

  7. #7
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    I suggest looking on craigslist for a good quality used bike. You can usually find nice, rarely used quality bikes for less than $500. Also, are you sold on full suspension? You'll get a nicer bike for your money if you can mange with a a hard tail.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the input. Flounder, that is the info that I was looking for, appreciate it. I don't live anywhere 'fixed', living full-time in my camper, usually away from any city! I was just in Minneapolis for a few weeks visiting with family, and it was as I was leaving there that I discovered the mtn bike parks in the metro area and north of there. That was what got me pumped for a better bike - specifically better brakes and shifters. Yeah, I know I could get a better bike for the money if I didn't get full suspension, but I've been hooked on them since I went from hard tail to a new GT-3 a long time ago!

    Didn't get to ride the ones in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Nice courses in Eagan and Savage, in the south metro area. The course in Elk River was great (except for the $4 user fee!), and lots of bikers. There were 25 vehicles in the parking lot when I finished. Milaca has a really good one too with no other bikers on the trails, I couldn't believe it. Met one jogger and 3 hikers. However the best one I have found so far was at Crosby-Ironton near Brainard. It is called the Cayuna Country Recreation Area. The grand opening was last weekend, they have about 25 miles of trails, all well made and maintained. I rode it before that when only about half of the trails were open, there were usually 5-6, other bikers on it at the most in the 2 days I rode them. Maybe up to 10 in late afternoon after work. The courses are all multi-level, with a good mix of intermediate and difficult sections. Nothing super technical except the narrow bridges, logs and teeter totters. I learned to mtn bike on regular hiking trails in the S. California mountains which are much more technical, but the courses pack a lot of fun in a small area. There were in forests and wound around like spaghetti so were fun even if you weren't going real fast. The only thing missing was mountains, but Minnesota is sadly lacking in them, however these were a pretty good substitute! All were free except for Elk River and it was the busiest! Go figure. Maybe real bikers think it's better because it cost more!

    Vic
    Enjoying God's Beautiful Creation

    2001 Isuzu NPR HD, 5 speed - see http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=38961
    1990 Shadow Cruiser Truck Camper - Totally rebuilt
    2008 Honda CRF-230L
    Gary Fisher Joshua Z1 full susp. mt. bike

    See some of my adventures here:
    http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=28256

  9. #9
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    Your title says it all. You want it all for little and that's what you'll get. Quality is more importan than features. I would rather have an older 7spd rigid mountain bike that is well made with decent parts than a super cheap full suspension, disc brake made in china cheapo bike. I used to be a bike mechanic and have recently had the (not so) pleasure of working on some of these cheap Full featured bikes for a couple of friends. OMG. Super cheezy parts. Aluminum frames that weigh a ton ect. Scary parts quality. They are now specing a lot of one year only parts groups on the so called comfort bikes. They have all the bells and whistles but 2 years from now you can't even find compatable parts for the major groupo parts and they are Shimano. I went through this last year with 2 bikes. The entire drivetrain was meant to only work with that one year parts group. Break a shifter and you have to replace most of the driveline. As always the bearings on these bargain basement bikes are crap. even worse than the old days. It may say "sealed bearing" on it but they used gravel for the ball bearings.

    Check out a local bike shop and pic up a decent used bike with decent parts or find smething on CL. Or save some cash up and get a decent bike shop bike. You'll be much happier in the long run.

  10. #10
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    I've had great luck with my diamond back response sport hardtail...........pretty cheap but very strong frame! Got mine during a price mix up at a store and stole it for a little over $200..........
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