New bike, <$200

This is the standard size mountain bike (MTB)
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New bike, <$200

Postby nonoitall » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:44 am

It's been a couple years since my last bike was stolen, and I'm thinking I'd really like to get back into biking. I'm 5'9", male, and I'm not a bike connoisseur. I'm mainly using it for getting around town, but occasionally for going out on trails and long rides. It's my first time really shopping for a bike myself though, so I thought I'd see what you guys thought would be best. My budget is pretty tight and stretched over several items I'm currently needing to buy, so I'd really like to go as inexpensive as possible while still getting a decent bike. Definitely no more than $200, but closer to $150 would be better. I've never had any sort of suspension before, but I kind of would like something that would absorb bumps a little bit.

I've only ever had 26ers. Don't know if a 27.5 or a 29 would be a better choice, but I'm used to 26ers, so that's what I've been focusing on. From the research I've done, they're the more nimble and maneuverable of the wheel sizes, albeit less efficient going over bumps and maintaining straight runs, and I think the maneuverability of my previous bikes appeals to me. If you think I should consider a different size given my usage and budget, please mention it though.

I've been looking mainly at two models:
I had a Schwinn once as a kid and remember it being a good bike. Additionally, I think I'd prefer hardtail (on the Schwinn) over full suspension (on the Genesis). But I also see the V2100 being praised on here quite a bit. Any thoughts on how these compare?

I also saw these two, but my (admittedly naive) impression was that they might be of inferior quality to the previous two models:

Thanks for any advice, and if there are other models you think I should look into, please point them out!
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby 6sharky9 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:57 am

Your impression is correct..Avoid the Hyper models.

The schwinn sidewinder isnt really all that great of a model..Schwinn isnt the bike company it used to be back in the day and this can be said for alot of recognizable brand names...Not that you cant buy a decent schwinn but ,that particular model isnt very upgrade friendly as far as forks and brake systems.

The Genesis is a much better choice of all the models you listed..Not that it doesnt have its own set of draw backs but it is the better choice among them all.

I suppose the question to ask is, will this bike be something you want to just get on and ride as stock? or do you want something you can upgrade in time as finances allow?

How aggressive do you plan to push the bike when going to the local trails?...Are they pretty much flat smooth trails or more aggressive?

Full suspension bikes from walmart or target or your favorite department store arent really all that great ..I will grant they do dampen some bumps but not with aggressive riding...Most tend to use plastic bushings where the suspension links bolt up together and once they wear down, which doesnt take very long , you now have issues with the bike...The geometry on the rear suspension is not all that great which causes "pedal bob"...This is where when you pedal, some of that momentum causes you to bounce up and down which uses alot of your forward momentum and energy...You can upgrade the rear shock and improve this issue but its still not a very good design and its costly to do....There is only really 2 full suspension bike that sold at walmart i would consider..2014 Mongoose XR200 and the XR Pro 29er as far as a good rear geometry is concerned.....Ive owned a V2100 and the mongoose XR200 at the same time...both brand new bikes and the difference was considerable with the rear suspension in bone stock configuration...I really wish i hadnt of sold the XR200 as you cant find them anymore...In my opinion the best 26er full suspension walmart has ever sold..I think i paid $209.00 for it shipped to my door.

In all honesty you should consider saving a little bit more money and look in the 200.00 price range or just over...These models tend to come with better components and come with front and rear disc brakes.

In any case the V2100 is the better bike as far as full suspension goes in that price range you listed..Has better parts in general on it and is completely upgrade worthy..Just be prepared to replace bushings when they wear out...The more aggressive you ride it the faster they are going to wear out on you...You can order replacements however from the manufacturer or have custom metal bushings made..Some have even found bearings to replace the bushings.
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby Falkon45 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:33 am

If it were me, I would go with the sidewinder. There's one build of one on here. It actually has an 1" 1/8th head tube with threaded headset. Only drawbacks in my opinion : steel and no disc tabs for rear disc brakes. Other than that, it's a good bike, and fully upgradable.

At your price range for full suspension, the v2100 is the only choice, but maintenance will be heavy after a few months, which is why I say go hardtail. I'm a big fan of 26ers also, but have been wanting to try other wheel sizes. I built a 29er,and like it a lo. Unless you plan on riding trails with super tight switchbacks, I wouldn't overlook a 29er.great for long flow trails, or anything with lots of logs/rocks /obstacles. They're just slightly harder to handle in tight turns.

27.5/650b are nice too, but the offerings in your price range may be more than upsetting.

So basically, it's like this, for your price range, hardtail is king. Expand your wheel sizes, and the options hey better. For full suspension, raise your price range, and check out other stores as well. But, to just get back into riding, hardtail is the way to go. Still my favorite bikes.
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby wa_desert_rat » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:57 am

Hardtail is clearly your best choice for now. Full suspension bikes are (in general and especially with BBB versions) heavier, lower quality components, and an ineffective (or worse) rear shock. Look just above $200 price point for a decent ride. I've been riding a Mongoose Deception 29er (no longer available but might be clearance items or on craigslist) since 2011 that is mostly stock (or was until recently).

If you cannot upgrade the bottom bracket at least make sure it's well lubricated. This is a common weak point in the assembly process.

Good luck, welcome to the forum, keep us posted. :)
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby Renaldow » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:23 am

Out of your choices, I'd also suggest the Schwinn Sidewinder. While Schwinn isn't the name it once was, this is still a decent, upgradeable bike. It's also not full suspension which goes a long way with me :)

And since you didn't ask...

I'd actually suggest a Roadmaster Granite Peak.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Roadmaster ... k/42248076

Why? To start with, it's $80. It's also an okay bike, especially for the money. It will function and do everything the Schwinn will. Since it's your first bike in a long time, whatever bike you get right now is basically going to serve just to teach you what you like and don't like in a bike. So to begin with, you can learn all those lessons a bit cheaper with this bike. Also, sticking with your $200 budget, you'll have $120 to be able to put into it after you've ridden it for a bit and learned what you like and don't like on it. Or, if you decide it's complete trash, then you've got $120 to put towards another bike.

Just a thought, that's all.
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby junkyarddog » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:55 am

yep hardtail is the way to go.....I was actually looking at getting a schwinn sidewinder myself and pretty much fell into a better bike....even though I no longer own a BBB, I have been resourceful in having decent bikes for not alot of cash
89 specialized rockhopper- SS BMX hybrid
97 specialized rockhopper-7 speed mild trail bike
roadmaster mtn sport 24"- wifes
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby wa_desert_rat » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:20 pm

Renaldow wrote:Since it's your first bike in a long time, whatever bike you get right now is basically going to serve just to teach you what you like and don't like in a bike. So to begin with, you can learn all those lessons a bit cheaper with this bike.

There's a lot to be said for this philosophy. Craigslist is full of people trying to sell the expensive bikes they were convinced will make them expert bike riders right out of the gate. A bike from a big box store is a great way to get introduced to a new bicycle type without spending a lot of cash; or re-introduced to cycling, period. :)
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby Falkon45 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:01 pm

Well said. But I whole heartedly disagree with the granite peak. Believe me wheniI say I've learned my lesson with those bikes. Not worth pouring money into. If you do get it, just ride /tune until it dies.
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby nonoitall » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:38 pm

Thanks for the input, everyone! In light of what's been said, I've settled on wanting a hardtail -- less to go wrong, less maintenance and less weight have won me over. I've only ever had rigid bikes, so even hardtail will be a step up in terms of shock absorption. And just to clarify, I'm not really a new rider - just a new buyer. (I was in like 5th grade when I got my last bike and my parents had bought it for me. It lasted me about 15 years until it was stolen.) I've never been big on biking as a sport, but I've ridden a lot just casually. So I have some idea what I want; I just don't really know the market very well and don't have experience with anything besides 26" rigid.

Now I'm questioning whether I should go with 26" though. It's all I've known, but people are really talking up the other sizes. Let's say I bumped up the budget to $250. What would be you guys' top picks for mostly in-town, occasionally off-the-beaten-path? (Any size goes, preferring hardtail.)

(I probably should have put this thread in the General section since this isn't restricted to 26". If a mod would move it, that'd be great! Thanks.)
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Re: New bike, <$200

Postby 6sharky9 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:10 am

Mongoose STAT 4.2...NO CONTEST.

You wont find a 26 hardtail worth purchasing from walmart nor target..Those are fading away basically.

I recall a Mongoose Seek'r 27.5 model being sold but, you may need to ask your store about it..I dont see it on the walmart site anymore.

The mongoose Stat in my opinion is your best bet with whats available at the moment..A good frame..disc brakes and very capable to upgrade if you decide you wanted...Just go check one out..have a seat on it..see what you think
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