NFR Offroad, trail bicycle on the cheap. Advice needed

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
Am looking at getting a Mountain Bike or hybrid. I have flat paved road but would probably hit the gravel roads and light/ med mt biking on nearby trails. I am not going to be doing any jumps or aerial back flips (not on purpose, at least : )

I am keeping the budget low at $400 tops, $300 preferable, as this might be short lived hobby and the darn thieves everywhere.

Question.
1. New is probably not going to net a winner in the $300-$400 range, would it be best to find a local bike shop that has a refurbished/rebuilt bike, plus support them with my business now?
2. Try the craziness of Craigslist with total clueless buyer in myself (not a Craigslist fan, normally), or
3. Haul in a 35 year old Schwinn bike I have here that has fatter tires but is a nice fit, take it to a shop and drop few hundred on upgrades?

I live far away from the big city bike deals of Portland or Seattle, so not searching big city ads. Facebook marketplace is more a place to post photos of people's stolen bikes, geez!

Any thoughts appreciated!

Or, might just say screw it, and get a kayak.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Am looking at getting a Mountain Bike or hybrid. I have flat paved road but would probably hit the gravel roads and light/ med mt biking on nearby trails. I am not going to be doing any jumps or aerial back flips (not on purpose, at least : )

I am keeping the budget low at $400 tops, $300 preferable, as this might be short lived hobby and the darn thieves everywhere.

Question.
1. New is probably not going to net a winner in the $300-$400 range, would it be best to find a local bike shop that has a refurbished/rebuilt bike, plus support them with my business now?
2. Try the craziness of Craigslist with total clueless buyer in myself (not a Craigslist fan, normally), or
3. Haul in a 35 year old Schwinn bike I have here that has fatter tires but is a nice fit, take it to a shop and drop few hundred on upgrades?

I live far away from the big city bike deals of Portland or Seattle, so not searching big city ads. Facebook marketplace is more a place to post photos of people's stolen bikes, geez!

Any thoughts appreciated!

Or, might just say screw it, and get a kayak.
Well you won't get as much exercise rowing a kayak as you do riding a bike.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
John,
If you can’t find anything local that meets your needs, drop me a line.
I might have something you’d be interested in.
I’ve got a Gary Fisher mountain bike that I bought new for around $500 quite a few years ago.
I was thinking about putting it in the classifieds for $150 (crab buoy not included ;) before all the virus stuff hit.
I never rode it much and my bike riding days are over....I’d rather walk.
Would just need to add air to the tires to make sure all is good.
SF

AE98AEC7-8639-4512-8CF0-ED825CE2128C.jpeg
 
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Buzzy

Active Member
I'm hoping this thread will go on for awhile since I too have been contemplating a mountain bike (I'm too old for jumping, flipping and all that trick stuff).
 

Peyton00

Active Member
In general, older bikes have 26" wheels. Newer models are 29". Fat tire or reg.....pick your poison. I do suggest a front shock if you plan on any long term attempts at bumpy rides. The occasional off road trip.....skip the shock.
The frame size matters, get fitted.
A few quality components are very important. Rear derailleur and shifters for the mechanical side. A comfortable seat with the correct handle bar alignment will make for an enjoyable ride.

Buy used from a bike shop. We all upgrade from a perfectly good ride to a new one just like any other toy.
Good luck and enjoy.
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
John,
If you can’t find anything local that meets your needs, drop me a line.
I might have something you’d be interested in.
I’ve got a Gary Fisher mountain bike that I bought new for around $500 quite a few years ago.
I was thinking about putting it in the classifieds for $150 (crab bout not included ;) before all the virus stuff hit.
I never rode it much and my bike riding days are over....I’d rather walk.
Would just need to add air to the tires to make sure all is good.
SF

View attachment 238916
Appreciate that, Brian, I think you might be a half foot-to a foot taller than I am-I am 5'11, and my short legs keep me from being 6'. Looks tall?

That does look like a very nice bike!

I just got a call off to a recommended old local shop in Hoquiam, never knew we had one within 20 miles.. Taking my old Schwinn in and may turn that into my road bike, and see what he has rebuilt in house for trail stuff.
 

Peyton00

Active Member
The bike Stonefish offers is probably the best deal your gonna find for that model and style of bike.
Older bike,mint cond with good components. No fancy suspension systems or disc brakes. The cabling is probably like new with grippy tires and pretty lite weight. Add a tune up and you're off and rolling.
I am pretty sure you will break down before the bike ever does.
Gary Fischer is like the Gary Loomis of fishing......sort of. Lol.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
I think I paid $400 for a hardtail mtn bike in 96. Bikes from that era that have been lightly ridden can be had today for $100, if not less. Bikes in the $500 and under range came with very mediocre components, so if they were ridden a lot the derailleurs and shifters are likely shot. NOS components can usually be had on Ebay for reasonable cost.

If Stonefish's bike is a close fit for you, that would be the best value you're gonna' find.
 

MD

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Whatever you do....you gotta get a flag ;)


ignore the subtitles...and stop it after the first scene...I didn't know how to shorten the clip :rolleyes:

My opinion isn't worth much but...
I see a lot of stolen/recovered bicycles. New bikes are crazy expensive. I doubt you'll find any decent new bicycles within your price range. So I'd second Stonefish's bike.

That said, if you're not sure this is a pastime you'll stick with and you have a Walmart, Fred Meyer or something similar nearby. Consider trying some of their bikes. They're definitely in your price range. and yes, the components aren't top notch, but you could get an upper end Murray or sumpin' with shocks....which can be nice on bumpy trails and such. It would last a while, depending upon how much you ride....and then you'd know whether or not it's worth coughing up more serious cash for something in the future.

But remember the flag :)
 

Up_and_Overland

Active Member
John,
If you can’t find anything local that meets your needs, drop me a line.
I might have something you’d be interested in.
I’ve got a Gary Fisher mountain bike that I bought new for around $500 quite a few years ago.
I was thinking about putting it in the classifieds for $150 (crab bout not included ;) before all the virus stuff hit.
I never rode it much and my bike riding days are over....I’d rather walk.
Would just need to add air to the tires to make sure all is good.
SF

View attachment 238916
interested in this if OP passes.
 

Krusty

Huge Erect Member
WFF Supporter
Bikes are like skis, the value drops rapidly every year. Visit a bike shop, and you'll likely find something lightly used and very decent for a great price. Stay away from very old suspension front forks...the ancient elastomeric innards frequently turn to glop, and can't be repaired. Stick with hardtail; good full suspension systems are fussy, and require quite a bit of attention to tuning (unless you want to pick up another hobby as complicated as flyfishing).
 
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MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I am keeping the budget low at $400 tops, $300 preferable, as this might be short lived hobby and the darn thieves everywhere.

Most people give up cycling because they go price point instead of what they want. Always buy one price point higher than you think you want. You'll ride more.
Not mentioned by others, if your almost always on the road look for the skinnier tires like on a hybrid, not road bike skinny but 1 1/2" range. If you carry weight on your back, hybrid upright position over mtb. Never leave a bike out of your site or it will be on craigs list. No lock works.
If your going it to leave somewhere spend $25 on the bike and realize the ride won't be enjoyable. That way you won't worry on the river. Compromises always have trade offs. Used to have a 30# monster to ride the flat parts of trails, then leave it in the woods to continue hiking. (can't do that much now with the rules).

Question.
1. New is probably not going to net a winner in the $300-$400 range, would it be best to find a local bike shop that has a refurbished/rebuilt bike, plus support them with my business now? There is not used bike market at stores except on Boat st in seattle, no money in it. $750 will get you 5x the bike.
2. Try the craziness of Craigslist with total clueless buyer in myself (not a Craigslist fan, normally), or
Only by used from someone you know, you can't test bearings.
3. Haul in a 35 year old Schwinn bike I have here that has fatter tires but is a nice fit, take it to a shop and drop few hundred on upgrades? Not worth it, or see above.

Hope this helps.
 

surfnfish

Active Member
Rode mountain bikes since the 80's, wife and kids rode as well, garage full of MTB's, lotta time at the bike stand tools in hand keeping the fleet running.
CL is your friend, you should be abe to find an older, quality used bike for your budget. What was an $900 bike ten years ago is a $300 bike today. Test ride it, make sure it all seems tight, if not shifting well or bike feels sloppy walk away.
If contemplating hitting the trails, full suspension much more forgiving. If just going to be dabbling on some single track with most on the asphalt, a front suspension hard tail (no rear shock) a good way to go. You can always add a suspension seat post.
Go with a quality bike..Trek, Specialized, Kona, GT etc.
Know your frame size before shopping, so drop into a local bike shop, see what size fits you best, and can often find a good deal on a trade in at the larger shops.
29" bikes have their purpose, 26" bikes are more nimble, far more common, less expensive.
A can of Tri-Flow will be your friend, keep your chain and shifters lubed, it greatly reduces wear and tear.
At 70, ride for an hour each morning weather permitting, has kept me sane during this lockdown. Have 34 miles of asphalt trails on tap, so have gone non suspension ultra light so I can haul butt.

IMG_20200408_095152266_HDR.jpg
 

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