I need a summer hobby.


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  1. #1

    I need a summer hobby.

    Other than grilling and drinking that is. Looking for a bike recommendation and I know nothing about bikes. Goal is to start riding near home on a combination of poorly paved roads, dirt roads, abandoned roads and mellow trails. Pawtuckaway and possibly Bear Brook will be the extent of the trials; not interested in lift served. Also do not want to spend a fortune, max in the $1000 range.

    What is the best way to do this on a budget? Any recommended shops in southern NH?
    The true happiness of a man can be found in the mastery of his passions.

  2. #2
    Smellytele's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Right where I want to be
    Sounds like you need a Cyclocross bike.
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  3. #3
    A decent hardtail will handle most of bear brook. Consider buying used. Looking for a bike with an air front shock and hydro break. Deore or better imo. Buying something slightly used will save a shipload of money and usually gets you into a better bike.

  4. #4
    Plenty of state parks etc in the Seacoast, NH / North Shore, MA area with great trail riding. Check out NEMBA (New England Mt Biking Association) and follow their facebook page for group rides etc. Exeter, Messebeisic, Willowdale, Harold Parker are all options and there are many more.

  5. #5
    look on Craigslist and find something in the $700 range with XT/XTR/SRAM-9 level components.

    Used, you should be able to find a nice cross country dual suspension. 4" front/rear travel balance. Read MTBR website for reviews on the bike itself and it's components.

    FWIW I picked up a Specialized Enduro with all XTR pats and Marzocchi Z1 air front / Fox air rear 5" both for $700 on Craigslist like 6 years ago. I'm pretty sure you can do even better now.

    IMO no reason to ride a hardtail esp if you are buying used for a decent price. I've ridden lots of duallies and hardtails. Even road stock and modified trials hardtails for a while. A good dually will give you better traction on steep up hills without bouncing around. Hard tails are sub-optimal for most recreational MTB'ers. Good for roads and maybe dirt race tracks.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bdfreetuna View Post
    . Hard tails are sub-optimal for most recreational MTB'ers. Good for roads and maybe dirt race tracks.
    I completely disagree with this.

    There is no reason to have a full suspension bike if your goal is
    poorly paved roads, dirt roads, abandoned roads and mellow trails.
    I would even argue depending on how involved you want to get, you are much better off with a cyclocross/gravel bike than a mountain bike for those types of conditions. Suspension requires extra maintenance and can suck a lot of energy (especially rear suspension) if you are on hard packed roads/trails.

    For 1000$ it will be difficult to find a full suspension bike that is in good condition. Sure you might be able to find one on craigslist but if you are asking a random ski forum for bike advice, you probably don't have the ability to determine what is good or not on the used market.

    I vote, go to a local bike shop and buy a new hard tail. Take a look at the cyclocross/gravel bikes while you are there.

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