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Just wanted to hear you guyses opinion on the best lets say "entry" level mountain bike in the 700$ range. Interested in seeing what you all come up with.
 

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I was looking to get back into riding and was looking in that range. I was most impressed with a Scott Aspect 55 it was selling for $560 at a local shop. I had also looked at a Specialized and a Trek, but felt the Scott was a better bike. The frame felt as if it was better, than the others at that price level. The components are pretty much the same across the board, other than the fork. The others had low end Rockshox and the Scott had a Suntour shock. All had discs so it came down to the frame. IMHO the frame on the Scott was better frame and would take well to upgraded components down the road better than the others.
 

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well it really depends on what sort of riding you are doing... xc riding id look at a hardtail from specialized like the hard rock or something of that sort. AM riding, its hard to find a good AM bike for around that price but KHS is one of the few companies that can do that for you and their warrenty srevice is amazing. DH of FR riding... you better be willing to put out a heck of a lot more KA-Ching. :]
 

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Just wanted to hear you guyses opinion on the best lets say "entry" level mountain bike in the 700$ range. Interested in seeing what you all come up with.
Riding style will help determine what brand would be better too. Have you considered a used "higher end" bike for that price. You could get a much nicer bike if you dont mind a few scratches here and there.

If you really wanna a new one though I would condsider Gary Fisher and Trek, just my 2 cents though
 

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I broke my old hardtail Sworks M2 2 weeks ago and picked up a Sette Reken frame up from Pricepoint after reading the reviews over at mtbr. $90 for the frame (yes its a HT), $30 for the top pull derailleur and the only other new item on the bike is the RS Sids at $225. Got my old Mavic 517 with Hope hubs and XTR V brakes. I was crushed when the M2 broke, but I am very happy so far, it's an incredible frame for the price. Climbs just as good as the old M2. I only ever bought one new mt bike from the shop and that was my DB Ascent back in like '89, if you got the tools its the only way to go.
 

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I have been looking in this range too. I've noticed a few things that change as you start reaching this pricepoint:

hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes - I want hydraulic which is usually on the better models.

Shock (obviously) - Trying to get something better than the RS Dart which seems to be offered on many in this range.

General components - This price range is popular so a lot of companies market for it and some try to pass off inferior components on a flashy frame, beware.

I'm going to try looking at a 2008 model that my LBS may still have in stock. This should shave a few bucks off. I have also heard good things about Felt brand bikes, they are typically a little cheaper then their equivalents from other brands.
 

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Try craigslist or e-bay. For $700 you could build a $2500 MTB. I should know I did it myself, just got to be patient and know what you r looking for. All my parts are new, just a few years old. I have seen $2000 framesets go for less than $100 because they are a couple of years old. J.
 

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Trek FTW (for the win) they have all price ranges and all of them are great bikes. I have ridin trek's from all prrice ranges as well as specialized, cannondale and giant and the treks ride better right outta the box than most of the others do with upgrades just my opinion
 

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For those looking for a good bike in this range, I would consider something like a 2009 Trek 4500 or a 2010 Kona Blast. The 2010 Trek 4500 have gone to a suntour shock which is a definite downgrade. I have seen people knock the Dart shocks, and it is true that there are better shocks out there, but you aren't likely to find them in this price range. I would also suggest that you not put a ton of emphasis on disc brakes at this price level. I have found that while they don't hurt you, many of the mechanical disc brakes found at this price level actually don't give you significant performance advantage over a more traditional rim brake set up. This is contrary to popular opinions so take it for what it is worth.

If you are looking to get into Mountain Biking, this $700 point is great because you definitely can find solid bikes. If you think you may grow into the sport, I would recommend a big brand like Trek/Specialized/Cannondale as they have better name recognition and will have better resale value if you decide to upgrade in a couple of years. Most importantly, find a bike you like to be on!
 

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I would take a serious look at the Jamis line up. I had a cross country 2.0 for three years (riding 365 days; commuting, trail riding, rain, snow....) and I was very happy with the parts mix and overall value. As a (sort-of) newer brand you pay less for the name than you will with the bigger marks. (trek, specialized....)
 

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gary fisher marlin disc i think is the best bang for the buck at that price, full deore 9 speeds, avid bb5 disc brakes and a rock shox dart 2
 

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Giant leads the market in value, as far as I'm concerned. That comes from being the world's largest manufacturer of bicycles. BikesDirect leads the market in value for what could be considered "non-big name" brands. I wouldn't be surprised if Giant built the Motobecane bikes.

As far as mechanical over hydraulic discs, I'd take Avid mechanicals over any low-end hydraulics. Besides performance, there is a huge advantage when it comes to maintenance.
 

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I have a 2007 Iron Horse Warrior 6.0 for sale i can send you links...please let me know if I am breaking rules by posting this too
 
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