I know its not much at all but for now it'll have to do. I'd consider any rigid or hardtail from craigslist ebay dicks or costco. I'm not quite a beginner but not advanced either. I ride in Allaire park. What's the best bang for my buck? Bikes/brands to avoid? Thanks in advance!
I havent own any other bikes but I ride my friends gt hard tail, i think it was $350 it has 24sp rst shocks, and disk brakes. nice and very strong! also he has a gary fisher for about $400 with 24sp rox beginner shock and an older style brake. V brake I think its really old and a little to small for me but still its ok.
I had the same budget and went with a similar setup when I started. I bought a Trek 4500 with v-brakes (now sells for over $650:scared Make sure the frame, front fork and wheels are disc brake compatable - then buy some Avid BB-7 brakes when you have another $100. Brakes are very important and the lowest end mechanical disc brakes that come on starter bikes are just not worth the downgrade in other components.
I still ride this setup today, ran a few H2H races this year and can keep up with others on group rides...
I checked around a bit for some decent used hardtail bikes and this is what I found.
1995 cannondale f700 front susp w/lockout no disc brakes $350
TREK 4500 unsure of the year disk brake compatible $200
2008 specialized rockhopper disk $550
So far I'm leaning towards the cannondale. I've read great things about it. It was the most expensive when new at $1400. The specialized is too much cash at this point, but is it really much better then the others? The trek seems like a good price but I never rode one and hear mixed reviews.
then buy some Avid BB-7 brakes when you have another $100. Brakes are very important and the lowest end mechanical disc brakes that come on starter bikes are just not worth the downgrade in other components.