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Author Topic: Mountain Bike for Hunting  (Read 4832 times)

Offline ElkTipper

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Mountain Bike for Hunting
« on: December 16, 2008, 01:32:04 PM »
I need help from you fellow hunters who utilize mountain bikes when hunting.  What should I look for in a bike?  Brand names?  Any favorite bike that works best?  Don't want to spend much more than about $500 and hope to buy a new one because I am not the trade in and up type person.  I buy and never get rid of.  Heck I have been married for over 20 years to my best friend/wife, never thought of trading her in.  Any help/knowledge on a good bike would be helpful.  Thanks in advance.

Offline rasbo

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 01:35:43 PM »
I need help from you fellow hunters who utilize mountain bikes when hunting.  What should I look for in a bike?  Brand names?  Any favorite bike that works best?  Don't want to spend much more than about $500 and hope to buy a new one because I am not the trade in and up type person.  I buy and never get rid of.  Heck I have been married for over 20 years to my best friend/wife, never thought of trading her in.  Any help/knowledge on a good bike would be helpful.  Thanks in advance.
I use the diamond back ,Ya need to go ride some I like this bike.I put the deer on it and push them out....

Offline HawkenBob

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 01:56:14 PM »
Some things to consider...
Rigid frames climb better and are more efficient to put miles behind. Suspension eats energy, especially climbing...for that price you'll hate full suspension. The good rear shocks cost over your budget. And if your heavy, you'll hate em if there not set up.

Lock out forks are a great feature as you can make them rigid quickly, while riding. When you need or want the cush its there, but when ya wanna just put miles behind you fast lock em out. Headed downhill? Turn em back on! Youll love the ease on your wrists and arms.

A cushy seat makes up for allot if your not used to the saddle time. It takes lots of time on a saddle to be able to be comfortable when using the sleek streamlined styles out today.

Just riding during the season will not do it for ya. Especially if you have a pack and what not...you have to train abit...

Decide if you need things like disc brakes, however, in your budget, if you do get disc's, they will be bottom line and not worth the extra over good rim brakes. With discs, you need disc specific hubs and forks too. So now your looking at very cheap (read low QA) hubs, and front shocks/forks and brakes.

If your heavy already cheap shocks will suk and you'll blow seals...

The thing that will be hard is getting a new package for that price that has good quality parts, built on a solid foundation.

Im into bikes and watch the craigs all the time for good deals.

If I was you Id opt for a used. you'll get waaaay more for the 550. I have 1600 into my rigid and I see em all the time for 5 to 700 in my config.

There are soooo many that get bought, used once and sit....

If your between 6 foot and say 6'3" you should look to a 19" frame or so. This is a large.




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Offline huntnphool

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 04:42:52 PM »
Just my  :twocents:  We hiked for miles into gated areas before we brought the bikes and what took 2 hours to get into on foot got cut down to 25-30 minutes and the trip out was even faster going down hill. FWIW, I would start saving now and save a extra month or two and spend more like $750.00-$1000.00 unless you can find a killer deal on a used bike somewhere. Make sure you get disk brakes and front shocks.
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Offline huntnphool

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 04:44:16 PM »
one more
The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first!

Offline ElkTipper

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 05:06:44 PM »
I weigh about 165 soaking wet, with cellphone, wallet and two days worth of meals intact. I am 5' 11" with long legs.  Are there any particular branded models that I should look seriously at.  When I was out elk hunting a few weeks ago some guy swore that the "Mongoose" is the bike to buy.  Not knowing what a "Mongoose" is my hunting buddy knew just enough to say I might want to spend a little more money.  I hear that a padded seat and big peddles for the boots are important?  I like the idea of spending as much up front as possible because I want to do it right the first time.  Keep the comments coming as I really appreciate it.   :)

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 05:16:06 PM »
Well having just put well over 100 miles on a bike hunting I think I am speaking from experience. A padded seat is critical!!!! After miles and miles of up hill climbing the only thing my body hurt from was the seat.

 I used my brothers bike, he will have to pipe up and give the brand as I dont remember. When he came out with me he rode my brother-in-laws mountain bike that had front and rear shocks and it seemed like the rear shock took some of the torque out of his peddling and was a bit more difficult than his, which only has shocks in the front.

 M-Ray and WF70's bikes had normal pad brakes and they squealed a bit, plus when they got wet they didn't work quite as they should have. I recommend the disk brakes, they worked flawlessly.
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Offline Kain

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 06:20:32 PM »
I went with the Mongoose full suspension myself and upgraded the seat. About $500 at Walmart.  Put lots of miles on it and had no problems.  While it is true that the rear suspension eats some energy up hills it more than makes up for it down hill.  As you can see in the pictures I have the thing loaded down and I weight 190lbs.  My old rigid frame would jump all over the place coming down hills with any kind of speed. 




I would suggest you get dual disk brakes.  Definitely a padded seat.  Buy used or buy from Walmart (or similar).  Stay away from bike shops they are way to expensive for anything.  Those kids carts can hold way more than their stated max load.

Walmart no longer has the bike I bought from them but here is similar one. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5585811  If you go with a rigid frame you can get a better bike for the money (better shifters, brakes, ect.). 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:01:33 PM by Kain »

Offline wf70gonehunting

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 06:36:44 PM »
I have a Trec 6000 with disc brakes and front shock. ;) I payed 850 for it. It a really good bike. take a look at one. You might like it. :chuckle:

Offline Charlie

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 06:52:19 PM »
Damn Kain, you got the setup!!
"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail"

Offline Kain

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« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:05:54 PM by Kain »

Offline KillBilly

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 06:54:59 PM »
Watch out,  those guys from the Long shot thread will be over here claiming yur cheating for not walking :chuckle: :chuckle:
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Offline Kain

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 07:28:37 PM »
Some more advice I have is to dress as light as you can while riding into your hunting grounds.  You dont want to get your camo all stinky and you will definitely sweat you butt off.  If you are going in for a few days getting "swamp ass" on the ride in will make you miserable.  Bring the baby wipes (the flushable kind).

Training and conditioning is a must.  Higher altitudes, loaded packs and hills on gravel roads will kill you!  :chuckle:  You dont want to be stuck in your tent trying to recover from the ride in.  Bananas help with cramping.  Lots of water of course (it is worth packing the weight).  I pack in powdered Gatorade or Powerade and mix it with my water, it helped my family and me.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:58:36 PM by Kain »

Offline HawkenBob

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 07:18:08 AM »
The brand dosent matter too much. Its whats on it.
Aluminum rigids are the best for climbing. They have the flex in the frame thats perfect for transfer. Aluminum is light too.

Chrome moly is very rigid and dosent have the flex. With the added weight, I really see no benifits unless your gonna seriously pound the crap out of it. Most older bikes are made of chrome moly.

So the brand is only the frame, and in some cases components. Tires, hubs, bars, stems ect. But the components that really matter are the drive train parts. Breaks ect.

Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, Gary Fisher, Kona, Santa Cruz, Iron horse and the list goes on. Only the high end bikes will have the high quality components.

IMO, shifters, derailers, chains, crank sets, bottom brackets ect should be quality. Shimano and Sram are the tops. And almost all high end bikes have these components stock.
Disc breaks should be Avid's, Shimano or Hay's.

Then look at the manufactures websites for the components. There is a whole line for mtb's that get better as you go up. The better the cranks, the stiffer and more efficient they will move you. a splined Bottom bracket will last compared to the square drive economical or older style. You would notice this too if you rode the bikes for a comparison.

You can have 6" mechanical disc's, hydrolic, 8" and on and on. 6" mechanical avids are standard for the lowest end MTB's found in the 600 too 1000 range usaully.

And think about this, Discs stop at the center of the wheel. Rim breaks slow at the outer wheel. Discs are really hard on spokes, rims and hubs as your weight works against them straining the crap out of them under hard breaking. Especially if towing. So the better wheelset the bike has the better. Quality spokes, hubs, breaks wont be found at the big stores. as well you'll have the lowest grade shifting possible. You will need more tune up's and your shifting will not be as smooth as it could. It may jump easily and often.

Im not nocking Mongoose or any other line sold at Walmart, Kmart ect. But there not the Mongoose I rode back in the BMX days. They have been taken over by Pacific I  and are now manufactured for mass dist. and low cost. Like a Huffy or Murry. The parts are very budget, Even Shimano makes parts on par for these grade bikes. A good set of fronts shocks cost between 350 and 750 bucks. Most 1000 dollar bikes have a 350 dollar minimum set on them. Rock shocks, Manitou's, answer racing are three of the top manf's.


I could see were rear suspension would be good for a downhill accent with a trailer too. But the cost for a low end, decent full suspension with quality components will start at 800 bucks on sale.

With your weight, and if your only going to ride it during hunting season anything will make due probably.

As far as seats. Peoples butts hurt because there not used to it. A big wide seat can be comfy for your ass but is terrible for efficient riding. Especially if your seat height is correct. Most who dont really know ride too low and bull legged. This makes up for the wide seat but you lose so much power.

Im only writing all this so you can compare and see for yourself or anyone else looking to buy a quality bike.

When you show me a Cannondale, Specialised ect at Walmart then you can say the shops are expensive. Lol

The bikes are expensive, the shops are very competitive! They will also custom fit and adjust it for you specically. I know this, I wouldent want to be bombing down a mountain at 30 to 40 mph on a bike put together by a guy at Walmart who has no idea how to adjust them correctly.
There is no personal service or service after or during the sale. You'll end up taking it too a bike shop sooner or later...






« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 07:24:55 AM by HawkenBob »
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Offline HawkenBob

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 07:49:17 AM »
http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bik/961269722.html

Heres a great deal on a bad ass bike! This is a 2000 dollar bike. They dont come with Thompson stuff stock. Hydro breaks are top of the line. Its got a 700 dollar fork.

he mavic crossmax also has a straight pull spoke. Very high end and really strong...

XT components are the top of the line for Shimano MTB components. This bike would last a lifetime and stay in tune very well.
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Offline HawkenBob

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2008, 08:05:17 AM »
No, of coarse not. Thats what I put in the previous post. Why not be informed though?

He wants to spend 500. I bet you could get that bike for 600.

Would you buy a 300 dollar new rifle when you could get a weatherby mark 5 for 500? Not saying a weatherby would sell that cheap but this is the same kind of deal. Guns hold value, bikes dont nearly as much...hense, you can get some serious steals.

Believe me. There are 1000 dollar bikes going for 500 or less on Craigs too!

To each his own, I ride most of the year. And now he has a good knowledge of what to expect. He asked, he got a good scoop on bikes.

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Offline rasbo

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2008, 08:06:47 AM »
Dont worry bout the fancy stuff,Rob a friend of mine races down hill on those expensive ones,he spends a ton of money on bikes..he told me to go with the bike I picked out for what Im doing.Got mine at GI joes.Just make sure the bike fits ya,and have fun....Besides if it gets ripped off your not out much.I guess what Im saying is stay in your budget you will enjoy it more

Offline Kain

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2008, 10:14:30 AM »
Dont worry bout the fancy stuff,Rob a friend of mine races down hill on those expensive ones,he spends a ton of money on bikes..he told me to go with the bike I picked out for what Im doing.Got mine at GI joes.Just make sure the bike fits ya,and have fun....Besides if it gets ripped off your not out much.I guess what Im saying is stay in your budget you will enjoy it more


The components the other guys are talking about are better but the price goes up way faster than the quality.  The 6" mechanical Pro Max brakes that come on the Walmart special will never fail you, nor will the wheels, unless you are doing something really crazy.  :chuckle: I would buy as much bike as your budget will allow.  The shifters and derailers are the most important but you could buy http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5585811 or http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8399258 then go have the best shifters and derailers on the market installed and still spend far less than one of those name brand bikes.   But the Shimano a SRAM that it comes with are very good already.  I had to tune them a little but have had no problems at all after a full season of  very hard use. 

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2008, 03:52:35 PM »
The thing is, do you really need a $700 bike to ride down some dirt roads to access your hunting areas?  I myself wouldn't drop that much on a bicycle for hunting.

Its about comfort and ease of operation for me and the cheap bikes would have made the work a bit harder. I could drive a Yugo to get me around but I spend a little more money and get the comfort of a nicer ride :twocents:
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Offline deaddog

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2008, 04:28:55 PM »
Watch out,  those guys from the Long shot thread will be over here claiming yur cheating for not walking :chuckle: :chuckle:
:yike: :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:
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Offline PA BEN

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2008, 04:44:15 PM »
Don't go to Wal-Mart to buy a bike. Go to a bike shop. Spend at least 400.00 for a bike. Get a bike with a front shock, or front and rear, at least one with a front shock. A good fat seat with springs. I purchased a game cart and ridged it to my bike. Took out a moose in two trips. A mile from my truck. It was a heavy load, if it was farther I would have made more trips. 482 lb's of meat and the head and cape.





Offline ElkTipper

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2008, 10:24:33 AM »
WOW! I really appreciate all the input and what appears to be solid infield expertise.  I am in digest mode right now.  I have a question for you PA BEN (if you are still following this thread), what is the brand name of your Specialized bike and where can a person pickup one of those game haulers (or is that homemade)?  Kain, have you used that kid trailer (is that what you call it) to haul an animal out?  What have you found to be the maximum load for that trailer/cart?  Thanks again for all the good info and if you have any further input it will be appreciated.   ;)

Offline KillBilly

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2008, 10:30:16 AM »
Here is what I use when I use one. I own 2 of them and like them. they are not large but will sure get you packed in for a couple night stay. 

http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/trailer.php?product_id=10

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Offline WonkyWapiti

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2008, 12:39:42 PM »
Wow PaBen that is one helluva load.

Offline Kain

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Re: Mountain Bike for Hunting
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2008, 01:25:49 PM »
WOW! I really appreciate all the input and what appears to be solid infield expertise.  I am in digest mode right now.  I have a question for you PA BEN (if you are still following this thread), what is the brand name of your Specialized bike and where can a person pickup one of those game haulers (or is that homemade)?  Kain, have you used that kid trailer (is that what you call it) to haul an animal out?  What have you found to be the maximum load for that trailer/cart?  Thanks again for all the good info and if you have any further input it will be appreciated.   ;)

I didnt weigh the load but I would guess I have around 75lbs in it.  That is about my limit not the carts.   :chuckle: I think the safety limit is 100lbs but I think that is for kids safety not the actual limit of the cart.  If you look close you can see the bloody arrow in my quiver.  We had already hauled my deer out and returned for the gear.  It was getting hot and we had to get out fast.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 01:44:40 PM by Kain »

 



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