Many riders opt to purchase a complete bike with a good frame and update / replace cheaper parts as they go. Others buy a frame and build there dream bike. In most cases you will spend a lot more on building your own bicycle, but of course it will have everything on it you want. If you know what you want? Some experience riding may be necessary to gain enough experience to know what is good, and what is junk.
I say first shop for deals on a bike that is exactly, or close to what you want. If you ride super hard you will only have the bike for 3-5 years. It is worth it to buy up, and never cop out on the suspension. Cheap suspension is worthless, and will have to be upgraded anyways in the future. Don’t do that to yourself, right out of the gate get good suspension. At least rebound. Compression is a bonus, and you don’t need a lockout if your not racing. Recreational riders will find their rides to be much more comfortable with only a very minor, minor loss of motion/energy climbing with their forks unlocked. Over super rocky climbs, it is best to be unlocked anyways.
Buying used is a bit dangerous with the fatigue bikes take on dirt. If you give me a bike, I will most likely break it in a couple years. I ride hard, and am very careful about my used purchases. Buy new if you can. Your life is on the line, and I am sure you think your worth it.
XC-MountainBike.com has created the best XC Mountain Bike Buyer’s Guide for Men, Ladies and Clydesdales. If you act fast you can get an XC race bike many levels up for your budget in hand.
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