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the perfect old bike to get someone started

the perfect old bike to get someone started

I have my bike. I like it. When a prospective new player asks how much something like it would cost I get prepared to see them loose their shit. I'm somewhere in the middle as far as polo bikes cost. We've all seen a lot of entry level bikes tried out by now, what's good?
Some old bikes seem good. My second bike in polo is in the picture included. It's a Columbia 3-speed and gave me the drops I wanted and BB that worked with a crankset I liked. I thought an old steel frame (while heavy) would take a lot of impact, not so. I have been impressed by a lot of 90s mountain bikes.
My polo crew are affiliated with the local bike church/bike kitchen and old stuff is accessible, ridiculously accessible. They have about 150 bikes that they have nowhere to put. What old bikes have folks had good experiences with. What's good as is? What's ready for upgrades that bring it into it's own? We have a gig where we can setup a bike and take it home. We bring it to polo for newbies and if someone tries it and likes it they pay, dirt cheap, and we give the money to the organization.
What should we look for? I had good luck with a Univega, GT, Specialized Hard Rock , etc. Are there any old road bikes we can look for, any specific mountain bikes? Thanks y'all!

I used to play on a 90's Diamondback Response, and I loved it! Sturdy, steel, and the frame itself never gave me any problems. Any of the old rigid D-Back mountain bikes with canti/v-brake mounts should work well for the beginner.

Specialized Hard Rock 2002 and after have 1-1/8" forks, which make it easier to modify.

That said, I've become more convinced than ever that it's hard to beat a Scrambler with minimum modification as an intro bike. Plenty of room to grow, and later they can swap for a low rake fork like a DMR Trailblade or Gusset Jurl SL (both Disc).

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

yeah- in terms of what you'll find in a used bike pile, older pre-suspension fork mtbs seem to be optimal starter bikes: Durable, good brakes (with v-brake swap), less jackknife prone for the wobbly new players.

Thanks for the input. Interesting point about handling needs of new players being different anyway.

Apologies 1st off if this is posted in the wrong section but feels relevant.

i started playing polo a few months ago and im hooked. I was using a motobecane track up until a few days ago. I picked up a 1999 gt outpost trail off of craigslist stripped it down and have been building it back up to my liking. I have never ridden a 26er but im a bigger guy and i like to jump around.

id like to swap out the fork but cannot find geometry info for the bike anywhere online and i am not particularly well versed in bicycle geometry. My main goal is to shorten the wheel base and turn radius on the court. It also needs to be threadless. In its current state it has 26x1.95 tires. while clipped in there is about 2 inches of clearance before toe overlap will occur. if not for brake cable it can barspin and still has a bit more than and inch of clearance at the closest point.

Any help is much apreciated

Well it's not too badly off topic. We are experimenting with frame modification here in Davis, I have since I started polo, but my welding and machining skills are a sub par. Two guys here are a step up and will be building their own frames in the next few weeks. This still doesn't answer the newbie bike question however as the raw parts cost more than many players want to spend on a frameset.
The fork is obvoiusly a way to bump your bike up. We are working on a couple relatively easy ways to take the typical newby mtb and change the fork angle as well as other changes. As for buying a fork I'd just get something with a 30-35mm rake. I think the best you'll find for the money is Velo lucuma. I know some old ones failed, mine included, but I've yet to hear of that with the current model. If you don't run front brake that opens up more options but to me even if you dont now you might want to eventually...