First MTB - decision time

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First MTB - decision time

Postby Andy81 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 07:39 am

I'm in the process of deciding which MTB to go for. Unfortunately I have to use Halfords to get the benefits of the Bikes4Work scheme, however I've narrowed it down to 3 models:

Saracen Mantra 1
Carrera Vulcan
GT Aggressor XC3

Being a beginner, I'm not up to speed on the merits of technical spec, so any advice would be most welcome. Price wise, they're all priced within around £10 of each other, so nothing to differentiate between them there.



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Postby ukcraigb » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:15 am

I think I'm slowly turning into SuperSonic, but anyways, try them all and buy the one you like the most would be my advice.

And just to throw a spaner into the works I *think* (from reading other posts on the forum) halfords can order any bike in that you want for the Ride to Work thingy.

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Postby passout » Wed Aug 08, 2007 15:21 pm

GT are good value & ride well. Spend as much as you can - ideally over £400.

Get it seviced at a local bike shop when necessary.

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Postby supersonic » Wed Aug 08, 2007 15:40 pm

I'd avoid the Mantra, its a budget hardcore type thingy and weighs a good 6lbs more than the others.

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Postby Andy81 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 07:01 am

Having originally been looking at the bikes listed above, I popped into Halfords over the weekend adn realised that for an extra £20-30ish I could get an Aggressor XC2 or Carrera Kraken (both using the bikes for work scheme).

Obviously these two are better than the bikes I was originally looking at, the question is, as they would come to within £10 of each other, which is the better specced? I still have to pop down and try them, but knowing beforehand which is the better bike on paper would help.

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Postby Mrs Toast » Mon Aug 13, 2007 09:23 am

Evans do the Ride2Work scheme, not sure if that's the same thing. ... 32.tomcat1

Unfortunately the HR department in the company I work for can't be arsed to sort it out, they were asked about it a few months ago, and said they couldn't get it sorted until next year! :(

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Postby dan1983 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 09:57 am

I'm no expert and others might be able to advise better (which they're seemingly ignoring your request to do) but the bikes seems similar spec, but i think the GT is slightly better. If it was me i'd go for that one.

What do others think?

the Halfords web site doesnt appear to be the best as far as listing the spec is concerned.

But, once you try them you might prefer one over the other anyway.

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Postby hal899 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 23:59 pm

Get the GT XC3 its well worth the extra cash over the other two! The wheels are stronger and better built than on the other two, also the shimano gears are more reliable than the sram found on the Vulcan........ i have sold hundreds of GTs, Carreras Saracens, Konas and the GTs........ Konas are the most reliable by far. We get less buckled wheels (built properly and have decent stainless spokes) also very few gear / brake problems - Shimano dont use as much plastic, and generally shift better Sram. Sram is generally more flimsy until you get up to X7 and above.

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Postby Big n Daft » Thu Aug 16, 2007 07:04 am


I'd buy the Kraken over the XC3 any day of the week, why? The kraken has a far better fork, which comes with rebound damping and lock out, a massive plus for any type of 'serious' riding. In fact putting both the specs together, i'd say the Carrera has the edge in just about every way.

The XC2 has a dart 2 which is damped, so would probably be a better choice than the XC3, i'd say this about matches the kraken for spec.

Kona's are nice frames, however unless your going to spend well over your budget, you'll get a better spec with other manufacturers.

The most important thing is to get a bike that suits you and your riding style, geometry is king. Always try before you buy.

The old saying rules, don't buy a name just because its a name.
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~H.G. Wells ... 3Small.jpg

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Postby supersonic » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:39 am

Funny that, I have sold 100s too, and Konas come back most because they are simply awfully specced compared to the opposition. And you should be tensioning the wheels on bikes you sell anyway! However i do agree about budget SRAM, but the Krakens 9spd is a little better, and a damped fork is pretty much essential if you want to go off road. MBUK said it rode like an 800 quid bike.

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Postby RichK » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:39 am

supersonic wrote:I'd avoid the Mantra, its a budget hardcore type thingy and weighs a good 6lbs more than the others.

I'd agree with that & I've got one...

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Postby WillGTJumper » Mon Aug 20, 2007 13:45 pm

I had an Aggressor XC2 extremly light bike for the money, fork realitvly weak

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