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First Bike £250 - £450

scoobiedscoobied Posts: 6
edited August 2007 in MTB beginners
God knows there are enough of these threads but I'm totally and utterly confused - I am a complete and utter novice in regards to modern bikes but I discovered when I borrowed a bike to ride the new forest that I enjoy riding bikes. I've discovered trails/single track, and I may even commute to work on this at the moment mythical bike.
I'd like a hard tail. I'd like if possible disc brakes. I'd like it not to be easily broken! Sadly I'd also like it to have a black frame or at worst silver - I can't stand these garish things that remind me of shell suits. I'd prefer to avoid halfords! (Although the carrera fury is tempting despite the thread regarding tyre issues). Claud butler d 27 looks interesting but I'm willing to look at anything anyone suggests.
Finally I'm 6ft 2

Posts

  • nutcpnutcp Posts: 169
    Singlespeed. Yes, I know it seems like a totally silly idea. The duvet seemed like a silly idea when we were still all wasting time making beds 'hospital style' with crisply starched sheets and itchy wool blankets. The microwave was a silly idea when we heated soup in a pan. Digital cameras were a silly idea when we were all getting along fine with film. Singlespeed - believe me. This is the better way!

    Why singlespeed?
    Simple machine with no complex choices - just pedal and go
    Lower maintenance with nothing much to break or malfunction
    Lighter/better for the money
    The bike will actually last well
    Develops fitness and skills
    Provides a more rewarding experience
    It's actually no more difficult than gears - but dn't tell anyone because...
    Everyone thinks you're super fit when you ride one!
    You can get one together for a few quid - Google search for all the necessary info

    However, choosing singlespeed is an act (leap?) of faith - and that's the one thing inexperienced riders lack. Trust me, you'd be better as a relative novice on singlespeed. The majority will always follow the marketing men of the big brands - and they have no interest in selling you a cheap and longlasting bike that you'll never want to change, get bored with or need to upgrade.

    You could put together a perfectly good singlespeed bike well within your budget. It would provide you with unrivalled experiences and make you a much better rider. But, there is not the slightest chance that you will ever seriously consider this option!
    bikebore
  • scoobiedscoobied Posts: 6
    nutcp wrote:
    Singlespeed. Yes, I know it seems like a totally silly idea. The duvet seemed like a silly idea when we were still all wasting time making beds 'hospital style' with crisply starched sheets and itchy wool blankets. The microwave was a silly idea when we heated soup in a pan. Digital cameras were a silly idea when we were all getting along fine with film. Singlespeed - believe me. This is the better way!

    Why singlespeed?
    Simple machine with no complex choices - just pedal and go
    Lower maintenance with nothing much to break or malfunction
    Lighter/better for the money
    The bike will actually last well
    Develops fitness and skills
    Provides a more rewarding experience
    It's actually no more difficult than gears - but dn't tell anyone because...
    Everyone thinks you're super fit when you ride one!
    You can get one together for a few quid - Google search for all the necessary info

    However, choosing singlespeed is an act (leap?) of faith - and that's the one thing inexperienced riders lack. Trust me, you'd be better as a relative novice on singlespeed. The majority will always follow the marketing men of the big brands - and they have no interest in selling you a cheap and longlasting bike that you'll never want to change, get bored with or need to upgrade.

    You could put together a perfectly good singlespeed bike well within your budget. It would provide you with unrivalled experiences and make you a much better rider. But, there is not the slightest chance that you will ever seriously consider this option!


    I'm afraid you're right about not considering it - purely on the grounds that I'd have a coronary and snuff it on first section of uphill! and it'd be a shame to miss the rest of my life! - seriously though thanks for reading and giving a opinion - at least its a sincerely held one
    Gav
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think recommending singlespeed for a beginner is the wrong advice. Gears have a very useful function - they keep you within the right cadence range to tackle a variety of terrain efficiently. Newbies need to be broken in gently (!) with a bike that can cope with a variety of terrain with novice skill and fitness. They ARE more difficult than gears because they are less efficient - the weight penalty is more than made up for by the increased efficiency. Sure they have a placed for many riders, but I think not a beginner.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Oh, look at the top end of your budget! You start to see a component that makes a real difference off road - a damped fork. Some 400 quid models also come equipped with hydraulic discs too. Have a look at the GT Avalanche 2.0 - great frame, fork, discs and parts. Also the Trek 4500 and Genesis Altitude worth looking at. Lower down the price range is the Carrera Kraken and Mongoose Tyax Elite. All have good frames and forks, and can be upgraded as parts wear.
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    GT Avelanche will be hard to come by as Hotwheels have none. Giant Terrago, Gary Fisher Marlin (reviewed on this site, 8/10), Mongoose Tyax Super, Claude Butler D27 all worth considering
  • spineyspiney Posts: 17
    Like you i am a complete beginner but have just bought a Carrera Fury 07 and what a bike it seems to be. Also like you i am quite tall and even more so i weigh around 17 stone and have been off road a couple of times on quite challenging single track and the bike is still in one piece. the frame is good the forks are excellent with all the mod cons of locking, dampening and adjusting the travel etc. hydrolic front and rear brakes which will stop you on a sixpence! i also use it for commuting to work, a journey of around 15 miles which it is very easy to ride. the only problem is it was priced at the top end of the budget at £450 but it appears to be worth it. AND IT'S BLACK!!!
  • scoobiedscoobied Posts: 6
    I agree its looks pretty good - also going to see a claud butler d27 today - at £439 so we shall see - my only reservation re carrera has been the service at halfords as they haven't got one and can't get one in for me to try!
  • dcp1975dcp1975 Posts: 739
    Spiney you got any pics of your Fury??
  • spineyspiney Posts: 17
    I will see what i can do, i will try to get some in here tomorrow.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Check out the focus range on www.wiggle.co.uk. Nice frames & specs and reasonably priced. Focus bikes always get good reviews. Other decent quality and value brands are Trek & Giant.

    If you are a novice I'd avoid single speed & full suspension. I'd go for a hardtail - front suspension only. Disc brakes are good if you can run to it. I'd avoid halfords and either visit a local bike shop or shop on-line.

    Good luck.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
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