Anything 7 or 21 spd. Infact, here is a copy of my budget bike guide:
One of the most common questions from beginners on a budget is 'how much shall I spend' or 'what is the minimum I should be looking at'? The componentry levels on bikes are often confusing to many, where certain parts can look very similar from one to another but yet can have a big impact on performance and longevity. The most important factor is fit and comfort which is where testing comes in, but this does not always give a full picture of the bike and how it may last.
I think for general mountain biking, the following features should be considered: (aimed at buyers spending less than 250 quid)
- Alloy hardtail frame. Full suspension at the lower end of the market (sub 300 and even upto 500 quid) is heavily compromised. Its very heavy, undamped, poor bearings and pulls down the spec elsewhere. Steel frames at this level are often mild steel and are 2 or 3 pounds heavier than an alloy frame.
- Suspension fork with alloy crown and one piece lowers. Cheap pressed steel lowers and crowns flex badly. Preload adjusters are a good feature to help set sag and ride height for differing weights.
- Compact crankset (42/32/22). Many entry level bikes have larger chainrings (48/38/2 from cheaper groupsets. This doesn't allow a very low gear and is often over geared for the terrain a MTB will be used on. Replacable chainrings are a bonus.
- 8 speed freehub. 8 gears from a cassette and freehub gives a better spread than some 7spd screw on freewheels, often 11-32 teeth rather than 14-28. Also this allows the bearings to be spaced further in the hub, allowing a stronger rear wheel/axle. Shimano make the best budget 8 speed set ups.
- Cartridge bottom bracket. Old adjustable cup and cone bottom brackets are poorly sealed and are prone to coming loose.
- 32 or 36 spoked wheels. Lots of beginners MTBs are coming with fancy 'paired' spokes, or 24 bladed ones, purely for looks. They use heavy rims, are poorly constructed and are not worth it compared to standard wheels. Look for stainless spokes if possible, and sealed alloy hubs with quick release axles.
- Alloy components. If possible, ask about the seatpost and bars. Alloy units save some weight, and are more comfortable.
- Brakes and levers. Make sure the levers aren't plastic as they flex badly. Cable disc brakes stop better in the wet but usually add cost. Don't go for discs over other essential features.
- Aheadset or threadless headset. Much better bearings and more reliable than the older quill stem and threaded headset.
Many bikes for 200 pounds now have all these features! Don't be afraid to ask for a saddle swap if they are uncomfortable, and enquire about the quality of the tyres..
Thought i'd post this question in here instead of making a new thread.
I'm stuck deciding between the Merida Matts trail 350-D or the Commencal Combi Disc.
Merida has better Forks but the Commencal is cheaper!!
Leaning towards the Merida just now.
Could I add the 2007 Merida SUB 40D to the list. I know they make the frames for Specialized, but are the rest of the kit good enough?
...and who are Python?!?http://www.factorydirectbikes.com/bikes ... t_dd_27sp/
If you plan to upgrade overtime, then getting a bike with the better frame is the best idea. Cannodale generally have superb frames, but it is hard to compare them sometimes. Personally I'd say the Dale was better!
If you plan to get a bike, and just ride it, no upgrading, then you want the best all round bike, and one that feels the best.
Are these 09 bikes you are looking at?For 08 the Scott has hydros, better than the Vs found on the Dale.
Grenno: both excellent bikes with great components. Test them out, see what feels best, value wise both very good.
One more question (if you don;t mind) Anything else in the same price range that matches specs of the rockhopper that you would recommend ?
Still undecided as to whether to get a new bike or a 2nd car - hehe