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Help me shortlist please?

griffmangriffman Posts: 5
edited August 2008 in MTB buying advice
Hi there,

I have the opportunity to get a new mountain bike through a bike to work scheme. I'm 37 and its been 15 years since I have done any mountain biking (nothing hardcore!) so I feel pretty much like a newbie! The choice seems overwhelming and I'm really struggling to shortlist some bikes that would be sutiable for my needs.

I want a good moutain bike that will do a bit of everything (offroad only) and I willing to spend up to £1000. I could see myself getting into some xc' style riding (again nothing hardcore) so want to make sure I try and cover this base.

Also I would really like to use a certain lbs as they are really good but they only stock (of any note) Marin, Kona and Genesis in the sub £1000 bracket. Also will I really notice the difference bewteen a steel bike and aluminium one? I'm happy with a hardtail and at this 'paper' stage of shortlisting at this lbs I been looking at the

Marin Nail Trail
Marin Rocky Ridge
Genesis Altitude 10
Kona Kula (or maybe Caldera)

I'm really keen to use this bike shop so what do people think of these models. I know I need to actually test but are these bikes suitable for my needs. I also know stock will play a factor and I might need to wait for new year models (and cough uo extra dosh!)

The other bike I think might be sutiable is Specialized Rockhopper but this woulkd mean going to a different bikeshop.

What do people think of these bikes? I'm happy to take other suggestions but I will have to buy through cyclescheme and a lbs and I can spend up a grand?



  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    The genesis has quite a poor spec for the money. I'd not bother with it myself, the forks are very poor for a £800 bike.

    Marin Nail Trail isn't that well specced and neither are either of the Kona's

    Out of your list I'd go for the Marin Rocky Ridge, best spec on paper plus great reviews.
  • griffmangriffman Posts: 5
    Thanks Andy.

    Rocky Ridge does look good but probably no 2008 stock about. Also it is the most expensive and 2009 model will probably push the budget to £1100. I'll scrub the genesis but would I notice the lower spec of the kona?

    Also is the rockhopper worth a look?
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Rockhopper Pro? Pretty good bit of kit, better than the Kona Kula (in my opinion), much better fork than the one on the Caldera. Although the Marin (if available) would be my choice, unless it felt awful on a test ride.
  • Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
    I must beg to differ Andy, The Altitude looks a good-specced bike (for £800) to me.

    But I'd go back to the shop and try to talk them into giving you the Altitude 20 for the £1,000 scheme limit. Or if not just stump the extra up yourself.

    I'm taking a guess you're the type of man who'd appreciate a good steel frame.

    If you like and trust the shop you really should stick with them.
  • I don't have the experience to know whether I would appreciate a steel frame. On paper I know the pro's and con's but in reality I don't have a clue.

    I have only ever owned one mountain bike! In 1991 I bought a cinder cone (which is steel I think) which I never really used that much. I still have it and recently got back on the road after 15years in the garage! It probably should be in a museum but it is in good nick. I'm using it to as road/commute/canal path etc bike and it is really good and at least it is getting a bit of use now.

    Will I notice any difference in a test at the bike shop? I guess from my limited experience probably not.
  • Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
    Well at the price level you're looking steel and alu frames will both be good quality.

    I just thought you'd probably have had a steel bike before - and some mature riders (like me) still prefer a steel hardtail for the extra "give" it offers. Easier on my back.

    In my opinion one of the Genesis bikes would make a good all rounder for you. The Marins and Konas are good bikes too of course, although you're faced with a choice between "XC race" and "hardcore" with the Marins.

    I haven't ridden any of the bikes you mention, btw, have just read about them.

    DId you get useful advice from the bike shop?
  • I've only been once to the shop (recently) and had my 4 year daughter with me so it was only a 20min visit.

    I just want to be clear what sort of bike I need before I talk to them. I'd rather be clear myself other than totally rely on the bike shop. I'm open to their advice but there is nothing like being prepared! Bike shop is good though, it offers free servicing checks, and will replace parts of a new bike if you find them not sutiable. My mate had his new bike serviced there and they accidently put a small scratch on it and they replaced the bike just like that!

    Do you think there are xc bikes that will do an 'all rounder' job for me?. It seems as you go up the price scale you forced to make decisions around what type of bike you want.
  • RhysDRhysD Posts: 105
    buying from the right shop is often overlooked IMHO, so i think you are doing the right thing sticking with them.

    what about the Genesis Core 40? ... 0-08-30985

    would probably be my choice, in your situation. adjustable fork means very versatile. Light for a long travel hardtail, and looks to be a good allrounder.
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