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Beginner - cheap or expensive hard tail?

MilkieMilkie Posts: 377
edited September 2008 in MTB buying advice
The more expensive the bike, the more expensive the running costs/replacement parts. :(


If you're new to mountain biking, you might want to spend a little money on some kit.. Shorts, top, spare inner tube, pump, bag/camelbak... The list goes on and on! :D

Posts

  • NodnolNodnol Posts: 168
    Bare in mind there will be a 10-15% increase on prices for the same spec next year, and considering that most places have sales on at the moment, now is a good time to buy.
  • johnsavjohnsav Posts: 775
    yeah 08 sales are the way forward if your looking to buy!

    as said above though, do budget for some equipment as well.
  • johnsavjohnsav Posts: 775
    best thing you can do is go and try some models mate
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    As a very vert rough guide to price I would say:

    Under £400 - it's going to be pretty heavy, pretty basic and is unlikely to have hydraulic disk. Avoid mechanicals and go for V brakes. The fork will be very basic and probably a bit annoying.

    Under £600 - better speccing is now open to you and although the bike won't be a lot lighter than a £400 one, the fork should be okay and it will probably have reasonable brakes. Finishing kit will be pretty basic but functional.

    Under £800 - better brakes and better specced drivetrain will change gear more smoothly and should last longer. The fork and brakes will be pretty good and some nice "finishing" kit should appear - saddle, bars, stem, etc. Weight will start to dip well under cheaper bikes.

    Under £1000 - starting to get good spec kit and the bike should be pretty light. Stuff will last well if looked after and brakes will be good.

    £1000-1500 - probably all the bike (if hardtail) you will ever need - it will be light, have great spec kit and a nice fork.

    Over £1500 - improvements get smaller and smaller - might be a bit lighter and have higher spec kit but you're unlikely to need it. At this price weight gets low enough to raise questions on durability.

    I'm sure plenty will disagree though!
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,331
    If it's your "first" mtb, then IMHO to spend more than say 400 new (better would be 300 2nd hand, but maybe you don't feel you have sufficient tech know how to take this route?) is not entirely sensible nor necessary. Mainly because you won't really know *what* you are looking for in a bike before you try a fair bit a (varied) riding. The depreciation hit will be getting on for 33% as you leave the shop! And a thiird of 400 hurts a lot less than a third of 800!!
    As for what to expect by way of forks/discs etc, nothing to add to above guide!
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    With most MTBs the law of diminishing returns strongly applies and for a given price point, the differences are marginal.

    Take a look at the other bikes in a manufacturer's range that use the same frame. Sometimes only the top one or two bikes in the range are actually worth buying, the others are specced-down relations that sell off the back of the better bike(s).

    If you can find a frame in your price range that has some poor relations, chances are it'll be the one to get.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I'd spent 400-500 on a bike and save the rest for kit such as Multi-tool, Helmet, gloves, camelback, track pump, hand pump, suspension pump, basic lights/LEDs, shoes, waterproof socks (for winter), a waterproof top, a couple of jerseys, long bib tights and a couple of pairs of short.......to start with. I reckon the kit will cost you around £300-400 if you are sensible. You may also want to personalize the bike a bit - SPDs, grips, tyres, saddle etc. That will cost too!
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • In that same vein, Merida make the frames for Specialized, and you can get a fair spec'd model with good frame ready for upgrade for only £400 ish.
    Newbie with a Felt Q720

    A day where you don't learn something is a waste...
  • I'm certainly don't have the wide range of experience as others on here but I have to heartily recommend my Rockrider 6.3 from Decathlon.

    After a month, 200 miles of daily use in some appalling conditions mostly off road with my cack handed approach at riding it has coped brilliantly.

    Only after riding what was once a dry stream bed up to the hubs in running water did I get a slight creak from crank.

    A trip to Decathlon resulted it a little tweaking and the assurance that if there are any other problems it'll be stripped down and anything that needs replacing will be swapped.

    Five year frame and two year parts warranty is really worth having especially when the staff in store are so helpful and the pretty girls have French accents.

    Best £350 I've ever spent, I realise it's a full susser but it's my two peneth anyhow.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    passout wrote:
    I'd spent 400-500 on a bike and save the rest for kit such as Multi-tool, Helmet, gloves, camelback, track pump, hand pump, suspension pump, basic lights/LEDs, shoes, waterproof socks (for winter), a waterproof top, a couple of jerseys, long bib tights and a couple of pairs of short.......to start with. I reckon the kit will cost you around £300-400 if you are sensible. You may also want to personalize the bike a bit - SPDs, grips, tyres, saddle etc. That will cost too!

    That is a really good point about the money for kit besides the bike... it is surprising how it mounts up. As you will be getting the bike just coming up to winter, the worst thing would be not to be prepared for the colder weather... then, no matter what bike you got you wouldn't get out and ride it... it just sits in the garage feeling lonely and unloved. If you're prepared, autumn / winter is the best time to ride as there are less hikers / dogs / morons on the trails.
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • Some pretty useful info on here, has helped me put some things in perspective anyway. :D
    Welcome, to my bonesaw!
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    There's another golden rule- if you start out on something good, you'll never appreciate it fully. I've just stepped up from an antique carrera rigid MTB to an almost-new Carrera Kraken (a bike you should consider btw, wee bit heavy but good spec) and it feels absolutely amazing to me. Now, if you start with a great bike, it'll never have that "so much better than the old one" feeling. As long as you don't get something horrendous that'll hold you back, I think there's a lot to be said for the cheaper end of the market. And if you really get into it, recent bikes in good condition do hold value quite well.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • There is a lot of great advice on here from some obviously very experienced and knowledgeable people.

    The only thing that I would like to throw into the mix is the idea of purchasing a bike which has high quality frame and lesser quality components as you can then upgrade and modify the bike to suit your riding style as your riding improves.

    It’s just a thought, but no matter what you decided to buy, just ride and enjoy it.
    Cube Sting SCR (custom build)
    Spesh allez (factory build)
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    A16UYF wrote:
    There is a lot of great advice on here from some obviously very experienced and knowledgeable people.

    The only thing that I would like to throw into the mix is the idea of purchasing a bike which has high quality frame and lesser quality components as you can then upgrade and modify the bike to suit your riding style as your riding improves.

    It’s just a thought, but no matter what you decided to buy, just ride and enjoy it.

    Good point. That's one approach if you are able to afford such a bike AND the kit. But you could get a cheaper one and when you get a better bike (later), keep the first bike as a commuter/tourer and put road tyres & rack on it.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    Remember as well that the avalanche 1.0., 2.0 and 3.0 all share the exact same frame..(I think....others please correct if wrong.)

    Well worth getting the 2.0 and then replace the drivetrain/fork as and when they wear out!

    This is the same for most companies.....the difference between the model range is the finishing kit.....

    So you can get yourself up and running without sellling the farm, and then upgrade over time!

    See you on the trails!
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • There's another golden rule- if you start out on something good, you'll never appreciate it fully. I've just stepped up from an antique carrera rigid MTB to an almost-new Carrera Kraken (a bike you should consider btw, wee bit heavy but good spec) and it feels absolutely amazing to me. Now, if you start with a great bike, it'll never have that "so much better than the old one" feeling. As long as you don't get something horrendous that'll hold you back, I think there's a lot to be said for the cheaper end of the market. And if you really get into it, recent bikes in good condition do hold value quite well.

    Lot of sense in what's said above - my first 'proper' MTB was a 2005 Carerra Kraken (which was loads better than the £99 heavy steel fullsusser I had mistakenly purchased a few years before, when I wasn't into biking and was more ignorant than I am now!) :wink:

    When it (the Kraken) got pinched from the garage last year, I got a slight upgrade to a Giant Terrago Disc ... two years extra technology and £75 increase in price made a subtle, but very noticeable, increase in the enjoyment of the bike. A year on, I've upgraded the forks from suntours (which were basic - they can be OK, but most bikes around the £300 - £450 range have suntours of some variety, and IMO the quality can be patchy ... mine stopped working in the wet!!) to Marzocchi's which has been a great upgrade. Trouble is, I can think of a number of other areas I'd like to upgrade too - the wheelset being one of them - and to make this worthwhile, would probably cost me in the region of another £150 - £200. Therefore, my original bike value (£425) + upgraded forks (£160) + upgraded wheels (£200) will make my bike a £785 bike, and I suspect that had I spent that at the outset, I would have got, overall, a better bike??

    I think it depends on how likely you are going to get into ... and increase ... your riding. If you're not convinced you will, stick at something around the £350 - £450 mark, (which still gives you plenty of fun + upgrade options if you want), but if you're convinved you're likely to get into it, and can afford it, £800 spent now (partiuclarly if you can get an 08 bike in a sale) will give you a better bike than a £400 bike plus selected upgrades ...
  • gthanggthang Posts: 293
    I think it depends on how likely you are going to get into ... and increase ... your riding. If you're not convinced you will, stick at something around the £350 - £450 mark, (which still gives you plenty of fun + upgrade options if you want), but if you're convinved you're likely to get into it, and can afford it, £800 spent now (partiuclarly if you can get an 08 bike in a sale) will give you a better bike than a £400 bike plus selected upgrades ...

    What he said
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