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Decathlon 5.2 Vs Carrera Vulcan

powder_monkeypowder_monkey Posts: 11
edited May 2009 in MTB beginners
Hi,

Sorry if this has already been answered, but Im new around here (and biking in general, to be honest).

I am in the market for a first MTB. I am looking for something that will be able to handle some fairly rough trails (blues, and reds when I have the experience) but nothing too intense. No frills but potential for upgrades. I am not looking to spend more that about £200 - £250. I just cant go any higher initially, tempting though it might be, as Im having a hard enough time getting the idea past Mrs powder_monkey as it is! As I say, upgrades will be in the pipeline when funds allow though.

I am seriously tempted by the Decathlon 5.2. For 200 notes it seems like an absolute bargain, and it gets good reviews too. However, the Carrera Vulcan (v brake version) is also tempting.

Can anyone give any kind of comparison between the two? I think that the Decathlon can be upgraded to disc brakes by replacing the hubs (or the whole wheels - advice please?), as the frame has mounting points, but can the same be said about the Carrera?

Any kind of advice or opinions would be very greatfully received!

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Both are very capable bikes for the money - good spec and weight, probably the best two entry level MTBs on the market.

    I am not sure either have disc mounts on the frame though. You would have to check with the retailer directly, unless someone knows for sure!
  • I hadn't been riding for a few years and was looking for a new commute/trail/light mountain bike and I went for a Decathlon 5.2 - had no complaints.

    I think it can be fitted up for disc brakes - one of the staff should be able to say for sure though - if you buy them at the same time they'll probably even fit them for you as well - (the one in sheffield fitted all my accesories for me without me having to ask) - all I would say is the shop couldn't get the rockrider mudgaurds to fit the rockrider bike :?

    For the money the mech, weight and suspension are pretty decent and it's a pretty decent looking bike
  • Hi,

    Glad to hear Im probably looking in the right direction. Much more reassuring than a certain other site that basically told me that if I couldnt spend over £500, or a bit less for an older bike that originally cost over £500 then I might as well forget it!

    According to the technical description, the Decathlon 5.2 claims to be 'disc brake compatible'. Im not sure what that means exectly, but Im fairly sure the supplied hubs wont take discs, so I assume it relates to the frame.

    Can I just change the hubs in order to fit discs, or do I need to change the entire wheel? Not a really big deal just now mind, but something to think about for the future. I would rather get a v-brake for now and put the difference towards some good quality hydraulic brakes rather than shell out for cable discs.

    I will see if my local Halfords has a Vulcan tonight, and head for Decathlon at the weekend so I can hopefully get the feel and fit of each.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Which other site?! You can get off road with a entry level bike for 200 quid no probs! OK the forks may not be the best, but they can be adjusted, and a upgrade can be got for 100 quid.

    If the frame is disc ready then it has the required mounts - but I think you may be correct about the wheels. Rebuilding with new hubs can be more expensive than two new wheels! Also if the brake levers are joined to the gear levers you will need new levers if going hydro.

    Would it be worth saving a bit more and getting the disc version to start? Will save you a lot of money if you need new wheels and shifters. Such as:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/EN/rockrider-5-3-34963817/

    That extra 100 quid gets you cable discs, the disc wheels, a better fork and 27 speed gearing. A bargain!
  • supersonic wrote:
    Which other site?! You can get off road with a entry level bike for 200 quid no probs! OK the forks may not be the best, but they can be adjusted, and a upgrade can be got for 100 quid.

    http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/beginners_mtb_faq.html
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Some of that guide is shocking. For a start Psylos haven't been made for 5 years!

    Here is a guide I put together a couple of years ago which still rings true today:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12534799

    I might update it and include some more info.
  • Thanks for your help supersonic, its very much appreciated. It looks like both bikes tick all the boxes in your guide (apart from plastic brake levers). It could be a case of riding them both and seeing which fits and feels the best.

    As for saving longer and buying one with discs, Im not sure I will be able to justify it to to t'wife start with. If the bug bites (and I save money by commuting by bike), Im sure I will be able to do so in due course. After all, parts wear out, and that might be a good excuse for a cheeky upgrade sometimes.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    As for saving longer and buying one with discs, Im not sure I will be able to justify it to to t'wife start with. If the bug bites (and I save money by commuting by bike), Im sure I will be able to do so in due course. After all, parts wear out, and that might be a good excuse for a cheeky upgrade sometimes.

    given the above, I'd say buy the one that fits you best - and don't upgrade it. Put the upgrade money to one side, if you get the bug you can put it towards a new bike, and if you don't get the use out of it then you've got the money saved to do something else with
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    "What are the best forks" "Almost anything by Marzocchi" :lol:

    I've never met the Decathlon, but there's a feller who's constantly out razzing his Vulcan v-brake model around the reds at glentress, it's quite comical watching him leaving people on their superbikes in the dust. Though I like it less when he leaves me in the dust :lol:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Northwind wrote:
    "What are the best forks" "Almost anything by Marzocchi" :lol:

    That struck me as a bit strange too, as it looks to me that Marzocchi forks are not the sort of expensive thing that newbies should be worrying about. Unless they have a budget range that I havent seen.

    Took a look at the Vulcan last night, but I didnt get to sit on it as there was nobody around to ask. Will try again today. It does have frame mountings for discs, and the shifters/brake levers are separate items.

    Having said that, whichever I choose, I might keep it as stock and save the cash. We shall see. Going to look at the Decathlon in Sheffield on sat. Shame they dont have a store here in Leeds.
  • clodhoppa74clodhoppa74 Posts: 331
    as a starter i bought the carrera vulcan, which can easily be fitted with discs if it isn't already, and easily upgraded from mechanical to hydraulic brakes when you want to as well.

    i'm chuffed to bits with it, 2 commutes a week, weather permitting and a bit of thrashing at the weekends and it's been doing me proud.

    being a big sort i find the forks a bit sloppy, but then they can be upgraded anyway.
  • A quick update. Having tried both the Rockrider 5.2 and Carrera Vulcan, there wasnt a lot to choose between them in terms of comfort and ride. However, the service I received at Decathlon was streets ahead of the guy at Halfords who wouldnt prise himself away from his conversation with his colleagues (even when getting the bike out for me), referred to the Vulcan as 'isnt that the blue one?' and tried to push the Fury on me even though I was clear that it was out of my price range. :x

    Sorry, enough about that.

    Before I go out and buy a 5.2, I was hoping someone could give me an opinion on the Giant Boulder, as this seems to be another option. Is it the sort of thing I could take on the Grizedale North Face trail or similar?

    Thanks for any more advice.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Some vulcans are blue ;)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • angrymeerkatangrymeerkat Posts: 134
    Before I go out and buy a 5.2, I was hoping someone could give me an opinion on the Giant Boulder, as this seems to be another option. Is it the sort of thing I could take on the Grizedale North Face trail or similar?
    Well I have the '07 model which until recently was my main ride. They've not changed it in 2 years (it's even the same colour!)

    Strong, very light frame for the money; I weighed mine and with headset cups it was 1.6kg. The finishing kit isn't the best; the Suntour XCT 75 fork is heavy and rebounds like a pogo stick - but this will be the same for all budget forks on bikes of this type. I was still able (and very happy to) keep up with full sussers on various trails in and around Nottingham. Remember it's probably something like 75% ability, 25% machinery...

    I'd say give one a test ride, they're common enough. If you fancy getting a bike you can upgrade over time, the Boulder is a pretty solid platform - about what you'd expect for the money. Don't know if I'd choose it over a Vulcan though.
  • Thanks for all the advice on this thread and my other about sizing guys. I went for my first ride on my brand new rockrider 5.2 today. Very happy with it so far, but have not ventured off the Tarmac yet!

    As a point of interest, Decathlon offer them with either Schimano components (can't remember which but one up from tourney), or the SRAM X4 that I went for in the end.

    Can't wait to hit some trails, or at least explore the bridleways we have around here!
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