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Buying Advice - Hard Tail - ~£350

_Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
edited June 2009 in MTB buying advice

I am looking at buying a hard-tail mountain bike mainly for off-road use in the local forest (Cannock Chase). I am after the following-

Light frame
Good front suspension
If would also be nice if it had a lockable front suspension for when I use it on the road.
I am not too worried about whether the brakes are disc or V brakes.

I am looking to spend around £350

Several bikes I have looked at so far-

Claud Butler Pagan: ... gan.shtml#

Giant Rainier Disc Bike (2009) ... _Bike_2009

Halfords bikes:
GT Aggressor XC 3
Carrera Vulcan Disc

Can anyone give me advice about what I should be looking for or suggest a mountain bike that I should be looking at?

If I walk into the local bike shop and ask for their advice, I have a feeling I may be offered a bike that they want me to buy rather than one that is the best value for money.



  • riderjamriderjam Posts: 41
    How 'bout a Saracen Trace 1

    A little over budget but it has lockout and hydraulic disks :D
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    Thanks for your reply. That does look like a nice bike for the money (I've actually found it for £269 elsewhere). I can't find any reviews on it though.

    The only thing I'm a bit wary about is buying a bike on-line as you can't try it before you buy it.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Yes, if you are fairly new to MTBing, then buyin locally is a good idea.

    Both the bikes ypu list are good valu parts wise, nice brakes - but therse have seemed to have been fitted at the expensive off poor to middling fork.
  • Liam-rooneyLiam-rooney Posts: 159
    My friend has just picked up a 'Gary Fisher Wahoo'he got it for £375 but you could probably get it for a little cheaper somewhere else and it looks really good. I haven't rode it myself but he says it feels great, It also has a lockout option on the fork.
    Its worth checking out and has had good reviews!
    NS Holy 2009 :D
    Saving for Full Sus...
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    Thanks for your replies.

    I have just spoken to one of the local bike shops over the phone and the have the Gary fisher wahoo disc bike for £425. Although they say they mainly have the Giant range of bikes.

    Even though it is mechanical discs and not hydraulic, do you think this is good value for money?

    It's a bit more than what I was planning to spend but if it is a decent spec for the money then it might be worth it.

    Also, are there any bikes in the Giant range that you would recommend?

    thanks for your help,
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366

    I have almost mad my mind up on the wahoo, I have a couple questions before I purchase this bike though.

    Firstly, what do you think of the front suspension?

    Secondly, I have been told that the 2010 version if this bike will be released this week, do you think the price will come down once the 2010's are released? Is it worth waiting?

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The front suspension is ok for the money. However it uses custom offset lowers unique to that bike - getting after market replacements will be hard.

    For that reason I wouldn't get it if you plan to upgrade in the future.
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    they probably will to get rid of the stock but if the bikes are selling well then it might not come down down by much

    wait till the 2010 one comes out and compare the spec and see which is better
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    Thanks for your replies,

    After looking though the Gary fisher website, it looks like I may be able to upgrade the forks in future but would lose the benefits of faster steering-

    or have I misunderstood this? (I have a very limited knowledge of bike components). I have e-mails the company for confirmation.

    Yes, it might be worth waiting to compare specifications, although I've been told the new bike will be £475 so it might not be good for my wallet if I am tempted to get it :)

    It is surprisingly difficult to stick to a budget :)

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The benefits of the geometry are queationable anyway - whether it works for you or not can only be decided on a test ride. If you do get a normal fork it will then feel different.
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