A little bit of help with my (sort of) first buy

FlyingTriangle Posts: 9
edited March 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hiya, I've had a look through the stickied threads for beginners etc and the hardtail buying guide for 2009, but I feel like I need some specific input from others here.

I guess I've owned decent bikes in the past as far as being a 'beginner' goes - a GT 'All Terra' or something years ago or maybe it was a GT Tempest, and then I pretty much stole my dads GT Avalanche off him for the best part of 2007 and 2008 but I've never used the bikes for anything more than occassional bike rides with my parents when I was in school, and for commuting to work.

I'm in university now and the surrounding areas of the lake district offer a lot more for mountain bikers than where I used to live plus there is a mountain biking module included on my course, and a few of my uni friends are REALLY into their biking.. they own several and seem to have spent a fortune in total but I feel left out because I don't own a bike yet and don't get to join in with the fun!

I'm basically looking for a Hard Tail that is around the £500, maybe £600 mark that will be good for plenty of 'light', spontaneous riding through the local areas, as well as being well suited to some more specific uphill/downhill type stuff through forests. I've been looking at bikes online and in a few shops for a while now but it's really confusing to me. Apart from looks, I really don't know what things to keep an eye out for. I know a lot about computers and see tonnes of people getting confused about pc parts, but having built several, I know that there tends to be a pretty specific set of components that you come to expect within certain price ranges, so all the thousands of combinations of model numbers and brand names and versions all gets filtered out fairly specifically depending on budget which makes things way less confusing. Is this the same kind of thing with bike parts, or do you often see one part ie. forks, being really high quality with other parts being downgraded to make up for it?

Any help with this eg. "You should probably make sure the bike has x forks, x frame and x brakes above anything else" or what not to get would be fantastic. Once I know some basics like this I can probably start making sense of things and then choose a few bikes to go and try out in a store.

Thanks for any help!

*Nearly forgot - as an example, could some peeople tell me why one of (if any) these bikes may be the best (just so I can kinda understand, not because any of these bikes are on my to-buy list)? They're all in the similar price range.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-Har ... _27271.htm
http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Felt-Q620-Mount ... _29470.htm
http://www.tredz.co.uk/.GT-Avalanche-2- ... _27887.htm

Thanks again!

Edit: Haha, I just noticed the 2010 buying guide and the Specialized is listed there.. I guess that gives me the answer as to which of the 3 is the best.


  • piker
    piker Posts: 353
    Carrera fury,for £500-600 spec is hard to beat.
  • piker wrote:
    Carrera fury,for £500-600 spec is hard to beat.
    Thanks! Just read some reviews and it seems to get the thumbs up.

    For anyone reading, here is the spec list for the Carrera Fury:

    * Alloy Rims: Yes
    * Approximate Weight (KG): 13
    * Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc
    * Chainset: Truvativ with Powerspline BB
    * Exact Frame Size: 20"
    * Fork Lock-out : Yes
    * Fork travel: 120mm
    * Forks: Suntour Epicon Fork 120mm Travel
    * Forks - Adjustable damping : Yes
    * Frame Colour: White
    * Frame Material: Aluminium
    * Frame Size: 19-20
    * Frame-: 7005 T6 Heat treated aluminium
    * Front Brake: Avid Juicy 3 Hydraulic 180mm disc brakes
    * Front Mech: SRAM X5
    * Gear Shifters: SRAM X5
    * Gender: Mens
    * Handle Bars: Alloy 31.8mm
    * Headset: Semi Integrated
    * Hubs: Fomula Sealed Bearing
    * Number of Gears: 27
    * Pedals: Alloy Platform
    * Quick Release Wheels: Yes
    * Rear Brake: Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes 160mm rotors
    * Rear Mech: SRAM X5
    * Rear Shock: N/A
    * Rear Shock Adjustable Damping: N/A
    * Rear Shock Lock-out : N/A
    * Rear wheel travel: N/A
    * Rims: Mavic XM-317
    * Saddle: Carrera
    * Seatpost: Alloy 31.8mm
    * Stem: Alloy 31.6mm
    * Suspension: Front
    * Tyre size: 26 x 2.3
    * Tyres: Continental Speed King
    * Wheel size: 26

    And here are the specs for the Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc 2010:

    * Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium, fully butted, formed Top Tube, Double ORE Down Tube, externally relieved Head Tube, reinforced disc mount, forged dropouts with replaceable hanger, disc only
    * Fork: RockShox Dart 3 SL, 80/100mm, 1 piece magnesium lower, alloy steerer, adjustable rebound damping with LO and preload adjustment, disc only
    * Front Derailleur: Shimano Altus
    * Rear Derailleur: SRAM X-5, mid cage
    * Shifters: SRAM X4-R trigger
    * Chainset: Shimano FC-M361-8, Octalink spline
    * Chainrings: 42t x 32t x 22t chainrings
    * Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 68mm x 118mm
    * Cassette: SRAM PG-830, 8-speed, 11-32t
    * Chain: KMC X8 with reusable Missing Link
    * Pedals: Alloy body and cage, 9/16"
    * Front Brake: Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic disc, dual piston with 160mm rotor
    * Rear Brake: Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic disc, dual piston with 160mm rotor
    * Brake Levers: Tektro Auriga Comp
    * Handlebars: Butted alloy riserbar, 25mm rise, 660mm wide
    * Stem: 3D forged alloy, 31.8mm clamp
    * Headset: 1-1/8" threadless, loose ball
    * Grips: Specialized Enduro, dual compound Kraton
    * Rims: Alex RHD, 26", pinned, alloy double wall with eyelet, 32h
    * Front Hub: Forged alloy, hi/low flange, double sealed, machined disc mount, 32h
    * Rear Hub: Forged alloy, double sealed, machined disc mount, cassette, 32h
    * Spokes: stainless
    * Front Tyre: Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26x2.0"
    * Rear Tyre: Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26x2.0"
    * Tubes: Schrader valve
    * Saddle: Specialized XC
    * Seatpost: Alloy two bolt, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust
    * Seat Binder: Alloy QR, nylon washer
    * Weight: Weight for Medium Version - 27lb 1oz / 12.54kg

    All of this doesn't really mean anything to me, but the reviews for the Carrera lead me to believe that the Shocks are excellent relative to the price of the bike Edit: I read this on this website but it was for the older model which had RockShox Toras, reading some reviews/posts on here it seems that people favour the Toras over the Suntour Epicons :s/edit. It is still only available in a 2009 model however, whereas the Specialized is 2010. Both are exacly the same price - £549.

    Halfords do offer a free build and free first service after 6 months, although from reading lots of reviews, it seems like one of the biggest downfalls of this bike was the actual build quality from the guys at Halfords - from oil all over the brakes, to wrong components fitted, so maybe it would be better to have one of my friends build it.

    Seeing as both these bikes appear to be pretty high on the list of best hardtail for £550, I'm going to use them as benchmarks. I'm aiming to buy my bike in the next month so I'll see how things go from here. :)
  • piker
    piker Posts: 353
    Halfords 2009 fury is really a 2010 as they dont do things like other manufacturers,also the tora fork on the older fury is good but the epicon on the newer model is just as good.
    Halfords bike staff can be a bit hit and miss but ive heard plenty negative coments about local bike stores.
    If you can try out your shortlisted bikes then do so because some bikes fit people better than others and £500-£600 is a lot of money to regret spending.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The Hardrock is good - the Fury is better.

    Try them, see what fits.
  • I had a look at the fury today, and I like the look of it. I asked about a test ride and was told I'd have to ask the manager who wasn't around so I said I'd come back after viewing the Specialized.

    A few more people are telling me to go for the Specialized but I'm fairly sure it's only because of the brand name. Not many people have commented on the actual parts, although someone did say that both bikes appear to be pretty heavy. Someone else said that the front derailer on the Carrera is better, but the tires and slightly lower weight of the Specialized would give me a better 'Out-of-the-box' experience, although he did say he was more of a rider than a techy.


    Edit: Oh and the same guy also said that it would be worth forking out an extra £50 for this is I can afford it: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=44340

    My very uneducated opinion is that the forks on that aren't as good as the Fury or the Hardrock though.. but I don't knopw whether forks are more important than x or y component either in which case the Cube may come out on top. Can anyone comment on this?