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Which of these is best value for money - range of £600 - 90

Midnight TboyMidnight Tboy Posts: 58
edited September 2010 in MTB buying advice
hey again,

firstly thanks to those who helped me with my previous thread....however I've decided to up my budget a little bit.......

Now I'm a sucker for getting value for money.....I don't care about brand snobbery...but of course looking nice helps.

I'm a good 17stoner so think that air forks are the way to go. Planning mostly for regular trails and maybe when I lose quite a few lbs try the 'small drops' if brave enough :)

I'm now torn between these bikes...which are at various budgets.

Mongoose Meteore Elite 2008 - £600 - http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 1b2s2p1494

Diamondback Apex 2009 - £500 - http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... b38s2p1886

Focus Black Forest Pro - £900 - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Focus ... 360045265/

Focus Black Forest Expert 2010 - £700 - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Focus ... 360045264/

Cube LTD Race 2010 - £880 - http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=44335

Now I was originally comparing the likes of the Focus Killer Bee to the Black Forest Expert and Diamondback Expert to name but a few - and it did make sense to pay more to get air forks over coil - and looking at the price differences in the cost of forks alone aswell as a few other future part upgrades.....it seemed still good value....now however I'm wondering which of these bikes £ per component is the most value trying to factor in different costs.

I can see the obvious price differences, ie the shimano XT gears and different forks....but its the other things my untrained noob eye can't see :)

Also.......the 2008 Mongoose Meteorite Elite is heavily discounted at 600 - but is it actually just as good as the Cube Ltd Pro which has a similar rrp. And if not, then are the differences in component cost worthwhile to pay the extra. Then I see other hidden extras....like that some of the cheaper ones/focus come with bog standard plastic pedals - I don't need spds at this stage - but something that isn't going to snap in half with a few uses would be good :) Then theres the thing to do with Fulcrum Red Metal 10 vs the other ones which I have no idea on the difference :)

Also......with paulscycles, though I know they're a reputable shop, the image quality of the bikes isn't very good and high res so can't even decide if I like the looks of them - but some bikes I guess look a lot better in the flesh.

In some ways trying to justify the Cube LTD but if think the other ones are best value then may go for them :)

Also....probably a stupid question here....but on the Cube Zero......it says
• Shifters: Shimano SLX SL-M660 Rapidfire-Plus, 9-speed

Does that mean its only 9 gears as opposed to the usual 27 gears that seem to be on these price point bikes? Gets me confused easily, when I read shifters having so many gears, and cassette whatever that is lol (told ya - noob!!), etc :D

Cheers,
Tuck

Posts

  • UnWeaveUnWeave Posts: 33
    Well, I can't fully answer all your questions there, but...

    Regarding the shifters, yes the Cube is 27 speed. The 'cassette' is the set of rear cogs, and this bike has 9, so the shifter for the rear mech(/derailleur) is a 9 speed. The bike is still a '27 speed' because there's three rings at the front, too.

    Assuming they are all within budget, personally I'd go for the Cube. Watch out if you pick the White Metal Green, though. I mean, look at it, it's practically begging to be nicked. The Focus pro is better spec'd, but I just love the look of Cube bikes, and I don't think the difference in spec is too big. Also, with Cube, there's a decent chance your local bike shop(s) will stock them, so you can go and have a sit on one before you drop any cash; that's always a good idea unless you know exactly what you're looking for - particularly if you're looking to spend a decent amount on your first proper bike.

    If it was between the Cube and the Mongoose at RRP, I'd again go for the Cube. It doesn't best the Mongoose on all counts, but the big bucks have gone to where you want them more often on the Cube (imo).

    As for which is outright best value, that's somewhat subjective when looking at such a wide price range, but for me the Focus Expert probably takes it.

    Lastly, I am far from the most knowledgeable person on this forum, but I've tried to answer everything there - wait around and there's sure to be other opinions and clarifications.
  • thanks Unweave....

    a helpful answer and explanation.

    Now that I'm favouring more between the 2 focus bikes and the Cube....I'll have to try to see if anywhere nearby have any I could view/try as I'd much rather sit on one than guess my ideal size. I live in teesside area and travel around a bit for work - so hopefully find somewhere.

    The budget can stretch up to 1k really (tho the missus will kill me - the budget initially was about 300 :D) but think I'll stick to the 900 as the limit - what with other kit to get too

    You've just reminded me about the white/green Cube though.....my contents insurance ran out a few months ago and I forgot to renew it!!!!!! arghh!! Oh well lol - means I can look into making sure the bike is fully covered too - I've heard M&S are pretty good for bike coverage so will have to get some quotes. Having no option but to keep the bike in a wooden shed is a bit worrying mind - and makes me think of going for an 80quid rigid lol :D

    One thing I do like about the Black Forest Pro - is the extra bar bits that stick out at the end of the handlebars (for want of a better way to describe them :)) Though I'm sure can probably get/add them to any of the bikes no problem at not much cost?

    Any idea how the Fox F-100-RL fork compares to the Reba SL on the Cube? Though looks like both are only lockout by lever and not remote lockout? (if that really matters?)
  • UnWeaveUnWeave Posts: 33
    The only place you can get a Focus bike from is Wiggle, so as far as I know you won't be able to find anywhere to try one. Though like I said, getting a go on a Cube should be rather straightforward. The Wiggle site gives you the frame geometry for the Focus(es), so you can perhaps compare that to the Cube's (or anything else you can get a go on) to get a better idea of size. Wiggle also have a size guide on their site.

    I can't give you any first-hand experience, but from what I have read the M&S cover seems to be the best for us cyclists. Like everyone says, if someone is determined they will get it whatever, but if you have the right cover it significantly reduces your grief - just make sure you read the T&Cs carefully, don't want to find it doesn't cover the way you have the bike stored/locked up!

    The bar ends can be bought afterwards for around £20 +/-£10, easy to find on Wiggle, CRC etc.

    I'm afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough to compare the two forks, though the Fox is probably better (I just don't know by how much, but Rebas are by no means a bad fork). One thing I would say is that the Formula RXs on the Cube are certainly better than the Hayes Stroker Rydes on the Focus Pro. They're not a very expensive brake set for such a costly bike, though I imagine they are adequate (and would give you something to upgrade when the bug inevitably bites!) Again, I don't know if they are remote lockout, but leaning down to rotate a lever is not a problem (it takes like a second), and I prefer having uncluttered handelbars tbh.
  • Well I've just found that theres a shop called Skinnergate a few miles from where I'm working at tomorrow in Stockton - and they stock Cube's :D so will be calling in there when finishe work tomorrow to check out the cubes :) They do list the prices at full rrp though - but maybe they're negotiable - and if not then at least I'll have tried them for size and know of a good local place for parts/maintenace etc

    Anyone elses opinions of each of these bikes though is greatly appreciated :)

    ie for example - Mongoose - vs Cube - would buying a Mongoose and spending 380 on upgrades to match price make it better spec than Cube in first place (tho I'm still settling on the Cubes and Focus's at the moment I think - unless that Mongoose truly is the bargain it seems :))
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    They are all very capable machines, the BF Pro has a great fork, finishing kit and components but has the entry level Hayes Ryde Brakes..again Focus is limited to Wiggle, so like the Mongoose you can't try it out...the Cube is also a great spec but has a few lessor components than the Focus..the Cube you can try so that's an obvious bonus...the Mongoose has the older LX equipment (replaced by SLX) though is still robust and performs well and has better brakes and finishing kit the the Cube and Focus, though they have better forks......so it's swings and roundabouts...for your original budget I would take the £600 Goose..your top budget ? although I love the Fox forks...I would try the Cube....if you like it then that would be my choice as a local dealer is better than mail order for service, but the flipside is you wil get a better deal on line...

    Another thought...how about the Boardman Pro ?
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • I did consider the boardman pro - but its pushing the budget right up to its very limit.

    Also for the extra money, to my untrained eye, it doesnt seem all that far ahead of the others.....although I have seen it in the flesh at least already - quite a small skinny beast - but v nice

    What is a finishing kit anyway?
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    The finishing kit in the main is the handle bars, the stem, seatpost, and saddle...may not seem like much, but usually the more you pay the lighter and stronger they are. Some own branded equipment is very good, though sometimes difficult to comapre with the likes of Easton whom manufacture quality aluminium components...there grading goes upwards so EA50 is better than EA30 for instance...hope this helps
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • well I popped into the lbs Skinnergate cycles.

    Unfortunately they never had the Cube LTD Race in stock anymore - but turns out there is a 2011 model due to be announced over the next few days which they're expecting in a week or so.

    They did have a couple of 2011 models of the Cube bikes.....think the one I saw next to the 2010 equivalent - was about £60 difference - main difference being I think the chainset was an XT chainset rather than deore or something like that - that was for the bike a spec or 2 below the LTD Race.

    Soooooo......I love the look of the Cube bikes - they do look fantastic in the flesh - way better than when see the online photos - shame I couldnt see the green/silver LTD Race though.

    Dilemna now......do I get the LTD Race online now in the 2010 model for £880 or wait a few days to see how the 2011 models turn out and what the prices sell for.

    The Cube LTD Race though for what its worth they were selling at full rrp (but have a sale of 10% off at the moment - but still cheaper online)..which is £1059 I think....but he seemed to think the new 2011 model may come in at a straight 1000 - possible in order to be easier for those using the C2W schemes.

    Sooooo does anyone have any info on the specs of the new 2011 range? :)
  • awww man - now chainreactioncycles are out of stock of the 18" Cube in green :cry:
  • Bar ShakerBar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    There are a few differences between the Cube and the Boardman that are worthy of note.

    They both have Rebas (excellent shocks). The Cube has a pushlock (locks them out on the handlebars) where as the Boardman has the dual air race version.

    The Cube's shifters should have been XT to get the most out of the XT front and rear mechs, but SLX units will work ok. The Boardman has X9 shifters with X0 and X0 mechs.

    The wheels is probably the biggest difference between them. The Ritchey WCS rims are strong and light, the Sunringlé Ryde XMB are where Cube have saved a few quid.

    The Cube has a decent seat. Boardman own brand seats are not brilliant.

    I agree that the Cube in white and green looks great.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • well seeing as they're now out of stock of the LTD Race - I'm now looking at this bike

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=44333 the Cube Reaction Elixir R.

    They did have that bike in the store, mounted high up (at least I believe it was the R)....and it looked fantastic.

    Instore it was 1500 but online it's 1274

    OK so I could just about stretch to that butched....but I'm wondering - between the LTD Race and this - is there £400 worth of extra parts in there performance/upgrade-wise to justify it?

    One think I did think about the Boardmans when in Halfords.....though they did look nice, cosmetically they hold nothing to the cube (imo) - but also the frames did seem thin - I think I like the Cubes because they look sturdy enough to support my just over 17st weight plus camelbak of junk
  • Bar ShakerBar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    The tube diameter shouldn't be confused with its strength. As the diameter gets bigger, the walls get thinner (much thinner) meaning the bike weighs less for the same strength. There is an optimum and all manufacturers have a different idea of where the optimum lies.

    All bikes at this level should be able to take your weight OK but its worth speaking to the manufacturers to make sure. You would hate to spend that sort of money and find out that you broke it and were over the user weight for the warranty.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • bah - now Chainreactioncycles have put the prices up on all the Cube models.....not to mention the one I wanted now being out of stock :( Why oh why didn't I order it yesterday (!)

    fair point about the frame tubing size being thinner.....I don't know - its just something about the Boardmans that don't appeal. They look nice and 'professional'.....slim framed and very smart etc.....but the Cube when see it up close just looks like you wanna grab it and ride the &*!$ out of it like a pros.....errrrr nevermind....and whizz around like a kid again.....definately a bling factor to them on visuals.

    Now to reassess my options again....begrudge paying 50quid more on a bike because of waiting a day or 2 - so could either look elsewhere.....or wait to see if they drop in price once these 2011s are officially announced....as they should supposedly start appearing in a week or so in our shops
  • right...I've decided now that I definately want either the Cube LTD Race (now out of stock pretty much everywhere other than full rrp).....or the more expensive Cube Reaction Elixir R which is currently £1330 (but typically was about 70quid cheaper yesterday I think) Lovely blue/white colour - have seen it in the flesh but sadly not seen the ltd race in the flesh

    I just love the design of them and think they'll be a joy to ride.

    As it now looks like the Race is temporarily out of the equation...do you think I'd be best off getting the Cube Reaction Elixir R now, or waiting a week or so when the 2011 models are in the stores....and then hopefully get a better discount on the 2010 of the elixir? But at the risk of the 18" of that going out of stock too

    Wish they'd publish the prices and specs of the 2011 versions of the same bike too so I can compare the damn things....though I can't actually even see an R series Reaction on the site http://www.cube.eu/hardtail/
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