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£500 budget, whats my best bet !

neilmccaneilmcca Posts: 8
edited November 2010 in MTB buying advice
*edit* originally put this in "Mountain bike beginners" forum, realised my mistake and put it here, deleted original thread, sorry.

Hello all,
I've owned a Marin Muirwood hybrid for the last 18 months and love it, but find it's not too great on muddy / bumpy tracks, (narrow tyres and no suspension),
seeing as i have it paid off (cycle to work scheme), i'm looking into buying a mountain bike (again through the c2w scheme),
i've narrowed down my choice somewhat, but what i know about mtb's you could write on the back of a stamp, so i would appreciate some guidance.
The bike i originally lusted after was the Boardman mountain bike sport,
http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_561399_langId_-1_categoryId_165499,
£50 over what i can spend on the scheme, but hopefully they would take into account the 10% off offer,
but heres the thing, i was in contact with a reputable bike shop whome i asked if they stocked Boardman bikes, his response wasn't what i expected,
thanks for your email

we do not stock "boardman" bikes, this is a halfords own brand - essentially taiwanese blanks that chris boardman has been paid heaps of money to put his name onto...

we are primarily stockists of trek, specialized and ridgeback bikes

that kinda put me off :?

my scheme ties me to buying a bike from either Halfords or Leisure lakes bikes http://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/catalog/mensmountainbikes.aspx?&cid=3069&m=0&ps=320.0000&pe=639.9900

I have been looking at the following bikes which are also available on my budget,

Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 2011
http://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/product/specializedhardrocksportdisc2011.aspx?&id=14649

Cannondale Trail SL 5 Mountain Bike 2010
http://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/product/cannondaletrailsl5mountainbike2010.aspx?&id=11934

Scott Aspect 30 Mountain Bike 2010
http://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/product/scottaspect30mountainbike2010.aspx?&id=12404

should i still try to get the boardman bike above them ?

Thanks in advance for any help,

Neil.

Posts

  • Go to the shops you are looking at and try them for size, feel etc.

    I'm no expert but the Boardman seems to have a better spec, and i would not be put off by comments made by LL.

    Bear in mind Leisure Lakes want you to but their bikes- does not suprise me that they put the Boardman down. Lots of people have Boarman's and love them, and I have not seen a bad review.

    I am sure someone will arive and give you better technical info though.
    Ched
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    The hardrock is at the budget end of the Specialized range and imo you pay mostly for the brand. I would look to see if anyone has a rockhopper in old stock say a 2009/10 which you might be able to squeeze out of the sales.

    I buy my kids bikes from halfords and I think the email quoted is a little harsh. I think the boardmans aren't bad bikes. They don't hold their value like the "branded" bikes and because of the nature of single source market you wont get the kind of savings you get in the other brands end of season. I think they are priced to be aligned to the C2W scheme.

    Don't be fooled in to thinking a bike that has high spec components will be better, there is a lot more to a bike than that. Having said that some of the used boardmans go so cheap that you could by them brake them for parts and chuck the frame in the bin and still be better off.
  • buffbuff Posts: 139
    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165499
    brill bike i hope to order 1 in the next 3 weeks it works out at £540 worth the discount and then there is a £20 voucher so its like £520
    carrera fury
  • Thanks a lot for the replies,

    Buff, the maximum i can spend is £500, i'm not allowed to top it up with my own cash :(
    i found that out last time when i wanted the Marin Muirwoods 29er,
    it was £514, i offered to pay the extra in cash or let them take it from the £75 they give you free with the scheme (for accessories), but they refused point blank :evil:
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    The reason is because its an operating lease - or hire purchase, so you can't pay extra for something you don't own.

    But I thought the C2W limit was £1000?
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    The max you can get on a C2W voucher is £1000

    Some companies place a self imposed limit though

    Some bike shops did allow a top up, but the rules on the scheme are being more tightly enforced than they used to be
  • I work for Royal Mail, our limit is £500.
    i'll double check just in case, but i'm pretty sure i'm correct.

    Thanks again.
  • heez29heez29 Posts: 612
    buff wrote:
    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_518245_langId_-1_categoryId_165499
    brill bike i hope to order 1 in the next 3 weeks it works out at £540 worth the discount and then there is a £20 voucher so its like £520

    That voucher cant be applied to that bike unless youre buying two.
  • Stoo61Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
    Shops that blatantly bad mouth Boardmans make themselves look silly and should refrain from such behaviour, even if they fully believe it, if they wanted to make sales.

    ANYWAY, My Boardman Team HT has been going faultlessly for 2 years with servicing. However, my bike was bought in a box and not built by Halfords staff. Not going to get into debate regarding their credentials but i didnt want to take the risk. I got mine built by a bike repair place, who had no allegiance to other brands as they dont sell their own bikes. That i would imagine is hard to find and I also imagine that many bike shops, peeved at the Boardman success, would be snooty about building them up for you.

    It has been said that the Sport is the poor brother in the range but its still a good spec which many on here have loved. I doubt very much you would end up dissapointed.

    Boardmans are the berries for value.


    P.S. Go into Halfords and tell them your situation see if they will take the extra money in cash. They should also give you a quote form sayin £500. Although, that for me happened in a LBS rather than the huge chain that is Halfords...give it a go.
  • DeepunderDeepunder Posts: 145
    Couple I've seem highly rated although slightly out of budget is KHS Alite 2000 £550 and Voodoo Bantu £579, worth a look
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    thanks for your email

    we do not stock "boardman" bikes, this is a halfords own brand - essentially taiwanese blanks that chris boardman has been paid heaps of money to put his name onto...

    we are primarily stockists of trek, specialized and ridgeback bikes

    One of the most ignorant and hypocritical statements I have read, erm, ever.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    supersonic wrote:
    thanks for your email

    we do not stock "boardman" bikes, this is a halfords own brand - essentially taiwanese blanks that chris boardman has been paid heaps of money to put his name onto...

    we are primarily stockists of trek, specialized and ridgeback bikes
    One of the most ignorant and hypocritical statements I have read, erm, ever.
    I thought it was fairly reasonable meself :?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lol. Well I know Boardman and team has helped design them, he isn't just paid for his name, and he has been on the forum and answered some questions too, plus I have spoke to him in PMs. Seems to take it pretty seriously.

    And as for Taiwanese, cough, Merida make specialized. And as for blanks, Ridgeback?!
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    Chris? On the forum? Where? :)

    At the end of the day Halfords are there to make money just like all the other bike companies and I agree that probably 99% of MTBs are traceable to Taiwanese blanks and only become boutique brands when they get painted and stickered up in Spain or wherever.

    I just wish that the comics would stop going gaga over the Boardman's specs as if that's all that really matters.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Yeah, I know what you mean. Hard to deny a lot of bike for the dough, and the frames are pretty light too.
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