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Help choosing all round bike

petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
edited November 2010 in MTB buying advice
I'm after a mountain bike but struggling with which to choose.

There seems to be loads of types, downhill, dirt, xc, hard tail, full sus,

This is what I'd like to use it for, if this is not possible in one bike then well, er just say.

I live in Snowdonia so there's loads of hills and trails. I want to use the bike on the local trails which include steep fire roads and technical downhills. On top of this I want to be able to ride some of the old tracks and paths in the area, this will involve carrying the bike over sections that aren't ridable.

After a bit of research I'm guessing that a lightweight hardtail is the answer. I could either spend £3-400 now or wait and get something better. Do people use full sus for cross country and if so what makes them better?

Any recommendations or suggests are much appreciated


  • ashleymp777ashleymp777 Posts: 1,212
    You won't get much in the way of a lightweight hardtail for that budget unless you went secondhand. As for full-suss you'd be strugling even more.
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    What classes as a lightweight hardtail anyways? I'm used to road bikes and they never seem to list the weights of MT bikes in the spec
  • Noel PTNoel PT Posts: 627
    I ride both Full suss and Hardtail. If you on a tight budget then rather wait a bit. You gonna be looking to upgrade in a few months if you get something entry level and it'll cost more in the end.

    I got a hard hitting Marin Rocky Ridge hardtail. It climbs and goes downhill well. Weighs 11kg/24lbs.

    Second hand its about £800, but wouldn't need to upgrade for ages! If at all. But something like that would be my recommendation.

    Any of the Ragleys with a 140mm fork would do the trick downhill and still be light enough to climb.

    Genesis Amplitude

    or even this. Never ridden it, but looks like good value. ... outs-39946

    Hope that helps :D
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    What you describe is exactly what I do. In addition I do enduro distance XC rides too. e.g. 30-100 mile XC events. At some of the organised events I did this year there were no HT bikes, 100% XC FS and a few AM FS.

    I ride FS, I have an AM oriented bike (Specialized Enduro frame, 120mm forks, Stans flow wheels and a few carbon XC orented bits), so some XC bits and some DH bits.. Its packing a couple of kg more than I'd like, but then bits don't bend and brake when I land hard on it.

    My next purchase will be a new frame maybe end of next year, but right now the Enduro frame is fine if dated looking.

    Ignoring your budget for a moment, I would say you want a FS XC bike. But your budget wont stretch to that.

    You should be able to pick up a 3-4 year old topish end hard tail or entry level FS XC from any of the known brands for your budget, which would have retailed at 900-1300 new.

    Look out for:
    Trek Fuel EX
    Specialized FSR XC
    Specialized Rockhopper
    Cube AMS
    Boardman Comp FS

    The boardmans are a good buy used, because of their poor brand image.
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