Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB buying advice

new to biking - need advice on basic entry level bike

danlightbulbdanlightbulb Posts: 701
edited December 2011 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

Merry christmas to everyone!

I want to start biking. I have looked at the following bikes, now I know that by the standards of bikes most of you guys have, these will be cheap but its all I can afford. I will riding on the road and also on basic trails to start with, but I do hope to ride on some more difficult trails eventually.

Raleigh Yukon: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3323076.htm
Raleigh Mission: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3323351.htm
Raleigh Vermont: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3323014.htm

Would appreciate opinions and if any other suggestions.

Dan
«1

Posts

  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,848
    For that money you're probably better off looking for a decent second hand bike. Something like this for example.
    It's a good bike to start with and has lots of potential for upgrading later on.

    (The sale is nothing to do with me. I just did a quick eBay search and found it.)
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Toughtroad SLR 1 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • A bit reluctant to buy 2nd hand as I don't know enough about what im getting.

    How about these?

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-51-c2-2011-id_8167190.html
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-60-2011-id_8168454.html


    Are the Raleigh ones in my post no good?
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    A bit reluctant to buy 2nd hand as I don't know enough about what im getting.

    How about these?

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-51-c2-2011-id_8167190.html
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-60-2011-id_8168454.html


    Are the Raleigh ones in my post no good?
    not really mate, those raleigh's are whats known on here as BSO 's, bike shaped objects, a lot of people on here recommend rockriders for a cheaper first time bike, but id stay away from full suspension, at that price you'd be wasting your money, stick with the hard tail
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    At the price go for the Rockrider. Those Raleighs are awful.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    edited December 2011
    +1
    Rear suspension at that price does nothing at all.... nothing except add an extra few kg to the bike which you have to lug around with you. Front suspension at that price point doesn't do much either, but is mildly useful though it does add at least 2.5kg to the weight of the bike.

    It's easy to fall into the trap of buying a cheap entry level bike like that based purely on looks (big knobbly tyres... check, front suspension... check, cool looking rear suspension... check), but that's the worst thing you can do. Instead buy based on what it's kitted out with. The three main things you should be looking for are:

    1) Trigger shifters, not revo style twist shifters (as cools as they may look, there's a reason you only see these on entry level bikes).
    2) Disk brakes. Probably wont find any in that price range but they are a whole lot better than rim brakes (especially when the rims get wet)
    3) Ahead system for the steerer on the front forks. This means that at least you could upgrade the forks to something decent in the future and not be limited by the 'bargain bucket' forks that you find for old 1" steerer's and quill headsets.

    Remember that Ebay also do new stuff (ebay shops), not just auctions for second hand stuff. Here's a few after a quick search.....

    DAWES XC1.4.... No disk brakes but at least it's a proper upgradeable 'Ahead' frame with click shifters instead of twist shifters.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2011-DAWES-XC1-4-22-MTB-MOUNTAIN-BIKE-BRAND-NEW-RRP-349-22-INCH-MENS-/110797947709?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item19cc12833d
    464_1_.png
    464_2_.png

    Barracuda Sawtooth.... Probably the best of the bunch with disk brakes, click shifters and forks for less than £200. Can't see what kind of headset it uses so upgradability at a later date may be limited.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BARRACUDA-SAWTOOTH-DISC-MENS-21-SPD-MOUNTAIN-BIKE-/380366880758?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&var=&hash=item97589875f7
    SAWTOOTH.jpg

    Atala WAP (never heard of them).... No disk brakes but a ahead set and click shifters....
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Atala-WAP-18-Gents-Hardtail-Mountain-Bike-RRP-289-99-/270849100757?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item3f0fdd4bd5
    av10ata.26l__1.jpg

    Raleigh Trail XC21. Got it all despite the funky looking frame. Disk brakes, Ahead set and click shifters for less than £200... (new old stock so probably a lot more expensive when it first came out)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RALEIGH-TRAIL-XC21-MENS-MTB-BIKE-DOUBLE-DISK-BRAKE-NEW-OLD-STOCK-RRP-299-99-/130616341900?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item1e6957358c
    No pic that i can easily link to for this one.

    Raleigh AT10. No disk brakes but at least it's got forks, click shifters for sub £200. Not bad looking either, but a quill headset isn't that upgradeable...
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raleigh-AT10-MAX-Mens-2011-All-Terrain-Mountain-Bike-Hardtail-Lightweight-/290646191969?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&var=&hash=item8960c779d4
    rl11at1max__1.jpg

    Raleigh AT05. Same thing as the one above but without the front suspension forks. As mentioned forks in this price point aren't that great and the rigids will take a couple of kg's of the weight of the bike. Combined with the butted frame this will probably be quite a fast bike and probably handle better than any of the others in this list (just let a little air out of the tyres for trail riding and pump em up hard for road riding). Personally, i'd never go for a suspension forked bike under £200, so this one would probably be my choice, but that's just me. In the end the decisions up to your.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raleigh-AT05-Mens-2011-All-Terrain-Mountain-Bike-Hardtail-Lightweight-/270874108502?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&var=&hash=item84b992db11
    rl11at5mwh__1.jpg
  • Thanks for that. All those seem to be good for the price I want to pay.

    Im gonna go and have a look at some local shops on Tuesday. I would prefer to buy from a shop where I can see the bike before I buy it. How does the decathalon rockrider http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-51-c1-2011-id_8167116.html compare to those you have found on ebay?
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    Thanks for that. All those seem to be good for the price I want to pay.

    Im gonna go and have a look at some local shops on Tuesday. I would prefer to buy from a shop where I can see the bike before I buy it. How does the decathalon rockrider http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-51-c1-2011-id_8167116.html compare to those you have found on ebay?
    its decent for what it is mate, if you want to look at something like whats in the link, i e around £199 mark,halfords are showing the carrera vulcan v spec 09 at that price on there website, fairly decent bikes, at least its something you could probably look at in person
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    edited December 2011
    Mmmm. Nice looking frame. But rim brakes and twist shifters would definately put it in my 'Avoid' pile.

    The problem with rim brakes are that they don't really have any stopping power when it's wet. They also squeel like a pig and cause the bike to shudder.. Oh! And wear out your rims and heat up the innertube so the sometimes explode as well as putting a lot stress on the rims in general. Disk rotors are relatively easy to replace by comparison.

    Twist shifters look cool and have a 80's Raleight Grifter vibe about them but are really annoying to use in practice compared to a decent set of shimano click shifters.

    As for forks. The problem with cheap entry level forks is that they tend to be one of two things. Either the springs are too hard so the forks do practically nothing (just had tons of weight), but at least you can climb on them. Or they are spongy as all hell and you find yourself bouncing up and down like a pogo stick when pedalling. Useful when your off road and sat down but a pain in the censored when you stand up on the forks to climp up hills as the bounce will soak up all your forward momentum. Forks in this price range don't have manual or remote lockout features that allow you to turn the forks rigid as soon as you climb out of the saddle. This is why i'd normally go for a full rigid bike in the sub £200 mark (spring forks with no lockout will just drive you nuts).

    Edit:
    Good call on the Carrera.
  • Just looking on halfords site. How about this one? http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_762375_langId_-1_categoryId_165499#dtab. Its reduced from £380 to £180 but still has twist shifters. None of the shop bikes seem to have click shifters in the price range except those off ebay.

    I was under the impression that cheap disc brakes (mechanical, not hydraulic) are worse than decent V brakes.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    Just looking on halfords site. How about this one? http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_762375_langId_-1_categoryId_165499#dtab. Its reduced from £380 to £180 but still has twist shifters. None of the shop bikes seem to have click shifters in the price range except those off ebay.

    I was under the impression that cheap disc brakes (mechanical, not hydraulic) are worse than decent V brakes.
    look at the vulcan v spec mate only £20 more has x4 shifters, not twist, as for v brakes, they would be fine for what you need it for
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    Not bad. You could always spend an extra 20/30 quid on some replacement SRAM click shifters. At least it's got disk brakes. Most of the other bikes with rim brakes didn't even have the mount points for disk brakes and upgrading them to disk would involve replacing the wheels as well. This one has the better upgrade options (the Ahead system means you could upgrade the forks in the future too). Just those cheap shifters being the fly in the ointment.
  • i do like the look of the Carrara Vulcan 5. I can order it for pick up mid week for £180. Do you think this is the best option over the rockrider one. I do need to buy accessories and a carrier for the car as well so at £150 for the rock rider or £180 for the vulcan 5 is it worth the extra £30?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    No that was never £380, just Halfords random pricing nonsense.
    Rubbish discs are worse than V's but some cable are very good, some hydraulic are bad.
    Personally I think decent (note decent as in Sram) grip shifters are pretty good to use, and some serious XC riders use them as they are light, but on entry level bikes they will probably be rubbish.
    At the money the Rockrider is the best, I would avoid any Raleigh, they are not what they used to be.
    Avoid anything that says Apollo, and avoid Argos.
    I would still consider looking at second hand - looking at all the random cheapies above, you could do a lot better.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    i do like the look of the Carrara Vulcan 5. I can order it for pick up mid week for £180. Do you think this is the best option over the rockrider one. I do need to buy accessories and a carrier for the car as well so at £150 for the rock rider or £180 for the vulcan 5 is it worth the extra £30?
    id say the vulcan was better for the extra £30, as long as they have it in your size?
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Looks like my slow typing got me a few posts late. The Carrera is not bad, lousy forks but as good as you'll get at the price.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    sorry do you mean carrera or apollo? the carrera £199, like cooldad says, avoid apollo
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • Well ive reserved the vulcan 5 spec from halfords perry barr for £180. didn't have to pay upfront so not lost anything. can collect it tuesday.

    The rockrider has SRAM twist shifters. Are you saying that these are ok and that for £150 this is better than the v5 spec? actually looking at the rockrider i don't even know how many gears it has.

    Thanks for all your help so far.
  • chez_m356 wrote:
    id say the vulcan was better for the extra £30, as long as they have it in your size?

    ive ordered 18" frame. biggest they have. im 5'10". can't try it obviously until i collect.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    chez_m356 wrote:
    id say the vulcan was better for the extra £30, as long as they have it in your size?

    ive ordered 18" frame. biggest they have. im 5'10". can't try it obviously until i collect.
    sounds ok for you, but more to do with inside leg really, carrera is better mate, 24 gears over 21 on the rockrider, which generally means a cassette wheel instead of a freewheel, ie stronger
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • well i take a 34" trouser leg but i like em baggy around my shoes lol. probably 32-34" leg but not measured it. Went off halfords sizing guide. They only have 16 or 18" frame in that one.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    well i take a 34" trouser leg but i like em baggy around my shoes lol. probably 32-34" leg but not measured it. Went off halfords sizing guide. They only have 16 or 18" frame in that one.
    well you'll know for sure on tuesday :lol: thats a very decent bike for that money, a word of warning though, if the mountain bike bug bites you for real, it will get a lot more expensive :lol:
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There is nothing wrong with v brakes or twist shifters. Need to take the rest of the spec into account.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    supersonic wrote:
    There is nothing wrong with v brakes or twist shifters. Need to take the rest of the spec into account.
    at last, someone who's in the know :)
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Discs usually eat the budget and leads to 7 speed freewheels, which is the main thing to avoid. I'd look at this for 200:

    www.cheapelectricals.co.uk/acatalog/Cla ... speed.html

    8 speed cassette, lockable fork and some decent parts. I'd replace the steel bar for an alloy one.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    supersonic wrote:
    Discs usually eat the budget and leads to 7 speed freewheels, which is the main thing to avoid. I'd look at this for 200:

    http://www.cheapelectricals.co.uk/acata ... speed.html

    8 speed cassette, lockable fork and some decent parts. I'd replace the steel bar for an alloy one.
    do you keep a list of all this stuff? :lol: would the vulcan not compare to that?
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If you can find one ;-). Halfords are usually reserve and collect.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    supersonic wrote:
    If you can find one ;-). Halfords are usually reserve and collect.
    well the op says he reserved one, so at least it sounds like i didnt do too badly with my advice then? :lol:
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • I have yes - just hope the 18" frame will be ok. Advice much appreciated many thanks to everyone, i;ll report back on the bike!

    How do you know if the cararra has cassette gears?
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    I have yes - just hope the 18" frame will be ok. Advice much appreciated many thanks to everyone, i;ll report back on the bike!

    How do you know if the cararra has cassette gears?
    usually 21 and below is freewheel, 24 and above is a cassette hub
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • Well im disappointed to say the least. Having reserved online the Cararra Vulcan V spec from Perry Barr, have today been phoned to say that they don't have it, even though it let me reserve it through their website.

    Back to the drawing board.
Sign In or Register to comment.