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First mountain bike, confused!

FeraxFerax Posts: 3
edited May 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi there,

First post here after much lurking! I have been doing some road cycling for the past few years on my trusty Tricross, but am moving to South Wales (Neath) and want to make use of all the amazing tracks sitting on my doorstep so figure it's time to get a mountain bike.

Due to moving budget is rather limited, but the handy guide on this site and responses to other posters seem to suggest the following two options as good budget intro hardtails with hydraulic disc brakes:

Carrera Vulcan £345ish (incl voucher and quidco) http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165499

Decathlon Rockrider 8.1 £499 http://www.decathlon.co.uk/81-2011-id_8168695.html

There is also the rockrider 8.0 with the cheaper front fork at £449.

Finally the questions! As a novice, is the better spec of the rockrider likely to be appreciable? It is almost 50% more in terms of price, but I would be willing to stretch the budget to that if it is likely to cost less in the long run maintenance wise and be an appreciable difference. Or might I be better off with the cheaper Carrera, ride it into the ground for a couple of years and consider an upgrade later? Very difficult to advise on this I know as it will depend a lot on the riding, but I would like to be able to take on some of the red routes in Afan park eventually.

Very torn right now so any input would be gratefully received.

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If you have the money, I'd spend it! There is not much doubt that the 8.1 is the best bike available for the money, and is as well specced as bikes costing much more. The fork is the clincher, it is excellent, and you will feel a difference!
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Carrera is well spec'd for the money, as are all Carrera/Boardman bikes seem to be form Halfords but the Rockrider is far superior and IMO worth the extra £150. Rockrider has the same forks as the bike I have just ordered (which cost me £859!), better brakes, superior drivetrain and is much lighter.

    You could buy the Carrera and upgrade but you would be held back by the heavy frame and would eventually end up paying more than if you had bought the Rockrider for the same bits bolted to a worse frame.

    You could still upgrade the Rockrider if you do get the 'must by shiny things' disease which most people on this forum (including me) are riddled with.

    Rockrider gets my vote or alternatively look at the more expensive Carreras ie. the Fury.
  • FeraxFerax Posts: 3
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    I am very tempted by the rockrider, but I felt that I needed justification for spending the extra money, so thanks for the input :) Especially if the frame is good enough for future upgrades. It's what I've done with my present bike, as bits wear out, replace them with higher quality components and it's a satisfying way of going about it.

    Will be driving past Reading soon, so will pop in and try one out, but I don't think I'll need a lot more persuading. The wife on the other hand...

    Quick aside, what are your thoughts on second hand mountain bikes? I have seen some second hand Carrera vengeance Ltd editions with the rockshox forks going for around the £150 mark, but I'm very wary of a seeming bargain that ends up costing more than the original bike.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The Veangeance are decent too, but as you say, need to be sure are in good condition. Still no rockrider though, and a lot heavier.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Ferax wrote:
    Quick aside, what are your thoughts on second hand mountain bikes? I have seen some second hand Carrera vengeance Ltd editions with the rockshox forks going for around the £150 mark, but I'm very wary of a seeming bargain that ends up costing more than the original bike.


    Its the same as with second hand cars I guess. There are dogs out there but there are also bargains. For instance if I were to sell my Mongoose, somebody would get a very well equipped, insanely well look after and maintained bike and still have change from £250. But i'm not selling ;)

    I have seen mates buy second hand bikes from a local cycle exchange or a pawn shop and they have come out on the trails with some hideous mechanical disasters (my mates old Carrera with aftermarket bomber forks on literally 'springs' to mind).

    As long as you know what you are looking for and don't part with money until you have given it a good check over and wiggled everything that could be wiggly you should be fine with second hand.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    TwellySmat wrote:
    You could buy the Carrera and upgrade but you would be held back by the heavy frame
    The Vulcan frame isn't that heavy, my Kraken frame (same as last years Vulcan, not 100% sure on this years as it's changed) is 1742g, which while it may not be flyweight is also far from heavy, in fact it's the same weight (within 10g) as a 2007 Rockhopper frame (which stayed pretty much the same upto 2010 I believe)
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    TwellySmat wrote:
    You could buy the Carrera and upgrade but you would be held back by the heavy frame
    The Vulcan frame isn't that heavy, my Kraken frame (same as last years Vulcan, not 100% sure on this years as it's changed) is 1742g, which while it may not be flyweight is also far from heavy, in fact it's the same weight (within 10g) as a 2007 Rockhopper frame (which stayed pretty much the same upto 2010 I believe)

    I stand corrected!

    The website lists total bike weight at a chunky 14.7kg and looking at the spec I assumed this must be down to a beefy frame. I guess the stock wheels are bit porky then? Either way, the Rockrider is the one to go for in my opinion.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The RR is the one to go for, agreed, it's the components on the Vulcan that weigh it down....although the wheelset is relatively light at around 2Kg almost everything else is lardy, especially the brakes.
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