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Bike options, advice appreciated...

mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
edited July 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

I was hoping someone out there may be abke to offer some advice as I'm looking to (finally) upgrade my bike and am lost in a sea of options!

I used to ride a lot of cross country but haven't ridden in the last 8 or 9 years. I've come back looking for a new bike and the leap in technology available is staggering. It will mainly be cross country / forest track type terrain i'll be riding.

I'm stretching my budget here but i realise it's better to get something that will last as it'll be a long time before i'm going to upgrade again.

I've done a lot of shopping around online and in person and have narrowed it down to these options based on price, look, feel of the bikes etc, but have no idea of the standard of components they come with (apart from what the sales people have told me!) or even what the opinion other bikers have of these bikes in terms of quality and I'd greatly appreciate any and all of you're comments/advice/ranting/abuse.

1.
Cannondale SL 4 2012
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/can ... e-ec031493
Best price option i've seen £599, with £67 worth of accesories to choose in store.

2.
Orange G3 2011
http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/orange-g ... 61399.html
Best price i've found £599

3.
Cube Attention 2012
http://www.wheelbase.co.uk/product_18287.htm
Best price option i've seen £679, with £67 worth of accesories to choose in store.

4.
Cube Analog Disc 2012
http://www.wheelbase.co.uk/product_18286.htm
Best price £589 (seems my size, 17"/18" is like gold dust for this though.)

Thanks!
«1

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Canondale has a rubbish fork.
    Orange is okish
    Cubes don't show spec, so no comment.

    I would look at Decathlon for a Rockrider, or Halfords for a Carerra, Voodoo or a Boardman.
    See this thread.
    viewtopic.php?f=20005&t=12855667
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Really? Rubbish you say? wow, well, see this is very nearly the mistake I made. Today I was in the shop and I almost made the decision to get that bike. Seemed like a good price and I thought that with Cannondale and at that price they can't be bad.

    Been looking over that thread and a few others, it seems the RR is a forum favourite!

    Is it REALLY that good??
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    RR is better than both of those, rubbish forks.

    Orange if you want to be different, otherwise the RR and 100 quid in the sky rocket.
  • 70\ʹspenguin70\ʹspenguin Posts: 957
    What size frame do you need? If you can fit a small frame then check out the Giant XTC1 @ paulscycles for £699. V.good forks and components for the money!
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Thanks for the replies guys, really opening my eyes here.....

    I know nothing of the Decathlon brand but the bike looks good enough certainly.......

    After reading another similar thread here another contender has stepped up to the ring:
    Kona - CALDERA 2009
    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 1b0s2p1938

    I thought the components on this may be of a highter spec than the RR as it was a higher priced model?
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    What size frame do you need? If you can fit a small frame then check out the Giant XTC1 @ paulscycles for £699. V.good forks and components for the money!


    Well, my last frame was a "16 and I really favour a smaller frame anyway. Find them much more comfortable. In the shops today I was getting edged into the Medium bracket though. It's probably right however, I am 5 10"........

    Will check out the Giant now, thanks....
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    The Kona has better spec than the ones you linked to and very good for the price. Nice bikes, a friend has one and it's very competent.
    The forks on the Cubes are both XC 28 - 28mm is the diameter of the fork stanchions - pretty weedy They replaced the Dart series which was pretty rubbish. The Toras on the Kona are 32mm (I think), and a step up. As it's also way cheaper, no comparison.
    At this price level the fork is the most expensive, and important bit.
    The Rockrider is also good value.
    Last time we were at Cwncarn one of the guys was doing the Downhill run on one, he fell off but that's because he's not very good, the bike held up ok.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Greer_Greer_ Posts: 1,716
    cooldad wrote:
    Last time we were at Cwncarn one of the guys was doing the Downhill run on one, he fell off but that's because he's not very good, the bike held up ok.

    Made me chuckle, thanks!! :lol:
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Haha I think I know who that is based on me reading reviews of the RR! He gave the same account......

    I'm going to level it all out here and just say everything is pointing towards the RR but it's taking a lot to make me forget I'm buying an own brand from a superstore for that price. I know, I know, shallow! But it's as if we have been conditioned to think superstore own brands = cheap generic tat!

    I'll sleep on it then and decide between the Kona and the RR.........

    Oh dear, it's only now I realise that I was hoping everyone would agree with the Orange.......but I asked!

    Thanks!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    Proper sports superstore own brand is not cheap generic tat, the Carrera's from Halfords and the Rockriders from Decathlon represent THE best value for money you can get.

    The Kona is nice but the single most important component (the fork) still isn't as good as the one on the rockrider.

    Many brand name bikes have the same fork fitted at the £600 price point that Carrera fit to their Centos for £300.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Proper sports superstore own brand is not cheap generic tat, the Carrera's from Halfords and the Rockriders from Decathlon represent THE best value for money you can get.

    The Kona is nice but the single most important component (the fork) still isn't as good as the one on the rockrider.

    Many brand name bikes have the same fork fitted at the £600 price point that Carrera fit to their Centos for £300.

    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    Am going to another LBS again today to have a look at things and making the decision tonight, most likely between the RR or Kona.......
  • MonkFunkMonkFunk Posts: 91
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Was in Evans just now and the bloke couldn't recommend a Norco Nitro 6.3 highly enough.
    I know nothing of these bikes though and to be honest it felt as if he was pushing to get rid of it. Althought, I could clearly see it seemed a half decent bike.

    Priced at 769 seemed a little steep for my budget though......

    http://m.evanscycles.com/products/norco ... e-ec032033

    Anyone have any thoughts on these?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The Cannondale does not have a rubbish fork, the Deuce is a good piece of kit for the money.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Really - ok but the last time I had a fork with an elastomer in it, it was worse than dire.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.

    Thanks for your reply. It's great to get the view of someone who has been in the same position. I wouldn't mind upgrading those parts you mention not only to give it a personal touch but make it most comfortable for my specific needs so you are completely right, the core elements on it are better than anything else for that money. I think I'm going to take the plunge and order. I'll call my local store when I get home and suss out delivery options. Thanks again......
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lots of forks still use elastomer bottom out/top out bumpers. The Deuce has a hydraulic damping circuit too.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.

    Sorry, just one more thing, what size did you end up going for and how tall are you (if you don't mind me asking)

    I usually like a small frame but am worried the small may be too small. Anyone know if the medium is around an 18"?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    supersonic wrote:
    Lots of forks still use elastomer bottom out/top out bumpers. The Deuce has a hydraulic damping circuit too.
    Ah OK, I was referring to elastomers doing the suspending. Last one I opened up was just a mass of black goo and muddy water.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Medium or 18" or whatever means very little when comparing brand to brand. Can be totally different elsewhere.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Noted.

    Apologies, what I meant was, does anyone have any idea with the RR sizing.......
  • MonkFunkMonkFunk Posts: 91
    mikkybgs wrote:
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.

    Sorry, just one more thing, what size did you end up going for and how tall are you (if you don't mind me asking)

    I usually like a small frame but am worried the small may be too small. Anyone know if the medium is around an 18"?

    I'm 5' 9", 31" inside leg and went for the medium. Definitely the right size but I did swap the stem for a slightly shorter one with more rise (went from 100mm 6 deg rise to 80mm 25deg rise). This was because with the seat set up in the optimum position, I felt I was a little stretched out and was reaching down to the bars. Going to that stem gave me a better riding position where I was more on top of the bike and it was ultimately more comfortable. The stem only cost £12.99 delivered from on-one too so again, not an expensive upgrade if needed.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.

    Sorry, just one more thing, what size did you end up going for and how tall are you (if you don't mind me asking)

    I usually like a small frame but am worried the small may be too small. Anyone know if the medium is around an 18"?

    I'm 5' 9", 31" inside leg and went for the medium. Definitely the right size but I did swap the stem for a slightly shorter one with more rise (went from 100mm 6 deg rise to 80mm 25deg rise). This was because with the seat set up in the optimum position, I felt I was a little stretched out and was reaching down to the bars. Going to that stem gave me a better riding position where I was more on top of the bike and it was ultimately more comfortable. The stem only cost £12.99 delivered from on-one too so again, not an expensive upgrade if needed.

    Ah great, yeah you are the same size as myself so the medium sounds the way to go.
    Funnily enough, of all the bikes I've been trying lately I've thought on nearly all of them the first thing I'd change is the stem for a shorter and higher rise. Seems to be the style to have a longer and lower stem which I can't say I'm a big fan of.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    MonkFunk wrote:
    mikkybgs wrote:
    Yeah, it seems to be this way. I don't know why I just have a feeling that something must be susbstituted in terms of quality. But then again, with so many glowing reviews of the RR out there it is hard to deny.

    I had similar thoughts initally too but eventually went with the Rockrider and don't regret it at all. Its a fantastic ride for the money. It is fair to say there are compromises with the bike but they're not in key areas like the fork etc. The tyres, grips and saddle for instance are all pretty censored IMO but they are bits that you can live with and upgrade pretty easily and cheaply. I bought a pair of Panaracer fire XC pro tyres, some Lizard Skins Charger grips and a Charge Spoon Saddle. Total cost about £70 but have transformed the bike. For £570, given the core spec of the components, I can't think of anything that would touch it and I'd have to spend at least double that to really improve it significantly.

    Sorry, just one more thing, what size did you end up going for and how tall are you (if you don't mind me asking)

    I usually like a small frame but am worried the small may be too small. Anyone know if the medium is around an 18"?

    I'm 5' 9", 31" inside leg and went for the medium. Definitely the right size but I did swap the stem for a slightly shorter one with more rise (went from 100mm 6 deg rise to 80mm 25deg rise). This was because with the seat set up in the optimum position, I felt I was a little stretched out and was reaching down to the bars. Going to that stem gave me a better riding position where I was more on top of the bike and it was ultimately more comfortable. The stem only cost £12.99 delivered from on-one too so again, not an expensive upgrade if needed.

    Hi MonkFunk, Got the Rockrider the other day and am chuffed to bits with it. Only have a few changes I want to make at this stage such as the usual grips, pedals etc. but also as I suspected I'd like to change the stem for a higher rise like you mentioned. Seems at the moment the front end is low down. What stem did you end up going for and how is it working out for you?
  • MonkFunkMonkFunk Posts: 91
    Glad you're happy with it.

    I got mine here.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/STOO3DF/on_ ... orged_stem

    Lots of options. I Went for the 80mm, 25deg rise. For the Rockrider you just need to make sure that whichever one you get is 31.8mm clamp size.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    MonkFunk wrote:
    Glad you're happy with it.

    I got mine here.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/STOO3DF/on_ ... orged_stem

    Lots of options. I Went for the 80mm, 25deg rise. For the Rockrider you just need to make sure that whichever one you get is 31.8mm clamp size.

    That's great, thanks!
  • Did you get the new stem mikkybgs? If so, how you finding the new riding position?

    I'm thinking of changing mine for a steeper one too. I just feel that I'm a bit too hunched over at the moment.
  • mikkybgsmikkybgs Posts: 78
    Did you get the new stem mikkybgs? If so, how you finding the new riding position?

    I'm thinking of changing mine for a steeper one too. I just feel that I'm a bit too hunched over at the moment.

    Sorry mate, didn't see your reply till now.

    Do you have a Rockrider also?

    I did get the new stem today. I had the same feeling as you, a bit too hunched over. Anyway, fitted the stem and it definitely did the job. Had a more upright riding position, but for the conditions I ride I actually felt I was a little too high. I have posted the stem back and they are sending me the 17 degree rise in exchange for the 25. For me perhaps 25 was a little too much, I'm hoping the compromise will do the job.

    What do you use the bike for mainly?

    The people at On-one are excellent by the way.
  • Yes, I have the RR 8.1. I ride mainly paths, trails, basic trail centre (Sherwood Pines) stuff, nothing overly technical yet.

    After exchanging PM's with MonkFunk, I was within seconds of ordering a 25 degree stem when my internet went down!

    One of the (many) things that I am pleased about with the RR is my new found ability to absolutely whizz up hills, which is no doubt down to the bike itself but could also be due in some part to the forward riding position, so I was a bit uneasy about changing that tbh. It's interesting what you say about the 25 as my initial thoughts were that it could be too high for my liking and I did consider the 17.

    Please report back on how you find the 17 degree stem as I'll hold off making my decision until I've read what you think. I know I shouldn't really make a judgement based on someone else's but I'm interested to hear how you find it and if, after all that, you are happier with the new riding position.
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