Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

Couple of questions

Mtaylor2012Mtaylor2012 Posts: 44
edited August 2012 in MTB beginners
Ok so im looking to get my first bike in a while, and im not asking on what bike i should buy, just what components i should be looking at.... just to give you a bit of background, i plan on jumping in at the deep end so to speak and getting myself up cannock chase to learn the hard way.

1) I dont have much knowledge when it comes to repairs, im willing to learn but from a starting point should i look at hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes? i understand that hydraulic are far superior but arent they much more difficult to maintain/set up?

2) air suspension forks with remote lockout? Again i apologise here if i sound like a total noob but im assuming this is for flat terrain so your not bouncing about the place?

3) When im starting out does fork travel matter too much? Im guessing (again) the more travel the better? Im mainly looking at hardtails ( like the voodoo hoodoo) around the 400-500 mark.

4) tyre thickness, most of the MTB's im looking at have between 1.9-2.25 width tyres fitted. Does this make much of a difference?

Sorry if anything ive asked seems really basic, but im trying to get as much information into my head before i start what i fear is going to be a very expensive additction of mine! But i suppose its better than drugs 8)
2013 Cube Analog
2011 GT aggressor - For sale


  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    1. Hydrualics are mostly superior, especially at that price-point. Mechanical are actually a little more difficult to set up properly. It's just a different kind of maintenance, I wouldn't say one was more difficult than the other.
    2. Air suspension is more adjustable for a broader selection of riders and also lighter. Remote lockout is a matter of choice, but imo pretty pointless in most situations (you can always lockout the fork from the top of the leg instead).
    3. Different amounts of travel basically represent different kinds of bikes for different kinds of riding.
    4. Yes, more volume gives more comfort, grip, protection against certain kinds of punctures. The tread pattern and type of rubber make differences in how fast they roll and grip.
  • bazza333bazza333 Posts: 86
    1) Hydraulic every time - much easier to keep in top condition
    2) Air tends to be lighter. After the frame this should be the number one component (due to cost of upgrading). Don't get sidetracked by flashy rear mechs etc.
    3) 120mm is probably about right - depends where you ride but you shouldn't need more than that.
    4) Look at the type rather than width. It should suit your general conditions.... for instance Kenda Small Block 8's are great in the dry but you will be looking at alternatives later in the year.

    Just my views - I'm sure others will disagree.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    1. Hydraulics probably - if they are set up well they are pretty much left to their own devices for much of the time. Cable discs you have to adjust pad position and what not, avid cables are good but I wouldnt bother if a reletively decent set of hydros were on offer.
    2. Air lighter, more adjust, coil possibly a bit plusher feel, will generally be set up for a typical weight rider for bike size. if you dont fit that then you might need to change a spring.
    3. Longer fork doesnt mean better it just means differetn application - std xc/trail riding 100-120 is probably good, 140+ on a hardtail and you are getting into hardcore trail riding category which can be done with less travel anyway.
    4. 2.1 to 2.35 I guess would be considered trail width tyres these days. 1.9-2.1 xc race. 2.25-2.6 FR/DH. Tread pattern is ultimately the important thing but a wider tyre means you can run lower pressures which "can" equate to more grip, more comfort etc.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Thanks for the assistance guys, much appreciated :)
    2013 Cube Analog
    2011 GT aggressor - For sale
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    My younger daughter at 15 did Cannock on a shonky old CBR with cheap steel (lowers) suntour forks and mechanical (promax) disc brakes - about as cheap as you can get and she loved it, we did put decent tyres on it though.

    Now I've just built her a new bike using a Scott frame and Suntour XC60 forks so it's a lot better bike!
  • I think thats what im going to enjoy the most, just getting out there again and doing it!

    At the moment im being so meticulous on what bike and what spec im going to buy because i want whats best value for my money, but i know im going to get the bug for it regardless and gives me much more incentive to keep at it and when im better to upgrade the parts anyway :)
    2013 Cube Analog
    2011 GT aggressor - For sale
Sign In or Register to comment.