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aggressive/trail hardtail £700

stuisnewstuisnew Posts: 366
edited December 2012 in MTB buying advice
Currently riding a cheap Kona from 2008, with Rebas. I like my bike, but want something I can push a bit further. The forks are excellent, but feel I would benefit from a bit more travel and slightly less traditional feeling frame geometry than the Kona.

This has predominenly come about as I have ridden a couple friends bikes, and my brother has just picked up one of last years Saracen Zens, which once you get used to it, really lets you attack techincal trails more than my Kona.

What are my best options up to £700 for a longer travel hardtail? Is the on-one scandal going to be much different to the Kona for example? Or should I go whole hog and look at the 456? Or should I look at the zen, A N Other etc. I have looked at the voodoo bokor as well as that has 140mm epicon forks and the older model was very well recieved, albeit that this one (the 2012) is quite different. I see Ragley have a M74 which has 120mm forks, 1 x 9 set up etc as a cheaper version of the blue pig which retails at £799, but this was not brilliantly reviewed when WMB tested last years model.

Any thoughts welcome. I know at this price it wont set the world alight but wondered what you would look at around this budget. The other choice would be to buy a 456 frame and some long travel forks and shift over whatever drivetrain parts I could, buying anything (front mech, seatpost etc) that wont port over.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Which kona do you have?
  • stuisnewstuisnew Posts: 366
    Hi, should have said, its the fire mountain deluxe. Might even be the 2009 version, but they're pretty similar in any event. Changed the contact points, put on 'proper' discs in place of the Hayes cable ones that were stock, and put in the Rebas which made by far and away the biggest difference. The drivetrain is all deore and fine.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The Fire Mountain has quite a slack head angle mind - 68.8 degrees: they have always had less xc geo than most. Though not as slack as some of those above, though they have longer forks. A longer fork on the Kona is the cheapest option.
  • CB75CB75 Posts: 49
    What size of frame would you be looking for? The past couple of years ive been fortunate enough to get some good deals through cycle to work scheme. 2 years ago i got a kona five o deluxe on sale from 1175 to 600 and then saved another 40% through cyclescheme. The konas been a great bike. A few weeks ago i got a diamond back axis 2011 version through cyclescheme. The bike was on sale from 1400 to 800 and then again saved a further 40% through cyclescheme. But its still a great bike at 800! Rockshock sektors, sram x9 groupset, avid elixer brakes. Raceface bars stem. Top quality spec for a bike at 800! Scotby cycles doing it for 800 in 18 inch and 20 inch frame. Winstanleys bikes doing the 2010 version for 700 in an 18 inch frame. There also doing the saracen kili cromo on sale to 600. Another good bike with top reviews. It pays to shop around and even buy a bike which is maybe last years or 2 years ago's model. There are bargains to be had and if you can get it through cy lescheme then even better! Happy hunting! And by the way i must admit that i was slightly apprehensive about buying the diamond back as i probably disregarded them previosly as a budget brand and not exactly boutique brand bikes however after riding it and realising the kit on it for the money ive never regretted it!
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    If you're prepared to buy used you could get a pretty decent On-One 456 with either Revelations or pikes and an SLX transmission.
    If you want to go even more hardcore the On-One 456 Summer Season is even better, mega slack and super strong. Mine was originally built with a 160mm fork and did a season of downhill racing and freeriding, took some serious abuse and is still good. It's now built up with a 140mm Rockshox Pike dual air fork and is a great fun trail bike which takes some real hard riding. It's not a light frame, mine as a complete build is 29lb.
    The Ragley Blue Pig is very similar as well.
  • stuisnewstuisnew Posts: 366
    Thanks for the responses everyone, appreciated. Slightly concerned with on-one's regarding chainsuck problems but they might be a case of a few people on forums making a big noise rather than general problems. I had an email saying that they are shortly going to be selling their frames cheap so might be worth a look.
    Sonic, agree that bigger fork would be cheapest but lack of mud room means I can't chuck on bigger tyres either, struggling with a 2.2 in the mud. Head angle is quite slack but the ride position sits you up rather than pushing your weight forward if that makes sense.
    Not adverse to older models either.
    456 could be worth another look, Summer season is a bit too much for me, I'd be overbiked!
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609 ... ID=1780839

    Commencal Ramones - you can pick them up discounted...
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
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