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Thought I would Introduce myself + steal some knowledge

kerbbumperkerbbumper Posts: 62
edited December 2013 in MTB beginners
Alright guys,

Looking for a little advice for someone who has never done any trail riding or road biking before, did some bmx in my youth. :D

Basically I am looking at a few bike options,I am kinda short 5'6 so not to sure if a 29r is the way to go even though my first choice bike in my budget is a Bizango. I have trawled through lots of reviews and looked at loads of bikes, most of the voodoo range ( like the hoodoo and bantu) did really fancy an older model rockhopper (2011/12) or the Khs alite 2000.There was even a pinnacle I liked the look of. I am now swamped with options and thought you guys could help me out.

I will be mainly riding in the highlands and often going to so looking for a bike that will be decent for my size and £550 budget, and cope with going around these sort of trails without to many upgrades over the next few months.

There are a few places I want to try out anyone got any experience here? worth a visit?

Thanks to anyone who contributes.


  • Hi there bud, also new to the forum and only just getting back into things myself so can't offer a lot of assistance with your bike choice but I am pretty envious of your location, last time I rode in Scotland though I binned my bike into a bridge half way round loch lomond and ended up with 16 stitches up the front of my shin, good times :mrgreen:
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,809
    I wouldn't get a 29er at that price point new, they tend to be fairly heavy, new the Rockrider 8.1 from Decathlon is the number1 choice.

    But personally I'd get a decent used bike, while a 29er may be nice I'd focus on the spec and condition first, you can pick up a decent Carrera Kraken or Fury for circa £200-250 which will be fine for what you want.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • 29ers are great, 650b (27.5) are great, 26 are great. Don't worry about wheel size yet. I'm 5'7'' and can ride a 29er, sure I prefer the feel of 650b but then again I'm not one for long rides, short sharp and sweet for me.

    26inch bikes have not gotten slower since the introduction of 29er, if you read the reviews of bikes that were 26in you'll see them saying how fast they are, and they are. (Plus they're a tad easier up the climbs.)

    If I was you I'd get a second hand 26inch hardtail with 100-120mm of travel up front. Double or triple chainset to make those climbs a little easier and preferably 9-10 gears at the back.

    In the second hand market you can get some great bikes, check out the different websites' classifieds lists but have a look at it before you buy. Dents in the tubes (fork or frame) is a red flag to me. Some people are comfortable with a few dents in the frame though. For peace of mind I would suggest you avoid though. Don't worry if the tyres are worn, you'll replace them anyway, but check the wheels for side to side play. If they're simple cup and cone jobs and the play is minimal then that's an easy service job you can do yourself. If it's a lot of play then the hubs are probably shot. Same goes for the headset and BB. If you're new to cycling then replacing those will likely be a bike shop job which will add a fair bit onto the overall cost. You can either budget for that or just avoid, up to you. Ask them when the chain was last replaced, also ask if the cassette was done at the same time. If it wasn't, chances are they just maintain their bike on the cheap. I'd also look at the chainrings at this point and see if they have flat tops (this is what you want) or are pointy or even shark toothed (means they're worn out and will be moderately expensive to replace with decent quality ones, also means the chain is probably shot too, even if they say it's new).

    Lastly, brakes and shifters. If the brakes are hydraulic disc and they feel sticky or pull back to the lever they'll need a rebuild or a bleed respectively (as you're new, I'd avoid). The shifters should click and then return, I recommend cycling all through the gears with them because sometimes at the end of the cassette the shifters can fail if they're worn out.

    On a personal note I'll say if they have elixir 1,3 or 5 or juicy brakes I'd avoid them, but that's just me. Many others have had years of perfect use from avids and are firm fans. Just don't say I didn't warn you if you get one and it has issues.
    Community police have been on the look out for a vandal by the name of \'The Elusive Lout\'. Any information you could give would be gratefully received.
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    mini_death wrote:

    On a personal note I'll say if they have elixir 1,3 or 5 or juicy brakes I'd avoid them, but that's just me. Many others have had years of perfect use from avids and are firm fans. Just don't say I didn't warn you if you get one and it has issues.
    Whilst I agree to steer clear of elixirs unless the rest of the bike is great, I have had juicy 5s on my bike for 6 years and they have always been flawless with a reliable, far from the bar bite point whereas the elixir 5 somethings on a mate's spare bike that I use when mine is broken have an annoyingly close to the bar bite point although they are not terrible that are worse than my juicies that are much older than they are
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