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Hard tail mtb £350 slightly flexible

kixxkixx Posts: 16
edited June 2014 in MTB buying advice
Looking to get back into mountain biking after a long time away, budget I'd say is around the 350 mark though I not limited by that and can be slightly flexible if needs must. Hard tail is a must also. Planning on going out looking around a few places on Saturday, is there anything anyone can recommend looking for? Also if I am looking out and about what sort of things should I be looking for and what should I be avoiding?
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  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,135
    Meant to be very good.

    http://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-two-t ... ke-p275612

    Saw one in store today. Seemed quite a decent build. Lots of good reviews. Lot of bike for the dosh. If I was looking for a bike I'd definitely consider one.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    That is currently the best new bike in that price range. Second hand if you are confident and careful some real bargains out there.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    That or the Decathlon Rockrider 520.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    What makes that bike the best? Excuse my ignorance but is it what's on the bike? How it rides? Or I'm guessing a combination of the two
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    It's how the bike rides that matters, but at this price point it's mostly about having the right components at a level which is 'good enough'.

    For example many bikes at this price have no damping in the forks, so the front of the bike will pogo around, it removes grip, control and comfort, so we only recommend bikes with a damped fork - which the two above have, even a basic hydraulic damper is much much better than no damper at all.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    Okay cool thanks, I'm going to have a shop around tomorrow and see what I can find. How do you know if the forks are dampened? Is there anything else I should look out for?
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    You need to check the specs. Rebound damping is what you are looking for. If you can find the model name on the spec list then google should tell you the details. If they have adjustable rebound as a feature then thats a giveaway. Bikes in this price range may well have Suntour forks - as a rule Suntour puts an 'R' on the end of the name which indicates rebound damping is present. Such as 'Suntour XCR'
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    kixx wrote:
    Okay cool thanks, I'm going to have a shop around tomorrow and see what I can find. How do you know if the forks are dampened? Is there anything else I should look out for?

    At the price point you are looking at you are really unlikely to do better than the two mentioned if buying new. The bigger brands will invariably be significantly worse spec, no matter what the guys in the local shop may tell you. Look at the reviews on the Calibre 2.2!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Sorry Ben, not quite right, the lower level XCM gets damping if it's got hydraulic lockout (mechanical lockout is no damping), the XCR is probably for Race, it has magnesium lowers and weighs a lot less, most XCR have damping but not all, again you need to check.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    Went to go outdoors and they didn't have the bike mentioned so have to find another store that has it as I want to see it in person. Also went to Partridge cycles but they didn't have any thing that took my fancy sub 12000 unfortunately lol
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    As above really but I'd look at ebay & the classifieds on here.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • AndyPatioAndyPatio Posts: 76
    I bought the Carrera Vulcan for £360 the other day and I enjoy it. I'm just getting back into biking as well. Like you I went to go outdoors and they didn't have any in, the nearest store was 180 mile away :( Maybe look at the Carrera Vulcan?
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    What if I was to up my budget to say 500 how much of a better bike can I get for that price range
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    For that bit more you will get something with better forks and brakes (the two key components) and possibly a few other bits being a bit better as well, have a look at the Voodoo Hoodoo at Halfords at that price.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    personally dont like the look of the voodoo bikes. What about the scott aspect 740? seen one today and it looked quite smart but dont know much and them tech wise
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Looked at the 740, I wouldn't pay £550 for a bike with the same fork as fitted to £350 bikes.

    You can't see a bike when riding it, and they all look the same when muddy, looks is a very poor reason to choose a bike at this price point, although the big name brands are good at making their overpriced junk look pretty.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    that's very true, though you don't choose partner just for the way she rides so personally I think both play a part. Are there any others out there that would be worth considering? what about the saracen mantra 650b? had a ride on that today and felt good, especially the wheel size. 26 i feel is too small wheras 29 is a little cumbersome so the 27.5 was ideal
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    It's a bike, not your girlfriend, and by ride I'm sure he meant ride.
    You can get arrested for doing what you are thinking about.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    cooldad wrote:
    It's a bike, not your girlfriend, and by ride I'm sure he meant ride.
    You can get arrested for doing what you are thinking about.

    it's a play on words my friend, but regardless both should look nice (imo)
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Er yeah, I'm not that stupid
    The Rookie wrote:
    Looked at the 740, I wouldn't pay £550 for a bike with the same fork as fitted to £350 bikes.

    You can't see a bike when riding it, and they all look the same when muddy, looks is a very poor reason to choose a bike at this price point, although the big name brands are good at making their overpriced junk look pretty.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    cooldad wrote:
    Er yeah, I'm not that stupid

    Well thanks for the positive input :)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Your downfall..... You have the choices at the prices you've asked about, if you prefer a bike that looks pretty but is shoot to ride it will put you off faster than one that may not be such a stunner but will blew you away on the trails.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,135
    The £360 quid jobbie from Go will probably be every bit as good, if not better than a known brand selling an overprice frame with a name for £500.

    Depends if you are a brand snob or prefer to ride a bike. Personally I don't do brands. I do what does the job best.
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    Brands don't mean a great deal to me I've been out of the game long enough to not know the difference so it is a lot about how it rides however if I can purchase a bike that is good looking too then ideal. The one mentioned previous from gooutdoors do you know if they come with the 27.5 wheel?
  • snowstersnowster Posts: 474
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    Ah that's a bummer, may have to try find one in order to see how it fits as I find they're a bit small. How come they're so hard to come by?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    26" wheels have been around for decades and ridden by everyone from tiny to giant. The frame size makes a bike fit, not the wheels.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • snowstersnowster Posts: 474
    I would say price and the great reviews the bike has received but good luck trying may be worth speaking to your local store..
  • kixxkixx Posts: 16
    cooldad wrote:
    26" wheels have been around for decades and ridden by everyone from tiny to giant. The frame size makes a bike fit, not the wheels.

    Yeah there is that my old bike used to be 26 however after trialing a few out I much prefer the larger size. Though again I wouldn't not buy a bike purely on that alone
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