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New bike

GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
edited July 2014 in MTB beginners
Afternoon all,

I haven't been on a bike for years, but now my youngest boy really wants to get out on his bike. Unfortunately I don't own a bike so have been looking round but am completely baffled as to what I want / need in regards to a bike.

I have a budget of £300 Max we will mainly be riding canal paths and some rougher (not by much) routes like woodland paths I want to be able to tow a child carrier. I really want to be able to use the bike (when I get a little fitter) as something that I can throw around a little (ride harder) with out it falling apart in 5 mins, so good build quality is a must. But what brand and where to get it from I don't know.

I see the likes of Halfords have bikes starting at £80 but I'm not convinced that they would be good enough. I have never been convinced that the grip shift gear system thing is any good but would listen to advice.

My next issue is the brakes? disc or rim? if disc mechanical or hydrolic? Also Would I be looking at front / full or neither for suspension?

I am hoping to go purchase a bike on friday so any help and advise would be gratefully received

Cheers

GW

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-52 ... ctFeatures

    Slightly over budget, but about as cheap as you'll get an actual bike that works.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • ywangywang Posts: 8
    For the sake of safety (kids do the darnest things) I think disc brakes are a must. I think you should seriously consider used bike offerings, preferably from bike swaps so you can try out the bike but online resources work too. What are some major cities you live near?
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    In near Preston, I have seen this

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... Id=-1#tab3

    Any thoughts? I'm really struggling to find anything at the moment that fits my budget this seems the only bike that ticks any boxes
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    If you're not planning to do any really strenuous bumps/jumps/etc. straight away and are determined to go to Halfords, may I suggest this option:

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165534

    You'll lose a fair bit of weight and complexity by going for a rigid fork, and whatever you get you're likely to sell on in a couple of years so you can go for suspension then.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    Giraffoto wrote:
    If you're not planning to do any really strenuous bumps/jumps/etc. straight away and are determined to go to Halfords, may I suggest this option:

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165534

    You'll lose a fair bit of weight and complexity by going for a rigid fork, and whatever you get you're likely to sell on in a couple of years so you can go for suspension then.


    I'm not determined to go to Halfords, but looking at local bike shop websites most half decent looking / sounding bikes start over my £300 budget, but that could only be because I'm not sure what I want / need. I have the day off work tomorrow so will be calling in at bike shops to have a chat and work out the best course of action. I would really like to avoid Halfords as I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. (bad experience on the car audio side)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The go to options at this price point are the Voodoo Bantu or Carrera Vulcan (Bantu is better) at Halfords, the Rockrider as linked to above or the calibre two.two at Go Outdoors, but that was such good value no-one has any stock at all.

    Local stores are highly unlikely to be able to compete, they just don't have the volumes or margins (having to pay a cut to the 'brand') to be able to.
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    Thanks all,

    I'd love to be able to stretch to the Calibre or the Bantu, but I can't! :-( I've struggled to get the extra £20 i'd need for the Vulcan! but the funny thing is after I have bought it and got a little fitter I can start cycling to work and save on fuel!! which means I could afford to spend more, but as it stands my budget just will not stretch right now!

    GW
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The Vulcan is not by any means a bad bike, use British Cylcing membership to save 10% off and quidco for cashback and you'll save a few extra pennies.
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,698
    How tall are you? What size frame are you looking for?

    If I had £250, without a doubt I'd buy something second hand.... When I was a student back in 2003 and didn't have loads of cash I bought a 1999 Orange Ms-Isle (fully built up) for £400 second hand; the same bike brand new would have cost around £1500!


    For example, based on what you've said you want from a bike (and based on a strict budget of £250), I'd be looking at something like:

    Kona Cinder Cone:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw= ... &_from=R40

    Specialised Hardrock:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw= ... sacat=7294


    Kona's can be picked up second hand for brilliant prices, and are great bikes for the money.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    That may be a good idea if you know what you're looking at, and probably what I would do, but most of those Hardrocks are pretty dire, especially fork wise, and if there are any problems, particularly with forks, you could be looking at a significant chunk of the budget simply to repair/replace those.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Personally if looking used I'd look for a Bantu, I picked up a good one for £120, just needed new tyres, road miles only everything was in really good condition.
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    How tall are you? What size frame are you looking for?

    I am 6 foot 1 so guess I'm looking at large / x large. I have toyed with the idea of second hand bikes but its the fear of how well it has or hasn't been looked after. But worse of all if it was stolen and sold on what the implications would be and would I be able to get my money back if it was returned to its rightful owner?
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Geoffwayne wrote:
    I am 6 foot 1 so guess I'm looking at large / x large.
    I'm 6' 4" and find a 21" frame fits me very nicely - I had a 23" before and it was on the limit in some respects
    Geoffwayne wrote:
    But worse of all if it was stolen and sold on what the implications would be and would I be able to get my money back if it was returned to its rightful owner?
    This is a lot more straightforward than you might think. The stolen bike belongs to its original owner, or to the insurance company that's paid out for it. It does not belong to the unfortunate sap who bought it off a thief, and that means it has to be handed back. Your claim for a refund now rests with whoever you bought it from, and good luck with that. So do ask to see a receipt.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,698
    I'd say at 6ft 1" in general, something around 19" would be ideal - obviously sizing differs between manufacturers, but generally you'll be looking around the 19" mark, 18" would be a bit too small for what you want. However, you did say you wanted to be able to chuck it about so you don't want anything too big and XC oriented.... I'm 6ft 2 and always rode 18" bikes until I got my current MTB which is bigger, but that's because in general, I ride longer distance and far less jumps/drops etc... Plus I don't live near many hills so being "chuckable" isn't highest priority.


    After having a very brief look considering you're not really interested in second hand, it could be worth considering a 29er.... It will be faster rolling on the urban roads and still be capable off road....
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/jam ... e-ec062117

    If not, this 26" bike looks pretty decent for the cash:
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/jam ... 28#reviews
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    No, they don't. Absolutely useless pogo stick forks, so you're really only getting part of a bike for that.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    After having a very brief look considering you're not really interested in second hand, it could be worth considering a 29er.... It will be faster rolling on the urban roads and still be capable off road....
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/jam ... e-ec062117

    If not, this 26" bike looks pretty decent for the cash:
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/jam ... 28#reviews
    Neither are worth considering, they are both rubbish.....what on earth made you think (?) they were worth looking at?
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    Good morning all,

    I had a look round but didn't come away with anything :-( on the plus side my GF said she will add £100 to by budget. So I'm off to look again £400 to spend.

    GF is also going to by a bike rack, has anyone got any views? its for a 12 plate ford galaxy, which doesn't have a tow bar.
  • flashpaulflashpaul Posts: 5
    Check out gumtree

    There's a 2014 Cannondale SL4 on for £400 , Blackburn Lancs
    Looks unused and comes with accessories and receipt
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    Good morning All,

    Thanks for all the advise. In the end I plumbed for the Carrera Vulcan. Got cash back via Quidco which was a bonus. I decided to get some new equipment to as my helmet had seen better days (plus my boy thought it would be fun to roll it down the stairs). I have been back and forth to work a few times on it now (16 mile round trip, not bad for me) and have worked out that I need some padded shorts and would like a trip cpu.

    I do however have one question, on the front brake the lever seems to have a large way to travel before the stopping begins, is this a major issue and can it be resolved easily?
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Geoffwayne wrote:
    I do however have one question, on the front brake the lever seems to have a large way to travel before the stopping begins, is this a major issue and can it be resolved easily?

    If it's a cable brake, easy peasy, if it's hydraulic . . . over to the panel
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    Giraffoto wrote:
    Geoffwayne wrote:
    I do however have one question, on the front brake the lever seems to have a large way to travel before the stopping begins, is this a major issue and can it be resolved easily?

    If it's a cable brake, easy peasy, if it's hydraulic . . . over to the panel


    It's hydraulic, I'm I little more confident with cable so would have had a fiddle.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    If it just moves a distance then is firm, advance the pads.
    If it's squidgy, which it shouldn't be on a new bike, it's air and needs bleeding.
    But it shouldn't and leave that as an absolute last resort.

    What brakes?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • GeoffwayneGeoffwayne Posts: 10
    cooldad wrote:
    If it just moves a distance then is firm, advance the pads.
    If it's squidgy, which it shouldn't be on a new bike, it's air and needs bleeding.
    But it shouldn't and leave that as an absolute last resort.

    What brakes?

    They are Clarks SX hydraulic disc brakes the leaver moves then is firm.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Try holding the brakes closed overnight with a rubber band around the lever and bars.
    No idea how to officially advance the pads on those though - someone probably will.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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