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Hi, new member, old question...

skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
edited July 2014 in MTB buying advice
Usual tale I suspect, been loitering for a week or so and now signed up.

Expecting a £700 cyclescheme voucher through very soon and am looking for some advice.

After speaking with a couple of mates I've decided a hard tail mtb is the way to go preferable with lockable forks for the odd time I do any distance on roads.

My problem is my size. I'm 6ft7, around a 35" leg (can't find the tape measure right now) so figure I'm long in the body, also around 16st. So based on this I've been thinking along the lines of a 29er with a frame as big as poss which is proving difficult to compare as not all manufactures seem to use the same sizing.

I've been looking at 23" frames, 21" frames, XL frames, XXL frames :/

I'm sure I'll be able to get one to fit, it's just hard when I don't know what the differences are between x & y shifters from the same manufacturer when the end price is the same.

The bikes that have caught my eye so far are:
Fuji Nevada 29er 1.3 Disc (2014) Mountain Bike - Can't find any reviews of this.
Specialized Rockhopper 29er (2014) Mountain Bike - 3.5/5 review scores have put me off.
VooDoo Bizango 29er Mountain Bike - can only seem to find in a 20" frame and am not thrilled on the looks or the thought of having to buy from Halfords despite the very positive reviews.
Charge Cooker 1 or 2 (2014) - Not sure what the actual differences are.
CANNONDALE Trail 29 4 or 5 (2014) - Again not sure of the differences.

Any others I should look at?

Thanks
Scott

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    You are best off visiting a shop and trying them. For instance I am 6ft - but 35" leg also. As you can see it varies enormously.

    Which shops do the scheme you are on?
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Hi supersonic, I'm 6ft7 and 35" leg.

    It's the cyclescheme, so Evans, Halfords etc, (http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/retailers/wakefield).

    I've been to the Leeds city centre branch of evans and they didn't have much in my price range. I did sit on a £1500 Trek 21" frame and there wasn't much clearance between the top bar and my family allowance. The guy in the shop also said the seat wouldn't go low enough to be set right for me.

    Also a bunch of online places accept cyclescheme too, which would enable me to maybe save some cash but I'd then need to go to a local bike shop to get it set up correctly.

    Thanks
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I'd be straight to Halfords and trying what they have ie the Boardman bikes.

    Top tube clearance is a consideration, but not always that important. Reach is. And reach varies for a given listed size.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I am around 6ft7 as well with 35" inside leg for jeans and a 36.5" cycling inseam without shoes on.

    I ended up with a 23" specialized Carve last year which fits me fine and for once I am not right on the upper size limit for a frame. I use it for all kinds of riding, trail centres, single track and rougher trails in the wilds. It handles very well and is a good fast XC bike once I upgraded the brakes to XT.

    The problem I found was most bikes don't fit very tall riders and there is a limited selection to choose from. If you are the same proportions as me then you may be looking at a similar size to a 23" Carve (now crave) to get the right size. Try some test rides to be sure. The stack and reach measurements are useful when comparing bikes for tall riders.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Supersonic, the only Boardman in my price range at Halfords only comes in a 19" frame with 27.5" wheels.

    Thanks Kajjal, the carve is out of my price range I'm afraid.

    Are there any particular components I should be expecting as a minimum spec on bikes at this price. For example, whats the difference between Shimano Acera, Altus & Deore?

    Thanks again
  • bigmitch41bigmitch41 Posts: 684
    The Rockhopper is not a bad bike, the best advice so far is go and have a look/sit on as many as you can find and get a feel for them..
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    The Rookie wrote:
    Are you sure you can get a bike from Halfords through cyclescheme?

    They have huge banners all over the shop at my bit for the cycle to work scheme.

    @OP

    Take a trip to Evans, most Evans stores are pretty big and have a massive range of bikes. You are far better off going in and having a look.

    I would be shocked if you left the shop with nothing, you can get a good hardtail for £700. Or £600 if your wanting £100 for helmet, gloves and a bag.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    There are several cycle to work schemes, not all of which allow you to buy from the same shops.
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    Gibbo3771 wrote:
    The Rookie wrote:
    Are you sure you can get a bike from Halfords through cyclescheme?

    They have huge banners all over the shop at my bit for the cycle to work scheme.

    @OP

    Take a trip to Evans, most Evans stores are pretty big and have a massive range of bikes. You are far better off going in and having a look.

    I would be shocked if you left the shop with nothing, you can get a good hardtail for £700. Or £600 if your wanting £100 for helmet, gloves and a bag.

    Of course you can. But not al bikes are equal value for money. You can either get a very good bike or a very poor bike at that price range. It's well worth doing research on specific models before taking the leap.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Gibbo3771 wrote:
    The Rookie wrote:
    Are you sure you can get a bike from Halfords through cyclescheme?

    They have huge banners all over the shop at my bit for the cycle to work scheme.
    Well done, that is Halfords Cycle to work scheme, the OP was talking about 'cyclescheme' a specific company.

    To put it another way, you can't get bikes from Halfords at cyclescheme.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Yeah halfords isn't listed on the link I posted, but I'm pretty sure my mate at work got a Boardman on the same scheme.

    Anyhoo, I'll head to evans on Wednesday and have a look around. I'm not so worried about the sizing more not getting the best I can for the money. Like I say I don't know the difference between shifters a & b or forks c & d to know which is the best combination (with possible upgrade path).

    Should I be looking for shimano brakes? tektro brakes? Suntour forks? Rock Shox forks?

    Thanks
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    IF you can get a Boardman, then get a Boardman.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    chrisw333 wrote:
    IF you can get a Boardman, then get a Boardman.

    Even if Halfords were on the scheme they don't have a Boardman big enough for me so I can cross both off my list.

    Cheers
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the Scott Scale 970 2014 and the Scott Aspect 720 2014?

    I've looked at the specs and they look very similar, both are the same price and as far as I can tell the Scale is supposedly the higher model.

    Thanks
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Do you have links to the exact models you have seen?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    As you say, spec is close. The Scales are more 'xc' based, usually a little steeper in geometry. That one also has 29 inch wheels compared to the smaller 650b of the Aspect.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I would be very careful on the sizing of both bikes as they are not likely to fit a very tall rider and if you are spending £700 you need to get a bike that fits you properly. If you look at the geometry of a specialized crave 23" and note the reach and stack measurements , these can be compared to other bikes. Very roughly speaking stack is how tall a bike is and reach how long for the riding position. The two bikes you mention , the aspect in the largest frame size has a 6cm / 2.5 "lower stack than the Crave which is a big difference. The scale has a 7cm difference.

    I am not suggesting you buy a Crave just be careful to do test rides and not buy a bike that is too small.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    supersonic wrote:
    As you say, spec is close. The Scales are more 'xc' based, usually a little steeper in geometry. That one also has 29 inch wheels compared to the smaller 650b of the Aspect.

    Thanks supersonic, didn't even notice the wheels sizes. Are they decent bikes for the money? I'd be looking at the Scale.

    I'm slowly starting to get my head round some of the components, should I be looking for a bike with an air fork rather than a spring? Is the fork more important than having Deore over Altus?

    Thanks for all your help.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Kajjal wrote:
    I would be very careful on the sizing of both bikes as they are not likely to fit a very tall rider and if you are spending £700 you need to get a bike that fits you properly. If you look at the geometry of a specialized crave 23" and note the reach and stack measurements , these can be compared to other bikes. Very roughly speaking stack is how tall a bike is and reach how long for the riding position. The two bikes you mention , the aspect in the largest frame size has a 6cm / 2.5 "lower stack than the Crave which is a big difference. The scale has a 7cm difference.

    I am not suggesting you buy a Crave just be careful to do test rides and not buy a bike that is too small.

    Yeah they Crave is well out of my price range. I'll definitely be trying before I buy and couldn't make it to the bike shop today, hence another evening of online learning.

    Thanks
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    skotbites wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    I would be very careful on the sizing of both bikes as they are not likely to fit a very tall rider and if you are spending £700 you need to get a bike that fits you properly. If you look at the geometry of a specialized crave 23" and note the reach and stack measurements , these can be compared to other bikes. Very roughly speaking stack is how tall a bike is and reach how long for the riding position. The two bikes you mention , the aspect in the largest frame size has a 6cm / 2.5 "lower stack than the Crave which is a big difference. The scale has a 7cm difference.

    I am not suggesting you buy a Crave just be careful to do test rides and not buy a bike that is too small.

    Yeah they Crave is well out of my price range. I'll definitely be trying before I buy and couldn't make it to the bike shop today, hence another evening of online learning.

    Thanks

    Good luck :D
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Are decent bikes - fork a little under par for the money, but it works ok. Nice frames.

    Take a look at this too:

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p66148/Charge ... -Bike.aspx

    The Rockshox fork is better made and is a cut above the basic Suntour. XL size too.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    That Charge Cooker 2 is on my shorlist to try, how do the Pro Max brakes stack up against the Shimano BR-M395 that seem to be the standard in this price range.

    Thanks again.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I'd rather have the Shimano - but they work fine, just not quite as powerful.
  • skotbitesskotbites Posts: 17
    Ok I think I'm almost there it's down to these

    SCOTT Scale 970
    Charge Cooker 2

    However, I've just seen this CUBE-LTD-PRO-2013
    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m1b0s2p4684/CUBE-LTD-PRO-2013

    Would that be a better option?

    Thanks
    Scott
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