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Mountain bike for a Roadie

TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
edited August 2015 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

Im more of a roadie than a MTB'er but want a hardtail for use this winter.

If buying a road bike i know exactly what groupsets are better than others and can spot a good value bike when i look at the component list compared to another. I know that i prefer SRAM shifting and i like to ride with nice lightweight wheels.

However as i have never bought a mountain bike i have no idea about what money buys at a certain price range. With a budget of £500 i know i am looking at a lower end bike but what components should i expect at that range. And what should i avoid ?

Not necessarily looking for a recommendation on a particular bike but more of an idea on what £500 buys component wise

Thanks
Cannondale Caad8
Canyon Aeroad 8.0

http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The most important component is the fork at this price point - if it hasn't got hydraulic damping, preferably adjustable, forget it as the bike will ride like a 1920s pram. Hydraulic brakes should be in the deal too. But when it comes to gearsets, there is little in them. They all work well, however in my experience budget Shimano works better than budget Sram.

    This is a good bike for the £500:

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/13-incline-alpha-27-5-mountain-bike-2015

    Great fork, nice groupset - the brakes aren't the most powerful, but do the job nicely. The Rockrider 560 at Decathlon is cheaper and better though, however very limited stock.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    £500 buys anything from a pretty reasonable bike from one of the value brands, to an overpriced piece of junk from a big name brand where too much of your money pays for the badge and not much in the way of components!
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    £500 buys anything from a pretty reasonable bike from one of the value brands, to an overpriced piece of junk from a big name brand where too much of your money pays for the badge and not much in the way of components!

    This is exactly why i asked the question - very much interested in a more value brand and getting the most for my money. The problem is i currently dont know what vfm looks like on a MTB
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Looking at your road bikes, I'd say £500 gets you a disappointment, unless you buy used.

    Is this for riding in really bad road weather, where you basically want more grip, better brakes and something that can take a bit of grime without needing new wheels at the end of the season or are you thinking trails and proper mud?

    At that price point Boardman is probably the only reasonable brand to get you semi decent SRAM stuff. Otherwise its Shimano Alivio (Sora level) groupset.

    It goes roughly:

    XTR - DuraAce
    XT - Ultegra
    SLX - 105
    Deore - Tiagra

    The second thing you have to choose is wheel size 26", 27.5" or 29"
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    Looking at your road bikes, I'd say £500 gets you a disappointment, unless you buy used.

    Is this for riding in really bad road weather, where you basically want more grip, better brakes and something that can take a bit of grime without needing new wheels at the end of the season or are you thinking trails and proper mud?

    At that price point Boardman is probably the only reasonable brand to get you semi decent SRAM stuff. Otherwise its Shimano Alivio (Sora level) groupset.

    It goes roughly:

    XTR - DuraAce
    XT - Ultegra
    SLX - 105
    Deore - Tiagra

    The second thing you have to choose is wheel size 26", 27.5" or 29"

    Its going to be purely for thrashing around offroad in the mud and trying some trails. The road bike will always be my go to ride but road riding in heavy rain is not much fun whilst getting covered in mud off road seems like great fun. I cant see me regularly riding a MTB which is why i dont want to spend too much and will prob buy 2nd hand to get the most out of my budget.

    I have zero idea on wheel size tho :?

    Thanks for the list above
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    If you're going used - you may pick up a bargain in 26" which pretty much used to be the only choice, until the manufacturers came up with the idea of 29" to stop people incrementally upgrading their bikes. They came out with all sorts of rolling resistance and speed advantages, made some fuggly bikes that nobody bought, finally admitted they got it wrong and came up with 27.5" as a compromise. Unless you are tall or want something that will go quick in light trail XC conditions, IMO 26" or 27.5" (650b) is the way to go for having a crack at MTB.

    A word of warning though - just because MTBs are built for the rough stuff doesn't mean they need less maintenance. I'm more of a winter roadie, purely to keep the maintenance costs down on the mtb. a winter of heavy use would see you get through 3 or 4 sets of pads, a chain, cassette etc. Plus most Mtbers have at least 2 different sets of tyres.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Or a dozen bikes and shelves and cabinets of bits.
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  • I would look at the Giant range - they make some really fun bikes with reasonable components at prices that will have you wondering how they do it! If you want something really fun second hand and within your budget look at the Trance - you should be able to pick up a reasonable second hand one for around the £500 mark but if you are willing to spend more you can often find last years model (brand new) for around the £1000 mark.
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