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What bike to get for beginner? Budget isn't a problem.

Jamielam96Jamielam96 Posts: 12
edited January 2016 in MTB beginners
I wondering what type of bike to get to start mountain biking. I'm a keen roadie. Budget isn't a problem, but was really seeing if the a good bike will make a difference. Like would working up to a good bike be better, or just buying the good bike first.

Posts

  • The advice I was given was get something which you won't want to upgrade instantly. Like you I was a keen roadie and opted for a Trek X-Caliber 9 which I'm really pleased with. I knew I was more likely to ride a nice bike so justified the extra spend.
  • The advice I was given was get something which you won't want to upgrade instantly. Like you I was a keen roadie and opted for a Trek X-Caliber 9 which I'm really pleased with. I knew I was more likely to ride a nice bike so justified the extra spend.

    So no need to go through the hardtail route and build skills first? As us roadies aren't renowned for our bike handling haha
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    More expensive get more specialised towards a particular discipline. I would start with a mid range trail bike like a Giant Trance.
    You might decide you're a traditional xc rider who wants lots of non technical miles and a bit of racing. Or you might end up wanting a big enduro bike for smashing out laps at the bike park or even a downhill bike to blast down the nastiest trails.
  • More expensive get more specialised towards a particular discipline. I would start with a mid range trail bike like a Giant Trance.
    You might decide you're a traditional xc rider who wants lots of non technical miles and a bit of racing. Or you might end up wanting a big enduro bike for smashing out laps at the bike park or even a downhill bike to blast down the nastiest trails.

    What's the difference between trail bikes and enduro bikes?
  • kickaxekickaxe Posts: 446
    More expensive get more specialised towards a particular discipline. I would start with a mid range trail bike like a Giant Trance.
    You might decide you're a traditional xc rider who wants lots of non technical miles and a bit of racing. Or you might end up wanting a big enduro bike for smashing out laps at the bike park or even a downhill bike to blast down the nastiest trails.

    What's the difference between trail bikes and enduro bikes?

    Trail bikes are build for going on most trails (Therefor also called All-mountain). Enduro is focused on descending, one could say you "endure" the climbs to get to the top and then have fun on the way down. For a start get a Hardtail or full suspension trailbike (I wouldn't go over 150mm in travel)
    -Cube Acid 29" 2013
    -A new Giant Trance 3 2015!
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,184
    Trance or vitus sommet would be my general choice at the minute.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • CodfatherCodfather Posts: 359
    I would advise against starting with a full suspension bike. It'll teach you bad habits of bombing through and relying on the suspension to sort things and mask poor technique. Better off starting on a hardtail and getting the basics of bike handling and proper technique before moving onto a trail bike. A decent, general purpose hardtail would be the best starting point; something like a Bird Zero perhaps.
    Current fleet
    2015 Transition Scout
    2012 Nukeproof Scalp
    2016 Genesis Latitude
    2012 Transition Double
    2012 Transition Trail or Park

    2006 Trek SL1000
    2017 Fly Proton
    ???? Create Polo Bike
  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    RockmonkeySC recommends the Giant Trance a lot and there are good reasons why.

    It has an efficient rear suspension set-up, so pedals and climbs well; weight is reasonable too which helps

    But it's also capable on technical trails and when pointed downhill.

    Add to this that it can be had for very good prices especially if you go for a previous model year (check Pauls Cycles) and it's easy to see why it's recommended

    As you are a roadie it may well be worth taking a look at the Giant Anthem (or the SX version). Shares the same suspension set up as the Trance, but with less travel and lower weight. It pedals and climbs beautifully and is longer than the Trance so may well suit a roadie. It's surprisingly capable downhill though less so than the Trance. Again Pauls Cycles often have deals
  • RockmonkeySC recommends the Giant Trance a lot and there are good reasons why.

    It has an efficient rear suspension set-up, so pedals and climbs well; weight is reasonable too which helps

    But it's also capable on technical trails and when pointed downhill.

    Add to this that it can be had for very good prices especially if you go for a previous model year (check Pauls Cycles) and it's easy to see why it's recommended

    As you are a roadie it may well be worth taking a look at the Giant Anthem (or the SX version). Shares the same suspension set up as the Trance, but with less travel and lower weight. It pedals and climbs beautifully and is longer than the Trance so may well suit a roadie. It's surprisingly capable downhill though less so than the Trance. Again Pauls Cycles often have deals

    So don't look for anything with heaps of travel? I've been looking at the canyon strive, as it says it can climb and descend. However I'm not sure how true that is. Any thoughts?
  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    I would advise against starting with a full suspension bike. It'll teach you bad habits of bombing through and relying on the suspension to sort things and mask poor technique. Better off starting on a hardtail and getting the basics of bike handling and proper technique before moving onto a trail bike. A decent, general purpose hardtail would be the best starting point; something like a Bird Zero perhaps.

    Well yes, to a point.

    Depends on what FS bike we're talking about.

    I don't ride my Anthem (early 89mm travel version) much (any?) differently to my Duster HT. I enjoy both, but the Anthem is certainly faster both uphill and down.

    As budget doesn't seem to be an issue to the OP he could always invest in some skills courses too
  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    RockmonkeySC recommends the Giant Trance a lot and there are good reasons why.

    It has an efficient rear suspension set-up, so pedals and climbs well; weight is reasonable too which helps

    But it's also capable on technical trails and when pointed downhill.

    Add to this that it can be had for very good prices especially if you go for a previous model year (check Pauls Cycles) and it's easy to see why it's recommended

    As you are a roadie it may well be worth taking a look at the Giant Anthem (or the SX version). Shares the same suspension set up as the Trance, but with less travel and lower weight. It pedals and climbs beautifully and is longer than the Trance so may well suit a roadie. It's surprisingly capable downhill though less so than the Trance. Again Pauls Cycles often have deals

    So don't look for anything with heaps of travel? I've been looking at the canyon strive, as it says it can climb and descend. However I'm not sure how true that is. Any thoughts?

    I don't know much about the Strive but, yes, I'd avoid anything with 'heaps' of travel as a first MTB

    Consider what you're likely to be riding and what you're capable of. Remember also that rear suspension isn't just for 'steamrollering' the trail. The reason my Anthem is quick uphill is because the rear sus keeps the rear wheel in contact with the ground and gives traction.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Americans aren't suited to mountain biking as bigger doesn't mean better!

    By that I mean that more suspension travel changes a bike, for the better in some scenarios, for the worse in others, What sort of riding will you start out doing? An Anthem through SX to Trance are good starting points depending on what sort of riding you start at.

    As a soft rule of thumb, less travel will climb better, more will descend better, but it is more complex than that as the bike geometry, type of suspension and the behaviour of the suspension units themselves will all change that. You could build a mega slack short travel hardtail and it would climb about as well as water up a mountain, where a Trance would be quite adept.

    I have a 100mm FS bike as that suites my riding, it works well at trail centres and doesn't make them too sterile (which more travel can do - it feels faster at the same speed), it will also do the XC role well as it's light and pedals efficiently, it is very similar in concept (not the rear suspension layout) and geometry to the Anthem demonstrating that the right geometry can outweigh many nice shiny parts!
  • JodyPJodyP Posts: 193
    I would say Big Al had it right with considering what you are riding or where and then you will get better recommendations. If you're not after heaps of travel an Anthem does most things very well and is best of all worlds.
  • Americans aren't suited to mountain biking as bigger doesn't mean better!

    By that I mean that more suspension travel changes a bike, for the better in some scenarios, for the worse in others, What sort of riding will you start out doing? An Anthem through SX to Trance are good starting points depending on what sort of riding you start at.

    As a soft rule of thumb, less travel will climb better, more will descend better, but it is more complex than that as the bike geometry, type of suspension and the behaviour of the suspension units themselves will all change that. You could build a mega slack short travel hardtail and it would climb about as well as water up a mountain, where a Trance would be quite adept.

    I have a 100mm FS bike as that suites my riding, it works well at trail centres and doesn't make them too sterile (which more travel can do - it feels faster at the same speed), it will also do the XC role well as it's light and pedals efficiently, it is very similar in concept (not the rear suspension layout) and geometry to the Anthem demonstrating that the right geometry can outweigh many nice shiny parts!

    So the strive with it's adjustable geometry wouldn't help on the climbs or descents?
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I wouldn't touch a Canyon Strive with a sh1tty stick. It takes months to arrive and the the shapeshifter frame fails and it has to go back.
    There's no reason to learn on a hardtail, it will teach you different techniques, not better ones and you won't need them when on full suspension.
    I would suggest something like a Giant Trance, Nukeproof Mega TR (not am), Mondraker Foxy or Specialized Stumpjumper.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Specialized :D
    I have the Camber and love it
    29" which I'm really liking, good for long XC rides, climbs well and now I'm getting the hang of it good for pretty much everything!
    I thought that 29ers may die a death with the invent of 27.5 and originally regretted buying mine but now I've used it more I love it.
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I would advise against starting with a full suspension bike. It'll teach you bad habits of bombing through and relying on the suspension to sort things and mask poor technique. Better off starting on a hardtail and getting the basics of bike handling and proper technique before moving onto a trail bike. A decent, general purpose hardtail would be the best starting point; something like a Bird Zero perhaps.

    bollox
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I wondering what type of bike to get to start mountain biking. I'm a keen roadie. Budget isn't a problem, but was really seeing if the a good bike will make a difference. Like would working up to a good bike be better, or just buying the good bike first.


    all depends on what you want to ride - consider a transition scout
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Keeping heels down is important with SPD's as well. Improves your position on the bike, feel for the rear wheel, ability to react with body position movement quickly, position stability over rough ground and your ability to weight pedals correctly when cornering.
    Whether using SPD's or flats dripping your heels is probably the most critical thing for good riding technique.
    Check out downhill racers, nearly all pro racers use SPD's these days, you won't see one of them without their heels dropped.
    Although I don't think flats improve technique just like I don't think hardtails improve technique.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,866
    Horses for courses an Anthem or similar would be ideal as many riders move to a full sus. Best bet is to try a couple of demo bikes on the same loop full sus and hardtail see how you feel on them.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I wondering what type of bike to get to start mountain biking. I'm a keen roadie. Budget isn't a problem, but was really seeing if the a good bike will make a difference. Like would working up to a good bike be better, or just buying the good bike first.


    all depends on what you want to ride - consider a transition scout

    The Scout is brilliant but needs to be pushed hard before it works properly. Giant Trance might be a bit more beginner friendly and definitely better value.
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I wondering what type of bike to get to start mountain biking. I'm a keen roadie. Budget isn't a problem, but was really seeing if the a good bike will make a difference. Like would working up to a good bike be better, or just buying the good bike first.


    all depends on what you want to ride - consider a transition scout

    The Scout is brilliant but needs to be pushed hard before it works properly. Giant Trance might be a bit more beginner friendly and definitely better value.

    thats probably just you
  • edrobbinedrobbin Posts: 173
    If money no issue, then go for a Cannondale with the Lefty fork. You wont be disappointed
    Waterloo - White City

    Cannondale Quick Carbon 1 2016
    Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 3 26" (Lefty) :D
  • If money no issue, then go for a Cannondale with the Lefty fork. You wont be disappointed
    Which one?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    To an obvious Cannondale fanboy, any.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • edrobbinedrobbin Posts: 173
    If money no issue, then go for a Cannondale with the Lefty fork. You wont be disappointed
    Which one?

    As ever, depends on the sort of bike. Personally I'd have the FSI hardtail. Had a couple of the full sus XC bikes which we great, but I fancy a no nonsense HT.

    Fan boy? Absolutely
    Waterloo - White City

    Cannondale Quick Carbon 1 2016
    Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 3 26" (Lefty) :D
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