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Its between Saracen Mantra Pro or Bizango

core00core00 Posts: 169
edited May 2016 in MTB buying advice
I know I've posted the same thing and asking about entry level I just want to do more search before buying one.

So finalising my decision and it seems like its falling between these two bikes both at the same price. If you're going to shop for a new entry bike which one would you pick between the two? both have positive reviews on the site and both have 1 or 2 downsides? I think both have good specs within the price range, I don't want my "impulse buying" habit do the purchasing

Saracen has coil/spring suspension vs has air sprung fork?

Can they both run on tubeless to cut weight? Saracen weigh 14kg whereas the Voodoo is only 13kg, is 1kg a big difference? Regarding the wheel size, I think its more personal preference? I've never tried 27.5 and 29er on bumpy trails.

I went to try the bizango 16" seems okay but not sure I'm about 5"7 I'd like to see the 18" frame size but not available, reading some posts on the forum that 18" might be a bit big for average height like me.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Saracen-Mantra- ... _82875.htm
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/m ... ntain-bike

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,722
    Bizango would be my choice, better forks, better gearing with 10spd, lighter bike need I go on. As to going tubeless I'm not sure, but you could do a ghetto fix with gorilla tape or something similar. 18" frame I suspect would be to big, I have an 18" framed fury and that's really to big for me and I'm slightly taller than you.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    The Voodoo has better everything, pretty much.

    Most wheels can be made to run tube less.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Thanks, and well people have been saying bad reviews about halfords regarding assembling the bike. Any tips I should be aware? I know some close friends that's been riding for sometime now but not sure if they've built their bikes but surely they know how to just not sure how good.

    both are trail oriented bikes, right? well that's what the reviews says at least as Swinley Forest trail park is near where I work :D so I can do some run even after work.

    Update: Silly question, can you put 27.5 wheel on a 29er fork? :lol:
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,722
    Idea for Swinley, as to halfords rep its down to some very poor mechanics. I would like to assume that halfords are trying to improve the standard of mechanics work to get their rep back. As to what to look out for its a case of make sure everything is tight and works correctly, expect the gears to want some minor adjustment after a few rides as the cables will stretch and bed in a bit this is normal on most new bikes. A few major censored -ups on halfords part have led to the rep, things like wheels falling off forks on the wrong way etc and generally poor service. The bikes are for the most not bad, carrera, boardman, bizango, 13 etc, the low end apollo or trax are however NOT. If you start to enjoy your riding you will soon want to get a better bike anyway as is the way of biking.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I have seen a few 'Halfords' censored ups that were actually the customer putting the wheel(s) back on the bike after taking it home in their car, even including the bars spun 360 and a mess of cables at the front.

    Yes they have a consistency issue, but then I've seen just as bad from Evans and LBS's.
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    I guess I will just have to tell them "Do your job properly" or that's a bit horrible? :lol:
    Idea for Swinley, as to halfords rep its down to some very poor mechanics. I would like to assume that halfords are trying to improve the standard of mechanics work to get their rep back. As to what to look out for its a case of make sure everything is tight and works correctly, expect the gears to want some minor adjustment after a few rides as the cables will stretch and bed in a bit this is normal on most new bikes. A few major censored -ups on halfords part have led to the rep, things like wheels falling off forks on the wrong way etc and generally poor service. The bikes are for the most not bad, carrera, boardman, bizango, 13 etc, the low end apollo or trax are however NOT. If you start to enjoy your riding you will soon want to get a better bike anyway as is the way of biking

    Idea for Swinley? Really putting forks the wrong way around :O that happens? Maybe take the bike in a box and ask one of my friends to assemble it or will that void if anything happens during the assembly? Yeah I suppose entry level bike would be ideal to find out which stuff I like and dislike, how long did people take to upgrade from entry to your current level?

    My friends are riding full sussers (some are enduro type I think), kinda feel intimidating already yet haven't been riding with them yet.

    Anyone rides at Swinley Forest?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Just get it and check it over before riding, preferably with someone who knows what they're doing. It's pretty simple to see obvious errors. All Halfords do is stick the main components on like wheels, straighten the bars and tweek the adjustments. The rest is done in the factory.

    Personally I'd check any bike I bought, new or second hand, before riding it anyway.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,722
    Apologies Core for the predictive spelling mistake. Have done Swinley a few times this year and love it. Few sections currently out of use and diversions in place due to nesting season. Weekdays are the best as it gets very busy at weekends and evenings. If your not very experienced its a good learner place to go as nothing really nasty on the normal trails, can't speak for the off piste stuff though. A few of the rooty sections can be a bit uncomfortable but nothing to worry about. As to the bike assembly follow cooldads advice. Don't forget to carry spare tube, pump, multitool
    , drink etc. Enjoy.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    oxoman wrote:
    Apologies Core for the predictive spelling mistake. Have done Swinley a few times this year and love it. Few sections currently out of use and diversions in place due to nesting season. Weekdays are the best as it gets very busy at weekends and evenings. If your not very experienced its a good learner place to go as nothing really nasty on the normal trails, can't speak for the off piste stuff though. A few of the rooty sections can be a bit uncomfortable but nothing to worry about. As to the bike assembly follow cooldads advice. Don't forget to carry spare tube, pump, multitool
    , drink etc. Enjoy.

    That's alright, do you think they will make buy tubeless if I ask them? Guessing Maxxis will have a tube in it, then take the tubes as spares in case. Been watching some vids of people mtbing at Swinley looks like a nice place to learn.

    But do you think 16" frame will be the best fit for my height? I will probably check the halfords in Bracknell too as its only 5mins from work. It sucks that they're currently doing Monday bank holiday sales but no Voodoo range :(

    I want register on British Cycling membership to get that 10% off on Halfords and Chain reaction, anyone else has it?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,722
    Personally don't get hung up on going tubeless straight away, I certainly wouldn't be asking halfords guys to set me up tubeless. The only way to find out on the fit is to try one out, I currently have a carrera fury 18" hardtail which is a tad to big for me but I'm 5' 8" and a bit, manage to throw it about but not as easy as my full-sus. Remember this is also a 29er so will feel a bit bigger than normal. I am a BC member and it comes in handy for a bit of discount here and there, you also get insurance with it and legal assistance if needed. Just be warned putting a tube in on the trail if a tubeless setup fails will be messy.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    oxoman wrote:
    Personally don't get hung up on going tubeless straight away, I certainly wouldn't be asking halfords guys to set me up tubeless. The only way to find out on the fit is to try one out, I currently have a carrera fury 18" hardtail which is a tad to big for me but I'm 5' 8" and a bit, manage to throw it about but not as easy as my full-sus. Remember this is also a 29er so will feel a bit bigger than normal. I am a BC member and it comes in handy for a bit of discount here and there, you also get insurance with it and legal assistance if needed. Just be warned putting a tube in on the trail if a tubeless setup fails will be messy.

    Yeah 29er is the only thing I'm kinda making me think twice, I think it will make the ride easy on bumpy trails but it makes the bike a little taller and I've always been riding small wheel size. Its not like I can return it after riding it and saying 29er seems big and etc.

    How much is the bike insurance normally? I heard one of the guys from my old work place talking about it but didn't really pay any attention to it.

    Edit: since its air sprung fork do I have to adjust the pressure on that too to have the right pressure for my weight, right?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,722
    The 29 er wheels will ride over rutty stuff easier than 26" wheels I went middle of the road with my Anthem with 27'5" instead. The BC insurance covers you for 3rd party damage to others and property of others not for damage to your bike or theft. It will provide legal assistance and advice in case of any accident and any subsequent claim etc. It's worth having just in case, I commute and do sportives etc and should I get injured by a third party I have help in claiming back for damage to myself, or my property and loss off earnings. Proper bike insurance for theft or damage to bike can be expensive so look at house insurance policies etc first. You will need to set up your shocks to suit you so you will need a shock pump to do this, loads of video clips on YouTube showing you what to do. Just as a final thing I see kids on small frame 29ers riding on the trails so don't be put off by the size thing.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • daffdaff Posts: 81
    I've got the Bizango (2015 version - Acid yellow / green)

    I'm 5'8 and have the 16" version. I tried the 18" but my crown jewels were rubbing on the bar so had zero stand over clearance. I know it's not the be all and end all, but it just didn't feel comfortable

    The 16" is great. I changed the stock 60mm stem to an 80mm stem and it now feels ideal.

    I've made mine tubeless. Used gorilla tape on the front and it worked a treat. Wouldn't work on the rear though as had a slight leak at the seam weld. Instead I use the split inner tube method on the rear and it works flawlessly.

    All in all a really great trail bike. I use mine for local XC rides and it's great.

    Can't fault Halfords. Came set up brilliantly, in fact I've had no fettling to the gears, etc in over 300 miles. The only thing that has gone slightly astray came at the 6 week check when I took it back in and explained a knocking at the front end (wasn't the headset, etc). Halfords diagnosed play in the stanchions and ordered some new fork lowers which were fitted quickly and I was back on the trails within 3 days.

    Anything else you want to know, just shout.
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    daff wrote:
    I've got the Bizango (2015 version - Acid yellow / green)

    I'm 5'8 and have the 16" version. I tried the 18" but my crown jewels were rubbing on the bar so had zero stand over clearance. I know it's not the be all and end all, but it just didn't feel comfortable

    The 16" is great. I changed the stock 60mm stem to an 80mm stem and it now feels ideal.

    I've made mine tubeless. Used gorilla tape on the front and it worked a treat. Wouldn't work on the rear though as had a slight leak at the seam weld. Instead I use the split inner tube method on the rear and it works flawlessly.

    All in all a really great trail bike. I use mine for local XC rides and it's great.

    Can't fault Halfords. Came set up brilliantly, in fact I've had no fettling to the gears, etc in over 300 miles. The only thing that has gone slightly astray came at the 6 week check when I took it back in and explained a knocking at the front end (wasn't the headset, etc). Halfords diagnosed play in the stanchions and ordered some new fork lowers which were fitted quickly and I was back on the trails within 3 days.

    Anything else you want to know, just shout.

    Thanks, wonder why they choose yellow colour for the bizango -.- just an odd colour to choose where the older version was mixed of black and yellow.

    Anyway, do you know what's the frame warranty for the voodoo range? I've read some frames that have pretty much lifetime warranty.

    Went to the shop and weird feeling when the guy remembered your face and said "ah you're back" :lol:
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Right took a leap of faith haha ordered the bizango 16" today. They're going to assemble it but will take it to my friends later hopefully if not busy to double check things.

    What kind of tools should I get?
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Bike is ready, looks good and nice. still not so convince with the colour but I will just have to get used to it.

    Gonna start adjusting the shifters and brakes in a bit to suit me, what handy tools should I have in the bag while out riding? Didn't get a shock pump at halfords will probably order one online instead. Gonna borrow one for now to adjust the sag, sucks bizango doesn't have the guide on the fork and I'm about 73kg though the Norco I tried today they adjust the shock to 60psi according to the guide. I don't think it will be the same as the forks are different from the Norco Charger 7.1.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    edited May 2016
    Halfords should have given you a documentation wallet with the bike containing a owners/user manual for the fork. It will tell you how to make the adjustments to the fork settings for your weight.

    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/filead ... sh-web.pdf
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    The recommended settings are generally a bit vague anyway. Set sag and then fiddle until they feel right when riding.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

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  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    cooldad wrote:
    The recommended settings are generally a bit vague anyway. Set sag and then fiddle until they feel right when riding.
    Oh right, yeah I know the guide is just a guide it won't be the right sag pressure anyway but it will give me an idea where to start.
    DJ58 wrote:
    Halfords should have given you a documentation wallet with the bike containing a owners/user manual for the fork. It will tell you how to make the adjustments to the fork settings for your weight.

    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/filead ... sh-web.pdf

    Thanks for the link though it doesn't have the weight guide but I will check the paper they gave me.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    You don't really need a weight guide if you use the method that they describe, using a thin cable tie around one of the stanchions, your fork has 120mm of travel so if you sit on your bike the suspension will sag. Measure the distance between the top of the fork wiper seal and the underside of the cable tie, that will give you the sag which should be between 15% and 30% of the fork's total travel, (18mm to 36mm). Adjust it to your own preference by either adding of releasing air pressure, do not exceed the max stated pressure for your fork. Remove the cable tie before you go for a ride.
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