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Carbon hardtail

sam1176uksam1176uk Posts: 524
edited June 2016 in MTB buying advice
Hi, looking to buy a carbon hardtail after a few years of road/cyclocross riding, looking to take on some more difficult terrain that i can on my cx bike, but still like the light/fast side of riding.
I've decided on a carbon hardtail and have narrowed it down to 4 bikes that i like, they all have strengths and weaknesses, i'm just looking for some opinions from people more used to mtb riding than i currently am:
http://www.ukbikesdepot.com/m15b0s864p1 ... _Bike_2016

https://www.merlincycles.com/yeti-arc-c ... 87906.html

https://www.merlincycles.com/sensa-fior ... 75655.html

http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m1b0s182p5 ... 7-5-4-2014

Any input at all would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The Giant has forks that are really not up to the mark, clearly it's been de specced to pay for the carbon frame, so that wouldn't be on my list.

    The Saracen has been thrifted on the drivetrain and brakes, I don't know how good the fork is in practice but it's marketed as a competitor to the SID and if it's as competitative as the Epixon (to the Reba on the Yeti and Sensa) it will be a decent fork.

    Of the other two they are very similar but the price on the Sensa is clearly a massive plus.

    Given the prices, for me it's between the Saracen and Sensa, the latter would probably take it on drivetrain, but i'd be looking at the geometry first.
  • sam1176uksam1176uk Posts: 524
    Thought the Recon Gold forks seemed to be getting good reviews, i'm not sure on how they perform though. The Sensa is good, wish it didn't have a triple chainset though..
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    edited June 2016
    I think the Mantra geometry will be more relaxed than the Sensa, but I do agree with looking into it. The Yeti is obviously much more expensive, if you can stretch to that price it may well be worth looking at others for the same money. Is an older Reba RL too on the Yeti (and Sensa), which doesn't really offer any suspension performance benefits over the Recon Gold RL on the Giant, but is lighter.

    If wanting to stay at the £900 mark and fancy a racy 29er, then I'd look at the Cube Raection HPA:

    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m1b67s155p ... RO-29-2015

    Is limited in size, but the Reba here gets the internal floodgate adjuster which offers greater adjustability - also a nearly full XT drivetrain, very good brakes and superb tyre combo.
  • glynrs2glynrs2 Posts: 4,143
    I would also suggest a good look at the Cube Reaction. Great geometry and spec for the money.
    The GTC carbon frame starts at £1250, but have seen them just under £1000 at various times in the past 6 mths on offers.
  • sam1176uksam1176uk Posts: 524
    I wanted to stick to carbon if possible, just a personal preference :)
    Didn't realise the Sensa had better forks than the giant, I'm surprised at that as giant usually spec up well. I could stretch to the Yeti at a push if it was noticeably better than the others.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Gaint don't usually spec up well until you get way over £2k, circa £1k down they get more and more rubbish
  • sam1176uksam1176uk Posts: 524
    That's interesting, I assumed the Giant frame would be better than the Sensa. I do like the Sensa since its a bit different but I can't find much info on the quality of the bike anywhere.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It's difficult to say how good the quality is - on the merlin website they claim they are of a 'sensible' weight - wouldn't surprise me if it weighed in the 1400-1500g region. The Yeti Arc is circa 1200g for the medium, and I'd expect the Giant to be similar (it is not their top end carbon frame). The mantra I would expect to be heavier.

    It is quite often the case that the more budget carbon framed models are overall heavier than a price equivalent alloy hardtail as the carbon eats up the budget so low/mid range parts are fitted.
  • glynrs2glynrs2 Posts: 4,143
    It is sometimes about finding the sweet point in the range.
    The Cube Reaction GTC SL is spot on, in that regard. £1699 rrp but often at £200 off is a bargain in my eyes. One of my mates has one, all he has done is gone tubeless and it weighed 10.2kg. Which is great. Fast bike to ride too.
    The only thing that I would recomend is that you change if you are coming from a CX and want to maintain speed is to change the main chain ring to a 40T. It comes with a 36T/26T on a M785 crankset which limits the top speed unless you spin like a turbo. Of course that all depends on what sort of tracks that you want to ride it.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The best aluminium frames are about 1.75kg (such as the Rockrider frames) these days, the lighter ones (down to about 1.2Kg) have been seen off by the CEN test and carbon fibre (if you are spending the money you want carbon in the spec sheet). Mid range alloy frames have climbed to around 2Kg (my 2006 Carrera frame as 1735g, the latest ones are over 2Kg) or about the same weight as the best of the steel (such as the Cotic Soul).

    As above the heaviest carbon frames are about 1.5Kg and often a bit harsh to ride, the better ones are around the 1.2Kg mark and the very best (£1500-2000 for the bare frame) down around the 850-900g mark.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    glynrs2 wrote:
    It is sometimes about finding the sweet point in the range.
    The Cube Reaction GTC SL is spot on, in that regard. £1699 rrp but often at £200 off is a bargain in my eyes. One of my mates has one, all he has done is gone tubeless and it weighed 10.2kg. Which is great. Fast bike to ride too.
    The only thing that I would recomend is that you change if you are coming from a CX and want to maintain speed is to change the main chain ring to a 40T. It comes with a 36T/26T on a M785 crankset which limits the top speed unless you spin like a turbo. Of course that all depends on what sort of tracks that you want to ride it.

    I can attest to this, bought a GTC SL recently. It's a very good bike for the money, all I've done is changed the Liteskin tyres to tubeless versions (I tried putting the liteskins as tubeless, they lost air quite quickly over a few days and never could get them to settle properly).

    It's an M8000 crankset by the way.

    It's a fast bike, both up and down, I can certainly feel the rigidness of the frame when putting the power down more so than alu counterparts I've tried.
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