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What sort of MTB do I need?

paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
edited August 2018 in MTB buying advice
So I am a roadie and bought my last MTB about 25 years ago, a Marin Pine Mountain steel hardtail. Still riding the bike and have downgraded most of the components as they have worn out or broken but it's time to refresh the bike and I think it is too old to go down the new parts path. I do love the old frame though.

I only ride the Marin for leisure, typically for a fun chill out day when I don't fancy riding on the road. Local bridle ways, playing in the woods, South Downs Way for endurance kind of stuff. Won't get used on the road much if at all. Not into big downhill or racing.

Things have changed so much that I am not sure what sort of bike I need or even what the different descriptions mean. What makes a "cross country bike" Budget is flexible, i guess good value around the RTW 1000 pound level.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I am thinking I should look at a hardtail, probably alloy, hydraulic discs. Not fussed about speed so thinking 27.5 wheels for the extra manoeuvrability. No idea what sort of geometry to look for though.

Any suggestions and comments appreciated

Posts

  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    VooDoo Bizango, or one of the many Whyte hardtails (loads in the sales at the moment).
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
    Thanks for that. the Whyte bikes do look interesting. I quite like the idea of a 1x chain set just to try something different
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,429
    In a similar position to you, I've just bought an Orange Clockwork.

    https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/mo ... ike_460007
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    That Orange looks lovely. I'd personally go for something 'trail' orientated rather than XC. More of an all-rounder imo.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • slc123slc123 Posts: 407
    That Orange does look nice.. I would go for one of the Whyte's or maybe a Bird - https://www.bird.bike/product/zero-tr-s ... figuration

    Definitely get yourself a more trail oriented bike, you won't need to worry about upgrading too much then.
    Cannondale Trail 27.5 | 2015
    Titus El Chulo 27.5 | 2017
    Trek Slash 9 27.5 | 2015 (building)
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,429
    To add to my comment above, the others on my shortlist were the Whyte 905 and Vitus Sentier VRX if that assists.

    The Vitus is also currently a very good price if you factor in BC discount to the existing reduction.
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitu ... prod159774
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
    slc123 wrote:
    That Orange does look nice.. I would go for one of the Whyte's or maybe a Bird - https://www.bird.bike/product/zero-tr-s ... figuration

    Definitely get yourself a more trail oriented bike, you won't need to worry about upgrading too much then.

    Typically the bike is unlikely to get upgraded. Downgraded if anything when things break. The Whyte bikes do look good and I have a local dealer.

    Decathlon nearby too so will look in there as well.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Other bikes to look at, Sonder Transmitter, Ragley Bluepig, Ragley Piglet.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Some of the bikes suggested are pretty hardcore. For the riding you describe I'd suggest a 29 with maybe 120mm travel.

    Hydraulic brakes are a no brainer.

    Have a look at the Boardman 29ers at Halfords, decent parts, light and will do XC nicely, and handle some chunky trails.
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  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    Just to add some of the hardtails above are bordering on the type more for steep tech stuff rather than what you say you are after.

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on wheel size, although 29ers are said to roll over stuff better than smaller wheels.

    I think I’d look at the clockwork, the awhyte and Tge Bird zero tr (don’t be tempted by the am - it’s too much for what you need) and then the Boardman 29er of the above bikes. I believe there’s a Voodoo called a bokor that might do the job too.

    Test rode some bikes if you can - should be possible on the orange / Whyte / Bird - but maybe more tricky (if impossible) for the Boardman and Voodoo.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,429
    Joebristol wrote:
    Just to add some of the hardtails above are bordering on the type more for steep tech stuff rather than what you say you are after.

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on wheel size, although 29ers are said to roll over stuff better than smaller wheels.

    I think I’d look at the clockwork, the awhyte and Tge Bird zero tr (don’t be tempted by the am - it’s too much for what you need) and then the Boardman 29er of the above bikes. I believe there’s a Voodoo called a bokor that might do the job too.

    Test rode some bikes if you can - should be possible on the orange / Whyte / Bird - but maybe more tricky (if impossible) for the Boardman and Voodoo.

    The Clockwork is also available as a 120mm 29er, which in fact is the one I have.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Orange HTs are way overpriced for a Taiwanese made frame. You pay for the name.
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  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    cooldad wrote:
    Orange HTs are way overpriced for a Taiwanese made frame. You pay for the name.

    The Clockwork above isn't bad value at all. Sure, you pay a bit for the name, but it's a decent spec. Still over the OPs budget though.

    No way a Bird TR is going to come out on budget. To be honest, the way the OP is talking, one of the Boardmans of Voodoos would probably fit the bill well.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
    Lots of good suggestions, thanks. To be honest going from a 25 year old bike to something new it would be hard not to get something fantastic to ride.

    Head says a Boardman, will give them a look.

    Heart says a Whyte 801. LBS has one in my size.....
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Can't really go wrong with either.

    As long as you enjoy it, it's the right bike.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • TBH, i dare say that everyone is 'over biked', but if you like something and you can afford it, why not get one.
    Nothing worse than getting the 'sensible' option rather than the one you actually want/like, you won't look after it properly and end up buying the one you wanted in the first place anyway.
    That's how it usually goes with me anyway :)
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Overbiked as in spending more monay than needed is one thing, and fine if you've got the cash. Nice bikes are nice.

    Overbiked in doing XC or non ead gnar etc trails on a 160mm AM type bike is just silly. And not much fun.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,311
    paulwood wrote:
    .......

    Head says a Boardman, will give them a look.

    Heart says a Whyte 801. LBS has one in my size.....


    Try for a test ride if possible, even if it is only around the block.

    Assuming both fit you, go for the one you like the best, the one that will make you feel good when you ride it, the one that you look back at when you walk away from it at the end of the day. :D
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    If this is the Whyte, you can get much more for your money. RS 30 forks, Deore, Tektro brakes, no thanks.

    https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/mo ... rey_379547

    The top end Boardman are much better.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,429
    Whyte 901 would be better than the 801. Wheelbase have them on sale for a grand at the moment.
  • paulwood wrote:
    Lots of good suggestions, thanks. To be honest going from a 25 year old bike to something new it would be hard not to get something fantastic to ride.

    Head says a Boardman, will give them a look.

    Heart says a Whyte 801. LBS has one in my size.....

    You could always go somewhere like Glentress and rent a bike for the day - if you want somewhere to stay, I can recommend these: https://www.glentressforestlodges.co.uk/ I've stayed in these before, albeit in a different part of Scotland, and they're very comfortable...
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
    paulwood wrote:
    Lots of good suggestions, thanks. To be honest going from a 25 year old bike to something new it would be hard not to get something fantastic to ride.

    Head says a Boardman, will give them a look.

    Heart says a Whyte 801. LBS has one in my size.....

    You could always go somewhere like Glentress and rent a bike for the day - if you want somewhere to stay, I can recommend these: https://www.glentressforestlodges.co.uk/ I've stayed in these before, albeit in a different part of Scotland, and they're very comfortable...

    I like the idea but with my local trail being the South Downs Way it would be a fair distance to go test bikes. The boss is quite tolerant but that might be pushing it.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 226
    So finally, didn't like the spec on the Whyte 801 and the Boardman and Vitus just didn't grab me when i sat on them.

    Test ride booked for a Whyte 901 which is looking like the winner.

    Thanks for all the ideas
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    If you can get a 901 for anywhere near £1000 that looks like a good deal and should be a fantastic bike for your needs.
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