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Buy 2018, Giant, Cube or Whyte?

BillGBillG Posts: 12
edited March 2019 in MTB buying advice
Hi,
I am looking to purchase a last year model (2018) mountain bike, I’m 71 years old so looking for something that will see me out ! I think I need an all round bike, but I am unsure of the suspension travel I will need as it has been a few years since I had an MTB, although I ride on the road regularly and my fitness and mobility is good for my age.
I have narrowed it down to 3 bikes all costing £2700.

A Cube. Stereo 140 HPC TM medium 2018. (I can get the 2019 version for £3150, only the forks are different, Fit 4 vs Grip 2
https://www.cube.eu/en/2018/bikes/mount ... ange-2018/

A Giant Trance Advanced 1 2018 medium.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/tranc ... ced-1-2018

A Whyte T-130 C RS (shorter travel fork and supposedly heavy)
https://www.wheelbase.co.uk/product/bik ... gJ2FfD_BwE

I have broken 2 whytes and a GT, years ago, reliability is important, I did not crash them or do jumps, wore out bearings quickly on Whytes ( 46 and PRST-1) and broke swing arm on PRST - 1 model, wrecked suspension both ends on GT, all whilst under a year old, money back on the GT and the Whytes were repaired under warranty. I did considerable miles on rough and wet terrain (Scotland) but no enduro or jumping.

Which brand is the most reliable and best finished? Which bike is the most suitable? I liked the Carbon Canyon Neuron but it is not available until August. Which bike climbs the best? I am not an Enduro type rider but would like some comfort for my old bones over rocky trails. It is important bike is lively and climbs well.

Lastly, the geometry on the Whyte ( Reach) might be too long for me?

Few articles on the Cube, is it a good bike? Value for money seems excellent, does it handle well on trails and climbs?
Sorry to ramble on but it’s a last bike buy and a considerable investment, I like light and quality bike products, and enjoy the pleasure riding good equipment, I don’t want a cheap bike. Thanks for your patience.

Hope you can educate me, many thanks’
Bill

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Links help.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,088
    Welcome and congratulations on not considering an Ebike given your young age. Personally I like the Trance followed by the Whyte, I'm not a great lover of the cubes. Depending on your intended riding I'd say Trance for the gnarlier stuff and the Whyte for more XC orientated stuff.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Thanks for your quick replies, I have posted links as suggested, hope this gives a clearer picture.

    Oxoman what do you not like about Cube bikes, is there a particular trait that Cube bikes have? Yes the Giant is a nice bike, I thought it and the Cube were more alike, do you think I am better off with the shorter travel Whyte? It does seem to have a weight penalty though?
    Bill
  • I'm not knowledgeable enough about the bikes themselves to give any judgement there although do like the styling of the Cube bike but would just mention the only real bicycle manufacturer from your list is Giant, the other 2 import frames from the far east with possibly assembly of the bike in Europe using other far eastern parts, the Giant will actually be designed and manufactured by Giant themselves in their own factories. They also have a far higher weight limit and much better lifetime warranty. I think the Giant bike is rated to a 136kg/300lb rider and with a lifetime warranty at least for the main frame the other two brands will be rated much lower with much shorter warranties.

    Giant manufacture the best high volume frames in the business I would say in the most advanced factories in either Taiwan or mainland China. I have no concrete information on the real frame manufacturer of these Cube and Whyte models but know the low end Cube frames I think are coming out of very basic factories in Bangladesh, I think Whyte in the past used to use Giant if memory serves me right but many brands have moved away from Giant as they have become too expensive as a OEM supplier. Last I heard Canyon were using Giant for their aluminium frames but Quest Composites for their carbon frames although used to use Giant for their carbon frames. It's hard to put a quality level on a brand that is actively changing manufacturers to get the best price. Whyte are pretty premium though when it comes to frames it wouldn't surprise me if they continued to use a high end factory so ended up with a less competitive bike in spec because of the high frame cost. I think at the bottom end Cube pretty much use generic frames but would imagine they have more design input on their higher end bikes and Whyte has a reputation for good design and innovation across their model range but like many brand/importers they seem conservative with weight limits and their warranty perhaps because of the varying quality level of the frame manufacturers they use as they change factories to obtain the best price. I seem to remember both Cube and Whyte warranties are 5 years or less for the frame but some have further restrictions on carbon frames sometimes.

    To me Giant represent by far the best quality frames and the most advanced manufacturing. Sometimes it's easy to overlook this just looking at different bikes.
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Bonzo Banana,
    Thanks for your intelligent and considered response, I am learning all the time, although I did notice Giant were the only manufacturer offering a lifetime frame warranty to the first owner which gives me some comfort, I was put off Canyon as they were obtaining poor Reviews on Trust Pilot for their delivery times and the swing arms on the Spectral were cracking.
    Bill
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,088
    I've had cube hardtails in the past and had the frames crack. The Giant has the best rear suspension design pretty much bar non. Mate has the Whyte and whilst I prefer my Anthem it rides nicely.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,596
    In the tradition of recommending what you have, I say go for the Trance.
    Another option I would seriously consider is a 2018 Giant Anthem. 130mm front and 110mm rear travel looks like a perfect combination for mixed riding.
    The Anthem 1 is currently on sale for £2,760.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Hi oxoman,
    I can see you are a giant fan by the number of Giant bikes on your list, I’m not surprised you cracked the Hardtail Cubes, the rear end must take a hammering if ridden on really rough terrain.

    JBA, I don't have any mountain bike at present, I did look to find a 2018 Giant Anthem with 130mm and 110 travel but I could not locate one, I will have another look, it sounds a good option too.
    Bill
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The Whyte bearings still have a poor reputation, readily repaired under warranty but many owners just decide to fit decent ones which then seem to survive just fine (its a bearing issue not a frame one). A bit annoying but if you factor in the cost its not too bad, some Whyte dealers have been amenable to fitting the customers bearings at Whyte's expense so you're only paying for a few bearings, but of course no bearing warranty going forwards.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,088
    Bill, any hardtail should stand up to normal trail use, sadly the cubes didn't and I'm not into jumping or overweight. I had a carrera fury after and never had an issue. Have a look on paulcycles website for discounted bikes as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,596
    BillG wrote:
    JBA, I don't have any mountain bike at present, I did look to find a 2018 Giant Anthem with 130mm and 110 travel but I could not locate one, I will have another look, it sounds a good option too.
    Bill

    I was referring to myself with regards to the Trance, Bill. :)

    Paul's Cycles has the 2018 Anthem 1 in stock but only in small and medium.

    Rutland Cycles have the 2018 Trance Advanced 1 in stock for £2,900, but again only in small and medium.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    The rookie,
    Yes that’s my experience with Whyte frame bearings, wear out quickly although guaranteed for life, bit of a paradox. I thought it was just me, good tip to update bearings though, thanks for your input.

    Oxoman,
    i hear what you are saying as regards Cube frame quality, Bonzo Banana also pointed out that I should be careful in this regard. I had actually contacted a Cube dealer this morning with the view to purchasing the Cube as he had a very good deal. I am now seriously considering the Giant Trance, I would really like the Giant Anthem Advanced 1 2018 in medium size but Ihave been unable to locate one.
    Also I thought I may be overbiked with a 150mm fork and 140mm rear suspension as climbing is as important to me as descending ?, being a Roadie. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Bill
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    JBA,
    I was typing my last reply when your post came through, many thanks for your input, i will look at the bikes you have suggested, I would really like a Giant Anthem Advanced 1 2018, as I am unsure about the amount of travel I need? How do you find the Trance for climbing and pedalling, would be interested to hear your thoughts as i now think that overall a Giant would be my best choice.
    The Anthem 1 has an Aluminim frame and does not seem as good value for Money as the Trance but if I could get the 2018 Giant Anthem Advanced 1 27.5 at a good price in medium I would go for it in a heartbeat, as I thinking I may be overbiked otherwise. The 29 er version of the Anthem has too little travel for my taste.


    Bill
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,929
    You raise many issues, and I have a lot to say, so apologies for the length of this reply.

    My first point is that at 71 you are far too young to be considering a bike that will “see you out”. My aim is to be still riding when I’m in my 90’s and I don’t see that I will need the same bike at 91 as I did when I was 20 years younger. If you are “still riding considerable miles on rough and wet terrain” then you are fit and well and not in your decline. Do not give up your pleasures too soon! :)

    I wouldn’t worry too much about how bikes used to be years ago, due to the bike magazines doing regular reviews and responding to rider feedback, any persistent problems tend to get fixed quite rapidly by the makers. For example CUBE used to have a poor reputation for frame failures, now they don’t – but you can still find reviews on the internet dating from that time, so always look at the review date! Giant have had a ten-year frame guarantee for a long time now, which speaks volumes for their confidence in their quality control. I had a 2009 Giant Anthem X2 and it was OK, but I had it for less than a year as I never really settled on it. I have never been motivated to buy another Giant since. But it was a good deal at the time. So be careful that “the deal” does not overwhelm your needs. I qualified as an engineer and worked as one into my 30’s before changing career, but good quality well engineered stuff has always floated my boat and bikes have to meet the same criteria for me to enjoy them and take pride in ownership.

    I have a Whyte T130C RS and apart from the FSA bottom bracket that failed after 790 miles (the LBS said the FSA BBs are made from cheese), it has been bomb proof. I try not to do any tarmac at all on the Whyte and I have done 1500 trail miles without incident. I still have the same SRAM XX1 Eagle chain and cassette, and the chain is only one third of the way into its allowable wear. It's on target to last 6x longer than any chain I've had before! I’ve had the suspension serviced once by Mojo, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because it was due.

    I have had lighter bikes and I’ve had longer travel bikes and the Whyte T130 is the best of the bunch. Once on the trails I don't notice that it weighs 1.5 lbs more than my last trail bike, I just notice that it holds the line better over rough ground. I deliberately chose the 130 travel Whyte because I also had a 165 travel YT Capra bike at the time. But I must say, there is something about the geometry of the bike that inspires confidence on the rougher stuff. It is that confidence that persuaded me to sell the Capra when I realised that I would happily take the Whyte to somewhere like BPW or into the rougher parts of the Peak District.

    What have I done to the Whyte? Different grips, different tyres, converted to tubeless and added a Mucky Nutz to the front, and fitted my pedals of choice; but I do that to all my bikes. I have also added three air tuning spacers to the shock, just to firm up the mid travel support. I didn’t have to do anything to the fork. Buy with confidence.

    However oxoman raised a good point, ebikes!
    Electric mountain bikes are not just for the sick, lame or lazy! They are for those that want to get more out of their ride. Instead of spending tortuous time grinding up a long hill so that you can descend once, use an emtb and do it twice! Instead of having a day off to recover, ride every day! There are some very fit and young guys who have emtbs and they love them. If you have not tried one, I strongly suggest that you do so before you make your “forever bike” decision.
    I’m 67 and until a few years ago I thought I would never, ever, ever, want an emtb, but then my knees started to fail! A few years followed whilst I tried to deal with it as my mileage reduced, the altitude declined, the front ring got smaller, intervals between rides stretched out to three days, etc, etc. Then I started testing emtbs. WOW! After riding eight different bikes I bought one, picking it up earlier this year. Now my distances are increasing and my time between rides is down to alternate days. Mostly I ride with guys a lot younger than me, but occasionally I ride with a guy who is 71. He is a lifetime roadie who has converted to mtb. He has zero problems with joints etc and can ride twice as far and for twice as long as me, and every day if he wants to. I offered him a ride on my emtb and now he’s preparing to buy one! He does not need one, he wants one! It is said that everyone that rides an ebike for the first time always “has the grin”. It is true; everyone I have offered a ride on my bike has the same grin, they can’t help it.

    If I have failed to convince you of the merits of at least trying an emtb or of opting for the Whyte T130C RS, then take a look at the YT Jeffsy. It comes in 27.5 or 29er flavours and has a wide spec range. Personally I would go for the 140 29er. It is amazingly light for the spec and climbs like a demon. The 29er wheel size means it rolls over the rougher stuff too, but the geometry means it's not twitchy. It was going to be my next bike until I tested an emtb and bought the Focus Jam2 9.6 NINE. :D
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,596
    Bill,
    I think Giant hit a sweet spot with the 2018 27.5" Anthem and was surprised they cut the range so much for 2019.
    The Anthems and Trances have always been on a par price-wise with equivalent models costing roughly the same (i.e An Anthem 2 is about the same price as a Trance 2).
    I suspect the only way you will get a 2018 Anthem Advanced 1 is to phone around shops and ask if anyone has stock. The Giant GB website is stating "Check In Store Availability" for all sizes except small.
    I haven't found the Trance to be too much work uphill but tend not to use it for all-day xc type rides as I have a hard tail that gets used for that type of riding.
    The Maestro suspension on Giant bikes is excellent. Very little pedal bob and a stable pedal platform.

    Just to throw another one in to the mix, have a look at the new Trance 29. 130mm front and 115mm rear travel and it is getting some great reviews.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    edited March 2019
    Hi Steve
    I enjoyed reading your extended insightful reply, I too am /was an engineer and was looking for a bike that would stand the test of time as I like to get my moneys worth.
    I can see you are very enthusiastic about ebikes and rightly so as it has many advantages as you stated, I read from your post that the pleasure of coming down a hill takes precedence over climbing in your case, I am pretty useless downhill.

    I recently lost 28 lbs by strict dieting and now carry no visible body fat, I am quite competitive and enjoy the climbing bit of riding on the road, so climbing gives me a positive input and I enjoy the struggle as much as the down hill. But I completely agree, the ebike is a great addition to cycling and am glad you enjoy it so much. I think I must be a bit of a masochist.

    I’am looking for an all round trail bike that climbs well and descends not too technical trails well.
    I am glad to hear that the Cube no longer suffers from frame cracking and I will look again at this bike.

    Bill
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Hi Moonshine, a lovely bike, it was also at the top of my list, unfortunately £2800 was the limit of my spending ability, I started much lower but the spend crept up as I looked at specs. That is the reason I was looking for a 2018 bike that had been discounted, I am an OAP and have limited funds to play with. Thanks for your reply and view of your bike, I’m jealous.

    Bill
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 990
    I got my aluminium 2019 Trance 2 for £2k ;) I was considering an Carbon 'Advanced' Trance or anthem or carbon Santa Cruz Tallboy / Blur, but in the end decided I just couldn't justify £4k and to be honest, the Trance 2 29er is more than adequate... ;) a carbon £4k bike wasn't going to be twice as good
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Hi Moonshine,
    Completely misread your post, sorry, I was looking at 2018 bikes to try and get more bang for my buck and got mixed up between Trances, Anthems and the years of the Giant models.
    That was an excellent price you paid for your bike, it has the travel that I think may suit me and if I could I would buy the 2018 Advanced Anthem 1, I’m not too fussed about wheel sizes. Presently the 2018 Trance Advanced 1 has my attention but I am unsure if it has too much travel for my style of riding, want it to climb and pedal well with reasonable but not extreme downhill ability.

    Bill
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Double post.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,088
    Bill, the Trance is good and climbs extremely well but it's no downhill bike. It's ideal for trail centres and most reasonable off piste stuff.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Hi BillG,
    A year ago I bought a Cube Reaction Eagle Carbon Hardtail - super light weight -sub 10kg. I've done 2000 miles on it over all sorts of terrain, mud up to the axles, fast down hill, single track trails etc (no jumps).
    The bike has been brilliant, I have just replaced the chain and front wheel bearing apart from that its only been tyres and brake pads.
    The bike has been super reliable, was very well specced and great value for money.

    I have recently bought a Giant Trance E+ Pro E-mtb, as has been said by others "I didn't need it I wanted it".

    The Trance has so far proved to be good choice for me, it's huge fun and very capable of covering all sorts of terrain.
    I've only done 10 rides (300 miles) on it so far but no issues to report.

    Don't be put off by the "E bikes are for lazy/unfit/incapable riders and won't keep me fit" view held by some, I can honestly say (backed up by HR traces) riding the Trance requires just as much effort as riding the Cube, and have no doubt it will keep me fit.

    Don't get hung up on the weight of E-bikes (they are heavy) I don't notice it when riding and think the extra weight makes it feel feel more "planted" on the faster descents.

    Of course you can be lazy on an E-Bike but you have full control over the level of assistance the motor gives you, the choice is yours, and that's the important thing you have a choice ranging from no assistance = hard work to maximum assistance = very easy, just pick a level to suit the situation.

    I intend to keep and use both bikes.

    So to sum up my experience is Cube or Giant are both safe options (I have no experience with Whyte bikes) and would also recommend trying an E-mtb - you will probably be surprised.

    Hope you find a bike that fits the bill for you.
  • BillGBillG Posts: 12
    Oxoman,
    Thanks for that information, I will be riding my mountain bike in the Cathkin Braes, 5 miles away, which was used for the Commonwealth Games and Glentress and the 7 Stanes trail parks. I will not be riding black routes as I lack the skill, nerve and my old bones may not heal well in a crash.

    Reaction 57,
    Sorry if I gave you the impression I did not like e bikes, they are not for me but an ex international rider, 73, a close friend has been looking into buying one for use on the road, he is not keen on MTBing. He is an exceptional rider for his age and well known in Scotland as a multiple champion into his 40’s he trains regularly and never drops under 25 mph in time trials. So I take your point about it not being for lazy riders etc and believe you can get a good workout. I use a power meter and garmin on my road bikes, I too download my data so I know what you are saying.

    Thanks for the positive report on the Cube frames and the good report on the GIANT.

    I think i will cut the thread off here and absorb all the useful information and views you have all expressed, it’s really down to me to make my mind up now.

    Thank you all for being patient and spending your time to help me out.

    Bill
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