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Opinions on these bikes please

skiffyskiffy Posts: 84
edited May 2019 in MTB buying advice
I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a second hand bike to replace my now rather old skool but rapid one-trick pony short travel XC bike.

I'm after something that will still effortlessly fly around local XC trails since that's 90% of my riding (South Hampshire) but will also be fun when it gets steep and techy on the odd trip to Wales etc (current bike is a nighmare, 70° head, fixed post and 100mm!). I reckon 140mm travel would suit, and I think ideally 27.5", I like the nimbleness of my 26" on the skinny single tracks.

Bikes I like the look of are:

1. Yeti SB5C
2. Canyon Spectral CF8
3. YT Jeffsy CF
4. Trek Fuel Fuel EX 9.8

Probably looking at 2016/17 bike at around £1500-1700ish

Obviously I've read the reviews, they all seem awesome, and that's probably my order of preference but would welcome feedback from owners past and present. Also opinions on sizing as I'm 6' 1.5" so on the crossover of L/XL on most bikes, be good to know if any of those come up large/small compared with others of the same size.

Cheers all.

Posts

  • bonzo_bananabonzo_banana Posts: 256
    A secondhand mountain bike can be a risk, always look for signs of a hard life even if the bike looks very clean and polished on first impression you might see a few marks on the frame that show serious off-road use. Even without those you really can't know how the bike has been used and how much life the frame has left. Some of those brands have short warranties and lower weight limits like the Canyon. I think Trek has high weight limits and a lifetime warranty. The warranty may not be transferable but at least shows Trek have gone more for strength and durability. It's always going to be a gamble though with carbon fibre as ultimately unless you pay to have it scanned you really can't know if it is structurally ok. I must admit if I had a big drop on a bike landed poorly but the bike was unmarked and it was carbon that might be the time I consider selling.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Ignore the Bonzo who clearly doesn't understand that CF is actually more robust than whimpy Al.

    Have you considered a Whyte T-130C (review in here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0127/ ... 1929861735)
  • skiffyskiffy Posts: 84
    The Rookie wrote:
    Ignore the Bonzo who clearly doesn't understand that CF is actually more robust than whimpy Al.

    Have you considered a Whyte T-130C (review in here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0127/ ... 1929861735)

    Well yes and no on the CF front. Carbon has a very low failure strain so whilst it's very strong a big hit if it deforms the frame enough could immediately fracture the laminate, then it's done. Below this level you could initiate microcracking in the resin, which wouldn't be visible but could propagate over time with repeated hits and eventually lead to a failure of the laminate. The higher the modulus of the fibre the lower the failure strain (amount of flex it can withstand). So yes I'd be wanting a one-owner bike and not someone that's at BPW every other weekend.

    But back on topic, the T-130CRS, hailed as the the great all-rounder isn't it. Not ridden one, I guess it could be a contender, need to compare geometries, was thinking a little more enduro-ish, like the others are.
  • bonzo_bananabonzo_banana Posts: 256
    The Rookie wrote:
    Ignore the Bonzo who clearly doesn't understand that CF is actually more robust than whimpy Al.

    Have you considered a Whyte T-130C (review in here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0127/ ... 1929861735)

    It certainly isn't more robust and I don't think any carbon fibre manufacturer states that, it has no capacity to be deformed. It does however provide amazing strength to weight ratio and can absorb vibration leading to a more comfortable ride but that is more a road bike thing than mountain bike.

    Luescher Technik on youtube provides many great videos about carbon fibre both the pro's and the con's and he is a big carbon fibre fan and even makes his own carbon fibre frames.

    Each material has it's strengths and weaknesses but ultimately the frame design and quality of construction is paramount. Aluminium frames can certainly be stronger than carbon and a lot more robust however aluminium always gets weaker with time, carbon only gets weaker with time if there is a manufacturing fault or has been damaged and causes a crack to grow over time.

    The point is clearly you can buy a bike with a carbon frame with a fault or internal crack which is why Luescher Technik recommends scanning used frames.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Google the YouTube video of someone trying to break a carbon Cannondale frame and tell me Al would have survived.

    A Carbon frame will take much more abuse than Al up to the point it fails, the difference is when it fails it fails more spectacularly, the Al frame in most cases is scrap long before that.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    You've picked some really nice bikes.

    I can't give any specific opinion on any of them.

    On the subject of 2nd hand - it can be a bit of a lottery. I bought my FS Norco from Steve Sordy (who is currently selling a very nice Whyte T-130C RS). He really looks after his bikes and having ridden with him a couple of times, it was obvious. I test rode the bike twice, got loads of paperwork with it and have been really pleased with it. You just need to do your due diligence and see how it goes.

    My bike is 26" 140mm travel in a `large` 19" frame. I'm 5` 10" and it suits me just right. I also love the `chuckability` of 26" wheels - it does XC/Enduro type stuff at home and is more than happy in the Peaks, Afan, BPW etc (arguably a bit over-biked for some of my local paths/tracks - I also have a HT for that).

    So - you can get a decent 2nd hand bike, if you know what you are looking for. You might have to go try a few and see what you like. Not all bikes fit us the same and getting the right bike fit is half the challenge.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • skiffyskiffy Posts: 84
    BillyCool wrote:
    You've picked some really nice bikes.
    ...Steve Sordy (who is currently selling a very nice Whyte T-130C RS)...

    Where is it advertised?
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    skiffy wrote:
    BillyCool wrote:
    You've picked some really nice bikes.
    ...Steve Sordy (who is currently selling a very nice Whyte T-130C RS)...

    Where is it advertised?

    He did have it on eBay but might have sold it. I'll drop him a note to ask.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
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