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Have I bought a "pretend" mountain bike?

70s_kid70s_kid Posts: 56
edited April 2011 in MTB beginners
Newbie alert - please be gentle!

Having not riden a bike for about 15 years I decided a month or so ago to have a go at mountain biking. There are plenty of trails to ride around where I live so I thought I'd buy a cheap bike to do a couple of short rides a week just to try to keep the middle age spread at bay.

To my astonishment I am absolutely loving it! I'm doing several miles at a time, riding virtually every day, and on the days when I don't ride I'm finding myself daydreaming about my next outing. I seem to have got the bug really bad. I'm going to a trail centre next weekend for the first time ever and can't believe I've got to nearly 40 years old before experiencing all of this.

Anyway, my question is about my bike. I avoided the £99 full suspension jobbies as it seemed obvious that they are just gimmicky. I bought a Voodoo Bantu 2011which as mountain bikes go is still obviously very cheap but seemed a reasonable spec for the budget that I had available, but have I bought a bike that isn't really up to the job?
http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165499

My questions are along the lines of:

What should I avoid doing on this bike that I could have done on a more expensive one?

Do I need to be maintaining it more often due to cheaper components/is it likely to break doing serious off road stuff?

What am I missing out on with this bike? For example my Shimano BR-M445 brakes seem to work perfectly - but what difference would I notice with Tektro Auriga Comp for example on a bike that's about twice the price?

Thanks in advance, sorry if my first post has gone on a bit :oops:

Posts

  • chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
    That doesnt look like too bad a spec for the money! I should think there arent too many things that it won't do riding wise. Probably you won't be trying massive drop offs like some pro downhillers might.....

    Your brakes should be fine, if you can lock the wheels what more do you want? The difference between expensive brakes may not be power, but the way the power is applied, i.e. you may have more "feel" at the lever, and the expensive brakes may have reach adjust and bite point adjust. But i've got some very cheap brakes on one of my bikes and they stop me well.

    Which trail centre are you going to? That bike shouldnt have any probs at any of them to be honest, but you may need to take ti a little easier somewhere rocky like coed-y-brenin, but llandegla and cannock for example should be a breeze! I see people riding rigid single speeds round them.

    Wherever you go, you'll enjoy it!
  • 70s_kid70s_kid Posts: 56
    edited March 2011
    Cheers Chrisga, that's reassured me a bit. You're right - I won't be doing any massive drop-offs (unless they're accidental).

    It's Llandegla that I'm going to - starting off nice and easy on the blue trail 7.5 miles. Looking forward to it.
  • :lol: Your bike is better than mine! I get round red 7 stanes routes and out to play in the local tracks just fine on my bike, so you will be fine.
  • Richtea70Richtea70 Posts: 107
    Looks like a nice bike.

    Dont worry about the bike snobs, it gets you round and you're enjoying it which is the most important thing!!
    GT Idrive
    Trek 6300
    GT Chucker
  • Dan_xzDan_xz Posts: 130
    Voodoo's have always been nice bikes - just because they are now sold in Halfords doesn't make them worse than anything else.

    It looks like a nice and good value entry level bike that should ride very well offroad if past experience of Voodoo is anything to go by. You could certainly have done a lot worse! 8)
  • nice bike for the money :)
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    Richtea70 wrote:
    Dont worry about the bike snobs, it gets you round and you're enjoying it which is the most important thing!!

    this :D

    ive got a 2 and a half tonne GT Outpost with v brakes :shock: :shock: :shock:

    didnt stop me chasing down and leaving in my wake several Treks, speacilzed, kona's and a very nice cube on the trails yesterday :P

    if it gets you round and you are loving it its deffo the right bike
  • Good value bike that!

    There is nothing at Llandegla you'd not be able to do on that once you feel confident enough.
  • bwfc4eva868bwfc4eva868 Posts: 717
    Nowt wrong with that bike mate. Mine was even cheaper at £250 a Carrera Vulcan V spec. I have upgraded the wheels to Mavic ones and put shimano Deore discs on and sometime this week a Rockshox Tora. Its lapped up Gisburn forest and Lee Quarry. Great bike.

    Don't have to spend thousands on your first bike.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    nowt wrong with that bike. As things like gears, wheels and brakes wear out you can upgrade, a bit of careful research and shopping round will get you better quality and lighter kit for not a lot of money.

    Be careful this MTBiking lark is addictive :D
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • My first mtb was a GT avalanch for £170. It dealt with Llandeglla no problem and was a blast as I started out.
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    My first mtb was a GT avalanch for £170. It dealt with Llandeglla no problem and was a blast as I started out.
    As is mine :D
  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    70s_kid wrote:
    Do I need to be maintaining it more often due to cheaper components/is it likely to break doing serious off road stuff?

    It doesn't necessarily follow that cheaper components break more easily. Often they are simply heavier and less adjustable. It's always worth checking the bike over before a ride, make sure bolts aren't loose, keep an eye on the wheels and learn to keep them running true (small adjustments, a bit of patience).
  • TorresTorres Posts: 1,266
    Very nice, and the important thing is you're enjoying riding it!
    It'll cope fine at a trail centre not a problem, let us know how you find it. :D
    What We Achieve In Life, Echoes In Eternity
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    it's a perfect beginner bike... there's no point spending loads when you start off... you could just as easily have ended up not enjoying it...

    anyway... that's more than capable of trail centre's like Llandegla and the such... perfect for what you want.... Enjoy it! :D
    I like bikes and stuff
  • theshrewtheshrew Posts: 169
    Im a noob mate and went Llandegla for the first time about a month ago.

    I was a little worried about what to expect etc. Guys in the car park said just go and do the Black run. Thats what i did and loved it :D

    So my advice is sack the Blue off and go for the Black thats where all the fun bits are. Its pretty smooth all the way round and certainly nothing to worry about on any of it.
  • Nice lightweight frame, well worthy of the trails. The only thing you'll struggle to do is stop spending all your spare time riding :lol:
    I'd expect a bike like that to be worthy of years of riding. A couple up grades every summer and you'll have something really nice.

    It takes a couple of years to work out what type of bike best suits your riding style so you'll have plenty of time to drawl over the magizines.
  • bwfc4eva868bwfc4eva868 Posts: 717
    I cant get enough of riding my bike since starting now. I have a night ride planned tonight :)
  • dunkerdunker Posts: 1,503
    that actually looks Really good for the money, enjoy the bike :)
  • 70s_kid70s_kid Posts: 56
    Thanks for all the encouraging comments folks, looking forward to giving it a good thrashing now in the knowledge that it should cope with whatever I throw at it, only 4 sleeps to go :D .
    theshrew wrote:
    So my advice is sack the Blue off and go for the Black

    While the bike might be up to the black route I doubt my body is just yet to be honest, 15 years of watching telly and playing playstation games has taken its toll.

    It is surprising how quickly your fitness levels rise though - my first ride took over half an hour and I felt like death. To do the same route now is 15 mins and not really out of breath. Better stamina means Mrs 70s_kid is pleased too, so there's not too much grumbling about the expense (yet).
  • theshrewtheshrew Posts: 169
    70s_kid wrote:
    Thanks for all the encouraging comments folks, looking forward to giving it a good thrashing now in the knowledge that it should cope with whatever I throw at it, only 4 sleeps to go :D .
    theshrew wrote:
    So my advice is sack the Blue off and go for the Black

    While the bike might be up to the black route I doubt my body is just yet to be honest, 15 years of watching telly and playing playstation games has taken its toll.

    It is surprising how quickly your fitness levels rise though - my first ride took over half an hour and I felt like death. To do the same route now is 15 mins and not really out of breath. Better stamina means Mrs 70s_kid is pleased too, so there's not too much grumbling about the expense (yet).

    Honestly mate you dont need to worry. Im exactly the same as you. Smoke and drink to much blah blah blah. Really not fit at all but i did the black really glad that i did.

    I had to get off and push on a couple of the hills mainly because my legs just couldnt do it. I wasnt the only one pushing either so nothing to be ashamed of.

    When are you going ? 2 of us might be going over weekend if you want to tag along
  • 70s_kid70s_kid Posts: 56
    theshrew wrote:
    When are you going ? 2 of us might be going over weekend if you want to tag along

    Just noticed your extremely kind offer mate, thanks very much for that, just got back from there though :D

    The first few miles up to the forest were bloody hard work but well worth it, had a fantastic time. I did stick to the blue in the end, I'll do the red one next time I think because it will help to build my confidence by doing them in order. Had a go in the skills area at the end too which good fun, particularly the jumps, although the only "air" that I had really was what was in my tyres!

    Ashamed to say I undid all of my hard work by giving in to a "Best breakfast in Wales" :oops: (very tasty though)
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Just back from a ride and I got my backside properly kicked by a lad on a Carrera Vulcan which is similar spec to your bike. He usually kicks my backside but I always have the excuse that hes on a £4,000 MTB. Not today he broke it on a night ride last weds and bought a Carrera to keep himself going whilst the warranty sorts it out.

    Its not the bike its the rider if your censored on a cheap bike you will be censored on an expensive one. Sounds like you had fun keep it up. :D
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Aye, perfectly decent- better than my kraken was I reckon and that did me fine
    Uncompromising extremist
  • theshrewtheshrew Posts: 169
    70s_kid wrote:
    theshrew wrote:
    When are you going ? 2 of us might be going over weekend if you want to tag along

    Just noticed your extremely kind offer mate, thanks very much for that, just got back from there though :D

    The first few miles up to the forest were bloody hard work but well worth it, had a fantastic time. I did stick to the blue in the end, I'll do the red one next time I think because it will help to build my confidence by doing them in order. Had a go in the skills area at the end too which good fun, particularly the jumps, although the only "air" that I had really was what was in my tyres!

    Ashamed to say I undid all of my hard work by giving in to a "Best breakfast in Wales" :oops: (very tasty though)

    No probs. I didnt go in the end i forgot it was Mothers day :oops:

    Glad to hear you had fun :D
  • (late reply lol) nothing wrong with that bike, its not what you got its how you use it, iv got a stock gt which i service regular iv had it for 3yrs without a problem just started to upgrade certain parts now, im riding brechfa and afan every wkend pretty much black and red all the way and im flying past other guys on bikes thats cost more than my car, its all about enjoyment you go for it.

    i watched one guy push his orange full suss down the first dh in brechfa a couple of wks back, when i asked if his bike was f***ed he replied "no the bikes fine im not risking it riding it down that though"

    whats the point???????
    if your ever near brechfa and fancy a burn drop me a message
    happy riding dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
  • Ian43Ian43 Posts: 172
    i watched one guy push his orange full suss down the first dh in brechfa a couple of wks back, when i asked if his bike was f***ed he replied "no the bikes fine im not risking it riding it down that though" /quote]

    He sounds like one of those sort of riders all the gear but no idea.
  • yeah you summed him up in one................
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