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buying BTwin Rockrider Big RR 5.3 29er - bad idea?

Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
edited May 2013 in MTB buying advice
went over to decathlon yesterday to try out the standard 26" Rockrider 5.3 as im looking around the £300 mark, but ive kinda got a man crush on the 29er here
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-big-rr-53-mountain-bike-white-id_8202905.html for a little bit more.

Ive never owned or ridden a 29er but from what little i could ride around the shop it felt like great fun!

am i making a mistake, either buying a 29er and/or at that price? im struggling to find a good review of it online.

I dont want to go too off topic in the 26 vs 29 debate, ive read quite a bit online already, and im mostly going to be commuting and XC trails, am 5'11", so i reckon it'll suit well?

is it good value for money though @ £350? any alarm bells in the quality/components?

im just getting back into mtb's after a few years hiatus and im on a tight budget, but im pretty clueless. :oops:

thanks for any and all input its really appreciated!
Ty

Posts

  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    Anybody else would want 500+ for a bike of that spec. It is good value for money and the Rockriders are generally considered quite highly around these forums.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,793
    Looks very good value, it has a damped fork, and reasonable drivetrain, no component stands out as being poor, downsides are mechanical discs and it's rather heavy weight. Compare to a 26er Carrera Vulcan, there you have no hydraulic fork, but get hydraulic discs and nearly 1Kg less heft......you pays your money and makes your choice!

    An early upgrade to good used hydraulic brakes would cost you circa £60 and loose you about 300g......

    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    thanks everyone for the input!

    I'll pick it up this afternoon! I'm so excited I couldn't sleep last night. the last 'new' bike I owned was a giant boulder many years ago that got stolen, and I've been peddling rubbish ever since.

    I'm a little worried I won't be able to mess around on the bike jumping off things cause it's so physically big, but time will tell I guess.

    excuse the noob ignorance, but what are the benefits of hydrolic disks over mech? and dampened forks?

    I'm going to get a better set of pedals while I'm there, cause the stock look rubbish. are peddles all equal, or are some more equal than others? suggestions?

    congrats on the 10 000 post-mark The Beginner!

    thanks guys!
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.

    So it looks aesthetically better? Does that really matter?
    Wheel size has nothing to do with how well a bike actually fits a person.
  • EH_RobEH_Rob Posts: 1,134
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.

    Suiting a bike isn't a visual thing though is it, its about how it feels for you to ride.

    If 29ers are for tall people why do they make small 29er frames? or larger/xl 26ers?
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    EH_Rob wrote:
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.

    Suiting a bike isn't a visual thing though is it, its about how it feels for you to ride.

    If 29ers are for tall people why do they make small 29er frames? or larger/xl 26ers?

    Really? Honestly??? :roll:
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    EH_Rob wrote:
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.

    Suiting a bike isn't a visual thing though is it, its about how it feels for you to ride.

    If 29ers are for tall people why do they make small 29er frames? or larger/xl 26ers?

    Really? Honestly??? :roll:

    So you would choose a bike based on how you look on it rather than how it actually fits you?
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    EH_Rob wrote:
    Height has nothing to do with whether a 29er suites you better!

    Tosh, very tall people on xl 29rs look like regular people rather than gigantic freaks. I'd say they suit 29rs perfectly.

    The don't suit small people at all as they make little people look like toddlers.

    Suiting a bike isn't a visual thing though is it, its about how it feels for you to ride.

    If 29ers are for tall people why do they make small 29er frames? or larger/xl 26ers?

    Really? Honestly??? :roll:

    So you would choose a bike based on how you look on it rather than how it actually fits you?

    Definitely, why would I choose something that looks bad when I hang my FF helmet on it whilst sitting around at the head of the trails? 8)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,793
    That's not what was said though is it? Most people don't use a bike as an extension of their schlong.

    What we are saying is that buying a bike just because you think it looks better is wrong, you buy the bike that does the right job and if two are equal by all means buy the better looking.

    Want to tell Steve Peat he looks daft on his mere 26"?
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    Tea1023 wrote:
    but what are the benefits of hydrolic disks over mech? and dampened forks?

    I'm going to get a better set of pedals while I'm there, cause the stock look rubbish. are peddles all equal, or are some more equal than others? suggestions?

    .....aaaaand getting back on topic (thank you gents, take it outside, if you please!)

    That bike will do you plenty good enough to find your feet, and your fitness. It's not going to be a downhill monster or 'awesome freeride bike', but for getting around the trail centres and countryside - it'll do admirabley.

    Hydraulic disc brakes generally require less maintenence and upkeep than mechanical disc brakes, and they're often more consistent and powerful, with a lighter lever feel. They are however more expensive (hence they're not fitted to the Rockrider).

    As for a damped fork - drop a coil spring on its end and see what happens - damn thing will bounce nearly as high as where you dropped it from - this is an example of an undamped system. Damping slows the rate of compression of the spring so that the spring can compress and absorb the impact in a slower and more controlled way. It dissipates this energy as friction in whatever the damping medium is. It gives much more control and stops your fork feeling like a pogo stick (which can actually be pretty dangerous (drive a car with shock absorbers and you'll see what I mean!).

    Damped forks are good.

    Pedals - spend a few quid on something flat and reasonabley grippy (my 'Fat Spanners' were twenty quid). No need to spend mega-bucks. Start cheap - see how long you can make them last and upgrade when they're knackered. Grippy pedals however are relatively threatening to shins if your foot slips off them - you have been warned! :lol:

    But the pedals are grippy, so that shouldn't happen, right? :lol:
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Those forks aren't really what you would call properly damped though about as good as you will get for the money.
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    thanks for the great info Clank! i wish we could +rep on this forum.

    RockmonkeySC anything better around that wont stretch the budget too much?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,793
    Voodoo Bantu at Halfords will give you hydraulic discs and a better damped fork on 26" wheels for similar money.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    I personally think that the really budget 29ers are a real bad idea, they will be heavy, with poor components and heavy wheelsets. But that's just an opinion not backed up with facts before someone goes off on one.

    That said, Decathlon make decent frames, so if the frame is light it could be a good starter that can be upgraded.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    oh god not more choice :/

    ive also been recommended to spend the extra on this Orbea Dakar Disk

    http://www.orbea.com/gb-en/bicycles/dakar-disc/

    so what would ye get? voodoo, orbea or the 29er BTwin?
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    i hear what youre saying 97th choice, but the 29er is just about the same spec'd as the others here (apparently, not that i know what im talking about), and is the lightest here @ 14.1kg according to decathlon.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    Tea1023 wrote:
    oh god not more choice :/

    ive also been recommended to spend the extra on this Orbea Dakar Disk

    http://www.orbea.com/gb-en/bicycles/dakar-disc/

    so what would ye get? voodoo, orbea or the 29er BTwin?
      whoever recommended that need a good talking to, an orbea salesman by any chance ?
      voodoo by a long way
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    ha, yea it was a bike shop selling orbea etc, but he was convinced it was the best all round. wont touch it so thanks for the heads up!

    you prefer the voodoo to the BTwin though?

    honestly, knowing me, ill be upgrading parts over time anyway, there are always some form of avid juicy's for sale at my uni mtb club, so im not swayed to the voodoo for its brakes alone.

    is there a way to do a poll on here, just between the voodoo bantu, the RR 29er and the stock rockrider 5.3 26"?

    while at decathlon I picked out some accessories, just wondering if anything is a dud?

    bar ends (80mm):

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/short-bar-ends-80mm-black-id_8203953.html

    bladder bag (£20 in store):

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/hb-72-water-pouch-grey-blue-id_8203174.html

    cheapo bottle cage:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/bottle-cage-5-black-id_8157313.html

    trip computer:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/count-8-counter-wireless-id_8173018.html

    bike lock (amazon) (as recommended in another thread here):

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0035JJORS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

    chain (amazon, as above):

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0035RQZYK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ADFI59O5XI21B

    and some cheap £10 pedals not on decathlons website.

    if anyone knows of better equipment for similar money id be really grateful.

    thanks for all the help so far everyone! im buying tomorrow come snow or shine.
  • chez_m356chez_m356 Posts: 1,893
    Tea1023 wrote:
    you prefer the voodoo to the BTwin though?

    honestly, knowing me, ill be upgrading parts over time anyway, there are always some form of avid juicy's for sale at my uni mtb club, so im not swayed to the voodoo for its brakes alone.

    is there a way to do a poll on here, just between the voodoo bantu, the RR 29er and the stock rockrider 5.3 26"?
    it's not the brakes,though they are better, it's the fork thats the difference
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 10- CANYON Nerve AM 6 2011
  • I know its been a month or so, just wondering how the Rockrider is doing...as its one on my list...
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    Hey!

    well im not much of a reviewer, and ive just woken up, but ill give as honest an opinion as i can:

    Ive had it for a few weeks now, and in that time ive been on a few 3 hour spins, but nothing too serious off road yet. using it for a light 4km a day commute since. the tires are quite slippery in the wet, and the front brakes are becoming quite warn, but i ride it very very hard. there are quite a few jumps and stuff on the way to work, and i never miss a single one.

    this is my first 29er, and ive been borrowing a giant XTC 3 until i got it, and im really happy with my purchase tbh. bunny hopping is a bit more difficult to get any height over a 26", the colour scheme isnt mind blowing, and its less maneuverable offroad, but much, much more forgiving. if i screw up a landing, or too late to jump a rock at high speed, it just keeps rolling. seriously. ive fallen once, and that was in the rain cornering way too hard. i would have fallen had i been on any bike. im yet to actually hurt myself.

    its not perfect, but i found it more enjoyable than the bantu. the voodoo just felt like another mtb, the rockrider made me feel like a professional, like the first time you put on proper cycling gear and look in the mirror. the rockrider does that for me, every time i step on it. maybe its just that its so big and agressive with the 29" wheels, but I even cycle it to the shops sometimes, and theyre less than 5min walk away, just for a quick thrill.

    for upgrades, definitely lose the stock pedals. i bought the £10 bmx ones they had lying around, and theyre miles better.

    I will be upgrading the brakes to proper mechs, and the im getting better tires, but only once these have worn down to the end. if you want to save a lot of weight, get a better wheel set, but you can spend more on the wheels than on the whole bike so its a moot thing really.

    overall, at £330, its a steal.

    i cant compare to the bantu much, because i only cycled it around the store a few times, so ill leave the comparisons to the experts, but when people talk about the forks etc being better on this or that, i dont really see where theyre coming from. i rode with the silver and gold rockshox rekon that theyre talking about now, and i couldnt tell any difference, at all, between the 2. im too noob for that kind of detail, but i keep up with the big boys on their €3k XTR blah blah bikes at my local, so it doesnt matter all that much. just ride to enjoy, and i got £330 worth of entertainment from mine already.


    er i dunno if this is gone off topic, or if anyone is still reading, but if youve any questions just fire away.
  • kevinscottkevinscott Posts: 49
    Mate,
    That may be just the best dammed review I have ever read. At the exact level I am looking for.....
    I went into my local Decathlon to have a look and have a feel of the bike. Does feel a bit on the weighty side but nothing crazy I suppose.

    However, the Rockrider 8.1 (at £550) with its Matt Black finish, just looks sexier
  • Tea1023Tea1023 Posts: 10
    i LOVE the 8.1's colour scheme! but I couldnt justify the higher price as I was on a tighter budget and was sold on 29" wheels (still am, and wont go back to 26) I spent the saving on accessories instead to make me feel better about the white :P

    if you can afford the 8.1, it comes HIGHLY recommended in its price bracket from those smarter than myself.
  • kevinscottkevinscott Posts: 49
    Yeah Im fighting between the Big RR 5.3 and the 8.1. The extra couple of hundred is annoying, plus I kinda fancy a 29er...but the kit the 8.1 is soooo tempting
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,450
    Old thread, I know, but I'll chip in as another Big RR owner.

    I bought it as a compromise - I'll hit Llandegla maybe once or twice a year with my son, but mostly I'll be on the roads, or perhaps around flat forest trails or converted railway lines with the rest of my brood.

    I also fitted some narrow (32mm?) tyres to it earlier in the year and it "looked" absolutely fine - I used it for a Duathlon at Oulton Park, and it rolled fine! Got absolutely caned by the guys on the "proper" bikes, but managed to lap at least one of the other MTB riders that day!

    I've added bar ends, stuck on my old grips and swapped the pedals for a pair of £12 Wellgo flats (in red :mrgreen: ) , as well as having to add a bracket for the trailer bike that one of my kids is riding at the moment.

    For me, its the perfect compromise bike - despite its rider, I'm sure it'll handle a few trips around the trail centres, on the road its fine (the lockout is a little "clunky" but can be set whilst riding which I like), it takes narrow road tyres fine (and there's quite a choice, being a 700c wheelset) and the riding position suits me. I can cruise along at a much faster pace on the road than I could on a 26inch bike (according to my son, who would invariably be following me!).

    I'm not tall (5ft8) so got the smallest of the frames. I reckon for the money, if you are after a 29er you'll not find better value for money. I don't care about a few kg, on the way up that just helps to encourage me to be fitter, on the way down, it just helps gravity along a little bit!

    I even quite like the colour scheme!

    HTH!

    Matt
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #4s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
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