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Returning to mountain biking new bike advice needed

princepercyprincepercy Posts: 10
edited March 2019 in MTB buying advice
Hello, first post here.

I used to mountain bike loads in the early naughties and had a Kona Blast hardtail and a Kona Dwag Deluxe FS. Due to having kids,work, house ect I stopped ridding and sold the bikes. I only kept my road bike and have been a roadie since.

My kids are now well into bikes and want to go riding in the local woods and bike park so i thought i would get a new bike and get back into it. I've looked around and have been blown away by the amount of choice these days. When I bought my FS is was a choice of about 5 or 6 makes and 4 or 5 inches of travel!

I'm going to be mainly riding with my young kids but will also go out on my own and just want to ride for fun and get out there really.

My budget is a strict £750-800 and i have narrowed it down to these few.

https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/1992/products/whyte-629-29er-hardtail-mountain-bike-2018-orange.aspx

https://www.hargreaves-cycles.co.uk/m39b0s411p8363/CANNONDALE-Cujo-2-2019

https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/whyte-805-27-5-inch-2018-bike

https://www.rutlandcycling.com/373477/products/scott-scale-730-2017-mountain-bike-yellow.aspx?currency=GBP&gclid=CjwKCAjw1KLkBRBZEiwARzyE76Jn2Ejc-AcofcIZR9fewu3qVjUQ_AZQlQY9lR2KIJgFchHz2cwuXhoCFjAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I know they are all good bikes and will be an improvement on the 30 year old Specialized rigid hardtail i've been riding but i want to buy the right bike and want something that will last me a good few years.

Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,369
    You should include the Voodoo Bizango alongside those, if for no other reason than you can get it at the moment for £520 (using the trade in an old bike helmet deal for 20% discount) and then have spare cash to add a dropper seatpost and still room for some nice pedals, grips etc. I know you've linked to 27.5 bikes, but worth a look at that sort of price point.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... -22-frames
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • At that sort of money you are close to being able to afford a Bossnut evo which is also a 1x sram mountain bike but dual suspension and much raved about for its performance vs value. They seem to have regular 10% off codes plus there is cashback at topcashback and possibly quidco and like me you may have a halifax bank account that offers a 7% cashback on go outdoors products so many ways you can drive the price down a bit. I would check out a few online reviews and youtube videos but you have reached a price point where you can actually get a decent dual suspension bike and I think the fun factor is definitely better with dual suspension as is the injury factor as it enables you do more interesting stuff off road. If you have a local go outdoors store it may be worth checking out. I've seen comments on forums where people spent more on big brand bikes and were disappointed with their bike compared to the bossnut which a friend had when they went riding. It's delivering performance that many big brands only match on bikes twice as much, the video below states 4x, that might be pushing it but still an amazing bike for the money and if I had £800-900 to spend on a mountain bike it would pretty much be the bossnut evo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptk3qUDlj_o
  • Thanks for the replies. I did look at a Vodoo in Halfords a few months ago but haven't really be considering them. Might be a bit of unconditional bias due to it being from Halfords.

    I know the Bossnut Evo is in my budget but i don;t really want a FS bike, i always felt when i had a FS last time that I was overbiked and ended up enjoying riding my hardtail more.

    My problem is i've no experience of 27.5 or 29 wheels and there doesn;t seem to be anywhere round here where i properly test ride. All I have done so far is swing my lef over a 29 in a bike shop and it felt ok but it did seem on the large side. I'm 5.7is so ride medium bikes.
  • If 27.5" feels better to you and your height then that is likely the best option. I think you'll need to at least sit on a few more bikes before buying. I would definitely spend some time at your local bike shops trying out a few more bikes to clarify exactly what you want. I tend to buy by spec rather than brand hence retailers who directly import bikes themselves often offer the best value. The big brands mostly are just importers themselves but you have all their costs to pay for including marketing and sponsoring sporting events etc, then wholesalers, dealer margins and the margins of the company that actually manufactured the bike in the first place in the far east. You definitely want to focus on getting a discounted last season model if you want to get value from the big brands but some of the stock still available may simply be it wasn't a competitive bike in the first place. I would definitely check out the reviews for any bike you are considering. Sometimes they can be poorly reviewed.

    Don't dismiss retailers like Halfords as you will have local support which you won't get with an internet purchase and sometimes the warranty isn't the same if you buy online unless you get the bike assembled by a local dealer which destroys the price advantage. If you are going to buy a bike online always worth giving your local bike shop the chance to price match. They may not be able to match the price fully but might offer many benefits which are worth the small extra cost.

    I'm not quite sure how you are going to use the bike, you have stated a preference for a hardtail but unsure how much off-roading you are going to do. Will you be using the bike on the road too and what ratio between each use. Will you actually be doing any cycling that requires front suspension and all the extra weight and maintenance suspension requires. Maybe a hybrid would be better.
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    I'm 5' 7" too and ride a 27.5", i tried a friends 29" and didn't feel right for me, didn't maneuver as well as the 27.5", but does roll faster, it's all down to personal preference and geometry is also going to make a big difference.
    As mentioned above, don't dismiss Voodoo, and also Boardman bikes, both from Halfords but friends have them and they're amazing bikes for the money. Another option to add to the list is the Marin below, 1 x 11 and Rockshox Recon forks, not bad for that price as reduced from £1000 to £750.

    https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/132/products/marin-nail-trail-6-275-hardtail-mountain-bike-2018-blacksilver.aspx
  • Thanks for the info. Will probably head to some bike shops over the weekend. The last one i went to would only let me sit on the bike, they weren't too keen on me even taking it for a spin outside the shop which i though was a bit tight. It would be nice to do a proper test ride but i don't think that is really an option which is a bit of a shame.

    I'm going to be riding the bike off road the whole time as i have a road bike for road riding. My kids are becoming obsessed with mountain biking so will mainly be out with them on local trails. Will probbably go out a bit on my own as well for longer more techincal stuff.

    I did see that Marin linked and thought it looked like a great bike and it also looks like the Marin's of the 90s when they were the must have bikes where i grew up!

    I had seen a Boardman 29er in Halfords which looked good and they have a 20% deal at the moment which is starting to make it look like ridiculous value!.https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/boardman-mht-8-8-mens-mountain-bike

    I was genuinely supprised at how far Halfords ghave come in terms of the bikes they offer. They always had a reputation of selling rubbish bikes but i can see from all the reviews of the Vodoo range that is no longer the case.
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    It might be worth looking at the Calibre Line 10 from Go Outdoors too. Saw a review of it about a year ago and it won best in test. I think that was at £750 but it’s now dropped in price to £650.

    https://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-line ... lsrc=aw.ds

    Those Marins are also growing on me a bit now and the owners on forums always seem to love them.
  • The line 10 doesn't seem th be available in a medium at the moment.

    Also a couple of the bikes I'm looking at have Suntor forks. I've seen some pretty negative reviews of these. Is there much basis to this or is a bit of bike snobbery?
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,369
    If it’s Suntour Air forks, they are fine by most reviews. The only downside is that some of the fork maintenance companies (e.g. TF Tuned etc) don’t offer a service package for them, whereas they do for the equivalent low level RS forks. Certainly Suntour Raidon and Epicon are considered to be more than acceptable alternatives to the cheaper end Recons etc.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • Thanks for the info. Will probably head to some bike shops over the weekend. The last one i went to would only let me sit on the bike, they weren't too keen on me even taking it for a spin outside the shop which i though was a bit tight. It would be nice to do a proper test ride but i don't think that is really an option which is a bit of a shame.

    I'm going to be riding the bike off road the whole time as i have a road bike for road riding. My kids are becoming obsessed with mountain biking so will mainly be out with them on local trails. Will probbably go out a bit on my own as well for longer more techincal stuff.

    I did see that Marin linked and thought it looked like a great bike and it also looks like the Marin's of the 90s when they were the must have bikes where i grew up!

    I had seen a Boardman 29er in Halfords which looked good and they have a 20% deal at the moment which is starting to make it look like ridiculous value!.https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/boardman-mht-8-8-mens-mountain-bike

    I was genuinely supprised at how far Halfords ghave come in terms of the bikes they offer. They always had a reputation of selling rubbish bikes but i can see from all the reviews of the Vodoo range that is no longer the case.

    Halfords have always sold rubbish bikes and still do, they have the brand 'Apollo' which should pretty much be avoided most of the time or purchased with extreme caution due to the compromises made to reach a price point. Carrera is the mid-level quality and Voodoo and Boardman are their higher end brands plus they do a small amount of other brands although often not instore. A high end Carrera can be better than a low end Voodoo though. If I was paying serious money for a bike though personally I would go with Giant. However many of the other big brands seem to offer Carrera/Voodoo quality for Giant money so if you aren't buying a Giant you may as well go for a Carrera or Voodoo. I'm very biased towards Giant I must admit but Giant bikes are heavily compromised in components at lower price points unfortunately.
  • Tone CTone C Posts: 30
    Well, I have a Boardman Pro FS as my trail bike. It's good enough in that I'm looking at another Boardman Cyclo cross to ride as a commuter/road bike.

    I'm lucky though in that I have 1 very good guy at my local Halfords and 1 superb one that I trust. On the other side of the coin there's 2 that I wouldn't have near my bikes...

    My daughter's hardtail and my son's hardtail both have Suntour forks and I'm happy enough with them. The Raidons on my son's bike are better than the Rockshox xc 30 on my hardtail. Not as good as the Pikes on the Boardman though!
  • I went to Halfords today and sat on the Boardman and it felt like a good bike and good fit. With 20% off is good value and might even go up a level which then get rock shox Reba.

    Part of me that is still drawn to the Whyte and the Scott. I need to find a lbs that stocks whyte so I can see them in the flesh.
  • gomezzgomezz Posts: 87
    I have a Boardman Team FS 2x10 speed, had it for two years and done over 2000 mls of forest trails and Sherwood Pines blue trails. I am 72 so don't test it like you young bucks, but apart form renewing the chainring, cassette and chain it's been no bother. A good buy.
  • I went to Halfords today and sat on the Boardman and it felt like a good bike and good fit. With 20% off is good value and might even go up a level which then get rock shox Reba.

    Part of me that is still drawn to the Whyte and the Scott. I need to find a lbs that stocks whyte so I can see them in the flesh.

    It's not that Whyte and Scott aren't great bikes it's just at lower pricing their bikes are heavily compromised. If you look at this;

    https://whyte.bike/collections/bikes/products/603

    That's £600 full price but it has a basic Suntour XCM fork which I've seen on Halfords bikes that go sub £300 and the hubs are basic cup and cone hubs which is likely the same as Halfords bikes at half the price and less but you are paying £600 here. When you are spending sub £1000 many of the big brands don't make sense unless you can get a clearance bargain but even then sometimes you would still be better off with a shop brand bike. Ultimately if you are drawn to the big brands and that feels right then they have done their marketing well. However it may well cost you when 2 years in you realise you have had to spend a lot of money upgrading poor parts on such bikes. Others who bought by spec rather than brand get to enjoy a great mountain bike from day one for the same money. Scott doesn't do a lot for me but must admit I do like the Whyte brand, also bit of a Kona fan despite owning their worst ever bike, however also own 2 decent Kona bikes, all bought s/hand though, would never have paid the money they wanted new.
  • I had kona bikes before and thought they were great. The only on I've seen in my price range us this
    [url][https://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/mountain-bikes-c1/hardtail-c17/mahuna-mountain-bike-2019-p21371/s64354?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=kona-mahuna-mountain-bike-2019-size-medium-colour-gloss-bright-gree-size-medium-colour-gloss-bright-green-b19mh03&utm_campaign=product+listing+ads&cid=GBP&gclid=CjwKCAjw4LfkBRBDEiwAc2DSlOx3HnarJojvibNNKTSvEtjEGWrYBbPAHsNyxCxVsnVnfM9mvn7zCxoCcpMQAvD_BwEurl] but it only has 100mm of travel but it looks like a nice bike.

    I think I'm going to rule out the 2 plus bikes and then try and decide between 27.5 and 29er.

    I'm desperate to buy a bike and get riding with the weather finally starting to get better. :)[/url]
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    If you are desperate to buy a bike just go and buy a Voodoo Bizango it comes out tops in it's price range whenever it's tested.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
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