Alternatives to a Boardman FS Pro....

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
After 20 odd years of riding rigid and hardtail I've decided to take the plunge and go for a full-boinger. I love my 2010 Boardman HT Pro and want a good XC capable bike with a decent amount of travel; a splash of 'all-mountain' with a touch of 'freeride'. I'm not a trail centre monkey or a black run bandit nor do I 'do' Northshore. All day, or multi-day, rides, on real hills/mountains, riding mother nature's own terrain is more my bag

The Boardman FS Pro looks like it would fit the bill perfectly, and seems to be good vfm and a very high spec for the price. (Buying from Halfords doesn't worry or bother me so let's set that aside pur-lease.)

What is worth looking at in the same ballpark (plus/minus £250) as the boardman's price?
 

VamP

Banned
Location
Cambs
After 20 odd years of riding rigid and hardtail I've decided to take the plunge and go for a full-boinger. I love my 2010 Boardman HT Pro and want a good XC capable bike with a decent amount of travel; a splash of 'all-mountain' with a touch of 'freeride'. I'm not a trail centre monkey or a black run bandit nor do I 'do' Northshore. All day, or multi-day, rides, on real hills/mountains, riding mother nature's own terrain is more my bag

The Boardman FS Pro looks like it would fit the bill perfectly, and seems to be good vfm and a very high spec for the price. (Buying from Halfords doesn't worry or bother me so let's set that aside pur-lease.)

What is worth looking at in the same ballpark (plus/minus £250) as the boardman's price?
I'd find it hard to look beyond this TBH
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
After 20 odd years of riding rigid and hardtail I've decided to take the plunge and go for a full-boinger. I love my 2010 Boardman HT Pro and want a good XC capable bike with a decent amount of travel; a splash of 'all-mountain' with a touch of 'freeride'. I'm not a trail centre monkey or a black run bandit nor do I 'do' Northshore. All day, or multi-day, rides, on real hills/mountains, riding mother nature's own terrain is more my bag

The Boardman FS Pro looks like it would fit the bill perfectly, and seems to be good vfm and a very high spec for the price. (Buying from Halfords doesn't worry or bother me so let's set that aside pur-lease.)

What is worth looking at in the same ballpark (plus/minus £250) as the boardman's price?
Here you are. In UK prices, with a sale price that's £100 less than the FS Pro with XT drivetrain and Mavic Crossride wheels, Fox front and back,http://www.canyon.com/_uk/mountainbikes/bike.html?b=2556
What's not to like?

Check their Nerve AM range for incredibly light 150 mm bikes.....

Other alternatives, but often with disappointing kit after you've looked at Canyons would be Spesh FSRs (except for this bargain, http://www.sigmasport.co.uk/p/19799..._medium=pricecomp&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping)
but that is an out and out XC bike with 100 mm Rebas.

Try Cube AMS if you like the Teutonic styling, and like the XC oriented kit http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=72827, or Google for AMS 110, 125 and 130 for longer travel options.

Giant Anthem ? Trance?
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Here you are. In UK prices, with a sale price that's £100 less than the FS Pro with XT drivetrain and Mavic Crossride wheels, Fox front and back,http://www.canyon.com/_uk/mountainbikes/bike.html?b=2556
What's not to like?

Check their Nerve AM range for incredibly light 150 mm bikes.....

Other alternatives, but often with disappointing kit after you've looked at Canyons would be Spesh FSRs (except for this bargain, http://www.sigmasport.co.uk/p/19799..._medium=pricecomp&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping)
but that is an out and out XC bike with 100 mm Rebas.

Try Cube AMS if you like the Teutonic styling, and like the XC oriented kit http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=72827, or Google for AMS 110, 125 and 130 for longer travel options.

Giant Anthem ? Trance?
Thanks for this; you and vamp are keen on canyon then!

Looked at the spesh and couldn't believe how poor the finishing kit is for the money these days.... and the Cube's just don't float my boat. Going to a Giant shop tomorrow to take a peak at their offerings but right now the list is down to the Boardman and a Nerve AM
 

MichaelM

Guru
Location
Tayside
How about a Titus frame either built up by On One or with the kit from your HT moved over. If you considered moving your kit over from your old frame, CRC are doing the Cove Hustler for £799.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Thanks for this; you and vamp are keen on canyon then!

Looked at the spesh and couldn't believe how poor the finishing kit is for the money these days.... and the Cube's just don't float my boat. Going to a Giant shop tomorrow to take a peak at their offerings but right now the list is down to the Boardman and a Nerve AM
I love the Canyon spec lists. I built a 140 bike from a Nerve AM frame and apart from a small cable routing question can't fault its quality. The anodised black looks great, the tubing is different in its hydroformed shaping, and very light. In AM form they're a bit taller than some of the more mainstream frameshapes, and at 68.5 degree head angle they aren't so DH oriented. In fact, that actually lends itself more to your intended use, with a more upright rather than a slack-as-a-bag-of-knackers wheelbarrow style. Climbing will be a bit better than say a Lapierre or an Orange. I rode a Giant Trance, albeit a 2008 one, and found the front end a bit vague, but with short stem and wide low-ish bars my Nerve carves like an XC when you're down over the front end. Poised, not planted, but you ain't going to be hitting the big drop-ins and chutes enough to miss that. Light, well-equipped, (ridiculously so in fact) you only have the issue of buying direct. Tales of customer service have been good so far, with one or two issues dealt with well.... check STW and search for satisfied Canyon users. Not many gripes so far.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
How about a Titus frame either built up by On One or with the kit from your HT moved over. If you considered moving your kit over from your old frame, CRC are doing the Cove Hustler for £799.
Good suggestion, if I hadn't found the Nerve frame at the price I did I would probably have bought a Titus. Are they still on special offer? The Carbon was going for really silly money last month.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FRTITFTMCARRS/titus_ftm_carbon_frame_and_monarch_shock

Drool!... £699, and populate it with Ebay bargains or a trusty donor bike......
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FRTITFTMCARRS/titus_ftm_carbon_frame_and_monarch_shock

Drool!... £699, and populate it with Ebay bargains or a trusty donor bike......
I see the attraction, really I do but....

it needs to be an ots bike not a build - too many part finished projects on the go at present to entertain another one

a swap using current HT isn't in the plan as I want to keep her, still plenty of stuff locally where a decent XC HT is the preferred weapon.

I'm not convinced carbon is the way to go for someone of my avoir dupois and general level of clumsiness on the trail (or in the car cark)
 

MichaelM

Guru
Location
Tayside
all good stuff but a bit too racy and lacking in travel for what I have in mind tbh.
I'm not trying to convince anyone to justify my own purchase, and if it's not the right bike for you, it's not the right bike.

But:

want a good XC capable bike with a decent amount of travel; a splash of 'all-mountain' with a touch of 'freeride'. I'm not a trail centre monkey or a black run bandit nor do I 'do' Northshore. All day, or multi-day, rides, on real hills/mountains, riding mother nature's own terrain is more my bag.
105mm travel in the shock, built up with a 120mm fork - lacking in travel for the above? Would you really notice the difference between that and the FS PRO?

I do like the look of the Boardmans though and would consider one myself - but I prefer to build up a frame with the parts I already have.
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
I'm not trying to convince anyone to justify my own purchase, and if it's not the right bike for you, it's not the right bike.

But:



105mm travel in the shock, built up with a 120mm fork - lacking in travel for the above? Would you really notice the difference between that and the FS PRO?

I do like the look of the Boardmans though and would consider one myself - but I prefer to build up a frame with the parts I already have.
It is an interesting and informative discussion, rather than an argument, so keep the ideas coming....

Here's the way I see it, and I'm open to changing my mind....

You pay a penalty, weight and some bob, for going FS compared to riding an HT. The penalty doesn't vary that much if you go with 2" or, more realistically, 4" or 5" or 6" travel so why have less if you can have more? That way you get more pro (travel) for roughly the same con (weight) I think. Is there a difference between 105mm and 130mm and is that difference noticeable? I don't know but my intuition suggests there must be. My experience of forks suggests an inch makes a noticeable difference in the right, or even more so in the wrong, circumstances with everything set up properly to suit the rider and their riding style and the terrain they find themselves on.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
It is an interesting and informative discussion, rather than an argument, so keep the ideas coming....

Here's the way I see it, and I'm open to changing my mind....

You pay a penalty, weight and some bob, for going FS compared to riding an HT. The penalty doesn't vary that much if you go with 2" or, more realistically, 4" or 5" or 6" travel so why have less if you can have more? That way you get more pro (travel) for roughly the same con (weight) I think. Is there a difference between 105mm and 130mm and is that difference noticeable? I don't know but my intuition suggests there must be. My experience of forks suggests an inch makes a noticeable difference in the right, or even more so in the wrong, circumstances with everything set up properly to suit the rider and their riding style and the terrain they find themselves on.
Yep, and to continue the discussion.... less is more in terms of speed. Shorter travel, generally, with aggressive geometry means a tauter ride. It all depends on what you intend to ride it over. If you are on local trails and bridleways you're not going to be doing huge tabletops and chutes, and in reality not so much of the rocky stuff. A taut XC bike like the Titus X or the 100mm travel Spesh we linked to above, will be fast, and possibly furious. I ride my XC hardtail over some local trails back to back with the 140 bike. There's no doubt at all which is better for climbing, and the hardtail is every bit as efficient if not more so on smooth pedally stuff. Hit technical descents, or really rocky stuff though and I can just plug my way through them on the longer travel. Hit a rocky descent on the HT and it all gets lairy and nervous . A 120 mm bike may well fit the compromise gap between the two, but it won't give you the bottomless travel of a 150 or even 160. 100mm FS XC bikes tend to benefit from improved grip at the back wheel, but not the sort of squish a 15 stoner needs to go down a set of rock steps day in day out! Lighter wheel and tyre options will mean more pinchflats and rim damage so

I'd be tempted to say get a 120 rather than a 140 if only because the 140 can feel a bit wallowy on smooth stuff (although setting rear preload/sag and using propedal more selectively will mean you can tune to what you ride) You mention your weight, which, like me, means more travel will be better for comfort, but the compromise is more to lug on those day long epics. For that reason we can avoid the playbikes like IBIS and Yeti etc. Your riding simply doesn't need all that travel.

That said, the Canyon 150 bikes are light, so your epic long rides are back on the table. You can tune preload and travel to suit the terrain you ride on, and if necessary tighten it all up. I know some riders with RP2 XV shocks that never turn propedal off.... simply because it's more efficient on everything they ride, but then they never expect to hit big drops or jumps.


I've managed to argue myself round in a circle, and am edging towards the Canyon AM once again. Well tuned and in more or less standard trim it'll winch a big guy round pretty much everything, you won't necessarily be overbiked, but if you do decide to edge towards trail monkeyhood, you won't ever be underbiked either!
 
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