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Polite Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking, Trials and BMX' started by tomb1960, 16 Oct 2007.

  1. tomb1960

    tomb1960 New Member

    Location:
    Birmingham
    On holiday with Mrs B and the B-ettes last summer I slipped my lease on a couple of mornings to go on two guided mountain-bike rides. I had never been on a mountain bike before, but I had about the best fun with my clothes on I've had for years. I thought it was the location (Greece), holiday spirit etc, but it's now several months since our return and the yearning to ride an MTB again has not left me! What bike should I buy (the holiday ones were Gary Fisher)? I wouldn't get out on it too often, I already own 4 bikes so a 5th may proove domestically (both politically and in terms of storage!) tricky, I live in Birmingham (not noted for it's off road riding unless you know different), I just want something I could occasionally have a bit of a blast on, I'd prefer to have your thoughts rather than stipulate a budget. Any sensible suggestions will be gratefully received. I have read the What MTB thread and to be honest got a bit confused.
     
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Buy a MTB mag this lunch time.
     
  3. twowheelsgood

    twowheelsgood Senior Member

    Location:
    Zurich Switzerland
    To play it safe, just go for a mid-market hardtail from one of the established names (Kona, Specialized, Trek etc), probably one aimed at the XC (cross country) market. They are all much the same until you get to the high-end. Spend at least £350 if you can. Don't consider full-suspension until you hit the £700-£800 arena. You don't need it but boy is it fun!

    Aim for components Deore level or above but don't be dazzled by too much bling. It's all good. Look out for nasty "own brand" cranksets put on to save money. The bontrager select on my gary fisher is flexy and horrible. Shimano hollotech is much nicer.

    Insist on a fork with 100mm travel, any more is not normally necessary (and indeed can be a handicap) for cross country or the "odd blast". Look for at least a pre-load and rebound control. A lock-out is also extremely nice to have for hard surfaces, climbing and smoother trails.

    Go for hydraulic (no cable) disk brakes. The rim vs disk on MTB argument was won years ago.

    Be prepared to change the saddle or tyres to suit your needs (true for any bike).

    Other than that aim for simple and light where possible.
     
  4. simon_adams_uk

    simon_adams_uk Über Member

    Location:
    SW London
    Ditto the advice above - light and simple is the aim. Have you considered 2nd hand (eBay)?

    If you're not going to get too seriously into MTBing then getting disc brakes isn't totally necessary. They are very good though!

    S
     
  5. OP
    OP
    tomb1960

    tomb1960 New Member

    Location:
    Birmingham
    Hugely helpful advice, and just what I was hoping for, thank you!
     
  6. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    Living in Birmingham you are not a million miles from Cannock Chase plenty of nice riding over there, be it purpose built trail Follow the Dog or off piste if you can get a local to show you around.
     
  7. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Mind if I ask a question to enhance your thread tomb1960 and ask what the major difference is between cable and hydraulic in terms of performance etc...
     
  8. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    Cable disc brakes have the same drawbacks as cable rims brakes - the cable gets dirty/ rusty and hinders performance. As they're at the budget end of the market they also tend to be heavy and not as well made. My hydraulic Hope brakes are fit & forget - they just need a service every couple of years.
     
  9. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    I ride off-road sometimes. One of the guys in our group spent £1950 on a full-sus Marin to replace his hardtail last winter, around this time. I would not be exaggarating if I said he has ridden it maybe 15 times:ohmy:n He says it takes all the fun out of going off-road and he wishes he had spent half the money on a really good hardtail!!!!! He even took his old bike to Wales for the weekend when we went earlier in the year!!!
     
  10. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I suspect that for most people good quality and appropriate length travel (for the terrain) full suspension is more fun than hardtail or fully rigid. But I know a few people who just don't get on with suspension almost on principle. It's fair enough... my best bike is a full suspension MTB, but sometimes I prefer to ride hardtail or even fully rigid.
     
  11. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect


    I found the opposite - I can ride downhill faster, and fall off less with full suspension. Technical climbs are also easier.