Thinking about gettin dirty...

PaulSecteur

Specialized fanboy
Due to not getting out as much this year on the road bike due to the rainy season we have had (Mainly due to not liking getting the bike dirty, the roads being slippy and rim brakes) I have been thinking about getting a MTB, mainly to go over cannock chase which is local, and my parent have a caravan over in Welshpool - so I could take it over the valleys.

I know nothing really of mountain bikes, I do know I like to buy new, and buy decent and keep it for a good few years.

So, being a spesh fanboy these took my fancy...

Carve 29er http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/detail/12Carve/Carve

Epic 29er http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/Detail/12epicfsr/epic/Epic Comp 29

Camber 29er http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/Detail/12camberfsr/camber/Camber Comp 29

The Carve seems good, but I really want a full susser, the epic seems like it might be too racey and the Camber seems to hit the sweet spot.

Are these bikes overkill (bearing in mind I will be keeping them for a good few years)?

Any alternatives? (No mail order - I want to try before I buy)

Is 29inches the way to go? Bikes with 26 inch wheels seem a LOT cheaper!

Ta

EDIT: Not thinking about downhill, massive jumps or suchlike - just trails.

Also, I will grow a beard if its mandatory for a 29er...
 

MattHB

Proud Daddy
I just bought a crosser.. My god it's amazing what I threw it at today! I wouldn't want to go mad stupid down hill on it though. Just a thought as its way tougher than I thought it would be
 

lukesdad

Guest
29 or 26 depends a lot on what you want to do, and how you ride. Also bear in mind there are a lot more choices of everything in mtb....... you ll also get more for your dosh from other manafacturers.
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
29 or 26 depends a lot on what you want to do, and how you ride.
Can you elaborate a little?

For example, we don't have mountains in Suffolk but we do have some fun trails that can be quite demanding, but I like going very fast over rough ground and skidding round corners. So what are the pros and cons of each wheel size?

__________________________________________________________________________________
Sent from a Victorian Terrace house, red brick, 1882 build.
 

lukesdad

Guest
29s will roll better smooth out small rough stuff, 26s are better through the nadger and accelerate faster so do you tight and twisty, up and down or is it faster smoother trails ?
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I quite like 29er HTs, which is the one format where they come into their own. However, like for like spec wise they are heavier and gave flexier wheels than a 26, often noticeably so, so you want to spend a bit more to achieve the same level. Remember as well that in really mucky conditions that's extra surface area to pick up mud, and you will curse yourself with every pedal stroke.

Forget 29s as a full squidger - extra unsprung mass, compromised geometry, a real mess.

650b has resurfaced again as a seeming ideal compromise and some manufacturers are latching on quick, but whether it becomes mainstream is a question for time to tell.
 

RaRa

Well-Known Member
Location
Dorset
I have the Carve Comp 29er and it's been a bit of an eye opener to me - I don't go mad and do anything massively adventurous but I'd recommend it as a decent MTB. I find I can get up hills far better than on my old 26. So far it's taken everything I've thrown at it and I'm very happy with it.
 

Dan151

Active Member
Location
Durham, UK
Ive used both 29er and a 26 at hamsterley forest and I prefer the 26" bike. On the climbs I didn't notice a difference but on the ruff stuff descents and single track, the 26" completely wiped the floor with the 29er. It turned in faster and was a hell of alot more responsive :smile: but thats me riding. My mate thinks his 29er is loads better. You will just have to buy both :P
 
U

User482

Guest
MTBs are in a bit of a format war at the moment, with competing standards for headtubes, axles, bottom brackets and wheel sizes. I'd stick with 26" wheels until it's sorted itself out. In any case, it's cheaper, lighter and you have a better choice of tyres and fork.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Seems like a heck of a lot of money to drop on what will be effectively your first MTB when you don't really know what sort of riding you'll end up doing, but it is your money so that's your call. As others have said for that level of spend there are much better, and better spec'd, bikes out there (and I'm a Spesh fanboy too as a rule). Spesh mtb's are great but they don't always cope as well with UK ground conditions as bikes designed in UK/Europe.

I'd also suggest that your goals of longevity for an mtb are a little optimistic, especially a full boinger. They last for ever if you keep them in the shed but if ridden, and ridden hard, they do tend to wear out at a horrific rate compared with a road bike. So budget for replacements and upgrades and understand the spares situation for suspension bushes and seals before you invest.

What ever you get, get yourself over to Nant-Yr-Arian, virtually on the doorstep of your parents caravan.

If it were me.... £1000 - £1500 for a 26" wheel steel framed all mountain style hard tail plus a dropper seatpost would get you started, force you to learn to ride 'properly' and let you develop your own riding style after which you'd know clearly what sort of full bouncer you need.
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
When you say 'wear out' what components would go and what would the symptoms be? I only ask because I have a cheapo Raleigh MTB that I have been thrashing for years, and despite the shocks being flaccid has hell for most of that time, and even although the full drivetrain being replaced at least three times (derailleur four times) it seems to ride okay. It's heavier than the national debt of Greece, but it's solid! But being a sad addict I'm wondering how much nicer / faster my offroad experience would be with a nicer bike :smile:
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
When you say 'wear out' what components would go and what would the symptoms be? I only ask because I have a cheapo Raleigh MTB that I have been thrashing for years, and despite the shocks being flaccid has hell for most of that time, and even although the full drivetrain being replaced at least three times (derailleur four times) it seems to ride okay. It's heavier than the national debt of Greece, but it's solid! But being a sad addict I'm wondering how much nicer / faster my offroad experience would be with a nicer bike :smile:
See I like solid,as in robust, but I don't want heavy.

What wears out.... bearings, drivetrain, brakes, shifters, seals,rims, discs, and then eventually, when pushed hard enough often enough, the frame. Though that tends to be catastrophic failure mode time, rather than wear and I've only done it two ir three times in 20 years, once in a race and once on an alp. That said my old Rockhopper (of which the frame is the only original component) still serves its new owner on tarmac and my pub singlespeed is a 94 Kona frame.

"Better" stuff just works better, and ime, lasts a bit longer. You get lighter stuff which builds into a lighter bike without compromising strength or durability and that makes for a 'nicer' experience.

I was, frankly gobspmacked by how much mtbs have come on in the last 10 years.
 
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