Views on mtn bike choice for 12 year old

Having outgrown his 20" bikes and made them last (just) he's gone beyond 24" kids bikes and now fits an adult bike in a small frame.

So I've been looking at the choice. I nearly bought a Giant Boulder on offer but I couldn't bring myself to actually purchase a bike with no name brakes and rims, plastic pedals, steel bars and the cheapest Suntour shocks. So I decided to stretch the budget a bit, with the reasoning that if I buy reasonable I can replace and change bits as they wear.

I've looked at the Specialized Hardrock disc (£350), the Trek 3900 disc (£375) and the Revel 1 (£400). I've also looked at some Scott's and Diamond Back at similar price points.

They all have things I don't like. Then I found this Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc at Evans for £400. It seems perfect. All the components are reasonable and replaceable including the chainset, which often you can't replace the rings on.

I know they are all mechanical discs but that's what he wants. He argues it's the same effort to pull as V-Brakes but he gets more stopping power for his pull. He won't entertain Islabikes and to be honest I have some dislikes of Isla now I've owned one, especially the susceptibility of the frame to marks and scratches.

So which one, or is there another. I'm inclined towards the Hardrock Sport but to be honest my head is spinning from visiting bike shops and websites :laugh: So any input is most welcome.
 
Not cheap, but the Islabikes range always gets good reports
 

Norm

Guest
Crackle said:
He won't entertain Islabikes and to be honest I have some dislikes of Isla now I've owned one, especially the susceptibility of the frame to marks and scratches.
Cunobelin said:
Not cheap, but the Islabikes range always gets good reports
:laugh: :laugh:

I like the Hardrocks, was very tempted to get myself one, in a larger size, of course. :ohmy:
 

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Location
Mlehworld
I would stick to the large brands, Spesh, Giant, kona, as they really are making good bikes at this pricepoint. i like that Hardrock from Evans, looks good which is about as good as it gets for a 12 year old! Red looks fast too!

I always suggest GT avalanches for anyone looking for a good MTB that don't cost the earth. I've ridden GT and they are solid, fun to ride, take some stick, and really good value.
The one from Pauls retails at £500 btw :smile:
 
OP
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Crackle

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Steve Austin said:
I would stick to the large brands, Spesh, Giant, kona, as they really are making good bikes at this pricepoint. i like that Hardrock from Evans, looks good which is about as good as it gets for a 12 year old! Red looks fast too!

I always suggest GT avalanches for anyone looking for a good MTB that don't cost the earth. I've ridden GT and they are solid, fun to ride, take some stick, and really good value.
The one from Pauls retails at £500 btw :tongue:
He's more interested in colour than components, you're right, it's me that's sniffy about the spec.

That GT is well specced, hmmm. Well I've a week to think about it, as I'm away next week.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
Make sure you buy it to only just fit ... as he's just about to have that growing phase... I'm trying to avoid buying my 13 year old a bigger bike just yet ... as she seems to be in the middle of the phase and she is on a 24" though she is never going to be tall. Though I haven't seen her on it recently so that last bit of growing may have already made the bike too small.
 
OP
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Crackle

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MrGrumpy said:
£500 for a kids bike?? Will it be looked after??
400, and it will be used, like all the others, probably as a goal post sometimes. We tend to cycle a lot as a family. Bikes feature on nearly every holiday and often at weekends.

summerdays said:
Make sure you buy it to only just fit ... as he's just about to have that growing phase... I'm trying to avoid buying my 13 year old a bigger bike just yet ... as she seems to be in the middle of the phase and she is on a 24" though she is never going to be tall. Though I haven't seen her on it recently so that last bit of growing may have already made the bike too small.
Noted: Really only one size fits him. If he grows out of it it will pass to his younger brother, especially if it's a good bike like this one will probably be.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
MrGrumpy said:
Will it be looked after??
Whilst I hate to see a bike not well looked after ... I would rather see it used than shinny and in brand new condition after a year or two. I've seen kids return with their bikes to the bike shop for the 6 week check and they have probably only ridden it once in between times - making the check pointless.

I did cover my youngest's kid's Islabike in Helicopter tape since I could stand to see it become too scratched whilst wanting him to use it.
 
OP
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Crackle

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summerdays said:
I did cover my youngest's kid's Islabike in Helicopter tape since I could stand to see it become too scratched whilst wanting him to use it.
That was probably a good idea. Youngest's is very scratched. I think the paint finish on the Isla's is not good. To be fair, it has spent a lot of time going on and off bike racks. It's been ridden in Spain, France and Germany, on the road, in the forest and in fact well used but it now looks it. I have kept it well maintained though.
 
Norm said:
;) :biggrin:

I like the Hardrocks, was very tempted to get myself one, in a larger size, of course. :tongue:
I posted this as the news is that Islabikes have addressed many of the issues and are launching a new range... perhaps I should have said - recent reports?

Personal choice, but I have never ruled out a brand that is not in its maturity when I bough the product
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Crackle, have you had a look at Decathlons? They sell some very well reviewed MTBs

Have a look at Meridas at your pricepoint as well. Nice,, well made, well specc'd MTBs. Starting point would be the Matts SUb 40MD or D

Carrera are good value for money.
 

Norm

Guest
Cunobelin said:
I posted this as the news is that Islabikes have addressed many of the issues and are launching a new range... perhaps I should have said - recent reports?
Yup, and don't they have a new factory or something? Seems a good product.

Sorry, but as the only brand which the OP said he didn't fancy was Islabikes, then you posting that there were good reports about them was, IMO, hilarious. ;)
 
OP
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Crackle

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Cubist said:
Crackle, have you had a look at Decathlons? They sell some very well reviewed MTBs

Have a look at Meridas at your pricepoint as well. Nice,, well made, well specc'd MTBs. Starting point would be the Matts SUb 40MD or D

Carrera are good value for money.

All good points. Do you know an online dealer with Merida prices, I'm struggling to find one and a whole new range to get my head round. Carrera and Decathlon of course, mentioned so often on here and I'd not thought to look there.

Edit: smallest size in the Carrera range seems to be 16", which is too big.
 
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