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Old 10th Nov 2007, 16:57   #1
mookboy
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Anyone know anything about mountain bikes? [UPDATE: Pick it up on Monday]

Thinking about breaking my usual Christmas wishlist habit, and looking a getting a mountain bike instead of the usual gadgets or car stuff. Thing is, I know absolutely nothing about what I ought to be looking for in one. I'm 6 foot, not an especially expect on or off cyclist, heavy build but not fat, and it would be used on a mix of roads, round the village, and onto the many footpaths and cyclepaths round here (rural West Yorkshire).

I'm after recommendations on brands and models, suspension pointers, wheel size, tyre types etc. Had a gander at the Halfords site, and was no less confused than when I started.

Overall budget around the 200 mark, could be persuaded to go higher but don't feel I would need to judging by the bikes around the 160-180 mark.

Used to ride BMXs so not sure where to start really.

Last edited by mookboy; 28th Nov 2007 at 00:23.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 17:17   #2
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Go with Giant mountin bikes. there well buit, and usualy have a decent spec.

STAY AWAY FROM HALFORDS if you want to any real offroading, there rubbish for people that dont know better.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 18:36   #3
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there rubbish for people that dont know better.
Me!

Cheers for the tip though!
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 18:40   #4
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A good set of handlebar cushions because your palms will be completely knackered on unmarked terrain.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 20:15   #5
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A load of people at my school keep going on about Felt mountain bikes, I told them surely a metal one would be better but they wouldent listen. looks like I know less than you!
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 20:51   #6
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GT Avalanche 3.0. Think it's £300, decent bike for the price.

Best thing to do is go over to Bike Radar and see the advice and reviews over there.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 21:16   #7
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I always wanted to know if you could really tell the difference between a £130 basic aluminum framed bike and a £300 one. I mean, we can all tell the difference between a £500 PC and a £1000 one, what about bikes? Of course if you're riding loads, say 3 or 4 times a week, on tricky terrain that's a different matter, but for the weekend warrior going for an average trail...?
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 22:40   #8
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I'll second the Giant recommendation, even though the forks might be a tad crap, you can get an alright mtb for around £250 (Giant Boulder if memory serves...).

Don't even consider full suspension with that budget, any full suss bike that cheap will probably weigh as much as the moon and handle just as well.
Tyre sizes shouldn't too much of an issue, there's no need for you to go with mega-sized ones with the sort of riding you mention. Probably 2.1's will do the job fine.
Another point regarding tyres, any off road or knobbly tyre will be as slow as hell on the road, so if you'll be doing mainly road miles have a look at semi-slick tyres. They can be entertainingly hairy when you're off road and it's raining but generally they tend to be ok.

Finally, don't get fooled into thinking that there's no real difference between bikes around £160 and those around £250 and upwards. Even though it's a small amount the components tend to be a lot more robust and the bike is both lighter and better built.

Saying that, I've got a road bike hanging off the wall worth around £800ish. And that's a cheap entry race bike with a discount....
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 22:58   #9
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To chip in my €0.02, the weight added by tire liners (Mr. Tuffys end the like) is well worth it. I haven't had to change an innertube in like a year - thorny things, nails, broken glass mean nothing to me.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 23:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphim Works View Post
I'll second the Giant recommendation, even though the forks might be a tad crap, you can get an alright mtb for around 250 (Giant Boulder if memory serves...).

Don't even consider full suspension with that budget, any full suss bike that cheap will probably weigh as much as the moon and handle just as well.
Tyre sizes shouldn't too much of an issue, there's no need for you to go with mega-sized ones with the sort of riding you mention. Probably 2.1's will do the job fine.
Another point regarding tyres, any off road or knobbly tyre will be as slow as hell on the road, so if you'll be doing mainly road miles have a look at semi-slick tyres. They can be entertainingly hairy when you're off road and it's raining but generally they tend to be ok.

Finally, don't get fooled into thinking that there's no real difference between bikes around 160 and those around 250 and upwards. Even though it's a small amount the components tend to be a lot more robust and the bike is both lighter and better built.

Saying that, I've got a road bike hanging off the wall worth around 800ish. And that's a cheap entry race bike with a discount....
You seem to know your stuff sir. I want to be riding round the village and paths, and then maybe up on the moors and down hills etc. I really want to try and stick to 200... hmmm, any recommendations on good online retailers in the UK?
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 00:53   #11
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There is really no substitute for sitting on a bike in a decent reputable local retailer and checking out how it feels as the frame height and length is very important to get a comfortable ride.
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 01:09   #12
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 01:36   #13
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Quote:
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You seem to know your stuff sir. I want to be riding round the village and paths, and then maybe up on the moors and down hills etc. I really want to try and stick to 200... hmmm, any recommendations on good online retailers in the UK?
Personally I wouldn't go online when buying a bike unless you know exactly what you want. It doesn't take much effort to end up on the wrong sized frame. Your best bet is to see if there are any local bike shops (not halfords!) and have a chat with them. You could end up getting hold of the right sized bike with a decent enough discount to drop it close to 200.

On the subject of budget, 200 might feel a fair bit but remember a bike isn't just a toy, it's something that you need to trust to not fling you into a tree. Whereabouts do you live in Yorkshire? I can talk to some fellow bikers, see if they can recommend a shop for you if you want.
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 01:42   #14
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Not far from Ilkley. I'd totally appreciate that mate, thanks!

I've been looking at a few online, just to gauge price and spec. If I'm intending on doing a bit of everything, but with a bias towards off-road, what sort of things would I need to be looking for on the bike? Are certain frame or wheels suited to certain uses? I'm guessing so.
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 01:51   #15
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Oh btw, don't even bother for a full suspension bike at £300, only hardtail, they will be too heavy & crap.
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 02:59   #16
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Not far from Ilkley. I'd totally appreciate that mate, thanks!

I've been looking at a few online, just to gauge price and spec. If I'm intending on doing a bit of everything, but with a bias towards off-road, what sort of things would I need to be looking for on the bike? Are certain frame or wheels suited to certain uses? I'm guessing so.
If you're near Ilkley, you're sorted. There's a fantastic shop there that I've used when I've been in Yorkshire. JD Cycles are superb, the staff there are extremely helpful and honest too. They stock Giants, Scotts, et al so you're spoilt for choice. Just pop in and try and have a chat with someone about what you're after, budget etc.

If you intend to do a bit of everything, you'll probably want semi slick tyres (from experience I know Panaracer are pretty good for that), helmet, some lights and a multi-tool kit (they tend to be around 10ish, but they're worth it).

As for frames, standard mtb frame with an average suspension fork on will do fine. You'll probably be landed with a Suntour fork which can be a tad stodgy but ok for a budget bike.
Wheels will just be your average 26" mtb set up. Should be fine as long as you don't constantly stack it into tree stumps.

Last point, seriously get a helmet. I've seen some pretty horrific injuries over the summer and it's not worth the risk. No one will take the piss to be honest and if they do, who cares?
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 04:55   #17
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sorry if this has all been answered(didn't read any posts, just original one)
so much depends on what type of riding you do. If you are doing mostly downhill riding, 100% go with full suspension. I would highly recomend going witha good bike used. GT and giant are great. i recomend giant over GT due to price and performance, but i picked up my brothers friends full suspension Gt for 100$(need 250$ in new parts ) and i do some knarly sh!t and have never wished i had disc brakes(unless you can afford them!). Panracers are great tires btw. One thing that will make up in quality of bike and is often disregarded is REGULAR TUNE-UPS!!!!!
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 04:58   #18
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Get an anatomically correct seat, you don't want your danglies to stop working (serious issue, actually)...

I rode Mongoose before they sold out, and it's been that long since my accident, so I'm not up on today's bikes; but if it's not comfortable, you won't ride. Period. I used to to do 60+ mile circuits on weekends. Comfort and good gearing is key.
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 12:50   #19
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Awesome replies chaps, thanks! JD Cycles - ha didn't even know they existed! That's like 2mins from my house! Result!

Just one point, the tinkerer in me is coming out here, but if say I bought a solid entry level bike, are posh features like disc brake just a case of breaking out the tool box and adding them?
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Old 11th Nov 2007, 12:59   #20
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Just posting to say that everything Seraphim Works has said is all good, sound advice

Quote:
Just one point, the tinkerer in me is coming out here, but if say I bought a solid entry level bike, are posh features like disc brake just a case of breaking out the tool box and adding them?
It depends. You need hubs, forks and a frame that all have disc mounts because disc brakes are mounted in totally different places to V Brakes (everything happens near the centre of the wheel rather than at the top) - and
depending on the type of disc brake you'd be fitting (hydraulic vs mechanical) you may need to change your levers too.

At your price point it is unlikely that any of the necessary parts will have disc mounts unless it comes with discs in the first place (and at that price, they'll probably be cacky mechanical ones )
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