MTB Newbie-too many options?

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MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:42 pm

HI Guys/Gals

Have been invited to join a MTB group. Hobbyists mainly but with a hint of serious, they all seem to have a few bikes. So they mainly hit National Parks and have been involved in 24hr events. So after chatting, as best I could on my first 2.5hr ride, with them and researching to confusion I think the plan is a new bike first up and get the LBS fit/basic set up exp.

So I guess my budget would sit around the $1000 ?? mark ?? for a bike and I would add say up to $500 to include helmet, some spares, tools, shoes. But I realise this 1st bike will eventually end up either being upgraded/replaced or potential SS project?? in the future. So I think I dont need bling as much as I need reliability/consistency? for general riding around town for training and bad weather, includes semi technical paths, stairs, un/sealed roads, grass etc and of course the Nat Park/s around the area.

Ideally a bang for buck HT, or maybe i need a dualie, that will appreciate a noob rider not wanting a face transplant after their 1st jump attempt. Not sure if other info is needed happy to provide if needed.

TIA

Bj. :)
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by BNA » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:00 pm

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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:00 pm

For $1k don't consider a dually, unless you look second hand. HT for that budget, and it'll be an entry level "decent" HT at that.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:49 pm

bychosis wrote:For $1k don't consider a dually, unless you look second hand. HT for that budget, and it'll be an entry level "decent" HT at that.

+1
I def thinking a HT is going to be the best option at this point.

The biggest problem I am having is identifying a deal....So much equip jargon/options...
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby mithba » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Don't know where your based but for a grand you can snap up some pretty good bikes. As bychosis said, steer clear of duallies unless your going second hand. I've seen a few bikes on bikeexchange running some deore (high quality) gear going for about that. If yor having trouble with the lingo just ask. We are quite happy to help.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:53 am

maybe you should check out the other thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61529
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:27 am

mithba wrote:Don't know where your based but for a grand you can snap up some pretty good bikes. As bychosis said, steer clear of duallies unless your going second hand. I've seen a few bikes on bikeexchange running some deore (high quality) gear going for about that. If yor having trouble with the lingo just ask. We are quite happy to help.


Ty, its getting a handle on the lingo mostly as there seems to be a ka-billion different options even from $800-$1200 and to top it off for just a little extra, $200-$300, there seems to be some better options.

poohbear wrote:maybe you should check out the other thread:


Did have a look, got a few clues mostly about you being short? ; P

So I gather my options around the $1000 should include Deore as a max standard across, xram no good? or not good enough at the price?, air forks? 7005 frame?

Cheers for the replies so far.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:53 am

i73 wrote:
mithba wrote:Don't know where your based but for a grand you can snap up some pretty good bikes. As bychosis said, steer clear of duallies unless your going second hand. I've seen a few bikes on bikeexchange running some deore (high quality) gear going for about that. If yor having trouble with the lingo just ask. We are quite happy to help.


Ty, its getting a handle on the lingo mostly as there seems to be a ka-billion different options even from $800-$1200 and to top it off for just a little extra, $200-$300, there seems to be some better options.

poohbear wrote:maybe you should check out the other thread:


Did have a look, got a few clues mostly about you being short? ; P

So I gather my options around the $1000 should include Deore as a max standard across, xram no good? or not good enough at the price?, air forks? 7005 frame?

Cheers for the replies so far.


Haha not that short. just smaller build than most ..

As for the spec try to get at least a for with air in it and at least a rockshox (not one of those suntour or no brand ones)... for the drivetrain deore would be within that price range, SRAM vs Shimano will depend on personal preference but they come at different levels too.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:08 am

poohbear wrote:Haha not that short. just smaller build than most ..

As for the spec try to get at least a for with air in it and at least a rockshox (not one of those suntour or no brand ones)... for the drivetrain deore would be within that price range, SRAM vs Shimano will depend on personal preference but they come at different levels too.


Thanks, so far the Kona Mahuna seems to be coming up,$900+, & I know the lbs has them so will go & see them today, does have the suntour forks (Suntour xct 100mm w/lokcout). Just noticed they have a Kona Tanuki (AT) $1399.00 from $1850.00 which is a dualie, maybe worth a look.

Would it be fair to say that a 29'er is more suited to a taller rider, i'm only 6'1, or is it purley fashion. I understand they are more forgiving and roll better?
Last edited by i73 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:27 am

i73 wrote:Thanks, so far the Kona Mahuna seems to be coming up,$900+, & I know the lbs has them so will go & see them today, does have the suntour forks (Suntour xct 100mm w/lokcout).

Would it be fair to say that a 29'er is more suited to a taller rider, i'm only 6'1, or is it purley fashion. I understand they are more forgiving and roll better?


Well best to ride it and see how you feel. 29er are the norm these days, offers better traction, but serious downhill guys still prefer 26 i think, but general tendency now is 29er.

have you considered giant talon? they're just under 1k too. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bik ... ifications
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:42 am

poohbear wrote:have you considered giant talon? they're just under 1k too. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bik ... ifications


The other shop in town is a giant dealer so I def want to see them & maybe, just maybe, they might have an older XTC just laying around!
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:59 pm

i73 wrote:
poohbear wrote:have you considered giant talon? they're just under 1k too. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bik ... ifications


The other shop in town is a giant dealer so I def want to see them & maybe, just maybe, they might have an older XTC just laying around!


Stumbled across this old 2011 XTC - might be worth just checking it out !
linky
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:10 pm

poohbear wrote:Stumbled across this old 2011 XTC - might be worth just checking it out !
linky


Thanks for that, but I think I will stick with new for now until I understand what the flap I've gotten into!



OK just went down to the 2 lbs in town. One stocking Giant & Norco the other Kona, Fuji & Marin.

So going off those 2, I let them recommend some bikes. 2 contenders so far;

Fuji Tahoe 29 2.0-$1100.00 --> http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102071680

Giant XTC 2 29-$1400.00 --> http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102212277

Both shops offered cheaper alternatives in Kona (mahuna) and Norco (charger?)/Giant(talon). I felt the frame would be a better option to get the best of, which the Giant dealer agreed, whereas the other dude, Fuji, suggested that componetry while you can upgrade/replace its damn expensive to do so. I understand it comes down to riding and getting a feel. Tbh though having ridden a couple its hard to know what is right and what feels right.

Then again I dont really know if the above 2 is excess and I should really spend less.

Any opinions on the above, or other suggestions are welcome my lobotomy guaranteed.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:11 pm

Don't waste your time with a 26er if going hardtail. There are some spectacular deals going at the moment ... because nobody wants them.

29ers do roll better, are more stable, and hence more beginner friendly. Longer back end means you need to work a little harder / plan further ahead to loft the front, but it's no big deal.

The Giant XTC2 is a good package. Frame will be a keeper, worth upgrading the bits on as they wear out. It's worth the extra over the Fuji on that front alone, and will give you a lower total cost of ownership over the longer term.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:11 am

trailgumby wrote:Don't waste your time with a 26er if going hardtail. There are some spectacular deals going at the moment ... because nobody wants them.

29ers do roll better, are more stable, and hence more beginner friendly. Longer back end means you need to work a little harder / plan further ahead to loft the front, but it's no big deal.

The Giant XTC2 is a good package. Frame will be a keeper, worth upgrading the bits on as they wear out. It's worth the extra over the Fuji on that front alone, and will give you a lower total cost of ownership over the longer term.


Thanks mate, I have come to the conclusion that I have to decide whether a cheaper bike, $800-$1000, is better value or the frame of XTC 2. However it seems that my price range doesn't give a huge range of options here other than a frame that has more potential. I feel like the latter is my preference but also feel like I am wasting coin on something that I may possibly replace in a year or 2. Either way I guess I have to dip the toe in and learn from exp.

Thanks to all for the advice so far!
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:28 am

There's little to seperate either but I can give you one really good reason not to get the Giant and that's the damned Overdrive 2 headtube which has unique sizing. If you want to upgrade down the track it'll make things a tad more complicated in terms of headsets and forks whereas the Fuji has a normal tapered head tube.

In truth...either would be fine for the job. Both have the sort of gear on them that you'd quickly upgrade to anyway if you bought a cheaper bike so you are actually saving money by spending a little more in the first place.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:39 am

silentbutdeadly wrote:In truth...either would be fine for the job. Both have the sort of gear on them that you'd quickly upgrade to anyway if you bought a cheaper bike so you are actually saving money by spending a little more in the first place.


Yeah def leaning more this way. Interesting about the head tube is there a way to find out what does/doesn't fit? Also with regards to the Fuji frame is there a way to find out if its on par with say the XTC in this case. To me the fuji frame read exactly the same as their lower end bikes yet the lbs said it is better without justifying how or why.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:41 pm

i73 wrote:
silentbutdeadly wrote:In truth...either would be fine for the job. Both have the sort of gear on them that you'd quickly upgrade to anyway if you bought a cheaper bike so you are actually saving money by spending a little more in the first place.


Yeah def leaning more this way. Interesting about the head tube is there a way to find out what does/doesn't fit? Also with regards to the Fuji frame is there a way to find out if its on par with say the XTC in this case. To me the fuji frame read exactly the same as their lower end bikes yet the lbs said it is better without justifying how or why.


regarding the giant overdrive and its incompatibility, i don't think you'd be spending lots on upgrading on either 1100-1500 bikes..

Is there a 2013 Fuji? as the link you shown was 2012 - maybe it'll have a better upgrades ?
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:36 am

i73 wrote:
silentbutdeadly wrote:In truth...either would be fine for the job. Both have the sort of gear on them that you'd quickly upgrade to anyway if you bought a cheaper bike so you are actually saving money by spending a little more in the first place.


Yeah def leaning more this way. Interesting about the head tube is there a way to find out what does/doesn't fit? Also with regards to the Fuji frame is there a way to find out if its on par with say the XTC in this case. To me the fuji frame read exactly the same as their lower end bikes yet the lbs said it is better without justifying how or why.


The main thing is that you'd need to careful to source the right headset if you wanted to change it (and perhaps the fork) out - it's not a massive deal, more a minor inconvenience.

As for the differences between the frame...ask the dealers about the respective warranties. I contend that Giant's will be very very very hard to beat. On the other hand, the Fuji frame will almost certainly be similar to that of lower end bikes in the range since that's how it is done to hit different price points. Same frame, different bling, different price points.

As for upgrades...I'm not so sure. I bought a Cannondale Trail SL2 last March for $900 (reduced from $1500 RRP). Since then it has been fitted with a new bar, stem, seat post, wheelset, bar mounted fork lockout, crankset, cassette, rear derailleur, chain, RD shifter and gear cables...all of which were upgrades on the delivered spec. And the replaced driveline components (except cassette) were all done to fix failed parts. The rest was for personal preference and/or comfort. The Anthem 29er I bought the year before for $2,500 has only had a new wheelset and cockpit since it arrived...
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:14 am

poohbear wrote:regarding the giant overdrive and its incompatibility, i don't think you'd be spending lots on upgrading on either 1100-1500 bikes..

Is there a 2013 Fuji? as the link you shown was 2012 - maybe it'll have a better upgrades ?


$1100 is for the linked bike, 2012 Tahoe 2.0, apparently rrp is around the $1700 mark. Looking at bike exchange most 2012 models are around the 12-13k mark so at the very least I can see that the lbs is serious about a sale.

The fuji is middle of the road for me, price wise, and being that its on par componetry wise with the XTC 2, maybe with a couple of extra bits over the giant, as well as being beyond other bikes in this price range it seems like a good buy. The equiv for 2013 I think is the Tahoe 1.5.


silentbutdeadly wrote:The main thing is that you'd need to careful to source the right headset if you wanted to change it (and perhaps the fork) out - it's not a massive deal, more a minor inconvenience.

As for the differences between the frame...ask the dealers about the respective warranties. I contend that Giant's will be very very very hard to beat. On the other hand, the Fuji frame will almost certainly be similar to that of lower end bikes in the range since that's how it is done to hit different price points. Same frame, different bling, different price points.


Which see's me leaning towards the giant simply for the better frame. But its an extra $300 that could go to other hardware. I just cant help thinking its too much being a first mtb.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:50 am

It is almost always significantly cheaper over the long term to buy the better quality unit up front.

Priorities should be to choose the better quality frame and fork up front, as these are hardest and most expensive to upgrade later.

Then as individual parts wear out or get broken, they can be replaced with better quality kit at that time according to your preference,

Learn from my mistake: I went too cheap at the beginning, and it was a frustrating experience. The bike geometry didn't suit my local tracks very well, and the reliability of the drive train was a PITA.
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby Jean » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:15 pm

The reality (as this thread shows), is that there is no easy answer. At this price point all the bikes on offer will suffer from some compromises in their specification. Test ride a few, find the one or two you like the most, and simply go with the one that feels the best and which offers the best apparent overall deal and riding experience.

If you get into MTB you will almost certainly be buying something else within two years. Treat this bike as what it is, an introduction to the activity and if you spend a bomb on upgrading bits etc, so what? It's your money and you will be finding out what you will want to look out for next time you buy something. So striving for the best frame and fork is worthwhile and a good idea, but probably won't matter too much in the long term.

A grand is a fair whack of cash and anyone sensible will wring their hands about it, but you've decided to spend it, so spend it and start riding. :)
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby barefoot » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:25 pm

trailgumby wrote:Don't waste your time with a 26er if going hardtail. There are some spectacular deals going at the moment ... because nobody wants them.


I'd say just the opposite.

Everybody is buying in to the big-wheel fad, so there are some spectacular deals going on 26"ers. Unless you're absolutely convinced you need a 29"er, you'd be mad not to take advantage of the bargain 26"ers that can be had.

I haven't bought in to 29"ers - I'm more than happy with my 26" MTBs. That also means that I don't have a valid opinion of whether one is better than the other, because I've never even ridden a 29"er. From basic physics it's obvious that, all else being equal, a 29er will be heavier and slower to accelerate, and arguably less manoeuvrable, but will roll over things better. Pros and cons... maybe the balance is tipped a little one way or the other. But I'm not convinced the balance is tipped enough to make 29"ers worth the extra you pay for them (compared to a bargain priced 26"er).

So, coming in late to the conversation, my slightly modified echo of everybody else... for a ~$1k bike, hardtail is the only sensible option.

You'll get an alloy frame - I don't believe there's a whole lot difference between them, other than geometry details (in context - I ride an alloy hardtail that would have had a RRP somewhere upward of $3k before the 26"er discounts started kicking in. I don't think my frame is remarkably better than the frame you'd get on a $1k bike). If it fits comfortably and it handles well (angles and lengths), it's a good frame.

Shimano or SRAM groups are just fine - you'll get whatever the manufacturer could afford at the price point. It won't be the best of the best, but it will be quite serviceable. If you break something in a crash, be glad it wasn't a more expensive part. If you wear something out, consider upgrading it. If you don't break it or wear it out, it's all good. I've run a mix of Deore through XTR parts; they're all good enough (ranging up to much more than good enough). If I had a choice, I'd lean toward up-spec shifters ahead of anything else.

I would be most discriminatory on the fork. If it's not a Fox, RockShox, Marzocchi or Manitou, don't go there. I'm quite partial to Fox, but they don't really do budget models, so might be a bit out of the budget you're looking at. Bigger stanchions are stiffer, which is what a bigger bloke needs - over the years, I have had forks with 25mm, 26.8mm, 30mm and 32mm stanchions, and they just keep getting nicer the bigger they get (I'm ~85kg). Air is vastly preferable to coil springs. A good damping system is nice to have, but don't fret about having everything externally adjustable because you'll almost certainly be happy leaving a well sorted system in the factory default setting. Lock-out is a gimmick IMO, and not worth paying (much) extra for. Alloy steerer is significantly lighter than steel... once you're over the $1k mark, a lot of the extra money goes into weight savings, and your fork steerer is a fairly economical place to start.

Tyres and saddle are very much personal preferences, and I'd expect to change them on any bike. The stem is probably the most critical fitment adjustment, so you should hope that a LBS would be willing to swap out the OE stem for a comparable quality part with different length or angle if needed to get you comfortable on the bike.

HTH,

tim
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby i73 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:19 pm

Ah you all make such great points, thanks :? . No really I do appreciate the info :)

Weather permitting, rain with a chance of showers, I may get to head out again tomorrow night so I'll try to play around on my borrowed ride and have a go on some of the other guys bikes to see if anytihing stands out. Lbs around here only have 29'ers in my size and I just learnt about 27.5 (650B) seems like fashion is alive and well in mtb circles...
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby poohbear » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:11 pm

i73 wrote:Ah you all make such great points, thanks :? . No really I do appreciate the info :)

Weather permitting, rain with a chance of showers, I may get to head out again tomorrow night so I'll try to play around on my borrowed ride and have a go on some of the other guys bikes to see if anytihing stands out. Lbs around here only have 29'ers in my size and I just learnt about 27.5 (650B) seems like fashion is alive and well in mtb circles...


Just bite the bullet and hit the dust, that's where it is fun :D

So next wheel size after 27.5 might be 28.125.......? :roll:
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Re: MTB Newbie-too many options?

Postby mikedufty » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:43 pm

Everyone says don't get dual suspension, I'd say the opposite, I got one a few years ago and have been amazed how much more enjoyable it makes a lot of riding. If you value fun over uphill racing speed I'd go for dual suspension. I got a pretty decent one with 1000km on the clock for $1500 3 years ago, I'd have thought there'd be good options in $1000 range by now. Or get a cheap helmet and put the other $500 toward the bike where it will make a difference.

It does depend what sort of riding you do, if it is not rocky and rough I guess a hardtail could be as good. I definitely missed my suspension in Singapore last month, half the trails there are old paved roads gone back to jungle and full of brick sized rocks, and my bike there doesn't even have front suspension.
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