Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

RoarFan22
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Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:28 pm

Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum and hoping you can give me some advice choosing an entry-level mountain bike.
I’ve been looking at the:

Aldi performance 29er (which I understand is the same bike as this)
https://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2018- ... -d~2817011

Polygon Premier 5.0 (27.5”)
https://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2018- ... ntain-bike

The decisions I’m getting stuck on are:

* The sizing of the Aldi Mtb. I am 165cm and not sure if the med frame 29er will be too tall for me. My reach is longer than my height (175cm) does this make a difference?

* Peoples review / opinion of the Premier 5.0? Haven’t found many reviews but seems good value.

* Would I be better served buying second hand?

* I’ve been to my LBS and test ridden a Norco storm hydro, I know people recommend buying from LBS, and I would love to, but can’t get passed the higher price for seemingly cheaper spec’d bike.

* In your experience, would you recommend saving on the first bike, or investing a little more...

I’m looking for something to ease into some trails, easy to med stuff, nothing too crazy.

Any help you can give I would really appreciate, it can be a little overwhelming looking at all the options.

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ValleyForge
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby ValleyForge » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Welcome RoarFan22. It seems price is a big driver for you.

Cheap MTBs (usually hardtails) have got to be the least loved bikes in the universe. They are always the ones left at Park & Rides to go rusty, or in carparks or around Unis. Awful to ride on roads & paths and even worse on trails.

You will get a far better bike second hand and get free advice from the seller. You'll get exactly the opposite advice here too so don't be surprised.
Ha ha ha! Cookies on dowels.

RoarFan22
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:04 pm

Hi Valley Forge,
Thanks for your reply, I’m really wanting something I can test out the trails with and see if I like it, so not wanting to put too much money into it at this stage.

Any advice on buying a second hand bike for a newbie?
Is there much risk in terms of unexpected costs with second hand (obviously there are lemons out there)?
Thanks

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Mububban
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby Mububban » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:48 pm

RoarFan22 wrote:Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum and hoping you can give me some advice choosing an entry-level mountain bike.
I’ve been looking at the:

Aldi performance 29er (which I understand is the same bike as this)
https://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2018- ... -d~2817011

Polygon Premier 5.0 (27.5”)
https://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2018- ... ntain-bike

The decisions I’m getting stuck on are:

* The sizing of the Aldi Mtb. I am 165cm and not sure if the med frame 29er will be too tall for me. My reach is longer than my height (175cm) does this make a difference?

* Peoples review / opinion of the Premier 5.0? Haven’t found many reviews but seems good value.

* Would I be better served buying second hand?

* I’ve been to my LBS and test ridden a Norco storm hydro, I know people recommend buying from LBS, and I would love to, but can’t get passed the higher price for seemingly cheaper spec’d bike.

* In your experience, would you recommend saving on the first bike, or investing a little more...

I’m looking for something to ease into some trails, easy to med stuff, nothing too crazy.

Any help you can give I would really appreciate, it can be a little overwhelming looking at all the options.



If you're very new, I'd advise caution re second hand. Yes there are amazing bargains to be found, but you don't know what to look for in terms of problems, and Gumtree etc has no refund policy. But for huge savings, I guess are you willing to take a gamble? Save big, or possibly buy a lemon? Unless you can drag along a mate who knows more about bikes?

I see you found the "$349 Aldi MTB" thread, lots of very happy owners in there I believe. And realistically, if you find yourself enjoying the green and blue trails (which you probably will, MTB is awesome!) then very very shortly you'll be eyeing off dual suspension bikes above $3000 :D . So you want your first MTB to be cheap, so it's not a waste if you hate it, and not a waste if/when you upgrade.

If you buy a ~$600 hard tail MTB and want to upgrade within a year or so, you'd get back maybe half of it on Gumtree. Don't worry about a "cheap" bike breaking, you should see some of the old beasts that get ridden on my local trails (including my own). ~20 year old bikes still going strong, buy whatever, you'll be fine :mrgreen:
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nickdos
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby nickdos » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:02 am

> The sizing of the Aldi Mtb. I am 165cm and not sure if the med frame 29er will be too tall for me. My reach is longer than my height (175cm) does this make a difference?

Yes, this does make a difference so you might be OK on the smaller of the 2 sizes Aldi. I'm the same (short legs, long torso) and tend to ride a larger model that my height would indicate. As Aldi have a good refund policy, I'd buy one and try it out. Check that you have enough clearance when straddling the bike (between the legs) and then see if the reach is OK - when sitting on the bike, look down and if the front axle is in line with the handlebars, then it's about right.

RoarFan22
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:30 am

nickdos wrote:> Then see if the reach is OK - when sitting on the bike, look down and if the front axle is in line with the handlebars, then it's about right.


Just want to clarify what you mean by this... The handlebars sit over the front axle. Wouldn’t this be a function of the bikes geometry, not affected by the rider? I may be misunderstanding your meaning

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ValleyForge
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby ValleyForge » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:04 pm

RoarFan22 wrote:Hi Valley Forge,
Thanks for your reply, I’m really wanting something I can test out the trails with and see if I like it, so not wanting to put too much money into it at this stage.

A few brands encourage local bike shops (LBS) to have test days. My LBS did quite a few Lapierre test days and had two test bikes. Specialised stockists often do too. But testing days these are aimed at mid-range and up bikes. I have heard 99Bikes at Ipswich have a few MTB testers (suspecting a RoarFan lives close to Brisbane :lol: )

Anyone you know who you can borrow from? I'd suggest ride a 27 1/2 and a 29er to compare. Most of the other differences at your price point are academic.
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bychosis
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:40 pm

From the reviews I've seen, the Aldi bike presents very good value as a taster to MTB riding. As above somewhere if you aren't sure about size, the Aldi return policy is pretty good. A medium will probably fit OK to start with. Sure, second hand might find you better value, but I've been looking for my son, and anything decent seems to be hard to come by in that price range (at least locally). I don't know where all the old but quality bikes have gone, but I haven't found one in a few weeks of looking.

Purchasing the Aldi bike will not present a big loss if you decide that either
a) MTB riding is not for you or
b) you love MTB riding and will desire an upgrade before too long (the most likely scenario). Word of warning though, MTB upgrading is a slippery slope and can be quite expensive.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

RoarFan22
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:06 pm

ValleyForge wrote:A few brands encourage local bike shops (LBS) to have test days. My LBS did quite a few Lapierre test days and had two test bikes. Specialised stockists often do too. But testing days these are aimed at mid-range and up bikes. I have heard 99Bikes at Ipswich have a few MTB testers (suspecting a RoarFan lives close to Brisbane :lol: )

Anyone you know who you can borrow from? I'd suggest ride a 27 1/2 and a 29er to compare. Most of the other differences at your price point are academic.


Yeah got me... Ex-Brisbane, now up the hill in Toowoomba. There’s a good bike shop here where I test rode a few the other day, and they were great to deal with, but nowhere near the value available elsewhere unfortunately.

RoarFan22
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:18 pm

Thanks bychosis, I’ve also been keeping an eye on gumtree and haven’t seen anything I thought was worth looking at. A lot of bikes advertised as new that have sat in the shed for years... with sellers wanting near new prices.
I think your advice (and others, thanks) seems good and I’ll see if I can get my hands on an Aldi bike, seems from the Aldi thread that it’s worth checking the brakes and wheel spoke tensions out of the box. But if you have any other tips for me I’d appreciate it
Thanks for all your help, this seems a great forum and glad I stumbled upon it :D

RobertL
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RobertL » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:02 pm

RoarFan22 wrote:
nickdos wrote:> Then see if the reach is OK - when sitting on the bike, look down and if the front axle is in line with the handlebars, then it's about right.


Just want to clarify what you mean by this... The handlebars sit over the front axle. Wouldn’t this be a function of the bikes geometry, not affected by the rider? I may be misunderstanding your meaning


It is a function of the bike's geometry and the size of the bike in relation to the cyclist. I thought that MTBs are different, but it's a good general rule that a road bike of the right size will have the front hub "hidden" by the handlebars in a normal riding position. On road bikes, it's often used as a way to get the stem length right.

If the cyclist is too tall for the bike, his or her head will be too far forward and they will see the front hub in front of the handlebars. If they are too short, they will see the hub behind the handlebars.

However, it is complicated by basic things like stem length and handlebar height, which can be affected by the rider's flexibility and exact shape, rather than just being tall/short.

It's not a bad rule of thumb, though, for road bike sizing.
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bychosis
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:23 pm

RobertL wrote:
RoarFan22 wrote:
nickdos wrote:> Then see if the reach is OK - when sitting on the bike, look down and if the front axle is in line with the handlebars, then it's about right.


Just want to clarify what you mean by this... The handlebars sit over the front axle. Wouldn’t this be a function of the bikes geometry, not affected by the rider? I may be misunderstanding your meaning


It is a function of the bike's geometry and the size of the bike in relation to the cyclist. I thought that MTBs are different, but it's a good general rule that a road bike of the right size will have the front hub "hidden" by the handlebars in a normal riding position. On road bikes, it's often used as a way to get the stem length right.

If the cyclist is too tall for the bike, his or her head will be too far forward and they will see the front hub in front of the handlebars. If they are too short, they will see the hub behind the handlebars.

However, it is complicated by basic things like stem length and handlebar height, which can be affected by the rider's flexibility and exact shape, rather than just being tall/short.

It's not a bad rule of thumb, though, for road bike sizing.


If it is good for road bike sizing, i suspect it will probably not be so good for MTB. The quite different upright position would change the relation between the eyes and handle bars, then additonally MTB will typically also have a slacker head angle, pushing the hub forward relative to the bars as well.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

nickdos
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby nickdos » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:16 pm

bychosis wrote:
RobertL wrote:
RoarFan22 wrote:If it is good for road bike sizing, i suspect it will probably not be so good for MTB. The quite different upright position would change the relation between the eyes and handle bars, then additonally MTB will typically also have a slacker head angle, pushing the hub forward relative to the bars as well.


The last few MTBs I've had seems to follow this "rule of thumb" despite being quite different in their geo... But for an entry level bike, like the one the OP was looking at (quite steep HA, similar to road bike geo) then is should be OK as a rough guide.

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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby caneye » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:36 pm

ValleyForge wrote:Welcome RoarFan22. It seems price is a big driver for you.

Cheap MTBs (usually hardtails) have got to be the least loved bikes in the universe. They are always the ones left at Park & Rides to go rusty, or in carparks or around Unis. Awful to ride on roads & paths and even worse on trails.

You will get a far better bike second hand and get free advice from the seller. You'll get exactly the opposite advice here too so don't be surprised.


yes, i've noticed exactly the same thing, having picked up a HT from Gumtree recently.
the market for HT is very static and not as high turn-over as full-suspension bikes.

i believe you can find better value in used bikes (i picked up a trek superfly that was barely 9 months old and a few hundred bucks off the purchase price, already discounted below RRP so i've got no complaints there). bike was in show-room condition, certainly received much better care and attention than what i typically shower on my bikes!

but you really do need to know what to look for. not all bikes are the same and sizes differ between brands too.

RoarFan22
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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby RoarFan22 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:12 pm

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your advice, I picked the Aldi up on the weekend and it seems pretty good (yet to get a ride in), needs a few things tuned, but that’s another conversation altogether :D

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Re: Entry Level MTB. Polygon?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:55 pm

I came to suggest buying the Aldi bike but then noted you've already done so. Read a very recent review which compared the bike favorably to $799 bikes. If it doesn't suit and you find out that you're a roadie, then you sell the Aldi for 2/3 of retail next month..
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