Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
After my recent escapades with the Oaks fire trail in teh Blue Mountains, I've been mulling over the possibility of a new MTB (my current K-Mart Special MTB needs major reconstruction - R.I.P. I think).
With the variety of MTBs available offering such differing levels of groupsets and being reletively new to true mountain biking, I need some feedback/advice from those that have had experience with this sport and can comment on:
1) hardtail or dual suspension (performance vs cost of maintenance)
2) hydraulic disc vs cable disc vs V-brakes
3) Acera vs Alivio vs Deore vs LX. (is there that much of a difference in performance)
4) bang for your bucks - any bike recommendations? I'm willing to spend the dosh, but only if it's worth it.
At this stage I'm leaning towards a mid level hardtail (eg. Giant Rincon/Bolder disc/Talon or Learsport LX3280 $400-$700), but will seriously consider a higher spec bike should it be justified.
I would recommend a hardtail - AKA HT (no rear suspension = full suspension = FS), and consider getting a well-looked after recent model used bike. HTs teach you to use skill to negotiate obstacles, rather than relying on technology. Go to FS after a couple of years, if you still want to. I love my HT and would not consider going to FS because I like to maintain the challenge of the tracks I ride (I believe FS would remove some of that challenge from my rides.) Besides, within your budget, there are NO MTBs worth buying. Stay well away from any FS you can afford if you have less than $1000 to spend.
Disc brakes? You basically get what you pay for. They are definitely worth having on a MTB. Mine still has the original Hayes ones on it and they have never let me down. I've got mechanical discs on my recumbent, and I believe they are very nearly as good. There are a lot of other riders who agree with me about these particular brakes (Avid BB7 cable disc brakes).
The various levels of components: LX is okay - passable but not as reliable or precise as XT or XTR. The upgrade from XT to XTR is probably more for bling factor than any real practical purpose for non-racing MTBers. I personally would not go below LX on a MTB because I rely on my bike to get me back to the car ..... (BTW, SRAM X7 is about the same quality level as LX, X9=XT and X0=XTR).
I have a soft spot for my '06 Giant XtC3. It's a very well specced bike with a frame that's worthy of the upgrades you will want to make to the components. Mine now has an XTR rapid rise rear dÃ©railleur, XT front dÃ©railleur, upgraded wheels, bars, shifters, etc. If I were fit enough, I could race on it.
For one of these in stock condition, you could probably expect to pay under $1000. It would be worth it.
What sort of riding are you planning to do?
Regular prepared trails, I think a mid level hardtail is more than enough.
Having recently been riding with some ninjas, I think if you want to do more technical single track, with bigger hops and drops and less consistent surface, then look higher end.
First of all well done on doing the Oaks Trail on a K-mart special. After seeing the terrain there you're a braver man than I.
I usually go with two mates and i'm riding an old mongoose that i got for $142.50 on ebay and my mates are on Giants (Yukons i think) they got for $400 at the LBS.
We do the single track at the end of the trail as well and our bikes are more than adequate.
You should be looking for a mid range hardtail with an 80-100mm fork and hydro discs. LX or X7 will be fine for general riding for now, if you get the right frame, it should last through a few upgrades.
As a Giant rider, MTB and road, I'm happy to recommend them. IMO you'll go a long way to find a better designed, built or equipped bike for the money, most of this years paint jobs excluded
Get out there and get hunting mate, the right one's out there waiting for you
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