Mountain Bikers

Discussion in 'Coffee Lounge' started by jackbak, 13th Apr, 2015.

  1. jackbak

    jackbak Member

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    Any off road mountain bikers on here?

    I'm looking to purchase a mountain bike, it will be used 80% on local roads and paths chasing my son around and 20% off road. Cant see myself getting any airtime but would like to get dirty occasionally! Does anyone have any recommendations on decent brands and models? There are so many options out there that I feel like I?m going in circles, and when you look at the big name brands I?m unsure whether I?m getting value for money or just buying a brand.

    Looking to spend about $1000.00.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

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    So I assume you're looking at a hard-tail rather than dual suspension? You'll need to spend quite a bit more to get a decent dual suspension bike, but a hard tail is fine for the type of riding you've described.

    How tall are you? I like 29" wheels because they roll over pretty much anything - but some people like smaller wheels (26" or 27.5") because they give better manoeuvrability on tight technical trails.

    Avanti make some good entry level mountain bikes that are well built - I currently have a Montari 29.1 hard tail that I've upgraded over the years with Shimano SLX hydraulic brakes, better pedals, better tyres, new stem and handlebars, better hub and bottom bracket, stronger spokes. Okay, so about the only thing original is the frame and seat/seat post ... although I'm thinking of trying to get a better seat post because I don't like the one I've got.

    The staff at my local Specialized dealer complain about having to wipe the drool off their 29" dual-suspension bikes whenever I go in there - currently trying to decide between upgrading to a Camber Comp Carbon 29 or a Stump Jumper FSR Elite 29 ... but they are both around the $4K mark.

    I'll probably keep my 29" hard tail for when I take my kids out with the WeeHoo bike trailer - full suspension bikes don't tend to tow that well.

    Either way, I think a good local bike shop (LBS) is far more important than your choice of brand. Having someone who gives great service to help you get the bike set up right and fix things when they go wrong is going to make your riding experience far more fun.
     
  3. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

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    Also, if you want to compare prices for various brands, Bike Exchange is a good place to start - http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/

    Very useful for brands like Specialized who don't publish prices on their website.
     
  4. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    OK, a couple of shameless plugs here...

    1 - If you're in Melbourne, head to Bikes Direct (Springvale) and speak to Ben, these guys are AWESOME as far as being genuine, honest shops go. They won't try and up-sell you something or palm you off with a dud. Let them know what you're after and they'll help steer you. They are getting quite involved with the LDTR (Lysterfield District Trail Riders) club that look after, build and maintain the trails up at Lysterfield park, (a fantastic group of people).

    2 - My buddy just so happens to be selling a superb Pivot Mach 4 dual suspension bike, medium size, 26" wheels and lots of top end kit. A very capable bike for anything you'd ever want to throw at it. Pivot Mach 4's are renowned for efficiency of pedaling for a full suspension bike too, (you'll find most cheap full suspension bikes 'bob' and are terrible for longer, flat riding). He'd be wanting a little more than your $1000 budget, but not much. PM me if you're interested and I can get some details over to you.

    Most of all, enjoy! Riding bikes is so much fun, definitely a great way to keep you young at heart racing your mates round dirt trails.
     
  5. Corey Batt

    Corey Batt Finance Broker

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    I'm partial to Avanti - but I know nothing. :)

    I've got the latest version of Sim's bike, Montari 9.2

    [​IMG]

    You'd be able to pick up the bike, all your other associated gear and still have a few dollars left over.
     
  6. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    My buddy's Pivot is like this one...

    EDIT... I'll post a pic of the actual one for sale...

    Here it is...
     

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  7. S.T

    S.T Member

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    I'd be looking at a hard-tail - so only front suspension for that price range. If you start to do a bit more dirt, then look to upgrade to a dual suspension bike - they're quite a bit more expensive though for quality.

    I'd look for Shimano XT rear gearset
    Remote locking front suspension
    Hydraulic disk brakes

    Anything else is personal preference., agree with Sim and would go 29" if taller.

    If you want something new, look for run out models, 2014 etc you can get some good value.
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates ...and people wonder why?

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    Head down to Cash Converters or your local hock shop. They often have 'good' mtb - just test the suspension, check out the chain and cassette for wear.
     
  9. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

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    On a $1000 bike?

    You can't even get Shimano SLX on a $5000 bike these days (at least not from Specialized!)

    I'd say you'll be lucky to get Shimano Deore in the sub-$1000 price segment. It's all Acera and such.

    Again - doubt you'll see remote locking front suspension on a sub-$1000 bike. I don't know of too many bikes that ship with that as standard anyway - it's usually an upgrade to the standard fork.

    From what I can tell, none of Specialized's $10,000+ bikes have remote locking front suspension - although many of their model's use their automatic BRAIN locking mechanism, so they don't need remote locking.

    Either way, the sub-$1000 price segment isn't typically going to get you more than about 100mm of travel in the front fork - I'd think lockouts are probably not really worth the effort ... you hardly get any bob on a 100mm bike - and it's usually not too difficult to reach down and lock it out by hand from the dial on top of the fork, even while riding (not that I've done this - but I've seen others do it).
     
  10. jackbak

    jackbak Member

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    Thanks heaps guys!

    I'm 6'3" so the 29" wheels sounds about right. The guys at the local Giant store were talking up the Roam which is about $1000 but I get the feeling I might be paying for the name, not the bike.

    Bikes Direct isn't far from my work so might check it out later in the week.
     
  11. jackbak

    jackbak Member

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    I was having a look online at the some videos from LDTR a couple of weeks ago - that's actually what got me motivated to get back on the bike! Loos fantastic.
     
  12. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    Yep, go 29"

    Giant make good bikes and you'd be very hard pushed to get similar spec levels on other bikes in cpmparison to Giants due to the massive volumes they put out. The brand whores might turn their noses up, but they do make very good bikes.

    BUT the Roam isn't a mountain bike, it's a hybrid. It has 700c (basically road wheels) 700c wheels are exactly the same diameter as 29" wheels but they won't be as strong as they are primarily for road/cyclocross use.

    That being said, it will ride faster and more efficiently on the tarmac than a mountain bike but it'll beat you up a little and not be to flash on the single track. Horses for courses though, depends on how far you want to take your off road riding.

    I like some of the Specialized bikes, but their dealers tend to be very elitist and they charge way too much for their bikes. Good bikes generally, but you can get as good elsewhere without the "Specialzed" badge for a lot less money.
     
  13. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    Head to www.ldtr.org and join the club, ($30 to $35 from memory). Bikes Direct are VERY good to the club, they used to do something like 10 or 20% off RRP on bikes and gear and cheap servicing for club members. Not sure if they still do it though.

    The LDTR club is a very socially orientated club, I'm not as involved as I used to be as I simply don't ride up there much amy more (live too far away), but they still run regular weekly rides for all abilities. It's a great bunch of people, check out the forum.
     
  14. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    Stretch your budget a little, (or hit Ben up for a sweet deal) and check out something like this, it would be a great starter bike until you realize how hooked you'll get and end up dropping the thick end of $5k on a nice carbon jobbie ;-)

    http://bikes-direct.com.au/product/trek-xcaliber-7/
     
  15. Propagate

    Propagate Member

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    Check out the Cube Analogue (with remote lockout front suspension) at Ivanhoe Cycles, (they have a shop in Hallam too now), it would be very similar to the Trek... Try and get a test ride on a few as bikes will ride very different to one another depending on their geometry (not just actual "size").

    https://ivanhoecycles.com.au/bikes/Cube/Cube-Analog-29/3788

    Oh, forgot to say, my buddies bike would be no good to you, you're too tall for it.
     
  16. jackbak

    jackbak Member

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    Awesome! Thanks heaps will be down at bikes direct this week.

    LDTR forum looks great too.
     
  17. S.T

    S.T Member

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    Secondhand you'll get all that easily for less than $1k.

    New, you'd have to spend around $1350. Example is this bike albeit a 27.5"

    http://www.bikes.com.au/p/8968284/2015-scott-scale-760-275-mountainbike.html

    I'd still stretch to XT and remote lockout, remote lock makes a HUGE difference when doing 80% road riding. Just cannot get power down well with forks moving up and down.
     
  18. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

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    Before you buy, try as many different bikes and brands as you can. Even with similar specs, different bikes have different geometries and can feel very different when you ride them.

    I was able to ride top of the line Specialized Stump Jumper and Cambers back-to-back at one of their test days a few months back and I was surprised at just how different they are to ride (although the Stumpy was one of their EVO models with a slacker head-angle, which I think contributed most to the different feel).

    As for hybrid vs MTB - if you'll only ever ride on fairly smooth fire trails or dirt paths, then you could possibly get away with a hybrid - they will certainly roll better on the paved paths. However, if the off road tracks you'll ride on will be anything less than smooth, I'd go for a proper hard tail MTB.
     
  19. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

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    What forks do you have? How much travel?

    But I'd agree that upgrading your drivetrain is worth doing. I love my SLX shifters and brakes and rotors - it's like riding new bike compared to the old mechanical disc brakes and clunky shifters I had before. One day I might get around to upgrading the rest of the drive train too.

    Not sure XT is worth the money on a $1000 bike, but it would be very nice.
     
  20. libertyrx

    libertyrx Member

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    its a good idea to check sites like gumtree for 2nd hand stuff where someone has upgraded and selling off their old bike.

    I picked up a Specialized with alloy frame, front adjustable shocks etc for next to nothing as the guy had bought himself a new $3k+ bike and thought the old one was worth nothing as it had a bent wheel (a $30 fix)..

    based on a few guys at work that are always buying bikes, its amazing how many yes's you get when you offer half what they are advertised for...