Mountain bike advice.

quattrojames

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I'm looking to buy a bike on the "Cycle to work" scheme.

I want a hardtail mtb £600-800, and have had a look about but am a bit out of since my Muddy Fox Courier Comp days!

So far I've looked at the Giant Talon range, and a Trek 4900 - both look more than good enough for my needs, anything better I should be looking at in that price range?
 
I would recommend going to a cycle specialist,I recently bought my youngest a Giant but the others have Treks as well as me after good advice.
this is my local one LOCATION DETAILS :: Mike Vaughan Cycles but good honest cycle shops are dotted about.
 
Thanks Jase, I've been to a couple of shops locally, and the Trek and Giant models are the only ones I've seen in stock. I'll try a bigger shop soon, but was just looking for a few opinions from those in the know before I went.
 
I think the cycle to work scheme has been stopped mate.

Specialized are great bikes, so check them out too
 
Cycle to work scheme is still going.
I think its changed a little bit though.

I had 3 options when mine ended, I could pay the final value fee of my bike £150, hand it back to them or pay a one off free of £45 to keep using the bike for 36 months.
Different to want the lads in work said happen to them last year with their scheme. O well, £45 for a bike is not bad. :)

James, alot of bike shops put a 10% charge on top of the bike for using the cycle to work scheme. I emailed the cycle to work scheme people as this did not seem very good and they said its not normal.
 
I think now the amount of the purchase (bike incl. and equipment such as lights/helmet etc) is deducted from your income at source over a 12 month period and then the bike is yours, works out approx 35% off rrp I think.

I'll keep an eye on that thanks Scott, everything I've seen so far has been the rrp quoted my the manufacturer, they said they're unable to discount bikes bought on this scheme.
 
specialized are great, pretty much what's already been mentioned - giant and trek are good... bit out of the blue here but have u seen halfords own make called carrera? they actually do some high quality kit on their bikes... claude butler aren't too bad either, kona used to be alright but it's been a while since i've seen one, i've had most experience with specialized and found them to be really good.
 
I have a Giant Rincon which I bought a few years ago. It's a nice bike but obviously you will be getting something better at your price range. I went for this one because at the time I had a limited budget and the expensive Carrera road bike. I had a ride on a friends Specialized which was really nice, but he had obviously forked out more for it.
 
The government changed the Cycle to work scheme this year. The main change was that they released a price guide for the value of most bikes at the end of 12 months. This was because on the old scheme most people were just paying 12 payments the same or 1 final double payment so the scheme nearly always offered a great saving. Under the new "guideline" the final payment is often a lot more and a lot of people have been saying that the bike can often only work out at 10% cheaper which most people can beat by haggling a discount in store or buying a higher spec'd bike that's in the sale since the scheme doesn't cover sale bikes. However, the guideline is just that, it's not a rule and each employer can charge what they want. I've never used the scheme but this is what most people have been saying on the bike forum that I use.

In terms of a bike for your money, you won't beat the spec of the Boardman bikes from Halfords. I've never heard a person that's owned one say it's a bad bike and the components on a £600-800 Boardman will be of the level of a £1200-£1500 bike from one of the bigger brands like Specialized, Trek and Giant. This means that if you get really into it you've got good level components and can just upgrade the frame (even though the Boardman frame is already good).

In saying all this, you won't actually go far wrong with a Giant, Trek, Specialized, Scott etc if that's what you really want. I've got a Specialized in that price range and I can't fault it for everything apart from the really demanding stuff. Just make sure you don't buy anything with SR Suntour forks or the Rockshox Dart 2 fork as they are poop.
 
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Thanks for the tip on the Boardman bikes, you're the second person who's mentioned them now so I'll try and find a local supplier, hopefully my Halfords can help here.

I've asked two separate bike shops about the scheme and they both told me its the final balance split over 12 equal months, deducted at source and then the bike is yours. But I'll be sure to check that before agreeing anything.
 
I would recommend Giant, you get a good spec at a reasonable cost. Specialised are in my opinion over priced because everyone seems to want one and I don't think there is anything about them which sets them above other mainstream brands. However brands aside, my biggest bit of advice is to get the right tyres! I commute 10 miles each way 70% off road (along the river) and use Schwalbe puncture resistant hibrid tyres (called Marathon plus), they are brilliant and give a good ride on both the bumpy stuff and tarmac, you can get them from wiggle.co.uk and the basic ones are only about £9 each so massive bargain! Oh and re the Giant brand, try and avoid the mph100 hydraulic disc brakes, they are not very good but I believe they have been superseded now anyway.

I thought the cycle to work scheme was limited to Evans bike shops?
 
Got a boardman road bike and its immense! Got a GT Aggressor XC1 hardtail and it does everything its asked of and more..
Also got a Marin ive built up and its evolved over time..
 
Some of the lower end Giant bikes use a lot of their own components such as bars, stems, seatposts, brakes, pedals etc. Where as companies like Trek and Specialized normally use third party or sister companies in the case of Trek with Bontrager for components and wheels. This can make them a little more expensive but in my opinion a bit better as a starter bike to build on later.
 
im a very keen mountain biker and quite in the know with regards to parts and bikes as well as lots of leisure lakes contacts.
if your serious about getting into the sport then you need to decide on the type of riding you do or want to do. so many people pick the wrong type bike for the wrong thing, with a bike that has totally the wrong geometry and it spoils their riding style and ruins confidence.

but if your just wanting to commute then you should be looking at a comfortable road cruising bike, relaxed geometry, not too small, not agressive.
most bikes in that price range will be very similarly equiped in terms of parts, and most will use their own branded parts along side OE aftermarket parts. Nowadays bikes seem to be getting lower spec'd each year, but across a certain price range are very similar.
best thing i would advise is get a sale deal, or even a second hand deal. some people hardly use a bike when they buy one so some second hands are literally like brand new. meaning you get a £1000 spec'd bike for easily half that, giving you a spec beyond what you couldve afforded brand new

sadly to get a bike that really is top notch, with very good spec, your looking at easily over £1500 now days. parts and bikes have gone way way up in price over the past couple of years. for example, a set of fox 36 rlc forks would once have cost you £5-600, now they are near £1000. it really has become silly.
 
Thanks for the input, I don't have the 'cash' available right now for the a second hand bike or I would do just that, that's why the 0% Cycle to Work scheme over 12 months appeals to me, which obviously restricts me to a new bike.

I won't use it for commuting as its too far, and I work some strange hours, and the road in is too dangerous. The bike will do mainly light track work, and some road work. On occasion it will probably do more challenging off road work, but that will be more the exception than the rule, and in a year or so my daughter will be coming along sometimes too on a little tag-a-along bike.
 
Bump for this, I've been away but I'm back now and looking into it.

I'm off to a couple of larger bike shops tomorrow, and also Halfords as they seem to be the only local stockist of Boardman bikes and have some good deals on 2010 models, and I've still not heard a bad thing about them....
 
Good advice this. First thing to think of is what scene Yr wanting to get into then look for bikes in that sector in Yr price range. Eg I'm into freeride/ downhill so I only look at bikes with rear shifter only/ chain device/ relaxed head angles/ low stand over/ minimum 8" travel all round/ buit proof rims and with that ur looking @ around 5k and that's not kicking the *** out of it it would be dog **** to ride to work on and you be pushing it up hill, Good idea would be get an issue of mbuk and see what type of riding gives you wood then go for it ;)
im a very mountain biker and quite in the know with regards to parts and bikes as well as lots of leisure lakes contacts.
if your serious about getting into the sport then you need to decide on the type of riding you do or want to do. so many people pick the wrong type bike for the wrong thing, with a bike that has totally the wrong geometry and it spoils their riding style and ruins confidence.

but if your just wanting to commute then you should be looking at a comfortable road cruising bike, relaxed geometry, not too small, not agressive.
most bikes in that price range will be very similarly equiped in terms of parts, and most will use their own branded parts along side OE aftermarket parts. Nowadays bikes seem to be getting lower spec'd each year, but across a certain price range are very similar.
best thing i would advise is get a sale deal, or even a second hand deal. some people hardly use a bike when they buy one so some second hands are literally like brand new. meaning you get a £1000 spec'd bike for easily half that, giving you a spec beyond what you couldve afforded brand new

sadly to get a bike that really is top notch, with very good spec, your looking at easily over £1500 now days. parts and bikes have gone way way up in price over the past couple of years. for example, a set of fox 36 rlc forks would once have cost you £5-600, now they are near £1000. it really has become silly.
 
I think halfords have an extra 10% discount at the mo if you use paypal. However, if you do cycle to work scheme you may not be able to use this.

Boardmans are cracking bikes, I also have only heard good things.
 
Seen a few today, I think Boardman's are out as the one that I really like is £1k which my wife tells me is too much.....

So the probable short list is down to:

  • Scott Scale 80, least likely at the moment as I'm not keen on the colour...
  • Cannondale Trail SL3,
  • Gary Fisher Mamba 29er + hyd. brake upgrade,
  • Genesis Core 10.
Much brochure reading to be done.
 
Seen a few today, I think Boardman's are out as the one that I really like is £1k which my wife tells me is too much......
1k gets you a tidy enough bike
as for the wife tell her there is a lot more spent on bikes than that ,
i know my wife wishes i had only spent that on my bike :)
 
Your discussion with your wife needs to focus on the fact that the bike to work deal means that whilst the retail price is £1k, due to salary sacrifice (saving tax and NI) the actual cost to you is significantly less. I'd go for the 'Honey I'm getting a £1k bike for only £600.'
 
The budget discussion is a done deal unfortunately for a multitude of reasons.

Budgets £600 - £800 as per my original post.
 
I went for this:

Cannondale Trail SL2 29er

cannondale-trail-sl-29er-2-2011-mountain-bike.jpg
 
Here it is! The cleanest it will ever be and I doubt it will be allowed in the house again:

Off out shortly :yum:

IMG-20110706-00023.jpg
 
Very Nice stead dude. Bet you clean it soon as you get home lol. Remember not to jet wash it!! Get Yr self a bottle of muckoff:icon_thumright:
 
Cheers mate, You're right, I now have bike OCD...... It rides very well, I'm really pleased and hope to get plenty of use out of it in the coming months.

I had some Muckoff years ago, is it any different to Meg's degreaser etc?

IMG-20110706-00024.jpg
 
Looks a lot better now she's dirty ;) not sure dude never used meg's degreaser, Muckoff just breaks down the compond (crap) stuck to your bike in a none harmful way, wont de-grease then simply rinse with a hose pipe or another good product is hope sh1t shifter - Sh1t Shifter - Hope Sh1t Shifter Product Details. i used this more to be honest as it does the same as muckoff but disperses water from joints/bb/crankset/breaks and so on, also leaves a film on the bike parts for added protection and makes it a lot easier to clean after a good thrashing. always worth a re-grease after a wash though to keep her on top form. Plus it means you get to hide in the shed and look at you bike lol
 
nice Bike mate!! cant go wrong with a Cannondale! Yeh make sure once using any degreasers or the like that you grease her up again!!
 
I remember Muc-Off when it first came out ...... :whistle2:

I'll get some again I think, the degreaser is obviously a lot harsher than the Muc-Off, which seems more readily available than the Sh1t Shifter.

The brakes are starting to bed in nicely now :)
 
You gotta get a Cube LTD, i had one 3 years ago and its been better than all the bikes my mates have had.

German engineering!!!!!
 
You gotta get a Cube LTD, i had one 3 years ago and its been better than all the bikes my mates have had.

German engineering!!!!!

Haha... The guy gets a Nice new shiny ride, takes it out for a blast, says how chuffed he is, and you tell him to get a cube??

Nice one dude:eiertritt:
 
Haha I was a bit confused by that myself....

Sent from my BlackBerry 9700 using Tapatalk
 
Fail!!! Should read the entire post, got all excited about thee thought of a new bike!!!
 

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