Carrera Vengeance?

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tbuckland4
Posts: 16
Joined: 11 Aug 2020, 4:09pm

Carrera Vengeance?

Post by tbuckland4 »

Hi everyone

My wife (currently a non-cyclist) has asked me to find her an entry level mountain bike so she can come out with me on a weekend. Availability in the more “specialist” shops is still a bit patchy and local second hand options are limited but I’ve seen Halfords have some stock and I can get a Carrera Vengeance for sub £400 including the cost for the build (unfortunately I lack the skills to do this myself!).

I’ve read the Vengeance is Halford’s best seller and it seems to have halfway decent features (disc brakes, acceptable forks etc - although I’m still a novice myself and can’t claim any expertise) but I’ve not considered Carrera previously and wondered what experience people have with this range?

Is there anything about Carrera (or buying from Halfords) that I should be aware of? The price is inviting but I’m wary of it being a false economy…

Any advice welcome!

Cheers
Tom
richardfm
Posts: 485
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 3:17pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by richardfm »

Halfords is also known as "word corrected to Halfords" and their mechanics have questionable abilities.
Richard M
Cardiff
DevonDamo
Posts: 691
Joined: 24 May 2011, 1:42am

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by DevonDamo »

tbuckland4 wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 10:27pm...but I’ve not considered Carrera previously and wondered what experience people have with this range?

Is there anything about Carrera (or buying from Halfords) that I should be aware of? The price is inviting but I’m wary of it being a false economy…
These days, it's difficult to draw any conclusions on bikes based on the brand because production has become more centralised, with a few large factories producing bikes for most of the big brand names. In my opinion, the most reliable way of making a decision about the suitability of a bike is to look at (1) its design and (2) its components.

Looking at the design will involve deciding what use you intend to put the bike to and then looking for appropriate reviews from similar users on the same, or similar, bikes. (In your case, the following YouTube review might be exactly what you're after: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCzNWjjirCA )

Looking at components is easier. Cheapo components with brand names you've never heard of, and barely any reviews online, are a big gamble and I'd personally avoid. So for forks, brakes, drive-train etc, I'd be looking for reviews either from reputable magazines/websites or from YouTubers that appear to be objective. In your case, the forks on that bike are serviceable but arguably worse than having a fully-rigid bike given that most people would be using this sort of bike on flattish surfaces where suspension isn't needed. I'd bet all the other components are a good choice for you - i.e. they'll probably be a bit heavy, and old-fashioned (e.g. a 3x drivetrain rather than the more trendy 1x) but will be reliable and cheap to fix/maintain.

As for Halfords/Carrera: I bought a predecessor of that bike from Halfords many years ago - the Carrera Vulcan. My one was the older, fully rigid version, and it was good quality and an excellent fit for what I wanted, i.e. on-road and a few slightly bumpy paths. So my only experience of buying a bike from Halfords was that it was excellent value, however I do all my own maintenance so I don't care about their patchy reputation for workmanship. Plus, my purchase was over a decade ago, so the Carrera brand may be being built by an entirely different factory or factories by now.
tbuckland4
Posts: 16
Joined: 11 Aug 2020, 4:09pm

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by tbuckland4 »

Thanks, this is really helpful.

The components seem okay to my unpracticed eye. Gearing is Shimano Altus and the forks are not dissimilar the those I’m running on my Cannondale. I haven’t been able to get any details on the brakes - my only minor concern is that they’re mechanical rather than hydraulic (which are available on the next model up). Either way I expect they will be superior to the V-brakes on the next model down.

In terms of use, I doubt we’ll be doing anything more adventurous than easy gravel trails for the foreseeable future so we’re looking for something entry level but still good enough not to be hard work. Carrera seems a sensible option.

Thanks again.
DevonDamo
Posts: 691
Joined: 24 May 2011, 1:42am

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by DevonDamo »

tbuckland4 wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 11:36am...I haven’t been able to get any details on the brakes
No, they don't say on the website, but it's likely that they'll be using Clarks, which they sell in-store and use for a lot of components on their own-brand bikes like Carrera. I've not bought Clarks brakes before, but I have bought a few other components like cables and headsets and never had any problems. If they are Clarks, then their mechanical brakes get very good user reviews so should be more than good enough for what you're planning: https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-p ... 34QAvD_BwE
Stevek76
Posts: 1141
Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by Stevek76 »

Probably worth nudging up to the vulcan for the extra £40. Not only for the hydraulic brakes but also the forks on the vulcan have a lockout, and by extension, an actual damper unit (though not an adjustable one). The forks on the vengeance are likely undamped and so not all that helpful.

That said, if you are purely sticking to easy and flatter gravel trails with no intention to work up to more technical off road routes then a rigid hybrid that fits wider tyres such as the carrera subway 2 might be a better option (looks to be mens only in stock so a non-option if your wife is under 5'5"/165cm mind)
The contents of this post, unless otherwise stated, are opinions of the author and may actually be complete codswallop
PM999
Posts: 54
Joined: 6 Sep 2016, 11:56am

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by PM999 »

And if you don't already have a Halfords discount via some other means, if you register for stock updates, they'll email you a 10% off code to use on any bike

https://www.halfords.com/bikes/how-to-g ... dates.html

I'm waiting for this year's Voodoo Bizango and got a code last week by registering.
tbuckland4
Posts: 16
Joined: 11 Aug 2020, 4:09pm

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by tbuckland4 »

Thanks for the discount recommendation - I have signed up!

Quick update. Visited Halfords last weekend and test rode the Vengeance (along with a Voodoo Soukri which was very cool but sadly out of budget).

I was really impressed with the Vengeance. Seemed a solid entry level option, components all upgraded to Shimano and the mechanical discs I was querying were probably sharp enough to throw me over the bars in to a rack of cut price Apollo bikes. Hopefully picking it up this weekend - my wife is excited to get out on it.

I should probably get some fenders for it given the weather we’ve had in Leeds for the last few days…
peetee
Posts: 3183
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Upon a lumpy, scarred granite massif.

Re: Carrera Vengeance?

Post by peetee »

The Vengance is a good bike for the money. If you should be wary of anything it is that it has been assembled correctly, ie; with due care and lubricated in the right areas so it runs well and can be adjusted easily in future and serviced at the minimum of cost.
I have been repairing and servicing bikes for a long time now and have seen some very nicely prepared bikes from some Halfords shops and also some really shocking death traps.
A rough rule of thumb is that if it still has the height setting sticker on the front mech, get the bike checked independently - although, given what I have said, you might want to get that done anyway. Halfords are quite aware of their shortcomings; I have sent many a bike and owner back to them with a list of problems and the owners have always received compensation for the unnecessary expense.
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