Mountain bike for newbie

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
Shoyu
Posts: 21
Joined: 10 Jun 2016, 8:06pm

Mountain bike for newbie

Postby Shoyu » 8 Oct 2018, 12:24am

My daughter got a 26” frog mountain bike last month last week and I had a go on it today. I think I rather like it. I currently have a Liv Invite but I’m not 100% sure the drop bars are what I want (despite thinking they were when I bought it :roll: ). DD’s bike is too small for me but I liked the handle bar position and the front suspension.

I had a terrifying moment with a lorry a couple of months ago which has put me right off road riding. For the moment we will be tow path riding but I quite fancy some not too fierce trails. Just looking on the internet I quite like this but obviously need to try it.

https://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/31198 ... elava.aspx

Thoughts or recommendations welcome.

TIA

Vorpal
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Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby Vorpal » 8 Oct 2018, 6:53am

I can't comment on the specific bike, but Specialized are a reasonable brand. I'd recommend trying other bikes, as well.

'not too fierce' trails don't require suspension. It can makes things a bit more comfortable, but the weight penalty may not be worth it.

As for the road riding, I'd recommend taking Bikeability. Some local authorities run free or low cost courses. Or get yourself a copy of Cyclecraft. It may be available from the local library. I think it would surprise you how much difference it can make.
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Shoyu
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Joined: 10 Jun 2016, 8:06pm

Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby Shoyu » 8 Oct 2018, 9:47pm

Thanks. I will try a few. I did think about hiring one to see how I feel about straight bars again.

I will look into bikeability (I did cycling proficiency as a child and remember being a dab hand at a set of cones!).

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pjclinch
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Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby pjclinch » 20 Oct 2018, 9:14am

Mountain bikes have become pretty serious things these days, and as a consequence there are a lot of rather good only slightly off the pace ones with little use on Gumtree and similar. I have a Canondale Trail 4 that was effectively as good as new, does everything I'm brave enough to try with no problems, and was £300 rather than the £600 it originally retailed for.

For simple trails and towpaths you don't really need a MTB, just some wider tyres, so I wouldn't get too carried away on the Latest and Greatest new. You can save a lot of money that way, and still have a lot of fun.

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Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby thelawnet » 20 Oct 2018, 4:06pm

I wouldn't consider myself a mountain biker, but circumstances have meant I've been on some very dodgy 'roads' the last couple of years (in Indonesia).

My experiences:

* tyres are everything. Also pressure is very important and works as well as suspension. I like Schwalbe's Evo SpeedGrip range as a sort of balance between off road and onroad. They are far, far better than the OEM Schwalbe non-evo tyres. On the back I have a 'Speed' on the back. Other brands exist, I get mine out of the back of the factory in Indonesia, I would look on ebay for expensive tyres at some sort of discount and ditch the originals.
* tyre pressure also very important. Works as suspension. I like to go around 20psi, and I'm a fat [rude word removed], so you could go lower.
* brakes, hmm, everybody wants hydraulic discs these days, but you can get cable discs if you like, as you can change at some point no problem. V-brakes are a no-no as you can't upgrade. The Deore brakes are not expensive to upgrade to at a later point if your bike comes with some cheaper ones, whereas you'll likely find them only on expensive bikes at new.
* drivetrain, I don't think it honestly matters that much the specific components, but you'll want a triple chainset, not a single or double, much more sensible. You can always upgrade down the line when things wear out. In an ideal world, I like Deore XT level, but that's not something you need at all.
* fork - you'll probably find Suntor XCT/XCM/XCR coil forks. I think the XCT is supposed to be pretty shoddy, XCM and XCR slightly more useable. In all honesty I think you are probably better off with a rigid fork and pay more attention to tyres, just because it's energy-sapping. If you did want to change your fork it's not too hard to do down-the-line, you'll pay £150 and up for an air fork.

The bike above is quite serviceable, but you can get a very similar spec for around £150 less: https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-tw ... ke-p433553

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby reohn2 » 20 Oct 2018, 4:10pm

In that price range I'd take a look at Voodoo Bizango,It gets some awesome reviews.
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thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby thelawnet » 20 Oct 2018, 4:18pm

reohn2 wrote:In that price range I'd take a look at Voodoo Bizango,It gets some awesome reviews.


it's a nice spec, though it's 1x, which is perfectly fine for off-road. Best make sure you get it on a discount, I think they come in under £500 with various vouchers if you pay attention.

reohn2
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Re: Mountain bike for newbie

Postby reohn2 » 20 Oct 2018, 4:55pm

thelawnet wrote:
reohn2 wrote:In that price range I'd take a look at Voodoo Bizango,It gets some awesome reviews.


it's a nice spec, though it's 1x, which is perfectly fine for off-road. Best make sure you get it on a discount, I think they come in under £500 with various vouchers if you pay attention.

I hadn't looked recently,they were 2x10 last time I looked.
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I cycle therefore I am.