Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Mountain Biking
Reload this Page >

Fun cheap-ish weekend bike for light bikepacking - help me choose

Notices
Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

Fun cheap-ish weekend bike for light bikepacking - help me choose

Old 03-24-22, 03:18 PM
  #1  
itoru
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fun cheap-ish weekend bike for light bikepacking - help me choose

Yeah, it's one of those "recommend me a bike" threads so hopefully you wont hate me already.


So, I live in Croatia where there isn't much of a bike choices in shops and since I've never owned a bike with disc brakes or a suspensions, when I started researching about all sorts of various mountain bike types, I got completely lost.


Ok, here's the thing. I have my daily commuter which is a Kona Dew (alu frame, steel fork, v-brakes). And besides my (all year round) commute, I also use it for road riding, mountain biking, light bikepacking with a saddle bag... I got a bit hooked with riding through forests and mountain terrains so I think I would really like to buy a proper bike for that. A bike that I would use mostly on weekends or during holidays (as I would leave the Dew to remain my commuter and beater).


Stuff I dislike on my current bike:

- narrow tires with not much grip (I currently have 700x40 Schwalbe Land Cruiser)

- ride gets bumpy even on gravel

- with a full saddle bag, bike looses a lot of stability.


So, could someone recommend me a bike that would fit my needs? I mean, yeah, I could probably walk into any store and get any mountain bike and it would be better than my current setup, but I would really like to have a decent bike that would last me years. I'm not into downhill racing or any similar stuff, I'm more into chilling out. You know, enjoying the nature and stuff. And I don't plan on taking it on a cross-continent rides. I just need a good fun weekend bike.


So, I kind of narrowed it down to Kona Big Honzo ($1220, I like that design but I hate that red color on 2021 model and black on 2022 is dull) or Trek Roscoe 6 ($1260, I love that olive green color). Both are 27.5+ but feel free to convince me I'm wrong about looking into that tire sizes or geometry. I know nothing about that.

Kona Unit is marketed as a bikepacking beast but it's $1450, which is over my budget. And it doesn't have a suspension fork, which I'm actually not sure if I would need one. But let's say that $1260 is the most I would be willing to pay. Surly or any other smaller brand is not available here. Only more mainstream stuff like Trek, Kona, Marin (but Pine Mountain models are not available), Cube, Ghost, Rocky Mountain (but Growler is available only as a 26''), Specialized, Cannondale, Norco, some Jamis models, Giant, Orbea...


So feel free to help me out. Thanks!
itoru is offline  
Old 03-25-22, 09:25 AM
  #2  
Kapusta
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,437

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Turner 5-Spot, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2401 Post(s)
Liked 2,029 Times in 1,133 Posts
When you say “bikepacking” I am thinking of off-road touring where you need to carry a bit of stuff. These tend to more oriented to all day comfort rather than ripping the downhills.

I don’t have experience with the Rosco, but a friend of mine has a Big Honzo that I have borrowed to try a couple times. I think it is a great bike for ripping on single-track (stable, capable, and a lot of fun) but it is not what I would be looking at for bike packing.

However, if what you are looking for is a bike to get you into mountain biking (without the camping gear) I think it is a good choice. I think plus size tires are great for people getting into trail riding. Opinions on them for more advanced riders is mixed. Some love them others prefer standard size.

One thing to keep in mind about this bike (and I assume the Rosco is similar) is that the geometry and handling is entirely focused on mountain biking on singletrack trails. And for modern mtbs (which are fantastic in this regard) this usually means they are not as comfortable for cranking out a lot of miles on pavement or dirt/gravel roads. As modern “progressive” mtb geometry has gotten better for mtb, it is less good for ”road-ish” use (by “road” I mean dirt and gravel roads, or non-technical bike paths where you are mostly just sitting and pedaling).
Kapusta is offline  
Old 03-25-22, 12:37 PM
  #3  
itoru
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You got it right for the bikepacking part but it would be more like a light bikepacking. Day trips. Biggest load would be 13l seat post bag, 10l handlebar bag and a bottle of water on the frame. But handlebar bag would probably see use only during the winter (for a bulky winter jacket). No camping stuff. It's more about me hating to carry a backpack (because I get sweaty) so I would put packable wind/rain jacket, chocolate bars and some basic tools in the saddle bag. My biggest concern is would it kill the stability of the bike because on Kona Dew, which is a short bike, it ruins it drastically. But as far as I was reading, those type of MTBs are much longer bikes.


Let's say I would ride this bike: 30% singletrack, 40% rougher doubletrack, 20% gravel and 10% low quality pavement. Am I even looking at the right type of bikes?
itoru is offline  
Old 03-28-22, 02:39 PM
  #4  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 192 Post(s)
Liked 105 Times in 84 Posts
I would look for a used hardtail mountain bike. Then you can put on the tires for the areas where you plan to ride. Much easier with a hardtail bike to add a rack and saddlebags etc for your travels. Full suspension and gravel bikes change a good deal from year to year but not so with the hardtail bikes where only the forks change in terms of travel. With a used bike if it turns out to not be exactly what you want and you sell it the money you spent can be recovered.
Calsun is offline  
Old 04-03-22, 10:43 AM
  #5  
itoru
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
With a used bike if it turns out to not be exactly what you want and you sell it the money you spent can be recovered.
That is actually a good advice. My local classified ads websites are actually full of "regular" hardtails with 100mm forks but anything more special has a pumped up prices and I can't really tell why. People are listing their Kona Honzos and Units for couple of hundred bucks more expensive than the new ones in the shop, and most of them actually don't have any upgrades. The market is really crazy these days.
itoru is offline  
Old 04-05-22, 10:15 AM
  #6  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 678 Post(s)
Liked 466 Times in 355 Posts
I would suggest hardtail 29er since the larger wheels have enhanced the off road experience for my wife and me. The area in the triangle can be occupied by a frame bag which carries weight appropriately.
2old is offline  
Old 04-08-22, 07:35 AM
  #7  
itoru
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I would suggest hardtail 29er since the larger wheels have enhanced the off road experience for my wife and me. The area in the triangle can be occupied by a frame bag which carries weight appropriately.
What tire width do you use? Although I'm 6' tall, I'm kind of leaning onto fatter 27.5 tires because I feel like the 29er would feel a bit large or should I say too tall. I enjoy that on the road but not so much on the trail but then again have very limited experience. Anyway, in my budget range I could easily find bikes with 29x2.25 tires but most of them have a normal geometry (not so "modern") and 100mm forks and I'm again leaning more towards fatter tires. And bikes with 29x2.6 are out of my budget. :/
This bike search turned completely in "you can't have it all in one" thing. In the end I'll end up with a gravel bike with drop bar haha...
itoru is offline  
Old 04-08-22, 07:43 AM
  #8  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 678 Post(s)
Liked 466 Times in 355 Posts
Originally Posted by itoru View Post
What tire width do you use? Although I'm 6' tall, I'm kind of leaning onto fatter 27.5 tires because I feel like the 29er would feel a bit large or should I say too tall. I enjoy that on the road but not so much on the trail but then again have very limited experience. Anyway, in my budget range I could easily find bikes with 29x2.25 tires but most of them have a normal geometry (not so "modern") and 100mm forks and I'm again leaning more towards fatter tires. And bikes with 29x2.6 are out of my budget. :/
This bike search turned completely in "you can't have it all in one" thing. In the end I'll end up with a gravel bike with drop bar haha...
My wife, 5'5" tall, and I are using 29X2.25, but socal has "perfect" terrain, little sand, no mud and good traction. Most of the younger riders still prefer fatter tires (2.6 or so) here. I thought she wouldn't be a good candidate for 29er's, but she adapted rapidly and completely.
2old is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.