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Dawes or Orange

Old 12-06-03, 03:58 PM
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MattK
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Dawes or Orange

Hi, does anyone have any experience of dawes mtbs or Orange (the FS team and Gringo imparticular). These are the 2003 versions, and have a had quite a reduction in price, any opinions on them, or the manufacturer in general, would be fantastic. Also does anyone have any recommendations for a good Mtb in the 500 bracket. Thanks, Matt
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Old 12-06-03, 05:49 PM
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I've read good reviews of Orange, but that's all I can really say.
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Old 12-07-03, 08:58 AM
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orange are solid bikes.... The dawes bikes have a massive range, but I think your better off with an orange if you can get one. What sort of bike are you looking for? Because 500 will buy you a reasonable mid level mountain bike from specialized, kona or maybe GT or Giant...
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Old 12-07-03, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MattK
Hi, does anyone have any experience of dawes mtbs or Orange (the FS team and Gringo imparticular). These are the 2003 versions, and have a had quite a reduction in price, any opinions on them, or the manufacturer in general, would be fantastic. Also does anyone have any recommendations for a good Mtb in the 500 bracket. Thanks, Matt
MattK,

The current What Mountain Bike (January) issue, just out, contains some good write-ups on the 500 range of mtb's. I bought a Dawes Edge FS Comp for my wife, which is one step down from the Dawes FS team. The frame on both is identical but the obvious difference between the Edge at 400 and the Team which was then about 650 is in the components. To be honest, if she was as committed to riding as I am, then I'd upgrade her bikes components. Maybe things have changed now as a while back disc brakes were almost exclusive but now every puppy of a bike seem to using them, so maybe the specs are getting better. If I were to go for an off-the-shelf bike, I'd probably give the Orange the nod, but vis-a-vis the reviews and awards, the Dawes has a better reputation. Happy hunting!
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Old 12-07-03, 11:31 AM
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Mattk,

I forget to mention that all the bikes in the tests are hardtails. I doubt you will get a truly category-A full susser for that price. At thatprice range, the full suss specs have to be seriously compromised.

Then again, try ebay.uk, there are lots of good bikes and good private deals on full sussers close to that price, especially close to Christmas, if you don't have a problem buying a used bike. To be honest, guys who sell bikes tend to do so reluctantly and usually because they have to, or maybe they want to step up a bracket.

You might want to send a pm to forum member RichardD as he's bought a lot of stuff on ebay.

Only problem with new bikes via the internet is that they have to be delivered flat-pack style in the box which means they might not be fully set 100% for out-of-the-box. There is more to prepping a bike than simply turning the handlebars the right way. That's where a good lbs comes in to the picture, as they'll prep the bike properly.
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Old 12-07-03, 12:32 PM
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.... Have a look in this months MBUK ( December ) i was looking at it today in the shop and they tested 3 bikes that asre up to a good beating that are around 500, In it they had a specialized Hardrock Pro, a Konasumthing... cant remember LOl and something else, definatly worth a look
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Old 12-07-03, 12:41 PM
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Thanks guys, Just got that mag actually bokkie. The giant came out on top.to be honest, i havent decided between hard tail or f.s . I will be doing the usual trails but the idea of DH sounds great and i would definatly want to have a go at that! What kind of riding do you do bokkie? How affective is a hardtail on the DH trails? At the start of that mag theres a story about a first-time down hiller and he seems to slag the HT off, but then the person who won the race was also riding a HT, madness. Also, in this months issue i'v seen a few good deals for the specialised rockhopper + a Kona Kahuna, slightly over budget, but i think I might run to that. anyway thanks for your time to reply,

Matt
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Old 12-08-03, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MattK
Thanks guys, Just got that mag actually bokkie. The giant came out on top.to be honest, i havent decided between hard tail or f.s . I will be doing the usual trails but the idea of DH sounds great and i would definatly want to have a go at that! What kind of riding do you do bokkie? How affective is a hardtail on the DH trails? At the start of that mag theres a story about a first-time down hiller and he seems to slag the HT off, but then the person who won the race was also riding a HT, madness. Also, in this months issue i'v seen a few good deals for the specialised rockhopper + a Kona Kahuna, slightly over budget, but i think I might run to that. anyway thanks for your time to reply,

Matt
I guess it depends on who you listen to. As I personally see it, the line between hardtail and full suss has become blurred now. I suppose those who use them would say a hardie is better for going uphill, but I've never really had too much of a problem on my full susser. I don't go flat out downhill (too darned scared, technically 'challenged', in other words, bloody useless!) so I don't know one way or the other. There are guys in both camps who'll have their own ideas. For me, I could probably handle a hardie as well as I do a full suss. It's just that I prefer a full suss and I can say I've enjoyed the benefit of both types, on account of having a rear lock-out. Ultimately, I think it's more important to find a bike that suits you. When you look at what you can get for 500 these days, you'd probably have spent much more on the same equipment a year ago.

My riding style is more for enjoyment rather than pushing myself to the extremes of rapid downhill, sick jumps and drop-offs. There are some riders who'd be downright bored if they rode with me, but as long as I can maintain a wraparound smile, I am, as my S'Effrican avatar description says a Jubalayo Unogwaja which in Zulu, means literally, "happy bunny"! I prefer bopping around forests near where I live in Crawley. I did 3 fantastic rides in Coed-y-Brenin in Wales recently and I suprised myself with what I tried to do.

My only concern with cheaper bikes, is that it's important to get the best you can afford, don't go for cheap Taiwanese imports that have no or little warranty, and compare the specs of the bikes. Like most things, you can pay more for what you really need, or pay more and get less. A cheap bike, like a cheap tool, will cost twice as much in the long run. Remember, the market is flooded at this time of year in the UK. On the one hand, there are good deals on name brand bikes as dealers try to clear the 2003 stock to make room for the new 2004 models, and the far east slippery imports are more likely now as parents looks for cheap buys to satisfy what kids want for Xmas. There are a lot of good deals. Shop around for them. Don't be afraid to ask for test rides. A good dealer who values your custom will oblige. A dealer who does not want to prep a bike for you will possibly not give you good after sales once you've taken delivery. Dealers should offer a free service on new bikes. Walk away from those you have doubts about. It's your money, let them do some of the work for you!

Most dealers are good and willing to negotiate. Knowing what you want will let you focus on a few brands. You can't always compare like-for-like, but a good lbs will be only too happy to talk about the bikes. At this time of year, dealers tend to rely on the Xmas sales for the bread-and-butter turnover on what is, traditionally not a good time of year to promote the top brands. The deals are out of there. Rather take 2 weeks longer securing a good deal for the bike you want, than to rush head-on into something you might regret 2 weeks later.
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Old 12-08-03, 04:28 PM
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Great advice Bokkie,

Il defo take all that on board when i make my purchase. I think im going to plump for a HT, and see how far i can get with it! Every time i start to settle on what bike i want, i see something else and all my plans go out the window! I plan on going round to some local dealers soon to check prices and wether a test ride could be done - if there not offering what im after at the price im after i may buy online, risky i no but they do offer some great deals at the mo. the Specialised bikes are looking very tempting (hardrock or rockjummper), but taking time to choose is definatley a good idea. Thanks again mate,

Matt
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Old 12-09-03, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MattK
Great advice Bokkie,

Il defo take all that on board when i make my purchase. I think im going to plump for a HT, and see how far i can get with it! Every time i start to settle on what bike i want, i see something else and all my plans go out the window! I plan on going round to some local dealers soon to check prices and wether a test ride could be done - if there not offering what im after at the price im after i may buy online, risky i no but they do offer some great deals at the mo. the Specialised bikes are looking very tempting (hardrock or rockjummper), but taking time to choose is definatley a good idea. Thanks again mate,

Matt
Nothing wrong with Specialized. Maybe Klein can pitch in with some recommendations as he's a big Spec fan. Like you say, there is a lot to choose from and if you wait for the right bike, the time will never come to buy one.

You can shop safely on the net, just be cautious about it. A good starting place is to look in the classified ads in the popular bike mags and look for names that appear month after month. Those companies would soon lose their listings if too many people complained to the magazine. Names like Wiggle are good but I think they are more into components and bits rather than full deal assemblies. Some of the larger bike shops will do mail order, Evans is an example, but the large shops and chains have higher costs so they need to markup more. Avoid general merchants like Halfords (UK equivalent of WalMart), unless they have a specific on site presence. Halfords Bikehut at Crawley is actually quite good.

I will deliberately punt them (so I guess the moderators will kick my a$$!!), but Southwater Cycles near Crawley/Brighton do mail order now and they've just started selling Giants and maybe Specialized as well. The guys who run it Stuart and Darren are category-A blokes who take pride in their shop, and their bikes are meticulously prepped and serviced. Point I'm making is that the smaller shops might not always be able to match the best prices on the high street, but what you get in addition to the price is worth the extra. You might find some of the local shops in your region might do mail order as well.
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