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Bike Specifications When Buying

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Bike Specifications When Buying

Old 07-17-13, 02:24 PM
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apollored
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Bike Specifications When Buying

Hi there

I'm hoping maybe to buy a new MTB 29er in October and I have been looking at a few on the net and in bike shops (sorry drooling

When I read all the lists of specs on each bike I wonder how important is it to know about each spec on a bike or which ones are more important?

I understand about tyre and rim size, shocks and lockout and whether a disc brake is mechanical or hydraulic but when I am discussing all this with a salesperson if I get a bike what really matters?

Apart from whether the bike fits of course and sizes etc.

Thanks
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Old 07-17-13, 05:21 PM
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What do you want to use if for? unless you are looking at a high end bike, think 4K plus, most bikes at a price point will be similar, given that you are asking about bike with mechanical brakes, which are generally entry level, just pick one which fits first and looks nice, chances are most at the price point will be made in the same factory, and will have a very similar spec.
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Old 07-18-13, 10:02 AM
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entry-level bikes have basic forks that work fine for bike paths and very light trails, but there definitely is a threshold where forks become MUCH more viable for technical trails with drops, jumps, roots and rocks.

in North America, that threshold is nearly always occupied by a Rockshox Recon or Sektor fork. All of the entry-level Suntour and RST forks, as well as Rockshox cheaper than a Recon such as XC28, Dart and XC32, all have very unsophisticated dampening and very little useful adjustment.

what I've noticed is that the hardtail market is being squeezed down. very, very few hardtail bikes have a Recon or better unless they are over $1,300 and then you have the Giant Trance X3 and other entry-level full suspension bikes that not only have that fork, but they also have effective rear suspension at ~$1,600.

*however*, if you buy a basic hardtail you can upgrade the fork and still have spent less than $1,300 if/when you find the fork inadequate.
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Old 07-18-13, 10:11 AM
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Sometimes bikes aren't set-up for your weight, like with the shock pressure, and some bikes even with suggested suspension settings felt like the fork and rear shock just weren't working together. Same with rebound damping settings, etc. Seat adjustment issues can change feel too, and it's worth taking some time to figure that out. Other than that, the only things really worth noting were a few differences in shifting like between Sram and Shimano. I suppose some stock tires may be better than others in terms of grip, but it's hard to figure that out on a test ride.
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Old 07-18-13, 01:37 PM
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I wouldnt be paying more than 500 - 900 for one, fraid the budget doesnt stretch that far tho its a family birthday present and my sis says dont worry about the price I probably wouldnt be looking above that.

But one that handles some rough trails, stony with some steepish hills and lots of puddles and mud in winter would fine as well as reasonably nippy on the road, tho I know MTB tyres arent nearly as fluent as their racy cousins.
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Old 07-18-13, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
entry-level bikes have basic forks that work fine for bike paths and very light trails, but there definitely is a threshold where forks become MUCH more viable for technical trails with drops, jumps, roots and rocks.

in North America, that threshold is nearly always occupied by a Rockshox Recon or Sektor fork. All of the entry-level Suntour and RST forks, as well as Rockshox cheaper than a Recon such as XC28, Dart and XC32, all have very unsophisticated dampening and very little useful adjustment.

what I've noticed is that the hardtail market is being squeezed down. very, very few hardtail bikes have a Recon or better unless they are over $1,300 and then you have the Giant Trance X3 and other entry-level full suspension bikes that not only have that fork, but they also have effective rear suspension at ~$1,600.

*however*, if you buy a basic hardtail you can upgrade the fork and still have spent less than $1,300 if/when you find the fork inadequate.
As well as basic trails may also look at basic MTB Trail Centres with small drop offs, berms etc but not big drop offs or jumps I'm not that brave lol.

On my own bike the shocks arent as efficient as they were and on a canal towpath I felt every single bump but they have got better with some greasing and TLC.

Will look out for those forks on bikes I look at, prob expensive as you say tho.
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Old 07-18-13, 01:48 PM
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the $1,300 USD price barrier is pretty real over here and pretty consistent for a new hardtail with a decent fork. however, unsold/leftover bikes on sale and of course used bikes could have a good fork for well under $1,300.

there are many hardtail bikes that cover a range from $600-1200 USD which have better wheels and drivetrain as you go up, but they still all have those basic forks which are not good on a technical trail.

-- sorry I keep talking in US dollars, but I have no frame of reference for UK prices.
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Old 07-18-13, 04:47 PM
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For the budget, as you want a 29er, you could get away without a suspension fork, as a rigid fork & 29er tire will offer the same handling as a basic suspension fork.

Your budget gives you lots of choice, upto about 800, there are plenty of good entry level bikes (just look at say Evans for ideas).
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Old 07-19-13, 01:35 AM
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Yes or Harry Hall's and thanks for all your advice on shock dampening, will add that to my list for a test ride tho wouldnt find out how it really performs until I ride it on a trail.

Thanks lots for all your advice
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