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cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

51 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
Of all the sections on the PH forum this is the least likely for me to contribute due to complete lack of knowledge. The last bike i had was a Raleigh Super Tuff Burner (first time round).
My son is 15 yrs old and has suddenly decided to give his xbox & PS3 chance to cool down. A couple of his mates are regular MTB riders and my son wants to give it a go.
We are looking to buy him a bike that will be good to learn on but won't leave him to far behind if he starts to enjoy the sport. My initial feeling is to buy a good second hand MTB as people seem to look after the 'expensive when new' bikes? I'm pretty sure that somebody talked to me about 'specialised' MTB - after a quick online search they look expensive. So the brief would be :

He is 6 foot so what size frame/wheels ?
cheaper new or better used?
Budget may be up to £350 ish...gulp
We approx 7 miles from Delamere Forest which is were his mates seem to go - so more off road than road would be fine.
Meanwhile i will have a search on the forum.

dugsud

860 posts

146 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
First of all don't buy new for £350 whatever you do!! You'll get junk for that. For £350 you'll get a £600 bike that's a year old if you look carefully.

It also depends what they do...A lot of 15year olds are into street/free riding so he might want a particular type of hard-tail more suited to big drop-off's, tricks etc rather than an XC type bike.

If your sons mates are keen mountain bikers why not ask them for advice, it's them he'll be riding with.

cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

51 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
Thanks Dug - he has been texting them for advice but they keep asking him 'how much' which I suppose most 15yr olds would! I think I will look out for a mint 2nd hand one.
Any advice on size or a trip to halfords for a measure up?

dugsud

860 posts

146 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
cts1975 said:
Thanks Dug - he has been texting them for advice but they keep asking him 'how much' which I suppose most 15yr olds would! I think I will look out for a mint 2nd hand one.
Any advice on size or a trip to halfords for a measure up?
Size really varies between makes but the usual mistake parents make is buying too big, the main thing is to have plenty of stand-over. I'd go to a proper local bike shop rather than Halfords and have a look/try one or two, you'll get much better advice and even if you don't buy your bike there if he gets into it he'll be buying bits/upgrades in the future.

Don't forget to budget for a good helmet (£50)

Here's a good example of the kind of thing you can get, this probably cost £800+ and has been ridden four times! Just do some research and you'll get a good bike for him.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commencal-Deluxe-Hard-Ta...

Edited by dugsud on Saturday 14th April 11:34

Bacon Is Proof

3,077 posts

114 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
dugsud said:
First of all don't buy new for £350 whatever you do!! You'll get junk for that. For £350 you'll get a £600 bike that's a year old if you look carefully.
I bought a £700 RRP bike for £350, brand spanking new, just last year's model.
Had similar bargains before as well. smile
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pablo

11,747 posts

156 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
Contrary to popular belief, you can buy a decent new bike for under £400...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/ha...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gt/aggressor-1...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/scott/aspect-5...
they are much the same, they are all aluminium frame, entry level wheels, forks etc

I had a hardrock pro for a few years when i was getting back into the sport, i abused it and it never let me down. You could do a lot worse than something like this and there are some horrors in the second hand market if you dont know what you are looking for, bikes stored upside down or rarely used can have problems with the suspension forks and a bike that has been well used stands a better chance of also being well maintained.

Something like the hardrock is a good "do it all" bike and thats all you get at that price, which is a good thing. something that your son will be able to ride it every where and it will take a lot of falls and things.


robpearson

416 posts

85 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
I'm with Pablo, my first mountain bike when I got back into cycling was a hardrock sport. It was bomb proof. Just a brief word of caution though. A couple of my colleagues have done similar, and watched the bikes get left out in the garden in the rain after a few weeks use. Can you encourage him to contribute towards it in some way so he appreciates its value?

cheeky_chops

737 posts

134 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th April 2012 quote quote all
pablo said:
Contrary to popular belief, you can buy a decent new bike for under £400...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/ha...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gt/aggressor-1...
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/scott/aspect-5...
they are much the same, they are all aluminium frame, entry level wheels, forks etc
hmm, the problem is the entry level suntour forks are ste so immediately its time to start upgrading - i had the suntour forks on a virtually new ebay GT Outpost. It was my 1st bike in years and i just knew they were junk within a week.

Def +1 for 2nd hand - i also bought a GT XC3 for the missus for £185 on ebay (£350 in halfords new) that was used a few times. Walked to the guys house and cycled it home!

pablo

11,747 posts

156 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
cheeky_chops said:
hmm, the problem is the entry level suntour forks are ste so immediately its time to start upgrading - i had the suntour forks on a virtually new ebay GT Outpost. It was my 1st bike in years and i just knew they were junk within a week.

Def +1 for 2nd hand - i also bought a GT XC3 for the missus for £185 on ebay (£350 in halfords new) that was used a few times. Walked to the guys house and cycled it home!
i dont disagree about the suntour thing in principle, they are not the best but this is only relative of the price bracket...you cant expect XT performacne for Acera money

people get lucky with s/h, others dont and if you dont know how to spot a lemon you are potentially throwng cash away. Your comment about the Outpost makes my point perectly.... did they have any air/oil in them, had they been serviced at home and bodged?, had the seals failed? had it been stored upside down? a new bike with an entry level fork is no worse than a shagged mid range s/h fork.

I dont get the point about the GT XC either, regardless of whether you paid £185 for it, a £350 bike is still only as good as every other £350 bike, yes you paid less than rrp but the spec is no better as a result and you have no warranty. it still has entry level spec component wise and a weighty frame. Your argument only works if you spend £350 on a s/h bike which was £500 rrp. If you had done this, then yes, you spent the same amount of money on a s/h bike and got a better bike than had you spent the same amount of money on a new bike. All you did was fob the Mrs off with a cheap bike and i bet you didnt upgrade anything with £165 you saved either did you?! wink

its easy to spend other peoples money but a bit of realism is needed here, for a 15 year olds first mtb, its worth getting a new one so you have someone to go back to if a part fails.

normally I advoacate the s/h thing but new really is the better option here. hes 15 FFS, let him have a new bike!


Edited by pablo on Monday 16th April 10:26

Freakuk

728 posts

34 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
Some good bikes shops near you if you're near Delamere, good one in Congleton, a few in Chester a bit further afield but a huge selection is leisure lakes in Bury or maybe one planet adventure up at Llandegla

Roman

1,908 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
pablo said:
cheeky_chops said:
hmm, the problem is the entry level suntour forks are ste so immediately its time to start upgrading - i had the suntour forks on a virtually new ebay GT Outpost. It was my 1st bike in years and i just knew they were junk within a week.

Def +1 for 2nd hand - i also bought a GT XC3 for the missus for £185 on ebay (£350 in halfords new) that was used a few times. Walked to the guys house and cycled it home!
i dont disagree about the suntour thing in principle, they are not the best but this is only relative of the price bracket...you cant expect XT performacne for Acera money

people get lucky with s/h, others dont and if you dont know how to spot a lemon you are potentially throwng cash away. Your comment about the Outpost makes my point perectly.... did they have any air/oil in them, had they been serviced at home and bodged?, had the seals failed? had it been stored upside down? a new bike with an entry level fork is no worse than a shagged mid range s/h fork.

I dont get the point about the GT XC either, regardless of whether you paid £185 for it, a £350 bike is still only as good as every other £350 bike, yes you paid less than rrp but the spec is no better as a result and you have no warranty. it still has entry level spec component wise and a weighty frame. Your argument only works if you spend £350 on a s/h bike which was £500 rrp.

its easy to spend other peoples money but a bit of realism is needed here, for a 15 year olds first mtb, its worth getting a new one so you have someone to go back to if a part fails.

normally I advoacate the s/h thing but new really is the better option here. hes 15 FFS, let him have a new bike!
+1

This Cannondale SL5 is a bargain with a top class frame - a great basis for later upgrades and available in large sizes too:
http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m1b...

Though as already mentioned stretching the budget a little to £450-500 is well worth it - for just an extra £70 this SL4 gets hydraulic discs & 27speed transmission:
http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m1b...

Edited by Roman on Monday 16th April 11:06

BalhamBadger

1,056 posts

56 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
That SL4 is well tasty.

clonmult

8,837 posts

92 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
BalhamBadger said:
That SL4 is well tasty.
Bloody right it is, and those disc brakes are pretty good - got those on my Specialized Cross Sport, and they're excellent stoppers.

gradeA

553 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
dugsud said:
the main thing is to have plenty of stand-over.
Sorry, no - the main thing is to have the correct reach. If you talk about FS bikes, you will often find that the right size bike will have little to no standover clearance due to having to account for sag and a decent BB height.

At 6' I'd say you should be looking at 19"/Large bikes as a starting point, maybe dropping down a size if he wants something more chuckable. Have a look at Paul's Cycles for heavily discounted runout models if you go down the new route.

Edit: Ah, I see someone's already linked to Pauls above smile

cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

51 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
We are going to call in at The Bike Factory in Chester at the weekend and then pop next door to Specialized.
He has been doing some more 'research' with his friends. It seems a couple of them have Specialized which he seems to feel comfortable on. It seems that he needs a 19 inch frame size.
What is the difference with having 26 or 29 inch wheels?

aka_kerrly

7,103 posts

93 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th April 2012 quote quote all
I'd definitely spend some time chatting with your son about what sort of riding his mates do.

Seriously the last thing your son wants is to turn up on a 19inch cross country bike to find that his mates are into freeride/DH and ride <14inch hardtails with circa 4-5inch travel forks or full suspension bikes as he will look/feel like a bit of a plum.

What I would suggest is a smaller <16 inch freeride bike as these are incredibly flexible allowing you to use it for all sorts whilst you learn on and upgrade as and when required.

Quite recently I bought a bike off ebay, 14inch frame, Marazochi forks, Hope discs, Hope hubs/Halo rims built in 2005 at a cost of £700+. I paid £85, have replaced the brake pads and chain and it's performed fantastically in the FOD + my local trails.




cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

51 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd June 2012 quote quote all
Thread Update : We picked up his new Specilized Rockhopper in black/white/orange this afternoon. We managed to get a really good deal even on the latest model. The Spcialized dealer in Chester gave us 20% discount. They also gave us 20% discount on their acc range excluding helmets.

We got it home today and have a slight problem with it. I removed the 2 hex bolts so that we could fit the bottle carrier. The higher of the 2 bolts went back in no problem however the lower bolt has got half way and stopped. It seem that what ever nut (?) fitted inside the frame has come loose meaning we can't tighten the hex bolt up. Its just spinning around half tightened. The crazy thing is that because its inside the frame there is no way of getting to it, should it be welded to the inside of the frame?
Does anybody know a solution? Otherwise its going back to the shop in the morning, I fear they will have to order a new bike which could take a few days.

Flippin' Kipper

567 posts

62 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd June 2012 quote quote all
cts1975 said:
Thread Update : We picked up his new Specilized Rockhopper in black/white/orange this afternoon. We managed to get a really good deal even on the latest model. The Spcialized dealer in Chester gave us 20% discount. They also gave us 20% discount on their acc range excluding helmets.

We got it home today and have a slight problem with it. I removed the 2 hex bolts so that we could fit the bottle carrier. The higher of the 2 bolts went back in no problem however the lower bolt has got half way and stopped. It seem that what ever nut (?) fitted inside the frame has come loose meaning we can't tighten the hex bolt up. Its just spinning around half tightened. The crazy thing is that because its inside the frame there is no way of getting to it, should it be welded to the inside of the frame?
Does anybody know a solution? Otherwise its going back to the shop in the morning, I fear they will have to order a new bike which could take a few days.
Should be no nut inside the fame, the frame is just tapped with a thread itself. Try taking the bolt out carefully and apply a little grease. I would imagine you have just inserted the bolt at a slight angle, hence the getting stuck.

99hjhm

196 posts

69 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd June 2012 quote quote all
There should be a thread insert that could have come loose. Compare it with the the other set of mounts, see if you can see the insert turning.

cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

51 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd June 2012 quote quote all
We took it back to them this morning. It seems they are very easy to cross thread. They are some sort of threaded rivet which needs a special tool to fit them and remove them. The tool was on loan to another branch so they will refit when the bike goes in for a first service, they made a tempory fix which seems OK. The manager of the shop says he had cross threaded one on his own bike last week so he needs to repair his own aswell. They gave us some free chain lube for our trouble this morning so we are quite happy.
Thanks for your posts.
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