What Kit?

The place for discussions on what piece might fit where, where to buy it from, how to fit it, etc.

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gerrys
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What Kit?

Post by gerrys » Tue Dec 28, 2004 14:20

What about this one??

http://www.bikes2udirect.com/B0519.html

:lol:

Sensible answers please

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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long » Tue Dec 28, 2004 16:29

It has the right kind of parts in all the right places. My concern is about how well it will take the punishment it will receive. Unfortunately I don't know a way of determining that unless you know someone who has already got one. Could well be the right choice as a first bike to learn what is and isn't important to you on a bike and then go from there.

Steve's and my experience suggests that you will be harder on your bike that Chris is on hers, so given the choice it is worth spending a little more on yours.

My bike is 7 months old now and has had new rear hub & freewheel, new rear spokes, new rear cassette, four chains, new crankshaft bearings, gear cables, brake pads, hydraulic fluid, handlebar grips etc. It has also picked up a few scratches along the way but it has been excellent fun :D :D . My poor old road bike still gets a regular spin (and was even cleaned yesterday) but is very jealous of the new kid on the block.
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dro
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Post by dro » Tue Dec 28, 2004 17:02

First of all many thanks to Powells for allowing me to accompany them on Boxing day
excellent experience
Uphill was tiring but was able to cope BUT the downhill bit was dreadful, my bike and body slowly disintigrated as rocks ,roots ,mud and old age took their toll

I have a bog standard bike no supension and squeezy brakes (i.e. ordinary ones)
cost about the same as the one in the web address and it took a fearful hamering so I wonder if with all the bells and whistles included if quality of materials o.k.
Anyway my main concern for next time is a new pair of wrists and armour plated b***s !!!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Huw
What do you mean not ENOUGH wind ?

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MartinF
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Post by MartinF » Tue Dec 28, 2004 19:38

Ian Long wrote:My bike is 7 months old now and has had new rear hub & freewheel, new rear spokes, new rear cassette, four chains, new crankshaft bearings, gear cables, brake pads, hydraulic fluid, handlebar grips etc.
Yes, but remember you also destroy a similar amount of windsurfing kit :wink:
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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MartinF
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Re: What Kit?

Post by MartinF » Tue Dec 28, 2004 20:19

gerrys wrote:What about this one??

http://www.bikes2udirect.com/B0519.html

:lol:

Sensible answers please
Not sure about sensible, but I'll give it a go...

Personal opinion - FWIW: It seems like an awful lot of bike for the money. Even if it's a last year' model or even last year but one, it's still a lot of bike for the money. That's inevitably going to mean that the components will not be top class. OTOH, it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be junk, either (though I'd be suspicious of the forks).

I think you need to ask yourself what kind of conditions you're intending to ride in: If you'll be sticking mainly to roads, paths, Forest of Dean-type forest paths, it'll probably be fine.

If you're thinking about become a Long, you may find it less satisfactory 1/2 way down the 1st serious descent :wink: .
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long » Tue Dec 28, 2004 21:36

Oh, and I forgot to add to the list, one front chain ring - buckled in the course of duty. I also noticed while out riding with Neroli today that it's replacement has also suffered what is probably terminal damage.
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Viv Powell
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Re: What Kit?

Post by Viv Powell » Tue Dec 28, 2004 21:37

gerrys wrote:What about this one??

http://www.bikes2udirect.com/B0519.html
Never heard of Viking so suspicious already (ignorance - wonderful thing!! :? ). It doesn't say whose forks, whose brakes, whose wheels. Also the only name dropped is Shimano and there is no indication of what grade Shimano, there are many different levels. I can manage with a considerably lower spec than Steve and it will last forever :D , while he needs a higher spec and still needs to replace it several times :( . You and Chris will probably notice the same phenomenon.

Of the three that you have asked about, I would not go for this one unless I could find out a little more about it. I still think that the Halfords' Kraken that you showed us (us = V&S) has a lot more to offer.

Interestingly Ian doesn't say what kit Neroli has replaced this year. 4 chains!! wow!! :shock: I have never changed the chain on my old bike. Come to that I have never changed any hubs, bearings, cassettes, cables, spokes or grips. Rim brake pads have worn pretty rapidly, I have changed them twice this summer and they don't work any where near as well as the disks (4 finger death grip required on some descents). Steve has worn his new brake pads away to metal in 7 rides, mine still have loads to spare - 3 guesses which ones we were able to find in the shops on a bank holiday :roll: . Ian, I also now carry a spare set if you ever need one!

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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long » Tue Dec 28, 2004 21:48

Interestingly Ian doesn't say what kit Neroli has replaced this year
Erm - I think Neroli's tally comes to brake pads, brake cables, and a rear gear cable. :oops: I think she is just lucky with the bumps.

I have had to straighten her wheel though, does that count?
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gerrys
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Post by gerrys » Wed Dec 29, 2004 13:46

Dont know where the subjedtvcame from - but thought it funny...

but thanks for all the info........

Viv the full spec for the bike is covered in a small link that says - Show info I think, there is quite a lot of detail there. I must admit I think the Halfords bike still looks good and they also do a ladies version of it.

http://www.halfords.com/opd_product_det ... e=0&cat=91

Happy new year to you all.

We are hoping to hire bikes in ambleside and do the Troutbeck and Jenkin Crag ride......

Has anyone managed to start Brians alpha puzzle yet???

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Viv Powell
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Post by Viv Powell » Wed Dec 29, 2004 15:43

Norway I think! (In answer to your first question)

Ah didn't spot the link - probably a little tiddly at the time so I'll blame that :wink:

Looking at the spec again
- looks like entry level Simano gear
- No-name forks - hmm, but can replace them later if needed (probably at the same cost as the bike!)
- Never heard of Promax Brakes so looked on the net and came up with this:
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/disc_brake_ ... 4096.shtml
They are entry level disk brakes, surprise, seems they may be ok if you set them up right, but a nightmare if you don't.

And yes, after much head scratching, I finally found a way into Brian's puzzle last night :D :D :D :lol: :D . I also have just a couple of clues left in your crossword, which have me flumoxed :?.

Excellent puzzles from all, thankyou very much. I really need to try creating one next year - I think that would be a fair bit harder than doing them tho'

Viv

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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long » Wed Dec 29, 2004 17:54

Looks like I may have been generous to Neroli on her trashing list so far.....

While cleaning the bikes at the end of today's ride, I checked Neroli's front forks. Either they are completely dry of oil, or she has managed to bend them :oops: or both. Either way, they don't really provide any shock absorption at the moment and if you do manage to get them to compress - they stay down for a fraction of a section after the pressure is released, then spring up in a sudden uncontrolled movement. They are not a happy pair of front forks.

If we end up having to replace them it is possible that we will have spent more money keeping Neroli on the road than me.....
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Post by Ian Long » Wed Dec 29, 2004 18:16

Back to the original theme of this thread......

I would agree with S+V that the Halfords option inspires more confidence.

When we bought our bikes at the beginning of the summer Neroli and I suffered a similiar dilema. How much did we want to spend / what did we need / were we going to really get into mountaing biking?

As it turned out the decision was pretty much made for us as during a trip to the States we realised bikes were half the price there than they are in the UK, so we made a pair of impulse purchases then got hammered for import duty. :(

For Neroli we bought the cheapest bike we could find with front forks and disk brakes in a frame size that would fit her. It had basic rock shoks suspension and mid range Shimano components (XL). We spend half as much again on my bike and got slightly better forks, fully hydralic disk brakes and better Shimano components (XT gears but generic bearings). Our hope at the time was that these bikes would see us through our honeymoon in the Lakes and last long enough that by replacing bits and pieces as they failed we would be in a position to know what we wanted/needed from a mountain bike by the time we had to replace them.

7 months on, I think we didn't do too badly. The bearings on my bike have let it down and can be expensive to replace. The wheels were one of my biggest concerns but both pairs appear to be standing up well. Having my front forks serviced (£30 @ Bad Ass Bikes - excellent self employed bike mechanic 0117 9410434) made a huge difference to their performance. The bikes have lasted well enough that if I had to replace them now, I would have a fair idea what budget and spec to go for. Adrian is currently considering replacing his bike as it is largely worn out after 7 years service. I know there is very little chance that my bike will last 7 years, to be honest if I am still riding it in a year I will be very pleased, 2 years and I will be stunned. The frame on my road bike broke after 7 years and it doesn't get anything like the abuse, so I can't see it lasting that long.

In total, by the time we had made import duty and VAT, Neroli and I spent a total of £500 on our two bikes. With that in mind, along with the general theme of the responses on this thread, I think the Halfords options sounds like the best compromise in terms of durability and price. I suspect the hidden parts of the bikes direct will come back and bite you very hard early in the life of the bikes - riding through the winter is very hard on the bearings due to all the water and mud that is likely to find its way into them.

Also - if you are up in Ambleside. A good place to hire bikes is through Cycle Active 01768 881111. Although based in Penrith, they do most of their rides out of Ambleside and keep a well maintained stock of Kona bikes in Ambleside. Give them a call as they are based out of a guest house on the edge of Ambleside rather than in the main high street.
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Post by Al Donald » Thu Dec 30, 2004 17:24

Suppose I'd better offer my views, and with my engineer's hat on if I may:
As a colleague of mine once said "The pain of poor quality is remembered long after the pleasure of cheap price is forgotten". In other words, you get what you pay for, but also it's a case of horses for courses. I must admit I fell in to that trap myself :oops: and now regret it. I bought a "budget" set of suspension forks (£90) for my bike back in the summer and to be honest they haven't been up to the sort of riding I'm now doing, which OK is a little extreme perhaps.
My honest opinion is that the bikes shown in the link would not last very long in really rough terrain, and they'll also be comparatively quite heavy.
If you are serious about doing some proper mountain biking, I would suggest spending at least £400 and now is a good time to buy as 2004 models are being sold off "cheaply". Aim for a recognised make of frame and Shimano Deore as a minimum component quality level, and sealed bearings where possible.
OTOH if you just want to potter along fairly smooth tracks in dry weather (and there's nothing wrong with that) then the bikes you're looking at would be fine.
Hope this is of some help (probably not what you wanted to hear :) )

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Post by spinout » Thu Dec 30, 2004 22:36

Agree with Al here.

If you are going to use an MTB off road then really £350-400 is the minimum you can get away with _for a new bike_. If you are not then don't buy an MTB - get a Hybrid instead.

As Al said, look for decent frame (either cro-moly steel or alloy) and minimum of Shimano Deore components or similar (SRAM, Truvativ).

A friend's just bought a new bike as his Xmas present. Short list was Claud Butler Dawes (can't remember the name) or Giant XTC. Giant are the biggest bike Co in the world and hence use a lot of own brand parts. He got the Giant in the end. I think it cost around £350.

However, MTB's don't hold their value well (expect to lose 50% in first year) so there are bargains to be had second hand. You will find a lot of stuff on Ebay but I've bought a lot of gear from www.singletrackworld.co.uk. This is an enthusiasts forum with it's own classifieds section hence you usually get sound advice and the prices don't get bid up. Quite a few members from the Bristol area.

Having had my old Cannondale nicked earlier this year I ended up buying (seperately) a frame, forks, chainset, rear deraillieur and shifters secondhand. The rest of the bits were bought from John's Bikes in Bath.

Just my 10p's worth.
Carl

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Post by spinout » Thu Dec 30, 2004 23:00

This place seems to have some good deals..

www.paulscycles.co.uk

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