Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After many years of road riding (initially forced upon me by my need to get to work and the authorities deciding I wasn't fit to drive...) I've given up risking my life avoiding 40T trucks hurtling past at 60mph so close I could touch them and decided to try and kill myself going off road instead. First step: buy an appropriate bike.

I'm lucky enough to live in Taupo, NZ and there are literally dozens of trails within 5-10 miles of my house (there are 4 within a 1 min ride, which are the trails I would no doubt ride the most). They are of varying difficulty, but none I would class as extreme. A lot are shared with walkers, have no drops/jumps to speak of, have some pretty long climbs and therefore some decent descents. The trails are mainly packed gravel/volcanic pumice which drains really quickly, so not a lot of mud but plenty of fine pumice dust which gets into everything! I would mainly be riding for pleasure/fitness.

After asking around, my own research and with the money I have to spend the general thought is a 29er trail/XC hardtail (I appreciate that there are varying opinions on this type of bike!!!)

I want to buy from a lbs and the 4 models I have got in mind are:

Scott Scale 960: http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/234246/scott-scale-960-bike/

Cannondale SL3: http://www.cannondale.com/catalog/product/view/id/31697/s/trail-sl-29-3/category/931/

Trek Xcal 8: Trek Bicycle

Specialized Rockhopper: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/rockhopper/rockhopper-pro-evo-29

I've taken all on (brief) test rides and none sang out "buy this one", they all felt good (to a novice rider).

They are all being offered for similar prices (within a couple of hundred dollars).

Like my approach to buying a road bike, I want the best bang for my buck, the best overall package when looking at the all the components as a whole. It’s just there are loads more components on a mountain bike to look at and frankly my head is swimming with trying to compare them all.

Which would you buy if it was your cash?

Do I save my money, buy the cheapest and spend the rest on accessories? Do I buy the most expensive and just don't tell the wife? Do I buy the one which I prefer the colour of...?

Any help is appreciated (and I will shout a cheeky beer if you ever find yourself in my part of the world)

Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded plea for assistance!
 

·
I ride bikes
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
What is your budget? Out of those 4 I like the Scott for a couple reasons.

1. If you really enjoy riding, you will eventually want to upgrade your fork to something more capable. the XC30 and XC32 on those bikes are okay, but very limited.

2. The drivetrain is really nice. The deore + XT rear derailleur will last a long time with great performance. It is one area that you wont need to upgrade.

3. The Syncros kit on the bike is pretty nice for an "in house" brand.

4. Shimano brakes.

5. Scott makes some of the lightest frames.

Now if it were me I would open up my list to other bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My budget is up to approximately NZ$1800 (US$1500). Maybe a bit more if I twist the wife's arm (beg more like. ..)

Gone are my carefree single days where 4 or 5 thousand spent on a bike seemed like a good investment ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
All those bikes are basically the same as far as I can see, except for the spec. has tektro brakes where the others have Shimano; for me that would be reason enough to cross it off the list since you don't have strong feelings about how it rides.

All the bikes you listed are big brands, at that price level you aren't really getting... well the frames and forks of all them are basically the same, whatever that tells you. Going to bikesdirect (Save up to 60% off 29ER Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29PRO SL) or performance might get you better components for the money depending on shipping/duties. That BD bike has a much better fork and derailleurs (which IMO don't really matter) but worse brakes; tough choice.
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1149547_-1_400327__400327
or 2014 Breezer Storm Expert 29" Mountain Bike - 29er Mountain Bikes plus enough left over to get a Reba fork.
 

·
I ride bikes
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
My budget is up to approximately NZ$1800 (US$1500). Maybe a bit more if I twist the wife's arm (beg more like. ..)

Gone are my carefree single days where 4 or 5 thousand spent on a bike seemed like a good investment ...
For $1800 NZ, you should be able to get a fantastic hardtail, or a pretty good FS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For $1800 NZ, you should be able to get a fantastic hardtail, or a pretty good FS.
You gotta remember I live in New Zealand! Everything is expensive here compared to the US. If I import, once I've paid import duty the savings are nearly gone plus I've had to wait for the bike!

Found this last night: 2014 MARIN NAIL TRAIL 29ER

Seems like a pretty good deal with good components
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Frame first, components next. They all work nicely when new and properly maintained. As they wear out or break replace with upgrades.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top