All day trail/XC hardtail buying advice

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  • All day trail/XC hardtail buying advice
  • yunki
    Member

    Cotic Soul would be the standard answer for that question, although I’m not sure if that would fit your budget..
    There’s some good second hand ones to be had

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Carbon 456 is not heavy, and looks like a good versatile HT – ridden with plenty of people who rate them. Cheap as, so you could build it up with some nice wheels and a decent fork. Not a looker.
    One of the cannondale trail bikes will give you a classy, light Al frame for all day xc. Prob at the expense of the componentry, though, so the overall package may not be as attractive.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    Depends on what you call light, etc but (in classic recommend your own bike stw tradition) I’m really impressed with my new Spesh Carve 29er.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    On-one Scandal 29er?

    I’ve got mine set up with 100mm forks and a triple and it’s actually pretty good as ‘a bike’ – I was expecting it to be more of a handful ont he woodland singletrack.

    beas1981
    Member

    Hi all. I realise that it’s all subjective, but I wondered if anyone had some pointers before I go around various LBS to have a sit on the bikes…..

    I’m after a new £1k-£1.5k hardtail. I’ve had a full sus and whilst I loved it I missed the feel of a hardtail. I want something that’s comfortable for long(ish) XC rides, light in case I fancy a bit of racing, but also something that’s capable of fun (ie not a race focused Scott Scale kind of thing!). Basically a fun XC hardtail if that exists!

    I’ve just sold my Transition TransAm as I found it too heavy (I know that not just the frame’s fault), so I’m not interested in Orange Crush, BFe, 456 etc

    I was thinking along the lines Giant XTC composite, Whyte 901/905 or possibly a Cube Reaction.

    Any thoughts?

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    Can’t come up with any negatives about my SC Highball. Does ok for racing, got down Fort Bill red OK and around all the Scottish trail centres. It is comfy enough, light enough and efficient. Just does everything really.

    Like others on here I think you need to be looking at a 29er, alu or steel, 100-120mm forks. It would tick the boxes and offer the versatility that you require. Mine…

    So take a look at SC Highball, Cotic Solaris, Kinesis FF29 for starters

    beas1981
    Member

    Yeah, I should have guessed the Soul would come up. I know they’re very good but to be honest I want to try something further away from my TransAm – ie not steel. Perhaps I’ve been too quick to write off 29ers. The Carve and SC look very nice, especially the SC. I’m just from the 26 generation and not convinced by 29ers yet!
    I’m not obsessed with weight but I just don’t want a heavy hardtail.

    core
    Member

    You’ll struggle to find a new 26″ wheeled bike in that price range (if you don’t want steel), so it’ll have to be 650b or 29er from one of the main players I feel.

    I had a cube hybrid once, was the worst feeling bike I have ever ridden, don’t know why, maybe it was just heavy, but didn’t like it one bit, just felt dead.

    http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/Maxlight/

    core
    Member

    I also like the look of the Jamis stuff.

    andypaul99
    Member

    Ive been really pleased with the XTC composite 29er, i have the 2013 1 model, great frame, not harsh for a carbon framed hardtail and comfy on longer rides as it feels quite like a trail bike, weighs 26lbs even with the quite heavy standard wheels. I just think for the money its a good all rounder.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you can find a Ragley Ti, they are kind of incredibly awesome… Might sound like a bit much for your all-day brief but they really do make for excellent milemunchers and unexpectedly good climbers (mate of mine borrowed it to race the glentress seven and found it good)

    In exactly the same boat – puzzled that xtc’s only get so-so reviews and intrigued by FF29. But also getting to th age where my back might just prefer a FS even though I have only ever ridden HTs. Was going to get Trance 29er until Giant told me that 29ers don’t work!!!!

    beas1981
    Member

    Kinesis is interesting thanks. I think I’ll just have to trawl around all the LBS and get testing. My kind is opened to 29ers though! Thanks.

    karen805
    Member

    Very happy with my Whyte 805.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow
    Subscriber

    Someone’s selling an Ibis Tranny for £500 on the Classifieds. Definitely worth a look I reckon.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    How’s about a Kona Explosif 650b for a classic Goldilocks hardtail – not too racey not too hardcore not too light not too heavy etc

    Oh and its bang on budget and has a decent spec with mostly SLX

    Anyone know a shop that demos FF29. There are the guys in Brighton (Ride 5 I think) but looking for somewhere a bit further north. Preferably to demo in S Hills or Swinley areas.

    Painey
    Member

    I was in exactly the same position a while ago and settled on one of the new Canyon 29ers. Full on Carbon frame, very lightweight etc for less than £1.5k. I demo’d a few Giant bikes and didn’t like the feel of them, or the spec really. The frame on those also weighs 1.3kg, the Canyon 300g less and is a better frame anyway.

    Think it was what mountain bike mag did a group test and it came a close second, albeit a more expensive version but with the same frame. Mind you, they’re not without their issues. Mostly build quality in my experience. You have to be reasonably handy in the garage.

    b r
    Member

    I had an XTC carbon, bugger all mud room even with 2.1’s.

    In best STW tradition, what I ride. A 456Ti. As light as you’ll need, comfy, plenty of mud room with big tyres.

    But, if I was buying now I’d look at a 29er version. So maybe the Titus Fireline (also from On One).

    jdeasey
    Member

    Beas1981

    If you are small and fancy a barely used 2013 Whyte 629, (small) mine will be up for sale in a couple of weeks.

    Rides great and would be a superb all-day XC machine

    Premier Icon mccraque
    Subscriber

    On one lurcher or race 29. I went for the race. It’s fast. Strava tells me it’s quick on the ups, and not far off my fs on the downs. And its comfortable for all day riding.

    bikeneil
    Member

    Bache Brothers Cycles in Stourbridge have a medium FF29 with hope/stans tubeless as a test bike. 01384 891174

    rewski
    Member

    @ teamhurtmore – you tried upgrade or freeborn for a demo ff29, they’re Horsham area.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Kinesis FF29, even though I don’t own mine anymore it’s one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden

    beas1981
    Member

    @jdeasey thanks for the offer but I’m 6’2!!!!

    I’ve got to say I really like the look of the Kinesis stuff, but also still like the Whyte. 456ti is lovely but probably out of my price range.

    Decisions decisions…..!

    Thanks for all the advice!

    Thanks rewski

    beas1981
    Member

    … and many apologies for the “what bike should I buy?” thread!!!

    jdeasey
    Member

    Ha ! No worries – nearly a whole foot difference 🙂

    beas1981
    Member

    Just seen Paul’s cycles are selling 2013 Cannondale SL1s for £750, well down from their rrp of £1100. They seem to have some decent kit on them. Seems like a bit of a bargain – lots of money left over too! Any thoughs on these? main concern is that Cannondale seem to have a liking for strange size headsets. Is this still the case? There is mention of a ‘custom’ 1.5 headset…

    Also any idea of the weight of the bike. Can’t find it in google

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’m guessing this fails on the Not Steel idea but my mate (LBS owner) just picked this up for some training miles. Looks great, spec is good and the price is good too (in Oz no idea about uk) Weight was sensible too.

    http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applications/JamisBikes/MyJamis/consumer/bike.html?year=2013&model=Dragon%2029%20Race&cat_grp=mtb29_3

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