Confused Roadie Seeks Sub 1K MTB

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  • Confused Roadie Seeks Sub 1K MTB
  • turq

    Take a look at the Ragley frames, pretty cheap but good quality steel frames. Nice geometry that would suit the Peaks/Dales but equally happy in local woods/towpaths.

    I’m sure you could build a nice bike up for the £1000 mark.

    Premier Icon brassneck

    I’d check out Charge for nice chassis to build on (sub 1K will either get a nice frame or nice components.. possibly both mail order, but I assume you already know the importance of fit), and I wouldn’t restrict myself to 26″ wheels but try all the flavours.

    Premier Icon stimpy

    As turq above; or I’ve just built up a 26″ inbred (on-one) for only a few hundred quid.

    If 29er is also an option (I reckon you’ll feel more planted/less skittish on a 29er than a 26er) then maybe think about a Cotic Solaris or an El Mariachi? They’d tick all the other boxes.

    If you like Soul why not just build up a Soul? You could do it for about 1200 I reckon, maybe a touch more. New frame and forks and a few bits and bobs from the classifieds.

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    I’d just stick a wanted thread up for a XL Soul, frame or bike.
    see what turns up, Buy the nicest one you can find.
    That said, £700 would get you a new frame and fork, that leaves £500 for ribble/merlin deore groupset and some shimano wheels, tyres and contact points.

    Yeap £1200 should about do it new, or £1k sh

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    @turq – the piglet looks quite good, hadn’t considered building anything up until now.

    @brassneck – the cooker looks OK but they all seem to be 29ers

    @stimpy – Have been looking at the inbred or the 456 evo.

    @joolsburger – the cotic frame would blow half my budget, it’s probably too much bike for how often I’ll be using it.

    @Speshpaul – There are some good deals to be had, I forgot all about Merlin, for £30 more I can get XT! (I’m assuming that XT is still the number 2 groupset)

    Without wanting to step into the 26 v 29 thing the 29ers aren’t my cup of tea, I couldn’t ride a bike I didn’t like the look of.

    I didn’t want to build a bike however seing the bargains that are flaoting round it’s an option I’d be daft to overlook

    Yeah I know its half the budget but it’s all about what you want, isn’t it? Why bother getting something you ultimately will feel less happy about if you can get what you want for the right money?

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    Hello All – my first real post, be gentle!

    Hopefully this wont be yet another “what bike for £x” thread, I know roughly what I’m after, the type of riding I’ll be doing and how much I have to spend. What I lack is knowledge of the current MTB market.

    I’ll explain, I’m an old school MTB to roadie convert and for reasons of space, practicality and family it’s looking likely that I’ll be selling my TT bike and looking for a sub £1k hard tail MTB. If I let you know what I’ll be doing with it could you chip in with suggestions of bikes that spring to mind please? My knowledge of the current MTB scene is none existent.

    The £1k thing isn’t set in stone I’d probably be willing to stretch the budget a bit if the right bike came along but bear in mind that I’m still a roadie and this would be my number 2 or 3 bike so I don’t want to go daft. (Me and my 1st World problems :rolleyes:)

    I’m 6’2″ ish and prefer “sturdy and reliable” to “boutique bling” I’d be doing all day rides in the Dales over proper roots rocks and mud so it has to move predictably under me. I’m not fussed on anything geared towards trail centres as dolomite leaves me cold. My handling skills are still reasonable but I’d prefer something that wasn’t too skittish please.

    My tick list goes something like this
    Rides well
    26 inch
    Hydro Discs
    Handlebar that doesn’t look like it belongs on a shopping trolley!
    Aesthetically if it could look like a Cotic Soul then that would be peachy.

    Does anyone have any ideas?



    Keep an eye on pinkbike etc, I picked up a second hand road bike last week for an absolute bargain, and it’s mint.

    Premier Icon jonathan

    I was about to say at 6’2″ you’d be ripe for a 29er… there’s some seriously good value bikes about, particularly if you nlook away from steel.. eg: or (for even less)

    Sticking to 26″ wheels and plumping for steel means that, to be honest, you’ll struggle to get really good value at the moment – it’s just not in tune with what the big volume guys are making. How about the “new way”… 650b:


    If build it yourself is an option then there are some really nice frames out there – I bought myself a now discontinued Orange Pure 7 a couple of years back, but I believe Genesis sell a really decent steel hardtail frame – it’s worth checking out.

    As for suspension, a Sektor is all the fork that any of us need. The groupset is down to personal preference, but there’s not a great deal in between SLX and XT in terms of performance. Easton Havoc bars, a 60mm stem and a Charge Spoon will see your contact points right too – all can be had for not a lot of cash.

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    Hmmm. I’ve got an almost new Sanderson Life (Reynolds 853 tubing, usually seen as a worthy competitor to the Soul, some even prefer it…), with almost brand new Deore 10 speed groupset (ridden about 5 times), new Deore disc brakes, carbon seatpost, Easton handlebars, Mavic wheels. Essentially almost brand new as shortly after I built it up I bought a big and bouncy FS bike for the Alps. I’ve now moved to a smaller house and am in the process of clearing bikes out. I’ve been in two minds about selling this as it is such a good bike, but I probably will.

    All told it’s about a £1300 build. I would be looking for about £750. I’m 6’3″ so it is just the size. Email me on ben(AT) if you’re interested and I’ll take some pictures.


    Under 1000, future proofed, a good looking bike, and all the bits are Shimano.

    It’s 26″ brother is £100 cheaper, but it won’t take a tapered fork, which will severely limit fork choices down the line.

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    @honourablegeorge when you say

    but it won’t take a tapered fork, which will severely limit fork choices down the line.

    What do you mean can you not buy straight forks? (Sorry thick roadie here)

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    New steerer standard (the tube that goes through the head tube on the frame) is for a tapered steerer – usually 1.1/8 at the top tapering out to 1.1/4 at the bottom, even 1.1/2. Supposedly stiffer (which I don’t doubt), whether you really need the stiffness is another matter.

    To accommodate you need a larger DIA head tube; if the frame you choose has a 1.1/8 head tube you’ll only be able to fit 1.1/8 straight steerer forks. If you have a wider head tube you can fit the tapered forks OR step it down to fit 1.1/8.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    And don’t discount 29ers or even 650b too easily. While I don’t think 26ers are dead, there’s no doubt for wheels on the ground trail / xc riding the major kit and equipment manufacturers are definitely moving more and more in that direction.

    Adding Singular to the mix.

    If you’re keen on a 26″ wheel bike then buy used.
    People are moving away from them (due to worries about future-proofing, rightly or wrongly). Second hand values have dropped hugely because of this.

    Have a look at the spec on this (colours are crazy):

    Premier Icon jonathan

    Another one (if you can stomach the big wheels) – a grand, proper skinny steel:

    gypsumfantastic – Member

    What do you mean can you not buy straight forks? (Sorry thick roadie here)

    You can – but the choices are dwindling – lot of new forks simply aren’t being made in straight steerer. Not a problem if you buy second hand, but it’s already starting to be a problem for new.

    Premier Icon mboy

    Get yourself one of these…

    The KTM Ultra 1964, 950 of your English Pounds, and one of if not the best sub £1k bargain around at the moment. You’ve got tapered steerer Reba’s, Deore/XT 10spd, 650b rims, Schwalbe Racing Ralphs etc. for £950! It’s light too…

    If you can find one in stock in your size (they are a limited production run), snap it up!

    Hve you not just perfectly described an on one 456? Also as mentioned Ragleys are awesome.

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    gypsumfantastic – Member

    Without wanting to step into the 26 v 29 thing the 29ers aren’t my cup of tea, I couldn’t ride a bike I didn’t like the look of.

    you say you’re 6’2″, and a roadie.

    being a roadie, you’ll know you want a bike that fits properly.

    being 6’2″, that’ll be a 20″ frame – unless you’ve got silly short legs or something.

    20″ 26ers look minging.

    20″ 29ers look like 18″ 26ers.


    Premier Icon tuskaloosa

    A few Souls on PB, below just one of them

    Large Soul

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    @johnnyboy666 I really like the look of the 456 but now all this talk of 29ers and obsolete steerer tubes has put the cat among the pigeons.

    Honest question given a 29ers increased wheelbase, do they not corner like an oil tanker? There’s 10mm difference between my summer and winter bikes and I can tell the difference on the road despite the near identical geometry. Also why is there nothing more than 100mm travel on a 29er fork?

    I’m also assuming that 650b is the same as 27.5, which means shorter wheelbase, shorter chain stays and a tighter turning circle. Giant have gone full 650b have they not? Boardman have eschewed the 26 for 29 and 650 and Chris has always been known for analysing his equipment to the far end of a fart. There could be something in this.

    What are your thoughts on the On One 45650b?

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    gypsumfantastic – Member

    Honest question given a 29ers increased wheelbase, do they not corner like an oil tanker?

    no, not at all, but they are ‘different’ – you may or may not like it.

    Also why is there nothing more than 100mm travel on a 29er fork?

    they are available, but i know what you mean – you don’t see them specced on hardtails.

    but being sensible for a moment, 100mm forks on a hardtail is fine, really – it helps now that modern geometry has caught up with our liking for slight slacker head angles.

    I’m also assuming that 650b is the same as 27.5,

    correct, the 27.5 thing has been dreamt up to make people think it’s halfway between 26 and 29 – but it’s actually much closer to 26 fwiw.

    Premier Icon whippersnapper

    If you fancied some ti this may well be what you’re looking for …ahem

    Premier Icon vincienup

    plus 1 for buying the frame you want. Buying a ‘next best’ (given that choice is a very personal thing) to get it this week is only going to make you unhappy with the bike until you eventually swap the frame, losing money on the first one in the process.

    If a Soul is what you really want, then it makes sense to buy one. Maybe skimp on cheap (heavy) wheels for a few months or get a s/h fork to make up the difference. Wheels are an easy upgrade to make at a later point and good place to save money if you don’t mind some extra weight.

    The steerer thing is a good point – tapered is the new standard, and having a straight 1 1/8″ steerer tube limits your choices but there are still options – especially looking at s/h forks. Moot anyway if a new frame as the current (Mk3) Soul has a tapered head tube and a 31.6 seat tube that makes it much easier to fit a dropper when you decide you need one (possibly never if more XC than trail). Bear in mind that you don’t want a big fork on a Soul – folks seem to tend to 120ish around the SW and 130 in the Peaks (generalisation, obviously) Rebas are a excellent choice – and still available in 1 1/18 as well as taper.

    If sh frames are ok, then you can pick up top notch late Mk2 Souls under £200 now – which changes the picture totally. If looking at sh, then really, read the geeky history page on Cotic’s site – ‘Mk2’ and ‘Mk1’ both cover quite a lot of differences – there are frequent minor tweaks, some quite important.

    At your height I’m not sure you want an XL (in Cotic, at least) – I’d take advice. I’m 5’11” and my Medium Soul is perfect. You may well be L.

    I bought a late Mk2 Soul just as Cy dropped the price on the old colours on Mk3’s but i’ve fogiven him for this now. 🙂

    I reckon a realistic all new Mk3 Soul build with a cheap but new fork is probably £1350 or so – but that’s a nice mid build with an ok fork – you could go sillier or cheaper. A sh frame would get you inside budget straight off.

    My Mk2 is running a tatty but sound 2008 Fox Float 150 shortened with spacers and a mix and match 1×10 setup – and I reckon I could build it again for under £900 including a nice wheelset, and I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    A 456 is quite a different bike, more like a Cotic BFe or Santa Cruz Chameleon – they’ll all build up into a bigger bike if you want but not be as springy and playful as a Soul. I have a Chameleon also and love it too – for different reasons.

    I’d recommend riding some bikes before choosing.

    Totally from leftfield since others are turning your head toward bigger wheeled mountainbikes – what about a cyclocross bike? You can get a nice crosser for £1k. My CX has seen much more use this last year than expected and is perfectly capable in the Peaks. I would not want to choose between it and my Soul if I had to cut down to one bike…

    Dont have any experience with 29ers but for a hardcore hardtail it seems at odds with the character of the bike. If you are looking for speed on non technical xc terrain then maybe but for anything else it seems pointless to me. The 45650b may be a good shout as from what I recall it has a tapered steerer. Tapered steerer is worth having as standards are going that way so easier future upgrades even if the stiffness increase is negligible for 99% of us. As for 650b, I would be extremely surpised if it was really much different than the 26 but potentially easier for future upgrades.

    How much travel were you looking at for this bike?



    Take a look at the Trek Stache 7 2013 model. A trail 120mm 29er hard tail that can be had for £900 from your local trek dealer or Evans cycles (with trade in). These were £1300 new. Only 19 and 21 inch models left now. Recon fork, Slx/Raceface group set, Bontrager finishing kit.

    Otherwise the on-one 45650b if they ever get stock.

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    After much deliberation, reading the interweb and speaking to people I came to the conclusion that 29 was the right choice for me and after even more searching and head scratching I opted for one of these.

    After looking at several 29ers in my price range the Boardman won on spec and price (10% off RRP plus 10% discount with my British Cycling membership).

    I took it out last night and it was super quick and with snappy handling. I was very impressed considering everything I’d read about 29ers meant I was expecting it to accelerate and turn like an oil tanker. Speed was really easy to carry through rougher sections.

    I’m going to flip the stem to put the bars in the right place, move the saddle back on its rails and that’s it. The fork is suoper plush and I suspect that it will just get better when I figure out how to twiddle the knobs and dials properly but that will come right eventually. The XT shadow mech that doesn’t flap around is brilliant, a proper innovation!

    It’s certainly different to the 26er I’ve been riding recently but not in a bad way, just different. I can’t wait to get it into the dales for a proper test.

    Cheers for the advice and the gentle shove towards looking at 29ers


    Lovely bike. I think you’ll find that the stem is already on the right way and the bars are in the right place. Bloody roadies 🙂

    Premier Icon gypsumfantastic

    mrbelowski – Member

    Lovely bike. I think you’ll find that the stem is already on the right way and the bars are in the right place. Bloody roadies

    going to get my spirit level on the saddle too 😆 no really I am!

    Premier Icon variflex

    definitely go 29 at your size and for the type of riding you want to do. Plenty of choice out there. If you can stretch to a self build then go with a Cotic Solaris as others have mentioned or if you can go Alu frame then that opens up a huge world of fun at the 1k price point.

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