I'm back to mountain biking and STW. Some questions about bikes.

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  • I'm back to mountain biking and STW. Some questions about bikes.
  • Mackem
    Member

    SLX – damn good, hard to justify XT nowadays. (previously my default purchase).

    Shimano brakes better than Hope nowadays. (see SLX brakes).

    Hope hubs – great.

    Thompson still nice but expensive. Might want to look at dropper posts (by KS) – probably the best recent mtb invention.

    Junkyard
    Member

    SLX – this is the new LX / XT, right? I was lucky, last time around, without responsibility and a reasonably good job, I could buy XTR without feeling the pinch. Not so this time. Where does SLX fit in?

    IT is between LX and XT IMHO

    Axel sizes really confuse me as do the various methods for keeping wheels attached to the frame. Before it was simply QR skewers. A link to a good guide for this would be great.

    QR Then either 15 mm or 20 mm front maxle and a rear maxle
    Hope wheels and some others fit all sizes

    Gears – is the world heading towards 2 x 10? If so, is it normally the granny ring or the 42-46 toothed ring that’s missing? I always used road cassettes so don’t really mind kissing the granny, but would miss the 44t for long downhills.

    No they have nerw geraings and ratios for 2×10
    Yes they companies are still trying to sell us the latest new thing whether it is 10 gears or convincing us that 26 ” wheels are crap and you need either 650b or 29 ers. They do have stuff to sell how mcuh you buy into this is your choice tbh

    As I’m going to be looking for a 2nd hand, pretty traditional bike, do I need to care about all this stuff? Am I likely to get a 1 1/8″ headtubed, 26″ wheeled, tubed wheel set etc.

    Yes should be some bargains as the trendy “upgrade”

    Also, in case I end up buying bits from the classifieds, are these still the benchmarks for bits?

    Thompson – stem and s post – Yes if not a dropper
    Hope – hubs and brakes- yes for the price
    Reba / Rev- sort of
    XT drivetrain / shifters- at that price yes
    Mavic rims- Plenty of others good rims out there Stans for example
    Easton bars- as above – good but so are others
    King headset- if money is no object

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    There’s a name from the past! Hi again.

    Don’t worry about this 26 v 650b v 29er thing. Buy the bike you like! If it happens to be a 26″ wheeled hardtail with a straight 1 1/8th headtube you won’t suddenly find it difficult to get parts next week! Or even next year… Or even in 5 years time. The industry might be pushing 650b on everyone, but you try finding tyres for them most places! 29er tyres aren’t exactly abundant everywhere and they’ve been around for more than 10 years…

    SLX is the new LX indeed, only it’s better than that. Where with LX you could easily justify the extra cost for the extra performance of XT, with SLX if works just as well as XT only it’s a tiny fraction heavier.

    Brakes wise. Hope are as expensive as ever, perhaps even more so! They look nice, but you can get Shimano brakes much cheaper and they’re more powerful and easier to look after too! Avoid Avid like the plague…

    Hope hubs are still nice, but there are some worthy rivals these days.

    Rims wise, Mavic are still defacto for most people, but check Stans out if you want to go tubeless. They are lighter, wider and tubeless ready.

    2×10 makes sense to most people most of the time these days. You get very nearly the same overall range as with 3×9 but with less ratio gaps. You can choose your chainring sizes too, so if you want a 24/36 setup that’s great, but if you prefer taller gears you can go 28/42 no bother, or even 30/44 with XTR.

    Thomson (no “p” guys!) still make quality seat posts and stems. There are a number of worthy alternatives these days though. Usual names like Easton, Raceface, FSA etc still apply.

    Anyway… Hope that helps. It’s difficult to buy a bad bike, of even really bad components these days (Avid brakes aside!), and everyone has their own personal preferences. One thing you will find these days is stems are generally shorter than they used to be, and handlebars wider.

    Having had a 7 year break from riding whilst living in The Philippines, my wife, son and I (didn’t have those two when I last posted here) are probably moving to Qatar this August. It’s not perfect riding country but better than nothing.

    Oh man from the Philippines to Qatar. The Philippines has better mountain biking, what are you on man! :mrgreen:

    This is going to be a shock.

    Firstly, ‘hi’ and an introduction.

    I used to waste far too many hours on STW when all this was beige and maroon. I’ve loved bikes since I had pictures of Peaty on his GT LTS and Hans on his Zaskar on my bedroom wall. I’ve always had a softspot for beautiful hardtails. I’ve owned (since progressing from my Townsend with matching purple anodizing and snowflakes spokes) Genesis alu hardtail (Magura hydraulic brakes, Rockshox Judy, lemon Mavic rims etc), GT Avalanche, Canondale F3000SL (ex-team bike) Specialized Enduro M5 (my only full sus), and an On One 853 (geared). I grew up in Devon and spent most of my riding time on Woodbury Common (nr. Exeter, 15 mins from my door) and Dartmoor on special occasions.

    Having had a 7 year break from riding whilst living in The Philippines, my wife, son and I (didn’t have those two when I last posted here) are probably moving to Qatar this August. It’s not perfect riding country but better than nothing.

    My wife, when drunk a few years ago, gave me a £1,500 budget for a bike “when we live somewhere you can use it” and Qatar fits the bill. I’ll be scouring the classifieds in a couple of months for a lovely, 2nd hand, hardtail setup. I figure something like the On One 456 with 130-140mm forks, lots of Hope (I’m a big fan) and XT / XTR is do-able.

    So, my questions…

    650B vs 29″ vs 26″ … I’m 5′ 7″ so don’t see the need for 29″ wheels. I had an old hack with 700c wheels so do feel / understand there are benefits but not for someone my size. I’m worried that 26″ wheels seem to be going out of fashion and the choice now is pretty much 650b vs 29″. True? I do t want to end up with an obsolete frame / wheel set.

    Running tubeless was gaining popularity but I didn’t get around to it. It seemed like a faff, a weight penalty and limited tire choice. Is this still the case or do most people run tubeless now?

    Headsets. This really confuses me. It was all 1 1/8″ and King was the best. 1.5″ was for downhillers. Now lots of frames seem to be tapered. Are there good quality aftermarket tapered headsets available? Is there that much of a benefit in having a tapered head tube?

    SLX – this is the new LX / XT, right? I was lucky, last time around, without responsibility and a reasonably good job, I could buy XTR without feeling the pinch. Not so this time. Where does SLX fit in?

    Axel sizes really confuse me as do the various methods for keeping wheels attached to the frame. Before it was simply QR skewers. A link to a good guide for this would be great.

    Gears – is the world heading towards 2 x 10? If so, is it normally the granny ring or the 42-46 toothed ring that’s missing? I always used road cassettes so don’t really mind missing the granny, but would miss the 44t for long downhills.

    As I’m going to be looking for a 2nd hand, pretty traditional bike, do I need to care about all this stuff? Am I likely to get a 1 1/8″ headtubed, 26″ wheeled, tubed wheel set etc.

    Also, in case I end up buying bits from the classifieds, are these still the benchmarks for bits?

    Thompson – stem and s post
    Hope – hubs and brakes
    Reba / Rev
    XT drivetrain / shifters
    Mavic rims
    Easton bars
    King headset

    Thanks for reading what’s turned into a very long post. I don’t see any of the names I remember but hope STW lives up to its high standards of before.

    Thanks a lot,

    Mike

    …Sheeeet.

    That was SEVEN years 😯

    Doesn’t time fly, eh, kids.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Hi MCH. Did you not post on the legendary, original and infamous Picolax thread…?

    interfereswithbadgers – In theory, yes. But bike trails are a long way from where I live, components are extremely expensive and the places some people do ride frequently end and appear on someone’s private land.

    no_eyed_deer – it flies! and so much has changed. Wife, son, almost 30…

    jamj – I did. It was me going into hospital and sat on the loo. Thanks to bluetone, the day flew past.

    Thanks for all the replies. Looks like not too much has changed.

    I’m also very pleasantly surprised by what my budget’ll get me from the classifieds. I’m very excited. Bikes again!

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    more important updates:

    thebadger thread is still legendary.
    TandemJeremy got a lifetime ban.
    The site has been hacked on two occasions since you left.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    So, my questions…

    650B vs 29″ vs 26″
    The bike industry seems to be keen on 650b as the new “do it all” size. Some remain unconvinced…Right now, I still think your pick is 26″ or 29″, particularly if you’re looking second hand. If the trails are not too technical where you are I think I would go 29″ regardless of your height.

    Is this still the case or do most people run tubeless now?
    I would guess more people are on tubes than tubeless still but it is gaining popularity. I run tubes so am not in a great place to advice one way or the other

    Headsets. Are there good quality aftermarket tapered headsets available? Is there that much of a benefit in having a tapered head tube?
    Tapered is stiffer in theory hence the move in this direction. In my eyes, find a frame you like and just buy the forks and Hope headset that fit it. Don’t worry about the size.

    SLX – this is the new LX / XT, right?
    SLX is a very good rebrand of LX. It is bloody good kit and is functionally very similar to XT. I still think XT feels marginally “better” but really there is very little in it, you won’t go wrong with SLX.

    Axel sizes really confuse me as do the various methods for keeping wheels attached to the frame. Before it was simply QR skewers. A link to a good guide for this would be great.
    I don’t have a link to hand but increasingly you’re not getting QR on the front, 15mm or 20mm are both used and which one depends on the fork manufacturer. You still see QR on the rear but 12mm is becoming more common. If you have hope PRO2 hubs you’ll be fine anyway as they work with ore (all?) axle standards

    Gears – is the world heading towards 2 x 10? If so, is it normally the granny ring or the 42-46 toothed ring that’s missing?
    If anything it is going towards 1×10, a 36 ish tooth ring and a wide range cassette. However, fat boys like me would always want to have a granny ring so use 2×10. If you will use the big ring then keep it, people loose them as they weren’t being used and only served to bash on rocks. If you do use and don’t bash it on rocks then keep it.

    As I’m going to be looking for a 2nd hand, pretty traditional bike, do I need to care about all this stuff? Am I likely to get a 1 1/8″ headtubed, 26″ wheeled, tubed wheel set etc.
    There is certainly lots of the bikes you describe on eBay and the classifieds here as people want the newest thing. If you are happy not having the very latest gear then the above will be fine.

    Also, in case I end up buying bits from the classifieds, are these still the benchmarks for bits?

    Thompson – stem and s post – Yep, still good though dropper seatposts are increasingly popular
    Hope – hubs and brakes – Yes again, though after years of Hope brakes I’m increasingly thinking Shimano may be the way forward for my next purchase
    Reba / Rev – Yes again but look at the Sector as a cheaper option
    XT drivetrain / shifters – Yes, though SLX pushes it close
    Mavic rims – Possibly. Still good but many would argue Stans are better
    Easton bars – Still good, bars have got very wide over the last few years so you may fine 720mm is normal now
    King headset – I prefer Hope but you won’t go wrong with CK.

    Hope that helps!

    joshvegas
    Member

    I’ve just come back from Qatar three speed timetrial bike should be about right!

    Where do you plan to ride it?

    Premier Icon ononeorange
    Subscriber

    I’ve ridden in the Philippines and know what you mean about dead-end trails. How did you find living there?

    Thanks for the replies. Some good info.

    We’re now moving to Phuket so much better riding than Qatar. Qatar for the money. Phuket for the lifestyle; lifestyle won!

    Need to find shipping for two bikes and a child’s seat that won’t break the bank and then time to do some bike shopping!

    What did tandemjeremy do?

    No FredDibnah?

    I knew STW’d been hacked once hence the change from maroon and beige and lack of posting history.

    @ononeorange – We’ve loved living in the Philippines and kind of regret leaving… perhaps. Maybe nervous about leaving is a better description. It’s been more than 6 years so time for a new adventure. We went from being broke in a small flat in Kilburn to a 3 bed, 5 bathroom apartment on the 40th floor. A full time maid, a full time nanny and enough money for two cars and posh hotels whenever we want. What’s not to like* 🙂

    *Lack of outdoor space – it’s all about malls.
    Cost of living’s going up. Was 100 pesos to the pound when we arrived. 62 pesos now so our spending power’s taken a hit.
    A loooooong and expensive flight way from our parents / Patrick’s grandparents.
    A bit boring.
    With incredibly expensive electricity, we feel like we’re living someone else’s life. We have an amazing condo but can’t afford the AC!

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    26″ is dead unless you are tiny

    Bolt thru forks, QR rear on a HT is fine

    1×10 is all you need

    SLX is functionally good, only bling whores need more

    Tapered head tube is great

    Anyway, Qatar = sand & rock? Get a Fatbike

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    7 yrs? Good grief some of us have been here too long….And yet still Chris Martin et al are recording albums. You have failed. Shameful.

    You’ve missed half a dozen trends in that time, so just pick one and work your way forward. Slack angles, fat tyres, everyone needs a cyclocross, 1x?….

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Welcome back!

    What’s new in mountainbiking? Road biking and cyclocross!

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    Just caught your name in another thread OP.
    Been ages, welcome back and in the usual STW standards, I have nothing useful to help you with your questions. 🙂

    I remember you. Welcome back.

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    FredDibnah got banned, came back under the name PaddedBra, got banned, came back under the name PaddedFred, got banned, came back under the name ElfinSafety, got banned for life and now runs a Facebook based STW fan page of sorts called STW Argue.

    I think.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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