The return to MTB’ing – on the cheap

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  • The return to MTB’ing – on the cheap
  • nathb
    Member

    Hey,

    Moved to West London a few years ago and sold off my MTB and kit, now I’ve moved out to the sticks (Kent) I want to try get back into it, just to give me a break from road. Don’t want to wait for months saving up so I’m looking to purchase a cheap sub £5-600 29er hardtail in the next couple of weeks, keeping a look out for second hand ones.

    Heard good things about Voodoo and can get circa 20% off, but are there any others I should be looking at? I’m out of touch with “standards” these days but something that is upgradable and can fit a internally routed dropper would be nice.

    On the voodoo’s, which is the better of the two models:

    1) Bizango – https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/voodoo-bizango-29er-mens-mountain-bike-16-18-20-22-frames?_br_psugg_q=bizango

    2) Bokor – https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/voodoo-bokor-mens-29er-mountain-bike-18-20-22-frames?_br_psugg_q=bokor

    Thanks!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    You should have bought my Parkwood yesterday… IT’s now not for sale.

    There’s this though https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/On-One-Parkwood-29er-Mountainbike-18-Pike-Fork-Reverb-Dropper-Post/132768109302?hash=item1ee99892f6:g:gh4AAOSwm9lbjYs~

    With the Forks and the dropper that’s an absolute bargain that…  Sure it needs a saddle and doesn’t appear to be a pride and joy type bike.. .but, if you factor in the bits etc, it’s way better than the new one.

    Premier Icon superstu
    Subscriber

    Not heard good things about the Judy fork, think I’d prefer the bizango which is a great bike for the money.

    This is £770 but can get 10% off with BC discount

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobile/vitus-sentier-29-hardtail-bike-deore-1×10-2018/rp-prod159766

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    The Voodoo’s are great value.

    As above, secondhand with care can be amazing, if you’re happy to be fussy.. I’ve just picked up FS bikes (Norco Fluid) with full Deore for £600, there are some nice 29er HT with lovely kit/forks/wheels on for £500 odd regularly, which will be lighter and more durable than the Voodoo’s.

    For real value, look at 26″….

    nathb
    Member

    @weeksy – after my London road fiasco I vowed never to touch PX/On one ever again 😆

    cheers @superstu I’ll check that out.

    @matt_outandabout didn’t even consider FS!! Ta

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’ve got one of them Nath, it’s a great bike for the money… You’d do VERY well to better that spec for £500

    nathb
    Member

    Sorry @weeksy Can’t even entertain the thought of riding one, that’s one thing I won’t ever compromise on. Even if it was £250. 🙂

    nathb
    Member

    Haha not crazy, just principled 😆

    cheers for the links/ideas

    tom13
    Member

    Look out for a second hand Boardman Pro (green/black). They don’t sell for much, I sold mine for about £450 but it was a really good bike. Only sold it as I went for a Stooge.

    I’m currently rattling round the South East on a Charge Cooker, rigid 29er. So far it’s cost me £150 to buy if off the classifieds here, and a new chainset I had in the spares bin as one of the bolts sheared off. Mountainbiking is great when done on the cheap!

    I think you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face not considering that Parkwood, how many <£500 29er bikes do you see with Pikes?

    wooderson
    Member

    My little sis has just ridden her bog-stock Bizango from Banff to Albuquerque  on the Great Divide trail. I think she got it for < £500 with BC discount in a spring sale. So much bike for the money and it’s really thoughfully designed and specified to get the most out of modern geo, short stem/wide bar and fast rolling Maxxis tyres.

    Get it bought!

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    Your sister is a flippin legend – that’s awesome work!

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    My Charge Cooker Plus is in the classifieds if you don’t mind a drive (/end shameless plug)

    My little sis has just ridden her bog-stock Bizango from Banff to Albuquerque  on the Great Divide trail. I think she got it for < £500 with BC discount in a spring sale. So much bike for the money and it’s really thoughfully designed and specified to get the most out of modern geo, short stem/wide bar and fast rolling Maxxis tyres.

    Get it bought!

    This needs posting on every “I can’t decide which ultra niche bearded framebuilder / lifestyle brand to buy a bikepacking bike from for my commute and annual bivi trip for instagram” thread.

    scuttler
    Member

    This needs posting on every “I can’t decide which ultra niche bearded framebuilder / lifestyle brand to buy a bikepacking bike from for my commute and annual bivi trip for instagram” thread.

    lolz.

    How far, how long Wooderson?

    If you intend to ride through the winter in Kent (whereabouts are you roughly ?)look for a bike with some good mud/wheel  clearance ,its no fun dragging a 50lb mud blocked and locked bike around by it’s  bars .Modern bikes are getting much better in this respect as many are designed for wider tyres but worth thinking about.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I’m selling my large mk2 Cotic Solaris for not much more than your budget. Drop me a line if it might suit you…

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Subscriber

    That Solaris looks nice.

    I’ve got a Bokor and really like it. I’ve raved about it on other threads. Unfortunately you just missed a sale where it was basically the same price as the Bizango. The difference between the two is basically the fork and the Bokor has a bolt through rear axle whereas the Bizango has some sort of 141mm qr or other. Don’t forget they also do a 10% British cycling discount.

    sirromj
    Member

    I’d forget about getting a FS on a tight budget. Rear shock will need servicing, shock mounts/bushings replacing, bearings replacing, that’s on top of the drivetrain and gear cables etc. Unless you’re planning on riding it twice and then storing it in shed to corrode.

    nathb
    Member

    @gravesendgrunt – Tunbridge Wells, aim is to make use of bedgebury forest?

    @chakaping – I’ll read up on it, looks a nice bike!

    @jeffl – yeah I was intending to use the BC discount and buy vouchers via corporate website (10% off). The bokor is 680 at the moment, has it been lower?!

    @sirromj – food for thought, cheers. I’ve also never ridden a FS before 😆

    @brassneck – will check it out thanks.

    @wooderson – that’s a bloody good endorsement!

    @thisisnotaspoon – I’m going to take my entitlement to dismiss a brand, I don’t wish to advertise their products. 🙂

    @tom13 – will add it to the list, cheers!

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    I’d be grabbing that Solaris quick time if i were you.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I can vouch that Chakaping looks after his bikes and is very fair with his pricing.

    I’m tempted to offer him a swap deal on a Scott CX10 Hahahahaa 🙂

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Nathb – as an aside your not far from Rollindonut.   When you have a bike it might be worth giving him a shout – he’s very a very racy (as are you on road), MTB’r and CX, but knows loads of excellent Kent trails right on your door step.  I’ve done 5hrs door to door with him without stopping.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Subscriber

    Sorry didn’t realise the Bokor was still on sale, my old eyes are deceiving me. I think I managed to get it on a day where there was a random 20% off all bikes in addition to the reduction that’s already on it.

    But as others have said that Solaris looks good, depending on the price.

    nathb
    Member

    Sorry still yet to read up on the Solaris, not contacted as until payday I can’t offer anything yet 😆

    Cheers @kryton57 – although I suspect it will be a while before I can do anything other than go in a straight line on it haha.

    Hoping they have a payday flash sale @jeffl 🙂

    Re. the Solaris – it’s quite like the Bizango but everything’s better about it. A brand new one would cost a lot and be well worth it!

    I recently bought my girlfriend a Voodoo Maji, which is a ladies version of the Hoodoo. Took it for a spin after bedding in the brakes and knocked 5 seconds off my favourite descent.

    My friend has the Bizango and it’s bags of fun for peanuts.

    Hi that was my on one Parkwood that weeksy posted the link to

    Iv bought a new hardtail so I’m quite keen to sell it so there is some room for a haggle in the price

    or I could fit a nicer saddle although the one fitted is very new just looks a bit crap

    let me know if it’s of use  it rides great and is a load of fun

    the forks are in another league to the revelation that it came with

    edit just read your post about a bad experience with on one before

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    I’m in Tunbridge Wells, although I’m riding mainly road these days. However, there’s decent riding at Bedgebury if you know where to look. Give me a shout when you’re here..

    I got into mountain biking (again) on the cheap by buying a bizango – add a dropper post and you have a versatile and capable bike.

    Recommended BUT I then spent the next couple of years upgrading parts, including the frame, so may have spent more than I needed to get to the bike i’m riding today, and still looking to upgrade brakes and fork…

    Happy, but next time i’d spend more time looking at higher spec secondhand bikes to genuinely keep the cost down.

    nathb
    Member

    @flange – I’m already in Tunbridge Wells, bought a house near the Pantiles late last year. Where abouts are you? Definitely up for a ride out sometime!

    I’ve bought a store bike before, usually just change out the BB/Chainset (saved 1+kg on a road bike) and leave it alone. If I buy one this time around I will probably do the same + dropper.

    I don’t think any store ones have come close to the bokor/bizango new so it’s between them and whatever comes up in the next couple of weeks. I will read up on the above bikes when I get a moment.

    nathb
    Member

    Sorry something came up, naturally, when you want to spend some cash on cycling life gets in the way. Had to slash my budget to £300ish this month so that rules out the bikes offered sorry.

    Also out on @weeksy ‘s FS bike tomorrow so who knows what I’ll want after that 😆

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’m going to be mightily curious as to how you enjoy the T-130. You MAY find it a smidgen small for you, even though we’re very similar heights… I tried the large and the Medium and the large felt massive to me and unweildy… the M felt brilliant so that was the one i kept.

    £300 ain’t getting you a T-130 though 🙂

    nathb
    Member

    Looking forward to it!!

    I think I’ll be sticking to hardtails, probably a bokor/bizango, maybe even second hand. See how much I use it before investing in a FS/better HT next year. I have my eye on the new S5 Disc though 😆

    Bloody house should be finished by the end of this year….

    Sugar2
    Member

    Just did the same thing, after 12 years solely on the road, I have purchased a 2018 Voodoo Bizango, absolutely superb had it since June and I am really impressed with it, a fantastic bike well specced 1x 11 speed drivechain, a frame designed by Joe Murray, Boost’d..29″ wheels, bolt through axle and a decent Raidon 120mm fork, I have ridden it a lot it has been brilliant at Bedgebury and I have used it for a couple of laps twice a week, trips to the South Downs have been fantastic to experience again and I just got back from the Surrey Hills after a couple of days riding, the bike has been faultless, a tad heavy and not a pure XC, more ‘trail’ orientated, I am well chuffed and for £500 I paid interest free too, it whipped everything else in the MBR £750 hardtail of the year. I have stuck a BrandX dropper and a new set of grips on it, Job done awesome bike.

    I am in T Wells Town Centre too and up for a ride as and when

    nathb
    Member

    @Sugar2 Thanks for the review of it!

    Nice that you’re local, what do you think of Bedgebury? Where do you think the weight is on it?

    ta11pau1
    Member

    I’m in Maidstone (used to work in Tunbridge Wells) so Bedgebury is technically my closest trail centre.

    It’s not a bad place, it is fairly flat though so expect lots of pedalling! The car parking can be quite expensive (£12 at weekends) but there’s a layby on the A21 which will get you riding there for free 😉

    The good thing about Bedgebury is that it’s ridable year round, a lot of the non trail centre riding in Kent is unridable once it’s properly wet – it’s mostly a mixture of chalk, flint and thick, gloopy mud. My local riding on the North downs is like this.

    There’s more riding nearish too if you explore, for instance:

    Friston Forest (highly recommended, but only in the dry)

    Surrey Hills

    Swinley (another all weather trail centre)

    Biketart (near Canterbury) have a Saturday morning ride in covert woods every 2 weeks which I’ll try and get on

    I returned to mountain biking around 6 months ago, after a 15 year gap – I demo’d a few bikes, hardtails and full suspension but decided at 37 that a FS was the way to go, I don’t regret it one bit. A lot of that was down to a lack of fitness however, I needed the comfort aspect! My fitness has improved masses in the last 6 months, so if you’re reasonably fit then a hardtail will be more than enough.

    Sugar2
    Member

    I actually really like Bedgebury, the more I ride and know it the more I have enjoyed it, it’s been dry this year and the trail is in very good condition even after the recent down pours it has shed water well…..twice round has been a good workout both in technical and cardiac terms for me; the Bizango feels in it’s element. Was odd after a road bike for so long to get back on the dirt…..love it though.

    I  prefer the South Downs as natural terrain rather than Trail Centres has always been my thing, now doing 25-40 mile rides as bought a Garmin 820 and have used it to navigate many gpx routes and save for a few issues it has been a great way to get a good ride in on unknown routes and areas.

    I started off on HTs and cantilever brakes in 1989 in the Peak District (!) and went on to FS when they arrived, V brakes, discs et al. I like the simplicity and look of a HT but have had to pick my lines at times…however 29″ wheels and dropper post are simply revolutionary for me as are the new frame angles, short stem, 1x drive and Maxxis tyres!

    I am used to spending a wad on my road bikes, but I am blown away at how the Bizango rides for such a modest outlay, it has truly blown me away and I have had a fair few HTs back in time, SWorks M2, M4’s, Enduro’s, Giant’s, On One Inbred, Cannondale’s etc.

    kelron
    Member

    I like Bedgebury. It’s more undulating than Swinley – shorter up and down but fewer flat connecting sections. The trail features are all small but quite well spaced out along the route. It’s about an hour for a full lap so a good place to learn if you’re local.

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