The return to MTB’ing – on the cheap

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  • The return to MTB’ing – on the cheap
  • ta11pau1
    Member

    There’s some really good fun sections at Bedgebury which are worth having session on, just a shame the rest is fairly flat. Typically the best sections those the furthest from the car park too!

    I’m always up for a session at Bedgebury at the weekends though!

    Compared to Swinley, I’ve only ridden swinley once and bedgebury twice, Swinley has a bit more variety but I think it does have more flat parts but a bit better designed trails IMO, the new blue end section is meant to be good and there’s bigger berms throughout.

    Also there’s QECP which has a newish fantastic end to the blue run, its basically the best bits of bedgebury in the space of a mile or 2.

    nathb
    Member

    I went to Swinley today, think the non rooted sections would have been fine on a hardtail?

    Nice to know the Bizango keeps getting positive reviews!

    ta11pau1
    Member

    Yeah a hardtail will be fine at Swinley and Bedgebury, Swinley can be a bit uncomfortable with the trail surface but if you’ve got a decent level of fitness you’ll be fine.

    nathb
    Member

    Cheers guys!

    Current thought process is waiting for the Bizango or Bokor to come back on offer/second hand at a decent price.

    Meanwhile I’m trying to get my company to sign up to a cycle to work scheme, if they do I’ve got my eye on this:

    https://www.evanscycles.com/norco-fluid-fs-4-2019-mountain-bike-EV337727

    nathb
    Member

    Looking likely to be a slow process getting them to sign up to C2W, if at all…

    Are there any other circa £1200 full suspension bikes I should look at?

    Norco Fluid FS 4

    Marin Rift Zone 1

    Calibre Bossnut

    If C2W falls through then it will be back to the voodoo 🙂

    ta11pau1
    Member

    Some companies can take months to get C2W sorted.

    Look at the Vitus Escarpe too, I think the base model is about that price.

    Tbh that norco looks very good value for money, it’s a great spec.

    Voodoo Bizango gets a lot of love.

    Different option:

    Gooutdoors sells the “old” Calibre Bossnut V2 right now. For 0.9 k:

    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-bossnut-v2-mountain-bike-p403001

    Possible that you even get additional rebates…

    One of my bikes ist the Bossnut V2. Great, great bike. Small issues with poor pre-assembly from Calibre bikes and the RockShox fork will need some oil in the stanchions to run smooth (small service). But this bike is fun. The design is spot on. Neat trail bike.

    In your budget:

    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-line-20-mountain-bike-p414110

    But the 0.9 k is so much more value! And don’t know anything about the “Line 20”.

    nathb
    Member

    Cheers!

    There’s a 10% off code and cashback which brings the Bossnut Evo down to £850

    Work’s pushing back on C2W as they offer an interest free loan for 12 months instead – so may be the only realistic FS for the time being…

    brings the Bossnut Evo down to £850

    Yes – and the Bossnut V2 is a very good bike as well.

    Personally like the 2×10 on the V2 even more than the 1×11 with the Evo.

    nathb
    Member

    Yeah I want 1x – less maintenance 😆

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    I know it might be out of budget but I couldn’t help looking closely at the FS Calibre Boss Nut in Go-Outdoors last week. Amazed at what you get for £1k.

    nathb
    Member

    Yeah I think it’s between the Bossnut and Norco Fluid 4 at the moment…

    Bossnut is 850 with discounts but will need a dropper +100:

    Norco is 1100 with the trade in bike (next door neighbour has offered me his) has everything included and is a 29er, but are evans going to be around to use the warranty :/

    Decisions 😆

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’d go with the Norco on the basis of Brand support but likely its a better quality frame.

    winston
    Member

    For the extra £150 the Norco is the one i would have too. My mate has the Bossnut and its ok…..but I’m not sold on that suspension design, feels a bit agricultural – I reckon the Norco is the frame with more upgrade potential

    ta11pau1
    Member

    The norco over the Bossnut, every day.

    The norco frame is much better so when you come to upgrade some of the bits you won’t feel guilty hanging decent forks etc off a gate of a frame. The same frame is used on the £2k bike

    https://singletrackworld.com/2018/10/2019-norco-fluid-fs-1-first-look/

    It’s also got properly modern geometry like a short start tube which the Bossnut is known for being very old school on.

    kelron
    Member

    The Norco looks like a good deal. Not sure what the latest on Evans is but I heard Halfords and Sports Direct are looking to buy them so they probably aren’t going to disappear?

    Norco isn’t an Evans brand anyway, they’re just the UK distributor. I’d hope a brand that big would figure out a way to honour warranty claims.

    nathb
    Member

    Cheers!

    Norco release date seems to have been pushed back to December 🙁 I think that’s the one I’m going for as I won’t need to add/replace anything for a few years.

    In the meantime I’ve been lent a 26” boardman pro hardtail, so can at least explore the local trails while waiting for the Norco / if anything comes up second hand.

    Premier Icon Nobby
    Subscriber

    Sounds like a group ride is on the cards….

    Bedgebury has matured quite well & the trail builders learnt from earlier mistakes.  The red is much improved following integration of a few cheeky trails some were using anyway.

    Parking is mad at £13 a day but if you’re gonna be riding there regularly join the local club which gets you a season ticket for that, discounts in the shop & cafe and, I think, you still get either free bike wash use or the showers.  My understanding was that by buying the season ticket thru’ them all the cash goes into trail maintenance & not shared amongst all the other stuff down there.

    the Bossnut is known for being very old school on.

    My mate has the Bossnut and its ok…..but I’m not sold on that suspension design, feels a bit agricultural

    The Norco is for sure a neat bike. And 29er are fast (I have a 29er as well) – but in my opinion the Bossnut is simply fun. Geo is “old school”. Mmmh – the Bossnut is not the “long and slack” wonder sled. O.k.. But it’s playful and likes to jump. The fun factor is definitely designed into this bike!

    “Agricultural” feel of the suspension? Haha. Nice expression. But not really correct. For less than 1 k you get – with the Bossnut –  a RockShox fork and shock. The rear suspension is really spot on – and yes the fork feels “like a piece of wood” when new. But that’s a known RockShox problem – not a Calibre bike issue. I right away made the small service on the RockShox fork. PM600 onto the upper seals and onto the foam rings plus 5 ml damper oil into the lowers (there was barely a drop in!). Since that – an that is now over a year ago – the fork feels fine and the whole bike plush and stable.

    Parts which I don’t like on the Bossnut: the Formula hubs. And o.k. – the paint is soft like cheese.

    And Calibre bikes definitely has some quality assembly issues. But the design – and the frame – of the Bossnut is … fantastic. Nothing broke so far.

    O.k. – the front WTB rim is bend – but that’s from a ride where I should have taking my all mountain bike with 2.6 rubber instead. The Bossnut is NO Enduro bike!

    ta11pau1
    Member

    Sounds like a group ride is on the cards….

    Bedgebury has matured quite well & the trail builders learnt from earlier mistakes.  The red is much improved following integration of a few cheeky trails some were using anyway.

    Parking is mad at £13 a day but if you’re gonna be riding there regularly join the local club which gets you a season ticket for that, discounts in the shop & cafe and, I think, you still get either free bike wash use or the showers.  My understanding was that by buying the season ticket thru’ them all the cash goes into trail maintenance & not shared amongst all the other stuff down there.

    Count me in for that.

    There’s also the cheeky A21 layby parking if you’re just doing a quick session.

    nathb
    Member

    Cheers @nobby on the parking tip!

    Definitely up for a group ride once I’ve gained some confidence on the bike 😆

    I spoke to Evans yesterday who confirmed that the date being pushed back is at Norco l, not because of pre orders. They’re publishing the worst case date currently at 16th December. Feels too long to wait!!! 🙂

    I started looking at the FS3 which has a quicker delivery date, but then found this: https://www.evanscycles.com/norco-sight-a3-29er-2018-mountain-bike-EV306570

    😆 😆

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    +1 on the Solaris. So good, I have 2.

    nathb
    Member

    It’s @weeksy ‘s fault for lending me a FS bike, I’ve seen the light!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    £1300 cash 🙂

    ta11pau1
    Member

    £1400 gets you this now http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobile/vitus-escarpe-vr-suspension-bike-slx-1×11-2018/rp-prod159743

    If you want to have a look at mine (had mine for 6 months/500 miles) then let me know, it’s a cracking bike for the money.


    IMG_20180623_193543 by Paul SimsFlickr2BBcode LITE

    nathb
    Member

    Lol @weeksy it was a bit too small for me.

    Looks a very nice bike @ta11pau1 but think I’m going to stick to the Norco Fluid FS4 or Sight A3 if I get really impatient….

    nathb
    Member

    Got his old school 26 hardtail on loan until my bike shows up 🙂

    Going to check out the local trails/ get comfortable on a mtb again…

    nathb
    Member

    Just bought a Voodoo Bokor, will be purchasing a dropper for it asap – Norco won’t be released until mid December…

    Will be heading up to Bedgebury at the weekend if anyone’s around??

    Neat.

    Have fun!

    120 mm travel sounds for trail biking just right.

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    I’m not there this weekend but am pretty much every other weekend. Give me a shout if you fancy a spin

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Nice one Nath. We going to see some XC racing soon ?

    nathb
    Member

    Will do @flange as long as you don’t mind going slow!!

    haha @weeksy it’ll be ages before I progress from the blue sections, I basically didn’t want to trash a FS the first time out on it!

    This bokor came up at a price I couldn’t refuse, I should get my money back on it and I’m an impatient man. I’ve got a 170mm dropper in the post 🙂

    I think I’ll park up at Bewl water (£3) and cycle over to Bedgebury 😆

    kelron
    Member

    There’s limited free parking on the other side of Bedgebury, which leads straight into the back of the red trail too. I don’t feel too bad about using it, especially as it’s an easier drive for me, but might be less convenient from Tunbridge wells.

    nathb
    Member

    @rickonwheels

    How did you route your dropper on the bizango? Through the seat tube rubber grommet and under the BB up?

    Ta

    ta11pau1
    Member

    You can park here too – https://goo.gl/maps/cZ5WAdK5t9s

    You then ride a few hundred metres up the road to the south where you’ll see a paved entrance which is a bridleway, this takes you right into the forest and to the start of the red route.

    Sugar2
    Member

    I have a Brand X dropper on my Bizango, routed through the grommet on bottom of seat tube and then under the BB and up the downtube, works a treat and cables are unobtrusive, revelation for so much more control rather than the seat stuck up your arse throwing you over the bars. Have been riding my old On One Inbred at Bedgebury for last couple of weeks (blew the Raidon’s up….Halfords had them back to me in 10 days!) and found it absolutely horrid in comparison to the 29er and Voodoo geo, glad things have moved on.

    nathb
    Member

    Thanks @ta11pau1

    Cheers @sugar2

    Think I need to play around with the Judy settings, they seemed a bit stiff…

    nathb
    Member

    Did a few laps of Bedgebury yesterday – only fell off twice! I had my tyres at 25 psi and they were lethal on the rocks, especially the black run entrance (fall 1] 😆 So I adjusted down to 20 and avoided the rocks haha. The humps/jumps at the back of the forest are great!

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1932275990

    Bike size felt good, I went for the 18” over the 20” at 6ft so was a bit of a risk. Dropper was such a good addition!

    I need to play around with the fork though, the guy I bought it from was a body builder, so I can only get the fork to move 65 out of 120mm with 0 sag. Shock pump is on its way….hopefully it’s a case of following the setup manual.

    65 out of 120mm with 0 sag

    Hopefully it’s only the pressure…

    Once you are able to bike the fork with sag the bike totally with change.

    As long as you are waiting for your shock pump: you can release a bit of air without pump. Protect your eyes with some googles and push the valve – shortly – 1/10 of an mm in. Very little very short. (don’t forget to protect your eyes!)

    Now you should be able to push the fork much more “in”.

    If the fork is older (and o.k.) a small service will change a lot as well. Ask some friends how to do it. It’s 20 min of work.

    Great that you have some fun with your bike!!!

    nathb
    Member

    Yeah I’m hoping it is @andreasrhoen – cheers for the tips will give that a go.

    Need to buy some knee pads too 😆

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