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  • What compromises would you make on a £1000 hardtail?
  • simon_g
    Full Member

    Trying to avoid this being a “haven’t bikes got expensive?” thread. Shopping around for a £1000 hardtail, ideally that I’m not going to feel the need to replace things straight off, and there are definitely compromises at that price point. So which of these are you absolutely fine with, would you put up with, or would put you off entirely? (all seen on various bikes around that price):

    – Heavy steel stanchion forks (XC30, Judy Silver, Recon Silver, etc) – this is a really common one

    – 2x drivetrain

    – 1x but 10-speed Deore with a Sunrace cassette

    – Alivio shifters

    – Tektro Auriga brakes

    – Shimano sub-Deore brakes (m315, m365, etc)

    – no-name generic hubs & rims

    – QR front and rear

    – wire-beaded tyres in a tread only suitable for the dry month of the year

    Full Member

    Why not look for used? A grand would get you a really nice bit of kit. Some of the Alpkit and Bird models come in at not much over that budget too and are pretty good spec wise. Genesis Tarn is also around that price.

    Full Member

    I’d not worry about gearing/shifting/cranks myself.

    Tyres i’d probably swap anyway, so another one.

    I’d like better forks over rubbish ones and i’m quite brake fussy so i’d personally like Shimanos.

    Free Member

    I’d not normally point at orange for value but…

    SRAM NX drivetrain 1×11

    Shimano Brakes

    Boltthrough fork for £1200 so find a deal on one of those?

    Full Member

    – Heavy steel stanchion forks (XC30, Judy Silver, Recon Silver, etc) – this is a really common one. No, as that’ll have a big effect on the ride and will not be cheap to replace,

    – 2x drivetrain. Yes, no issue with that, easy enough and cheap to convert 1x if needed

    – 1x but 10-speed Deore with a Sunrace cassette. Yes, Deore is good stuff and the Sunrace cassette’s are fine too.

    – Alivio shifters. No, Deore minimum for me.

    – Tektro Auriga brakes. Maybe, the old ones were not good but I gather the newer version is fine.

    – Shimano sub-Deore brakes (m315, m365, etc). Maybe, I think I’d prefer these to Tektro, easy and relatively cheap to replace if needed

    – no-name generic hubs & rims. Depends how generic and how heavy, some are better than others, but generally no.

    – QR front and rear. Not on the front but I’d be fine with a QR rear.

    – wire-beaded tyres in a tread only suitable for the dry month of the year. Yes, mainly as I don’t think I’ve ever bought a bike with tyres I like, I just assume they’ll always need replacing.

    Free Member

    2x drivetrain: so what?

    10spd Deore and Sunrace cassette: nothing wrong with either, I fit Sunrace cassettes to replace Shimano.

    Alivio shifters: dunno, never had them

    Tektro brakes: ditto

    Low end Shimano brakes: they’re fine

    QR front and rear: no big deal. I don’t have a bike with a through axle on the rear.

    Tyres: use until you need to replace.

    No-name Hubs and rims: could be OK, could be a dog’s dinner. Until you’ve ridden them you won’t know.

    The forks would probably be the most significant potential problem.

    A lot of “low end” kit is fine. It’s not quite as good as the expensive stuff but it works.

    Free Member

    I have a specialized fuse pro in the sale section – used under 20 times its as new £840

    got rebas, 1×11, dropper post, guide brakes, tubeless, modern geometry

    cost me £1350 last year (in the sale £1800 original price)

    only really using my road bike at the mo and too many bikes – hence its lack of use

    Full Member

    Nothing low end would bother me apart from the fork.

    i used to go riding with a guy from work, i had a 2k fs bike, he was on a £699 gt something or other ht.

    every time we hit something moderately bumpy he would be off, literally like a pogo stick into the bushes.

    After maybe 6 months, he bought some better forks, instantly, he could keep up with me almost all of the time.

    forks matter if you’re going offroad, kinda the point of an mtb, no?

    gears/brakes/cranks, not worried about those.

    Full Member

    Forks is the area I would not compromise on just because these i feel would have the most significant affect on handling vs the cost of upgrading.

    There are lots of good second hand bikes about, lots of people seem to build up nice hardtails then sell them on quite quickly. I saw loads on facebook when i was looking for a new bike for my son.

    Full Member

    – Heavy steel stanchion forks (XC30, Judy Silver, Recon Silver, etc) – this is a really common one – no, i wouldn’t expect fancy but a good suntour fork is half the price, lighter and performs better than a crappy RS. The speccing of lousy “fancy labeled” in place of something that’s actually good really annoys me at this price point.

    – 2x drivetrain – not really a compromise is it? Heck they still do xtr in 2x and 3x. Nx 1×11 is cheap but I’d take a better* 2x drive train over cheap 1x any day.

    – 1x but 10-speed Deore with a Sunrace cassette – deore works well and you’d not want a standard shimano 11/36 cassette on a 1×10, you’d be better off with 2x by far.

    – Alivio shifters – at a grand ish I’d be expecting deore really.

    – Tektro Auriga brakes –  I had old tektro years ago and they did their job a lot better than the (then) terrible xt i replaced them with. Forget the brand look at if they actually work.

    – Shimano sub-Deore brakes (m315, m365, etc) – as above, at 1k I’d expect deore generally

    – no-name generic hubs & rims – this is common on 5k bikes, I’d not find it unduly compromised on a 1k bike unless they were built from monkey metal.

    – QR front and rear – I’d be surprised these days on the front particularly, but it’s going to be down to rubbish fork and cheap hub. I’d be fine in theory depending on the fork/hub. Qr rear on a ht is completely reasonable and qr front never killed anybody**.

    – wire-beaded tyres in a tread only suitable for the dry month of the year – i consider all OE tyres to be packaging, even on bikes 3x the price unless you’re very lucky.

    *better is subjective but I’d take deore or old x9 2by over nx 1by

    **well there was that one bloke…

    Full Member

    Im am of the opinion tbat when you are buying a cheaper bike you are really buying a set of forks and the rest of it is thrown in for free. I would find the bike with the best forks you can for the money.  Everything else is much cheaper to sort out later.

    Full Member

    When do the 2018 bikes start getting discounted? Surely that’s when the £1400 hardtail starts to cost nearer a grand.

    Free Member

    I was going to suggest Sefton’s Specialized that’s been doing the rounds in the classifieds – that’s what I’d look at if it were the right size (and you’re not buying it on the Bike to Work scheme of similar).

    Free Member

    As mentioned above:

    2 x 10 Deore is just great

    Fork: at least 130 mm travel. At least a Sektor fork (the Sektor is o.k. – but not great)

    Rims: at least 25 mm

    Tektro Auriga works fine

    QR is fine. But nearly all new forks have thru axles. QR on the back is just fine.

    I don’t care about weight.

    A 1 k hardtail should be a good bike already!

    Free Member

    – 2x drivetrain – not really a compromise is it? Heck they still do xtr in 2x and 3x. Nx 1×11 is cheap but I’d take a better* 2x drive train over cheap 1x any day.

    not much wrong with NX 11 – I’m running it having run various decent 10sp groups and GX11. At the budget you would probably be looking at max 2x deore 10sp which is at best on par.

    Free Member

    make a compromise on one or two items (not the fork)

    but if your making compromises in every area you will get a crap bike that will cost you the same again to upgrade.

    go second hand – like mine there are plenty of genuine bikes out there which are practically new.

    TBH at £840 its not really worth me selling but I have to accept I aint using it and in another year or two (of just sitting around) it will be worth even less

    its a great bike to ride btw – loads of fun

    Free Member

    For a grand, I’d be looking for a half decent fork, a dropper and decent geometry, the rest of it wouldn’t really bother me. Wheels are always gonna be a bit heavy at that price, and I can work with pretty much any drive train.

    Full Member

    Qr rear on a ht is completely reasonable and qr front never killed anybody**

    Bolt thru front is going to be stiffer which is going to help handling

    Free Member

    I was going to suggest Sefton’s Specialized that’s been doing the rounds in the classifieds – that’s what I’d look at if it were the right size (and you’re not buying it on the Bike to Work scheme of similar).

    This 100%. I’ve never bought a new bike at the £1000 price point, not when you can get so much more S/H. Something new at that price and I’d be wanting to change everything.

    Full Member

    You can get 1×11, bold through, decent fork and decent frame for under a grand. In usual STW fashion I’ll recomend what I got , a voodoo bokor

    Only downsides I’ve found so far are that the crank is an OEM stly NX, with an old skool BB unit, i.e. no outboard bearings. So that may be swapped out for something better and Shimano based in the future as I hate GXP BBs when it dies. Only other change I’ve made is the saddle. Hubs and wheels are no name (well voodoo) but they seem ok so far.

    On bikes I’ve had for a longer time I’ve always upgraded the drivetrain first as it wears out. Then probably brakes as you can always get some deores cheap. Finally forks as and when they get a bit crappy and I see a bargain. Finally wheels as I don’t seem to be able to break them so they’re the last thing to get sorted.

    Full Member

    Drivetrain sounds fine at that price, same for the brakes if it means you get better spec elsewhere on the bike. Cheap hydraulic brakes still work fine in my experience.

    Cheap wheels are standard on a lot of bikes, even much more expensive ones.

    £1000 would buy you a Voodoo Bizango, a dropper and some better wheels, or probably last year’s models of various mid-range hardtails from the big brands.

    Full Member

    the compromise is between


    model year


    if you want a 16/17 cannondale, cube or even giant you can get XT, Reba etc. and even carbon frame for 1k.

    if you want a 2019 model specialized expect far lower spec.

    or you could go canyon, radon etc.

    stock tyres are often shite on 3k bikes for some reason.

    Free Member


    Free Member

    stock tyres are often shite on 3k bikes for some reason.

    OEM Specs get the bike weight down and like pedals they are a very personal choice so they expect them to be swapped out if you care and run till they die if you don’t. A very nice set of 3c Maxxis is a waste if you like Schwable

    But yeah find the last years clear out bikes for the best deals- as posted that Orange kicked the spec for an extra £200 RRP so there will be deals about.

    Full Member

    If you will fit a large and don’t mind an XC biased bike, this would appear to suggest that you don’t need to compromise anywhere. And if you’re not a large then this would work too, there’s even a 29″ version if you so desire.

    Full Member

    have a look at the Boardman MHT 8.9 – Reba, SLX 1×11, decent brakes, not bad wheels and decent tyres, £1k on the nose. all items on your list are sorted, if you decided you didn’t like the shimano brakes you could get a hope for the front and use the discarded front for spares for the rear

    Sefton’s specialized is also a good shout if it fits you

    Free Member

    The forks’d put me off, new Aurigas are fine though. I’d probably go for something second hand with decent bits on it over something new that’d be a compromise. You could pick up something pretty smashing for £1000 second hand-

    Not my bike 🙂

    I threw a BFe 275 together from a used frame and a mix of (minimum SLX or Zee 10sp) new and used bits for less than £700 after our bikes were nicked last year. You can build an awesome bike on the (relatively) cheap if you’re ok with used or out of fashion stuff 🙂 NOS, boxed, never built Mk1 Switchback frame (out of fashion cos it’ll only take 2.35 tyres in the back- oh noes!11!!) for £250? Ah, go on then, I’m sticking 26″ in it anyway 😀

    Full Member

    For me the fork and frame would be the most important things. But I think I’d also build my own bike for that cost – but shopping round for some bargains and maybe a few 2nd hand bits.

    My hardtail owes me about £500 and it’s reasonable spec. For another £500 it’d probably be awesome.

    I’d look for a 2nd hand frame probably and then see if I got get a deal like the cheap Fox 34’s that ze Germans were knocking out recently. I think I’d then build my own wheels and try to get a bargain groupset deal – there seem to be some GX eagle deals around at the moment – but if you’re not fussy on brand you could get cheaper. Maybe an slx or GX 11 speed mech / shifter / GX 11 speed cassette.

    Lots of bikes came with Sram guide r’s that people have upgraded to Hope – I got a pair with a bleed kit for £80 ish and they still had the original pads in them barely used.

    Free Member

    The only thing that would bother me would be crappy forks. All the other stuff is functional and can be used on commuter bikes etc.

    Free Member

    I bought a cheaper bike this time. 2nd hand (unused) Voodoo Bizango. The stock tyres seem quite good so far. I did change the handlebars, stem and grips.

    I’d upgrade to 1 x 11 when bits wear out (2 x 10 is surprisingly good though). The forks seem ok so far and are bolt through.

    On your list i’d probably swap the tyres and contact points if you need to. Alternatively you could sell the forks straight away and sell them on eBay/ here and put that cash towards a better fork.

    I’d do what Kelron suggested (Bizango’s are only £520 at the moment) or look at other last years models.

    Free Member

    Voodoo Bizango bikers normally love their bikes…

    Other option maybe: Line 10 / Calibre

    Not really the bike for me (don’t know a Line 10 owner and don’t know how happy they are) and 120 mm is not really the travel I like on an hardtail but indicates that 1 k should be able to buy you a lot of bike…

    Personally buy my bike stuff in winter time and for hardtails I pick low cost used frames and build the bike then with new fork, wheelset and new drivetrain. Frames which were originally specced for 100 mm forks work fine / much better with 130 mm forks as well… 199 Euros for a 130 mm Fox 34 Rhythm fork last winter?

    Free Member

    I have a specialized fuse pro in the sale section…

    Nice bike. I’d buy one.

    Free Member

    Just buy a Cube Acid.

    Full Member

    Only thing worth avoiding on the list are cheap forks and qr front from that list IMO. I’d have the Shimano brakes over the others and 2×10 over 1×10 but none neither would stop me considering a bike.

    As has been said, the sales are almost upon us so no need to compromise. Got my P7 last year so 1k-ish and that came with Yari, 1×11 SLX, Deore brakes and reasonable tyres/wheels.

    Free Member

    Spec level wouldn’t bother me – cheapo gears still shift well – as long as eveything was half way reliable and as much as possible (bars, saddle, tyres etc.) was not going to require immediate replacement to suit me.

    Full Member

    You can put together a great nearly new bike for a grand if you are patient.

    My nukeproof scout 290 came in a lot less than that:

    2018 Frame + dropper and headset – 230 on ebay

    fox 34s from the germans – 200

    DT swiss spline 1900 – never ridden set on ebay inc. rotors 150

    M615 brakes – 40 off here, needed hoses swapping, wok perfectly after a bleed.

    Drive train XT 11 speed shifter/chain/cassette/mech 85 (from a friend)

    Saddle, stem, bars, grips, olives, cables & tyres from the spares box or brand x from CR – call it another £80 max.

    So, that was a barely used 2018 frame with a new fork, decent new wheels and good stop and go bits for < £800.

    I don’t consider it compromised in anyway – it’s a fantastic bike.

    Full Member

    Cheaper Shimano brakes are fine IMHO. Wheels can be hit and miss if unbranded, some good some woeful.

    to be honest though there’s a lot of bikes out there new that don’t have (m)any of those compromises – voodoo, Vitus, boardman, pinnacle etc. £1k can get an awful lot of bike.

    Free Member

    Seem to be a bunch of options on Paul’s Cycles….

    Free Member

    I’ve got a £1kish bike (Well it was that when new) – 2016 Whyte 901.

    DB5 Brakes, S1000 Cranks, Own brand (formula) hubs, Sektor Golds.

    TBH it’s all great, if you don’t go looking for something to change, and just enjoy it for what it is. Except for the forks… I’m a really light rider, but I don’t expect to be riding  a bike from 2016 with such flexy forks that you get brake judder , feel like they’re going to tuck under, and cause a horriffic vague feeling in the corners.

    So, out of that list, the main things I wouldn’t want to compromise on are frame and forks. Everything else can be relatively cheaply sorted as well 🙂

    Free Member

    Seem to be a bunch of options on Paul’s Cycles….

    : yes – many good offers! Great!

    Even if you have to upgrade the fork later on…

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