What's the best £500 hardtail about these days???

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  • What's the best £500 hardtail about these days???
  • core

    A friend is quite keen to get a bike to join a couple of us who already ride, don’t think I’ll be able to persuade him to buy 2nd hand, so looking at new stuff really.

    My immediate thought was Voodoo (@ Halfords – yes I’d check it all), but looking at the range on Halfords website, they seems to have down spec’d the entry level models this year, no more Shimano brakes, coil forks instead of air, bottom end drivetrain etc.

    So what other options are out there? Decathlon? Something old stock from Winstanleys or similar?

    Probably want 100-120mm fork, deore level kit and a small frame.


    IF I remember I think CRC had some great deals going on hardtails.


    Pauls are always worth a look. E.g. GT Zaskar Sport for £519 is a pretty good deal

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Surely the big guys at Giant, Specialised, Trek etc have decent £500 hardtails.

    Also look at Cube always seem to be very good value

    EDIT just seen this thread link

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    The low end bikes by the big players often seem poor value for money compared to Decathlon, Carrera, Voodoo.

    Look in sales, check out CRC or the Pinnacle stuff from Evans.

    Also have a cheeky look in the back of What MTB, used to list best buys in price bands

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Halfords don’t seem to be in the good phase of their cycle just now, Fury went a bit more expensive and the Voodoo range seems tricky for stock.


    Online there’s a last years Hoodoo on Halfords, but only in large, spec/vfm is much better than this year.

    Boardman’s have gone to look pretty average now too….

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    I bought the Decathlon 8.1 for my son in small and I’m very happy with it for the money.
    Main worry was the fork spring so I paid another £35 to get a soft spring. Now it’s perfect for the money.

    It looks much much better in the flesh than the photo looks.

    Last year’s Voodoo’s were very good, but they weren’t quite small enough for us. Some branches still have the odd one in stock. Last year’s HooDoo would be where I’d put the cash.

    Same with Boardmans – lower spec this year (entry level is £650 for those though).

    Carrera Fury or Kraken or Decathlon 8.1



    Quite like the look of this and it’s pretty cheap, they do a more expensive version but with SRAM and AVID so would rather have the cheaper Shimano version

    Premier Icon bianchiboy

    That looks good value…..

    My intro bike was a Bianchi Kuma 4700 being a italophile which i’m quite happy with,paid £550 last summer but upgrading to a JAB 29.2 this summer


    A wise second hand buy is by far the best bet… not saying that just because I have a beautiful HT in small for sale but rather because you get so much for your money.


    My thoughts too Mbnut, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to persuade him on 2nd hand, plus find something local(ish).

    My Brother in law asked me the same question.

    I found this while looking but it’s only available in 15.75inch frame.


    PS he ended up going over budget and getting the Zaskar comp for £650 from http://www.paulscycles.co.uk

    edit: Sorry, out of stock, it wasn’t a month ago.

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    I agree it would be a shame if you couldn’t persuade him to at least consider 2nd hand. I got a “secondhand” (actually unused, pedals never been attached to cranks) Ragley Piglet for less than £500 and a very nice, unmarked, spotless Kona Blast for Mrs. Slowoldman for £300.


    Top little bike, lovely steel frame and very well put together….


    Can’t go wrong with that if you want 27.5

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