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  1. #1
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    Stuck Between Two Bikes...

    Hey everyone,

    So after the new year I'm buying my first bikepacking bike. I have a maimum of 600 to spend and with living in Scotland I want a hardtail, front suspension mountain bike that is light and has a 15-17" top tube. I'm open to either 26" or 27.5" wheels but would rather not have a 29er.

    So far I've got it down to either of these:

    Ragley M74 26" - 599

    (Ragley M74 Hardtail Bike - Shop Soiled | Chain Reaction Cycles)

    or

    Merida Big Seven Alloy 100 27.5" - 550

    (Buy Merida Big Seven Alloy 100 Mountain Bike 2014 - Hardtail Race MTB at Tredz Bikes. 549.99 with free UK delivery)

    Any advice on either of these or alternatives to them would help massively.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You will not get good advice until you let people know how you plan to use the bike.

  3. #3
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    The Ragley looks like a better bargain but seems to be more of an aggressive trail bike and may not be ideal for bikepacking uses.

  4. #4
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    I plan to use the bike primarily for off-road bikepacking around the UK and possibly Europe; Any road riding will be so few and far between that I don't care how it rides on tarmac. With that in mind it'll be mostly 100+ mile XC overnighters and multi-day trips on hilly, possibly wet, muddy or dry ground, just a massive mix of different terrains and conditions, although changing tyres could obviously have a large impact on the latter. I'd prefer a light bike with a short wheelbase so I can chuck it around a little, especially as I'm only 5'7". I'll happily ride anything from 8 to a million gears as long as it doesn't weigh too much or heave the cost up. I prefer sweeped bars to straight ones but I suppose this depends on the frame and the individual bike, and I plan on using bags and a hydration system so rack and bottle mounts aren't a necessity but hydraulics and a front suspension are pretty much mandatory unless someone can persuade me otherwise.

  5. #5
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    ...still no help?

  6. #6
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    Given the price of the two, I don't know why you would bother with the Merida. Seems like a no brainer.

  7. #7
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    Why is the Merida such a poor choice compared to the Ragley? Do you think the Ragley would be better suited as a bikepacking bike?

  8. #8
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    The Ragley has a better fork with more travel. The shifting/drivetrain components are similar to the Merida (but maybe the Ragley is slightly better) and they both have generic wheels. Ragley has Ragley seatposts/saddle/grips/etc and I think those are probably decent kit. The final nail in Merida's coffin is that Ragley comes with better brakes, at least from what I am able to research.

    As far as bike camping goes, it'll boil down to your riding preference and what you are riding. The Merida is much more cross country oriented. I'd prefer the Ragley because it has a slacker HA, but it might be more difficult to manage on climbs. I've only bike camped with bikes that have geometry closer to the Merida, but now I have more bikes with slacker geo and when spring comes around, that is what I am using.

    One reason why people aren't rushing to your help is that some of the stuff is personal preference and some of the information you want is stuff you can research rather than have people do it for you.

    Anyway, hope this helps you out.

  9. #9
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    Excellent, thanks for your reply and the really useful info. Gonna try and get the Ragley while it's still cheap and make a start on getting some kit so I can just get out into the wild!

    Thanks again

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