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  1. #1
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    Help me choose a MTB

    I've got about 420ish to spend from insurance on my last bike. Will be used for commuting.

    I have to buy the bike from wheelies and have narrowed it down to a few choices

    1 - Specialised hardrock disk Wheelies Direct - Specialized Hardrock Disc 2011

    2 - Saracen mantra 2011 Wheelies Direct - Saracen Mantra 2011

    3 - Felt QX220 Wheelies Direct - Felt Q220 2011

    I was going to go for something with disks (assuming they will be more powerful than v brakes?) and would prefer a full shimano gears including crank since the shimano stuff seems to shift really well and everything else is mediocre. I rode the specialized hardrock disk - beautiful bike (in the red/white) , forks are good enough for commuting but gearshifts were just so-so (not shimano) and the brakes were a bit poor but improving (to OK) as I rode it though the bike was brand new so I think the disks were just starting to bed in.

    The felt has shimano bits but I think uses a freehub not cassette? I wouldn't mind but I read the rear cassette is 14-28 or something I'd prefer 11-28/30 also I read it weighs 32lb! can that be right it's very heavy have bikes not got lighter in the last 10 years?

    Finally the saracen seems to tick all the boxes (except looking nice, maybe it's better in the flesh?) all shimano 24 speed, forks are reasonable suntour ones and brakes the tektro aquila are supposedly better than the tektro disks on the other bikes (I know very little or nothing about this) the 120mm travel fork is excessive for commuting but I guess I could wind the preload up. But is it likely to weigh the same as a tank or will there be other problems as the brand is not well regarded?

  2. #2
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    How much is 420ish in real money?
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Welcome, Upright!

    If you`re reading from the bike specs and it says the Felt has a "freehub", that`s what you want- takes a cassette. The alternative that I think you`re trying to avoid (rightly, IMO) is 7 speed "freewheel". Well, probably 7- I don`t think anybody sells new bikes with less than that any more.

    I`ve never heard of that store. If they have a website, it would be helpful to post links for those of us too lazy to tryGoogling up your possibilities.

    Real Money, CB? You wanna buy a bike with Yuan?

  4. #4
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    Sorry forgot the link,

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p41529/Sar...ntra-2011.aspx mantra 420

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p38695/Felt-Q220-2011.aspx Felt

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p38373/Spe...Disc-2011.aspx hardrock disk

    I think it's about $600 or so.

    There are other bikes on there around the price - but these 3 seem to stand out.

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Okay, the Mantra apparently does use a freehub and cassette, which is a big deal to me. The others- I dunno. I`ve never heard of disc hubs for threaded freewheel, but they`re both 7-speed, and I didn`t think any new bikes have had 7-speed cassettes for ages.

    " can that be right it's very heavy have bikes not got lighter in the last 10 years?"
    No, bikes haven`t really gotten much lighter in the past decade. 32# sounds a little on the beefy side, but probably in the ballpark of other similar bikes in that price range. And if one looks signifigantly lighter than another with the same general setup, it probably just means that the manufacturer was better at fudging the numbers.

    Your personal situation is going to play a big part in which bike suits you best. Do you plan to use it entirely on the road? Skip the suspension fork and you`ll drop a few pounds (from the price as well as on the scale). Lots of rocky trails? Keep looking at suspension bikes and make sure you get a nice low granny gear. If you`re a feather weight and don`t plan to ride in the rain, or if it`s pretty flat where you ride, maybe you can get a V-brake equiped bike that`s got a nicer drivetrain for the same price.

    A few loose comments: Shimano is great stuff for the most part, but they make parts at all different levels just like Sram does. If you turned down any bikes because they had Sram drivetrains, you might find after riding one that you like it just as well or better as Shimano, penny for penny. For the cranksets, I seriously doubt you`ll find much difference between Shimano and anything else on similarly equipped bikes. About the disc brakes (if you do end up buying a disc bike), I can`t speak for any of them- I`ve never had disc brakes on any bicycle. Most important, can you test drive these bikes? I don`t know if Wheelies is internet only, or too far from you to go and try out the bikes in person, but that will be the only way to tell for sure how you like them. Hopefully they have a genuine store in your taveling range. Good luck!

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