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How much for a decent mountain/road bike.

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Bm101

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I'm wondering about buying a new bike. I'm after a fair low- mid range bike (I think...) but I haven't bought a bike ever from a shop despite riding bikes since a kid.
Mountainbike/roadbike combination. Whats the minimum I can spend to get a decent bike these days? I want a bike I can ride without feeling I was cheated that will do road miles with a fair set up of equipment
I don't need high end shimano gear sets but a bit of competence would be great.
Any recommendations?
 

MikeG.

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This sort of question to cyclists will get a wider degree of answers than "which chisels do I need?" will get from woodworkers. Firstly, mountain bikes have straight handlebars, big heavy wheels and tyres, and a heavy frame, often with suspension. They are useless on tarmac (think tractor vs racing car). If you are going to be cycling on muddy tracks , or up and down mountain paths, then buy a mountain bike.

If your cycling involves a combination of paths such as towpaths, farm tracks, bridleways, etc, and tarmac, then you might consider a gravel bike.

If your cycling is going to just be on roads, then buy a road bike. Your choice then is the basic commuter-type bike (sometimes called a hybrid) which might well have straight handlebars, or a "racing" bike (it isn't for racing), which has drop handlebars. These are the sort of bikes which you'll want if you are going to do a 50 or 100 mile ride. Your next choice then is whether you are spending £250 or £2500........because you can get a reasonable bike for the former and something a bit special for the latter.

If it were me, I would use either a frame-size calculator online, or get measured in a bike shop, then buy a cheapo second hand bike on Ebay or the like. Put a new Charge Spoon saddle on it and ride it for a few months. You'll then know what you are after in a bike, and you can whack it back on Ebay and likely get much the same money as you paid before heading off to buy its replacement.

Here's a bomb-proof high end touring bike for less than £300.

Here's a top end carbon fibre bike with "relaxed geometry" (ie it's comfortable) for £500 ish. This is much the same as mine. The wheels alone are worth this much money.

£150 ish buys you a decent hybrid.
 

MikeG.

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Chris152":1el1bus3 said:
Last time I researched this, Boardman were really good value with good reputation.

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/pro ... -blue.html

ps - you usually get them through Halfords who don't have a good reputation for maintenance, justified in my limited experience. But the bikes are good
Boardman are excellent value for money bikes, and tend to be pretty decent bits of kit. My wife rode one with me to Spain last year, and we were pretty impressed.
 

Mrs C

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Suggest you go to a decent bike shop, get one fitted properly, even if you don’t buy from there (bike shops are used to this!). They should also be able to put you on a roller trainer so you can practise falling off in private.

If you are going to gown the road bike route think about using clips, they take a bit of getting used to, but I wouldn’t go back. And get a comfortable saddle, which isn’t necessarily a padded saddle.

I love my bike, and during lockdown it was amazing going down main roads where you would normally risk your life.

It might also be worth taking into consideration the state of the roads where you want to ride. We have some lovely quiet back lanes, but they are getting to the point where you need a 4x4, this isn’t much fun on a road bike.

Happy peddling!
 
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Mrs C":1lf13eoa said:
Suggest you go to a decent bike shop, get one fitted properly, even if you don’t buy from there (bike shops are used to this!).
wait. what?
 

El Barto

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Mountain bikes aren't useless on the road, they're just not particularly well suited to it. My regular bike rides consist of off road but with a fair bit of road riding to link up between some trails - it's fine and I'm riding a more aggressively made full suspension MTB.

Whatever you buy will of course have compromises but mid-range bikes and up are generally pretty decent. A friend of mine bought a Scott hardtail MTB last year for £400-£500 and it's really nice. Not the most highly specced bike but perfectly functional and really good all round.
 

thick_mike

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Decathlon have a good reputation for well specced bikes. If you are riding on the road I’d avoid suspension, unless you are particularly...erm...how to say this delicately...prone to gravitational effects. Wider tyres (e.g. 30mm) on a road bike will make for a more comfortable ride without providing too much drag.
 

bobblezard

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Lots of views on this, and I am not a
bike expert or geek but I can strongly recommend two Specialized models.

Specialized Sirrus = Flat handled hybrid much nearer a road bike
Specialized Rockhopper = much nearer a mountain bike but 700mm wheels.

Both can be fitted with a range of tyres, and entry level can be had for around £500 - very good bikes which will last an age.

The sirrus was the first bike I ever bought new, 15 years on and still going strong. Second hand can be the way to go though and bikes can be had at a real saving if you bide your time.

I have always rated Claude Butler and Scott hardtails too. But there will lots of different views, Go with what feels right, a bit of what you like and be prepared to swap out if it does want work first time. :D
 

Bm101

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Thank you guys as always.
Sorry for the delay.
I typed a really long reply and then it disappeared without trace so that's good news for everyone.
I will be a little more concise in this reply but thanks all for the advice. Much appreciated

Not a complete noob to bikes, rode most of my life up til 10 years ago. Very Casual rider though. Never serious but enough to know I don't want an off the shelf Halfords Iron Horse.
Road bikes are not for me yet.
Mountainbikes too heavy as stated. No wish for rear suspension. Probably not front either in all honesty.
So it's a hybrid. My area Lea Valley, is full of canal paths, trails and lanes. Semi slicks easy riding and comfort seems good to me. My lad is 10 soon but both kids like to be out and about so all good but a bike I can push myself on withouth looking at 100km day rides seems right. (I googled Gravel bikes Mike but I just remortgaged. :D )
Far as I can tell its £300 good basic, £500 decent beginner range and from there ever skyward. Your replies were very helpful here. Ta.
Or it's Gumtree/facebook as Mike says then buy a saddle. That's probably the plan. 8)


Minnnnnd you. 8)
Just throw this into the mix.
I doooo have have a bike. Hard tail 1995 Balance 450. Its a really light frame. Headstock is too long for me. Literally everything needs replacing other than the wheels and main frame. I don't need to replace the wheels to fix with disc brakes etc mind. Pads are fine. But yeh... It's a job. But I could paint it orange and black. Do a refurb :-" How much for a refit, parts only. Brakes/ gears/ chain/handles/cables/tyres/tubes. The lot.
Top of your head.
Go on. Now I'm testing you. :D Not even asking my time to respray it. :roll:
Just asking.

Don't look at me like that. It's not a puppy.
I been busy.

This fella wanted $875 for his one in2019. :wink: :roll:
https://picclick.com/Classic-1995-Balan ... 37062.html
 

novocaine

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Now you're in my territory. Id love todrop 9k on a pinerello dogma,butihave a family that comes first.

I reckon you could have that bike serviceable for sub 100 quid. Ill do you a parts list tomorrow when im not typing on my phone. Eastern bits have come a long way.

Otherwise, if you want gravel without the hipster price tag look at the coyote gravel and gravelpro. 600 quid. Sora 9 group set woth tektro (but good tektro not supermarket tektro) discs. Acceptable build but will need a good going over by someone in the know as the finish is a bit rough. Mines got 3k on it. Ive had to replace sime bits but ride it through winter and in the rain (fast road bike doesnt go out in the wet). Think i paid 489 for it direct from avocet, but that was year and half ago.

Have a look at parkers of bolton, they are avocet/insyncs online retail arm.
 

Bm101

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When you get the time I'd really appreciate that!
Thanks.
 

Bm101

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Thanks Novocaine. If I can get a user from my old frame for sub 100 I'm a tourist. If the bike bug carries on and financial situations return to somewhat more normal I can buy a proper bike in 2 years or so whenI know more what I need.

Thanks
 

novocaine

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Right.
so this is bias towards a nice ish ride at the lowest price without pushing you towards parts I'd say are dangerous. I've excluded changing the forks as those z4 marzocchi's were an ok if heavy fork and pretty bombproof, they certainly aren't modern quality and even something cheap like SR Suntours XCMs would be better. if you were to change them out, I'd suggest you go rigid, but we shall leave those out for now. I'm also assuming you have a little bit of intelligence and do 95% of the work for yourself along with being willing to ask questions when you get stuck or simply don't know.
The challange was sub 100 notes for an acceptable bike so here goes.

parts, with cost and link.

Pedals – Cheapest (or as cheap as I’d go and be happy) £10.99
pedals 1
Bit more but nicer to ride on £14.99
better pedals
Stem (cheap and short and I’d be happy with it, in fact, I am happy with it. Might be a tad short for that frame though) £7.85
cheap but short
other option, bit longer but shorter than the 110mm that’s on there now £10.99
Stem 2, but longer
Bar £12.99
bar
Chain £7.99
chain
Cables brakes 99p each call it 2 quid
cable
Cables Gear £1.99 each so 4 quid (you could save some money and go single speed if you are feeling crazy)
cable
Brake pads £4.99 for a pack of 4.
pads
Cable outer
Brake cable £1.99
cable
Gear £1.49 you should be able to just squish out a full set from this.
cable
Cassette £12.99
cassette

Cant see the rear end but it would be prudent to change the cassette, this needs a special tool, a bike shop should only charge you a couple of quid to fit it for you. I’m making an assumption that it’s a freehub not a freewheel, can’t see the back end to confirm.

then it's a matter of slowly and methodically stripping everything, cleaning it and greasing what you need to grease and tightening what you don't. I'll left out grease and oil etc. from the price so add another tenner there.

so I make that £74.42 for parts. there are some tools that are bike specific you will need, BB tool and crank puller if you need to pull that apart, cassette tool and chain whip to pull the cassette off if the shop wont and a chain spiltter. this isn't the best gear, or even the 50th best gear, but it should get you over the huddle. bike tools
takes us to 95 quid, so buy yourself a new water bottle too. :)
 

novocaine

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should add that this is stuff I can see that would need to be changed to make it nicer to ride and safe. when you did in further you may find the bearings are fubar, hard to tell from the outside.
headset should be servicible with a good clean an regrease, but it maybe a bit crunchy (not dangerous, just not the nicest) the bottom bracket maybe done in, which would add 15 quid tops for a new one, the wheel bearings maybe crunchy, they can be cleaned and regreased but may still be a bit rough, again not unsafe just not as nice as could be.

I haven't suggested changing any of the gearing kit, this is because I think they will be servicable, again not perfect but ridable and not unsafe.
the grips are manky, it's got grip shift, so what, it would be rideable.
the brake levers look like shimano DX, if they are, take them off and send them to me, I'll give a replacement (and not because they are rare as hens teeth). if they aren't, then they maybe avid (want to say fr's but can't remember), still servicable.

cranks like like deore from here, guess the rest is too.
 

Bm101

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Many thanks again Novocaine for taking the time to write all that up. It's really much appreciated. I'm not sure on the brakes levers. (obviously). They were nice to use from memory.
I know the frame and it's a little long for my 5'6" frame. I was hoping a shorter headset would manage that. I'm hovering here tbh. Much as I like a rebuild and learning new skills, I'm also aware I could have had a pillar drillar easier ways than restoring my Meddings. But I also loved doing the medddings and I hold some love in my heart for this bike (frame at least). The practical side of me says do up the Balance. @Ohhhh spray job! You love spray joooobs!!!' All Black. Matte Black. Orange decals!
The brain says cut the losses. Pay for a bike at just the level you need no more. It'll pay for itself in lack of hassle. Go out and start riding again on new, modern kit. 3 years sell it and upgrade.
My Dad's influence is going: it's a bike son. Get one second hand that will keep up with your 10 year old son. *shakes hand at too much choice in modern life.
At this point I'm just repeating your replies.


Some more photos mostly for Novocaine:









Still undecided. That much is clear. :D
 

Bm101

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Also a proper thanks to Novocaine from the heart for taking the time to post that list. Many many thanks for your time.
Regards
Chris


[youtube]RnJk6bkjgko[/youtube]
 

novocaine

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Buy the riddick. Turn the balance into a labour of love. Treat the riddick well and it will keep you going till your kids are done with bikes and want to play with cars instead. A few upgrades as you go and as things wear out will see it ride better than you for a long time to come.

Theres a lot of upgrades on that balance. The more i look the more i like it. It would be considered as a rare beast in the right circle of classic bike lovers (who would string you up for painting it). The z2 (apologies for spotting as a z3) wasnt stock. 98 as they are BAM lowers. Think ive got a set of upgrade seals somewhere for them (i still have a set of 98 z5 flylights that were in regular use till last year)

Stx group set. wow didnt even think of that it's been so long. Still got a right hand crank somewhere and a set of chain rings for them. Its a 7 cog cassette. May still be a freehub. Can still get them.
Levers are lx. Still regarded as a cracking lever but ill put money on the adjustment bolt being stripped. They always were.
Lx v brakes,again an upgrade as it would have been canti brakes as stock. Xt hubs with Mavic 321 rims (lusted after these in the day)
Frames of that era were long and low. Just how they were, you will find the riddick a completly different (and much nicer) beast. Shame you are so far away. Id have loved to help you through the rebuild. If you decide to bin it instead of reviving it, ill pay the postage. :D

Soooooooo, buy the riddick. or off to decathlon if you want to try before buy.
 

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