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  1. Well I don’t know much about 27.5 other than you have a more limited tyre and fork selection - that being said, slowly stocks are dwindling on 26er parts as well except for the more hardcore downhill/enduro type stuff, and the kids bike stuff. But if the deal is decent why not - Merida are decent bikes and the 27.5 will give him a little more reward for his efforts than a 26er, and if the disk brakes are 💩 you can always upgrade them without too much cost (often see sets for sale anywhere from R1000 to R6000). The bike should last him a decent amount of time. Depends on the price of course. You could also look at a small or medium (depending on his height) 29er and then you’ll never have to worry about tyres, forks or anything else as 29” is definitely the most popular size. However it is a BIG jump from a 26er even in a smaller frame size and if the bike is too big for him he’s probably not going to enjoy it. All that being said those Decathlon pads are very cool and will most certainly give him some stoppage once bedded in and the brake system adjusted properly. Probably a good place to start! Edit: just saw that he is 16, so a 29er may be the way to go depending on his height. Not sure if you’ve ridden a 29er but it’s a totally different ride to a 26er and the 27.5 sits squarely in the middle. At the end of the day you have to like your bike, and that’s something to consider.
  2. PS the Giant also gets serviced but not because it “needs” it ie there’s something wrong or I’m struggling with something and not enjoying the ride. I just service it when I have some money in my pocket 😂
  3. No, the Avalanche got plenty servicing. At least once a month. More than my current bike. That’s what I’m trying to say 😊 The Avalanche was still finicky even though it got serviced so regularly.
  4. Having owned an Avalanche Reflex 3.0 the above two comments are spot on. My first ever post on the hub (might have been my second) was asking about this bike. What you will likely find is: - brakes will need frequent tinkering. You can help by bedding them in properly when you get the bike, but they’ll still need tinkering - rear hub and BB won’t take much rough stuff. By that I mean tree roots, pavements etc, not drops. The hubs don’t like being rattled around. - gears will need frequent adjustments, at first and then every 3rd or 4th ride. - your drivetrain will retain a lot of grit, grime and muck, so make sure you clean it well after every ride. - it is very much an “urban” fork and doesn’t like too much trail or mountain. Expect it to start squeaking or clunking as soon as you’ve roughed it up a bit. Again I mean tree roots and and a rock or pavement or two - not “real” trail stuff. If you pay 5k new it will be worth 2.5k after you’ve ridden it for a month and if you tried to trade it in on something else you’d probably be offered 1.5k. Now all that being said: I gave mine to a staff member who rides the h**l out if it commuting, doesn’t lube it, doesn’t wash it, with tyres way harder than they should be, and for some reason it just keeps going. It’s a pig to ride in my opinion but it gets him from A to B reliably. Or should I say “got”, as staff member is an ex-staff member and sold it to another guy in the area who still rides the h*ll out of it with no problems a year later 🤷 For 5k it’s about the best you’ll get for your money, but if you could add a few grand to your money you may be able to pick up a Trek Marlin or Silverback Stride and they would probably serve you better. Then you’d have a decent frame on hand and could upgrade components as you want or need to and you’d sell the bike easily down the line for closer to what you paid for it than you’d have paid for the Avalanche. I paid R4000 for the Avalanche, had it for a few months and wouldn’t have gotten more than 2k for it, hence I gave it away. I’d already spent close to 1k on servicing and caring for it. Conversely I wash and lube my 10ish K Giant 29er and fling it around, over annd through all sorts of things and it doesn’t complain and hasn’t actually “needed” a service in the year I’ve had it. The “false economy” aspect is really something to factor in.
  5. You’re a braver person than me 😂 Having now been back on a bike for the past two years having last ridden a bike as a teenager (I’m 43 now) I can’t imagine ever using rim/V-brakes brakes again, even on a relaxed kerbside ride! Even cable-actuated disc brakes make me uncomfortable once I’ve been on one of the hydraulic brake bikes for a bit. I went and looked at your previous posts about getting a new bike - are you still riding the Giant 26er? What brakes does it have?
  6. I have the same bike but a 2021 model and I’ve kept an eagle eye on bikes with the same fork. It seems that discolouration is pretty normal on the Judy RL. I’ve seen a few forks on different bikes with the sort of hazy effect in the black coating. And even the same fork for sale as parts with the same discolouration. However the OP’s stanchions are scratched after 3 rides on a brand new bike and fork - and then immediately the same thing on the replacement/repaired fork. It’s not the same thing as discolouration. The discolouration, for me, is already bad enough. It already looks like there’s something wrong with the fork, even if there isn’t. But scratches are way worse because most people won’t even consider a fork with scratched uppers. So in effect the fork is worthless even if it’s perfectly functional - it may as well be a Zoom fork. This isn’t fair - it’s a brand new 20-24k bike and my two non-Trek new 10-15k bikes have done hundreds if not a couple thousand kms with Suntour and Vaxa coil forks with no scratches and less than conscientious care. Not a single scratch on either. Likewise on my Rockshox SIDs and Fox F100 - all probably 10 years old if not older. The OP needs to escalate this and Trek needs to pull finger, even if it means they fit another model or brand of fork to the bike to keep the customer happy. He’s not being unreasonable here IMO.
  7. Just to add - the wheel size isn’t important but the frame size is. If you’re feeling a bit stretched out on the Raleigh it could be that the frame to too big for you. Eg I’m 1.66m and ride a medium 29, but I can also ride a small depending on the frame geometry. I’m a large 26 but can also do a medium depending on the geometry. If your frame is too big but it’s what you have you can do things like change your saddle position, fit a shorter stem, adjust the angle of your brakes and shifters, etc. Second what @droo says - my yard is full of dead Raleighs (and not old ones either) as I systematically upgrade my staff bicycles with good quality “old” 26ers with decent components - just like what you’ll get on that Tyax. Depending where you are there are Hubbers who deal in good quality second hand parts who could sort out any niggles you have on the Tyax for not much money.
  8. You’re a better person than me. I’d give them one more chance to upgrade with pay-in and then I’d take it to social media. Honestly, you didn’t buy a Makro bike, you bought a Trek, and the damage you are seeing is not only aesthetic but functional as well.
  9. Chat to Bike Market - you can at the very least ride their bikes in the parking lot lol but in all honesty they have just about every type of bike available second hand and you’ll be able to get a really good idea of what you would like. NB factor in the price of a platform carrier that will work for the bikes you choose. Some dualsus bikes won’t fit on a hanging carrier. You’ll be looking at 8 (good used) to 25k (top spec new) for a suitable carrier with sufficient width between all the bikes that you don’t have damage to them when loading.
  10. If you fit gravel tyres you will probably be able to run a 26” air fork - I swapped the Suntour 80mm coil fork on my 29” hybrid for a 26” Fox F100 series fork (old but good) and it works a treat with my Pirelli Cinturato 40s on the aero wheels that came with the bike. The weight saving was immediately noticeable. And a huge difference in handling. Not sure what fork you currently have on the bike. I have a Cane Creek Thudbuster on the bike and the drivetrain isn’t light (Microshift Advent plus Prowheel) but the bike itself isn’t noticeably heavy, climbs well, and is “gravel plus” lol as it did Cradle Mountain Challenge and Lion Man before I accepted that I needed a bike with more mountain in it 😂 But mostly came here to say that you can probably run a lightweight 26 air fork on 700c gravel tyres, and these forks are cheaper and pretty common.
  11. I am not a fan of LTwoo, simple as. To me the shifting is ok-ish but the crud retention and constant tweaking is enough to drive me mental. Maybe you have a better version than mine 🤷 but I don’t like mine. It is simply incomparable to my SRAM GX 11 speed, Deore 12 speed and GX 10 speed. (PS. Bought brand new and fastidiously maintained at home and by LBS and now 1 year old)
  12. My view as someone who buys both new and second hand is: I like second hand good quality parts because they don’t need tweaking. I don’t like needing to tweak every second or third ride. There is a massive, massive difference between “cheap or mid-range new” and “good condition mid to upper tier second hand”. Massive. They are scarily the same price. A well-maintained RockShox SiD WC that is 5-10 years old is more plush and fun than a brand new Rockshox Judy SL. An “old” SRAM GX 1x11 outperforms a new Microshift Advent or LTwoo 1x10 any day of the week and twice on Sundays. All hydraulic brakes are not created equal even at the same price point. “Shimano” means nothing - the model numbers matter and how it makes you feel matters most. All in all it’s a good quality second hand bike for me in the 10-20k price range. I have sat on a few 40-60k new bikes belonging to mates and I keep coming back to my “old” Giant XTC from @RobertWhitehead - it’s the perfect bike for me and he read my need so well when I reached out to him a year ago. He has built bikes for family and friends as well and they all LOVE their bikes too. This is not a plug for Robert exclusively but there are very good bikes to be had for 10k if you are not seeking “new”.
  13. Little NY circuit at Lion & Safari this morning
  14. A little outing down the road with the dogs late afternoon ❤️ So much easier than walking 😂
  15. @RobertWhitehead will be able to sort you out with a second hand fork (serviced and good to go) and he’s in Pretoria. He is very familiar with the X-Caliber as well and has done his fair share of bike riding lol so you’ll get the right fork for the job. But - see what Trek/the bike shop can do for you first, as it will probably be cheaper to pay in with them as an upgrade, than buy a different fork outright and sit with the old one. Or maybe Robert would do a trade on your fork but it would only be worth the value of its lowers I would think, as he’s not going to sell or fit a fork with stanchion wear.
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