We would appreciate and hope you can help us with some advice and feedback on our plans to buy mountain bikes: My brother and I live in Centurion and are seriously considering taking the plunge and getting a couple of mountain bikes, both for fitness and for fun. We are quite similar in that we are both about 40, overweight (about 100kg when we should be about 75kg), about 1,77m tall with an inside seam of about 76cm, so we are probably looking at medium (about 19'') frames, from what we have been able to gather by reading articles. At the beginning we will be mostly on roads, with some pavement and dirt, in order to get fit. Later, when we are more comfortable and confident, we hope to do more and more trails. From some personal narratives we have read, it seems as if the larger wheels (29ers) will therefore suit our purposes more (although we will welcome any expert opinions). We figure we have a total budget of about R10,000 – R12,000 (though we might be able to push it a little bit). Quite a few people have mentioned Silverbacks, specifically recommending the Solas as great beginner bikes, although the cheapest Solas we saw (Sola 4, 2015 model, new) are in the R10,000 - R11,500 range, which is about double our budget. Some of the online shops advertising Solas were Singletrack Cycles, VBike, Redhub Cycling and Cycle Factory. Although we are scared to buy secondhand since we don't know enough about MTBs to make sure we don't get ripped off, there are a couple of Silverback Solas available secondhand: - A Sola 4 advertised secondhand for R7,000 in Kempton Park (frame size unknown, wheel size unknown) https://www.olx.co.za/ad/silverback-sola-4-ID15Qanc.html#3c5be512b9 - And a Sola 3 (medium, 29er) for R8,500 in Nelspruit https://www.olx.co.za/ad/silverback-sola-3-ID15OgSm.html#3c5be512b9 The entry level Silverback 29ers seem much cheaper. A Spectra Sport (2015) is advertised for R4,999.98 at Cycle Lab, R5,500 at Kyalami Cycles and R5,999.99 at VBike (all online prices). Bearing in mind the cost of accessories like helmets (definitely) and probably gloves, eventually shoes, shorts, etc. will all add up, we figure the advantage of buying new is getting a warrantyso won't have to worry too much about things breaking and paying for repairs and replacements, plus building a relationship with a shop that can help with advice, skills and equipment, but buying secondhand we can save a few bucks plus there is always a chance for a few accessories thrown in to sweeten the deal (although maybe a store would be willing to do the same, since we are buying two bicycles, which seems a pretty good deal for the shop). We would appreciate any advice and recommendations you might have. We are not set on anything as we are complete novices when it comes to MTBs, and plan to go to a few shops in Centurion and maybe Pretoria this Saturday in person to look at bikes and talk to the experts. We understand that the risks are that we buy beginner level bikes and then get hooked and want to upgrade, but our budgets simply won’t stretch that far yet, so we hope to buy decent bikes now that will allow us to upgrade later, as it will be a long, long time before we even consider competitive riding, if ever. So any thoughts on specific bikes, shops, prices, new or secondhand, equipment, accessories or anything else we are not considering or you think we are wrong about – please help and drop a comment!