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1st time buyer - What to buy?


KennyZA
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Hey guys,

 

I am completely new to MTB - don't even have a bike yet. I swore to never ride a bicycle but after looking at some of the bikes available and videos I seem to find myself drooling over the thought. Several of my mates ride and I am eager to get going once we are let out of our cells! I have not riden bikes before, just grew up riding MX bikes. I have done a few sessions on a road bike indoor training thing and am a fairly decent athlete in other sports so am pretty capable physically.

 

I've had my eye on the Specialized sale - the 2019 Chisel Comp X1 to be exact. And in other brands the Merida Big Nine Limited AL

 

What are the thoughts on these bikes and their components? Also are there any other suggestions on what bike to get being a kook and what aspects I should actually be looking at?

 

Much Appreciated!

Kenny

 

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Hey guys,

 

I am completely new to MTB - don't even have a bike yet. I swore to never ride a bicycle but after looking at some of the bikes available and videos I seem to find myself drooling over the thought. Several of my mates ride and I am eager to get going once we are let out of our cells! I have not riden bikes before, just grew up riding MX bikes. I have done a few sessions on a road bike indoor training thing and am a fairly decent athlete in other sports so am pretty capable physically.

 

I've had my eye on the Specialized sale - the 2019 Chisel Comp X1 to be exact. And in other brands the Merida Big Nine Limited AL.

 

What are the thoughts on these bikes and their components? Also are there any other suggestions on what bike to get being a kook and what aspects I should actually be looking at?

 

Much Appreciated!

Kenny

What's your budget?

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And wrt to the aspects you mentioned. I could also ask you what sort of riding do your mates do and what do you want to be able to do on your bike? Do long, fast rides and do races? Or ride proper rowdy trails? If it's your first bike and you're not sure, perhaps a bike that fits in between those two segments. Many of the modern bikes do both really well actually...

 

You might be able to pick something good up at the moment with a few sales that's happening.

 

But ya start with budget always. And don't forget gear. That can easily cost you a few thousands (helmet, clothes, gloves, spares, etc.)

Edited by NeverNotRolling
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Kenny WELCOME to the Hub.

 

 

YES - what type of riding will you be doing ?  Different tools for different uses ... though modern bikes are more capable over a wider range of uses.

 

 

SIZE - this is THEE most important thing to consider.  Sadly many of us have been suckered into buying "what is on the floor" .... cost me dearly once the too small frame started causing rider-strain ....

 

 

BIKEFIT - some of the bike shops do a semi decent bike-fit (Impressed with Raymond at Giant Durbanville !) .... if they do it in less than 20 minutes, well then they rushed it, and you will need a decent fit later.  Starting out your "ideal fit" will differ slightly to your final fit once your body adapts to the riding position.  But somebody like IRMA - https://irmfit.co.za/ - does a 1 hour initial fit, and then follow up sessions to help with fine tuning as your body adapts.

 

 

Enjoy  :thumbup:

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Welcome. I've also left motorcycling behind in favour of cycling. Just somehow prefer the simplicity of a mechanically simple self-powered machine.

 

Save money in the medium term: learn what you can about drivetrains (and brakes, for that matter). Find out what you don't want, and where the quality (just) starts. Hunt there. 

 

Next compare the drivetrains of every bike you look at. 

 

And Chris is right about size and having a custom fit. 

 

Enjoy the comparative silence ...  :thumbup:

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So basically I'm not that interested in single track riding - well interested I guess but rather looking at another form of cardio training that can take me further than running! I would like to one day maybe do some like Wine2Whales etc. but probably not on this initial bike. I've heard that Dual suspension is better for the naught! One day when I'm big..  :eek:

 

I'm looking at a budget of R20k all in  with kit - which seems to pick up only Hardtails in the R15k margin?

I'd like to get something that is reliable and not going to be out of date in a year or two's time!

Am I wrong in believing that 2x drivetrains are on there way out and I should be looking in the 1x 11/12 area of SRAM or Shimano?

 

I see a decent pair of kicks and a helmet will set you back R3k before you've blinked! 

 

Thanks guys!

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So basically I'm not that interested in single track riding - well interested I guess but rather looking at another form of cardio training that can take me further than running! 

A personal opinion on this.  I also did the single track circuits for a while and I found my niche of what I really like.  (Not much tech single track anymore.)

So in your statement I read eg 'more distance / less tech trails' etc.  I am not sure if 1x will give you that flexibility?

(Take with the necessary pinch of salt as I still ride and enjoy my 3x MTB - doing eg multi day gravel trips etc) 

Edited by Pieter-za
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So basically I'm not that interested in single track riding - well interested I guess but rather looking at another form of cardio training that can take me further than running! I would like to one day maybe do some like Wine2Whales etc. but probably not on this initial bike. I've heard that Dual suspension is better for the naught! One day when I'm big..  :eek:

 

I'm looking at a budget of R20k all in  with kit - which seems to pick up only Hardtails in the R15k margin?

I'd like to get something that is reliable and not going to be out of date in a year or two's time!

Am I wrong in believing that 2x drivetrains are on there way out and I should be looking in the 1x 11/12 area of SRAM or Shimano?

 

I see a decent pair of kicks and a helmet will set you back R3k before you've blinked! 

 

Thanks guys!

I can see you are learning..

My view:

Get the Specialized bike. Go to Revolution and speak to Greg. Helmet and shoes are on special there too. You can get nicely kitted and brand new bike for your budget. This is what I would do. 1X11 is good. I have been riding for 15 years and ride this with a 32 up front. I have never wanted for more gears.

Something you will learn is everyone has their view and opinion as an individual cyclist. Once you have made your mind up buy it and be happy. Never regret it. You end up wasting a lot of money when you do this.

Good luck.

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So basically I'm not that interested in single track riding - well interested I guess but rather looking at another form of cardio training that can take me further than running! I would like to one day maybe do some like Wine2Whales etc. but probably not on this initial bike. I've heard that Dual suspension is better for the naught! One day when I'm big..  :eek:

 

I'm looking at a budget of R20k all in  with kit - which seems to pick up only Hardtails in the R15k margin?

I'd like to get something that is reliable and not going to be out of date in a year or two's time!

Am I wrong in believing that 2x drivetrains are on there way out and I should be looking in the 1x 11/12 area of SRAM or Shimano?

 

I see a decent pair of kicks and a helmet will set you back R3k before you've blinked! 

 

Thanks guys!

 

Hi and welcome

 

just my 2cents

 

What you think you like now could be very different from a year a down the line.

 

Just like you I started out running, then trail running and then did off road Triathlons and then MTB bug bit hard (blame Xterra and Woolies Tri for that). At that time i wasn't into tech single track and gravel riding was sufficient for me....now im contemplating enduro

 

So don't get caught in the now is what I am saying.

 

With your budget I would say get a decent HT with good geo.  

 

Many might not agree with me on this but I can only project what I think would be important

 

1) A frame with thru axle (dare i say even boost), modern geo and perhaps something that can cater for a dropper post

2) Good pair of brakes (think Shimano XT)

3) a dam good fork - eg RockShox Reba - Not a fan of noodles so stay away from Judys

Also 100mm  travel is sufficent , dont get caught up in needing more at this point. You can always upgrade once you gained more experience.

4) Groupset, reliability and shifting performance over number of gears - I would take an older XT and XO 11 speed over the NX 12 speed.

5) At this point Alu vs Carbon shouldnt be your key focus

6) And most of all get tubeless tires. Tire choice is personal and you will have to experiment with this. You will find 100 different opinions from 100 different riders.

 

as for kit, just ride in Tshirt, khaki shorts, and a pair of slippers until everyone starts making you feel uncomfortable and then buy kit :ph34r: 

Edited by YaseenEnos
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Hi and welcome

 

just my 2cents

 

What you think you like now could be very different from a year a down the line.

 

Just like you I started out running, then trail running and then did off road Triathlons and then MTB bug bit hard (blame Xterra and Woolies Tri for that). At that time i wasn't into tech single track and gravel riding was sufficient for me....now im contemplating enduro

 

So don't get caught in the now is what I am saying.

 

With your budget I would say get a decent HT with good geo.

 

Many might not agree with me on this but I can only project what I think would be important

 

1) A frame with thru axle (dare i say even boost), modern geo and perhaps something that can cater for a dropper post

2) Good pair of brakes (think Shimano XT)

3) a dam good fork - eg RockShox Reba - Not a fan of noodles so stay away from Judys

Also 100mm travel is sufficent , dont get caught up in needing more at this point. You can always upgrade once you gained more experience.

4) Groupset, reliability and shifting performance over number of gears - I would take an older XT and XO 11 speed over the NX 12 speed.

5) At this point Alu vs Carbon shouldnt be your key focus

6) And most of all get tubeless tires. Tire choice is personal and you will have to experiment with this. You will find 100 different opinions from 100 different riders.

 

as for kit, just ride in Tshirt, khaki shorts, and a pair of slippers until everyone starts making you feel uncomfortable and then buy kit :ph34r:

This.

 

Sounds like it should be turned into a starter kit meme. All good points because I went through the same lifecycle haha.

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So basically I'm not that interested in single track riding - well interested I guess but rather looking at another form of cardio training that can take me further than running! I would like to one day maybe do some like Wine2Whales etc. but probably not on this initial bike. I've heard that Dual suspension is better for the naught! One day when I'm big..  :eek:

 

I'm looking at a budget of R20k all in  with kit - which seems to pick up only Hardtails in the R15k margin?

I'd like to get something that is reliable and not going to be out of date in a year or two's time!

Am I wrong in believing that 2x drivetrains are on there way out and I should be looking in the 1x 11/12 area of SRAM or Shimano?

 

I see a decent pair of kicks and a helmet will set you back R3k before you've blinked! 

 

Thanks guys!

 

Kenny clearly you have been searching the interwebs ...  :whistling:

 

YES, those Titan HT bikes offers very good value for money.  But right now MANY bike shops have some SERIOUS sales going !!!!

 

So what should be looking at - given your budget ...

 

- tires - 29'' ... at least that is the standard answers.  In real life one should first know your height, but if you are a typical adult then 29'' would be the norm.

 

- TUBELESS ... try to confirm that both the rims and tires are at the very least "tubeless ready".  Often the dealer sweetens the deal by doing this for you.

 

- front fork .... you want, and should get in the price range, an air fork.  Not sure just how fancy you could go with this at the price ... but this may well be the decider once you put options on the table.

 

- brakes .... hydraulic disc brakes.  The brakes supplied on these bikes are certainly more than capable for a starter bike.

 

bar-grips ... those supplied will be "good enough", and yet we all tend to upgrade this sooner rather than later  :whistling:   I am a fan of ESI grips, truth be told, sure there are many grips as good or even better ...

 

- pedals .... I ride flat pedals.  For anything from R 1 000 to "much more" you can get a nice set of pedals.  The alternative is "clip-less" pedals ... significantly more expensive, and the matching shoes aint exactly cheap ... the choice between the two types of pedals are very much a personal thing .... 

 

- Gearing .... I have been riding 1x for the last few years, but still have the older 3x on my commuter bike.  There is a nice simplicity about a 1x out on the trails.  The bike looks cleaner.  It is the flavour of the day ... BUT, there IS  a significant price to pay - LIMITED gear ratio !!  A 2x simply has a wider ratio !  Now IF you get the gearing RIGHT, then a 1x WORKS.  If you need a smaller gear in the front to get more of a climbing ratio, then you sacrifice top-end speed .... There simply is no single answer that works for all.  Being new to cycling, but a generally fit person, you may well like a 1x setup with 32 front ring, and a 10-50 gear at the back - knowing that you will be riding the Durbanville hills, and will need some climbing gears, at least at the start.  Once you are settled in, you could go for 34 in the front.

 

Now what is what in this game ... SRAM vs SHIMANO ?

 

SRAM was first with the 1x12 setup, and won a lot of market share.  Shimano stepped up, and now have arguably better options.  But what about the sub-options ....

 

SRAM - SX ... crap !

SRAM - NX ... rather avoid ... both NX and SX have bushes for the rear derailure (the others use bearings), and a quick search will point out many unhappy clients !!

SRAM - GX .... nice value for money option.  But it needs a bit of fine tuning on a regular basis ... no biggy, you do it while riding, just take up the slack on the gear cable.  Still niggles me for the price range ...

SRAM - XX1 ... nice, but costly

SRAM - AXS .... Electrical shifting, no cables.  Not in your stated budget ... (this you find on the R100k+ bikes)

 

SHIMANO - SLX - entry level, but for my money better than GX  (this based on my personal experience with a GX system and currently two SLX systems)

SHIMANO - XT - good !

SHIMANO - XTR - by all accounts better than Sram's XX1

 

YES, I am a Shimano fanboy.  That said, whatever you do, just stay AWAY from "SX" and "NX" ... and these are to be found on MANY of the bikes in your price range !  In fact it is now on a lot of bikes over R50k ....

 

 

Practically there is one small difference between the two brands, which for some users seems to be a serious thing, though it never bothered me.  With Shimano you "push" to go up gears, and you "pull" to go down gears.  With SRAM you push for both ... some complains it tires out their thumbs ... 

 

 

 

- Helmet .... Scott has some decent enough helmets for under a R 1 000 .... or you can quickly blow the budget on this.

 

- gloves .... many will advise you to get a pair.

 

- shoes .... dedicated shoes if you are going clip-less.  Old tekkies are NOT ideal for flat pedals, if you have to, make sure the soles are FLAT.  Scate-board shoes are better .... Proper cycling shoes are just so much better, but R2 to R3k !!

 

- clothing .... Ooooh !!  Now the facionista will be around quick enough ... just get something with some cushioning for your bottom ....  Go have a look at Anatomic - https://www.anatomic.co.za/ - in Durbanville.

 

 

- Bike computer .... if you want to kepe track of your progress, or if you want to share your rides with buddies .... you want to get a bike computer with a GPS .... Lyzene is the entry into this market .... before long you get involved in the Merc-Beemer fight, o-sorry, the Garmin-Wahoo fight for which is best .... You can seriously hurt your budget here ....

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Hey guys,

 

I am completely new to MTB - don't even have a bike yet. I swore to never ride a bicycle but after looking at some of the bikes available and videos I seem to find myself drooling over the thought. Several of my mates ride and I am eager to get going once we are let out of our cells! I have not riden bikes before, just grew up riding MX bikes. I have done a few sessions on a road bike indoor training thing and am a fairly decent athlete in other sports so am pretty capable physically.

 

I've had my eye on the Specialized sale - the 2019 Chisel Comp X1 to be exact. And in other brands the Merida Big Nine Limited AL.

 

What are the thoughts on these bikes and their components? Also are there any other suggestions on what bike to get being a kook and what aspects I should actually be looking at?

 

Much Appreciated!

Kenny

Just go buy a 2020 Titan Drone Elite from Bikeaddict. They go for R19490. Great specs.

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