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Buying my mountain first bike


xCaLaBa
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Hi,
 
I am looking for get into mountain biking, I used to ride a bit when I was young but I am a beginner now.
I don't want to buy a really basic bike and then be forced to buy something better in a few months so I think my spend should be around R30 000 - R35 000. I've heard that a 1x12. 
 
I would like be able to ride anywhere so the bike should be versatile. I'd do a bit of on road, downhill, cross-country etc. 
 
I think my options are:
  • 2021 Giant Stance 2 29"
  • Titan Cypher Comp
  • Titan Cypher RS Elite (Is the 100mm travel a lot worse than the 120mm from the bike above?)
  • Silverback Stratos AL NX

 

Any advise and feedback would be great! 

Thanks

Craig

 

edit:

Think I'm leaning towards this bike.. any thoughts?

https://www.titanracingbikes.com/product/cypher-comp/

 

Can't find any second hand deals that seem good for a size small 

Edited by xCaLaBa
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I would say look at the Silverback Stratos AL1, otherwise maybe phone some Giant dealers and see if they can get a 2019 Giant Trance 2 still, that would be my choice, or if any of the Norco shops can get a Norco Fluid, but everyone is struggling with stock at the moment

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I’d have a close look at all the components, so many bike come with low end brakes or suspension parts which are expensive items to replace. Do any of the bikes have dropper posts? Other things, cassette, chain, chainring will need to be replaced.

 

Agree with the above, see if any 2019/2020 stock is around, I got a great deal on a Giant demo bike. Personally, I like the Trance rather than Stance, different suspension system, and a bit more relaxed head angle. 1x12 is cool, the standard for now (1x13 in gravel bikes?).

I ride a 1x11 and will replace it with a 12s when it wears out.

Edited by Uphill battle
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I would say

1. Start by looking at what bikes are available (i.e. can you get stock in your size)

2. Then look at the components and go for the bike with the better components (fork, groupset etc.) and read reviews on the frame / geometry to make sure that it can work

 

I think 1x12 is the standard and easier to use than a 2x; if you plan to ride more of the sketchy stuff then look for 120mm fork and a dropper

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Looks wise I would go for the Stance especially the 2020 almost candy like red.

I am not a Titan fan at those prices it just makes me wonder where did they take a "shortcut" and those carbon bikes are far from light.

I would say the Silverback would be a good choice but that gutter running down the frame just spoiles it completely for me.

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Hey Craig, 30-35k is a hell of a lot of cash for a off the shelf bike with NX parts. I've not had a look at any of the bikes you've mentioned but by just looking at the brand names I would go with the Giant.

 

But if it was my decision to make: I would build rather than buy off the shelf

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Hey Craig, 30-35k is a hell of a lot of cash for a off the shelf bike with NX parts. I've not had a look at any of the bikes you've mentioned but by just looking at the brand names I would go with the Giant.

But if it was my decision to make: I would build rather than buy off the shelf

building a bike will most definitely be more expensive if you use new parts. Simple example take the Titan Drone with XT 12spd and Sid for the groupset and fork alone cost the asking price of the complete bike.
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I was at the Giant dealership in JHB on Friday and the had no Trance bikes in stock. According to them the 2021 model will only be available in Jan. Stance also not very well spec'd for the price in my opinion.

 

I am in a similar situation at the moment. My choices are currently narrowed down to:

 

Silverback Stratos AL1 (there is currently an almost new Medium in the classifieds, if it is the size you are looking for)

Silverback Stratos AL2 which you can get for R34,500 new

Titan RS Cypher Elite

 

Going to be difficult to beat the specs of the above mentioned bikes at that price point if you buy new.

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I was at the Giant dealership in JHB on Friday and the had no Trance bikes in stock. According to them the 2021 model will only be available in Jan. Stance also not very well spec'd for the price in my opinion.

 

I am in a similar situation at the moment. My choices are currently narrowed down to:

 

Silverback Stratos AL1 (there is currently an almost new Medium in the classifieds, if it is the size you are looking for)

Silverback Stratos AL2 which you can get for R34,500 new

Titan RS Cypher Elite

 

Going to be difficult to beat the specs of the above mentioned bikes at that price point if you buy new.

Why do you prefer the RS Cypher Elite over the Cypher?

100mm vs 120mm..

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Hey Craig, 30-35k is a hell of a lot of cash for a off the shelf bike with NX parts. I've not had a look at any of the bikes you've mentioned but by just looking at the brand names I would go with the Giant.

 

But if it was my decision to make: I would build rather than buy off the shelf

 What do you mean by NX parts?

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 What do you mean by NX parts?

 

SRAM NX ... uhm jaaaa, NO !!

 

For a few years SRAM GX was the benchmark for 1x12 drive systems on MTB's.  Do note that the "GX" used the propritory XD hub.

 

Shimano launched their 1x12 systems, using the new era Shimano micro-spline hub.

 

 

NOTE - both these systems provide a "10" on the small side, as apposed to the previous standard of "11".  It may not sound like much ... but it makes a very real difference to the top end speed.

 

 

Somewhere around the time of the Shimano launch SRAM launched the "NX" and "SX" systems .... a very quick look may fool you into believing it is a real 1x12 system....  In fact, these cheaper systems run on old school Shimano hubs, and with an "11" as the smallest gear.  

 

 

On a technical level - if you ever wanted to upgrade to a "real" 1x12 system with a 10-50 type cassette ... the new free-body may well end up in a total new wheel build ....  Saving a very small amount of money now may well cost you a fortune later.

 

 

To add insult to injury .... the guide wheels run on bushes, not proper bearings.

 

 

As if this is not bad enough, they manages to mess it up even further .... many of these derailure units "exploded" .... turns out you needed to add blue locktight to the bolts holding the guide wheels in place - the type of BASICS that most manufacturers have implemented for decades.

 

 

So basically "NX" is the type of entry level cr@p one would expect to see on an entry level bike.

 

 

BUT .... MOST manufacturers have climbed onto this little money wagon to boost profits !!

 

 

SPECIALIZED - On their R90k Turbo Levo ... 2019 model had a proper gear set .... downgraded to NX on the 2020 model, AND a marginal price increase !!

 

SCOTT - using NX on their R80k ebike ...

 

I do recall seeing NX on a Giant in February this year .... specification sheets now show they are using the new 1x12 Shimano XT .... Maybe I was not the only one refusing to pay that sort of money for NX ....

 

 

 

 

Try and discuss this with the sales-staff and you WILL be told that the bushes are fine, and that they add the locktight, and that it is actually a good system .... and if you dare ask about the 11-50 setup, you are told that you can just use a larger ring if you need the top end .... Yeah right, THAT is why we moved from 1x11 to 1x12, the extra gear range.

Edited by ChrisF
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Even though 1x12 has become common and gives great range don't discount a 1x11 setup. Sometimes bike shops will be able to mix and match some parts to create a better/cheaper option for you so for example; Maybe a certain bike comes with 1x12 but the shop will do a 1x11 or such and give you a better price. Sometimes people buy bikes but have them upgraded before collection so the bike shops have new items that came off new bikes before delivery. Doesn't hurt to ask them about better prices on such items.

 

At the moment stock especially in M size is a huge issue, helped a friend buy a bike a month or so ago and learnt as much.

 

Get hold of a couple of bike shops local to you, tell them what you would like and what your price range is and maybe they have something or can build something that will work for you.

 

Good luck.

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Even though 1x12 has become common and gives great range don't discount a 1x11 setup. Sometimes bike shops will be able to mix and match some parts to create a better/cheaper option for you so for example; Maybe a certain bike comes with 1x12 but the shop will do a 1x11 or such and give you a better price. Sometimes people buy bikes but have them upgraded before collection so the bike shops have new items that came off new bikes before delivery. Doesn't hurt to ask them about better prices on such items.

 

At the moment stock especially in M size is a huge issue, helped a friend buy a bike a month or so ago and learnt as much.

 

Get hold of a couple of bike shops local to you, tell them what you would like and what your price range is and maybe they have something or can build something that will work for you.

 

Good luck.

A decent 1x11 is way better than these entry level 1x12 systems ....

 

Same gear range...

 

Less fiddly ....

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