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Silverback Stride or Stratos?


Bluey

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Hi everyone

I am currently riding an old geometry XC mountainbike circa 2006 with 3x7 drivetrain and V-brakes and I am using it for park riding and gravel roads and mild trails. I must admit the geometry and brakes make me nervous when going downhill.  I am considering something with modern geometry to enable me to try more technical trails.

From various forums it seems that Silverback seems to offer good value for money and I am considering the Stride or Stratos. I am also looking at a 1 x 10 drivetrain as an upgrade to the 3 x 7 I am used to. 

If I am used to old geometry hardtail, would it be too big a jump to move to new geometry and duel suspension at once?

Also considering that I need to learn about ‘new’ technology such as hydraulic brakes and tubeless tyres, would it be better to buy new with hopefully some after sales support or would it be better to buy second hand with perhaps local bike shop support?

Also please advise alternatives to the Silverback that offers good value.

My budget is between R15 and R20k.

 

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Titan Cypher is also a good buy, Silverback Stratos is a nice bike, with lots of potential, second hand you might get a deal within your price range.

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What height are you? 
 

You’ll get something decent for your budget second-hand. Might not be a dualsus but still something decent! 
 

Edited by RobynE
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I am 165cm  - so typically a small frame size I would guess.

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You’d be on the upper end of most small 29” frames so you’d probably be looking at a M.
 

Whereabouts are you based? 
 

Any back or orthopaedic challenges? 

 

One trip around the block and you’ll wonder how you ever used rim/V brakes 😁 

 

In your budget you’ll get a really really nice hardtail, and maybe even a dualsus. 
 

Solomon’s currently has a great sale on. 
 

For example:

 

Merida Big Nine XT Edition (hardtail) with super components at R19,999 (Deore XT brakes and drivetrain and Manitou fork) 

 

Titan Cypher RS Sport (dualsus) at the same price (rideable components, Microshift Advent 1x10 and RockShox, there are better components but also way worse components)

 

Merida Big Nine 400 (hardtail) at R11,999 (superb value for the price with Deore M6100 1x11 and a Manitou fork)

 

Above are all new bikes. 
 

Then there are heaps and heaps of second-hand bikes in the classifieds too. 

 

I have bikes with 1x10, 1x11 and 1x12. I don’t find much of a difference between the 11 and 12 but I run out of gas with the 10. 
 

Edited by RobynE
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PS tubeless done right and you pretty much forget about punctures. Totally different ride feel to tubed. I got 5 punctures in a 500m stretch on a ride the other day and all sealed up with barely any loss of pressure - I just had sealant sprayed all over the back of my legs and butt as it did its job lol. 
 

NB on a lot of new bikes the tyres are not tubeless so be sure to ask that - to get the best experience I would suggest getting the best tyres you can right from the start and setting tubeless up beforehand. My local bike shop trades in the stock tyres and gives a discount towards the new tyres. The tyres look similar but aren’t the same in terms of robustness, longevity and handling. 
 

Would also recommend a bike fit. It can make all the difference in the world to your comfort and confidence. 

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Thank you for a well considered response RobynE.

I did go for a bike fit on the Silverback and a Small frame (due to reach) was recommended but I will be sure to go for a fit on the other recommended brands so that I am sure about the size before starting to hunt in the classifieds. 
 

Would it then ultimately be worthwhile to go duel sus lower spec or rather hardtail better spec? Or let me rather ask, under which riding circumstances would a dualsus be a better companion albeit with arguably less reliable components….

 

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I’m 1.66 and ride mediums - I find them more comfortable over distance. I feel a bit hunched up on a small. 
 

My bike is nothing fancy but I love it. It’s a probably 2014 Giant XTC carbon hardtail (frame) with a SRAM GX 1x11 groupset, oval chainring, a Rockshox Sid WC fork, American Classic wheels and hubs and Magura brakes. It weighs under 10kg without pedals. @RobertWhitehead here on the hub built it for me in 2023.
 

It goes and it stops and it’s so easy to manoeuvre. I love that it’s so lightweight. Easy to load on the car or hang on a rack. It’s been super reliable and hasn’t needed any “real” work since Robert handed it to me. All of the parts are a minimum of 5-10 years old. Still has all the same parts it had when I got it, and it’s still rolling perfectly. It was actually just checked over yesterday after Trailseeker as the drivetrain felt crunchy - my LBS couldn’t find a thing wrong with it and a wash and lube resolved the crunchiness - probably just the very fine red sand making it feel like there were pebbles on my chain ring 😊 The feeling is gone now. 
 

I’m in the same budget category as you. 
 

I have sat on a few dualsus and I just haven’t found one that feels like “my bike”. My Giant feels like I’m supposed to sit on it and I love riding it. None of the dualsus I’ve sat on feel like I should be riding them. Not even the new ones. Maybe it would change if my budget was 3 or 4 times what it is, but it’s not. But I can say that a R40k dualsus (new) just doesn’t feel like it should be mine.  
 

But I think it’s personal preference and I don’t think anyone can answer the question for you as to whether a hardtail or a dualsus is a better choice. 
 

I think good quality, reliable, serviceable parts are the most important thing if you’re not your own mechanic. Poor quality or non-serviceable hubs for example end up being surprisingly expensive as it’s just about a full wheel build to replace in terms of labour cost. Of course everything is upgradable or replaceable but it all costs money. Sometimes a person lucks out on good quality used parts but you need to know what you’re looking for, and at. I don’t have that knowledge. 

 

All that being said - I bought my bike from Robert and long live Robert as I would be hard pressed to buy a bike second-hand just sommer. 
 

The Meridas at Solomons are really good value though and well worth a look. 

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