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Upgrade a basic mtb or wait and get a better one

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 Bog ninja 08 Jan 2021

Hi ya I’m a newbie biker and I would like to get a hardtail mtb for easy trail/XC riding and bike packing through the cyclescheme. My lbs in Thurso has a giant talon 3 in my frame size but I would prefer something with a better drivetrain and forks. With stocks of bikes limited and demand high coupled the current lockdown do you think it would be better to upgrade some components on this bike assuming the geometry suits me, or wait to hope something better comes available? 

 crustypunkuk 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

If you're a newbie, why worry about the fork and component level? Just get out and ride.

There may be a point in time in the future where you feel like upgrading, but when you're starting out, the forks and spec won't be what holds you back. 

 jethro kiernan 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

For a hard tail the sonder transmitter is a great bike

https://alpkit.com/products/sonder-transmitter-sx-eagle

a good frame is definitely worth more (upto a point) than components, components are relatively easy to upgrade as you grow into your riding.

 gethin_allen 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

If it were just the drivetrain I'd say get on with riding and then replace things as you break them and know what makes a difference/what you want, after all, many drivetrain components wear out and need replacing over time. Forks on the other hand are pretty expensive and I'd try to get the best fork you can as standard.

 crayefish 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Upgrading is always more fun and you get to learn a lot about what works for you.  E.g. I turned my crappy shimano entry level hyd. brakes into more than I need for XC through the addition of some 40 euro 203/180mm discs

If you get all the components up to a high spec, can always shift them to a nice new carbon frame later.  Though of course this is more expensive in the long run.  Good way to start is last year's model on discount with XT derailleur and other parts SLX, if you can afford it.  Takes a long time to outgrow that.

Though, as others have said, to start with just getting out and riding is the most important... so much to learn about tyre pressures, treads, geometry adjustments that can keep you busy in the short term.  Took me ages to get my tyres and pressures right for winter so that I didn't keep loosing the back end dramatically.

In reply to jethro kiernan:

> a good frame is definitely worth more (upto a point) than components, components are relatively easy to upgrade as you grow into your riding.

I know a lot of people say this, and if you are spending many thousands of pounds maybe it's true. But if you are spending up to say about a grand, the components make up more of the cost than the frame, and many people will get years of use out of the components without need to upgrade them. If you take off brand new Claris components off a new bike and spend hundreds of quid to buy 105 kit to replace it with, surely it would have been much better value for money to just buy the same frame but higher spec groupset?

My gravel bike is Tiagra, and most importantly for me has hydro brakes. It cost a grand. The cheaper version of the bike (same frame) was 750, and had Sora groupset but Avid mechanical brakes. To buy the Tiagra groupset with hydraulic brakes separately would have been LOADS more than the 250 quid price difference between the 8.8 and 8.9 models.

 Bog ninja 08 Jan 2021
In reply to crustypunkuk:

Fair enough, having a bike would defo than no bike

 Bog ninja 08 Jan 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I do like Alpkit stuff and those sonder bikes do look nice

 Bog ninja 08 Jan 2021
In reply to crayefish:

It does appeal to me upgrading and tuning the bike to how I like it. I definitely want to keep the bike for a long time so i wouldn’t mind investing in it over time

 kevin stephens 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

New bikes in your size will be like hens' teeth so I would jump at the chance to get one now, it may be 6 months or more until new stock arrives.  By riding a basic bike you will develop a lot better idea of what you want long term, hence you may then decide to upgrade or sell it and get something with a different geometry etc

 jethro kiernan 08 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I agree with what your saying but the sonder frame is a massive step up from the talon, I think most people who have bikes for some time go through a bit of a bell curve. They start of with basic components, then move into lusting after Durace/XTR and then after time go into realising that their abilities and pockets are fine with 105/Tiagra SLX/XT 😏

 Bog ninja 08 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Indeed the cost of a new drive train a and forks would be reasonable with the current sales (less so outside of them) but then you would have to add in the cost of labour to assemble it would make much more economic sense to go for a higher specced bike. This would be my preferred option but unfortunately the choice available to me for bikes is limited due to the demand 

 nniff 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Anything that is available now is worth getting because the market is stuffed - my wife's bike has been languishing in the LBS for about a month waiting for some hydraulic hose olives.  The LBS resorted to ebay in the end, but those were just out of spec and leaked, so it's still there.  They also told me that they would have been able to sell a £500 bike every day since March if they could have got them.

If you're doing easy trail/XC riding you really don't need  all that much and, at that price point, you will learn a lot about what is important to you before you start to spend more.  Suspension, gears, weight, riding position, rack mounting points, wheels and tyres.....

 Monk 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

It really depends on what you want to do with the bike... sounds like this would be ok for you, but is a fairly old fashioned set up and there are better bikes out there.  Having said that, my first hardtail was similar spec and I never regretted buying it. Having a bike and riding it is better than saving and waiting for the perfect bike. It'll take a while before your abilities outstrip the bike and you learn better skills on a bike that isn't designed to flatter. 

Post edited at 20:30
In reply to gethin_allen:

Totally agree. Upgrading a fork is expensive and a good fork makes a huge difference.

 GrahamD 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Just get on a bike and ride ! It doesn't have to be a great set up to get loads of riding enjoyment. 

 Dell 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Talon 3 is a decent enough bike for a beginner, great fun and good entry level components and frame. Get down and buy it before they sell out and you end up kicking yourself. 

Saturday tomorrow, call them first thing and reserve it! 

Don't forget to budget for pedals, helmet, chain, multitool and a couple of spare tubes. 

 It will hold a decent value if you maintain it, so you could sell it to trade up when the shops are stocked up with bikes again.

That said, as a beginner you could hit the odd tree or end up in a ditch while you find your feet, and you'd rather not do that on a more expensive bike would you? 

 nathan79 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Nice but by the looks of things you'll have to wait until at least March to get one.

I'm pondering the same thing now. Tempted by a Trek Xcalibur as my size is available at the moment, but I had previously been considering more expensive offerings from Sonder or On-One.

 Hooo 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

If you need a bike and your LBS has something suitable, buy it! I'm a lightweight bimbler myself and when I was looking for a new bike recently I started to read the forums and go down the rabbit hole of all the options and felt overwhelmed. In the end I realised that 1. It was irrelevant at my level anyway, and 2. There is nothing in stock anywhere, so if you can get any bike at all you're doing well.

I found a suitable bike at a localish shop and I've been very happy with it. I wouldn't overthink what you need, at least until you've owned a few bikes and got seriously into the whole scene.

 Philip 08 Jan 2021
In reply to nathan79:

I'd been pondering a Sonder but got put off by the complaints about paint quality and also constantly out of stock.

Picked up a Trek Xcalibre 9 just before Christmas - got lucky on stock. So far so good. Getting use to a 1x drive.

 Bog ninja 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Hi folks,

Just so you know I have put in a cyclescheme request to square wheels in Strathpeffer (requested delivery so no unnecessary travel out with my area) for a nice looking Cube hardtail plus accessories  and I am awaiting on a response. Thank you for all your suggestions and feedback it’s really appreciated 

 GrahamD 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Bog ninja:

Enjoy !


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