My bike has suntour forks, and replacing them is at least £300 and I can get £250 for the bike anyway, so I've managed to convince myself to just sell it and get a new bike for £900.
Suggestions. Single chainset, hard tail, serviceable forks (not making that mistake again).
Considering the Sonder Frontier. Anything else worth considering?
I don't live close enough to work so can't really claim cycle to work scheme, although that would be a lovely discount. Although, right now WFH I could manage the commute!
Buy some forks secondhand?
I'm not after new forks. I'm after recommendations for bike brands.
> Buy some forks secondhand?
Classic UKC answer.
I like things that say Marin on them.
In my experience, they seem to be fairly bombproof.
carrera, voodoo and boardman bikes from halfords get good reviews and well specc'd bikes in that price range
Vitus bikes from chain reaction and wiggle are also very good. Iv got a vitus full suspension and would happily buy another
For a little bit more the planetx scandal would be worth a look
You can shoehorn into cycle to work if you say its used for part of your journey, like riding to the station and back if you get the train.
I know plenty of people who've used cycle to work without ever cycling to work.
My wife had hers from Halfords, but right now I'd rather spend money somewhere smaller. Local shop only does Giant.
Me & Mrs C have had two bikes each over the last few years via cycle to work ( neither of us has ever actually “ cycled to work “)
so if you can take advantage of the scheme. . . . Do it!
I personally ride a Cube analog 29.
Nice bike for the cash. Only 650 maybe cheaper in a sale. Good geometry .
Had it 3 years and it's great for xc ,trails, bike trekking.
I think the new ones are all single up front , remote lockout forks are brilliant .
All depends on what you want from the bike.
This does everything I need so I didn't spend anymore. I'd considered a sonder before that.
I’m not sure there are many, if any, bad bikes anymore, and £900 is a decent budget, so I’d suggest you look at Whyte, Trek, Specialised, Kona, Marin, etc, etc.
If you can find something in last year’s colours, or a shop demo bike, you should be able to get a lot of bike for less. One caveat; a couple of local bike shops have said they are essentially sold out because of the bump in demand caused by lockdown, so your negotiating position might not be that great.
> I know plenty of people who've used cycle to work without ever cycling to work.
TBH I'm not sure the CTW scheme is necessarily all that good an option. Yes there's a tax saving, but you're paying full price for this years model from a limited range of retailers. I got my current bike (Cuba Analog hardtail - bombproof but crap forks) about 8 years ago via the CTW scheme but on reflection, and knowing a bit more about bikes now, I'd be looking at older models that the dealer wants to shift.
the decoupled seatstays on the new GT bikes are appealing eg https://singletrackworld.com/2020/05/the-new-gt-zaskar-lt-is-this-gts-definitive-hardcore-hardtail/
nice colours as well;)
Thanks, that's helped - mostly by showing how good a value the Alpkit one is in comparison.
I swapped from a fork mounted child seat to a tag along today and the extra 10 kg makes me feel like I should buy electric!
Nukeproof Scout. Rockshox recon fork. Super solid bike, you could do anything on this.
It's also effectively zero interest for a year.
My work CTW goes up to £2500 so I managed to get a really decent bike... More than I really need but it was there. Saving wise its about £500 on the tax. Nothing to sniff at.
And don't forget you can spend the voucher on helmets, locks, clothes, bags, pannier racks... Basically anything except a GPS or watt meter.
The Sonder bike range is really good. I had a Transmitter, with standard 650B wheel/tyres, not plus), loved it, sold the frame to a UCKer, hopefully he'll love it as well.
The Frontier @ £900 look like quite an odd build to me though, with 2.8" on 650B with 100mm forks.
Sonder are usually very good at customising the spec, so maybe have a think about going to 29er wheels, standard tyres, bigger fork travel (they say 100mm max, but have chat with them). 100mm travel is really short on current-gen bikes.
And I always post an MBR link on what-to-buy threads:
The issue you will have at the moment is availability. Stock is really low on entry to mid range bikes.
Decathlon bikes are worth considering, e.g. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/am-100-ht-mountain-bike-275-id_8543080.html
I got a Vitus Sentier VR+ a couple of years ago and absolutely love it.
Halfords sell the Voodoo Bizango which is a great bike, probably the best thing you could pick up off the highstreet. I'd checkout Nukeproof and Decathalon's offerings too.
> I don't live close enough to work so can't really claim cycle to work scheme
You don't have to cycle the entire way to work in order to qualify and you also don't have to do it every day either.
> You don't have to cycle the entire way to work in order to qualify and you also don't have to do it every day either.
My teams are in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and US. I can't get very far on a bike. Even the train station is 6 miles.
WFH I can easily manage that commute
I used to commute 15 miles each way on the bike often as quick as the car when traffic was bad!
Philip said earlier that the Frontier was good value compared with my suggestion. (https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/gt-zaskar-lt-al-elite-hardtail-bike-2021/rp-prod197577)
struggling to work out why? any ideas?
Buying bikes is a very personal thing. 'Value' is in the eye of the beholder, and value may not just be about price. I wouldn't get upset too much if someone doesn't like your bike recommendations.
And it's only good value if you can actually buy it Zaskar all sold out on that CR link.
And the Frontier build @ £899 is 'Pre-Order' ...
I said back up there, I thought the Frontier @£899 was an 'odd' build and the frame is pretty short in the reach by current-gen standards (L: 440mm, WB: 1147mm); the Zaskar isn't that long in the reach either (L: 465mm) but has a good long wheel at 1229mm. (In simple terms, longer wheelbase = more stability at speed).
I'd be looking at reach around 470/480mm in Large (and WB>1200), or upsizing to XL if stand over and seat post can deal with it. Some bike manufacturers are making sure standover is low enough across bikes sizes so riders can now choose a size based on their taste about reach/WB, rather than their choice being limited by their height.
The steep 68 deg HA on the Frontier also kills it it for me (my X-bike has a slacker 67 HA, lol), 66 HA on the Zaskar will be more fun for sure, but still not slack enough for my taste
I've got a Sonder Transmitter but I discussed the Frontier a little with them when I was trying to make sense of the range. At least on the ex-demo bikes I was looking at the price was really similar.
For general fun the Transmitter won but the Frontier might better suit those looking to load it up and go bikepacking.
I'm happy with the bike and service from Alpkit.
As charliesdad says, it's hard to buy a bad bike nowadays, especially at that price.
Speak to your local bike shop(s). If they don't have something you like they can probably build you something pretty amazing for that amount, using a budget frame. Which are exceptional quality these days, way stronger and as light as the very best HT frames from earlier days of MTB. You'll be supporting a local business, the shop will look after your bike well and be willing to go that bit further if something breaks.
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