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Which Evans-sourced hardtail?

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Hoping the UKC biking collective can provide some guidance through the maze of obscure terms, specifications and marketing drivel:

Currently looking to swap my gravel bike for something a little more pleasant to ride on rooty and occasionally rocky trails around Surrey. Thinking a hard-tail which mostly seem to be 29-ers. My employer participates in the Ride2Work scheme through Evans so if i want to use this (which I do) I am limited to their selection.

I think it comes down to a Trek Procaliber 9.5 or a Cannondale Trail 1 SE.

I assume I could put a dropper seat post on the Trek but having it already there is an advantage.

Any guidance appreciated, rather ignorant when it comes to bikes…

 ChrisJD 30 Aug 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

None of the Evans HTails inspire me to part with £1,500.

But if I had to, then I'd take 2021 Cannondale Trail SE1

In reply to ChrisJD:

Well its more like £900 - which I think would be hard to beat elsewhere

 ChrisJD 30 Aug 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

See how the Cannondale stacks up against these:

https://www.mbr.co.uk/buyers_guide/best-mountain-bikes-under-1000-394580

https://www.mbr.co.uk/buyers_guide/best-mountain-bikes-under-1500-328367

The under £1k and under £1.5k hardtail is a competitive market.

 fire_munki 31 Aug 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

I'd avoid C'dale due to their BB options, which is a shame cos other than that their XC bikes look stunning. The new Procalibre got some nice reviews on Pink Bike so I'd go there for a read.

But (and its the completely ****ing massive planet-sized elephant in the corner) do you really want to be buying from Evans? Since Mike Ashely bought them the reviews for service have been appalling. I'd either skip ride-2-work (which apparently doesn't save that much unless you are a high rate taxpayer?) or have a chat with your boss and see if they can use a different shop.

 tomsan91 31 Aug 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

The Trek seems to be a more trail focused bike with a slacker hear angle and longer travel fork compared to the Cannondale which is a fully XC focused bike. There are some nice mtb trails in the Surrey hills, which would suit a trail focused hard tail. If you have to use Evans and their is no chance of changing it I would look at the Norco Torrent, it has longer travel than both the Trek and Cannondale but in my opinion is a much more rounded bike which would be super fun on trips to trail centers and it has a nice steel frameset which looks pretty nice. 

Vitus and Nukeproof both have some amazing hardtails which are not sold via Evans but are very good value for money with the components you get. 

 ChrisJD 31 Aug 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

I think you must be looking at different bikes to the OP!

The Cannondale is the slacker trail orientated bike, the Trek has the near vertical head angle and is nasty old school XC

Trek Procaliber 9.5 2021 Mountain Bike:

https://www.evanscycles.com/brand/trek/procaliber-95-2021-mountain-bike-917833#colcode=91783302

Cannondale Trail SE 1 2021 Mountain Bike

https://www.evanscycles.com/brand/cannondale/trail-se-1-2021-mountain-bike-917773#colcode=91777302

The Norco Torrent S2 would be a more fun bike for sure, but it's £350 more than the other two (it's always easy to recommend more expensive bikes!).

https://www.evanscycles.com/brand/norco/torrent-s2-ht-sx-eagle-2020-mountain-bike-914968#colcode=91496824

Bilbo Baggins 31 Aug 2020
In reply to fire_munki:

> But (and its the completely ****ing massive planet-sized elephant in the corner) do you really want to be buying from Evans? Since Mike Ashely bought them the reviews for service have been appalling. 

That seems a little harsh on the local employees.  My Evans shop has the same staff as previously and they continue to be very helpful i.e. to date nothing has changed.

Joe

 tomsan91 31 Aug 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

Don't know why I mixed them up, I think its my innate hatred of my Cannondale CAADX and its poor quality but yes the Trek is the XC bike here. I wouldn't personally look at getting any of the bikes on Evans other than the Norco and that would only be if i had to buy through their c2w. 

I think the Vitus Sentier is a much better option and would probably work out cheaper than the savings made on c2w, comes with a dropper post and 1x12 Eagle. The fork is also now made by Fox under their ownership of Marzocchi  - https://vitusbikes.com/products/sentier-27-vr-bike-sx-eagle-1x12

There is also the Line 29 from Calibre that gets decent write ups and usually retails around the £1k mark and has the 29er wheel set with just some more basic components.

 ChrisJD 31 Aug 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

> I wouldn't personally look at getting any of the bikes on Evans ...

I said that right back at the start

In reply to featuresforfeet:

Have Evans just stopped making their own mountain bikes under the Pinnacle brand? Seems so! A shame, mine has been really good for not too much money.

Slacker head angles make a surprising difference if you are going from an older MTB to a more modern design. So like the others said, maybe let that be your deciding feature! 

Does the Cannondale come with a dropper? Isn't mentioned but looks like it. Droppers are amazing if you haven't tried one. They make riding technical terrain so much easier. If that is a dropper, that's a big plus point.

 ChrisJD 31 Aug 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

> I wouldn't personally look at getting any of the bikes on Evans other than the Norco

But the Norco is poor VFM at £1845, but the OP is tied in with Evan & their ctw.

The question the OP needs to work out is: does a reduced cost bike thru ctw deliver a 'better' bike than if they spent the equivalent (after tax incentives) direct from another source.

Personally, I'd spend that money elsewhere. 

1
In reply to ChrisJD:

> The question the OP needs to work out is: does a reduced cost bike thru ctw deliver a 'better' bike

This. Though availability also plays into it a bit, lots of places out of stock.

In reply to ChrisJD:

Having a hard time suspending my disbelief that a £1000 bike from Halfords is better than a £1500 one from Evans (-: 

From the MBR article;

https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/bikes-available-stock/voodoo-bizango-carbon-mountain-bike---l-209446.html?

 fire_munki 31 Aug 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> That seems a little harsh on the local employees.  My Evans shop has the same staff as previously and they continue to be very helpful i.e. to date nothing has changed.

> Joe

Not casting any shade on the individual employees but there's plenty of chatter on forums on how ordered bikes have taken months to arrive, no contact when emailing and other things.

I'd buy jerseys/shoes/things that can wait and aren't lots of money but I think a bike would be unwise regardless of the staff (my local shop is very friendly).

 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

Quite possible in this competitive market, especially as Halfords are trying (and succeeding) in getting recognised in the MTB mags with their Voodoo brand.

ie .... the Voodoo is under-priced, the Cannondale overpriced (the latter relying on their 'name').

 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

The bottom line as I see it is that the £1k to £1.5k Hardtail market is jam packed with awesome bikes, that it would be seem a real shame to buy a crap one, just because it has £500 off the 'List price" due to the c2w scheme you are tied into. - amounts to a false economy.

Just suck it up, and pre-order one of these @ £1200:  https://alpkit.com/collections/sonder-signal/products/sonder-signal-st-sx-eagle

I know the Surrey riding pretty well from a previous life, and this bike will be awesome fun on those trails.

Post edited at 12:13
 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

> I think its my innate hatred of my Cannondale

They used to be known as Crack-n-Fail

... and I've never forgiven them for inventing that hideous looking monstrosity known as the Lefty.

 tehmarks 01 Sep 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

> ... and I've never forgiven them for inventing that hideous looking monstrosity known as the Lefty.

What!? The single-crown version is beautiful! The perfect example, in my humble opinion, of elegant engineering. Why have a second leg, with all of the associated weight, when it simply isn't required!?

In reply to ChrisJD:

15kg sounds heavy!

 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

They are hideous

 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

Those are honest weights, with proper tyres.  It's a bike to have fun on, its not XC race bike.

 ChrisJD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

Here is a simple test for you.

1. Look at this Bike: 

https://www.cannondale.com/en-gb/bikes/road/gravel/topstone-carbon/topstone-carbon-lefty-1?sku=c15251m10xs

2. Are your eyes now bleeding?

3a: If Yes: You are an entirely normal person.

3b: If No: seek expert help immediately, there's something deeply wrong with you.

In reply to featuresforfeet:

Personally I've never understood hardtails for trail riding. Once you're used to a full sus bike the discomfort from a hardtail is massive. My partners got a HT and every hole/root the rear wheel hits sends a giant shock wave through the bike. 

1
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

I don't really have a reference point to know what constitutes a trail vs cross country but have got by with a fully rigid bike so far - feels like its going to disintegrate on some of the descents (as are my wrists) - I can get down this on it;

https://www.surreyhills.org/discover-route/summer-lightning-mtb-trail/

but don't have any desire to do anything harder - would prefer to ride for longer, so a heavy full susser (for 1k) isn't really what I'm after.

 jack92 02 Sep 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

I would go for the Cannondale out of the two options.

Based on this: https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Cannondale/Trail-SE-1-Mountain-Bike-2021/RD60 the head angle will be slack enough to make mtb'ing nicer but not overkill for easy gravel stuff. If you think you may get into more technical riding then I would keep the gravel bike and then get an even slacker mtb like the Sonder Signal ST mentioned above. 

In reply to featuresforfeet:

https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/15903684/calibre-bossnut-mountain-bike-15903684

What constitutes heavy? This is just over 15kg for a large. Around your price range 

 GrahamD 02 Sep 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

> They used to be known as Crack-n-Fail

Having crashed my 29er Alu Trail a few times, I can vouch for the fact that it is *considerably* tougher than the rider.

> ... and I've never forgiven them for inventing that hideous looking monstrosity known as the Lefty.

This I can understand 

In reply to jack92:

ride the gravel bike up and the trail bike down ;-)

 ChrisJD 02 Sep 2020
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> Personally I've never understood hard tails for trail riding. Once you're used to a full sus bike the discomfort from a hardtail is massive. My partners got a HT and every hole/root the rear wheel hits sends a giant shock wave through the bike. 

I ride a gravel bike, a long travel HT and long travel FS.

HT are awesome fun (fast, and sometimes faster downhill than my FS), but you need to get the tires and tyre pressure sorted (tubeless with liners), along with front forks running supple, to get a reasonably comfortable ride on rougher stuff, and you still need to be prepared to take 'some' battering (but that's part of the fun).


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