Author Topic: Looking for good suggestions for mountain bikes and parts for my irish adventure  (Read 2917 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cyclone

Hello folks

I am new to the forum and I joined as I would like buy a mountain and it is my first one. So I would like to get suggestions from people that are experienced mountain bikers.

I live in Ireland so there is alot of country side and why not take advantage of it! To give you an idea of the kinds of routes I am interested in ... some road and some off beaten track, for those not familiar with ireland ...feel free to copy and paste the places I will mention to get a good idea of my needs for reliable suggestions

a) Connemara's national park - 29.57 km² which boasts scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands

b)The Kingfisher trail- county fermanagh... the Kingfisher Trail loops around lakes and islands, winds by rivers and streams, and passes through woods and forest and country parks.

c) The Derroura mountain bike trail -  is circular and includes miles of singletrack trails with big climbs and big descents over a wide variety of sometimes difficult terrain that is only suitable for mountain bikes. Parts of the trail are technical, steep and rocky and include exposed rock slabs, boulders, mud, roots, loose gravel and elevated timber boardwalks.

d) Mourne mountains - 27km red trail also a 19km black trail and also The 'Mega Mission' downhill trail :-)

Now i do cycle alot anyways so I have some training but i will pick out easier trails to start with however I am looking for a bike that can handle easy and hard routes.

found this... could be worth it?...

So... what kind of mountain bikes are there... suspension... break systems... tyres and wheels robust enough for the trails.

look forward to your suggestions!

thanks in advance! Sal
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 12:38:33 am by cyclone »

Offline cyclone

also budget is fairly decent ... so I would rather pay out for a good one that will last!

Offline mathieu

Hi Sal. You asked comments about Viking Valkyrie bike, but you didn't mention the price. This is all important! If price doesn't matter, there are surely hundreds of nicer bikes for the purpose you stated. Probably price is important. So why the restraint of mentioning an affordable price range or a qualitative indication, like: budget, standard, high-end.  All commerical goods have a value-for-money aspect.

It looks very much like this : http://www.discovercycling.com/bikes/Hardtail-Mountain-Bikes/Viking-Valkyrie-Ladies-26-Hardtail-Mountain-Bike.html . If so, it is a super-budget bike. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't expect  the quality or features of a standard bike.

Just some general indications that may help you decide:
1. If I google 'Viking Valkyrie' the first page is dominated by 'lady MTB'. Are you a lady (sorry, I am dutch and don't recognize instantly the gender of given names). It so, the bike has at least some frame size features that serve you well, if you have the 'average' female' characteristics.
2.  Generally, the geometry looks more for relaxed touring than sporting MTB rides. Is this what you want?
3.  The Suntour front shox is more suited for touring on bad pavement or off-road on gravel roads and smooth double tracks than for MTB trails. It certainly isn't bad or soon-to-fail. Rather it is more robust than finesse:  more Lada than BMW!
4.  From the pictures it looks like the bike has eyelets for screwing a rear rack to the seat stay. I am not sure about eyelets for screwing the rack near the rear axis. This is important if you want to carry gear for a multi-day  ride.
5.  The 36-spoke wheels are probably robust for carrying big loads and won't fail easily. I didn't see the bike's weight, but it won't be lightweight. That fits in the profile of a touring bike rather than a sporting bike.
6.  The 21-speed (3x7) transmission is more in the starter range than in the standard range (3x9 or 3x10).
5.  I favor disc brakes over rim brakes, so I won't criticise this, except that it is a miracle that they feature in a super-budget priced bike.

I won't say that this bike doesn't last, but it probably doesn't satisfy in the long term. In my opinion, as long as you are not clear about the long-term purpose of the bike (say: one-day rides vs multi-day rides ; easy trails vs demanding trails ; budget, standard or high-end) this is a nice and inexpensive way to learn about your preferences. It will probably satisfy you for 1-2 years. After that you will be much better informed about what to look for.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 04:45:53 pm by mathieu »

Offline weaveoftheride

For a first time mountain bike I would look to spend a minimum of £500 and go for one of the big brand names like Trek, Giant, or Scott.

Look for a minimum of Shimano Deore components.

Many bikes have 29 or 27.5 wheels which can help for a smoother ride.

Avoid the cheapest forks as they generally don't work that well.

You can find many second hand bikes on eBay - just check that they don't look too harshly treated.

Good luck.
Cycle touring stories, gear reviews and adventure at http://www.andrewwelch.info

Offline cyclone

Hi Sal. You asked comments about Viking Valkyrie bike, but you didn't mention the price. This is all important! If price doesn't matter, there are surely hundreds of nicer bikes for the purpose you stated. Probably price is important. So why the restraint of mentioning an affordable price range or a qualitative indication, like: budget, standard, high-end.  All commerical goods have a value-for-money aspect.

It looks very much like this : http://www.discovercycling.com/bikes/Hardtail-Mountain-Bikes/Viking-Valkyrie-Ladies-26-Hardtail-Mountain-Bike.html . If so, it is a super-budget bike. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't expect  the quality or features of a standard bike.

Just some general indications that may help you decide:
1. If I google 'Viking Valkyrie' the first page is dominated by 'lady MTB'. Are you a lady (sorry, I am dutch and don't recognize instantly the gender of given names). It so, the bike has at least some frame size features that serve you well, if you have the 'average' female' characteristics.
2.  Generally, the geometry looks more for relaxed touring than sporting MTB rides. Is this what you want?
3.  The Suntour front shox is more suited for touring on bad pavement or off-road on gravel roads and smooth double tracks than for MTB trails. It certainly isn't bad or soon-to-fail. Rather it is more robust than finesse:  more Lada than BMW!
4.  From the pictures it looks like the bike has eyelets for screwing a rear rack to the seat stay. I am not sure about eyelets for screwing the rack near the rear axis. This is important if you want to carry gear for a multi-day  ride.
5.  The 36-spoke wheels are probably robust for carrying big loads and won't fail easily. I didn't see the bike's weight, but it won't be lightweight. That fits in the profile of a touring bike rather than a sporting bike.
6.  The 21-speed (3x7) transmission is more in the starter range than in the standard range (3x9 or 3x10).
5.  I favor disc brakes over rim brakes, so I won't criticise this, except that it is a miracle that they feature in a super-budget priced bike.

I won't say that this bike doesn't last, but it probably doesn't satisfy in the long term. In my opinion, as long as you are not clear about the long-term purpose of the bike (say: one-day rides vs multi-day rides ; easy trails vs demanding trails ; budget, standard or high-end) this is a nice and inexpensive way to learn about your preferences. It will probably satisfy you for 1-2 years. After that you will be much better informed about what to look for.

Thanks for your response! yes I am a lady! I think a Touring bike could be good...although I wouldnt turn my nose at a sporting bike either. I dont want something too light! a medium weight would be good. Some of the specs on that bike are:


Frame Material:   Aluminium   Brand:   
Frame Size:   18"   
Wheel Size:   26"
Number of Gears:   21
Brake Type:   Disc Brakes - Mechanical
Suspension:   Front

And is around 179£ so now I am thinking thats quite cheap and I would like to spend more ... to be fair I was thinking around 400-500 mark to last.

Thanks for your info ! will check more out based on some things you suggested for sure!

  and I definately want something that is good for multi day rides so extra bag would help! My budget is decent as I would prefer to pay out for a decent bike that will last. Admittedly I did see this particular bike for the look of the frame ....it seemed comfy to me.  Ill check out some of your suggestions and thanks for the extra tips, some of which I didnt consider!

Offline cyclone

For a first time mountain bike I would look to spend a minimum of £500 and go for one of the big brand names like Trek, Giant, or Scott.

Look for a minimum of Shimano Deore components.

Many bikes have 29 or 27.5 wheels which can help for a smoother ride.

Avoid the cheapest forks as they generally don't work that well.

You can find many second hand bikes on eBay - just check that they don't look too harshly treated.

Good luck.

Thanks! ah GIANT ! my friend over the weekend mentioned GIANT. I did some research yesterday and actually found a GIANT Anthem second hand bike to buy that has from further research (as doesn't list any major specs) but seems to fit the bill. And as its second-hand is actually 350... below my budget but new could be a lot more ! What do folks reckon? be good to get some other links on the GIANT bikes..thanks!

« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 12:41:29 am by cyclone »

Offline drakedean


Hello!

I've also checked this SE Bikes Big Mountain 24-Speed D Hard Tail Mountain Bicycle. Following are specifications:

Main frame: SE 1 Double Butted alloy, semi-integrated
Fork: HL 595SAMS 29, 100mm travel
Crank set: Wheel Top, 42/34/24T, 8-speed
Shifters: Shimano EF-40 EZ-Fire, 24-speed
Brake set: Mechanical disc, 160mm rotors

So far it had great reviews on Amazon and planning to buy it by next week. Do you have any take on this? Suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks!  :)

Offline canalligators

Sal, are you looking to tour, or go on day rides in the wild areas?

For touring, you want a bike that has low enough gearing, is able to carry the load you intend to carry, and handles well at low speed with the load aboard.  Most mountain bikes meet these criteria, though some will not carry gear and some won't be geared quite low enough.

By the way, it's on my short list to hike either the Burren Way or Wicklow Way.  And I want my next trip to Ireland to be a cycling trip.