MTB Questions. 26"or 29", Full suss or Hardtail

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Feb 2012
12:06pm, 12 Feb 2012
1,051 posts
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Just Matt
I'm looking for ideas / opinions from Fetchies in the know with all things MTB.

I currently have an old, tired Decathlon hard-tail mtb that I am looking to replace. I went to one LBS who sell mainly specialized and was looking in the show room when the sales suggested that 29" wheels are the way forward, the industry is trying to make them standard and would be much better suited to me and what I want. So he was suggesting the Specialized Carve.

I then went to my LBS where I've got most of my bikes and advice from and chatted to Andy. He basically said '29" meh, unless you're 6'5' (which I'm not). SO pointed me in the direction of a Scott Ascent, Whyte 805 or Moda Rondo - all 26" hard-tails, but did say that Scott do do a 29" if I really wanted one.

I'm now a bit confused. Are there benefits to 29" - I never knew they did them until the other day, or is it better to stick to what still seems the most common 26"

The other thing I've been thinking is: should I go hard-tail again or look at full suspension. I had one many years ago but it was a very heavy,very crap Halfords thing, all I can remember is that when you pedalled it hardly moved as the back end took all the power out. I guess that a decent full suspension bike would be better, and I believe some even have lock outs?

I currently use my mtb for tow-paths and trails, but also some bridle paths and the like. Some hard-pack and some muddy. Some flat and some hills. I live near Macc forest so want to get a bit more time there, but also want to go and start riding places like Cannock Chase and so on.

I'm basically looking for advice regarding the mtb options. Also suggestions for bikes in the price range. Looking to spend up to about £1000 (my lbs said he'll do the Moda Rondo for that) While we're on the subject, has anyone come across Moda and are they any good. Its bloody light and looks really nice :-)

Feb 2012
1:37pm, 12 Feb 2012
40 posts
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Don't need a full suss for the Cannock Chase trails, although it would help over the some of the advanced rocky Welsh trails.

Hard tail is fine for tow-paths and trails and you'll get a very good one for £1000. Hard tails are generally faster, better going up-hill and require less maintenance.

Entry level full suss bikes start over £1000, and there's not much point spending much less in my opinion, unless you get a second hand one or find a sale bargain. Entry level hard-tail bikes start around £600
Feb 2012
5:53pm, 12 Feb 2012
1,054 posts
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Just Matt
Thank you. What about the 26" or 29" wheel debate? Any thoughts
Feb 2012
5:58pm, 12 Feb 2012
11,481 posts
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Never rode a 29er. They are meant to roll better over bumps and whatnot.
I can't see 26 inch wheels and associated components disappearing though, even if 29ers become the standard.
I think its one of those things that you are going to have to try. Will they do you a test ride?
Feb 2012
10:15am, 13 Feb 2012
23 posts
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Def Hard Tail for that money and type of riding you'll be doing.

Best thing is to book a test ride on a 26 & 29 and ride your usual stuff, you may find for Canal tow paths and basic trails you prefer the 29er...Personally I prefer a 26 but ride rocky (Lakes/Peak) trails and like to be able to move around on the bike.
Feb 2012
10:57am, 13 Feb 2012
370 posts
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Derby Tup
26" hardtail for what you want I reckon. A grand should buy you a great bike. Should be some good deals around now on 2011 models too ;-)

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Maintained by Stoatally
I'm looking for ideas / opinions from Fetchies in the know with all things MTB.

I currently have...

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