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Help getting started

By captash - Posted on 05 March 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Wanting to get a bike to start training for the Gloucester Mountain Man this year.

I am a competitive paddler (k1 and ski), and a runner. I've mountain-biked socially for years but never raced. My current bike is 19yrs old with 23" wheels and no suspension. (it was good in its day Eye-wink )

I am wanting to spend as little as needed to get a bike that will be good enough to train and compete at Gloucester. My running and paddling is up there, so if I can hold my own on a bike I'll do well.

I am 188cm tall and weigh 87kg. Would like some opinions on where to look and what to buy, and how much I would need to spend to get a bike just decent enough to help me be competitive.



Tell us more about the course. Mostly fire road? Singletrack? How much? How long overall? Will you use the bike again after the race, or will it sit unused like your current steed?

My first thought would be to recommend a 29er hardtail (no rear suspension).

Unfortunately mountian biking is an equipment sport, and if you want something decent you are looking at a minimum spend of $1700 if buying new.

My first thoughts was a hard tail also. 29er or even a 27.5

Be warned about going to cheep. I had a friend that bought a bike from Anaconda thinking he was getting a much better deal. We went for a social ride and got to a gate. I helped him lift the bike over the gate and I struggled. It felt atleast 10-20kgs heavier than my bike. He struggled on all of the hill climbs and this is where time is most crucial in a race. If you want to stay competitive, you will need to spend a decent amount on a bike as Hawkeye suggested.

I would look on gumtree. I got a giant anthem x3 for $800

Ok so most people I've asked suggest a 29" hardtail, and that I should be willing to spend up to $2000 2nd hand. This has been very helpful - thanks!

Looking at the website the bike leg - consists of a 20.4 km mountain bike ride along mountain and 4WD roads, creek beds, cattle tracks, rainforest and open country.

Seems like a 29er hardtail is the go. I'd look to buy 2nd hand if you only really need it for this race. No point spending thousands on something you won't use again.

However, who know's it might get you into riding a bit more and it will be a good stepping stone to buying something new later down the track.

Once you start MTBing it is very hard to stop. My poor roadie just sits there looking at me...

Get a Stumpy hardtail Ash.

$2000 is quite a lot for a second hand bike, if you are going to spend that much I would go for dual suspension. People may tell you that's it's good to start on a hardtail but that's BS, you'll feel way more confident and get up to speed much more quickly on a dual sus bike.

If you do look at hardtails you really need to get them on the trail to see how they feel, make sure you run similar tyre pressures if you test more than one bike. Most alloy hartails ride like poop, bigger tyres and different wheel builds help but a harsh frame is a harsh frame.
A second hand Jamis Dragon or Salsa could be a good purchase, if you do go for a HT.

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