Newbie alert - bike recommendations

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Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by Steamywinder » Tue May 26, 2020 9:06 am

Hi there bearbones community
I have a strong desire to explore the off road scene and the more I look into the bigger the minefield, MTB, hardtails, gravel, CX etc.
I completed my first ultra last year, the 2019 inaugural PCR and loved it, as I had the Audax I had been into the first couple of years. Loved the challenge and the distance, there was some gravel on the route as well.
I would like to explore multi day events, bikepacking etc but with more off road than on - ultimately and some way down the line I would like to get involved with things like The Silk Road or HT550.
In the meantime I need to find the happy balance for a bike, to enter bearbones rides and things like GBDuros.
Mt "road" bike is a Mason Resolution so for road and some gravel and easier off road, I am quite lucky as i can get at least 32s on that so that can be converted for some events.
But for the other stuff, I guess i need something more "versatile" something that can still move forwards on the road but will not limit me on the off road side.
Some suggestions I have seen (and liked) are the Sonder Camino which is more gravel and the Brother Big Bro which is ticking a lot of boxes I must admit. I am a fan of steel and at the right sort of price (around £1500).
I am tall 6'3 and circa 17 stone (just under) so need a sturdy bike if that is of any use.
I have friends who work at Specialised so if there are any recommendations for those then I may be able to get a deal but I want the right bike that is going to last and give me some fun and versatility.
Thanks for reading and look forward to any thoughts.

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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue May 26, 2020 9:21 am

My own opinion is that if looking for a truly capable 'all rounder' then a mountain bike makes more sense than a gravel bike and certainly given that you mention a greater off-road bias, then you may soon find that a gravel bike becomes a liability and limits what you can do.

The Big Bro seems to have lots of fans amongst those who've ridden or own them. Stooge is another with lots of admirers but I believe the MK4 is sold out and the replacement won't be arriving until August(ish). On-One now have steel hardtails back in their line up but you'll need to keep your eye on pricing and buy when the price is right.

Surly are another worth investigating, if you're anywhere near Manchester, a chat with Rich and Shona at Keep Pedalling would be worth the time - maybe a Bridge Club or Karate Monkey?
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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by voodoo_simon » Tue May 26, 2020 9:23 am

If it’s Specialized, then the Diverge will be a good gravel bike, tyres can go to ~42mm if my memory serves me well.

If not and you want a mountain bike, then the Epic (Hardtail) or Chisel will suit your needs. If your mates can get you a good deal on the Epic, then you’ll not regret it

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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by johnnystorm » Tue May 26, 2020 9:24 am


While I have to confess to personally having more than one bike that performs the same task as another won't having a Camino or similar just offer a 'bit' more capability?

To fully widen your options I reckon a 29er hardtail would do the job. You've looked at Sonder so perhaps their frontier? A £1500 budget will get you the top spec with cash to spare I expect!

If you can get a good deal on Specialized then the Chisel and Fuse seem to do well in the reviews. In the current climate I'd be surprised if Spesh haven't sold out of everything though! :lol:
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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by boxelder » Tue May 26, 2020 9:46 am

I'd go MTB - certainly so if HT550/Silk Rd are goals. With steel in mind, and £1500, what about a Ribble Adventure? You get to alter the spec to suit.

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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by Jurassic » Tue May 26, 2020 10:41 am

No specific recommendation from me but I'd echo what the others have said and consider 29er mountain bikes. Caminos are great (I had an alu version and now have a ti) but there'd be a lot of overlap with your Mason in terms of capabilities. A mountain bike would open up new possibilities and 29ers are surprisingly quick on the road and hard surfaces.

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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by Escape Goat » Tue May 26, 2020 10:15 pm

johnnystorm wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:24 am
I'd be surprised if Spesh haven't sold out of everything though! :lol:
They certainly have!

I started on a gravel monster cross thing, then ended up also having a 29er. done 135 miles in one go on a gravel offroad and 100 miles off road on mtb. MTB for the win, when you're falling asleep going downhill, always worth it's wait in gold having big stoppers and suspenders....I mean suspension to give you a millisecond extra before you're over the edge!

I'd say a Sonder BR or Frontier would be the ones I'd choose, because I did choose the BR :D . Or if you can be bothered waiting 2021 Trek Roscoe...
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Re: Newbie alert - bike recommendations

Post by Steamywinder » Wed May 27, 2020 8:12 am

Thanks all for the well appreciated advice
Plenty to look into, plus a couple of local friends/riders have also suggested a couple with genesis Longtitude mentioned a couple of times as good value for money.
I do know that gravel is out as it does overlap with my Mason so now its time to look further at the suggestions made.
I will narrow it down and come back

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