CTC Forum - MTB

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Re: Mountain bike for my bro

22 June 2014 - 6:29pm
Hey thanks for the replies, he would like to get into the sport but im pretty sure he knows very little about it. A decent entry level mountain bike is a suppose what i would like to get him but something decent. Thanks for the recommendations, ill check them out.

Re: Mountain bike for my bro

22 June 2014 - 9:13am
When you say he wants to get into the "sport" do you mean that he just wants to ride an MTB or he actually wants to race?
And what style of MTBing is he interested in - XC, enduro, DH, All-Mountain, etc etc?

If he just wants to have a go and isn't yet sure what style of MTBing he wants then probably best to go for a mid range hard-tail gentle XC type bike. Travel around 100-120mm on the fork, mech disc brakes (unless you can afford better), bars up at seat level or beyond (rather than a full on nose down XC), etc. As mentioned by MC, Boardman and OnOne both have good reps, but there are loads others that fit the bill.

Re: Mountain bike for my bro

21 June 2014 - 9:57pm
More than anything else....a correct fit. The wrong sized bike will always be a pig, no matter how fancy. I would prioritise:
Frame-most modern frames will take a lit of hammer, don't go for something heavy duty unless he's planning big jumps.
Forks-good rigid forks are better than cheap suspension. Yes, they may be harsh, but are more predictable than pogo forks.
Wheels-the best spec. you can get for the money.
I wouldn't get too hung up on running gear, most modern groupsets ride very well, and will all wear out.
Recommendations? Boardman for value, but variable levels of Halfords service. On-one bikes for decent specs and a very good ride, but a bit heavy.

Mountain bike for my bro

21 June 2014 - 9:59am
Hi all, I previously asked for advice on a bike purchase on these forums and was very happy with the response (thank you!).

I want to buy my brother a decent mountain bike as he'd like to get into the sport. I know very little about mountain bikes so what should I look out for when purchasing? Also, any specific recommendations would be amazing.


Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

14 June 2014 - 12:14pm
james-o wrote:Not very, or not as much as some would suggest, unless you define mountain biking by the speed across technically demanding trails.

Most (almost all?) MTBs are designed to use a sus fork so they may feel more jarring at the front than they need to when a rigid for is fitted.
http://www.jonesbikes.com/bike_design.html - An example of how to design a comfy rigid bike - these bikes may not be that readily available or a practical option for all, but from experience I'd say the ideas work and the design is sound. Better than sound really. Worth a read for perspective anyway.
Basically, get your weight back and away from the front wheel, use bigger width and diameter tyres and consider adjusting your hand/wrist angle by using different bars to help adapt to the different demands.
Suspension is great but it's not essential, I don't use it for most of my riding these days.

Seconded (if your pockets are deep enough)

I love mine with either it's skinny wheel on the front

Or it's fat wheel up front for more technical trails if speed isn't as important but fun is

I wouldn't do this on a full susser, but Jeff the builder doesn't seem to mind it being a rigid bike

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

4 June 2014 - 9:33am
Farawayvisions wrote:I fear the hunger for a Rohlof will not go away. Deep pockets required. Try one: IME the hub is fine, but the shift quality (ie feel at the shifter) is an acquired taste due to the slack inherent in a twin cable layout.
YMMV, of course.

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

3 June 2014 - 8:28pm
I just built a Trek 830 SS for the hills,loving the one gear scenario!

Re: Trail Manners?

3 June 2014 - 4:32pm
I can't believe that happened to your poor children. I would be shaking my fist in anger as I chased him down to make him apologize to my frightened kids if that happened to us. Mountain biking is a dangerous activity and I think all cyclists on trails should take diligent care when cycling down trails in-case of collisions with other cyclists

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

2 June 2014 - 4:13pm
Oh my, I am speechless but very grateful ( and honoured.) Wonderful pictures.
Loving the blog and can't wait for next post!

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

2 June 2014 - 1:40pm
Sooper8 wrote:Wonderful pictures and great blog!

I now acknowledge that you do indeed have 2 cameras

And you may have noticed that all feedback is noted.

Re: Tyres for Road/Off Road

2 June 2014 - 1:22pm
I've used Sire Vittoria Easy Riders from Decathlon for some years now. They work very well in dry conditions on a wide variety of tracks and trails and roll well on tarmac. At £9.99 each they're excellent value.

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

2 June 2014 - 1:07pm
Wonderful pictures and great blog!

I now acknowledge that you do indeed have 2 cameras

EDIT- I had previously stated that after reading your Morocco blog and looking at the photos, I thought I could spot Dan's derrière at 40 yards, but might not recognise his face

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

30 May 2014 - 7:15pm
If you're clumsy enough to ride into a deep hollow with a lot of weight on the front, suspension can get you out the other side where a rigid would have you over the handlebars. Very rough descents can be taken a bit quicker too but that might not be a good thing!

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

30 May 2014 - 6:53pm
Had a Rockhopper for ever. When it came to replacing I opted for a CX bike. Shoved some Mavic wheels on along with Schwalbe Pro tyres. It really is fabulous offroad and I often use it to commute 15+ miles every other day. Love it. The bike's a steel Croix De Fer.

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

23 May 2014 - 2:16pm
What a great idea. A fixie is a great idea, thanks. Jeez, I can't imagine how it would feel clipped into the pedals on a fast downhill. he he

The alfine suffers badly from homesickness. Been back twice in last 4 months. I fear the hunger for a Rohlof will not go away. Deep pockets required.

Re: Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

23 May 2014 - 12:43pm
HINT: Riding with people who are riding fixed gear makes cycling even more enjoyable. You can suggest that this will improve simplicity and reliability and will "make you feel more at one with the bicycle" Meanwhile, you'll be on your ever-so-complicated geared bike spinning your way up and down the hills oblivious to the fun being had behind

I take it the Alfine has been forgiven?

Singlespeed for a happy life on the hills

22 May 2014 - 11:10pm
An off road ride from Winchester to Exton along the SDW then along the Meon Valley to Netley. Singlespeed can make life very pleasant, even if your're not riding it.

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

22 May 2014 - 1:05pm
Have only just joined and appreciate only just coming into this. For medical reasons I cannot ride a road bike. Again for medical reasons I have been advised that cycling would be the best form of exercise. I settled on a steel frame designed with 29 inch wheels in mind. I cannot afford two bikes and the road bike option was out. However I wanted/needed a bike to do both road and off. Initially the bike was fitted with suspension forks, however they developed a fault and had to go back to the supplier to be fixed. I was not prepared to wait so I fitted a solid pair of steel forks, I have not gone back to the sus forks. After a good deal of searching and a couple of poor buys I found tyres that were happy on both tarmac and off road, so long as its not too muddy! Maxxis Crossmarks. I feel I now have the perfect do anything bike. It will quite happily "take on" and stay with a road bike on tarmac when I am feeling energetic ! It will also turn quite happily off tarmac straight on to dirt track, forestry etc and belt along at a good speed or just trundle, again depends on how energetic I am. Yes, it cannot go down hill at great speed over rough ground but it is great fun nonetheless. I have found you soon learn to pick the best route. So to answer your question how limiting ? Get the right frame, 29 inch wheels and the bike will go anywhere there are no limits !

Re: Mountain Bike For Touring ?

19 May 2014 - 6:12pm
blackbike wrote:As an owner of good quality MTBs and tourers I would never choose to tour on an MTB.

Serious off-road stuff aside, I'd say that a good tourer is nearly as good off road as an MTB, and much better on-road.

I'd agree with you for modern MTB frames which are incredibly adapted to heavy-duty off-roading. However early 90's MTB frames are pretty similar to tourers with the exception of wheel size. If you are shorter then the 26" wheel actually allows a better-proportioned frame. Most road frames for me at 170cm have either extreme reach or toe overlap.

The main benefit of the older MTB frame as a tourer is the ability to take any tyre from 25mm all the way up to 58mm, depending on terrain.


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Carol McKinley (Acting)
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541


Terms and Conditions