Some newbie advice, please





Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,325
    Thanked: 3274

    Default Some newbie advice, please

    Ok, we are getting my son a new MTB ( I think it is the right term, off road bike) for his birthday. He is turning 12 and basically just want to do some light tracks with his friends and an occasional bush track when we camp for now. He might like it and attempt a race but that is not a given.

    We went 'looking' this morning and it seems he has his heart set on a Silverback which seems good value for money and from internet research hubby has only read good comments on the brand. Our budget is about R6000. I know it is very little.

    Now two points of contention has raised themselves:

    1. 27,5 inch vs 29 inch wheels. The 29's go over obstacles easier but apparently a bit harder to steer. The 'in thing' it seems at the moment. A counter argument put forward this morning by a salesman was that you learn more skills in going over or through stuff with the 27,5 inch. Not sure about that.

    2. Hydrolic vs cable brakes. Although I think cable brakes will be sufficient for he wants to do now, the hydrolic brakes must be superior. They certainly feel very smooth. However with hydrolic brakes and 29 inch wheels, the bike gets out of budget. How easy/ expensive is it to upgrade to hydrolic brakes later?

    He does not seem to mind which size wheels or what type of brakes, but we must get him something that he can utilize for quite a while. So please, any comments and advice. This is worse than buying a 4x4
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Howick
    Age
    63
    Posts
    1,723
    Thanked: 128

    Default

    R6000 is really entry level and if he is any good at it you will be looking at replacing the bike soon. Just a tip, do not skimp on the safety equipment. My brother has broken an elbow, a clavicle and I don't know how many cm's of skin he has lost. And he always wears the best safety equipment. Oh, and his bike is in the region of R60K.
    Not a sport that I could afford!
    Steve
    Jetta 2.0 TDI 2012
    Pajero 3.2 SWB 2009
    Jurgens Xcape
    Discovery II TD5 2004 (Sold)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Ok, we are getting my son a new MTB ( I think it is the right term, off road bike) for his birthday. He is turning 12 and basically just want to do some light tracks with his friends and an occasional bush track when we camp for now. He might like it and attempt a race but that is not a given.

    We went 'looking' this morning and it seems he has his heart set on a Silverback which seems good value for money and from internet research hubby has only read good comments on the brand. Our budget is about R6000. I know it is very little.

    Now two points of contention has raised themselves:

    1. 27,5 inch vs 29 inch wheels. The 29's go over obstacles easier but apparently a bit harder to steer. The 'in thing' it seems at the moment. A counter argument put forward this morning by a salesman was that you learn more skills in going over or through stuff with the 27,5 inch. Not sure about that.

    2. Hydrolic vs cable brakes. Although I think cable brakes will be sufficient for he wants to do now, the hydrolic brakes must be superior. They certainly feel very smooth. However with hydrolic brakes and 29 inch wheels, the bike gets out of budget. How easy/ expensive is it to upgrade to hydrolic brakes later?

    He does not seem to mind which size wheels or what type of brakes, but we must get him something that he can utilize for quite a while. So please, any comments and advice. This is worse than buying a 4x4
    A 12 year old on a 29'r seems a bit mad to me, in fact any kind of wheel size debate for a kid that age is almost pointless. Don't be fooled by the "just want to ride around some farm roads" line, it's highly likely to expand into other stuff quickly. My little guy is 12 now and started riding MTB two years ago with the same thoughts and now he flies through all sorts of obstacles and does stuff like this while leaving me far behind...


    As an aside - the larger wheels may roll over some obstacles very slightly easier than others but they lose out in some areas too. Downhill racing has the biggest obstacles and that is all but 100% done on 27.5 and 26 inch wheels. Jumps, tight corners and (in my opinion) drops are easier on the smaller wheeled bike. Also the smaller wheels are lighter and easier to accelerate up to speed. I'm really not sure the bigger wheels will make any real difference to a youngster and abroad the 29'r market is very much on the decline as guys migrate to 27.5 inch wheels.
    With the brakes the hydraulic will be better - stronger, more feel and more responsive. Also no issues with dirt getting into cables making them hard to use.
    If you aren't averse to going the used route have a look at the classifieds on the hub, with your budget you can pick up a much better spec 26 inch wheeled bike.
    In summary - don't get too hung up on the wheel size, he will enjoy riding no matter what size the wheels under him are.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Phalaborwa
    Age
    48
    Posts
    35
    Thanked: 0

    Default

    Hi, you may get away with a nice entry level for R6000-ish, but I would wait until the release of the 2016 models which is normally from now to Sept; you should pick up nice deals on 2014/2015 models then. With your son turning only 12 now, I would recommend a 27.5" as he may be struggle with the 29er, and depending on his length he would probably be a small frame (have the bike shop fit him). You could look at any of the following which are nice entry level bikes, comes with hydraulic brakes and are reputable brands: Have a look at vbike.co.za to get a better idea, but shop around at your well known bike shops as well.


    Scott Aspect 740
    Giant Talon 4
    Silverback Slade 4


    As mentioned, don't skimp on safety equipment. No helmet no ride.
    Werner
    2011 Fortuner - D4D 3.0 4x4: ARB Deluxe Bumper, Stofpad Rocksliders, Stofpad Bashplate, Mikem/Bilstein suspension kit, Cooper Discoverer AT3, FrontRunner Slimline II Roofrack
    2012 Mini-Metalian (Mini-Me )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Plod View Post
    R6000 is really entry level and if he is any good at it you will be looking at replacing the bike soon. Just a tip, do not skimp on the safety equipment. My brother has broken an elbow, a clavicle and I don't know how many cm's of skin he has lost. And he always wears the best safety equipment. Oh, and his bike is in the region of R60K.
    Not a sport that I could afford!
    You really don't have to spend that kind of money to enjoy the sport.
    I started off with a cheapy and over time bought and sold bits to create a decent bike for the grand price of around R7,000 (at most).
    Except for the dropper seatpost where I had a bit of a meltdown and spent close to the value of the rest of the bike on that alone

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schulla View Post
    Hi, you may get away with a nice entry level for R6000-ish, but I would wait until the release of the 2016 models which is normally from now to Sept; you should pick up nice deals on 2014/2015 models then. With your son turning only 12 now, I would recommend a 27.5" as he may be struggle with the 29er, and depending on his length he would probably be a small frame (have the bike shop fit him). You could look at any of the following which are nice entry level bikes, comes with hydraulic brakes and are reputable brands: Have a look at vbike.co.za to get a better idea, but shop around at your well known bike shops as well.


    Scott Aspect 740
    Giant Talon 4
    Silverback Slade 4


    As mentioned, don't skimp on safety equipment. No helmet no ride.
    All good stuff and I would add go to a specialist bike shop if buying new rather than Sportsman's warehouse or similar. You are much more likely to get good advice and a good bike fit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,325
    Thanked: 3274

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    He is a very big 12 yo, about 1.6m already. We were at three specialist bike shops and all three fitted him. He comfortably fits on a medium frame. Silverback Slade 4 is no 1 or 2 on the short list. He did not like the Giant or the Specialist.

    The budget, unfortunately, is what it is. I doubt that he will get into this seriously as he has other interests that he is more passionate about. I just want a bike for him that he can enjoy, be comfortable on, take a few risks with and learn a few skills. That is what being a kid on a bike is about for me.

    Another question: what bike carrier to go on a spare wheel? I have a Prado.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2015/08/22 at 05:53 PM.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    He is a very big 12 yo, about 1.6m already. We were at three specialist bike shops and all three fitted him. He comfortably fits on a medium frame. Silverback Slade 4 is no 1 or 2 on the short list. He did not like the Giant or the Specialist.

    The budget, unfortunately, is what it is. I doubt that he will get into this seriously as he has other interests that he is more passionate about. I just want a bike for him that he can enjoy, be comfortable on, take a few risks with and learn a few skills. That is what being a kid on a bike is about for me.

    Another question: what bike carrier to go on a spare wheel? I have a Prado.
    Nothing wrong with the Silverback, it's a good value bike.
    Beware of the cost of the extras though, helmet, gloves, shorts etc soon add up and you will probably end up changing the pedals from the ones that come standard to something that offers more grip (which opens a whole new can of worms as to whether flat or clipless is best and then the footwear that works best with each type).
    Regards the bike rack - have a look at the Thule website for available options but be prepared for a price shock...
    If you aren't carrying anything else it's probably better to transport the bike inside the car if you can, much harder to steal that way. If you do get a rack never ever leave the bike on there if you aren't within visual range, these days it's not just the bike that goes they steal the rack at the same time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Loevenstein, Bellville
    Age
    39
    Posts
    2,332
    Thanked: 351

    Default

    Given his size, 27.5 would be ideal. 29'rs have their advantages on rough terrain and long (marathon) rides, but on shorter rides, the acceleration of the 27.5 is more beneficial. The 29'r will feel too wieldy for him to enjoy. Once he is over 1.8m (where he seems to be heading), the 29r will be a good fit and by that time he will have a better idea of the type of riding he wants to do.

    While mechanical brakes are fine, they are a lot more maintenance than hydraulic brakes. If bleeded correctly, hydraulic brakes can go two years with no more maintenance than replacing brake pads.

    The absolute minimum equipment is a helmet (more expensive isn't necessarily better) and gloves. Never ride without them.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,325
    Thanked: 3274

    Default

    Thanks so much everyone! All the advise given is invaluable. One or two salesmen were very helpful but it is great to get unbiased opinions from people in real life with no agendas

    Yes, I think sanity has prevailed and we have decided on the 27,5 inch wheels. I don't see any drawbacks in that size for his application. The 29's look very cool but as you say, Mushashi, I am also convinced that he is going to struggle. Then he will loose interest.

    He does have a helmet.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Durban
    Age
    55
    Posts
    565
    Thanked: 5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Thanks so much everyone! All the advise given is invaluable. One or two salesmen were very helpful but it is great to get unbiased opinions from people in real life with no agendas

    Yes, I think sanity has prevailed and we have decided on the 27,5 inch wheels. I don't see any drawbacks in that size for his application. The 29's look very cool but as you say, Mushashi, I am also convinced that he is going to struggle. Then he will loose interest.

    He does have a helmet.
    Earlier this year I had a 2012 silverback Mercury 1 that was giving problems with its lower linkage. I phoned silverback to see if they would give me an assembly drawing so that I could figure out how to dissemble and fix. Silverback, without any hesitation replaced the frame under warranty with a 2014 model frame.
    Excellent customer support. T
    トヨタ ランドクルーザー
    If it doesn't say "TOYOTA" on the grill then it probably isn't one.
    If you don't own a Cruiser you won't understand....
    2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4.0 V6 4X4 AT
    ORRA call sign X224
    4x4 Action Group GP328-KZ

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Loevenstein, Bellville
    Age
    39
    Posts
    2,332
    Thanked: 351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony datoy View Post
    Earlier this year I had a 2012 silverback Mercury 1 that was giving problems with its lower linkage. I phoned silverback to see if they would give me an assembly drawing so that I could figure out how to dissemble and fix. Silverback, without any hesitation replaced the frame under warranty with a 2014 model frame.

    Excellent customer support. T

    In stark contrast to Scott who took 8 weeks to replace my bike's chain stay. Great bike, poor service.

    Which raises a good point. After sales service is very important!
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,325
    Thanked: 3274

    Default

    That is good the hear Tony, seeing that we went for the Silverback Slade 4. Awesome, so so smooth and solid feel. And he LOVES it!!!

    Even I took it around the block a couple of times. But I will be relegated to his ancient Raleigh bike which is actually horrible compared to the Silverback

    Now we are just waiting for the bike carrier we ordered. I can understand why people get into this sport/ pass time in a serious way.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    That is good the hear Tony, seeing that we went for the Silverback Slade 4. Awesome, so so smooth and solid feel. And he LOVES it!!!

    Even I took it around the block a couple of times. But I will be relegated to his ancient Raleigh bike which is actually horrible compared to the Silverback

    Now we are just waiting for the bike carrier we ordered. I can understand why people get into this sport/ pass time in a serious way.
    It is huge fun.
    I'm off next weekend for a weekends riding around Ceres with my youngster and a bunch of friends next weekend, should be great fun.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Loevenstein, Bellville
    Age
    39
    Posts
    2,332
    Thanked: 351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marko35s View Post
    It is huge fun.

    I'm off next weekend for a weekends riding around Ceres with my youngster and a bunch of friends next weekend, should be great fun.

    There is some awesome riding around Ceres. Eselfontein must be on your to do list!
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    There is some awesome riding around Ceres. Eselfontein must be on your to do list!
    Staying st Eselfontein so it is absolutely going to feature highly on the to do list.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    There is some awesome riding around Ceres. Eselfontein must be on your to do list!
    Eselfontein was absolutely superb, what a fantastic mix of trails and as usual my little monster utterly destroyed me on the descents...










  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Loevenstein, Bellville
    Age
    39
    Posts
    2,332
    Thanked: 351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marko35s View Post
    Eselfontein was absolutely superb, what a fantastic mix of trails and as usual my little monster utterly destroyed me on the descents...




















    Nice! I have to go there again some time.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CapeTown
    Age
    54
    Posts
    265
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    Nice! I have to go there again some time.
    We are hoping to book out the eco huts sometime later this year (or early next year), you are welcome to join the fun.
    Must say we had so much fun on the Saturday there was non of this stopping for pictures malarky, we ended up going out for a shorter ride and photo taking on the Sunday and even then we had to force ourselves to stop for the pictures.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Loevenstein, Bellville
    Age
    39
    Posts
    2,332
    Thanked: 351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marko35s View Post
    We are hoping to book out the eco huts sometime later this year (or early next year), you are welcome to join the fun.
    Must say we had so much fun on the Saturday there was non of this stopping for pictures malarky, we ended up going out for a shorter ride and photo taking on the Sunday and even then we had to force ourselves to stop for the pictures.
    We would love to join. Please let me know if you organise something. In July I contacted them and the only open weekend in 2015 was 27/28 November which is the weekend of the Origin of Trails. Maybe start looking at 2016.

    I remember riding there about 2 or 3 years ago. It is so much fun that I never stopped for pictures either. Except once when spotting a "witkruisarend". What a sighting!
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Tyre advise for a Newbie
    By pora99 in forum Land Rover
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 2014/02/23, 07:51 PM
  2. KZ overheating problems - Some advice please
    By Farmer_Jack in forum Toyota
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2013/12/31, 11:19 AM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2013/07/07, 09:16 AM
  4. Newbie to overlanding - advice please
    By ClaudeG in forum Namibia
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2010/01/11, 02:29 PM
  5. Cape Town to Namibia - Newbie advice
    By slojo in forum Namibia
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2008/04/21, 07:51 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •