Hi All – i’m relatively new to mountain biking. I spent 6 weeks in NZ last year and tried a few places on rented bikes and absolutely loved it!
Now time to invest in my own bike, a beginner hardtail for around 1200$ AUD
I know you can always get a cheaper second hand model, buts its difficult where i am located. I’ve narrowed it down to two bikes, i wont post links but you can easily find the spec of either via googily woogily
The Trek is from a local shop($1200) – its last years model so down from 1400$, has 29″, RockShox air fork & some Shimano Deore components
The Polygon is from an online store($1200) – has the 27.5 + tires, again some Shimano Deore components, and looks good!
The safe option is probably the trek, considering it has slightly better spec, and i guess more versatile with the 29″ tires. but a small part of me thinks the polygon would be more fun!
It seems like the Polygon is more comparable to the Roscoe (plus trail bikes), whereas, the X-Caliber is an XC bike. It will help the readers if you give more detail about what kind of riding you plan to do.
Unless you are seriously interested in XC racing, I wouldn’t buy an XC bike. The skinny tires and the twitchy geometry make for a harsh and unpleasant ride. XC bikes might be fast but they are no fun to ride. In fact, before Plusbikes were created, I wouldn’t have recommended a Hardtail ever. However, Plus tires makes riding a Hardtail bearable. Personally, I would would be looking for a 29+ hardtail with 29×2.6-3.0 tires because that is going to give you the most forgiving ride. Check out these bikes.
Marin Pine Mountain
Norco Torrent HT
The lowest priced 29+ Timberjack and Pine Mountain are very good bikes for the price. However, you will get a bike with a better drivetain and fork if you spend closer to $1700(U.S.)
If you can come up with $2100(U.S.) go for the full-sus 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5 which I think is the best budget full-sus Mountainbike you can get at that price.
as a beginner its unlikely i’ll be heading down steep rock faces or over any jumps above a few feet, but thats not to say i dont want to!!
At the end of the day a bikes only as good as the person on it, i want something that will allow me to enjoy & have a taste of everything. i like the flowing tracks as speed but as i get better, id like to have the confidence in a bike to handle larger jumps, steeper drops. I do like a fast flowing track but also technical obstacles. (not so much rock gardens or tree roots.)
Buying a beginner bike on budget is harder then buying a car!