First Full Suspension Bike (UK Availability)

I’d be grateful for some guidance from the forum on purchasing a full sus bike in the UK. Budget under £2,000, up to £1,500 I could use Cycle to Work, which would be appealing. I won’t be doing anything crazy downhill, I enjoy trail centre type riding but only have access to a 10 year old hardtail. Not knowing much about current mountain bike components, the shortlist below all seem to review okay in the press:

Is there anything else I should be keeping an eye out for? I’m basically just looking for a good value package that avoids the need for any immediate upgrades other than tubeless conversion which I can do at home.

Used. Get a second hand bike for that and you can get something epic, not mediocre. :slight_smile:

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Scratch the first two off your list. I think Boardman is defunct or near defunct. Add Giant Stance

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Thought about this but a bit nervous buying 2nd hand mtb, don’t really feel I know what I’d be looking for. I’m in rural Inverness-shire so buying outside local market a PITA for travel etc.

Didn’t know this re Boardman, Giant Stance looks like an excellent shout.

Years ago i bought a used 26" Epic from classifieds. Served me extremely well for years. Last year i bought a 2nd hand Spark from my lbs; has been also great so far. I’d need a strong reason to consider a brand new one.

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Your mileage may vary on Boardman. I’d say you’ve got better alternatives though. The next price bump up will be a Ibis Ripley, Spec Stumpjumper, or Kona (something) (have you seen ?)
Edit: Kona Hei Hei (leans XC ) or Process (leans aggressive trail) Kona Hei Hei 2022 - Kona Bike Shop UK These are a big step up over the Marin.

I just shopped for an XC bike. Your budget is PUSHING it for a full suspension. You’re going to pay for it with a second rate fork (the Rockshox silver TK to Gold RL level seems to be a big upgrade - 600gr and usable adjustments), wheel quality, and bottle cage room in the frame.

The bottom two bikes are likely quality, probably bricks, have good drivetrain, the tunable fork (RL version of heavy fork) , and don’t look to be XC peddlers. If you’re cool with 3-4lbs of easily droppable weight, lack of bottle cage room (poly), and looking to hit trails with rocks and roots, they are probably good buys (same for Giant).
For my $$, I’d toss the tires right away and get some top end Maxxis, Conti, Schwalbe tires. I’d also plan on replacing the wheels (specifically the rims) next year (hint: look at what Merlin has). I’d nix the Giant, though it’s a good bike and probably the best looking, for the QR dropouts - they probably work great, but are just not the current standard and you’d need to always source QR end caps ($40 per wheel). I’d pick the Marin here for the bottle cage room, looks, and spec. On the Rift 1 vs 2, I think the biggest difference would be the QR vs TA axles, the rear cassette (shimano vs sunrace), and dropper post - the cassette is probably $100 and a dropper is probably $250 all in.

Try Pinkbike classifieds for used. Maybe target a Trek Fuel /Top Fuel or Spec Stumpjumper

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Vitus mountain bikes usually get good reviews, and alu framed bikes are within your budget - not sure of availability at the moment though (like most things)

I’ve got a Vitus cross bike and have been impressed with build quality - am looking to pick up a Vitus xc bike in the new year.


Don’t think you can buy 2nd hand on cycle to work, can you?

Loads of helpful info here, thanks. Hadn’t realised QRs still used for mountain bikes to be honest, so thanks for highlighting this info to me. I will seriously consider the Kona Process, it’s available with some big discounts through some retailers.

Which model are you looking at? (Just out of interest) :slight_smile:

Hadn’t realised that. When I got a full suss maybe 5 years ago, one of the Boardman’s (which I got) was considered one of the best bang for your buck options in UK/ Ireland.

Kona Process 134 29 2022 | Kona Bikes | Biketart £700 discount…

Looks good!

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Think Halfords own that brand now. Don’t know if they are phasing it out or anything? Warranty should be with Halfords though.

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As a full stop on this thread, I looked at a second hand Commencal Meta but there was a couple of things made me nervous and the guy was wanting too much money (£1,400 - for a 2019 full sus bike that had never a suspension service, as an example of things that made me nervous).

Lots of shopping round and considering options later, I found an Orbea Occam H30 for £1,900 delivered - about £700 off retail. TrainerRoad users' bikes - #2399 by swgregg

I’m delighted with it other than it needing a new saddle (I’ve got one in the spares box) and the 175mm cranks are a weird equipment decision in my opinion, so will be looking at an upgrade to 165mm SLX cranks to keep my options open for a crank/spider based power meter later. The wheels are solid but heavy so will look at an upgrade for them in future too.

Have a look at Sonder. I have the Cortex as my first full-suss and I’m happy with it. You can customise your build and they have a few shops where you can arrange an all-day test ride. They do bike to work too.

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