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Myself and 3 friends have decided to embark on a challenge that we have talked about for many years.

It came about when I bought a full suspension MTB for a good few grand, and had a discussion with a work colleague who had just bought an equivalent (in his eyes) bike for about £120- full suspension MTB, that's kind of where the similarity ended, but he was having none of it, and said how can my bike be worth best part of 30 times what his was.

This got me thinking, and hatched the plan. We each have to purchase a new, but very cheap, full suspension MTB from a legit source, and we are going to give it full throttle around Afan, doing Whites Level and the Wall initially. The desire is for the bike to break catastrophically before the end of the run.
We will be in full body armour and full face lids, due to the almost inevitable crashes due to component failure.

For me the best bit will be arriving in the Glyncorrwg carpark in my mates very cool sign written bike shop van, emerging in about a grands worth of clothing and lids each, then producing the Apollo, or Universals from the back and steaming off up the trail.

This is were I need the help, the cheapest adults dual suspension bike I can find is from Amazon at £89.99, is there anywhere else cheaper that isn't some dubious internet deal from a shill company set up to part me from less than a ton yet supplying no bike.

I've checked Argos, Tesco Direct (they had a deal for £79.99 but I was too slow), Halfords and Amazon. Where else should I look?

55 comments

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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Weight: 16 Kgs approx

 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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And it's got Saiguan gears, eighteen of them too...

This is quite promising...

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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And it's 'designed for the UK market' - that's designed to be sold at a market, presumably  4

One thing it's very much not designed for is the wall trail, so have fun while it lasts if you get one. I take it you'll be wearing a helmet cam?  1 love to see the footage

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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And check out the suspension design, there'll be zero chain growth, but the pedal bob should be exceptional!

This very much what I'm after. I can't see that dubious linkage dealing with the Graveyard section of The Wall too well....happy days!

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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And this line [b]This bike is an ideal companion for your life. It offers families with enjoyments and mobility in a high level[/b] is both puzzling and intriguing.

I really think this is the one for me...

And yes there are plans for video footage, photos and words too

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therevokid [971 posts] 7 years ago
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I must post this link up on the cheesy riders .... they'll love this  1

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G-bitch [323 posts] 7 years ago
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Don't mail order - buy from a shop, and then secretly film you guys taking them back in pieces trying to get a refund under the sales of goods act.

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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G-Bitch - I like that idea, "it said mountain bike on the label, so we rode it down a mountain, and look what happened!"

Halfords would be the best candidate, but I can only find a bike for £99 there. I would love to pay in the £70's ideally.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 7 years ago
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Surely JJB has a BSO for that money?

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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JJB are not even close, £129 for the cheapest full suss. It does have blue line tyres listed as one of the 5 stand-out features of it though.

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Zaskar [133 posts] 7 years ago
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Halfords clearance or some poop on display?

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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Google shopping does a pretty good job of encompassing the gamut of the mountain bike industry in its first two search results...

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G-bitch [323 posts] 7 years ago
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Motorworld or similar motor spares chain would be a good bet I reckon - they always have these things on display.

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

Google shopping does a pretty good job of encompassing the gamut of the mountain bike industry in its first two search results...

And in a very succinct way it pretty much captures the essence of the challenge. Can bike number 2 get me round Afan as successfully as bike number 1, if so I save £6939.13!

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therevokid [971 posts] 7 years ago
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nah ... bike number 2 only has 660mm wide bars and
therefore will be far inferior (puts saucer of milk
in the corner !!)

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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UPDATE...

The bikes have been purchased!

We now have 7 adult full suspension bikes, 5 are by the well known and respected brand - Virus. These have MTB Technology apparently (it says so on the side!).
We also have a British Eagle and an as yet unidentified one.

Initial rides around the car park indicate that we are going to die! The forks are never going to cope with...well...anything to be honest.

I am being relied upon to overtake someone on the climb of Whites, it will be even more amusing than we first thought, as they really are exceptionally bad bikes.

The date is set - Sunday 22nd November. Feel free to join in if anyone is in the area, it will involve a loop starting with Whites climb, Parsons Folly to join The Wall descent, onto The Wall Climb and finish off with the Wall descent including the Energy section. About 40km of trying to stay in one piece.

I truly doubt that this will pass without incident, the fit of the seat pin within the seat tube is very vague to say the least, so that is going to fail very early on, and can see there being a lot of standing up. The forks are so dodgy looking that they bend whilst just riding along...it's gonna be great!

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Old Cranky [257 posts] 7 years ago
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Have you got BUPA?
Have you got British Cycling insurance?
Have you made a will?

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sponging-machine [90 posts] 7 years ago
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Bon chance et chapeau.

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i_want_one_of_those [12 posts] 7 years ago
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I wanna see photos and video of this outragously funny experiment!!

At least you'll get £250 pound back from "You've been framed" and a fee from the MTB mags if it's well written

Enjoy

PS, I know you have never met me, but please may I have your expensive MTB when you've been "killed to death" by that cheap pile of tat??

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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Thanks for the support guys, the good news is that the bikes weigh in at a svelte 39lbs, the bad news is..well..everything else about them!

They are built, and with full bike workshop mechanic skills, we can only get a couple of gears, and you need the strength of Garth to turn the twist grip to get those. You cannot do the quill stem up enough to actually make it keep the handlebars in the right direction...I could go on, but I'll save it for the post-Armageddon write up.

Suffice to say, we are getting less and less confident of our chances as we get more familiar with the weapons of our destruction...

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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Three of us had a blast round the car park on our new bikes yesterday - 10 minutes of just nobbing about resulted in 2 saddles pointing directly to the sky, and one twist grip shifter that twisted around the bars rather than change gear...

My bike has virtually no brakes to speak of, I can get the lever to the bars, and get almost zero speed reduction - that's not a good sign either.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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are you allowed to swap the non-functioning bits out or are you stuck with them? and are you allowed to adjust the mech so it's at least in a workable single gear, rather than top?

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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No swap out of parts allowed prior to lift off, but any fettling that will improve, well, anything is allowed.

We are mostly pretty competent bike fettlers, and one of our number is a Cytech Level 3 mechanic, so we had initially thought that this would mean we could conquer most adversities.

Since then though, we have realised the depth of depravity that has been plumbed by the manufacturer to create these bikes. The funniest thing I saw was when we held the front wheel between our knees, and twisted the handlebars, you could make the forks twist so much that you had about a 45 degree angle between the bars and the front wheel.

The gears are okay, the main problem was that twisting the grip shift actually just rotated it around the bars, I think some super glue or a big self tapper through it has secured it, and normal (such as that is) operation is restored...

I have been donated a nice Troy Lee Carbon full face lid - worth in excess of 3 of the bikes put together - and hopefully some knee and elbow pads, I haven't ridden off road for many years, with the exception of a stint round Afan last year, so my kit is a tad retro compared to the others, and I never believed in the whole protective armour thing in those days, I'm a believer now though!

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ctznsmith [92 posts] 7 years ago
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What type of brakes do they have?

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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The brakes are amazing. From the front they appear to be a fairly normal V-type brake arm, but when you look at the back of the arm you realise they are actually just made of pressed sheet steel. They flex inward so much that increasing the force on the lever doesn't increase the force of the pad on the rim. The pad is made of plastic rather than rubber too.

My chosen bike has much worse brake performance than the other tested so far, not sure why, just lucky I suppose!

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ctznsmith [92 posts] 7 years ago
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ouch!

How can that be legal?

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Fringe [1047 posts] 7 years ago
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hey DaSy, if your really lucky it may rain all day sunday  4 them brakes will be even worse than no brakes...hmmm

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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I think it is forecast to rain in Afan area, I don't care about stopping at the moment though, I am focussed on overtaking someone on the way up.

The main problem is that the drive train really cannot cope with power through it. The square taper cranks will very easily convert to round taper, especially as the inside of them appears to have a plastic coating to interfere with the fit.
I also found that I was only getting meaningful drive from about 3/4 of the full pedal revolution, and it turned out I was screwing the freewheel on tighter - this went on for about 10 pedal revs!

I want to nurse it up the climb though just to get a chance to test this Troy Lee lid on the way down if nothing else.

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 7 years ago
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low gear and high cadence then. if you get to choose a gear  1

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