Mountain bike/biking

At the grand old age of 52 thinking of getting mountain bikes for Mrs T and myself

I don’t have the first clue where to begin

We aren’t be going to be doing anything challenging

Nothing like any of this

Probably much more like this

I am guessing this is probably not full suspension

Might get Mrs T something with a bit of electric so she can keep up more easily - that also seems to be another can of worms in terms of choice, battery power, price :flushed: etc

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome




I was big in to MTB in my teens and early twenties. Still got my Spesh Rockhopper, must be nearly 20 years old.

The gearing these days seems very different to my day. Big rings at the back and small at the front. 29" wheels are popular these days also.

I wouldnt bother with full suspension. You wont see much benefit and will just pay for it with the weight.

Not sure on budget, ive heard good things about Decathlon at the budget end. Otherwise the usual suspect Spesh, Cannondale, Trek have good bikes starting at 500.

What are the trials like near you? Im very limited here with only Woburn woods. In my youth had the whole south downs.

That was pretty much my brief mate when I bought mine. I bought a Giant Anthem 2 29er and been very happy with it. I bought a pair of Hunt XC wheels which were great value and sold the old wheels. I also bough a 2nd hand dropper post.

If I was buying again, I’d up the ante to a model that had the inbuilt dropper but that meant quite a leap in ££. My other shortlisted bike was the Scott Spark but I found the cockpit a bit too busy for my liking.

1 Like

Do you intend on doing it locally? If yes, have a think what your local area is like for MTBing. While we have a lot of bridle paths around here (North Downs) the soil is awful and turns to deep mud very early in the autumn and becomes unrideable very soon after. Already this year there’s a lot of mud about and it’s only rained half a dozen times off the back of the mega dry summer. I asked at my local bike shop what tyres are good for our area and they said nothing will cope with the mud.

That pushes the horses and MTB people onto the footpaths to avoid the mud, the foot path people create their own new paths, that up sets the “friends of the woods” morons and everyone is moaning about everything.


We used to have battles with the ramblers. Some turned ugly and would block the bottom of downhill sections with logs. There was even one incident of neck height wire.

1 Like

@GRamsay trails round here - we are close to Pennines - not that far from Sheephouse Lane, an hour from the Peak District an hour to the Lakes and an hour and a half to Snowdonia

Budget - don’t mind paying some £ but not going to be a full time hobby thing

Suspension - that’s the one thing I have decided on - we tried some trails in Whistler one summer - chairlift up and the. Trails down. With full suspension it felt like most of the effort through the pedals went into generating up and down motion

@FatPom - sorry I have no idea what droppers are?

Looks like pretty much everything comes with disc brakes these days - are they a lot of faff?

1 Like

Oh wow yeah plenty of choice for trails then.

Droppers allow you to quickly lower the seat post from a switch on the handle bars. On big downhills you want to shift your weight back as much ss possible to stop you going arse over tit and lowering the post helps with this.

Persoanlly I never bothered with one but then with my height it was easy to move back over the daddle and grip it with my thighs. Plus I was shit a downhill anyway and avoid the big drops.


Was going to put this on the recent purchases thread but here is better.

As mentioned, got this off a clubmate for £100. Needs a clean, tlc, couple of parts and if I cba taking the black spray paint off it.

1 Like

Pretty much what @GRamsay said. I didn’t think an XC would warrant one but I’ve been very surprised how I use it. It gives a lot of confidence in shifting your weight around.

My XC riding mate was dead set against them and then he tried mine and said ‘oh, I can see point of them now’ :smile:

I’m an XC novice, so not real experience to compare not having one but I’d be reluctant not to have one now. I visit the occasional bike park but nothing really lairy.


You asked about disc brakes. My experience is that as long as they are hydraulic, they work great. More or less zero maintenance between pad changes. A bit more awkward getting the wheels back on but it’s only minor. Changing pads when they need it is no worse than rim brakes although maybe a bit fiddly the first couple of times. Probably want to get a shop to service the hydraulics when they eventually need it but that’s only every few years unless they’re getting very heavy use.
OTOH, cable operated discs are a PITA. They need endless fettling to catch the sweet spot between not rubbing, and not stopping :worried:.


That is very useful thanks @Matt_Perks

@tunster – As others have said, full suspension would be slightly OTT for your requirements.

However, many of today’s MTBs will allow you to lock the front suspension with a handlebar lever.

I’ve found that a useful feature when using my MTB on the road.

Good luck with finding a suitable MTB.

Cheers, Paul. :slight_smile:


Over the summer, I went to visit an old mate who I used to race MTBs with in the early 90s.

His stepson had a modern MTB with all the features @GRamsay & @FatPom have described.

We then showed our age/ignorance (delete as appropriate) talking about the “old days”. :roll_eyes:

Under all the mud, there were some cutting edge (at the time) hydraulic rim brakes!


Thanks @Paul_L