Trail MTB

Judith Stiller's Photo Judith Stiller 16 Jul 2017

I am keen to start saving to upgrade from hardtail to soft tail. I need a trail bike and was wondering which of the following would you recommend, TREK FUEL, Silverback Sido 3 or Giant Anthem. I mostly want to do long distances on district roads and trails now and then. I'm not sure which is the more affordable and reliable. I have to watch my budget though.
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popcorn_skollie's Photo popcorn_skollie 16 Jul 2017

The Sido and Anthem are too racy to be considered trail bikes. Hell I'd even say the Anthem is the measuring stick for cross country bikes these days. Both good options and both equally at home on some single track.

 

But the fuel fits squarely in the trail category. Its even more trail orientated now than what they use to be. Quite capable on any trail peppered with intermediate features. Geo looks bang on for some lekker fun on the way down. It well specced where it counts but doesn't take itself too seriously. Always room for upgrades. Its also one of the best climbers I've ever ridden. The full floater suspension is magic. Then the cherry ontop. Its also very well priced if local rrp on Trek's website is anything to go by (Trek Fuel 5 29er going for 24k). Hard to find better value than that. Trek ftw. Good luck.


Edited by popcorn_skollie, 16 July 2017 - 10:37 .
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Judith Stiller's Photo Judith Stiller 16 Jul 2017

The Sido and Anthem are too racy to be considered trail bikes. Hell I'd even say the Anthem is the measuring stick for cross country bikes these days. Both good options and both equally at home on some single track.

But the fuel fits squarely in the trail category. Its even more trail orientated now than what they use to be. Quite capable on any trail peppered with intermediate features. Geo looks bang on for some lekker fun on the way down. It well specced where it counts but doesn't take itself too seriously. Always room for upgrades. Its also one of the best climbers I've ever ridden. The full floater suspension is magic. Then the cherry ontop. Its also very well priced if local rrp on Trek's website is anything to go by (Trek Fuel 5 29er going for 24k). Hard to find better value than that. Trek ftw. Good luck.

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Judith Stiller's Photo Judith Stiller 16 Jul 2017

Thank you so much for your valuable input. That is the kind of advice I need.
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Judith Stiller's Photo Judith Stiller 17 Jul 2017

The other thing is size. If I'm 1.72 tall, it seems like 18.5 on the sizing chart. That seems to be excluded in this wonderful sale. Do you think I can go a size bigger? Is 19.5 still a medium?
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Eugene's Photo Eugene 17 Jul 2017

Technically, none of the bikes you mentioned are soft tails, but we know what you mean.

A soft tail is a type of hard tail that has a very flexible chainstay (no pivots) and a small shock.

At 1.72, I would guess 19.5 is going to be too big, but test it out first.
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rudi-h's Photo rudi-h 17 Jul 2017

Make sure that you know what type of bike you want AND test-ride to make sure...  A trail bike in the modern tongue would be a >130mm travel bike with slack geometry and is likely to include the following:

 

beefy / wide rims (30mm internal width or more)

2.3" tyres

dropper post

160(+)mm brake rotors

34(+)mm fork stanchions

 

All of this comes with increased weight, and if you want to get the weight down, you need to pay more...  So although a carbon ~140mm trail bike is IMO the best bike for almost any type of riding, you might have to fork out R50k+ for a trail bike (in the true sense of the definition) that is light enough for long distance riding.  This bike will also be great for enduro and even moderate downhilling, so a true all-rounder.

 

If drop-offs, jumps and technical terrain isn't your thing and you're just interested in riding longer distances and the type of singletrack that a typical marathon race will throw at you, I'd go with a ~120mm marathon bike or even a marathon racer (100mm - anthem, scott spark etc.)

 

I agree with skollie that the trek fuel at R24k is a great buy.


Edited by rudi-h, 17 July 2017 - 08:31 .
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Iwan Kemp's Photo Iwan Kemp 17 Jul 2017

I am keen to start saving to upgrade from hardtail to soft tail. I need a trail bike and was wondering which of the following would you recommend, TREK FUEL, Silverback Sido 3 or Giant Anthem. I mostly want to do long distances on district roads and trails now and then. I'm not sure which is the more affordable and reliable. I have to watch my budget though.

 

The category bike stated and what you'd like to do are not really in sync. I take it as

- "I mostly want to do long distances on district roads"

- "and trails now and then"

 

For that any of the bikes mentioned will do just fine with the Trek and Giant having a slight advantage on the trails. If it's a 2018 Anthem even more so as it's got more contemporary geometry. 

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Judith Stiller's Photo Judith Stiller 17 Jul 2017

Thanks for the feedback. I realised I didn't use the right terms. Maybe I should say dual suspension instead of soft tail. Where are the best dealers in Trek bikes? Is it usually better to advertise your previous bike on the hub, or as trade in? I have a Ghost Kato 2 2015 with 2016 frame, that really runs well, but als... No dual suspension.
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Headshot's Photo Headshot 17 Jul 2017

Thanks for the feedback. I realised I didn't use the right terms. Maybe I should say dual suspension instead of soft tail. Where are the best dealers in Trek bikes? Is it usually better to advertise your previous bike on the hub, or as trade in? I have a Ghost Kato 2 2015 with 2016 frame, that really runs well, but als... No dual suspension.

I agree with Iwan's assessment of the 2018 Anthem. I had a brief ride on one last week and was impressed with how at ease it felt when tested on a quick corner filled downhill section of trail with a sharp climb back to the start. It can do small jumps and didn't require a huge amount of effort to get airborne in a nice neutral position. 

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