Buying a new bike

I’m a thinker. Maybe an over thinker? 

What I mean is especially when it comes to tech or bikes, I do a lot of procrastinating.

Mostly this is because I’m no expert.  If I’m honest with myself I don’t really know the difference between a Fox 34 and a Pike or a Shimano Zee and SRAM guide brake. And if I’m really honest with myself, would I truly actually notice the difference when I’m out riding?  Dunno, I’m a pretty average rider and would I benefit from some of the higher performance parts? Doubtful.

I will certainly notice bits that I have experience with and learn from that. So despite my comment about forks just now, I have some idea what I do/don’t want.

So how do I pick a bike?

It’s probably the same as most of you – based on a few of the following 5/6 points:

  1. Price – lets face it budget is the major controlling factor for a bike purchase. Even if you do decide to spread the cost, there’s still a decision to be made “can I afford £40 a month or £60 a month etc”
  2. What’s cool – What’s everybody riding? Do i want to ride what everybody is riding? I remember when everyone around me was BIRD mad! Cotic is popular with my locals at the moment. I bought he Whyte T130 – I don’t regret it but boy are there loads of them around!  I’d like to ride something that isn’t so popular if I can.
  3. Stick with what I know – buy the latest model from a brand you know / have or have had. I ride a whyte full sus and the 905 hardtail gets great reports. But I don’t like the colour!
  4. Steel is Real – I’m looking for a hardtail and us British riders do like a steel hardtail and i ride a steel frame right now. Steel can push the price up a little, but def moves the bike along the cool wall!
  5. Pro Influencers – I’ve been watching GMBN for the last year or and sold myself on the Scout, then since following Matt Jones and seeing the specs, the San Quentin jumped up on my list, until I saw the 4 month wait!!
  6. Round ups and reviews – MBR

So, I’m looking for a new hard tail. I set my budget to a max of £1500 and I have maybe 3 or 4 on my short list… Haven’t made a decision yet so watch this space…

The DownHill Yearbook – your new Christmas Annual?


I used to love getting a new “annual” for Christmas. Star Wars, Beano, Batman – whatever it was it would keep me occupied for weeks.  New comic strips, pictures to colour in, trivia, character bios, competitions etc.  It became an easy item for my Christmas list and would go in pride of place on my book shelves as my collections would grow.

Times change and I don’t get annuals for Christmas anymore for obvious reasons, I don’t really read comics but I am tempted to start on The Walking Dead…  But what has just been launched from some MTB industry folk – photographers and journos from the likes of DIRT, is what I hope will become my new Christmas Annual.

I give you Hurly Burly…. Well I don’t, but you know what I mean…

With contributions from – Alan Milway | Martin Whiteley | Nigel Reeve | Rachael Walker | Mike Rose | Victor Lucas | Chris Ball | Chris Kilmurray | Steve Jones | Paul Aston | John Parkin | Boris Beyer | Myriam Nicole | Ben Greenland | Ric McLaughlin

its a 200 page “hit-by-hit account” of the 2016 World Cup series and World Championships.

I’ve ordered mine and can’t wait to thumb through it.. Go find out more and get your copy at:


Photos Courtesy of DownHill YearBook