I am currently a keen road cyclist, but due to my work (I'm currently a travelling farmer) I am in serious need of a MTB. I am currently travelling around the UK with my Focus Cayo Pro in the boot which runs 23c tyres and simply can't be used on farm roads. I have a good understanding of road bikes and their components and am quite happy building track and road bikes myself; however I have never ventured into MTB bike builds.
I currently own the current bikes;
Planet X Exocet - TT Bike
Focus Cayo Pro - Daily Road Bike
Spesh Allez - Pub/Shopping Road Bike
Spesh Langster Steel - Track Bike
My budget is extremely flexible from £0 upwards to £2k if really necessary. I love riding a light bike, but this MTB will be my daily commuter (on farm roads) so needs to be strong and reliable. I am unlikely to ever race on the bike, but would like to go offroading around 3 times a week and put the bike and myself through its/my paces.
My desired spec list would be as below, but I would really appreciate some assistance as I am not experienced with the MTB groupsets at all;
- Carbon/Lightweight Alu Frame
- Front Suspension Fork (recommendations welcomed)
- Shimano XT or equivalent groupset
- Clincher or Tubeless Wheelset
- Aluminium finishing kit
I have seen the new boardman range of hardtails which could be interesting;http://www.boardmanbikes.com/mtb/ht_em17.html
(although I'm unsure on the price yet)
The focus ravel also looks pretty tasty;http://www.wiggle.co.uk/focus-raven-60-2011/
Can anyone offer any assistance?