Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Just starting out

    Hello everyone,

    I am just starting out in this sport. I want to get a little more involved, but wanna to get my skills and stuff down first. I riding with a Trek 3500, which ive read a lot of mixed reviews on it. I am a 250 lbs guy who's 5'8. So I like its build....But here is my question...

    Where do I start learning more about this sport? I want to do Down hill, and maybe just tuff singletrack stuff.

    Can I build up my Trek 3500. The one thing I like about this is MTB are very buildable. But will it be worth my money...Eventually I will to do comps. I know weight is everything...but a guy with kids cant afford to drop 1k or more on a carbon frame.

    I appreciate any help and answers!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    266
    I'd say keep riding the 3500 as long as it works for you. As you get more fit and develop, you'll have a better idea of what you need for the sort of riding you want to do.
    Perhaps start saving your money, as at your size (I am big too) you're going to be hard on a bike, and that $1000+ bike might be in order at some point down the line.
    Youtube is full of great riding videos to start to learn. GMBN, Skills with Phil are two of my favorites. Seth's Bike Hacks, Singletrack Sampler are good too.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am just starting out in this sport. I want to get a little more involved, but wanna to get my skills and stuff down first. I riding with a Trek 3500, which ive read a lot of mixed reviews on it. I am a 250 lbs guy who's 5'8. So I like its build....But here is my question...

    Where do I start learning more about this sport? I want to do Down hill, and maybe just tuff singletrack stuff.

    Can I build up my Trek 3500. The one thing I like about this is MTB are very buildable. But will it be worth my money...
    My first suggestion would be to ride the bike you have and see what sort of riding you enjoy before you spend much money on upgrading things. While it is possible to upgrade your bike, it is likely that major components such as forks and wheels would not be transferable to another frame in the future. That said it is worth getting tyres suitable for where you are riding and making sure brakes, drivetrain and fork are set up properly.

    There are lots of good skills videos on youtube, and I have found Lee McCormack's site (leelikesbikes) and books to be useful.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by morphosity View Post
    My first suggestion would be to ride the bike you have and see what sort of riding you enjoy before you spend much money on upgrading things. While it is possible to upgrade your bike, it is likely that major components such as forks and wheels would not be transferable to another frame in the future. That said it is worth getting tyres suitable for where you are riding and making sure brakes, drivetrain and fork are set up properly.

    There are lots of good skills videos on youtube, and I have found Lee McCormack's site (leelikesbikes) and books to be useful.

    yes one thing i notice is that there is not a large selection of 80mm forks and frames... 100mm seems to be the standard...while options do exist...they aren't interchangeable with other frames..But many other components i can change...and or add..Disk...Gearsets..all the other things are swap-able and not to badly priced.. If you can image a D1 running back riding a bike...that's gonna be my build...lol So i fear spending tons on a carbon frame would be not in my best interest....I think even in comps i could do ok with a AL frame.

  5. #5
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,799
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am just starting out in this sport. I want to get a little more involved, but wanna to get my skills and stuff down first. I riding with a Trek 3500, which ive read a lot of mixed reviews on it. I am a 250 lbs guy who's 5'8. So I like its build....But here is my question...

    Where do I start learning more about this sport? I want to do Down hill, and maybe just tuff singletrack stuff.

    Can I build up my Trek 3500. The one thing I like about this is MTB are very buildable. But will it be worth my money...Eventually I will to do comps. I know weight is everything...but a guy with kids cant afford to drop 1k or more on a carbon frame.

    I appreciate any help and answers!
    A Trek 3500 is best suited to trails that would be moderately challenging in a wheelchair. Seriously. It's a bike path bike with knobby tires. Do not upgrade.

    The bottom has fallen out of the 26" mtb market, and i think they represent the best direction for a first 'real' mtb. Especially being 5'8- you can get a large, put a modern bar/stem set up on, and have a much more modern bike than the wheel size implies. The trick with this is having to learn the 2012 bike market. Things to look for in a used bike- brand that doesn't do proprietary nonsense (no giant/trek/specialized), shimano brakes, good suspension bits, threaded bottom bracket, low wear. Don't buy what you can't touch. Drivetrain doesn't matter.

    Another good route (especially at 250lbs; a lot of bikes suspension doesn't work right once you're over ~210) is to get a long travel hardtail. They're my favorite ride. With a good fork and a long front-center you get the stability and handling of a good trail bike, but it's cheaper, pedals awesome, the suspension is perfectly tuned (heh), and you get the thrill of speed at lower speeds. If you're not excited about them then you won't like it though. I'd look at a nukeproof scout, for example.


    Don't worry about carbon, it's the icing on the cake and you just need a good cake.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    590
    Great advice from scottzg...I've ridden for 25 years and never had a carbon frame. I'm 220 and 6'4" and have broken a frame or two but carbon frames break too. Some mfg's have lifetime frame warranty and those are the ones I buy.

    I would keep riding the 3500 and explore trails in your area, improve skills, and you will get a better understanding of what's going to be best for your situation. Probably things you can do to upgrade it but I would focus further down road for an upgrade. Looking into 26" is a great way to get in cheap and for a clyde they are tougher than the bigger wheeled bikes. Lot's of folks are ditching them for low $...start looking around your area and see what's available.

    I just got my first non-26" bike in Dec but I still ride the hell out of my two older 26" bikes (Dawg and Heckler...see sig). They are kickass trail bikes that I bought for about $1500 apiece new. Even with great components and well maintained I couldn't get more than $1000 for both of them today. You can find a GREAT bike ready for abuse for $600-$800.
    07 Kona Dawg Supreme
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  7. #7
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,799
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    I know weight is everything...
    I missed this in my previous reply. Weight is NOT everything, and at 250lbs bike weight is basically irrelevant. You want Good. Good tends to not be needlessly heavy, so you can almost ignore weight when you're looking at good stuff. At 250lbs you need a fork/chassis/wheels/tires that will support you and not waggle around as you ride, so even with good equipment you'll ultimately be happiest with not particularly light weight parts.

    This is extra true if you're interested in technical trails and downhill. A 250lb rider can put loads in to a bike that are impossible for a smaller rider to.


    Even then, all mountain bikes are a compromise between weight and capability. If weight was everything we'd all be riding short travel hardtails with maxxis maxxlites. I can't remember the last time i saw something like that on a trail. No fun.

    It all might be an abstraction now, but it won't be with experience.





    I don't mean to harp on your weight, but i've been there and i've been much heavier.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I missed this in my previous reply. Weight is NOT everything, and at 250lbs bike weight is basically irrelevant. You want Good. Good tends to not be needlessly heavy, so you can almost ignore weight when you're looking at good stuff. At 250lbs you need a fork/chassis/wheels/tires that will support you and not waggle around as you ride, so even with good equipment you'll ultimately be happiest with not particularly light weight parts.

    This is extra true if you're interested in technical trails and downhill. A 250lb rider can put loads in to a bike that are impossible for a smaller rider to.


    Even then, all mountain bikes are a compromise between weight and capability. If weight was everything we'd all be riding short travel hardtails with maxxis maxxlites. I can't remember the last time i saw something like that on a trail. No fun.

    It all might be an abstraction now, but it won't be with experience.





    I don't mean to harp on your weight, but i've been there and i've been much heavier.
    Well I was think of using the bike yes...to get in shape...learn the trails...even beat that crap out of it...on some harder trails...all while save up dough to get a used good frame...ive seen used trek and specialized frames for 350-800$

  9. #9
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    4,040
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    but a guy with kids cant afford to drop 1k or more on a carbon frame.
    Ok, lets talk about carbon for a second. It's nice, but it's completely unnecessary.

    What a guy with kids can afford to do depends a lot on what his priorities are. I have a nice bike (or 3) and my kids both had nice bikes until my son got tall enough to ride one of my bikes. My wife has a nice bike too. But that's because I've prioritized where I spend my disposable income to make sure that everyone can do something active and have fun and be safe doing it as opposed to, say prioritizing things like game stations or flashy car toys or motorcycles. It also helps keep me in decent shape.

    So you have a bike. Don't spend another penny on that one. Prioritize what you want to do and save money for a nice bike. You can use that one to get in shape, learn the trails, start putting some skills together, etc. - it will work for you to learn how to ride and get ready to step up to another bike. When the time comes for that next bike, all I can tell you is I'm capable of riding the majority of the trails I come across, and in 30 years of riding I've never owned a carbon bike, nor yet a bike that cost more than $2K to buy complete, although I have been lucky with some sales, and I have upgraded those $2k bikes to some nicer parts as the stock ones wore out.

    So, create a new bike stash, relax, and ride what you have until either a) it just won't go anymore or b) you have enough money saved up for something more like what you want - and you'll have more time to figure out what you want too, as well as get an idea of what's out there.

  10. #10
    Bikesexual
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    4,982
    ^^solid advice! That should be a sticky!

  11. #11
    nvphatty
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ^^solid advice! That should be a sticky!
    like a sticky bun??

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chestont's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    73
    I'd keep track of the kinds of bikes you're seeing on the trails too. It will give you some things to think about and consider when your ready to upgrade. Don't be shy about asking riders you see about their bikes. Mountain bikers are generally a pretty laid back bunch and most of us love talking about our gear and why we made those purchases for ourselves.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by chestont View Post
    I'd keep track of the kinds of bikes you're seeing on the trails too. It will give you some things to think about and consider when your ready to upgrade. Don't be shy about asking riders you see about their bikes. Mountain bikers are generally a pretty laid back bunch and most of us love talking about our gear and why we made those purchases for ourselves.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    I wanna thank you guys for your advice. I appreciate it. So I am going to get in shape
    With this right and beat it up a little bit. I've notice though my crank set is bent slightly ...it's very annoying because when I'm on the largest gear it slips the chain. Also my ba**s!!!OMG there has to be a way to comfort them! Totally forgot how much pain riding will cause you...not trying to decrease my boys flow if you know what I mean!

    Sent from my ASUS_X008DC using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    passed out in your garden
    Reputation: cmg71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,798
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    Totally forgot how much pain riding will cause you...not trying to decrease my boys flow if you know what I mean!
    ahhh dont worry about them....
    if you do this correctly (gettin in shape) you'll be too tired to put them to any use anyway
    always mad and usually drunk......

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    ahhh dont worry about them....
    if you do this correctly (gettin in shape) you'll be too tired to put them to any use anyway
    Well I don't know if I ever want to get that in shape then lol

    Sent from my ASUS_X008DC using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,692
    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ^^solid advice! That should be a sticky!
    Amen

    medic will know a lot more about what comes next and what type of riding he prefers also in that timeframe. Chances of getting the right bike = mucho better.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Well I probably will until then is there a better seat for my bolas? And also can I change to a single speed crank without having to change my rear cassette ?

    Sent from my ASUS_X008DC using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by medicdemoore View Post
    Well I probably will until then is there a better seat for my bolas? And also can I change to a single speed crank without having to change my rear cassette ?

    Sent from my ASUS_X008DC using Tapatalk
    Have you got some padded cycling shorts? Seat/saddle choice and setup is largely personal preference and can depend on what riding you're doing. What I've found works for me is to get a seat the right width for the sit bones-some shops have a seat you can sit on to measure it or you can do this yourself using aluminium foil, then find a shape that is good. For example, I like WTB and SDG saddles and can't use Fizik ones but plenty of people really like Fizik.

    Yes, you can probably change the crank without having to change the cassette, but you may need to get a new chain, depending how worn the old one is. Depending what the cranks are, you might be able to replace the chainrings with a single ring. If you post up a picture of the cranks someone will be able to tell you this.

  19. #19
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,692
    In general terms, I've found as have many friends and others posting-

    The seat thing is a typical conundrum for newer riders. Your "sit" part of the equation has to develop a bit over some ride time and experience. sometimes just 3 or 5 rides gets you "legs" and some developed lower anatomy. It's normal to think the seat needs to be big heavy padding and rush out shopping whereas the harder thin seats look less comfortable. Many times it's a little backward or counter intuitive and the thinner, less comfort-looking seats win out but as you'll see, there are countless variations.
    WTB makes some nice saddles and there are occasions where the factory seat was fine for me, even if I upgraded later for a lighter one or one that looked nicer.

    On my Kona, older WTB Speed comp that was lower end price probably around $39 to $50 these days. Just the right mount of firm.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8
    Well i just ordered me some shorts. I will post pictures about the crankset i have. What do you guys think about the trek superfly, or the Fx

  21. #21
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,799
    1-2* of saddle angle adjustment will have a fairly dramatic affect on how it feels, so play with the adjustments. Also, if you are just starting out ALL saddles will feel bad. 2 reasons- you're not used to it, and you aren't carrying your weight with your legs yet. The Planet Bike ARS saddle is a great comfy saddle for starting with. When you wear it out don't buy another one.

    Replacing the cranks is a total and utter waste of time. Don't.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    12
    i'm new to mtb as well and this thread will be helpful in the not to distant future. Not really any aggressive trails where I'm at in TN. i'm on a rigid frame now, what are the advantages to going to suspension when my biggest drop might be 18". Would you recommend I stay with a rigid frame?

  23. #23
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    4,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Griffin 420 View Post
    i'm new to mtb as well and this thread will be helpful in the not to distant future. Not really any aggressive trails where I'm at in TN. i'm on a rigid frame now, what are the advantages to going to suspension when my biggest drop might be 18". Would you recommend I stay with a rigid frame?
    So, the thing about Tn and suspension is you don't NEED suspension in TN any more than anywhere else, drops or not. In TN, suspension will be more about roots and small rocks that generate trail chatter at high speeds than anything else, and will allow higher speeds with more control. I rode my single speed rigid in TN for years, then my elbows decided that I was too old to be doing that 4 times a week, and I put a suspension fork on it and kept on going. I recommend you ride what you enjoy. A rigid frame certainly has a challenge aspect to it that will make you a better rider in the long term.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    So, the thing about Tn and suspension is you don't NEED suspension in TN any more than anywhere else, drops or not. In TN, suspension will be more about roots and small rocks that generate trail chatter at high speeds than anything else, and will allow higher speeds with more control. I rode my single speed rigid in TN for years, then my elbows decided that I was too old to be doing that 4 times a week, and I put a suspension fork on it and kept on going. I recommend you ride what you enjoy. A rigid frame certainly has a challenge aspect to it that will make you a better rider in the long term.
    Thanks for the advise. I come from a BMX background and I'm use to pulling the front wheel or bunny hopping over obstacles. the few times I've ridden a full suspension it just feels spongy.

  25. #25
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    4,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Griffin 420 View Post
    Thanks for the advise. I come from a BMX background and I'm use to pulling the front wheel or bunny hopping over obstacles. the few times I've ridden a full suspension it just feels spongy.
    Yep. You've got something familiar to you, my rigid SS was like being a kid again. FS is without a doubt a different beast. I wouldn't say one is for sure better than the other in TN where most of the rides are of inconsequential length, but I do have a preference for FS on longer rides. In the end, the important thing is that you're having fun on what you're riding. Beyond that, what anyone else thinks of your ride is really their problem.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Griffin 420 View Post
    i'm new to mtb as well and this thread will be helpful in the not to distant future. Not really any aggressive trails where I'm at in TN. i'm on a rigid frame now, what are the advantages to going to suspension when my biggest drop might be 18". Would you recommend I stay with a rigid frame?
    There's actually a fairly decent variety of trails in TN but for most trails climbing traction, comfort and fatigue reduction (some trails) are going to be the main benefits of FS. In middle TN we tend to have 'features' instead of trails that are aggressive as a whole. There's a few features and trails that I wouldn't do with a rigid bike. In east TN you've got beginner trails all the way up to Pro GRT dowhnill courses at Windrock where a DH bike would be best suited. So it just depends on where and how you ride. All you can do is try out different bikes and see what you like.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Darth Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    730
    $1000 will buy you a decent modern hard tail you can trust and thrash on.

    $500 gets you a pretty good universal-standard Taiwanese-style bicycle with MTB styling cues... a mountain bike in the same way that a Compass is a Jeep.

Similar Threads

  1. Just starting out, which bike?
    By RedKMan in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-15-2016, 01:17 AM
  2. Does just starting out feel like this?
    By Tman47 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-14-2015, 12:27 PM
  3. Just starting out
    By JMUhopeless in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-15-2015, 07:33 PM
  4. Just starting out at 66 years old
    By Dieseldog13 in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 08-07-2013, 05:49 PM
  5. just starting out
    By rhyno06 in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-19-2011, 08:57 AM

Members who have read this thread: 90

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.