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Thread: Beginner MTBR

  1. #1
    KJ
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    Beginner MTBR

    I just recently moved from San Diego to Phoenix. I was an everyday surfer and since I am 500 miles from the pacific I decided to pick up a new hobby. I just bought a 2008 Giant Boulder SE on craigslist for $50. The bike was in really good condition and feels comfortable to ride.

    So far I have rode it almost everyday to commute to school and also on some light off road trails. I am extremely green when it comes to bikes and I was hoping to get some advice on maintenance and also if my bike was a good buy. I am excited about getting into riding and would love to connect with other riders in the phoenix area.

    Kevin J

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  2. #2
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    Good buy? Well for $50 at least you did not spend much on it and it seems to work so it has that going for it. If you have low expectations of the bike (as I would for $50) it would seem to meet it with flying colors.

    Now as for proper trail riding. I would not expect alot from the bike, but since you have it just ride it till it breaks. At some point you will want a better bike, but I don't see the hurry.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on deciding on mountain biking! We have plenty of great trails to ride in this state. For what is worth, I paid $50 for the last TIRE I bought, so in that regard, yes you got a great deal on a starter bike, but if you are going to get serious about the hobby, be warned you are going to need to spend a "little" more on a bike. I suggest riding the wheels off of that thing, but not putting any considerable amout of $$$ into it. I would keep it as a commuter for back and forth to work/school, etc.

    As for maintenance tips, that is pretty wide open. Just some general tips that I can offer up:

    1) Make sure to keep everything lubed up. I prefer a wax based lube for the chain (Clean Ride) - But make sure to use degreaser to get all of the existing lube off before switching to it. I like it better than "wet" based lubes for our trails, because when I was using wet based ones it attracted way too much dirt.

    2) Look into running your tires tubeless. Do some searching on STANS tubeless conversion. Before I converted I was buying around 2-3 tubes a month (pinch flats).

    3) Check out the group rides on AZ Mountain Biking (Phoenix, AZ) - Meetup and Scottsdale Mountain Bikers (Scottsdale, AZ) - Meetup great place to meet people and improve your skills. Most of their rides are fine for beginners. As a surfer I would guess you have pretty good cardio already.

    4) Find a good local bike shop (not big box) and get to know them.

    5) Have fun!

  4. #4
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    I was in a similar situation as you last year, except from a different place and a different water sport.

    You can find pretty much every piece of maintenance information by scouring forums or searching google, but if you want an all inclusive reference that doesn't require electricity, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance has been good to me. I'm speaking from a perspective of doing most things myself, including assembly and heavy maintenance.

    If your talking about routine maintenance, it mostly involves keeping the drive train clean and lubed, but really you should be keeping any moving part cleaned and lubed. One of the sub-forums, i think it's beginners, has a sticky that has a routine maintenance guide.

    I don't know much about your bike, but for $50 I'm assuming it's seriously low end. I don't like to poop on other people's equipment, but if you find out you really enjoy trail riding, you will probably want to upgrade. I think buying new and used parts from the internet and then assembling a bike yourself is the best bang for your buck, but that's not for everyone.

  5. #5
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    Good score!

    You don't NEED a better bike, but if you stick with this you'll WANT one. Everyones advice of "ride it till it breaks" is good.
    How tall are you and what size bike is that? Bike fit is pretty important in comfort and preventing injuries. The seat on that bike is slammed and almost looks like a "comfort" seat, which you'll want to loose.
    Take you new bike to the LBS and see if someone can help you fit it a little bit. From the little info i the pic (size of your arm, assumed height due to angle of arm, high bar low seat) I'm guess a kid or woman had the bike before you.

    Enjoy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Congrats on deciding on mountain biking! We have plenty of great trails to ride in this state. For what is worth, I paid $50 for the last TIRE I bought, so in that regard, yes you got a great deal on a starter bike, but if you are going to get serious about the hobby, be warned you are going to need to spend a "little" more on a bike. I suggest riding the wheels off of that thing, but not putting any considerable amout of $$$ into it. I would keep it as a commuter for back and forth to work/school, etc.

    As for maintenance tips, that is pretty wide open. Just some general tips that I can offer up:

    1) Make sure to keep everything lubed up. I prefer a wax based lube for the chain (Clean Ride) - But make sure to use degreaser to get all of the existing lube off before switching to it. I like it better than "wet" based lubes for our trails, because when I was using wet based ones it attracted way too much dirt.

    2) Look into running your tires tubeless. Do some searching on STANS tubeless conversion. Before I converted I was buying around 2-3 tubes a month (pinch flats).

    3) Check out the group rides on AZ Mountain Biking (Phoenix, AZ) - Meetup and Scottsdale Mountain Bikers (Scottsdale, AZ) - Meetup great place to meet people and improve your skills. Most of their rides are fine for beginners. As a surfer I would guess you have pretty good cardio already.

    4) Find a good local bike shop (not big box) and get to know them.

    5) Have fun!
    How is the as mountain bike meet up? Don't want to pay 20 dollars without knowing anything about it
    2013 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
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  7. #7
    Go Speed Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastblack View Post
    How is the as mountain bike meet up? Don't want to pay 20 dollars without knowing anything about it
    I have been on about a dozen or so rides with them, and it has been well worth it.

  8. #8
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    only advice I would give is to use slime tubes when doing more aggressive trail riding... Otherwise ride what you've got.. You should be fine on that bike... If anything you'll get in better shape faster on a heavier wheelset/bike...
    Below Par on the Gnar

  9. #9
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    Your Boulder is a steel framed bike with entry level components. That steel frame is going to be heavy, BUT it might also help to smooth out some of the 'chatter' we get here from the rocky trails. Other than standard maintenance on your bike the only thing I would put money into it would be for decent tires.

    You should be able to easily get your $50 back whenever you need it, so I echo the "ride it till the wheels fall off" sentiment.

    Are you an ASU student? If so, Papago Park is a great place to do some entry level biking and is just a couple of minutes from campus. Just ride north on Mill then take a right on galvin parkway and a left at your first stoplight (zoo to the right, Papago park to the left).
    2013 Rockhopper Pro 29er

  10. #10
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    I rode on cheap ass bikes for 30 years before I finally splurged on something better for around a grand.

  11. #11
    KJ
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    Thanks for the advice my giant is a large frame and once I raised the seat up it has fit me well, also I took it into the bike shop at asu and got a tune up for free. I am going to Papago park today for my first true trail ride I'm really excited and I gunna ride this bike till the wheels fall off

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