1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
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    3rd Trail Ride on New Bike - Lessons learned

    My buddy and I met up at Cooper's Gap in PA this weekend, and I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned.

    Coopers Gap Epic Mountain Bike Trail, Belleville, PA
    We got through about 3/4 of the epic.


    1. Lower the seat enough to get weight behind it - I was previously just lowering it an 1 - 1-1/2 inches and wasn't putting my weight behind it with some pretty bad consequences
    2. Dropper posts seem really neat - My buddy just picked one up, and it is pretty interesting not having to get off to adjust the seat, but not worth the price tag to budget ratio I have.
    3. Grab spider webs and camel back mouth piece with left hand - This way you have the rear brake available for the inevitable need as soon as you aren't prepared.
    4. Adjust tire pressure to terrain - I had been keeping my tires over pressured
    5. A light day-pack isn't that bad to ride with
    6. BMX style pedals with little plastic nubs do not make for good mountain bike pedals when you start to get knocked around on rocks
    7. That log WILL be high enough to hit your big ring


    More to come as I remember them.

  2. #2
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    That's a good start...you'll have more in the near future

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Re: 3rd Trail Ride on New Bike - Lessons learned

    27 miles and 3000' is quite a lot. I bet you can do the whole thing by the end of the season, though.

    I demoed a bike with a dropper post. I'd suggest you do the same. It may make you feel a lot better about them being out of your price range for now.

    If your saddle is really giving you trouble sliding behind it, a saddle with a sensible width and shell shape for your body could help.

    I realize that to some extent, bike stuff has basically been made for me for years and years. But my favorite saddle is about 130 mm wide and has what Bontrager called "clipped ears" at the time - the tail is quite narrow, so it's out of my way if I want to push the bike out in front of me.

    Work on your pedaling technique too. Mountain bikers actually tend to develop pretty clean technique over time, but you can speed it up. Try to pedal around 90 rpm and pay attention to drawing your foot back at the bottom of your stroke. Probably not at the same time. Keep experimenting with your saddle height. You may find there's less conflict between a good height for pedaling and a good height for handling than you think.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Following up with a couple photos from the ride.

    Also considering a shorter stem, my hands and lower back were a bit worse for wear. I am going to head into the LBS for the free tune up, and ask for their suggestion on my fit (again).

    3rd Trail Ride on New Bike - Lessons learned-img_1506-copy.jpg3rd Trail Ride on New Bike - Lessons learned-img_1552-copy.jpg

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input, going to see if there is seat that may be a bit narrower in the future. I am hoping losing a couple lbs may help me "free up some space" to get behind the seat a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    27 miles and 3000' is quite a lot. I bet you can do the whole thing by the end of the season, though.

    I demoed a bike with a dropper post. I'd suggest you do the same. It may make you feel a lot better about them being out of your price range for now.

    If your saddle is really giving you trouble sliding behind it, a saddle with a sensible width and shell shape for your body could help.

    I realize that to some extent, bike stuff has basically been made for me for years and years. But my favorite saddle is about 130 mm wide and has what Bontrager called "clipped ears" at the time - the tail is quite narrow, so it's out of my way if I want to push the bike out in front of me.

    Work on your pedaling technique too. Mountain bikers actually tend to develop pretty clean technique over time, but you can speed it up. Try to pedal around 90 rpm and pay attention to drawing your foot back at the bottom of your stroke. Probably not at the same time. Keep experimenting with your saddle height. You may find there's less conflict between a good height for pedaling and a good height for handling than you think.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If your stem's not already at the top of your spacer stack and flipped up, try that before you spend any money.

    Also try lowering your bars. Sometimes bike fit is very counterintuitive. At the very least, you'll know more than you do now.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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