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.
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  1. #1
    curious noob
    Reputation: drbroccoli's Avatar
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    Am I making good choices?

    So about 2 months ago I decided to purchase my first real mountain bike (I don't count my novara beater as a mountain bike). Leading up to this, I had been practicing trials type stuff and was pretty good at trackstands, bunny hops etc. I had also ridden a few trails and really enjoyed it. So I wanted a bike that I could grow into that would allow me to pursue both.

    I combed craigslist and found a 2009 Specialized P1 All Mountain (their dirtjumper mtn bike hybrid) for $250. The thing was brand new, looked amazing and had hardly a speck of dust. The bike was lighter than my novara and had much stronger brakes, and I found myself getting better at my trials skills, although I've had little time to hit the trails.

    To the point, I'm trying to build up a bike that will let me explore trails, do some light dirt jumping, and build up trials fundamentals.

    My current list of parts and explanations:
    -Rockshox Reba: Needed a fork that didn't feel terrifying on rough trails, and had lockout for trials.
    -Eastern BMX pedals.
    -A 690cm freeride bar and a longer stem (bent the original bars, longer stem was for trials stuff)
    -Avid Speeddial 7 levers
    -A bashguard (probably the best thing I got so far for the money)

    Desired parts:
    -A 203mm Alligator Cirrus brake rotor in the front (need more power for stoppies, and the bb5s just generally aren't too great on steep slopes)
    -SRAM x9 rear derailleur and alligator cirrus rear rotor (a lot of weight on the rear I want to kill)
    -A seat whose rails will not bend when I botch a landing.

    How does this build sound for what I have in mind? Any more specific recommendations for the seat? I'm going for a bike that can handle XC, heavier stuff, trials and just generally go fast and take hard knocks.

    Sorry for using the words trails and trials in the same sentence. I know it's tricky.
    Science works.

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  2. #2
    local jackass
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    that build sounds great for what u want i have pretty much done the same thing with my P1 AM that i bought brand new last year when they first released the 2010 model



    Fork: Rockshox Recon Race 120mm 20mm maxle needed a fork i wouldnt max out off tiny stuff and would withstand the abuse of serious drops and hits that was also adj to my weight im 6'8 240

    Wheels: Mavic Deetracks with 20mm maxle I kept bending my factory rims out of tru on every ride and really needed something that would take a serious beating and not need to be re trued ( going on 8 months still perfecty straight)

    Crank: Truvativ Stylo 2.2 am I really needed a bash guard and was having issues with the factory crank

    Shifters: X7 better than stock no real reason

    Brakes: just better pads they seem to work just fine

    Saddle: WTB Vigo it has replaceable rails so if u bend them its $20 instead of a new seat and its very comfortable for xc riding

    i also put the shimano XT pedals on it for xc riding and love them

    a little motovation for ya
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  3. #3
    curious noob
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    Neat. Someone with my bike! What problems did you have with the cranks? I've started having a ticking sound.
    Science works.

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  4. #4
    local jackass
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    yeah it creaked and ticked so i said to hell with it and bought that got it for 140 new
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  5. #5
    curious noob
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    Have you ever figured out what caused that sound? I currently have a thread trying to figure it out. It seems to coincide with my getting a bashguard/putting to use. I suspect the bottom bracket, as it's a cheap piece of crap.


    I've been getting pretty much everything used on craigslists and ebay, even the bike itself.
    2009 Rockshox Reba Team. 100mm, trying to match original travel.
    Some wheel with a 20mm cannondale hub and Mavic XM321 rims.
    Speed Dial 7 levers
    A sram x9 front shifter so I could get my levers where I wanted them...
    BBB freebar and new stem. Bent the old bars in an endo
    A WTB seat of some sort. Bent the rails on the original seat after casing a jump. Bent these rails too.... The vigo you say? I'll have to check that out.
    Eastern BMX pedals (came with the bike, love them to death)

    How are those stylos treating you?
    What wheel are you using on the back? I'm still running the stock wheel, but as soon as I find a hadley/chris king/I-9 hub as sports recycler, I'm lacing up a new wheel.
    I'm kind of stuck though in terms of trying to keep the weight low. I haven't actually weighed my build since getting the fork, but I'm aiming for 30 pounds. Craigslist and Boulder Sports Recycler are amazing though for getting high end parts for dirt cheap.
    Last edited by drbroccoli; 04-07-2010 at 08:42 AM.
    Science works.

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  6. #6
    usually cranky
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    seems like your going about things in a wise manner.

  7. #7
    local jackass
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    well im loving the stylo it has already seen a beating from going over trees and rocks at the local trails it has also seen massive drops to flat as well as down hill
    as for my wheels they are a set Mavic DeeTracks
    Mavics
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  8. #8
    curious noob
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    Hmm. I was hoping to know more what the rear hub was. Right now, I'm sticking with my plan to build up a custom rear wheel. I'll add those rims to my list though.

    Out of curiousity, what kind of drops can my rockshox reba take? I've heard I shouldn't do more than 4 feet to flat, but the bike store guy, who mounted, but did not sell the fork suggested "ten stairs." I seldom do more than 5 really.

    I'm some what opposed to getting a crankset that comes with a bashring as I already have one and am always tight on cash.
    Science works.

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  9. #9
    local jackass
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    i have done 6 to flat on my Recon no issues and i run about 210psi due to my weight at 6'8

    and the hub is Mavic so im not to sure
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  10. #10
    curious noob
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    That's awesome. Sounds like such a fun bike. I really wish it was more like the Santa Cruz chameleon though. 100mm-120 seems way to short for an "all mountain" bike, but whatever.
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  11. #11
    think
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    The parts you have purchased so far or plan to purchase all seem pretty reasonable. Usually these threads involve $800 Fox 32's on a Giant Yukon but your shopping around and buying used has made the whole project worthwhile I'd say.

    The Stylo's are good and rugged for a reasonable price. You don't really pay extra for the bash guard as it comes without a big ring and costs basically the same. I'd recommend them.

    With regards to saving weight: those pedals can't be light.

    If you want something more like a chameleon, look for a chameleon frame (or a Ragley Blue Pig, On-One 456, Transition TransAM, Dialled makes a few, etc etc etc) and strip and ship the Specialized to build it up. All mountain has a lot more to do with durability and geometry than amount of travel anyway.

    Resize that damn picture too huh?

  12. #12
    curious noob
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    Haha, yeah the picture is way too big. I just don't want to rob those with massive monitors the opportunity to behold its beauty. Just kidding, I'm lazy.

    And yeah, those pedals are super heavy, but I'm willing to tolerate them as they have great grip, look awesome and lighter BMX pedals are expensive and I'll probably trash them. I'm going to have to destroy these things before I'll replace them. But yeah, they're like 300 grams each and slam into my shins like spiked maces.

    If I do damage the frame, I will shop around for such a frame. I deliberately had the steerer tube on my fork cut really long so that I could move it onto another frame. It has a 120 mm travel option too, so it can "grow into" any frame I move it onto.

    There's also a chance that if I break it, I'll get a DJ frame. But I really don't think I will break it and I love it the way it is.

    The build still costs less than $900, so I think I'm doing something right.
    Science works.

    "Beliefs are what divide people. Doubts unite them."-Sir Peter Ustinov

  13. #13
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    Interesting thread and looks good w/ one exception... OP, think hard about putting a Reba on that bike if you really do plan on spending a lot of time in the DJ park. I'm not saying that fork will explode but it is a lite weight XC fork and wasn't indended to be a DJ fork. There would be better options for you to consider. One of the U-Turn forks would be a better option, with a TA even better.

  14. #14
    curious noob
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    This does have a TA, but I thought of the same thing. I kind of regret not getting a pike or something. Regardless, I really don't jump that hard or that high. If I think jumping is my thing, I'll probably get a used dirt jumper. I've already whacked my butt on the seat and top tube many times and just generally think that I need a bike with a shorter stand over for jumping. I go to the park really just to get comfortable in the air and practice basic skills. If I decide to do more than 2 feet of air/step ups and downs or anything that could be badly cased, I'll be getting a new bike. Right now though, I haven't done a single jump that puts me at any real risk for landing front wheel first and going endo. Just a few bumps, drops and tabletops. I was going through a weight reduction obsession at the time I got it.
    Science works.

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  15. #15
    think
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    It's not about bad landings or superman dismounts, it's more about blowing up/breaking the fork. You already said you were not trying to go big on it so I didn't mention it.

  16. #16
    curious noob
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news
    It's not about bad landings or superman dismounts, it's more about blowing up/breaking the fork. You already said you were not trying to go big on it so I didn't mention it.
    Man, you're true to your name. Tell me more about blowing up. As for breaking, it looks to me like the vulnerable part is the crown, which is substantially less burly looking than many other forks. I'm also thinking that if I mess up the bushings, I'll try to put Rockshox Pike ones in.

    I've never bottomed the fork out, but I have gotten the little oil ring that forms on the stantions (sp?) about 15mm short of the crown. I also jump in lockout with floodgate fully engaged (takeoffs feel a lot safer), and have managed to get the fork to nearly bottom out. Am I overloading the blowoff valve?

    I was also under the impression that the reba was slightly tougher than most XC forks. It seems to be described as XC/trail, whatever that means.
    Science works.

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  17. #17
    curious noob
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H31gM-mddl0

    This is me. It's probably not going to get much more intense than this.
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    "Beliefs are what divide people. Doubts unite them."-Sir Peter Ustinov

  18. #18
    M_S
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    I don't know, Rebas are pretty tough. There are 4x riders who use them.

  19. #19
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    DR, never mind. I watched the video and if that is all you are doing it isn't really a big deal, or any deal for that matter. I was expecting to see some hucking.

  20. #20
    curious noob
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro
    DR, never mind. I watched the video and if that is all you are doing it isn't really a big deal, or any deal for that matter. I was expecting to see some hucking.
    What precisely is 'hucking'?
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  21. #21
    curious noob
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    I would also imagine running rebas for 4x could be an exception. I mean, these are pros trying to shave weight. It's not for everyone, just like running 3 rotor bolts or drinking gatorade (pro athletes and fat kids only)
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  22. #22
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by drbroccoli
    What precisely is 'hucking'?

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    Honestly... ahh I give up

  23. #23
    curious noob
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    That's insane. Yeah, I might get hurt... All I'm interested in is developing skills that will let me have more fun on trails. And just have fun in general.
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  24. #24
    Picture Unrelated
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    Highdelll, you crack me up. That was perfect.

    Anyway, db, I do agree with mnigro that the Reba isn't a dirt jump fork, but you'll be fine with it if you just do one thing. Never jump with the lockout on. You're just asking to blow up the internals. Yeah, it has a blowoff, but eventually you'll knock the seals out of it. Just get used to jumping and riding with the fork active. When you eventually get so insane with bike fever that you buy a full suspension trail destruction machine, you'll appreciate the time you spent learning to preload the suspension on jumps and learning to ride with suspension. Use the lockout uphill and on the road but don't worry about it anywhere else.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  25. #25
    curious noob
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Highdelll, you crack me up. That was perfect.

    Anyway, db, I do agree with mnigro that the Reba isn't a dirt jump fork, but you'll be fine with it if you just do one thing. Never jump with the lockout on. You're just asking to blow up the internals. Yeah, it has a blowoff, but eventually you'll knock the seals out of it. Just get used to jumping and riding with the fork active. When you eventually get so insane with bike fever that you buy a full suspension trail destruction machine, you'll appreciate the time you spent learning to preload the suspension on jumps and learning to ride with suspension. Use the lockout uphill and on the road but don't worry about it anywhere else.
    Crap. I wish someone told me that. Is it still fine to use it practicing endos, pivots, wheelies and the like? Just so long as I don't take big hits?
    Science works.

    "Beliefs are what divide people. Doubts unite them."-Sir Peter Ustinov

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