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. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    I purchased a 15 year old gas guzzling SUV! 1998 Ford Explorer Sport. Really bad on gas, but really nice looking! I figure it is going to double my monthly gas budget (about $80 a month extra + $158 for the payment), so I may even pick up a cheap commuter bike to offset that cost. Even though it does have enough space to put a bike in the back, it also has a rooftop rack that I can put a bike on to look even cooler and double my chances of getting a babe!

    I don't think I've been bottoming out on the fork. Its more of a really bad pedal bob when going up hill, and a certain extent on flat surfaces. Pre-load adjustment is on the stiffest setting, but it doesn't feel stiff at all. I have broken 2 out of 3 personal course records on that bike with that fork, so at least I'm faster on it than other bikes I've owned.

    I may buy the $40 part you suggested to upgrade the fork, but like I said, I kind of want to move on from that bike entirely. Truthfully, working on bikes has been very frustrating for me, because there is always this little curve ball that is thrown at me. I know a heck of a lot more about bike repair than I used to, and I'm glad I have the knowledge, but I'm almost at the point where the best course of action is to let someone else do the work! Or just get a bike that is easy to maintain and has the parts I like so I won't need or want to upgrade. Maybe fork upgrades are easier to deal with, though, than other types of repairs, so if I don't have enough money to upgrade to a better bike, I may go that route.
    With all due respect, you make some of the strangest choices going in how you choose to apply money. Not that a commuter bike is a bad idea - I have one too. But you have a couple you could ride to work tomorrow.

    Don't think of a different spring kit for your fork as an upgrade. That's like saying that cutting a chain to length is an upgrade, or buying a more appropriate cassette is an upgrade.

    I'm not going to try to talk you out of yet another mountain bike while you still owe money for a car. I don't think I've talked you out of buying something yet. But maybe we can at least get you riding a bike that is actually set up for you.

    I've been going to more demo days lately, and I'm discovering that while fancier bikes than mine are nice and all, the thing that matters most to me is correct setup. SRAM really hooked me up at an endurance race where I twisted my derailleur badly, broke my derailleur hanger, and didn't feel I could ride another lap on my own bike... but while I was riding the fancy 29er hardtail they put me on - basically what I'd like my next bike to be - I mostly just missed being on my own bike, that's set up for me. Except that the drivetrain was completely non-functional at that point.

    If I have a message that I'm trying to get out, to everyone really, it's that good setup is really the most important aspect of one's equipment. Whether it's an LX/SLX/Deore drivetrain or XTR, X0, XX or whatever, it's setup that matters. And if I sometimes contradict my claimed anti-upgrade stance, it's in favor of parts that can be set up correctly and then stay that way. (I guess I also like disc brakes and front suspension.) At least get your hardtail set up correctly, so that when you're comparing your time trials between the next bike and this one, you're comparing to a well-functioning hardtail.

    Anyway, SRAM publishes the technical manuals for their products on their web site. So you can see what's involved in swapping the spring and decide if it's something you can take on. I tend to split between work I do myself and work I have done.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    Nothing wrong with this advise. Do you expect me to just HIT the poor fool?
    Better him than the strawberries he dropped on the trail.
    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    With all due respect, you make some of the strangest choices going in how you choose to apply money. Not that a commuter bike is a bad idea - I have one too. But you have a couple you could ride to work tomorrow.

    I'm not going to try to talk you out of yet another mountain bike while you still owe money for a car. I don't think I've talked you out of buying something yet. But maybe we can at least get you riding a bike that is actually set up for you.

    If I have a message that I'm trying to get out, to everyone really, it's that good setup is really the most important aspect of one's equipment. At least get your hardtail set up correctly, so that when you're comparing your time trials between the next bike and this one, you're comparing to a well-functioning hardtail.
    Its always great when you have a guy like Andrew who knows about all of your past bike purchase history!

    About purchasing a commuter...don't THE RULES state that the minumum correct number of bikes you should own is 3?

    And I'd feel a lot better about leaving my $200 commuter locked up outside a grocery store than my $530 cyclocross!

    Getting back to my bike purchases, I'd say I went a little ape s**t for a while there, and made some purchases I would not have made if I could do it over again. This includes both complete bikes and bike parts where I didn't make the best choices. In spite of that, you actually HAVE influenced me in NOT buying bikes at times, because of what you have said in this forum about my purchases. Just so you know, statements like, "you go through too many bikes too fast" (not an exact quote but close enough) have actually influenced me. For example, I probably would have picked up a new Breezer last week if I didn't have that post you made stuck in my head.

    You might also laugh if you knew about the things I DON'T spend my money on. When my friend Takashi from Japan was over at my apartment hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, he noticed that I had purchased a lot of new bike parts which were still in their packaging. At this particular time, I was converting my Leader Hardtail from a single speed BACK to a geared bike so that I could race it to hopefully finish better than last place. Long story short, a month or two later, instead of doing the race, I ended up taking a biking trip with my ex-girl friend out to this place called "Potters Pasture" in Nebraska (a different story for a different day), and I probably could have left it a single speed, but oh well.

    Getting back to my story, Takashi likes to give me crap about all of my bike/parts purchases too. But one thing he noticed when he was at my apartment was how I didn't have a fancy wide screen tv or CDs or DVDs or anything like that other "normal" people spend their money on. He noticed that all I seemed to spend my money on was bikes!

    Three years ago, before I got hired with my current employer, I was really broke, and a total tight wad. Thankfully, things have changed a bit, and I now can afford nice things like bikes I don't need. LOL Well, at least I DID until I bought the dang Explorer! But really, I'm getting to the point where I really want to find the "right" bike with the "right" setup, as you mentioned above. I don't think the Leader is it, but I've sure had some fun riding it over the past year and a half.

    Getting back to the subject of this thread, one thing I will say, based on some of my stupid bike purchase decisions, is that if anyone reading this is going to upgrade their bike or bike parts, make sure its a BIG upgrade. I mean, upgrading from Alivio to Deore isn't really that significant a change (unless you are doing it for mechanical repairs), and you would probably be better off to sticking with what you started with in the first place and not spending the extra cash. You might get a slight improvement in performance with one model over the next, but unless you about double the original retail price of your current bike, the differences will be insignificant.

  4. #54
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    No good

    too much seriousness going on in this thread

  5. #55
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    Long way to say this: " if anyone reading this is going to upgrade their bike or bike parts, make sure its a BIG upgrade. I mean, upgrading from Alivio to Deore isn't really that significant a change (unless you are doing it for mechanical repairs), and you would probably be better off to sticking with what you started with in the first place and not spending the extra cash. You might get a slight improvement in performance with one model over the next, but unless you about double the original retail price of your current bike, the differences will be insignificant."

    This is why I am a Sette fanboy. Full high end groups with a good fork and frame and ultra low price. After a while, if you want a new frame, buy one, move everything over and sell the Sette. Super inexpensive way to get a great bike!
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike View Post
    LOL, love it.. Now who can tell me what this refers to



    I know there was a thread that Kona started that had this reference in it.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike View Post
    too much seriousness going on in this thread
    Sorry man! But everyone needs a little stupid bike purchase history drama in their life! Let's see more of the cat!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    Nothing wrong with this advise. Do you expect me to just HIT the poor fool?




    Down riders are to be used as Moguls.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Long way to say this: " if anyone reading this is going to upgrade their bike or bike parts, make sure its a BIG upgrade. I mean, upgrading from Alivio to Deore isn't really that significant a change (unless you are doing it for mechanical repairs), and you would probably be better off to sticking with what you started with in the first place and not spending the extra cash. You might get a slight improvement in performance with one model over the next, but unless you about double the original retail price of your current bike, the differences will be insignificant."

    This is why I am a Sette fanboy. Full high end groups with a good fork and frame and ultra low price. After a while, if you want a new frame, buy one, move everything over and sell the Sette. Super inexpensive way to get a great bike!
    Yeah, Sette looks pretty good. I'm looking at their Razzo 29ers and Derro FS bikes. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck, and most owners seem really happy with the bikes.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    ..snip...
    About purchasing a commuter...don't THE RULES state that the minumum correct number of bikes you should own is 3?

    ...snip.....
    The correct number of bikes to own is N + 1 where N = the current number of bikes you own. So you always need one more bike.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
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    And i have a new warning call for overtaking people on the trails, or if my breaks fail...

    srsly made me lol hard.


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  12. #62
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  13. #63
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    That's a you dude. Nothing I had written was that good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    The correct number of bikes to own is N + 1 where N = the current number of bikes you own. So you always need one more bike.
    Darn right! How could you re-write that equation for the need to upgrade parts?

  15. #65
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    getagrip, I'm glad I managed to slow you down on at least a few bikes. Now you have more money to spend on better-informed bikes!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #66
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  17. #67
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    A scratched fork sticker I know exactly what that is referring to. It must have been close to a year ago. Someone I think it was Kona dog posted a thread about his fork sticker being scratched. All hell broke lose as everybody gave him a hard time about his little sticker scratch. Now that I think of it the OC just turned a year old. And this happened before that in the general discussion forum. Back when there was non stop flaming going on in that forum.
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  18. #68
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    I can't believe the cat hasn't told anyone to throw away your 26er immediately and get a 29er because they do everything better!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    getagrip, I'm glad I managed to slow you down on at least a few bikes. Now you have more money to spend on better-informed bikes!
    Thanks. You should buy at least one new bike to balance out my non-purchases. And you should buy one from Pricepoint just to see if your suspicions about mail order bikes are true!

  20. #70
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  21. #71
    dru
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    I was waiting for that.
    OP, this thread's pretty funny. Well done.
    occasional cyclist

  22. #72
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    How about something to the effect of all forks under $500 are crap, even if you ride on the streets...

  23. #73
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    -getagrip
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  24. #74
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    Seems to be rather common in these threads...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
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    Not bad advice...true statement.

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