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 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Basic Tech for Beginners

    I'm kinda new to MTBing (about 2.5yrs). I'm 37 years old and I'm pretty handy with tech stuff, just short on knowledge. (i.e. Last season I bled the hydraulic disc brakes on my bike.) I have a few tech questions. I read the links above.
    1. Can I lube/adjust my bottom bracket myself? I have a bit of creaking down there, and I think this may be the fix. Any special tools?

    2. Is there a "tire basics"? I need new rubber, and I don't know jack. My fiance likes velociraptors. We ride mostly XC and DH (she's fearless on the DH, she's much more experienced than I am, and she's crazy). I"m sure there's newer and better stuff out there, but we don't need the newest and the best (usually the most $$$) to have fun.

    3. I could use new rings/chain/cassette. Are these pretty much universal? Should I buy a set (I assume you can get "matched" sets).

    4. I could use a stiffer front fork. Any suggestions? I'm 5'6", 180lbs (muscular bodybuilder, not fat).

    My ride is an old Ironhorse full suspension (not sure of the model, I'll post a pic when I get home). It's heavy, but I like it. I ride with platforms, tried clipless and almost killed myself. My fiance has a Bergwerk, she rides with eggbeaters.

    I know this is a bit much for a first post. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    Last edited by manowar669; 05-14-2007 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
    I post too much.
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    1. With a crank puller and a BB tool, no problem, those tools can be expensive but if you're going to be doing it a lot they're worth it. I'm currently thinking of investing in some as I go through bottom brackets like there is no tomorrow(only 3 weeks on mine and it's already toast, I ride too hard haha)

    2. It's mostly personal preference and riding style. I ride nearly slick tires as I only ride hardpack and street/skateparks, but for someone doing trails, you definitely need a knobby. Kenda and Maxxis have some solid offerings, but I can't counsel you too much here. I'd check out the blue groove from kenda, the high roller from maxxis. Check the reviews if you can as well.

    3. Yep, pretty much universal(until you fall into the "road" components), you can buy matched stuff, but you can also mix and match to your leisure, I'd get a LBS to help you out in picking what you want.

    4. What fork do you have now? How much travel does it currently have? You may be able to change the springs in the fork, maybe not, I can't tell without looking at it. Otherwise there are a lot of solid offerings from the big manufacturers, it all depends on budget.

    On a tangent, I lift weights as well, I'm the same height as you, but I'm 155lbs approximately, quite fun, and keeps me fit in the winter!

    Hope this helped you out!

  3. #3
    I post too much.
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    I only posted once, but it showed up twice. Little MTBR quirk I think...

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    For general mountainbike tech and wrenching "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance" is a pretty good book. There are several editions and the latest obviously address the latest gear.

    Parktool has some good info on their website.

    1. There are several kinds of BB's. Tools and techniques depend on what you have.
    2. Tyre choice depends on your terrain, and to some extent your riding style. The Wheels and Tyres section of the forums might have something for you. "Shiggy" is the guru there.
    3. Choice of rings/chain/cassette depends on what you have now (like 7, 8, or 9 speed) All rings do not fit all cranks: there are 4 and 5 bolt systems with a couple of different diameters.
    4. Forks: better not say anything without knowing more about your bike.

  5. #5
    go chase the sunset
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaky69
    I go through bottom brackets like there is no tomorrow(only 3 weeks on mine and it's already toast, I ride too hard haha)
    There is no way that's right, whatever you may be riding through.

  6. #6
    I post too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ardent
    There is no way that's right, whatever you may be riding through.
    It's called riding skateparks, dirt jumps, street(stair drops, 180's, tricks) and doing light DH with a street bike that has 75mm of travel up front.

    No mud, no sand, only hard hits. That's what breaks my bottom brackets. When I land I'm smooth as hell, but when I crash...

  7. #7
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Hey mate.
    Don't go lubing or replacing you bottom bracket just yet. I have seen splined bottom brackets expode like snaky is saying. These days with the hollow spindles they just aren't strong enough. But creaks are a different matter, and MOST of the time they are not from the bottom bracket at all. Curiously a lot of them come fromt the seatpost, and sometimes from the pedals. You can check that your crank arms are secured nice and tight by torquing on the securing bolts. Then lube your seatpost and make sure that is secured tightly. Next, have a look at the top of your seat post and see if the clamp is bonded into the post. My old post creaked there and I never figured that out until I replaced it with an expensive Thomson post. What I don't think you will have problems with is the bearings in the bottom bracket. They are sealed bearings anyway, and you can't lube them.
    Re. chainsets. you will need to replace the chain, cassette and usually small and middle front rings together. Your two main offerings are Sram and Shimano, and they both make good stuff within a bunch of price points. I personally ride an XT cassette, standard Shimano front rings, and a Sram chain. I find it a good balance of price and quality. Of course you may not need to replace this stuff at all yet. It comes down to chain stretch or more accurately chain wear. The inside of the rollers wear, and the chain appears to stretch. A quick check is to see if it will fit nicely into the teeth all the way around the middle or big ring at the front. Or a good LBS should have a tool for measuring chain wear.
    You can make your gears last longer by replacing it all, and then fitting a new chain after six months to a year depending on use, and when that wears out going back to you first chain.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  8. #8
    backwoods and backwards
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    I'll give a second nod to parktool.com. Post the tire question on your regional thread for specific recomendations. Don't give up on clipless pedals, most of us would say it should be anyones first upgrade.

  9. #9
    I post too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K
    I'll give a second nod to parktool.com. Post the tire question on your regional thread for specific recomendations. Don't give up on clipless pedals, most of us would say it should be anyones first upgrade.
    Depending on your type of riding. For road and XC, maybe even AM, but no way am I going to dirt jump clipped in, that's suicide.

  10. #10
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    Where would one lube a seatpost, since it really shouldn't move?
    Last edited by manowar669; 05-15-2007 at 10:45 AM.

  11. #11
    I post too much.
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    Around the end of it, not a whole lot of grease is needed.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by manowar669
    Where would one lube a seatpost, since it really should move?
    A little grease or something between the metal surfaces (seat post and frame) should prevent them from sticking together forever.

  13. #13
    backwoods and backwards
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    Point taken.

  14. #14
    ~I Ride In Circles ~
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    My little brothers bike has it's seat post fused to the frame.. we tried getting it off but it's not going to come off.. unless you do that whole cut and notch technique..
    ..

    back to the subject..

    Zinn is a great book. Plenty of pictures and easy to read.
    [SIZE=3]
    ~ it's all good ~
    [/SIZE]

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