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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Phinias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4

    New question here. Beginer with a decent bike....

    Hello, I am very new to mountain biking (6 times on the trail now) and am using it as rehab from my 4th back surgery. I purchased a Giant Talon 29er last year, but after my first real ride in the trail I knew I needed better suspension if I wanted to avoid a 5th trip to the doc. So I am now the proud owner of a Trek Remedy 9 29er I picked up for $1200 under MSRP.

    I have a few questions, first the bars are huge, so wide in fact that they will not often squeeze between the tree pinch points. Is this something I can have my LBS cut down or would I be better served by picking up a new bar? I can definately tell a huge difference in handling, as it it seems harder to be smooth in my line on the FS vs the Talon. It also seems to wander a bit, especially on an incline. I know much of this is probably my old fat butt, but it was less pronounced on the Talon. So my question is what can I do, if anything to crisp up the handeling?

    That will be enough questions for now. Thank you in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,117
    Bars can either be cut down or replaced. Measure three hundred times, cut once.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1604/2500

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shakester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    891
    You could cut it down yourself if you have a good ole fashion pipe cutter. Some handlebars actually have lines or even a ruler printed on them so that you can accurately cut them down. Shortening a handlebar does effect the handling of the bike. Shorten it too much and the bike will start to feel twitchy which is why wide bars are so popular these days as people seem to like the feeling of stability.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    100
    What do you mean by " it seems harder to be smooth in my line on the FS vs the Talon"? Do you mean that the handling on FS is slower? or FS is twitchy and quicker? If your handling is too slow then you can install a shorter stem to make it handle better.

    I like to use a pipe cutter for reducing bar lengths. It does a much better job at making a good clean and parallel cut. And don't forget to de-burr after cutting. If you are not comfortable with doing this yourself, then have your local bike shop do this for you.

    If your front end lifts and wanders a bit during climbing, then scoot yourself forward on the seat for steeper and bumpier climbs. You can also adjust the seat forward on the rails by around 1/2 inch to help with this too. A slightly shorter bar length will also shift your weight forward by a small amount.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Phinias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the advice so far. I just dropped the bike off at the Lbs and we chatted about my concerns. They are cutting about 20 mm off the bars to start with and doing adjustments to the drive train and such. We will see how much this helps the handling too.

    Blundar, by wandering I mean I was on a narrow single track and found it next to impossible to stay in the well worn grove. The bike was just all over the place.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,853
    you should discuss the stem length with the shop next time you are in there. those XX wide bars are often paired with a shorter stem for good reason.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4,943
    Check the tire pressure and ask the shop to run through the suspension setup with you.
    Too much tire pressure can affect tracking control.
    That bike has a lot of travel. If you are riding it on easier trails the damping should be tuned for those conditions.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,004
    You'd be surprised what 15psi in the shocks in either direction will do to handling. Check your sag and setup and make sure its setup for your weight and stance. Shorter stem and wider bars are the new thing but for my body and style, over 700 gets weird. I found my sweet spot at 680mm and usually a 60mm stem. But everyone is different. Tire pressure as mentioned can also affect ride, so I would check that and see where you're at. If you're over 30, try going down 5psi, and try again. Tires, rims, rider weight, and conditions all need to be considered when choosing a pressure. I run 20 in the front and 25 in the back at one trail I go, and I bump them both up 5 when I go to another. Same for suspension too. If I'm doing jumps and drops I'll put about 20 psi more in both shocks, and revert back to less for other more flowy trails. The better the bike the more options you have. You should definitely have the lbs explain this to you next time you go in and you can adjust accordingly going forward.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: velo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    253
    The bike wandering is not the bike it is you. Keeps your focus in front of your tire about 10 yards or so. You will naturally steer the bike toward whatever you are looking at. Just glance up ahead to see what`s coming so you don't get surprised. The longer you ride the more you will see. I still have that same problem when I get tired and let my focus down.
    The bike doesn't make you go fast.
    You make the bike go fast.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Phinias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4
    Velocity I would readily agree with you if it were not completely different experience than my other bike. This being said, the shop chopped off a good portion of my handle bars, flipped my ... shoot the link that connects the handle bar to the bike... well anyways flipped it down as it was angled up, and now the bike is starting to feel better. The mechanic also dropped the front shock by 15 lbs and recommended I play with adding some to the rear, as well as trying different air pressures in my tires. Solo pretty much the same recommendations I have heard here.

    Now new issue, my very new, very expensive, almost top of the line rear derailed is as clunky as all hell. Both the mechanic and I rode for 2 hours in the parking lot while he adjusted the cables (they had to shorten all the cables a good deal after shortening the bars). I even went so far as to buy a new Shimano chain that was supposed to work better with the drive train....yup nope. Any sugestions? Could it still be so new it needs to break in a bit more?

    Also given my newness and inexperience do you think going tubeless would be helpful or just a lot of work for nothing?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4,943
    Tubeless often really depends on your terrain, sharp rocks, thorns, etc.
    The housing openings and ferrules contribute to smooth derailleur movement.
    Unhook the cable at the rear derailleur and check how smoothly it moves.
    Each section of housing is cut and the opening has to be opened back up after. It may be one or more didn't get done right. REI has a $19 Novara/Jagwire kit with lined housing and coated stainless cable if you want to put in excellent quality product. Full length is my choice.
    If the cable/housing/ferrules are ok have the tech use the gauge to check for a bent derailleur hanger. Watch as they do it. You can eyeball check the derailleur for bend or twist by looking at it from above.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Phinias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4
    OK after checking looks as though they already changed the rear cable, must have had an issue when cutting it down.
    Beginer with a decent bike....-20140830_100033.jpg
    It is the only cable with writing on it and that is new. I am pretty sure it's not the cable but what do I know. Here is my bike:
    Beginer with a decent bike....-20140830_100129.jpg
    Maybe I should find a better repair guy?

  13. #13
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,962
    Here's the thing. You can make your bike handle quicker but the question is do you want to. You are comparing a hardtail with a trail 140mm bike, it's not going to feel the same and in fact you don't want it to feel the same.

    Take the time to transition from HT to FS and enjoy the more relax geometry wider and more control handlebar than XC bike. If you are going to ride your FS the same way you do HT then may not have been a good choice as the shorter travel Fuel would have been a better choice for you. I assumed that the shop already set up the bike for your weight and preference before you left the shop, now it's just the matter of dialing it in to get the best out of it.

    Shorter bar may feel good now but later when you discover the joy of trail riding, you are going to miss that wide bar, if you have a hard time keeping the front wheel from wallowing on the climb pivot from the hip and keep the front wheel weighted.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    100
    Trail bikes tend to place the weight of the rider a bit further back so that you can lift and get over obstacles easier compared to XC bikes. The lighter front end tends to compromise climbing a bit. I usually just adjust my technique to compensate for that. When I need to do a climb and I feel the front end starting to wander a bit, I scoot forward a bit on my seat and lean forward some (by bending my elbows more). If that is still not enough, then I can adjust the seat forwards on the rails a bit by approximately 1/2". That takes care of the problem most of the time.

    I also found that some bikes come with offset seat posts with every size of bike frame including the size smalls. That usually saves money for the bike manufacturer. However, in my humble opinion, I think that offset seat posts are really more suitable riders with long legs. I have short legs so a zero offset seat post is best for me.

    Trail bikes also tend to have shorter stems for quicker steering and wider bars for more control. This also tends to put you in a more upright position compared to XC bikes. Again, this shifts your weight more to the back wheel to allow for easier lofting of the front wheel at a bit of a compromise for climbing. I like short stems, but I am not a big fan of ultra-wide handlebars.

Similar Threads

  1. Is this a decent bike?
    By Wrecks24 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 05:19 AM
  2. Beginer starting points at Albion ??
    By ccaddy in forum Eastern Canada
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-12-2011, 07:53 AM
  3. Tips for a beginer
    By MTB-fanatic in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 05:01 AM
  4. Replies: 69
    Last Post: 07-17-2011, 10:51 PM
  5. Looking for beginer trails in Niagara region
    By ccaddy in forum Eastern Canada
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-28-2011, 04:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •