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
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    Beginner question about jumping on mountain bikes.

    I haven't exactly made up my mind which mountain bike I'm gonna get but was looking at Spec. RH and some cannondale (caff 29'er) maybe even trek. All in the < $1000 range. I realize these bikes are not built for hitting big air but can they do OK with smaller jumps? Maybe 2-3ft. jumps throught trails?

    The main thing that gets me is that most of these bikes have the bar stem go stright out (horizontally) so that you are almost leaning over the bars. This doesn't seem like a good set up for jumping. Am I mistaken?

    I guess I am still thinking of my old bmx days of years gone by. I am too old to ride that style of bike but would like a subtle comporomise for light jumping.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    Get a shorter stem.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  3. #3
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    My Rockhopper came with a short stem and some riser bars. I've had no trouble with my bike on smaller jumps built on the trails. Many of the log rolls have been built up as jumps at Winona, as well as some small gaps jumps. The RH handles and lands just fine. I haven't tried anything over 2 feet though.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the responses. Emtnate - do you happen to have a pic of your bike? Just want to see what it looks like compared to stock.

    Also, would most bike shops swap out stems to make a sale or would I just have to get the new one, install myself and try and sell the oem one?

  5. #5
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    Most if not all would definitely swap stems for you.

  6. #6
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    The bike is stock except the tires and pedals. I think I'm going to put disc brakes on as the trail closest to my house is almost always muddy and I've had a hard time stopping when I need to. I'm also thinking about a longer stem with a flat bar. The pics aren't great quality, taken with a cell phone.




  7. #7
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Any good shop will swap stems, tires, and saddles to get you the right fit. You may even want to think about wider bars than stock too. I ride 28" bars even though my shoulders aren't particularly wide. Just gives that extra bit of control. You should be ok on anything up to a 90mm stem, measured middle to middle, and you can get them in flat, 5 degree or 10 degree rise.
    If you are thinking about jumping up around 2 or 3ft then I would think twice about the 29" wheels. I'll probably attract some criticism for this, but I think 29ers are a better rig for those who are more interested in rolling out a lot of miles on moderate terrain. The bigger wheels roll fast over moderately bumpy ground, but I personally think they are a bit big for throwing around and hitting jumps. Too much leverage acting on the wheels and frame if you come down a bit sideways, you know?

    Hope this helps.
    b.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  8. #8
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    you could buy a dirt jumping bike instead..

  9. #9
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    thanks for the pics, emtnate. And thanks for the other infobshallard.

    I am not 100% gettigna 29'er, it's just one that I have been considering. Also, honestly, I think jumping will be about .01% of what I will do. If I end up jumping more then I would probably buy a dedicated jumping bike.

  10. #10
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    I jump at the local BMX track with my xc race bike all the time, its fun, something like a stem angle isnt going to throw off your jump.

  11. #11
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    There are different techniques for getting these long XC bikes up in the air. I'm a big fan of pedaling the front end up, especially when dropping off of 2' ledges and such. Pedal dropping also sets your hardtail up for a more even landing, rather than diving on the front wheel and endo'ing.
    BMX and DJ bikes are easier to jump because their geometry puts you a bit more over the rear wheel. XC bikes, as you've noticed, are not designed for that. But like others have mentioned, a new stem-and-bar combo might help you out.

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