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.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Is it the bike?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629

    Is it the bike?

    Back when I was fresh out of high school and few friends and I rode everyday on the same trails I am doing now. I never considered myself to be very good, but I was at least average when it came to the technical trails. I was riding a Ironhorse Warrior disc and was in good shape.

    Fast forward 9-10 years... Still in good shape, but have some nagging injuries. One being a maniscal tear in my left knee. I decided to take up riding again and at first I had a Trek 4900. It was an improvement over the Ironhorse...but I felt like I wanted a better bike. A week after buying the Trek I found a used 2009 Cannondale Rush for a great deal. Fiance was pissed, but I bought it anyways.

    At first I was pretty sketchy on the trails with it and went down a few times. Two weeks later I am already better than I ever was. Now I have had the bike a month and I am already 10 times the rider I was then. Not only is my stamina superior, but my skills technically are so much better. Riding the same trails much much faster and doing the things I used to avoid.

    How much of this is the bike? My brother seems to think that is the reason I have suddenly became a super athlete compared to him lol. My guess is maybe the bike has inspired confidence I never had previously?!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    Sure, the bike plays a part. Better suspension, lightweight wheels, lighter fork, stiffer frame, good tires all help your "engine" transfer power more efficiently.

    You still need strength, skill and endurance to go fast but your brother isn't entirely wrong.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,488
    the right geometry will go a long way, you'll be more comfortable and you'll also risk more maneuvers and get better. i've been building my own bikes for a while now, and with each one that i build i feel like it fits me better and its more what i'm looking for, and i ride it better.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,850
    First off, take some credit for yourself. You're developing skills, gaining confidence, riding new terrain. Your bike provides the right geometry, perhaps some forgiveness from the suspension, but the skills and techniques are from you, not from the bike.

  5. #5
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,425
    It could be whole heartily the bike, or it could just be that riding a bike that feels good and gives you confidence, has given you that little push you needed to stop over thinking and just ride and that's the biggest key to riding tech - just do it.
    I've been told I have the skill, just lack the confidence and ability to turn my brain off and just ride most of the time, but when I do just go ride and I don't think I finish the ride or trail and look back and go "Wow, cleaned everything without effort". You don't always have those days if you're not naturally a gifted athlete, but when you do it's golden FYI, not a gifted athletic person, work damn hard at it, but love it too much not to.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    98
    You stole my life! .

    Anyway, I had the same experience. Riding quite a lot on a Trek 6000 about 8 years ago, then moved to another country and stopped riding.

    I also recently started again and found it was time to change bike and ALSO got a Cannondale Rush. Now I'm also doing longer rides, going faster and being much more comfortable on the bike after just 1,5 months of ownership then I was before. I even us it for a daily 20km commute.

    So, I hate to be the one to bust both our bubbles but ... it's the bike . Anyway, compared to your Trek 4900 and my 6000, I think the Rush is a big upgrade and that will make a big difference.

  7. #7
    CSC
    CSC is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    255
    I would second the comments regarding your improvement as a rider. "A piece of equipment is only as good as the person using it" is a good saying because it's true.

    However, as others have also said, the bike helps. Someone who wants to get better should put the funds up to buying equipment that will help them get better. You don't get very far on a walmart bike.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: adonis_abril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    106
    I think it's something like a placebo effect. I think you've always had the skills but never trusted the bike you were on.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    194
    It also depends on just how good of a fit the bike is to the rider.

    If you buy a great bike but the sizing or just general feel of the frame is wrong to you then you will never be as comfortable on it as you would to a bike that fits you correctly.

    And the added comfort can easily help build more confidence and a better overall ride. Not to mention that if the fit is really off then that will effect where your center of gravity is when on the bike and that can really alter ride performance.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    The first couple of times I rode the bike it had a 120mm stem on it. It was pretty uncomfortable at first, but after adding the 80mm stem it was fine. Before the front end was very light going up hill and it somehow got better after adding the short stem. I guess I just adjusted to the bike.

    Speaking of the bike...I just ordered my BBG bashwhich for my 1x9 conversion on it

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,047
    If you have been riding for month you will see alot of gains from just riding.

    I used to ride alot from 1998 to 2004. Then life happend and I stopped riding. I started up again last october. This weekend I did a ride that I had done last october and was riding much better. All this was on the same bike I rode back in 2003. Last october my aerobic capacity was fine as was my strength. However I was tentative on the downhills and sucked on the technical climbs. It was because I had not ridden on the trails in years. Now this past weekend after 280 miles of trail riding I much better all around. The downhills that were white knucle were no big deal and I could climb up just about everything. I did cheat a little on my climbs however in that I lower my bars by 10 mm or so. Not much, but the best I could do and raised ym seat by 15 mm. That gives me more weight on the front and did alot to keep the front wheel down on the climbs. That should have made it harder to descend, but that was a no brainer either as my confidence is back I just ride with it.

    Anyway 90% rider and 10% bike. Unless you are on a 29er and then it is 90% bike.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    I'm still not sold on 29ers. Eventually I might try one when I need another bike and have enough cash for a nice FS 29er.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,240
    Cheap forks suck.

    IIRC, the Warrior was never a particularly expensive bike. Do you remember what fork it had? I was pretty shocked by how much easier it became to hold a line or lift the front wheel when I got a nicer fork. I was even more shocked by how easy it is to hold a line or lift the front wheel with a rigid fork. Sometimes I wonder how the early suspension forks ever got enough traction for the companies that made them to figure out how to make them not suck.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    The Ironhorse had a Manitou six fork on it. I actually still have the bike and I am in the process of turning it into a 1x9 (or SS) rigid.

    A friend of mine just bought a new Hardrock and the suntour fork is even worse than the manitou. My LBS also told him he didn't need disc brakes, which led him to purchase the cheapest hardrock out. Now he wants disc brakes and hes going to have to spend $400 to get them...

  15. #15
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    712
    In a way, it does not matter. You have a good result. Be happy.

    In one perspective, it is all about the bike. The other perspective is that the rider is what counts. If you are getting good results, you are doing something right. Enjoy.

    I have known lots of guitar players who just could not play a guitar once they had decided that they needed a new one. True or not, they had to make a change to keep improving. Placebo effect? Who knows, and who cares?

    Edit: I sure hope that forks are not the biggest factor. I have cheap forks (RST 120mm Gila) on my cheap MTB. If forks matter most, I will have to spend more money to get a good ride.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    The most noticeable difference I felt between the Manitou six and the Fox Float F120 was simply the feedback. The Manitou felt like a spring and in a rock garden it was a pogo stick. The Fox actually absorbs the impacts and doesn't bounce the front end around.

    The best thing the rear suspension did for me was help keep my arse in the saddle. Now I don't feel like I am getting sodomized if I keep my butt in the saddle over bumps.

  17. #17
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    712
    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    The most noticeable difference I felt between the Manitou six and the Fox Float F120 was simply the feedback. The Manitou felt like a spring and in a rock garden it was a pogo stick. The Fox actually absorbs the impacts and doesn't bounce the front end around.

    The best thing the rear suspension did for me was help keep my arse in the saddle. Now I don't feel like I am getting sodomized if I keep my butt in the saddle over bumps.
    That is really Too Much Information.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,850
    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    The best thing the rear suspension did for me was help keep my arse in the saddle. Now I don't feel like I am getting sodomized if I keep my butt in the saddle over bumps.
    You should take your weight on your legs when you hit bumps -- even on a full-suspension bike. Don't just sit on the saddle.

  19. #19
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,425
    SickMak has nailed it sadly, the worst thing to give you a bad ride is a bad fork. His description is exactly what/how I felt with my DB CoilEX and it's POS Suntour "Bob a Lot" 7lb fork. Once you ride a decent fork, you'll wonder why it ever took you so long to spend the $$ and I'm not even talking big time like the Fox he has, just something that won't bounce like a pogo stick or pack down on you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    The most noticeable difference I felt between the Manitou six and the Fox Float F120 was simply the feedback. The Manitou felt like a spring and in a rock garden it was a pogo stick. The Fox actually absorbs the impacts and doesn't bounce the front end around.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    .................... I sure hope that forks are not the biggest factor. I have cheap forks (RST 120mm Gila) on my cheap MTB. If forks matter most, I will have to spend more money to get a good ride.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    I would have been happy with a air sprung rock shox, but for $700 I'll take the like new bike with fox stuff please.

    Fwiw, I do get out of the saddle a little over really bumpy stuff, but over small stuff I like to stay seated. With my old hardtail I felt every nook and cranny in the trail, and would eventually get the "beat up" feeling from it.

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,240
    Your friend doesn't need disc brakes.

    Well-tuned Vs do a great job.

    Don't get me wrong, I like my discs. But I wouldn't throw $400 at a $400 bike to get them.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,047
    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    My LBS also told him he didn't need disc brakes, which led him to purchase the cheapest hardrock out. Now he wants disc brakes and hes going to have to spend $400 to get them...
    You don't NEED disc brakes. I still have V-brakes and ride a hard tail.
    Last edited by JoePAz; 07-24-2012 at 07:45 AM.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 65mph12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    50
    I inherited a Rush earlier this year, and have experienced an increase in confidence. My first MTB was a Specialized copy I bought in 1996 called "Sport Rock". It had a rigid front fork when I bought it. I later added an RST fork In 1998 or so. The Rush has inspired my noob confidence and increased the fun factor.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sickmak90's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    629
    My only beef with the Rush is how light the front end gets on climbs.

  25. #25
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,425
    Well then, time to get to lowering your bars then and/or getting a different length stem. If you've got spacers under the stem, put them ontop, if the stem is slammed on the headset, then flip the stem. You'd be amazed at how much difference as little as 10mm can make to getting your weight forward and keeping the front end planted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    My only beef with the Rush is how light the front end gets on climbs.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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