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 15 of 15
  1. #1
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    Bit off more than I can chew?

    Been on a road bike for the last 2 years. I decided I wanted a mountain bike for the rainy season(used to ride as a kid). I Bought a Trance x2 and I love it but I feel like its too much bike for my skills (and testicular fortitude). I thought there were some xc/'trail' rides around my place but that's not really the case. Before I sell this bike out of frustration and look at a Giant XTC or Norco Nitro. Is this a good idea to get some skills back (mainly having problems ..mental problems on steeps). Also.. nothing like cleaning a bike I'm bad on. Or do I need to just stick with this bike and hit up some bike parks to get some skills back so I don't have to walk around stuff. I don't want to ride any gnarly trails but will the HT be a step back for some of the progress I've made on the stuff that I can manage?

  2. #2
    ready to ride
    Reputation: mattnmtns's Avatar
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    I'm confused.

    Is the bike overkill for the trails you have or do you feel the bike is beyond your skill level? If it is the later and you just started riding, give it some time and work on your skills.

    I see now you are in BC. I am going to assume there are some good trails there. Most of which require a certain skill level to ride. Just keep at it. If you could ride everything with no problem you might as well be on a road bike and stick to the pavement. Otherwise try try and try again until you get it.

    I have never wished I had less suspension.

    Nut up and go have some fun.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  3. #3
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    Everything you've been riding is going to feel much more sketchy/difficult on an XTC than on your Trance. I'd say stick with what you've got, you're probably going to wish you had a bigger/slacker ride in a few months.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the replies, I'm thinking I'll keep at it with this bike and grab a nice bike rack to get over to the xc trails until I can nut up and ride some harder stuff.

  5. #5
    I just let one RIP
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    I'd agree with keeping the Trance. It will be perfectly fine on the xc trails, and will give you the confidence on the tougher trails as your skills increase.
    A ride a day keeps the therapist away.

  6. #6
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    Get a riding friend to analyze your skills, etc. This was extremely important for me to transition to mtn biking. I started riding this year by getting a craigslist bike (26" full suspension) and going out with my friends (very talented racers/riders). I quickly learned the hard way that being fast on a road bike didn't translate to fast on a mtn bike. My legs / cardio were fine but my handling skills sucked. My riding buddies pointed out numerous ways to improve and I was always getting great pointers in real time....it helped tremendously.

    After about 10 rides and wondering if I'd really keep up with mtn biking (from various injuries / otb episodes, etc), I decided to commit. I did it because of all the helpful tips from my friends and the belief that I'd be comfortable if I stayed with it. I also built a 29er hardtail 1x10 and got rid of the 26er. The bike fit me better and fit the riding I was trying to do....All this to say that I'm looking to do a few races this next year and while I'm still a beginner in all aspects of the word, I'm much more confident in my ability to stay upright and on track. It was a combo of dedication and support from friends. Keep with it!!

  7. #7
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    Confidence comes with practice, practice means riding time.

    You have a great bike, get used to how it handles, keep riding and learn from watching others and everything will eventually feel right.

  8. #8
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    Mtn biking is all about balance and control. Road biking is about turning the pedals over. I have friend who has just started mtn biking. He is a fit runner, but really needs to work on his leg strength and his bike handling skills. The leg strength will come, but I was particularly keen to teach him the basics on how to handle the bike. The important of standing on the bike and how to do it right. The importance of how you shift your weight when climbing, turning and descending. Turing over the pedals is the easy part.

    It takes time to build these skills and a helping hand practice are important.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
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    The transition from road to trail is like talking about night and day; road you hit the saddle and unless absolutely necessary stay in it. Mountain biking requires shifting your weight/center of gravity and stance on the pedals on the fly to stay dirt side down. Think more fluid body motion in relation to the trail...donít fight the ups/downs flow with them. Your bike is fine and gives you room to grow on...learn to ride it and ride the hell out of it.

  10. #10
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    What is your zip code/postal code?
    I bet we can find you some trails you would enjoy.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  11. #11
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    rkrider, I'm in the same boat. Been riding road for the last few years and just took the plunge and bought an XTC. I've ridden a little on the local trails (some very technical stuff, from what I understand) and the converted rail trail (super easy, even for me). All my time has been solo because I'm hesitant to go out with some "real" mtb friends. I keep telling them, "let me pratice up a bit, I'm sooo slow and crash a lot". But I think this thread is turning me around on the subject. I should get out there with them and let them go to work on me and my skills (or lack thereof). Sure it'll be embarrassing for me, but I shouldn't expect to learn the sport in a couple of afternoons by myself and by watching a few YouTube vids. That may not be your approach, but I like copylatte's advice to find some friends and ride. Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by duc_181 View Post
    ... I should get out there with them and let them go to work on me and my skills (or lack thereof). ...
    Yes this a must do. Just make it apparent up front you will need a lot of pointers. I have been my 2nd ride with by newbie friend and he is improving alot on his technical skills. I have no idea where he would be without 10-15 minutes of pointers. Little things like how to stand on the pedals are things he is doing much better on. I try to ride in front of him some times to show technique and then ride behind to observe technique. You will learn 100 times faster if you can see people riding watch their technique along with them watching yours and giving advice.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  13. #13
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    Stick with it, I am sure you'll be fine, this is not a skill you learn in 3 weeks. This is my GF second year riding and she still has her share of wipeouts. I have been riding 20 some odd years now and I still crash, crashing is part of the sport. If you don't go down once in a while your not riding hard enough. Eating the dirt is MTB humble pie, when you think your that good the earth brings you back to reality FAST!
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    Stick with it, I am sure you'll be fine, this is not a skill you learn in 3 weeks. This is my GF second year riding and she still has her share of wipeouts. I have been riding 20 some odd years now and I still crash, crashing is part of the sport. If you don't go down once in a while your not riding hard enough. Eating the dirt is MTB humble pie, when you think your that good the earth brings you back to reality FAST!
    Well said

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrider View Post
    thanks for the replies, I'm thinking I'll keep at it with this bike and grab a nice bike rack to get over to the xc trails until I can nut up and ride some harder stuff.
    Very good idea.

    Is there something in particular that you are uncomfortable with? Like riding over roots or feeling like you're too far over your handlebars? There's a big difference between having skill deficiencies, having an improperly set up bike, and just needing to "nut up"; if there was something in particular that gave you a challenge then perhaps people can help.

    Otherwise, take it back down a couple notches and find some easier trails. An XTC or a Nitro is only going to make you more uncomfortable, assuming your bike fits properly. They have steeper head angles and more drop to the handlebars meaning more aggressive seating position; not usually the way to gain confidence. Your current bike is a very good choice for all around riding.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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