Buying my first bike....What accessories should I get?
Hello everyone, I am a newbie in the mountain biking world and making my first post.
I went to college in colorado, so I was introduced to the mountain bike world and went mountain biking a hand full of times, and loved it everytime. Unfortunately, I am also an avid skiier, so I spent most of my time and money on skiing while living there. I moved back to St. Louis after college, where there is no skiing, and found that we have some pretty fun and challenging trails here, and I think I will be making mountain biking my new full time hobby.
Over the past month I have been shopping out and test riding some bikes. I think I am pretty set on a Trek Fuel Ex 7 or 8. Any comments on my decision for bike? Do you thinkg the extra couple hundred bucks will make it worth buying the EX 8 over the 7 to have the DCRV rear shock? Also my buddy who mountain bikes in colorad swears that clipless pedals are the only way to go. I have never used them and I don't know how I feel about being cliped in at all times. Are clipless pedals a must? If so what do you recomend I look at getting without breaking the bank? Also I know with mountain biking comes alot of accessories like extra tubes and tools. What accessories are a must for me to get to start off with?
If any of you could help me out with these questions to make my new hobby more enjoyable that would be great.
Also, if anybody knows anybody that is selling an '08 - '10 trek fuel ex 8, I may be interested.
OK first up, both great bikes either would work fine, all depends on how many miles you plan on putting in to the $$ to be spent. With the amount of riding I do I'd opt for the EX8 as it's always cheaper to buy a complete bike than buy a lesser and upgrade parts. Don't know how many shops you have around, but call and shop around, see who has left over stock from last year, or even the year before you'd be surprised at the deals you can get on old stock. Also consider Giant if you have them in the area, the TranceX would be a comparable model to the EX line.
As to the clipless vs Flats........I used flats when I first started, but once I went clipless I just couldn't figure why I waited so long to do it. You will take a few falls at first because quite simply you will forget that you have to unclip when you come to a stop and you'll topple over. Best thing to do to help minimise this is to install the pedals on the bike and place it in a hallway so you can lean against the wall and just practice clipping in and unclipping. Doing this helps start the motor skill storage and also helps to take the edges off the cleats and pedals from manufacturing and makes getting in and out easier. Also if you get pedals like Shimanos SPDs adjust the tension spring all the way out first so it's easier to get in and out and then as you get accustomed to them tighten it up a little at a time.
As to acessories, I'd say must haves are........REPAIRS/SPARES = spare tubes, patch kit, pump, multi tool (preferably with chain breaker), SRAM power link. Other stuff = gloves, helmet, shades/glasses (to protect eyes from branches), padded riding shorts, shoes, hydration pack. To help you with knowing how to use the tools look on the Park Tools web site or for their book.
One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
It's always good to spend as much as you're comfortable with up front because it will reduce replacement costs down the line. The less expensive (generally) a part is, the more frequently it will either work poorly or break. Eventually, the extra couple hundred you spent getting the bike will have saved you hundreds in repairs and replacements. That being said, they're both nice bikes, and if either one of those were my first mountain bike, I would have lost it.
Clipless or not, a debate for the ages. I believe there is a place for both, and I frequently change between clipless and flat pedals depending on where I will be riding (two exceptions, my singlespeed never has flats on it and my dirt jumper never has clips). I would suggest picking up a cheap pair of Odyssey PC pedals and learning your bike first. Once you get comfortable with the bike, then you can switch to the clipless ones that come with your bike. The Odyssey pedals are more expensive than most plastic pedals, but they're tough and won't wear out after a week.
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i agree go with the Ex 8 if you can afford it, you will not be disappointed... look for a 09 EX9 as well because if you can find one you should be able to get it cheaper then the 10 EX8...
As for clipless the EX8 will come with Candy C pedals which are clipless so you can try them out and see how it goes, i personally love clipless for trail riding and cross country stuff and wouldn't have it any other way.
If you have more questions on the Trek pop on over to the Trek forum as there is lots of knowledge about them over there