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 7 of 7
  1. #1
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    Destroying a bike

    I've been riding a bottom grade Giant and a mid-bottom grade Cannondale hardtails for years without much more than changing brake pads, chains, and saddles which I consider normal maintenance anyway. I wouldn't say I go easy on them, the price was so good I don't need to worry about the cash I spent if something does go. As for terrain I'd call it a lot of all mountain single track (downed trees, roots, rocks, hills, etc.) But who knows too, maybe I'm just a big softy.

    It seems that a lot of people have experienced component failures under moderate riding. I'm trying to understand the circumstances that caused it to happen?

  2. #2
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    E=1/2 mv2

  3. #3
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    In over 25 years of riding, I have mangled some derailleurs due to sticks getting sucked up, had a rear triangle separate (epoxy failure) and bent a rim on a hard hit. That's about it. As I upgraded bikes, the older one always got passed on to someone else. I think all but my very first mt bike are still kicking around.

  4. #4
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    Nevermind
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  5. #5
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    "It seems that a lot of people have experienced component failures under moderate riding. I'm trying to understand the circumstances that caused it to happen?"

    This is one of those things that simply can't be quantified or figured out. There are just way to many possible causes of component failures to give you a firm answer as to why.

    I work in a shop so I see enough failures to know that each one is different. The most common causes of component failures are crashes or contact (banging into rocks, sticks through wheel, etc), use beyond design capability (i.e. abuse), lack of proper maintenance, age/wear/fatigue, and user error (i.e. improper set up or adjustment, etc.). Then there is the occasional design flaw or manufacturing error. But these are obvious as it's usually the same component and they all fail in the same way. The one that is becoming more common is the use beyond design capabilities. There is a trend that's been going on for a few years now that says you have to always "push the envelope", challenge yourself, ride beyond your capabilities, go bigger, etc. While this can be a good thing, many riders do improve their skills, but they forget to upgrade their tools. Before too long they're riding aggressive AM and Freeride on a light weight 130mm travel trail bike. When that happens things are gonna break!

    If you dig deep enough into any component failure it will likely fall into the first 5 categories listed above. But you actually have to see the failed component along with the rest of the bike to make an educated guess as to why a component failed. And even then it can be tough to determine.

    In your case, your good fortune isn't just luck. You do regular maintenance, and from the sounds of it, ride within the design limitations of your bikes. Start doing regular 5 foot drops to flat, or not maintaining either of them,and you'd likely start seeing component failures in real short order.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  6. #6
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    When going shopping in a city with a LBS, I said I needed to stop and buy a new rear derailleur, my old one was bent. I didn't tell my wife how it got bent, she just wouldn't understand, but a stick got caught in it. She said "that's because you ride it in the woods". My daughter came to my defense by telling her, "Mom, it's mountain bike". check the thread where people have wrecked bikes when an animal ran through their spokes. Ouch!

  7. #7
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    Most of my equipment failures have been due to falls or other impacts.

    I've had some due to installer error.

    The only mystery failures I've ever experienced were when a valve core quit working on the air spring of my suspension fork, when a friend of mine loosened up and damaged the left crank arm on the external crank of a bike I'd lent her, and when the shifters and freehub on my road bike quit working. The suspension fork is an '06 fork and the failure was recent, so a pretty old valve core with a little elastomer seal, and the road bike is a '99 model and those failures were in 2009.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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