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.
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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
    fsf
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    (extreme) newbie questions

    Having not ridden a bike since I was seven (and never having been any good at it), I decided that it was time to learn, and got an awesome deal on a GT Tequesta with Suntour components ($50).

    Anyway, I've taught myself to ride the thing, and I've just been tooling around the suburbs before I go out on dirt trails. Are there any tools that will tell me how far I'm going? I've tried Google Maps, but it doesn't let you get the distance of lines you make or use placemarks in routes.

    Anyway, here are the components on the bike:
    Brakes - Dia-Compe X-1
    Back derailler - Suntour X-1
    Front derailler - Suntour XCE
    Shifters - Suntour X-press, involving something called "Accushift"
    I don't know what kind of pedals it has (couldn't find any markings), but they had plastic foot holsters that I took off.

    Will these components be good enough for dirt trails once I'm confident enough to do so, or are they horrible cheap things that will break as soon as they get dirty?

    It's also completely rigid. I've been told that if I ever want to put front shocks on it, I'd have to upgrade so many components that I might as well just buy a new bike. How accurate is that?

  2. #2
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    Go for a ride around your block. Might take you 5 minutes??

    Then go for a ride down the street, same pace took ten minutes you went twice as far. (There are lots of bike computers out there).

    Go find some trails and ride them, go away from home for 30 mins return for 30 mins, watch out for wind and hills.

    Find a nice grassy knoll learn to ride there.

  3. #3
    Calm Like a Bomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsf
    Are there any tools that will tell me how far I'm going? I've tried Google Maps, but it doesn't let you get the distance of lines you make or use placemarks in routes.
    u can get a bike computer if u want to know how far u have gone...or speed, time, avg speed, etc.....

  4. #4
    fsf
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipes10
    u can get a bike computer if u want to know how far u have gone...or speed, time, avg speed, etc.....
    I had originally discounted that, because I thought they were all $100+, but after looking online, it seems that I can get a basic model for like $20. I think I'll be going to the bike shop soon .

    Thanks for the info, everyone.

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    this'll help a little with distances before ya get a bike computer:
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

    Don't worry about the components when ya first start hittin' dirt - they'll be just fine as long as your chain is clean/lubed and your brakes work....you' ll be good-to-go

    go out and enjoy yourself....and don't forget a water bottle
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  6. #6
    fsf
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    this'll help a little with distances before ya get a bike computer:
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

    Don't worry about the components when ya first start hittin' dirt - they'll be just fine as long as your chain is clean/lubed and your brakes work....you' ll be good-to-go

    go out and enjoy yourself....and don't forget a water bottle
    Awesome, thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for.

  7. #7
    MTB'er in Training
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    I used to have a GT Tequesta back in the day!! It was the awesome blue and white speckled paint version...that is an ol' school bike without a doubt, but if it rolls, it's all good!
    "Havin' a good time, here today...Watching the sun shine, matinee...Never the wrong time, time we stay...Living the moontime, time we play"

  8. #8
    fsf
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanicFan77
    I used to have a GT Tequesta back in the day!! It was the awesome blue and white speckled paint version...that is an ol' school bike without a doubt, but if it rolls, it's all good!
    Good to know! It definitely rolls alright. Here's a picture of it:


    I'd like to give it a paint job (and figure out what year it is, there wasn't anything conclusive on the bottom bracket), but doubt that I'll actually get around to it.

  9. #9
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    I say hit the trails and see what happens

  10. #10
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    dude....awesome rig don't worry about poppin' a suspension fork on it - ride it rigid (it'll make you a better rider)....and when you outgrow it (get another bike)...turn her into a truly hip single speed....canti brakes....killer cable routing.....horiz dropouts......really a kewl bike

    your seat is terrible though.....go grab a WTB saddle (and prolly a post).....it'll be nicer to your butt...and DON'T paint it....the 80's Miami Vice colours will make a comeback shortly.....totally not kidding...

    Quote Originally Posted by fsf
    Good to know! It definitely rolls alright. Here's a picture of it:


    I'd like to give it a paint job (and figure out what year it is, there wasn't anything conclusive on the bottom bracket), but doubt that I'll actually get around to it.
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  11. #11
    fsf
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    dude....awesome rig don't worry about poppin' a suspension fork on it - ride it rigid (it'll make you a better rider)....and when you outgrow it (get another bike)...turn her into a truly hip single speed....canti brakes....killer cable routing.....horiz dropouts......really a kewl bike

    your seat is terrible though.....go grab a WTB saddle (and prolly a post).....it'll be nicer to your butt...and DON'T paint it....the 80's Miami Vice colours will make a comeback shortly.....totally not kidding...
    Thanks!

    I have one of those spongy seat covers on it; the saddle on it now is just the stock GT model I think (it says GT on it, at least). Is that still horrible?

  12. #12
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsf
    Thanks!

    I have one of those spongy seat covers on it; the saddle on it now is just the stock GT model I think (it says GT on it, at least). Is that still horrible?
    please remove spongy seat cover and promptly dispose by fire, explosives, or use for target practice.......if the seat underneath is not a torture device for your butt - use it

    please note - your rear end...along with your lower back, legs, shoulders, arms, hands, etc.... will all protest for a period of time while your brain tries to convince your body parts that riding is really "OK" and that they should pipe-down and quit complaining....this process usually takes 6-8 weeks......also, please make sure your seat is at the "right" height (do a search).....too low and your knees will explode....too high and you'll develop a silly wiggle while pedaling......and your knees will explode (exploding knees are only entertaining to spectators - not the user of the knees that have exploded...then you'll walk like an Ostritch)....dang i'm bored at work
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  13. #13
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    The bike is definitely dirt worthy and is worth keeping pretty much stock.

    Do as CHUM says and get rid of the saddle cover. Soft saddles will hurt more than they help if you ride regularly. As for the stock saddle, that is a personal thing. If after a month or two it is still like sitting on a hatchet, you could consider a replacement. I think MOST people end up on a different saddle than the one that came with their bike, but give it a chance.

    The rest of the components are fine for at least a while. They are plenty dirt worthy, just not modern. The bike is already a bit of a classic, so if you really don't like it, sell it to someone that does and buy something else rather than trying to customize this one. It is certainly worth every cent of the $50 you paid for it and looks like it was well cared for.

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