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.
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  1. #1
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    fast spin vs bigger gear for climbing

    i was watching this video, gave it a try today. i put a piece of tape on the shifter to hide the numbers..anyway my climbs are usually 45-55 min depending how i feel either on the granny or second cog, but today i did it almost ten minutes faster like 35min or so, once i got to the top i checked what gear i was in, i was on 6 +/- 2 ... i mean i was hurting pretty good, but just thought it was kinda crazy how ur mind tricks you not to push yourself...


  2. #2
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    Re: fast spin vs bigger gear for climbing

    There are people who actually look at their shifters?

    Wow.

  3. #3
    Trail Ninja
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    Valuable info there on the shifter indicators. I strategize my use of shifters to enhance the depth to the challenge and increase the fun/enjoyment I have, and I like having indicators. I tried going without, but if it's not light out, looking between my legs is pretty challenging; my neck doesn't bend that far to get a helmet light to illuminate that area from a riding position. I guess I like to overthink, as opposed to not think. This thread emphasizes the value of shifting strategy and how shifting is easy to learn, but hard to truly master.

  4. #4
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    Re: fast spin vs bigger gear for climbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Valuable info there on the shifter indicators. I strategize my use of shifters to enhance the depth to the challenge and increase the fun/enjoyment I have, and I like having indicators. I tried going without, but if it's not light out, looking between my legs is pretty challenging; my neck doesn't bend that far to get a helmet light to illuminate that area from a riding position. I guess I like to overthink, as opposed to not think. This thread emphasizes the value of shifting strategy and how shifting is easy to learn, but hard to truly master.

    Lol.

  5. #5
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    For every rider, every ride and portion of a ride, there is an optimum gear and cadence. Too high a cadence in too low a gear will burn you out as badly as too low a cadence in too high a gear. You have only a given amount of energy. You must use it wisely. A perfect ride is one where you run out of energy right after your ride ends. If you use it up before you get where you are going, it's bad. If you could keep riding once you get there, you haven't gone as fast or far as you could. The only way to know these is through experience on the bike. That's what separates the great riders from the rest of us.

  6. #6
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    I try to teach people to plan their shifts... Look in front of you and try to judge what you'll need.. That's based on energy level, speed, length of climb, etc. Every time I hear that bending chain, grinding, under pressure during a climb gear change I have "the talk" with whoever im riding with. Knowing when to change gears is just as important as what gear you change into.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I occassionally glance at the indicators... it a lot easier than spotting the chainring at night, although I can do it if I really want. No idea why I started doing it like this, but, I check the rear indicator to determine which chainring I'm on. I never look at the chainring indicator, and have no idea what cog I'm on. Seeing which end of the cassette you're running on gives the same answer, so, no harm, no foul.

  8. #8
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    i do plan my shifts, but it can be a distraction. sitting there struggling through the hill knowing u have a couple easy gears left, f-it..but its counter productive, i guess its easier to go with the "burn" than to be without breath..

    is it unhealthy for the tranny to stump on harder gears up a hill?

  9. #9
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    Re: fast spin vs bigger gear for climbing

    Just general knowledge, most people are best at a cadence between 60 and 90 rpm (some higher, some lower, but must of us are in that range). The best climbing gear allows you to maintain that cadence.

    I take climbs a gear or two higher than I want to. Partly for the challenge, partly for the extra speed, partly because sand over hard pack is slick and I spin if I'm in a lower gear (long island trails).

    No harm in a higher gear, if anything, you're cutting torque and putting less abuse on everything.

  10. #10
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    Good info for road biking, but the variables in mountain biking make for a much more dynamic environment when it comes to selecting gearing...unless you're climbing a road to the trail head.

  11. #11
    My little friends
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Good info for road biking, but the variables in mountain biking make for a much more dynamic environment when it comes to selecting gearing...unless you're climbing a road to the trail head.

    This.
    Factors such as traction, obstacles, slope changes, etc. all have a major input on what gear you use. There is very little chance for me to use cadence numbers on the trails I ride, or to even think about what gear I am in. I may shift a dozen times in a 50 yard stretch just too make it up the climb, over the boulder, around the uphill switchback without lofting the front wheel...It all has to become automatic; muscle memory.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Good info for road biking, but the variables in mountain biking make for a much more dynamic environment when it comes to selecting gearing...unless you're climbing a road to the trail head.
    BS gear selection is very important when climbing any MTB trail....some days higher some days lower but always important....including the road to the trail.

  13. #13
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    I tend to try to keep my cadence higher, but not to the point where I am just spinning and going nowhere. It doesn't matter if it is road or trail except for one big difference...

    ...on the road I can always get out of the saddle and do a few power strokes or stair step to get me to the top or regain some speed. On the trail, unless the conditions are good, it is too easy to lose traction and put you in a worse position. I'll still get out of the saddle on short sections and push through any loss of traction, but on a long grind it can bring you to a stop.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
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  14. #14
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    I actually do miss having indicators on my X0 grips.

    I don't care whether I am pushing gear 3 or gear 7 on the shifter. I go by feel, as I think most people do.
    Where I like the indicator, is when it is time to transition from a more downhill or level area to a steep uphill or tricky technical section.
    Do I have 1 or 4 gears I can dump before this big log? Do I need to drop to the little ring and then go down the cassette a few, or do I have enough cogs to be able to quick shift and still clear that thing!?
    If I would wait until I go to grab a fistful of gears, and I have only 1 or 2 in the rear to go before I'm at the top, I may not be able to clean "that" log or steep techy...

  15. #15
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    I don't look at them at all, I think it's too distracting. My gf wants all the numbers though. I guess it's personal preference

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    My bike doesn't even have gear indicators. My last bike did and I never looked down. My legs need to determine which gear I should be in, not my eyes.
    '11 Epic Comp (stock)
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