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
    mtbr member
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    Finally Bought my First real mountain bike

    I rode BMX and road bikes growing up and always enjoyed pulling them apart and putting them back together. I have owned owned a Next FS and a Walgoose Hardtail (horrible waste of money for both). After searching this sight for a month reading bike reviews and component reviews and having a great friend get me out riding technical single track on my mongoose. I decided it was finally time to pull the trigger.

    Goal= Technical Single Track
    Body= 5'11" 270lbs 30"-31" inseam
    Ride style= laid back, but semi-aggressive once I will get comfortable

    I bought a Gravity 29point2 from BD after a couple more posts I can post the link and pics, but can't right now. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y/29point2.htm

    I looked at every sub $800 bike I could find LBS, manufacturer websites and Online stores. My friend told me the shock would be very important since I am a big guy. I test rode a few bikes and the Suntour shock even preloaded was WAY to squishy. The RST Duece on the Cannondale was decent once I preloaded it and the Dart 3 was the same.

    I knew I wanted to go 29" since after reading many discussions the only downfall would be the slow response in the corners but, since my trails are very Rooty I figured the smoother ride of 29" was worth the poor performance in the tight corners.

    So with those considerations I decided on the Gravity 29point2 $549.00 because I know with my size I will break things and once I do I can upgrade from there and this price point leaves me some wiggle room for breakage. If I don't break anything then I can upgrade to an air shock sooner.

    I really am writing this to help people in their decision I am not trying to push or sway decisions but was hoping to add something useful that a beginner might find helpful in their purchasing decision.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Finally Bought my First real mountain bike-p7230046.jpg  

    Last edited by Skeg43; 07-26-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    After riding the bike on the streets and on some gravel trails I quite enjoyed the 17.5" frame. It is a little big for my inseam, but I feel safe standing over it and nothing is getting squished. The 29" wheels are nice and I already feel more comfortable on this bike then I did on my mongoose I owned and rode for a few months.

    Now if it would just stop raining so I could get out onto the real trails

  3. #3
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    I can also tell you how it came

    Handle bars were unattached but cables connected, easy to Allen wrench down a couple bolts.

    Pedals were off, easy to put on

    Derailleur not on but just 1 bolt I had to Allen wrench on

    Tires not on so Had to inflate, put the quick release into hub and install.

    Everything was easy if you have a allen wrench, pedal wrench (or cresent) and some grease

    The tuning the bike I was lucky to have a friend show me the proper way to do it, If you are not good with tuning brakes and derailleur (or learning from videos online) that might be the tough part
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Finally Bought my First real mountain bike-p7220009.jpg  

    Finally Bought my First real mountain bike-p7220012.jpg  


  4. #4
    Gotta pay to play
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    Nice looking bike! Take some pics on the trails and with it all dirty.

  5. #5
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    having a clamp tripod helps a lot, great post... something else to consider.

  6. #6
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    Yes the stand was very helpful in tuning the bike. Luckily my friend getting me back into biking had it and all the required tools. I will be getting my own at some point though as it was very helpful.

  7. #7
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    I also noticed suntours are very squishy for big riders.

  8. #8
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    good thing its not a suntour then.

  9. #9
    XC/Trail Clyde
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    I was looking at the same bike earlier today, I'm digging this a lot.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    you went to lindy & jim's wedding too??

  11. #11
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    Nice bike, nice color choice!

  12. #12
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    Great looking bike.

  13. #13
    Australia = phun
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    If you do get an air fork, get the Suntour Epicon. Not one bad thing about it. Pretty cheap too - 200 from ebay.

  14. #14
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    Congrats on the new bike. Looks like a pretty nice frame. Ride the hell out of it. Then, ride it some more. Have fun.
    build a man a fire keep him warm for a day, set a man on fire keep him warm for the rest of his life.

  15. #15
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    So what kind of shocks are better for bigger riders, I'm about the same weight but 6'1 and searching for my 1st "real" bike. I've looked at a few and the ones that I'm thinking about each have different forks, Suntour XCR V2's / XCR Hydraulic LO29 and Rock Shox Tora TK Coil / Rock Shox Dart 2 TK's. The Hydraulic is a 29er (Rocky Mountain Soul 29er is what I was leaning towards)

    Few more posts and I'll make a thread with links as to what I'm thinking about.

  16. #16
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    a $200 stand and a $500 bike...?

    Why not just get an air fork?
    Last edited by nikojan; 07-30-2011 at 04:27 PM.
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

    Setup:
    11' Giant XTC 2 29er

  17. #17
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    Nice bike, nice for sharin'. Glad you worked out the adjustment issues in a good way. Enjoy!
    Round and round we go

  18. #18
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    Time to get that bike dirty!

  19. #19
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    How fast was the shipping from that site? Im looking to get my first bike as well, would you recommend that site?

  20. #20
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    Finally the rain stopped and I have gotten a few good rides in. I really like the bike. The 29" stability is nice for building confidence too.

    The shipping was 2 days for me, but I live in Texas so it didn't have to go far. But I did have to pay taxes :-(

    As far as shocks go I did order the Red (firm) spring kit and replaced it. I noticed a difference not that it was huge but anything helps. Spring was easy to instal too, Just removed the preload cap and push on shock and old spring pops right out, greased new spring, put on caps and dropped it in then screwed preload back on. With the Firm spring I feel I have gotten to the end of my travel but never bottomed out hard. I have only taken like a 1 foot drop or bunny hops though.
    Gravity29point2

  21. #21
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    wow im 5'7" with 30.5" in seam. agreed 17.5" is a bit on the large side for us but its what is comfortable to me. so far so good too.

    congrats! sweet bike
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  22. #22
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    Nice ride, I bought a trek 820 16" frame felt mor comfortable I'm the same size but 10 lbs heavier and I finally got it dirty. I wanted better but budget and being a newbie on trails didn't want to go crazy just yet

  23. #23
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    good move on the bike. bad move on the skol
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
    - 2011 Salsa El Mariachi XL
    - 2011 Kona Unit (singlespeed) XL

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z View Post
    good move on the bike. bad move on the skol
    In defense of the liquor: at least there are bottles of Tito's and Knob on that counter too

  25. #25
    Bionic Mtn Biker
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    You got a very good bike for the money you spent on it. Ride the heck out of it and post a review after the first hundred miles or so.
    Better than he was before. Better. . . Stronger. . . Faster. (but not smarter)

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