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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    First FS - tips for keeping the nose up?

    This is my first season riding a FS (a Scalpel) and I'm having a ***** of a time keeping the nose in the air, even on small jumps.

    I try to load up the rear suspension and keep my weight back before I pull up on the bars, but for some reason my bike just dives like a brick as soon as I get any air under it. I'm a bigger dude (200lbs), and have adjusted the preload/rebound on the rear shock about a dozen different ways but am not having the best of luck.

    I'm sure this gets asked a lot (so my apologies in advance) - but any pointers would be awesome. I've almost gone OTB a few times now on pretty small/easily clearable obstacles, mostly because the front of my bike just dives straight into them as soon as I get in the air.
    // '14 Giant Trance Advanced 1
    // '13 Cannondale Scalpel 29'er
    // '15 Specialized Fatboy
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  2. #2
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    You may need to try more rebound damping on the rear shock, less compression damping on the rear shock and/or more comp damping / less rebound damping on the fork. Try riding the bike seated off the gutter a few times. Can you feel the rear suspension "rebound" into your backside after going off the gutter? Try adding rebound damping until the bike settles nicely on going off the gutter. At that point you may want to remove one or two clicks of rebound damping for general riding around.

  3. #3
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    All bikes have a balance point,where that is on your bike I don't know. Can you do a wheelie or manual? Have you looked at youtube videos ? Try moving back and pulling up at the same time.One of my bikes was very front end heavy ,I learned how to allow for it .

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Preloading suspension is too slow and too much work. IMHO. Look up manuals. You should be able to do all the same stuff without suspension, clipless pedals, any of that.

    It's also important that the bike fits you right. It's easy to shoot oneself in the foot by having too much reach our drop to the bars.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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