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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    First MTB Ride (questions inside)

    So I went on my first ride today in San Marcos, TX on Pergatory Creek - Prospect Park.

    For starters I went on the beginners trail...but then kept going, got lost, and ended up going 4 miles on an intermediate trail. It was extremely difficult but really fun. I got completely stopped a couple of times due to e smashing my pedals on rocks; hopefully it wont effect the frame of the bike :/.

    But anyways. Attached are some pictures. One of them is of my fork. I was curious if it going down as much as it did in the pictures during my ride is bad or if it's fine? (The oil ring from the fork/shock?

    Thanks

    Also, my friend brought his buddies 100$ Walmart bike...which actually survived.

    First MTB Ride (questions inside)-img_1939.jpgFirst MTB Ride (questions inside)-img_1942.jpgFirst MTB Ride (questions inside)-img_1946.jpgFirst MTB Ride (questions inside)-img_1947.jpgFirst MTB Ride (questions inside)-img_1948.jpg

  2. #2
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    Congrats on your first ride! Nice bike. Looks like a Seeker...? If that's an air sprung fork I would be inclined to reduce your pressure a bit. You aren't using your available travel.
    You should take a few minutes and set your sag on your fork. It would require a shock (suspension) pump or a trip to an LBS that would help you out. Sag is not necessarily the end all be all, but it's a good place to start. See here for a basic how-to.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on the first ride, and welcome to the sport! Sweet looking bike.

    And like poolboy said, looks like you aren't using all of your fork travel.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    Congrats on your first ride! Nice bike. Looks like a Seeker...? If that's an air sprung fork I would be inclined to reduce your pressure a bit. You aren't using your available travel.
    You should take a few minutes and set your sag on your fork. It would require a shock (suspension) pump or a trip to an LBS that would help you out. Sag is not necessarily the end all be all, but it's a good place to start. See here for a basic how-to.
    Yea I thought I had my sag set (it's an Airborne Guardian). I had it set to about 25mm when I got on and off.

    With what I have set now, will it hurt my bike or am I just not utilizing all of my shock which would make it ride more comfortable? Also should I turn the Preload to - (negative) or + (positive)?

    Thanks for the help

  5. #5
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Using all available fork travel will undoubtedly make your bike more comfy and plush. Play with the setting some to get what is to your liking. My preference is slightly more to the + air side(60%+/40%-).
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Using all available fork travel will undoubtedly make your bike more comfy and plush. Play with the setting some to get what is to your liking. My preference is slightly more to the + air side(60%+/40%-).
    Thank you.

    I know there is Preload which in the top nob, but there is a nob on the bottom of the fork. I guess I'll have to play with the Preload more and maybe later adjust the bottom one

    Hoping to get back out tomorrow again if I'm not too sore

  7. #7
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    If you have a preload knob I would imagine you have a spring fork. You could decrease the preload a bit to help. It would be a good idea to see if rockshox has a spring / weight list. You may be better served by a lighter spring.
    Either way, it's not going to hurt your bike. It will only affect your ride.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    If you have a preload knob I would imagine you have a spring fork. You could decrease the preload a bit to help. It would be a good idea to see if rockshox has a spring / weight list. You may be better served by a lighter spring.
    Either way, it's not going to hurt your bike. It will only affect your ride.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
    I appreciate your helpful response. I was kind of figuring the spring size might be too "large" for me. I guess we can see how it goes tomorrow when I fiddle with the settings. I know for the first little bit I had preload set all the way to Negative (-) and I turned it to Positive with 3 full turns. I honestly didnt notice very much difference; maybe because it's new and not broken in or that I am just knew to the whole MTB scene and cant tell small adjustments.

  9. #9
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    Won't hurt a thing.

    Turn preload to negative to soften it up; positive for a firmer ride.
    Mess around with different settings and do some testing on the trail so you can get a feel what the adjustments do.

  10. #10
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    If'n you ever get the chance you might want to route that front brake line inside the fork. Glad you got out there today.
    NTFTC

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegweed View Post
    If'n you ever get the chance you might want to route that front brake line inside the fork. Glad you got out there today.
    So it wont get caught on trees and shrubbery?

  12. #12
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    Those trails look awesome, and it sounds like you had a great ride on your first time out.

    My last bike had spring forks and as I only weigh 72kg they hardly moved. After I changed the springs for softer ones they worked a lot better, so I suggest you might want to look into doing that.

    But the forks are working fairly well as they are, it is just that you could get them to work better.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusdriver View Post
    Those trails look awesome, and it sounds like you had a great ride on your first time out.

    My last bike had spring forks and as I only weigh 72kg they hardly moved. After I changed the springs for softer ones they worked a lot better, so I suggest you might want to look into doing that.

    But the forks are working fairly well as they are, it is just that you could get them to work better.
    Yea that part of the trail was the easy part -.-

    The Intermediate areas (almost all of what we did) was borerline expert. Fully of jaggy rocks I thought would destroy my tires; but they survived. Really enjoyed myself and I'm happy I had gloves and padded liners under my shorts or I'd be super sore.

  14. #14
    Hi There!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gedemer View Post
    So it wont get caught on trees and shrubbery?
    Yessir, and besides it looks by your last picture the line routing is at the back of the top of the fork and then down to the caliper. I can't tell exactly from the picture. If the brake is working then don't worry about that for now, just keep riding. Good luck.
    NTFTC

  15. #15
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    ^ Alright, yea I'll reroute/zip tie it. I know what you mean.

    Also;

    Is there a way to tighten the brakes? My front brake is nice, but the right (back brake) side is a tad bit too easy to press and engages only when pressed very hard. Thank you.

  16. #16
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    Disc brakes need to be bedded in , What that means is that you need to get them hot. Get up to 10 so mph engage the brakes firmly ,do that a few times .Some of the more expensive brakes have adjustments,what does your bike have?

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    What brake do you have? My instinct is that it needs to be bled...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Brake Levers Tektro Auriga Comp
    Brakes Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc
    Rotors Tektro 160mm Rotor

    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian 2.0

  19. #19
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't have direct experience. But my understanding is that Tektro's hydros aren't really "there." (Probably if they were, they'd sell 'em as TRP.) Talk to your mechanic and do your homework, of course, but you may be looking at swapping on some BB7s or name-brand hydraulics.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    keep at it. Once you get bit, there is nothing like trail riding, always a lot of fun...

    If you can find a good shop - go there, show them you'll support them when you can for purchases, and get them to look at your bike and address this issues you're concerned with. I am blessed with a local shop with people who ride and enjoy it, and love working on bikes - eve those not bought there.

    Having friends to ride with who have better skills is also a good way to get better.

    And third, don't be afraid to spend money to improve your ride if it fits you and you're expecting to keep it. (Maybe those brakes....)

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