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 time riding my bike ... help ...

    So I haven't been on a bike for about 15 years and jumped into MTBing this year ...
    I just bought my first MTB (2010 stumpy fsr comp)

    got it put together at my LBS (I don't own a torque wrench ... yet)

    went for a 30 min ride around the neighborhood to get a feel for it and ...

    1. my ass hurts, its hard to sit and pedal for long without envisioning long lasting pain coupled with impotence! only adjustment I've done is saddle height by doing the pedal backwards on your heel and have a slight bend at the bottom thing without swinging your hips from side to side ... what else?

    2. my palms hurt. I bought these Fox Reflex gel pad gloves ... ya the gel didn't help. I felt as if I had a lot of weight on my palms ... also I'm pretty sure i should adjust my brake levers because I'm having to have a tilt in my wrist in order to keep my index finger on the brakes.

    Any suggestions or a links to guides appreciated.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions/issues as I delve deeper into this sport

  2. #2
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    Did the LBS fit you on the bike at all? And the ass pain goes away in time you kinda need to build up some "callus" down there.....
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  3. #3
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    no they did not sit me on the bike and fit it to me ... i didn't purchase the bike from them ... i simply paid them to put it together ... should i go back and have them help me with adjustments?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisada
    should i go back and have them help me with adjustments?
    yeah I would! It will get better once the thing fits you correctly... Where did you get it I might ask?
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  5. #5
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    You definitely need to get the bike adjusted to your dimensions & you also need a lot of saddle time for you to get used to riding a bike again. 15 years is like you're back to square 1 when it comes to riding a bike. I was just like a year or 2 away from my bike & as soon as i rode one again, i hurt in places i didn't use to.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    yeah I would! It will get better once the thing fits you correctly... Where did you get it I might ask?
    bought it off a relative. I'm gonna ride a bit more tomorrow and try to really focus on how it feels

  7. #7
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    You might wanna get your rear end measured and invest in a couple pairs of bike shorts with padding in them. My bike came with a 135mm wide seat, my sit bones are 155 apart. It makes a huge difference in comfort. New seat plus bike shorts equals long comfy rides. Specialized makes some pretty decently priced body geometry seats.

    Also, look into some ergon grips. They can help with wrist fatigue by providing a little more support to the palm of your hand.

  8. #8
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    I have found that any time you start something new or switch what you are used to then you are going to have some discomfort. I used to ride motorcycles. Every time I got a different one it took me a while to figure out how to position myself on it so it was comfortable. Now that I ride mountain bikes it took me some time to find that comfort position. Even the last time I changed my grips it took a ride or two to get used to them. The pain in the butt will go away as will the pain in your hands. You are probably leaning on your hands to take the pressure off of your butt. Check out some ergo grips that have a large flat area for your hands to rest on. Invest in a pair of shorts and a proper seat.
    Some days you eat the bar, some days the bar eats you.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, if you are putting a lot of weight on your hands, you can get pain in your wrists, elbows, arms and shoulders. Could be from incorrect seat tilt or maybe the stem is a bad angle for you. I too just got into biking and experienced many of the same symptoms as you. I had a shorter stem put on so I was a tad more upright, and that worked for me. Small adjustments make a BIG difference. But mostly, proper bike fit and saddle time is the answer. I have been riding for a couple months now and everytime I go out, I have less butt pain.

    P.S. +1 on the bike shorts (mine are a boxer/brief kind that I can wear under anything)

  10. #10
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    You could also be riding a bike that's not sized for you. You might have a large and need a medium.

  11. #11
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    Food for thought:

    Impotency/Prostate Issues

    There has recently been a great deal of hysteria on the subject of cycling-related impotency. The thrust of the argument is that the rider's weight flattens the penile arteries against the saddle, reducing blood-flow capacity of these articles, which are required for tumescence.
    I can't claim any medical expertise, but it is my opinion that these problems in most cases are related to poor adjustment or poor choice of saddles, such that the rider's weight is not being carried properly by the "sit bones." In particular, having the saddle too high or tilted down too far, will lead to the rider sitting on the narrow part of the saddle, which may block these arteries, and also possibly do nerve damage. This sort of mismatch can also create pressure on the prostate.

    Cyclists who have problems with this, or who regularly experience numbness, should experiment with saddle position so that the sit bones are carrying their share of the load. Cyclists with persistent problems should consider switching to a recumbent, since recumbent seats are thought to eliminate this sort of problem.

    -Sheldon Brown

    (There are numerous other sources that talk about this issue too. )

  12. #12
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    Two simple things, you need bike shorts, and it does take some time for your butt to get used to being on a bike seat. You should setup your cockpit correctly though. Here are some tips to get started:

    The first thing you'll want to do is get the saddle position set. First set the height, and then set the fore/aft.

    Once you have that set, then work on getting the stem length and bar height.

    You should not be moving the seat to adjust your cockpit, as that will throw off how your legs line up with the pedals.

    "Ideal" saddle height is usually your inseam * .883. (Not your pants size, your actual inseam measurement). To get this measurement, stand against a wall, with a book up in your crotch, and have someone measure from the floor to the top of the book. Multiply that by .883 and adjust the seat height from the center of the BB. Use this as a starting point.

    Then the fore/aft should be set so that when the pedal cranks are horizontal, your knee cap should be directly above the pedal spindle.

    The saddle angle should be level, however if the bars are a few inches lower than the saddle, then she saddle should be slightly pointed down.

    Now work on your bar height and stem length to find a position you like. In general, lower bars need a longer stem than higher bars. Also wider bars use a shorter stem than narrow bars.

    A good general starting point is to have the bars level with the saddle, and find a comfortable stem length.

    Then if you want to tweak from there, e.g, go lower and longer for XC racing, shorter and wider for technical riding, or just shorter and higher for more comfort.

    Of course all this is personal preference, but this should at least help you get started.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisada
    1. my ass hurts, its hard to sit and pedal for long without envisioning long lasting pain coupled with impotence! only adjustment I've done is saddle height by doing the pedal backwards on your heel and have a slight bend at the bottom thing without swinging your hips from side to side ... what else?

    2. my palms hurt. I bought these Fox Reflex gel pad gloves ... ya the gel didn't help. I felt as if I had a lot of weight on my palms ... also I'm pretty sure i should adjust my brake levers because I'm having to have a tilt in my wrist in order to keep my index finger on the brakes.
    1. I set my initial saddle height based on the height at which I can just barely get my heel onto the pedal when it's in line with the seat tube - that puts it a little higher than your method, I suspect. But you really need to experiment from there - try moving it up or down 1/4". Small changes count for a lot. If my saddle is too high, I start having to point my toe or losing muscle tone in my leg at the bottom of the stroke. I think the "best" saddle height is the highest one in which I don't need to mess with my foot angle or dip my hips to keep exerting pressure at that point. I've also heard 15deg bend in the knee, but that's a touch cramped for me.

    You can also move your saddle forward and backward in the clamp and tilt the nose up or down. While I think that it's best when it's pretty much level, that's a preference issue. Mess with it. You may be surprised by how you need it set up - a lot of men tilt the nose up a little. Fore-aft, I just set based on finding a position that doesn't feel like a turbo-wedgie or like I'm going to fall off the back.

    2. Feel free to change the angle of the handlebars and the controls. I'd start with the handlebars. Just experiment. When you're happy with that, move to the controls around to somewhere that works better for you. +1 to the suggestions that your reach and drop may be off - you should have very little weight on your hands when you're pedaling. If you can't take your hands off the bars without a significant change in position, they're in the wrong place. If the bike's the right size for you, a new stem will help. If it's not... then it wasn't such a good gift. Keep your old stem. Your fit may drift as you ride more, and you might find you want it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    thanks for all the tips guys ... the bike I have is a medium which according to multiple stores is the right size for me (I went and sat on a few so that they would know what size to get me)

    also I do have biking shorts (Hoss Ponderosa cargo ... makes me feel like I'm wearing diapers lol).

    totally understand the "its going to take seat time to get used to a new activity part" gonna try my best to get that in before hitting up the LBS for adjustments. Also going to go pick up a torque wrench so I can make some of the small adjustments mentioned here

    once again thanks!

  15. #15
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    How tall are you? Chances are the bike is the right size going off of what you said. You may need to move your saddle forward and or raise your bars if your getting to much weight on your wrists.

    Can you post a pic of the bike?

  16. #16
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    i'm 5'7" ... I don't have a picture of the bike by itself after my LBS did their thing to it. I'll work on getting one.

    I measured my sit bones using the aluminum foil on a carpeted surface test I found online. I'm around 108-115mm. According to Specialized's saddle chart 100-130mm sit bone width translates to a 143mm saddle. So I guess I gotta go saddle shopping.

    here's a picture of my Stumpy with my friend's Kona Four on top of my car

  17. #17
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    You say it's a medium? I ride a medium Cannondale and I'm 5'10"... But yours might be smaller than mine being it's a different brand.

    Nice car btw.

  18. #18
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    Your body is new to the stressors of mountain biking. Even with a perfectly fitted bike, with the best components, you are going to feel sore, stiff, whatever. Your body is not familiar with the stressors and is responding accordingly

  19. #19
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    Go out and ride the fullerton loop. It starts behind the Fullerton courthouse. Its a great ride to get your keister broken in.
    MUD


    My weiner is 10.5".....Oh wait...I'm holding this ruler backward.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmiller
    You say it's a medium? I ride a medium Cannondale and I'm 5'10"... But yours might be smaller than mine being it's a different brand.

    Nice car btw.
    Thanks for the compliment ... ya I was almost in between a small and medium but everyone agreed that the medium would be better.

    Ya I'm going to work on the small tweeks already mentioned and also just put in more seat time to get comfortable and acclimated to the rigors of mountain biking

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisada
    Thanks for the compliment ... ya I was almost in between a small and medium but everyone agreed that the medium would be better.

    Ya I'm going to work on the small tweeks already mentioned and also just put in more seat time to get comfortable and acclimated to the rigors of mountain biking

    Yea, all the LBS's told me to get a large but it just didn't feel right. Just depends on how long your legs are in relation to your torso.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by A from Il
    Go out and ride the fullerton loop. It starts behind the Fullerton courthouse. Its a great ride to get your keister broken in.
    My snowboarding buddy rides the loop with a group of 19 other guys on saturdays ... when I get a chance I'm going to head out there with him

    There's a good amount of trails near me too so ya I'm just going to have to go out there and ride

  23. #23
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    So I adjusted my brake levers so that they allow me to keep my wrists relatively inline with the rest of my arm and its definitely improved the pain in my wrists.

    My ass still hurts ... thinking of trying out a 143 saddle because of my do-it-yourself-at-home sit bone measurements lol

    I'm also thinking maybe my seat is too far from the bars ... like I need a shorter stem and/or move my seat forward some ... I noticed that a lot of the times unless I'm consciously thinking about it I find my arms to be locked out.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kisada
    I'm also thinking maybe my seat is too far from the bars ... like I need a shorter stem and/or move my seat forward some ... I noticed that a lot of the times unless I'm consciously thinking about it I find my arms to be locked out.
    To me, good bike fit starts with the relationship between the saddle and the pedals. Moving your saddle to make a bad handlebar position work will mess up your pedaling efficiency and could even lead to an overtraining injury. If you haven't figured out your saddle position, do that before you worry about any of the stuff below...

    If your stem isn't flipped up and at the top of the spacer stack already, try moving it up a few spacers or flipping it for positive rise. On most stems, flipping it makes a shockingly large difference.

    If it's already flipped up and on top of the spacer stack, a shorter stem or a stem with more rise angle could help. Or you can switch to riser bars, but that's a more difficult component swap.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
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    Go ahead and move your seat forward... Not going to hurt anything.

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