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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    Getting started... what else do I need?

    Hello everyone! My brother-in-law has been getting into mountain biking lately and his excitement for it has caused me to want try it as well. I've done quite a bit of reading on here (and other forums) about good beginner bikes for under $500 and ended up buying a Forge Sawback 5xx 19" yesterday! I've contacted a LBS already to assemble it, true the wheels, tune it, etc. when it arrives next week. I also went out to Nashbar and bought some biking shorts, a well-reviewed Bell helmet, some full-finger gloves, and a couple water bottles/cages. That said, is there anything else a newbie like myself should consider buying to get started? Keep in mind that I looking to keep this fairly low budget for now (under $600 for everything) when making recommendations.

    Also, any other mountain bikers in the Cincinnati/Dayton area here who can recommend some good trails for a beginner to learn on?

    Thanks in advance for any help and I look forward to posting more on here as things progress.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Mountain Cyclist
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    Nice, youre pretty set. I'd recommend some open-finger gloves and HIGHLY recommend some clipless (SPD) pedals and compatible shoes. Dont have to be fancy, but a must for any kind of serious xc mtbing.

    If youre around Cinci, I used to ride these (when I went to XU):

    Caesar Creek
    East Fork (great beginner trails)
    Tower Park (in No. KY)
    Mountain Cycle Zen
    Mountain Cycle Moho STS
    Felt F75

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Additional must purchases: Patch kit and a pump (you did not mention those).

    Recommended additional purchases: Maps of the region. National Geographics or any other map that shows trails. Go to REI or the bike shop and browse. It is immense fun to plan a ride and later to check where you actually ended up going.

    To be bought later: Cycling shirt/tricot. Wait for the big sale towards the fall!

    Start posting on the regional forum for your town here on MTBR. Politely ask to be given pointers to trails or to be allowed to join a ride. I am sure you'll find riding buddies in no time.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrcxu
    I'd recommend some open-finger gloves and HIGHLY recommend some clipless (SPD) pedals and compatible shoes. Dont have to be fancy, but a must for any kind of serious xc mtbing.
    My brother-in-law recommended full-finger gloves at first since I'll probably be taking a lot of spills and they'll help protect my hands more. Was this not a wise move?

    Also, I was planning to buy some clipless pedals and shoes after I got comfortable with riding a bit. Honestly I was afraid of being unable to clip out quickly should I take a header while learning. Do the clipless pedals/shoes really help that much even when you're learning?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    ride the moment
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    Congrats on the new steed! I personally think you made a good call on the full finger gloves. If you fall they really make everything nicer. If you ride conservatively then open finger are cooler for sure.

    Clipless pedals are pretty awesome, but not for everybody. Either way, you'll probably want to replace whatever pedals come on the bike with some better platforms or clipless. You don't need to do this right away, just ride your bike and the first time you say to yourself "Damn I wish my feet would stay on the pedals!" then go buy some new ones. Might be two days, might be two months... whatever's clever. Lots of online sites have shoe/pedal combos for a good price if you know your size in that brand.

    Other things that people carry depending on where they ride:

    Spare tube or patch kit (or both), tire levers, and a pump for flats.

    Bike specific multi-tool. These are different from something like a leatherman, they have hex-keys and a chain tool, etc. Great all around tool for on-the-go adjustments/repairs.
    Just because you read a book it don't make you conscious. - MC Lush

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaba Klaus
    Additional must purchases: Patch kit and a pump (you did not mention those).

    Recommended additional purchases: Maps of the region. National Geographics or any other map that shows trails. Go to REI or the bike shop and browse. It is immense fun to plan a ride and later to check where you actually ended up going.

    To be bought later: Cycling shirt/tricot. Wait for the big sale towards the fall!

    Start posting on the regional forum for your town here on MTBR. Politely ask to be given pointers to trails or to be allowed to join a ride. I am sure you'll find riding buddies in no time.
    Ah yes... didn't think of the patch kit/pump. I'll definitely pick that up when I get the bike back from the LBS. As for maps, I was planning to print out maps of each area before I go just to make sure I'm staying on the proper trail but I hadn't put much thought into pre-planning really. I'll have to consider this.

    By the way, I didn't see an Ohio section of the forum here but I'll look around and see where other Ohio guys are posting.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    Bike specific multi-tool. These are different from something like a leatherman, they have hex-keys and a chain tool, etc. Great all around tool for on-the-go adjustments/repairs.
    Yet another thing I didn't think of... thanks. Any models you can recommend?

  8. #8
    Mountain Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain

    Clipless pedals are pretty awesome, but not for everybody. Either way, you'll probably want to replace whatever pedals come on the bike with some better platforms or clipless. You don't need to do this right away, just ride your bike and the first time you say to yourself "Damn I wish my feet would stay on the pedals!" then go buy some new ones. Might be two days, might be two months... whatever's clever. Lots of online sites have shoe/pedal combos for a good price if you know your size in that brand.
    This is pretty much exactly my sentiment as well on going clipless. Its not a matter of if, but when, so whenever youre ready. I didnt mean to sound like I was forcing ya

    Open finger gloves are definitely cooler, which causes your hands to sweat less, thereby providing more sure grip on hot days. But if you think you'll be taking a lot of spills, stick with the FF.

    Also, read up (lot of good stuff on the internet/here) on technique to build confidence, minimize spills. You have a great beginner bike to work with
    Mountain Cycle Zen
    Mountain Cycle Moho STS
    Felt F75

  9. #9
    ride the moment
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrowning
    Yet another thing I didn't think of... thanks. Any models you can recommend?
    Well I like my Crank Bros. but really there are plenty of good brands. That's just what they carry at my LBS. Park, Topeak, etc. are all fine. Usually they have a few options so you can get whichever one suits you. Look at the variety of tools included in each one. Also check out the online stores for tools.

    www.jensonusa.com
    www.pricepoint.com

    You will also need something to carry all of this in. They make little saddle bags, or if you end up getting a hydration pack (Camlebak) then most people just carry it in there. Pumps usually come with a frame mount.

    A couple "snap links" or master links for your chain can be nice too.
    Just because you read a book it don't make you conscious. - MC Lush

  10. #10
    responsible zombie owner
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    a cheap camelbak (not necessarily a Camelbak (tm)) is worth getting cos it gives u somewhere handy to put those multitools and tubes etc as well as encouraging you to drink more often without having to stop.

    good deals on 06/07 jerseys can be found on the aforementioned sites... it's much pleasanter to cycle when you're not wearing a sweat-soaked cotton T.

  11. #11
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    Good job!

    I'm pretty new to the sport as well but I have found that a camelbak is invaluable. You can carry more water with you and can store some of your gear in it too.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    Full finger gloves:
    I don't fall every ride but, when I do, the FF gloves save my fingers, in addition to my palms.

    Other musts:
    pump
    spare inner tube
    patch kit (in case you have more than one flat on the trail)
    tyre levers (plastic)

    bike multi tool.

    Some way to carry all the above (and the water).

    (browse the "repair help" section of the Parktool website for maintenance and repair tips)

  13. #13
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    If your tubes have Presta valves, add a Schraeder-Presta adjuster to your patch kit, so that you will be able to inflate tires at gas stations. Also, you will need sealant in your tubes, it will spare you lot of hassle on trail. Then, to fix flats, you need to carry some solvent(just a small bottle of acetone, pure benzine, 95% alcohol) and a piece of cloth to clean the tube before patching.
    I am not so sure you should be in hurry to switch to clipless pedals. Yet lock-on grips are if not a must, then at least one of first upgrades I'd think of.

  14. #14
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    clipless pedals should be the furthest thing in your mind right now. learn to ride first, then worry about pedals. just go ride, you got more stuff than you need as-is. the only essentials are a helmet.

  15. #15
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    The stock pedals are pretty good. I wouldn't replace them if you plan on going clipless later. Small toe clips work wonders keeping my feet on the pedals when I'm bouncing down rough sections.

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%20Accessories

  16. #16
    What could go wrong ...
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    and when you are not riding you can check out this site http://www.bikeskills.com/videoclips.php they have some good info and tips on how to ride
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  17. #17
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    #1 suggestion as listed here several times, Camelbak.

    You're going to need a place to store everything else you're going to buy (tools, pump, patch kit, spare tubes, snack, etc...) and there's nothing more convenient than reaching down with your hand to get a drink while you're on the go.

    Not only that, great place to store your gear when "not" riding (helmet, gloves, etc...) and your necessities while riding (keys, cellular, wallet, etc...).

    Other than that, just in case it hasn't been mentioned here, a budget First Aid Kit that you can pick up at any Walmart/Auto Store. They come in a nice little case and include some nice things to have (band aids, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic gels, tweezers, mini-ice pack, aspirin, eye wash, First Aid Booklet with instructions, etc...) for any scrapes or cuts you might get while riding. Their about $10. and well worth it.

    Have fun!


  18. #18
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    Wow... some really great info here. Thanks everyone! My bike should be delivered today which means the LBS should be able to have it ready for me by the end of the week so I'll be riding this coming weekend for sure. Thanks again for all the help.

  19. #19
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    Been riding since April, so still kinda new.

    My best money spent has been a nice camelbak(70oz) 2.1L with some storage for 50 bucks. Also my latest purchase which has been amazing, CLIPLESS pedals and shoes!! My stock plastic pedal cracked, and that's when I did the switch.

    Also, with the tension adjustment on SPD is perfect for new people, every hairy situation I have been able to unclip, even without thinking, I have used it 3 rides so far.

    I have a spare tube and pump in the car, trails are never too far down here. I have tools that I have been buying as the repairs/job arises.

    Also, I have Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance. Very informative book.

  20. #20
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Mountain Bike Action has a seller that is selling basic Camelbaks for only $22. (generally, the price of a good water bottle/cage set-up).

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