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
    Reputation: doc Dee's Avatar
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    headsets & stems

    is there a big difference in upgrading headsets and stems? benefits?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Headsets-going to a good cartridge bearing unit can save a little weight and make it a set and forget item. Spending a lot of money beyond that is mostly a "Bling" expense.

    Stems-there is very little performance gain from a $20 to a $100 stem, some weight loss and/or strength gain. Again most of the high cost is bling factor.

  3. #3
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
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    No and Maybe....

    Quote Originally Posted by doc Dee View Post
    is there a big difference in upgrading headsets and stems? benefits?

    thanks in advance

    A headset is basically a set of ball bearings that allow you to turn your handle bars. Unless your headset bearings are shot, you're not going to see much difference between one headset and another as an arbitrary upgrade.

    Stems: Depending on the type of stem and how you ride, you may see an improvement in comfort, flexing and the general fit of the bike. It really depends on you and whether you're having problems.

    If you're asking based on upgrading in general, I'd look at upgrading almost everything else before upgrading the headset. I'd upgrade the seat post and bars before the stem, unless there was a specific problem I was trying to solve.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

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