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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    Help Diagnosing Drivetrain Issue

    About halfway into a ride on pretty standard Northeast singletrack (roots everywhere) yesterday my rear derailleur was delaying when I shifted gears. I'd hit the shift lever and then it would click a couple times before shifting (a delay of maybe 3 seconds). By the end of the ride I was slipping gears and it seemed like I was shifting at random times. Any clue on the origin of the problem? Worn chain, broken derailleur, bent hanger?

  2. #2
    Yes, that's fonetic
    Reputation: whodaphuck's Avatar
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    Age of bike? Crashed lately? Lots of variables that'll affect shifting. Probably not the chain...they usually don't go bad during a single ride. A derailleur alignment gauge is a good investment and the hanger is usually the first thing I check when I have shifting issues. Try adjusting the ferrules on your shifter cables a little at a time...1/4 turn at a time. Try one way and if it gets worse go the other way.

  3. #3
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    The bike is 2 years old. No big crashes lately but it's slid out from under me a couple times. The chain hasn't been replaced nor the derailleur adjusted since the bike was assembled.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    When shifting goes bad suddenly, it's often the hanger. Possibly it got bent slightly one of those times the bike slid out from under you. It might not even be enough bend to see. It doesn't take much to throw off the alignment, and hence the shifting.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Wishful Tomcat's Avatar
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    Could be a number of things, here's a good resource:

    Tech Tips

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