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  1. #1
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    Idea! I don't know what I'm doing

    Ok so i want to get into MTB but don't know where to start. I have a bike but it literally says on the shocks DO NOT USE FOR- Freeride/Downhill, High jumps or hard landings. So i don't know if this is the best bike to use i got it about 4 or 5 years ago not thinking that i would ever do anything super intense with it. Its a Trek 3900 Three series with 26.2" wheels and is a hard tail. I would love some feed back on what to do or if i should do anything.

  2. #2
    oh my TVC 15
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    What type of terrain do you ride or do you want to ride?
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  3. #3
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    i have no idea probably like more down hill kind of stuff

  4. #4
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    What you should do with that bike -

    Find a local trail that is NOT A LIFT assist trail, and go ride it.


    Looks like the closest trails to you are Rum Village trails, if your profile city is correct.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7028302

    So yeah, go there, ride. If you are a beginner, you will not be doing jumps or other stuff that will break that bike.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  5. #5
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    Yeah, definitely thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronPowell View Post
    i have no idea probably like more down hill kind of stuff
    Is there a lot of DH and lift assisted riding in South Bend? Just get out and ride your local trails. Progress up to jumps/drops, etc on your current bike.

    As you progress in your skill level, start saving for your next bike. As your bike wears out, you'll be able to upgrade with the $ you saved while riding and honing your skill.

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  7. #7
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    Ride that bike until you break it. The longer you wait, the easier it will be for you to figure out what you need. Keep an eye out for free demo days from local shops and reps so you can feel what a better HT bike or full suspension bike offers. Find a bike shop that makes you feel comfortable. Keep an eye out for demo days from shops and reps so you can experience a full suspension or better hard tail. Start watching some of the many awesome YouTube channels that are entertaining and informative (Seth's Bike Hacks, skills with Phil, Singletrack Sampler to name a few). The "good worst case scenarios are that you realize that this was just a phase and that the mtb hooks didn't sink in you before dropping a $2k on a nice bike... Or you ride your bike to death because you love mtbing (while building skill, knowledge, and money) but you can't rude for a month because you have to wait for a backordered bike to arrive.



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  8. #8
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Take a look at what other riders ride on the trails You will be riding,
    Betcha several can tell you what Local bike shops took good care of them,,
    Go there and take their advice.

    When they try and upsell you to the next level that's just above your budget, GO for It !
    Moving up a level and spending an extra $300 or $500 dollars often nets you components and a frame that's far better.

    But be warned, when I moved up a few levels In component spec. The difference was profound, then I moved up again on my next bike, there Is no going back....
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
    My Scooter : 2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus

  9. #9
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    Ride what you've got / can afford. If you've got extensive BMX experience then you might get to jumps and downhilling and all the crazy stuff youse kids do these days pretty quickly. Otherwise you'll reach your own limits before you destroy the bike.

    The more you ride the more you'll learn about what you actually need for your trails and riding style / abilities.

  10. #10
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    Yep extra money spent on bikes makes a huge difference, to a point. I finally have a better than entry level bike and it's worth every penny spent. Once you go above 2k retail it gets harder to justify imho unless you're pretty much a pro.
    2017 Diamondback Catch 1 FS 27.5+

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm25x View Post
    Yep extra money spent on bikes makes a huge difference, to a point. I finally have a better than entry level bike and it's worth every penny spent. Once you go above 2k retail it gets harder to justify imho unless you're pretty much a pro.
    Wait, you mean my handlebar-mount espresso machine isn't worth it?


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm25x View Post
    Yep extra money spent on bikes makes a huge difference, to a point. I finally have a better than entry level bike and it's worth every penny spent. Once you go above 2k retail it gets harder to justify imho unless you're pretty much a pro.
    Something I discovered years ago, every Price / Goodness curve has a pretty sharp knee in it. Starting at the bottom spending more gets a lot of bang for the buck, but after a point it just isn't as rewarding. Taking weight off a bike is popular, but once you get under 25 pounds or so it starts getting real expensive.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonSonic View Post
    Something I discovered years ago, every Price / Goodness curve has a pretty sharp knee in it. Starting at the bottom spending more gets a lot of bang for the buck, but after a point it just isn't as rewarding. Taking weight off a bike is popular, but once you get under 25 pounds or so it starts getting real expensive.
    I've noticed there are two main "biggest bang for the buck" price points for hardtails. First one starts at $400-600, that the snooty bikers call 'BSO' Bicycle-Shaped-Objects. As in they are not real mountain bikes. $400-600 gets you 30-33 lb aluminum frame, 80-100 mm coil fork, 21-24 speeds (choose 24), and most importantly the option of hydraulic brakes.

    $1200 gets you 21-25 lb carbon frame, 120-140mm (usually) air fork, 1x11 gearing, hydraulic brakes. After this point it's diminishing returns at least on paper.

  14. #14
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    As a general rule hardtails are not for big jumps.
    Do you weigh 120? 240?
    You might play with 1 foot or less sell it and get 1 designed for your preference in 6 months.
    All the best!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I've noticed there are two main "biggest bang for the buck" price points for hardtails. First one starts at $400-600, that the snooty bikers call 'BSO' Bicycle-Shaped-Objects. As in they are not real mountain bikes. $400-600 gets you 30-33 lb aluminum frame, 80-100 mm coil fork, 21-24 speeds (choose 24), and most importantly the option of hydraulic brakes.

    $1200 gets you 21-25 lb carbon frame, 120-140mm (usually) air fork, 1x11 gearing, hydraulic brakes. After this point it's diminishing returns at least on paper.
    Where do you get anything reputable for 1200 involving carbon fiber. Cheap carbon fiber is for ppl that like gambling with how lucky they are vs how much a hospital trip is going to cost. Basically No where are you going to get anything besides cheap chinese carbon for $1200 for a complete bike.
    Except for the frame itself, by itself.

    $1200 gets you a decent hardtail. Anything under $1000 is entry parts for the most part (few rare occasions). $1500+ is solid hardtail, $2500+ for solid FS bike.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Where do you get anything reputable for 1200 involving carbon fiber. Cheap carbon fiber is for ppl that like gambling with how lucky they are vs how much a hospital trip is going to cost. Basically No where are you going to get anything besides cheap chinese carbon for $1200 for a complete bike.
    Except for the frame itself, by itself.

    $1200 gets you a decent hardtail. Anything under $1000 is entry parts for the most part (few rare occasions). $1500+ is solid hardtail, $2500+ for solid FS bike.

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    If you look hard enough, something used can be found, but it will probably be a 26er. When i put my cannondale FS 26er up for sale next week, that's probably what I will try to sell it for.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm25x View Post
    Yep extra money spent on bikes makes a huge difference, to a point. I finally have a better than entry level bike and it's worth every penny spent. Once you go above 2k retail it gets harder to justify imho unless you're pretty much a pro.
    Really? It takes a pro to be able to enjoy a carbon fiber bike, or full suspension, or both?

    And..."hard to justify" to whom? Who do we have to justify our bike purchases to? Wife? Banker? The Central Biking Authority?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Really? It takes a pro to be able to enjoy a carbon fiber bike, or full suspension, or both?

    And..."hard to justify" to whom? Who do we have to justify our bike purchases to? Wife? Banker? The Central Biking Authority?
    +1

    I've broken quite a few things on my $2k bike that just weren't up to the task and I'm no pro rider. I think $2k is a good price point though. Even with FS you'll get a nice bike.

    OP, like others have said ride that bike until things wear out or break. The more you ride it the more you'll know what kind of riding you like. Once you know what kind of riding you like then you can make the right decision with buying a new bike instead of blowing a butt load of cash.

    Definitely go to a few demo days!!!! The more the better and ride every type of bike you can. If you can't find any demo days then rent a few nice bikes if any of your bike shops allow it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepusher View Post
    If you look hard enough, something used can be found, but it will probably be a 26er. When i put my cannondale FS 26er up for sale next week, that's probably what I will try to sell it for.


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    Im skeptical of buying used carbon fiber. Your kind of playing the lottery there too. No idea how the bike was treated. If you know what to look for and so on ya you can do well. Not something for a new guy though.

    Whats nice in a bike is relative though. One persons nice bike is another persons "cheap pos". There is of course a limit. Bottom end brand name entry bikes are barely better than walmart bikes. My most expensive new bike is 1500, would have paid a bit more if frame colors werent ugly for the bike i wanted.

    There is really no need to spend insane money on a bike. But dont be insanely cheap either.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Im skeptical of buying used carbon fiber. Your kind of playing the lottery there too. No idea how the bike was treated. If you know what to look for and so on ya you can do well. Not something for a new guy though.

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    Can't really say I agree with that about carbon fiber (not going to start to derail the thread with my reasons), but I see what you are saying about people new to bikes or carbon in general. Even I thought at one time that my 5 year old carbon frame must have been past it's lifespan. Knowledge is power, and whatnot.


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  21. #21
    oh my TVC 15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepusher View Post
    Can't really say I agree with that about carbon fiber (not going to start to derail the thread with my reasons), but I see what you are saying about people new to bikes or carbon in general. Even I thought at one time that my 5 year old carbon frame must have been past it's lifespan. Knowledge is power, and whatnot.


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    I think you're making his point about used carbon fiber. You don't know how it was treated so even though it's within it's lifespan/warranty, if it's damaged and you can't see it, you're hosed.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    I think you're making his point about used carbon fiber. You don't know how it was treated so even though it's within it's lifespan/warranty, if it's damaged and you can't see it, you're hosed.
    I'm not going to derail the thread to show it's not as much of a concern as uninformed people make it out to be. The OP can search here and on several other popular sites to figure out for himself.


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  23. #23
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    Ok I'm back now and i have taken all of your guys helpful advice and put it to use so here is an update on what has happened now.

    first i went out and road through a my elementary school prairie where i would ride with my buddies all the time. It was fun but there was nothing to do but ride on flat dirt. Next i was messing around at home watching videos and learning about my bike and how to use it. Then i was messing around on it ramping the curb popping wheelies and stuff, and then i found this ramp not big, like 18" elevation, and i ramped it twice and it was awesome but the third time i did it i landed the same way i did for the other two, flat on both wheels, and the rear tire makes a loud noise and i look back and my derailleur is raped around the tire. It got caught in the spokes so i pulled it out and it wasn't functioning right, so i looked at it and you can clearly see that it is bent. I hadn't even get to take it to the trails and its already broken. But im a resourceful guy so i got and i swap out my now broken derailleur for my dad's, this is a much older but nice and sturdier one. I destroyed my chain because it didnt have a master link and my dad's did so i took his chain and derailleur and put them on my bike. Once i got it adjusted correctly i was back in business. The day after that we headed down to watch a XC race at Tippecanoe County Amphitheater Park. once we got there i realized that there was a MTB trial here so i wiped out my bike and hit this trail and HOLY CRAP WAS IT AWESOME!!!! I was going at it. the trail was awesome there were a few obstacles i didn't know how to clear so i went around them but every thing i could do i did. I did fall though because there was a jump that i saw and was like "oh i could hit that easy" and it was but what happened was i wasn't wearing my gloves so when i went to kick the back end up my hands lipped on the crappy grips that i have and i landed front wheel first which i recovered from but not in time to make the next turn so i slipped and slid down the trail on my back. i have had my share of fails so i know how to bail. I shrugged it off and kept going with more cation because my hands and grips were dirty with the thin layer of light dirt which made it even harder to get grip on my bike but i survived and my bike isn't damaged. Im ready to go out again.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    What you should do with that bike -

    Find a local trail that is NOT A LIFT assist trail, and go ride it.


    Looks like the closest trails to you are Rum Village trails, if your profile city is correct.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7028302

    So yeah, go there, ride. If you are a beginner, you will not be doing jumps or other stuff that will break that bike.
    Ok I'm back now and i have taken all of your guys helpful advice and put it to use so here is an update on what has happened now.

    first i went out and road through a my elementary school prairie where i would ride with my buddies all the time. It was fun but there was nothing to do but ride on flat dirt. Next i was messing around at home watching videos and learning about my bike and how to use it. Then i was messing around on it ramping the curb popping wheelies and stuff, and then i found this ramp not big, like 18" elevation, and i ramped it twice and it was awesome but the third time i did it i landed the same way i did for the other two, flat on both wheels, and the rear tire makes a loud noise and i look back and my derailleur is raped around the tire. It got caught in the spokes so i pulled it out and it wasn't functioning right, so i looked at it and you can clearly see that it is bent. I hadn't even get to take it to the trails and its already broken. But im a resourceful guy so i got and i swap out my now broken derailleur for my dad's, this is a much older but nice and sturdier one. I destroyed my chain because it didnt have a master link and my dad's did so i took his chain and derailleur and put them on my bike. Once i got it adjusted correctly i was back in business. The day after that we headed down to watch a XC race at Tippecanoe County Amphitheater Park. once we got there i realized that there was a MTB trial here so i wiped out my bike and hit this trail and HOLY CRAP WAS IT AWESOME!!!! I was going at it. the trail was awesome there were a few obstacles i didn't know how to clear so i went around them but every thing i could do i did. I did fall though because there was a jump that i saw and was like "oh i could hit that easy" and it was but what happened was i wasn't wearing my gloves so when i went to kick the back end up my hands lipped on the crappy grips that i have and i landed front wheel first which i recovered from but not in time to make the next turn so i slipped and slid down the trail on my back. i have had my share of fails so i know how to bail. I shrugged it off and kept going with more cation because my hands and grips were dirty with the thin layer of light dirt which made it even harder to get grip on my bike but i survived and my bike isn't damaged. Im ready to go out again.

  25. #25
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    Sounds like a plan. Plus maybe new grips.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronPowell View Post
    Ok I'm back now and i have taken all of your guys helpful advice and put it to use so here is an update on what has happened now.

    first i went out and road through a my elementary school prairie where i would ride with my buddies all the time. It was fun but there was nothing to do but ride on flat dirt. Next i was messing around at home watching videos and learning about my bike and how to use it. Then i was messing around on it ramping the curb popping wheelies and stuff, and then i found this ramp not big, like 18" elevation, and i ramped it twice and it was awesome but the third time i did it i landed the same way i did for the other two, flat on both wheels, and the rear tire makes a loud noise and i look back and my derailleur is raped around the tire. It got caught in the spokes so i pulled it out and it wasn't functioning right, so i looked at it and you can clearly see that it is bent. I hadn't even get to take it to the trails and its already broken. But im a resourceful guy so i got and i swap out my now broken derailleur for my dad's, this is a much older but nice and sturdier one. I destroyed my chain because it didnt have a master link and my dad's did so i took his chain and derailleur and put them on my bike. Once i got it adjusted correctly i was back in business. The day after that we headed down to watch a XC race at Tippecanoe County Amphitheater Park. once we got there i realized that there was a MTB trial here so i wiped out my bike and hit this trail and HOLY CRAP WAS IT AWESOME!!!! I was going at it. the trail was awesome there were a few obstacles i didn't know how to clear so i went around them but every thing i could do i did. I did fall though because there was a jump that i saw and was like "oh i could hit that easy" and it was but what happened was i wasn't wearing my gloves so when i went to kick the back end up my hands lipped on the crappy grips that i have and i landed front wheel first which i recovered from but not in time to make the next turn so i slipped and slid down the trail on my back. i have had my share of fails so i know how to bail. I shrugged it off and kept going with more cation because my hands and grips were dirty with the thin layer of light dirt which made it even harder to get grip on my bike but i survived and my bike isn't damaged. Im ready to go out again.
    Awesome! Sounds like you're on the right path (or trail, if you prefer). I'm glad you had a great time. Keep on riding.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

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