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.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    I have no clue....

    What anyone is taking about on here. I've never felt so lost on a subject I've taken interest in before. What makes some componets better then others and how does a newb suppose to know? Why if the fork on my GF Trek Marlin considered bad. How do I suppose to know what tires are best to use? Gear ratio, handle bars, stems, seats, seat post, frame sizes/shapes, top tubes, shifters, derailurs, casetts. It's like you need a masters in mechanical engineering to know how all this stuff goes together and how to make it work best.



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    Last edited by Dusty Trails; 08-09-2011 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Forgive me, but are you expecting for someone to come into this thread and post a reply explaining everything there is to know about bikes and bike riding? Sounds like someone doesn't want to put the time or effort into learning something.

    My suggestion: Pick a topic, search for that topic, read and learn, apply to your situation, move on to the next topic and repeat until you know everything. I don't think there is a shortcut.

  3. #3
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    I know there are no shortcuts. It was more or less a post of exasperation. It seems the more I read on here the less I seem to know. But if anyone knows of any good mountain biking for dummies articals to read I sure would appreciate it.

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  4. #4
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    Welcome to the sport man, it can be an insane amount of stuff to figure out, and alot of times people go way overboard talking tech things, but you know what i have found to be the best way to learn?

    Riding bikes.

    Just have fun on your bike, ride it every chance you get, and during a ride when you wonder something or a problem happens, look for the answer to that problem. If your bike is working great, and you are able to ride with no worries, then why worry about it?

    Ride your bike, let us know if you need help, Have fun, Welcome.

  5. #5
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    It took me 3 years but this is what I learned so far.
    1. Wear a helmet when you ride. Full face if you want to look bad ass.
    2. Long sleeve jersey needs to be a minimum of 2 colors
    3. Drink Mountain Dew. Lots of it.
    4. Watch out for horse and cow poopie on the trails.
    Thats about it...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Here is a good referance to look things up in, Sheldon was the wizard on the mountain top.(RIP) I use it frequently.

    Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information

  7. #7
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    When I first started two year ago at age 34 I just wanted to get a bicycle to ride and went to Wal-Mart to look. Back then I had no clue at all of the Mountain biking culture. All I knew then was I wanted a Mountain bike because they look cool with the fat tires and just wanted a bike for riding around camp for fun. I went online and searched "Mountain Bikes reviews" MTBR showed up and I snooped around a bit and first thing I saw was "stay away from Wal-Mart bikes" lmao. This cought my attention so I kept reading...Finally settled on an entry level bike from Dick's.
    Took the bike down the road and camp I liked the bike a lot so I came back to MTBR to read more about my bike. As I kept reading I saw things about XC, DH, truing wheels, Deore, Carbon fiber..ect ect....A lot!

    I got realizing that there is more to this bike than I realized and the culture is quite huge. I go tasking a guy at Dick's if he knew of any mountain biking around here and he said sure. Next thing I know I was on an actual trail(single track and fire roads) I rode all day, got some air on small jumps, loved how the bike reacted around trees and things an dI could wheelie over stuff....it was a great day and I was hooked.

    I kept coming back to MTBR made an account and read all I can and asked questions.

    Also join a riding group and establish yourself with a Bike shop(a good one).... So yes it's intimidating....I had no idea there is so much to this...no tone clue.

    Just get a bike, hit the trails and read up and ask questions....one day at a time....

  8. #8
    What does a bean mean?!
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    Sheldon Brown's site is a good place to start (if website aesthetics aren't super important to you); some of the more specific info is dated but there's lots of good stuff there.

    Local bike shops/clubs and even REI stores will have beginner-friendly rides and 'classes' about beginner riding techniques and basic maintenance. Don't be afraid to ask questions at your LBS about stuff like components and tires, those guys are there to help you, and are (if not, they should be) excited to help someone who is new to the sport get into it!

    I also second the notion of just getting out there and riding. You'll meet people who can share what they know, and you'll learn about stuff as issues arise.

    Remember, it's supposed to be fun!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas View Post
    know what i have found to be the best way to learn?

    Riding bikes.

    +1 on this


    I took my Dick's MT bike and just started riding....you'll either hate it or love it....I fell crazy in love with it and that first trail ride kept me wanting to learn all I can. I would take advice from guys on here with what bike to get.... Seems like a Specialized Hardrock or Rock hopper is an excellent start...

    The best teacher is to ride ride ride as Hand has said.....it's the best teacher IMO.
    I found myself using and doing a lot of riding techniques I learned on my own without instruction....you'll do the same.

  10. #10
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    Also man, if you ever have a question feel free to message me here, i've been around the block a while, worked in a few shops, traveled the country on bikes, and make my living talking bikes, i have no problems helping people out here with questions.

    Chad.

  11. #11
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    You definitely don't need a masters in Mechanical Engineering, but I can appreciate how daunting some things can be. I installed my own BB7 brakes and found it to be an extremely rewarding experience to do it myself (However I'm going to let my LBS install my new fork because I don't have the tools/experience yet). Take your time and do the research and you might be surprised at what you can do. As well, like the other posters have said, just get out and ride! If you're right-side up and moving forward, you're doing something right!
    '10 Hardrock Sport Disc

  12. #12
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    Welcome to the sport!! We are all happy you are here. Once this MB thing gets in your blood its impossible to get away from it!

    I started down this road 6 months ago and like you I was unbelievably blown away by how technical this can all seem. I thought there was no way in hell im gonna be able to learn a quarter of this stuff. LOL I was out on single trac with a Shwinn Sierrra! Suprised I didnt kill myself those first few months (on the trail..).

    Since then I have bought a used full suspension bike and raced in my first XC race.

    Now Here I am 6 months later, looking at $2000 bikes and I was at my bike shop talking to a sales guy and I think I knew almost as much as him (he was a young kid).

    I was adamant I had to have X drive train and a 100mm Fox fork and Juicy Hydraulic brakes and etc etc etc...... I couldnt believe how much ive learned! It felt great.

    I have only been to the tip of the iceburg and I have SOOO much more to learn. BUT, I am no longer daunted and I am really looking forward to expanding my knowledge.

    You will get there too. I promise you.

    Until then, ride, have fun, stay safe, and come talk to us on the forums here daily.

    Glad your here!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by madaxc View Post
    ... If you're right-side up and moving forward, you're doing something right!
    It all boils down to this. ^^^^
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  14. #14
    Just Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Trails View Post
    What anyone is taking about on here. I've never felt so lost on a subject I've taken interest in before. What makes some componets better then others and how does a newb suppose to know? Why if the fork on my GF Trek Marlin considered bad. How do I suppose to know what tires are best to use? Gear ratio, handle bars, stems, seats, seat post, frame sizes/shapes, top tubes, shifters, derailurs, casetts. It's like you need a masters in mechanical engineering to know how all this stuff goes together and how to make it work best.



    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm learning though! Started this sport about 3-4 weeks ago and I already feel like I've learned so much! Still on my crappy throw away bike, but I'll replace that in february/march. Till then I'll just do what I can on that bike and continue to research as much as I can!

  15. #15
    Nickel Havr
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    I'm amazed someone hasn't said it yet! This is a MTN Bike Review site!

    If you want to know why some components are better than others just check out this section of the site...
    Mountain Bike Product Reviews - Mtbr.com

    It's a lot of info to take in... But in the end it will be you making the decision on what parts to buy.
    I try to test everything out before I buy so I can make my own review... And listen to the people that use what I want.

    Really though... I rode a ***** purchased Ironhorse Maverick F/S for three years. Yes it was heavy... But it made me stronger. Yeah the shocks sucked... But I got comfortable riding a sketchy trail.

    Biking is an experience and you just have to put the time in to figure out what you like... It's highly rewarding!

    Just ride and have fun!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  16. #16
    RideDirt
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    You just need to basically read read read and read as much as you can. Google each component , read reviews, look at pix of the items , where they are located on the bike , find the definitions of each thing you want to know about . Google is your friend and so are helpful forums like this, every night i read prob a good 3 hours a night of this stuff lol .

  17. #17
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    It really comes down to what you like so as some other wise members have said, ride and have fun. That's what it's all about. You'll learn as you go.
    Sheldon Brown's website is a definite go to website and the book "Zen & the art of mtbing" is a good read also.
    Lotsa great folk on here willing to share their knowledge so ask as you need to.
    If your bike is working to you're liking it seems all you need to do is ride.
    Don't buy upgrades, ride upgrades. Don't get caught up in the newest, latest and greatest BS. I have many bikes ranging from very old to very new, and love, and have fun riding all of em.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the encouragement, help, and links everyone.

    I've been riding riding Trek GF Marlin 29er, and before that a old entry level Giant, but my cardiovascular health will attest to how little I did ride. I didn't care for riding on the roads, but just recently I've discovered some trails around the lake where I live and it brought the fun back into riding. I think just get out there and ride and not worry about the technical stuff is great advice. I learn what I need to know about bikes and components in time.

  19. #19
    What does a bean mean?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    If your bike is working to you're liking it seems all you need to do is ride.
    Don't buy upgrades, ride upgrades. Don't get caught up in the newest, latest and greatest BS.
    I second this. First, ride and get to know your bike. Don't worry about learning all about every brand's different options, be it components, tires, headsets or whatever. Know your bike. You can look into upgrading parts as you need to replace stuff, learning one piece of the puzzle at a time

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