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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    kinda of new to MTB and I would like a new bike

    hello!
    I am "somewhat" new to MTB. reason I say this I am starting to do expert/pro level trails on where I go, and I am also starting to jump rather then "going over" objects and it is getting really uncomfortable with my hardtail.

    so, i cam to a conclusion that I need a new bike; however, I do not have enough money. I can not save neither since it is very hard for me. it will take me years to save up for a 1000$+ bike. So, I decided to look at this bike.

    its a gravity fsx 1.0 in bikesdirect.com I am thinking of adding my own rear shocks in replace for those cheap ones. also, I have a rear derailleur slx deore shimano. and shimano brake calipers.
    I was thinking of adding fox rear shocks "seen some for about 100$ on ebay" also, i have dart 3 shocks that I can transfer.

    so, in total, I'll be spending about 400-500$ on this bike. I am looking for a bike that weighs less then 35lbs(my current trek weighs about 34lbs). any suggestions, or maybe anything else that you should consider?

    anyone know how much this bike weighs? I know the motobecane weighs about 34lbs

  2. #2
    Nickel Havr
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    Dart 3's? Might as well get a pogo stick!

    Really though... I wouldn't wanna push a XC bike into DH terrain. It's just not made for the stresses of hucking off jumps and drops.
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  3. #3
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    well, I am not really doing DH. its kind of all mountain, XC riding. well, what am i supposed to buy. I do not have much money

    lol, why are dart 3s bad?

  4. #4
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    In general, either deal with what you've got, or buy the bike you want/need. Don't try to skimp on a bike. It's not a cheap sport, but you can have fun on a cheap bike.

  5. #5
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    I am just trying to figure out if I can put an air shock in the rear of one of the bikes in bike direct and transfer my components from my current bike to a gravity FSX 1.0 or 3.0 (deore slx and rock shocks dart 3) or maybe a dawes roundhouse 2200

    I am trying to find out how much the gravity FSX 1.0 or 3.o weighs. and if it will be a decent bike once I upgrade that bike a bit. (the frame itself on the weight)

    in general, I just want to see how much a gravity 1.0 or 3.0 weighs from bikesdirect.com and if it is possible to upgrade the bike.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I feel a "pussification of XC" rant coming on.

    But I need to go make breakfast. So I'll do the Cliff's Notes version.

    For people who aren't pussies and aren't doing lift-served DH, a hardtail is fine. FS bikes suck unless you're willing to spend the $1000 that will take you years to save up. (If you're lucky, a used bare frame on EBay is an option, but IMO a FS frame without a warranty is a bad idea.)

    What you need is not a new bike. What you need is skillz. (are skillz? I dunno, I feel like maybe "skillz" is a singular...)

    However, you might consider a new suspension fork too. For me, to be an improvement over a rigid fork, a suspension fork needs an adjustable spring rate, adjustable rebound damping, and, since I care about climbing, a platform or compression damper. It should also be stiff and I'd rather it didn't weigh 5 lb. Did you ever try to tune your Dart? There's huge amounts of stuff written about how to do it online, but eventually it all comes down to experimentation. If you can't tune the Dart to behave as you'd like it to, a different fork would be an improvement. Riders who have saddle time on them also say they're pretty flexy. If you're carrying any speed on descents or landing from things, that can be pretty sketchy. Not much you can do about it. $400-$500 can be a pretty nice suspension fork, especially if you're good at EBay. But when I last researched it, there are some retail forks for that price that I think I'd like, if it came up.

    Finally, an observation... if you could "go over" an object before, you don't need to jump over it now. The best riders flow over things in a way that doesn't have any visible jumping. I do think learning a good bunny hop is useful - flowing over something is basically a very tiny bunny hop, where the space under the wheels is so tiny it's invisible. But it's the same technique. When you're going off a ledge, a manual or wheelie drop is often the smoothest choice. TBH, I've never made wheelie drops work on anything but curbs, but some riders use them more regularly. You really only need to catch more air when you're on a flow line with table tops, gaps, and maybe wood work that has exits with gaps and step downs. (Are you? In my area, an expert trail would be pretty likely to have at least some of those elements...)

    What bike is it?

    Also, if you decide to go cheap FS or AM anything, you're not allowed to stress out about getting below 30 pounds. Unless you're willing to throw those thousands of dollars you don't have at it, sub-30 lb bikes and burly bikes are kind of a "pick one" proposition. Those of us with less to spend really need to clarify our focus, and get the bike that meets those criteria, without stressing out so much about other stuff. (For example, mine is relatively light, kicks ass on the way up, descends acceptably, and has basically no bling.)

    While I'm being "that guy," which seems to be the theme of this post...

    How big are your tires? How much air in them? How big are you?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    You'd probably be better off with a 29" hardtail than a cheap full suspension bike. Many of those cheaper bikes won't fit a quality rear shock anyway, and if you push them they'll end up failing.

    On the 29" bike you can ride low pressure in the tires and for many people they're as comfortable as a full suspension 26" bike.

    The dart isn't necessarily a bad fork, it's a fine fork for what it's meant to do. But it doesn't have any rebound control so any kind of jump will make it rebound hard. The fork can actually make stuff like that worse, not better. That's probably what you're noticing more than the actual hardtail. If you can find a tora fork or some other fork with rebound dampening cheap might want to try that instead of a whole new bike.

    Don't forget there are also seat posts with suspension.

    I'm with you, it's expensive. I just spent $900 on a new Kona. I didn't have the cash on hand for it, and didn't want to put it on a credit card, but looking around I had all kinds of stuff sitting around so I had a garage sale which pretty much paid for the bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by willc86 View Post
    I am just trying to figure out if I can put an air shock in the rear of one of the bikes in bike direct and transfer my components from my current bike to a gravity FSX 1.0 or 3.0 (deore slx and rock shocks dart 3) or maybe a dawes roundhouse 2200

    I am trying to find out how much the gravity FSX 1.0 or 3.o weighs. and if it will be a decent bike once I upgrade that bike a bit. (the frame itself on the weight)

    in general, I just want to see how much a gravity 1.0 or 3.0 weighs from bikesdirect.com and if it is possible to upgrade the bike.
    You can, but you're putting lipstick on a pig. Consider a) what your current bike is really lacking, and b) what is going to fix that. If you have a Dart 3 currently, that's probably a big part of why you don't like your current bike. A lot of us ride hardtails for AM bikes with good forks and have a lot of fun.

    Once you move on to a full suspension bike, you're going to want to spend enough money to get a good full suspension bike. They are much more complicated than a hardtail. It's not just a matter of jamming some bouncy bits on the front and rear and hoping it works.

  9. #9
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    lol my current bike is not that great. It lacks everything. it was the first MTB i bought to start the trails. I bought it for 90$; but it did its purpose.

    the only thing I changed was the front shocks, and that was the dart 3. as for tuning, I am not sure what you mean by "tuning" replacing springs? changing oil? what should I do with it. well, I can youtube videos to see how to properly do it myself.

    heck, I figured bikesdirect.com was a good place to buy a mountain bike. I saw a dude with a motobecane and he told me it was awesome and never had a problem with it for the XC riding he does. Unless an upgraded version in BD.com makes a big difference.

    the reason I wanted a FS vs what I have now, I rode my friend's bike (which is full suspension) and it was hell smoother then my hardtail, and well, I liked it. I rode other peoples FS also, and i like the feeling much better. I do not know, I just like them a lot better. And no, this was not the only hardtail i rode. I have ridden a few more (GT, trek, specialized) just those 3 brands. and I rode 4 FS bikes and I loved the feeling much better.

    a guy just told me to buy a bike at bikesdirect.com and just switch the rear suspension and that should be good for a few years till i get a lot better where I start getting much better.


    so, I should just stick with a hardtail and not buy one of those bikes in bikesdirect.com (full suspension) below 600$?

    I mean I was looking at dawes roundhouse too. saw some youtube reviews and they said it was pretty good and was solid, along with the motobecane. OR should I just buy a decent FS frame or full bike on craigslist?

  10. #10
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    Airborne Zeppelin Elite Mountain Bike (All Mountain) - Giantnerd®

    what you think of this bike. I think I can get this one.

  11. #11
    Nickel Havr
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    Quote Originally Posted by willc86 View Post
    Airborne Zeppelin Elite Mountain Bike (All Mountain) - Giantnerd®

    what you think of this bike. I think I can get this one.
    That's not a bad lookin bike... I'm a fan of the Giant Yukon and they say it's comparable.

    The shocks should hold you over while you save up for new stuff... It even has hydraulic brakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  12. #12
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    ya i just went to my LBS and i saw a yukon on sale for 800 and its 4in travel said it was good for xc/AM biking the guy said


    anyone else recommends anything? maybe anything in bikes direct?

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by willc86 View Post
    the only thing I changed was the front shocks, and that was the dart 3. as for tuning, I am not sure what you mean by "tuning" replacing springs? changing oil? what should I do with it. well, I can youtube videos to see how to properly do it myself.
    SRAM claims that the Dart 3 has a preload adjuster, rebound damper, and lockout.

    So tuning it would mean putting in the right spring kit for your weight, setting sag for your weight and riding style, and dialing in the rebound damper. If you haven't done that, IMO you're better off shelving the new bike project for at least a little while and figuring out how to tune the fork you have. Getting a FS bike will mean having at least twice as many things to tune - easier to learn while it's simpler, and I bet you'll have an easier time figuring out what you're doing with setting up the suspension on the FS bike.

    I'm not a huge fan of FS bikes. I get that some people have more fun riding them, which is fine. IME they completely blow if they're not set up right. So you should know your way around suspension a little before you get one.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    ya I should learn how to service my shocks. anyways, it will still be a while before I get my next bike, so I do have plenty of time to learn with my current bike.

    I believe my shocks are a bit too firm. when I compare my friends shock to mine, his shocks always moves when riding over rough terrain such as small rock, tiny bumps on the road. However, my dart 3 kind of just do not move very well when facing small rock patches or tiny bumps on the road (trail dirt roads)

    he just said switch to a softer spring. also, my preload adjuster is all the way out to allow maximum movements, and they still kind of stiff when I ride "slightly" rocky surfaces in dirt roads in comparison to my friends front shock (which is a suntour 100mm travel)

    wondering, is this not normal for my shocks?

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Go find the service manual for the Dart.

    Nicer forks usually use some kind of oil bath to lubricate the interface between the stanchions and the lower. Cheaper forks often have nothing. You can still tear down and grease a cheap fork, but I don't think it's very effective.

    If the Dart uses a functional lubrication system, order the next lighter spring kit, or whichever one the table SRAM publishes says you should. Forks not responding to trail chatter is not necessarily abnormal but it defeats the purpose of having a suspension fork, if the purpose is to improve the ride of the bike and not just make it look like you can afford a nice bike. I'm quite happy to have a fork I scored for $75 on EBay a few years ago that does a good job, even if it looks pretty chewed.

    Bear in mind that much of the value of a retail bike is as a status symbol. When someone has owned it, even if they never rode it and it's in perfect condition, that value is gone. But the bike rides exactly the same as it did before they wheeled it out of the store. $500 can mean a very nice ride. You need to have a look at the rest of the build on your Trek, because $500 can also mean a very nice suspension fork, or any other individual system on the bike. Educate yourself about what's on your bike, what's on nicer ones, and what the differences are - some matter, many don't, and bikes are sold for far more than they're worth, if what you really want is to have fun riding them.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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