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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    Legs got shreded on Singletrack

    After doing some light single track and flat trails I did my first "real" singletrack and it was great but my legs from the knees down got scratched up pretty bad, the trail I was on was probably above my skill level and I took a couple intresting spills. I also got a lot of scratches from bryer bushs on the sides of the trail. I dont really care because this will all heal but just wanted to know if this happend to anyone else? Anyone wear shin guards?

    Also I seem to be having a hard time getting clipped back while on hills anyone have any tips, some of my falls were because I couldnt get clipped in.

    Other then that it was a rush! Cant wait to get back out there.

  2. #2
    The Yard Sale King.
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    Scratches

    I've found that thorn and briar scratches are a normal part of the ride. Leg armor would definitely help, but for the stuff I ride I think its overkill (and hot and heavy).

    Clipping in and out takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature (just as easy as riding flats). For getting up the hills, try this:

    -find a spot on the hill that gives you a reasonable shot to get going (that is, not too rooty or rocky so that you can get a couple of cranks in).

    -clip in whichever foot seems 'right' somewhere in the 1-3 o'clock position (forward of the top)

    -push off with your foot from the ground and start pedaling (staying seated on the front of the seat will help keep the rear from losing traction). Don't worry about clipping in your second foot until you've re-established your momentum. (I hook the heel of my shoe on the pedal).

    That's worked for me.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the advice, I will have to give that a try

    Yeah I was looking at the armour on th web and that seems to be overkill

  4. #4
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    Practice, practice, practice on those clipless pedals.

    Scratches from briars (or jaggers, as folks in Pittsburgh call 'em) are par for the course. I don't think I've done a single ride where I didn't get some sort of minor scratch on my legs from brush along the trail.

  5. #5
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    I also pull up hard on the first pedal stroke with the cleat.

    I get sratchs too, but the better I ride the less I get them, swinging the bike around stuff, picking a better line etc.

  6. #6
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    Or hold on to a nearby tree while clipping both feet in, then launch.

  7. #7
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    Re pedals, just practice. It will become 2nd nature.

    Re scratchies. My motto while mountain biking is that it's not a good ride without some blood spilling... hopefully not too much though. It's all part of this great sport.
    Chris G
    Riding a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro 120
    Somewhere behind the Orange Curtain

  8. #8
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    I find that in situations like that the flat part of my SPD shoes between the cleat and the front two "teeth" works good as a temporary platform.

    As others have mentioned.. its practice, practice, practice! The more you practice the more you will discover methods that work for you. The key to discovering them is to practice on trails that arent over and above your skill level. When you do that you're paying more attention to not falling down / killing yourself than you are with the minor technicalities.

    Once riding your bike feels like second nature - you can stand, sit, pogo or bunny hop at speed on a variety of terrai - then you can venture to more difficult terrain and learn the technicalities to navigating that terrain.

    At least thats the methodology I've used and its worked fine for me. I tend to progress slightly slower but I dont kill myself and I make sure I'm 100% aware of everything I'm doing.. so by the time I start doing the big stuff my reactions are easily transfered to the unconcious kinds as I learn them which results in a lot more fun IMO.

    I guess I just like to see a clear line of progression rather than just have it happen by pushing myself extensively.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I've had the same experiences. I wear pants sometimes, since it's not that hot here in New England yet, but when it is warmer, the cuts aren't a big enough deal to worry about it.
    And like the guys here, everyone tells me the clipless pedals become 2nd nature with practice.

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the great advice

    I have only had the clippless setup for about two months now so I need more time with it, I just need more seat time on the bike on trails.

    thanks again.

  11. #11
    neutiquam erro
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    Yep, hang in there with the clipless - soon, they'll be completely second-nature, and you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

    As far as scratches and other riding wounds, I dig spillin' a little blood when I ride (within reason, of course!); it satisfies my inner masochist

    Cheers, Chris

  12. #12
    don't move for trees
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    its just part of it, after a while you don't even notice till the shower time. As for shinguards, dunno if you really need them since you running clipless. I run plateforms, so i always wear my shinguards just to save my shins from a slipped pedal, but they do really help. i'd invest in a pair of knee/shin guards if i where you. I have the 661 ones and they work great, a little warm, but strong
    "Get a bicycle.You will not regret it if you live." Mark Twain

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