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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Lessons learned - Thank you!

    I started mountain biking about a year ago and as I didnít know anyone who was riding around here and I had no previous experience on mountain bikes I had to rely on Internet for information. I have previous mechanical experience from fixing motorbikes and cars and I used to have a road bike for commuting before so I got some help from that. After a long consideration I bought a bike that felt good and was not the cheapest but I was still careful not to spend too much as I didnít really know what to buy. LBS also helped a bit here. After a couple of painful rides, as I wasnít as fit as I thought and my bike wasnít set up properly I started reading mtbr forums for some ideas and help. I very soon gathered that I should just ride my bike more to get more experience and only change what doesnít work or breaks. I read afterwards from some post that you should ride around 100km's first and then see what needs changing and adjusting. Looking back on my rides, it really was around 100km's where things started to make more sense..

    My first upgrade was new grips as old ones started to peel off very soon. New grips made a huge difference to riding as my hands were not slipping anymore while riding. At this point I also realized that my riding position wasnít the best possible and I made adjustments here are there. It still didnít feel quite right and to fix this I ended up changing to a shorter stem which not only removed issues with tired arms and shoulders but also made the bike a lot better and faster to handle on the narrow curvy tracks Iím riding here.

    After rains started and things got muddy, original cage pedals became too slippery to ride and I changed to flats with proper pins which again helped a lot (and have caused a couple of bloody scrapes.. ). After these changes I was very happy how my bike worked and handled and I did quite a long period without making any changes. Later I realized that I was not riding on roads and wasnít using all my gears and have now removed the biggest chainring and replaced it with a bash guard. All the upgrades and changes havenít cost me much and I think it has been the right path to take, thanks to all the information on this forum.

    The original fork has now come to the end of its short lifespan and I replaced it with a new one last weekend. I couldnít believe how much it changed the way the bike handled. Biggest changes were in the front wheel grip when cornering and about 600 grams less weight in the front. Obviously suspension is now better too but I wasnít expecting the grip and weight to have so much difference to how the bike handles. It really made riding much more precise and enjoyable.

    Iím learning new things every day, getting fitter and improving my lap times every time I ride, but the main thing is that Iím having fun with my new hobby. Iíve also run into other like-minded people at the tracks and now have more riding buddies to explore all the tracks around here.

    Thanks for all the help and I hope this post helps with another newbie who is about to start this amazing sport.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gasp4Air's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Thanks for posting. The knowledge, fitness, and pleasure of the trail you've gained are what's great about mtn biking. And the fact that this forum was part of it is testament to one of the best things about it - people sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Well said, I have been doing this along time and I still learn new ways do to stuff. Learning is never ending and just when you think you know it all the trail will reach up and grab your ass back to reallity. I still get a smile when I clean something thats been dogging me for months, weeks and even years.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
    KHS Flagstaff 29er FS
    Neon Bow Trials Bike
    Norco Fluid 9.2 29er FS

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Thanks for posting. The knowledge, fitness, and pleasure of the trail you've gained are what's great about mtn biking. And the fact that this forum was part of it is testament to one of the best things about it - people sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport.
    Couldn't agree more! I own this community more beers that I could count for all the valuable info that I got over the years! Great thread!
    Last edited by Max24; 03-02-2015 at 08:54 PM.

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