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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Pushes up hills's Avatar
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    More noob questions.

    Hello...new guy here. Just getting into mountain biking, and so far i have enjoyed it quite a bit.

    I got into this for exercise, and the fact that i like being "off-road". I would consider myself of average to slightly above average health for my age ( 33 )...but not nearly in the shape of a hardcore rider. I chose to destroy my lungs by inhaling cigarette smoke for better than 10 years, but fortunately, i realized what a fool i am, and quit a few years ago...and was fairly active during those years, so the impact on my health wasn't as bad as it could have been.

    Right now i am stuck with a wal-mart bike ( Schwinn S-30 ), but it's all i can afford right now. Maybe in a few months i can up-grade ( IBEX Ignition 2...thoughts? ). I ride pavement only long enough to connect the trails, so about 90-95% of my riding is REAL off road, on old logging roads and ATV trails.

    I have a few questions...

    I've been riding for a couple of months when i get the time, and have already noticed a big improvement in my endurance. I went out Saturday and rode for about 3-4 hours, including some fairly hard climbs. I will usually climb until my legs feel just about gone, and then stop and take a water/rest break to keep from over doing it...and i did this several times during this ride. After i got home, and the next morning, i felt pretty good, just the usual slight soreness.

    Weather looked pretty good for riding today, so i went again, and about 30-45 minutes into it...i bonked big time. No energy at all. I really didn't feel that bad today before leaving, or i would have given myself a day to recover.
    So i guess what i am asking is: What can i do to keep this from happening? My diet is not something to be proud of...but what foods ( real foods, not oats and grass bars ) are good for energy? What, and how long should i eat before a ride? I've heard pasta's or bananas are good....

    Or was this simply an issue of needing to rest today?
    This ride was a bit of a reversal from my usual. Normally, i have steep ( to me ) climbs for the first mile or so to get to "my" trails ( NC mountains ), but today i took a different route with a long, fairly easy climb ( in the belief that this was better for endurance ), and then hit harder climbs later. Did this have something to do with this?

    I know that a lot of my energy is wasted by flexing a cheap frame and wheels....

    I did some searching for this, but didn't find anything conclusive.


    Any input is appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sutherland's Avatar
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    there are so many answers to that question: "bonked"

    1. proper rest, hydration, and pre-ride meal.
    2. temperature conditions: humidity variance.
    3. it just happened. (i get that a lot).
    4. if you believe in it: pre-stretch.

    addressing 1. proper rest starts IMMEDIATLY after the ride. you can post-ride stretch or simply do a cool down. if you can't walk down a flight of stairs without looking like a goof after a ride then you need to (one: adjust your bike, two: cool down exercise).

    hydrate yourself: at least 30-45 minutes before a ride, during a ride, and after a ride.
    pre-ride meal: carb rich foods low in sodium always help. fresh fruits and veggies (but don't over due it). bananas are excellent pre-ride foods, and yes. "oats and grass bars" make it easier for those who don't care to prepare foods.

    addressing 2. temperature conditions: i too will encounter this problem. i am training for a trip in mid-june with april and may temperatures. the humidity is down, the sun isn't as present, and the air is easier to take in. come june, it would be a temporary shift, performance wil lag for a bit as the body adjusts.

    addressing 3. it just happened: lets face it....it's true. somedays we just can't go. i run quite a bit and sometimes i can do 3 miles right out of bed and other days, it's a wonder i get through one mile.

    addressing 4. pre-stretch: i don't do it, i never have. unless it's a race, i have always preferred hoping right on the bike, starting off slow, gradually building my heart rate up, and then i get to work.

  3. #3
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    For a entry level FS the Ignition 2 is a good deal but you coound like you are doing some real riding & might want to eith look into a HT or bump up a few more duckets for a real FS bike.
    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-650-Details.html

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ASTA-COMP-Details.html

    Bonking on the ride, start eating real food, you quit smoking so you should start looking into the next step in health, food. Your still young but in about 10 more years it'll all catch up. Protein is great the night beffor, oatmeal in the mornning, fruit like bannanas lots of water. Clif makes good products without a bunch of sugar.
    Camelback with 100oz blater you can fill with water for what you need also good for carying tools, tube, small pump, cell phone, gells & bars.


    http://www.clifbar.com/eat/shot_drin...tion=shotdrink

    http://www.clifbar.com/eat/shot_fami...?location=shot

    http://www.clifbar.com/eat/eat.cfm?location=bar

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Pushes up hills's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips.

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