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.
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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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Thread: my first ride

  1. #1
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    my first ride

    Thursday, I purchased a new Fuji 1.6 Nevada 27.5" bike. I am a noob. Today on my first ride with my 17yo son, we rode 4.25 miles on the Huckleberry Trail near our house.

    It's an easy trail but a blast! I can't wait to ride more!

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Right on! And who cares whether it's easy or hard, you're out there riding :~)
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  3. #3
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    I'm a little butt sore today. Yesterday, during the ride, I found that I needed to raise my seat about 3 inches to take pressure off my knees. This changed the seat surface angle too much, I think. The front was pointed up too much and caused a pressure point. I adjusted it last night and took a test ride. It felt much better.

    Now that I have raised the seat so much, I now feel like the bars are way too low. I have neck pain when I have to tilt my head back at acute angles. Can the bar height be adjusted? The seat is now much higher than the bars.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    Your saddle height needs to be correct based on your leg extension. While there are individual differences as to how high is correct as well as adjustments based on terrain and riding style, you should start off with a saddle height as dictated by guidelines. Either your LBS or google can help you determine that saddle height. Then you ride and make *small* adjustments if any at all. Same with rake. Start off with the saddle even and only make small adjustments over time. You can use a level to get the saddle even when you start out.

    Your bar height and reach will need to be adjusted with a different stem and possibly a different bar based on a correct saddle height. Never adjust you saddle because your bar is too low or too high -- it doesn't work that way. But, there is no absolutely *correct* bar position -- it's a very personal choice. You might get used to the currently low bar or not but you won't really know unless you ride for a while. (But don't ride it this way if you feel unbalanced!)

    Ask your LBS if they'll do a basic fitting for you on a trainer. In many cases they'll do that for free to keep you happy and to sell you a new stem. Remember to wear padded bike-specific shorts for riding and also for the fitting..
    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    I'm still pretty new, but I'm finding there is very much truth in the more you ride, the less your azz will hurt. The first month or so I thought something was wrong with me, but now as time has passed, so has most of the soreness. The rest of the techie stuff, I'm pretty useless for still. :~)
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  6. #6
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    After yesterday's ride, I adjusted the seat height and seat level. I wore new pair of padded biker shorts from DSG, and they help a lot!

    This afternoon, I took a 1.5 mile trip to test her out. My butt is sore, so I didn't go far. I feel as though my seat height is perfect now. I hit pedaled up a very steep bike path, and my knees didn't hurt, and I wasn't overextending.

    I definitely feel that I need to raise the bars up at least 50mm. I'm leaning way too far down, and I now feel much less stable than I did before the adjustment. My LBS where I purchased the bike said that final fitment was included with the purchase, and if we needed to change out the stem, he would do it. He even said that if I wanted to change to a different tire of similar cost, he would do that as well. I like the tires, though. They aren't super aggressive like my son's Specialized Hardrock tires, and are a good match between pavement and gravel.

    I'm also having an issue with both derailleurs not being perfectly aligned, or sequenced with the shifters. Sometimes, one shifter click equals 2 gear shifts, sometimes I select one gear higher and it goes the opposite direction. Sometimes, it shifts but makes a ticking sound where the chain is rubbing the gear.

    I read that a new bike should be readjusted after about two weeks of use. I emailed my LBS and he said I didn't have to wait two weeks, to bring it back anytime and he would take care of everything.

    I really like the bike and feel it will be a great match for me once we get everything adjusted to my body and riding style, and I toughen up my butt!

    I'm very excited about being able to exercise without the extreme pain in my knees that I feel when I walk very far.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    Last edited by robinsoncr; 07-27-2014 at 03:48 PM. Reason: bad grammar

  7. #7
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    So cool!

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    Thursday, my LBS installed a stem with a higher rise. I rode the bike around the neighborhood Friday afternoon and a little on Saturday. The higher bar height help a little, but we're going to have to raise it more.

    So, today, my son and I went to Pandapas Pond and rode the Poverty Creek trail and Horse Nettle trail. Both are rated easy. Yeah, they had hills, rocks and roots. Not too easy for this old man!

    I had to rest a few times, and I had to walk a little ways up a few hills, but I made it, and made it out alive! I did learn that the bars are still too low, because I ended up with a lot of pain in my neck.

    The Fuji did great, and I was amazed at how much control I had when trying to avoid big rocks and roots. I had set my CatEye to measure distance and top speed. We rode 5.92 miles and my top speed was 16.2mph! Whahoo! I had a blast and my butt didn't hurt. It's funny how things came back to me from when I was a kid and used ride trails on bicycles and trail bikes. I just don't remember it being so hard to get up hills!

    Oh, and my LBS adjusted my derailleurs and brakes, where everything worked flawlessly all day! Thank you Hokie Spokes!

    Everyone we met on the trails were polite and helpful. My prayers go out to the one gentleman that was riding a very expensive bike, and his front wheel came off on a downhill section. Other bikers helped him to the parking lot and called an ambulance.

    I will remember to check everything before my next ride!

    I also found out that my 17 year old son can ride circles around me! Man, to be young again....

    Chris

  9. #9
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    I've been around bikes for a while and up until the last few years really haven't seen the Fuji name much. Had a Fuji road bike back in the mid 80's and they had quality stuff.

    Kind of by accident because my lbs couldn't get what I had initially wanted I ended up with a Fuji 24" mtb for my son. Man was I impressed. Nice lines, nice powder coat, and hydraulic hayes brakes on a kids bike. Keep on riding and enjoy.

  10. #10
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    I would very much like to see a photo of your bike taken from a side angle. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think that could be true here, at least for me.

    Always remember that bike fit is a series of compromises, and that there will, many times, be both positive and negative consequences.

    There may be times when you want to drop your saddle height for a particularly steep and/or technical descent (hence the recent popularity of dropper posts).

    I think you're on the right track getting your saddle height adjusted for maximum pedaling efficiency, and that should be fine for descending on trails considered 'easy'. The part I am wondering about is you already raising your bar height, and then stating you feel they should be raised another 50mm (about 2 inches). When you bar height gets too high, it becomes harder to get enough weight onto the front wheel when cornering and the front wheel will have more of a tendency to wash out (causing you to fall). If you are just toodling along at a pretty slow speed, this won't be quite such a problem. But, when you just trying to go faster, it becomes a big problem.

    A good average guideline is to have your bars around level to maybe a couple inches lower than your saddle height. There are (of course exceptions) as your bike won't spontaneously combust if it isn't adjusted as such, but that just seems to be where most bikes end up. Sometimes it's really tough to get the bars that low on something like a 29er (especially a longer travel 29er) for a shorter rider. And, sometimes, really tall riders (especially if they have relatively long legs too) have more than a 2" drop from saddle to bars. If your bike is not within that range, it might be a good idea to question why it is the way that it is.

    If you are just more comfortable with it being however it ends up, knock yourself out, but just know that there may be some performance tradeoffs with the handlebar being too high up. I have found even as little as a 5mm difference to be noticeable in some cases if I am really pushing my performance envelope.

    Very small saddle adjustments can also be important and you should get your saddle placed in the right spot before going after the handlebar part of the equation as changing the saddle adjustments can affect how you fit at the bars. I have found as little as 1/4" (fore and aft) to be the difference between having back pain on a long climb or not. the angle is also important and as mentioned, starting out at level is a good idea, and then go from there. We're all built a little different 'down there' and what feels great to one may be hell on wheels to another.

    If you're on your first month or so of riding, it's not usual to have some soreness, but if it's absolute torture, it may be good to replace the stock saddle. I have a hypothesis that at half of all stock saddles were designed by the Marquis de Sade in an effort to get you to upgrade to a nicer one ;~)

    So, post up a pic if you can and that will help the good folks here to steer you in the right direction.

  11. #11
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    I will try and get a picture up tomorrow. We decided to change the stem from a 100mm/10 to a 90mm/35. I realized that I was close and didn't want to go too far.

    The reason I need it a little higher is so that I don't have to tilt my head back as sharply to see ahead of me. Right now, if I keep my neck straight, I'm looking at the leading edge of my front wheel when I'm on the saddle. I have bone spurs from the center of my shoulder blades to the base of my skull that limit mobility and causes severe pain if I get into too much of a bend. So, I have to tweak it until it's comfortable.

    I can say that on average, I felt like I was putting way too much weight over the front. Even going down hill, standing on the pedals and shifting my weight back until my thighs hit the seat, I still felt too far forward.

    I used to ride trail bikes and bicycles through the woods as a kid, so I have some idea about shifting weight around.

    I should be able to see how the new stem works next weekend.

    The picture was taken after getting the bike back from my LBS, but before I had readjusted the seat where they had lowered it to test ride. My seat height is nearly 2" higher than shown.

    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails my first ride-img_20140802_112253080.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Fuji seems to favor long-ish stems on at least some of their XC bikes, which is a bit at odds with the trend on most bikes that are using shorter stems these days. I recently (earlier this year) tested a 21" frame size Fuji (SLM 1.3) 29" hardtail which came with a 120mm stem. I thought it was odd to have such a long stem on any mountain bike in the year 2014, and swapped it out to an 90mm stem before even riding it. I was a little surprised that I really didn't get along with the bike on my local trail (got kinda squirrely when descending at high speed), and decided to put a 100mm stem on and try it again. It got a little better. I thought, "what the heck", and decided to give the 120mm stem a shot, and the bike handled much better with that long stem on it. I guess they had a good reason for putting a 120mm stem on there afterall.

    Not sure what the geometry of your particular bike is (I couldn't find it on the Fuji website), but it looks like your stem could be in the 120mm length range too. If your saddle is 2" higher than it is now, that doesn't look too far out of whack to have your bars at that height. However, if you find that your bike starts to push (understeer) in the corners, you might have to find a way to get more weight over the bars. If you have a painful condition that is relieved by having the bars higher, then I guess you have to what you have to do to ride without pain and enjoy your biking experience.

  13. #13
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    This is a great thread, hope you keep enjoying riding, especially with your son.

    Just curious as to what size frame you have? Did you try the frame size one size up from what you have and how did that feel?

    My sister-n-law's family lives in in your area and I have ridden those trails many times when visiting. Just wait until you get to do Snake root--it will put a smile on your face.

  14. #14
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    That's a good looking bike. Congratulations!

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    The bike isn't on the Fuji website because it was a prototype and the LBS got it from the factory rep, or something like that. It really is a Nevada and the frame is marked Nevada 1.6 27.5.

    I tried a Nevada 1.0 23" frame and I couldn't straddle it without putting one berry on each side of the top tube. Riding position was very similar. I tried a large frame Traverse but it felt twitchy and I had a hard time going in a straight line. I then tried the 1.6 27.5 and the clouds parted and the sun shined down on me. I just needed to raise the bars a little.

    Physically, I will never be able to blast down hills. I have bad knees, bad back, 50% lung capacity loss courtesy Legionaires disease, and Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome that affects my balance at times. So, I raise my bars, go slower, enjoy my time with my son and call it a great day. Simple.

    Too many people get caught up in having to purchase the best of the besf when only the top 10% can realize the equipment efficiency that top tier equipment can provide. I have no delusions of grandeur here. I know I am a broken 46yo with the body of a 80yo, but I don't give up if it means something to me.

    Chris

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    I picked uo my bike with the new stem installed today. In reality, it raised the bars less than an inch but made a huge improvement in the fit. No more neck srain that I could tell after 15 minutes.

    If you are ever in Blacksburg, you need to check out Hokie Spokes!

    Chris

  17. #17
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    Congratulations. Welcome to your new addiction. Now rack up the miles and have fun.

  18. #18
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    I found a Truvative Hussefeller Riser Bar with 40mm rise, on sale for under $10 new! I purchased them, plus WTB ergo comfort grips and installed them yesterday. Combined with the 35deg stem, 40mm riser bars and the WTB grips, the bike rocks!

    No more pain in my wrists or neck, and the slightly wider bars fit my shoulder width perfectly! I've been riding on the street, now it's time to hit the trail again! I can't wait!

    Oh, btw, I purchased the white bars, to add a little contrast to an all flat black bike! Killer!

    Chris

  19. #19
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    Dialed fit=super stoke, enjoy!

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