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
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
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    My problem with the beginner forum...

    I originally posted this elsewhere but decided to make my own thread:

    I don't read the beginner forums much because every post falls into the following three categories:

    1. Which bike is better, the ABC or the XYZ?
    2. Clipless! Help!
    3. How can i get better at climbing/descending/cornering/jumping?

    Not to mention many posts begin with the qualifier "Total n00b question!"

    I understand that people new to the sport want their questions answered and that's great and all but honestly, use the "search" function or scroll through a couple of pages. I guarantee the question has been asked before.
    Last edited by Slimpee; 06-30-2008 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    What do you want it to be? Most forums I've been a part of use the noob area for the same questions over and over to keep them out of other areas, and introductions.

    Would you rather beginners not have a forum or ask advanced questions?

  3. #3
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by msummers80
    What do you want it to be? Most forums I've been a part of use the noob area for the same questions over and over to keep them out of other areas, and introductions.

    Would you rather beginners not have a forum or ask advanced questions?
    I totally understand, which is why I don't spend much time here but if the same questions keep getting asked perhaps stickies or more "how-tos" would help cleanup the forum.

  4. #4
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    I slightly agree. I swear every other thread is about which entry level hardtail is the best. Oh well, it's still a good spot for beginners so I suppose it's actually quite appropriate.

  5. #5
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    I don't always feel like answering repeated noob questions either. The great thing is, i have the option not to, as we all do. I answer some questions now and then, and so do other people. If the regular posters stop by this forum once in a while, it is enough to keep it going. Nobody has to spend hours in the beginners corner every day answering questions.

    Bottom line is, most questions have been answered already. Yes, some new members should do a better search before posting, but not all will. If you are bothered by repeated questions, just move on, and keep browsing until you find something which interests you.

    You can preach "STFU NOOB, do a search," but some people will always feel that their "which bike" question is different from everyone else's.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    if you dont like it, dont click it. its easy. its not your job to monitor, rate, organize, or even participate in a free public forum.

    i dont like talking about which 300 dollar bike is best, so i just dont. if someone else wants to, have at it. none of us are paying for the bandwidth.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Just as you and lots of other experienced posters don't like the beginner forum I'm sure there are just as many that do like it. Maybe they like helping people, maybe they want to feel important, or maybe they like showing off their knowledge. Imagine if there was no beginner forum - all the questions normally in it would be filling up all the other forums!

  8. #8
    Hey! Watch This!
    Reputation: Lakerat_sr11's Avatar
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    Total N00B Question!!

    I'm not sure if this is the right spot to ask this, but which is bike is better: the Next Power Climber, or the Mongoose XR-75?

    And also, should I get clipless pedals with that and which ones?

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    I like soup.

  10. #10
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
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    I think that most noobs like an exact answer to their specific question. Sure there are other peoples post that revolve around the same principle question but I know from experience when looking to buy a first bike you are overloaded with info and are looking for someone to just tell you what to get because you have no clue.

    I personally like to answer noob questions and do at any chance I get(when i know the answer). I know i sure apreiciated the help and still do. Think back to where you came from not where you are now.

  11. #11
    Thread Killer
    Reputation: bucksaw87's Avatar
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    i'm guilty of starting my share of simple questions in the beginner forum...i do search, quite often. but more often than not, MOST of the threads that come up have nothing to do with what i'm looking for. i imagine that this is a result of this forum being so big, lol. but, i also troll the beginner forum and read the "recently updated" threads to see if i can learn a thing or two.

  12. #12
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
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    Although it appears that it is the same questions over and over, there can be a lot of different variations depending on the minute details that may or may not apply to each individual's own (somewhat) unique situation.

    The other thing that happens is that new members learn to start using this forum. It gives them a place to ask noobie questions (hopefully) without worrying about being criticised for asking questions that many already have their own answers for before venturing into other forums where things can get a bit dicier.

    I would advise those asking specific questions to provide as much background info as possible to give responders the best chance to give a well considered answer.

    To those that tire of cheerfully offering assistance in this forum, it's probably best to not bother as sarcastic or otherwise negative responses will do more to hurt than to help.

    Also, to try to keep a sticky up to date with the latest bikes or equipment advice would need to be regularly updated and i doubt anyone will be volunteering for that chore anytime soon.

    There are other things, such as how to go about adjusting saddle position and handlebar mounted controls, and adjusting derailleurs, I have word documents saved where I have gone into verbose detail explanations. I can merely cut and paste those into a post to save time with things that don't really change much if at all over time.

    One of the things I do notice is that I often see responses to noobie questions from other noobies that IMHO are not good sound advice. I may try to offer my own solution and offer a logical explanation of why, without directly attacking the other poster(s). From there, it's up to the individual to sort through the data and come to their own conclusions.

  13. #13
    song of the saw-whet owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    .....before venturing into other forums where things can get a bit dicier.
    just like venturing off of the fire roads onto some technical single track
    just another piece of chaga

  14. #14
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    If you do not want to see the same ?'s over and over, stay out of it. This is one of the charactersitics of ALL forums. Search functions are great, but if you are a complete noob, alot of times you have no idea what to search for....When I joined this site,I read and read for weeks b4 I posted anything. I def see info that pertained to my ?'s, but none of them were specific enough to make me comfortable with my decision.. Asking questions in the Getting started section should never be a problem...... Asking here is the same as asking at a LBS..... Being frustrated by something you can def avoid is very questionable.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    True, forums are designed to ask questions and get answers but at the same time old and new information is not deleted.
    So being a "noob" doesn't been you have to be lazy. The answers are here. You just have to take the time to look and do some research. And the good thing about doing your own research first it will only make you smarter.
    But again, look around the forum first...look at all the topics. Try to find what you're looking for first before you take one or two peoples opinions to heart.
    Then if you don't find what you're looking for or you don't understand what's in front of you...then you should ask questions.

  16. #16
    spec4life???..smh...
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    well i personally take evry opinion or suggestion and compare it to the reveiws posted on mtbr. That gives a pretty good overall consensus of the product.

    Secondly stay of this forum if questions irk you once again noone is holding a gun to your head making you flip over here.

  17. #17
    Dirt Deviant
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    There are alot of helpful people here on MTBR. And the n00b section is great to have here. I graze through here every day or so, and if I feel I can help someone with a question I won't hesitate.
    I really have no other reason to be in this section, besides the fact that I try to help if I can.
    In fact, alot of experienced riders and such check here everyday just to try and help somebody that may be stuck, or have a decision to make on a bike purchase.
    Try to remember back to before you had a MTB, or when you were just starting.
    For me that was a long time ago. Way before the internet was around.
    I wish there had been a place like this when I was a n00b.

    Sure, some questions have been asked to death, and better searching may yield answers to the poster, but we all have the option not to reply and we also have the option not to view this forum.
    I'd say almost half of the people that view this section are here only to help out, and I think that is awesome. It proves what a great bunch of people we mountain bikers are.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  18. #18
    *****************
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    If each forum here got rid of the repetitive questions that would be nice, but the search function would have to be better (it really does suck, I too find it very annoying). Google works better for the most part than using the search function within the forums. And people would still have to use a search, something many just don't and won't, even if it did work better. They'd rather yak about it than research it, c'est la vie. Technologies change, hot products churn, whatever, it's all part of what the forums are.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    Nothing wrong, IMHO, with the regular repeats of similar questions in the Beginner, or in any other forum. People are social creatures. We all want personal attention. When you're in a group of people and you have a question, don't you just ask it? Or do you stop and think: hey, I bet that's been asked 1000 times, maybe I should go home and look it up in the encyclopedia or on the Internet? Most people just ask.

    I don't see a forum as being much different than a physical group. People come here for the satisfaction of personal interaction -- such as can be had via the Internet -- and so the result is a long series of conversations that probably does revisit the same topics on a regular basis. Nothing wrong with that. It's the way humans are. The same thing would happen if you had a large community of people drifting in and out of out a bike shop all day long -- you'd get different combinations of individuals hashing out similar questions.

    I don't worry about the repetition. I join in whatever threads are interesting at the time, and let the rest go.

  20. #20
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    Why doesn't someone make a master sticky that answers all the noob questions? Making links to the posts or summarizing them would help. This would solve the problem, but then the beginner page wouldn't get very many new posts. Its a trade off I guess.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    "The same thing would happen if you had a large community of people drifting in and out of out a bike shop all day long -- you'd get different combinations of individuals hashing out similar questions." JonathanGennick

    Exactly. And it's the sentiments expressed in this thread that give many bike shops their snotty, elitist reputations. I'd been snubbed many times by shop employees as a noob, and I simply took my business elsewhere.

    This is a place to learn. This is "elementary school" and if you seniors want to come in here and make fun of those who are learning how to read, and roll your eyes at their "silly" questions, we'd rather you didn't come at all. However, if you're interested in tutoring those interested in our sport, I'm sure they'd appreciate the help.

  22. #22
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    Slimpee, your first post on this forum was on 10/3/2007 and in it you noted that you had been racing mountain bikes since 10 years prior. As such, you were never in the position that a "newbie" to mountain biking is in when they first post on mtbr.com.

    You have to put yourself in the shoes of a person who is completely new to the sport and to the forums.

    Every forum on every subject faces the same issue.

  23. #23
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    Speaking as a total noob to this, I can say that forum searches generally return so much information that results are generally vague and inconclusive unless you already have some idea of what the answer might be. Sometimes it's easier to ask a specific question in hopes of a specific answer, especially if you have absolutely no background or knowledge of the category.

    I did my forum/review research before buying my first bike but I honestly can't say that my overall knowledge of mountain biking increased as a result. That said, I was able to zero in on what appeared to be a forum consensus for my price range and riding expectations (and keep in mind that a lot of people don't know enough to define 'riding expectations'). Even still, I still can't really say why it was a better choice than any other even after reading countless pages of posts outside of the generic "good frameset for upgrading" or "componentry isn't horrible" explanations. (BTW - I ended up buying a 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 26")

    I agree that a sticky would be beneficial, but it should be written such that a total noob (like myself) can gain a better understanding of the gear and make a choice as an educated consumer. Even though I'm still brand new to this, I'd be willing to come up with an outline and preliminary information for a sticky based on what I think would have been helpful when I was starting my search. I'll post a start in another reply - the rest of the group can add or modify it should the mood strike them.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double_J
    Even still, I still can't really say why it was a better choice than any other even after reading countless pages of posts outside of the generic "good frameset for upgrading" or "componentry isn't horrible" explanations.
    Do not feel badly about that. The bike industry sometimes does a poor job of quantifying why one level of component is "better" than another, and under what circumstances, etc. For example, why is an XT derailler better than an LX? You'll hear words like "lighter" and "stiffer", but rarely will anyone quantify those attributes, and it's just as rare to see them translated into what you'll feel when riding the bike.

  25. #25
    don't move for trees
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    I wonder if the OP used the search function, because this has been covered many times. Yes some people do get angry about the repeated questions, so if you don't have something nice to say, then don't post. Also, theres no one forcing you to be in the beginner forum. If you don't want to try and help then stay out.
    "Get a bicycle.You will not regret it if you live." Mark Twain

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