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.
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    First of all thank you for creating a great forum, have been reading as much as I could and trying to weigh all the options.

    I recently moved and my house was smack dab in the middle of some trails (albeit not as intense as I would like), crushed granite surface. So after not being able to use them I started researching getting a bike and what exactly I was looking for and what I wanted to get into.

    I was looking for a bike that was a great bang for the buck, capable but not "pro" level as I wasn't riding at that level yet (for lack of a better term, aggressive level). I have two buddies that do some trail riding up in Wisconsin and in the local Chicagoland area, and seeing some of their gear/videos/pictures I definitely wanted to get into some downhill and single track (I think thats what the proper description is) with them and be able to go a little more aggressive than standard trail ridding.

    My LBS had a closeout 13 Trek X-Caliber 8 and I was able to work out a deal to get it for $819.99 + 10% off any accessories I wanted. Long story short I had a budget of about $1,000 and wanted to stay under that but not skimp on a decent product.

    Having raced motorcycles in the past, figured the saying "you never skimp on the head protection" held true, I picked up a well reviewed helmet (Bontrager - Lithos). They also had a nice "quick-clip" seat post bag on sale so I picked one up as well (immediately coated it with some NeverWet that I use on my climbing gear). Also picked up a set of SSR Multisports to take advantage of the 10% at the time should I purchase clip in peddles latter after doing more research. I did pick up a set up $20 metal peddles to replace the plastics that came on the bike.

    My first and so far only rides have been on the trails around the house, which leaves a lot to be desired (Millennium Trail in Lake County, IL btw). After getting a few rides in I found some additional items I wanted to get/needed to continue building on my "kit." Went on Amazon and got some SKS Shockblades front and rear, and water bottle holder and insulated bottle, dry chain lube, crankbrothers multitool and since it was Amazon Prime and they were on sale.. some Fox Racing Pawtector Gloves.

    I have found CAMBr to be a great resource for finding local trails and I am hoping to get out to them soon. In the mean time I have a few questions and or requests for direction on parts/set up/ necessities from what came OEM.

    Questions:

    I notice some bikes have a single crank(?) up front, and just the RD. What is the point of this setup and does it fit my mold? I hardly every switch gears using the front DR, and figure less moving parts = better plus I still have the RD to find gears.

    I prefer my brake levers be usable by just my pointer and middle fingers as that was how I had my race bike set up, I found that I could be more precise with the brakes. Is that something that I could carry over to my MTB or is it recommended I continue to grab a full fist of the lever? Just seems like a lot and I would prefer to have a few more fingers on the handles. How do I go about changing out the levers or can I just move them and or adjust them to get the "perfect fit" for me so that I can use the levers with just those two fingers and finesse the brakes?

    Front Shock Setup: I understand concepts of dampening and rebound (not to sound like a broken record but again from motorcycle days) however for the life of me, fiddling with my shocks I really cant tell where the sweet spot is....Ive fiddled and fiddled but I don't know what the proper set up point is as I have never felt that sweet spot on a MTB before. Any videos of guides I can reference that will help me dial these in? They are the Rockshocxs that came on the bike, they have dampening and rebound adjustments as well as a gradual lock out.

    Seat post: Now at the LBS they set the seat for me, and to me it seemed wicked high, but they said that was good body position for me. Now I still can't get used to it being that high, so I lowered it a bit....a little better. I noticed on some of the videos posted on here some people use a telescoping seat post, Rockshox - Reverb, or some other sort of method to have quick adjustments or shock absorbing property. Any direction on this, or is my money spent better else where for the time being?


    Any other feedback or links you can send me on what is a definite upgrade for the X-Cal8 would be greatly appreciated. Very excited to be apart of the boards and community.

    -Aaron

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblearon View Post
    My LBS had a closeout 13' Trek X-Caliber 8 and I was able to work out a deal to get it for $819.99 + 10% off any accessories I wanted. Long story short I had a budget of about $1,000 and wanted to stay under that but not skimp on a decent product.

    Is the 13" frame a good fit?

  3. #3
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Is the 13" frame a good fit?
    Lol ...2013 it's an 18.5


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblearon View Post
    Lol ...2013 it's an 18.5


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    please explain your "Lol" response...
    2014 Nail Trail 29er

  5. #5
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by time229er View Post
    please explain your "Lol" response...
    I originally put 13', he replied with 13" ....as in inches, thus I fixed my post and updated it with 2013 for model year and 18.5" for size.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblearon View Post
    I originally put 13', he replied with 13" ....as in inches, thus I fixed my post and updated it with 2013 for model year and 18.5" for size.


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    I don't follow you, but it makes no difference...please don't bother to explain any further
    2014 Nail Trail 29er

  7. #7
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    .....yeah ok, thanks for the feedback!


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  8. #8
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    Your bike is probably a 2014. In 2013 there was only one X-Caliber model.
    Your fork is very basic with a spring and a rebound damper. Not much adjustability.
    A $200 Epicon off ebay or Amazon would have an air piston sag circuit and a sealed oil damper/rebound without high speed adjustment.
    A Manitou Tower Pro has a shimmed damper and separate rebound circuit you could make changes to.

  9. #9
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Your bike is probably a 2014. In 2013 there was only one X-Caliber model.
    Your fork is very basic with a spring and a rebound damper. Not much adjustability.
    A $200 Epicon off ebay or Amazon would have an air piston sag circuit and a sealed oil damper/rebound without high speed adjustment.
    A Manitou Tower Pro has a shimmed damper and separate rebound circuit you could make changes to.
    Thanks, I thought it was a 13 but you are probably right if it follows the car rule of being released, it's black and white.

    The first option; does not having a high speed adjustment limit me or is that something I wouldn't want?

    I don't know that I need it that dialed in, or maybe I do; so the forks now, even though they have rebound and damper adjustments it's so basic it's not impact full?

    Thanks for the reply


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  10. #10
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    1x10 - 1 chainring at the front and 10speed at the rear, this is the setup that I'm using, I normally use it for XC road and light trails to heavy trails but right now I'am focused on XC road climbs and flats.. a lot of riders will laugh why the hell are you using 1x10 setup for road??? but will you still laugh if a 1x10 rider pass you by on climbs and flats??


    it all depends on your taste, for me it is only an experiment, or should I say training??I'am using 32T E13 chainring front and 11-36T on cogs

    after 1x10 I might try SS - Single Speed

  11. #11
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Forcemajeure View Post
    1x10 - 1 chainring at the front and 10speed at the rear, this is the setup that I'm using, I normally use it for XC road and light trails to heavy trails but right now I'am focused on XC road climbs and flats.. a lot of riders will laugh why the hell are you using 1x10 setup for road??? but will you still laugh if a 1x10 rider pass you by on climbs and flats??


    it all depends on your taste, for me it is only an experiment, or should I say training??I'am using 32T E13 chainring front and 11-36T on cogs

    after 1x10 I might try SS - Single Speed
    Thanks, good to know!

    So it comes down to preference and what the majority of riding I will be doing.

    32T = 32 teeth, what's the E in E13? Is there a section that explains all this, I just looked at stickies and didn't see anything.


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  12. #12
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    New Bike, New Rider, few questions

    Found this, while searching:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...yers-guide-55/


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  13. #13
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    For your fork there are different coil springs for different weight ranges listed on the Rockshox site under a parts pdf.
    If setup right you can use it to ride safely while you develop some skills.
    Better forks are out there. If you did any valve work on your moto forks the Manitou has shims available. It also uses a small spring on the air chamber side to 'handle' high speed compression at the beginning of the travel. It works pretty well. You can change the spring to get different tension.
    Longer travel forks get more adjustments.

  14. #14
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    You should set the bike up to make yourself comfortable ,if that means moving brake levers,changing grips or saddles do it.There is a place for saddle height that is the best for comfort and power ,most people feel more comfortable with the seat lower ,but that can cause problems with knee pain. The adjustable posts are for getting your weight lower and maybe back off the bike (mostly downhills)

  15. #15
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    Dropper post ^^ best money you'll spend... KS eten is good bang for your buck. a second hand fork off of eBay might be an idea... people always upgrading stuff ^^ Just find something that suits
    to err is human... to face plant is frickin hilarious!!

  16. #16
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    E*Thirteen is a company that makes cranksets and a few other components for mtbing. Their stuff is quality. Btw, 2013 would be abbreviated '13, not 13' or 13.

  17. #17
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    upgrade first the 3 contact points on our bike, hand grips, saddle and pedals

  18. #18
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    A single gear up front is lighter, requires no adjustment, and simplifies gear choice. But, you lose some gears at both the top and bottom ends. That's ok unless you have steep or long clumbs or want to boogie on flat trails or roads.

    Don't change forks for a while. Instead, ride and develop your skills.

    Brakes are usually single-finger, especially hydraulic disk brakes. There are videos on how to set the levers. See "under rotation."

    Seat posts and seat height. You should adjust your seat height while on the trail -- lower it while going downhill. Dropper-posts ler you adjust as you ride. They are usually pretty helpful. However, they are expensive.

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