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
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    New to mountain biking

    Hello,

    About a month ago I got into mountain biking. I commute to work which is about 2.5 miles each way. I also do a fair share of trail riding. I have done some more walking path trail riding and also some single path. The single path trails i have ridden have lots of decline/incline, jumps, fast straights, and tight corners. I m really loving it thus far!

    my bike is a trek 2009 4300 V-Brake (matte orange)

    small upgrades thus far are:
    Specialized format SL seat
    Shimano MX30 platform pedals
    ODI Ruffian Lock on Grips.

    I have done some reading and researching about upgrades. I dont want to upgrade big things like the fork. I have found a few articles that talk about a little bit shorther stem (80/90mm) with a little bit longer handle bar set up (685-710mm) would be a quality upgrade. Also upgrading tires is another good upgrade that will make a big difference.

    Any thoughts on these upgrades?
    What would be a good Stem/Handlebar set up?
    What would be some good non-oem tires to buy?

    any insight would be great.

    MattyJ

  2. #2
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    I would make sure you have good pedals first and foremost. Then the upgrades you have planned sound sensible.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forum. I'm glad your enjoying your bike. The first upgrade for me was a RS fork. Now I'm looking for pedals.

  4. #4
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    a good handle bar and stem setup really is determined only by you. we can't recommend anything like that, because its all about personal fit for your body. tires? how are yours, if you want better tires, get better ones. there's a LOT of good tires out there, its kind of hard to go wrong at this point. find one with a design you think will fit the terrain you ride.

  5. #5
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    Brand New in the market for a Bike

    Hi all very cool site .. except I can't seem to post a new thread under the beginner's section.... I need some input as I said I'm brand new - Here is the Bike I want to purchase with in my budget - I'm 5-11.5 so I'm thinking a 21 frame? Any thoughts on this one?

    Thanks for the input - Any suggestions on helmets will be welcomed

    Well I couldn't post the link either the bike is :
    SRAM X4 24 Speed
    Front Suspension Mountain Bikes

    2013 Motobecane 450HT
    SALE $319.95 (List $695)
    Ships Signature Req'd for your protection

    Disc Brakes, SunTour Cranks
    LongTravel Adjustable Front Shock
    WTB Seat, Advanced Aluminum Frame

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Hi all very cool site .. except I can't seem to post a new thread under the beginner's section.... I need some input as I said I'm brand new - Here is the Bike I want to purchase with in my budget - I'm 5-11.5 so I'm thinking a 21 frame? Any thoughts on this one?

    Thanks for the input - Any suggestions on helmets will be welcomed

    Well I couldn't post the link either the bike is :
    SRAM X4 24 Speed
    Front Suspension Mountain Bikes

    2013 Motobecane 450HT
    SALE $319.95 (List $695)
    Ships Signature Req'd for your protection

    Disc Brakes, SunTour Cranks
    LongTravel Adjustable Front Shock
    WTB Seat, Advanced Aluminum Frame
    For a starter bike that is more than adequate. If you plan on racing at some point or hitting some gnarly trails sooner than later you may want to save up a bit more for something with a little better component group. Say X7 and a Rockshox fork.
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  7. #7
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    i think the 450 is a great deal. the low end bikes, and the high end bikes are probably the best deals. pretty much the same setup as the hardrock disc for half the price.

  8. #8
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    Thanks pattongb

    No I'm no where near ready for a real rough ride, I'm planning to join some friends that have some experience and learn as I go, but really looking forward to it - appreciate the input - since I'm not mechanically inclined - it will be assembled at an LBS.

    Thx again

  9. #9
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    Plus I love the orange Frame !

  10. #10
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    i would definitely have one of your friends help you assemble it so you know how everything works. seriously, knowing how the bike works will definitely help your riding, nevermind help you fix something when it breaks 10 miles away from your car.

  11. #11
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    Will keep that in mind ou2 - Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Guys/Gals - at almost 6' tall - 19.5 or 21 frame? 32 inseam I'm long but thin 160lbs (Thyroid) in the BD site it says 19.5 - is good for 5'11 to 6

  13. #13
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    yeah that's about right. its about inseam and height, not weight. you want to make sure that you can put your heals down without crushing your nuts basically. a slightly shorter bike can be fixed with adjustments (longer stem, seat back a bit), but a bike too big for you, is just a bike too big for you. i'd say 19 or so sounds about right. my friend is 6'4, and bd recommended a 23" frame for him, and it fits him perfectly.

  14. #14
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    Thanks much ou2mame

  15. #15
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    So I've seen a couple people say like you did above that pedals are often the first upgrade to a bike. Why is that? Is it simply to go to a clipless pedal or some other form of locking pedal so your upstroke is useful power, or are the stock pedals usually so bad that even another set of regular pedals is better?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Hi all very cool site .. except I can't seem to post a new thread under the beginner's section.... I need some input as I said I'm brand new - Here is the Bike I want to purchase with in my budget - I'm 5-11.5 so I'm thinking a 21 frame? Any thoughts on this one?

    Thanks for the input - Any suggestions on helmets will be welcomed

    Well I couldn't post the link either the bike is :
    SRAM X4 24 Speed
    Front Suspension Mountain Bikes

    2013 Motobecane 450HT
    SALE $319.95 (List $695)
    Ships Signature Req'd for your protection

    Disc Brakes, SunTour Cranks
    LongTravel Adjustable Front Shock
    WTB Seat, Advanced Aluminum Frame
    Hi I was looking at this very same bike today! I was going to buy the Motobecane 500HT but they were sold out of my size. The 450 is my next choice even though bikes direct says the Hawes 1200 is a little better.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmags View Post
    So I've seen a couple people say like you did above that pedals are often the first upgrade to a bike. Why is that? Is it simply to go to a clipless pedal or some other form of locking pedal so your upstroke is useful power, or are the stock pedals usually so bad that even another set of regular pedals is better?
    I have heard the same thing. When doing research though I have found it depends on two things: 1. Preference.... in the end if you dont like the idea of being locked onto a piece of metal than dont worry about clipless. Or if you want that extra power/stability from a clipless than go for it. 2. The type of riding you do. XC it makes sense to have that extra power a clipless gives you. Downhill on the other hand... being clipped in may not be the best thing if you take a tumble.

    This is just what I read. I upgraded my pedals from the trek 4300 came with to some nice shimano mx30 pedals. There is defiantly a notable difference in my confidence. A much sturdier pedal that glides around like butter.

    I just got into biking so someone with more experience than i may be able to shed some more wisdom.

    mattyj

  18. #18
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    For me, I would like a larger platform, lighter pedal, and more grip. No need for clipless IMO.



    Quote Originally Posted by cmags View Post
    So I've seen a couple people say like you did above that pedals are often the first upgrade to a bike. Why is that? Is it simply to go to a clipless pedal or some other form of locking pedal so your upstroke is useful power, or are the stock pedals usually so bad that even another set of regular pedals is better?
    What did you put in that sandwich?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMP0323 View Post
    For me, I would like a larger platform, lighter pedal, and more grip. No need for clipless IMO.
    agreed!

    MattyJ

  20. #20
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    Cool, I think I'm not quite at the point where I want to have to think about turning my feet *just so to get off the bike in a hurry. I can definitely see how a grippier pedal would be helpful tho. I've got two bikes, one with metal pedals and one plastic. The grip difference is telling.

    Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999cm999 View Post
    Hi I was looking at this very same bike today! I was going to buy the Motobecane 500HT but they were sold out of my size. The 450 is my next choice even though bikes direct says the Hawes 1200 is a little better.
    Awesome did you end up getting it my 2nd choice is the Elite but I'm pretty sure I'm running with the 450 HT -

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Awesome did you end up getting it my 2nd choice is the Elite but I'm pretty sure I'm running with the 450 HT -
    Ordered the 450HT today in that awesome orange color. Should be here late next week!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 999cm999 View Post
    Ordered the 450HT today in that awesome orange color. Should be here late next week!
    Sweet!! Congratulations man, I hope you are not in SoCal other wise, we'll be riding the same bike - Enjoy!

  24. #24
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    the pedals that come on bikes direct are pretty terrible. actually, they're kinda dangerous. i'd go on ebay and just order a cheap set of platforms for like 20 bucks, and then throw those on instead. thats really the only complaint i've ever had with a bike from them.

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