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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  1. #1
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    New to MTB! Just bought my first bike.

    Hey guys/gals! Like I said I am new to the MTB world and just bought a GT aggressor 2.0. Would love some advice on what my bike could handle. I plan on doing mostly off road riding at my local bike trails, but not sure as to what i should or shouldn't try on the bike. I don't plan on doing any crazy downhill or freestyle stuff on it lol but would love to be able to take on some rough stuff here and there. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Problem is the bike especially the fork are lower end entry level. Forks won't put up with much. Groomed off road trails you'll be fine for a while but rough stuff things are going to start going wrong/wearing out quickly.

    My advise (as my bike started its life equipped not a whole lot better but now can handle more than I have the skills for) take it easy on the rough stuff or try to avoid it as much as possible. Enjoy the trails beyond that while either saving up to upgrade parts on your bike or for a bike that's better built to handle what u want to ride.
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  3. #3
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    I love running into guys on stuff like that out in the woods. It's a good reminder that this sport is ultimately about sport, and riding bikes on trails in the woods and mountains.

    Try whatever you want to. Start small. If something's high-consequence and you're not pretty sure you can try it, just walk it. I've been riding mountain bikes for years and there are still things I walk.

    It's worth really getting to know your drivetrain. They sometimes need tweaks out on the trail. It's worth really setting up the bike to fit your body. It's worth experimenting with tire pressure. Try not to buy anything at least until late August.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! Yea I'll def take it easy on the rougher stuff. And maybe look into upgrading the forks. Won't be for a while though. Think I'll just a enjoy the process of learning what I l, and my bike can handle.

  5. #5
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    Watch lots of videos. You can learn just about anything on YouTube. I like Bikeskills and MTB Tips.com. Have fun and start slow. Balls on back tire. Your in for a treat though. Have fun. Slim

  6. #6
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    Yea I watch a lot of videos! Get a lot of info there

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Don't buy a new fork. Or at least, think seriously about a new bike if you're thinking seriously about any big-ticket items.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Go ride the heck out of it. If you break that fork, replace it, or get a new bike, or do whatever works for you and your budget. Go ride, and then ride some more, the more you ride, the more you will learn. Make sure you have a helmet and go have fun. Enjoy that bike.

  9. #9
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    I fully plan on riding all the time! haha Any thoughts on nice budget helmets?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwakefld View Post
    Go ride the heck out of it. If you break that fork, replace it, or get a new bike, or do whatever works for you and your budget. Go ride, and then ride some more, the more you ride, the more you will learn. Make sure you have a helmet and go have fun. Enjoy that bike.
    Pretty much sums it up. When I first started I put $300 into a $100 15 year old Specialized. Rode the dickens out of it till I got my good bike. Don't regret a moment of it 'cept for the time I was incapacitated (couldn't ride my bike) after being OTB. Slim

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jberryhill1991 View Post
    I fully plan on riding all the time! haha Any thoughts on nice budget helmets?
    There are plenty of threads on helmets out there. Just do a search of the forums and you will have many many hours of enjoyable research. But be willing to spend a bit of money on protection; it will reap years of rewards. Slim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Don't buy a new fork. Or at least, think seriously about a new bike if you're thinking seriously about any big-ticket items.
    I am (as usual) unable to +rep Andrw. This is such an important response.

    I'm nearly going to write a bot which automatically replies this to every single thread where someone recommends putting a new fork on any entry level bike. Rigid forks work perfectly well, so do entry level suspension forks. You just have to temper your expectations and ride within your limits.

    To answer your question about what your bike can handle, it's just about anything you want. Take things slow, work up to harder trails, and (most importantly) keep what you have in good working order. Your bike shouldn't clank, squeak, squeal, rattle, or knock. Learn how to take care of your bike and do it regularly. Learn what bolts to keep tight and check those frequently. Know when to ask for help. And when it comes to trails, don't be afraid to walk sections. As you ride more you'll have to walk less and less until you find yourself on advanced terrain without breaking a sweat.

    I rode my entry level fully rigid bike for 10 years, eventually replacing every single part but the seat post. If you take care of something it will treat you just fine.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jberryhill1991 View Post
    I fully plan on riding all the time! haha Any thoughts on nice budget helmets?
    Go in person to a shop and try them on. All helmets are required to meet the same minimum standards, spending more money gets lighter weight and more ventilation. The only important part of picking a helmet is making sure it fits properly; if it doesn't fit it won't protect you.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  14. #14
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    thanks for all of the advice! I'm loving my bike so far. ready to get it out and test out my local trails!

  15. #15
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    My recommendation on new forks wasn't "automatic", far from it actually. Mine is personal first hand experience with cheap suntour forks.. I simply replaced mine with rockshox xc series so same basic entry level but still a much better fork. I was ready to return my bike after first trail ride on cheap suntours that my 29er came with. My previous 26" had suntour forks that were good enough (xcm v3 hlo) loved them for just starting out still have no complaints about them. But their oem/entry forks below that level are crap. In my case complaining about it cause I thought my forks were broke on a new bike for me the rockshox from lbs for a hair above cost.

    But yes many just assume all entry forks are crap and I haven't had the money to go further up the line and am happy as can be with what I have.
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