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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    Newbie seeking info/advice.

    So yeah, I'm an overweight guy that spends alot of time just sitting on his rump in front of the computer. I've been looking for a fun way to get in shape and a friend suggested biking as a good hobby to pick up.

    He also suggested a Forge Sawback 5XX 19" bike for me to use, so I went and dropped the $375 to buy the bike and get it shipped to me.

    He said it would be an excellent bike to start with and I like to get some advice or info on where to start once I get my bike.

    I realize that I should head right out and find myself a black course to hurt myself on, but the problem is that I live in a pretty small town in Georgia and I've no idea what really separates a blue course from a black course and whatnot, so if you guys could give me an idea on what I should look for and what I should avoid once I get my bike all ready then I would be very grateful.

    Thanks ahead of time for the assist.

    --Ant

  2. #2
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    Ant,

    forget all that nonsense about riding black trails/courses. When you get the bike then simply start riding around town. Enjoy that perfect speed where you get somewhere faster than walking but slow enough to see all the details you always miss in the car.

    Ride back roads. Check out the scenery. Ride some trails. The more you'll ride, the more you'll want to ride. Explore where riding and what kind of riding is fun to you. Some like technical riding - others like to spin for ours. There is something for everybody and no pressure to do a specific 'in' style.

    Welcome to MTBs

    Klaus
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaba Klaus
    When you get the bike then simply start riding around town. Enjoy that perfect speed where you get somewhere faster than walking but slow enough to see all the details you always miss in the car.

    Ride back roads. Check out the scenery. Ride some trails. The more you'll ride, the more you'll want to ride. Explore where riding and what kind of riding is fun to you. Some like technical riding - others like to spin for ours. There is something for everybody and no pressure to do a specific 'in' style.
    Klaus
    After you buy a helmet.

  4. #4
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    Err, that was a typo. What I ment to type was "I realize I shouldn't head right out and find myself a black.."

    As far as finding what I like, that shouldn't be a problem. I've got a few places right down the road from where I live that I can try out and see how it goes.

    I'm in a pretty good spot for that, I've got some small hills, one large hill, ATV trails and trails that follow along pond dams to ride for fun. As far as riding around town goes, I'm like 8 miles, give or take, from the nearest town. Considering that I'm a smoker(quitting very soon) and overweight, I don't think I'd survive that trip, but thanks for the suggestion.

    Also, what kind of gear would you guys recommend? A helmet is a given, but should I tack on some kneepads, elbow pads, and some gloves on top of that for safety's sake? Oh, and while I'm at it, what kind of pants would be good? I'm not fond of jeans/denim and the cloth pants I have are pretty loose around the ankle and I wear 'em to school, so I don't wanna end up getting them caught in the chain or dirty beyond what a run through the wash would fix..

    Thanks.

    --Ant.

  5. #5
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    You don't need pads unless you're doing stunts or extreme downhill, but it's up to you. Most people I know never wear them. I would get Lycra biking shorts, even cheap ones ($30) are pretty good. If you're shy you can wear shorts over them. They make baggy biking shorts, I don't find them as comfortable but lots of people wear them. Gloves are a good idea, might want fingerless if it's hot.

    Consider investing in a decent seat, stock seats are usually pretty crappy. Good luck on giving up smoking, that's the best thing you can do for yourself!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the wish of luck towards my stop-smoking effort. I'm probably gonna need all the luck and will-power I can muster. I -am- gonna quit, it's too expensive and slowly killing me.

    I'll have to check the local sports shop for some of those shorts, but I doubt I'll find some without looking online for them, thanks.

    --Ant.

  7. #7
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    Hehe, the same friend that suggested I get the Sawback 5xx told me that I would get addicted to mtb'ing pretty quick, I think he was right.

    I was in the car on the way back from town earlier and I found myself looking at the forest and ditches on either side of the road, making notes on ATV paths and trails so I could go out and try them later.

    I haven't even gotten my first bike yet but I'm already mega-excited and anxious to get going.

    Does that count as addiction?

  8. #8
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    Welcome AA!

    I have to say I was in a similiar situation as yours [overwieght, smoker, sitting in front of a computer all day] and to a certain extent I still am. I'm still slightly overwieght and I have to sit in front of the computer to support my mtb addiction [work]. However, I was able to substitute smoking for biking by keeping my bike close to me [at work]. When I felt the need for a smoke I'd go take a 20 minute ride. SmokeFree for 3 weeks thanks to my new habit.

    As for gear, I would recomend focusing on your three main contact points. Being a overwieght you will want to try to get a comfy seat and mybe some padded shorts, grips/gloves, and pedals if needed [if your current parts are good then replace only wen things break]. From there you should be good to go. If you're like me you'll be eyeing new parts constantly....this should motivate you to get on your steed and wear out as many parts as possible so you can buy new or better ones

    I bought a used 04 hardrock comp disc, slapped some raceFace grips, profile bar ends and I was ready to. I have big feet so I plan on upgrading pedals soon as mine are not wide enough.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with changing your life for the better, you're on the right track

  9. #9
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    I believe I'm already on that road, Wong. I've read a few things about the bike I bought(Forge Sawback 5xx 19") and from what I've gathered the stock tires and fork leave a little to be desired, so I've already started looking around the forums for info on tires and forks.


    And thanks for the wish of luck, I really am tired of being an overweight smoker, so I hope this biking thing hooks me with the quickness to the point where I'm always anticipating my next run. Not to mention that when I look back at my life, the funnest time I can remember were when I was just out cruising on my Wal-Mart bike(s) with my friends in the woods.

    Now for a quick subject change, the mtbr community has been great so far, which is a really nice surprise. I'm used to an internet where people are constantly arguing and insulting, so this whole..niceness thing is a bit strange to me. ^^

  10. #10
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    The Forge Sawback is an excellent bike for the price,the components are good on it with exception,as mentioned,the fork,tires and seat.Look at the Rockshox Dart 3 as an upgrade,they're pretty good and you can find them for around $150.As far as tires go,I have Panaracer FireXC Pros and they seem to be very good all-around tires,but theirs a few different versions.The best is the made in Japan folding version,they're fairly light and have a 127 TPI rating meaning more threads per inch.Then there's the Japan version with wire bead,these are basically the same as the first just a bit heavier and cheaper.Last but not least are the Taiwan versions,these have a smaller TPI rating(60?) and look a bit different,but are folding ,aren't too heavy and a lot cheaper.Oh,and they all come in Blue and would look excellent on your bike!
    Last edited by CRed; 08-02-2008 at 03:21 PM.

  11. #11

  12. #12
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    id say go for the panaracer fire xc pro, ive used them for 3 or maybe 4 years, awesome tire! grips well 99% of the time, the only bad part being it doesnt shed mud so if you ride a ton when its wet out id say get something else but otherwise it rules

    id suggest the 2.1 from price point (the bottom link ^^)

  13. #13
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    They come in blue, you say? Excellent. Blue happens to be my favorite color, which is yet another reason I picked the 5xx 19".

    I just hope I can manage to find a helmet and gloves in blue. On a related note, I hate Wal-Mart. Just got back from grocery shopping there and as per usual, they had nothing but crap accessories. All the helmets and gloves were for kids and thus, way too small. I did manage to pick up a Bell airstrike travel pump/tire repair kit for pretty cheap. I'm sure it's crap too, since it did come from wally-world, but it'll do for now.

    Thanks again for all the info and taking the time to have a bit of a chat with me. I love to type and talk to people on the net.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    id say go for the panaracer fire xc pro, ive used them for 3 or maybe 4 years, awesome tire! grips well 99% of the time, the only bad part being it doesnt shed mud so if you ride a ton when its wet out id say get something else but otherwise it rules

    id suggest the 2.1 from price point (the bottom link ^^)
    They have a special on them for a pair also,but in this case I'd get the lighter stronger Japan made ones from Jenson as the blue ones seem to be on sale for only $27 each and may be worth the extra $20 or so for the pair.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomAnthony
    They come in blue, you say? Excellent. Blue happens to be my favorite color, which is yet another reason I picked the 5xx 19".

    I just hope I can manage to find a helmet and gloves in blue. On a related note, I hate Wal-Mart. Just got back from grocery shopping there and as per usual, they had nothing but crap accessories. All the helmets and gloves were for kids and thus, way too small. I did manage to pick up a Bell airstrike travel pump/tire repair kit for pretty cheap. I'm sure it's crap too, since it did come from wally-world, but it'll do for now.

    Thanks again for all the info and taking the time to have a bit of a chat with me. I love to type and talk to people on the net.

    Yep blue,pretty cool eh?I'm thinking of getting a pair myself in blue.I have red ones now,but blue would look better on my new frame.

    Bell makes decent stuff,they make some very good helmets and such.

    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...y%3A%20Helmets

  16. #16
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    I really can't wait to take my new bike out. Heck, maybe I'll even bring along the digital camera and get some shots of the lame 'local attractions' I have near my house. They're certainly nothing that anyone with experience would enjoy, but I think what I have is probably excellent for people that are new to the sport, which I am. Nothing big or fancy, but I think it qualifies as good training/introduction to mtb'ing.

    Got some small hills, some ditches, a section of woods that has been recently cut down/deforested with lots of little limbs and all left behind I could use for trying bunnyhops.

  17. #17
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    What part of Georgia do you live in?

  18. #18
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    South Eastern. Down in Coffee County, city called Douglas, not Douglasville but plain Douglas.

  19. #19
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    keep updating your status on the non-smoking. you will be amazed at how much easier it will be with lotsa people cheering you on. Add up how much you spend on cigs every month, then think of all of the bike stuff you could buy
    Buy My 2010 Mint COndition Transition Covert LARGE 150mm Full suspension. 2000 firm see classified add

  20. #20
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    Already have, Biker41. $4/day, $120/month, $1,680/year.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomAnthony
    South Eastern. Down in Coffee County, city called Douglas, not Douglasville but plain Douglas.
    o...i live in the northern part of the state...where the better riding is lol

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbmoss
    o...i live in the northern part of the state...where the better riding is lol

    Ahh, well. My sister lives up in Milledgeville, Baldwin County. From what I've read at on this site they have an intermediate trail/course up there. I figure I could go spend a bit of time up there once I've been riding for a bit and get a taste for purpose built trails.

    If I remember right, they have some harder sections also, which is why first-timers are required to take a guide along to give them the ins and outs of the trail.

    Oh, and a small update: my bike arrived at a UPS place in Knoxville TN yesterday, so I'm only an 8 hour drive away from my bike. I'm still mega excited and can't wait. And don't worry, I'll be whipping out the digicam and snapping some pics of the construction process and final outcome of the assembly.

    Hopefully when I do get it all tacked together I can come appeal to you experienced guys for an assist on getting it tuned proper.

  23. #23
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    Here's an internet site you might like for bike clothes. They're affordable and carry all sizes up to 5x. http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/
    Larry

  24. #24
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    Exercise??? Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that part. Shoot, I would ride bikes even if it made me gain weight. I agree with some of the other commentors, ride to have fun and get outdoors. The weight loss is just a bonus. If you find yourself not having fun because the terrain is too challenging, change your riding style (e.g. be willing to go back down a level for a bit). Be patient, you'll be riding the steep stuff before long, let your fitness base catch up with your enthusiasm - its a lot more fun once you get the fitness part squared away. Took me about a month or so to get my fitness back, now its mostly all fun. Just be willing to suffer a little bit in the beginning, knowing that it will pay off in a month or so.

  25. #25
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    Oh, I have no problem what so ever with suffering a bit to get the fitness part sorted, no pain no gain..or loss in this case *grin*.

    My problem is probably gonna be keeping my electrolytes and all that stuff in good balance. I drink a lot of water normally, even more when I'm hot and sweating and I've heard that if you way over-hydrate yourself you can end up with the runs and you'll pee away a buncha nutrients and whatnot and throw yourself outta whack.

    Other than that, I'll be fine and dandy for the most part. I don't mind sore muscles or sweating at all, I actually like getting outside and having a good sweat every now and then, it's good for cleaning out your pores and getting rid of extra toxins and stuffs.

    Realistically, my biggest obstacle will be keeping myself in check and not going for the hard stuff and possibly doing damage to my bike via my weight. In the past, with Wal-Mart bikes anyways, I've had the problem of standing on the pedals and using my legs as springs to absorb the shock from a jump and causing one of the pedals to strip out of the hole on the crankshaft.

    I'm a pretty big guy..though fatass would probably be a better term. 6 foot 2 inches tall and roughly 230-250 pounds(104.5-113.6kg), so doing accidental damage to my bike through enthusiasm is a possibility. So like I said above, if I can just keep my enthusiasm in check for the first couple of months till I drop a decent amount of weight, then the rest will be easy.

    --Fatass..err, Ant.

    Edit: I bought a scale while I was in town today and turns out I weigh 239 pounds, I'm up 5 pounds since the last time I weighed myself a few months ago. XD
    Last edited by AtomAnthony; 08-04-2008 at 10:01 AM.

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