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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    Noob's First Bike - Long Post

    Hi All,

    Firstly a great big thanks to all on this forum for the invaluable information! As a total n00b I hope to one day contribute and help return the benefit that I've gained from the group here!

    I recently got the itch to try my hand a trail riding, and after about a week of deliberation and research I bought my first bike on Kijiji. I paid $700 for a 2011 Giant XTC 2 based on my inspection everything looks great on the bike wheels true, no evidence of any damage and everything seems nice tight and clean.

    The specs on the bike are here:
    XTC 2 (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | Canada

    I'm pretty athletic for an old dude of 42, ( I'm an avid crossfitter and beer league hockey player) so my intention is to hopefully advance quickly, my aspirations though are limited to XC.

    I'm looking for some advice on any upgrades I should make to the bike (if any) or if anyone can notice anything I may have missed that needs addressing on the bike before I go for my first ride. (pics to follow)

    I got a bit excited and upgraded the stock brakes to Shimano M675 SLX Hydraulics (left the stock rotors on the bike)

    I'm located in Milton, Ontario and would appreciate any info on some recommended trails to get started on I've checked the trails on the site here and local conservation areas which is where I intend to start.

    Thanks so much for any advice or pointers!
    Cheers,
    James
    Noob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0163.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0162.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0161.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0158.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0156.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0154_1.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0153.jpgNoob's First Bike - Long Post-_dsc0152.jpg
    Last edited by Jamesl99; 07-07-2013 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice choice on the brakes. Those are the best choice/money available.
    Make 10-15 near stops on a hill to bed the pads in and be careful of the power of that front brake.

  3. #3
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    Re: Noob's First Bike - Long Post

    Nice bike. Welcome and grab a helmet if you don't have one.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Helmet - first thing I got after the bike
    Bike Rack - first thing I got after the helmet

    Now...
    Was wondering about any padded shorts, hydration, and footwear (for platform pedals) recommendations?

    Cheers,
    James

  5. #5
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    padded shorts - lots of people recommend, I don't use them.

    hydration - i like bottles I can put in the dishwasher. don't like the extra weight, maintenance of a camelpack, and the feeling on the back. don't put anything other than water, might mold up... ewww

    pedals - if those are metal, i'd keep them for now. They'll work fine. Once you get more experienced you need to decide clipless vs platform. you can do a search here for many threads that discuss the pros and cons.

  6. #6
    TXTony
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    Padded Shorts---I gotta have em..I am old and bruise easily!!!

    Hydration---I use a Osprey Pack..can carry plenty of water..multi tool..spare tube/Stans..something to chow down on..I use a mini pump instead of CO2..but there are times I just opt for the water bottle on shorter rides..downside to the hydration pack sometimes the added weight becomes a pain...It kind of depends where and what time I am ridding,,,in Texas right now the more water the better.

    Five-Ten makes some great shoes for platform pedals..but I dig clipping in..nice bike and welcome aboard!

  7. #7
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    i HAD to get padded riding shorts... i was quite tender after a 7 mile ride after i got my bike!

    i have a camel back and only fill with water. i also carry a patch kit, multi-tool, spare tube, bandages and rubber disposable gloves (i took a good fall-ha!), wallet and keys.

    i have a performance drink in the cage on the bike that i cycle between with the water.

    don't forget to get some gloves, too... they can help with grip and/or fall.

    good luck and have fun!!!

    joel

  8. #8
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    Stop spending the money on crossfit and get ready for the money sink that is mountain biking!

    Only half kidding.

    I highly recommend padded chamois undergarments. Just look for sales on last year's models and colors that the rich kids didn't want and grab them.

    Hydration pack: Yes. It keeps you hydrated and doubles as storage for your spare tube, c02, munchies, multi-tool, car keys, ID, etc.

    Pedals: Wait a while until you can handle the bike and do bunny hops without clipless. Then decide which direction you want to go. For XC I highly recommend clipless.

    Learn to fix the bike yourself - get some tools, start with learning to adjust derailleurs and brakes, then true a wheel, etc.

    Get out and ride.

  9. #9
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    yup, +1 to gloves. I just went to homedepot and bought the mechanix gloves, they fit me well. Some prefer them to bike gloves. whatever works for you.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the info!

    I'll be hitting the trails this weekend for my first ride, I plan on just a beginner trails first.

    Definitely going with padded shorts and gloves and a camelbak to start off with and see how it goes.

    I've been doing some research regarding tire pressures and found a mixed bag of stuff I'm about 180lbs any thoughts for just beginner trails?

    Thanks
    James

  11. #11
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    i think you are good to go!!!

    for tire pressure i just went with the minimum that was on the tire... for me, it was 30psi.

    i have a trek that came with xr3 tires - haaaaaated them!

    so, i switched the front to an xr4 and an xr1 in the rear still using 30psi.

    seems good and feel is much much better.

    so, take a look at your tire and see what your range is.

    start gathering your bike kit... patch kit, pump, tube, flares, night vision - lol, if you have not already started.

    get out there and have a great time

    i will do the same saturday!

    joel

  12. #12
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    Xr3 are a shame. Its a shame they were even produced...I switched to the XR4 as well...and love the tires...completely different feel on the trail...if its really dry make sure you ride XR1

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