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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    Nub questions and stuff

    I recently got a new bike for my birthday, getting back into biking after a long break caused by a bad spill. The new bike is a Haro Flightline Sport, and I've been riding it every day pretty hard. I've been riding in a vacant subdivision, and in the past two days, I've gone through three back tire tubes, not because of a nail, but because when I jump, they pop sometimes. This has led me to have a few questions.

    The bike shop where I got my bike said that tubeless is great, but they want me to try out some thicker tubes before i commit to the switch. While I am going to do that, are the thicker tubes really going to help that much, or will I just be spending more money on thicker tubes that pop just as much as these?

    I've bought new pedals for the bike that will be in on Thursday. They are Crank Bros Smarties. My stock pedals are pretty worn already after about two weeks of riding (not that I expect them to look brand new by any means, but it seems that they're already starting to come apart.), and these seemed to be the best fit for me after a bit of research and consulting the bike shop. I haven't been able to get much information on them though, so if anyone could 'review' them for me, that would be awesome! (and by review, I just mean to give me some info on them.)

    Lastly, is this bike going to be one I can keep for 5+ years? I really like this bike, I just think it needs some minor upgrades, and I'm willing to do it. This bike is going to need to get me through college, as I don't want to have to pay for gas when I don't need to, but I'd also like to be able to take it to trails and stuff. I'd rather know that I'm going to need a new bike to fulfill these needs now then later because I'd still use it for a while, and then sell it at the end of the school year.

    Sorry for the long post, and sorry for so many questions. I'd ask the bike shop where I got it, but I'm sure they're tired of seeing me at the moment.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    spec4life???..smh...
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    To address your first question about popping tubes, sounds to me you are pinch flatting. This is where your tube piches causing it to bust, just as it sounds. Your shop is right, it may help to run some thicker tubes. However, i beleive a better option is to run a higher air pressure in you tire. THis should prevent your pinch flatting problem.

    Going tubeless? Great idea in theory,and would prevent your problems, however it is an expensive option requiring new wheels and tires. I dont think this is the right route for you. To do this your gonna drop over half the cash of what you paid for the bike. There is another option, you may wanna look into going "Ghetto Tubeless". This is where you turn your tube tire into a tubless tire through a proccess of cutting a tube and fitting it in. There are directions for converting to this on youtube if you are interested. I would consider this only after getting thicker tubes and running at a hi.gher air pressure

    Never had experince with your pedals, but have heard good things.

    In regards to the bike, it is a great entry level bike. My buddy rides the haro V2 which is a faily simular older version of your bike and it has put up with a great deal of abuse over the last 2 years. Keep the bike well lubed and all and you should be able to ride it through college. There is a mantience guide as a sticky at the top of this forum that should aid you in this proccess. Though to be truthful with the mtb addiction you will soon experince if you stay in this game long, youll be ready for a new and better one to fit your advancing skills much sooner.

  3. #3
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Two things - as spec4life says you are running your tyres too soft if you are pinch flatting.

    Thicker tubes will help - marginally, but that will also add weight to your wheels.

    Another option I'd suggest is larger volume tyres, as they are harder to pinch flat. Consider some 2.35's for your next set.

    On the topic of the bike's longevity, it sounds like you are into dirt jumping? The Flight Line is an entry level bike aimed more at the casual trail rider - though it can doubtless be used for jumping, the wheelset and forks aren't designed with that in mind - so expect these areas to show a little weakness eventually.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    though it can doubtless be used for jumping, the wheelset and forks aren't designed with that in mind - so expect these areas to show a little weakness eventually.
    The fork can be replaced, though, correct? Or would it just be cheaper to, when I see fit, buy a new bike?

    I've been running with my back tire at 50 psi, and my front tire at 40 psi, and my front tube is now slowly leaking. I'm going to pick up some thicker tubes, as just a few ounces don't concern me right now.

    It's not that I'm into dirt jumping, but I live in a pretty vacant subdivision (seeing as how my family is the only family living in it right now), and I've been enjoying hopping over curbs, stairs, and riding over the undeveloped land. It's been pretty sweet. I'd enjoy it more if I didn't have to worry about my tubes popping on me every time I landed a jump.

    Thanks for the help, guys. I'm going to run at a higher psi until I start riding trails. 50 psi on both tires along with the thicker tubes should keep me from popping them for a while.

  5. #5
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    That bike isn't made for jumping....anything....at all. It's an XC bike. You'll be lucky if it lasts a year with the abuse you are putting it through. I'm not just saying this either....I have that exact same bike and I abused it like you.....I've already ruined the stock fork and bent the rear tire to hell. Go easier on that bike if you want it to last.

    You should also consider getting a more jump oriented bike......the fork on that bike is SO springy. I know we all don't have tons of money to throw around....but abusing that bike is going to cost you more than a new bike in the end. I actually just picked up a Trek 6000 for $700 and I love it. It handles my abuse much better.

  6. #6
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    Also just do a quick check if there are any spokes damaging the inner tube (where the end of the spoke attaches to the rim). It may help to see where the hole in the inner tube is - on the inside or outside of the circle so to speak (i.e. where the spokes are or where the tyre is). There should be some tape protecting the tube from the spokes I think - at least there is on the bikes I own.

    Have you ridden with 'clipless' pedals before? If not expect to have to do some learning (perhaps - some find it easy, others a pain). Check on this forum for tips.

    Seriously consider getting hold of an old bike to abuse and to take to college. You don't need suspension etc to do fun stuff on. And a cheap heavy bike isn't going to go missing when you turn your back on it - and who cares if it does.... Then take the nice bike out on some real runs somewhere good (if you have somewhere available locally). The better frame and stuff will make more difference if you are properly off road - than it will on the streets etc.

    Or there again go for it and have fun while it lasts - start saving - and buy a new one when something bad happens!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrotnot
    Also just do a quick check if there are any spokes damaging the inner tube (where the end of the spoke attaches to the rim). It may help to see where the hole in the inner tube is - on the inside or outside of the circle so to speak (i.e. where the spokes are or where the tyre is). There should be some tape protecting the tube from the spokes I think - at least there is on the bikes I own.

    Have you ridden with 'clipless' pedals before? If not expect to have to do some learning (perhaps - some find it easy, others a pain). Check on this forum for tips.

    Seriously consider getting hold of an old bike to abuse and to take to college. You don't need suspension etc to do fun stuff on. And a cheap heavy bike isn't going to go missing when you turn your back on it - and who cares if it does.... Then take the nice bike out on some real runs somewhere good (if you have somewhere available locally). The better frame and stuff will make more difference if you are properly off road - than it will on the streets etc.

    Or there again go for it and have fun while it lasts - start saving - and buy a new one when something bad happens!
    I think after reading that I'm going to buy a beater bike for college.

    I think I'll be fine with clipless. I'll find out this weekend no matter... I really only fall when I'm doing stupid stuff, and most of the time i can save myself.

  8. #8
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    Just to say again: You may need to take a while learning with clipless. The thing is it's not the falling when cycling that's a problem (your feet will usually just come out if you crash) - nor do your feet actually get stuck (at least if everything is set up right). But the problem is your feet need to learn how to unclip when your brain is otherwise occupied. My first fall was at the end of my road while waiting for cars to go by so I could pull out. I'd checked that I knew what to do with the pedals and tried in the house. I was pretty sure that it was all a simple matter - and I promised myself I'd be careful. But i got to the road end and while my brain was working out whether I could pull out I found myself stopped... Oh yes I need to unclip I thought... Oh, hang on I'm falling - quick get that foot out - NO don't pull on it twist.. OUCH! No no I'm fine... just please stop watching and go away...
    Lots of falls followed. Ride somewhere really safe to start with! Practise stopping and unclipping there. Do as much practise as you can bear to before going somewhere less safe.
    And don't give up at the point when it all seems too difficult (if you have one of those - some people seem to learn really quickly).
    Good luck.

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