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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    Please don't kill me!

    So, I've been lurking for about a week, trying to read up and get as much knowledge as I could before even stepping foot into my LBS's. Well, armed with my patchy wisdom, I set off to the three LBS's that were highly reccommended by some people I met. Each LBS had their own brands...

    Mikes Bikes, had Giant's, Jamis, Cannondale

    Arnold's had Raleigh

    Ride On, had Trek, Giant's, Specialized

    at Mike's, I was talking with Louis, who was super cool and gave me alot of information and showed me the Jamis Durango 2.0 and I pretty much fell in love with it, but I wanted to check everything out before purchasing, and he even told me to check out Ride On for Trek's...which I thought was really cool.

    Ride On, I was greeted by a nice young lady who showed me a few Trek's, and I asked the age old question if disc brakes were worth it, and she said depends on the rider, but in GA, it wasn't a big deal and I could save money on that aspect. Well, I took a Trek 4300 for a little spin and loved the feel and ride immediatly. I dont know any better on how a nice bike is suppose to ride, but this one felt right.

    So I am now the owner of a 07 Trek 4300!

    so before you jump in and tell me it's garbage and has no good parts...please tell me what should I start upgrading?

    btw, my name is Peter and I'm living in Columbus, GA! hope to get alot of knowledge from you guys!

  2. #2
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    Ride hard, then ride hard some more, if something breaks fix it under warranty, if it breaks again upgrade it.

    The ride hard some more.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Ride hard, then ride hard some more, if something breaks fix it under warranty, if it breaks again upgrade it.

    The ride hard some more.

    oh yeah, I do get that 1 year free maintence!

  4. #4
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    Only one year free maintenance? If you purchased the bike from trek, you should get life time tune ups...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegoTrailRider
    Only one year free maintenance? If you purchased the bike from trek, you should get life time tune ups...

    I bought the bike from a LBS, and I know I have a lifetime frame warranty, and 1 year free maintence from the LBS

    actually, all the LBS's I went to, offered 1 year free maintence on any bike they sold...

    am I missing out on something?

  6. #6
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    It's garbage and it has no good parts

    Sorry, had to.

    That bike will treat you well as a beginner. I would hold off on any customization until you've ridden a bit and start to understand your riding style and favored terrain. Once you've discovered your style you will be better equiped to ask more specific questions that will get you better anwsers


    If you have money burning a hole in your pocket get these, in order-

    Helmet ( they all work, some are cooler than others)- get it even if you don't have money
    Lighter- in case you get lost or have to pop open post ride refreshments
    A zip lock bag filled with toilet paper- yep.
    A roll of electrical tape- has helped me get back to the car many times
    An extra tube and a pump- Don't let a flat ruin your day
    A hydrating backpack (there are a million good ones)- to store all the stuff
    A bike specific multi tool
    Full fingered gloves- you'll miss your palms when their gone
    Eventually you'll want outdoor specific clothes ( they breath better)

    I'm sure people will chime in with a million other things, but these are the basics.
    Have fun and report back often.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  7. #7
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    Congrats

    on the new bike. Seems to be a good entry level bike, and if it really feels "right" it probably has more to do with the fit than anything else. Like 9.8 said, there are a couple of things you have to have. Helmet is first, followed by some of the other things on his list. Certainly tubes, and a multi-tool will be more usefull to you than an upgrade for a while. Again, after you ride a while, you will figure out what to upgrade (the things that break, or the things that you are REALLY uncomfortable with). The cost to upgrade verything on a bike is mroe than the cost of a new bike, so just replace as needed..if you find you really love it (and most people do) you may eventually decide on a new bike rather than upgrading all the parts.

    For now...get a helmet and Ride On!. Columbus, GA is close to Auburn, AL, right? There is some really nice signletrack near Wetumpka, AL called Swayback. You can check out the trail section to find out about the trail or go to the BUMP site - www.bump.org and check out the trail maps for directions and an overview of the trail

    Have Fun.

  8. #8
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    thanks for all the input guys!

    I bought a pair of nike pro something or another gloves, and a $50 helmet...I saw $100 one but I will just hold off on that.

    I plan on riding at Flat Rock Park, and maybe hitting over in Alabama at Trail of Tears...

    okay, so I'm gonna wait on modding until I get at least 200 or some miles under my belt! hopefully it wont take too long

  9. #9
    destructionismyobjective
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    A 4300 was my first mtb. I bought a used one off my friend for cheap. I still ride it today. After a paint job and a few parts I regularly ride it xc and even race on it a bit. Its now disc and is a great bike. As long as you arent using it to dj/dh it will hold up good.

  10. #10
    Ride 2 Work, Work 2 Ride!
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    I read building A$$! hehe
    "Don't give up, Never give up!"

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Your bike is a decent entry into mountain biking. Go, ride it.

    In a few rides (depending on the rides) the bike will settle in and may need some adjustments: the cables always stretch and sometimes the wheels may go a little out of true.

    Ride it until something breaks or you find that you do not like something about the bike. If you are just starting, just sitting on the bike may be painful. This is normal but should pass in a couple of weeks.

    In a helmet, the price tag is not the important thing. The helmet must have a safety certification and it should fit your head snugly but comfortably.

  12. #12
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    damn guys, I am smoked. My crotch area is killing me, I was gonna complain about the seat, but I see that it's normal and I guess the pain will go and I will adjust to the seat.

    I rode for about 3 hours yesterday, trying to jump everything I saw in sight! I got to a part of the trail where it was a bunch of little bunny hops hills, so I took it head on as fast as I could and it was so much damn fun! then I came to a blind corner and another cyclist was heading the opposite way and all I heard was "WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT!" and we collided and I went into the thick woods! no big deal though, we both apologized and were on our way again.

    I am so happy that I bought the better helmet at my LBS than riding with the first one I bought at Wally World, we were heading to the park and I decided I wanted to take another look at their helmets because the one I got from Wally World was very poorly crafted...it really didnt fit right when I adjusted it, and the painted part was taped on! So I am happy with the Eleven81 lid I got, it's got a sweet adjusting knob in the back and it does not move on my head whatsoever while still being very comfortable!

    so, buyers beware of the "Bell" wally world specials....my LBS carried Bell helmets as well, but they were ALOT better in design in quality. That was kinda weird...but I guess Bell taylors to each of their vendors

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsolutGT
    damn guys, I am smoked. My crotch area is killing me, I was gonna complain about the seat, but I see that it's normal and I guess the pain will go and I will adjust to the seat.
    Get some biker shorts. These will make it far far far more comfortable and you don't have to worry about chaffing... ouch!

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I'd never trust anything regarding my safety bought from a department store... MAYBE ***** or thesportsauthority but even that is stretching it.

    As for your crotch area being on fire - you could look into investing in shorts with the padding. Theres a specific name that starts with a C but I wont embarrass myself with an attempt at it. It works wonders on making things just that little bit more comfortable for the long rides and a decent pair will only cost you about $40-50. Try to find one where the padding is removable so you can easily wash it.

    Aside from that as others have said your body will get used to riding and build up its natural comfort zone/resistances in time.

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    Padded shorts help, especially if you ride seated a lot. They will not remove the beginners aches, or even the pains you get if you start riding again after a couple of months' break.

    I get to be out of the saddle a lot on my rides, so I am doing OK with non-padded clothing.

  16. #16
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    That's a great ride, should give you years of good service.

    Ride it hard and then replace stuff as if it annoys you.

  17. #17
    Hi!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsolutGT
    I rode for about 3 hours yesterday, trying to jump everything I saw in sight! I got to a part of the trail where it was a bunch of little bunny hops hills, so I took it head on as fast as I could and it was so much damn fun! then I came to a blind corner and another cyclist was heading the opposite way and all I heard was "WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT!" and we collided and I went into the thick woods! no big deal though, we both apologized and were on our way again.

    I don't mean to jump on you about this, but please please do ride in control....ESPECIALLY when there are blind corners.

    Luckily it was "no big deal", but you never ever know what the consequences of a crash could be. Please do not forget that there are other trail users out there.

  18. #18
    sadly, like the element
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    You're looking for shorts with a Chamois, or 'shammy' as they tend to say it. That's the padding that goes on your seat bones. Don't wear underwear and the shorts together, they're designed to be worn alone.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    I don't mean to jump on you about this, but please please do ride in control....ESPECIALLY when there are blind corners.

    Luckily it was "no big deal", but you never ever know what the consequences of a crash could be. Please do not forget that there are other trail users out there.

    it's quite alright! I am pretty conscience about my surroundings...there was no way that I or the other rider could've seen each other until we were ontop of one another, but yes we were both lucky!

    and to everyone else, thanks for the info on some shorts, I'm gonna go check some out today if the LBS's arent already closed, but I'll also check out Dick's. Is there anywhere online that has some really good deals on some?

    I'm about to head out for another ride, but it will be much more tamer than yesterday's ride as I am still a little chaffed and a bit sore in the twig and berry area

  20. #20
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsolutGT
    Is there anywhere online that has some really good deals on some?
    REI
    REI-Outlet
    Campmor
    Steep and Cheap
    Performance
    Nashbar
    Greenfish
    Sierra Trading Post

    Blah blah blah

    There are a plethora of online stores you can choose from. If you know of a specific brand and model, you can try using Froogle or QBike to do searches for the lowest price.

  21. #21
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    Way to go!

    Way to go on the new bike! My first hardtail was a Trek. Since you were talking about pain in the seat area, know that if the pain doesn't significantly diminish after regular riding, it probably means you have a crappy seat.

    My first Trek had that very issue, but who was I to know as a biking newbie that it isn't always supposed to hurt after every ride. Turns out the cheap Bontrager seat that came on the bike was garbage and luckily it broke about four months later. After I replaced it, my whole world changed!

    Ride, ride, ride that new bike of yours! Your whole world will change.

  22. #22
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    thanks Belay, I'm gonna have to check out Campmor, I've used them in the past.

    Blister, my trek has a Bontrager seat, and today while I was out riding, I was checking out some of the other riders seats, and they seem to be a bit bigger (wider) than mine...so I'm gonna take tomorrow off, as my inner thighs are trashed and my legs are like spaghetti now and heal up and see how the seat feels again.

    otherwise, today was another good ride, I was able to work on my downhill body position and learning to lean foward when climbing hills as the front tire likes to come up alot.

    another question for you guys...my bike is a 19.5 and I'm 6ft, 200lbs, about where should the seat placement be? when I first got the bike, it was just a bit higher than the handle bars, and I thought it looked weird and lowered it just under the handle bars...is this right? or is it really a comfortable position for each rider?

  23. #23
    local trails rider
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    Seat position, a couple of "rules of thumb" for pedaling efficiency and knee health:

    - Height: put your heels on the pedals and see if you can pedal without rocking your hips. Raise the seat until you can just barely do this. When you pedal correctly, with the ball of the foot area on the pedal, your knee does not quite go to full extension. For going down rough descents or jumping, a lower seat position makes things easier.

    - Forward and back: "KOPS": Knee Over Pedal Spindle: when a crank arm is pointing straight forward, the bump on the front of your knee should be straight above the pedal.

    - Angle: whatever works. Level is a good starting point but a tiny adjustment may make it better. Very small changes can make a big difference in feel.

    - Seats in general: Not all butts are equal, so what fits one rider might not fit another. When I was shopping for a seat, I went to my favorite LBS and they had some different seats installed on bikes. I asked to sit on all of them. I found a wide one, a narrow one, a hard one and a soft one. Then there was one that felt pretty good.
    ---
    Is it the skin or the muscles on your inner thighs that is hurting? I recall that after a break in cycling I mainly had a muscular ache caused by pressure in the sit bone area. If it is the skin, it must be chafing. It could be your clothing and newbieness ( ) , you might have a too wide seat, or you might be sitting on the wrong part of the seat. Don't Panic. Just try to figure out what exactly is causing your pain.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    It could be your clothing and newbieness ( )


    haha, I am almost 100% certain that is what it is!

    I'm looking into some shorts and probably 1 or 2 shirts today, but boy they are kinda pricey!

    and it's my skin that's actually aching...

  25. #25
    local trails rider
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    For shirts, I am using running shirts that were on sale. Just anything that wicks the sweat away from the skin. A wet cotton T can really feel wet ...

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