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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    ROOK rider in so cal! tires? workouts? lets ride!

    WHATS UPPP! new rider here in so cal. a group of friends and i have gone on a total of TWO rides in the santa monica mountains. so far ive learned that downhill is awesome and singletracks (sullivan canyon trail) is waaay fun. oh and uphills suck but im all for it. i ride a haro flightline 2 and my question is (first of many) what would be a good set of tires to purchase? ive read some riders have more aggressive tires in the front and something less aggressive in the rear. that set up makes sense to me but which tire is a good "aggressive" tire? i'd appreciate some feedback thanks!

    Also what is a good workout to increase stamina and power?

  2. #2
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    whats wrong with the tires u got now?

  3. #3
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    they slip on the trail

  4. #4
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    what kind? tire pressure?

  5. #5
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    What bike?

  6. #6
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    Lmk next time your out in Santa Monica mountains, Ive never ridden out there, but I've always been wanting to

  7. #7
    Clueless genius
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    As a so-cal native, and one who resides in the general area you're talking about...here's my advice.

    Fat, chunky front tire and a skinnier, faster rear. The slippier decomposed granite surface on many trails around here are not friendly to grip, and having most fire-road corners off-camber doesn't help much either. There are lots of tires that will work.

    For front I'd recommend the Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Maxxis High Roller and High Roller II, Maxxis ignitor, WTB Mutano 2.4, Specialized Captain, Continental Trail King's are very good, but kinda heavy, Kenda Nevengals are popular but sorta average. Stick with a wider tread (at least 2.2, but a 2.3 or 2.4 is better, especially since many tires tend to fit smaller than their stated size, I.E. Maxxis)

    For Rear, you can kinda use anything you want. Pick something fast rolling with decent volume. Conti x-king, most of CST's offerings (in folding bead so you get the proper dual-compound treads). If you can find a wider semi-slick tire like the Kenda BBG, those work well in the rear too. Small Block 8's are decent, and the WTB Nanoraptor is fantastic, but a bit on the narrow side; a great race tire though.

    Stop by local bike shops and see what they have on offer. Ask the folks there for recommendations. It's why they're there! Pedalers West in Van Nuys and Studio Cycle Company in Studio City are my personal favorites in the area.

    Also, be sure to check out the Farmer Ridge singletrack (Yellow metal gate with a snake painted on it) which is on the way to the Nike station up at the top of Reseda. A great little singletrack with plenty of twisty turny stuff on the side of a cliff. Head out to Cherry Canyon in La Crescenta for another fun, beginner-friendly ride. Plenty of smaller singletracks that you can loop together and it's almost impossible to get lost up there. El Prieto trail on Brown Mountain is fantastic, but it's challenging. Well worth the climb though. Stough Canyon in Burbank is my usual weekday ride; a long fire road up to the top, and then fire road with lots of optional singletracks (ranging from easy twisty to OH MY GOD RUTS) on the way down.
    Last edited by Spykr; 07-03-2014 at 11:25 PM.
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
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  8. #8
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    Spykr awesome reply! Now i know what I need to look for and what questions to ask the lbs. Also thanks for the trail info, we'll probably be checking out a new trail every week to get as much exposure.

  9. #9
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    Hey there FJ, I'm new too and could use lots of practice. I am also having the same issues on hills!

    Right around the corner in Camarillo.

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