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.
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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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    say NO to skidding!

    I'm sure this has been posted before, but it should be brought up regularly. All Novices, noobs & beginners should be reminded that locking up a tire and dragging dirt down the trail is bad (very small accidental momentary lockups are acceptable). skids are the signature of the novice, if you want other riders to think you are an idiot, leave a nice long skid mark. New riders have the right to openly mock more 'experienced' riders who leave long skids. There's fresh skids on my trails, I wish I could mock the skid mark makers in person. Rant over.

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
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    Sometimes, it cannot be avoided. For the most part - I no longer skid, due to looking way ahead, excellent brake modulation and a creamy rear suspension(Trek ABP).
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  3. #3
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    look out for this guy

  4. #4
    Titanium junkie
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    At the same time, a novice is just that, a novice.
    It takes time to learn, and anyone who would give a noob a hard time
    about learning to ride is an ass.
    And just for the record, having been on Mountain bikes since "89", I have
    seen lots of "experienced" riders dragging brakes while riding trails they don't know
    at hazardous speeds.....
    Savvy?
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
    You're a Tailgunner

  5. #5
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    I'm really not trying to be an ass; I'll say 'good natured hard time', and 'good natured mocking'. Since '89?, - I got you beat I'll give a pass to the panicked white knuckle descent, however: It's much easier to form good habits early than to try to break long time bad habits. You are aware that threshold braking is much more efficient and allows for more controlled safer descents?, how much directional control do you have with a skidding tire? (try skidding both). I spend loads of hours maintaining the local trails, big long intentional unnecessary skids are bad and cause erosion and hurt the environment. Yes, sometimes on a super steep super loose descent it pretty much cannot be avoided. I was riding with my 9 year old son last night, he was descending an uncomfortably steep section covered by a lot of leaves, he locked up the back end and it immediately went 30deg out to the side, which made him much more uncomfortable. He will be safer is he learns to modulate to threshold, and no, I do not mock him. I'm talking about skidding for no apparent good reason.

  6. #6
    Titanium junkie
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    I understand, your post to me just came off as elitist.
    No hard feelings.
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
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  7. #7
    T.W.O.
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    It's not the end of the world and there's no reason to be rude about it on the trails but if you make it fun then it's easier to approach especially on the noob rides. We just make it a game and heckle the crab out of experienced riders who scratch the tire (usually rear) on the trail. It raise the awareness and we see more noobs calling out to each other as well.

    We usually stop at some short tech sections and show the noobs how to clean it, the experienced riders would go first and we'd give prop to lack of tire scratches and speed control. This teaches 2 things no skids, and a bit more speed is your friend when it comes to cleaning tech section. Works for us so far.

  8. #8
    Feeling retro..but Jung
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    It's not the end of the world
    No, but it can be the end of trail access depending on where you live.
    I mean if there were jobs then we wouldn't be on the dole then maybe we'd be singing about love and kissing-Joe Strummer

  9. #9
    Redcoat
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    I leave skid marks all the time... In my pants.

    Sorry couldn't resist.

  10. #10
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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    I used to like to leave skid marks on purpose, but then I realized that it hurt my brakes (pad rim brakes), and tires, so I stopped. Then while riding my F9, whenever I use the rear brake for more than 1 second, it locks up anyway, so it is unavoidable on the F9.
    Two rides ago, I was going fast down a hill and so that I would not miss a turn, I jammed on the rear brake and still missed the turn as it locked up (This was a Rumblefish I demoed.) Later, I stopped fast and turned, sliding the rear wheel out, which helped with turning on my Cobia, but this works best on my F9.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    I used to like to leave skid marks on purpose, but then I realized that it hurt my brakes (pad rim brakes), and tires, so I stopped. Then while riding my F9, whenever I use the rear brake for more than 1 second, it locks up anyway, so it is unavoidable on the F9.
    Two rides ago, I was going fast down a hill and so that I would not miss a turn, I jammed on the rear brake and still missed the turn as it locked up (This was a Rumblefish I demoed.) Later, I stopped fast and turned, sliding the rear wheel out, which helped with turning on my Cobia, but this works best on my F9.

    You need to use both brakes (simultaneously) to avoid skidding.



    As kids we had some epic skidding contests, I once won with one that spanned 7 sidewalk cracks. Our neighbors must have loved us.

  12. #12
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    You need to use both brakes (simultaneously) to avoid skidding.



    As kids we had some epic skidding contests, I once won with one that spanned 7 sidewalk cracks. Our neighbors must have loved us.
    I have figured that out by now . I used to do skidding contests a few years ago, and I always won.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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  13. #13
    My little friends
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    Next time, just tell them that all the good riders only skid with their front tire!

  14. #14
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    I didnt think it was a big deal. Not that i skid, but I see a bunch of vids on YouTube with the pros skidding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
    Next time, just tell them that all the good riders only skid with their front tire!
    Absolutely


    Quote Originally Posted by A DuB View Post
    I didnt think it was a big deal. Not that i skid, but I see a bunch of vids on YouTube with the pros skidding.
    2 things, drift is not skid and, reenforced race course or closed course.

  16. #16
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    Yes, squeeze both brakes evenly. Here's a great thing to practice whenever you're on the road or an easy section; try just using the front brake, you will learn to trust the front brake as a habit, the front is where most of your stopping power is anyway. Didn't Sheldon Brown claim he rarely used the back brake if at all?

  17. #17
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    I am always surprised at the number of people who use just one brake and the rear one at that. Skidding is almost inevitable with that technique.

  18. #18
    T.W.O.
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    Front for stopping power and rear for control.

    If you do it right and load the tires properly, you can get some awesome traction and boost the rear braking power at least 2X.

  19. #19
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    I can understand on singletrack about no skidding. On a logging road or a jeep trail I don't see anything wrong with it. Sorry guys. Check out anything on you tube about clunkerz. That was part of the appeal of riding. Of course it was all done on logging roads.

  20. #20
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick G. View Post
    I can understand on singletrack about no skidding. On a logging road or a jeep trail I don't see anything wrong with it. Sorry guys. Check out anything on you tube about clunkerz. That was part of the appeal of riding. Of course it was all done on logging roads.
    Don't forget fire roads too!
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  21. #21
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    When i think about skidding, i think about loosing rubber on my back tire..which ain't cheap. My back tire wears down fast enough without skidding!!

  22. #22
    Interplanetary Poultry
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    I drag the rear in the tight stuff quite often, although I doubt it's the kind of skidding you're talking about. I like to tap the rear brake while heavy on the front to break the rear loose, then slide it around like a rudder. Fastest way through a tight hairpin. . . . .
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    I drag the rear in the tight stuff quite often, although I doubt it's the kind of skidding you're talking about. I like to tap the rear brake while heavy on the front to break the rear loose, then slide it around like a rudder. Fastest way through a tight hairpin. . . . .
    I would argue that the result of either technique (skidding or drifting the rear) is not appreciably different. Rubber is still dragging on the trail, and displacing soil.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    I'm sure this has been posted before, but it should be brought up regularly. All Novices, noobs & beginners should be reminded that locking up a tire and dragging dirt down the trail is bad (very small accidental momentary lockups are acceptable). skids are the signature of the novice, if you want other riders to think you are an idiot, leave a nice long skid mark. New riders have the right to openly mock more 'experienced' riders who leave long skids. There's fresh skids on my trails, I wish I could mock the skid mark makers in person. Rant over.
    There are plenty of places were skidding is acceptable useful, and the best technique....there are places where it is not.

    The issue is not nearly as one sided as you make out.

  25. #25
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodino View Post
    I am always surprised at the number of people who use just one brake and the rear one at that. Skidding is almost inevitable with that technique.
    One of my riding buddies is predominately a dirt jumper, and build his own bike...with only a back brake. I have no idea how he does it, but when I'm in front with my fancy schmancy front/rear brakes and stop quick, he skids to a stop without hitting me even when he's on my back tire. Dude is friggin nuts, but he knows how to control a bike.
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