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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    Single Speed For the Beginner

    Hey Guys, I bought a GF Piranha a few Weeks ago, and I'm loving it. I also bought my Girlfriend a Trek 3700, and now her Brother would like to get into riding (VERY CONTAGIOUS!) He has the Opportunity to buy a Specialized Single Speed. He used to Ride BMX, So He likes this idea. However, He has never done any Mtb'ing.

    Can you guys Shed some light on this so I can help him out. The Guy wants $200 For the Specialized, and No, I dont know Which bike it is, nor have I seen the Condition its in.

  2. #2
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    There are going to be conflicting opinions on this, but in my experience taking beginners out for rides on local trails, I'd say singlespeeds are not a good idea. Build a good foundation of bike fitness and skills with a geared bike, then decide if singlespeed is the way to go.

  3. #3
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    Depending on what kind of BMX riding he was doing, he may be alright with an SS. If he was doing a lot of jumping, I would bet that he knows all about keeping your momentum up and has pretty good bike handling skills. If that's what he wants tell him to go for it. If it is a conversion and he decides later that he needs gears it should be no trouble to get a rear derailer and cassette of somebody who converted their bikes to SS and make it a 1x8.

  4. #4
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    well he picked up a used specialized hardrock ss yesterday for about $300. Thing looks like its in mint condition, and we took him on a 18 mile ride last night and he still likes it!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndonchen
    There are going to be conflicting opinions on this, but in my experience taking beginners out for rides on local trails, I'd say singlespeeds are not a good idea. Build a good foundation of bike fitness and skills with a geared bike, then decide if singlespeed is the way to go.
    I'll conflict the opinion. I still have my 1960s Schwinn Typhoon. It and my brother's Sting Ray had one gear ratio. Neither stopped us from riding dirt and I still ride it on simple trails 40+ years later.

    The neighborhood mothers would drop us off at a state forest property with PB&J sandwiches and Koolaid and we'd go for hours. Now the same property fills with goons who drive hours from two large metro areas and they can't ride without being worth thousands on the hoof, strange food concoctions and strange hopping up and down in the parking lot actions that must be some sort of mating dance for people who buy one brand of luxury car to attract those who buy another brand of luxury car.

    If 9-10 year old kids could get miles on heavy bikes with poor brakes and carry steel lunch boxes with steel Thrmos jars a beginner rider should be able to make progress with modern stuff.

    More recently. My kids started out on single speed bikes and it didn't hurt them either.

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