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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    So a fork is suppose to go up and down?

    HOLY COW! I've been rather upset after buying my 2k12 spec rockhopper comp 29er. It has not been performing and felt like it was trying to kill me on these hard Phoenix trails. I went to sell it and decided at the last minute to just try and upgrade it. Went with the Easton EA 90 XC 29 UST Rim's w/ Marzocchi Corsa SL LR 100MM fork.

    The original Suntour XCR fork should be taken out back and shot. I ran all over some XC and single track today. Easy stuff where I would normally get off the bike, changed to me flying down it without brakes. I felt like the bike drove me before, never holding a line or taking a bump. Today, I picked my lines, made jumps, flew over rock gardens, and generally had a blast. It was wonderful to be able to pick up the front end and maneuver.

    I feel like the main issues with the bike now is the gearing system, way to many gears. Whats the price to switch to something better? Also, since the rims are UST would it be worthwhile to spend the extra $90 and get some new UST tires?

  2. #2
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    If you have a triple up front, just use the endpoint adjustment of the derailer to dial out the big ring, then shorten your chain. You can replace the big ring with a bash guard for a few bucks. If you wanted to go SS It'll need a 20 dollar tensioner and a $20 Surly cog with some pvc spacers to set the chainline.

  3. #3
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    Bikes have too many gears for riding on dirt, its sort of ridiculous. You could "upgrade" to 10 speed and make the problem even worse, and spend a bunch of money for less reliable parts. Thats just the market today. Stick with 9 speed, you dont really have any options (well, you do. but you'd need single speed hubs and a modified cassette).

    If you're flatting all the time, go tubeless. If not I think its good to leave what works alone.

  4. #4
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    I feel like I spend more time worrying about choosing one of the 27 gears, than actually enjoying the ride. I think I will just leave it be for awhile as this sport is getting expensive. I'm not getting flats, but I'm having one heck of a time with traction. Thanks for the replies.

  5. #5
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    I have the XCR on my rigid and plan on upgrading it eventually (hopefully in the spring).
    The XCR although not a great fork, it isn't horrible as a budget fork.

    Now if you want horrible, I had a bike with the xct on it prior to this bike and OMG why Suntour slaps their name on that is beyond me.

    BTW, I live in western NC so yeah the trails I ride are often difficult.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyE12 View Post
    I feel like I spend more time worrying about choosing one of the 27 gears, than actually enjoying the ride.
    While not 100% perfect for everyone, here's an easy way to simplify things since a 3x9 setup really only has about 13-14 gear choices (looking at it from a gear ratio point). Use the granny gear (small ring up front) for steep climbs, middle ring for most trail riding and the big ring up front for riding fast on the road.

    To avoid crosschaining, only use the largest 3 cogs on the rear while in the granny up front. The middle ring up front should be fine to run through all rear choices but prolonged riding in the largest & smallest 2 cogs will increase chain/cassette/chainring wear. Use the big ring up front with the 3 smallest gears in the back. Basically, if you're not riding anything with extreme climbs or descents you can spend 90%+ of your time in the middle ring up front and only shift the rear to keep up your cadence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyE12 View Post
    I feel like I spend more time worrying about choosing one of the 27 gears, than actually enjoying the ride. I think I will just leave it be for awhile as this sport is getting expensive. I'm not getting flats, but I'm having one heck of a time with traction. Thanks for the replies.
    In the case of XC trail riding, you can simplify the mental effort by just putting it in the middle ring up front (and leaving it there) and shifting the rear derailleur around to your fancy.
    Regarding traction, some of it may be riding posture (you'll learn this as you go) but another big contributor is tire pressure. How much pressure are you running in your tires? Assuming you have a 2.0" to 2.2" tire, you probably want around 32-35psi IMO.

  8. #8
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    These arizona trails have no idea what they want to do. I will go from a incredibly quick downhill to a major uphill battle, constantly. So jumping from middle to granny and back has been what I've been doing. If I don't see the uphill section when I fly around a corner coming up I'm done with. It's been sounding really loud with a good deal of popping when I start going uphill during a shift. Should this happen to a two week old bike? Also, it's a 2.0 tire and I've been running right around 30-32.

  9. #9
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    Shifting under load damages your chain, gears, and cassette by accelerating wear and sometimes just flat out breaking stuff.

    If you're caught by a quick uphill, give a couple strong pedal strokes in the gear you're already in, then ease off for a second and then shift. The noise, wear, and harshness will be gone. Also use a good lube!

  10. #10
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    I've found it helps explaining to beginners that SS riders ride in a gear that is about equal to their middle ring in front and fifth in the back. If you kind of stay near that you should be okay for most XC trails- a couple gears lower for the climbs and a couple higher for the faster sections. You will learn your local trails soon enough and start carrying more speed into the climbs wich helps a LOT. Granny ring is for those long steep climbs that your friend MO can't help you out with.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robselina View Post
    In the case of XC trail riding, you can simplify the mental effort by just putting it in the middle ring up front (and leaving it there) and shifting the rear derailleur around to your fancy.
    Regarding traction, some of it may be riding posture (you'll learn this as you go) but another big contributor is tire pressure. How much pressure are you running in your tires? Assuming you have a 2.0" to 2.2" tire, you probably want around 32-35psi IMO.

    Good advice. I agree. Regarding tire size, I've been running 2.3-2.4's on my bikes for about 10 years. For me, there's not much reason to go with a thinner tire on a mountain bike.
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  12. #12
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    Re: So a fork is suppose to go up and down?

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Bikes have too many gears for riding on dirt, its sort of ridiculous. You could "upgrade" to 10 speed and make the problem even worse, and spend a bunch of money for less reliable parts. Thats just the market today. Stick with 9 speed, you dont really have any options (well, you do. but you'd need single speed hubs and a modified cassette).

    If you're flatting all the time, go tubeless. If not I think its good to leave what works alone.
    Hey man, ten speed isn't too big of a hassle. It can just take time to get a hang of tuning it. Nice and easy, especially running 1x10.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyE12 View Post
    HOLY COW! I've been rather upset after buying my 2k12 spec rockhopper comp 29er. It has not been performing and felt like it was trying to kill me on these hard Phoenix trails. I went to sell it and decided at the last minute to just try and upgrade it. Went with the Easton EA 90 XC 29 UST Rim's w/ Marzocchi Corsa SL LR 100MM fork.

    The original Suntour XCR fork should be taken out back and shot. I ran all over some XC and single track today. Easy stuff where I would normally get off the bike, changed to me flying down it without brakes. I felt like the bike drove me before, never holding a line or taking a bump. Today, I picked my lines, made jumps, flew over rock gardens, and generally had a blast. It was wonderful to be able to pick up the front end and maneuver.
    This should be required reading for everyone thinking of riding trails.

  14. #14
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    I appreciate the helpful advice, everyone. Last week I rode a trail (pre-upgrade) that resulted in walking near 75% of it. I'm off to destroy it

  15. #15
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    What trails are you riding here in the Phoenix area?

  16. #16
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    If you're suddenly surprised by an uphill, try and steer to the side slightly (if it's wide enough) as it'll be easy to shift into a looser gear. But as someone else said, try to do one big push and then ease off for the shift. If you do any road riding, it's a good way to practice shifting, try to ease off the power, shift and then put back on. Noise = extra wear + wasted energy.

    EDIT: Also remember, the more you do the trails, the better you'll know them. So you'll be ready for all the things currently surprising you, which makes it more fun when you're learning.

  17. #17
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    I guess i should sell my bike since it has zero fork travel . Yet i still get where i want to go. I think i'll keep it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Shifting under load damages your chain, gears, and cassette by accelerating wear and sometimes just flat out breaking stuff.

    If you're caught by a quick uphill, give a couple strong pedal strokes in the gear you're already in, then ease off for a second and then shift. The noise, wear, and harshness will be gone. Also use a good lube!
    Good advice,

    This is what I do when I'm caught in the wrong gear. I also try to ease back into pedaling trying to limit it's load while shifting.
    2007 FS KHS XC104
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  19. #19
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    Pre upgrade I did - Pima trailhead national/mormon loop run (that was a terrible idea) , Desert Classic, Trail 100 + 1A, Papago. Papago was the only one of those which I ran at full speed and felt comfortable.

    Since I upgraded I hit trail 100+ 1A yesterday, did the entire desert classic from parking lot to parking lot, today.

    I took everyones advice and worked on shifting and I did a lot better, so thank you. Now I need to find a guide to lube, clean, and tune my bike. The last seven miles the chain was rubbing against the guard and was slipping rings ( sometimes the cassette.

  20. #20
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    This thread reminds me of myself, especially with the 900 different gears to choose from. Good advice in here too, I'm gonna keep it in mind tomorrow. Good luck, Andy.
    You can find me in the woods -- playing in the dirt and mud -- on my 2013 Trek Mamba -- or in my 1984 Chevrolet K10.

  21. #21
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  22. #22
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    when you wear out these tires, then make the jump to tubeless. all you'll need is rim tape and the tubeless valves. Realistically the tires you have now might actually work just fine as tubeless and you may already have the appropriate rim tape in there. depends on what the wheels came with when you bought them a lot of people run non=ust tires tubeless with no issues but it depends on the tire

  23. #23
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    OP: Regarding switching gears all the time - why do you feel the need to do that? Just because they're there? The number of gears may be too great but that doesn't mean you have to use them all. I tend to find a gear and stick with it. Find one that suits your power and the terrain and if you're having trouble then click down, don't think about it too much. Kind of funny but in my mind I think I'm stubborn and don't like to gear down, I just try to power through it. It's a pride thing.

    Anyway, you could always put a bash guard instead of the big ring if you want to reduce the number of gears/temptation to shift, and up your level of badassness at the same time.

  24. #24
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    With regards to the gears....having many gears isn't the problem. It sounds like he just doesn't know how/when to use them.

    For me it is pretty simple. Middle ring for normal easy flat stuff and can use the whole range. When I start climbing, or the going gets tougher where I need more torque then I pop down into the small up front and use the lower half in back. I only use the big gear up front for when I am hauling ass on pavement or if you are on some long stretch of trail that is going down hill and you are flying etc. Otherwise i never use the big ring for the single track i ride.

    What's nice about my setup is that I'm normally in around 3 gears with the front in the middle and when i need to do some climbing in can pop the front down to the small up front real quick.

    More time in the saddle will allow you to figure it out.
    Last edited by zephxiii; 02-07-2013 at 06:12 AM.

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