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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    Some random Noob questions...Clothing ,Cranks and Bars

    1. Can someone explain why "shammys" (chamois) are important to MTB shorts. Why not just get a gel cover or a more comfortable seat to begin with ?
    It seems like spending top dollar for bone crunching only 2 gram hard seats is pointless if you have to pad your ass anyway.


    2. Are Cross trainers ok for riding ? Everyone suggest platforms but I see alot of folks using Nike Frees or other super flexy shoes. MTB magazine has a profile of Hans Rey this month and he wears adidas cross trainers.


    3. I just helped a friend put in his new SLX crankset. He said they were really cheap and definitely lighter/better than the XCTV2s I have now and said I should get them.
    However my current is 3x8 SLX is designed for 3x10.
    I was already planning to drop the 3rd ring and get a bashguard since I never use it and that Ive scraped it on curbs/rocks a few times.

    so.
    A. Can I just get the cranks/BB or would I need Shifters/Casette etc. ?

    B. Bashguards when replacing the 3rd ring improve clearance no ?


    4. My bar is 700mm wide slight riser bar. I love the width. However perhaps because of the way its shaped I feel like my wrists have a tendency to angle out. Same issue whether I put it on a 120 or 70mm stem. If I rotate the bar its a bit better but then the overall feel is 'off'.

    Should I start from scratch on fitting myself on this , or consider a flat bar or maybe something Im missing ?

  2. #2
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    1 - You'll only find out when you start using them, any saddle you ride will be more comfortable with padded shorts and don't get caught out by thinking that big, fat padded seats with gel in them are comfortable, they might be for five minutes but they quickly become uncomfortable (it's the most common noob mistake IMO).

    2 - Yep, they're fine.

    3 - I prefer your idea, the SLX may well be 'better' in several ways but you don't need to change anything unless the rings are worn. Just replace the outer ring with a bash guard if you don't use the big ring, it'll save your shins from getting a toothy scar when you fall off...You just need to adjust the end stop on the derailleur to stop accidental shifting onto a ring that is no longer there.

    4 - It's hard to advise on stuff like without know the exact spec of your current bars but it's probably an issue of the bar's 'sweep' (the angle it's bent), get a cheap bar of a slightly different design and try it, it's a very personal thing with no right answers.

  3. #3
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    Oddly enough I tried a gelseat first. I put the "Stock" one aside until this year when I kept reading how great the seat is supposed to be. My ass bones still hurt after long rides but I figure its the getting used to process. Thats why this whole chamois thing is confusing. I think I just have to try it. It just seems counter intuitive.

  4. #4
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    Well yes, I agree that it's counter intuitive. I've tried about a dozen different designs over the years and I finally settled on a Charge saddle with padded shorts and it's so comfortable it's not something I think about any more, even on long rides. You just have to find one that suits the shape of your arse.

    Fat saddles tend to chafe sooner or later and what starts as 'a bit of chaffing' can quickly turn into burning agony and a long ride home standing up the whole way. I've found (as most people have) that a narrow-ish saddle with a chamois can be very comfortable with no chaffing.

  5. #5
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    Re: Some random Noob questions...Clothing ,Cranks and Bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogdog View Post
    Well yes, I agree that it's counter intuitive. I've tried about a dozen different designs over the years and I finally settled on a Charge saddle with padded shorts and it's so comfortable it's not something I think about any more, even on long rides. You just have to find one that suits the shape of your arse.

    Fat saddles tend to chafe sooner or later and what starts as 'a bit of chaffing' can quickly turn into burning agony and a long ride home standing up the whole way. I've found (as most people have) that a narrow-ish saddle with a chamois can be very comfortable with no chaffing.
    Hmm I hadn't considered that. Probably a big difference from it being strapped to your butt and thighs then on a seat where your leg would be constantly rubbing.

  6. #6
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    1. Wear what you like - but remember, the bicycling short has been developed over the last 200 years as the best wear for riding a bike. You are riding a bike.
    2. Wear what you like. A stiff shoe transfers more of your push to the pedal and less of the pedal's push back to your feet. Flexible shoes can cause cramps and hot spots.
    3. Just put a bashring on your current crank. Look at BBG. If you want to upgrade later you can use the same bashring. I think the 10 speed crank will work OK without any other changes -specially 2X8.
    4. Try some other bikes to see what their bars are like. Try an alt bar - I like them.

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