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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    Stem length and tire question...

    Alright guys, I went out for the first time today on the Trek, but after riding a while I've come to the conclusion that the stem is too damn long. It's a 110mm 25deg rise (standard on the Trek 4500) - They feel like they are in the right position height wise but I feel too stretched out and not relaxed enough. I also attribute the stem to me not being able to turn quickly enough thus launching me into a nice tree and some bushes. So my question is, how much is too much to shorten it up? I was thinking of getting an 80mm but I don't want to be stuck with something that's for a complete midget - I just need it to come back towards me around an inch or so but possibly keep the same height it's at now, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

    Also for the sugary sand (here in Florida, when it gets dry, it SUCKS) what tire would be recommended? right now I'm on the stock Bontrager XC Jones' and I was slipping all over the place when I was going hard, not to mention I was sliding through almost every turn wayyy too much.

  2. #2
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    Sitting in ridding position, looking at bars the bars must be in same line with front wheel axle. If not - stem is too long or too short

  3. #3
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    ^^ That's a good general rule and starting point for xc style.

    As far as tires fat and low psi would be my best advice but there's a "Fat bike" forum, "Wheels and tires"forum, as well as a "Florida" forum you might wanna look/post at.
    Last edited by theMeat; 05-05-2012 at 08:35 AM.
    Round and round we go

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    30mm is a big change when it comes to stems.

    I'd get a 90mm or 100mm stem. I'd get a cheap one, so if it wasn't right, I could try another size. Maybe keep going in the same direction, maybe split the difference.

    I usually get stems from the $10 bin at my local used bike shop or from sites like Nashbar.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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