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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    Tire gauge, saddle and light help needed.

    Not sure where to start here. I'm a relative newbie riding a Rocky Mountain 29er hardtail. Let me know if this should be broken down into several threads:

    I've got presta valves on my bike and at the moment I use an adapter that screws onto the valve which allows me to use a regular tire gauge and air chuck to air the tires up. What is a good tire gauge that will read the presta without having to use an adapter? And is there an air chuck available that will air them up without the adapter also?

    I went for an hour ride tonight and it left me with a sore butt and sore/numb hands. I'm thinking the saddle might not be right but I have been reading a few other threads and will try the advice there before asking for further help. I am however thinking of getting some Ergon GP1 or GP2 grips as it seems they will take some weight off the wrists and may help with the hand problems.

    My ride was all at night and I currently have an ebay led lamp with the switch on the back of the light assembly. While this works having the light switch accessible without taking my hands off the bars would be nice; are there lights like this available?

    Also on the subject of lights I'd like to get a second headlight. The one I have works great however it did start dying near the end of the ride and made me realize I could be left in the dark. Can't decide wether to get another bike mounted light or headlamp mounted to my helmet. The helmet lamp would be nice but I'm unsure how I'd like the added weight of the light and batteries. I know the batteries can be remote mounted but that leaves me having to deal with a wire to the helmet constantly.

    Any opinions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Hi,
    I had pain in my hands too when riding my Trek MTB. I got gloves and that took the pain off. On the saddle, I would suggest checking your sitbone width and checking if the saddle is not too narrow. I had problem with my saddle too and after reading forums and experimenting , I realized saddle was narrow. I have more than average sitbone width. I got a brooks and padded shorts.

    If I were you, I would start with the sit bone width first. If that works fine, I would adjust the saddle position (height, fore and aft, tilt) . Hand numbness could be due to position. On the saddles , I believe there are certain stores where you could get trial saddles and you could get them changed if it doesnt suit you. I saw some threads on the net. I am not sure if they are in here or on a different site.

    On the saddle, I used sheldon brown's site and couple of other sites and then figured what worked for me.

    Determining Your Bicycle Saddle Height

    How to Fit a Bicycle

    Mountain Bike Saddle Height | eBicycles.com

    How To Get Your Saddle Height Right - BikeRadar

    HTH

  3. #3
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    Most bicycle floor and frame pumps have a dual usage pump head that will work on both presta and schrader valves. They also have a gauge (of varying accuracy) on the pump. I never bother with a pressure gauge on mtn bike tires, instead just use the "pinch" method. Experiment and after a little while you'll be able to just give the tires a squeeze with your fingers and tell when they're right.
    As for your hand pain/numbness, got a feeling your resting too much of your body weight on your bar. Need to support more with your back and core muscles, taking a lot of the weight off of your hands and wrists. This too will come with seat time and increased fitness. But in the meantime, get a good pair of cycling gloves and try to focus on using your core muscles for support.

    And here's a link to a light review. Interesting read if nothing else.. Top Mountain Bike Lights for Night Riding | Bicycling Magazine
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
    2001 Bianchi Volpe
    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  4. #4
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    If I was going to have only one light for mountain biking it would be a helmet mounted one. FOR ME, I like to see where I'm going and I'm usually looking ahead so a handlebar mounted light doesn't work as well for me. I have this on my helmet.

    Expilion 800 USB
    NTFTC

  5. #5
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    There is a light shootout right here in the reviews.I have two Nightrider mynewts run one on the bars and one on the helmet. Not to heavy ,no wires ,good run time. There is also a DIY tread on building lights.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input. I'll do some reading and check my seat height compared to the recommended height

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