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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    Upright position

    From what I read there is the belief that an upright position is not really appropriate for mountain biking. Why is that? I find it much more comfortable.

  2. #2
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Upright

    Quote Originally Posted by Markleo
    From what I read there is the belief that an upright position is not really appropriate for mountain biking. Why is that? I find it much more comfortable.
    It depends how upright. You need to be leaned over the front end a bit to put weight on the front wheel for steering and climbing. I have seen pics of proper fit with the back angled at 45 deg. I know I can get away with a more upright position with a shorter, higher stem and bars and still climb just about anything. I would suggest having the bars no higher than level with the saddle for XC riding. This is pretty upright but will still handle well.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markleo
    From what I read there is the belief that an upright position is not really appropriate for mountain biking. Why is that? I find it much more comfortable.
    What's appropiate? If your back is completely perpendicular to the ground, then it's too far. But everyone has a 'best' position, but it vary from rider 2 rider, and also, aplication. If you're racing, maybe you want a more stretched position, but that would vary from what I would like.

    So, fit and positions are just guidelines, but not facts set in stone, IMHO.

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    Depends on what you are doing on the bike and what your priorities are.

    A long and low position allows you to lean further forward to maintain balance on steep climbs. A shorter cockpit makes it easier to move your balance back during hairy descents.

    There might also be differences in what sort of power your muscles can deliver in different positions.

    edit:
    I had to experiment a bit: I got a definite feeling that leaning forward for pedaling hard brought more muscles into play, not just the legs but up to my lower back.
    Last edited by perttime; 04-18-2006 at 11:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    How should your peddle stride be? Should it stop just short of full extension or less?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMBiker
    How should your peddle stride be? Should it stop just short of full extension or less?

    Thanks!
    Your leg should be slightly bent when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke (just about 6 o'clock). You shoud NEVER be at full extension, as this is just a recipe for knee injuries. Personally, if i look down, at the bottom of the stroke, i should be able to see at least half my foot in front of my kneel, but it'll differ from person to person a little.

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  7. #7
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    Leg extension

    Quote Originally Posted by RMBiker
    How should your peddle stride be? Should it stop just short of full extension or less?
    A good rule-of-thumb is to put your heel on the pedal and extend your leg fully. The saddle height should be such that your leg is fully extended when the pedal is as far away from your body as it can get (about 4 O'Clock position). You should be able to reach this position comfortably with both feet, though - not stretching to reach the full extension and not having to change body position to reach both sides. With your foot back on the pedal, this means your leg is not fully extended.

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