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
    Gravity Girl
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    what accessories?

    bought the bike. ready 2 try it this weekend. I've got a helmet. what else do I need?
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  2. #2
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    I would recommend some gloves just in case of a crash. They will save your hide...literally. Also a flat tire kit if you are riding more than a few miles from your house/vehicle. Just a saddle bag with a spare tube, patch kit, tire irons, and a pump of some sort for a basic kit. Hydration is important, either a bottle or two on your bike or a hydration pack. Eye protection is never a bad idea either, especially if you are riding in the woods.

    Also we like pics and ride reports, especially when new bikes are involved

  3. #3
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    what's tire irons? eye protection - u mean sunglasses or something right? not like goggles I hope.
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  4. #4
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    haha...no goggles...just some sunglasses or some people wear safety glasses.

    Tire irons (also called tire levers) are tools that help you get the tire off the rim so that you can patch/replace your tube in case of a flat. They are not always needed but on;y cost a couple dollars and are good to have just incase.

    If you don't know how to change your tires there are some good youtube videos that show you or your LBS would probably be more than happy to show you. It is one of those skills that are important to know I think if you are going to ride very often, especially if you are riding alone.

    Tire Irons

  5. #5
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  6. #6
    Gravity Girl
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    TY 4 the quick & helpful responses.
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  7. #7
    Rez
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    Find a good bike shop to help you with some basics. When they are doing any work to your bike ask if you can watch and always ask questions.


    At first also try to ride with someone above your level at first. Most local areas have no-drop group rides.
    What goes up must come down

  8. #8
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    What they said! Make sure that you get something to hold water... water bottles or hydration pack.

    Hardwarz

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker

    thanx. that was very helpful. I didn't realize there was so much to it. one other question - is this a rain or shine thing or good weather only? it might rain this weekend.
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  10. #10
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    I'm not a big fan of patch kits. Had too many not seal. Better to replace the tube. Also think, how are you going to carry all that stuff?
    Hardwarz

  11. #11
    Rez
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    The rain or shine thing is a person preference. Personally if it is raining hard I will not go but if I’m already riding & it rains, I’m not stopping. I ride on average 5 days a week so if I miss a day I don’t lose sleep. But some people only have the weekends to ride so they ride in anything. (Personally I have had some of my best rides just when it starts to snow. I love that feeling of the tires gripping the snow. And it is always so quiet in the woods at that time.)

    I am sure some people will chime in and state that riding on wet trails will damage the trail system. But you will need to make that decision on your own. Some trail systems drain instantly while others hold water for weeks.

    As it goes for riding on wet NE style trails, be careful of wet rocks and roots. Wet roots can be just as bad as ice on the trails. Riding in the wet can be a totally different experience then riding in the dry on the same trail.

    If you do ride in the rain. Make sure you do some basic maintenance after your ride. Clean and oil your clogs, chain and gears. Water can also mess up your bearings but most bikes run sealed bearings. They still need to be checked periodically. Basically, if they make noise you need to do somehting.

    Also, some more thoughts on your accessories questions: Buy a good pair of shorts. When it comes to shorts you get what you pay for. There is definitely a difference in the quality of the chamois (padding). Typically mountain bikers wear baggies and roadies & racers wear lycra (tights or speedo’s). I really can’t tell you which company is best since my stuff is different from yours. But if you do a search or ask the question in the women’s forum, I’m sure you will find your answers. A lot of companies make women specific products (i.e. bikes, shorts, hydration packs, shoes and any thing else you can think of).

    Good luck and happy trails
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    I'm not a big fan of patch kits. Had too many not seal. Better to replace the tube. Also think, how are you going to carry all that stuff?
    Hardwarz
    Ummm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster
    I would recommend some gloves just in case of a crash. They will save your hide...literally. Also a flat tire kit if you are riding more than a few miles from your house/vehicle. Just a saddle bag with a spare tube, patch kit, tire irons, and a pump of some sort for a basic kit. Hydration is important, either a bottle or two on your bike or a hydration pack. Eye protection is never a bad idea either, especially if you are riding in the woods.

  13. #13
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    Nubster, I was actually commenting on the link provided by oldskoolbiker. The list in the link does not have a means to carry it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    I'm not a big fan of patch kits. Had too many not seal. Better to replace the tube. Also think, how are you going to carry all that stuff?
    Hardwarz
    I carry a tube, and a patch kit. What if you get 2 flats in one ride???. Those packs of Park stick on patches are super small.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    Nubster, I was actually commenting on the link provided by oldskoolbiker. The list in the link does not have a means to carry it.
    My bad

    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker
    I carry a tube, and a patch kit. What if you get 2 flats in one ride???. Those packs of Park stick on patches are super small.
    I carry two tubes and a patch kit. I would much rather carry the extra few ounces of weight in my hydration pack than have to hike 5 miles pushing my bike because my patch kit failed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by April Wine
    thanx. that was very helpful. I didn't realize there was so much to it. one other question - is this a rain or shine thing or good weather only? it might rain this weekend.
    Like stated...mostly it is personal preference. If it rains and you ride you are looking at a little more post-ride maintenance but then again you and your bike can get wet out on the trails too from water crossings or mud holes. That also brings up another thing is that riding in the rain on the trails has some potential of damaging the trails so you should be wary of that as well.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    Nubster, I was actually commenting on the link provided by oldskoolbiker. The list in the link does not have a means to carry it.
    I added a section to the doc about what to carry on the trail, and how to carry it. Here is what I added:


    Here is a list of what to take with you on a long trail ride when a break down could mean a several mile walk. Of course just having the proper tools doesn't help if you don't know how to do on trail repairs. So it's best to familiarize yourself with your emergency tools and how to use them. Especially learn how to fix a flat, and how to repair a broken chain. Also learn the very basics of derailleur adjustment. Many times the goal of an on trail repair is to simply get the bike rolling and pedal-able again so you can make it out.

    1. 70oz+ Hydration Pack with pockets large enough for your tube, tools etc
    2. Spare Presta Tube (use presta because this will fit any bike, and allows you to help another biker who may be stranded)
    3. Patch Kit (one of those small Park stick on kits) just in case you get multiple flats in one ride
    4. Small Pump or CO2 inflator with extra cartridges (they make Pumps/CO2 inflators in one, and I like those)
    5. Multi Tool, Tire Levers, Chain Tool (they make multi tools with all these, such as the Topeak Alien II)
    6. Few zip ties
    7. Small amount of Gorilla Tape
    8. Couple of SRAM Powerlinks, and a couple of spare links of chain
    9. Spare derailleur hanger
    10. Some first aid supplies, (bandages, alchohol wipes, motrin)
    Last edited by oldskoolbiker; 04-16-2010 at 09:16 AM.

  18. #18
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    Yeah...a decent sized saddle bag like a L-Caddy will fit most of that if not all of it. Or like oldskool stated, a hydration pack is a great way to carry stuff. I recently took the saddle bag off my bag and put everything in my new larger hydration pack. I can fit more stuff in there than I will probably ever need. I need to get a few more things but my list looks about the same as above minus the derailleur hanger and CO2. I have a frame pump and a mini-pump for air duty.

  19. #19
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    April, do you ride with cleats or flats? I'm guessing you're riding flats...

    If you ride with cleats, it's always good to have spare screws and cleats.

    Hardwarz

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    April, do you ride with cleats or flats? I'm guessing you're riding flats...

    If you ride with cleats, it's always good to have spare screws and cleats.

    Hardwarz
    That is something else I need to get...I actually lost a screw last year while riding my road bike and it was a real PITA to ride with only one screw in the cleat.

  21. #21
    Rez
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    Hydration pak

    Not saying you need to buy a Camebak.

    Dakine, hydration as well as others have great packs. You should look for something with aleast 70oz of water as well as a good amount of carrying cargo.

    Also you should always carry a cliff bar or some other type of carb just in case. Nothing sucks worst then being broke down in the woods and hungry.

    here is a nice option:

    Name:  rec-packs-luxe-poppy-red-tango-red-s10-large-300.jpg
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    Features100 oz (3 L) OMEGA Hydro Tanium Reservoir with Lifetime Warranty

    Insulated reservoir pocket keeps liquid cool for hours

    Sternum strap positioned for women for improved comfort and stability

    Women's-specific pack profile - shorter footprint for shorter torso

    Specialized Women's-specific harness is narrower and curves with a woman's body for a comfortable fit

    Velvetex lining on harness prevents chafing

    Dynamic Suspension Harness maximizes load stability

    Air Director back panel with Air mesh

    Strap management secures loose straps

    Multiple storage compartments with dual mesh overflow and organizer in front pocket

    Removable waist belt offers the option to use it for added stability or stash it away

    Easy-to-access MP3 pocket with weather-resistant zipper

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  22. #22
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    thanx. using a bottle and riding flat pedals 4 now. wanted to go 2day but weather here sux. cold & rainy both days.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker
    I carry a tube, and a patch kit. What if you get 2 flats in one ride???. Those packs of Park stick on patches are super small.
    Yeah, it is definitely worth taking both. Using a spare tube is quicker and less hassle than patching, and in some cases patching can be close to impossible on the trail, but if you get that second flat, the patch kit is often a blessing. I've even used the patch kit to patch a hole on the sidewall of the tire itself to get me home.

    I always save my flat tubes tubes and patch them when I get home. I have tubes with 6 or so patches on them. If you learn how to do them right, they work very well. Some tears are too big to patch, and that is when I finally retire the tube.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I've even used the patch kit to patch a hole on the sidewall of the tire itself to get me home.
    That brings up another thing that every flat tire kit should have...a tire boot. The best one IMO is get a Priority Mail envelope from the post office and cut it into squares. They are made of Tyvec and is extremely strong (try to tear one) and make excellent and FREE tire boots in case you do get a tear or large hole in your sidewall.

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