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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    What tools and spare parts are necessary and/or recommended?

    I bought my first mountain bike two weeks ago (Trek 4500) and am very happy with it. It was semi major purchase for me and I wasn't able to purcahse anything else for the bike. What spare parts and tools are recommended? When you ride do you bring a backpack with spare parts and tools? I'm worried about getting stuck ten miles on the trail and having to walk. Does the fix a flat stuff work or should I just carry an extra tube? Is there a good all aroudn bike tool or is a set of standard allen wrenches decent? As for a helmet, I HATE styrofoam or whatever that stuff is in the bike helmets I see at Walmart and I can't stand touching it. Are any helmets made without that? Any other help or recommendations is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    check this out

    I found these while wandering around the Performance site a while back. The getting started ones are not bad and include everything you asked about:

    http://www.performancebike.com/help/howto.cfm

    FT

    Edit - missed the bit on helmets the first time. Even the most expensive helmets use a foam similar to the ones you see at wal-mart. The differences are in how the shell is attached to the foam. Good helmets will be "in-mold" where the shell and the foam are esentially bonded together. Good helmets will be more comfortable and more adjustable as well. Other than that it comes down to styling, the number of vents, and the quality of the buckles/fittings. All helmets sold here conform to the same saftey standards so there is not much difference so far as protection is concerned.

  3. #3
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    Carry a spare tube and a means to inflate it, pump or CO2 system and tire levers. A multi-tool is nice because it lets you fix most problems you encounter on the trail. But as a new rider, you probably don't have the mech knowledge of a bike to fix much just yet. Get a multi-tool with a chain breaker so if your chain breaks you can fix it. And if you break a rear derailleur, you can use the chain breaker to make the bike a single speed to get you out of the woods.

    A camelback is nice because you can carry water and tools in one package.

    Helmet wise, a nicer helmet will flow more air keeping you cooler. If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet. If you value your head more, get a nice helmet (the styrofaom is what absorbs the impact protecting the noggin from boo-boos ). Wear gloves, they help cushion the hands while riding and protect skin when crashing. Wear eye protection of some type, make sure it is UV blocking. Cycling shorts make the ride mofre comfortable, you can wear baggies over them if you don't like being seen in bike shorts. Cotton tee-shirts tend to be uncomfortable when soaked with sweat. You can go with a cycling jersey or a tee-shirt made from a sweat wicking material that wicks sweat away fro the skin keeping you dryer and cooler. Plus they are cheaper than jerseys.

    Goods stuff costs more, but it lasts longer so it is actually cheaper in the long run. Enjoy riding your new bike.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
    Prof. Frink.

  4. #4
    Domestic Fowl
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    Suggestions for minimal items to carry:

    -portable pump
    -extra tube
    -tire levers
    -glueless patches (in case you get more than one flat)
    -multi-tool (something simple like this)
    -a buck or two (can use it to line a split tire, call someone if needed, buy food/water)

    I usually ride with a small camelbak type pack, which carries my tools and such. There are also small bags that fit underneath your seat for tools and tube. Often pumps will have some way to mount it to your frame.

    The fix a flat stuff does work somewhat, but depending on what you get it can add significant weight to your wheels. You're better off getting comfortable with knowing how to repair your tubes.

  5. #5
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    Thank you guys very much. I have recently moved back to AZ and resurrected my bike yesterday. Now I've got to reaquire some stuff and you hit on the highlights. Mainly, I'd like to pick up the Camelback, pump, multi tools, and clothes today.

    Any recs on where to go for deals on this stuff? There's about 20 bike shops in the area!

  6. #6
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    If you are in Phoenix try slippery pig or performance in chandler

  7. #7
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    as much as I hate the people who constantly have them glued to their ear, a cell phone is a smart thing to carry just in case.
    Other than that a good multi tool (I like the really beefy Park one), a tube, a mini pump (I like the Topeak ones) and a flashlight are good things to carry.
    One thing that no one mentioned, but I think can be a great time saver is a Sram Powerlink, its a removeable link for your chain, but they come in handy on the trail because they are easier to install than doing it the old fashioned way of pressing the pin in. Its a good time saver that will get you home if you snap a chain. Good luck and have fun!!!

  8. #8
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    Here is what I carry

    Camel-Back

    Multi-tool: The best one I've found is the Alien II. This tool is so good you could also use it for normal maintenance, not just trailside repairs. http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?s...7&srccode=1067

    Spare Tube

    CO2 Inflator, with an extra cartridge. I recommend this over a pump. Get the CO2 for trail emergencys, and a standard floor pump for everyday use.

    A small glueless patch kit

    A few zip ties

    A few first aid items, to clean and bandage wounds and some pain killer like motrins.

    I wear baggy cycling shorts, a freeride jersey, clear lens sunglasses, full finger gloves.

    For a helmet, I usually get the cheapest one that looks good. Maybe I've got the wrong idea, but I figure they are all CSPC certified. And with one crash it's got to be replaced anyway. I currently have this one.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4210

    With this setup, I've yet to be stranded on the trail.

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