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  1. #1
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    bike to help biker with bad skills?

    Hi everyone!
    I'm getting a new bike. I have a Santa Cruz Superlight with a lot of bling, full xtr etc, but lately I've been doing mostly road biking. I also have an old racing-type hardtail, with a really long top tube and narrow bar which I don't ride at all since I got the Superlight. Now my "problem". I'm quite fast when the terrain is easy (probably due to all the road biking) but I have quite bad technique when there's a lot of rocks and stuff, for example if there is a one foot step I have to get up to, or passages where you need to get up slightly on your rear wheel to pass.... if you know what I mean.

    What kind of bike do you think could help me compensate for my bad skills?

    I've been thinking of going back to basics, i.e. get a new hardtail. I've also thought about getting a more sturdier FS with a bit more travel and a higher bottom bracket. Of course I've been looking at 29ers, but I don't think that's something I should consider - a larger front wheel is probably not easier to maneuver in difficult sections.

    Suggestions and thoughts appreciated!

  2. #2
    spec4life???..smh...
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    my suggestion is dont try to find equipment to compensate for your lack of skills but rather learn the skills....

  3. #3
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbarro
    Hi everyone!
    I'm getting a new bike. I have a Santa Cruz Superlight with a lot of bling, full xtr etc, but lately I've been doing mostly road biking. I also have an old racing-type hardtail, with a really long top tube and narrow bar which I don't ride at all since I got the Superlight. Now my "problem". I'm quite fast when the terrain is easy (probably due to all the road biking) but I have quite bad technique when there's a lot of rocks and stuff, for example if there is a one foot step I have to get up to, or passages where you need to get up slightly on your rear wheel to pass.... if you know what I mean.

    What kind of bike do you think could help me compensate for my bad skills?

    I've been thinking of going back to basics, i.e. get a new hardtail. I've also thought about getting a more sturdier FS with a bit more travel and a higher bottom bracket. Of course I've been looking at 29ers, but I don't think that's something I should consider - a larger front wheel is probably not easier to maneuver in difficult sections.

    Suggestions and thoughts appreciated!
    Gotta agree that a new bike is not the answer. However, you seat, bar, stem combo can make a real difference. Show us a side shot of your bike.

  4. #4
    It's about showing up.
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    Show some respect for the sport.

    It takes more than a few gizmos, some tips and tricks to do this. Fortunately you have some leg. It helps.

    I'd suggest that you look into some camps and courses. Nothing like real instruction in real time to help you along.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I guess you're right. Guess I could put on a bash to protect the cranks. Feels a bit silly to have a bash on a bike like this though... Maybe I could try a shorter stem? Here's a pic:

  6. #6
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    This is like owning a Ferrari but not being able to drive a manual. Learn the manual, then drive it again.

    This is one area where "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go" isn't really true. Find some friends, ride offroad more often, fall like the rest of us do/did. You pick it up.

  7. #7
    spec4life???..smh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbarro
    Yeah, I guess you're right. Guess I could put on a bash to protect the cranks. Feels a bit silly to have a bash on a bike like this though... Maybe I could try a shorter stem?
    As far as getting up and over stuff speed is your friend...when you aproach something commite to it and dont try to go easily and safely...sure sometimes your going to hit the ground but thats how you learn what not to do the next time...

    As far as a bash on that "type" of bike i have one for my rigid 1x8 so I wouldnt worry to much...just do what works...The risers are good for techy stuff and i think a shorter stem is always a good thing...I like to go with the shortest I can get away with...1. it looks better..2. it steers quicker...3. its easier to lift your bike up and ver stuff and stay back on drops....

  8. #8
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    Being from northern europe I can drive a manual And although I think the car analogy fails a bit I of course see your point with my vehicle... it's like a fighter jet. And I'm not made out of money, I got it used, when the dollar was cheap for me.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will consider trying a bash and a shorter stem - I sort of had expected those answers. I also thought someone would suggest to get a cheapo bike for $200 to make me appreciate the bike that I actually own instead of wanting sth else...

  9. #9
    Don't ride a Trek anymore
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    The absolute best way to force yourself to learn how to control your bike is to get a Rigid 26" Singlespeed

    but a hardtail with a lower travel suspension fork (85-100mm) should do the trick. you cant blast over everything all the time, you have to control your bike over it to keep both wheels with full traction

  10. #10
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbarro
    Being from northern europe I can drive a manual And although I think the car analogy fails a bit I of course see your point with my vehicle... it's like a fighter jet. And I'm not made out of money, I got it used, when the dollar was cheap for me.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will consider trying a bash and a shorter stem - I sort of had expected those answers. I also thought someone would suggest to get a cheapo bike for $200 to make me appreciate the bike that I actually own instead of wanting sth else...
    If you go shorter, you also may want to go higher as well. It's really hard to say without seeing you on the bike.

  11. #11
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    I agree with gaining/working on your skills. Skills work doesn't have to involve riding trails. If you look around your town you can find stuff to ride, hop on/over and you can work on cornering in the street. Use the funds for a camp/course like others suggested.

    A local coach near me spents a couple hours a week with his riders in a park working on skills with his riders. He said they ride around in a 200-300meter area.

    Ink

  12. #12
    GNR
    GNR is offline
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    Sweet bike

    I've got a Superlight...it helped me become a better rider because I wanted to go riding more where I learned what I now know. I agree with the post to ride with others...especially folks with more skills.

    Also, understanding that most things take time and practice, and mountain biking skillfully is one of those things. Take your time, put in the hours and you'll get to where you want to go.

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