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  1. #1
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    Friends with department store bikes.

    Yesterday I was lucky enough to have one of my friends tag along for some local 'downhill' track, problem was he told me his bike was great, but it's clearly a cheap $100 bike. I gave him a set of my old tyres and helped him tune it.

    today, he bought one of his friends/ my friend along, he also came on a bike pretty much indetical except this one was a cheap diamondback, I also helped him fix up his bike.

    problem is, theses guys are following me downhill on probably one of the bumpier tracks iv seen due to water damage on department store bikes. I even managed to flick my chain off running a black spire tensioner! They also lose there chains on just normal flat ground, but they were lucky enough not to lose it while going down hill.

    ovbiosuly there not hiting it as hard and fast as myself, but I wouldn't trust a department store bike down it.

    one of my friends thinks his bike is too notch, and nothing will go wrong and the other is probably going to buy my bike when he gets the cash and I upgrade.

    sinple thing is, I'm worried there going to hurt themself and none of them can get new bikes until Christmas and the fact that they have high hopes for there bikes.

    What should I do, should I ay something to them?

  2. #2
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    Friends with department store bikes.

    Yes you should. I've had family members that wanted to ride with me and I flat out told them no. When they asked why I told them that their bikes weren't designed for the type of riding I do and therefore not safe.

  3. #3
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    Re: Friends with department store bikes.

    Let them have fun its not what u ride its that u ride. Just cause u think they are cheap and can't handle it apperently so far they can. No need to be a bike snob about it, that above all else drives ppl away from the sport . As what i did, no way I was going to spend serious money on a bike till I was for sure I was serious. I rode a $200 Walmart bike all last season, held up great, I had fun. Now i have a $2k 29er hardtail that I love but still enjoyed the Walmart bike till i sold it to a friend.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHat98 View Post
    problem is, theses guys are following me downhill on probably one of the bumpier tracks

    >snip<

    What should I do, should I ay something to them?
    First off, I'd ride behind them.

  5. #5
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    Don't some of those bikes have stickers that say "not for off-road use"? Look for that and point it out to them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I rode a $200 Walmart bike all last season, held up great, I had fun. Now i have a $2k 29er hardtail that I love but still enjoyed the Walmart bike till i sold it to a friend.
    Who needs enemies with friends like these?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by down2ride View Post
    Yes you should. I've had family members that wanted to ride with me and I flat out told them no. When they asked why I told them that their bikes weren't designed for the type of riding I do and therefore not safe.
    +1 this. As much as you want to ride with your friends, you want to keep your friends (alive and healthy). There's plenty of pics floating around of people who have had massive equipment failures, show them the pics and tell them to wait til they have the proper bikes to ride (either buy, borrow, or rent).
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  8. #8
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    Re: Friends with department store bikes.

    The other day I watched five college age guys on department bikes bumbling down a local trail, it looked like a clusterf@ck if I ever saw one.

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  9. #9
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    We started riding with worse POS bikes back in the 80's and did crazy things.

    Bottom line, as long as they are having fun, who cares? They're not hurting you other than maybe you'll have to wait for them and maybe work on their bikes from time to time. That's the beauty of mountain biking, you don't have to have a $10K latest carbon bike to have fun. Just get out and enjoy the time, never know when it is all going to come to an end.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    We started riding with worse POS bikes back in the 80's and did crazy things.

    Bottom line, as long as they are having fun, who cares? They're not hurting you other than maybe you'll have to wait for them and maybe work on their bikes from time to time. That's the beauty of mountain biking, you don't have to have a $10K latest carbon bike to have fun. Just get out and enjoy the time, never know when it is all going to come to an end.
    Just watched Klunkerz the other day. Those guys were absolutely nuts!

  11. #11
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    Ride behind them and allow them to make their own discoveries and come to their own conclusions. BITD most MTBs started out as a POS and a pile of cast off parts, it didn't stop us from having a great time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHat98 View Post
    Yesterday I was lucky enough to have one of my friends tag along for some local 'downhill' track, problem was he told me his bike was great, but it's clearly a cheap $100 bike. I gave him a set of my old tyres and helped him tune it.

    today, he bought one of his friends/ my friend along, he also came on a bike pretty much indetical except this one was a cheap diamondback, I also helped him fix up his bike.

    problem is, theses guys are following me downhill on probably one of the bumpier tracks iv seen due to water damage on department store bikes. I even managed to flick my chain off running a black spire tensioner! They also lose there chains on just normal flat ground, but they were lucky enough not to lose it while going down hill.

    ovbiosuly there not hiting it as hard and fast as myself, but I wouldn't trust a department store bike down it.

    one of my friends thinks his bike is too notch, and nothing will go wrong and the other is probably going to buy my bike when he gets the cash and I upgrade.

    sinple thing is, I'm worried there going to hurt themself and none of them can get new bikes until Christmas and the fact that they have high hopes for there bikes.

    What should I do, should I ay something to them?
    If they like their bikes, why would you crush them? They'll find out on their own. In the meantime, being a jerk could cost you not only them as riding partners but as friends.

  13. #13
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    Some of the best riders i know are out there pushing limits, taking chances, and couldn't care less about their gear. Maybe because they use their energy to ride better instead of their money and gear to make it so.
    I always love it when a guy shows up on a beat up old clunker and puts everyone to shame.
    As a friend you should, if they're not aware, point out the obvious pit falls of riding a subpar bike, then let it go, and be there to help when/if things go wrong. BTW, things can and will go wrong no matter how good the gear.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  14. #14
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    idk...i think you need a decent bike.i had a crap bike once and a barely made it thru afternoon. this yr...i went out few times with a real nice moongoose i got used. huge difference and more confident ride...bike i got cost $800 like 7-8 yrs ago. nice cranks,shifters,80mm fork,great parts!... but foolish stickers "all" over frame except one...NJ DEVILS decal. hehe.

  15. #15
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    Friends with department store bikes.

    I have one rule riding with others, no helmet and I don't ride with you. Past that if you have concerns, you can express them nicely, but where they don't have the money to upgrade as here, there is not anything they can do past careful maintenance.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  16. #16
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    People get hurt on high end bikes all the time. Let 'em ride. If their bikes really can't handle the trails, they will break and your friends will figure it out if they are fixing stuff more than riding. Provided that they are adults, the decision is theirs and so are the consequences.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by down2ride View Post
    Yes you should. I've had family members that wanted to ride with me and I flat out told them no. When they asked why I told them that their bikes weren't designed for the type of riding I do and therefore not safe.
    That's a pretty classy way to go about it. You didn't tell them their bikes are crap . . . which, let's face it, no one wants to hear.

    Kudos to you for handling a delicate situation with finesse, and protecting their necks and their egos.

  18. #18
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    If someone is riding a bike I'm interested in, I'll ask them how they like it, etc., but I never offer advice unless asked. I'm sure there are cases where someone got seriously injured because of catastrophic mechanical failure but far more get hurt just because of the nature of the sport. It seems to me that even if a cheap bike fails, most likely a serious injury won't be the result. Besides, any bike can break. I believe everyone would be better off minding their own business and helping only when asked or if the person agrees to an offer of help/advice, but not before. I hear people offering advice on occasion and almost always it comes across as patronizing BS.

  19. #19
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    I was at target the other day and noticed one of their bikes had the fork backwards. So I'd say the bikes themselves aren't necessarily dangerous, but the way they are assembled at the store is questionable. A 300 dollar target bike is perfectly safe for a beginning rider riding light xc trails if properly assembled

  20. #20
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    If they're on the trails, riding, and having fun - they're doing it right. I don't care if they're on a $10 garage sale bike, or a $10k full carbon latest/greatest. That said - I did give a word of warning to the girl I saw on the trails on a dropped tube (womens townie) bike before she started down one of the local trails...

  21. #21
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    You don't have to tell them. I think they will figure it out.

    Several guys on dept. store bikes passed me and my family.
    I split from my family so that I could do the hard climb and descend to the parking lot, while they went straight to the lot. As I'm ripping through the descent, one section was a little more washed out than usual and I saw a kickstand laying in the middle of the trail.
    I caught up to the dept. store gang and asked if anyone had lost a kickstand. I got a sheepish "yup. that's his." but those guys were still having fun. We did way worse on my Mom's old cruiser.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Friends with department store bikes.

    As long as the brakes and fork are functional, they should be OK riding with you. Stick to some easier trails for a while and let them find out by observation how your bike is better.

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  23. #23
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    I think we can all remember back to when we started riding mountain bikes, MOST of us probably didnt start with anything worth more then a couple hundred bucks..

    my first mountain bike was a 2003?? Norco Pinnacle.. I didnt buy it at a department store, but got it from the local bike shop.. was it a super awesome bike? no.. but I still dreamed and thought that I could do jumps and technical terrain, so I would take it camping and go riding on trails.. scared myself a couple times but learned the basics and now I have a much better bike.. 2010 Norco Katmandu, again not the best bike out there but defiantly an improvement and I appreciate it a whole lot more then if I had started on some super awesome mountain bike.. gotta learn the basics and ride a hunk of junk to appreciate the new tech and materials.

    I'd say leave your buddys alone, let them figure it out.. they will appreciate a better bike when they get to that stage. I do have a friend who thinks his stuff is the best when its clearly not, but I find if I ride fast, I cant hear him.
    Forget white sand beaches, I'd choose my bike and dirt any day!




  24. #24
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    While I'm inclined to make them aware of the inherent safty hazards that your friends may encounter, I'd leave it up to the local trail safety crews to notify them of what may happen to them. A good talking to by those in the know can go a long way in preventing undue harm. Other than that, provided they are adults, they can do as they please and have their own brand of fun!
    Get me the knuckles of Frisco..

  25. #25
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    I don't have friends that ride Walgooses.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

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