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  1. #1
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    Hello. New to Mountain Biking, Could Use Some Advice.

    Hi all.

    My name is Morales and I'm wanting to get more into mountain biking for recreation and fitness. I'm interested in cross country and all mountain riding. I've been lurking around here for a while to try learn and search as much as I can.

    I have a completely stock 09 Giant Rincon HT that I'm wanting to slowly upgrade. Any recommendations on where I should start the upgrades?

    I did just recently find out that I can get a great deal on Easton products, so I was looking at a new seat post (being that I have a HT) and possibly a new handlebar/stem combo.

    I'd be more than happy to hear any advice I could get.

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morales View Post
    Any recommendations on where I should start the upgrades?

    At the bottom of the hill.

    I know it's cliche but the biggest upgrade is to improve your fitness and bike handling skills and that bike isn't slowing you down in that regard- yet. Personally I think you should ride the snot out of it and if you become addicted then sell it and start from scratch, more economical and better end result IMO.

    If anything I'd probably replace the fork first though.

  3. #3
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    I'll echo what JB said.

    Don't touch a thing on that bike until you have some good miles under your belt. Don't upgrade just to upgrade. Upgrade because there is something specific you want to change. And you won't know that until you have a lot of miles on it.

    If I were to rank the "improvements" you can make, it would look like this:

    1. Fitness
    2. Riding skill
    ...
    100. Wheels
    ...
    200. Everything else.

    That's partially in jest but you get the idea. Fitness and skill will make exponentially more difference to your riding than upgrades.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  4. #4
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    Fitness level and bike fit. My first bike, the stem was too long putting pressure on hands, wrists, back, neck. As for the bike, a decent fork and not having a heavy clunker wheelset. So your bike is an entry level bike similar to what I started on many moons ago. I rode mine for a season or 2 and (thought about upgrading some of the parts, not worth it) sold it for a couple hundred bucks and upgraded to a better bike.

    My opinion is don't upgrade an entry level bike, if you're really getting into it you would want a lighter crankset, wheelset, and a better quality fork. If you started changing these things the fork for example might get you thinking about a better headset. A better crankset would work with your front derailleur but mixing various levels of components is not ideal. There would be more bang for your buck to move away from the entry level bike.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I appreciate it.

    I'm not low in fitness, I just want to do something other than running in order to maintain it.

    It makes sense what you all are saying about the upgrades and to wait and possibly just upgrade the whole bike later on. I'm not looking to spend an incredible amount of money for a bike I'm mainly going to ride on the weekends for 10-15 miles (I have a wife and young daughter and work full time).

    I've always heard that the Rincon frame, and other Giant frames, are very stout and durable. So I figured that, if i want to stay with a hard tail, I would upgrade the components and stick with the solid frame.

    Any other input guys? Thanks very much, I appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    I'll restate what they said, perhaps in another way.

    You didn't say how many miles you have on this bike, but by saying you are new to mountain biking one would assume you don't have very many. But if you DO have a couple hundred miles on the bike, do you notice things about the bike you don't like? Is it too heavy? Is the fork too stiff or too bouncy? Does your fit on the bike need fine tuning, do you have wrist/hand/shoulder/leg/anywhere pain when riding?
    Earnest Hemingway once said "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

  7. #7
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    I would suggest that your next step is to go to a local bike shop and see if they can help you with adjusting your bike to your body --- how the bike fits your riding posture is very important (I think)
    Then, as one of the earlier respondents suggested put a hundred miles on the bike and see how it fits, how it feels. It may fit you well or it may not be the right size at all....Then you can decide whether to replace a fork (next big thing) or buy a new (better fitting) bike...
    Enjoy ! Biking is certainly great!

  8. #8
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    Upgrading parts as they wear out is an option . A light wheelset would probably be the most noticeable upgrade, your bike would feel quicker and more responsive. If you know someone with a higher end bike, ask if you can give it a spin, just so you can have something to compare to.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morales View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I appreciate it.

    I'm not low in fitness, I just want to do something other than running in order to maintain it.

    It makes sense what you all are saying about the upgrades and to wait and possibly just upgrade the whole bike later on. I'm not looking to spend an incredible amount of money for a bike I'm mainly going to ride on the weekends for 10-15 miles (I have a wife and young daughter and work full time).

    I've always heard that the Rincon frame, and other Giant frames, are very stout and durable. So I figured that, if i want to stay with a hard tail, I would upgrade the components and stick with the solid frame.

    Any other input guys? Thanks very much, I appreciate it.
    No offense but 15 miles a weekend really is not all that much, I only got serious about three years ago and am kind of just watching blueskycycling and some other sites for deals, upgrading has been more out of necessity over just to do it.
    Handlebar width really helped as I have a broad chest, it aids you in getting air, if you do this then you need to shorten your stem or buy riser bars, others buy wider bars simply for more control.
    Grips are something else to look at, on my 26r I find the need for Egro grips, on my 29r it is not so necessary but they are an impact point to your cycle so consider that for comfort.
    Pedals are a huge upgrade, a good sets of Pinned flats really make a world of differnece and some like clipless as well, I have both, I use the flats for winter riding and the clipless for summer.
    Picking a set of tires for your terrain is also something worthwhile although probably only compensates for lack of ability (needless to say I buy various tires :P)
    The rest is as others say is simply ride and have a good time.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    I took it out today for a short ride and I was only about 2-3 miles in and one of my pedals came out of the crank arm. Turns out the crank arm was stripped pretty bad. So, for the time being, I went to my LBS and they helped out and put a new crank arm on the one side. So now I'm wondering if I should look at a whole new crank set.

    I also notices while riding that the fork felt very bouncy, and the the handle bars felt hard to control. I'm not sure if that means I need narrower or wider bars.

    It's been about 2 years since I rode a MTB so I'm just ready to get back into it.

  11. #11
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    Don't worry about the crank set now, unless both arms are stripped and you only had one replaced, or the LBS said you need to replace the whole set.

    As far as the fork, what does that Rincon have? A Suntour XCM? (Found that in a 10 second google search, could be wrong) If so, it is true, that fork sucks. If you are itching to upgrade that's the place to start. Look into the Suntour upgrade and move up to a Raidon for $150. My new bike has the same fork and after just about 40 miles I am already thinking about upgrading...I just don't know how much more I can keep throwing money at this new hobby before the fiance gets antsy, since we're just a couple months away from the wedding (And paying for everything involved with said wedding) I too notice that the bike is sometimes hard to control when recovering after obstacles, I blame the fork.
    Earnest Hemingway once said "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

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