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  1. #1
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    Bike info on what type of bike works best.

    So I am posting this here since most yall know the type of trails we ride on here in NE.

    What type of bikes, brand, etc do people ride?

    I don't know much and am trying to learn more, and eventually get a better bike. I ride a 2003 Giant Rincon. No disk brakes, thing feels like it will brake if I do a big drop, and it shifts by itself sometimes.

    I don't know enough to tinker with my bike, nor do I really know what kind of bikes I should be looking at.

    I think it is somewhere between XC bikes and Trail (same as all-mountian bikes?) bikes. But form my reading XC bikes may be a little too weak for the amount of rocks we ride on here? Especially if going down a hill? I have omitted DH bikes and Freeride bikes as not being exactly what I would think works best.

    Then comes a more complicated question, what actually makes each bike different. Like how is one going to hold up to a larger drop than another. Obv. weight is the major factor for handling hills and going up climbing. Is it the frame primarily? I want to learn more about how bikes are put together, parts, and so I can tinker with my bike, but I don't know how to attack this.

    Give me some pointers and info. I want to learn.

    I am no an extreme biker right now, but learning, and as I get better I try new things and ride harder. I usually just ride local trails like Fell in MA, FOMBA trails, Bear brook state park, Hampstead trails and random town/state forests.

  2. #2
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    once upon a time there were no computers or internet. just imagine how that would be right now. now take that thought, go down to your favorite local bike shop and talk to people that earn a living from helping folks like you out.

    good luck!

    rog

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    once upon a time there were no computers or internet. just imagine how that would be right now. now take that thought, go down to your favorite local bike shop and talk to people that earn a living from helping folks like you out.

    good luck!

    rog
    I plan to go to my local bike shop and ask, but since internet does exist (and the bike shop is closed right now being 10:30 pm,) I decided to also get other experienced bikers' opinions to add to what I learn from the one store salesman.

    We don't need people stating the obvious saying once internet didn't exist, (everyone knows that,) and telling me to go ask a salesperson at a store. I thought the forums exist to help everyone out and share what experience you do know.

    But thanks.

  4. #4
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    how tall are ya? i sell these KONAWORLD

    $1299.00 from $1599.00 and i'll do ya better than the $1299.00. great all round bike for the money. simple, strong, and efficient.

    ems portsmouth. bike shop is never closed

    rog

  5. #5
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    That is what I thought, you are a salesman. Haha, nothin against you, just sayin.

    I am currently not ready to buy a bike, just lookin and learnin. But I'll keep this in mind. I am 5' 10"

    Oh, and is the bike shop really open 24/7?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by monopolybag View Post
    That is what I thought, you are a salesman. Haha, nothin against you, just sayin.

    I am currently not ready to buy a bike, just lookin and learnin. But I'll keep this in mind. I am 5' 10"

    Oh, and is the bike shop really open 24/7?
    5'10", that's what i thought gotta sweet 18" with yer name on it. c'mon over to the store and bend my ear for an hour or more about bikes. you can ride a bunch too. shop is open (kinda) so long as i'm awake. that's usually at least 19 hours a day!

    you won't find me there sundays or mondays or the 6+ weeks o vaca time i take a year.

    rog

  7. #7
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    OK, keep all that in mind.

    I am actually opening a store myself (aquarium store) in Manchester NH, but once that is up and running for a while assuming I bring in customers, I plan on getting myself a new bike. I'll check out your store then or if I am passing through in the mean time.

  8. #8
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    Rog can help you out. His bark is worse than his bite, but I can't say I disagree with him. I've been riding pretty consistently going on ten years now and I still have room to learn. My best advice is to talk to people who ride. Try different styles of bikes by demo if possible by seeing if shops in your area do that type of thing. Read, read, watch some videos and read some more to learn how bikes work and which parts wear out and need to be replaced.

    Take your drive train for instance including your crank, front chain rings, chain, rear cassette, and rear derailleur. All of these parts will wear out eventually, but if you take care of them and understand them better, your riding becomes more enjoyable. If you keep them clean and lubed up, you'll get more mileage out of them and they will work better. If you don't, your chain rings will wear out faster. If your chain wears out and you don't know it, your bike will probably still work pretty well for a couple hundred more miles. Then you change your chain and that should solve the problem, but it usually doesn't. Most of the time the old chain that was stretched wore out your cassette chain rings and even perhaps your crank chain rings. You end up having to fork out money to get the whole lot replaced when you could have spent just $25 bucks on a new chain a few hundred miles ago. That was one of the early lessons I learned as I wore out drive train after drive train in my first few years of riding.

    Most shops around have decent enough people who will help you out and explain things, but they like to know your interested and passionate. Spending a little money here and there keeps them going and they are usually more willing to work with you if you show your face around there often enough for someone to recognize you.

    As for the types of bikes we ride in NE, my first ride was a 2003 Giant Yukon without disc brakes which is very similar to your bike. My current main ride is a 2010 Giant TranceX. I ride the Trance because its a do most everything bike for me. I can climb pretty well, descend with the best of them, and rail the twisty single track. For my style of riding, it suits me well. Others prefer hardtails for the instant acceleration and for learning to ride a trail. Some like singlespeeds for the simplicity and the strength it can give you. Full suspension bikes can smooth out a trail a lot and can compensate for mistakes that some bikes (like a hardtail) cannot, but also allow much faster descents for the most part than the hardtail counterparts. Then there are the 29er and new 650b bikes that have bigger wheels and are said to roll over stuff better, but I have no experience with either of these and can't really comment.

    I guess I got a little carried away, but this is a rewarding sport if you are willing to put in the time, effort and (ho,hum) money to keep parts running smooth. I know I'm hooked for life.
    Get out and ride even when you don't want to because ten minutes into the ride you'll be glad you did.

  9. #9
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    Since you mention "drops" in your original post and you seem interested in riding rocky, techy stuff, I would definitely point you in the way of a trail or AM bike over a XC.

    I am completely and totally biased, but I've gone from a 28lb hardtail to a 30lb 5" trail bike to now a 35lb burly 6" AM bike over the past decade, and each upgrade has proven amazing for me. Granted, I live for the downhills, but I am comfortable pedaling to the top of just about anything and I like a good fast XC trail now and again, too. A lot of bigger bikes have really sorted rear suspension that makes bob and inefficiency minimal, meaning you can ride around with more travel and not suffer for it.

    Stuff breaks, and light stuff breaks more. If you have the budget to afford the really light strong stuff, good on you. Otherwise, as someone who abuses my bikes, I've settled into a pattern of buying strong reliable proven components even if they might weigh a bit more. They tend to be more reliable, and that means I spend more time blissfully riding rather than cursing broken sh!t and/or waiting for parts to arrive or a shop to complete a repair.

    Weight is important, but unless you're an olympic swimmer with 3% body fat, don't rule out a tougher bike that weighs a couple of pounds more when you could drop that same couple of pounds by getting in shape riding your sweet new bike around! I always laugh (on the inside) at chubby guys riding super high end carbon bikes and bragging that they are 3.664 lbs. lighter than someone else's bike.

    And sure, you can ride whatever you want on a rigid singlespeed 29er if you are sufficiently committed, but the full suspension revolution is not a marketing gimmick. Modern FS trail bikes really are amazing, and excel at 99% of what a recreational single track rider in New England needs. As long as you get a bike that fits you well you are going to be seriously happy with the upgrade over your current bike no matter what brand/frame/build you buy.

    And don't let those slimy shop guys convince you that a 29er with 100mm of travel is going to be as fun on descents as a 140mm FS 26" trail bike! They need to move their inventory, and right now that means pushing 29ers like they are the greatest thing since disc brakes. They might be for some people in some applications, but you need to decide for yourself.

  10. #10
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    There are alot of local bike shops but no offense rog, there is WAY more info online then you will get from your local bike shop. I'm usually the one telling my bike shop how to do things and what I want to order etc... so, talking to people is great and I do every time I go into the bike shop, but knowing exactly what you want, and trying to set up your particular bike after you actually pick one for your particular riding style most of the time just doesn't work at the local bike shop. There are alot of pioneers here on mtbr, such as "Derby" who kindof pioneered alot of suspension ideas and 650b wheel set ups for his ibis mojo. Trying different shock shimming techniques to limit travel for a larger wheel set as to clear chainstays and seat stays etc... there are countless more pioneers on mtbr that bike companies actually listen to in the brand specific forums...

    Ok, rant over. I've been riding for about 15 years, took a break for a while but have really been back into it hard core. And I would say there is not one specific bike to fit all of new england trails. It still comes down to what type of riding you want! Do you wanna take it to highland an do some downhill? Do you wanna do some xc racing? Do you just trail ride? Or do you want to hit the 4-5' drops when you see them? the list goes on... basics that I think a bike should have for longevity and some personal prefference is...
    -atleast a 15mm qr front axle
    -chain guide or tensioner ( to keep your chainstay from getting all scratched and dropping chains on rocky descents)
    -tapered head tube for stiffer feel
    -a good linkage for efficient pedaling (on full suspension) such as a DW link suspension I am very leary of proprietary shocks.. ie scott genius, cannondale jekyll etc...
    -for my type of riding which is pretty much straight up and straight down I like a slack HA somewhere in the 67 when racing, and 66 when I'm riding steep stuff or going to highland etc..
    -36mm fork (stiffer)
    -coil for park days, air for trail days and racing (keeps the weight down but doesn't stick to the ground nearly as well)

    There are a millions things to change or set up on a bike to meet your prefference but ya got to find out what you wanna ride. I have an ibis mojo HD because it does everything I want.. I can have it at 160mm mode full air and set up with racing tires and be at 27 lbs with one of the most efficient pedaling platforms or I can have the thing set up as how I normally ride it, with 180mm coil fork, dropper post, beefy tires etc... at 31lbs. I find it more fun to ride at 31lbs. But you'll find people on here like Rog who will call you a sissy for not riding a singlespeed cross bike... but in all honesty he did hook a brother up on my road bike, so he's cool... funny though, he on here more than anyone else, trying to get other people off
    determined to put the "mountain" back in "MOUNTAIN BIKING!!!" "HIT IT!"
    2012 MOJO HDeeeeeeee!!!!
    2010 scott CR1 comp

  11. #11
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    Haha, I am as skinny as they get. 23 years old, 5' 10" and only 132 lbs.

    Thanks for all the info guys, VERY helpful. I do plan on and feel it is important to go to local bike shops, actually see the bike in person versus on a video. And ride a few. But like you said Manchvegas, there is more info online, and often it is not as bias since you are getting ever side and angle of the story form 10 different people versus from one salesman.

    I primarily ride trails, I don't live for drops, never did down hill and don't plan to much. Primarily just singletrack trails, but as you know, they can get rocky and do present drops here and there.

    And yeah, I noticed, for someone who is telling me to go to the bike shop, he is on often and has a lot of posts.

  12. #12
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    Get a rigid 29er SS for cross country trails. Then get a 26" 5-6" travel full suspension bike.

    I love riding a single speed rigid 29er, and I always will, but it just does not bomb down the hills as fast or as fun as a proper full suspension 26" bike does.

  13. #13
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    What trails round here would you take your 29er on SleepeRst? Just trying to get a sense of what trails are considered cross country vs. not.

  14. #14
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    SS is an overrated, hipster bike. If you're new to biking, you're going to want gears - specifically 3x10 so you can spin up steep inclines. For general riding, you're best to stick with 26" wheels. It will also provide the greatest variety of parts to replace and upgrade.

  15. #15
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    SS is not overrated, nor a "hipster" fad. I've ridden my SS all over southern NH, and in Utah. I have done Bear Brook, franklin falls, fomba, fort rock, musquash, the un-mentionable trails you won't let me list :P. I've even done 50 miler road rides on my SS. I have done Porcupine Rim trail in Utah on my SS, that of which you can google to find videos. If you have the legs and enjoy standing to pedal SS is no crutch at all.

    To me, everything in NH besides Highlands is cross country. I have yet to experience the steep decents that last for miles that you would find on Highlands. There are trails up north on the mountains past littleton, but a lot of the bike shop employees I have talked to also have an SS bike to ride there.

    Not trying to sell you on a 29er SS rigid, but there are so many options out there, you really should ride as many different styles as you can to see what you like. Hell, you can ride my bike, it's an SS rigid, nothing to break!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumgai View Post
    SS is an overrated, hipster bike. If you're new to biking, you're going to want gears - specifically 3x10 so you can spin up steep inclines. For general riding, you're best to stick with 26" wheels. It will also provide the greatest variety of parts to replace and upgrade.

    Who says I am not a hipster. SS bikes I like for riding round town and stuff like that, just never really gotten into that for trails.

    My bro actually rides a Specialized P modified as a SS bike. Interesting, but he keeps up most of the time on trails. However I do have to agree, and disagree, that in some cases, although he is keeping up most of the time, I can see gears being very helpful and he lags a bit due to lack of gears.

  17. #17
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    Most of the trails I've been on have been a little rougher than straight up XC. Plenty of rocks and roots. If you're in Manchester, there are lots of places to ride. Personally, I'd lean towards trail/AM, just because they're a little tougher. I have a FS 29er, but you can get by with a hardtail.

    If you're interested in going to Highland, plus you want to ride the trails, you might want to look into an FS. 26 or 29 is up to you. Both have their advantages around here.

    Some of the shops I talked to knew what was up, and some didn't. I say, go to a bunch of shops, and sit on everything as much as you can. Have lots of discussions. In Manchester alone, there's Bike Barn, Blue Steel, and Goodales in Hooksett and Concord. There's DG Cycles in Londonderry.

    Good luck, and have fun!

  18. #18
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    I am in Salem NH. We got Cycles Etc.

  19. #19
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    There's also Buchika's in Salem. I bought my bike there. Good selection, and I got a good price, but the service department has been hit or miss, depending on who's there. I didn't find they were especially knowledgeable on which bikes I should have, but I did my research ahead of time.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepeRst View Post
    I have yet to experience the steep decents that last for miles that you would find on Highlands.
    dood, yer doing it wrong. PLENTY of not at highlands long steep descents for miles in the north country. can you say MWV?

    rog

  21. #21
    Ride and Smile suckas
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    Another great way to find out about some bikes is to go on a Group Ride. Ride with new people and see who rides most like you and ask them about their bike. Its a great way to see what works in the areas you ride. We were at FOMBA on tuesday and 20 something people showed up. NOBODY was on the same bike. Good way to see and hear about what works.
    Enjoy the process. Then buy it at a LOCAL SHOP.
    "DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY" -Yoda
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  22. #22
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    I think the best thing to do is find a demo day where you can ride bikes in different classes. You'll want to map out a course that contains terrain similar to what you typically ride but also includes at least one quick descent and a moderate climb.

    On Flat ground, pay attention to how the bike handles bumps and roots and how much effort it takes to pedal while rolling over the rough stuff.

    On Climbs, pay attention to whether you feel like you're going to fall over the back of the bike and what your body does to compensate for this. Do you stay seated or shove your body over the bars? Does the front wheel wander and lift up or stay planted.

    On descents, pay attention to whether you feel like you're going to endo on every bump and if you back out of the saddle to keep your weight back. How does the bike make you feel when you drop off the back side of rocks onto lower ground. How confident are you at high speed on decents and what will happen if you have to quickly grab the brakes to recover from a mistake.

    You should notice a difference in each of these areas with the bikes...from there you just have to decide what is important to you and what provides the most benefit on the trails you typically ride. For example, an all-mountain bike is overkill for FOMBA. The extra travel and slack geometry will make those short steep climbs difficult and you'll never make use of the travel elsewhere. An XC will make light work of those short climbs but a Trail bike will give you more confidence coming down the other side. Due to the relatively slow speed of most of the FOMBA trails I'd say an XC bike is ideal. However, Hampstead has some faster flowing trails that might be more fun on a trail bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepeRst View Post
    SS is not overrated, nor a "hipster" fad. I've ridden my SS all over southern NH, and in Utah. I have done Bear Brook, franklin falls, fomba, fort rock, musquash, the un-mentionable trails you won't let me list :P. I've even done 50 miler road rides on my SS. I have done Porcupine Rim trail in Utah on my SS, that of which you can google to find videos. If you have the legs and enjoy standing to pedal SS is no crutch at all.

    To me, everything in NH besides Highlands is cross country. I have yet to experience the steep decents that last for miles that you would find on Highlands. There are trails up north on the mountains past littleton, but a lot of the bike shop employees I have talked to also have an SS bike to ride there.

    Not trying to sell you on a 29er SS rigid, but there are so many options out there, you really should ride as many different styles as you can to see what you like. Hell, you can ride my bike, it's an SS rigid, nothing to break!
    I have to agree here, SS is not a fad or hipster thing. I'm one of very few people who ride SS up here in Quebec. My wife thought I was going nuts for trying SS 3 years ago. But one day at Pine Hill Park in Rutland (easy trails for SS) she asked me if she could try my bike for a few minutes. She was immediatly hooked. Now that's what she rides 90% of the time. And we are of the less young crowd, 47 and 54. We 've been to Colorado, New-Mexico, Utah, New-York, Vermont and New-Hampshire (so far) and SS has not been "less fun", far from it.

    I have some roadie friends who want to try mountain biking. They will probably start with one of my SS bikes. The only thing they will have to think about is where to go. On a SS, you are always on the right gear. The thing is, if you don't try it, you won't understand what it's about...

    Johnnydrz

  24. #24
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    Hipsters!

    Joking aside, there's as many types of bikes as there is riders. What's important isn't that you have THE BEST bike, it's that it's the bike that suits you the best. That's different for different people.

    I'd be happy to talk about this, but it seems it'd be easier to do it...you know...while riding bikes Drop me a line if you want to hook up for a ride at FOMBA or Fort Rock

  25. #25
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    frig that d, it's all about color. so long as you like the color, it's all good. i bought my jake based solely on color. it's got a frame, wheels, handlebars, clicky things front and rear. it's a bike, i pedal it and it goes. it was cheap. spending lots of money bikes is kinda dumb cuz color is all that really matters anyway. getting yer @ss handed to you by someone on a cheap bike while yer on yer bling bling show pony is the best thing ever. i kin remember being the 1st place singlespeeder at vt 50 many moons ago on a cheap alu rigid single 32-16t 26er. the second place doods front wheel cost more than my whole bike. he rolls in 11 minutes after me, lays down his bling, looks at my cheap hunk o alu and sez, "that's just not right". i'll never forget that.

    that bike had the best color, did i mention that color is the only thing that matters?

    ride/smile

    rog

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