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  1. #1
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    Hi from a new member

    Hey everyone,

    Just wanted to drop in and say hi - I've read through the forum a number of times over the last year or so. My fiancée and I have taken the plunge and bought new bikes (using your advice and criticisms I've read here) and we're absolutely thrilled to be getting into a new hobby together.

    The last time I rode somewhat enthusiastically was (I think) about 2002 - I had a Kona Stinky at the time. In about 2006 I sold it and bought a full suspension K2 Attack 2.0 which I've since gifted to my dad. Now in 2016 I've picked up my new baby, a Specialized Rockhopper sport 29 and we go to pick up the little lady's Specialized Jett 29 this Saturday.

    Thanks for the advice so far, and I look forward to becoming a useful member of this community!

    Hi from a new member-uploadfromtaptalk1455021207072.jpg

  2. #2
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    Awesome. It's great when you can share a hobby like this with your significant other. Have fun, and keep the rubber side down.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Welcome, and yes being able to share your passion/hobby/sport with your significant other is awesome.
    Largest NorCal XC Race Series
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    Best in the West!

  4. #4
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    Welcome back and enjoy the time you too will spend together on the trails!

  5. #5
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    Very cool and welcome!

    Looking forward to hearing trail stories.

  6. #6
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    Welcome :0) Enjoy your bikes and the forum.

  7. #7
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    Welcome!!!

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    Thanks for the warm welcome guys. Went and picked up the Jett this past weekend, but unfortunately the -20 Celsius weather prevented our bougie asses from hitting the dirt (snow?).

    Also picked myself up a POC trabec race helmet, which I think I'll enjoy wearing.

    I'll take a pic of his & hers Specialized steeds when we take them out of the garage. With a foot of snow expected today, it might be a few days yet.

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Hey everyone... I look forward to becoming a useful member of this community!
    Naw, don't. We have enough of those around here already. Be a smartass, cynic, critic, all-around witty and hip. It's more fun. Oh snap, we have way too many of those, too.

    JK. Welcome.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  10. #10
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    Fantastic! Welcome to your new obsession. The more you ride the better you get, the more fun you'll have, the more you'll ride. Riding is the best life long hobby you can have!

  11. #11
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    Took our inaugural ride together today - some fire roads and a trip into town for an espresso and to buy a bottle of liquor. Sort of regret having done leg day yesterday, forgot how punishing even an easy ride can be when you've been out of the saddle for so long!

    Kat loves her bike, and I'm thankful for the good customer service we received at the LBS.

    Now for some vodka fruit smoothies! Cheers boys and gals.

    -Jon

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  12. #12
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    Not that anyone is particularly interested, but we've cranked out about 200km together so far with limited time and weather and I couldn't be happier. Things I have noticed - I strongly prefer clipless for control and cheating the back wheel, and I wish I had a 1x because I haven't moved out of middle ring for any of the trails I'm likely to ride.

    Edit: oh, and I'm still too fat for this spring shock at 210lbs.. I can't justify the expense to upgrade fork and drivetrain for this bike - I may as well ride it a season then buy something better suited to my current taste. Interesting how 10 years ago I didn't care about this kind of stuff, but the God forsaken Internet has opened up the proverbial can of worms - so now that I know a Unicorn is out there, I can't help but chase down the perfect steed.

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  13. #13
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    Cool update! save your pennies it will happen, trust me! lol
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    I'm still too fat for this spring shock at 210lbs..
    Fork manufacturers often produce alternative springs for different weights of rider. They are often quite expensive relative to the whole fork but it might be worth looking into it. What kind of fork is it?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Fork manufacturers often produce alternative springs for different weights of rider. They are often quite expensive relative to the whole fork but it might be worth looking into it. What kind of fork is it?
    Thanks for the recommendation. It's the Suntour XCM which came stock on my brand new Rockhopper Sport. I have read a little into the spring situation, as well as the Suntour upgrade program - it's not that I'm opposed to the price - but I think it's a little silly to run a fork that costs ~$400 Canadian on a $1000 bike. I feel like my next bike will likely come equipped with a comparable or better fork than a Raidon making this purchase a wash. This is the same reasoning I'm using to keep myself from buying a 1x setup.

    I don't necessarily wish I had spent more upfront, but now that I know what I like and will realistically use, I may accelerate the upgrade gameplan a bit. (I did, afterall, have to buy 2 hardtails, 2 helmets, 2 sets of clothing etc as I'm bankrolling the old lady's foray into mtb as well)

    Any wisdom you can share Mr Pig? A more cost effective solution I may have overlooked, maybe? I'm just thanking God the misses isn't browsing these forums asking me about switching her bike's fork or drivetrain lol!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Any wisdom you can share Mr Pig?
    Heck, I'm always happy to tell you more than I know ;0)

    Do you like the bike? Does it fit well, is it comfortable? I ask because finding bikes that feel 'right' is not easy so if this bike suits you then upgrading it is not necessarily a bad idea. I'm not saying that a new bike is a bad idea but it's not always clear cut. By favourite bike is an old hardtail that's had everything upgraded. In fact the frame and seat-post clamp are the only original parts but I just love the feel of the frame. I've had other, more expensive bikes but this one just fits.

    So how do you feel about the bike? Love it, find it a bit harsh, bit too stretched out?..

  17. #17
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    Well I don't have a huge number of reference bikes to compare against.. But I am really really happy with the fit so far. I think the frame is the right size and shape for my riding and I feel confident.

    I have also figured out that I like hardtails more than ever and that for my needs, a full suspension would be total overkill. Knowing that my next bike would probably be another hardtail, does that make the value proposition of upgrading a little stronger in your eyes?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Knowing that my next bike would probably be another hardtail, does that make the value proposition of upgrading a little stronger in your eyes?
    Maybe. It's a very personal choice.

    Say you want to upgrade just about everything on the bike, a new bike is probably a cost effective way to do that. On the other hand, if you're largely happy with the bike but just want a better fork and brakes then it makes sense to upgrade. You mentioned the fork and transmission, is that all that you're unhappy with?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Took our inaugural ride together today - some fire roads and a trip into town for an espresso and to buy a bottle of liquor. Sort of regret having done leg day yesterday, forgot how punishing even an easy ride can be when you've been out of the saddle for so long!

    Kat loves her bike, and I'm thankful for the good customer service we received at the LBS.

    Now for some vodka fruit smoothies! Cheers boys and gals.

    -Jon

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    A first ride out to buy some liquor sounds like an awesome way to get started.

    Congrats on the new bikes.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Maybe. It's a very personal choice.

    Say you want to upgrade just about everything on the bike, a new bike is probably a cost effective way to do that. On the other hand, if you're largely happy with the bike but just want a better fork and brakes then it makes sense to upgrade. You mentioned the fork and transmission, is that all that you're unhappy with?
    For the most part, I think. The brakes seem responsive enough and are quiet, the weight is fine, the handlebar angle, width, and pitch seem comfy under all conditions. You've actually got me thinking it may not be so crazy to upgrade components.

    I could see myself buying nicer tires down the line, but my understanding is that most bikes under $4000 come with average thin rubbers from the factory anyways - so I might end up spending here regardless.

    Here's a question for you guys: why would I spend $100+ for a set of (insert fancy brand name) spd pedals? The $50 Shimano I bought are light and adjustable - is the extra money here buying you anything other than a "cooler" appearance? If that's all they offer I can still appreciate why someone might want them, but I'd rather spend on the stuff I can feel. Another thing - should I take a course to learn about bike maintenance? I'm kind of interested in figuring out how to care for and upgrade my bikes myself.

    Thanks for the advice gents, I appreciate your input! (There's only so long I can bother the guys at the bike shop before I feel guilty, haha)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    A first ride out to buy some liquor sounds like an awesome way to get started.

    Congrats on the new bikes.
    Thanks! We've actually recently taken to only buying booze and groceries if we rode there to do it. Nice way to force ourselves to squeeze in 15km even if we're "not in the mood"

  22. #22
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    Regarding the SPD pedals, I've been using the cheap Shimanos for 20 years without issue and they perform quite well. I do replace them about every 8 to 10 years. I'm not sure that spending more money there will get you very much.

    If you keep the bike, then my opinion is that the best upgrades are the fork and wheels.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Regarding the SPD pedals, I've been using the cheap Shimanos for 20 years without issue and they perform quite well. I do replace them about every 8 to 10 years. I'm not sure that spending more money there will get you very much.

    If you keep the bike, then my opinion is that the best upgrades are the fork and wheels.
    Well I spent some more time reading and chatting with my road cyclist buddy and the LBS - today they offered me a pretty awesome deal on a Rockshox Recon Silver solo air over the phone, and I couldn't say no. Should arrive in a few days, will post an update.

    Wheel, tire, and drivetrain will probably also get upgraded in time since I've already sunk some coin into this fork. I can see myself happy with this bike for a long time.. Even if I bought something new, the components can always get swapped to Kat's Jett or sold as used.

    Thanks for all the input boys.

  24. #24
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    That fork swap should make a pretty big difference in ride quality.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Here's a question for you guys: why would I spend $100+ for a set of (insert fancy brand name) spd pedals? The $50 Shimano I bought are light and adjustable - is the extra money here buying you anything other than a "cooler" appearance?
    The law of diminishing returns can hit pretty hard in the world of bike components but the important thing is that where the tipping point is varies massively from one type of component to an other.

    Once you get past the bargain bucket level, just about all parts will do two things. They will perform their function at least passably and they will not snap in half in no time! The thing is that for some components that's just about all they need to do. For example, the seat post in your bike will very probably not snap in half any time soon. So why buy a more expensive one? Weight is one of the few reasons here but you need to spend a lot to save relatively little weight.

    So what you have to do is look at each component and think about how well it does it's job and what can be gained by upgrading it. The answer is often saving weight and little else. Maybe better reliability, maybe they'll last longer but not always. What you want to figure out is where spending money will actually get you better performance, and the fork is definitely one of those places.

    Tyres are a very personal choice. The main trade-off here is grip verses rolling happiness. Aggressive tyres grip better but roll worse. Sturdier tyres burst less easily but are heavier. Figure out what matters most to you and look for tyres that give you that. For me, grip is king. A friend of mine is obsessed with saving weight but struggles to get up rocky or muddy climbs because his tyres aren't aggressive enough. What use is that?

    Looking after a bicycle is quite easy. I wouldn't waste your money on a course, just ask on here and we'll keep you right, free of charge ;0)

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    Great advice, thank you. The weight issue is largely irrelevant for me, as I ride for fun and fitness rather than in competition.

    Re: maintenance, I was contemplating doing the fork job myself, but the shop only wanted a song to put it on for me, and I trust their work and know they have the the right tools. I'm reasonably handy, but I'm also an impatient bast*rd.. so probably best to leave the task to cooler heads.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Great advice, thank you. The weight issue is largely irrelevant for me, as I ride for fun and fitness rather than in competition.

    Re: maintenance, I was contemplating doing the fork job myself, but the shop only wanted a song to put it on for me, and I trust their work and know they have the the right tools. I'm reasonably handy, but I'm also an impatient bast*rd.. so probably best to leave the task to cooler heads.
    It sounds like you have really great shop working with you on your new bike.

    You'll have to give us a trail report after the new shock is on.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Well since the decision was made to keep riding the Rockhopper longer term as a result of the great fit, I've since added:

    -ODI Rogue grips
    -Sportourer X-race saddle
    -Rockshox Recon Silver air fork
    -already had Shimano M520 spd pedals

    The fork is being installed Thursday, hopefully the weather improves so I can enjoy the new toys and post a pic or two. Some April this is:



    Now that I've upgraded contact points and fork, I suppose eventually I'll do wheels and tires, and finally the 1x10. I don't think I'll need better performance than the Tektro brakes I have already offer, so once that list is done the Rockhopper will conceivably be the perfect bike for my needs

  29. #29
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    A good "upgrade" for the brakes would be better pads. A cheap way to better performance.

    That looks like nasty weather. We have sun and 65 degrees here. The trails are in primo shape right now.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Some April this is:
    What are you talking about? It's only the second day of April. One day of rain and the month's a rightoff?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    What are you talking about? It's only the second day of April. One day of rain and the month's a rightoff?
    That's snow my friend! I was more suggesting some welcome to April, this is.


  32. #32
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    Welcome from a new member myself. Great looking rockhopper!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldino713 View Post
    Welcome from a new member myself. Great looking rockhopper!
    Thank you, and welcome to you too!

    So I just dropped the bike off at LBS for the fork job, will try and snap some pics when I get home. Feels like I'm sending it in for surgery, haha. Also came across a silly good deal on a Selle Italia Max Flite saddle which is currently en route from the UK, so will gift the Sportourer saddle to Kat and her Jett.

    Felt like a bit of a dick for not doing an extremely thorough clean before bringing it in, so I think I'll bring a box of donuts over when I go to pick it up tonight as a "peace offering"

  34. #34
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    Beer is always welcome at bike shops.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Beer is always welcome at bike shops.
    I think I can swing a dozen brews rather than a dozen donuts. Grand idea.

  36. #36
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    12 pack of tallboys seemed to be appreciated

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  37. #37
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    That will feel nice. I went from Suntour to an XC30 to what I have now and it's amazing how much better the rides feel, the arms its just amazing. Just from the Suntour to the XC30 there was a big difference. I went the long way though and purchased 3 different bikes in a 4 year period. I guess you learn somehow
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    That will feel nice. I went from Suntour to an XC30 to what I have now and it's amazing how much better the rides feel, the arms its just amazing. Just from the Suntour to the XC30 there was a big difference. I went the long way though and purchased 3 different bikes in a 4 year period. I guess you learn somehow
    Man, you weren't kidding. Just got home from a quick 10k trail ride.. Feels like butter. Rode faster through my favourite tricky rock section than ever before.

    I have the PSI set correctly for my weight but still seem to feel a ton of brake dive - though it might be a normal amount of dive for this fork, I'm just used to a poor quality spring?

    Also, how much travel should I be taking advantage of? I assume you never want to bottom out, but how close from the bottom is an ideal stop point? (Rockshox Recon Silver Solo Air, 100mm)

    Thanks for all your continued guidance gents. If you ever want advice on wristwatches or corporate finance, I'm your guy.

    Cheers

  39. #39
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    Bottoming out occasionally is no big deal. You just don't want to be bottoming out hard.

    I would put a zip-tie around the fork stanchion, slide it all the way down to the wipers, and then sit on the bike carefully to see how far the tie moves up the fork.

    This is called "sag" and should usually be around 20% of the full travel length of the fork. The Recon may already have a rubber ring around the stanchion that you can use instead of a zip-tie.

    I'm sure that you LBS can teach you how to set the proper sag also.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  40. #40
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    ^^ My LBS mechanic showed me how to do it and that's a good suggestion because most likely you will end up adjusting it to your liking.

    Yeah, for me there was a spark in my confidence but I went from 26 to 27.5 from XC30 to Sektor Gold and from HT to FS all in one shot so it has been an amazing difference.

    Congrats on that upgrade.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Took our inaugural ride together today - some fire roads and a trip into town for an espresso and to buy a bottle of liquor.
    Kat loves her bike, and I'm thankful for the good customer service we received at the LBS.

    Now for some vodka fruit smoothies! Cheers boys and gals.

    -Jon

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    Something doesn't seem right here. You mean to tell me your little lady likes to trail ride and is a boozer? sigh....I'm happy that your happy pal.

  42. #42
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    My employer is a major sponsor for an xc race with proceeds going to charity that I'm participating in in a week or so. Decided to treat myself to a new pair of shoes to ride with



    I'm definitely becoming a Specialized fanboy.. Not even intentionally!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Wow! They will make you go so much faster ;0)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Wow! They will make you go so much faster ;0)
    Lol.. I'm going to get thrashed even with my fancy shoes. Best competitor's time for the 40km distance last year is waaaaaaay faster than I can ride it, but this is for charity not my ego. My only concern right now is being competent and fluid on my bike, not fast! I'll be pleased if I finish without being totally gassed.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    Lol.. I'm going to get thrashed even with my fancy shoes.
    Yeah, I prefer to dress down, partly for that reason. Nothing looks more stupid than a guy with all the fancy kit who can't ride. A few years ago we were joined on a sixty-mile ride by a friend of one of my mates. He had a super-light carbon road bike but was still left for dead the whole day!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Nothing looks more stupid than a guy with all the fancy kit who can't ride.
    Except the riders in fancy or tattered clothing hating on other riders. That's even more stupid.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    Except the riders in fancy or tattered clothing hating on other riders. That's even more stupid.
    I don't hate on any other riders, except the ignorant roadies that blank you. They can feck off! :0)

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I don't hate on any other riders, except the ignorant roadies that blank you. They can feck off! :0)
    Plenty of inconsiderate riders out there. I agree.

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    I'm not too concerned what other people think of me. No matter what gear or kit you're using in any sport related hobby, chances are there is someone out there with the most basic possible equipment, that would trounce you.

    For me, a big part of hobbies is learning about equipment involved as well as technique, trying low, medium, and high end stuff, and enjoying each step of the way. I have made sure that a $200 shoe investment was worth it by riding 300+km on $45 eBay specials first!

    That said, I don't think negatively about a guy riding a blinged out fs rig only to the grocery store and back - his money, his choices.

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    Well it hasn't been long since an update, but I added more fuel to the fire - got a great deal and have had a blast on this thing for the first 100k.

    Hi from a new member-uploadfromtaptalk1461712078246.jpg

    Fits juuust right

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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Cool update! save your pennies it will happen, trust me! lol
    I've never quote myself... but in this case... Enjoy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyP View Post
    I'm not too concerned what other people think of me. No matter what gear or kit you're using in any sport related hobby, chances are there is someone out there with the most basic possible equipment, that would trounce you.

    For me, a big part of hobbies is learning about equipment involved as well as technique, trying low, medium, and high end stuff, and enjoying each step of the way. I have made sure that a $200 shoe investment was worth it by riding 300+km on $45 eBay specials first!

    That said, I don't think negatively about a guy riding a blinged out fs rig only to the grocery store and back - his money, his choices.
    I've always wanted to show up to a race, 30 pounds over weight, in a roadie kit one size too small, just for the entertainment value. I figure I could just ask stupid questions until someone takes pity on me and tells me I'm over my head.

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