My First few weeks with my new bike (New Noob)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My First few weeks with my new bike (New Noob)

    So after really long hiautus of not riding any bikes (8+ years) and some health issues I started riding again, I picked up a low cost Scott Aspect 650 (not a product placement) with 26" tires, XCM fork (100mm travel) Altus equipment and Tektro hydraulic brakes, and I have been riding in Skopje, Macedonia and the local mountains I had to relearn many things I have lost over the years.

    1. Braking skills (already on my second set of tires)
    2. Changing gears
    3. Pacing
    4. Cornering speed
    5. Control over loose ground

    I have been back on the bicycle now for about 3 weeks and have done 360km (about 248 miles) and I am really glad I have went for the cheaper bike then the expensive 27.5" or 29" bike because until now I have fallen countless times, ripped the tires (done patch work on the side of the road so many times) and broken already the original set of pedals, I may say that I am little rough with my bicycle.
    I am writing this article so some other noob might get some more information on his decision to purchase a bicycle.
    Currently I am riding on combined unfinished roads of asphalt, dirt, and loose gravel with bumps, holes, and other surprises on the road, that have made me stop on the side and do some patch work on my inner tubes (great fun if there is an audience LoL). During these adrenaline filled 3 weeks I have lost over 10kg (around 22lbs) of weight, and I have found my Shangra La because by the end of the ride on the downhill I enjoy the view the road ahead of me and sunset as it goes behind the trees of the forest. The whole point of this rant is to show that it is not need it to have the expensive bike with the new 27.5 or 29 tires, and large frame, get a 26 tire experience the road and exhaustion because by the end of the day after a hard day at work I find my meditation space on my bike where every bump every corner and every loose gravel recharges my batteries for the next day.
    During these 3 weeks I have relearned all of my lost skills even gained new ones which makes me more appreciative towards the bike and the bike culture. I have made new friends after being absent from this country and city. All I can say I have found my peace in riding MTB bike after work during the weekend, and I am glad I get to share it with you all, unknown people and help you decide to find your next bike, it does not have to be the expensive bike, it has to be the bike you like and ride and enjoy the ride, it is not the tech that makes the rider but the rider makes the tech and uses the best way.

  2. #2
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    If you had spent a little more ,maybe you wouldn't be breaking things. That said ,getting that many flats and tearing up tires on those type rides sounds excessive .Try increasing the pressure.Or look into tubeless.

  3. #3
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    Welcome, and glad to hear you are enjoying the rides!

    Dave did beat me to it though, in that the tradeoff of cheaper components can be reliability, such as with the pedals in your case.

    However, if you've truly lost ~22 lbs that quickly, I'll assume you are a larger person, and perhaps many of the components on the bike may not be ideal for you. We do have a Clydesdales subforum which may be of help in component selection.

    Re the 26" platform, I think you've made a great point in terms of value. 29ers and 650b are the go-to formats nowadays, so great deals can be had on 26 inch bikes.

    Even better, tons of used bikes out there - especially in 26" - and that is my advice in gerneral for new riders: consider used bikes for the best value by far.

  4. #4
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    Hey guys sorry for late reply, I understand your point, price vs. reliability, yes I am little bit larger and a cycling was suggested to me as better option than running (easier on the knees) so hence cheaper bike, original price on the bike ~500USD, since it was 26" I got it for around ~350USD brand new, which I was pretty happy. So far only the pedals have been issue because I am bad at taking care of my things, and as for the tires yes more air helped and I have been driving much better, re learned how to adjust pretty much everything on the bike and even the cheaper parts can do the job, definitely will spend more on the next bike, of course it will be a Scott, because I have seen bikes with the same equipment on Scott and lets say Specialized, for Scott to be cheaper with the same equipment, except frame design.

  5. #5
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    I think you made the right choice on bike. I did something similar a $700ish range hardtail just to get used to everything again. Learned what I liked and did not like about the bike and then after a year or so purchased the correct bike for me.

    Welcome back to MTB and enjoy learning everything all over again. A lot has changed and yet a lot has not.

  6. #6
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    Hello everyone, in here for a quick update. First I want to thank every one for their suggestions and thoughts much appreciated, so after few more weeks of riding I crashed (I would say right on schedule) got too comfortable and lack of experience made a nice result of crashing and hitting my self into a tree after being slowed down a bit by asphalt and getting a road rash, and little bit of bruised ribs. But after I was assessed for damage the bicycle was assessed for damage also, I turned my back rim into an 8 or infinity sign if you would like, other than that no other damage to the bike. So I toke it to the service center, and they did not have 26" rim for me, so I had to wait a little, this is a good thing because I got to heal and not do anything stupid immediately, now for the question after my long winded speech, they put Excalibur XC rim, but the original was Alex Rim, is there a difference in these two manufacturers of rims or they are pretty much the same, because I am not noticing anything different between the two on the ride, except the Excalibur is little bit taller then the Alex, should I change the front one too with Excalibur rim or find Alex rims, or go with what Scott bicycles are doing and get Syncros rims.

  7. #7
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    I suppose the only thing to watch for with wheels is any weight limit, given that you are a bigger rider. As you saw on the rear, it was damaged rather quickly. I'm not specifically familiar with the Excalibur XC rim, although XC rims in general are narrower, and probably can take less of a beating than an AM rim, for example.

    That said, I'll assume your LBS is aware of that, and didn't just replace the rim with something that will taco again.

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