I joined this forum a few days ago, and have made a few posts, but I guess I aught to make one of these into threads.
I'm 14 years old, and live in Aztec, New Mexico, which is 180 miles north of Albuquerque, and 30 miles south of Durango, CO.
I have a rather cheap, 4 year old ($100) NEXT mountain/all-terrain bike, with some minor upgrades (aluminum back wheel, the original got run over by a car and bent, speedometer, replacement shift knob).
I am considering buying a Specialized Hardrock XC ($290 at the local bike shop) in several months, when I can afford it.
I don't do a lot of difficult riding, I'll hit the occasional dirt mound as a jump, but I don't try tricks in mid-air or anything. I live near some pretty nice mountain areas, but there are so many trees around they are hard to ride on. I usually go for a 7-12mile bike ride (along dirt roads or the side of a highway) in the morning, with my mom, who has a similar bike to mine.
I'm basically a newbie to some concepts of how bicycle components work. I know what derraileurs(sp?) are, and fairly well how they work, and a little about the other components.
Wow, New Mexico. I wish I was back! My wife and I have 40 acres near Moriarty and we both miss it very much. Currently living in northern Ohio and it sucks! Good to see you and your mom are getting out and riding. NM is very scenic. I only has the mis-pleasure of riding a mountain bike a short while. It wasn't for me. I preferred riding my very old BMX on the dirt roads. It handled quicker and it fit me better. I have a road bike and I just purchased a recumbent for commuting to work. I like the recumbent much better. My body doesn't hurt anymore. I am going to sell the road bike probably. Have you had many flat tires from goatheads yet? We always had problems with them when driving our horse carts when we lived there. I've heard the there is stuff called "slime" that you can put in your tires that will stop the goathead/cactus/thorn flat tire problem. Have a great day! Enjoy your rides!