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  1. #1
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    % of mountain biking is bike? % is rider?

    fill in the blanks. How do you guys feel the percentages should work out? This is assuming the rider has decent bike.. Say (hardrock) The reason I ask is becuase I recently rode with a few "Equipment is everything type of people" And frankly, their riding didn't impress me.

    Now for the bonus question

    I'm trying to figure out if I should fork out the cash for a "serious" bike. I started biking heavily about 4 months ago when i bought a hardrock sport. I've been riding hard religiously at least 4 times a week since. I am extremely proud of what I have been able to accomplish since that time. I'm in the best shape of my life. I went from not being able to make it up a 1 mile climb without stopping, to conquering a relatively steep 6 mile uphill climb at the same pace with people that have been biking for years. And I still feel like I have a long way to go before I am satisfied with my conditioning.

    The only complaint I really have with the bike is the drivetrain, along with the fork, I feel like this is a part of the bike that needs improvement. I hear a lot of talk on this forum about the Hardrock. Some say itís a great frame to build around. Others say itís overrated. Iím considering upgrading the drivetrain and fork and sticking with this bike for a while. Iím also considering just going all out and buying something serious. If I was to switch out these two things, is there anything specific that you guys would recommend?

    Also, say I wanted to buy a new one, and I want to spend say $2k. What would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I believe that it is 85% rider, 15% bike.

    As far as upgrading goes do it because you want to and it is fun, not because of how much faster it will make you. If you are not into racing there is no need to go all out for a bike. The bike you have now is great, until your riding ability is actually hindered by the bike I wouldn't really worry too much about it.

    As far as the drivetrain goes, what components do you have now? Also, what fork do you have?
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Oh, as far as what bike for $2,000 what kind of riding do you do? Do you want hardtail or full suspension? Is weight important to you?
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  4. #4
    RT
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    I am a minimalist, and therefore do not need much in the way of bells and whistles to make me happy. I'm not concerned with weight, and the quality of the components need not be 'top of the line,' as long as they're decent. My favorite bike is my Giant Rainier (one of three bikes). I have changed to a rigid fork, added bar ends and maintained her. That's it. I feel (for me) that anything above $700 for a bicycle is excessive, so I guess my answer is about 10% bike, 90% rider.

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    Senior Goat Hearder crashnburn's Avatar
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    25% bike 75% rider, you have to be able to have shifting, reliable braking, good suspension, and proper fit and configuraion. There is a line where you start to reach the exponentioal increase of price vs performance of the rig, I think for a hardtail it's about $700, FS about double that.
    Quit reading and start riding ;-p

  6. #6
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, my 85 - 15 does not go for x-mart bikes and bikes of that quality. I am assuming that even the lower quality bike has "decent" components.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  7. #7
    Bike rider Elisdad's Avatar
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    I'd say the percentage is 85% rider and 15% bike. You need a reliable bike to get from point A to Point B, but the rider is the engine and navigation of the machine.

    I too have a Hardrock Sport. Like you I have owned my bike for a few months and I love it. I have gained stamina, increased fitness, and I've lost a little weight too . I feel that this bike is a worthy starting point to build up from, but economics do need to come into play. If you're looking to spend $250 or more on the fork, plus $100 or more on the drivetrain, it's time to start looking at a nicer bike. After all, the Hardrock only costs about $340 to start with. A Rockhopper starts at about $500 or so, and would be a logical step up. It'll have a better fork and upgraded drivetrain, plus the brakes and other components will be better as well. Another thing to consider is that you'll be getting a nicer frame too.

    I think that my Hardrock is serving me well, but I want to upgrade my fork, wheelset, drivetrain, brakes, etc. I looked at the cost and decided that it'd be cheaper for me to ride on this bike for a while and buy a higher end bike when the time comes.

    My advice for you is to ride the Hardrock until you feel you're really outgrowing it, then buy a nicer rig that fits your riding style. If you're mainly a XC rider, and it sounds like you are, then look into a FSRxc or something of it's ilk. You did say that you've got a larger budget to work with.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnburn
    25% bike 75% rider, you have to be able to have shifting, reliable braking, good suspension, and proper fit and configuration.
    I'd say around 20% bike and 80% rider but among quality bikes, you won't see the bike playing that much of a factor. But, when I ride my old '88 Peugeot MTB, I can't get any flow going on the same singletracks I ride my RH on. The Peugeot has old (and different) Sachs Huret shifters, crappy old cantilever brakes, and plus the frame geometry just doesn't feel right. So I wouldn't say your new bike isn't holding you back. Just ride it and upgrade the parts as you break stuff.

  9. #9
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFV Rider.
    fill in the blanks. How do you guys feel the percentages should work out? This is assuming the rider has decent bike.. Say (hardrock) The reason I ask is becuase I recently rode with a few "Equipment is everything type of people" And frankly, their riding didn't impress me.

    Now for the bonus question

    I'm trying to figure out if I should fork out the cash for a "serious" bike. I started biking heavily about 4 months ago when i bought a hardrock sport. I've been riding hard religiously at least 4 times a week since. I am extremely proud of what I have been able to accomplish since that time. I'm in the best shape of my life. I went from not being able to make it up a 1 mile climb without stopping, to conquering a relatively steep 6 mile uphill climb at the same pace with people that have been biking for years. And I still feel like I have a long way to go before I am satisfied with my conditioning.

    The only complaint I really have with the bike is the drivetrain, along with the fork, I feel like this is a part of the bike that needs improvement. I hear a lot of talk on this forum about the Hardrock. Some say itís a great frame to build around. Others say itís overrated. Iím considering upgrading the drivetrain and fork and sticking with this bike for a while. Iím also considering just going all out and buying something serious. If I was to switch out these two things, is there anything specific that you guys would recommend?

    Also, say I wanted to buy a new one, and I want to spend say $2k. What would you recommend?
    This is easy. Mostly rider without a doubt. So long as the bike won't break and kill the rider. This is not like NASCAR. This is like motocross. Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Stanton, David Bailey, and other motocross greats could take a bike out of the showroom and spank the competition.

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    It depends on the difference in the bike. My current bik is a 6+ year old hardtail with aobut 1-2 inches of front travel, my next step up will be huge. I am constantly held back by my bike because of its crappiness.

    My dad rides a fully suspended bike with good v-brakes etc.., he will be stepping up to something like a fuel 80 with hydraulic disks, deore xt etc... His step up will not affect his riding that much.

    The rider:bike ratio ranges depending on the bike!

  11. #11
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    Im thinking closer to 30% bike and 70% rider. Yes you need a good rider to perform well but....even the best wont be very pleased if he tries downhilling with this:


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    Two years ago, I bought the infamous Trek 4300. Since, I've gotten progressively better at biking and have been in MTB race events and getting into triathlons. With my riding skills getting better, I've done so many upgrades that only the frame is stock.

    I can't put a percentage on it because skilled riders should have the sense to get a bike that matches their needs.

  13. #13
    Digs technical steeps
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    Assuming the riders are all on high quality bikes built for the type of riding to be done, I'd say 85% rider, 15% bike. I doubt the best rider in the world on a heavy piece of junk could outride a good rider on a high quality bike over a fairly challenging course.
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  14. #14
    Ride bike or bike ride? Hopper's Avatar
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    It depends on the type of riding, XC I'd say about 30-70, you need a relaible and reasonabley weighted bike for that. For DH depends on what level, for the really really good guys aka Rennie, Peat, Gracia....... If they had any of the top level bikes ie M1/3 223, Sunday, V10 anyone of them could win on any of those bikes, for these guys it is closer to 5-95. But for us meer mortals I'd say 30-70.

    However one thing I have noticed, one of my mates came off a 2002 Bighit Comp with biglink and Boxxers. He was ok at races but was never good. Finishing around 13th. Then He got a new bike, actually he got the same bike as me but with Dorado's. First race with it he came 3rd. He is now a consistant top 3 finisher.
    --------------------------------------------------------o__ ----
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  15. #15
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Hahaa I was just gonna say "it depends on the type of riding"...I agree with hopper 100%...I also believe the bike is partially a mind game. I know 100% I would be faster on a new v10 with its super long plush travel. Is it the bike or my mind gaining that level of confidence to turn it up a notch. Probably both, but either way the bike helped push me there. I don't find this same level of 'bike' need doing xc.

    That said a good pro would still be a good pro, he might be a little slower, but he would still smoke anyone

  16. #16
    KLK
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    I would say 85% is the rider, and 15% the equipment, assuming at least that the rider has the right category of bike. I have a really cheap moutain bike and I'm still one of the best bikers for my age in my local area (granted I bike the more than most people though in my local area too, so it's not exactly the fairest comparison and I don't mean to brag).
    Last edited by KLK; 07-13-05 at 11:56 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I believe that it is 85% rider, 15% bike.

    As far as upgrading goes do it because you want to and it is fun, not because of how much faster it will make you. If you are not into racing there is no need to go all out for a bike. The bike you have now is great, until your riding ability is actually hindered by the bike I wouldn't really worry too much about it.

    As far as the drivetrain goes, what components do you have now? Also, what fork do you have?
    I like the idea of upgrading my bike. I've done performance upgrades on my cars, so naturally the bike should follow.. I like the idea of being able to go faster, as well as being able to stop faster! Iím not sure how I will know if my ability is being hindered by my bike unless I ride better/different setups.

    Here is a copy/paste of my bikeís specs from the specialized website.

    ē A1 Premium Aluminum frame with 3D box gusset DT/HT, forged dropouts with reinforced disc mount and eyelets, replaceable forged alloy derailleur hanger, designed for 100mm travel fork
    ē RST Gilla T5, 100mm travel suspension fork with preload adjust, coil/MCU spring
    ē Specialized Mobius alloy stem, 10-degree rise Alloy 38mm rise handlebars, 9 degree sweep
    ē Wide-range Shimano 24-speed Acera drive train, 11x32t
    ē Lightweight Truvativ X-Flow alloy crankset with capless bolts
    ē Alex DH-20 double-wall black rims with machined sidewalls, sealed alloy hubs with alloy QR
    ē Specialized Enduro Sport all-terrain tires
    ē Medically proven Body Geometry Sport ATB saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Oh, as far as what bike for $2,000 what kind of riding do you do? Do you want hardtail or full suspension? Is weight important to you?
    As far as my riding style, I guess I like to do a little bit of everything. I enjoy uphill climbs as well as dropoffs, small jumps , and downhill riding. I was an avid BMX rider when I was a kid, and that is something that I think will always stick with me. That being said Iíd like a frame with a relatively low stand-over height. One of the things I like about the hardrock frame is the clearance that the slope gives in that area. There have been times where Iíve been riding and have taken some pretty hard hits and wondered if a FS would have helped in that situation, at the same time, I often wonder if itís really necessary. So to answer your question, I guess I really donít know yet. I don't feel that my bike is overly heavy but I guess for certain situations, a bit lighter wouldn't hurt.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddorado
    I am a minimalist, and therefore do not need much in the way of bells and whistles to make me happy. I'm not concerned with weight, and the quality of the components need not be 'top of the line,' as long as they're decent. My favorite bike is my Giant Rainier (one of three bikes). I have changed to a rigid fork, added bar ends and maintained her. That's it. I feel (for me) that anything above $700 for a bicycle is excessive, so I guess my answer is about 10% bike, 90% rider.
    I like that philosophy, I however am a weak man who nearly always gets sucked into the trap of consumerism when it comes to these types of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by crashnburn
    25% bike 75% rider, you have to be able to have shifting, reliable braking, good suspension, and proper fit and configuraion. There is a line where you start to reach the exponentioal increase of price vs performance of the rig, I think for a hardtail it's about $700, FS about double that.
    Noted. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elisdad
    I think that my Hardrock is serving me well, but I want to upgrade my fork, wheelset, drivetrain, brakes, etc. I looked at the cost and decided that it'd be cheaper for me to ride on this bike for a while and buy a higher end bike when the time comes.

    My advice for you is to ride the Hardrock until you feel you're really outgrowing it, then buy a nicer rig that fits your riding style. If you're mainly a XC rider, and it sounds like you are, then look into a FSRxc or something of it's ilk. You did say that you've got a larger budget to work with.
    I was looking at an FSR the other day.. Nice bike.

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    As long as the bike is generally the right type for the conditions, it's like 10/90. I'm assuming that means that if you're on the road, you've got a road bike, or if you've downhilling, you've got a downhill bike. The difference between different downhill bikes isn't gonig to be much more than 10% probably.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    This is easy. Mostly rider without a doubt. So long as the bike won't break and kill the rider. This is not like NASCAR. This is like motocross. Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Stanton, David Bailey, and other motocross greats could take a bike out of the showroom and spank the competition.
    I agree. I've always felt that way about snowboarding as well.

  21. #21
    Senior Goat Hearder crashnburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Im thinking closer to 30% bike and 70% rider. Yes you need a good rider to perform well but....even the best wont be very pleased if he tries downhilling with this:



    Yeah after my downhill ride with this rig I look forward to some freestyle and drops. I cant wait, I hope they make knobbies for this :-).
    Quit reading and start riding ;-p

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFV Rider.
    fill in the blanks. How do you guys feel the percentages should work out? This is assuming the rider has decent bike.. Say (hardrock) The reason I ask is becuase I recently rode with a few "Equipment is everything type of people" And frankly, their riding didn't impress me.

    Now for the bonus question

    I'm trying to figure out if I should fork out the cash for a "serious" bike. I started biking heavily about 4 months ago when i bought a hardrock sport. I've been riding hard religiously at least 4 times a week since. I am extremely proud of what I have been able to accomplish since that time. I'm in the best shape of my life. I went from not being able to make it up a 1 mile climb without stopping, to conquering a relatively steep 6 mile uphill climb at the same pace with people that have been biking for years. And I still feel like I have a long way to go before I am satisfied with my conditioning.

    The only complaint I really have with the bike is the drivetrain, along with the fork, I feel like this is a part of the bike that needs improvement. I hear a lot of talk on this forum about the Hardrock. Some say itís a great frame to build around. Others say itís overrated. Iím considering upgrading the drivetrain and fork and sticking with this bike for a while. Iím also considering just going all out and buying something serious. If I was to switch out these two things, is there anything specific that you guys would recommend?

    Also, say I wanted to buy a new one, and I want to spend say $2k. What would you recommend?
    Instrumental analogy ...

    You can put a beginner music student on a Bach Stradivarious and it won't make a lick of difference. But give that same student a beat to hell horn that doesn't function properly and they will never learn anything. But than again, the great jazz legends often learned on horns they found in some dumpster in New Orleans, so go figure.

    You do need decent equipment. But you don't need the "best equipment". You need equipment that is appropriate for your style of activity. An Ice Hockey forward should not be wearing figure skates.

    On the flip side, an expert using a student horn will be frustrated. They are used to a level of fine control and performance that doesn't exist in a "basic" model.


    So yeah, 85/15. But it goes with a lot of caveats. If your bike doesn't work right, all the sudden that 15% inflates to 50%.

  23. #23
    Digs technical steeps
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    Here's an interesting thought to ponder (to me, anyway): I've got 20+ years of pretty solid mtb experience. I recently changed my pedals. I am thrilled to discover my riding ability (hill climbs, etc) instantly increased by a minimum of 10%, maybe 20%. It could be something else but I don't think so. Theories?
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  24. #24
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper
    Here's an interesting thought to ponder (to me, anyway): I've got 20+ years of pretty solid mtb experience. I recently changed my pedals. I am thrilled to discover my riding ability (hill climbs, etc) instantly increased by a minimum of 10%, maybe 20%. It could be something else but I don't think so. Theories?
    changed to what kind of pedals? clipless? your efficiency might have gone up

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    30% bike 70% rider

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