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  1. #1
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    Questions from newbie

    Hi everone,
    I'm new here, and really appreciate this informative site. I haven't ridden seriously in about 11 years (used to ride an old heavy Schwinn) a good number of miles on the road only. The wife recently got it into her head for the both of us to get mountain bikes, so as of Saturday we purchased two Gary Fisher Tassajara's (2003 models) $559 each. Please tell me we did o.k. for newbies. We're both looking mainly to ride on established bike trails, paved bike paths, and occasionally XC or singletrack. I'm the much more aggressive rider, but I'm not going to be beating the daylights out of this guy for a while, until I get used to it. We were only able to ride about an hour on Saturday, and this was only on asphalt, but so far I'm impressed. The bike handles fine shifts flawlessly, and actually has much less rolling resistance than I expected. A few questions, what accesories would you recommend???? and any tips would be apreciated. So far I put two water bottles on each bike, purchased a Zefal HP husky pump for the garage, and some Pro link chain lube from the dealer. What tips/accessories do you guys recommend?? Thanx.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums Here are some brainstorms to think about for accessories:

    • minipump that sits by your waterbottle cage so you never forget it, I like Zefals
    • spare tube and patch kit
    • seat bag
    • possibly a small LED red flasher, if you envision being out near dusk?
    • speedometer
    • possibly a rear fender such as a Headland Backscratcher, if you find yourselves encountering mud


    For other advice:
    • don't forget to get your free break-in checkup at the shop, it gets the bike off to a good start in life. Make sure it's got some use first, ~30-50 hours would be good.
    • resist the urge to clean mud off by blasting the bicycle with a hose, this can get water past your bearing seals... my technique is a scrub with an el-cheapo 100mm paintbrush and a bucket of hot water with some Dawn dish detergent, followed by a wipe-down (including the chain), and relubrication of the chain and the brake and derailleur pivots.
    • if you head off-road and there are some steep trails, maybe practice some downhill braking technique. Most of the braking power comes from the front wheel, and when braking hard for a switchback, etc, the rear of the bike tends to lift, so you need to scoot back in some situations to prevent a flip. Find a steep grassy slope, practice applying the front brake hard enough to induce rear-wheel lift, and then easing off the brake and/or shifting your weight back over the rear tire to get the rear wheel back down.


    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Oh, and I assume you got helmets?

  4. #4
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    I just got this bike around a month ago. I am a newbie also. This bike is awesome i have loved every second i have been on this bike. I have around 300 miles of single track on the bike, i love it. I haven't had any problems with the bike. I got the blue, red and yellow one. So far it has taken everything that i have thrown at it.

    As far as what to buy. They pretty much named everything. The only i woild add is maybe looking into a camelbak if yoiu are gonna make long rides. It helps a lot with hydration.


    Have fun!!! this bike rules!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I was looking at the fisherbikes.com site to see if that 2003 comes with toeclips or not, but they don't show the '03 yet. If it doesn't, you might try them out when you're ready. Having your foot slip off the pedal while off-roading can cause loss of control.

    Many folks seem uncomfortable with the idea of being "trapped" by the toeclip and strap, but unless you actually cinch the toestrap down so you can pull up and backwards (which not many riders seem to do), you can still slip your foot out in an instant. Even with them cinched down tightly, the major risk would be coming to a complete halt unexpectedly and falling over sideways, which is not much of a hazard unless you're on the edge of a dropoff or something.

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    Thanks guys for the advise,...sounds like a plan. As far as for the helmuts, my wife is looking to buy one, and I figured I'd use my ancient Avenir until I look around for a better fitting more modern helmut. Any helmut recommendations???

  7. #7
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Yes, buy a new one! You'll be much happier!

    You can buy helmets for as little as $40.00, and cheaper if you buy last year's close-outs!

    Giro and Bell are the most common and believe it or not, they're both owned by the same company. I can't remember who owns who, but they're one in the same. The reason they kept the two operating as one was customer loyalty and fit. Bell helmets fit a rounder head and Giro's tend to fit more oblong heads.

    There are some other manufactures, Briko, Louis Garneau, ....etc. Make sure you get one that's CPSC and even ANSI approved.

    The new helmets will fit more comfortably, easier to adjust, will be cooler due to advancements in air channel designs, and most are available with a visor.

    Fit is important, place it on your head w/o strapping it in. It should be snug, but not tight. It shouldn't wobble on your head. The straps are NOT there for adjusting fit, just to hold it in place. If it doesn't feel right (comfy) on your head w/o adjusting the straps, choose another helmet!

    Believe me, a helmet is a worthwhile investment. I've been hit 3 times (none were my fault - of course) if I didn't have a helmet one, I'd be more stupid than usual. Also, I've banged my head way too many times on branches and limbs I've misjudged. I also use my head to deflect small branches in the trail!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  8. #8
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Hi Flintlock,

    Welcome to the forums , will your lovely wife be joining us also? I'm trying to persuade my wife to be that cycling is great fun, it would be cool to have another lady newbie's opinion on starting out.

    Cheers

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  9. #9
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    After much musing and pontificating, I think I shall get my wife the Saracen Havoc. A full susser, not great on spec, but moreorless in the price range (600) she'd probably consider an acceptable risk! I always think that ladies have a different perspective on riding, where to go, what to wear, etc, that somehow complements what us chaps think and like to do. I think any chap that rides with his lass is a priveleged chap indeed!

  10. #10
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    I'm just looking forward to the view from behind!
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  11. #11
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    My wife can never understand why I insist she rides in front!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  12. #12
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    Thanks again for the replies. I will soon be getting a new helmet and other gear. As for my wife using this forum, I'll have to check with her to see how she feels....

  13. #13
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Other items to consider a small seat pack. One just big enough to hold a small patch kit and a multi tool will suffice for one of you as long a sthe other has a pack that will hold a spare tube. As far as multi tools I like my Topeak Mc Guyver more stuff than what you'll ever hope to need (get the one with the chain tool some don't have it) Helmets are GOOD look on specialized.com for their closeouts or back to the LBS if they're worth thier salt they would have suggested it before you left but give them another chance. Nashbar , Performance Bike, Supergo are excellent sources for goodies. One more thing if you are going to do extended rides Camelbaks are VERY GOOD they're insulated to keep your water cool (before heading out on a day trip I do a 50/50 mix of H2O and ice) Most of all . YOU DON"T HAVE TO GET ALL OF THIS at least not all at once do it gradually and soon you'll be like the rest of us anxiously awaiting the next bike catalog like it was the Victoria's Secret catalog (mmmm wonder tube)

  14. #14
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    With these previous sexist remarks in mind, it might be better to keep her away from the forum. Must admit, when I did the London-Brighton ride in June, there were a number ladies riding, and they provided many (very many) pleasant distractions. Something that Lance Armstrong does not have to keep him motivated, eh?

  15. #15
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bokkie
    After much musing and pontificating, I think I shall get my wife the Saracen Havoc. A full susser, not great on spec, but moreorless in the price range (600) she'd probably consider an acceptable risk! I always think that ladies have a different perspective on riding, where to go, what to wear, etc, that somehow complements what us chaps think and like to do. I think any chap that rides with his lass is a priveleged chap indeed!
    You might want to have a look at the Dawes full-sussers at that price, a friend test rode one and was very impressed for the money.
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  16. #16
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    Rich, thanks for the tip about the Dawes. I'd alwas thought of them as nothing more than making excellent touring bikes. Did your mate tell you which one in particular he rode?

  17. #17
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    FS Team something or other rings a bell - they've had good reviews in What Mountain Bike as well. He decided to get a Specialized FSR frame and transfer the bits from an existing bike in the end, but he was impressed by the Dawes.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  18. #18
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    Rich, thanks for the info on the Dawes. I went to Cycle-Ops in Tonbridge, and had a test ride on the Edge Comp I think it's called. A relatively nicely spec'ed bike, and not out of the price range she'd consider. I showed her the catalogue that evening, and she likes the look of it, so that concludes her choice of bike.

    I drove past Ashdown Forest on the way back, and saw some guys riding around. With the sunshine smiling, I could only wish I had my Gemini and was out and about myself.

    Soon, very soon.

  19. #19
    xta
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    You should really have her take a few different models for a ride. My idea of what I thought I wanted changed a lot when I took some out. Every bike fits way differently. Because I am a smaller woman, many of the frames didn't fit me properly which greatly reduced my choice. I went with the frame that was smaller and gave me more clearance, which turned out to be the Trek 4500. Now I didn't spend as much as you... mine was around $400...but the fit would be a consideration no matter what the price. Here is a pic of my bike.


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