Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Paducah, KY (40 minutes from Canal Loop trail at Land Between the Lakes)
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new to the forums, just saying hi, plus newbie questions
Hey guys, just saying hi. I'm trying to get in to the mountain biking scene heavier. Been into trail riding with Jeeps for a long time, but can't afford it anymore, and I need something to do outside that's healthier and cheaper.
Anyway, I'm riding a Specialized HardRock A1 Comp FS, Indy XC shock, Shimano 636 pedals, Ritchie brakes, ODI lock-grips, 2" riser bar with 12 degree curve, Specialized split seats, blah blah blah.
So I've got a few questions on how to get to the next level.
1. What's the best way to learn to hop? I can get like 8 inches, with my shoes on. I just got back from the Jeep world outside festival, and these guys were doing 48" side hops from a standstill without shoes. I just want to fly over a log out on the trails, and goof off in the yard and stuff.
2. What's the best position and height for trail riding? If my seat is a few inches up, the handle bars are perfect, my back feels great, but I have no power. A few more inches up and I get more power, still have room to stand up for jumps and to pedal while standing up, but after a while my hands start hurting pretty bad. I never noticed this until I got this riser bar. Anyway, obviously a few more inches up and I'm all hunkered over like a road biker, get lots of power, but I'm way too top heavy and don't feel stable, can't stand up, etc.
3. Can I gear lower? Wouldnt' I want to? I'm having trouble on some long and really steep hills that have loose gravel on them. I have to sit down and keep my weight backwards to get traction, but I just can't turn the wheels like that. I thought it was just me, until I went to the outside festival I mentioned above, and test drove a couple of $2K bikes. They have gears that are much lower than my lowest one. Their lowest gear was a good 3 times lower than my lowest. Seems like that would be great for slowly chugging up a steep hill. Somebody here will probably dismiss this question by saying "work out more", but I've only seen one person climb this hill, and now I know there are bikes out there that are geared much lower than mine.
4. What should I use to clean my Shimano 636 pedals?
5. What's the next best mod for my bike? I can't afford a new bike right now. This one is about 4 years old, but it's ok.