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  1. #1
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    Where oh where to start...?

    Hello, I am a noob. I'll be asking quite a few questions typical to a new guy and I always appreciate suggestions!

    First off, I have a Gary Fisher Tass, honestly I don't know what year it is...I got it for my bday a year and a half ago. No disc brakes, black, neat white cursive writing, Axel fork, bontrager wheels/tires and other parts ...That's about all I know :S

    This spring I'm going to look into some trails to hit up. After I get used to it I would like to even enter some races or whatever, just to have a good time. My question- What are all the necessities? Helmet, Disc Brakes, etc? Where's a good place to buy all this stuff online? Heck, any advice or suggestions would be great...thanks!

    -Gus

  2. #2
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec_41
    Hello, I am a noob. I'll be asking quite a few questions typical to a new guy and I always appreciate suggestions!

    First off, I have a Gary Fisher Tass, honestly I don't know what year it is...I got it for my bday a year and a half ago. No disc brakes, black, neat white cursive writing, Axel fork, bontrager wheels/tires and other parts ...That's about all I know :S

    This spring I'm going to look into some trails to hit up. After I get used to it I would like to even enter some races or whatever, just to have a good time. My question- What are all the necessities? Helmet, Disc Brakes, etc? Where's a good place to buy all this stuff online? Heck, any advice or suggestions would be great...thanks!

    -Gus
    You have a bike. That's a good start.

    Get a helmet.

    Ride the bike.

    Later on, if and when stuff breaks, you can think of replacing and upgrading. Until then you've got a good bike to start with. Go out and have fun.
    First Class Jerk

  3. #3
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Disc brakes are far from a necessity

    Online bike stores:
    http://www.nashbar.com
    http://www.perofmance.com
    http://www.jensonusa.com/
    + other lesser known

  4. #4
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    Ha ha, that sounds good to me. What do I look for in a helmet? I'm the kind of person who upgrades to the good stuff right off the bat...I don't really have the funding to buy some mediocre helmet then buy a really nice one. I've seen carbon fiber ones, but have seen mixed reactions.

  5. #5
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    I've been fond of my Giro Xen. Just my two cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  6. #6
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    For a mountain bike I don't recommend a real expensive helmet. The reason is you are typically paying for it to be lighter. A little heavier helmet will protect your head just as well and save you a good chunk of change. There is a good chance that you will break your helmet, even if you don't it is a good idea to replace it every two years.

    Here are my favorite mountain bike helmets.
    Giro Havoc - $49.98.
    Giro E2 - $89.98.

    I typically buy last years models, much cheaper and pretty much the same helmet. For the last couple of years I have been using the E2. I'm very happy with it. Now if you want to spend some extra money check out the Atmos. That is what I use on my roadie. The extra ventilation is great and it weighs next to nothing. However, it does cost around $180.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  7. #7
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, welcome to bike forums!
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  8. #8
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Now if you want to spend some extra money check out the Atmos. That is what I use on my roadie. The extra ventilation is great and it weighs next to nothing. However, it does cost around $180.
    I use an Atmos on the road as well. Mine was a previous year model for about $100. It's worth it to shop around.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  9. #9
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    I don't usually upgrade stuff that works fine. If something breaks or you realize its lack in quality is affecting your ride, then upgrade it to whatever you see fit. As far as things you need:

    helmet, maybe body pads too, that's personal preference
    small toolkit/flat kit (multitool, spare tube or 2, strong tire levers, frame pump and/or co2 pump)
    first aid kit - a $6 one at a supermarket should be fine
    gloves - padded or not, they prevent blisters and calluses, and can make a wreck easier on the hands.
    sunglasses - keeps rocks/bugs out of your eyes, and can make a bright sunny day easier on the eyes
    water bottle or camelbak - since im too lazy to wash my water bottles, i just use bottled waters bought on the way to the trail. my wife has a camelbak and loves it
    ankle strap - if you ride in long pants these keep them out of your chainring. i use them a lot in cold weather riding. i usually lose them over the summer, but they only cost like $2
    map - if the trail is long or remote a map is a very good idea
    compass - same reason as map
    gps - basically the same as map, but a fun toy.
    cell phone - i carry mine all the time no matter where i'm riding, and keep it on in case i get lost or injured rescue teams can track it.
    sweat wicking shirt - good for most people, but an absolute must for sweaty fatties like myself.
    food - a small snack is great on a long ride. power bars, trail mix, nuts, an apple, whatever
    heart rate monitor- not a necessity but good if you're trying to lose weight, they have an alarm for if your heart rate gets too high too.
    notification - tell someone roughly where you're going and when you expect to be back. i usually leave a voicemail with a friend or family member or 2. that way if i don't come back they know where to start looking
    friends - its safer to bring a friend rather than ride alone, not a necessity though, i usually ride alone.
    biking shorts - lycra or baggy - may or may not be a necessity, depending on who you ask
    lights - in case you get lost and nightfall comes, it's easier to find your way back if you have a light.
    change of clothes - in case of blood, water, mud that you don't want to get in the car. also in case you're way out in the boonies and the car doesn't start, you can put warmer clothes on and stay the night or try and ride towards town till you get cell reception.
    sunscreen - depending on how easily you burn and how long you'll be out. i usually don't wear sunscreen if im biking in dense woods, it will just make bugs stick to you better.

    that's all i can think of for now.

    oh for places to buy stuff - i usually don't buy online, i would pick an LBS and try and do most of my business with them. but if all your LBS's suck then try

    www.nashbar.com
    www.pricepoint.com
    www.performancebike.com
    www.jensonusa.com
    www.ebay.com

  10. #10
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlh122
    I don't usually upgrade stuff that works fine. If something breaks or you realize its lack in quality is affecting your ride, then upgrade it to whatever you see fit. As far as things you need:

    helmet, maybe body pads too, that's personal preference
    small toolkit/flat kit (multitool, spare tube or 2, strong tire levers, frame pump and/or co2 pump)
    first aid kit - a $6 one at a supermarket should be fine
    gloves - padded or not, they prevent blisters and calluses, and can make a wreck easier on the hands.
    sunglasses - keeps rocks/bugs out of your eyes, and can make a bright sunny day easier on the eyes
    water bottle or camelbak - since im too lazy to wash my water bottles, i just use bottled waters bought on the way to the trail. my wife has a camelbak and loves it
    ankle strap - if you ride in long pants these keep them out of your chainring. i use them a lot in cold weather riding. i usually lose them over the summer, but they only cost like $2
    map - if the trail is long or remote a map is a very good idea
    compass - same reason as map
    gps - basically the same as map, but a fun toy.
    cell phone - i carry mine all the time no matter where i'm riding, and keep it on in case i get lost or injured rescue teams can track it.
    sweat wicking shirt - good for most people, but an absolute must for sweaty fatties like myself.
    food - a small snack is great on a long ride. power bars, trail mix, nuts, an apple, whatever
    heart rate monitor- not a necessity but good if you're trying to lose weight, they have an alarm for if your heart rate gets too high too.
    notification - tell someone roughly where you're going and when you expect to be back. i usually leave a voicemail with a friend or family member or 2. that way if i don't come back they know where to start looking
    friends - its safer to bring a friend rather than ride alone, not a necessity though, i usually ride alone.
    biking shorts - lycra or baggy - may or may not be a necessity, depending on who you ask
    lights - in case you get lost and nightfall comes, it's easier to find your way back if you have a light.
    change of clothes - in case of blood, water, mud that you don't want to get in the car. also in case you're way out in the boonies and the car doesn't start, you can put warmer clothes on and stay the night or try and ride towards town till you get cell reception.
    sunscreen - depending on how easily you burn and how long you'll be out. i usually don't wear sunscreen if im biking in dense woods, it will just make bugs stick to you better.

    that's all i can think of for now.
    How long does it take you to get ready for a ride?
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  11. #11
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard
    I use an Atmos on the road as well. Mine was a previous year model for about $100. It's worth it to shop around.
    I bought mine in 05 for about $140 off of ebay (current year model). I had a black one. Well last year the clear coat started peeling on it so I called Giro about it. They told me to send it back and they would check it out. A week later I got a call from them, they were out of the black but offered me several different colors. I ended up going with the king of the mountain design, very cool! I'm extremely happy with their customer service.

    Oh yeah, I ordered another new toy yesterday. I ordered a road id. Seems like a great item for every rider to wear. You never know when things are going to go wrong.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard
    How long does it take you to get ready for a ride?
    it's already packed. for short rides i have my gloves and sunglasses sitting in my helmet so I don't have to look for them, for long rides i have all the other stuff in a backpack ready to go.

  13. #13
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Oh yeah, I ordered another new toy yesterday. I ordered a road id. Seems like a great item for every rider to wear. You never know when things are going to go wrong.
    A friend of mine (who doesn't ride) heard about these and gave me some info on it. I've considered picking one up. End of the season last year, I had a close brush with an SUV. The guy's mirror hit me in the arm as he passed me under a narrow viaduct. Thankfully, I stayed on two wheels and didn't stray too far off course (I attribute that to the mountain biking). I came away with no injuries, but it was an eye opener.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  14. #14
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlh122
    it's already packed. for short rides i have my gloves and sunglasses sitting in my helmet so I don't have to look for them, for long rides i have all the other stuff in a backpack ready to go.
    Much more organized than me. I'm lucky if I make it to the trail with both cycling shoes.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  15. #15
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard
    Much more organized than me. I'm lucky if I make it to the trail with both cycling shoes.
    Shoot, I'm lucky to get there with both wheels.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  16. #16
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    on the helmet...I just bought a Giro Havoc from nashbar. They have the '06 models on sale for only $35.

    it just depends on your size. Luckily I'm a medium and I like the red one.
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...dult%20Helmets

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Oh yeah, I ordered another new toy yesterday. I ordered a road id. Seems like a great item for every rider to wear. You never know when things are going to go wrong.
    I have my cell phone which has my mom's number in it, but hmm. I might have to see if I can find my old dog tags.

  18. #18
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rha600
    I have my cell phone which has my mom's number in it, but hmm. I might have to see if I can find my old dog tags.
    That will work fine if your cell phone doesn't get hurt from the impact of the crash. I hope the road id is never necessary, but if it is I'll be glad to have it.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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