Hi, I just bought myself a truck and decided to pick up this mountain biking sport. However, I know almost completely nothing about the sport and was wondering if any of you can perhaps give me some opening tips. I tried the search option so that I wouldn't bother any of you, since i'm sure someone probably asked this before, but I couldn't find anything. Sorry if my questions are very elementary, I truly don't know jack when it comes to mountain biking.
First off, I was wondering what kind of bike I should get. I am really stingy when it comes to money so a 4k mountain bike is out of the question. I was considering a target or kmart bike that I've seen on the website for around 130 dollars. The ones I have been able to see SEEM pretty good. However, I have glanced through some of the threads and many speak down on those bikes. I REALLY don't want to spend more than 150 dollars. Would it be wiser to get a used bike at a bike shop? What kind of equipment on the bike should I be looking for (shocks, size of wheels, etc)?
Next question is basically what kind of helmet to purchase. I was leaning more toward a full head helmet, just for the extra protection, but I don't know if mountain bikers usually wear those (sorry, only seen stuff on x-games). Should I have other type of protection (elbow guards and etc) when it comes to this sport?
Lastly, do you know of any good trails in the Los Angeles area in California. I want to start slow so perhaps an easy trail to begin with.
I look forward to the replies, thanx in advance, I know its tedious to give novices advise over and over again.