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Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

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Old 08-22-08, 05:38 PM   #1
markfrommd
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A couple Newbie questions

I read the general mtb info thread but still have a couple questions, sorry if they are common newbie questions.

I recently started "mountain biking" on a couple trails through the reservoir near my house.

I am using my old bike (possibly from 02-03) which is a GT Palomar, I think it is just a recreational bike and I was about 14 when I got it. The bike has no shocks and 21 speeds and I think it might be a little small now. I've ridden a couple times with it but don't go really hardcore. (I ride over/off roots and rocks but don't jump most logs) I also am not sure if a good bike will help me climb hills but right now I make it about half way up most steep hills before i have to jump off and hike it.

I'm looking for a decent bike that will serve as a good base to add upgrades later as I get more intense and less broke. I've read a couple threads about good beginner bikes but does anyone have any recommendations for something that would be easy to add upgrades to?

I am 6'4" and 240lbs, 20 years old, I'm pretty sure I am done growing. I think I need a 21" frame? The inseam in my pants is 34" or 36" depending on the style. I'm not sure about my price range but it is definitely under $1000, hopefully around $600, if they sell the bike at REI I might be able to go a little higher as a friend gets an employee discount ;-)

Also do you have any feelings one way or the other on clip pedals? They seem like a fun accessory that would aid in jumping logs.

I've looked around local bike shops a little but am always a little wary of advice from salespeople so I decided to try here first.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the huge post.
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Old 08-22-08, 06:05 PM   #2
Zan
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some people may disagree, but here's my two cents:

it'll be difficult to find a frame that you can upgrade at a low price range. definitely go for a hardtail. check out Trek's line of hardtails. the frames from the 4000 series, I THINK are the same as the 6000's, and the 6000's aren't bad.

----

i wouldn't use clipless for stunts. if you need to dismount (i.e. you wipe out), you'll have a problem if you're clicked in tight. i ride with clipless. i prefer clipless over platforms 'cause my feet don't slip off the pedals. however, i really don't feel comfortable going airborne with them on. everything else is cool, though. I wouldn't be too comfortable riding skinnies over 6ft, though, either

----

i'm in a bad mood too . i'm sick from stress... hopefully pizza will cheer me up .

have fun!
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Old 08-22-08, 06:29 PM   #3
markfrommd
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I don't think I'll really be doing any stunts or really extreme riding, just aggressively riding local mountain bike trails. I'll check out the trek frames

thanks for the quick response and advice!

Grab a slice of pizza and a glass or two of scotch and relaxxxx
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Old 08-22-08, 06:36 PM   #4
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look at diamondback bicycles. they have recently been moving back into the mountain biking industry, and they have some decent wheels.

I have a 2007 Response Sport and have upgraded the crankset, handlebars, seat and seatpost, and a few other little things with no trouble. The 2008s are even nicer. I paid 400 for mine and its not the top model. The Response comp gives you some better components for just 200 dollars more. They are good solid hardtails that you can just ride as hard as you want on. I have had no major trouble with mine at all.

If you're looking for a dual suspension bike, Diamondback also has some decently priced bikes there too like the Recoil and the Mission series.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:26 PM   #5
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i'll check out the diamondbacks also, i've been doing a little searching tonight and have been looking at prices for the trek 4500 so far.

I also was looking at some terminology and saw that my riding is a mix of single track and fire road trails.

thanks all

-mark
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Old 08-23-08, 07:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by markfrommd View Post
I don't think I'll really be doing any stunts or really extreme riding, just aggressively riding local mountain bike trails.
in that case, go for those clipless pedals/shoes if you want them. really, it's just a matter of preference.

you could argue that clipless pedals are more efficient (others will say the "gain" is so small that it doesn't count). you could argue clipless are "less safe," since it's harder to get eject from the bike, but in a way it's safer 'cause your feet rarely slip off the pedals by accident when you hit a bump.

it's a bit more $$$, though.

i ride with Shimano M520's. they're pretty cheap if you are trying to keep the budget low. they say they're good for beginners. nice thing about them is that you can adjust the tension. i have a set on my mountain bike and on my road bike. when i first installed them, i had them as loose as possible on my mountain bike. it was REAL EASY getting in and out. since then i've tighten them a bit 'cause i popped out sometimes by mistake. they can also take a fair beating.

maybe 60$ for these pedals.
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Old 08-23-08, 08:12 AM   #7
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I am 6'4" and 240lbs, 20 years old, I'm pretty sure I am done growing. I think I need a 21" frame?
Let's hope your done growing!
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Old 08-24-08, 12:51 AM   #8
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Check out a Specialized Rockhopper (probably better off without disc brakes). Or if you're willing to go towards the top of your budget, you could probably get a Jamis Dakota Comp for 900...that one wouldn't need any upgrades for quite a while. I'm always pushing Jamis bikes though...
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Old 08-24-08, 12:51 AM   #9
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Also Crank Brothers pedals are easy to eject from and not too expensive for Candies or Eggbeaters
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Old 08-25-08, 03:25 PM   #10
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i havent been able to find any shops that carry jamis bikes yet and I havent been able to find a trek 6000 but a shop employee did recommend the fisher marlin or piranha over the trek bikes due to the better geometry. I looked at a gf piranha and a specialized rockhopper comp disc today and for about the same money I think I liked the rockhopper a little more. I still have to clarify what fork comes on the bike though as the picture shows a tora fork but the description said it came with a recon. the rockhopper comp disc was $940 at a local shop.
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