Being a newbie to this sport and only doing it because I like the rush, new sights, and its fun, I wish that I could find someone close by that could help me out strategy wise on some climbs, bunny hops and basics that make riding easier.
Our desert floor is tricky, 2 climbs I have looked at from a UTV stand point and from my bike both are challenging even with a motorized vehicle like a Ranger, even my 350 hp truck has technical troubles getting up that climb.
1st climb) starts out at 30 degrees and half way up it becomes 40-45 degree incline.
The base is filled with loose gravel and silt-powder under that gravel, every single time I hit that a different way my fork bottoms out and I stop dead in my tracks.
The other day I decided going around it would be easier, but an unforeseen obstacle got in my way, another bump that I didn't see and the fork bottomed out again. I made an adjustment on pre-load but I hadn't realized that I had locked it out when I hit pavement, only-then-half way through the other trail did I realize that the lockout was still on, I started wondered why the ride was so rough....doh
I don't know if I should have gotten a FS bike instead or if I am just trying to do too much at once. My first ride in the desert a week ago was no better, I decided to back track (it was another 45 minute ride with 100% uphill battle) because I couldn't get over some of the obstacles that the county water retention ditches have in them.
ETA: I returned the KHS after numerous fitment issues (I got a M frame but needed an XL store refused to order one, so I returned it) and in ability to get better parts because so few choice were available. Buying a Trek 29er on a 21" frame, not sure if whether to go with the Gary Fisher Marlin or not-may just stay at entry level.