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I want to try Mountain Biking

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I want to try Mountain Biking

Old 11-06-11, 05:20 PM
  #1  
sportridertex
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I want to try Mountain Biking

I had a older Specialized Hard Rock that I unloaded 8 years ago, I'd like to get back into the Mountain Bike riding, seems all the newer bikes are suspension and all, I'd like to find a 80's non suspension type of bike.

I think I'd be more of a trail rider than a jumper, just like the idea of wide,knobby tires and my current Road bike and Hybrid are just not too well designed for dirt trails.
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Old 11-06-11, 05:36 PM
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If it's a path a hybrid can't handle, you'll probably appreciate a little bit of front suspension

Common wisdom is that decent mountain bikes can be had for peanuts, and that's been true in my experience.
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Old 11-06-11, 06:59 PM
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Here's one for sale in your local market:
https://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rd...651869244.html
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Old 11-06-11, 07:08 PM
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If you are talking about groomed trails, you'll be OK with a rigid fork. However, in my earlier days of mountain biking, I rode a lot of rocky singletrack on a rigid fork and, to put it mildly, it was not pleasant. Suspension forks are a huge advantage for anything rough.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:15 PM
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A rigid 29r with fat knobbies at low pressure (~20 - 25psi) is doable on moderate singletrack trails. Actually it's pretty fun!
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Old 11-06-11, 07:28 PM
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ish
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
Here's one for sale in your local market:
https://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rd...651869244.html
Wrong Vancouver.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:29 PM
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Check your tire clearance on your hybrid. Some have plenty of clearance for a pair of 45mm knobby tires.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:38 PM
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I picked up an 80's Marin for 35 bucks, Tange MTB frameset..it was all original, hardly ridden. I replaced the tires with modern 2.10's, overhauled the bearings, kept the hideous saddle because its comfy as heck and have been riding it lots lately. It's an excellent bike...the deals are out there for MTB's.

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Old 11-06-11, 08:47 PM
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If you love vintage MTB's, get a vintage MTB.

If you want to get into mountain biking, I suggest a new bike. Rigid or front suspension 29er is a great way of introducing yourself to the sport. Fairly affordable, simple, fast and stable. Geometry and technology progress quickly in the world of mountain bikes, and many of the advancements are quite significant improvements. The older bikes are just too much of a compromise for me to recommend.
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Old 11-06-11, 09:23 PM
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Here's my opinion:

Vintage mountain bikes are cheap and plentiful - for a reason.

Typically a road rider with quality vintage steel is not overly compromised compared to the carbon guys while cruising the skinny tires down the tarmac. Many of us hang in there, climb almost as fast and descent in style with the pack.

Now, with mountain bikes: different story. Since the eighties technology here has gone beyond the comprehension of somebody isolated from the sport. Today's bikes, except on the tamest of trails, are much safer, easier on the body, faster if so inclined, and without doubt a lot more fun - mostly thanks to advanced full suspension.

There are off course a small dedicated group of hard core athletes that ride rigid bikes, often single speed, on the hardest trails, but even these machines are a far cry from the eighties MTB. Better geo on super stiff frames, 29er wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless tires, etc.

While I get tons of satisfaction from riding my Reynolds and Columbus frames I also know I would severely dislike riding a vintage rigid MTB on anything worse than gravel roads.

If you used to be into trail riding and want to get back, well, go modern.

Last edited by jan nikolajsen; 11-06-11 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-06-11, 10:10 PM
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I 'll go against the tide and say by the mid nineties frame design and geometry had arrived as well as quality steel. Unless you ride really technical rocky trails a 89-to 97 or so steel frame with fat tires will rock, will out climb the new long travel stuff and tear up the tight singletrack. I have full suspension and a FS hardtail but I like the rigid as they handle and respond like nothing else. Sometimes less is in fact more IMO.
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Old 11-06-11, 10:44 PM
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Jan, good post. I echo your sentiments fully.

Fred, I'm sorry but I have to disagree. Frame geometry has progressed a ton since the 90's, and suspension tech has as well. Rigid is fun, I have a rigid bike as a second, but modern FS bikes are faster on all but the tamest trails, climbing included. Don't even get me started on braking and drivetrain improvements...

I love a C&V road bike, I love a C&V mountain bike, but I would't recommend either for actual mountain biking.
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Old 11-06-11, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
Here's my opinion:

Vintage mountain bikes are cheap and plentiful - for a reason.

Typically a road rider with quality vintage steel is not overly compromised compared to the carbon guys while cruising the skinny tires down the tarmac. Many of us hang in there, climb almost as fast and descent in style with the pack.

Now, with mountain bikes: different story. Since the eighties technology here has gone beyond the comprehension of somebody isolated from the sport. Today's bikes, except on the tamest of trails, are much safer, easier on the body, faster if so inclined, and without doubt a lot more fun - mostly thanks to advanced full suspension.

There are off course a small dedicated group of hard core athletes that ride rigid bikes, often single speed, on the hardest trails, but even these machines are a far cry from the eighties MTB. Better geo on super stiff frames, 29er wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless tires, etc.

While I get tons of satisfaction from riding my Reynolds and Columbus frames I also know I would severely dislike riding a vintage rigid MTB on anything worse than gravel roads.

If you used to be into trail riding and want to get back, well, go modern.
+1
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Old 11-07-11, 02:39 AM
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just did a 3 hour trail ride on this yesterday - which was a fri night $40 pickup - loved it

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Old 11-07-11, 05:50 AM
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Wow, so many ideas', I like that Orange and green one, I just need to find a bike in the right size, I'm 5'11", I looked at the new bikes online, but I"m thinking what ever I find will be a CraigsList treasure, it seems that mountain bikes run a smaller size that what I normally use for street riding, I have a 58cm Cannondale and a 21inch Trek Mendota.
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Old 11-07-11, 06:46 AM
  #16  
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Wow where are people finding these great deals?
I was talking to a guy at the cx race yesterday who's been MTB'ing since the 80s - his take is that as bike tech has evolved, trail designers have increased the challenges of trails to suit, so relatively speaking the older bike is at more of a disadvantage now than when it was new.
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Old 11-07-11, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tashi View Post
Jan, good post. I echo your sentiments fully.

Fred, I'm sorry but I have to disagree. Frame geometry has progressed a ton since the 90's, and suspension tech has as well. Rigid is fun, I have a rigid bike as a second, but modern FS bikes are faster on all but the tamest trails, climbing included. Don't even get me started on braking and drivetrain improvements...

I love a C&V road bike, I love a C&V mountain bike, but I would't recommend either for actual mountain biking.
Excluding long travel suspension , how has geometry changed. I am seeing lots of bikes with 70-71 degree HA along with 40-45 mm fork rake then and now . For 90% of the trails around here I see no advantage to the new stuff. If you think long travel slack angles is a improvement on nice XC trails I would disagree. For rocky technical trails I agree with you.
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Old 11-07-11, 11:26 AM
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Longer top tubes, shorter stems, higher head tubes. There are many hard tails with much slacker headtube angles in order to accommodate fork compression.

Niners changed dramatically from the early days (late 90's). Trail, head tube angle, front center and chainstay length have all evolved.
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Old 11-07-11, 11:35 AM
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+1 MTB technology has improved tremendously over the years, that's one reason the old rigid frame MTBs are so cheap.

So it really depends on the types of trails and type of riding you plan to do. I like my rigid frame mtb fine for recreational riding on gravel and dirt paths. It works great. But on something challenging, not so hot.

The older mtbs I have found with suspensions, the front forks tended to be worn out and really whimpy.

Last edited by wrk101; 11-07-11 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-07-11, 03:54 PM
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I still have my rigid MTB from the late 80s. (My sig says my MTB is a 1990, but I'm beginning to believe it may actually be more like an '88 or '89.) MTBing was a blast for me back when the bike was new, and it's still fun. I mostly rode MTB as off-season training. I entered one mountain bike race (the Fall Classic in Big Bear, CA) and won! In my mind, this old rigid MTB is more than adequate. I'll admit that not having suspension makes you focus more on your line, absorbing impacts, trail surfaces, etc., but I don't mind any of that. If I want to go out MTBing, I would never think to myself "This isn't going to be enjoyable b/c I don't have suspension." This is not to discount any of the advice above. For me at least, ignorance is bliss!
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Old 11-07-11, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tashi View Post
Longer top tubes, shorter stems, higher head tubes. There are many hard tails with much slacker headtube angles in order to accommodate fork compression.

Niners changed dramatically from the early days (late 90's). Trail, head tube angle, front center and chainstay length have all evolved.
Long top tubes started in the eighties and nineties. Barracuda had long top tubes ,, short stems and short chain stays in 93. Rocky Mountain, Ewr, IRD, Fat Chance Yo Eddy were happening in the late eighties , early nineties. Konas had bikes with long headtubes in the early nineties. Like I said , by the mid nineties GEO had arrived, they just didn't apply it to 120-140 MM forks which suck for the trails we have here.
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Old 11-07-11, 04:54 PM
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It all depends on what you want and how much you want to pay. There are certainly enough used available, but one of the reasons I got my Hunqapillar was to use it both as a touring bike and a 29er (not that I do it justice on the dirt, but I am learning).



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Old 11-07-11, 05:58 PM
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OP: I want to find a basic trail riding rigid MTB.

Most of the responses: Get a new susser!

Frame geometry has not changed drastically since the aforementioned better bikes of the late 80s/early 90s, and while front suspension is "nice to have", it is not necessary for basic XC trail riding, and it makes for more maintenance. Also, a decent old rigid MTB (e.g. Deore or higher) will hold its value, a new suspension bike will be junk in a few years.
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Old 11-07-11, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sportridertex View Post
Wow, so many ideas', I like that Orange and green one, I just need to find a bike in the right size, I'm 5'11", I looked at the new bikes online, but I"m thinking what ever I find will be a CraigsList treasure, it seems that mountain bikes run a smaller size that what I normally use for street riding, I have a 58cm Cannondale and a 21inch Trek Mendota.
sportridertex, regarding fit you'll probably be looking for an 18" frame in a vintage rigid TB frame. I still ride my 90 rigid MTB with an aftermarket suspension fork. I never found cantilever brakes to be inadequate, they work just fine for me. I ride technical rocky trails and enjoy the challenge of having to pick a line rather than just plow through everything letting the bike take care of it. It's not for everybody, you have to decide what aspect of the ride will give you the most pleasure.
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Old 11-07-11, 07:53 PM
  #25  
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I can't give you any advice, as I'm not an avid mountain biker. However, I do have a blast on my Giant Iguana (partly because I love the name). It has no suspension on the front or rear and I don't mind a bit. I don't do anything that hardcore, though, so an old rigid frame works for me. Since they're cheap and plentiful, maybe you could buy one and see how it works for you before you invest a significant amount in a new bike. If the older bike works for you, great. If it doesn't, then resell it or donate it to your local bike co-op, and invest in a new bike with good suspension.

Either way, ride, ride hard, and ride often!
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