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First time back on the dirt trails in over 20 years

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First time back on the dirt trails in over 20 years

Old 06-30-20, 03:41 AM
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cabledawg
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First time back on the dirt trails in over 20 years

I quit mountain biking when my wife found out she was pregnant with our first kid. Then a storage unit fire claimed my tricked out early model GT Karakorum. Shortly after I bought a Schwinn hybrid, then moved to cargo bikes. Two decades later and being single again has led me back to some old hobbies so last weekend I bought a used GT Avalanche 3.0 (non disc) from a CL add. Bike is in really good shape and just needed some knobbies thrown on it.

So yesterday I got off work early, loaded up the bike (need a better trunk rack) and headed over the local MTB trails. I met a few folks in the parking lot, all of them very friendly and happy to see an old enthusiast getting back into it. I wanted to start out with a mellow ride but due to COVID, the routes are kinda funky to ensure SD. So I started on a green and ended up on a blue. Total run was only 1.5 miles but I loved every minute of it. Well except when I flopped over on a tight corner and scrubbed a tree with my shoulder

My old broken body likely wont handle the stuff I used to ride back in the day, but man I do remember why I loved this sport so much. It's an intense workout at times, but it's fun as hell!
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Old 06-30-20, 07:34 AM
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Yep, regardless of age, it's a lot of fun! Some of the stuff I used to ride, I'll now pass on, but still enjoy rolling over the rocks, roots, mild drops, but nothing as extreme as in the past. Met a rider not long ago on a difficult trail, who was riding a dual-susp, modern 29'er. He was 66 y.o. Told me I'd probably walk 3 sections of the trail I was going to ride-I walked one (should have walked another, but managed to ride over it-that time!) You'll be surprised at what you can ride once you're back at it a while!
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Old 06-30-20, 08:50 AM
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cabledawg
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I'll likely have to work on getting better equipment too, but for now the Avalanche should let me get around until I get more comfortable. Or I might do what I did with my old GT and start swapping parts until it suits me. By the time it was destroyed, the frame and fork were all that was left of the original bike.

My knees and back are a little sore this morning but I'm excited to attempt another run after work today, assuming the t-storm today will hold off or be mild enough that the trails stay open.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:52 AM
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Welcome back! It sounds like the off road biking flame has been rekindled. A lot has changed in 20 years. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 07-01-20, 08:05 AM
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Welcome back! MTB never gets old!
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Old 07-02-20, 05:42 AM
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Did my second ride last night. Place was busy but again, everyone was friendly. This time I did two loops on the same path I ran the other day. First run was way too fast but man getting air under the tires felt good! Second run was a little slower overall and I was feeling it in my arms and sides by the time I got off the trail.

One thing I've noticed already is that I need a better fork. Funny because I didn't use one for the longest time on my old Karakorum as they weren't very common except on custom builds or very expensive setups. My current fork (Rock Shox RSD 100mm travel?) is bottoming out too often even on the highest setting. It might just need to be rebuilt too, but I'll likely just look for a new fork altogether. And so it begins......again!
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Old 07-04-20, 09:17 AM
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Wait, "cabledawg" as in 31L?

Your 100mm fork is bottoming out? Adjust the compression if the fork has it or add air (if your fork is air)?
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Old 07-05-20, 06:56 AM
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cabledawg
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"Cabledawg" as in USAF 2E6X2/3D1X7.

As for the fork, it's a basic spring shock with the preloads almost maxed out. It likely needs a rebuild (assuming there's such a thing for a low end component) or I might just upgrade to something newer, rebuildable and with more adjustment.
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Old 07-05-20, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cabledawg View Post

One thing I've noticed already is that I need a better fork. Funny because I didn't use one for the longest time on my old Karakorum as they weren't very common except on custom builds or very expensive setups. My current fork (Rock Shox RSD 100mm travel?) is bottoming out too often even on the highest setting. It might just need to be rebuilt too, but I'll likely just look for a new fork altogether. And so it begins......again!
Did you mean Rockshox SID maybe? I don't think there was an RSD model. Most Rockshox have rebuild kits out there.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:10 AM
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I looked at it this weekend and it's a Suntour SR fork. The fork on my cargo bike is a Rock Shox and I got them mixed up but don't ask me how
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Old 07-08-20, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cabledawg View Post
I looked at it this weekend and it's a Suntour SR fork. The fork on my cargo bike is a Rock Shox and I got them mixed up but don't ask me how
I wish you the best of luck in your search for a replacement fork given non disk and probably straight steerer. From your posts it sounds like you are up for the challenge.
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Old 07-13-20, 10:35 AM
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I'm in the same boat. I need to get into the modern world with a new (used) bike! Looking at the Surly Karate Monkey.
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Old 07-13-20, 02:13 PM
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What kind of lube are you using when riding those dirt trails? Wet lubes seem to pick up a lot of grit that acts like sandpaper on the drivetrain.
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Old 07-13-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RowdyTI View Post
What kind of lube are you using when riding those dirt trails? Wet lubes seem to pick up a lot of grit that acts like sandpaper on the drivetrain.
I always use dry not unless It's a wet/rainy/Winter ride.
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Old 07-13-20, 05:46 PM
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Well, I've been using wet, but wiping the chain well after each ride. I like the low toxicity of the one I have, which is just a basic oil of some kind. The LBS said I could eat it. I store my bike in my living room, so I have to breathe in whatever I put on the bike.
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Old 07-15-20, 08:37 AM
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You eat, breathe,and have fun with your beauty in your living room.
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Old 07-15-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cabledawg View Post
I quit mountain biking when my wife found out she was pregnant with our first kid. Then a storage unit fire claimed my tricked out early model GT Karakorum. Shortly after I bought a Schwinn hybrid, then moved to cargo bikes. Two decades later and being single again has led me back to some old hobbies so last weekend I bought a used GT Avalanche 3.0 (non disc) from a CL add. Bike is in really good shape and just needed some knobbies thrown on it.

So yesterday I got off work early, loaded up the bike (need a better trunk rack) and headed over the local MTB trails. I met a few folks in the parking lot, all of them very friendly and happy to see an old enthusiast getting back into it. I wanted to start out with a mellow ride but due to COVID, the routes are kinda funky to ensure SD. So I started on a green and ended up on a blue. Total run was only 1.5 miles but I loved every minute of it. Well except when I flopped over on a tight corner and scrubbed a tree with my shoulder

My old broken body likely wont handle the stuff I used to ride back in the day, but man I do remember why I loved this sport so much. It's an intense workout at times, but it's fun as hell!
I love this! you sound like me! Welcome back, you will progress faster than you think.

I mountain biked a lot when I was 21 or so, my Schwinn Mesa was stolen from my apt's storage locker (this was back at the tail end of when Schwinn was a LBS bike of decent quality, a la, GT, etc.). I never replaced it and I got in to commuting in 2016.

COVID-19 closed my office and therefore my commute, I started mountain biking on my latest bike (a very capable rigid bike, Jones LWB) in the nearby hills with maintained trails, because riding on the road without going anywhere didn't appeal to me at all. This has been since March and I am way more chicken$h1t than I was when I was 21 but having a blast! The first climb to the top (1,000 vertical feet) I was like "welp. Never doing that again" ... now it's no big deal!
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Old 07-15-20, 09:35 AM
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It's been good so far. I've been on the trails about a half dozen times, mostly just greens and blues and shorter runs. I did find out that my tires are too wide so i cant shift down into the smallest chainring anymore. I'll fix that by swapping out the crank assembly. The stock one really isn't geared for mountain biking anyways, but I don't think the Avalanche was designed to be hardcore anyways. My suspension fork will need to be replaced as well. Even with the preloads cranked, it bottoms out far too easily and I'm not a heavy guy.

I'm really starting to remember why I loved off-road biking. Zipping through the trees, dodging rocks and roots, coasting the downhills, digging in hard on the uphills. It's a workout, but a fun workout
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