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Beginner starting off. Hows my gear/bike choice?

Old 11-16-11, 11:19 PM
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agold2009
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Beginner starting off. Hows my gear/bike choice?

So I used to ride on the street when I was younger, but haven't ridden in a while.

I visited my local bike shop a few times and finally decided on a 26er full suspension bike and placed the order.


https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../fuel_ex_9_7/#

I decided on the Trek Fuel EX 9.7 Carbon. I realize this is somewhat overkill but I'd rather spend the money now, than down the line upgrading or buying a new bike etc as my skill level advances.

In addition, I bought the following accessories:

Fox Striker Helmet

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

Shimano PD-A530 Dual platform pedals:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

Shimano SH-MT42NV Shoes

https://www.zappos.com/shimano-sh-mt42nv

And a pair of basic Fox gloves and long Fox riding pants.

What do you guys think of the stuff I got? I didn't want to go with pure clip on's as I am a beginner. Is that the wiser choice?

Also I was really torn between going with a 29er and a 26er and kinda regret my decision with not going with a 29er. What do you guys think? Most shops I talked to said 29er's are gaining popularity and are easier to maneuver over obstacles etc. Am I really going to notice the disadvantages of a 26er compared to a 29er?

Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks
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Old 11-16-11, 11:22 PM
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All crap. You may send it back to the place you bought it. I'll give you the return address.

Actually...I like it all except for the pedals. Make a freakin' decision. Run flats or clipless...but don't waffle a decision like that. The shoes are alot like mine. Mine are really durable...diggin' them for quite some time now.
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Old 11-17-11, 06:53 PM
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I figured I go with dual style pedals for now because I really don't have any experience with clipless. Once I get the hang of the clipless, I will just buy a new set like the XTR line or something
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Old 11-17-11, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by agold2009 View Post
Also I was really torn between going with a 29er and a 26er and kinda regret my decision with not going with a 29er. What do you guys think? Most shops I talked to said 29er's are gaining popularity and are easier to maneuver over obstacles etc. Am I really going to notice the disadvantages of a 26er compared to a 29er?
Next time you spend close to $4k on a bike it might be an idea to test ride a few different bikes to see which you prefer.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Next time you spend close to $4k on a bike it might be an idea to test ride a few different bikes to see which you prefer.
I did but not extensively lol. Oh well too late now.
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Old 11-18-11, 06:48 AM
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I have an ex8, which I bought after riding around my old newly fixed up childhood mountain bike for my first season or two. I love the bike especially the plush suspension. Here in Southern NH a lot of the public trails are super rocky and rooty, so the rear really soaks up the medium sized bumps but still lets you pump over them to keep up speed.

I still crashed a lot when I first got the ex8 and have two or three noticeable dents, plenty of dings and scrapes on the frame. Nothing to be worried about on an alloy frame but I doubt the carbon wouldn't have cracked or splintered. I also think I would have been more worried about a carbon frame cracking and not taken as many risks as I have.

Oddly enough I just got that same helmet and its awesome, so excellent choice there.
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Old 11-18-11, 09:14 AM
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That's one hell of a way to start. Nice bike.

The problem with pedals like that is you really don't get a good experience with either type. The platform side is slicker than a good set of platforms, and the clipless side is only on one side. Which means that Murphy's Law states that you'll always want the side that's on the bottom, and you'll need to flip them.
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Old 11-18-11, 10:43 AM
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Nice setup! I have the same shoes, its also good to know that zappos sells them. Gear is good, now post some trail pictures! That's where the fun is.
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Old 11-18-11, 11:49 AM
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Heck of a start!

I have a Fuel EX8 and love it.
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Old 11-18-11, 11:43 PM
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So I picked up my bike today. The seat post is slightly too high (even at the lowest setting the tip of my feet are about 1-2inches off the ground). The bike shop assembling the bike said I need to cut the tube. Is this standard practice? Kinda angers me as I'd like everything to be OEM without modifications like cuttting it.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-19-11, 12:00 AM
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1) You didn't check the size before you ordered a $4000 bike?!
2) Yes, I've cut seat posts before. Anyway, you'll make other modifications fast. You might find yourself changing things like the saddle, grips, and/or tires right away, and maybe changing other stuff later.
3) Saddle height is determined with your feet on the pedals, not on the ground. The height of the bottom bracket will dictate how close your feet come to the ground. That and your riding style, since an aggressive rider who doesn't use the saddle might slam it to get it out of the way.

Last edited by Zephyr11; 11-19-11 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Did I really write "seat tube??" Durr...my brain must be shut off.
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Old 11-19-11, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
1) You didn't check the size before you ordered a $4000 bike?!
2) Yes, I've cut seat tubes before. Anyway, you'll make other modifications fast. You might find yourself changing things like the saddle, grips, and/or tires right away, and maybe changing other stuff later.
3) Saddle height is determined with your feet on the pedals, not on the ground. The height of the bottom bracket will dictate how close your feet come to the ground. That and your riding style, since an aggressive rider who doesn't use the saddle might slam it to get it out of the way.
Yes I rode another Fuel but it was like a Fuel EX 8 they didn't have any 9's in stock my bike was a special order (that one fit me nicely I figured this would too) Maybe I will just order a different saddle tube.. I dotn know about cutting things.
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Old 11-19-11, 08:38 AM
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Something tells me that somebody, somewhere, is gonna get a good deal on a barely used Fuel EX very soon.
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Old 11-19-11, 09:52 AM
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^For his sake, I hope not. But I think so.

I would have recommended getting a cheaper used bike to start with. That way if you decided you didn't like the sport after a month, you could resell it for roughly the same price (maybe more if you got a good deal). And if you did like the sport, you could still resell it a month later for the same price & then use what little you learned about MTBing in that month to make a somewhat-educated decision on buying a new bike. But if you have the disposable income, I guess I can see the allure in not wanting to upgrade.

Getting back to reality, it seems like it would have been nice for the bike shop to help guide you with sizing & maybe cut the seat tube for you when it came in.
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Old 11-19-11, 10:07 AM
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If you go to several bike websites, you will see that cutting the tube and making sizing adjustments is pretty standard. Its nothing more than getting fitted for a suit. The sleeves, inseam and waist need fitted. Don't get freaked out. I had a similar reaction when I saw that I needed to trim my $150. Carbon Fiber Seat post. WHAT-CUT IT DOWN! Yeah, the weight weanie world of biking even wants to shave every gram off a bike and custom fit to obsession.

You jumped into biking with both feet. Don't over think it, go get covered in a good healthy sweat.
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Old 11-19-11, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by agold2009 View Post
I dotn know about cutting things.
That's your LBS's job.
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Old 11-19-11, 12:18 PM
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Please don't cut the seat tube, that's part of the frame and you need it.

FWIW I had to cut the seatpost on my Ex8 to get it low enough for rough trails.
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Old 11-19-11, 12:52 PM
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Ide say youve done pretty well. Cant go wrong with a trek carbon bike doesnt get a whole lot better than that. Personally would of gone with something with a little more travel but thats just my preference. Fox strikers a nice helmet, been contemplating getting one myself for a lighter hot weather helmet. Only thing ide disagree with are the pedals. Like previously stated go flats or clipless but stay away from the combos. If youre not sure get a pair of both and then youre set. They both have there benefits for different types of terrain.

Now get out there and get some dirt on that bike. Its way to shiny . And most importantly have fun! Cus thats what this is all about. Happy trails.

On a side note whats that bike weighing in at? Ive seen some stupid light fuels.
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Old 11-20-11, 02:34 AM
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Thanks i think it weighs in around 28lbs thats heavy no?.

Originally Posted by YamiRider1316 View Post
Ide say youve done pretty well. Cant go wrong with a trek carbon bike doesnt get a whole lot better than that. Personally would of gone with something with a little more travel but thats just my preference. Fox strikers a nice helmet, been contemplating getting one myself for a lighter hot weather helmet. Only thing ide disagree with are the pedals. Like previously stated go flats or clipless but stay away from the combos. If youre not sure get a pair of both and then youre set. They both have there benefits for different types of terrain.

Now get out there and get some dirt on that bike. Its way to shiny . And most importantly have fun! Cus thats what this is all about. Happy trails.

On a side note whats that bike weighing in at? Ive seen some stupid light fuels.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by agold2009 View Post
Thanks i think it weighs in around 28lbs thats heavy no?.
28lbs? Stock my EX8 was 28.5lbs and now is 26.3lbs. with stock wheels.
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Old 11-20-11, 07:53 AM
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^^ What have you switched out? Seems like the cranks, seatpost, bars and saddle are probably where the most gains could come from if you keep the wheels stock.

I do like those offset spoke bead Duster rims. Once I re-tensioned them and got all the machine built screwiness out they've been bombproof.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:17 AM
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What kind of scale are you using? Seems a bit heavy for a CF frame. My bike sits right around 31# right now with an AM fork and tubed tires...I'd be shocked if I could match the weight of a $4k CF bike with a XC fork and tubeless tires.
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Old 11-20-11, 11:15 AM
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My XL '08 Spark is 25.6 with a pump and bottle cage and REI off the shelf tubes. But you might get some stability where I don't.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
^^ What have you switched out? Seems like the cranks, seatpost, bars and saddle are probably where the most gains could come from if you keep the wheels stock.

I do like those offset spoke bead Duster rims. Once I re-tensioned them and got all the machine built screwiness out they've been bombproof.
I went with XT cranks and cassette, Welgo MG1 pedals, Thomson seat post and stem, X9 shifters and RD, Easton EC70 XC bars, Velo Pronto SL.Z3 and some other bits.

Edit: Kenda Karmas and Ill add more as they come to me.

Last edited by Hou-Tex; 11-20-11 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 11:57 PM
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Well I weighed myself on a scale, then held the bike and re-weighed. I reweighed earlier today and I think it actually came out to around 26lbs. Maybe I was off
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