78 points (view top contributors)
Albuquerque // New Mexico
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People with ear buds in so they can’t hear bikers, joggers, equestrians, etc.
-rude hikers/bikers (you know, those guys who won’t let you pass)
-litterers ( 😕 is that a word? people who litter)
i got a fuel ex 6 in ’09 and it is also my first FS bike. i think the bike is actually an ’08 model, bought it used from a coworker who had only ridden it twice for $600 (yeah, i got a good deal). i might be a little biased because i got such a good deal, but i love this bike.
the suspension system eats up roots and rocks and the derailleurs are as crisp and responsive as you’d expect from a bike in its price range (correct me if i’m wrong but MSRP around $1500?). The rear suspension locks out for climbs, since this is the only FS i’ve ridden extensively i don’t know how it compares to other rear suspensions, but I wish it was possible to go from squishy to rigid w/o having to dismount. Also even when it is locked out there’s still enough play to see a noticeable difference in climbing abilities compared to a hardtail but the ex 6 more than makes up for it on the downhill.
Don’t know what kind of riding you usually do but i’d put the ex 6 somewhere between XC and AM. If you want a mainly XC bike that can handle small-medium drop offs and can practically glide down somewhat technical dh then this bike is a great choice.
yeah, had the same problem with my camelback and was hesitant to throw it in the washer machine. eventually it got to the point where i either needed to wash it or get a new one. threw it in the wash, problem solved.
…I’d suggest Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. A great read and it’s nice to have a hard copy lying around that you can highlight and mark up.
my roomate recently picked this book up (2nd edition) and it’s helped him out a lot.
#1. quick bike "look-over"
-air in tires/suspension
-no obvious chain/derailleur/frame/brake defects
#2. try to bring…
-water (if you only bring one thing, bring this)
-spare tube and or patches
-first aid kit
-snacks (i like to bring cliff bars, trail mix and or craisins)
#3. just have fun man.
first time around i’d recommend going w/ someone or w/ a group but if you can’t thats okay too. if you don’t have a lot of experience on a bicycle don’t get discouraged if you have to get off and walk or if you fall, it’s normal when you’re first starting out. welcome to mtb’ing man, hope you enjoy it.
it took about a year or so before i felt like i was any good at all. it’s different for everybody though, i know some people who have ridden for 4-5 years and are still pretty horrible riders and on the flip side of that i’ve seen guys out riding for only there 3rd or 4th time that look like they’ve been on a mtb since the womb. i wouldn’t worry too much about skill level though becuase like you said, mtb’ing is f’n awesome and even when i do have a "bad day" and end up eating dirt a couple times, i still always have a blast.
Long Rides (12 miles +)
-1 packet oatmeal mixed w/ craisins
-2 scrambled eggs (w/ 1 gallon of cholula hot sauce)
-1 glass orange juice
-1,000,000 gallons of water
Short Rides (8-12 miles)
-anything that’s in the fridge or chick-fil-a (not that chick-fil-a makes any sense for breakfast)
I’m not trying to pick on neil’s Mamba because it is a good bike, I’m just using it as a reference because, in that price range, most major bike companies offer bikes that are very similar in quality.
Ibex has really good bikes for the money. Their Alpine hardtail is only $700 and has components that are just as good if not better than most other bikes that cost $200-300 more. I like the Ibex’s derailleur’s, fork and tires over the Mamba’s but I’m not crazy about the way the Ibex looks (not that it really matters I guess). Ibex is a good/reputable company but since you have to order online, you won’t get the LBS perks.
http://www.ibexbikes.com/IBEX_BIKE_SPEC … ine550#top
Here’s another bike thats pretty comparable for $679. The Mamba’s fork is little more preferable than the Bianchi’s Suntour in my opinion but the Suntour still has desent reviews and the same goes for the Mamba’s Acera ft derailleur vs the Bianchi’s Alvio. Never ridden a Bianchi myself but I know a couple guys, one have a Bianchi Sok 29er and the other has the Sok 29er SS and they both love them.
http://www.bianchiusa.com/archives/2010 … doss-5200/
Those are some cheaper options, but if I was dead set on buying a bike from my LBS (which typically consisit of Trek, Giant, Cannondale, etc.) in that price range, I’d go for the Trek Cobia even though it’s a little pricier at $1159 mainly because I like the SRAM X5’s a little better than the usual Acera/Deore combo.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mo … race/cobia
ha ha this threads been going for 5 years and so far the only items found that are of note are..
-people "doin’ it"
in other words, if you have aspirations of being a treasure hunter, buy a metal detector and not a mtb!
So this is why I hesitate to venture onto forums – the infamous "strawman" argument…There is this belief that if you don’t ride clipless pedals that you will not be nearly as good as you are with them which simply isn’t true…
😮 whoa whoa cool your jets man, i have no beef with flats! i’ve ridden tons of times with em’ and loved every second. i was just saying that, in my experience, clipless have an advantage in long distance rides, not that switching from flats to clipless will make you an olympic mtb’er. also w/ clipless you have power available to you from either leg at any given moment during the pedal cycle. if you’re climbing a technical hill (slowly) and suddenly you need power instantly you can push with your left while pulling with your right as opposed to just pushing with your left; letting you take advantage of both your legs at once instead of just the one at the top of the cycle.I never said that they have no advantage, I said that they are overrated.Please don’t put words in my mouth and then ask me to defend them.
ha ha i beg to differ sir…
"…since there is no evidence that one is better than the other…CLIPLESS PEDALS OFFER NO ADVANTAGE and allow you to get away with a less powerful, less efficient technique. This ultimately holds you back from being as fast as you can be…""fat_billy" wrote
I spin to win and you mash so don’t crash
i disagree w/ fat bill’s asessment of flat’s place on the trail and there’s no reason to be ashamed of using flats so you don’t crash. i know DH guys that use flats, just for that reason, that do way more hard core stuff than i’m willing to attempt w/ or w/o clipless!
. In more than one study pulling up on the pedals resulted in a less powerful and less efficient pedal stroke. The most powerful and efficient pedal stroke was seen by simply pressing down hard with the lead leg and allowing for a passive return of the trail leg, much like happens when you run.
obviously pedal mashing is a more efficient way to pedal than soley focusing on the "pulling up" motion. however, for long distance rides i think clipless have the advantage over flats. clipless allows you to use more than JUST your "pedal mashing" muscles which gives your legs the ability to last longer.Did you check out the post and the studies?
kind of hard to form an opinion on the results since ya only got the notes so far. i would be interested however to see more specifics on this experiment mainly because i so wholeheartedly disagree with the conclusion that clipless has no advantage at all over flats 😛!
someone probably found a really nice pair of oakely’s @ tom brown park in tallahassee 😠 …
Orginally from NM, I gotta go with ‘Bosai’. NM/AZ area usually has a higher temp than GA but the humidity makes it seem WAY worse. Either way NM, AZ and GA got nothing on UAE, 120 deg 68% humidity. Ha ha thats where I spent last summer and there were guys out working (albeit working slowly) in that for 12 hour days wearing jeans + long sleeve shirt + jump suit for $300 a month and never complained a bit!
Sounds like a good way to loose a toe …or two
yeah ha ha or ten
ha that would definitley raise some eyebrows on the trail. i can’t imagine how pedaling without shoes would be much different than just riding w/o clipless but then again a year ago i would have never believed that running barefoot would become a new "thing" but nowadays there are a lot of people who swear by it. sounds like a field test is in order although there might be some saftey factors to consider. as i kid i was literally forbidden by my parents from riding my bike w/o shoes, too many skinned toes.
If you’ve never been to the Big Bend area in Texas, do yourself a favor and DON’T miss it.
ha ha alright but if i end up on cnn because i’m being held for ransom in juraez by drug cartels it’s on you
Which 9 are you planning on hitting?
i’m stationed in ga but originally i’m from albuquerque nm. once i get back from the desert i’ll be driving back to abq and along the way i’ll stop @
oak mountain state park / near birmingham, alabama
berryman trail / potosi, missouri
syllamo trails / mountain view, arkansas
the womble / hot springs, arkansas
fresno sauceda loop / near terilingua texas
(since i’ll be solo for the first five i may not do the texas one, it’s kind of close to the border and it sounds pretty secluded! i haven’t decided yet.)
once in abq me and my brother and a couple of friends are gonna do the 4 epics in colorado (buffalo creek, edge loop, monarch crest, telegraph trails). on the return trip, if i have time, i might try to hit up tanasi trails in tennessee."GoldenGoose" wrote
I’ve ridden everything in the SE except the two in FL and I’ll probably end up making a bike trip down that way to check those off as well.
i can’t speak for alafia but santos is pretty awesome. if it was just a little closer (or if gas prices went down!) i’d probably make the trip once a month.
that’s pretty nuts that all that fit in that backpack (it’s like the bag from marry poppins!). sounds like you’d been planning this out for awhile so you may have already seen these…
(http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/Rac … Racks.html)
…but i wonder if it would be a better option than the seat bag. like you said, i can imagine that in certain technical situations that seat bag could be… ungainly?
anyways i bet this trip was a blast, pretty jealous."GoldenGoose" wrote
Since you live in GA, why not give the Ga section of the Pinhoti Trail a shot?
i had no idea that the pinhoti trail was that long. ideally it would be nice if you could just skip the paved parts though (idk if thats possible). since i’ve already got a bike trip planned for the fall when i get back ("9 IMBA epic trails in 3 weeks" roadtrip, can’t wait!), i guess now i have something to plan for the spring!
looking forward to a post about your bikepacking setup? i have aspirations of one day doing the tour divide (not the race neccessarily, just the route) or the arizona trail someday. i probably won’t be lucky enough to have that opportunity for a while though, if ever, so a more realistic goal for me would be to do a 3-4 day trip like this. i don’t know anyone personally whose ever attempted a trip like this so i’m curious to see what you guys brought (and what you wished you had brought) and how you carried it.
over the last several years i’ve introduced a lot of coworkers to mt biking and when it comes to pedals and the inevitable transition to clipless i always give the same advice, stick with "flats" until you get to the point where you don’t expect to crash everytime you hit the trail. after you’ve been out a couple times without eating dirt then start looking to move to clipless. sure it might seem pricey but realistically there is nothing that will increase your efficiency more out on the trail than clipless pedals. in other words you will probably get more "bang for your buck" buying clipless then you ever will from any other upgrade you could make. yes the transition sucks and can be painful but in the end you’ll be glad you did it. think of it like pulling off a band-aid, better to just get it over with!