Newb here with so many questions

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Newb here with so many questions

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    • #500907

      My name is Joe and I am definitely a newbie here. Signed up to this forum to ask some or rather many questions. When I was younger (about 15-20 years ago now) I use to love taking my bmx bike on the trails and ride them hard. I loved climbing cause I knew the descent would be so worth it. Finding lines and making my way around things just seemed so fun. Then I stopped biking almost entirely. Most recently, for a while now I’ve been considering buying a mtb, and now that I am looking to pull the trigger on a bike I’ve realized I didn’t do enough of my homework. I’ll read one article and be set on a full sus bike, then I’ll read another article and think maybe I should start out with a hardtail.

      With so many features on bikes I’m not sure where to begin. I plan on riding anything and everything. A lot of the super local trails by me are flat with minor ascents. So i figured suspension lockouts are good? do all bikes come with this feature?

      I also plan to ride heavier trails with rock gardens and the such. I mean when I think about riding thats what i think about most. I want to hit jumps, and drops offs, probably nothing serious yet but I definitely want air time.

      what about dropper posts? is this something most bikes come with? What should i look for when looking into this.

      How much travel do i need? I was considering something between 130mm-150mm

      I guess my major question is where do i start? How do i settle on a first timers bike? I should also state ive been looking into buying used bikes so i can save some money. I figured once i actually get a bike and start riding then i’ll figure out whats most important to me in terms of features. So i dont exactly want to break the wallet on my first bike.

      I found a hardtail on craigslist for about $450, the bike is an On One 456 (with Fox Sektor RL fork with 140mm of travel, -New 26in Maxxis Ardent (front) and Ikon (rear) tires. New (less than 50 miles on them) front cog, chain, and cassette. Sram x7 9 speed rear derailleur. Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic brakes and rotors. Truvativ cranks, stem, and handlebars. It needs new brake pads and a brake bleed since it has been sitting for a while.
      The fork should also probably be serviced with the rear derailleur, as neither have been touched in two years. This bike was originally set up as a 2 by 9, and i still have the original front cogs, bash guard, and derailleur which I will include if you want them)

      What is a brake bleed? and what is a 2 by 9 set up? Also, Would this be a good bike to start out with? The travel seems nice, and the reviews on the bike aren’t bad other than it is a heavy steel frame and a bit harsh. Should I hold off and keep searching for something different. I feel like a lot of bikes will be going up for sale after the summer. I dont just want to pull the trigger on something just to get anything and then be unhappy with it, but like i said i also dont want to break the bank just yet.

      I’ll end this here and start with these handful of questions for now. Please go easy on me, as i said, I am a total newb. Any help is much appreciated!

    • #500997

      I would get a full suspension bike. New spend around $1500-2000. Definitely get a dropper, Travel between 120-140mm should be enough for most trails. I think all new bikes are a 1 x 10, 11, or 12. 2×9 means you have a front deraulier 18 gears.

    • #500999

      Thanks for the reply GJ. So much info out there to look into while reading up on bikes that i think i’m making myself crazy. Do you recommend any full sus bikes in that price range of  $1500-2k?

    • #501000

      Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, … Also checkout used, you will pay alot less, and get more for your money on a good deal. Good Luck!

    • #501002

      First I would suggest more research. There is much to learn but I will take a stab at answering some questions. What is your budget? If you have $1,500-$2.000 to spend on a bike and money left over for a helmet at minimum but I would suggest gloves, shorts and some kind of eye protection then just go to the bike shop and have them help you pick a bike. If you have this type of money you can stop reading. I hear your details and I suggest a hardtail and the travel you suggested 130-150 is good. I would not buy any bike with a 26″ wheel unless it is a fat bike. Newer bikes have a 29″ or 27.5″ wheel. I have both and either one is great. Droppers are great but not necessary. I have a Timberjack Salsa, 29er and a Santa Cruz, 27.5 and both are capable and great. Most bikes worth buying have a lock out on the shock. I would suggest more YouTube videos. Seth’s Bike Hacks or GMBN have a lot of great videos that you can learn all about mountain biking and they aren’t talking down to you or over your head. This is the one warning I would given the current environment. Bikes are hard to come by right now due to COVID. Everything got bought up even on the used market. Some selling on the used market realize there is a high demand and low availability and are raising prices. This is one of the few times I might suggest new over used. Watch for scams on used bikes.

    • #501054

      I would buy a hardtail. Ive been riding forever and I still prefer my hardtail. It teaches you things on the trail that a duallie doesn’t. There is also a difference between a 26, 27.5 and a 29er. I personally only ride 26 and its effort to roll compared to the larger tires. I find it more fun and intensive compared to a 29er that I would prob only use for racing. Buying used is a smart move, it really doesn’t matter what size fork as long as the service is deducted from the asking price and the stanchions are in shape with functioning lockouts. I don’t have a standard for when to lock out or not, whatever I feel the trail needs, I adjust the lockout. oh and then,  over time you will get really good at buying used to the extent of traveling and trying out new trails at the same location. Sometimes you have to buy in front of a police station or inside a bike shop. People do just walk up and take your bike or take it off your rack and make a b- line. BicycleBlueBook can sometimes help with pricing. If you buy new, a Trek Stache has gotten the best reviews from the most people I respect in MtB.

      A brake bleed is changing the fluids that assist in braking like changing the brake fluid on a car. Either mineral oil or Dot4. I have learned to bleed my own and not only does it save money, but lots of time. You’ll feel more connected to your bike as well. This is one thing I would suggest you eventually do; maintain your own bike. A 2 x 9 is just that, more options to climb and pedal on relative descents.

      I don’t use. a dropper post and I should. If you can get one included in the price or one on sale. Go for it. I don’t ride tubeless either. Just ride.

    • #501202

      Thanks GJ, M, and DA…you all have super helping insights.

      Definitely still doing more research and I’m on Craigslist and facebook market place multiple times a day looking for bikes. Definitely came across a few scams ready. My area is tough being so close to NYC. I’ve also noticed a ton of bikes being sold for way higher than retail value. I’m hoping in the next month or 2 prices will average out. A few bikes I’ve seen for sale that by the time I was done researching then they were sold already.

      I’m now focusing more on a hardtail since it will be more in my price range. Figure I’ll start with that..probably a 27.5 and then once I’m fully immerged in the sport I’ll make the jump to full suss. I just want to get riding so bad already.

      Do LBS sell their demo bikes or rental bikes at lower costs ever?

    • #501276

      Yes, a lot of shops do. Call around. Also, check out the buy/sell forum at PinkBike.

    • #501510

      2020 or 2021 Specialized Fuse.    Budget is right, and it’s a great bike.

      You should be careful about buying used.   You don’t have a warranty and if the drivetrain and suspension haven’t been maintained, you will quickly make up the price difference with parts and service.    I am not saying buying used is a bad idea, but you do have to do your homework.

    • #501528

      To do the rock gardens, drops, and jumps you’re expecting, you’ll find full suspension is the best answer. There are a few options under $2K, but somewhat limited on selection and options available. More options are available once you get past $2.5K and that’s hard to justify for someone just getting started. For most people starting out with a budget, there are some quality hardtails around $1K. It makes a lot of sense (cents) to go this route, ride it hard for a couple seasons to see what you’re really into, and then think about a major purchase down the road if it sticks. Think about doing a couple rentals to see what works.

      A few other suggestions: big fan of 1X gear system (which means no derailleur in the front) and to do the kind of stuff you’re suggesting I strongly recommend a dropper post. If you do go with a hardtail, look for “plus” tires – a little wider (about 2.8″) will suck up smaller roots and rocks nicely.

    • #501764

      My opinion, the bang for the buck on a do everything bike is Giant Trance. But that being said, there are tons of good bikes all over the spectrum. The best way to find one it to test ride a bunch and see what feels best to you.

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