I was an avid bike rider growing up, especially after my parents bought me a Giant "18 speed" (3×6) mountain bike in the early 90s- one of those entry-level 50lb rigid ones with underpowered rim brakes (nothing like today’s rim brakes, which work surprisingly well). I rode that thing everywhere and loved it, but never did any "real" mountain biking since it was pretty flat where I grew up. I finally got rid of that old thing in a move about 8 years ago- the big chainring was bent such that it hit BOTH sides of the front derailleur during pedaling, and the chain and frame were both rusting, and that old, heavy, rigid frame didn’t seem worth repairing.
Fast forward; after considering a bike for the past couple of years, I got myself a new Specialized Hardrock 29er disc, and I’m loving it! The equipment sure has come a long way. There are actual trails to ride out here (Ridgecrest, CA), and the bike has been performing great on the dirt, rocks, and sand, as well as neighborhood rides with my wife and kids. The only aftermarket stuff I’ve put on it is a small saddlebag with a spare tube and patch kit, and some Shimano Saint flats which blow the factory plastic pedals out of the water (I assume they were meant to be replaced.) I know there are more premium bikes out there, but I’m loving this one, and I expect to have it for a long time.
I’m looking forward to getting better and tackling more trails in the mountains and valleys around here!
Oh no, another new guy! Just kidding 😆 Welcome! Don’t you just love those old bikes we grew up riding? You look back and think how did I do all of that on that junker? At the time it didn’t matter a bit 😃 Glad you are enjoying the new bike, how you have many memorable rides on it!
Thanks! I’ve got a buddy who is definitely more experienced than I am- he is getting a group of us together to tackle a trail which is pretty technical- listed as double diamond on here. It’ll be a big step up for me, but I want to give it a shot- any recommendations beyond training with my bike and having all the proper gear for a day on the trail? (which I have)
Double diamonds can be tough! Best advice is, don’t get talked into riding sections you aren’t comfortable with. There’s no shame in walking through an area. It’s better to ride home at the days end!
Check out the Global Mountain Bike Network Youtube site. They have lots of good short videos on skills. Even if you know them, the refresher is helpful. As an experienced rider, I sometimes find myself falling into bad habits. It’s good to be reminded of the "proper way" sometimes!
Thanks for the advice! I definitely have no shame in getting off my bike and walking- I’ve done that on some difficult climbs already. It turns out he was talking about a different trail which is more intermediate, so I’m not quite as intimidated (although I’ve wiped out twice on intermediate trails already…) I am also swapping my super-bouncy stock fork (Suntour XCT) for a Rockshox XC32TK solo air fork this weekend, which should improve the handling a lot.