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I’ve “retired” 3 helmets in my time riding. The first was a pavement crash where I hit hard enough to crack the foam in 3 places (no doubt preventing a skull fracture). The second was my first full-face DH helmet, my head bounced-off several tree trunks while I tumbled through the trees. The most recent was when I highsided myself out of a turn (and over a small jump) in a bike park.
Yes, I’m a big fan of helmets. I’ll admit I don’t buy the most expensive helmets, I prefer to go with the more inexpensive MIPS helmets while keeping the price tag low enough to be (relatively) painlessly expendible.
Looks like you’re on the right track on sensible upgrades to your bike. Tires and touch points almost shouldn’t be considered “upgrades” as much as just making the bike work for you. On that note, new grips can make a world of difference for a relatively small price.
If, for whatever reason, a tubeless conversion just doesn’t work for you (some lower-end wheels just don’t cooperate) I’ve heard good things about the Tannus Armour tube liners (about $40 each). I don’t personally have any experience though.
My coldest ride this year was about 4°F, not even close to last season’s low of -6°. Its all part of the “fun” of fatbiking…February 4, 2020 at 17:56 in reply to: What was the best trail you rode for the first time in 2019? #305080
Finally got around to riding a good portion of the Corner Canyon trail system in Draper UT late this summer. We started on Levitate, went to Jacob’s Ladder and Ghost Falls, climbed back to Rush and exited on Limelight. All in all it was a really fun day with a really good group of riders.
I also made my first trip(s) down Wasatch Crest this summer which were fun, but I wouldn’t call amazing.
My riding is cut down to once a week (but that’s about all I get to ride in the summer) but it is with the added resistance of a fatbike on snow.
What kind of riding is your current bike holding you back from? The biggest thing to consider to make the most out of the N+1 bike mentality is to try to minimize the amount of capability overlap between bikes. You mentioned being interested in possibly racing DH/Enduro but your current bike would be a perfectly capable enduro racer and would be more than adequate for lower-level DH racing (at least enough to see if it is for you before taking the full plunge) so you’d have a ton of overlap there. If you have a lot of more XC-ish trails in your local area that your current bike makes feel boring, I’d say a HT is the way to go.
For example; I have a YT Jeffsy for more aggressive trail riding/ light park days (I’m on the wrong side of 40 and don’t get too aggressive or ride serious DH anymore), a steel XC hardtail for trails that are just a bit much for a gravel bike but are pretty boring on the Jeffsy, and a fat bike for winter. They maximize my capability for riding I’d want to do while minimizing capability overlap.January 22, 2020 at 09:15 in reply to: Bought Used Bike….get a tune up at the LBS or try to do it myself?? #303938
For your situation, I’d recommend a visit to your LBS to make sure you get started safely and to give you a benchmark of what properly adjusted brakes and shifting feel like. From there I’d recommend slowly accumulating the necessary tools and know-how to start doing your own maintenance. Typically the tools to do most work cost about the same as the labor you’d pay to to have the work done, if not less. Since you mentioned YouTube, Park Tools has a great channel with videos on how to do just about any maintenance on any bike (with the exception of internal suspension stuff, but there are other sources for that).
Considering replacement flip chips for my bike (YT Jeffsy) are $10, I don’t see it adding more than $5 to the retail cost of a bike… I’d rather have the option for that price.
I typically slacken my bike for gravity oriented days and steepen it up for trail days. The difference isn’t drastic, but the front wheel is a bit less skittish in the slack position while pedal strikes are drastically lower in the higher position.
Add me to the “upgrade tires and touch points” crowd. Most OEM-spec tires are subpar at best and I absolutely can’t stand grips and saddles that aren’t right for me (I didn’t even do a single ride on my Jeffsy with the grips it came with; they weren’t bad, they just weren’t for me).
I (stupidly) put-off getting new tires for my fat bike as I really didn’t want to spend the money they cost. I finally got new tires when I stumbled across an amazing deal last spring. They have totally transformed my bike!November 17, 2019 at 22:48 in reply to: Technique or skills video on navigating wet slippery trails? #290997November 5, 2019 at 08:54 in reply to: If there are, what are the reasons not to clean your mountain bike? #290148
It depends mainly on where you live and ride. During the summer, I might only wash my bike once or twice mainly because I ride in dry, dusty conditions. I do wipe-down the shock, fork, and seatpost stanchions after each ride along with frequent cleaning of the drivetrain. I agree with what Rmap01 quoted about not wanting to unnecessarily expose the bearings suspension pivots to water.
When I lived in a much wetter environment, my bike was subjected to weekly full-teardown cleanings and lubes.
I’d suggest (since this is an initial build) that you try to find a boost fork, unless you found an incredible deal on your fork. Its likely paying the difference in price will save you a lot of headaches down the road if you need to replace wheels. Keep in mind, decent non-boost wheels will only get tougher to find and there’s a decent chance you might end-up buying two forks over the long run.
Full disclosure; I have a boost frame/non-boost fork and am constantly on the lookout for good deals on boost forks for if/when I want/need new wheels…
Iowasx4mtb gets it! The people out killing it on old-school gear are, and have always been, cooler than people struggling on top-end stuff.
Continue to have fun riding and not “have a plan.”
While that may sound snarky, allow me to provide some backstory. I started XC racing at 14 years old and became a pretty strong contender and most races in the JrEx class in the area. My military service took me to Utah where I resumed XC racing and added road training/racing to my resume. In a given week, in addition to working full-time, I typically spent 35-40 hrs on a bike which didn’t allow time for much else. In 2000 and 2001 I tried to freshen things-up by trying my hand at DH racing as well and while showing promise, I just couldn’t afford hardware to really be competitive. In the spring of 2002, I just couldn’t find any motivation or desire to ride a bike anymore. I had spent 9 years living on a bike and structuring my life to revolve around it without allowing any real fun. Every ride was a targeted training event, every meal was fuel and it just sucked all the fun out of riding.
Fast-forward 12 years and I started to feel something missing. I felt an inexplicable urge to dust-off my old XC bike (now a relic) and get back on a bike. In the past 4 years, I’ve bought 3 bikes (HT, FS Trail, and fattie) and ride when, where, and how I feel like with a strict “no racing” policy. I guess the closest thing I have to a “plan” is to slowly integrate my 2-year old son into riding and to continue just riding for fun…
From what I could tell by pictures, it looks like you have a threaded cartridge BB but thats just a guess. Before you tear into it though, remove your pedals and clean/grease the threads in both the spindles and crank arms. Also, while we’re troubleshooting creaks, remove your seat and to clean and apply a thin film of grease to the seat rails where they are clamped by the seatpost and to your seat clamp parts. Be sure to also lightly grease your seatpost inside your frame. You could also develop a creak where your chainring bolts to the crankarm. With all of these we’re just talking a thin film of grease, pretty much whats left after you wipe it off with your fingers, any more will just attract dirt and cause problems.
I’ll add to “over-manicured trails”. It drives me nuts when people with 160+mm travel bikes whine about rough, rocky trails. Its what your damn bike was made for!!!
I personally look forward to winter riding but I also have a fatbike so its just a different flavor of riding for me. I have an ARSUXEO winter cycling jacket (Amazon) that works pretty well with a base layer or two and I typically do 3/4 length shorts with 4ucycling (again, Amazon) pants. For my feet, I just wear wool socks with mid-height winter boots and trail running gaiters. For my hands, I wear normal full-finger gloves with bar mitts; they look stupid but they work, I really can’t recommend them enough if you regularly ride in the winter. Add a head/neck gaiter and I’ve been good down to -10°F.
Jeff hit it on the head. You seem to have yourself a solid first mountain bike and (I’m betting) you are experiencing break-in related adjustment needs. I’d recommend subscribing to the Park Tool YouTube channel, while they do (naturally) push their tools they also have very informative “How-To” videos that will greatly increase your knowledge of how a bike works and save you a ton of money over time.
I could type it all out, but Seth did such a good job in a series of videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arwxbuYcRvA
After you get the basics, Phil Kmetz also has an excellent series of videos on how do build slightly more advanced skills. https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePhilkmetz (or search “Skills with Phill, beginner”)
First off, follow the advice in the episode about picking a beginner bike. You should be able to find a great lightly used beginner bike for around $500. I’d suggest starting on a hardtail (contrary to what others might suggest) for price, simplicity, and skill building. Don’t be afraid to learn bike maintenance as well, it can make the sport so much more affordable and get you out of a trailside bind WHEN (not if) something goes wrong. Don’t be too intimidated if you aren’t mechanically inclined, bikes are actually really simple machnines and there are a ton of really good “how-to” resources on YouTube. Park Tools has a really good YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/parktoolcompany) with excellent instructions that cover just about all aspects of bike maintenance (yeah, they push Park Tools but they are still really good).
Once you begin to build some skills (or even come to the realization that this sport is for you), you can start demo-ing bikes or dabbling in the FS world to see if that is a route you’d want to go before making the investment or even if you want to.