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Thread: Mountain Biking

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    Mountain Biking

    I am thinking about starting mountain biking. (Well since I live in the midwest maybe trail riding is more appropriate)


    Anyways I would appreciate any suggestions on equipment, etc.

    -Any suggestions on bikes, shoes, other equipment
    -I have a smaller 4 dr sedan, what is the best way for me to transport 1 bike?
    -Clipless or not?



    Thanks



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    How much do you have to spend? Where do you live, ie where are you going to ride? I'd probably pick up a used bike or a prior year model to save some $$. You can get an extra set of slick/narrow tires to ride the paved trails too.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    There are actually some pretty good mountain bike trails (aka "singletrack") in the midwest. I live in Colorado now but occasionally take my mountain bike with me when I visit home in central Iowa. Seven Oaks has a decent trail and there are some in eastern/northeastern Iowa too I believe. People still in the midwest will have better advice in this regard. Not necessarily as much climbing/descending as in the mountains, but you can find some fun technical stuff like rock gardens, rooty areas, off-camber, etc.

    Bikes: Giant & Trek IMO are the best bang for the buck. Same components as many other brands for less. I'm on a hardtail (no rear suspension), it's my first mountain bike and my 3rd season riding it. I've been told that learning and mastering trails on a hardtail will make you a better rider, and I can see it. I have to be more aware of line selection than my Full Suspension counterparts or I'll pay for it with a backend bouncing around. Every once in a while I'll take a friend's FS out for a spin and it's quite luxurious compared to my hardtail. But I love my bike and she's been good to me!

    DO NOT SKIMP ON BIKE FIT. You don't want a cramped cockpit or to be over-extended. Go to a bike shop (or several) and ask for advice. Check out the different brands.

    29 vs 26" wheels: Never been on a 29er, but many friends ride them. Great for a smoother downhill as more rolling surface area, but the 26" wheels have are more maneuverable. A friend has a 26" full suspension and 29" hardtail, prefers the 26" on tight, technical terrain but also enjoys his 29" wheels.

    Clipless: Eh...I went clipless right away, but with pedals that have enough of a platform that they're comfortable even with sneakers.

    Not sure on the vehicle transport. I had a hatchback and could pop off the front wheel and fit the bike in the back or mount a trunk rack. Now I have a pick-up...so others chime in.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeske View Post
    How much do you have to spend? Where do you live, ie where are you going to ride? I'd probably pick up a used bike or a prior year model to save some $$. You can get an extra set of slick/narrow tires to ride the paved trails too.
    I dont want to go overboard but I am willing to spend some $.

    Kansas City, I wont be riding it to work but I would ride on paved trails sometimes.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Don't be afraid to go used...but if you go used, take it to a bike shop to get it checked out. Some will do it for free, others pretty cheap and motivated sellers will cover the cost. If the bike seller refuses to let you take it to a shop, walk away. Anyone can clean and shine up a bike to make worn components looks good to the untrained eye.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by clone2011 View Post
    There are actually some pretty good mountain bike trails (aka "singletrack") in the midwest. I live in Colorado now but occasionally take my mountain bike with me when I visit home in central Iowa. Seven Oaks has a decent trail and there are some in eastern/northeastern Iowa too I believe. People still in the midwest will have better advice in this regard. Not necessarily as much climbing/descending as in the mountains, but you can find some fun technical stuff like rock gardens, rooty areas, off-camber, etc.

    Bikes: Giant & Trek IMO are the best bang for the buck. Same components as many other brands for less. I'm on a hardtail (no rear suspension), it's my first mountain bike and my 3rd season riding it. I've been told that learning and mastering trails on a hardtail will make you a better rider, and I can see it. I have to be more aware of line selection than my Full Suspension counterparts or I'll pay for it with a backend bouncing around. Every once in a while I'll take a friend's FS out for a spin and it's quite luxurious compared to my hardtail. But I love my bike and she's been good to me!

    DO NOT SKIMP ON BIKE FIT. You don't want a cramped cockpit or to be over-extended. Go to a bike shop (or several) and ask for advice. Check out the different brands.

    29 vs 26" wheels: Never been on a 29er, but many friends ride them. Great for a smoother downhill as more rolling surface area, but the 26" wheels have are more maneuverable. A friend has a 26" full suspension and 29" hardtail, prefers the 26" on tight, technical terrain but also enjoys his 29" wheels.

    Clipless: Eh...I went clipless right away, but with pedals that have enough of a platform that they're comfortable even with sneakers.

    Not sure on the vehicle transport. I had a hatchback and could pop off the front wheel and fit the bike in the back or mount a trunk rack. Now I have a pick-up...so others chime in.
    Thanks for the advice!

    Anyone have any KC trail advice?



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Something to look at is a CX bike. I ride mine (Specialized Crux) on single tracks and gravel all the time, but I can also change out the wheels to road wheels and ride it on pavement like a road bike. That being said, if you find yourself riding on step hills/mountains with lots of switchbacks, I prefer a true mountain bike. I guess thats why my house is over flowing with bikes for different uses:)



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by dabears32 View Post
    I dont want to go overboard but I am willing to spend some $.

    Kansas City, I wont be riding it to work but I would ride on paved trails sometimes.
    Go to the "Bike Stop"ask for Todd or Curt (I used to work there back in the late 90's) great guys who will set you up. Then hit the singletrack out in Landahl Park. 12 or 15 miles of trails, some easy some pretty advanced. Great riding.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by dabears32 View Post
    Thanks for the advice!

    Anyone have any KC trail advice?
    Can you ride on the dams along the Missouri? Otherwise I think that there are some down by lees sumit.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Any other input on clipless or not?

    Also any other equipment recommendations? (Do you guys always wear a backpack etc, what do you carry with...)

    My apologies for being a noob


    Last edited by dabears32; 07-08-2013 at 11:09 PM.

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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by Chitownclone2 View Post
    Something to look at is a CX bike. I ride mine (Specialized Crux) on single tracks and gravel all the time, but I can also change out the wheels to road wheels and ride it on pavement like a road bike. That being said, if you find yourself riding on step hills/mountains with lots of switchbacks, I prefer a true mountain bike. I guess thats why my house is over flowing with bikes for different uses:)
    i loved the crux when test riding bikes but went with the trek cross rip (half the price). but i wasn't aiming at doing any cyclo-cross, just looking for a good "do everything" bike and be able to take some single tracks with the kids.


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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Get one of these bad oscars, some spandex, crank bros pedals, a full face helmet; then go rage on some abandon railroad trails.



    I don't know much about the Iowa scene, but if you can find a place that rents bikes, they'll usually turn over their rentals once a year and you can get bikes that have been ridden <5 times for 1/2 price. I'd also see if they'll let you rent something and put that towards the purchase price.

    If you start off clipped in you'll have some cool scars to look forward too, but chicks love scars so that's up to you. I personally hate camelbacks and only wear them on rides over 2 hours if self supported, but lots of friends wear them everywhere. I usually carry a water bottle, pump mounted to frame and a saddle bag (multi-tool, tire iron, and extra tube inside). My bike is a 29er and I've yet to pop a tire, which I think is fairly common as they're just beefier. If you're riding trails in the IA, I would think you'd be hard pressed to need that, but they're awesome.

    If you're young, aggressive, and generally want to go big I would suggest dual suspension and disc brakes at a minimum. If that doesn't describe your projected riding style, feel free to skimp on those types of things.

    You've made a good decision, hope you have fun.


    Last edited by DurangoCy; 07-08-2013 at 11:47 PM.

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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by DurangoCy View Post
    Get one of these bad oscars, some spandex, crank bros pedals, a full face helmet; then go rage on some abandon railroad trails.



    I don't know much about the Iowa scene, but if you can find a place that rents bikes, they'll usually turn over their rentals once a year and you can get bikes that have been ridden <5 times for 1/2 price. I'd also see if they'll let you rent something and put that towards the purchase price.

    If you start off clipped in you'll have some cool scars to look forward too, but chicks love scars so that's up to you. I personally hate camelbacks and only wear them on rides over 2 hours if self supported, but lots of friends wear them everywhere. I usually carry a water bottle, pump mounted to frame and a saddle bag (multi-tool, tire iron, and extra tube inside). My bike is a 29er and I've yet to pop a tire, which I think is fairly common as they're just beefier. If you're riding trails in the IA, I would think you'd be hard pressed to need that, but they're awesome.

    If you're young, aggressive, and generally want to go big I would suggest dual suspension and disc brakes at a minimum. If that doesn't describe your projected riding style, feel free to skimp on those types of things.

    You've made a good decision, hope you have fun.
    Thanks, can't wait. Going to rage so hard.



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    Re: Mountain Biking

    I have Crankbrothers Candy pedals on my mountain bike. Easy to get in and out of, and have some play in them which I like.


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    Re: Mountain Biking

    Quote Originally Posted by dabears32 View Post
    Any other input on clipless or not?

    Also any other equipment recommendations? (Do you guys always wear a backpack etc, what do you carry with...)

    My apologies for being a noob

    I started with flats and then went the clipless route after a year or so. You'll definetly have some oh **** moments in clipless when you start (end even after you've been riding them for a while). Just back the tension down and you'll be okay. You might start with flats until you get comfortable on the bike (and riding trails).

    I always wear a camelback when I ride. Keep a tube, pump, multi tool and a few misc things in it. What you carry depends on where and what you ride. The trail I ride down here in New Orleans can be pretty deserted and it's an out and back so if you have issues at the far end it's a 3 mile hike back to the car. It's all about figuring out your own style. Some people don't like the weight but I never notice it.



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