I've got the itch to get dirty! - advice plz

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I've got the itch to get dirty! - advice plz

Postby muggah » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:04 pm

All this time off the bike has led to a severe increase in bike related net browsing and (in the spirit of n+1) has left me wanting for an MTB. :D

Basically I'm wanting a bike that can cover most areas - I'm not so concerned about XC ability but am more inclined to get something that can handle a few jumps and northshore obstacles. I'll be doing most of my off-roading at Nerang state forest which features DH, XC and northshore trails.

The LBS have reccomended an 08 Norco Sasquatch for $1279. Pic & spec list here, though the one (AT) LBS has avid Juicy 3 brakes: http://www.cyclenet.com.au/info/node/224

What do you think? Anything else I should be considering? $1300 is the most I'd spend on the bike.

And more Q's:

Helmets - do you guys use your standard roadie helmet for your MTB stints or something else? Anyone using a full-face?

Pedals - Clip-ins or flats? The stock pedals are flats so I'll give them a go and see how they feel but am interested in any opinions for or against the two options. I like the idea of clip-ins because of the increased efficiency and keeping up the technique for the roadie but platforms sound good for more technical obstacles and corners - thoughts?

Clothing - Do the MTB specific shorts feature a chamois like lycra knicks? Are shorts with a chamois or some form of padding as necessary on an MTB as they are on a roadie? The MTB saddles look a bit more padded and you wouldn't spend as much time sitting down but I'd imagine bumpy singletrack could still take its toll on the derriere?

Hydration - There's holes for one bottle holder on the bike so I'm thinking a camelbak would be the go as one bottle wouldn't last me 30mins on a hot day.

Anything else I should consider before taking a walk on the dirty side? :P

Thanks in advance :)
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by BNA » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:15 pm

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Postby herzog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:15 pm

I'd go the camelback option for sure.

Your road helmet should be fine. The only ppl who wear fullface helmets are the downhillers.

As for shorts, my recommendation is to skip the spandex and go for some purpose built MTB shorts. They look a bit like boardshorts and give more protection and don't get ripped when you brush past branches etc on the singletrack.

For pedals, I'd go with clip ins that have a platform around them, such as the shimano 647. You can use them clipped in with SPD shoes for XC type stuff, and you can still wear normal shoes when trying wheelies, jumps, or really technical terrain.
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:25 pm

Herzog covered most of what I would have said, but I'd disagree with the big baggy shorts. I wear my lycra beneath cargo style shorts - long shorts may get tangled in your seat as you push the bike forward. Your choice though.

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Postby herzog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:56 pm

Kalgrm wrote:Herzog covered most of what I would have said, but I'd disagree with the big baggy shorts. I wear my lycra beneath cargo style shorts - long shorts may get tangled in your seat as you push the bike forward. Your choice though.



I should clarify, I'm not talking about "baggy" shorts as such. Something like this is what I'd suggest:

[url=http://raceface.com/apparel/below-the-belt/15/]Raceface
[/url]
[url=http://shop.foxracing.com/ecomm/AutoForward.do?forward=home.pagedef#aforward=asyn&proId=20518&cid=147&cname=Shorts&proNumber=26075&imgName=26075001F.jpg]Fox
[/url]

You raise a good point about getting tangled in the seat. I'd always recommend avoiding a "swallow tail" style seat. These are a trap for getting entangled when you're in technical terrain.
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Postby toolonglegs » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:10 pm

The bike you have linked to will be a pig for going on longer trail rides...it is a play bike....depends on what exactly you want to do...at the moment you are saying northshore/downhill but not having ridden much you might want to go exploring other avenues as well.As long as you are aware that this bike will be heavy,goodish for jumps and playing...ok but not great for downhill and pretty crap for long rides and climbing.Components are on the cheap side...sure they will do the job and if you are a newbie then you will be trashing a few things pretty quick so will be upgrading quick as well.
Yeah road helmet will be OK...but if you could see the state of my old road helmet which I used for XC racing then you might want to get something with a tougher skin...road helmets get beat up pretty quick.
Proper downhill/free ride shorts...on technical stuff the last thing you want is shorts getting tangled in the seat and not being able to get your weight back.
Pedals for jumps/free ride...flats (No SPD's)...you are not racing,wanting effeciency on a jump bike is a bit wrong :-) ...last thing you want is to be clipped in on a bridge etc...especially when starting out.Me personally I can't ride with out being clipped in but I enjoy exploring / climbing / long rides.Platforms with clips are not great in my opinion if you think you will be able to use the for both (clipped in or not)...as you will end up clipping in everytime even if you don't want to.
Camel back good..but like I say,you wont be going for 2-3 hour rides into the back country on a jump bike...you will always be pretty close to your start point so you won't need to carry 3 litres on your back.
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Postby herzog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:20 pm

toolonglegs wrote:The bike you have linked to will be a pig for going on longer trail rides...it is a play bike....d


Having just clicked the link I agree. What he should look for in his $1300 budget, is a Enduro/Trail bike.

Basically this is an XC hardtail bike but with a 120mm fork and around 2.25 wide tyres.

For jumps and northshore, just drop the seatpost.

Good allrounder in the pricerange and can go uphills too.
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Postby muggah » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:48 pm

I appreciate the input guys :) , I definitely have some thinking to do. Thankfully I have plenty of time to do it :lol:

The hardest part is knowing the type of MTBing I'll be most into without being able to get out there and give it a go - roadies are fairly standard across the board whereas the MTBs range widely in their intended uses.

What do you guys have and what kind of riding do you use it for?

Any suggestions or an example of an enduro/ trail bike?
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Postby bouncer1979 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:18 pm

I am pretty new to it all as well only started in the last 3 months. I have a '08 Giant Talon with SPD clip ins integrated with a flat peddle on the other side.

I find this suits my riding which is pretty much on forrest tracks and narrow rocky pathways at the moment. I don't have an issue with the clip ins and have found that I can get them out in a moment of blind panic when I need to. But then again I am not tearing downhill at some brown trouser type speed, I value my pretty face and body to much :D .

The MTB I ride for work has those poncy cage like things. I found I fell off more from not being able to get my feet out of those than from clips.

As for clothes I am wearing bike pants with some comfy shorts and a t-shirt at the moment but defn looking to upgrade very soon. Well worth it I have been told.

Same with hydration. One bottle on a warm day on a trail just isn't enough. I also like to carry stuff on my back and not my bike so it is always with me even if the bike isn't. Looking at a camlebk or similar as soon as funds allow.

Talking to my LBS they are pretty pro Merida. It is what they ride as a team and I think the owners use them to race at a national level on MTB and racer. Not sure what you can get for your money though. From what I have heard Giant is no longer the best bang for your buck (Anyone feel free to correct).

I think MTB helmets have a slightly different look and cover some more of the head than road bikes. Could be wrong. I do know that unless you are going crazy arse DH that a full face would probably be more trouble than it was worth.

Hope this helps
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Postby Z1 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:49 pm

if you want a do everything kinda bike go for a half decent 5 inch duallie, should be light enough to ride up enough suspension to come down and provided you get something decent it'll stand up to a few jmps and drops.
Jamis do some nice ones a little on the heavy side the giant trances are nice. trek do some nice frames to. go try some its the only way and give some different styles ago... maybe buy more than one :lol:
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Postby trailgumby » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:12 pm

For starting out and a $1300 budget a good 4"-forked general-duties hardtail is the go if buying new. It will be flexible enough that you can ride most of everything except for DJ and crazy-ass downhill, as your riding limitations will be you rather than the bike for the first 18 months - two years. That will get you a reliable drive train, decent brakes and decent entry-level wheels. It won't be featherweight, but reliability is what you primarily want at this stage. And a hardtail will force you to learn about picking lines iinstead of just bombing straight through stuff.

You are better to buy new for yoru first bike as LBS expertise is essential to get a good fit.

Malvern Star seem to be the bang-for-buck leaders at the moment, and the geometry is particularly beginner-friendly, having a slightly slacker head angle and marginally shorter stem.

Longer term, a 5" dually is the direction you want to head when skills and budget allow. Mine - whcih I've raced on - I picked up off fleabay secondhand for $1500 plus a little extra for personalising the cockpit. It's a great all-day bike. Once you've got sufficent familiarity and skills and knowledge around what frame sizing and riding position you prefer, buying secondhand becomes a lower risk option. However, to try to buy somethign like that new would have been a minimum of $4k.

Hope this helps.

Oh, one last thing. The Surgeon-General warns that Mountain Biking is highly addictive. :!:
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:53 pm

Muggah wrote:What do you guys have and what kind of riding do you use it for?

My first proper MTB was a Giant XtC3 - a light weight HT which cost about $1400 at the time. That bike taught me to pick lines, lift the rear end, climb properly, etc. Over time it has evolved into a Specialized Epic (XC full sus MTB) with various component upgrades since I bought it (including the frame).

The old frame was put back into service recently as a fully rigid single speed fun machine, but it's not longer suitable for "all day rides". The Epic does that duty now.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby muggah » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:18 pm

Thanks again for the input guys - I had a test ride of a few different styles of bike and ended up going with the norco sasquatch.

The XC bikes I rode were less confidence inspiring than their all mountain counterparts. From what I can tell the main factor was the headtube angle - the more relaxed headtube angle on the all mountain bikes felt better to me and the fact that they are built to take a bit more abuse than their XC counterparts will suit the type of riding around here a bit better. I pick up the bike at the end of the month - looking forward to getting amongst it :)
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Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:19 pm

Cool - well done. You'll find it a little tougher on techy climbs, but that's a small sacrifice compared to the more downhill-friendly forks and geometry. Mistakes made going downhill are more prone to end in an OTB, so the longer forks and slacker head angle will be more forgiving of those kinds of errors while you build your skills base - an excellent choice. 8)
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:22 pm

Congrats muggah. Of course, we think you're lying until we see the pics ... :)

Cheers,
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Postby muggah » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:10 pm

I picked up the new beast this afternoon :D

Proof that she exists - seat has to go up a bit, I haven't set the proper height yet
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Postby trailgumby » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:22 pm

Very nice. 8)

Now, go play outside. :twisted: And don't come back until you're all dirty!
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Postby toolonglegs » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:23 pm

Looks like a bad girl waiting to be punished! :D
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Postby muggah » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:34 am

OMGosh - gave her a run on some XC stuff this arvo. SO MUCH FUN! Even with a cast the sheer joy of dodging trees and slipping around corners etc etc is enough to have you hooked for life!
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