Need help getting a MTB

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Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:55 pm

Hi, I've built & ridden road bikes a fair bit over the years but never had a mountain bike. I'm interested in riding off road a bit, just something scenic, not too rough and would appreciate some suggestions as to what to start with. All my current bikes have 700c wheels & skinny tyres, so I'm going to need a different bike. At around 180cm tall I don't even know what size frame I need for a MTB style with say 26" wheels. I don't even know what type of terrain local paths have, do I need suspension & disk brakes or could I fudge it on a rigid frame with V brakes?

Any suggestions for what to get on a limited budget ($500 ish) and where to ride it for a bit of low impact cross country riding?

I'm in my forty's but commute over 100km's a week at a quick pace, do all my own maintenance.

Cheers,

Greg.
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by BNA » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:53 am

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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:53 am

A hardtail with a 3" fork would do you nicely Greg, I'd be looking into the second hand market too seeing as you know which end of a hex key is which.
For an introduction, you could try the Yarra trails or Westgate Park.

Cheers
Shaun
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Alistair » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:33 am

As above, a basic second hand hardtail will do the job.

Look for Deore or above components (google will explain the hierarchy). They work nicely and will last, while the really basic stuff doesn't. I think disks are worth having and a suspension fork will offer some protection from bumps and poor line choices. Just keep an eye on ebay, rotorburn and the for sale section here and something will turn up.

There are lots of good trails around Melbourne. If you ride over to the Fairfield boathouse there are hours of tracks feeding from the Main Yarra Trail.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:00 pm

Hey Shaun & Alistair, thanks for the great info.

Purely out of interest, after posting for advice last night I scoured ebay for what I thought might be suitable looking bikes and saw one I thought looked about right. When I read your replies today I noted your tips about buying second hand with 3" front suspension, disk brakes and Deore gears and it all rang a bell. Sure enough the bike I had liked on ebay had exactly those features and was in my size. Gets worse... The auction had no bidders and was ending this afternoon.

Now what do I do?
Am I rushing in too soon?

So for $270 I've scored a 2001 Giant ATX 870 which has had one lady owner! It has 80mm Rock Shocks, Deore LX gears with levers not twisters (cassette, chain & derailleurs recently replaced) and Avid 165mm disk brakes. That might not spark much excitement in other MTB'ers but to me it looks like a good enough place to begin my adventure off the pavement and into some nice sight seeing country rides.

Your advice has affirmed my own gut feelings and I'm most grateful to you, thanks also for the tips on where to begin riding it.

Lets hope it looks like it does in the photo's!!!

Cheers,

Greg.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... K:MEWNX:IT
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Alistair » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:20 am

That will work nicely.

A mate of mine has the same bike but without disks. He is seriously quick so be assured that the bike won't hold you back. It has taken heaps of punishment from him over the years and hasn't missed a beat.

The snakes have just reappeared along the local trails, but otherwise this time of year is perfect. The trails got ripped up pretty badly over the winter and are still quite rutted, but they have dried out finally. One thing to be aware of is the lack of visability as a result of the spring growth. People are often coming in the opposite direction fast, so just be careful in the tight bits at busy times.

Let us know how you get on.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby MichaelB » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:05 am

For that price, you can't go wrong.

I was in your boat not that long ago, but plunked for a new bike from Anaconda, becuase they had their bikes at 50% off their overinflated RRP, but spent $900.

Have enjoyed it so far, and trust that you will to, as it is completely different.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:44 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. Reading through the MTB forum last night I see we road guys are advised to calm down a bit on the seat height & tyre pressures, will do :-)

Cheers,

Greg.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:58 pm

Picked up the bike tonight. It's in better condition than I feared it might be. Everything is straight, nothing wobbles or rattles and there is no sign of rust. The wheels are true, the brakes work well and the gears are close but will need a little bit of attention. The FD scrapes on the chain at extremes and the the rear shifter has pretty worn indexing. Not bad at all for $270 I reckon! (and quite a looker too) :-)

One thing seems odd to me from my non MTB background, everything on the bike was as dry as a bone, didn't squeak at all but is definitely running a fair bit happier since I put some Rock n Roll on the chain and a bit of Tri Flow here and there. Is this a no no for dirt reasons or was it just washed really well for the sale?

I shall now attempt my first picture post on this site...

Greg.

Image
Last edited by Mulger bill on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed the pic
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:32 pm

Nice one Greg, she looks in good nick.
I'm guessing she's dry from a bath too. Use whatever lubes yer comfortable with but don't go nuts. Too much lube + trail muck = grinding paste.
It's hard to not get the front mech rubbing in the extremes, but I'd avoid it off road. Greater risk of dropping the chain.

Have a ball 8)

Shaun
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:42 pm

Just been out in the mud, got the whole thing really quite dirty!

Felt like I was a kid again :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Might have to get a second pair of shoes so I don't bugger up the commuters. Anyone know of some cheapies?

Cheers,

Greg.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Rek » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:30 am

T7 are having a footwear sale this week, you might find something suitable there.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby trailgumby » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:09 pm

Limited size range unfortunately. The popular ones in the middle aren't available. If you have flippers or hooves you'll be in luck though. ;)
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Jean » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:24 pm

gregaudio wrote:Just been out in the mud, got the whole thing really quite dirty!

Felt like I was a kid again :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Might have to get a second pair of shoes so I don't bugger up the commuters. Anyone know of some cheapies?

Cheers,

Greg.


I've been using the Wiggle Dhb MTB shoes for about 12 months now. Still going strong and do the job nicely. I think MichaelB has bought some as well. If they fit they are pretty hard to go past in value terms.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/dhb_M1_MTB_Shoes/5360033176/
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:32 pm

Jean wrote: I think MichaelB has bought some as well. If they fit they are pretty hard to go past in value terms.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/dhb_M1_MTB_Shoes/5360033176/


Yep, so far so good, esp. for $60 or so
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby trailgumby » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:36 pm

I've got a pair I bought from a bloke locally - he bought the wrong size. They are 45's, and are tighter than my Vittoria 44's, which are an identical fit for Shimano shoes. Agree, good value if you can get the fit right.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:42 am

trailgumby wrote:I've got a pair I bought from a bloke locally - he bought the wrong size. They are 45's, and are tighter than my Vittoria 44's, which are an identical fit for Shimano shoes. Agree, good value if you can get the fit right.

Bum :(
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Alistair » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:01 pm

gregaudio wrote:Just been out in the mud, got the whole thing really quite dirty!

Felt like I was a kid again :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Might have to get a second pair of shoes so I don't bugger up the commuters. Anyone know of some cheapies?

Cheers,

Greg.


Sounds good. Where did you go?
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:11 am

I took the bike for a ride down the Merri Creek trail near Brunswick East / Northcote (close to home) and just veered off the path a bit wherever I saw a dirt track. Got heaps of long grass stuck in the derailleurs, very wet feet and mud all over the place. As you guys well know, you can throw out most of the rules about where you "can't taker a bike" that have become burned into your brain after only ever riding road bikes. It was a lot of fun! I must say though, I was a little bit conscious of causing unnecessary erosion. Next time I'll try and find some well worn established dirt tracks so I'm not hacking up good parkland.

Placed a WTB in a couple of bike forums for second hand MTB shoes and picked up a pair last night. Got a pair of Specilaized S-Works 2006 with carbon fiber souls for $30. Rode them to work on the commuter thismorning and I rekon they're better than the ones I bought new a year ago.

Anyone got a map of where to ride near the Fairfield Boat House?

Cheers,

Greg.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby trailgumby » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:26 am

While riding in the wet is a heap of fun, it comes with a price. The first is it rips your bike components to bits, especially brakes and drivetrain.

The second is that with our predominantly clay-based soils in Australia, it can have horrendous erosion consequences.

Fire roads are fine, as they are established vehicle tracks. However, I'd plead with you to avoid riding singletrack in the wet.

I'm involved in trail advocacy in Sydney, and the environmentalists go to town over us wrecking trails by riding them in the wet. Now much of that problem is caused by poorly routed trails with overly steep grades that trap water instead of spilling it off, in other words a failure to follow IMBA trail standards.

Unfortunately we're not going to be able to get all our trails IMBA compliant in the short term, so in the meantime the rule "No single track in the wet or after rain" will keep you on the good side of those who are working to improve legal trail access and grow our sport.

Do we have a deal? :D
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby Alistair » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:28 pm

gregaudio wrote:I took the bike for a ride down the Merri Creek trail near Brunswick East / Northcote (close to home) and just veered off the path a bit wherever I saw a dirt track. Got heaps of long grass stuck in the derailleurs, very wet feet and mud all over the place. As you guys well know, you can throw out most of the rules about where you "can't taker a bike" that have become burned into your brain after only ever riding road bikes. It was a lot of fun! I must say though, I was a little bit conscious of causing unnecessary erosion. Next time I'll try and find some well worn established dirt tracks so I'm not hacking up good parkland.

Placed a WTB in a couple of bike forums for second hand MTB shoes and picked up a pair last night. Got a pair of Specilaized S-Works 2006 with carbon fiber souls for $30. Rode them to work on the commuter thismorning and I rekon they're better than the ones I bought new a year ago.

Anyone got a map of where to ride near the Fairfield Boat House?

Cheers,

Greg.


Immediately after you cross the pipe bridge going towards Yarra Bend Rd you take a hard right, which leads back down to the river and follows it towards Chandler Hwy. From there just follow the Main Yarra Trail and take all the single track. It keeps going from there out to Warrandyte, so you won't get bored in a hurry. Unfortunately much of it is under water now, but hopefully the river will subside soon.

And gumby is right about trail damage in the wet, but there are sections that can handle it. Just show common sense and avoid the really wet bits - even through this wet winter there have been a few decent sections to ride.

If you feel like a drive the You Yangs handle rain well, and Forrest is amazing for flowing singletrack.
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Re: Need help getting a MTB

Postby gregaudio » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:46 pm

Happy to abide by the rule "No single track in the wet or after rain". As you say, common sense.

Thanks for the tips.

Greg.
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