Riding tips for MTB Noobs

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Matthewb » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:44 pm

I appreciate all the advice, finally got some semi-offroad tyres and took the seek onto some gravel on the weekend which it handled ok (main, smooth gravel roads are fine now) but I had to really slow down (slower than walking pace...) when it got rocky. I'm going to sound really indecisive here - what is the general opinion on the 'cheap' (ie $2000ish) dual suspension bikes? We only have one bike shop here that stocks Giant and Avanti (I think...?) so I had a look at the Trance X3 and Reign 2 on the web. The components on the Trance look ok from my mtn bike noob perspective but maybe I'm overlooking something.

I may be a noob now, but there are *heaps* of tracks I've been drooling over for years, so I'll pick up experience eventually and if a $2k DS will allow me to actually attempt the tracks without falling to pieces that would be great.
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by BNA » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:26 pm

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby jheeno » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:26 pm

giant range is dependent on what you want out of a bike

from memory when I was picking .
a reign is all mountain, your ride stance is more sitting up
anthem is more a race stance ... your more leaning forward

like most others i opted for the in between - trance
look for the 2011 model, they are heavily getting discounted because the 2012 models are coming
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/ <- will give you an idea of price ranges.

You can get by on say an x3 model (e.g. trance x3), i paid a bit more for an x2 because I wanted the propedal switch and slightly better components.

Price of the bike might help a skillful rider get faster lap times but i'm not sure that a more expensive bike will make a beginner learn MTB skills faster hardtail or dual suspension

ive got two bikes
hardtail for short trail racing (say 4km single track)
and a dual suspension for a long cross country ride say a 4 hour ride for comfort.

With my hardtail I learn to pick my lines where I noticed that on my dually, I just smash through the trails without looking more closely at the best line for the ride (which is kind of bad in a way)
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:42 pm

The longer the ride, the more you appreciate DS. Trance X3 is a great first dually, but the propedal you get with a Fox RP2 or RP23 does make a difference when the trail points upwards so if you can pick up the X2 for only a few hundred more I'd do it.

The Reign is going to be a lot more bike than you need. The geometry is a lot more oriented to technical trail riding, with a shorter top tube and slacker head angle it is much more about descending. A mate bought one instead of the more cross-country-ish Yeti 575 and is now regretting it, as I kick his butt going uphill on my Cannondale, where it used to be the reverse. It's typically what a downhiller would ride when they have to ride back up hills, but aren't looking to set any records, so there's a risk you could be lured in to attempt stuff that's over your head.

The Trance X is more of an all-round bike and you will see a lot of them on all-day trail rides. It would be the most popular style of bike around Sydney. If you can get closer to $2800, then the Anthem 29er is *really* worth looking at - it's a great bike.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby jheeno » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:55 pm

trailgumby wrote:The longer the ride, the more you appreciate DS. Trance X3 is a great first dually, but the propedal you get with a Fox RP2 or RP23 does make a difference when the trail points upwards so if you can pick up the X2 for only a few hundred more I'd do it.

The Reign is going to be a lot more bike than you need. The geometry is a lot more oriented to technical trail riding, with a shorter top tube and slacker head angle it is much more about descending. A mate bought one instead of the more cross-country-ish Yeti 575 and is now regretting it, as I kick his butt going uphill on my Cannondale, where it used to be the reverse. It's typically what a downhiller would ride when they have to ride back up hills, but aren't looking to set any records, so there's a risk you could be lured in to attempt stuff that's over your head.

The Trance X is more of an all-round bike and you will see a lot of them on all-day trail rides. It would be the most popular style of bike around Sydney. If you can get closer to $2800, then the Anthem 29er is *really* worth looking at - it's a great bike.


I now climb hills faster on my trance but my mates all keep saying its my fitness instead of the DS bike
anyway for comparison ...
my trance x2 was 2100 (2011 model)

if you compare an x3 to an x2, the fork is the same so really its just the brakes, 10 speed and propedal on the rear sus (fox float rp2)
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:41 pm

TranceX is a great bike and the prices going for 2011 plated stock at the moment really sweeten the deal.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Matthewb » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:27 pm

Just stopped by the bike shop and they had a 2012 Trance X2 in stock for $3000 (!!) reduced from $3600, said he could get a 2011 Trance X3 for $2000 but couldn't go lower in price. They are the only option unless I want to travel 200km to visit the next bike shop (which I don't). Anyway, I'll think about it overnight!
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby jheeno » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:40 pm

Matthewb wrote:Just stopped by the bike shop and they had a 2012 Trance X2 in stock for $3000 (!!) reduced from $3600, said he could get a 2011 Trance X3 for $2000 but couldn't go lower in price. They are the only option unless I want to travel 200km to visit the next bike shop (which I don't). Anyway, I'll think about it overnight!

surely you can go for a road trip to save on $$


http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/li ... derBy%5D=0
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:01 pm

For $3k I'd go the Anthem 29er. Full XT 30-speed, excellent Avid brakes, decent thru-axle fork and RP23 shock. Seriously. It ticks all the boxes...
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby A_P » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:35 pm

+1 for the Anthem 29er, have had mine for a couple of months now and find it hard to fault. It's fast on fire trails, climbs pretty well for a dually, the bigger wheels really do smooth out a lot of the bumps. If your into doing jumps and drop offs then its probably not going to suit and the trance/reign are better designed for that stuff. I ride mainly technical single track and it is just as fast as my hard tail is. The 26" is a little more agile and the 29" is a bit smoother over the bumps. And Nerang, for those who know it ,is somewhat rocky in places.
The only criticism i can give is the lower BB height, but thinking of going 2x10 to sort that out.
It might be worth your while to look at brisbane / GC shops for a better deal. It is only a days drive from armidale.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Matthewb » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:36 am

Yeah, the Anthem 29er looks great although I was hoping for something closer to $2000. I might get a price on the Anthem X3 as well (unless there is something wrong with it!?). My main interest was navigating really rough trails for long periods of time, I might be able to resist the urge to leap of cliffs (for a few months at least).

Edit: Just noticed the 2012 Talon 0 29er for a smidge over $1000, jee I seem to be changing my mind every day! I did look into getting different wheels/tyres/fork for my seek but its a great commuting bike the way it is and it would be a pain swapping the bits every weekend. I see nothing wrong with having a loungeroom full of bikes, so now I'm thinking a talon 0 for forest trails now, and later when I convince myself I should spend $3000+ on a bike I could get a high end, full on dual suspension to cruise over boulders and off cliffs, etc. Perhaps the best way to overcome indecisiveness is to just buy more bikes!!
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Woo-hoo!

After many, many months of fail I finally cracked the bunny hop. I liked it so much I did it all the way home today. Can't believe it's that easy and how stoopid I've been about simply lifting my feet. It was that simple.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:51 pm

drubie wrote:Woo-hoo!

After many, many months of fail I finally cracked the bunny hop. I liked it so much I did it all the way home today. Can't believe it's that easy and how stoopid I've been about simply lifting my feet. It was that simple.
Good for you. :)

Is that with SPDs or flats? They both require slightly different techniques. I could bunny hop with SPDs but found when I went to flats that I couldn't. After some youtube videos and a few more months, I got it though. I don't think I'll ever be jumping up onto tables, but I can clear gutters anyway.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:04 pm

drubie wrote:Woo-hoo!

After many, many months of fail I finally cracked the bunny hop. I liked it so much I did it all the way home today. Can't believe it's that easy and how stoopid I've been about simply lifting my feet. It was that simple.

Haha, well done. It's still something I don't get right every time - I worry about smacking my back rim into the kerb and dinging it so I don't practice as much as I should.

Maybe I need to nick a log from my neighbour's woodpile and practice jumping that. :P

I can't sustain a pedal wheelie either. :oops:
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Nobody wrote:Is that with SPDs or flats? They both require slightly different techniques. I could bunny hop with SPDs but found when I went to flats that I couldn't. After some youtube videos and a few more months, I got it though. I don't think I'll ever be jumping up onto tables, but I can clear gutters anyway.


SPD's. Can't imagine doing it with flats at the moment (although I get the idea you have to muscle the bike by rotating it via the handlebars). I can get about gutter height so far. Jumping onto tables = a little beyond me I think. I do however get the idea that jumping over stuff is wicked fast if you can "flow" - I guess I'm about due for an epic stack on a bit of single track now, overconfidence FTW!

Oh - and the wheelie is next. I'm very close on that one.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:51 pm

We spent about 3 hours riding around Terrey Hills and Belrose yesterday in the heat.

Some of the singletrack we rode had lots of technical step-ups. It was satisfying riding up those - pedalling up to them, ratcheting the cranks to the correct position, hoiking the front wheel up, and then picking up the back wheel and placing it on top, rinse and repeat. :D

Really enjoyed the ride, some of it was quite technical (read: we walked it) but didn't have a whole lot left at the end, especially after the last climb out. Covered about 30km. Thought I was OK with recovery yesterday arvo, but everything was stiff and sore when I got to work this morning and it was about an hour before I could conduct an intelligible conversation, even after coffee :lol:
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:54 pm

drubie wrote:SPD's. Can't imagine doing it with flats at the moment (although I get the idea you have to muscle the bike by rotating it via the handlebars).
I thought I got the idea too. That is precisely why I couldn't do it. I didn't realize I needed to rotate my feel forward and scoop the bike up. Counter intuitive really.

drubie wrote:I can get about gutter height so far. Jumping onto tables = a little beyond me I think. I do however get the idea that jumping over stuff is wicked fast if you can "flow" - I guess I'm about due for an epic stack on a bit of single track now, overconfidence FTW!
With an XC saddle height it is hard to get much more than gutter height so don't be disappointed if you don't get much more. Also try to avoid bunny hopping logs if you are not super confident you can do it. Up onto ledges is OK, but when you're already in the air and your back tyre hits the log, it can get ugly. You know how I know... :oops:

drubie wrote:Oh - and the wheelie is next. I'm very close on that one.
Like TG, not something I ever mastered properly, but for XC, as long as you can get the wheel up to that height confidently, that is probably all you are ever going to need to do. The rest is for showing off.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:01 pm

trailgumby wrote:Thought I was OK with recovery yesterday arvo, but everything was stiff and sore when I got to work this morning and it was about an hour before I could conduct an intelligible conversation, even after coffee :lol:
Could be dehydration. I used to suffer from that on a Monday after a big ride. For me, usually indicated by a headache. These days I try to force myself to drink about a 1L more than I think I need that afternoon, which helps.

Went for a short MTB ride yesterday with my new style of taking things real easy and just being there to enjoy it and learn. Not to do aerobic training. Don't want anymore fractures this year. My local is just too technical to do tired.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:21 pm

Nobody wrote:Like TG, not something I ever mastered properly, but for XC, as long as you can get the wheel up to that height confidently, that is probably all you are ever going to need to do. The rest is for showing off.


I would kinda like to show off :lol: Last time I rode MTB I was amazed at the skills on display and it made me very jealous. The off-the-hook downhill mudslides, well, not so much, but the tricky little hops, jumps and berm riding without missing a beat = want.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Mine is like nobody's local. The times I've really hurt myself have been when I've been tired, the shoulder being a case in point. :oops: It's why I prefer to ride it before lunch, preferably just after breakfast. :wink:

I've found too that there is a minimum speed as well... if I try to take it too relaxed and easy I end up being clumsy, slipping on sandy rocks or stalling on bits that at normal pace I'd just flow over, and generally end up having anything but a relaxed and easy time,

It's a good reason to do group rides from time to time - you pick up a lot from watching what other people do.

Berm riding... definitely an acquired skill. Take a look at my video on the Golden Jubilee Field thread. I can see myself making regular pilgrimages there. My skills suck at tehe moment. :lol:
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Eugene » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:37 am

drubie wrote:
Nobody wrote:Is that with SPDs or flats? They both require slightly different techniques. I could bunny hop with SPDs but found when I went to flats that I couldn't. After some youtube videos and a few more months, I got it though. I don't think I'll ever be jumping up onto tables, but I can clear gutters anyway.


SPD's. Can't imagine doing it with flats at the moment (although I get the idea you have to muscle the bike by rotating it via the handlebars). I can get about gutter height so far. Jumping onto tables = a little beyond me I think. I do however get the idea that jumping over stuff is wicked fast if you can "flow" - I guess I'm about due for an epic stack on a bit of single track now, overconfidence FTW!

Oh - and the wheelie is next. I'm very close on that one.


Why oh why do I keep getting logged out when I go to reply, three times so far today :twisted:

Bunny hops are great, used to love hopping the old 10 speed racer when I was in high school, could pull a fair wheelie on it too, a town block was about average, but I have not tried for over 20 years.

Spent Saturday Arvo riding with my young bloke around Glenrock on my new GT, I forgot how much fun off road stuff is, I will be back this weekend.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:22 pm

Eugene wrote:Bunny hops are great, used to love hopping the old 10 speed racer when I was in high school, could pull a fair wheelie on it too, a town block was about average, but I have not tried for over 20 years.

Spent Saturday Arvo riding with my young bloke around Glenrock on my new GT, I forgot how much fun off road stuff is, I will be back this weekend.


It is fun and a good MTB encourages all sorts of juvenile behaviour. I busted a spoke today on an epic launch that saw the Norco flying through the air and me w000ting like an idiot. Still worth it. This wasn't just a bunny hop though, this was a NASA launch (well, comparatively). I am kinda sore through my upper body though, it's a different kind of physicality than just endurance riding.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby eeksll » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:11 pm

i got a dual suspension mtb a few weeks ago, went to a oval tried to do some wheelies .... it was pitiful, could not even get the front wheel off the ground more than a couple of inches.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:53 pm

eeksll wrote: could not even get the front wheel off the ground more than a couple of inches.


For some reason I can't fathom, the MTB d00ds of the happening, now generation call them "manuals". When I was growing up, a manual was found in the glovebox of your Kingswood.

Anyway, after chasing kids off my lawn etc. I have also tried the "manual" and found myself severely wanting. I have also had my first big scare (popped off my favourite jump and it went waaaaaaay too high and ended with me over-rotating and landing on the front wheel).

...so I reckon asking these young'uns how their manual works and how do execute it on a duallie. I know the theory (and have no trouble popping up my front wheel on my hardtail) but damned if I can hold it up there. I'm lead to believe it involves feathering the rear brake and getting your weight WAAAAAY over the back axle.


Once you do it, be careful because over confidence will lead to pants staining accidents.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Mugglechops » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:58 pm

One of my mates used to manual down hill at about 50km/h for ages. He was a freak though.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Shifter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:55 pm

drubie wrote:
eeksll wrote: could not even get the front wheel off the ground more than a couple of inches.


For some reason I can't fathom, the MTB d00ds of the happening, now generation call them "manuals".


It's a borrowed term from skateboarding, US in origin.
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