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dan.king
June 19th, 2008, 11:59 AM
An old friend of mine that I recently bumped into showed me some pictures of him mountain biking. It looks like a lot of fun so I've been thinking about trying it out.

Full disclosure: I am not in very good shape. There is no way I would be able to do anything too serious until I fixed this, but isn't that a point of biking? :)

I'm looking for some advice on where to start as far as bikes go, etc.

antonio
June 19th, 2008, 12:18 PM
Hi!
You'll need a bike (avoid the WalMart kinds), helmet, gloves, hydration (in a pack, or bottles). Other than that, start your rides short, go at your own pace and, when in doubt, dismount (meaning, it's ok to walk the tough sections).

If you're near Boston, Nemba holds regular rides at the Middlesex Fells every Thurs, I believe. Definitely drop in on those, and hang with the mellow ride. Great Brook Farm in Carlisle is also a good place for beginners.

You'll find that mountain bikers are pretty cool people, and enjoy introducing newbies to the sport.

Ant

dan.king
June 19th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Hi!
You'll need a bike (avoid the WalMart kinds), helmet, gloves, hydration (in a pack, or bottles). Other than that, start your rides short, go at your own pace and, when in doubt, dismount (meaning, it's ok to walk the tough sections).

I have a day pack with hydration. I've used it for light hiking and camping. As far as helmets go, I have no idea, I'll have to do some research. I'd imagine that like everything else there are good and bad.



If you're near Boston, Nemba holds regular rides at the Middlesex Fells every Thurs, I believe. Definitely drop in on those, and hang with the mellow ride. Great Brook Farm in Carlisle is also a good place for beginners.


I'm near Providence, RI and almost never get up towards Boston. But that's only because I dont really have a reason to head up. Maybe I do now :D


Anyone recommend sites that provide good knowledge and research to help point me into the right directions as far as bikes go?

boudy
June 19th, 2008, 02:56 PM
I suggest to start out by visiting your local bike shops and riding as many demo bikes as possible to get a feel for the different types (hard tail - no rear shock, full suspension - front and rear shock, cross country, all mountain, free ride, 29er, etc). The same type of bike from different manufacturers will feel different based on the frame geometry and the components.

Some shops will let you demo a bike for a few days which will give you a better feel for the bike and will help you determine whether this activity is for you without serious cash outlay.

If you decide to stick with it you can either buy new, buy a demo bike at the end of the season, or buy used. Probably best to constrain the amount you spend on your first bike since as you gain experience and progress, you'll be able to better determine the specifics of the "right" bike.

I've never been a fan of the typical weenie biking helmets, they don't seem to offer enough protection. I used to wear a BMX helmet until I crashed and landed on my face, now I wear a full face downhill helmet always. It also keeps branches and such out of my face.

Disc brakes are a must have IMHO.

woodsguy
June 19th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Check out the RI NEMBA chapter. They have group rides all the time.

Mr_Cheeze
June 19th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Being near Providence, your best bets locally would be Big River Management Area (http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.asp?trailid=BGN031-058) in East Greenwich or Foxboro (a.k.a. F. Gilbert Hills) State Park. It is recommended that you try and hook up with a group ride that welcomes beginners, as they will ride trails appropriate to your level. Subscribe to the SEMass and RI e-mail lists and don't be afraid to contact each chapter's reps. http://www.nemba.org/aboutnemba/chapters.html (http://www.nemba.org/forums/../aboutnemba/chapters.html)

It may also be worth your while to even contact the leader of a designated women's ride. They are usually ok with guys joining in as long as they don't try and take over the ride.

hogboy
June 20th, 2008, 02:42 PM
ahh heck

just get any old bike, don't worry you need a new bike or nothin

and ride in the woods. simple.

1) you get thirsty, bring more water next time

2) you get tired, ride slow back and quit

3) you bike get busted, get better bike

just ride a lot.... it works itself out

bdee
June 20th, 2008, 03:13 PM
Hi,

I'm the RI chapter president. We lead a ride every Friday @ Lincoln Woods. We have a mellow ride led by a nice guy by the name of Leo, and there's my ride which is faster and covers some of the techy XC stuff.

We also lead rides in Arcadia on Sundays during the Summer, the 2008 schedule of all of our events is below (I removed the older stuff).

June 22th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

July 13th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

July 20th, Sunday, Burlingame Trail Work Party

July 27th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

August 10th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

August 24th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

September 7th, Sunday, Arcadia Ride Series
9am Browning Mill Pond

September 21st, Sunday, Arcadia Fun Ride, Beach Pond

October 4th, Saturday, Take A Kid Mountain Biking

What else...

Bike shops - for MTB stuff I'd recommend Providence Bicycle (ask for Mike or Lynn) or The Hub on Brook Street on the East Side (not so much MTB stuff, but good guys and a convenient shop to the East Side).

Newbie MTB tips - (tongue firmly in cheek, sort of)..

1. Stay away from the MTBR.com message boards, you'll be a better person for it.

2. Realize that you'll make about 900 mistakes in your first year or so of riding, everyone does this.

3. Don't buy anything used until you know how to repair it.

4. Stay the hell away from Craigslist unless you know what you're doing.

5. Ditto with Ebay.

6. Tip your mechanic in tasty beverages and build a relationship, especially as you are going through the bike breaking phase of the learning curve.

7. Get out and ride, a lot, or at least as often as you can. This will accelerate the rapid decline in the size of your wallet but will speed up the learning process.

8. Always try to ride with someone better than you, even after you think you know what you're doing.

9. Don't wear underwear under your lycra shorts! Ever..

10. Invest in some decent cycling clothes and a helmet. And carry a cell phone when you ride alone!

11. Learn how to fix a flat and repair a chain in the first few months.

That's all I can come up with.

I think Bike Snob NYC sums up first time bike buying perfectly with the below quote:

"buying a new bike is like sex in that it’s impossible to get right the first time. Nobody can tell you how to do it. You’ve got to make your mistakes yourself".

The rest of the newbie related post is here: http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2008/06/get-over-it-surmounting-obstacles-to.html - it's pretty funny and highly accurate.

Anyway - that's all I got. Come out to Lincoln Woods some Friday night this summer. My email is mtbdee at hotmail.com. Or PM here.

Brendan

bullitfreerider
June 20th, 2008, 04:04 PM
An old friend of mine that I recently bumped into showed me some pictures of him mountain biking. It looks like a lot of fun so I've been thinking about trying it out.

Full disclosure: I am not in very good shape. There is no way I would be able to do anything too serious until I fixed this, but isn't that a point of biking? :)

I'm looking for some advice on where to start as far as bikes go, etc.

Advice:

1) Check first with your significant other to make sure that biking will not be an issue. I
have heard stories about riders having to lie about where they are, who they are with,
when they will be back and even fellow riders counseling poor souls right at the trail
head, not to marry someone, because they just don't get what we do.

2) Always keep a side stash of $ hidden, so that you won't have to ask permission to
acquire needed equipment. Skip lunches or whatever to acquire your secret stash.

3) Make sure you deflect any suspicion of addiction to this sport. Keep ride reports
benign and balanced, and don't make eye contact while telling such, so as to avoid
the tell tale sign of the "glazed over eyes syndrome"......a very telling sign of addiction.

4) Since you will become addicted to riding, and to make sure you can continue the high,
make sure that all injuries short of the ER go unnoticed. Learn how to casually eat with one
hand, dress and undress in the dark and make it known that you left your bike at your
friends house....not at the shop for repairs.

5) Of all the equipment that you must have for riding, a helmet is at the top of the list.
A blow to the head on the inevitable fall, will surely put you at risk for head injury, and
equally important, blowing your cover in #1 thru 4 due to a lose of mental cognition.

I could add more, but these should keep you in good standing with the sport.

Tim
June 20th, 2008, 04:45 PM
As far as getting a bike goes, post an ad under "Wanted" here, or make contact via the RI NEMBA mailing list. Bikes are like potato chips - you can't have just one. So one of the RI members is likely to have an older bike for sale, which will be fine for you.

Tim

bdee
June 20th, 2008, 04:58 PM
As far as getting a bike goes, post an ad under "Wanted" here, or make contact via the RI NEMBA mailing list. Bikes are like potato chips - you can't have just one. So one of the RI members is likely to have an older bike for sale, which will be fine for you.

Tim

True, but... a shop will fix all of the things that inevitably go wrong quicker when you buy a bike from them. Buy a bike from a guy like me and there's liable to be an old hot dog and some ball bearings in the seat tube ;)

Yeti_Ken
June 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM
Advice:

1) Check first with your significant other to make sure that biking will not be an issue. I
have heard stories about riders having to lie about where they are, who they are with,
when they will be back and even fellow riders counseling poor souls right at the trail
head, not to marry someone, because they just don't get what we do.


If your significant other has a problem with your riding, get a new significant other. :burndev:

dan.king
June 24th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Thanks for all the help! I'm going to hit up the bike shop and see what I like and work up from there.

Also, its a good thing that I'm single so I dont need to worry about anyone while getting addicted! :D

I'll post again on the forums once I get started!

Thanks again!

dan.king
August 10th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Ok I finally settled on a bike and picked it up this afternoon. I got a Cannondale F7 with disc brakes.

Now I need to pick up a helmet. Also, I was wondering if anyone might have input on shoes.

AA
August 10th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Congrats on the bike. Looking at the cannondale web site it appears that the bike has "platform" pedals as opposed to "clip in" aka clipless style pedals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_pedal

This is a good thing (in my opinion) for a new mt biker. All you need to do is use some old running or hiking shoes and go for a ride. When you get more proficient at riding you can look into a pedal that has a retention system.

agabriel
August 10th, 2008, 09:47 PM
Once you get a bike and your hooked I would suggest tools, I started with an inexpesive kit. I now have more tools than I know what to do with (not really) but I haven't needed to goto the shop in years which has actually saved me money. An example would be the last few weeks, I have had a string of bad luck and two hard falls. Both falls were RD side down and I bent my hanger a bit twice. I have the tool and it was five minutes at home as opposed to having to go to the store...

Have fun!

Anthony

Yeti_Ken
August 10th, 2008, 10:13 PM
Also, don't forget regular bike maintenance. Get the ParkTool gear brush, clean your chain religeously, and lube and wipe off after each ride...not before.

Congrats on taking the plung into mountain biking. You will love it. You'll soon find that a bad day mountain biking is better than a good day doing most anything else.

Ken

Slappy
August 11th, 2008, 09:02 AM
Also, don't forget regular bike maintenance. Get the ParkTool gear brush, clean your chain religeously, and lube and wipe off after each ride...not before.

...or don't.

I've been using self-cleaning wax lube, like White Lightning) for at least 10 years or so now and haven't cleaned or wiped my chain since. Dump some on every couple rides and you're good to go.

There’s a million ways to skin the cat when it comes to mountain biking…the only thing that should be considered even close to a ‘rule’ is to try and have a good time at it. Everything else is negotiable, specially bike hygiene. A dirty bike is a happy bike IMO. :D

bikerzim
August 11th, 2008, 09:43 AM
Mountain biking has been one of the most addicting and most enjoyable things that I have picked up. Healthy too! Just a word of caution towards bike Hygiene.... don't blast the bike with the garden hose after riding... I seized up the rear wheel bearing this way... I blasted the grease right out of the bearings. It was an expensive lesson. Go easy with the water on the bike. Have fun.

Husqvarna
August 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Just take it easy and be careful out there! I went for a ride in the woods once by myself, just to get away from the pressure of society. Before i knew it i was riding almost everyday, whenever i got a chance. I've even played hooky at work to sneak in a ride. Finally i realized I was addicted to mountain biking. But its not just ride, its the people, the trails, the challenges, the trail work, the trail designs. My addiction got so out of control, I STARTED ROAD RIDING, to stay in shape for MTB! Then i joined IMBA, NEMBA and FOMBA. Luckily i got the road riding thing under control. Today i'm an advocate and now maintain a healthy lifestyle, of mountain biking and trail building a few days a week and weekends.

agabriel
August 11th, 2008, 09:12 PM
One more thing based on my riding lately - get a helmet. I have seen more newbie idiots riding hard stuff with out a helmet in the fells this year. Seems like there are more of 'em this year then last.

Jerry Hughes
September 6th, 2008, 09:03 AM
Hi ~ I am happy to announce the launch of my new business- "Hughes Training Systems" ! Mountain Biking related services include: Introduction to Mountain Biking for Newbies all the way up to advanced racing training for the Pre-Elite Rider or budding 24-Hour Enthusiast! Please visit me..


www.hughestrainingsystems.com (http://www.hughestrainingsystems.com/)

Technical Skills Development
Mountain Bike Mechanics Clinics
Racing Training
Intro Classes (I can even bring a rental bike for someone!)
Currently available to the Metrowest MA communities
Please contact me if you are interested in learning more

Thanks!
Jerry Hughes
hughestrainingsystems@gmail.com

http://www.nemba.org/forums/images/misc/progress.gif

Slider
September 6th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Next time at the shop, grab 2-3 extra derailler hangers. And make sure you have a chain tool and know how to use it.

Slider