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Old 06-27-2018, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Novice trying to start out, again.

Hey guys, I have a 16 inch 2006ish Gary Fisher advance hard tail.


My mother got it for me back in 2010 or so, when I out grew the unsprung early 80s khs I had inherited from my father.

Well I have since graduated higshcool, finished college and gotten a job(and now a different one), payed my off my car, etc... Made progress in life. I would like to get back into riding. (I probably need a new bike because ive grown since 2010. And this one hurts my shpulders on longer rides now. But ill leave thay for another thread)

I used to pound the desert near my house. But I was always within walking distance of home. Now I've got an old pick up to haul my bike places, and i live in a different city I am not familiar with.

So what I want advice on, if you gents will be kind enough to share, is what kind of gear/tools should I be carrying with me. (I've lived in AZ my whole life so I'm well aware of the need for water and sun screen and the like. I need to know how to take care of my ride.)

Secondly, where can I go ride? I live near Tucson AZ (North side), but I am frequently down Near Sierra Vista or Green valley too.

Maybe meet up with some people who are willing to take a novice like me under their wing? I know you shouldn't go alone, But since I've moved and gotten a job and what not, I have lost contact with all my friends since we graduated in 2012. So I have no one to go with. Advice and, or information would be greatly apreciated.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Actually its a 2007.
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearded Rabbit View Post
Hey guys, I have a 16 inch 2006ish Gary Fisher advance hard tail.


My mother got it for me back in 2010 or so, when I out grew the unsprung early 80s khs I had inherited from my father.

Well I have since graduated higshcool, finished college and gotten a job(and now a different one), payed my off my car, etc... Made progress in life. I would like to get back into riding. (I probably need a new bike because ive grown since 2010. And this one hurts my shpulders on longer rides now. But ill leave thay for another thread)

I used to pound the desert near my house. But I was always within walking distance of home. Now I've got an old pick up to haul my bike places, and i live in a different city I am not familiar with.

So what I want advice on, if you gents will be kind enough to share, is what kind of gear/tools should I be carrying with me. (I've lived in AZ my whole life so I'm well aware of the need for water and sun screen and the like. I need to know how to take care of my ride.)

Secondly, where can I go ride? I live near Tucson AZ (North side), but I am frequently down Near Sierra Vista or Green valley too.

Maybe meet up with some people who are willing to take a novice like me under their wing? I know you shouldn't go alone, But since I've moved and gotten a job and what not, I have lost contact with all my friends since we graduated in 2012. So I have no one to go with. Advice and, or information would be greatly apreciated.
I've carried for years in my Camelback a bike multitool with all the Allen heads & chain breaker, spare tube or two (far fewer failures now with tubeless tires and sealant in them) tire tool, pump (I prefer the combo pumps that accept CO2 and can pump too. You've got the best bike pump co. right there down by the airport), plastic tech ties, tire boots, tweezers for pulling cactus, duct tape, etc.
Plenty of riding there in Tucson. I prefer the tech stuff like Gates Pass (west on Speedway into the park & start from the top p lot), 50 mile Trail in the park off Oracle Road, up on Mt Lemmon trails that drop off the N side or come back down parallel to the highway, Star Pass area, AZ Trail (north or south of Tucson), 24 Hours in Old Pueblo course north (not technical but nice smooth desert single track), Fantasy Island is a waste of time in my book. No shortage. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ive got to get a new bike. Aparently my 6 foot frame is to bui for my bikes 16 inch frame. I dont know much about the brands. Where should I look for a reasonably priced entry level hard tail? Do I need Disc brakes? are the larger tire sizes worth the extra cost?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So how serious are you wanting go with this new bike? It sounds like you are roughly in the same shoes I was in about a year ago where I hadn't thrown a leg over a bike in years and was looking to get back into it, but didn't want to drop a whole lot of coin on an unknown.

So first and foremost, don't get caught up in the hype as you start to feel things out again. You don't need a $3k bike to go have fun when a $600 bike will get you most of the way there. Also, don't get hung up too much on "Brand X is better than Brand Y". How the frame fits you is much more important than whose name is on the front of it.

You have to really boil things down to the individual components that are on the bike. For the most part, all of the main stream brands use the same (ish) components depending on which trim level of bike you're looking at.

Answering your questions, I am looking at this as though you want to spend less than $800 to get you rolling to the trails..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearded Rabbit View Post
....I dont know much about the brands. Where should I look for a reasonably priced entry level hard tail?
Depends on how much you want to spend and how serious you are starting out. I would suggest going to your local bike store and throwing you leg over a few different brands to see what fits and feels the best to you. If you stay with the more known brands (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale) you're odds of winding up with a good bike out of the box is pretty dang good.

Don't get hung up on brand too much since as mentioned above, the sub $1k bikes tend to use the same (or similar) level of components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearded Rabbit View Post
...Do I need Disc brakes?
Absolutely. Even with lowly mechanical disc brakes, they are light years better at braking than the best setup rim brakes I had used. Hydro disc brakes are even better yet. Depending on the terrain you plan on riding (and style of riding) I might suggest just jumping right up to a rig with Hydro brakes on it right away. But this is an item you can upgrade to later on if desired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearded Rabbit View Post
are the larger tire sizes worth the extra cost?
Depends on the terrain and your riding style. In my opinion yes, especially on a hard tail.

Though you didn't mention it. At a minimum DO spend some money on a good helmet and safety/impact rated sun glasses. You will crash. And your eye space will take a hit at some point (Random branch, random rock when crashing).

Just to give you a point of reference on where I am coming from. About a year and a half ago I got the urge to pick up the sport again since running was being a bit rough on my joints. I live in the midwest so most of my riding has been forest trails with some elevation changes. There isn't much use for a full suspension bike out here (Save for a few places) so a Hard Tail made the most sense to me. I tend to ride spiritedly, but I tend to limit how much air time I have as I'm old enough to know shit hurts when you fuck up, and I need to be at work on Monday to keep the family fed. So you likely won't see me on YouTube any time soon sending it big

I spent a decent amount of time at the various local bike shops around town trying different bikes. There are cheaper options out there (like bikes direct) but my free time was non-existent at the time so I wanted something ready to roll right out of the box, and I wanted to make sure I fit the frame well.

Going into it, I was focusing on the lower end of the spectrum of entry level bikes. I didn't want to have another expensive thing sitting around not getting used if I didn't like it. Conversely, I was also going into this knowing that I would 'out grow' the bike if it turned out I really liked the hobby. Depending on the use, it quickly stops making sense to upgrade an entry level bike unless you happen to get some good deals on the components.

After going back and forth between a 27.5 Cannondale (really liked how nimble it felt) and a Trek Marlin 5 (29er). I wound up with the Trek as it fit me better (6' , 180 lbs). While not as nimble, I love the larger wheel set as it makes it easier to ride around and "Monster Truck" over things.

Even though the Marlin is just an entry level bike, it has taken me to so really fun places, and has rekindled my love for the sport. But after riding it that first year, it was becoming apparent that I could out ride the bikes ability to keep up pretty quickly. So it has served it purposes well, and I'll likely just throw some more pavement/gravel tires as I think it will be a good application for it.

The next bike I buy will likely be something like the Cannondale Cujo 1 as on paper it has everything that I want in my next hardtail purchase (1x drive train, 27.5+ tires, hydro brakes, dropper post, and longer travel air fork). For the riding I do now, I think the 27.5+ wheel set (measures roughly 29" OD x 2.8" wide) will be the sweet spot as I'll have more squish to work with to soak up the bumps without having to jump to a full suspension bike.

For the gear I carry with me, I picked up this pack that has a water bladder and enough room to carry the gear with me that I wanted. Any bag will do so long as it has a chest strap and fits snugly:
https://www.amazon.com/Live-Infinite...Bbackpack&th=1

In that bag full time is a basic first aid kit, Ace wrap, Tube, Pump, Patches, Crankworks Multi Tool, eyeglass lens cleaner (Cleans your glasses and your brakes if they get oil on them), rope, ~5' of duct tape (wrapped around the bike pump).

Even with all of that in there, there is still plenty of room for whatever else I want to carry depending on the ride (Phone, camera, snacks, etc).

I can't help you with places to ride in your area, I would suggest looking up a local riding club. It's been my experience that the MTB groups tend to be pretty welcoming similar to some 4wd groups, so don't hesitate to reach out to some of them.

That's probably way more information than you wanted, but I hope it helped some!
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very cool!

Check out Surly Bikes. We own a few, and have owned a few prior to those (I've been riding Surly bikes for 15+ years). Good, solid quality that'll last you for many years. Bonus points for their witty, crazy-cool sense of humor...just browse their website for a while, and you'll see what I mean.

Surly Bike Sizing Chart HERE

I'm also 6'0", but have long arms and like to be stretched out decently well on my bikes. I typically ride 20" mountain bikes, or somewhere close to that.

Craig
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