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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have been road riding since 2000 but have not rode for the past 3 years, until about a month ago. I have now been introduced to cross country/ mountain biking. I absolutely love it. Not only is it fun but a very good workout. What I need to know is how to really get started. My bike is a Wal-Mart Next that is about 9 years old. Do I need to get a better bike for cross country / mnt biking? Any advice on what to buy and where in the Nashville area.. or should I buy online. Any advice for a newbie would be welcome.

Thanks
Bill J.
 

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Bill:

In the event that you missed the sticky thread in this forum pertaining to the reasons to avoid department store bikes, please do consider giving it a read as it will save you endless flaming that's sure to follow.

That said, depending on your budget, there are some pretty nice bikes to be had these days for a reasonable price. Hit the local bike shops with brands like Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Jamis. They all offer pretty decent spec'ed hardtails and full suspension models for a little more.

Ordering online was blowing up for a while but seems to have calmed down a bit with brands like Kinley and Woodstock closing down. Ibex makes a solid bike for the price and some fellow posters speak highly of Motobecane (which are available from bikesdirect.com).

Considering that you are new to the off road scene, I would recommend going to a bike shop to be sized/ fitted first and foremost then establish a budget and go from there.
 

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responsible zombie owner
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"Do I need to get a better bike for cross country / mnt biking?"

You don't have to, but you'll have more fun and no doubt ride more if you replace your old bike. Entry level non-dept store bikes from big brands like Trek, Specialized, Giant and so on can be bought new for $300-400 and will blow the socks off your current bike: they'll be lighter, stronger, and allow you to do more adventurous things.

I wouldn't go online at first because you'll benefit from the support of a reliable and helpful local bike shop, as well as proper fit (as mentioned above).
 

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crash test dummy
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tnranger said:
Hello everyone, I have been road riding since 2000 but have not rode for the past 3 years, until about a month ago. I have now been introduced to cross country/ mountain biking. I absolutely love it. Not only is it fun but a very good workout. What I need to know is how to really get started. My bike is a Wal-Mart Next that is about 9 years old. Do I need to get a better bike for cross country / mnt biking? Any advice on what to buy and where in the Nashville area.. or should I buy online. Any advice for a newbie would be welcome.

Thanks
Bill J.
Unless they're rich, almost everyone on these boards started with a budget / handmedown / used / poorly fitting scrap of a ride. We rode those until they broke, replaced parts until we couldn't stomach it any more, saved up, bought a new bike, broke that, upgraded, etc. etc.

The best advice I can give you is to just ride a lot, and BE SOCIAL. Nothing will help you learn faster than riding with other people - not a bike, a book, videos - nothing. Find out the local mtn biking organization and start joining beginner rides and meeting people. Try to ride with people better than you and try to keep up. People talk about quivers of bikes. Lame. People with quivers of people to ride with are better riders.

When the repair cost of your bike starts to look higher than the actual cost of the bike, time for a new bike. Until you're at least a half decent rider, bike fit and good tires are probably the only meaningful bike-related issues. Maybe bike weight too...(a bike over 35 lbs. will suck to learn on).
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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A Wal Mart bike can make things difficult. They are heavy and usually don't work well. If your having a good time on it, cool. I had a friend that started riding, with other people, and hated riding. I didn't see this guy for sometime. We started hanging out and I told him how I loved MTBing. He was telling me how he hates riding and gave up on it. So I asked, what kind of bike do you have. He had a rigid Roadmaster 18 speed that weighed a ton. So, I hooked him up with a good bike and he loved it ever since. If the bike is not turning you off to the sport, great. Just ride it till it dies. However, if you feel it plain sucks, save for a new one. I also agree, you need just one good all around bike.
 
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