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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been looking at bikes since December. Dreaming about my future bike that will take me single tracking through the woods and down the street with a bike trailer hooked to it. Secretly I want to race, but I will start small for now lol.
I know jack about bikes! I have been reading and reading but it's a lot.

So I narrowed down my search to two bikes
Jamis DXT sport femme
Giant Tempt 5

Riding the hasn't helped me decide. And reading specs? I might as well be reading Chinese. So I need some unbiased input on my choices. Thanks so much.
 

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T.W.O.
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Well since this is all new to me I did not want to go over $600. My goal is to do some be beginner CX races this summer and trying to determine which bike would be best suited to that.
CX? Do you mean XC? Both are type of off road bike racing but difference. In the nutshell CX (Cross bike) is kind of like a road bike with drop bar but with skinny knobby tires. XC bike is like a the giant temp fatter tires, that offer more comfort and traction.

Decide which one you want to do first as they are completely different kind of bike. I know the learning curve is steep in the beginning, and you have not even start with the components yet, but I promise you it get easier. Once it click it's pretty easy.

Go to my page and check it out, I put up some info there that you may find helpful. Take your time and ask away the questions. Usually it's best done before you buy the bike:)
http://forums.mtbr.com/groups/t-w-o-two-wheel-offroad/
 

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I have been looking at bikes since December. Dreaming about my future bike that will take me single tracking through the woods and down the street with a bike trailer hooked to it. Secretly I want to race, but I will start small for now lol.
I know jack about bikes! I have been reading and reading but it's a lot.

So I narrowed down my search to two bikes
Jamis DXT sport femme
Giant Tempt 5

Riding the hasn't helped me decide. And reading specs? I might as well be reading Chinese. So I need some unbiased input on my choices. Thanks so much.
I never personally tried any of those bikes but a cousin of mine started on a Giant Tempt and he was very satisfied with it.
 

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T.W.O.
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Reading through a lot of the posts. I never knew the relationship between equestrians and mountain bikers was so negative:-(
No, not true.

Generally, the relationship between everyone who shares trail with mountain bikers are negative. We yield to everyone, another word, we are the bottom of the food chain on the shared trail.:)

Most trails I ride are ok, and plenty of friendly faces and warm greeting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope so. The trails I will be riding on are used mostly by horse riders.

I just spoke with my LBS and she said the Tempt5 would be very suitable for beginner level xc racing. So it looks like I'm going with the Giant and my first race is in three months;-)
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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+1. Maybe aim for some poker runs and start going on club rides this season.

Cat. 3 is pretty slow, but it's still racing. I think you should be able to ride the whole course without stopping or getting hung up on normal obstacles before you consider competing. (I have to admit there are two sections on my local course that give me a ton of trouble, including one I have yet to clean. But most of the field runs them both too. :p )

Congratulations on the new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The trail is at the local community college so I will be able to ride it a decent amount before the actual race. And I started increasing my cardio in December at the gym to help with my stamina. I am not expecting anything out of this other than it being a learning experience;-) and fun.
 

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Just a word to the wise - if you are planning on trying to do some race training, which of course means you're going to be trying to move along at a decent clip, I would really recommend doing it somewhere that isn't popular with equestrians. Many horses do NOT like large, quiet, fast moving things coming up on them. At all. Makes them think they're about to be lunch.

If you're on a bike and come across a horse and rider, there's a whole etiquette you need to follow. Basically you want to make sure it's okay to pass by well before you do it, and if the horse (or rider) seems at all nervous, you need to stop and get off, talk to it so it knows your a human, etc, etc. You also need to ride at a pace where you're sure your not going to come around a corner and surprise one. Not a big deal, but not exactly conducive to trying to ride yourself into race shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm an experienced/ex professional equestrian and can read a horses body language very well. In this area I never had to deal with cyclists and riders at odds so that is why I commented on that subject. Hunters and riders of all types have a nasty relationship.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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The trail is at the local community college so I will be able to ride it a decent amount before the actual race. And I started increasing my cardio in December at the gym to help with my stamina. I am not expecting anything out of this other than it being a learning experience;-) and fun.
The gym can be a great ingredient in the mix. I have some 30-minute intervals workouts I do from time to time. Since you can't crash a spin bike, this is a time for you to work on kicking out a lot of watts while your outdoor rides are still dominated by learning to ride a mountain bike off-road and then building endurance in the 90 minute and longer range.

Look up some finishing times for the race you're thinking. The 25th-percentile finisher in your category and age group is probably representative-ish of how long you can expect your race to take. You may find that your aerobic sessions at the gym are way short. Or, maybe not. But, it's a good thing to know going in.

Also look at who else is on the course at the same time as you. It's one thing to race casually when it's only Cat. 3. You don't want to be lapped by a 2 or 1 field, though.
 

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I'm an experienced/ex professional equestrian and can read a horses body language very well. In this area I never had to deal with cyclists and riders at odds so that is why I commented on that subject. Hunters and riders of all types have a nasty relationship.
A lot depends on your location and how things have worked out in the past between the groups. In my area, all the user groups get along very well in general, with the exception of a few bitter old 'environmentalists' that seem to think they own the woods and no one else should be out there.

If you're comfortable around horses, you should be fine sharing trails with them. Just remember, they have the right of way.
 

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I'm for trying racing ,but aiming for one in three months I don't know about. Can you pre ride the course? There is a base level fitness and skills needed to race to keep yourself and others safe.
Hi Lilly, welcome.

While I certainly wouldn't dismiss Dave or Andrw's advice lightly (I've been on these boards a while and know that they know their stuff), let me give you my view as a beginning racer.

I did my first race after about 6 months of regular mountain bike riding, and only a few months of that on a decent bike. Before that I had bicycles as a kid, and had infrequently ridden mountain bike trails on a Wal-Mart bike for a few years.

It was a 10-mile UCI race of one lap on a trail near my house that I am very familiar with. Something on my bucket list I figured I'd do once then forget about it. I was very casual about it -- didn't practice much and didn't push it all that hard because I had to go to work after the race and couldn't risk getting sick. I'm in my 50s and have a desk job.

I crashed about 1/4 mi in and was then dead last, but managed to pass two people in my category. It was a blast. I was surprised how fun it was.

I did three races last summer, including my first-ever ride in mud. I have never come in last.

Anyway, my point is that there are a lot of people out there that don't know what they are doing, and manage without hurting themselves or others.

If you feel comfortable riding the trail, are pretty much in control of the bike, and aren't going to panic if you bump shoulders or tires with someone else, I would go for it. You sound more serious about it than I was or am, and if you do it I will be surprised if you come in last.

The intensity of the races vary. I watched a 6-hour Xterra race after I did my first race, and there were absolute beginners there. People were pushing up a short steepish incline that I would have never even considered an obstacle on my Wal-Mart bike.

You don't need to decide now. See how it goes, talk to people familiar with the race you intend to enter, and consider it. Worst case they disqualify you.

I look forward to be passed by you at a race sometime! Yeah, they start the Cat 3 women behind us, and they still pass me :)
 

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beater
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The trail is at the local community college so I will be able to ride it a decent amount before the actual race. And I started increasing my cardio in December at the gym to help with my stamina. I am not expecting anything out of this other than it being a learning experience;-) and fun.
This sounds completely reasonable to me. I know a number of people who are beginners or tentative intermediate riders who enjoy participating in some of our local races. As long as the race features an appropriate class and course, and your expectations are realistic, why not? It sounds like you're out to have fun, so it should be a good experience for you. Have fun!
 
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