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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am a newbie rider looking to start for some physical therapy. I had a stroke in 08, so I am wondering if a custom built bike would be better. I need a FS bike to make for a more smooth ride. I have been looking at the FS bikes at the local dealer. They sell Mongoose and GT bikes mostly. I am guessing the components are decent, but am I better off getting a bike piece by piece and just putting it together myself?

Where should I check to get the bike/components either way? I kind of like the idea of building my own bike. Any input is appreciated. :)

Gavin
 

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My take on this , a complete bike is the least exspensive route . I would suggest that you look at some other shops to get a broader view of whats available . Custom is the pinnacle of the cycling experience , but if you have no idea what you want it is kind of wasted . There are many excellent choises in full suspension bikes , the number is staggering . I am sure you can find something to your liking .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AZ.MTNS said:
My take on this , a complete bike is the least exspensive route . I would suggest that you look at some other shops to get a broader view of whats available . Custom is the pinnacle of the cycling experience , but if you have no idea what you want it is kind of wasted . There are many excellent choises in full suspension bikes , the number is staggering . I am sure you can find something to your liking .
Thanks for the response, but it is rather generic. :) I have special needs, so I am looking to draw from others with similar circumstance or know someone else with special needs.

I have looked at Mongoose, GT, Scott, Canondale from the local shops, just as I said, with the special needs are these sufficient or should I consider nicer components to aid in making the shifting, bumps, pedaling as easy and smooth as possible. Weight is a factor since I am much weaker on the right side than I am on the left.

Performance Bikes, Treads, REI and some other local chain are the places I have looked so far. Some are nice, but none have chosen me yet.
 

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It's a big job!

Being a "newbi rider" you might want to try and buy a complete production bike for your first one. The process of a custom build is quite involved. I'm not saying you couldn't do it, there is just alot of information to digest and it would be easy to get overwhelmed. If your not exactly sure what you want; you could end up with alot of money into a bike that doesn't work for your needs. You don't want to be the guy with more bike than they know what to do with.

You might be better off buying a entry level FS in order to learn what you do and don't like. Then build what you need.

If your dead set on a custom build, and you have the money, check these guys out. http://www.wrenchscience.com/mountain This way you get a custom build and they make it work.
 

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all due respect, but you stated you had a stroke, not what specific special needs you have...

weaker on one side or the other would lead me to suggest xc type of bike for the lighter weight, but your desire for a smooth ride might encourage the longer travel options like specialized enduro or somesuch (or a 29er full suspension)

what medical issues do you have?
If you need for example a very upright body position or something, you're not going to be finding that on a stock bike, you'll need the shop to help you with getting the proper fit.

either way, one side weakened means your ability to control the bike is compromised, and riding offroad WILL put you in situations where that will rapidly become dangerous. take care!

as another option, more road-focused riding, look at hybrids, they're not as technically interesting but they tend to be built for an upright comfortable position in the first place so might just be easier to work with in the first place, and they'remore than able to handle gravel or dirt paths, which I think might be the safest options for you.

Oh by the way, custom's a waste of money in your case.
There's nothing custom about the frame you need, only about where the controls and the body positioning is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
byknuts said:
weaker on one side or the other would lead me to suggest xc type of bike for the lighter weight, but your desire for a smooth ride might encourage the longer travel options like specialized enduro or somesuch (or a 29er full suspension)

what medical issues do you have?

either way, one side weakened means your ability to control the bike is compromised, and riding offroad WILL put you in situations where that will rapidly become dangerous. take care!

.
Weak right side, shifting, pedaling, steering will all be compromised, but the activity helps rehabilitation. Smooth ride because of the chance my right foot slips off the pedal, it doesn't always agree on what to do. I have ridden a L Diamond back that was handed down, but it is too large to ride.

I think I have a good general idea on what I need to do. Weight and easy of shift seem to be what is most important for what I need. Probably a shop bike that just "feels right" on a quick test will work for me. I can always change out for better components later on. That Rip 9 frame though does appear to be nice. :)

Thanks for the tips, advice fellas.

Gavin
 

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Keep It Simple...

I agree with ghughes.hesinc.
Everyone's first bike is usually not a custom build- it's pretty complex & often frustrating!
I think if you custom build you might be turned off to what's a great sport- there are MANY fit & compatibility issues that can be mind-boggling! Avoid this if new to the sport...

TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE!!! There is no substitute for this...
Also, look at MANY different reviews, online stuff, print mags, etc. Collect lots of info.
Don't buy a bike on how it "looks". Don't buy based on the price alone-it could be a dud.

Test riding will help you feel out the fit, handling, weight differences & other distinct characteristics. Also, there are about 5-6 primary full-suspension designs out there- narrow down your choices here & you'll be WAY closer to deciding.

Bikes are kinda like cars & trucks-they all "feel" & ride very different.

Connect with a great shop whose mechanics will take the time to help you set up & fit you on your bike. Be honest & tell them you're new to bikes. Keep going to different shops until you're really comfortable with the guys who work there. Good shop support when starting out is important. Don't connect with snob bike shops with arrogant people.

Usually, most guys will custom build after about 8 months-1 year if they really get into the sport.This amount of time will allow you to figure out your exact needs with frames & parts. The bike industry can be quite difficult to figure out- frames, parts & suspension designs are constantly changing & evolving at a rapid rate. Also, custom will be more expensive & a slower process too.
Save your money for the future when you'll know alot more! Don't over-complicate matters right now, find good local trails, ride at your own pace, ignore bike "snobs" & spend extra money on really good safety gear. Just have fun!
Good luck!
 

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What sort of riding do you expect to do in the foreseeable future?

My guess is you are not planning to hit any rock gardens at high speed yet? The right bike for that would probably be heavy too, and therefore more work to get to the top of the hill.

Trying some bikes at bikes shops sounds like a good plan... also, look for a shop that seems wiling to figure out what is right for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am checking the local shops. I wsa just at Sun Bike shop in Milpitas, Ca and spent about 45 minutes talking to the manager Jason about exactly what I am looking to do and what I am up against. He suggested a 5" travel bike, hardtail. But the fact I tend to push myself, before the stroke it was track days on my Duc 998, I know more hard riding will come. It is the only way I see this going. Rough challenge and lots of fun, I want to be prepared.

The Speciality Stumpjumper FSR Comp and the Mongoose Canaan Elite are the ones I am looking at right now. I am heading to a shop that has a few Scott bikes, but I think those are too high end for my needs.

Cheers
 

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epx998 said:
The Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp and the Mongoose Canaan Elite are the ones I am looking at right now. I am heading to a shop that has a few Scott bikes, but I think those are too high end for my needs.

Cheers
You abslolutly can not go wrong with with a Stumpy FSR for your first bike! Super stable, relatively light, and very affordable at the lower end. I've owned two of them and loved both.

Good luck,
 

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Agree...

you can go nuts looking, but the Stumpy is a proven, reliable, excellent ride and a good place to start. If in future you need to change to another ride, the Stumpy will be an easy sell. My only other comment is to get FS, don't bother with a hardtail. Comfort will be key while you use the bike for therapy.

Good luck, Jim
 

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i would recommend a XC bike due to the fact that my cuz had a stroke and he was in the same position, my main question is what is your price range? if you are going to buy a bike say a FS then i would put money on a 2007 Specialized Enduro (this is the bike my cuz bought and he still rides it to day), they may be a little out of the way to get but in the end they are woth it, it is FS and is meant to be ridden but not ridden to hard, with Hardtails its not a bad choice to buy one but they are a work out if you don't have complete motor function, one other thing i was wondering about is what type of landscape are you planning on riding on? Dirt, Pavement, Trails, Hills, i understand you are in cali so i would start pushing on a training platform before you get out.

http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/best_bikes.html these are just references.

hope you get back out, im in the middle of rehab for a broken back =\ not as serious as you but i feel for you.
 

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XC = Enduro??? Bzzzzzztttttttttttt!

I'm not sure I agree with you, the Enduro is an AM bike; it's NOT an XC ride. Here's what Specialized has on their site for 2007 Enduro, with 5" of travel...

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?arc=2007&spid=22009&menuItemId=0

ALL MOUNTAIN
You Want It All? You Get It All. All-Mountain, that doesn't mean just the easy trails, or the trails that are pretty close to where you park, or the trails with sections that don't leave a pucker mark on your saddle. That's why they call it all-mountain and not easy-mountain, and that's why you need a bike that's stout and plush enough to handle extreme trials (sic) and light stunts, yet light and efficient enough so you can earn your turns.

Regardless, finding a 3-year-old bike (2007) could be challenging, never mind a correct fit. Not to be critical, but we need to be clear here making helpful easy, recommendations for the OP.

Cheers, Jim
 

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Sorry not 07, 08.
 

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Stumpjumper for sure, but try it first, you may not like the feel of it. They're relatively neutral, fun to ride, more all-purpose. Also has good, quality parts.

I would suggest against building your first bike. One, it's going to cost more than a pre-built. Two, you need specialty tools. Some are cheap, but you need a headset press, $55 or so. Three, if you screw up, you're done. Buy the headset press, and get the headset halfway in crooked, forget it. You need a new frame. Put the BB in the wrong side and start wrenching, crossthreaded shell.......go buy a new frame. Some things you can do with a screwdriver, but other things........not unless you know what you're doing and have the money to burn if you make a mistake. If you do wind up going self-built, have a shop do the technical stuff, like install the headset, measure, cut, and face the fork (do NOT try that without a proper, true, cutting guide. Cut it crooked and install it, you'll blow the bearings out of the headset in just a few rides), put the cassette on the wheel, the major stuff. Then do things like install brakes, cables, the rest of the build, yourself. Read up. Get Barnett's Bicycle Guide and read it.

Honestly, I don't know that a full suspension bike is going to do much for your foot slipping off. XC rear suspension isn't meant to make the ride cushy, it'll just take the edge off and soak up the big hits. If you set it so the low-frequency stuff is damped and smooth, you're going to smack the end of the travel hard on any kind of medium sized bump. Same goes for long travel suspension. If you set it to soak up all the little stuff, it's going to start packing up on you, and you're gonna be hurting when a big hit does come. Either way, it's not a cure-all. Being a newbie, you're not going to be hitting trails hard enough for long travel anyway, so I'd save the weight and go with a shorter-travel XC specific bike.

If foot slippage is going to be a concern, look into some sort of pedal system. I use Times, I like the wider float and release. I've used Shimanos and similar, and they're good, but tight and tend to release early. Also need cycling shoes for that, which aren't cheap. You can still buy PowerGrips, I used them quite a bit, and they work well. Cheap, too. Just a simple diagonal strap you stick your shoe in and twist your foot to riding position. That will keep you from falling off the pedal better than any full suspension, and they do release fine if you fall.
 
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