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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey. I just got into mountain bikes as I'm heading off to Chicago for college and I've always loved motorcycles but I think getting a bike would be more practical and what I've convinced myself more enjoyable. Anyway, I've basically been trying to learn as much as I can about mountain bikes (I guess mainly what each "type" of bike is for, i.e. freeride, xc, all mountain, etc. I mean, I know that some, such as downhill, are pretty self-explanatory. I'm also trying to familiarize myself with all of the parts and components that make up bikes and which brands would be best to make a bike up with.) I'm basically just asking what the best way to learn about mountain bikes would be. How did you guys get started? I was also wondering if there was any type of learning curve for certain bikes? For example, with a more performance oriented bike, would you need better skill to ride it? For my first bike I would be looking for a high performance bike that could do well on trails and all around stuff and also be really good for downhill. I was looking at a lot of bikes and the one that really stands out to me is the Santa Cruz v10. I've read reviews for it and it sounds like a really good bike, however, is it strictly good just for downhill or would I be able to do well with it on trails and basically use it as an all arounder? Sorry if anything I've said sounds stupid and thanks for any answers
 

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The V-10 is an uber expensive ticket into the sport... and it's only good for going hard and fast downhill and nothing else.

By "all round" do you mean that you want to climb up hills, go down hills, ride along undulating ground... maybe commute or ride along some bike paths?

I started out on an entry level ($1000 AUD- about $600 USD) XC MTB. It was a hardtail with basic Shimano Deore components. I rode that bike to work, around the lake (on bike paths) and on tons of off-road trails. I rode it on DH specific trails a couple of times- but the idea of shuttling just doesn't/diddn't appeal to me. Endurance riding is my thing.

From there I've gone on to buy a Giant Trance... suited for XC. If you know that you want to be jumping off large object/dropping off them... then a freeride bike might suit you better (just remember that they are not easy to pedal up hill).
 

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I started on a Diamondback Topanga prolly 6 yrs ago it was a $3-$400 entry level bike that got me around. What I did was did some research to make sure the bikes technical specifications were the same as a higher level bike (bottom bracket diameter, fork steer tube diameter etc...) I then upgraded the frame with parts (fork, bars, stem, drivetrain, seat/post) and forced myself to install them myself with the help of Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintanance, which is an amazing book that will show you step by step how to fix/install practically anything on a bike. I then later upgraded to a new, lighter frame, mainly because I wanted a smaller more nimble frame. This forced me to have to do a complete bike rebuild and now I am very confident when it comes to tinkering on a bike and it has saved me tons of time and money on labor over the years from the LBS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright, thanks a lot for the replies. I'll definately look into some good books (Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintanence sounds really good). I managed to find out about a bike shop here in Atlanta that looks really good also. I'm going to stop by sometime this week and try to ask a lot of questions and maybe pick up my first bike from them!
 
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