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Cannondale Snob
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715 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I picked up a virtually un-used 2003 Iron Horse Warrior Comp. That night I rode it about a mile home from work. When I got home I read a post regarding bike fitment and made some adjustments.

This morning I rode it to the LBS while they were still rolling their stock out to the sidewalk. On the way there I noticed that I can't get it to shift into the largest gear on the crank, so I was quite limited in my top speed. When I got to the LBS they were very friendly and we talked about getting it tuned up later this week when they weren't so busy. We also discussed bike locks and helmets a bit and I picked out a cable-style lock with a the thickest cable they had. I passed on buying a helmet, save that for my next paycheck. They also confirmed that the local park I used to ride at as a kid was the only place within riding distance to find a dirt trail.

I rode home and installed the bracket for the bike-lock and set the new combo for the lock. The bracket was a bit tricky to install, is wraps around a tube and uses a bolt and nut to pull it tight. I put it on the seat post as high as I could. It came with two shims to make it fit smaller diameter tubes, but the seat post is too big to use either of the shims and too small for it to clamp tight without a shim.... I used my knife to cut a shim in half and got a perfect fit.

I took off for the local park where I used to ride my little BMX and freestyle bikes back in my Middle School and High School days. I forgot what road it was on so it took me a little longer to get there, however I was riding without hands again by the time I got there. It feels kinda strange riding a "big" bike without hands, I might have to adjust my seat angle. When I got there I hit the trail and quickly realized this is a different animal from the BMX bikes. I can't throw it around like I'm used to doing, though lowering the seat as far as it could go without the cable-lock hitting the rear tire helped a lot. I'm going to rotate the handle-bars to their highest position and see if that helps me any. The disc brakes are great! They do take a little getting used to though, but I only had the rear tire in the air once while going downhill....

I didn't try out the jumps, I don't think I can keep the front end pulled up yet. Heck, I can barely bunny-hop this bike. There is a decent-sized trough, almost like a bowl, with a pretty rooted-up entrance and exit to it. I wasn't having much trouble getting down into the bowl but was having a hell of a time getting back out. Really tough to find traction going uphill in loose dirt. A dozen tries later and some playing around with gearing, and I was making it both ways as often as not.

On a much more amusing note, I am much more "all terrain" than my bike. I used to run these trails and take a lot of alternate routes... trying those alternate route on the bike resulted in a lot of braking and hiking the bike back out, with at least one close-call at riding off a ledge and into the ditch about 8' below. Apparently people have made little trails to the edge of the ditch so they can piss into to the stream below....

I need to stop comaring the bike to my Jeep... I take it you don't mountain-bike uphill a whole lot? Bikes just don't seem to get the traction for it.
 

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Formerly DMR For Life
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989 Posts
congrats on the new bike...go get that helmet though you brain will thank you. Also look in to getting a hydration pack of some sort to carry you lock, tube, tools, water etc.

Actually mtb's are ridden up hill alot..traction uphill is all about positioning your weight over the handle bars, yet far enough back that your rear tire doesn't slip...and forward enough that the front tire doesn't come off the ground

DMR
 

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ravingbikefiend
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2,322 Posts
That sounds great...

Climbing well takes lots of practice but it's one of the reasons mountain bikes came into being...road bikes and cruisers just aren't good at off road and climbing when there isn't any pavement.

I don't like cable locks on their own as a stout shackle is a far more secure lock and the cable can be used as a secondary.

Setting up that drivetrain really isn't too hard... if the front D isn't moving far enough outboard to shift the bike into high then there's an issue with the cable tension or the limiter on the derailleur needs to be adjusted.

Adjusting the tension can be done at the shift lever and the limiter screw on the derailleur (the one that says H) can be turned back a little at a time to allow the derailleur more travel.
 

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Registered
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6,787 Posts
Congrats on the bike. But if you're going to be riding dirt trails, especially over rooted sections like you describe, get a helmet! Accidents happen and you might not make it to your next paycheck if you know what I mean.
 

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Out there
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2,298 Posts
I can get up stuff on my bike that is WAAAY steeper than anything my 4x4 can handle.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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3,178 Posts
I did BMX as a kid. You definately can't jump a MTB quite like a smaller BMX.

You do climb a LOT on a MTB. That is most of the fun, for me at least. Some lazy folks like to go downhill only and ride lifts up, I dunno about those guys..... You have to learn to keep your weight back enough to give the rear traction, yet not so much you bring the front up.

Its an awesome sport that is incredibly rewarding. Glad you started!

RiskEverything said:
Yesterday I picked up a virtually un-used 2003 Iron Horse Warrior Comp. That night I rode it about a mile home from work. When I got home I read a post regarding bike fitment and made some adjustments.

This morning I rode it to the LBS while they were still rolling their stock out to the sidewalk. On the way there I noticed that I can't get it to shift into the largest gear on the crank, so I was quite limited in my top speed. When I got to the LBS they were very friendly and we talked about getting it tuned up later this week when they weren't so busy. We also discussed bike locks and helmets a bit and I picked out a cable-style lock with a the thickest cable they had. I passed on buying a helmet, save that for my next paycheck. They also confirmed that the local park I used to ride at as a kid was the only place within riding distance to find a dirt trail.

I rode home and installed the bracket for the bike-lock and set the new combo for the lock. The bracket was a bit tricky to install, is wraps around a tube and uses a bolt and nut to pull it tight. I put it on the seat post as high as I could. It came with two shims to make it fit smaller diameter tubes, but the seat post is too big to use either of the shims and too small for it to clamp tight without a shim.... I used my knife to cut a shim in half and got a perfect fit.

I took off for the local park where I used to ride my little BMX and freestyle bikes back in my Middle School and High School days. I forgot what road it was on so it took me a little longer to get there, however I was riding without hands again by the time I got there. It feels kinda strange riding a "big" bike without hands, I might have to adjust my seat angle. When I got there I hit the trail and quickly realized this is a different animal from the BMX bikes. I can't throw it around like I'm used to doing, though lowering the seat as far as it could go without the cable-lock hitting the rear tire helped a lot. I'm going to rotate the handle-bars to their highest position and see if that helps me any. The disc brakes are great! They do take a little getting used to though, but I only had the rear tire in the air once while going downhill....

I didn't try out the jumps, I don't think I can keep the front end pulled up yet. Heck, I can barely bunny-hop this bike. There is a decent-sized trough, almost like a bowl, with a pretty rooted-up entrance and exit to it. I wasn't having much trouble getting down into the bowl but was having a hell of a time getting back out. Really tough to find traction going uphill in loose dirt. A dozen tries later and some playing around with gearing, and I was making it both ways as often as not.

On a much more amusing note, I am much more "all terrain" than my bike. I used to run these trails and take a lot of alternate routes... trying those alternate route on the bike resulted in a lot of braking and hiking the bike back out, with at least one close-call at riding off a ledge and into the ditch about 8' below. Apparently people have made little trails to the edge of the ditch so they can piss into to the stream below....

I need to stop comaring the bike to my Jeep... I take it you don't mountain-bike uphill a whole lot? Bikes just don't seem to get the traction for it.
 

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Cannondale Snob
Joined
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715 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pinkheadedbug said:
I can get up stuff on my bike that is WAAAY steeper than anything my 4x4 can handle.
Get a better 4x4 if you actually want to go places, perhaps a Unimog?

I'm glad to hear that the bikes can climb, I'll get to work on my technique soon. I get paid on Thursday so then I can buy a helmet and just break my neck instead of bashing in my skull :madman:

I went with the cable over the shackle as I'll be locking up to trees, vehicles, and other things besides the standard fence, rail, or bike-rack. Otherwise, I'd be all about the shackle, too.
 

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local trails rider
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12,300 Posts
The worst my helmet has protected me against is tree branches and one "tuck and roll" with my bike, over my left shoulder. No doubt it looked pretty amusing. I think I would have got away with minor bumps to my head. I have yet to do an OTB into a tree or big rock.

I have a pretty skinny cable lock for my old commuter/errand bike and I just thread it through the seat rails and around seat post: no pracket needed. If I have the rear fender installed, the lock goes around the seat stays and the fender mount on the seat post.
 

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Registered
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312 Posts
RiskEverything said:
Get a better 4x4 if you actually want to go places, perhaps a Unimog?
Okay, while I would love to own a Unimog, parking in DC would be a bit tricky.

So then, about climbing on a bike. There are tons of useful books at Barnes and Noble or Borders; even more useful advice in the 'Beginners Section'; and the greatest lesson to be learned through trial and error.

When you're climbing, definitely shift your upper body forward, your sit bones a bit forward, and try to center your gravity above the bottom bracket. It may feel like the tip of your saddle is going to rip into your groin but don't worry. Just don't go up a big hill. :D

Good luck!

-Rob
 

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2006 Yeti AS-X
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3,217 Posts
Make it a point that you don't get on the bike without a helmet on. Your noggin needs protection and the time you get too hurried or lazy to put it on, that is the time you will end up banging your noggin.
 
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