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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I just got an older rockhopper for $100 from a guy that was moving. I'm convinced that was a pretty good deal. I'm brand new to mountain biking and am extremely happy with my bike. It seems to ride very well and I've taken it on a bunch of trails around my area and love it. Is there anything I should look at upgrading? I'm 16 and don't have a ton of money to throw into this hobby right now, but I do have a job and may be able to do some small upgrades. Thanks for the advice

JB
 

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First things first

The first thing you should do is list all the components of your bike.
Second uprade the comfort areas. If your not comfortable you wont ride. You dont ride, all the upgrades are a waste.
Third describe what type of riding you do and wish to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok. I'll say what I know and get the rest tomorrow.
Everything is stock as far as I know

Shimano Exage front and rear derailleur
Deore XT Brakes
Stock specialized front fork
Stock specialized wheels
Not sure what the front tire is, but the rear is a 2.3" specialized
Stock pedals
Specialized computer

I'm not quite sure what other details I need. That's what I know, but I can find out anything else if I need to.


JB
 

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Comfort

OK, here are the comfort areas. Saddle, handlebar grips.
Safety areas. Brakes, tires, wheels.
Makes sure everythng works right.
If its broke replace it. Maybe upgrade one level. Don't spend alot of money on upgrades. As you get more experience you'll be able to see what you don't like about your bike. When you meet people on the trails ask them about their bikes. What they like and don't. This hobby can get very expensive. Learn to fix your bike yourself. Keep your drive train clean and lubed. Welcome aboard.:thumbsup:

OLD FAT GUY.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I know how hobbies can suck you in. I've been into RC for almost two years and its insane. Before that I tried race karts but that was just insanely expensive. Biking looks like something where you can get by well with less than the best, but it's easy to get sucked into buying top-of-the-line equipment. I'm going to try to get to the bike shop soon and I think I am going to buy some clipless pedals and shoes. I have toe clips right now but am less than satisfied with them. Also, my friend just bought a brand new Rockhopper today and I took it for a ride. The fork feels hundreds of times better. Is this a quality difference (his are Rock Shox) or have forks advanced that much in the last couple years?

I'll get a pic up tomorrow. Thanks for the reply.


JB
 

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Drop the clips

Get rid of the clips now. Your better off without the toe clips. They can be very dangerous. Clipless pedals are fine once you get used to them. Yes, fork technology improves vastly year after year. The weights go down and proformance goes up. Also try postingyour comments on the beginners forum. You'll get alot more hits. Just out of curiosity ask the shop what they reccommend for upgrades. Post their comments. That'll tell us whether you need to find another (honest) shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips. I'm going to the shop with my bike tomorrow with the intention of getting at least shoes for clipless pedals and possibly pedals. Worst case I'll order pedals on ebay if they are too expensive at the shop. Why are toe clips dangerous?





JB
 

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Dangerous Toe Clips.

The clips are dangerous because, when you fall (you will :) fall) you might be still be attached to the bike. When attached to the bike more likely to have additional injuries. When you fall while using clipless you usually will detach from the bike and less likely to have additonal injuries. The other reason is its easier to unclip using clipless. Again its better not use them. Getting use to clipless takes time but its worth it. Your gonna take some spills while learning the clipless system so practice on soft ground. If they're to expensive at the LBS check out Nashbar and Performance on the net.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got the clipless pedals (520s) and shoes (specialized tahos) at the LBS. The guy seemed really nice and he looked at my bike and said that after clipless, it really doesn't need anything. He didn't push expensive stuff on me either. He layed out the 520s and some that cost $20 more but said the 520s were perfectly fine.


JB
 

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Get it tuned up and have the chain checked to see how stretched it is and the rear cassette for wear. Perhaps the cables and housings as well. That will make it feel even better. Grips and saddle and I would think you are ready to shred. As far as the front shock goes if it doesn't leak you are set. If you upgrade you will have a sweet second bike or even a single speed. You have been bitten by the bike bug...
 

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Tune your own? There are a few good books out there. Pick the brain of your local friendly bike mechanic. Then of course use mtbr. Let us see it when you are done with the add ons. Don't go crazy however. Just make it fit you (grips and saddle), make it work (chain and cables) and get riding. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good eye! I just caught that the other day when adjusting my brakes. It's on the right way now. I'm going to wait for my tires to wear out, but once they do what do you guys reccomend? My trails have pretty loose dirt and I do a bit of street riding as well. That's probably the hardest combo for a tire to meet demands for, but what's out there?


JB
 

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For a hardtail you might want to use hi-volume tires. 2.2 - 2.3 front and 2.0 - 2.1 rear. This way you can get a pretty supple ride. Don't pick high TPI (over 100) tires, as they will be more likely to get damaged. Try to avoid soft compound tires, since they will wear faster than harder compound ones.
Dual compound has harder compound on the center tread (to resist wear), but softer on the sides (to enhance traction and minimize rolling resistance).

66 TPI, dual compound might be nice choice.
 
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