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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Earlier today I went to my local bike shop and pulled the trigger on a 2014 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc, just gotta wait a week for it to be delivered as they only had the regular disc version in stock. Needless to say its gonna be a long week. After sitting on a few bikes last week I decided to go with a 26er instead of a 29 as the 29er felt way too tall for my liking. Think I got a pretty good deal on the bike($569).

I basically a newb when it comes to mountain biking and I'm very excited to get out there and start riding. Aside from a bike I have no other riding gear and I was basically wondering what else I should have my eyes on and be looking to purchase while I wait for this thing to arrive?

Helmet is obviously first. Any good recommendations?Deals you can point me to? I have a pair of mx gloves leftover from when I had a dirt bike years ago I guess I can use for now. Plan on just wearing a pair of cross trainers as footwear, cool? Any little mods I should throw on my bike right away?

Thanks in advance for any advice/pointers. Seems to be a great community here and I look forward to being a contributing member.
 

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Congrats on the purchase!

If the bike shop has accessories you may be able to get a decent discount on them since you are purchasing a bike from them.

Find a helmet you wont mind wearing and a hydration pack. I spent a little more than i wanted on a Uvex xp cc helmet, but i ended up saving the difference by getting a deal on a hydration pack. Pricepoint has a shimano unzen pack as well as a hydrapak for $35-40, both use the same 2L reservoir. Hydration packs are prefered by most over a bottle in a cage since riding on rough terrain may have the bottle slip out and go unnoticed. You will also need to carry some spare stuff with you if you are riding anything more than bike paths. The hydration packs usually have the perfect amount of storage for this stuff.

Spare stuff like an extra tube, tire levers, mini pump or CO2 cartridge, something to snack on so you don't ride too hard and have a sugar crash, etc. You will also enjoy a regular floor pump to air up your tires on a regular basis (tubes leak down over time more than you'd think).

Biggest upgrades for the bike may be some shimano hydraulic brakes(no idea how good the tektros are) and the suntour $200 raidon upgrade.
 

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One thing to think about is getting clipless pedals. I just got some a couple days ago and they are AMAZING. I rode around 20 miles of trails with them so far and it's like iv'e been missing out.
 

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Sounds to me like you have yourself a solid bike to start. If I were you, I would focus on picking up some quality gear (shoes, helmet, hydro pack, and maybe some shorts if you're interested). That's how I started off and have zero regrets.
 

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Skip the clipless--you need special shoes to go with them.
Stubby pin platform pedals are good for trailrunners and other shoes with some lug or waffle on the bottom.
You will also see sharper long pinned pedals that tear up runners and work with 5.10 Impacts and similar. They can be useful for DH and big jumps.
Wellgo B143 are an example of good pedals. Google shopping should show some around 65.
And you need the technique to keep from being bounced off. Called the low heels method. Here's the vid.
And one on cornering.

The bike comes with a Suntour 'X' series fork designed for bike paths max. No adjustable rebound means it pogos over multiple bumps at speed. If you notice this on the trails you ride Nick at Suntour has an upgrade to a Raidon air fork or a better Epicon is available on ebay for about $200.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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What pedals come on the Hardrock lately? I remember mine having some surprisingly respectable alloy pedals.

Honestly, try to give the bike at least two weeks before you bolt any additional money to it. Except maybe a bottle cage.

There are a million different opinions about almost any question you can ask. I don't use a hydration pack, and I have one sitting around. So I choose not to, almost every ride. I think a lot of people rush into clipless pedals too soon, while I'm being contrary. Do you have skate shoes?

Buy your helmet in person. They have to fit. I'm wearing a Specialized-branded helmet right now. Cheapest thing going back in 2007. They all meet the same safety standards.

Be able to fix a flat tire, make minor adjustments, or fix a broken chain.

Good luck!
 

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Everyone is providing great recommendations. Wish I would've read this stuff when I started a year ago. The videos referenced above are great - both the technique vid and the cornering vid. Continues to help me every time I ride and learn / get better.

You really don't need much to get going. If you have a helmet already, just get out and ride. The rest will come in time.
 

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If i'm on a leisure/fitness ride, were the terrain is mostly flat cycle paths and canals, i never use a helmet there. That's just stupidity on my behalf though, i would never recommend people do that and would always advise to wear a helmet.

If your thinking of upgrades to your bike, then don't do any. Use it for 6 months to a year at least. You may be happy with how it is. If that's the case, only do upgrades when parts wear out or break. If your not happy with certain elements after 6 months, like comfort/weight or performance, then make upgrades accordingly. But get get some use out of what you have first. And by giving it 6 months, you'll judge what's best to upgrade much better.

As for other things to add, well the list is endless, you could spend a week just listing things, lol.

Make yourself a list. Then, either search for each item on a sale and buy individualy over time, or go in to a shop and say, " i want to buy all these things, how about a deal " lol

A hydration backpack is a good idea, but i only use them for longer rides. I don't like carrying anything on my body other than clothing. 9 times out of 10, i use a saddle bag which carrys pretty much everything i need. A spare tube, repair kit, multi tool, keys, phone, money and some food. Pretty much everything except a first aid kit.

I have 2 water bottle cages wich hold large bottles very securely, no falling out. I use a Lezyne pump which mounts underneath your water bottle cage. So basically everything is pretty much taken care of with a saddle bag, pump with bottle mount and water bottles and cages.

Of course you may want to take a spare set of clothes or whatever else, in which case a backpack is a must.

Helmet, gloves and glasses are essentials. Depending on your saddle, some padded underwear or shorts/pants. You may want to be rid of stock grips and tyres, but time will tell for that.

I added bar ends, not the inn thing to do, but on lon long rides it can be nice to have an extra position for your hands, They help on climbs too.

As for pedals, it will help if you know exactly what your uses will be. Are you only ever going to use your bike for xc/trail/am? If so, maybe clipless is best. If dh or something maybe flats are best. If, like me, you use your bike for everything from commuting to shopping, from xc to trails, then i'd recommend dual pedals. Best of both worlds, use what shoe you like on one side of the peddle, and use spd shoes clip in on the othe side.

I use Shimano dual pedals. They've been perfect. Flawless performance, zero maintenance and have been bomb proof. Best part, ok, they aren't the lightest pedals you can find on earth, but they're far from the heaviest and are way lighter than your stock pedals. In fact, they're only a fraction heavier than Shimano XTR pedals, which are considered top spd's. And the duals are cheap to boot. A no brainer for me.

Oh, i also use a cateye commuter computer. Cheap, wireless, i love it tbh. Still want a garmin for the maps and stuff though. You may want a light set too if your likely to get out in the dark.

So, WELCOME to Wonka's world of the never ending S**t to buy scenario. It does add fun and interest though to be fair, and there's much worse things in life to spend your money on. But be carefull, it can get addictive and expensive very quickly.

I'v been involved less than 2 years. I'm already thinking of using biking as a way of seeing the world. MTB cycle holidays and such. But then that's ok! The way i see it, when biking gets you, it becomes more of a lifestyle or a religion than a hobby. I'll be doing biking till the day i drop, and couldn't be happier about it. So every penny spent is penny with a smile. For me at least.

You were right to choose MTBR too. I'm new here also, and the difference on here to Bikeradar is unreal. People on here actually seem to try to give good answers and advice/help, and will even ask questions to get to the root of your problem.

On Bikeradar, you ask an innocent question, and all you get is sacrcastic snotty comments, lol Pure troll territory. I wouldn't mind, but you get these people face to face and they'd say nothing! I'm British, but much happier over here on this site with the old Yankeo's
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who took the time to type out lengthy informative posts. I appreciate your help. Looks like I will be swinging by the bike shop and trying on some helmets possibly tomorrow and seeing if they will cut me a deal on one. Looks like they sell Specialized, Fox, Giro, and Bell. There is another shop that just opened I can check out as well.

I don't own any skate shoes, mainly basketball shoes and a pair of Nike Air Max. I planned on picking up a pair of NB cross trainers but now it looks like I will have my eyes on a pair of 5.10s instead. I have a North Face backpack I will use for now on longer rides I need to pack for. I will look into a good tire pump and tubes. What kinda pressure do you guys run in your tires?

I will take your advice and ride the bike as is for now before dumping any money into mods. For the meantime anyway. Pedals seem cheap though. What about that guard guys are putting on the frame under the chain?
 

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Bikesexual
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I know it was mentioned but pricepoint.com and nashbar have deals all the time. Don't forget mulit-tool (sorry if it was mentioned) and of course PADDED SHORTS!

Welcome to MTB$ :)
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Right now, 20 psi front/22.5 rear in the 29x2.25 tires on my new bike. I weigh about 150 lb and use tubes.
 
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