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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, Ive been wanting to get into mountain biking for a really long time. I first started riding cheap mountain bikes of the kmart special rack. After going through about 5 of them my parents were fed up with buying me bikes. I worked all summer at the ripe age of 13 and bought myself a specialized fatboy 20" bmx bike..I loved it, it took everything I through at it.
Eventually puting 3 piece cranks and a stronger headset on the bike was indestructable.
But in recent years I have been seeing some really cool mountain bikes. With hella suspension and disk brakes! to cool. I really have been wanting the versatility of a mountain bike but I still like to jump everything in sight. I decided to try out a specialized hardrock sport disk 2005 model for $300 brand new, I figured I couldnt loose with that. I checked out the bike in stores and I liked it. So I bought one off of ebay. Now Im still awaiting its arrival which I cannot wait for.
Im sure Im going to have a ton a questions because know almost nothing of maintainance on a mtnbike. Im so used to hopin on my 20" and just goin.
Whats the weakest link on these bikes. I have heard the deraingler or whatever its called.
Also Im thinkin I want to go with a nicer fork. I really like those fox forks. I got some on my snowmobile that are just killer.
Anyways, if anyone would like to give a beginner here some pointers, tips or beware of's, feel free.

12,709 Posts
Right on!

But remember it's about the ride, not the gear. The gear is just a means to the ride.

I might even suggest getting into long rides. Hook up with the mtbr people in your area and get into the fun stuff.

Try to hit 15, then 20, then 30 milers over 3-5 hours. Learn to love the climbs. No really, they can be fun, getting to clean the technical stuff, and seeing how long you can stand it.

squish is good
4,932 Posts
Also, check out the local bike shop and don't be afraid to ask them tech questions. Having a good relationship with those guys is a good idea because they can be a great resource for little known local trails and helpful maintenance advice. The weakest link on the bikes tends to be whatever hits the ground the hardest. The Derailler can be fragile, but usually isn't in the direct line of fire. I would as a minimum carry with me on any ride longer than a couple minutes:

1-Hydration pack (camelback style, or just the plastic insert in a backpack you might have). Trust me, you will want water on any extended rides and the bottle on the frame ain't gonna do it.
2-Universal tool with a chain tool. Walking back after getting 10 miles into the ride won't be fun.
3-Spare innertubes and a patch kit. I carry at least two spares that have saved my butt numerous times.
4-Trail pump for those innertubes.
5-First aid kit. You can get a hiker style first aid kit thats compact and has good stuff in it at any sporting goods store.
6-Cycling computer. I'm using the cheap-o Bell Fred Meyer brand comp, cost me $10 and its just as good as the Specialized comp that broke on me a couple months ago. It's great to keep track of your trip mileage, avg speed and overall mileage for knowing when its time for a major tuneup. Best of all, its only $10 so if you break it, theres nothing to freak about.
7-Cycling gloves w/ gel pads for your palms. This is more of a luxury item, but it really helps ease the ache.

I also usually pack a powerbar or two for any ride over two or three hours. It sucks to run out of gas while on the trail and taking a snack break is a great way to get the energy to clean that last climb before bombing back down to the bottom!
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