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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys i hope this is in the right spot. I have just started riding trails about 3 weeks ago. I cleaned out my attic of the place ive been renting and found a 2008 giant xtc 1 medium frame, with marzoochi bomber shocks stroker brakes sram x-5 shifters and 26x1.95 tires. Everything was in great condition except the tires so i got new ones. I want to get into downhill stuff cause any downhill sections of the trail are so much fun. I would like any info u can give me like parts i should change out (i have no idea if these brands are good) or should i sell it (what does it go for) and get something else, not sure if hard tail is good for my type of riding, all the videos i have watched it seems like down hill guys use soft tail. But again i know nothing of this sport except that i have been addicted the past few weeks.

Thank you and happy riding.
 

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welcome.

soft tails are actually very rare. i think what you are referring to are full suspension (FS) bikes.

that giant frame has XC type geo which has a steep head angle which is not ideal for DH.

if you get a fork with more travel, the frame may break which can be dangerous.

ride the hell out of that bike, replace what breaks, and save up for another bike. build up skills and in the mean time do some research online and find out exactly what you are looking for. this forum is great for that.

ride as many trails around your home as possible and test ride a lot of bikes and you will know exactly what you want/need.
 

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just ride it.. you don't need full sus to do drop offs. just use your legs and arms to absorb impacts.

start small and work your way up to where you feel comfortable..

pro bikes don't make pro riders..
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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Yeah, not sure what your location is, or what trails you're riding, but be aware that 95% of trails will never be anything like the "Downhill" trails in videos on youtube or where ever. The XTC is a very versatile cross country style frame, and if you watch any World Cup XCO or XCE races, you can see both male and female Giant riders using XTC's (albeit with much nicer components than yours, and carbon frames) riding them in competition. Many of the XC courses they're riding have drops of three feet or so, and some pretty gnarly rock sections - take a look at the treehouse section of PMB for instance. All this to say, XC bikes are very capable of handling the downhill sections of your trails, most likely. In fact, probably more capable than you are at this point - no offense, but having just started, you have a lot to learn about mountain biking. So, that said:

Don't look for a bike that will let you go faster by covering up for your lack of skill. You're new, build your skills. Ride that XTC - ride the crap out of it. I have buddies that race XTC's, I've seen them do crazy stuff on them. Save some money and figure out what you really want. Find a bike shop locally and ask them what most people are riding on the local trails - I promise you it isn't downhill bikes, even if you live in Whistler.

One thing: how tall are you? Make sure that medium bike fits you. If it doesn't sell it, and get a bike that does fit you. The right size bike will benefit you greatly as well.
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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Yeah, not sure what your location is, or what trails you're riding, but be aware that 95% of trails will never be anything like the "Downhill" trails in videos on youtube or where ever. The XTC is a very versatile cross country style frame, and if you watch any World Cup XCO or XCE races, you can see both male and female Giant riders using XTC's (albeit with much nicer components than yours, and carbon frames) riding them in competition. Many of the XC courses they're riding have drops of three feet or so, and some pretty gnarly rock sections - take a look at the treehouse section of PMB for instance. All this to say, XC bikes are very capable of handling the downhill sections of your trails, most likely. In fact, probably more capable than you are at this point - no offense, but having just started, you have a lot to learn about mountain biking. So, that said:

Don't look for a bike that will let you go faster by covering up for your lack of skill. You're new, build your skills. Ride that XTC - ride the crap out of it. I have buddies that race XTC's, I've seen them do crazy stuff on them. Save some money and figure out what you really want. Find a bike shop locally and ask them what most people are riding on the local trails - I promise you it isn't downhill bikes, even if you live in Whistler.

One thing: how tall are you? Make sure that medium bike fits you. If it doesn't sell it, and get a bike that does fit you. The right size bike will benefit you greatly as well.
QFT, best advice in here.

That bike is a nice score especially for free and it medium is the probably the perfect size for your height too.....why can't I ever get that lucky.

Like already said, ride it for a while. You can't buy skills and that bike will do everything you need it to do. You will probably find that if you ever do any real dh riding you will still want to ride this bike occasionally. I have a full squish bike that I love to ride however I also have a hard tail single speed that I find more fun to ride on a regular basis. There is just something about riding a hard tail that is fun.

Oh, and since you asked in your original post, there is a beginner forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again. One last question, i nnoticed my handlebars are cracked. Pretty bad. What kind and size should i get for trail riding.
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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Thanks again. One last question, i nnoticed my handlebars are cracked. Pretty bad. What kind and size should i get for trail riding.
That will be a personal preference but I wouldn't over think it too much.
Just find something similar to what is already there.
 

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go at least 700mm. im about to go from 730 to 760 on my "trail" bike.

how high is your handlebar compared to your seat? above, below, even? do you have a slight bend at the knee when your foot is at its closest point to the ground and you are sitting down?

i like the seat even or a little bit above the bar, most XC riders like it lower than the seat.

if you want to raise the handlebar and you dont have any spacers to work with, you will need a riser bar or stem with more rise.

do not ride until you replace that bar!
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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go at least 700mm. im about to go from 730 to 760 on my "trail" bike.
Most people might find 700mm to be a little too wide on a 26" bike.

My 29ers have 690mm & 700mm which are plenty wide for me and could not imagine going any wider. However I have a lot of tight single track where I am in Western NC.
 

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It's always nice to hear storys like this. You found a great bike! Components are not bad at all. Ride the hell out of the bike and learn to fix it.

Some tips for riding your hardtail:

-Wider tires with lower pressure will help make it feel much more comfortable and controllable. But if you go too low, you'll get a flat tire.

-Your knees are your rear suspension. If you do not learn this on a hardtail, you will never be fast in a FS.

-Lower your seat to the bottom for the downhill sections and don't seat on it. You will grow big legs, your ass will be less bruised, and you'll go faster.
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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what does tire size have to do with bar length?

not discrediting you, just curious as i only own 26" bikes.
It seems more people with 26" bikes go with narrower bars. Probably because they don't need the extra leverage with the smaller wheels and prefer the extra clearance.

Of course like anything else mountain bike related (wheel size, seat, flat/clipless, stem length, etc) it really comes down to personal preference. If you check around though, it does seem most people are around 640-660 mm. It does seem that taller people do go wider but it also seems many of them have switched to bigger wheels too.
 

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Hell Track
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Going downhill is fun but remember you've got to get to the top in order to go down. Build your fitness up with the bike you've got. Climbing poses it's own challenges and a good cyclist can climb as well as descend.
 

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Ride it as is for at least a year. Save $$$, take advantage of demo days, etc. Once you narrow the selection down to one or two bikes be patient and wait for a sale... You can save 1000s that way... sorry shop guys.
 

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Hey ya this really helped for me too, I just started.

Umm, I was wondering if there are any good bikes for a short dude (5'0ish maybe 5'1) because I have been saving for a while. I have three younger bros so Im not afraid to splurge bc it will be handed down. Any good bikes, preferrably under 600? Im looking at the jamis komodo mountain bike 2012. Is this good?


Here is the link
Jamis Komodo Mountain Bike 2012 > Complete Bikes > Mountain Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
 

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@Tristanbikes Size small or probably a 14-15" frame will work. A 29er might feel a bit big but you should try one. Definitely try a 27.5... I don't hate 26" but for me and my 5'4" wife the bigger hoops were noticeably better.
 
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