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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In October 2010, I was able to get a 2009 Giant Rincon (with Disk Breaks), for about $400; + tax; from my LBS. Before purchasing the bike, i spent a good amount of time doing research, test riding bikes, etc etc. Well I'm glad I chose what I did. It feels perfect for me.

Anyways. My first question would be; what would you say are some things beginners need to master; or at least you'd recommend they master. [Aside from the bunny hop.]

Secondly; I know I'd like to move up to a full suspension bike, but thats not for at least a year or so. What I was thinking of doing, was upgrade my bike, what I think needs to be done now, and slowly progress towards the Full Suspension frame. I like to take things apart and re assemble them, so that's not a problem. Would it be silly of me to upgrade parts on my bike? I know my bike could last for a good few years if I take care of it, so would slowly going from stock to customized to full suspension be a good idea?
Has anyone else taken this route?
Thanks for your time, and suggestions/advice.
 

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T.W.O.
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8,168 Posts
You can start with basic skills
Track stand
Manuals
Wheelie
Don't forget your pedaling, braking, cornering, etc

Upgrades, I'd wait to see what needs to be replaced before spending more on the bike since you are thinking about going to FS then spend it one time.

I'd spend some time learning bike maintaenance and how to wrench it yourself and get necessary tools to do the job.
 

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As for skills development: let the trail be your guide. If everything on the trail is easy, then find a harder place to ride. Maybe that rocky climb - perhaps getting over logs, whatever. There will be things you can't do that you have to keep trying, and then, one day, you do it! Wheelies and hops are cool, but I think becoming a good rider involves just a few basic things:

1. Staying balanced while negotiating obstacles. This involves lots of weight shifting and good anticipation.
2. Leg power, to keep the bike moving thru obstacles and up hills
3. Lung power, to keep enough oxygen in your brain so as to make the first two possible.

Ride, ride and ride!
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Manuals are great on the way down. Wheelies are useful too, but where I really use them is on the way up. They're the beginning of a pedal-up.

I wouldn't upgrade a hardtail to transfer the parts to a FS frame. Here's why...

FS frames frequently use a longer-travel fork, different front derailleur style and different seat tube size. The fork's a big-ticket item, and different axle attachment styles, which effect your wheel choice, are getting more and more common. In a couple years, you may not want to be committed to the axles that make sense this year, especially if you have to change to a different fork.

While unlikely to effect you, bottom bracket standards are getting shaken up again. So you may have issues moving your crankset over.

That leaves your brakes, cockpit, rear wheel and rear derailleur. Unless you want to move to a 29er. Then you get to keep your brakes, cockpit and rear derailleur. Not all that useful. I think the upgrading an entry-level bike and transferring parts model only works if you're planning to switch to a frame within the same class. Even then, there can be pitfalls.

Ride the hell out of your bike for the rest of the season. Sock away some money, if you can. Try to hop on some full-suspension bikes if you get the opportunity, and figure out what class you want. Then get the frame, figure out which parts you can't transfer from your Rincon and buy those, then when you have all that stuff together, you can use whatever you can move over to finish your build. Price it all before you do that, and see if it doesn't make more sense to buy a complete bike. If you stick with a low- to mid-priced 26" XC platform, you'll be able to transfer quite a lot. If you want a trail or longer-travel bike or 29" wheels, it'll be more problematic.

There are a couple of purchases that I think make sense for any bike worth keeping. A saddle that fits your butt, pedals you like, a stem that puts the grips in the right place for you, and tires that work for where you ride. You should have no problem moving saddle and pedals to a new bike, and some riders have the same saddle and pedals on their entire fleet. Don't buy any of these things blindly, though. Many "upgrades" people buy for the sake of upgrading aren't upgrades at all, and others are incremental and just lead to buying another of that same component again in another season or two.
 

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i agree not upgrading this bike (unless something is broken) to transfer parts to a newer fs bike. enjoy your current bike and then upgrade everything when it's time for a fs- hopefully that can help you save some cash, too!

regarding what skills to learn/improve, just go ahead and keep riding the trails and see what you're not comfortable with. also, riding with others helps too so you can learn from each other- even if they are just other guys/gals at the trail. let them go first and try to keep up.

enjoy!!
 
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