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Attn noobs, it aint the kit its all about the confidence....

geordiefreeridergeordiefreerider Posts: 888
edited August 2009 in MTB general
Dont believe the hype, most of us started off on wrecks, dont be taken in by all the advertising hype just grab a bike, get out and ride !

All too often people get sucked in about having the latest bike and they've only just started mountain biking - YOU DONT NEED TO !

Buy the best you can afford by all means, but all too often I hear people on here worrrying about what bike they should have and the truth is (and most riders will back me up here) just get out and learn the skills then buy what you can afford with the main aim being centred on a GOOD FRAME as you can always upgrade as and when you can afford it - SAFETY FIRST KIDS !!! :wink:

Dont be put off by threads from people with expensive bikes and loads of experience, we all started somewhere and mountain biking isnt a competition who has the best bike, it's about being out there and enjoying the terrain, do your research listen to the advice and enjoy it, dont be a sucker to marketing - just ride, enjoy and learn (then censored loads on a bling bike lol) ! :D


  • VWsurfbumVWsurfbum Posts: 7,881
    Good points well put
    Kazza the Tranny
    Now for sale Fatty
  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    mountain biking isnt a competition who has the best bike


    sure it isn't.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,144
    bomberesque - you're totally right! Of course it's a competition about who's bike is the best!!

    And then when the winner has been decided, it's who can ride their bike the hardest :twisted:

    Seriously, any new guys, don't spend loads on a bike, as you'll only skittle it down some steep gravely / rocky descent, and bend, break, and scratch everything on your bike.

    So, once you've cut your teeth (metaphorically speaking only, I hope!) on some cheap-y bike, you'll be used to seeing you're pride and joy in a permanant state of half-destroyed, you can upgrade to a much more expensive, lighter (probably), better bike. To throw down the trails, and (subconciously) try to destroy :D

    Enjoy! 8)
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • varun_mevarun_me Posts: 13
    thanks op. man i needed that. i kept increasing my budget thinking i am getting better and better. actually i am a complete noob. so your post really did it for me. This is going to help me take that first step on getting my bike. :D
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,144
    varun_me - it's the best way to go. So when you inevetably fcuk up that descent, jump, whatever, you're only going to be trashing something thats relatively cheap.

    Then, once crashing becomes, hopefully, a rarer occurance, you can have something bit better.

    Alot of the money we all pour into our bikes is to make them lighter, but with the same strength. The only parts that become better at performance is the suspension units. But if you're a beginner, this isn't something you can apprieciate fully. Yet....

    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • RaymondavalonRaymondavalon Posts: 5,346
    Agree.. but you don't want to be taking on any red routes on an Argos £99 special FS bike...
  • Agree.. but you don't want to be taking on any red routes on an Argos £99 special FS bike...

    depends how much you dislike the person who thinks it's suitable!
    Start Weight 18st 13lbs March 2009
    17st 10lbs August 2009
    17st 4lbs October 2009
    15st 12lbs December 2010

    Final planned weight 12st 7lbs
  • Agree.. but you don't want to be taking on any red routes on an Argos £99 special FS bike...

    Sorry to disagree but some red routes could be done on a racer ha ha !! :lol:

    Na seriously though my younger brother came out with me on an apollo and managed ok, im not saying I would trust it to jump on or downhill but for a general ride on singletracky type stuff it coped ok.

    When I first started off I had a townsend made of pig iron, it would make todays apollos look space age in comparison I the had a steel framed peugeot, a steel framed claud butler then got my first gt hard tail and went on from there, its only the last 7 years where I have been riding higher specced kit like my current kona and my old marin rift zone, but its only because i could afford them at the time, if i hadnt been able to I can honestly say I would still be happy going out on some of my old bikes ! :D
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    My view is that serious MTBs start from £200 where the componentry takes a useful leap forward. Below that you can still get MTBs, but stuff like steel components, totally unsealed bearings and plastic brake levers can cause problems. Even then, you can still have fun! Just be careful.

    Once you get to £400 (especially with sale) bikes you start getting adjustable hydro forks, hydro brakes, decent bearings, good drivetrains. Makes you really wonder how they can do a whole bike for this price when some companies charge that just for a fork.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Ok, sure, but... Gear helps. A better bike will generally inspire more confidence than a worse one, and it'll make things a little easier too. And that's especially the case for a total noob, where confidence is absolutely key. A noob on, say, a Carrera Fury will, all other things being equal, generally be happier tackling a tricky trail than a noob on an Apollo.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • well speaking as a total noob with no skills and a crappy £250 bike - I have no idea what a good bike should feel like, so its purely skills, lack of and learning of that apply.

    And like has been said above I'd feel much better crashing and ruining this bike than an expensive bike. But also I'm happier learning everything about maintaining and repairing a cheap bike than duffing things up first time on an expensive one.

    But regardless of bike - its all good popping down to glentress and having an awesome grin on your face after surviving that mid-air 'OH SHIIIIIIIIT' moment! :D

    So +1 to the OP
  • FlenserFlenser Posts: 372

    As someone who's been spanking a ten-year old Raleigh for the last four months I can totally agree. It ain't about the bike, just get out and have fun.

    I now have a £300 second-hand Claud Butler and it's still FUN! Admittedly it's now fun that can climb hills but by Jove it's fun all the same!
    Claud Bulter Cape Wrath D27 (2009)
    Raleigh MaxLite FS1 (2001)
  • pte1643pte1643 Posts: 518
    This is exactly the route I took.

    I've just bought (about 3 months ago) an 09 Kona Fire Mountain.

    I've already junked the Dart forks for Toras, and fitted Shimano 775 Hydro brakes.

    Not as flash or bling as some/most, but it's been a great starter bike for a noob like myself, and has certainly been a capable enough ride to get me hooked.
  • Zeroman_IRZeroman_IR Posts: 290
    I'd agree in general but it very much depends on your circumstances. Personally, a year ago I was a total noob, hadn't sat on a bike in about 10 years. I decided it was time that changed so started looking for a decent hardtail in the £500 range. In the meantime I got a big tax refund so splurged for a Commencal Meta 5.5.2. I've only really got to use it in the last 6 months though as I injured my wrist last Summer.

    Was it too much bike for me then? Definitely! Is it too much bike for me now? Probably. Is it worth what I paid for it to me? Without a doubt. My riding has come on so much since I started because of this bike, I no longer consider myself a noob on the trails. I'm sure I would have enjoyed myself almost as much if I had bought that hardtail but my point is that this bike is worth what I paid for it and more to me now. I've been lucky enough to fall in with a great group of lads to ride with regularly. They're pretty experienced fellas, with bikes at least as good as my Commencal, so I'm sure that if I had a hardtail I'd be finding it a lot harder to stay in touch on spins (even if I do bring up the rear :oops: ).

    So sure, don't feel you need to spend a lot buying your first bike, but if you can afford it then there's no need to feel guilty because that bike will give you back so much more than it cost you, whether it be a £300 bargain hardtail or £2000 trail full suspension.
  • pte1643pte1643 Posts: 518
    Agree.. but you don't want to be taking on any red routes on an Argos £99 special FS bike...

    Sorry to disagree but some red routes could be done on a racer ha ha !! :lol:

    Yep... You could get round the Red at Thetford on a Raleigh Shopper. :lol:
  • SeclaSecla Posts: 71
    bought a gt avalanche for 400 a year ago and its still going strong, i plan on upgrading when things break and eventually no doubt going full sus down the line somewhere but all the money ive spent so far has been on safety/comfort etc.
    waterproof layers/seal skins/5:10s/camelbak/base layers/endura shorts/tools etc. now i know i can go out on a long ride in any weather without any kind of discomfort or problems with my bike breaking etc. ok it may have cost me £300 or so for the extra kit but i struggle to think where that money could have been better spent
  • lesz42lesz42 Posts: 690
    better to have too much of a bike, then not enuff.......................
    Giant Trance X0 (08) Reverb, Hope Hoops 5.1D, XT brakes, RQ BC, Works Components headset 1.5
  • NormalDNormalD Posts: 145
    You have to start on an old clunker or you'll never appreciate the benefits of the £3K Titanium/carbon framed work of art that we're all trying to resist buying. :D
    Normal Disk 2009

    Genesis Equilibrium Tiagra 2011

    FCN 10 (only cycle in once a week though)

    Alfa 156 SW
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    NormalD wrote:
    You have to start on an old clunker or you'll never appreciate the benefits of the £3K Titanium/carbon framed work of art that we're all trying to resist buying. :D

    I agree with that one.
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • you make a really good point, some people feel that when they get involved in something new they have to get the best of everything but I've seen some of the best cyclists in much less than the best gear.
  • A well sorted, trick lightweight thing of beauty is nice to look at in a shop, getting out and doing is what its all about, who wants grip when sliding is more fun.
  • I'd be a nervous wreck if I'd spent thousands (some chance) on a bike! Whereas on my good old trusty steed I throw what I can at it and it comes back for more. Had the bike 4 or 5 years now (scott voltage) and it don't owe me anything.
    Also being a total noob to proper xc (just played up till now) all the talk of "full suss, hardtails, spuds etc etc" goes right over my bonce. Maybe once I've done a few races and group rides I may think of upgrading a little - after I've learnt the lingo of course :lol:
  • dot1dot1 Posts: 538
    totally agree. my friend has just got into mtbing and bought a £500 spesh rockhopper, all he upgraded were the brakes to juicy 5's (after realising down a long, steep road that vbrakes dont work in the wet!) and some tyres. he averages about one crash per ride, which is a testament to his heart as he just gets up and carries on. i know if i crashed as much as he did id have given up! hes scratched the frame to buggery, scratched all the forks, bent the rear mech, snapped the chain and buckled the rear wheel. if he'd have shelled out 1500-2000 on a bike to start on, he'd be pretty miffed by now. if you can afford to buy an expensive bike to start off with then fair enough but be prepared to wreck it pretty quickly!
    Trek Remedy 7 2009

    Boardman Pro Singlespeed - Sold

    Giant Defy 5 2012
  • DiscoStu73DiscoStu73 Posts: 100
    I started out on a Raleigh Cro-Mo II, which at the time was great for the money. It was from a time before front suspension was commonplace and as a result has a solid front fork. The bike is pretty light though. I'd only ever used it for bike runs with mates, but over the last year started off-roading with it.
    The only problems I had with it were that my bum got a bit sore from the bumps and the frame itself felt too big for offroad riding. I'm 5'10" and was sold a 21" frame!
    But the thing you've got to remember is this:
    The mountains/woods/trails etc were there long before suspension bikes, and people still managed to ride them!
    The newer technology certainly makes things easier, but it doesn't mean that without it you can't get out and ride. I've upgraded to a 2nd-hand Specialized S-Works hardtail and it has made a difference. I can go slightly faster cos the bumps get absorbed by the front fork, and my riding position is better due to it being a 17" frame. But that's it! The Raleigh still works perfectly.
    And as for the £1K+ bike scenario: that's why I bought 2nd hand. I wouldn't want to even get a speck of dust on something that expensive if I'd only just bought it!
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I run a 04 (05?) Cove handjob with as much rust as paint on it these days - but I still think the frame is a thing of bauty on the odd days she's clean and sitting waiting to go. On hols with my mates recently she was sat in the garage with my mates Malt 1 and Rockhopper and I thought she outshone the other two by a mile.

    But then looks ragged but to rebuild would cost me a grand or more I guess and I am just building a second hand heckler (frame cost 240) which is gonna come to a grand when built despite started a as budget bike.....

    I'm still going to go get them muddy and trashed again this weekend though. :D
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • papasmurf.papasmurf. Posts: 2,382
    plenty of expensive bikes that are censored aswell.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    NormalD wrote:
    You have to start on an old clunker or you'll never appreciate the benefits of the £3K Titanium/carbon framed work of art that we're all trying to resist buying. :D

    Weight weeny Normal :p

    Spend loads of monies on your wheels, they almost effect how your bikes rides as much as the frame. rotating weight!
  • dot1 wrote:
    he averages about one crash per ride... hes scratched the frame to buggery, scratched all the forks, bent the rear mech, snapped the chain and buckled the rear wheel...

    Has he been watching me ride...? :lol:
    Less internal organs, same supertwisted great taste.
  • MarkmjhMarkmjh Posts: 415
    I started out on a raliegh mustang, then a few years later moved onto a second-hand GT Tequesta. Loved both bikes to biks and rode both bikes to death before changing.
    Only thing i upgraded on the tequesta was the brakes(got v's when they came out) and the rigid forks after about a year to a pair of Zokes pro 63mm of elastimer travel :-)

    Can't beat learning on an old banger of a bike.
    Ride Crash Ride Again
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