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Noob with a bike and many questions!

Sam TrippSam Tripp Posts: 5
edited January 2017 in MTB beginners
Hi all, today i just purchased a Specialized Rockhopper Expert Evo 650b as my first real bike to get into the sport. All very lovely to my eyes!

My questions are
- Recommended bar length for XC and some trails ranging beginner and up to intermediate
- Anyone got recommendations for some flat pedals with decent surface area and grip
- and finally is it very important to adjust air shocks exactly to my weight etc as well dont really have the money for a pump anymore lol

Thanks all in adavnce - Sam

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,185
    Hi Sam, welcome to the madhouse. Don't change anything until you've ridden it for a bit. I'm assuming it came with pedals so again don't change until you know whether or not your going to stick with flat pedals or clip in spd style. What part of the country are you in as this has a bearing on our suggestions. Ideally you need a shock pump to set up your forks to suit yourself, but there not very expensive.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • oxoman wrote:
    Hi Sam, welcome to the madhouse. Don't change anything until you've ridden it for a bit. I'm assuming it came with pedals so again don't change until you know whether or not your going to stick with flat pedals or clip in spd style. What part of the country are you in as this has a bearing on our suggestions. Ideally you need a shock pump to set up your forks to suit yourself, but there not very expensive.

    Hey oxoman thanks for the welcome. Been doing small trails in south east england for a while and well my old bike was not made for them! Im defiantly staying with flats but the ones that came with are very small and offer minimal grip. Shock pump is needed but being 17 trying to afford my car and my new bike and currently jobless... £30 is alot so think i might leave the forks for a bit. Thanks for the advice though - Sam
  • iwilldoitiwilldoit Posts: 710
    Hi Sam.

    You can get them a lot cheaper than £30, also you could get a SH one on EBay.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Pointless having air if you can't adjust it. A shock pump is around £15, and indispensible.

    Far more important than worrying about bars.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • If you have one of those pumps with convertible shrader/presta hose (or simply a shrader one that is round and fits on the fork and rear shock valve), you can, in theory, pump up your suspension. You need a fairly decent floor pump (one that can deal with high pressure) and quick hands. As you're removing the pump from the valve, you're guaranteed to lose about 10PSI (typically more). So lets say you know you want about 120psi - pump it all the way up to 150psi, remove the pump, then ride and bounce around a bit and let tiny bits of air out until it feels fine. It's less convenient than doing it with a shock pump, but it's good enough if you have no other way of doing it. And technically, there's nothing incorrect about setting up suspension by feel.

    Don't cut your handlebars unless you're absolutely sure you want to. Same goes for buying new ones. As oxoman said, don't go around changing everything on the bike right off the bat. Get only the crucial stuff, like new pedals, but leave major changes to another season.
    As for the pedals, best advice will tell you to go for ones with pins. Although I'm afraid that the cheapest that would be deemed to be of "acceptable quality" cost more than a shock pump. You may get plastic ones with pins, but it may not be the best investment, as they may have limited lifespan.
  • I had a 2013 rockhopper and the plastic pedals were atrocious, first mod for sure!

    As for the rest, ride it & don't be afraid of tweaking all possible adjustments to get it just right for you
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    A track pump, that pumps high volumes, is useless for suspension that has a teeny, tiny volume but might need extremely high pressures.

    Not many track pumps can get near the pressure sometimes needed.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • why dont you ask your local bike shop's Mechanic if they can help for a small fee to pump your air shocks to your weight
    its only a quick fix but at least your bike would be setup correct for your riders weight. its better than nothing !
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Get on the bike and measure the sag, if its between 15 and 30% the bike is at least ridable, if the sag is much than that you risk damaging the forks if you ride it. The Rockhopper doesn't have a rear shock only front forks.

    Not spending £15 on a shock pump on a decent bike like that is madness.

    Its quite difficult to adjust suspension with a track pump, the volume they shift means it's very easy to go over pressure and then as you have no controlled method of release you loose all pressure as you try and let some out! It's impossible with a shock, on forks you may just be able to do it.
  • Yeah, viability of this for the rear shock may be debatable, but I've done it on several different forks with success.
    My floor pump has 180PSI max and it was of the cheaper bunch.

    Not saying he shouldn't buy a shock pump, just that if he doesn't have it, there are ways to do it without it. Hell, I've tried the compressor at a gas station and it worked, much to the surprise of the local shop owner, who said nothing but a shock pump works on suspension.
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