Advice for a Complete Noive

Aruntim Posts: 2
edited August 2017 in MTB beginners
Hi there, i'm new to the whole bike world so all the biking lingo i've been reading is going over my head so bit of help please. i've just got my first MTB and went for a GT Aggressor ... tain-bike/
my budget was tight and didn't want to spend to much to start.

what should i be looking to do to get the best out of my bike etc? handlebar height? seat height? etc. My fitness levels are terrible ( currently smoke too) and i live in the middle of the south downs so hills everywhere! So even the slightest thing to help will be brilliant!

Few (what i think are) problems

Squeaks: Breaks from day one have been squeaking and now my front suspension has decided to join the party, whats the best way to remedy this?

Clothing: i've just been wearing regular clothing i've had in my wardrobe, saddle sore has become a new 'friend' that doesn't want to go home, would you advise on even budget cycling clothing or is this something that you quickly get use to?

footwear: i've been wearing vans or running shoes on occasion what have you found to be the best trainers to wear?

I'd appreciate any advice you guys could offer even if its something i may not of thought about as i said i am completely green to this sort of thing but already loving it and want to improve every aspect of my ride before i start to invest in additional equipment/ parts

thank you in advance.



  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Brakes squeak, as long as they work, just ignore it, trying to stop it usually makes things much worse. Make sure you don't contaminate them with anything that shouldn't be there, oil, wd40 etc etc, don't use brake cleaner! For the forks you want a wipe of fork oil on the stanchions.

    Clothing, get to decathlon and get some padded shorts, there are some perfectly functional cheap baggy shorts to go over the top and you want a proper base layer sports top to work away sweat. Shoes, you want STIFF soles to help your feet cope with the pedal loads.

    Make sure you have the saddle at the right height, heel on pedal and the leg should be very nearly but not quite straight, most people have the saddle too low and it kills your knees and knackers the thigh muscles. The bars (well grip section) should be between about 1" higher (relaxed) and 2" lower (more aggressive), about level to 1" lower would be a good start.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • mattyfez
    mattyfez Posts: 638
    Some people like skate trainers like vans etc, personally I prefer a stiffer sole, personal preference really but I quite like karrimore walking shoes. About £30, cheap and comfortable.

    My saddle is at almost exactly the same height as my bars, again personal preference, but you need to have the saddle at the right height from the pedals as mentioned, before you worry too much about bar height.

    When I got back into riding a few years ago, I had to have the saddle about 2 inches too low, but slowly worked it up to proper height over a few weeks as I got accustomed to it... It's important for the reasons mentioned above, and additionally you'll have a more efficient pedal stroke if your extending your leg to almost but not quite straight when the pedal is furthest away from your hip.

    Only time you want to drop the saddle really is when doing really rough riding where you're stood up on the pedals anyway, and the saddle can get in the way.

    For regular riding it's bad posture and inefficient to have the saddle slammed down, although i frequently see people riding like that, in towns mainly, with thier knees up at thier chest at the top of the pedal stroke.
    Makes me chuckle though.