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First Post and TONS of questions!!

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
Hello Ridemonkeys!

This is a great site...I have been lurking for about two weeks and I am ready to ask MILLIONS of questions...

A little background...I haven't ridden a bike in YEARS and I want to get back into it...of course, bikes have changed A LOT since I used to ride (a 10 speed) and all the new technology can be quite bewildering.

I have tried to do some research but I still have many unanswered questions...for example, what exactly is dual slalom? what the heck is "hucking"??? does "urban" mean "skateboard" type riding? Is there a source that provides a quick description of the different types of riding (e.g. XC, free ride, urban etc.)...the Cannondale website has some definitions but...

More importantly, is there a source that described what type of features you need for each type of riding? For example, for what type of riding do you want a bike where the seat is much lower than the stem (I'm guessing jumping and downhill?) So far, the best example I found is unrealcycles.com ("Parts guide" page and in the descriptions of frames)...what an AWESOME site that is!

Could you ride a bike like the Intense Tazer FS or Planet X New Jack Flash or .243 racing on the street? (or are they really for specific purposes?)

I'm 6' tall and weigh...A LOT...what size frame do I need?

Oh, I have more questions...but I'll wait before unleashing them. :)

Thanks,
RL
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
38,928
8,094
dual slalom is pretty much like slalom (ski) racing. course with gates and such, two riders, thus "dual."

"hucking" is jumping off something with speed being the enabling factor, as opposed to pedal kicking off, which is a slow speed trials move from the rear wheel.

a tazer fs could be ridden on the street, but it wouldn't last under a heavy guy imo. get a hardtail -- simpler, cheaper, no funny seat tube angle issues as with the tazer. planet x or .243 would be at home on the street.

as for what size frame, eh, it's whatever feels comfortable. most street type frames don't have different sizes anyway, with the exception of planet x.
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
Hi

Thanks...and funny you should mention that...I started out my search by looking at Cannondale...the fact that some people refer to them as "crackandfail" doesn't inspire much confidence though (their designs look FANTASTIC though...those Bad Boys...YOWSA!)


edited to add...thanks Toshi, I guess we were typing at the same time...I meant the Intense Tazer HT...sorry about that! I saw one in the store the other day...WOW! (too bad it was CAD$6500...oh well, it was sold anyway ;) )

RL
 

biggins

Rump Junkie
May 18, 2003
7,173
9
welcome RL1. hucking is basically using speed to clear obstacles mainly gaps drops things of that nature. upper level in the dare factor. can be done on hardtali or full suspension. Urban would be using manmade urban type terrain, wall rides, stair gaps, manualing ( a weelie without pedaling) ledges things of that nature. freeriding has been associated with the ladde bridge/drop go anywhere ride for yourself attitude.
as for bikes i use a specialized P1 single speed for dirt jumping, urban cross country and whatever else i feel like doing. it works great it is a hard tail. i also have an iron sgs for my big bike that i use for just about everything as well it just depends on my mood. for urban/dirt jump/hucking i use a smaller bike for ease of tossing it around in the air.

bike setup: Specialized p1
hardtail size long
5 inch marzocci fork
single speed
avid mechanicals disk brakes


downhill bike Iron Horse SGS
marzocci jr-t 7 inches of travel
sun modo wheelset
hayes hfx-9 hydraulic disc brakes
xtr rear derailleur/shifter
gizmo/fsa chainguide bash gurad
dont know if any of that will help but whatever.
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
Thanks for the welcome and info..

Yes, that is helpful...now, what's the difference between cross-country and cyclo-cross??

Thanks.
RL
 

biggins

Rump Junkie
May 18, 2003
7,173
9
bwahahahahahah thats a good description bike geek. pretty much right on the money. a road bike on dirt with little skinny knobbies and a lot of mounting and dismounting carrying and running the bike over stuff. those people are so confused
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
running the bike over stuff...hmmm..sounds interesting...

ok, so now what type of bike do you need for each type of riding? This is very frustrating for me...let's say that I want to ask "what's better, a Planet X New Jack Flash, 24 Pornking, or Intense Tazer", where am I supposed to ask this question? (which forum)? Am I even comparing three bikes of the same category? Or does it really depend on the components?

Sigh...let me make it easier...I'd like to start by riding on the street and then gradually moving to trails..what features should I look for?

RL
 

BikeGeek

BrewMonkey
Jul 2, 2001
4,574
274
Hershey, PA
Originally posted by RL1
Sigh...let me make it easier...I'd like to start by riding on the street and then gradually moving to trails..what features should I look for?

RL
When you say street, do you mean urban? Like, down stairs, jumping walls, etc? Or do you mean just riding around on the streets? If it's the latter, I'd say start with a decent XC hardtail. It doesn't have to be totally chi-chi, but at least make sure it's a decent frame, you know, something that you can upgrade once you start hitting the trails. Stay away from the low-end hi-ten steel frames, the weigh a ton. Look at Chromoly or Aluminium. See if the shop will swap the knobby tires for some slicks since you won't be hitting the trails right away.

Just my .02
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
Hi bikegeek,

down stairs? oh, I don't think that I am built for that!

thanks...can you provide some examples of XC bikes? Aren't they a bit more lightweight than, say, a "freeride" type bike? I looked at the Cannondale Scalpal (not a hardtail, I know) and I was very disappointed with the rear end (looked fragile...even the salesman said so!)...again, I'm a pretty big guy so I would want something strong (and I agree, I think hardtail is the way to go).

RL
 

biggins

Rump Junkie
May 18, 2003
7,173
9
dude here is the deal lay down a chunk of change on a santa cruz HEckler and forget everything else. it will handle everything is full suspension climbs like a mountain goat and is tough as nails
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
I went "shopping" today...I hit three stores here in Toronto...I looked at .243 Racing, 24 Bikes, Planet X, Intense, Norco, Ellsworth, Banshee, and Santa Cruz...in most cases, I had to look at frames only since they did not have complete bike builds...that makes things very difficult :(

They did see two complete .243 Racing bikes (with all .243 components)...one was CAD$1800 and the other was CAD$2100, which are both within what I am willing to spend...the salespeople said that these bikes are not well suited to plain old street riding...indeed, you sit VERY low on them (I think the frame is around 13"-14"...and I'm 6' tall!)...otherwise, they were BEAUTIFUL! (should I do it??)

I was also extremely impressed with 24 Bikes...I didn't see any complete builds but I am concerned that they may be too small (again, a geometry better suited to jumping than pedaling)...any opinions??

The Banshee Morphine looks very impressive but I don't know much about them...at least I can get a large one!

Biggins..I looked at the Heckler (BTW, you are the second person to recommend it)...it is cool but I think I want to stick to hardtails.

RL
 

RockTumbler

Chimp
Jun 10, 2003
49
0
San Diego
go to your local bike shop and they will try to fit you with a bike... when they show you like the top 4 that should be for you comeback and we will help! All the terminology will come in time but more importantly ride a bike that feels good... you will get a new one within a year from the new one more than likely since your skills will want other things.
 

base rider

Chimp
Aug 18, 2003
7
0
have you looked at base bikes? www.basebikes.co.uk
if you goto www.bikedock.co.uk you can get the frames for just £100 and theyre really nice frames. theyre alu and better for xc than .243/24 etc as lighter but theyre still v good for jumping. then you have loads of money to trick it out with. thats what i'd do anyway in your position
 

llkoolkeg

Ranger LL
Sep 5, 2001
4,335
15
in da shed, mon, in da shed
If I was going to buy a strong aluminum hardtail right now, I would be hard pressed whether to choose the Evil Imperial or the Banshee Morphine. Neither would buckle beneath your weight. I think if I was interested in an all-arounder do-everything frame, I'd go with the Morphine. It's got more traditional geometry. If I was gonna do more drops/urban/dirt jumping, I'd go with the Imp. The Imps definitely got the edge in pimp-factor. Either would serve you well and I've ridden both with different parts mixes.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
11,732
1,798
chez moi
RL, you're in a crisis of terminology, as is our whole sport.

'Street' (old BMX term) and 'urban' (used by mountain bikers riding in urban environs) are really the same thing, and the bikes tend to be built with very different intentions than a classic mountain bike frame. You said it best when you said 'skateboard' type riding. Mountain biking has brought trials (the wierdos hopping around on their rear wheels and making huge bunnyhops over, onto, and around all sorts of natural and man-made obstacles) to street riding, and the downhill/freeride set has influenced it as well.

Basically, the hardtails on Unreal are designed for applications where strength is paramount and most riding is conducted standing, instead of sitting. Classic MTB design and geometry is more like a road bike, and is oriented to sitting and climbing and riding for long periods. The new-school frames are made for street/urban riding, dual/mountaincross (4x) riding (racing almost like downhill BMX on groomed tracks with big jumps), dirt jumping (on big manmade jumps), and even some downhill riding (normally done on full-sus bikes, but some wierdos like me do it on HTs on occasion).

Their geometry, again, favors standing riding positions, and the head angles can vary from very slack (raked out, favoring DH performance) to very steep (favoring quick handling on flat surfaces-also climbs, but that's not why these frames have steep HAs). Bottom bracket heights can be very, very low for good cornering (low centers of gravity) to pretty high for ground clearance for trail obstacles or in trials-type riding. Chainstays tend to be short, meaning easy manuals (wheelies done by balancing the rider weight over the back, not pedalling) and quick handling. Many of these bikes also have more limited gearing than a traditional mountian bike (no front shifting, smaller rear cassettes).

So, even in the style of 'hardcore new school' hardtail frames, there are huge differences...a slalom rider might want a low, moderately steep bike, a freerider might want a tall, but slacked out bike, street riders and jumpers like low, really steep bikes (ie, as much like a BMX as they can get) etc. etc.

Good place to start is with a frame like a Cove Stiffee FR, or a Kona hardtail (Stuff, Roast, whatever). This type of bike has traditional geometry, but is made very, very strong to take a beating. Its neutral handling will suit you as a beginning rider who doesn't yet have specific handling traits in mind, but it'll take any and all abuse you can dish out.

The bikes your shops will show you tend not to be big and burly like the bikes we're talking about. Find a local Kona bikes dealer and check out one of them. The specialized P-series or GT ruckus or Trek Bruiser might be cool, too.

That's all for now...lemme know if you have any more questions...

MD
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,931
0
Montgomery county MD
you may also want to look at a Jamis Komodo...... It's theoretically a "Hardtail Freeride" bike, but it will work for just about anything. Once you get out just riding around the street, You will want to start to do some more and some bigger things. I just got A Komodo Frame, and I'm building it up for street/DJ/XC (when needed) That type of frame should suite you fine, maybe not the Jamis, but somthing like it.

Welcome to the :monkey:
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,632
1
Portland, OR
if you have a santa cruz dealer locally check out the Chameleon hardtail. It is marketed as the frame that can do anything, where all it really means is that you can put up to a 6" fork on it and it will handle the way you would want it to for fiding off loading docks or jumping stair sets and such or you could put a 3" fork and it would be good for riding around the local trails. The Chameleon does have a slightly heavier build approaching the burliness of a Planet X, .243 or banshee but it is still light enough that you don't have to push it up hills if that is your thing.

Generally for what we consider XC riding (basically riding in dirt that is mostly smooth) you want a head angle of about 71 degrees and a seat angle to match, this is usually accomplished with a 3" fork such as a rock shox SID. Trailriding is kind of a do anything bike that usually is built up for durability over speed and comfort over weight, head angles from 71-69 degrees are pretty common (71deg being the most manuverable and twitchy feeling and 69deg being more sluggish but stable at speed) as well as slightly wider tires (2.2 in) seat angles are all over the place as well as chainstay lengths as there are so many theories about what a trail bike should do. What it all comes down to in this category is fit and personal preference, fork choice will make a huge difference in this category as well as forks from 4" up to the newest 6" forks are pretty common. As explained earlier the bottom bracket height and such are going to vary according to the needs of the rider. Generally the top tube should be 4-6in from your boys when you stand over the bike unless you do really extreem riding where you'd need the added clearance. On most frames you should have the seat post extended no more than about 8 inches from the top of the seat tube during normal riding.

I'd suggest looking at some of the mainstream, big name companies such as specialized, giant, trek... they all offer some type of bike in every category ranging from full suspension downhill pigs to feather light XC racing rigs and yes those dumb cyclocross bikes too. If you can find a bike that is comfortable for you to ride then it is probabally plenty strong enough for a beginner to ride at any wieght under about 300 lbs. You should know that some of the lightest XC bikes such as the santa cruz superlight do have a wieght limit around 170 lbs but I don't get the feeling you are looking for a bike like that anyways.

The brands you are looking at, .243, Banshee, planet X are all pretty high end bike manufacturers that cater more to the extreem riding style that really relies on the strenght of the equipment. If you are just starting out I think spending the money on one of those bikes would be a waste since they are very application specific and most riders won't take full advantage of the bike's capabilities for several years after they first start riding. Try taking a look at some of the other brands mentioned here as well as Rocky Mountain, Specialized, Trek, Giant... whatever your shop has loads of. They are all pretty good bikes the trick is just to find one at this point that won't be dissapointing as a first bike.

Things to look for are first and foremost the drivetrain, you should see plenty of things that say shimano, mostly LX or XT with some deore thrown in for things like the brakes that work just as well as the higher end stuff. You should get a bike that has a true oil dampened fork, like the Manitou black line, fox forx, or anything marzocchi, you'll probabally need heavier springs so make sure that the fork you get has heavy or xtra heavy springs available(some don't or they are very hard to get) The whole fork discussion is pretty heated as forks are very application specific as well but for a heavier rider generally you will want something with coil springs and probabally at least 4" travel although 5" is very reasonable as well. Get a mid priced cartridge bearing headset and you'll never have to worry about it again, Chris King is the most respected name in the headset business but others such as FSA and Cane Creek make some descent headsets. You will want disc brakes, any manufacturer will do with few exceptions, any size rotor is acceptable but the larger the rotor gets the less pressure you'll have to put on the lever. I have avid mechanical disk brakes on my personal bike and I love them but alot of people prefer hydraulic brakes. You should probabally start out with a tire somewhere in the 2.2" wide range since it will be more comfortable than something super skinny but it won't be nearly as heavy as some of the DH racing tires which don't even fit in some frames. Wheels are important for bigger guys, a cheap rim or poorly built wheel will not last more than a couple of days even if you are riding on smooth pavement. Unfortunately I am not well versed in all the different models of rims available all I know is that I have some sun rhynolites that are not too heavy and they are more than strong enough for myself and many others. Look around at stems, seatposts and handlebars and get whatever looks the coolest since it really doesn't matter too much, all that type of stuff is pretty over engineered unless it specifically says its only for XC racing, Titec and Race Face are a good place to start, Thompson also makes some realy great stems and seatposts although they can be pricey in comparison to some of the cheaper Titec stuff. Bontrager components come stock on most gary fisher and trek bikes and most of it is okay although their crank arms don't usually get rave reviews. Specialized bikes come with plenty of specialized brand parts that I don't personally care for but others seem to like them okay. You should be getting something with an Isis spline bottom bracket or a shimano octalink interface. Anything with a square taper is going to be a headache for you. I'd start out with a set of platform pedals, I have been riding a set of cheap-o pedals for nearly three years now and had no problems with them other than they have loose ball bearings and a couple of the balls are gone but they still spin smoothly, wellgo is an inexpensive brand that has good pedals, a lot of other companies use the same pedal but put their name on it and charge twice as much. If you choose a bike you like that comes with clipless pedals have the shop take them off and put on platforms but keep the clipless pedals so you can try them out after a few months, clipless pedals definately are not for people who are just learning to ride in the dirt and the shoes always look kind of silly to me.

Well that's about it, hope that helps out some. Look at MTBR.com in the reviews section for people's opinions on parts keeping in mind that sometimes people absolutely love a part because it keeps breaking and the company has a good customer service department while others hate a part only because they abused it and the company refused to warranty it.
 

Skookum

bikey's is cool
Jul 26, 2002
10,184
0
in a bear cave
Welcome and have fun and the hobby of mt. biking can reap really cool rewards. Alot of us talk about all these names but it all comes from people doing different fun things with a mt. bike. I've met alot of cool people on the monkey and even though preferences vary on what "this" guy does from "that" guy the one constant is that we're all a pretty easy goin accesible bunch.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,040
3
Towing the party line.
You will break a tazer in no time! They tend to implode, even under lighter riders.

A good "do everything" type bike may be a santa cruz bullit, santa cruz vp free, my personal favorite, an Orange Patriot or any number of cheapish hardtails.
 
Nov 18, 2003
7
0
North Vancouver
The more you ride with people and talk on here, the faster the terminology will come to you. When i started riding i didnt have a clue, there was a time when i was younger that i thought a bike was just one whole unit, and didnt even come apart ( maybe thats why it started to rust the ground where it sat!) i read ALOT of bike magazines and the basics came to me fast, you definetly learn alot more when you have a bike in front of you to study.. people underestimate the knowlege thats comes with riding, its amazing :D:p
 

F5000sl

Chimp
Nov 18, 2003
33
0
Richmond
The best thing to do is goto a bike shop and get fitted for a bike.
Nevemind brandname up front.

Any good shop will put you on a few bikes, have you ride them around, even just in the parking lot.

That way you can get a feel for the bike.

After you ride a few, I suggest sleeping on your decision for a few, heres why.
When you go back, ride them again!

This time you will notice more likes and dislikes about each.
Helping you make a better decision.

let me tell you that it really isnt a simple thing to buy a proper bike.
I really wanted a Cannondale for my first bike, but the shop helped me pick the "proper: bike and I walked out with a Bridgestone.

10 yrs and 7 bikes later, my favorite bike is still the one I bought only based on fit, not $$, or want. Also happened to be my cheapest!!! :)

My point, a good shop can help you bigtime, and save you a ton of wrongly spend $$ in the long run.
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
WOW! Thanks for all the great replies and sorry for taking so long...I stopped getting notifications and I did not know that people were still posting replies!

I guess I missed the boat last season but I have not given up...I am leaning toward a Banshee Morphine right now..I have been in contact with them to discuss specs...everything that I have read about this bike is positive (and emphasized the incredible strength of the design)...the Cliff Cat Tankass also merits further investigation...

RL
 

biggins

Rump Junkie
May 18, 2003
7,173
9
i would go with the morphine but get it a size smaller than what you would run for a trail bike. run a long seat post so you can hike it up when needed. youll appreciate the smaller frame riding urban.
 

dream4est

Monkey
Jan 28, 2003
180
0
hey rl1 i know that this may be a little too much info but the chainline on a morphine is horrible and i recommend you get something more "normal" for your first bike. i ride a p1 and they outperform the banshee hardtails at the dirt jumps. 600 bucks us is a great deal as well. the kona, gt and iron horse hardtails are great deals as well.
 
Ummm..... i think we may have a comunication problem here.... i do beleave that when the man says "street" he dosnt mean street as when we say "street" i think he means just riding around town. I think he may be having that problem at the bike shops also: he says a bike that is good for street, and they wheel out a .234..


i think what you want is an XC bike... but that could just be the impresion i got from his posts

RL1: Basicaly do you want to jump this bike, or do you want to take it on long rides with bolth up and downhills?
 

FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,405
855
I also have the feeling he needs a XC bike. He said he didn't want to jump stairs or stuff like that. Any 24, Banshee, PX, .243, etc will be way overkill for him and perform like crap for what he wants to do with it.

The guy wants to ride a bike on and off-road from what I understand. Get a XC bike! If you want to pedal AND do crazy stuff, get a Planet-X Compo. If you don't want to pedal and only do crazy stuff (jumping stairs, etc), get a 24, Banshee, 243, etc, etc...
 

Serial Midget

Al Bundy
Jun 25, 2002
13,053
1,896
Fort of Rio Grande
You think too much, all this careful consideration has wasted valuable riding time. I am beginning to think a Cannondale might be right for you after all... :monkey:

Originally posted by RL1
I guess I missed the boat last season but I have not given up...I am leaning toward a Banshee Morphine right now..I have been in contact with them to discuss specs...everything that I have read about this bike is positive (and emphasized the incredible strength of the design)...the Cliff Cat Tankass also merits further investigation...
 

Evel Monkey

Monkey
Oct 28, 2003
329
0
PNW
Perhaps you are naming the burly hardtails because you are a larger guy? Yes, they are more comforting to the mind, but they are more specific. Check out the new Kona HOSS, more suited to the large crowd.
 

RL1

Chimp
Jul 21, 2003
8
0
Originally posted by Evel Monkey
Perhaps you are naming the burly hardtails because you are a larger guy?
Precisely! I don't intend to "jump" on purpose...that's for sure! Again, since i haven't been on a bike for a LONG time, I want to just ride around on the streets first and then move to trails when I'm more comfortable.

"hey rl1 i know that this may be a little too much info but the chainline on a morphine is horrible and i recommend you get something more "normal" for your first bike. "

Actually, I'd like even more info...specifically, could you explain why the "chainline is horrible"???


"I am beginning to think a Cannondale might be right for you after all..."
:nuts:


RL
 

FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,405
855
Originally posted by RL1
I want to just ride around on the streets first and then move to trails when I'm more comfortable.
Listen to me now: Get a nice XC bike that's not too heavy and have fun.

No Banshee, no 24, no Clifcat, no Planet-X, no nothing.

Just a simple XC bike that's not gonna cost you an arm and a leg.

Have fun riding!

If you come back asking about any of the aforementionned burly hardtails, I'll be absolutely sure you're making us waste our time on purpose...

Now go get a XC and keep us posted! :)