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Learning to freeride on an XC bike?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Scarpa, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Scarpa

    Scarpa Chimp

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    Hey, lookin for a little bit of advice..

    I've got an XC hardtail, and have been doing lots of riding this summer. I'm starting to get a little more interested in freeride type stuff though, but I'm having a real hard time on my current bike.

    Teaching myself to manual, bunnyhop and ride bridges/logs has been a big pain in the ass. I know there's a learning curve, I'm not expecting to be good at anything for a long time, but what I've noticed is that when I jump on my buddies Chameleon I feel like a hero. Everything is easier and I feel more "nimble" trying out new stuff.

    I haven't hit up any jumps yet, just the drop offs and such local trails which isn't much at all. I'm honestly still pretty scared to hit a steep lipped jump, thinking maybe getting some armor before I go there.

    What I wanna know is if I should just keep plugging along with my current bike and just deal with it or look into a more urban/dj/fr type hardtail. I don't really want to screw up my XC bike either as I like the longer rides and uphill grinds on occasion.
     

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  2. LOOnatic

    LOOnatic Turbo Monkey

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    Congrats your ready for a new bike.
    Way back when i started out just like you and my XC bike had way steep angles that made jumping and freeriding really sketchy but i didn't know enough then to know what was going on.
    Your friends Chameleon is more slacked out so your not over the front wheel as much.
    Go ahead and pull the trigger on a new bike....you know you want too. :thumb:
     
  3. Scarpa

    Scarpa Chimp

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    Time to start working on the wife then.. maybe I should buy her something shiny to distract her. hehe

    Would it be safe to say I'm less likely to injure myself on a more suitable bike?

    I'm thinking a Chameleon or Spec P series bike, I like hardtails. Any other good freeridable hardtails on the market?
     
  4. droplover

    droplover Monkey

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    Buy a freeride bike. It can take the abuse. I started freeriding on a hardtail C'dale and it didn't last too long after the freeriding started. Your confidence level will increase as well, but you already know that. Go spend the money on a NEW freeride bike. You'll be glad you did. Used ones have already been beat to he!!.
     
  5. droplover

    droplover Monkey

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    You can't go wrong with the Spec P1 :thumb: :thumb:
     
  6. boostindoubles

    boostindoubles Nacho Libre

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    when i made the transition from bmx to mtn bikes i tried to do all this stuff on my xc bike. Bottom line is the seats too high to have good balance and body positioning for stunts and jumping. You will just hurt yourself riding that xc bike freeride style. Definitly bump up to a real freeride bike.
     
  7. Slugman

    Slugman Frankenbike

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    Your about ot get swamped with suggestions.... so let me start ;)

    www.ridesoul.com

    I ride the 'Titan' and will be getting a Sluggo as soon as they are available. :D
     
  8. GumbaFish

    GumbaFish Turbo Monkey

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    I was in the same boat as you with my xc hardtail. I didnt do anything big because I was afraid of breaking parts, I sucked it up and got a bigger bike and have started doing a lot more stuff. I just started doing drops and dirt jumps and whatnot so I'm not very experienced but my confidence has gotten much better. If you think you are really going to want to do freeride stuff its worth the investment.
     
  9. Scarpa

    Scarpa Chimp

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    Thanks for the info everyone!

    That Titan looks pretty sick.. nice price too. What about the Surly Instigator? That seems pretty tough also.
     
  10. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    you could probably find a decent deal on a nice used Chameleon, P1 or a Norco HT.
     
  11. wood-dog

    wood-dog Turbo Monkey

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    I started freeriding several years ago on a 03 specialized enduro, granted I had a strong backgroud in jumping, bmx, etc, so I already had some ability for that type of riding. But shortly after I saw the first RedBull Rampage I was hooked! Me and a few, and I do mean few, of us got together and started scoping out areas with small cliffs about 5-8 feet that we could clear out and after the lines were cut and the trannys smoothed out we all took about 200 runs up to the end before we started dropping in. And I still remember that first drop I did..... it was the most incredible sensation, about 8 feet from the edge to the landing.

    Sorry I am getting way off base here! Anyway, I was using my 03 Enduro with a coil on the back and a 4 inch travel fork on the front, Eventually I got a 6 inch travel adapter from Risse racing and a firefly up front and started dropping everything I could within my location. I had a blast on that bike untill it cracked! But luckly it was a Specialized, they have great customer support and I got a new 04 enduro in no time at all. And now I have moved up to a VP-Free and no longer ride the Enduro (it got stolen), but I still started out on a XC bike. So here is my word of advise.... upgrade as soon as you can becasue once to get the bug for dropping you will continue to do so untill one of 2 things will happen.
    1- you break your ride
    2- you break your ride and get hurt
    So save yourself the hassle and get a good set-up asap and in the meantime, enjoy!
     
  12. PatBranch

    PatBranch Turbo Monkey

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    I think a hardtail would be a good bike. THey are cheaper, simpler and reuire more finesse (which will make you a much better rider).

    I think you should get a complete becasue it will be cheaper, it will be ready right away and you won't run into any size fit component problems.

    SOme bikes to look at:

    specialized P series (the p1 is a single speed, p2 has gears, but has mechanical brakes, p3 has has better parts)

    azonic evolution ( I have one. It is only available as a frame, but you could look for an all ready built up used one. It is a very good bike. I use it for djs, fr, dhr, xc trails, street/urban assault. It is relatively light and can take a beating.)

    kona (kona makes some nice hardtails- cowan, etc.)

    chameleon

    Riding a hardtail will make you a much better rider. THen when you step up to a full suspension, you will fly.
     
  13. ctrailfreak

    ctrailfreak Monkey

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    You can't escape the Inevitable. When you start to step up is when you get messed up. It's part learning part hurting. Can't have one and not the other. But the chances are alot less on the right bike of course!

    Get a new bike and enjoy!
     
  14. dropsdon'tlikem

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    I am also a Titan owner, and i wholeheartedly recomend it. Its light, strong as hell, cheap, and super versitle, a nice 6 inch fork would be perfect for whatever you want to do.

    I put the works into it (deemax, 66, etc. and i have been super impressed by everything about the bike)

    The surly is decent i guess :think:

    Whatever you decide to do, scan ridemonkey and other forums for the good deals on forks, wheels, etc. and spec the bike nicely! :thumb:
     
  15. boostindoubles

    boostindoubles Nacho Libre

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  16. Scarpa

    Scarpa Chimp

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    boostin: hey thanks, that's giving me tons of ideas. Question though, what's with all the 24" wheels?

    A friend of my neighbors has a P.2 that hardly ever gets ridden. We're going to try to convince him to "store" the bike at our place since we have trails practically right outside our door. I'll be sure to "test" it out hehe.
     
  17. PatBranch

    PatBranch Turbo Monkey

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    They make it more like a bmx bike. With 24" wheels, you can maneuver the bike easier. Smaller wheels are said to stronger.

    But, with smaller, wheels, its harder to go over rocks and rough stuff. I prefer 26" even on my hardtail, because I do fr trails on it.
     
  18. Sir_Crackien

    Sir_Crackien Turbo Monkey

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    btw i use to have the surly and the stuff that comes out of soul cycles is way better for the type of riding your looking for. the titan is a great bike but also look into the loki because that is a nice light, fast, and tight bike that will also ride nicely on those occations you want a burlier bike for those xc rides.
     
  19. black noise

    black noise Turbo Monkey

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    I agree with the hardtail idea. Many companies make good FR hardtails now, like Specialized (P. series), Norco, Kona (some burly hardtails, good to thrash), Rocky Mountain, and even Gary Fisher now.

    The P. bikes are good for jumping and urban, but they're not the best for trails because of their steep geometry. I speak from experience, I own one. If you plan to do more burly trail riding, drops, and stuff like that, a bike like one of Kona's FR hardtails would be good, or Norco's FR hardtails. The Chameleon is also a good bike, and Azonic's frames, and you could probably get one of those used.

    And don't bother with 24" wheels, they'll suck for trails (lower rolling inertia) and you can't find many tires for them.
     
  20. PatBranch

    PatBranch Turbo Monkey

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    Cambria Bicycle Outfitters and Wheel World have azonics for about $300, I think.