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Where do I start?

Feb. 15, 2021, 2:46 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

Hi everyone,

A bit of backstory from me. I don’t really have much experience mountain biking, I had a 2004 Norco Sasquatch back in 2004 and I did some trail riding in the Delta Watershed. I never could get the hang of bunny hopping, and was basically a skinny fat kid trying and failing to learn the ropes. One thing led to another and I sold the bike but never stopped dreaming of returning to riding trails. Queue now, I’m a lot older, tired of paying slip fees and maintenance on my sailboat and looking to move back into the hobby I’ve coveted for most of my life. 

Now my questions: what do I buy? I’ve been looking at all mountain bikes in the $7-10k range, I’m not scared to spend money on a dope ass bike that I can grow into, but I don’t really know what’s gonna be right for me. I hated the Sasquatch, it was really heavy and a pain in the ass to ride up any hills. Where do I go find beginner trails to build confidence on? Can I/ should I do clinics or lessons? How can I get involved in trail maintenance? 

I live in Richmond but I’m in China now for business, though I should be back home in time for this year’s riding season.

Honestly, I’d love any input that I can get, because this is an intimidating hobby/ lifestyle.

Feb. 15, 2021, 8:38 a.m.
Posts: 170
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

If I were you, I would talk to the good people at endless bikes.  Rent a bike and book some lessons. This is a great way to learn some basic skills, figure out the trails, and decide if you really do still like the sport. You could try different types of bikes and see what works best for you. It's definitely a steep learning curve in terms of skills and fitness but the rewards are great if you stick with it.

Good luck with your journey!

Feb. 15, 2021, 11:09 a.m.
Posts: 2008
Joined: May 2, 2004

I would agree on book rental+lesson, either endless biking (north van), or squamish and Whistler have lots of good companies too. and you'll get hooked (obviously) so buy whatever ~150mm or so travel trail bike (kind of the sweet spot for lower mainland/sea to sky) you can find, with your pretty big budget you'll have a chance at finding something although bikes are kind of scarce these days. If I could pick anything I'd try to find a stump jumper evo, been drooling over that one.

I had a 2003 sasquatch it was sweet but new bikes are way better haha.


 Last edited by: Kevin26 on Feb. 15, 2021, 11:17 a.m., edited 4 times in total.
Feb. 15, 2021, 12:56 p.m.
Posts: 1355
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: skooks

If I were you, I would talk to the good people at endless bikes. Rent a bike and book some lessons. This is a great way to learn some basic skills, figure out the trails, and decide if you really do still like the sport. You could try different types of bikes and see what works best for you. It's definitely a steep learning curve in terms of skills and fitness but the rewards are great if you stick with it.

Good luck with your journey!

I concur, and just having someone skilled to follow and emulate will be priceless. Exact bike preferences will take a long while to work out I'll wager, rent or demo is the way. I still do that before purchasing something new.

I'm betting most of the regulars here learned to MTB the absolute worst way. Something along the lines of hitting advanced trails on crap borrowed equipment following riders light years ahead of them. Don't do that 😅

Btw, give the uphill suffering some time. A few months in and it'll no longer be a big deal.

Good news is the fundamental downhill skills can mostly be practiced on flat ground around your neighborhood: Hopping on an off curbs with control (eventually manuals), hard counter weighted braking, cutties (sharp turns left and and right), small jumps, etc.

Awesome endeavor, best of luck!


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Feb. 15, 2021, 12:58 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 15, 2021, 5:25 p.m.
Posts: 170
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

"I'm betting most of the regulars here learned to MTB the absolute worst way. Something along the lines of hitting advanced trails on crap borrowed equipment following riders light years ahead of them. Don't do that 😅"

Yup, that's exactly what I did. I don't recommend it unless you want to spend way too much time and money and get hurt more often than you would if you took proper instruction on an appropriate bike.

Feb. 15, 2021, 6:24 p.m.
Posts: 11771
Joined: June 4, 2008

I grew up on BMX & Freestyle and never had the money for a good bike when I really wanted it.  Anyways, fast forward a shitton of years... a decade ago I went to buy a bike for my daughter. 

I saw the mountain bikes on the floor and my water broke.  I bought a trail bike because, "I will never ride the bike park that's crazy."

Six months after discovering that, I sold it and bought a bike that played well there.

If I could give one piece of advice, recognize you aren't going to be doing XC racing in the Olympics and over size your suspension.  Worst case, you hate the bike park and you have to spend extra calories pedaling up hill.  If you run out of your own, I have a shitton in storage to give you should you need them.

Feb. 15, 2021, 11:43 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

Thanks to everybody for the insight. 

I will be going to Endless bikes for some lessons, they have 8 hour packages that seem perfect for me.

I like the idea of demoing bikes, for the record I've been drooling over Norco Optics, Specialized StumpJumpers, and Forbidden Druids. I am 100% certain that I want a carbon bike built with the North Shore in mind. I never really considered that my bike budget would be considered large, coming from sailboats anything less than 10k is a bargain.

I'm a cardio junkie, and the uphill ride is something that I'm super excited about (just on a lighter bike than the ol Sasquatch).

I am really hoping to be back on Canadian Soil before the summertime, but jeez, the work I'm doing in China now pays double what I used to make back home with a much cheaper cost of living :(

Feb. 16, 2021, 1:32 a.m.
Posts: 2169
Joined: April 2, 2005

i‘d get a good spec‘ed aluminium bike. something like the ripmo af. doesn’t hurt as much if you crash and break something. and you will crash.

Feb. 16, 2021, 11:27 a.m.
Posts: 1355
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

And to stay totally on topic: Where's that Raaw Jibb?? I'm developing a twitch checking my email for that early buy option.

Feb. 16, 2021, 11:46 a.m.
Posts: 2169
Joined: April 2, 2005

https://www.mtb-news.de/forum/t/statement-von-raaw-keine-madonna-komplettbikes-mehr-in-2021.936771/page-3#post-17218028

sale starts at thursday 12pm cet

Feb. 16, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
Posts: 17928
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Posted by: Hepcat

I'm betting most of the regulars here learned to MTB the absolute worst way. Something along the lines of hitting advanced trails on crap borrowed equipment following riders light years ahead of them. Don't do that 😅

Pipeline isn't a beginner trail?

Feb. 16, 2021, 8:19 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

.


 Last edited by: FatBear on Feb. 16, 2021, 8:21 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Double post
Feb. 16, 2021, 8:20 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

Posted by: Sethimus

i‘d get a good spec‘ed aluminium bike. something like the ripmo af. doesn’t hurt as much if you crash and break something. and you will crash.

Maybe something from Knolly, they still make a lotta aluminium bikes right?

Feb. 16, 2021, 8:25 p.m.
Posts: 991
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I'd start with spending $2K on something used but relatively modern just to give yourself an idea of what you want to get into. After about 6 months you can then sell it for close to what you paid for it and move into what you really want. I'm a big fan of going used and having multiple rides for different types of terrain than going new and having just one ride to try and cover everything. The added bonus is that if your main ride goes down due to repairs you still have another bike to ride.

Feb. 16, 2021, 8:39 p.m.
Posts: 2008
Joined: May 2, 2004

Posted by: syncro

I'd start with spending $2K on something used but relatively modern just to give yourself an idea of what you want to get into. After about 6 months you can then sell it for close to what you paid for it and move into what you really want. I'm a big fan of going used and having multiple rides for different types of terrain than going new and having just one ride to try and cover everything. The added bonus is that if your main ride goes down due to repairs you still have another bike to ride.

Except when I sold a used bike (for 2600) last summer I had 40 messages in a day and people were practically fighting over it... Reasonable used bikes and budget new ones might be tough to find. And a high end 150m(ish) trail bike would do a darn good job covering everything!


 Last edited by: Kevin26 on Feb. 16, 2021, 8:41 p.m., edited 2 times in total.

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