New posts

Where do I start?

Feb. 18, 2021, 3:45 p.m.
Posts: 2008
Joined: May 2, 2004

Posted by: Sanchez321

. proceeded to eshew climbing for descending joy and gnarly lines (or as gnarly as they could be in Victoria's "Dump") 

Hey there is some legit gnar in and around the dump!

Feb. 18, 2021, 5:27 p.m.
Posts: 366
Joined: Aug. 10, 2012

I was out of riding for a few years and when I wanted to get back in, everything had changed (in the biking world that could be 3 years). Here's what I did...

I bought a (modestly) used Rocky Mountain Switch for $900. The parts all worked well but it was 10 years old and heavy. I did not care. It had suspension and it was a starting point. It was a actually a decent ride. I rode it for a full season. I also rented some high end rides a couple of times from some of the local shops. Based on what I found, I had a much better sense of what I liked, what I didn't like, what trails I liked to ride, and what I really needed. Then I looked at what was coming out the next year and set a budget. I did some comparisons, read reviews, and even did some test riding. This gave me clarity....so when I was ready to plunk down my money, I knew I was not wasting it.


 Last edited by: mudrunner on Feb. 18, 2021, 5:34 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 18, 2021, 9:11 p.m.
Posts: 817
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: FatBear

I talked to a local (Guangzhou) bike shop. They offered me a sweet deal on a Santa Cruz 5010 X01 and Chameleon package. They basically offered me a carbon chameleon as a bonus if I buy the 5010.

I’m thinking it might be worth it to buy here in China and ship em back home when I move back. It’ll let me cruise some of the very limited trails out this end of the earth

Any thoughts on the bikes, and the shipping home idea?

I will try to answer your question. I think it is silly to buy two 1st bikes at the same time. Also, buying those bikes means you are not only not buying from a local company you are also not buying from a local store. Something you said was important to you. Getting the bike you will want in 1-2 years right out of the gate is low. If you buy 2, you will probably have 2 bikes you want to replace in a year. The 5010 is not the bike most here would recommend for the shore. It is also silly to get a free hardtail bit get the wrong suspension bike.

Here is my advice to you:

1. Get a 29er.

2. Get something that has had the geometry updated in the last year or so. This will avoid FOMO

3. 150-170 front travel, 140-160 rear. If you are thinking you mostly want to ride blues, go for the lower end. If you want to work up to mostly blacks and doubles, go longer travel.

4. Don't look for something to handle bike park riding unless that is what you want to ride the majority of the time. Any shore bike can handle a few days in the park per year.

5. Spending over 5k on your first bike is probably excessive. You will break stuff. An xx1 rear derailleur is about 500 bucks. People's first bikes take a lot of wear and tear. I'm not saying buy crap, but spending over 5k will not buy you that much more performance and I can guarantee you that whatever you buy, you will be coveting something else within 6 months to a year.

6. If I was going to look at brands, norco, santacruz and knolly would be at the top of my list for a grade a aluminum learning bike for the well to do individual. I'd recommend something with decent suspension and brakes and a Shimano deore drivetrain.

That's my 2 cents. I don't follow my own advice, but that's after over 30 years of riding and figuring out what I like to ride. The fact that I don't follow my own advice is good reason to take it though. Whatever you start on will not be the last bike you buy. It will take you a little bit to figure out what you like and what turns your crank.


 Last edited by: RAHrider on Feb. 18, 2021, 9:21 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 19, 2021, 1:02 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

Posted by: RAHrider

I will try to answer your question. I think it is silly to buy two 1st bikes at the same time. Also, buying those bikes means you are not only not buying from a local company you are also not buying from a local store. Something you said was important to you. Getting the bike you will want in 1-2 years right out of the gate is low. If you buy 2, you will probably have 2 bikes you want to replace in a year. The 5010 is not the bike most here would recommend for the shore. It is also silly to get a free hardtail bit get the wrong suspension bike.

Here is my advice to you:

1. Get a 29er.

2. Get something that has had the geometry updated in the last year or so. This will avoid FOMO

3. 150-170 front travel, 140-160 rear. If you are thinking you mostly want to ride blues, go for the lower end. If you want to work up to mostly blacks and doubles, go longer travel.

4. Don't look for something to handle bike park riding unless that is what you want to ride the majority of the time. Any shore bike can handle a few days in the park per year.

5. Spending over 5k on your first bike is probably excessive. You will break stuff. An xx1 rear derailleur is about 500 bucks. People's first bikes take a lot of wear and tear. I'm not saying buy crap, but spending over 5k will not buy you that much more performance and I can guarantee you that whatever you buy, you will be coveting something else within 6 months to a year.

6. If I was going to look at brands, norco, santacruz and knolly would be at the top of my list for a grade a aluminum learning bike for the well to do individual. I'd recommend something with decent suspension and brakes and a Shimano deore drivetrain.

That's my 2 cents. I don't follow my own advice, but that's after over 30 years of riding and figuring out what I like to ride. The fact that I don't follow my own advice is good reason to take it though. Whatever you start on will not be the last bike you buy. It will take you a little bit to figure out what you like and what turns your crank.

You're probably right, especially about buying from a local company and local bike shop. I guess I just really wanna get out and ride right now, no more waiting, ya know? I have a few questions to follow up with: why a 29er, and why a deore drivetrain?

The Knolly Fugitive LT is what I want most, and it's neither of those things, I can also order one on their website right now and have it delivered to my Mom's place so that it's waiting for me when I get back to Canada. Could you recommend a specific bike that fits all the criteria you think is most important?


 Last edited by: FatBear on Feb. 19, 2021, 1:03 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Feb. 19, 2021, 2:05 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

Posted by: Sanchez321

Plenty of solid advice has been provided already. But I am going to add a bit more based on my own experience of getting into biking on several different occasions.  

My back story for perspective:

As a kid I rode BMX bikes and even did a few races. spent countless hours at a local park jumping small crappy jumps. was a fat little kid who liked sports

As a teen I got a fully rigid Fusion and rode all over the place on the bike but nothing technical or demanding. Was a tubby kid who liked and played numerous sports.

Late teens early 20's actually got into MTBing borrowing my brothers Kona Poe hoe CC aluminum hardtail, promptly crumpled the frame doing a rock roll as that was the cool thing at the time. Got 1st iteration of the Kone Chute (really fun bike) frame on crash replacement. proceeded to eshew climbing for descending joy and gnarly lines (or as gnarly as they could be in Victoria's "Dump") Cracked the Chute frame after a fair bit of riding and than spent a mint on a  RM7. Rode the hell the out of the RM7 put on a Monster T and continued to ride challenging lines and drops, eventually cracking the frame and getting another RM7 frame. 

Moved to Vancouver and stopped riding for about 5 years, sold the RM7 as it was a pig to ride uphill and I realized I couldn't ride for shit when it came to not sessioning sections of trail. Realized I wanted to ride a full trail continuously up and down with all the joy and ugly warts a trail had to offer with no sessioning.  Went out an bought a Norco Range 3 deeply discounted at end of a  season. Was a cheap entry level FS bike and basically and proceeded to ride it  for 7 years. Probably the best decision I made, the bike was manageable uphill and was very competent while descending. My limitations were my own fitness at this point. Now a fat ass fledgling father who still loved sports.

On this bike I learned and explored the NS trail system. The best piece of equipment I bought was the Wade Simmonds Map book, with its great trail descriptions and suggested roots to ride.  it was joy to head out and just ride trails on this bike.

Took a small break of about 3 years ( new kid induced), and just got back into biking again this past year for like the 3rd or 4th time and decided a new bike was in order. But this time I thought about my bike purchase long and hard and what I would need and what I wanted based on my past experience. My considerations were: Low maintenance, not expensive, needed to have a 1 * 10 or1 2 drivetrain, be a competent descender ( as I enjoyed my descents), needed to be a comfortable climber (still abhor climbing, but I do consider it a LABOUR of love now). Ended up going to back to a hardtail, getting a specialized Fuse.  Read a bunch of reviews, found it rated fairly well as a competent descender and wouldn't be a burden on climbs.  It was under $2,000.  Headed back to the trails this time armed with Trail Forks app and my handy map book, while reconnecting with a riding buddy and have not looked back. One of may favorite years of riding to date and the hardtail bike choice has not held me back from riding most trails  on NS and the terrain I enjoy. 

So after this long winded history, here is my advice to you starting out. 

1. Download Trailforks, this is a must for identifying the trails you want to ride and should be riding. 

2. read NSMB.com, Pinkbike etc. to keep abreast of evolving gear and equipment and get a feel for what to look for in a bike and equipment you will need for what you desire to ride.

3. Get a bike a bike you feel comfortable with and it suited for what you plan to ride. 

4. Make time to ride as our windows to ride can be fleeting. 

5. Lessons are a  good idea if that is your jam. - I went to Sun Peaks a couple of years back to ride the park there and took a lesson just to learn the mountain. I ended up not only learning the mountain but learned a couple of cornering tips that have made an immense difference in my riding ability.

That’s a hell of a story, I really appreciate you taking the time to outline everything like that. I downloaded Trailforks turns out there’s a pretty limited selection of trails in my area.

Feb. 19, 2021, 8:36 a.m.
Posts: 646
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

God I forgot all about that Wade Simmons trail book!! In the pre-Trailforks era it was a guiding light for me as well. His loops were curious and enticing, sometimes linking stuff together in ways I wouldn't have considered, or would have considered too ambitious. Plus I share his love for uncomfortable technical climbing and there was lots of that to do as well. Good times.

Another tip: keep records of your rides. I don't like Strava. I do like the recording feature in Trailforks, which captures the minimum amount of data and ties it back to the maps I use every day.

I keep a log of my rides in a Google Sheet. Date, trails ridden, a few comments about that day's ride, a link to a Trailforks log. It's a good place to track when you make changes to your bike (suspension settings, tire pressure, stuff you're experimenting with), and also when you start using new gear. That makes it a lot easier to gauge, say, how many hours since your last suspension service. If nothing else it's really cool to see how much riding you can get in and how far your riding has come.

Feb. 19, 2021, 8:41 a.m.
Posts: 171
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: FatBear

Posted by: RAHrider

I will try to answer your question. I think it is silly to buy two 1st bikes at the same time. Also, buying those bikes means you are not only not buying from a local company you are also not buying from a local store. Something you said was important to you. Getting the bike you will want in 1-2 years right out of the gate is low. If you buy 2, you will probably have 2 bikes you want to replace in a year. The 5010 is not the bike most here would recommend for the shore. It is also silly to get a free hardtail bit get the wrong suspension bike.

Here is my advice to you:

1. Get a 29er.

2. Get something that has had the geometry updated in the last year or so. This will avoid FOMO

3. 150-170 front travel, 140-160 rear. If you are thinking you mostly want to ride blues, go for the lower end. If you want to work up to mostly blacks and doubles, go longer travel.

4. Don't look for something to handle bike park riding unless that is what you want to ride the majority of the time. Any shore bike can handle a few days in the park per year.

5. Spending over 5k on your first bike is probably excessive. You will break stuff. An xx1 rear derailleur is about 500 bucks. People's first bikes take a lot of wear and tear. I'm not saying buy crap, but spending over 5k will not buy you that much more performance and I can guarantee you that whatever you buy, you will be coveting something else within 6 months to a year.

6. If I was going to look at brands, norco, santacruz and knolly would be at the top of my list for a grade a aluminum learning bike for the well to do individual. I'd recommend something with decent suspension and brakes and a Shimano deore drivetrain.

That's my 2 cents. I don't follow my own advice, but that's after over 30 years of riding and figuring out what I like to ride. The fact that I don't follow my own advice is good reason to take it though. Whatever you start on will not be the last bike you buy. It will take you a little bit to figure out what you like and what turns your crank.

You're probably right, especially about buying from a local company and local bike shop. I guess I just really wanna get out and ride right now, no more waiting, ya know? I have a few questions to follow up with: why a 29er, and why a deore drivetrain?

The Knolly Fugitive LT is what I want most, and it's neither of those things, I can also order one on their website right now and have it delivered to my Mom's place so that it's waiting for me when I get back to Canada. Could you recommend a specific bike that fits all the criteria you think is most important?

I agree that the 5010 is not the best choice for Shore riding. I would look at the Norco sight, Knolly fugitive LT (which is a 29er), or SC Hightower. 29ers roll over roots and rocks better and carry speed better. They work well for most people unless you are very short. I am 5'6" and like the bigger wheels.  I also prefer Shimano drive trains, but I wouldn't rule out a bike if it had SRAM.  If you are set on buying a new bike it would be a good idea to order one soon since delivery times are long for most companies.

Feb. 19, 2021, 1:26 p.m.
Posts: 332
Joined: April 15, 2017

Vote for a Fugitive LT from over here, but I know that it's in excellent company with the Sight or Hightower. Also the Evil Offering. I've been very impressed with the shorter travel 29er after a long travel 27.5-er-er and the bike looks and feels like it'll take a beating. Maybe not going to enjoy Blue Velvet or Freight Train as much but that's such a corner case for my time spent in a saddle.

Feb. 19, 2021, 5:58 p.m.
Posts: 817
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: FatBear

You're probably right, especially about buying from a local company and local bike shop. I guess I just really wanna get out and ride right now, no more waiting, ya know? I have a few questions to follow up with: why a 29er, and why a deore drivetrain?

The Knolly Fugitive LT is what I want most, and it's neither of those things, I can also order one on their website right now and have it delivered to my Mom's place so that it's waiting for me when I get back to Canada. Could you recommend a specific bike that fits all the criteria you think is most important?

As said above, fugitive is 29 so checks that box. I think it will get a geo update in the near future, which may or may not be an issue depending on what you want to ride and how cutting edge you want your geometry. I have a knolly and think the world of their quality and the thought that goes into them. As for the shimano drivetrain, I have not been overly impressed with my wife's eagle stuff. If I was going to go 12 speed, Shimano would be for me. Rear derailleurs are a weak point in bicycle design. They often get smashed, especially by beginners. You can get better shifting from a deore drivetrain than top of the line sram, so that was my thinking there. If I got a bike with sram I wouldn't pay money to convert to Shimano but if I had a choice, Shimano.

If I was going to buy a bike, I'd buy it from a knolly dealer before buying it from the website. I think its worth it to have a good relationship with a shop who takes care of your interests. When you get a creaky csu and need your fork warrantied,  the shop you bought your bike from will give you better service than just some random shop.

Feb. 20, 2021, 5:07 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

I guess I’m gonna hold off until I get my paws back onto that sweet sweet Canadian soil before I make any moves to buy. Here’s hoping supply chain issues get worked out and I can just waltz into a shop and buy the bike I’m drooling over!

I really appreciate the insight and stories people have left in this thread.

Feb. 20, 2021, 6:24 p.m.
Posts: 366
Joined: Aug. 10, 2012

My 2 cents....look at all the bikes in the category/price range you decide on....they are very competitive and  it boils down to which bike fits best or which one offers the combo of attributes you prefer.  Remember...you can eventually replace components, but not so easy to switch the frame. Try 'em all if you can....even if it's just around a couple of blocks.  What looks good on paper doesn't translate into preferred fit/feel.

Feb. 21, 2021, 6:06 p.m.
Posts: 118
Joined: March 1, 2017

I wouldn't say that above $5K is excessive for a first bike if one has the money. I think a decent aluminum frame and GX / XT type components at 5-6K is the sweet spot between getting a bike with decent enough parts, and minimal 'marginal gains' type stuff. If one has the money but choose not to spend it, you'll just end up spending it anyway by upgrading the brakes, NX / SX Eagle drivetrain stuff, badly spec'ed tires etc. 

Buying used can be a lottery. You can win, but you can also buy a bike with a cracked frame that you didn't spot at the time of purchase, have shot pivot bearings, worn drivetrain, fork stanchions worn under the seals that you won't spot in time.....the list goes on and can get very expensive.

Around here is the worst place to buy a used bike as they get so hammered (unless it's mine, in which case it will have been stroked a lot, had endless photos posted to Instagram, and then sold after 4 months as the chain is getting close to .5 on the checker.....).

Feb. 22, 2021, 4:33 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb. 13, 2021

So I wanted to check in and update everyone on what’s happening.

I met a local mountain biker, by random lucky chance. He speaks English, thankfully, since my Chinese is reeeeal bad.

I’m buying a used hard tail, a commencal meta ht. The trails here are really really easy, their black trails look like our green trails!

I’ve learned that there’s a bike park with lifts in an adjacent city (ZhongShan), and there’s public trails near my house (HuoLuShan park).

My plan is to give this bike away when I leave and to buy one of the bikes previously discussed when I get back to Canada.

So another question if you’ll indulge me: what are the essential trail skills for me to practice? I have a big flat mostly empty paved spot near my house with a small (2 stairs) raised section.


 Last edited by: FatBear on Feb. 22, 2021, 4:51 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: More words
Feb. 22, 2021, 5:32 p.m.
Posts: 1355
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

I used to coach triathletes for the off-road triathlon MTB season, and they are the worst bike handlers on planet earth.

Aside from cornering drills, riding a curb was probably our most productive drill:

•Ride up to the curb, unweight the front wheel by moving your butt back (rule #1: absolutely no leaning forward and pulling up on the bars, you'll lose your teeth), ride up onto the curb. At first you'll just be able to unweight the wheel, eventually you'll be able to lift it up onto the curb (see rule #1). Do a u-turn.

•Drop off the curb, landing both tires at once. Faster at first, then slower as you learn to manual (again, butt down and back) more effectively. If you get to the point where you can super slow motion manual drop a curb congratulations you've just completely leap frogged the beginner level.

https://youtu.be/YifOMQyNijk

Cornering drills involve mostly not using the bars as a steering wheel and learning to lean the bike...When you get back to B.C. you'll have to have learned to hold the bars perfectly straight with all your strength to survive the technical roll-ins.

https://youtu.be/hJf4bQ1y1f0


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Feb. 22, 2021, 5:44 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Feb. 23, 2021, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 413
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Meta HT is a great bike for the Shore. I would be tempted to bring it over here and likely get a better resale should you choose to upgrade.

Forum jump: