Is it as big as it seems?

943

Squid
So, very new to this sport. Have been riding on the road for many years.

Keen to get into MTB and went to the Pushys sale this weekend to see what's around. Really liked the Giant Trance 2.

Haven't spent any time on a mountain bike and when I took a couple of bikes for a spin around the car park they felt really, really big. The front wheel was a loooong way out front and my centre of gravity felt really high - I guess compared to my roadie. The turning circle seemed really big too.

The sales person put me on a size large and I tried both a 29er and 27.5. The 27.5 felt more comfortable of the 2.

To ride a MTB, do I need to re-learn how to ride a bike? I feel like I might fall off on my first bumpy gravel ride.
 

Spike-X

Grumpy Old Man
It is a very different technique to learn. Do you have any friends who ride MTB, who could give you some tips?

The first thing I would suggest is learn to lean into corners, use berms where you can, and trust your tyres. Unlike road tyres, MTB tyres have this thing called 'grip'.
 

Spike-X

Grumpy Old Man
If you can't find anyone to show you, there's about a bajillion videos on YouTube showing you everything from the basics to really advanced stuff. GMBN (Global Mountain Bike Network) have a lot of really good ones.
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
To ride a MTB, do I need to re-learn how to ride a bike? I feel like I might fall off on my first bumpy gravel ride.
Um, yes, but keep in mind a tarmac carpark is not an MTBs natural environment. There's a lot of rubber dragging across the pavement. Put it on dirt and it'll come alive.

Sorry @Spike-X but if road bike tyres move like mtb tyres do you're in a world of trouble. You're correct by saying trust your tyres and lean into the corners, but more specifically lean the bike into corners.

I'm not qualified on the sizing concerns, but don't let a carpark test be the final say.
 

safreek

Vealcake
So, very new to this sport. Have been riding on the road for many years.

Keen to get into MTB and went to the Pushys sale this weekend to see what's around. Really liked the Giant Trance 2.

Haven't spent any time on a mountain bike and when I took a couple of bikes for a spin around the car park they felt really, really big. The front wheel was a loooong way out front and my centre of gravity felt really high - I guess compared to my roadie. The turning circle seemed really big too.

The sales person put me on a size large and I tried both a 29er and 27.5. The 27.5 felt more comfortable of the 2.

To ride a MTB, do I need to re-learn how to ride a bike? I feel like I might fall off on my first bumpy gravel ride.
Buy an old 26r to have fun with first, you will enjoy a lower centre of gravity to build your confidence on. Also you won't worry about about damaging your bike.
When comfy with your riding style then consider a more expensive weird wheel size.
Just my 1 pennys worth
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
That's what she said.

Ok yeah nah. That's normal. modern slack MTBs feel a bit weird first time. Even coming from a 100mm hardtail at the time it felt like I had forgotten how to ride. After riding my mtb my roadie feels like it's very very twitchy.

If you are too uncomfrotable, then pick up a short travel hardtail and go from there. Not many people go straight into a mid travel mountain bike from the road.
 

Scotty T

Likes Dirt
Yeah I jumped on my mates size L when I'd only had my size XL bike for a week or so. It felt huge with monster plus tyres and riding high position, but after months of riding my larger but (slightly) lower bike, I threw a leg over his the other day and it felt a bit small.
 

943

Squid
If you can't find anyone to show you, there's about a bajillion videos on YouTube showing you everything from the basics to really advanced stuff. GMBN (Global Mountain Bike Network) have a lot of really good ones.
Yeah, thanks. Been watching a LOT of you tube. Looks really easy. Especially those jumps where guys fly 5-10m, land, and continue downhill.
How hard can it be - right!?
 

943

Squid
You’ll be thankful for that length once you start descending. Carpark tests don’t really tell you much.

Enjoy whatever bike you get mate.
Carpark tests suck. Really can't get anything sensible from riding 15m on a bit of tarmac. They should really setup a small dirt track for customers to get a good feel - and drop the shiny new bikes on to, break an arm or 2 or at the very least get a good dose of gravel rash during the test ride.
 

beeb

Likes Dirt
Carpark tests suck. Really can't get anything sensible from riding 15m on a bit of tarmac. They should really setup a small dirt track for customers to get a good feel - and drop the shiny new bikes on to, break an arm or 2 or at the very least get a good dose of gravel rash during the test ride.
Saves months of waiting. :D
 

943

Squid
That's what she said.

Ok yeah nah. That's normal. modern slack MTBs feel a bit weird first time. Even coming from a 100mm hardtail at the time it felt like I had forgotten how to ride. After riding my mtb my roadie feels like it's very very twitchy.

If you are too uncomfrotable, then pick up a short travel hardtail and go from there. Not many people go straight into a mid travel mountain bike from the road.
Been debating this over and over in my mind. One minute I'm getting a $800 hard tail off gumtree, next I'm looking at $3k new bikes. I don't really want to upgrade after 6 months. Did that with my roadie - bought a cheapie then 6 months later (after it fell apart) bought a $2400 Trek which is still going strong 12 years later.
But, this is probably different - but the $800 handrail, get used to the feel, drop it a few times and get it scratched up before plunging into "decent" bike territory.
There.... just convinced myself (until I see the next bike sale).
 

Tubbsy

quadragenarian
Staff member
Keen to get into MTB and went to the Pushys sale this weekend to see what's around. Really liked the Giant Trance 2.
If it was Pushy's in Canberra they have a rental/demo fleet.

Why not take one for the day and see?
 

safreek

Vealcake
Yeah, thanks. Been watching a LOT of you tube. Looks really easy. Especially those jumps where guys fly 5-10m, land, and continue downhill.
How hard can it be - right!?
If you watch Josh Bender do a drop or two, you will see how easy it is.
5 to 10 metre jumps are easy, I run through them in my mind all the time, one day I may actually try it in the real world
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
But, this is probably different - but the $800 handrail, get used to the feel, drop it a few times and get it scratched up before plunging into "decent" bike territory.
There.... just convinced myself (until I see the next bike sale).
Every mountain biker needs a trusty hardtail. They are like the most versatile bikes ever. Use it when you main bike is in the shop, or waiting for a new rear triangle after you snapped the old one, or maybe it's a chewed out bearing that is $5 but a 1 month wait. Buy the hardtail, keep it and never sell it. N+1 rule does not disappear simply because you moved onto mountain bikes :p

The other thing is, if you ride properly, your bike is going to get scratches and dropped many many times.
 
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