post from a beginner

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Phil, Mar 20, 2003.

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  1. Phil

    Phil Guest

    hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my buddies. now i need
    some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6' with 34" inside
    leg. ive been advised by the shop to get a 20" but my buddy says 18". ii know the frame is measured
    form the top of the seat post to the middle of the crank but does the length of the frame alter with
    it? if i get too big a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern. i have sat ona
    couple of bikes in the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot of bikes on the
    net, in mags and in shops recently and the best ive seen that suits me and my budget is a barracuda
    xc 350. i bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but barracudas arent listed.
    are they crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just a biased mag?

    sorry to harp on but i would appreciate any help

    phil
     
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  2. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Phil wrote:
    > hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my buddies. now i need
    > some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6' with 34" inside
    > leg. ive been advised by the shop to get a 20" but my buddy says 18".

    It really depends on the bike. It's kind of like shoes, sometimes a size 10 from one manufacturer
    will be the same as a size 8 from another. Normally, I'd go with your buddy on this one. 18-19"
    frame size should be about right for someone of your size. The most important thing is to try a
    range of bikes and see what is comfortable.

    > ii know the frame is measured form the top of the seat post to the middle of the crank but does
    > the length of the frame alter with it?

    Yes it does.

    if i get too big
    > a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern.

    Yep, although you can make minor adjustments with the seat and changing the lengths of stem.
    Similarly, a frame that is too small will leave you cramped.

    i have sat
    > ona couple of bikes in the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot of bikes
    > on the net, in mags and in shops recently and the best ive seen that suits me and my budget is a
    > barracuda xc 350.

    Hmm...

    i
    > bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but barracudas arent listed. are they
    > crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just a biased mag?

    Barracuda's don't have a wonderful reputation, I'm afraid. For 300 knicker, you should be able to
    find something better. Try looking for some of last year's close out deals.

    --
    a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm

    b.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Phil" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my buddies. now i need some
    > advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6' with 34" inside leg.
    > ive been advised by the shop to get a 20" but my buddy says 18".

    I assume you're talking about a mountain bike. You really need to test ride the bikes to figure out
    your size. Geometries of mountain bikes vary so much from model to model that size numbers don't
    mean much.

    Ken
     
  4. Andyc

    Andyc Guest

    "Phil" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my
    buddies.
    > now i need some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6' with
    > 34" inside leg. ive been advised by the shop to get a 20" but my buddy says 18". ii know the frame
    > is measured form the top of the seat post to the middle
    of
    > the crank but does the length of the frame alter with it? if i get too
    big
    > a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern. i have sat ona couple of bikes in
    > the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot of bikes on the net, in mags and
    > in shops
    recently
    > and the best ive seen that suits me and my budget is a barracuda xc 350.
    i
    > bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but
    barracudas
    > arent listed. are they crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just a biased mag?
    >
    > sorry to harp on but i would appreciate any help
    >
    > phil
    >
    >

    Hi Phil. I'm new to biking (ish) and still very much wide eyed at the whole deal. Things I have
    learned though:

    Do not buy something that seems a deal on E-bay. It isn't (unless you're an expert at spotting the
    real deals).

    Components are every bit as important as the frame. Getting a good frame with cheap components only
    means upgrades and repairs later.

    Shimano make everything from top spec to real crap. Start at least with deore/lx/xt the lower spec
    stuff can be pretty dire.

    If that barracuda is the same as the stuff on e-bay, run a mile. I had one of those and have pretty
    much rebuilt it as nearly every moving component has failed from swinging arm pin through to cables
    and BB's. What's more I don't down hill, this is just XC in the Cotswolds and that was in less than
    8 months of not particularly regular riding (but plenty of TLC maintenance). Have kept it as a
    hack/training bike cos it's such a trial to ride!

    Fat tyres aren't all that. 2.1 is wide in MTB land. consider the conditions you're riding in.

    Unless you're spending £1500+ a full suspension bike is likely to less than the best buy for money.
    There are plenty out there, but their component lists are generally a bit slack.

    Personally, I like disks, and although I hate to say it, mechanical disks suck compared to hydro
    brakes, and what's more compared to a good set of V-brakes.

    Wiggle.co.uk is expensive, chainreaction cycles are cheaper price for price. Good service from
    both to date.

    Size of bike is a personal thing and depends on what you're doing and the geometry of the bike. If
    you're off road then a smaller frame is better, if you're commuting to work (which I presume you're
    not) then a larger frame is better. I'm 33" inside leg and 14 stone, my ideal off road frame size is
    around 18 inches.

    I'd ride a few and see how you get on, in any case, unless it's way too small/large adjustments can
    be made with stem, handle bars and seat post.

    One, other thing, go for it. I've now got an 03 Heckler/5th element/Marzocchi 03 Z1/XT monster and
    I love it, what's more it's way more capable than I'll ever be so I'm not afraid to give it some
    real stick.

    Regards, Andy

    p.s. I'm sure my views differ from a lot of people here, but that's what makes this world
    interesting init.
     
  5. Pete Jones

    Pete Jones Guest

  6. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    AndyC wrote:

    > Components are every bit as important as the frame. Getting a good frame with cheap components
    > only means upgrades and repairs later.

    At his price point, a good frame will serve him better. Bits will break, but then he has the
    opportunity of upgrading as he goes along.

    > Shimano make everything from top spec to real crap. Start at least with deore/lx/xt the lower spec
    > stuff can be pretty dire.

    Unfortunately, that sort of stuff is going to be well out his price range.

    > If that barracuda is the same as the stuff on e-bay, run a mile. I had one of those and have
    > pretty much rebuilt it as nearly every moving component has failed from swinging arm pin through
    > to cables and BB's. What's more I don't down hill, this is just XC in the Cotswolds and that was
    > in less than 8 months of not particularly regular riding (but plenty of TLC maintenance). Have
    > kept it as a hack/training bike cos it's such a trial to ride!
    >
    > Fat tyres aren't all that. 2.1 is wide in MTB land. consider the conditions you're riding in.

    2.1 isn't wide. It's about standard.

    > Personally, I like disks, and although I hate to say it, mechanical disks suck compared to hydro
    > brakes, and what's more compared to a good set of V-brakes.

    Not true. But then you're off in to irrelevant territory...

    > Wiggle.co.uk is expensive, chainreaction cycles are cheaper price for price. Good service from
    > both to date.

    I wouldn't say Wiggle was 'expensive'. They're not always as cheap as Chain Reaction, but then they
    have a better range of goods, IMO.

    > One, other thing, go for it. I've now got an 03 Heckler/5th element/Marzocchi 03 Z1/XT monster and
    > I love it, what's more it's way more capable than I'll ever be so I'm not afraid to give it some
    > real stick.

    Yeah, unfortunately you've just recommended a bike about 2 grand out of his price range.

    > p.s. I'm sure my views differ from a lot of people here, but that's what makes this world
    > interesting init.

    Giving out advice is all well and good, just make sure you don't confuse the OP with irrelevant
    information.

    --
    a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm

    b.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
     
  7. Phil wrote:
    > hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my buddies. now i need
    > some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6' with 34" inside
    > leg. ive been advised by the shop to get a 20" but my buddy says 18". ii know the frame is
    > measured form the top of the seat post to the middle of the crank but does the length of the frame
    > alter with it? if i get too big a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern. i
    > have sat ona couple of bikes in the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot
    > of bikes on the net, in mags and in shops recently and the best ive seen that suits me and my
    > budget is a barracuda xc 350. i bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but
    > barracudas arent listed. are they crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just a biased mag?
    >
    > sorry to harp on but i would appreciate any help
    >
    > phil
    >
    >

    Hi Phil,

    you are right about the length of the frame changing with size. both your shop and your buddy are
    (or could be) correct. it will depend on the 'style' of the frame, some frames have more slope to
    the top tube than others. th best way to compare bikes from differant manufacturs is to use a
    straight edge and a level. your eye will work fine as long as the bike is on a 'level'surface. set
    the straight edge against the handle bar as close to the stem as you can, then keeping it parralel
    to the floor measure to the seat post. this is the Effective lenght of the frame. it is Much more
    important than seat tube lenght!!! in reality seat 'Tube' lenght means Nothing. try a particular
    frame size around 18 - 20 ". set the saddle height by sitting on the bike with your heal ( in
    stocking feet) on the pedal at it's lowest point. your legs should go straight and you heal stay on
    the pedals when pedaling backwards. now this method is only good to about +/- 2cm. so be sure that
    you have that much adjustment in the seatpost. you should still have At Least 3cm of post in the
    tube (there is a minimum insertion line on the post, it should be >3cm into the tube). now measure
    the distants from the saddle top to the center of the bottom bracket, this will be the (approx) same
    distants for all frames - you can now set up any bike to the same test. the next thing to check is
    handle bar height, the bars should be at saddle heght (within a few cm anyway). if the bars are more
    than 2-3 cm above or below the saddle the frame is the wrong size. once you have a frame that fits
    these test. get on the bike, get comfortable (ride it round the paking lot) on it. then have a
    freind check your position on the bike your upper body should be at about a 45 deg angle when
    riding. DON'T go by how comfortable - to the new to biking it is Never a comfortable position and
    almost all think the bars should be higher than they should!! also a comfortable (at first saddle)
    is usualy misurable after 30 min. a fairly hard saddle will be more comforable in the long run.
    also, if you intend to ride more than 30min a week get the best componets you can. HTH
    --
    James Connell
     
  8. "bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Phil wrote:
    > > hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my
    buddies.
    > > now i need some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6'
    > > with 34" inside leg. ive been advised by the
    shop
    > > to get a 20" but my buddy says 18".
    >
    > It really depends on the bike. It's kind of like shoes, sometimes a size 10 from one manufacturer
    > will be the same as a size 8 from another. Normally, I'd go with your buddy on this one. 18-19"
    > frame size should be about right for someone of your size. The most important thing is to try a
    > range of bikes and see what is comfortable.
    >
    > > ii know the frame is measured form the top of the seat post to the
    middle of
    > > the crank but does the length of the frame alter with it?
    >
    > Yes it does.
    >
    > if i get too big
    > > a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern.
    >
    > Yep, although you can make minor adjustments with the seat and changing the lengths of stem.
    > Similarly, a frame that is too small will leave you cramped.
    >
    > i have sat
    > > ona couple of bikes in the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot of bikes
    > > on the net, in mags and in shops
    recently
    > > and the best ive seen that suits me and my budget is a barracuda xc 350.
    >
    > Hmm...
    >
    > i
    > > bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but
    barracudas
    > > arent listed. are they crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just
    a
    > > biased mag?
    >
    > Barracuda's don't have a wonderful reputation, I'm afraid. For 300 knicker, you should be able to
    > find something better. Try looking for some of last year's close out deals.
    >
    > --
    > a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm
    >
    > a.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
    >
    bomba is pretty much right on, as he usually seems. Let me add though that effective length (top
    tube + stem length) is probably more important than height. Yes, you want some "package" clearance
    if you come off unexpectly, but any seatpost will get you to the riding height you need. Limited by
    stem length changes, you can't do much to the length of your bike. I don't like to throw seat
    positioning in there (fore and aft) because that should be used to get the proper position of your
    knee to the pedal. Having said that, you will want to consider the relative height of your grips to
    your seat, after the seat is properly adjusted for height and fore and aft. Stems can be used to
    change that as well as more (or less) spacers on the fork's steerer tube and riser bars.

    There is a lot to consider, then once you get a bike to "technically" fit, according to the latest,
    greatest fit algorithm, you still need to adjust it to your riding style, body type, previous back
    injuries ... It is all very personal.

    So a comment like, "to get a 20" but my buddy says 18"." is really just a starting point, and
    quickly in the fitting process becomes meaningless. IMHO.
    --
    Craig Brossman, Durango Colorado
     
  9. Mike Edwards

    Mike Edwards Guest

    get a expert to measure you for a bike and then take a test ride...if you like..buy it!

    Edwards
     
  10. Westie

    Westie Guest

    "AndyC" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Phil" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > hello all i have caught the bug after being dragged across the ny moors by my
    > buddies.
    > > now i need some advice cos im going to spend some money on a new bike. what frame size? im 6'
    > > with 34" inside leg. ive been advised by the
    shop
    > > to get a 20" but my buddy says 18". ii know the frame is measured form the top of the seat post
    > > to the
    middle
    > of
    > > the crank but does the length of the frame alter with it? if i get too
    > big
    > > a frame will i be reaching too far forward is my main concern. i have
    sat
    > > ona couple of bikes in the shop but would like your opinions. ive been looking at a lot of bikes
    > > on the net, in mags and in shops
    > recently
    > > and the best ive seen that suits me and my budget is a barracuda xc 350.
    > i
    > > bought what mountain bike mag that has a list of "all" bikes but
    > barracudas
    > > arent listed. are they crap and not worthy of mentioning or is it just
    a
    > > biased mag?
    > >
    > > sorry to harp on but i would appreciate any help
    > >
    > > phil
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Hi Phil. I'm new to biking (ish) and still very much wide eyed at the whole deal. Things I have
    > learned though:
    >
    > Do not buy something that seems a deal on E-bay. It isn't (unless you're
    an
    > expert at spotting the real deals).
    >
    > Components are every bit as important as the frame. Getting a good frame with cheap components
    > only means upgrades and repairs later.
    >
    > Shimano make everything from top spec to real crap. Start at least with deore/lx/xt the lower spec
    > stuff can be pretty dire.

    Componentry of this level is going to be out of his price range. And unless he KNOWS that he's gonna
    enjoy the sport for a long period, an unnecessary expense for a first-timer. He can try it, and if
    he likes it he can save and buy an entirely new bike with high specc'd stuff on it.

    > If that barracuda is the same as the stuff on e-bay, run a mile. I had one of those and have
    > pretty much rebuilt it as nearly every moving component has failed from swinging arm pin
    > through to cables and BB's. What's more I don't down hill, this is just XC in the Cotswolds and
    > that was in less
    than
    > 8 months of not particularly regular riding (but plenty of TLC
    maintenance).
    > Have kept it as a hack/training bike cos it's such a trial to ride!
    >
    > Fat tyres aren't all that. 2.1 is wide in MTB land. consider the
    conditions
    > you're riding in.
    >
    > Unless you're spending £1500+ a full suspension bike is likely to less
    than
    > the best buy for money. There are plenty out there, but their component lists are generally a
    > bit slack.
    >
    > Personally, I like disks, and although I hate to say it, mechanical disks suck compared to hydro
    > brakes, and what's more compared to a good set of V-brakes.
    >
    > Wiggle.co.uk is expensive, chainreaction cycles are cheaper price for
    price.
    > Good service from both to date.
    >
    > Size of bike is a personal thing and depends on what you're doing and the geometry of the bike. If
    > you're off road then a smaller frame is better,
    if
    > you're commuting to work (which I presume you're not) then a larger frame
    is
    > better. I'm 33" inside leg and 14 stone, my ideal off road frame size is around 18 inches.
    >
    > I'd ride a few and see how you get on, in any case, unless it's way too small/large adjustments
    > can be made with stem, handle bars and seat post.

    Believe it or not, my inseam is 30" and I ride an 18.5" full-bouncer frame - which is bigger than
    big Andy's frame here. On the bigger side, but I prefer it. My legs are short, but my upper body is
    longer. <shrug> My "master framefitters" advice (years of experience I tell you! LOL!) would be that
    you find a frame that should roughly match you then see if it feels good to you. Move the seat up
    and down by and inch or two and try riding it around the carpark again. You'll get a feel for where
    you knees and arse would like to be. Aim at not feeling cramped, nor stretched, and stand and move
    about a bit to ensure that you feel free and mobile on it. You can agonise about this forever, but
    take some basic care, and if it feels good go with it. It's not a precise science in my book.

    >
    > One, other thing, go for it. I've now got an 03 Heckler/5th element/Marzocchi 03 Z1/XT monster and
    > I love it, what's more it's way
    more
    > capable than I'll ever be so I'm not afraid to give it some real stick.
    >
    > Regards, Andy
    >
    > p.s. I'm sure my views differ from a lot of people here, but that's what makes this world
    > interesting init.
    >

    --
    Westie
     
  11. Andyc

    Andyc Guest

    "bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > AndyC wrote:
    >
    [snip]
    > Giving out advice is all well and good, just make sure you don't confuse the OP with irrelevant
    > information.
    >
    > --
    > a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm
    >
    > a.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
    >

    Fair enough. Just that when I dipped my cleats into XC mountain biking I made the mistake of going
    for cheap off e-bay. If I hadn't had the chance to try a real bike I would never have extended
    myself and bought something more exotic. Fair do's though, it's important to just get out there,
    rather than be on something costing £2k over your budget!!!
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Guest

    thanks everyone for all the advice today i went to Bike Scene in Guisborough (highly recommended)
    and bought myself a brand new Specialized Hardrock with a 19" frame. on Sunday i will be up and over
    the North Yorkshire Moors so if anyone reading this sees someone bombing around with a cheesey grin
    the size of Wales itll most probably be me. and now i realise i am just starting....

    more questions to follow

    cheers phil
     
  13. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Phil wrote:
    > thanks everyone for all the advice today i went to Bike Scene in Guisborough (highly recommended)
    > and bought myself a brand new Specialized Hardrock with a 19" frame. on Sunday i will be up and
    > over the North Yorkshire Moors so if anyone reading this sees someone bombing around with a
    > cheesey grin the size of Wales itll most probably be me. and now i realise i am just starting....

    Excellent - a Specialized Hardrock is a good choice :)

    > more questions to follow

    Fire away. Sit down, grab a beer and join in the fun :)
     
  14. Phil

    Phil Guest

    "Stephen Baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > bomba says:
    >
    > >Excellent - a Specialized Hardrock is a good choice :)
    >
    > Truth! I've had mine for a couple of years and love it. Hope you got one
    with
    > rigid forks ;-))
    >
    > Steve

    why rigid forks? as i bought mine with front sus im intrigued as to why you ask that? went out this
    weekend and couldnt beleive the difference suspension has made.

    phil
     
  15. "Stephen Baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Phil says:
    >
    > >why rigid forks?
    >
    > If you're buying a bottom-end bikes (let's be honest here....) you aren't
    going
    > to get much of a sus fork for the money. I have tried riding my kid's
    HardRock
    > with the Jett on it, and it just feels mushy and barely controllable.
    With the
    > rigid fork my bike is crisp, predictable even "during" bumps and
    whoop-de-doos,
    > and if I need more cush I'll put a 2.3 up front. Luckily the backside is
    so
    > well padded and acclimatised that I haven't had to yet.
    >
    > Steve
    Similar (but different) experience. I just bought a 24" for my son, while looking (for the cheapest
    price) there were many with shocks. At 3X my son's weight, I could hardly move the shock on one the
    Trek and Schwinn bikes. What a joke! I found last years model without a shock, he is happy with a
    new ride either way.
    --
    Craig Brossman, Durango Colorado
     
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