I just got into BMX (I couldn't just sit there and *watch* while the kids were riding!)
I have been riding most mornings before work, but the BMX bike (GT XL) is not the best for that sort of thing. After seeing the price tag on some of those mountain bikes, I feel lucky to get away with $450 for the GT.
I ride my mountain bike to help stay in shape. In the winter I ride it offroad when weather permits. In the spring, summer and early fall I remove my dirt tires and install my city slickers tires. I ride my bike to and from work. I ride 10 miles each way. There is plenty of cross over between off road m/c riding and my mountain biking, body english ect, ect. If the weather is to harsh in your area you can always get a wind trainer and set the bike up in the house and ride it while watching TV or listining to the radio.
I feel a mountain bike gives you the best of both worlds. With a mountain bike you can ride it on the road or in the dirt both are excellent workouts.
You can get a computer for your bike and keep track of milage, speed, distance and RPM's if you want. If you want to rid yourself of a little weight you can get a heart monitor and train with it. The heart monitor will help you stay in your "target zone" to really burn off that turkey dinner :)
As for bikes, if your going to really get into this sport you can drop some serious $$$!! I ride a Schwinn S96.1, which is a custom butted aluminum frame, with front suspension. As for components you can drop some cash here too!!
There are hard tail bikes and full suspension bikes. My Schwinn is a hardtail which means no rear suspension. If you go the full suspension route you can dail in your suspension very much like your m/c. Full suspension bikes are heavier than hard tails. Hardtails can be spec'ed very light and that make a MAJOR difference when your grinding up a steep long hill, but when it come time to burn down hill that full suspension bike can be a very plush ride.
The choice is yours. What ever you do don't buy the Huffy full suspension bike and expect the bike to hold up! In mountain biking you get what you pay for!!!
I hope this helps, if you want more information drop me a email.
I've been in volved in mountain biking since 1987 and have been through my share of bikes, frames and componets and have learned that you if your going to get into this sport be prepared to drop some cash for a quality bike.
There is a couple different ways to get a bike, buy it from a dealer or buy a frame and build the bike yourself or have a mail order shop build it for you. If you go this route you can spec the bike just about any way you want, or as deep as your pocket book will let you :)
You can't go wrong with Schwinn (Homegrown $1100-$1300) top quality componets. GT make GREAT bikes too, Cannondale has some good priced bikes. The F-700 and 800 are nice bikes. Rocky Mountain has great bikes, the Hammer or Race Hammer are sweet! Kona's are good to go!!
Keep in mind that if you go with a steel frame you will get a smoother ride than the aluminum frame, but you will get more flex out of the steel frame. The aluminum frame will give you a much stiffer ride and will tend to climb better because of the stiffness, less flex when pushing big gears in a climb.
Most bikes now use "V" style brakes or disk brakes. As for gears you can get up too 27 speeds to choose from. XRT rear cassettes will have 9 speeds in the rear and 3 drive gears on your cranks. Then you have "Grip Shift" or Rapid Fire to choose from.
As for front suspension there are some crappy forks out there and they just don't perform. Zoke's, Manitou and Rockshox are all pertty nice. Rockshox have some bottom line stuff that is "ok" but for serious offroad Zokes are the way to go!
The list goes on and on!! Don't be in a hurry to buy a bike. Think about how much your going to use it and what your going to use it for. If it is just for a stroll with the family then there is no need to roll out the big bucks. But if your going to really hammer the bike and might even do some cross country racing then go for broke and get a sweet ride, you'll not be sorry!
Double butted (or even triple butted) frames are of better quality because they have tubes with different thickness to decrease weight and keep resistance high.
This past summer I was looking at getting a BMX bike for myself. I am 38 years young! I used to own a crusier 24 inch "Frank the Welder" FTW BMX bike. Frank was a welder over at Yeti Cycles a few years back. Very trick BMXer, but I sold it. I'm looking at getting a BMX bike over the winter. I'm either going to get a Schwinn, GT or a Robinson, not sure yet. My son rides a Schwinn Micro. We all have a good time at the races :)
District 36 Member
99 GasGas EC200
90 WR250 (FOR SALE)
I have some decent single track right across the road from me, and I have a mountain bike also. I don't wanna disagree with someone who has obviously been there/done that, but I found my mountain bike certainly doesn't help dirtbike skills. Good for general fitness, especially stronger legs, but that's it. Like Gomer said, getting forward is a hard habit to break. I went over the bars on my mountain bike several times because of trying to position myself as I would on my dirtbike.
And as for increasing general fitness, sure, if you live in an area where you can't ride a dirtbike, but if that's not the case, a dirtbike will keep you plenty fit. My mountain bike is rusting away, and I can't say I'm particularly unhappy about it :).
thanks mr wr,
i use to race back in the late 80's and have found out lately how far the technology in the sport has come. i'm planning on spending about 2500 on a bike with full suspension i think. we have quite a few areas around here that are very fast and constantly up and down hills. here's my question, i use to weigh considerably less....now i weigh in the 230 lb. area can they adjust the suspension like they can on a m/c? i've been looking at a specialized s=works fsrxc. have you heard anything good or bad about these? i need to lose a good 30 lbs. and i cannot ride a dirtbike three to four times a week. its just not feasible when you consider where i work, live, and ride. they are just too far apart.
Use the mtbr link and check out the reviews on just about any bike. If I was in the market for a new bike I'd go with a Santa Cruz hard tail and if I was going the full suspension route I'd go Santa Cruz too. I've rode both bike and they are SWEET!!
I'm sure that you will have to get heavier springs in the forks and on the shock to be able to get the ride that your looking for....
On the upper end suspension bike you can set the sag, dail in the compression and rebound just like your m/c.
District 36 Member
99 GasGas EC200
90 WR250 (FOR SALE)
I use mountain biking to keep up on my m/c skills. When I decend down steep rough hills I look for clean lines that I would use on my m/c. When in the slow techical stuff I work on body english and things of that nature. Since I use SPD pedals I take turns with my feet cliped into my pedals, and on my m/c I also try to keep my feet on the pegs. True, not everything crosses over to offroad m/c riding, but when I can't ride my m/c the next best thing is my mountain bike and I find that it help me stay in touch with the m/c.
District 36 Member
99 GasGas EC200
90 WR250 (FOR SALE)
Where I live is the mountain bike capital of the world, that's right, Rossland BC, I actually live a couple miles east of it, just down the big hill. My mountain bike isn't very good, but it works great for keeping in shape, I have no suspension but I still do the steep stuff. The choices for bikes are endless, BMX, mountain, street, etc. I think mountain biking is great!!
Hey Lee,i presently ride a Rocky mountian instinct,its a cross country full suspension bike.With out getting into to much mtb jargon its a great all around xc bike.I have had some specialized brand bikes in the past and they have been good.If you have 2500 U.S to spend find a good hard core shop were the guys are really into the riding.I live in Vancouver B.C.which has the north shore and some of the wildest riding in the world.People that have'nt ridden hard core off road trails on a mtb have no clue just how hard it can be,most of the trails i/we ride on my mtb would most likely cripple me and demolish my exc[seriously]That said, to get the reward of the desent[bombing down the mountain] you have to climb to the top first,this where the fitness comes in.Mountain bikes improve your cardio,balance,line choice[reading terrain]how to keep momentum[a body dont make much Hp]and improved braking[let it roll when you have to and break when you can].Enough preaching of the MTB gospel,i should also point out this is another way to play, not a replacement for dirt bikes[nothing can do that!!!!]MY TWO CENTS, PETE
[This message has been edited by EXC/PETE (edited 11-27-2000).]
Can you exaplin what these trails are like? Not that I don't believe you, just I can't picture anything that can be ridden on a pushbike but not on a dirtbike. Certainly nothing like that where I live, and yes, there are mountains here.
Btw downhill mountain biking was the thing I enjoyed most, but trying to ride some of the local single track descents on a mountain bike sent me over the bars. Had my butt on the rear wheel (almost :)), but it wasn't enough to keep from endo-ing. Is there some trick to it you can share?
A year ago I bought my 1st MTB to get me into shape for enduros; was done play riding w/my boys, & @ 46YO, needed to bring my body up to the point where I could ride uncessitant desert whoops - in other words, I needed to strengthen up my legs, back & stomach muscles for continuous stand-up riding instead of the previous sit-down play type.
I bought a leftover Specialized FSR Stumpjumper XC Comp (not sure what all that alphabet means) for $1.3k @ SuperGo; retailed for under $2k. They said it has cartridge (Manitou) forks, adjustable preload, compression & rebound; Fox air shock out back - 3" travel both ends. 27 speeds. Found out it will climb just about anything I dare. Been over the bars once so far. Overall very pleased. It weighs ~27 lbs.
I ride ~5-10 miles/week; not much but sufficient, & 75% of it is on singletrack trails; more up & downhills than I'd like, but it's a mile from home & a good workout. I do it very early in the morning, sometimes w/lights before dawn, so it does not interfer w/later day family matters (domestic duties) while they sleep.
With under a total of 500 miles logged in so far, I've replaced the tires; last weekend the drivetrain (uphills take their toll).
Overall, a good investment (& workout), tho my son's clean, low-hours '90 RMX cost a lot less ($800), I couldn't get away w/riding it on the same trails near home.
Now if I could just get those hikers to "curb" their dogs...
Okay, for these trails, picture a cliff. Now picture a mountain biker going vertical down this cliff and Vola!!! Presto!! That's pretty much what it's like, I'm not joking either, they are VERY VERY VERY VERY tight!!!!! They have many drops, somewhere between 2ft-20ft, the big ones usually have a detour for the wimps (that includes me!!). They are crazy!!! No way could a dirtbike go down them!!
The Original Canadian Speedster
i bought the fsr xc pro today with xtr components and the rock shox sid fork. the rear shock has a lockout for extended uphills and both front/rear are tunable with air. this thing is so cool. i cannot wait until tomorrow when i can ride it. i also bought the specialized wireless computer, specialized "enduro" helmet, and specialized mtb shoes. this bike is equiped with time clipless pedals. does anyone know how well these things hold up? thanks again guys, especially MR WR for all your help. see ya.