Mountain Bike Suggestion?

vjenkins

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Hi, all. Looking for suggestions on the mountain bike for a person interested in getting into mountain biking.
I’m wondering if it makes sense to get a bigger travel bike that is more forgiving or look at a 100mm or hardtail which would force you to pay more attention to line choice.
Or maybe it all just comes down to the type of terrain you’re most likely to ride and what your goals are?
 
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anchskier

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I would highly recommend spending some time in the local bike shops. I don't know where you are located, but if you are in Anchorage, Chain Reaction Cycles, Speedway Cycles, The Trek Store, The Bicycle Shop, and Paramount are all excellent shops and can give you tons of great information. Most people are going to enjoy riding a full suspension bike. An important thing if you are just getting into it is to make sure what you are doing is enjoyable. If you are getting beat up on the bumps/roots with a hardtail, you aren't going to be having as much fun and likely will ride a lot less. You can learn the techniques just fine on a FS and your body will thank you. The technology has gotten so much better that you aren't going to be worrying about weight with a FS compared to a hardtail like you used to. Unless you have plans to ride mostly downhill trails (of which there are only limited options in Alaska), I would not suggest a bigger travel bike, just a more standard cross country setup. The bigger travel bikes will be heavier and slower for the flat and uphill riding and only provide benefit for the downhill sections. The bigger travel bikes are typically more for those who already have a cross country bike or who exclusively ride downhill (and shuttle the uphills on a lift or in a truck).

If you have the money, go with a better bike from the start. The last thing you want is to buy a cheap bike and then want to upgrade after the first couple months to the more expensive bike anyway.
 

harley29

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Any suggestions on a full suspension fat bike for those who are old and whose hardtail hurts in back? I like the 11nine the best. what do you say?
 

rickyw

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A full suspension will always be more comfortable (as long as bike geometry is good for your build) than a hard tail. I rode full suspension for years and then switched to a hard tail race bike. The hard tail race bike was sure fast uphill, but I just hated it. I could sure bomb it with a full suspension going downhill, because the back tire would float more instead of bounce. It was just way more enjoyable. If you’re not XC racing with lots of uphill, a full suspension is more fun, smooth and comfortable. As far as travel, more than 100mm is nice, but not needed unless you are really bombing the rough stuff.
 

bottom_dweller

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A full suspension will always be more comfortable (as long as bike geometry is good for your build) than a hard tail. I rode full suspension for years and then switched to a hard tail race bike. The hard tail race bike was sure fast uphill, but I just hated it. I could sure bomb it with a full suspension going downhill, because the back tire would float more instead of bounce. It was just way more enjoyable. If you’re not XC racing with lots of uphill, a full suspension is more fun, smooth and comfortable. As far as travel, more than 100mm is nice, but not needed unless you are really bombing the rough stuff.
I have a washed out logging road about a half mile from my house. The rock on the road has eroded to mostly fist size and some soccerball size. There are some smooth straight places and some very mild uphill. I am needing a knee replacement and I am wondering if I might be able to use one of these fat tire bikes to facilitate my recovery. Do the tires stand up to this “arrow tooth” shot rock?
 

rickyw

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I have a washed out logging road about a half mile from my house. The rock on the road has eroded to mostly fist size and some soccerball size. There are some smooth straight places and some very mild uphill. I am needing a knee replacement and I am wondering if I might be able to use one of these fat tire bikes to facilitate my recovery. Do the tires stand up to this “arrow tooth” shot rock?
I can only tell you my experience with fat tire bikes. If you are in squirrely terrain such as sand, mud, loose rock, snow, gravel - they tend to be easier to control and faster than a regular mountain bike with regular tires. If the dirt is packed and the rocks are embedded then the fat bike will be sluggish in comparison to a full suspension mountain bike.
 

bottom_dweller

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So then because the terrain is hard packed rock, I would be better off with not so fat tires and full suspension?
 

iofthetaiga

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So then because the terrain is hard packed rock, I would be better off with not so fat tires and full suspension?
Given that post knee replacement calls for low-impact PT (which on a bicycle means mostly sitting and spinning, and not using your legs/knees to absorb shock), if I had the luxury of choosing any bike configuration I would go with a full-fat suspension bike. That'll give you the best all around ride with least knee impact, no matter the surface. If it doesn't suit your fancy once you're back to 100% you can sell it, probably for almost as much as you paid new, so long as you haven't dinged it up.
 

rickyw

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So then because the terrain is hard packed rock, I would be better off with not so fat tires and full suspension?
Quality suspension beats big tires for shock absorption any day. You can go full suspension fat tire, as has been mentioned. They’re heavier, but it may not matter to you.
 

bottom_dweller

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Thanks for the replies. My lovely wife wants me to buy a swimming wetsuit and swim my recovery in the bay. I think I will be more willing to ride but I probably do both.
 

Daveinthebush

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I just had my meniscus repaired. Easiest surgery I have had done. I walked out, never used crutches and am now doing 30 min. daily on the treadmill two weeks after surgery. Things have changed since my first back surgery in 86.
 

bottom_dweller

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I had acl, mcl repaired when I was in the Marine Corps in ‘88. There’s nothing left to repair. The whole affair needs hacked out and replaced. When I had the last surgery done, a bike got me going. They cast them at the time. It was like it was welded when the cast came off.
 

Daveinthebush

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BD yea with all of that going on you're not going to be applying for any sheep hunts. Hopefully the VA takes care of you. They have been great for me. Best of luck with that healing.
 

orangejuicy

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BD, you might want to check out some eFatBikes too. I am pretty sure you can get fat, full suspension, and electric. The electric will help you be easier on the legs on uphills.
 

orangejuicy

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Hi, all. Looking for suggestions on the mountain bike for a person interested in getting into mountain biking.
I’m wondering if it makes sense to get a bigger travel bike that is more forgiving or look at a 100mm or hardtail which would force you to pay more attention to line choice.
Or maybe it all just comes down to the type of terrain you’re most likely to ride and what your goals are?
My suggestion would be that if you’re just getting into it, start on a hard tail. I think it helps to learn how to handle the bike in terrain. Then when you are ready, upgrade to FS. You’ll be more skilled when you do, and you’ll appreciate it more, if that matters.
 

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