I have had the same Murray Mountain Bike since about 1990 – My parents got it for me as a step up from the 1 speed huffy – I loved it – It has more miles on it than I know what to do with – It’s not a "Mountain Bike" though – No shocks - In fact – nothin facny at all.
It has never been tuned up – It has never had any love at all. I wanted a "real" bike to start to hit the trails more often as part of my cross training.
Problem was – No Money…. Solid bikes are very very pricey – Good luck funding one less than 500 dolars – I found a bike online on clearance called the "Hyper Havoc" I knew it was not a top line bike – more of the big box store style -but it had a full suspension system and it was under 200 bucks.
I figured let’s get it and get out on the trail. These are things I need to learn.
1. Uphills are hard – I need to learn to make my hands quiet – I am "pulling" as I peddle, pulling my front wheel up. This = disaster. I need to figure this out.
2. Downhills need confidence and skill – My brakes need to be tighter, so the downhills are either walked – or I ride the brakes – What’s the fun in that? I need to gain more confidence to ride them harder – but also need the skill to know when and how to use the brakes.
3. A suspension system is AMAZING – but it did take some getting used to – I was used to taking all the bumps myself – now the bike takes a bunch for me – Wonderful.
4. Riding with peddles parallel is important – One peddle down will always hit a root, rock, divet, etc- and then you fall. Falling is no fun – Especially on tight, root filled single track.
5. I need to look where I am going, not at my wheel, when I look at the wheel, I get wobbly.
Those 5 things and a little bit of learning about bike maintennce skills will make the sport so much better – the ground I can cover on the bike is pretty awesome – opens up some new skills for me -
Do you mountain bike? What do you love about it? What do you dislike about it? How did you learn to improve?