Mountain Biking Advice

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by Rob Gnarley, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Rob Gnarley

    Rob Gnarley Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    Has anyone tried mountain biking? I'm looking to get into the sport and would appreciate any advice. It looks pretty fun cruising around some off road trails. I road bike 30-50 miles on the regular so the athletic aspect should not be a problem.

    Thanks in advanced.
  2. Paulie's lawyer

    Paulie's lawyer Active Member

    Nov 3, 2017
    Paging Pumpmaster...

    I think he actually uses a mountain bike for its intended porpoise.

    I just use mine to play kid slalom on the seawall.

  3. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008

    I only ride downhill at bike parks now :). WhiteClay creek up near Newark is super fun.
  4. Paulie's lawyer

    Paulie's lawyer Active Member

    Nov 3, 2017

    Dude, I keep waitin for your aviator to say "Hey Dumbass!"
  5. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    So for biking i guess it depends on what you like. I'd say get a solid full suspension bike. They can be bought on pinkbike used and will save you a ton of money. theirs tons of great riding fairly close to Deleware.
  6. crindlefish

    crindlefish Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2015
    Step one
    Don't say off road
    Step two
    You're not cruising you're feckin pinnin it
    Step three
    Join Pinkbike
    Step four
    Don't buy a bike from Max Gurvitz on Pinkbike cuz he'll send it to you with a j bend spoke in a straight pull hub and the cost of replacing the wheel set will be around 800 USD
    Step five
    Little ring biatch
  7. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Advice on mountain biking: Do not fall.
  8. oipaul

    oipaul Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2006
    and if you do fall, break your collarbone. I hear it feels fantastic.
  9. Rob Gnarley

    Rob Gnarley Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    This is all good advice. Thank you. I'm pretty close to white clay so I'll definitely check it out.

    Do they make a soft foam bike for beginners ahaha? Happy Friday everyone.
  10. NJsurfer30

    NJsurfer30 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    White Clay is phenomenal. My favorite trail system on the east coast. Though my preferences lean toward fast and flowy with long climbs and descents... those looking for super technical riding would be quickly bored there.

    I have barely ridden in the past year, due to a combination of bull**** life excuses and frequent good waves here, but have gone through periods where I was pretty much obsessed with it (when I lived in Colorado, and to a lesser extent when I lived in MD). While I've never loved it quite as much as surfing or skiing, there are a whole lot more days per year that have optimal MTB conditions than optimal conditions for the other two. Especially here on the east coast. Also, it's by far the best of three for keeping you in shape IMO (that statement absolutely does not apply if you are surfing bigger waves, spots with long paddle-outs, or skiing/snowboarding powder in the backcountry, but again... we're on the east coast so you're probably not doing those things all that many times per year). Since I started writing this I completely forgot what the specific questions were so I'll follow up with another post in a minute if applicable.

    Bottom line: mountain biking is awesome and I highly, highly recommend getting into it. A lot of the same vibe of surfing or skiing/snowboarding, but a much better workout and where you live there's probably 200-300 days per year where the conditions are good for it, depending on the year, and your tolerance for riding when it's cold but dry (good ski gear + winter hiking boots can make this relatively comfortable).
  11. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    yup and you can get it at "costco surf and sport." its called the dirtstorm
  12. TDTubes

    TDTubes Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2007
    White Clay is where I learned too and it is super fun, like a roller coaster, but not a good indication of what is normal in the mid-atlantic. Much more roots and less 'groomed' is more the norm. Either way, you can probably get away with a decent front-suspension bike and spend half as much as you would on a full suspension.

    Get on it, you already sound like you are in shape but I lost 20 lbs or so and got is really good shape from it. Now I don't do it much and miss it, but...
  13. NJsurfer30

    NJsurfer30 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    For just starting out in the sport I'd recommend a hardtail over a full suspension. Gonna be tough to find a full suspension under $1k that's not a heavy piece of crap with low quality components (arguable higher than that, but I like even round numbers). Maybe can get something decent slightly under that if you go used, but even then, you can get a lot more for your money going with a hardtail. Should be able to find a decent used hardtail made by a good company for a few hundred bucks. Can't remember if any of the bike shops I used to go to in Newark sell used bikes, but I'm sure there's plenty of good deals around on craigslist and such. Then if you really start to get into it, plan on investing in your second bike once you've a better idea of riding style, preferred terrain, what you're looking for, etc.

    Is that what I did? Not at all. I first got into it riding the old too-small mountain bike I had when I was like 12, then immediately went out and bought the cheapest full suspension bike I could find brand new in a shop cause it looked cool. (it was a Giant, I think it was around $600). I got plenty of use out of it, so I wouldn't necessarily say I got ripped off, but it was heavy as all hell and once I moved to Colorado (and especially the first time I took it to Moab) it pretty much started falling apart immediately. But I'm an idiot. I've still not owned a good full suspension, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but I've kind of concluded that the way I like to ride and the terrain I prefer (read: I'm a *****) do not warrant full suspension. Even when I was in Colorado riding some of the more technical stuff on the Front Range, I always felt like it was my technique holding me back, not the bike. YMMV, but I doubt you'll be into anything crazy technical when first getting into the sport (unless riding lift-served downhill, but in that case you want to rent a propere downhill bike at the resort anyway).

    And at white clay specifically, there is absolutely zero need for full suspension (unless it's changed drastically in the 5 years since I last rode there). I actually think I could probably ride 80% of it on my road bike without any significant damage. I realize that makes it sound not very fun, but I promise it is.

    Also, yes, avoid falling. Piggybacking on the worst beat downs thread, you know how falling when skiing/snowboarding is far more painful than surfing (as a general rule)? Well, falling when mountain biking is exponentially worse than that. You're pretty much never gonna ride away from a crash without some sort of physical reminder of it, ranging from scrape/bruise to dead, depending...
  14. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    try falling off and 8 foot ladder bridge to dirt :)
  15. Sandbar18

    Sandbar18 Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    I ride a lot.
    White Clay is fun - can get boring, but def. a good start. Its a ton of fun. Bike Parks are fun - blue mtn, mtn creek, etc, but **** is dangerous. make sure you wear all the protective gear - i found out the hard way.

    It can be a big investment. I rode a $1000 hardtail for years. It was just a hobby i did 1x a week. When i stepped up to a 150mm full suspension, it made it so much more fun again. the trails around my house are a lot of 20 minute climbs / 2-5 minute downs...but those downhills are intense - sorta like dropping into quality waves.

    shoot me a pm if you ever wanna ride...I still have a ton of fun riding a places like whiteclay, which as mentioned, are suited well for hardtails.

    Get on Pinkbike
    Download Trailforks and MTB Project on your phone.

    Strava - can be fun and helpful, but sometimes pushes you beyond your limits
  16. ChavezyChavez

    ChavezyChavez Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Marsh Creek State Park in PA is also a good place to start. It has it's challenges but it can be done by a first timer.
    Which brings us to the next step up. French Creek State Park. Also in PA. Can be very challenging. You can camp there (check the seasons) and fish there too.
    Get maps before you go. Check em out, maybe hike the trails first.
    Both parks are at most an hour from White Clay. Pump can prolly give up some other places like Blue Marsh up by Reading PA.
  17. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    When I planned to move to Michigan, I knew I wouldn't be surfing, so I bought a mountain bike and started riding at Cheesquake and Hartshorne in Monmouth County. I could definitely see the similarities... picking your line and getting a good adrenaline buzz, plus all the technical stuff.

    Michigan was heaven. When I moved back to NJ four years later, I hung up my bike and shaped a few boards.

    I'll get back into it someday...
  18. SJKC

    SJKC Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    I can throw some knowledge into the mix. I stuck to XC riding (flowy single track). As far as bikes go, I highly recommend buying used first. You can spend an insane amount of money on good mountain bike so it's best to be sure you're going to stick with it before splurging. Make sure you get the right size. It really matters with mountain bikes. There are decent bikes on CL all the time. Also, a lot of trail systems have FB groups that people are selling bikes on all the time. You will get more bike for your money with a hardtail. Don't spend a bunch of money on your first bike. See if you like it first. Then if you do, splurge on a full suspension bike. The older you get, the more you appreciate the rear suspension. You can get good deals (40%-50% off) on them if you buy closeouts at some larger online vendors when the new model years are coming out. I picked up a Giant brand carbon framed full suspension bike for $3K which was pretty good price 4 years ago. If White Clay is in range for you, so is Brandywine, Fair Hill and Wissahickon. There are also a couple small but fun trail systems in South Jerz (Ceres, CCC). You have good options. Finally, the one thing I wish somebody told me when I started is if you're going down a steep, bumpy trail, get your butt off your seat and over the rear tire if you'd prefer not to get thrown over the handle bars.
  19. Sandbar18

    Sandbar18 Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    Does anyone ride coastal NJ - in particular Allaire or around that area? Anything worthwhile?
  20. DonQ

    DonQ Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Too flat. Head for the mountains.
    Hence...mountain biking.
    If you ever want to ride out west, hit me up. I'll hook you up with some of the best riders and trails.