willerz

Bike choice help (for oldish/heavy/well-funded beginner)?

6 posts in this topic

I read the pinned FAQ post and found it interesting but it didn't entirely answer my question.

Background: I'm 37, short on time to practice (unfortunately), overweight (unfortunately), overpaid (fortunately) and although I'm from the UK I currently live in the USA (Seattle). I'm not aware of any local trials shops although I do know of an excellent BMX shop in an adjacent suburb.

I am jealous of people with trials skills and want to learn at least the track stand, manual, bunny hop, log ride and endo. I've been trying to make progress on those for 3-4 months but not getting very far on my 29er. My track stand is still a bit creepy, when manualling I can get the front wheel off the ground for maybe .25 seconds at a time, and for the rest I have nothing. I think I used to be able to manual, hop and endo a 26er MTB when I was a lot younger but that was 15 years ago and I've lost the muscle-memory.

I broke my collarbone OTBing my mountain bike last week and I've been watching a lot of Ali C's videos and UCI world cup trials competitions while recovering, which has only increased my desire to learn these things. My assumptions are:

  1. It's easier to do these skills on a trials bike than it is on an XC geometry 29er MTB.
  2. If I learn to do these movements on a trials bike, and practice on that until I'm pretty good at them, I will probably be able to do them to some extent on a less-suitable bike.

I'm leaning more towards a street style bike if only because I don't want to need to learn how to grind a rim. 26er tires are the easiest to get here - for example there are three places in my suburb where I could get a 26" Conti crossking off the shelf, whereas if I had to locate a new rear tire for a 19in rim it might take me weeks. 24in tires are also quite available; for example I can get Amazon to deliver a Kenda K-rad next day.

I've been looking at the Hex Pro but I'm a bit worried it might be too compy for me given some of the Q&A on tartybikes. I've also been looking at the Flow Plus, because it's in stock and seems to be targeted at beginners. I'm having difficulty understanding the differences between the Fourplay/Arcade/Skye as I would experience them. In any case I will upgrade it to Magura brakes as that's what we have on all of our mountain bikes and it'll save me buying another bleed kit.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Edited by willerz

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If the Hex Pro is within budget then you can't really go wrong - certainly won't be too compy for you either (Y)

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Hex sounds like a good choice. Nwtrials.com is from Washington, and webcyclery.com is in Oregon 

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+1 for the hex, great bike...the arcade has more of a nimble bmx feel to it(love mine)  but the hex rides more like a mtb than the arcade does...37 is still very very young ;-)... just get on with it....ps. just reached level 4.2

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Long time mountain biker here that has been slowly getting into trials over the last few years. I started with an older comp bike, tried a Norco Manifesto for awhile and then just bought a Hex a couple months ago. My only regret is not going for a Hex years ago!

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The Czar 26 is a damn fine bike too, but maybe not as easy to come by as a Hex in the UK. Who on Earth has said that the Hex was too compy!?! Certainly not a comp in the last 12 years!

 

EDIT: Ooops, didn't see the Seattle part. I see mail order in your future. I got my Czar 26 from HBTrials in Canada. There's a pretty good crew in Seattle, you should find some mates soon enough. Post on OTN (observedtrials.net) for a bit more local (Seattle) info. If you road trip down to Los Angeles, hit me up.

Edited by Swoofty

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