WhatShame

Hardtail for a beginner?

9 posts in this topic

Hello!

I'd like to start off by saying hello, I'm new to the forum. I wont waste any time. So, I've been riding for only three years and I've only ever done basic XC and trails stuff, a small amount of downhill etc. the usual for a casual. I've followed street trials professionals since I began and I absolutely love to watch the discipline being performed. Today I decided that I'd finally give it a go myself. However, I have a concern about my bike as it's big and heavy with 650b wheels, all stock stuff. It's a Specialized Pitch 2017 Sport, quick link below so you guys can have a look as I'm no expert at bike parts.

https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized-pitch-sport-650b-2017-mountain-bike-EV279812

During casual riding I've learnt some basic techniques and skills such as reverts and fakies, bunny hops etc. The VERY basics. Currently I don't have the money to buy ANY upgrades so my stock hardtail is all I can use. What do you guys think? I was thinking about just dropping the seat and trying it out but I don't want to damage my bike too much, do you have any recommendations, advice or general information you can share?

One final query, I have researched this stuff, and I saw a few people on a few different websites saying beginning the discipline at 30+ is a no go and totally not worth it as it's too old. That surely cannot be true? It does not necessarily apply to me as I'm 24, but you know, going on 30 and all that. I mean my step dad only started riding XC last year and he's pretty decent already and he's 48. 

Anyway, I'm sorry if you get scrubby posts like this all the time, I just have a passion for watching trials riders perform tricks and think it's amazing, and would love to be even 1% as good as these guys.

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If you haven't got the budget to change your bike, the simplest way to look at it is A Bike > No Bike :P  Although in the long run that bike won't allow you to do bigger/more advanced moves, you'll still be able to get the basics learned fine, improve your bike handling skills and develop your own style on it.  It'll also transfer the skills over to your trail riding well too.  

The only thing to really be aware of is the potential for hitting your chainring and damaging stuff, so just be careful with that I guess - you can still learn a lot of other skills like front wheel moves without having anything to worry about (Y)  Just be aware for hop ups that it's more susceptible to damage.

In terms of age, you can do it at any age!  The good thing about trials is there's lots of mini 'wins' to have along the way - whether that's doing your first backhop, doing 4 or 5 in a row for the first time, doing your first bike length gap or doing some huge moves, there's lots of little victories you get that help keep it all fresh and interesting.  As a result, it doesn't matter what age you're at or what level you're at, it'll still be fun.  Realistically as you get older the chances of you being the next Danny MacAskill/Fabio Wibmer/whoever diminish, but if you're just doing it to have fun that's irrelevant.

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3 hours ago, Mark W said:

In terms of age, you can do it at any age!  The good thing about trials is there's lots of mini 'wins' to have along the way - whether that's doing your first backhop, doing 4 or 5 in a row for the first time, doing your first bike length gap or doing some huge moves, there's lots of little victories you get that help keep it all fresh and interesting.  As a result, it doesn't matter what age you're at or what level you're at, it'll still be fun.  Realistically as you get older the chances of you being the next Danny MacAskill/Fabio Wibmer/whoever diminish, but if you're just doing it to have fun that's irrelevant.

All of what Mark said. I started trials just over 2 years ago at age 56. Continuous very small improvement on the trials bike has really helped my mountain bike skills, which was my original goal. Slowwww-speed/stopped riding and body position transfers well to riding MTB on bumpy bedrock. I put a lot more time on the MTB, but enjoy all the micro wins on the trials bike too.

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3rding Mark's comments, you can start on a bike and learn the basics etc. The above helped me a lot when I first started out on a MTB in the 90's. Go and enjoy :)

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Posted (edited)

On 13/05/2019 at 7:03 PM, WhatShame said:

I saw a few people on a few different websites saying beginning the discipline at 30+ is a no go and totally not worth it as it's too old. That surely cannot be true?

Yeah don't believe that! Started six months ago at 43. Trying to get out a couple of times a week for an hour each time. Due to riding MTB for ten years, I found a few things I'd being doing already that helped, and are fun, but it's the fundamental skill of stability/balance/control that really needs the graft putting into it to get the real rewards. I'm still not there with the fundamental basics, but as above, seeing micro-progress. Patience with yourself to deal with the frustration of not progressing as fast as you want will help! Another difficulty I personally found was to get on the bike and focus on practising just one thing over and over again. I've seen others (on youtube) in a similar position (age/experience) who seem to find that easy, but for me, for instance it's taken over six months until I've actually put any time and effort into practising rear hops!

Edited by marg26

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It took me quite a while for backhops to really click, too.  I'd have a stab at them fairly often but not really 'practise' practise.  In the end, one day it just clicked - I got a few in a row where my weight was too far backwards so I was having to move the bike quite a bit to correct it, and then the basic move fell into place.  It took a while longer to learn to turn my good way, then longer to turn my bad way, but it's not always instant progression even though some vlogs may have you believe that.  Vlogs, as with social media, need to be viewed with a little bit of skepticism, purely in the sense that it's still essentially an edited highlights and you're not seeing the full picture.

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As Mark said, A bike is better than no bike, so get out there and have fun. And that video posted above is a really useful for getting your head round the basic.

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On 5/13/2019 at 11:03 AM, WhatShame said:

I have researched this stuff, and I saw a few people on a few different websites saying beginning the discipline at 30+ is a no go and totally not worth it as it's too old. That surely cannot be true?

I wonder how old those people who said that were? I started street trials/trials at 34 and now I'm 44 and still going strong. I remember being told by the 40+ crowd (before I was one of them) that after 40 you can't ride every day. I know what they mean now. I try to ride every day that I can, but multiple days of riding to your level really does wipe you out. The realistic recovery time does increase (not to mention the wife, the kids, the job, the aging parents...) Don't mind the labels, just ride. If it stops being fun, take a break for a bit and come back later. Sometimes your brain needs time to process what your body is trying to do. I found Ryan Leech's Mastering the Art of Trials video very useful. He breaks it down into different levels that really do build onto one another. Also Trashzen is a very good resource. 

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good written, i'm almost 57 and i really enjoy it , luckely when i was young i did a few years mototrial.

But biketrial is more fun .

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