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The thing that had most effect on my MTB riding years ago was trusting my bike. You look at a section and say, "No way", but you'd be surprised what a bike will clatter its way through at speed left to its own devices. I'm still riding the same bike I bought in 1996 (and last night I realised I'm still wearing the same shoes and gloves that now look like rags) - though I've re-built it with new everything except the frame 3 times.

I was thinking about this thread when bouncing around on rocks and roots in the woods on the bike last night, and the only benefit of the MTB to enduro is fitness. The two activities are like chalk and cheese. They might both have 2 wheels, a handle bar, and occur off tarmac, but that's about has far as the similarity goes.
 

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The thing that had most effect on my MTB riding years ago was trusting my bike. You look at a section and say, "No way", but you'd be surprised what a bike will clatter its way through at speed left to its own devices. I'm still riding the same bike I bought in 1996 (and last night I realised I'm still wearing the same shoes and gloves that now look like rags) - though I've re-built it with new everything except the frame 3 times.

I was thinking about this thread when bouncing around on rocks and roots in the woods on the bike last night, and the only benefit of the MTB to enduro is fitness. The two activities are like chalk and cheese. They might both have 2 wheels, a handle bar, and occur off tarmac, but that's about has far as the similarity goes.
It does help develop balance
 

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Discussion Starter #24
It does help develop balance
In terms of balance, I can do static/slow stuff and wheelies etc. That's basically all the same. What I found was that the bike was so twitchy that I couldn't really get it to go where I want.

In terms of trusting the bike... Yeah, I'm a long way off that yet! Need to find some decent areas to build confidence and stuff I guess. I think going to a downhill park for the first trip was a bit much.

Also discovered that hydraulic brakes are a twat on all vehicles....
 

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I've still got the old rubber against the rims brakes. The frame's so old that it doesn't have anywhere to attach the caliper for a disc brake on the rear wheel (the fork does because it's the third fork on the bike - but I've not bothered - I'm happy with the old style brakes).
 

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How long is your stem? If it's any longer than 50mm that could be it. Also old bikes and old suspension suck. The new stuff is much better. Dropper seat posts help massively too.
Probably easier to demo a new bike, you will know if it's you or the bike then. I find them to be very similar, the biggest difference I think is jumps. It's a lot lot easier to jump a motorbike.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
How long is your stem? If it's any longer than 50mm that could be it. Also old bikes and old suspension suck. The new stuff is much better. Dropper seat posts help massively too.
Probably easier to demo a new bike, you will know if it's you or the bike then. I find them to be very similar, the biggest difference I think is jumps. It's a lot lot easier to jump a motorbike.
It has got a bit of stem on it but everything I've read says that short stems make it more twitchy. It does have a dropper but I've not really tried anything steep enough to really need that.

It's 2011 Trek Fuel EX 9 so I can't believe it's that much worse than a new bike for a beginner, is it??
 

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"Also old bikes and old suspension suck. The new stuff is much better."

Not really. It just breaks easier My bike frame is still being made today with very little change from when I bought mine (except the price - which is now more like the price of a motorbike rather than a pushbike). And each new fork and chainset doesn't make a significant difference - except a bit of weight.
 

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It has got a bit of stem on it but everything I've read says that short stems make it more twitchy. It does have a dropper but I've not really tried anything steep enough to really need that.

It's 2011 Trek Fuel EX 9 so I can't believe it's that much worse than a new bike for a beginner, is it??
I find the exact opposite. Recently went from 2-3 inch stem to 1inch and it handles way better. Had bikes with 4inch or more and their bloody awful, makes it really sketchy to ride. Wide bars are also nice but make less of a difference. I would have thought a 2011 bike should be fine unless it has a mega stem.
 

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"Also old bikes and old suspension suck. The new stuff is much better."

Not really. It just breaks easier My bike frame is still being made today with very little change from when I bought mine (except the price - which is now more like the price of a motorbike rather than a pushbike). And each new fork and chainset doesn't make a significant difference - except a bit of weight.
I'm guessing it's a hard tail? Geometry of full sus bikes has changed and the head angle has got slacker, there are no doubt other changes and it all makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I find the exact opposite. Recently went from 2-3 inch stem to 1inch and it handles way better. Had bikes with 4inch or more and their bloody awful, makes it really sketchy to ride. Wide bars are also nice but make less of a difference. I would have thought a 2011 bike should be fine unless it has a mega stem.
Interesting.. might give it a go. I know having a longer stem puts more weight on the front... And I'm heavy... So it could be that too. Need to get the suspension serviced but otherwise it seems like a great bike.
 

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MTB tyre pressures are really critical. Generally its a trade off between rolling resistance (high pressures) and Grip (low pressures) but at the low pressure end you also have to be mindful of pinch flats and "rolling" the tyres. Tubeless makes a big difference, you can generally run lower pressures than tubes without sacrificing roll and yet still get more grip. You do tend to have to pump them up before each ride though. Most tyres are usually 2 1/2" or 2.75" wide, once again a trade off - best decide based on what sort of ground you're on in combination with wheel dia. As with most things, the best stuff is the most expensive - think roughly £90 for a pair of top spec MTB tyres (!). Personally, I'm way past it these days .... but I can't resist posting this vid of my lad Rob just to give what I'm saying a bit of 'cred !

 

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It has got a bit of stem on it but everything I've read says that short stems make it more twitchy. It does have a dropper but I've not really tried anything steep enough to really need that.

It's 2011 Trek Fuel EX 9 so I can't believe it's that much worse than a new bike for a beginner, is it??
I've got the same bike, bought several increasingly fancier new ones since but the old Trek remains my favorite "all rounder" for a red route or anything less. I had the shock rebuilt a couple of years ago, fitted a Fisik long saddle and some Rocket Rons but otherwise as it came. Best description I've heard of it "It's a bike that amplifies your enthusiasm" - Spot on I'd say.
 

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"Also old bikes and old suspension suck. The new stuff is much better."

Not really. It just breaks easier My bike frame is still being made today with very little change from when I bought mine (except the price - which is now more like the price of a motorbike rather than a pushbike). And each new fork and chainset doesn't make a significant difference - except a bit of weight.
You honestly couldn't be more wrong.
 

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You honestly couldn't be more wrong.
I'm guessing that you have a lot invested in, "The new stuff is much better"?

I won't try to disavow of your belief. I understand the power of marketing, and that I'll never be able to compete with the bike industry's budgets. Also, I see that my bike shop chain owning neighbour has just bought a new boat and so he definitely can't afford to lose any "new stuff is much better" customers right now. He thanks God every day that buying "the new stuff" and the short term buzz and placebo effect that it delivers is a lot easier than upgrading the most important part of any bike.

If you can afford it, enjoy!
 

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I'm guessing that you have a lot invested in, "The new stuff is much better"?

I won't try to disavow of your belief. I understand the power of marketing, and that I'll never be able to compete with the bike industry's budgets. Also, I see that my bike shop chain owning neighbour has just bought a new boat and so he definitely can't afford to lose any "new stuff is much better" customers right now. He thanks God every day that buying "the new stuff" and the short term buzz and placebo effect that it delivers is a lot easier than upgrading the most important part of any bike.

If you can afford it, enjoy!
No really, my current bike is this

2020-05-17_10-02-03 by Steve Weeks - Flickr2BBcode
undefined, [email protected], fundefined, undefineds, ISOundefined

Whyte G160, I paid £1050 for it so not that much in the grand scheme of things, but the suspension and geometry compared to even my previous Whyte t130 is phenomenal. It means I can ride harder, faster and safer in all terrain, now chasing my boy down tricky trails at bike park Wales that previously bid not have ridden. Its like riding a KTM 525 from 2004, they're great, but when you try a properly modern bike they just blow it away


2020-04-04_07-10-46 by Steve Weeks - Flickr2BBcode
H8216, [email protected] mm, f2.0, 1/1000s, ISO40
 

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As above all the little improvements add up. The wider hub spacing makes the wheels stronger (not bent my cheap wheels yet even though the bike weighs 10kg more), the dropper post makes riding Dow a hill way safer and more fun, wide bars are more comfortable, slack head angle inspires confidence, more suspension travel improves comfort and confidence, quality suspension improves handling and comfort, fat tyres have more grip in the dry and are more comfortable, 11 speed cassette allows greater range.
Go and demo a new quality full sus bike by which I mean £2500+ and then come back and say a 20 year old hard tail is better.
 

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I've yet to try any full suspension bike that is easier to live with for a day out on the kind of rootsy, rocky single track we have around these parts than my titanium hard tail. The rear suspension makes a lot less difference than the extra 5 or 6kg that needs to be lugged around (if I added 10kg to my bike it would more than double its weight). And things like dropper posts, wide bars, quality suspension, fat tyres, etc are hardly new.

All of those little improvements add up to not much more than a much higher price tag. And often more frequent replacements.
 

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The MTB bike industry makes womens fashion look slow moving. Trouble is, its not just colours and styles. They change wheel sizes, wheel mounts, seat tube sizes etc etc etc and none of the stuff you already have fits the later standards.

Worst thing is, it's not always for the better. OK, some improvements work & get retained, but lots gets changed for (I think) change's sake.

My advice - be very suspicious of "new and improved" until you've either 1) Ridden it a lot, or 2) Lots of manufacturers have adopted it

Case in point, I once bought one of these ......... WTF was I thinking !

33268
 
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