I bought my mountain bike almost two months ago and have now had some time on the trails. I quickly extended some of my limits and looked down with exhilaration on trails that exceeded them. Mountain biking is healthy fun and if you are lucky is great time with friends outdoors. While patience is not my best quality I surely tested it through this purchase. I wanted a bike but needed to make sure I got the right one for me.
I am always one to do research online whenever I make a purchase and this was no time for an exception. I read several forums for suggestions on a starter bike. My budget $900 and based on what I read I was looking for a hard tail. My first thought (on recommendation) was a Gary Fisher Tassajara. I set out to find one locally and was unsuccessful to locate one by telephone. Since there was not really any available I thought it would be best just to go to a few of the many local retailers and see what is available.
I planned several visits to a few local shops hoping to get a education, ride a few bikes, and find a good match. After going to a few shops I really like the guys and gals as Beacon Bikes in Freehold. Really a bunch of nice people who were really patient, knowledgeable, and humored all of my newbie questions. After riding a few bikes keeping my budget in mind I wasn’t happy. If the bike felt comfortable most were disqualified because of what I felt was unsmooth shifting or other issues with components. That’s when he suggested I ride the Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. A step up from the Tassajara and also nice jump in price. I loved it but didn’t buy it that day. I came back next week took it for another spin then took it home.
I already have a few stories since I bought the bike including some falls, bumps, scrapes, and one unscheduled flight (over the bars). I feel like I am about two months behind in blog posts (ahem, that’s because I am). I can’t wait to get all of my thoughts and posts down (stay tuned this may take a while). Now that I am on the dirt and got the blog going I hope to catch up quickly.
The moral of the story is I blew my budget (again), but I also found a bike I really liked. Having put over 150 miles on the bike and some fairly aggressive riding for a newbie I think I made the right choice. I admit I am still not sure I made the right pedal choice (Shimano M505, clipless) but that is fuel for another post. Shortly after my purchase I helped my buddy Doug purchase his Felt Nine Solo a 29er which is also a awesome piece of equipment. Not only do I have a new bike but a great friend who has been a great bike partner. What is better than that?