I’m reading the book “Mastering Mountain Bike Skills: Techniques to Excel in All Riding Styles” by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack. I’m only a couple of pages in, but it seems like it’s going to be a very useful read. It’s over 200 pages about how to improve your technical skills – cornering, braking, wheelies, jumps and more. I’m not a big-air guy who does a lot of tricks, but I do think it is important to use good techniques to help you ride efficiently and this book really helps to dial it in.
One snippet that I liked had to do with what to upgrade on your new bike. I thought it would help you folks thinking about upgrading your bikes this winter keep it all in perspective and it tracks along with my own personal philosophy about using your stuff until it breaks. After all, if you save money on upgrades when you buy, then you have more left over to buy cool components when the stock stuff wears out.
From the book:
Don’t sweat the components on your bike. Just ride the thing. Here are the most important upgrades:
- Saddle. It’s hard to have fun sitting on a plastic anvil.
- Stem & handlebars. They should fit your body and riding style.
- Tires. Choose ones that match your riding conditions.
Run everything else stock until it wears out.
The other reason it stuck out to me was the part about the saddle. After I purchased my Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp 29er I spent a whole season riding around on the stock saddle that came with the bike. I kept telling myself that I would “break it in” – or that my butt would get used to it. But, it never did. It was an entire season of discomfort. Why? Probably because I’m a cheapskate. But, I ended up buying a new saddle anyways and I wished I had just done it from the get go. (Specialized Format 143)
I haven’t had to change the stem or handle bars. They seem to fit me nicely. The tires I’m rockin’ these days are Kenda Kozmik Lite II 29″.
So what was your “must-do” upgrade when you bought your last bike? Are you thinking about buying a bike this off-season? If so, what kind and what do you plan to upgrade. Tell me about it in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.
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I got my copy of the 1st edition of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills from the library, but it does seem like it will be a useful reference that I could return to time and time again. The 2nd edition is available on Amazon.
Thanks for your support and I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section.