Last year, my friends convinced me to get a mountain bike, and it has easily become my absolute favorite way to get outside during the summer.
It’s a great workout. I can do it with friends. I can explore new places with the intent to bike. And I can even go back to some of my favorite destinations and explore them with a new sport.
Plus, it’s become the perfect compliment to skiing. It’s a high adrenaline sport with room for me to progress (like alot!), and I just can’t praise it enough.
The actual bike is definitely the biggest barrier to entry for this sport, but let’s check out the head – to – toe set up that I have to get out on the trails:
*Please note that I would classify my preferred style of riding as trail riding/mini enduro. I do love the uphill for the workout, but I also love more aggressive blue square flow trails, and while I am still hesitant, I am willing to try black diamond downhill trails. I love trying easier drops and jumps (still getting comfortable with sending it on gap jumps), as well as wood features at smaller bike parks.
When I went into go buy a bike last May, it was the beginning of a major bike shortage, so I needed to find something I liked… and fast. I went into a couple shops, but they didn’t have the specifications I wanted in my price range. And I felt like every time I went into a shop, my budget would slowly creep up due to bikes not being in stock.
However, on one fateful date that was meant to be, I walked into a local shop and they said they had just built out the perfect bike that I was describing to them (it was shortly after COVID restrictions had lifted, so we weren’t allowed into the shop, and we had to social distance with masks and relay information in the parking lot). But then they brought out my bike, and I knew that It was meant to be…
There was even a woman looking for a similar bike that was maybe 5 minutes behind me in the queue, so the universe was on my side that day because if I would have even come 6 minutes later, I probably would have a different bike.
And now I couldn’t be more happy with it. It is the 2020 Liv Intrigue 3, and honestly, when I first bought it, it was a little more aggressive (as far as travel) than I was hoping for, but I’ve been able to easily grow into it. It’s become the perfect bike for the trails I like to do, so it should be a solid bike for a couple years.
Bike: 2020 Liv Intrigue 3
Travel: 150 mm front/ 140 mm back
Original Price: $2,100 (not including extras)
Extras purchased with bike: Crank Brothers Stamp 1 Large LE pedals (bright orange ones because why not), frame protector
* note that I am 5’6.5″ and 135 lbs
Probably my favorite thing about it is that I am able to upgrade it if I want better parts, such as a front fork, derailleur (which I already upgraded), or cassette.
Last year, I was rocking a bright yellow road biking helmet that my parents had gotten a couple years past, and it worked absolutely fantastic.
When I found out that helmets have expirations dates (typically two/three years or after a bad crash), I took over Nic’s old Smith Helmet once he purchased a new one. I ended up spray painting it pink, and it also worked great!
However, after a couple crashes, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new helmet, because it really is the most important piece of safety gear. I got it from the local Salt Lake City shop Level 9 in, so it was an awesome deal (and not to mention, the color!)
Helmet: Giro Verce Mountain Bike Helmet
Size: One Size Fit All
The glasses that I got ironically as a ski instructor have easily become my staple adventure glasses for both winter and summer. They match my personality and style, and are surprisingly functional.
Glasses: Smith Wildcats
Lenses: Clear, Black
I purchased my gloves through the secondhand online app Poshmark. They were only $10, and they lasted all season last year. I may upgrade later this season, but they are still holding up great!
Gloves: Dakine Convert Bike Gloves
While pads are not a necessity, they have definitely saved me in a couple gnarly crashes. At the moment, I only have knee pads, but I am looking at elbow pads when we head to lift access trails that are going to be a little more aggressive on the downhill.
Not to mention, they have a mental power as well. I feel more secure, so I feel like I can send a little more… anyone else????
Bike pads: G- Form Pro X2 Knee Pads
I do wish I would have just gotten the Pro X model, because I feel like they fit better on my knees. Either that, or a large size of the X2 model.
Stay tuned for part 2, which will include more apparel suggestions!
Your nacforadventurer and newbie mountain biker,