So I began mountain biking about 3 months ago after I was in a serious motocross accident that left me with a broken back. I decided that I would stay away from motocross and stick to mountain biking due to it being a little safer (sometimes!). Anyways, I have fallen in love with my bike and I try to get out and ride as much as I possibly can now.
The bike I currently have is a bike I bought off a guy I worked with who is really into biking. The bike is a Ellsworth Moment with all sorts of goodies on it. The bike came with clip-in pedals but I was not use to this and did not have the shoes for it so I simply went out and bought a pair of flat pedals for now. The type of trails I ride are a mix of single-track but I also do a lot of free riding around my house where I will ride down power lines, old pipelines, 4-wheeler trails and logging trails. The bike I have currently has Marzoochi Z1 Bomber front forks which I am still trying to figure out if I like them or not. They are air compressed forks but being a lightweight rider (145) I have yet to find the right pressure for my riding style. Also, the rear shock is an older spring shock that I do find to be a smooth riding shock but does not offer a lot of travel or adjustments. So here are some questions I have:
1. Since I do a mixture of freeriding and singletrack, would it be more beneficial to stick with flat pedals or switch over to clip in pedals. I'm a little hesitant to clip-ins because of my riding style of hanging my leg out through tight corners, being my background comes from motocross.
2. I have been looking at different forks and I have been particularly interested in the Fox 36 Van 180mm or the Fox 36 Talas 180mm. Since I do some free riding I want to stick to something that has a lot of travel without having to use DH forks. Also, I have been think of upgrading the rear shock as well to the newer Fox DHX Air 5.0. Does anyone think what I have now is okay, just need to work with it a little more and tweak it until I'm satisfied or is suspension (like in motocross) simply a preference thing?
3. Also, as of now my bike is currently running a 3x9 gearing set up which I find sometimes completely unnecessary. I find myself most of the time in between my first and second gear up front which gets annoying and wish I could find a gear that was in between them because I never use the big gear on the bike, EVER. Just wanting to know any different kind of set-ups people are running and since I am fairly new to this I do not know much about different gearing options.