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Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:12 pm
by MikeK
It's been a long time coming... ... urvey.html

Paddling and skiing have much less impact - but it's still better than motorized recreations.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:31 pm
by Rokjox
I recommend wearing wrist/elbow and leg armor for the first couple years to mitigate those impacts. I broke my left arm in two different places two weeks apart, and I am always touching down a knee, the knee pads are great.

as my wife says, One trip to the ER pays for all the things that go with a helmet.

Enjoy the sport, ain't NOTHING like it, especially for old guys as they age. All those gears are great.

The future belongs to wheeled sports.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:28 pm
by MikeK
I used to race those contraptions when I was a teenager, Rok. I had a heavy, but indestructible chromoly GT hardtail.

I was pretty good for a kid (under 18 class), but then I remember one race a 'pro' rider blasting past me on the single track. He was going faster than I could even fathom for that terrain. Also I tried DH and slalom once, I wasn't nearly able to keep up.

Anyway, I took a break from riding for a bit, and smoking pot and cigarettes eventually killed my aerobic capacity to do anything, so a bit became quite a while. When I finally went to take my bike out again I noticed a lot of signs telling me not to ride where I used to ride... that was the real point of this post. Some areas have made a push to build bike trails again to gain back what was lost, but the link I posted might actually be one of the better signs.

I have a hybrid road bike with skinny tires. Can't stand it. Don't ride it much. Can't stand choking on car exhaust whilst being run off the road. I told myself I was going to ride more this year, but I don't see that happening unless I take to dirt trails.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:26 am
by Johnny
Hardtails are cool!

DH is a bit too radical for me... I'm just too old for this... And there's no XC trails around here... I'm not really into road bikes, it's a bit too K&G for my taste...

For me, I think found it last summer: BMX...!
My new craze... The perfect summer version of backyard XCDing on fishscales... Light and simple...

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:13 am
by MikeK
I like a BMX bike too - but something about the geometry and frame/wheel/tire stiffness makes me prefer a rigid or hard tail MTB. I used to ride half and quarter pipes on a MTB vs. a BMX - it was just much more comfortable to me. I also prefer a small frame MTB for technical riding.

Road bike - yeah it's like xc track skiing. Hardtail MTB on trails - just like Nordic BC, but you can go faster than you can on skis, especially in the flats. DH - don't know - it probably correlates somehow. I just know me going 'fast' DH on a bike is nowhere near what real DH racers are doing. I'm putting on the brakes at 30mph, they are in a tuck at 60... so I imagine it's like DH ski racers... imagine the steepest, iciest trail you can, and tuck down that... yeah... respect for those maniacs!

Hardtails keep you honest most of the time... the bike tells me it's getting hairy long before I'm at warp speed and off a cliff or into a tree.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:22 am
by connyro
I used to be an avid mountain biker. I live where you can get on your bike in town and within 10 minutes of riding, you would be on the trail in the woods. We have a long history of mountain biking here but within the last few years, there's been a movement towards grooming the living hell out of the mtb trails and installing berms and banks so that the riding is easier. It destroyed the trails and the experience of real mountain biking by removing all obstacles and leaving only one line to take: the one the trail builders made. To me, mountain biking is (was) about the challenge of taking a bicycle out into the woods and riding it on trails and terrain that bicycles had no business being on. Learning to master your balance and gaining confidence was the reward. Now, the trails are all castrated: Steep downhills are no more. Steep climbs are no more. Roots, rocks, bumps, dips, ditches? All smoothed over and filled in with crushed stone like an over-groomed ski run. The trails are so wide and buff now that you could ride a wheelchair on the trails! No joke.

This year, I've removed my clip-in pedals and gone with flats. I got a front rack and panniers. I've sold my full suspension bike and now ride only my old rigid 29er. I hope to get back to the roots of MTB and spend my time exploring new terrain far from the beaten path and enjoying the ungroomed woods. Something like XCD...but on a bike.
I think I may be the Teleman of MTB. ;)
- End of rant

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:33 am
by MikeK
I'd have to agree, that doesn't sound much like the MTB'ing I used to do.

I watched a documentary about MTB out west and how all their trails started being off limits to bikers and then what became of it. Their trails looked a lot like what you describe connyro. There was nothing natural about them and the ones they showed I never saw the guys actually pedal... they were all DH. They looked like something built for a Red Bull competition.

I'm all for building more sustainable trails, but designing them to be race tracks instead of single track or hiking trail is a bit ridiculous. Go ride on a BMX track if you want that. I'm all about keeping the wild trails more wild.

There has to be a solution for bikers and hikers to play together - something better than paved trails through the wild...

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:53 am
by connyro
IMO, it's a sign of the times. Everybody wants instant gratification without putting in the work. Easier is better and everyone wants to be instantly good at it. I just don't understand how MTB went from figuring out "how the hell can I ride a bike over that terrain" to "how can I CHANGE the terrain so that I can ride through it." It's sad IMO.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:32 pm
by Rokjox
I rode a GT frame for a while. The triple cross frame made the bike so stiff that it would throw you into the air on bumps, vibrate on washboards, great if you actually wanted to launch, not so good otherwise.

Dump the smokes, keep the weed, it;ll help you give up the other stuff, and protect your body from lung cancer during he first few months without the Tabacco. The research is available. You also got a hell of a lot better chance of falling into he right crowd if you got a bowl or a spliff available. It'll help you make friends and gain trust, you understand.

Sorry to hear about the pussification of y'alls local terrain, I'm near downtown Boise, and I am only a VERY few miles from interstellar trail system, partly official part not so much. And seeing how the great flood left watermarks and sandy groves all through the mountains, bearing mostly and most generally towards town its pretty easy to do loops and shuttles with thousands of feet of elechg. call it 5000 foot difference on longer rides.

My partner of about 30 years kinda prefers routes with a majority of drop... We used to have 3 Ford areostars witch would carry up to 5 guys, 5 bikes (inside, intact), several dogs, 5 packs (big packs, we carry) and a BIG ice chest. Each. ...4wds... (Also useful for ski shuttles, just saying)

Some runs had a lot of guys with additional carloads... other guys kinda rotated through occasionally. Attrition has reduced the trips and participants huge. One guy snapped his hip, one guys kid got married, stopped obeying dad and dropped out, another is getting old enough he only want to go out for great trips... most trips aint great,,, they are reconnaissance... My saving goto guy is my kid, bold and bigger than me so I trust that if he can get into it, I can get outagain... but hes a leadman techy and all the farmers and waterpumpers eat up his one day a week all spring/summer so much I am gaining weight.

Good bikes are cheaper than ever, pay more than you really want to, they last longer than skis and you get a lot more for your money. Don't buy carbon, thats for millionaires who throw the bikes away every year. Don't buy a full on downhill, you will want to actually pedal it occasionally and downhill bikes ain't for pedalling. Much less for grunting 5 miles up a hill somewhere. The 29er are cool, BIG disc brakes are smoking hot, you can't go down anything faster than you can stop. I seen people try though.

Go places NOT for mtn biking if the trail crews actually didn't know how to make good trails, here our trails were well done, with a little tiny catapillar tracked dingus trail building tool, very quick and about 2 -3 foot wide trail results, good for man and beast. But places that attract horsemen, or (shudder) motor trail enthusiasts can be GRAND bike trails. Go anywhere there is no trail. No trails at all means no signs forbidding riding. BLM land is great for this. Wilderness sucks, AVOID Kali and move to someplace with little or NO Wilderness Zones. Like Idaho and Nevada.Utah. Free States. If you have doubts which are free, check prostitution,various gamboling and armed carry laws. The fewer you find, the more free it will be overall. If hurried, just walk into a state law library. The bigger it is, the worse. If it has more than one entrance, run away. Fast.

It can also help if you move either west, if you are in the flatlands or East/north if you are in Kali. Flatlands people ride road bikes and Kalis are prohibited from riding off official platted trail with Big Signs and an On-Duty Lifeguard Team.

Re: Maybe I'll invest in a mountain bike again

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:50 pm
by MikeK
The GT was not so great. Was too stiff in the rear. Was too heavy in the front. I didn't sit on the seat unless I was climbing though.

I bought a half wuss bike a few years ago, it was a Specialized Crosstrail Disc and I liked it quite a bit. It was a MTB with with 700C tires. A pretty good compromise for a city dweller who goes offroad about 50/50. If I rode it like a real MTB I'm sure I would have bent the rims or not been able to climb steep stuff, but it was OK. I liked the brakes (disc), the front shock was lockable for the road, and the frame was light and forgiving. Someone stole that from me and I ended up with another Specialized, this time a no disc or suspension or knobs on the tires. A full-on wuss bike ;)

I gave up the smokes a couple years back about the time I got back into skiing away from lifts. Increased aerobic capacity made me gravitate back to sports where I actually have to work to enjoy them vs. motors and lifts.

I'd not buy a full on DH bike - they've become insane with the travel. Back when I was really into MTB a DH bike was what a FS XC bike is today, maybe less. I wouldn't even go FS. Too much clap-trap. Even a chainring set is probably overkill - I could probably get away with a single and 8-9 spd cassette if I sized it right.

I feel like some bikes got worse though. I used to really like Cannondale, and had my heart set on buying one, but I didn't like any of the new ones.