View Poll Results: All mountain in your 40s (serious but not)

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  • Yes. I rock. Screw the outcome! Bring on the pain.

    31 18.90%
  • Yes... But I back off and still take a few chances.

    101 61.59%
  • More conservative. I have a mortgage and kids. But I like to make believe with a long travel bike.

    29 17.68%
  • It hurts too much. I ride XC now and I like it. Advil and Viagra are my riding partners.

    5 3.05%
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  1. #1
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    All mountain middle aged question

    So, in your mid 40s you still want to stick it. It hurts more and you have to be realistic. How many riders think it's really still in them. I am in my mid 40s and wonder if I should continue. I love it but it's getting harder.

    When to back off?

    Just thoughts, not a heavy debate.

  2. #2
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    I just turned 45 don't seem to be slowing down. In fact I have really progressed in the past few years by hitting Whistler regularly. I often see guys decades older than me out in the woods with full armor and FR bikes. Maybe it's genetics or the B.C. water, as my dad is 85 and still downhill skiing.

  3. #3
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    At 28 I'm often blown away by guys in their 40's playing big ring king on the way up and absolutely pinging it on the way down.
    So long as you're not leaving grandpa diapers trailside; Shred the gnar old man!!!
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  4. #4
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    Late 50s here so I didn't vote but #2 is where I am at, I look at it this way I want to be able to ride tomorrow & going to continue until I can't.

  5. #5
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Back side of 40 here, still rock it AM. I use my experience to my advantage and know when I should ride and when to walk. My main concideration is longevity, I have too many other sports/life I like and wish to participate in for many years yet. Its a lot harder the older you get to keep the edge sharp. Don't heal like I used to and have to work out harder for the same benefit.

    I am finding that I like many kinds of riding, lately I really dig my Pugsley and looking forward to some snow riding. I end up going out by myself a lot because it is hard to hook up with the bros any more. I love to ride in a group but now also solo as well. When I do go AM rolling I pro up, particular if I go AM by myself. I am as much a XC rider as anything. A buddy calls it soul riding, for the love of being in motion no matter what it is.

    Snow should be here soon.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottybinwv
    ....... A buddy calls it soul riding, for the love of being in motion no matter what it is.
    Man I like that concept. Getting my moto on tomorrow, but got my pedal on early today.

  7. #7
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    C'mon, look at all the equipment we're fortunate enough to have access to! With the present state of the evolution of the mountain bike, we're lovin' it regardless of age.

    I'm 49 in a month and mountain biking at a relatively hardcore level is exactly what keeps me feeling considerably younger than that. Sure, my mind won't allow me to do some of the things I did 20 years ago, but I don't really get down the trails any slower - just with fewer landings. Personally, I'm excited about this new trend towards trails that maximize "flow". Why would anyone not want to be part of the next 10 years? It's just getting interesting.

  8. #8
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    41 in a month. Into pretty serious Freeride at the moment. I have taken it slow. I am doc, so know well the ramifications of injury. About 4 years of Whistler progression, and I think I will peak in another 2 years. I am in no rush to do crazy things, but feel fully capable when I do try new drops. I have looked at some lines for 3 years, and only just hit them this last summer. Age isn't so much the issue, it is attitude. If you were the guy that crashed his car in high school, you may not be cautious enough for 'over 40 progression'. If you are cautious by nature, then you probably do not need to ask the question in the first place, do you?
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  9. #9
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    Stoked to hear the responses!

  10. #10
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    I ride a tough rigid singlespeed, so even the smaller stuff at lower speeds feels like something.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    Touch 40 this year... my riding has never been better ever since getting onto burlier bikes. On rare occasions when I put a leg over XC bikes... amaze myself at how much faster I was compared to before.

    But recovery is surely a lot slower....it just forces me to relook at things more carefully and take calculated risk before attempting stuffs. Over I would say it improves my riding rather than make me ride less. In fact I believe my technical skills are much better now than ever. Of course it also helps to have overbuilt bikes to take the hits instead of the body

  12. #12
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    I'm 43 and am can hold my own. Matter of fact, I feel like I'm in better shape that I was in my thirties.

  13. #13
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    44 yo old and my first year of MTBing. Do group rides twice a week and the rest of the time I go solo. When I ride myself its on the side of caution but when I'm with the group thats another story. I love passing guys half my age on climbs and really like to hear "man you are crazy...you are going to kill yourself". I was a "runner" most of my life and took up riding becasue of the knees starting to go...glad I did...I've never looked back...the only regret I have is I didn't start riding years ago

  14. #14
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    45 and still enjoy riding everything I did in my 20s. If anything, the trails I ride today are more diverse and challenging. But escapism is my main goal in riding, not adrenaline or big air. I've gotten jacked up in other two-wheeled sports and it is something I try to avoid.
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  15. #15
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    44 and still riding the same trails plus even more difficult ones. I have always been more of a xc type of rider though. When I do screw up it takes on average 6 months to heal now! I popped a ligament or tendon on my elbow over a year ago that is just now back to normal. Worst part? I did it on a downhill section without crashing or even a bobble! An honest to goodness JRA lol

  16. #16
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    Get busy living or get busy dieing. Go as big as you want.

  17. #17
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    At 43, I decided to jump back in after being away for a long time (about 12 years)...was heavy into bodybuilding and then just got bored of it...so now I have the mass of a linebacker on a mountain bike. Biking getting me to do cardio again and just took the leap into clipless shoes now. I figure I might as well feel the same if the bike goes down as the bike.

    Feels good to fly past young guys half my age on the trails. No jumps for me, but bring on the trails. I continue to move up the scale of technical...and grabbed a 2011 SJ FSR 29er comp to help me on my way. Still popping asprin before I go, but alot less now!
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  18. #18
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    It's more about how much you ride than age.

    I was about at my peak climbing speed and endurance in my late 40's and gradually have slowed. But my slowing is mainly due to riding shorter distances than the all day "epics" I did then nearly every weekend.

    Nearing 60 in a few months from now, I ride difficult downhill better than ever, maybe not quite as carelessly, but with better technique. Better suspension now is a big factor too. But I have noticed climbing is slowing more since age 55, but I'm also riding less distance so I can't blame that all on age. I enjoy and feel better riding by taking a break for a day between harder rides.

  19. #19
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    I'll be 48 in a little over a month, and on days I feel good I ride as well as I ever did.

    In my case, the fact of the matter is that I have condition which causes at times severe tendinitis and other connective tissue pain. That limits me far more than age at this stage of my life and "riding" career.
    If you go looking for trouble, you can be sure it's gaining from behind.

  20. #20
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    My forties were a very good decade for me,took up DH at 45 and did very well at Nationals and regional events in expert,open and a few pro races,absolutely fell love with speed,jumps and drops.I'f anything I think you become more fearless with age.I just turned 54 ride four or more days a week mostly AM,with some FR ad DH thrown in.I am still addicted to jumps especially high speed sender table tops and big doubles.and will continue to do so as long as my body can bare it.

  21. #21
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    I was riding my favorite AM spot when I met a guy this summer who was in his 50's. He was riding a 100mm Kona and I was riding a 140mm Giant. Others were riding DH rigs. I never did catch up to him after meeting him at the trailhead.
    I'm going to rob banks til I retire or get caught. Either way I'm set for life

  22. #22
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    I'm 53 and started mtb'ing at 47. I'd not be enjoying life anywhere near I do if I didnt.

  23. #23
    Tree Crasher
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    45 last September. Inside my helmet there's a hairline crack and my gloves were just replaced because of the OTBs I continue to do. My DJ bike is arriving this Friday. I do heavy weight training three times a week so the hip bone stays connected to the leg bone.
    CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear

  24. #24
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    45 here, I usually ride my ''Freeride'' turner highline, but this winter time, I started riding my "hardtail" all mountain/freeride bike, and despite everything 'they' say about being painful to take drops and hits, I feel great! the riding is totally different, I believe is making me a better rider, and the important part... I'm having tons of fun. I always called myself not a 'freerider' but a "funrider" ...that's what it's all about....

  25. #25
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    46 started riding mtb 5yrs ago just bought a 2011 stumpy evo love the all mountain side off riding started doing jumps and more step stuff and have the scares to prove it growing old disgracefully

  26. #26
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    Hit 43 in January. Finally got a DH rig built up a couple years ago, and can't get enough of freeriding and DH. My goal is to have the control and edge I had in my late 20's riding BMX and street. Getting there, made huge strides this summer. In fact, I have the skills - it's more a mental thing. But, I still have doing the AM thing and teaching my new wife how to ride. Anybody that mentions FUN is on the right course, and it's all relative of course.
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  27. #27
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    Although I am only 30, I think that we are all in the same boat (ie people with wives, mortgages, responsibilities, etc) I honestly think that age isnt very important these days due to the technology on the bikes. These AM FS bikes can really make life easier. The uphills will always hurt, but in a good cardio way. Now the dh and techy stuff is what can make the body ache, but with an am rig that really pads what would otherwise be some achy bones the next day. I basically ride xc with an am rig just because I think it is fun and like the extra cushion I have. I will never push my bike to its limits and I am cool with that, I just enjoy riding the trails fast and going over stuff vs. around. I put lighter wheels and went tubeless to make my pitch lighter cause I want the best of both worlds, slacker geo on a somewhat light trailbike.

  28. #28
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    Hope Hear, hear!

    Couldn't have said it better myself. At 58, approaching 59, my climbing is slowing down, but I took up DH and FR three years ago and it is just flat-out fun. I do not go downhill as fast as the age group I ride with - 20 to 30 year-olds, but I always live to ride the next day. It is like sex at this age; more about quality than quantity.

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    It's more about how much you ride than age.

    I was about at my peak climbing speed and endurance in my late 40's and gradually have slowed. But my slowing is mainly due to riding shorter distances than the all day "epics" I did then nearly every weekend.

    Nearing 60 in a few months from now, I ride difficult downhill better than ever, maybe not quite as carelessly, but with better technique. Better suspension now is a big factor too. But I have noticed climbing is slowing more since age 55, but I'm also riding less distance so I can't blame that all on age. I enjoy and feel better riding by taking a break for a day between harder rides.
    The reason dogs have so many friends is that they wag their tail instead of their tongues.

  29. #29
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    I'm 45 and in better shape than anytime since I played football as a teenager. Hiking and mountainbiking are the only exercise I get. I have zero aches and pains so far.

  30. #30
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    @ 44 better understanding of technique so I can get my chicken skin on! Went back to my old bmx roots and mindset with flat pedals 4 yrs ago and have been having a great time on my mtb and bmx! I do have to say I quit road riding and racing altogether. Feel more comfortable in the air than on roads with cars.

  31. #31
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    i'm 49 now, yes recovery is longer, bones more brittle, ligaments more tender, but the fun & thrills haven't changed... Feel as though i'm cheating Mother Time. I mean, wtf is an old guy doing barreling through the woods, grinning his grill ear to ear as if he's 21 yrs old ? Yes, enjoying this greatest of individual outdoor sports.

  32. #32
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    I'm 42 and not as fast as I was 15 yrs. ago, but can still hold my own. One upside to getting older is that I can afford more Mountain bikes.

  33. #33
    Toadfather
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    At 47 I ride just as hard and often as I did at 35...it just takes longer to recover now. One thing I have noticed is that, due to the amazing improvement in bike suspension and brakes over the last fifteen years, I am going alot faster (and on rougher terrain) downhill than I did in my thirties, and I feel safer and more in control doing it.

    Life is just too short, so ride hard while you still can.

  34. #34
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    So glad I posted this.

    I have been beating the poop out of my trail bike and road a few all mountain bikes in September. Really dug them and I came from a gravity/freeride background. Many of my buddies have fallen away from riding and sometimes you ask yourself if you should back off.

    Mind you at 46, I am only throwing 3-4 foot drops at some nice speed and I can climb strong plus I still bomb downhill tech. Yes, recovery is the hard stuff. Pulls and back pain keep me grounded as to how hard I can still hit it.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betarad
    C'mon, look at all the equipment we're fortunate enough to have access to! With the present state of the evolution of the mountain bike, we're lovin' it regardless of age.

    I'm 49 in a month and mountain biking at a relatively hardcore level is exactly what keeps me feeling considerably younger than that. Sure, my mind won't allow me to do some of the things I did 20 years ago, but I don't really get down the trails any slower - just with fewer landings. Personally, I'm excited about this new trend towards trails that maximize "flow". Why would anyone not want to be part of the next 10 years? It's just getting interesting.
    Ditto (on the age too). Well said Betarad. I could cut and paste your response verbatim and it describes where I'm at as well.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  36. #36
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    I placed my vote on number two but it seems like there should be another category in between #1 and #2.

    Option 1.5: The consequences of crashing cross my mind more often than they used to but I don't let most things hold me back. In fact, I still feel like I'm progressing.
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  37. #37
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    I am just getting into this whole 40s thing, but I already wear more armor and think longer before committing.
    But fun will still be there - just a bit less of a silly variety of it.

  38. #38
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    Am 44....just got back into Mountain bikes, looking for an All Mountain machine and am planning Shuttle runs when Queenstown opens on Jan. 24th(my birthday)
    **** Looking for a Sram 9.0SL rear hub *****

  39. #39
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    we can afford to replace what we brake now. In my eary 20's: body healed cheaper than bike. in my 40's bike heals cheaper than body. But either way it is all good. keep riding

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    I placed my vote on number two but it seems like there should be another category in between #1 and #2.

    Option 1.5: The consequences of crashing cross my mind more often than they used to but I don't let most things hold me back. In fact, I still feel like I'm progressing.
    I agree with KRob; My vote is for 1.5 ............Drew

  41. #41
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    I am enjoying reading the responses in this thread. I'm a wee youngster at 37. I still kick myself for waiting until I was 30 before buying my first mountain bike. I am still learning and don't see any sign of a horizon yet. I'm glad that neither do most of you it seems.

    I can't imagine a life without riding my bike. Bingo will never do it for me.

  42. #42
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    What a great thread

    I am 45 (just turned) and am riding a new 6" AM bike.

    I started mtbing on a rigid cromo bike in 1990 and then progressed to a full sus Cdale Super V in 1997. Rode and raced the super V for years. Then life got in the way and I drifted away for years. My trusty steed always ready and willing but getting long in the tooth.

    I am very fortunate that I had friends that I rode with years ago that never drifted away from the sport and waited patiently for me to return. Early this year I decided I needed to get back on my bike. I broke my old Cdale out and boy was it tired and I decided I needed a new bike. At first I was looking light weight pure xc. Then I kinda rethought it and decide to look at 5+ AM bikes.

    Spent quite a while researching and building up my bike. Now I am done and am so happy I made the decision to go big and AM.

    Regarding riding at 45; I can honestly say that I have never had more fun or pushed harder than I do now. I am a different person than I used to be. Though I am older and certainly aware of repair time, I also have become keenly aware of just how short life can be and that I need to make every day a great day. Life is too short to sit on a couch. I truly relish any day I can get out and push myself on the ups harder than I thought possible and bomb the downs with speed that I never had as a 30 year old.

    The new AM bikes have opened up a world of mountain biking that is pure fun. I am addicted all over again and cant wait to get out again and feel the burn on the ups or the air on the downs. I will ride as long as I am physically able.

    OH, and that 1997 Cannondale. My son and I just finished a complete rebuild of this bike. Now it is his and we ride together.

    45 and faster than ever. Willing to endure more pain than I thought possible when I was younger and truly valuing each day I get to ride.

    If not for my friends and AM bikes, I may not have gotten back into the sport.

    Bring it!!

  43. #43
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    Going on 40 here.

    I'm trying to be more cautious, being a new dad and all.

    But... having said that, I make bad decisions just like everyone else.

    In my case, age and experience has not deterred me in making a spectacular display of gross incompetence every once in a while:


    wait for it....


    Snare drums and cymbals.

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betarad
    C'mon, look at all the equipment we're fortunate enough to have access to! With the present state of the evolution of the mountain bike, we're lovin' it regardless of age.

    I'm 49 in a month and mountain biking at a relatively hardcore level is exactly what keeps me feeling considerably younger than that. Sure, my mind won't allow me to do some of the things I did 20 years ago, but I don't really get down the trails any slower - just with fewer landings. Personally, I'm excited about this new trend towards trails that maximize "flow". Why would anyone not want to be part of the next 10 years? It's just getting interesting.

    same here, i could not have said it better.

  45. #45
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    Just turned 49, and I'm working on turning it up a notch. Rode my Heckler/Lyrik at Winter Park a few times, and I'm building a bigger bike over the winter to be able to hit the blacks harder. Additionally, I'm comtemplating signing up for the Breckinridge 100 for next July - a couple of my younger friends (mid 40s) have done so, and I can't let those young whippersnappers show me up.

  46. #46
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    I wish I was in my forties. I'm 64 have an AM bike. No more all out downhills for me after a bad fall and a trip to the ICU for 4 days.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBowles
    I'm 42 and am can hold my own. Matter of fact, I feel like I'm in better shape that I was in my thirties.
    ditto, I feel like i'm progressing faster than I ever have. I don't see myself stopping anytime soon, god willing.
    nothing witty here...

  48. #48
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    All I've ever known is riding in my 40's. I started at age 40 and I'm now 49. I was pure XC to start and have evolved to all mountain / lite freeride / DH lite. I just ordered a pair of Five Tens to wear with a pair of flats that I purchased and am hoping the change from clipless pedals will allow me to progress farther into the freeride / DH genre. One thing I've noticed though, the more aggressive I ride the younger my riding partners are getting. I'm definitely the old man of the bunch.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grave9
    I agree with KRob; My vote is for 1.5 ............Drew
    Ditto - I'm somewhere in between. I still like to hit it hard sometimes, I just stop to think about what I'm doing more often.

  50. #50
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    40 here and although I don't take the chances I did at one time, I still like to get airborne. I recently just built a DJ bike to go along with my AM bike to change up my riding. Still nothing like hitting a set of doubles and flying through the air.
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