I rode that on a unicycle!
LOL!...OK, of course I didn't really, but your statement is somewhat the point of my original post. Most of us like to make that "I rode gnarly trail X on a 22lb. XC hardtail" type of statement, but was that really the best tool for the job? Would a rider have more fun on a 30lb. 5" bike on that same trail because he would be able to "get a little air" or "go a little faster" or "take a gnarlier line", or just have a better "yeehaw" factor? I'm talking about using the "most" bike that still allows a rider to actually ride the whole gnarly trail business when racing is not the issue. I posted a comment on this on another post on this forum concerning the Superlight I used to own as compared to the Nomad I now ride.
Originally Posted by doubletalkin
I think maybe my intent in my original post wasn't clear enough in explaining which way I was headed. I think today's bikes classified as AM are bikes that reflect the "most" bike that one needs to do everything from reasonably easy trail riding to doing reasonably challenging drops, jumps, and such without requiring a full-on FR bike. I believe the important contribution of the AM bike is that it allows a much wider spectrum of riding than the XC or FR bike, so I guess I'm saying that the bike does play a very large factor in the level of difficulty and ease with which a rider can tackle terrain.
On the unicycle comment, I'm sure most of us have seen some of these guys do the North Shore or Moab on one...crazy stuff for sure. Some riders get much satisfaction in being able to use less bike to do more aggressive riding. There's obviously nothing wrong with that if that's what excites that particular rider. I guess I equate this to the selection of a firearm for military action. A foot soldier could be issued a .22 caliber rifle or an elephant gun when obviously something in the middle would be a better choice. And maybe Wyatt Earp could have cleaned up Tombstone with a baseball bat. The capability of many of these AM bikes just gives most riders a little (or maybe a lot) more firepower when riding without having to pedal the weight of a howitzer.
Originally Posted by TNC
Spot on - I was just being an awkward ass in my last post .
Any bike will do, just some are more suited than others. I broke my Spec Epic twice on the type of trails pictured + went though a set of bearings every 4-5 months thanks to the damp UK trails. Now I have a bike that is more suited (cause it's British [frame forks and brakes]) and I have more fun.
Main point GET OUT AND RIDE THE TRAILS, just avoid the boggy ones (trail not too far from my home town):
nicked from here
ride hard take risks
Originally Posted by doubletalkin
OMG...man, the next time anyone complains about riding in some mud, we need to post up this pic...LOL!
Hahaha love that mud bog shot.
The bike or the riding.... well it's about how you use the terrain and your bike. 6" of travel, stiff frame/fork and BIG low PSI tires all allow you to hold a line at speed over rough terrain where lesser bikes would have to slow down and pick their way though. For me, my 4" travel bike was way too limiting and when I just spent the last hour climbing from 6000ft to 7700ft I really want to enjoy my 10 mins of DH.
Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.
I didn't read everyones reply but it's all about the riding. That said, you need to have the right bike to take it all from jumps to drops to climbs to steep downhills.
more thoughts on AM
I think doubletalkin's pics say 1000 words to this topic, and that he and others have got the jist of what All mountain means.
I'll add a few thoughts on my take on what AM means to me:
- doing all-day rides in variety of terrain. There could be rough, rock staircase-descents, steep rollers, long climbs, tech climbing, mountain-top views, pack a lunch, enjoy the view, maybe get above treeline and see some snow.
- An xc bike would be great except it would be too steep for the tech descents and I'd be worried about ovalizing the headtube after repeated rough descents with discs and 5" fork.
- A FR bike's weight would keep me slow on the flat or uphill terrain, would be less responsive in the twisty stuff, sap my energy earlier, accelerate slower, and I couldn't keep the front end down on steep climbs.
- I pick full suspension because I can ride longer with the extra forgiveness a rear shock provides.
- I choose singlepivot (heckler) for extra reliability in backcountry situations or on roadtrips. Less pivots, less moving parts, less things to go wrong. Simple.
I used to do rides like this back in the early 90's on my rigid bike, but I wouldn't go as far nor as fast as I do on my Heckler, plus I'm not as beat up at the end.
There was a spirit to the older days of mtb/atb riding - one of exploration and getting "out there", much as hikers do. We'd ride to get up to some lake, jump in, have some lunch and ride back. Maybe we'd stop at an old trapper's hut on the way back, or maybe we'd pull out the topo map and see where the other trails may lead us.
To me, AM is indeed coming back to the original mtb spirit, whilst I see FR to be more like rock-climbing whereby one is honing skills and solving puzzles all the time. Or like whitewater vs sea kayaking - one is about thrillseeking, and the other is about exploring. Both stimulate the participant in different ways. XC seems to be more about laptimes, HR and doing the same loop in less time, but you don't stop to take picture so much as you note your max HR and how much you stayed the big ring etc.
This is from a southern British Columbia perspective, though I've riden Fruita, Colorado, and Washington State.
Originally Posted by islander
Spot on! All mountain = All round (or xc/trail as it was once known)