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Thread: AM or XC?

  1. #1
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    AM or XC?

    Can someone please explain the difference to me?

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    Are you taking the piss?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_g33k
    Can someone please explain the difference to me?

    Yeah I was wondering the same thing. I have been out of the loop for to long I guess....

  4. #4
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    All-Mountain is much more fun than Cross Country!!! That's the only difference you need to know.

    ALL-MOUNTAIN!!!!!!
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    Ok, for those who really interested and still confused, here is explanation:

    AM = http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/
    XC = http://forums.mtbr.com/xc-racing-training/

    As you can see it's realy easy to get confused, they are pretty much the same except 115 vs. 59, go figure.

    For those who still can't feel the difference, please look for more details here:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-corner/

    Happy riding.

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    xc(cross country) you generally go from point a to point b as fast as you can.
    xc bikes are usually hardtails (front suspension only) with 3-4 inches travel or full suspenion (suspenision front and back) with 3-4 inches of travel front and rear.

    am(all mountain) you ride more technical trails, go of jumps, and drops.
    am bikes are usualy full suspension with around 6 inches of travel btu some have hard tails too

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    If someone curious about equipment, then please follow these links:

    XC = http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...94517#poststop
    AM = Mean All-Mountain Bigots!

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    "All mountain is heavy duty cross country.

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    ... and if we just ... It's all in the legs...

    AM = hairy, unshaved legs that will take you to the top of the hill and back down again.

    XC = silky smooth shaved legs that will take you to the top of the hill and back down again.


  10. #10
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    The trails that you ride on an AM bike are usually very similar to a XC bike but more playing around usually and more about the fun of riding moreso than racing/training.

    AM bikes have more travel, slacker geometry, heavier bikes, little burlier depending on the finesse of the ride. They're like a lay-z-boy...

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    All Mountain means you would rather yeild to the guy coming down the hill instead of the guy coming up the hill or maybe that's just me.

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    ALL-Mountain is for guys who don't have the balls for freeriding or the fitness for xc.

    JUST KIDDING!

    Hard to draw a line-xc bikers, bikes and trails have really pushed the limits over the last few years--The Hairiest downhill portions of South Mountain in AZ seem to me to be more than xc--is this the heart of All-mountain?? Though, xc skills are pretty handy getting up to National, now aren't they.

    The confusion between xc/all-mountain and the sometime rancor of definition is in part due to the fact that there are two sources of ALL_MOUNTAIN categorization. The Bike Industry defining a product line and actual Mountain Bikers defining their type of riding.

    The Industry seems to want to put a hard-line, equipment based definition on All-mountain (for reasons that need no elaboration), All mountain riders know that regardless of type of bike used, they seem to be engaging in something slightly divergent from the biking ethos of their hard core racing buddies.

    That's my take anyway.

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    Just seems to me these days that XC is all about superlightweight bikes and racing. I know there is a recreational side to XC too, but a lot of these guys are all about speed and punishing themselves too I know, I have a few friends like that and I rarely ride with them anymore.

    I see AM as being less speed and more fun oriented. Most trails I ride would be fine on a lightweight XC race bike, often quicker overall, but harder work and ultimately less fun (or should I say MY definition of fun). So I ride a sturdy 6x6 AM trailbike and have loads of fun, no racing, no trying to beat anyone. The group I ride with think the same way and ride similar bikes.
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  14. #14
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    What about those who go as fast as possible for as long as possible, but also stop to try technical sections over and over and over... with a good portions of jumps, drops, bridges, steep chutes and drop offs....

    Would that make us All Mountain XC'ers??

    As Nat from IMBA once told me... its all mountain biking.

  15. #15
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    You have to live All-Mountain to truly understand it's definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozz
    What about those who go as fast as possible for as long as possible, but also stop to try technical sections over and over and over... with a good portions of jumps, drops, bridges, steep chutes and drop offs....

    .
    That's just crazy talk! What do you take two or three bikes with you to accomplish that?! Crazy talk I says!
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    Weeeee I'm having so much fun.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan
    ALL-Mountain is for guys who don't have the balls for freeriding or the fitness for xc.

    That defines me pretty well!!

  19. #19
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    So let's paraphrase:

    XC:

    • Shaves legs

    • Less then 6" ... (travel)

    • Little nuts
    • Weight Weenie

    • Training for racing

    • Speed/time concious

    • Thinks about things like Cadence

    • Drinks water in the parking lot



    AM:
    • Hairy Legs

    • Heavy bikes

    • At least 6" ... (travel)

    • All Balls

    • 3 1/2 hours for 12 mi....who gives a sh1t

    • Riding so they can drink more beer w/o gaining weight

    • Thinks about things like that chick that just rode by

    • Drinks beer in the parking lot



    Jk...on a serious note I think I get it. Seems like XC guys are more in the "lifestyle" and are training, concerned about weight and speed. Therefore super technical stuff doesn't really fit in. Nor does the heavy bike that makes the ride comfy. The AM guys are out just for a good time...to ride. Who cares how heavy your bike is or how long it takes to get to the top cuz your just out to have a good time. I guess I fall into the AM range. I think about speed and getting in shape but for no reason other than for me. I could care less about winning a race. I just want to have fun and hang out with cool people. If my new handlebars are heavier then the ones I have now, but are more comfortable...who cares. I guess I will get stronger going up the hill now, or on a positve note, I will go faster down the hill now that I weigh more!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_g33k
    AM:
    • Hairy Legs

    • Heavy bikes

    • At least 6" ... (travel)

    • All Balls

    • 3 1/2 hours for 12 mi....who gives a sh1t

    • Riding so they can drink more beer w/o gaining weight

    • Thinks about things like that chick that just rode by

    • Drinks beer in the parking lot
    At first I took your question as troll went for fishing, especially after all ugly discussions on the same subject that flooded this forums. But now I'm quite impress, this is the best list to define AM I have seen, and no kidding here.

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    All Mountain describes a bike ride that includes usually some X/C riding and usually some steep climbs and descents up and down all or most of a MOUNTAIN and not usaually on a road ( this eliminates TDF mountain stage)

    X/C describes a bike ride that includes some flats, hills and some climbs and decents, not normally including a large chunk of a mountain often in a timed race seting.

    Some bikes are better suited to one or the other styles of riding, and hence pick up that designation.

    I like riding my X/C bike on All Mountain rides because it is easier to push up the steep sections and still has enough frame stength and squish to take the ride down.

    Apologies to those who ride All Mountain when ther are not in the mountians??

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    I thought an AM pipe was a steep trail with High sides going down a mountain.

    So what do I know?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_g33k
    So let's paraphrase:

    XC:

    • Shaves legs

    • Less then 6" ... (travel)

    • Little nuts
    • Weight Weenie

    • Training for racing

    • Speed/time concious

    • Thinks about things like Cadence

    • Drinks water in the parking lot



    AM:
    • Hairy Legs

    • Heavy bikes

    • At least 6" ... (travel)

    • All Balls

    • 3 1/2 hours for 12 mi....who gives a sh1t

    • Riding so they can drink more beer w/o gaining weight

    • Thinks about things like that chick that just rode by

    • Drinks beer in the parking lot



    Jk...on a serious note I think I get it. Seems like XC guys are more in the "lifestyle" and are training, concerned about weight and speed. Therefore super technical stuff doesn't really fit in. Nor does the heavy bike that makes the ride comfy. The AM guys are out just for a good time...to ride. Who cares how heavy your bike is or how long it takes to get to the top cuz your just out to have a good time. I guess I fall into the AM range. I think about speed and getting in shape but for no reason other than for me. I could care less about winning a race. I just want to have fun and hang out with cool people. If my new handlebars are heavier then the ones I have now, but are more comfortable...who cares. I guess I will get stronger going up the hill now, or on a positve note, I will go faster down the hill now that I weigh more!

    I thought XC was 4 inches of travel. For example Blur XC and Titus RacerX
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  24. #24
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    ok, everyone talks about how XC is less dangerous, and how AM requires bigger BALLS but that really isnt the case, because when you hit the trails, they are not categorized as "Cross Country" or "All Mountain". Both type riders hit the same exact trail while still hitting every curb, climb, and drop... The only difference is that XC involves a state of mind that makes you worry about Time, Endurance, weight, Bike weight, and eating/drinking habbits, but thats only so you could ride better/faster next time over than the last. All Mountain has to come accross the same exact climb, drop... just that they like to "get more air" and perfect that more extreme part of the trail by doing over, and over without worrying about "time" "endurance" and things of that nature.

    So, the differences really dont have to do with how you look, or ride because in the long run every XC'er just halled ass by where that AM'er keeps on busting his ass over and over. Its just the way you practice, and worry about... whether it's " I gotta beat yesterdays time" or "oh ****, i landed that better than i did last week"

    This could all be just my opinion, but thats how i personally see a difference.

  25. #25
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    I can answer this thread in two pictures

    AM Rider=

    XC Rider=
    Last edited by mud'n'sweat; 07-21-2006 at 04:42 PM.

  26. #26
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    wow...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReD_tomato
    wow...
    Calm down sparky, it was a joke. Stick around more than a post or two and you just may get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mud'n'sweat
    Calm down sparky, it was a joke. Stick around more than a post or two and you just may get it.
    joke? ha, ha... it was actually funnier when you had posted a pic of your nerdy self holding a MountainDew bottle... as "ALL MOUNTAIN" but then you edited and posted poor Yoda...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReD_tomato
    joke? ha, ha... it was actually funnier when you had posted a pic of your nerdy self holding a MountainDew bottle... as "ALL MOUNTAIN" but then you edited and posted poor Yoda...
    The kid holding the dew was huge. Yoda worked better

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReD_tomato
    ok, everyone talks about how XC is less dangerous, and how AM requires bigger BALLS but that really isnt the case, because when you hit the trails, they are not categorized as "Cross Country" or "All Mountain". Both type riders hit the same exact trail while still hitting every curb, climb, and drop... The only difference is that XC involves a state of mind that makes you worry about Time, Endurance, weight, Bike weight, and eating/drinking habbits, but thats only so you could ride better/faster next time over than the last. All Mountain has to come accross the same exact climb, drop... just that they like to "get more air" and perfect that more extreme part of the trail by doing over, and over without worrying about "time" "endurance" and things of that nature.

    So, the differences really dont have to do with how you look, or ride because in the long run every XC'er just halled ass by where that AM'er keeps on busting his ass over and over. Its just the way you practice, and worry about... whether it's " I gotta beat yesterdays time" or "oh ****, i landed that better than i did last week"

    This could all be just my opinion, but thats how i personally see a difference.
    Yep, thats more or less nailed it i recon. Its not to say XC isn't fun, it is, but there are many many more factors too. To simplify it:

    XC = efficiency in (funnily enough) crossing country on a bike.
    AM = more thrill/freedom seeking and much less competative.

    Having said that, when i started riding years ago there were really only two defined categories purely based on bike types and racing formats - XC and DH. Anything in between was just plain old mountain bike riding. Thats still the way i see it to this day (although 'freeriding' is somewhat specialised now i guess) and i personally try to dismiss all these marketing segmentations and just ride.

    As for XC'er not having balls thats just... well... balls. I've been to a number of races and seen guys with little protection decend pretty bloody technical sections at very fast pace only to then punish themselves on the uphill sections, all in the name of efficiency. Doing that for a few hours non-stop, IMO, takes balls and serious dedication.

    My 2c.

  31. #31
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    where would you guys put these two bikes

    06 specialized fsr stumpjumper
    06 santa cruz heckler

    just curious
    Last edited by Jordansrealm; 07-21-2006 at 10:43 PM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordansrealm
    where would you guys put these two bikes

    06 specialized fsr stumpjumper
    06 santa cruz heckler

    just curious
    stumpjumper-xc
    heckler- AM
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  33. #33
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    All Mountain = XC with medium sized hucks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    now, go dig a giant **** and bury your dumb ass in it....

  34. #34
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    AM is XC
    AM was thought up of cause some punk didnt like being tossed in XC and getting associated with wearing lycra. Then some marketer said it was the latest cool thing and bike companies jumped in and so did riders.

    Just ride your bike and who cares what other ppl call it.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    AM is XC
    AM was thought up of cause some punk didnt like being tossed in XC and getting associated with wearing lycra. Then some marketer said it was the latest cool thing and bike companies jumped in and so did riders.

    Just ride your bike and who cares what other ppl call it.
    exactly!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReD_tomato
    Both type riders hit the same exact trail while still hitting every curb, climb, and drop...
    I would disagree... most xcers don't seek out technically challenging trails. Also, I've seen hordes of lycra-clad xcers carrying their bikes up and down tech sections... I don't ride everything I see, but the attitude is to improve my skills so that I eventually can. Xcers don't practice jumping, dropping, tech riding, etc... and I don't see them on trails I like to ride much.

    Yes it is just mtbing, with more emphasis on bike skills and adventure than racing or physical conditioning.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    AM is XC
    AM was thought up of cause some punk didnt like being tossed in XC and getting associated with wearing lycra. Then some marketer said it was the latest cool thing and bike companies jumped in and so did riders.

    Just ride your bike and who cares what other ppl call it.
    When I see XC riders do'n med. sized drops (3-4 feet) and small gaps (6-10 feet) I'll call myself an XC rider. Until then I'll consider myself an all mountain rider. If you get off to walk the section or take the bypass trail, that is NOT all mountain. That's SOME of the mountain.
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    now, go dig a giant **** and bury your dumb ass in it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by cranberry
    When I see XC riders do'n med. sized drops (3-4 feet) and small gaps (6-10 feet) I'll call myself an XC rider. Until then I'll consider myself an all mountain rider. If you get off to walk the section or take the bypass trail, that is NOT all mountain. That's SOME of the mountain.
    the day i see a guy with an all-mountain bike do'n med. sized drops (3-4 feet) and small gaps (6-10 feet) i'll call him an all mountain rider. and if he couldn't clean the uphill in the first place because the bike can't climb worth ****, he isn't doing any of the mountain. the day i see a shuttle picture in here i'll know this forum is totally pointless.

    all joking aside, i'm not really being serious here since my next bike will be considered all-mountain (banshee pyre), but here in southern alberta xc rigs and all-mountain rigs do mostly the same trails. and for that matter, so do horses and hikers. i think it all boils down to what you want out of your ride to make you happy.

    (edited for clarification)
    Last edited by xcolin; 07-23-2006 at 04:40 PM. Reason: clarification

  39. #39
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    When I was riding a HT and 23 lb 3" FS with steep geometry a few years back, scaring myself crawling down rocky descents and small drops, I considered myself an XC rider (although I never wore lycra). Now I ride a 33 lb 6x6" FS and attack the descents, small drops and jumps with a big smile across my face, I consider myself more an AM rider

    AM is not all about marketing. All the other categories, including XC, are heavily marketed too. The only difference with AM is that it's newer. There were no 6x6" lightweight trailbikes to market a few years ago. I'd go as far as saying that AM will become the most popular riding/bike category over the coming years. XC is more for racers and those who prefer to keep their wheels firmly on the ground. FR/DH is for the hardcore uplift junkies. Which leaves AM for the average non-competitive trail riders, looking to have fun and improve their technical skills on a wide variety of trails.

    I first realized there was a real difference between AM and XC when I started riding with a different group a couple of years ago. The group I used to ride with were pure XC. Weight and speed meant everything and they all judged their performance based on climbing ability rather than downhill speed. They were all super fit, but none of them (including myself) were particularly good on technical sections, not helped by the compromise in bike choice. Then I met up with the group I now ride with, who are most definitely AM. They ride slightly heavier, longer travel bikes (dare I say AM bikes). They are much better technical riders (which has rubbed off a little on myself). Overall speed is less important than having fun. Technical climbs are still considered a worthy challenge, but the main reason for going up is to blast back down as fast as possible, taking in whatever drops and jumps might be along the way. I think it's quite a different way of riding personally and I wouldn't call it pure XC.

    As a final point it's worth noting that XC riders tend to ride the exact same trails as AM riders, but with a very different attitude and choice of rig!
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  40. #40
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    So, if you're a lycra wearing dude on a 3 inch travel race bike and you occasionally lower your seat and hit doubles with the bike you're an AM rider? Didn't think so.

    AM is about the bike and the look. XC riders have been stopping and sessioning sections for years and years, the only difference now is that there are specific bikes you can buy that are better at the stunts and are light enough for trail riding. It's the equipment that's changed and given us an easier way to identify different rider preferences.

    Labeling someone as an XC rider only just cus he hasn't changed his bike in 3 years is silly. Wait and see how the guy <b>rides</b>. IMO, everyone is riding XC when they're climbing the trails instead of taking the chairlift.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bg.
    So, if you're a lycra wearing dude on a 3 inch travel race bike and you occasionally lower your seat and hit doubles with the bike you're an AM rider? Didn't think so.

    AM is about the bike and the look. XC riders have been stopping and sessioning sections for years and years, the only difference now is that there are specific bikes you can buy that are better at the stunts and are light enough for trail riding. It's the equipment that's changed and given us an easier way to identify different rider preferences.

    Labeling someone as an XC rider only just cus he hasn't changed his bike in 3 years is silly. Wait and see how the guy <b>rides</b>. IMO, everyone is riding XC when they're climbing the trails instead of taking the chairlift.
    AM is about riding style and general attitude to riding. The bike and look just tend to follow along, complementing this attitude.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

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    AM is also about the type of trail you ride, which is also partially a regional thing. Example: a buddy of mine rode an Ellsworth Id which was perfectly matched for our local rocky, rooty technical New England trails. Then he moved to the Bay Area and found that his 30 lb, 5 inch travel bike was not well matched for most of the trails nearest to him, where he was doing lots of big climbs on very smooth trails. So he sold the Id and got a lighter weight, lower travel bike. It's not that his "attitude toward riding" changed, or that he decided to suddenly turn into an "XC rider" -- it was just a matter of picking the right bike for the conditions. An AM bike is all about the design compromises between weight, strength and travel -- if the riding conditions don't demand the strength or travel, then carrying the extra weight is pointless. Similarly, if your local trails are the North Shore, you're probably going to ride a "freeride" bike -- not because you woke up one day and decided to be a "freerider", but because that's the bike best suited for the conditions. Of course if you have a variety of trail types near you, then (lucky you) you can pick what you want to ride based on the "style" of riding you prefer. But in my area, where smooth, easy trails are the exception rather than the rule, AM riding is just riding and AM bikes are just the bikes that work best on the local trails, unless you're actually trying to win an XC race, in which case you ride an XC race bike and just accept getting beat up on the rough stuff as part of the package. Many of the XC racers I know have (at least) two bikes and ride an AM type bike "for fun" and save the XC bike for race day.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jk99
    Then he moved to the Bay Area and found that his 30 lb, 5 inch travel bike was not well matched for most of the trails nearest to him, where he was doing lots of big climbs on very smooth trails.
    I'm sure some other Bay Area people can chime in here...but if he is riding big climbs on very smooth trails that is by choice. I used to live in PA and the rocky climbs and decents out here are more of a challenge to me then what I experienced back home. However I am pushing to ride harder trails out here. I'm sure there are a lot of technical trails back there that require an "AM" bike, however, I don't think it's safe to say that because you live in area X you will need a certain type of bike. People need the bike to fit thier style of riding, not so much the trails. I'm sure I could take an XC bike on some downhill trails up at the ski resorts. Whether or not it would get broken would depend on how hard I rode the bike and whether or not I was walking all kinds of drops etc.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jk99
    AM is also about the type of trail you ride, which is also partially a regional thing. ....... Similarly, if your local trails are the North Shore, you're probably going to ride a "freeride" bike -- not because you woke up one day and decided to be a "freerider", but because that's the bike best suited for the conditions. .....
    Here at the North Shore we have XC races using the same downhill trails that DH racers train on and Freeriders shuttle to. For the BC marathon series and local North Shore races 4ish"X4ish" travel dualies under 27lbs are most common (such as SC Blur, Kona Kikapu, and Rocky Mtn Element (more than ETSX at least on the podium)). So although I don't like to admit it, I guess there is a difference between XC and AM (its not the trail that is different, but the clothing and atitude ). It could also be that XC'ers go faster downhill (speed is number one), but the AM'ers choose the bigger hucks (style is number one), though its not a matter that the biggest hucker has the bigger balls, since I know some non-armoured XC girls who are fast on the tech trails and cause shrinkage in the baggy shorts'ers that they catch.

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    Real AM men shower every 3 days, have beards(and all other bodily hair), and aren't cocky like XC riders.

    Basically we look like we live on the mountain we love to ride.

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    I think it describes the bike more than the style of riding.

    Look at the guy riding the 1986 Cunningham in this thread. He smoked most of the competition on the DH riding on an old school fully rigid HT
    Keysville Pics

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    I think it has less to do with a riders skill than the type of line taken through a given section. The XC rider will generally take the fastest (most efficient) line through a section of trail, while the AM rider will generally take the most fun line. The XC rider may have as good or better bike handling skills as the AM rider, and the AM rider may have be as fit as or more fit than the XC rider.
    In my opinion XC riders should strive to have trials like bike handling skills, and AM riders should understand how to find fast lines. A well rounded rider is a better rider, no matter what label you choose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccm
    It could also be that XC'ers go faster downhill (speed is number one), but the AM'ers choose the bigger hucks (style is number one), though its not a matter that the biggest hucker has the bigger balls, since I know some non-armoured XC girls who are fast on the tech trails and cause shrinkage in the baggy shorts'ers that they catch.
    So who has better bike handling skills? The rider who needs 3 b!tch runs to figure out a line or the guy who floats it in transition with speed?
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish
    So who has better bike handling skills? The rider who needs 3 b!tch runs to figure out a line or the guy who floats it in transition with speed?
    Your question isn't clear.
    The freeriders tend to session the bigger stunts over and over until they get them, whereas the racers (either XC or DH) look for the route that maintains speed. Therefore different skills, and as for which bike handling skills are better, there never will be any agreement

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_g33k
    Can someone please explain the difference to me?
    It can mean what ever you want it to be. I see that there are two ends of a scale that it can fit between. One end of the scale being RACE the other end being STYLE

    RACE ------------------------- STYLE
    XC and DH --------------------------- Freeride & Dirt Jump
    stop watch -----------------------------judging (or at least fashion police)
    bmx racing -----------------------------bmx half pipe and street
    olympics --------------------------------x games
    testing of human bladder for drugs (if present bad)-----------testing of camelbak for drugs (if present good)

    training -----------------------------------what ever!
    weight training and cross training----------just ride or regularily check magazines and videos for latest stunts

    faster lines --------------------------------bigger hucks
    air time - long and low (or none if faster) ----------------air time - big and high

    jerseys look like billboards --------------jerseys plain and chromophobic (although some have cool original artwork)



    All Mountain is between these extremes, at least until someone creates an All Mountain race
    Last edited by ccm; 07-26-2006 at 03:50 PM.

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