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  1. #1
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    Define all mountain

    I don't have the answer, just looking for opinions. What aspects of "all mountain" define it? After all, if you say something like "all mountain is whatever you want it to be", then it is really nothing at all, it has to mean SOMETHING. A road bike is not all mountain, dude.

    Is it how much FS travel? If so how much - 4, 5, 6 inches? Can a 3" bike be all mountain? Can a hardtail? A single speed?

    Does any equipment disqualify a bike from being all mountain? A SID fork? 1.8" tires? Cantilever brakes?

    Or off the other end of the scale - can any 40lb bike be all mountain? What about a chain guide / single ring crank and chain guard? 2.7" tires? Double crown fork (except maybe the DUC32)?

    Maybe it is not the bike a all, maybe it is how you ride it - presuming the bike does not break. OK, then, what is all mountain riding? 3 foot drops? 6 foot drops? Big air? How big?

    Maybe you can't put a number on it. Can you describe it? Epic rides that kill you on the climbs, but you still gotta descend a nasty loose rock garden. North shore? Ski shuttle runs?

    Just food for thought.
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  2. #2
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    I think that, "something more than XC but less than FR" is pretty accurate.

  3. #3
    moaaar shimz
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    I do AM right now with a fully rigid bike. I define it as climbing a mountain and then descending it very quickly like in DH but in a smaller scale, doing smaller jumps etc etc.

    More people ride AM with a FF helmet this days... and I believe it is a good idea.

  4. #4
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    I've just defined it in this thread as:


    Too wimpy to free ride, too slow to down hill, I can muster a bunny hop or two but I'm no trials rider, oh and I'm too unfit to call myself an XC rider!

  5. #5
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    all mountain thoughts

    I think it is it little bit of everything. Kind of a jack of all trades for mountian biking. Some XC, some DH, some freeride, some jumps, etc. Typically the trails include groomed sections, tech sections, and everything in between.

    Basically it is just riding, like most of us have been doing for years. The bike companies needed a new term for the crop of 6 inch travel bikes that are in the low 30 lb range. They termed it "all mountian". You can "ride" all mountain on an xc bike, or a 45 lb freeride bike. It dosen't matter. But a 30 lb 6" travel bike makes it very comfortable to get up the hills as well as go down the hills in a competent manner.

    I may be way off on this, too...

  6. #6
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    All Mountain

    My definition of all mountain is simple: Ride up, ride down, and enjoy both.
    Smell the roses, don't count them; that's just stupid.

  7. #7
    not so super...
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    Define all mountain:

    Not this: I know this is Dirt Jumping




    Not this: I know this is DH



    Not this: I know this is Trials.



    Does This Qualify?:







  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by laterider
    Ride up, ride down, and enjoy both.
    they should call it XXXC, triple XC or triple extreme XC.
    sounds way cooler.

    an all mountain bike, err..i mean triple XC bike, should be able to do everything, climb, descend, jump and drop.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by laterider
    My definition of all mountain is simple: Ride up, ride down, and enjoy both.
    The same as road biking, then, eh? Or motorcycle riding. Or unicycles. Or pogo sticks.
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  10. #10
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    Generally speaking All Mountain bike is built around a mid-travel frame with suspension in a 4-6in range. 4in is more on XC side while 6in is more on the FR side. Naturally, lots of riders out there can do on a hardtail/fully rigid all that an average joe on a 4-6in travel bike can do out on trail. But again, you can visualize what type of terrain a bike with good amount travel is suited for.

    Big differentiation between DH/FR and AM is that AM riding involves climbing with the bike. Long, grueling climbs. This usually requires a granny ring in the front and lighter weight tires, usually with smaller volume. The descents are not as demanding as the DH/FR descents so the brakes don't need to be as big and again, the tires don't need to be as beefy, neither are the rims nor is the spoke count.

    Difference between AM and XC is the fact that XC does not involve many trail obtacles, especially on climbs. The climbs can be equally steep but there are less boulders, less water bars, less logs, less rocks on the XC climb. This produces a requirement of AM bikes to have more travel on suspension for better traction, larger tires for bigger contact area and increased pinch flat resistance and usually a presence of a bash guard to protect the middle ring and increase the clearance of the bike. Larger tire require larger rims for support so the rims gain about a quarter to half a pound over XC rims and gain 7-10mm in width. The AM descents are usually faster and more technical. Drops are sewn in for good measure but don't reach the proprtions of FR drops. Better stopping power is required due to more severe descents so the brakes get larger vs XC. V-brakes disappear in this arena. Technical nature of descents usually prevents the rider from ever shifting to the largest ring in the front, which is another reason for its removal.

    How's this for an attempt?

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  11. #11
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    "Technical nature of descents usually prevents the rider from ever shifting to the largest ring in the front, which is another reason for its removal."

    I think I buy everything except the above statement. Most 5-6" travel bikes have a triple chainring setup in my local shops.....
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  12. #12
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    "Technical nature of descents usually prevents the rider from ever shifting to the largest ring in the front, which is another reason for its removal."

    I think I buy everything except the above statement. Most 5-6" travel bikes have a triple chainring setup in my local shops.....
    You're from Fort Collins, right? Have you ever seen anyone hammer in the 3rd ring down Devil's Back Bone or down the rock garden in Hall?

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  13. #13
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    its bi-polar biking. you go up climbs that challange an xc bike then u blast down descents worthy of a dh bike
    Quote Originally Posted by coma13
    it's short but it's pretty.... just like a guatemalan hooker...

  14. #14
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    AM is both worlds. You can climb up the mountain like a XC rider, but instead of going down fireroads XC-style, you can also ride the sweet decents like a DH-er.

    -PB
    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    conformity sucks......
    You never know what kind of animal the blood's gonna attract...

  15. #15
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    Yup, FTC. Local, I keep it in the big ring just to keep my chain on mostly.

    If you have ever ridden in the highcountry though...I have spun out the big ring on my bike easily.
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  16. #16
    All Mountain Rider
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    All mountain, the definition is in the name. you ride all the mountain. You ride up you ride down, you ride rock, dirt grass mud, sand gravel, or anything that’s on the mountain. Willing to try any section at least once some time and as for bike set up. Heck if you want to take it with a single speed child’s bike go ahead lol or a impressive set up. You just take the trails the mountain the roads and anything that’s in you way (save for hikers there pets and horses) and ride it.

  17. #17
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    FUN!
    What MTBiking was 15years ago, do it all on one bike. Dont think you can define it by bike because we all have our own ideas(which is sometimes driven by local riding area) thats what makes it so cool.
    Just riding everything.
    I think SuperD could be the future of our sport. Something your everyday rider can relate to and reminds me of racing in the early 90's when you raced up hill, downhill, XC and trials on the same bike. I was 15 and so excited about the sport of MTBing, crazy thing is 15 years later I still am and love to ride everthing on my "all mountin rig"
    Last edited by m-dub; 04-21-2006 at 08:19 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetroBoy
    You can climb up the mountain like a XC rider, but instead of going down fireroads XC-style, you can also ride the sweet decents like a DH-er.

    -PB
    So apparently for me, riding down rooty, rocky single track for the last 18 years has equated to AM? Or rather, I should have been sticking to going up and down fire roads? Huh, guess I better scratch XC off my list of riding style. Just because somebody has a X, Y, or Z "type" bike does not limit them to just fire roads. I ran into this guy on a cyclocross bike doing stuff where guys on DH bikes were crashing, and I was just walking through the stuff not even attempting it. It is what you get used to. Sorry, your comment about fire roads was way too generalized and got me wrapped around the axle a bit. I am chilled now.

    Cheers.
    Tuff Schist

  19. #19
    All Mountain Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by m-dub
    FUN!
    What MTBiking was 15years ago, do it all on one bike. Dont think you can define it by bike because we all have our own ideas(which is sometimes driven by local riding area) thats what makes it so cool.
    exactly. Good point.

  20. #20
    thats right living legend
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    Looks like...

    From the looks of this new board here, seems like the only diffrence between AM and FR is cliped or flat...

  21. #21
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    the term I've heard that best descrides my riding style is "Free-Country" (thanks Ned) but maybe you have to live in the land that get all the credit for spawning the freeriding movement to get it. big rides that take in a very diverse spectrum of terrain. pack a lunch and don't for get your pads.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    Epic rides that kill you on the climbs, but you still gotta descend a nasty loose rock garden.
    This is what I think of when the term "all mountain" is mentioned. My main bike is an all mountain build. I have the travel, component grade and geometry to get me through just about anything the mountains can throw at me. It's not a weight weenie racer that can't handle the abuse, and it's not a down hill rager that cannot climb worth a damn. It weigh's 30.5 lbs. Climbs like a goat. Has 5" front and rear travel and descends like a dream over most anything I can throw at it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    You're from Fort Collins, right? Have you ever seen anyone hammer in the 3rd ring down Devil's Back Bone or down the rock garden in Hall?

    _MK

    I know your question was directed to someone else, but I can definitely say I have had my chain on the third ring down Devil's back bone. Why could someone NOT have it all the way out? It's not that big of a deal if you have a relatively decent BB height.

  24. #24
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    I consider myself an all mountain rider. I also consider myself an XC rider as the two descriptions are often close together. I think the term "all mountain" means you ride everything. You don't have to be the fastest at it and with a bike that can cope with everything it's unlikely you'll be fastest at anything.

    To me all mountain is about exploring. You and your bike may end up in nasty places and you have to rely on it to get you home. It's not about doing manicured trails. It's about finding new trails, bumbling your way around the bush, and then finding the best way down is a downhiller's track. It's about giving everything a shot, just to see if it can be ridden.

    As for the bike, well, as mentioned earlier, any bike is fine, so long as you can rely on it to get you out of trouble. If you're walking it out then the bike probably isn't an all mountain rig.

  25. #25
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    Simple, for me anyhow. I consider myself an AM rider first and fore most. I don't race, speed is not my #1 thought while out riding but there are times that I like to keep a steady pace. I like to stay efficient as far as weight goes but functionality is much more of a concern -- beefier XC parts are the name of the game.

    I like to pace myself for 30 mile hauls but sometimes "I like to stop to smell the roses" I'll get there when I get there. That being said, a killer climb or sketchy decent is another aspect in which i enjoy. If my bike was a car it would be a subie outback fast a nimble but rugged for the long haul.

    I ride clipped on my AM for the most part. obstacles, jumps and drops are often incorporated into my ride but merely part of the plot -- I'll leave the majority of that stuff to FR'ers.

  26. #26
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    AM is XC with bigger suspension and stronger parts, FR is even bigger and stronger. FR usually doesn't ride up the mtn. XC usually needs a cleaner line and not much in the way of drops and stunts because the lighter suspension & frame can't take it.
    There are exceptions to the rules, some people can ride a HT anywhere and some people can ride a FR bike everywhere but if you need to label them thats about the only difference
    AM is in between XC & FR

  27. #27
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    I think AM means what XC (read: cross country) used to mean. And that in turn means "mountain biking".

    The term XC has been corrupted by a racing class, where trails need to be wide enough to pass on, which usually means they are relatively smooth so as to have more than one good line- road biking on dirt. But think about what "cross country" really means. It means riding across rural country- mountain biking.

    I consider my Blur a great all-mountain bike- it goes up, down and through tech sections great. It has a great balance of capabilities throughout these areas, and is durable on the trails.

    However, I think what is meant by this "all mountain" forum is something that is tougher than XC but not so tough as freeride (which is also ironic, since freeride was originally a combo of DH, jump, and XC bike so as to have a tough bike that could also be ridden uphill.)

  28. #28
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    Greater than 4' of travel in the front and rear, disc brakes, adjustable geometry, something close to 30lbs. That sounds a lot like my 04 Jekyll 800.
    What am I going to do with forty subscriptions to Vibe?

  29. #29
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    Yup, FTC. Local, I keep it in the big ring just to keep my chain on mostly.

    If you have ever ridden in the highcountry though...I have spun out the big ring on my bike easily.
    When you have a 3-ring setup then keeping the chain in the largest ring will definatelly keep it tighter. When you remove the 3rd ring, you shorten the chain, also, so keeping it in the 2nd keeps it tight enough. Then there's the question of a chainguide, as some AM bikes are equiped with chain guides (maybe not the mass produced ones sold in stores).

    And sure enough, one can pedal down anything in any ring if one is so inclined. My examples can be easily refuted. So nevermind.

    _MK

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  30. #30
    MDJ
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    I define it as "mountain biking". It's what I did 20 years ago and what I do now. In the meantime I've raced XC, DH, DS, 4X, dirt jumped, etc., but I've always simply mountian biked. The only difference now is that I do it with 5" of travel and disk brakes.

  31. #31
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    I define it as "mountain biking". It's what I did 20 years ago and what I do now. In the meantime I've raced XC, DH, DS, 4X, dirt jumped, etc., but I've always simply mountian biked. The only difference now is that I do it with 5" of travel and disk brakes.
    I concur!

    To me, "all-mountain" is an industry term for mountain biking. To have so many categories makes it easier to communicate to other bikers, but it also more "types" of mountain bikes for companies to sell.

    My own goofy endeavour is to create a ride which I can use for every category. This is already a great forum for discussion about the jack-of-all-trades bike (from XC to DS to DH).

  32. #32
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    I rode everything on my 24 lb. XC bike that I now ride on my "All Mountain" bike.

    There are 2 major differences:

    1) The XC bike could not stand up to to the abuse, while my AM bike has performed relatively trouble free

    2) I can ride the highly technical trails much faster

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    I rode everything on my 24 lb. XC bike that I now ride on my "All Mountain" bike.

    There are 2 major differences:

    1) The XC bike could not stand up to to the abuse, while my AM bike has performed relatively trouble free

    2) I can ride the highly technical trails much faster

    that works for me. i'm now riding some of the same trails i used to ride on a much lighter/spindlier bike. but now, i'm able to go much faster, hit more technical lines, and not worry about the bike destructing underneath me. i cringe to think of taking my old superlight 22# hardtail on some of the things i ride now. it woulod not only be slower, but i'd be far more worried about breaking it, and me.

    and hitting trails/things i'd have not even thought of doing on the lighter/smaller setup.
    some of that is that i'm a better rider than i was a couple years ago, but the bike still plays a part. now, i seek out the harder technical bits! fuuuuuuun!

    having confidence in your equipment is a good thing, and i find it to be a large part of riding faster/harder than i used to.
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  34. #34
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    why would it matter at all?

    does your bike ride differently when you call it "all mountain" as opposed to when you call it "cross country" or when you call it "light freeride"?

  35. #35
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    Its not the bike its the biker

    Great point there.

    Its not the bike that makes you a all mountain biker its skills and ability. Yes having 5 inches of travel and tough frame with disk brakes and high end components makes the ride a bit easier. But the bike should not be the only factor.

    I followed this Biker I met on the trail who was riding a Huffy frame with lots of upgraded components totally stiff suspension and was riding things I think most of us wouldn’t ride with out scoping it out at east ease and skill.

    Take what ever you got and just ride, learn how to take the obstacles that come at you and have fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    why would it matter at all?

    does your bike ride differently when you call it "all mountain" as opposed to when you call it "cross country" or when you call it "light freeride"?

  36. #36
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    To me All Mountain pretty much sums it all up, the key is in the word ALL.

    It's just riding, isn't it?!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by abc123jmt
    Great point there.

    Its not the bike that makes you a all mountain biker its skills and ability. Yes having 5 inches of travel and tough frame with disk brakes and high end components makes the ride a bit easier. But the bike should not be the only factor.

    I followed this Biker I met on the trail who was riding a Huffy frame with lots of upgraded components totally stiff suspension and was riding things I think most of us wouldn’t ride with out scoping it out at east ease and skill.

    Take what ever you got and just ride, learn how to take the obstacles that come at you and have fun.
    I only partially agree with you here. All mountain riding is all about the attitude. Just because one does not have skill to tackle all the obstacles doesn't make him a XC rider and just because one doesn't have the lungs to climb to the top without walking doesn't make one a DH rider. All mountain riding is about the desire to tackle the obstacles, the desire to improve, to catch good air and to get to the top without stepping your foot down. And the bike is part of the picture. Being stretched over your bike XC style is not conducive to maintaining that attite, just as trying to pedal a DH bike, those are two extremes. All Mountain is all about a well rounded, complete biker. Getting to the top is only part of the fun, just like going down. Combining the two is what makes the whole ride special. Being able to clean the whole trail without dismounting, catching a little air where you can and laying down the hammer in other places is all about balance. Just like a AM bike is balanced. Sure enough you can do any kind of riding on any kind of bike, but you really maximize the fun when you have the right tool for the job. And having those 5in of suspension under you doesn't cramp your climbing style and doesn't cramp your descending neither (and again, if you don't care about being the fastest up or the fastest down, the other bikes are optimized for either one).

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    I only partially agree with you here. All mountain riding is all about the attitude. Just because one does not have skill to tackle all the obstacles doesn't make him a XC rider and just because one doesn't have the lungs to climb to the top without walking doesn't make one a DH rider. All mountain riding is about the desire to tackle the obstacles, the desire to improve, to catch good air and to get to the top without stepping your foot down. And the bike is part of the picture. Being stretched over your bike XC style is not conducive to maintaining that attite, just as trying to pedal a DH bike, those are two extremes. All Mountain is all about a well rounded, complete biker. Getting to the top is only part of the fun, just like going down. Combining the two is what makes the whole ride special. Being able to clean the whole trail without dismounting, catching a little air where you can and laying down the hammer in other places is all about balance. Just like a AM bike is balanced. Sure enough you can do any kind of riding on any kind of bike, but you really maximize the fun when you have the right tool for the job. And having those 5in of suspension under you doesn't cramp your climbing style and doesn't cramp your descending neither (and again, if you don't care about being the fastest up or the fastest down, the other bikes are optimized for either one).

    _MK

    defending your "light freeride" or "aggressive XC" image here?

    your allegiance to a scheme of labelling and divisoin is repugnant. who the fugg cares whether it's called "all mountain" and who are you to assign values to that label?

    this topic is quickly showing who is a poseur and who rides their bike.

  39. #39
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    from another thread asking essentially the same ignorant, media-hype-slave question:

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    the sarcastic but relatively true version:

    XC - used to be what everyone did who rode trails on their MTBs. now it's a niche populated by roadies, the trails resemble dirt sidewalks, the bikes weigh in the low low 20s, the riders shave their legs and wear roadie lycra, no bills/visors on their helmets either. the FS rigs are FS in theory only, most barely move and most are set up so firm by their "bob" fearing owners that they may as well be good steel hardtails. obsessive, type A riders dominate here. heart rate monitors seen fairly often. fitness is more important than technical riding ability.

    trail riding - what we used to call XC riding. typically on mountain trails designed for hiking or MTB riding. riding fire roads and riding dirt country roads is not trail riding. riding doubletrack is not trail riding. riding rails-to-trails is not trail riding. all those things are Joe and Jane Sixpack basic cycling, maybe done on a MTB.

    freeride - please, don't try to get a definition out of me here. let's just say it used to mean the stuff we'd see in Digger's earliest NSX videos, maybe 1-3... and in the Kranked series. now it also includes BMX imitation done on MTBs (which is better on the original BMX if you ask me) and a whole lot of spoiled rich kids on expensive FR and DH bikes that rarely get to see "trail riding" let alone "freeriding."

    "aggressive XC" - what Joe and Jane Sixpack do after realizing they've got to build some street cred among the MTB crowd. they tag their mundane riding with the term "aggressive" and hope that they get taken more seriously. if they're 2 or more bikes into their history of bike ownership, they might even have a nice FS rig with 5" or 6" of travel at both ends, with heavier-than-legshaver parts set up for "aggressive XC." in reality: careful trail riding on overbuilt bikes.

    DH - riding MTB trails and tracks designed for DH racing. training, racing, or just freeriding the course. can be done on any bike. perilous if done on too little bike with too little skill at too high a speed for the bike and skill.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    defending your "light freeride" or "aggressive XC" image here?

    your allegiance to a scheme of labelling and divisoin is repugnant. who the fugg cares whether it's called "all mountain" and who are you to assign values to that label?

    this topic is quickly showing who is a poseur and who rides their bike.
    What image are you talking about? If it is my avatar, then I definatelly am not defending that. It appears that you are labaling people here.

    Because I do ride my bike I can very clearly observe attitudes of riders on trail. Some who never even think of attempting things and just throw their bikes on their shoulders and run over the obstacles and those who not only attempt a given problem but try to make it as hard as possible. The bikes these guys ride are very different. And rightfully so.

    Why do you have such a problem with people verbilizing their observations?

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    from another thread asking essentially the same ignorant, media-hype-slave question:
    You're such an amazing hypocrite, it is lovely. First you bash on people for voicing their opinions, then you unload your own. Granted your opinions are a major diss on everyone, but they are opinions nevertheless.

    _MK

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    You're such an amazing hypocrite, it is lovely. First you bash on people for voicing their opinions, then you unload your own. Granted your opinions are a major diss on everyone, but they are opinions nevertheless.

    _MK
    did you have a point, or do you just want to foam at the mouth some more?

  43. #43
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    Ok gonzostrike. You define it. I thought he did a pretty good job.

    Actually don't bother. I think you're trolling.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katana
    I think it is it little bit of everything. Kind of a jack of all trades for mountian biking. Some XC, some DH, some freeride, some jumps, etc. Typically the trails include groomed sections, tech sections, and everything in between.

    Basically it is just riding, like most of us have been doing for years. The bike companies needed a new term for the crop of 6 inch travel bikes that are in the low 30 lb range. They termed it "all mountian". You can "ride" all mountain on an xc bike, or a 45 lb freeride bike. It dosen't matter. But a 30 lb 6" travel bike makes it very comfortable to get up the hills as well as go down the hills in a competent manner.

    I'll agree..............

  45. #45
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    All Mountain Bump

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    IEpic rides that kill you on the climbs, but you still gotta descend a nasty loose rock garden.
    Just food for thought.
    All Mountain is defined by adjustability and adaptabilty to terrain.

    Forks/Shock- Thru-Axel fork, oil reservoirs that give predictable results for a 3000 ft 15-30min descent. Got to be air, Camelback contents (5-10lbs) and riding terrain can dictate moving between 20-30 percent sag. 100mm of adjustability on the fork.

    Frame - anything under 7.5lbs (air shock). Rear Thru axel. SP, HL, mini/swing link, moded URT, Virtual, pick your poison. Headteube 67-69 degrees, Wheelbase 44-42 inches. Portage-abilty.

    Brakes - Reservoir/Rotor size to minimze brake fade

    Drive Train - 3X9, until G-Boxx is mass marketed

    Wheels - 2.5 - 2.3 meats and rims that hold them, something that's field repairable (spokes), around 8-9 lbs.

    That's the short list - contact points are personal, I like mine light.

  46. #46
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    Its already defined under the forum title... "More than XC, less than FR/DH". Simple as that.
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  47. #47
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    It depends on what we're classifying. As a riding style I assume it's just riding a little bit of everything. Climbs, jumps, downhill... a more technical influence than cross country. If we're talking about gear, that's all marketing. Bikes with 4+ inches of travel that are tough enough to take some jumping and abuse, but that don't really do any one thing well. They don't climb great, they don't downhill as good as the DH/FR type bikes, but they work well on many different types of terrain. A "jack of all trades, but king of none" to put it in the words of my FWB.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad

    Is it how much FS travel? If so how much - 4, 5, 6 inches? Can a 3" bike be all mountain? Can a hardtail? A single speed?



    Maybe it is not the bike a all, maybe it is how you ride it - presuming the bike does not break. OK, then, what is all mountain riding? 3 foot drops? 6 foot drops? Big air? How big?

    Maybe you can't put a number on it. Can you describe it? Epic rides that kill you on the climbs, but you still gotta descend a nasty loose rock garden. North shore? Ski shuttle runs?

    Just food for thought.

    well i think all mountain is basically an intermidiate style off road trails hills drops and everything included... also dont knock the hardtails man i have been racing for almost 8 years now and would take my hardtail bike i have over most of the full suspension bikes out there

  49. #49
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    I hate to generalize and classify riding styles of knobby tired bicycles, because it is simply called "mountain biking" even when you aren't in the mountains.

    The naming scheme all comes down to marketing. With that being said, I think "all mountain" is the "new xc", and "xc" has shifted towards the racer end of the spectrum.

    The trend these past few years is to be on an FS bike for various reasons. I cannot discount some of the benefits of a squishy bike, but I think I am going to go back to a hardtail w/ thick sidewalled tires for "xc / am". Granted this is just personal preference.

    My "all mountain" prediction: Lots of 5 to 6 inch travel FS bikes will be sold in the next couple of years before we shift back down towards 4" travel FS bikes as again being best for that category.

    Shorter travel bikes (5/6" and less) are the next big thing in freeride as well. Easier to jump / bunnyhop / maneuver / throw tricks. Look at how popular single crown forks are now... people are downsizing because you don't need tons of travel. People are starting to realize that long travel does not define "freeride". If you shuttle all the time on some super tech rocky DH then my previous sentance does not apply to you.

    Long travel squish is hard to resist. It looks cool, it is fun to play with (plowing into things), but quite often it gets in the way. More is not always better.
    Last edited by AW_; 04-26-2006 at 12:42 PM.

  50. #50
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    All mountian is lighter than a feeride/DH bike but stronger than a XC bike. It's a compramise between the two.

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    I ride would rate my self as an "all-mountain" rider, yet, w/ a twist. I ride a hardtail XC setup frame, but with 100mm RLC on the front, 2.35s, 185 rotors, 90mm stem, and beefy components all round'. I can hang w/ the fastest of riders for good fun, climb like a goat, and descend with dually guys on 6+ " bikes having a good time. Its all about what you ride and where you ride, I don't like to classify things, but this catagory is termed by the marketing industry.

    I think of all mountain as what mountain biking used to be before we had XC, FR, and DH. Back in the day when a Schwinn hardtail would get your from point A to point B no matter what the terrian was, thats all mountain. I have riden' this my whole life, Im not the fastest, but not the slowest, Im no trials rider, but I can drop some 5' drops, ride over whatever and can handle my own on the trail, Im not DH rider only because I still enjoy a good climb, and 20' drops will scare the piss outta me. Therefore, its mountain biking at its finest. All mountain, exploring, no matter what the terrian. As long as you can ride it, its all mountain.

    Good post.
    B

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by vladamir
    I think that, "something more than XC but less than FR" is pretty accurate.
    That is about were I stand.

    For me it is not as much about the which bike as just going riding.

    "All mountain" is just that. "All," or at least "most."

    It is what I do when I say I am going for a ride. It is what I did when I bought my first mtb in 1983 and it is what I do now for most of my riding. I take the terrain as it comes on the bike I am riding. How much of the terrain I actually ride may be determined by the bike but more likely how I am feeling that day.
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  53. #53
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    Yep, a marketing term...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana
    I think it is it little bit of everything. Kind of a jack of all trades for mountian biking. Some XC, some DH, some freeride, some jumps, etc. Typically the trails include groomed sections, tech sections, and everything in between.

    Basically it is just riding, like most of us have been doing for years. The bike companies needed a new term for the crop of 6 inch travel bikes that are in the low 30 lb range. They termed it "all mountian". You can "ride" all mountain on an xc bike, or a 45 lb freeride bike. It dosen't matter. But a 30 lb 6" travel bike makes it very comfortable to get up the hills as well as go down the hills in a competent manner.

    I may be way off on this, too...
    Just a way for manufacturers to classify a certain type of bike. It isn't some newly discovered type of riding. I've done all the same trails on other bikes, larger and smaller, and still could.

    Since I have DH bikes and XC bikes, I never considered buying an "AM" style until I took a Nomad for a test ride in Downieville. I was actually faster climbing Big Boulder on it than on my XC bike (I am the first to admit that I am a slow climber no matter what I'm riding) and was grinning and giggling like a schoolkid all the way down Big Boulder and 3rd Divide then pedaled out 1st with no more noticable effort than on my XC bike. (It kind of reminded me of my first time on shaped skis...better handling and control so more speed and more fun.) Not that I "NEEDED" one, but Wow! It sure was a blast to ride. I bought one on the spot. Now I rarely ever ride my other bikes since the Nomad is such a good all around ride.

    Honestly, I never really thought of it as an "All Mountain" bike before, it's just my Nomad.

  54. #54
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    AM is just a marketing rebrand of XC. Now XC is associated with "lycra wearing pussies" so the middle-aged weekend warriors feel more secure with "All-Mountain".
    It's just frustrating sometimes being an Athena...

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    It depends on what we're classifying. As a riding style I assume it's just riding a little bit of everything. Climbs, jumps, downhill... a more technical influence than cross country. If we're talking about gear, that's all marketing. Bikes with 4+ inches of travel that are tough enough to take some jumping and abuse, but that don't really do any one thing well. They don't climb great, they don't downhill as good as the DH/FR type bikes, but they work well on many different types of terrain. A "jack of all trades, but king of none" to put it in the words of my FWB.
    "King of none" ?

    Except maybe being King of riding varied terrain, which is what most people do and hence why "All mountain" bikes are all the rage.

    Its just a Buzzword, nothing has fundamentally changed, we still ride our bikes but bikes have progressed for the better IMO.

  56. #56
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    A lot of good thoughts here

    And that includes those posts that remind us that a lot of these classifications are marketing hype. I believe that there are certainly distinct riding styles. I don't think people will disagree that XC and Downhill are different. I think Freeride is pretty clear. Dirt Jumping brings to mind a picture that is clearly defined in just two two words. Unfortunately this "All Mountain" classification is a bit blurred. Some see it as a clearly defined riding style with a fairly specific type of bike associated with it. Others, and I'll include myself in this category, see it as a variant of cross country mountain biking

    If I had to define it, I'd agree with those that say that it basically boils down to an aggressive XC style of riding, and that the bikes best suited to this type of riding are those with beefier frames and components. At least that's what the marketing geniuses in the biking industry tell us , and they've done a great job of producing offerings in frames, forks and shocks to fit this niche.It could definitely be lumped in with XC riding and to me, it would all be the same.

    Just my 2 cents, as always.

    Bob
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  57. #57
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    It does not depend on the bike; however, most people who ride "all mountain" use FS bikes. I like to think of the term as the end result of 30 years of MTB advancement, both in bike design and riding style/skill. I think of "all mountain" and "trail riding" as basically synonymous. See, twenty years ago, I was cutting my MTBing teeth on a fully rigid bike out at Slickrock. Was that "all mountain"? The term wasn't invented yet. Granted, I couldn't do nearly as much as I could with front suspension. And I can do even more with FS. Having five or more inches of suspension front and back encourages you to try more jumps, drops, etc. All of a sudden, your focus shifts from just riding without dabbing to finding stuff to huck off. That's when the term "all mountain" comes in handy. I said before that it isn't the bike that makes AM. That's because there are some people who ride along, looking for jumps and other stunts, on their hard tails (or even rigids).

    Call it the influence that DH and FR have had on traditional trail riding.

  58. #58
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    If I'm riding and I see a drop I want to do I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to race someone up a hill, I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to do every trail in the forest I'll do them.
    Thats all mountain.

  59. #59
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    All mountain = a bit of everything done on one bike.

    That bike is:
    1. light enough/pedal-able enough to get you uphill without too much pain and
    2. heavy/strong enough to get you back down and have some fun along the way, all without
    3. breaking/bending the frame/wheels/fork.

    So I reckon an "all mountain" bike is the one you can take anywhere to do whatever you are capable of and maybe a little more. This could mean a hardtail or anything from 4 to 9 inches, depending on who you are.

    I can only afford one good bike, so it is "all mountain". I agree wholeheartedly that the term means very little. It is just a way of saying the weight and geometry are not quite right for either XC racing or DH, but something of a compromise between the two

  60. #60
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    When I started mountain biking, it was just mountain biking. All-Mountain is just a marketing term that just means Mountain biking as it was back then. Even on full rigid bikes, the point was to ride on trails, up, down, over logs, rocks, through mud, on hardpack, singletracks, jumps, drops... everything was under the term mountain biking. That's All Mountain to me: doing everything, maybe even on the same ride. All the other styles are specialization, concentration of just one part of what All-Mountain is: mountain biking!

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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleu
    AM is just a marketing rebrand of XC. Now XC is associated with "lycra wearing pussies" so the middle-aged weekend warriors feel more secure with "All-Mountain".
    I would say that follows some ppls train of thought regarding AM and XC as they dont want to be regarded as wearing lycra and being a *****.

    As it stands everyone is out the window as to what exactly it is. A major reason why this forum shouldnt have been made IMO (plus the way some age old posts was tossed into it ).
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  62. #62
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    Lots of talk about AM being simply a marketing tool. I just see it as a natural progression of the sport. Over the years mountain biking has split into several distinct categories eg. XC, DH, DJ and bikes have evolved and become more and more specialised to suit these specific categories. It's not uncommon for riders these days to have a quiver of specialist bikes to cover each category. AM bikes have evolved as a jack of all trades compromise, to sit somewhere between XC and DH. Ok, so terms like "aggressive XC" or "hardcore XC" are a bit pretentious, but I see nothing wrong in describing a sturdy general purpose trail bike as being "All Mountain".

    My definition of AM would be something like:-

    Overall weight 30-35 lbs (sturdy enough frame & wheelset to take a good beating)
    HA approx 68-69 deg (slack enough to point down hills and still go round tight corners)
    BB height around 13-14" (high enough to clear logs and stuff on the trail)

    I don't think travel should be part of the basic definition of AM, as this is largely down to personal riding preference. I think it's reasonable to have an AM hardtail or fully rigid as long as it's built strong enough to take the hits and the geometry is correct.

    I'd agree that the "new" AM category of bikes is close to the original ethos of mountain biking. I guess that's why some people hate the term AM as if it's defining something new. It isn't of course, but with all the other specialist categories of mountain bike around it does make sense to give it a name.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    Define all mountain:

    Not this: I know this is Dirt Jumping...
    ...
    Not this: I know this is DH
    ...
    Not this: I know this is Trials.
    ...
    Does This Qualify?:
    ...
    Does this qualify?

    Lance feelin a little lucky

  64. #64
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    My definition

    It is the bike you buy when you break all your XC bikes, but a FR bike would make the trail to easy.

  65. #65
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    I think an all mountain bike has to be light enough to be climbed on, but strong enough to go down,
    one more thing down hillers dont climb xc riders dont go down

    neither one nor the other something in between

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainking_71
    one more thing down hillers dont climb xc riders dont go down
    What mag told you that bs?
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  67. #67
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    IMO all mountain is anything kind of non shuttled trail ridding that you also have fun with. Not looking for all out muscle buring hill climbs but some fun jumps and burms and basically out having a good time. For all thoes kids who have a problem with labels, its just a way to describe a style of ridding that is not freeride nor is it XC. It is not degraiding to the people who ride that style nor is it degraiding to the sport to have a means for people to describe their style of ridding.

  68. #68
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    Well said Jekyll. I'd describe my own riding style as AM. I'm not racing anyone, I like challenging singletrack, the odd small drop and jump, fast downhills and a bit of technical climbing. I'm happy to winch up fireroads, speed is not important for me on these as long as I can keep moving.

    I've tried doing this style of riding on lightweight XC rigs, but they just didn't seem right for me. Great for fire road climbing (the least important aspect for me) but very dodgy on the downhills and nothing special on technical climbs or singletrack. Not to mention all the rattles, creaks and lightweight parts generally wearing out, breaking or falling off. My "AM" rig on the other hand is immense fun. It's at its very best on fast gnarly singletrack, holds its own on downhills, climbs solidly on technical stuff and plods its way slowly but surely up fire roads. And it doesn't fall to bits either!

  69. #69
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    if you think getting to the top on a lift is climbing then you´re right

  70. #70
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    Too Much

    I think your all reading way too much into this question. The answer is simple: It's what mountain biking was meant to be. It is back to the roots of the sport from over twenty years ago with the added bonus of suspension. Just ride and don't analyze!
    ...So we shall flow a river forth to Thee,
    And teeming with souls shall it ever be...

  71. #71
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    I tend to agree with pretty much everything that has been said so far. As Jim311 alluded to, I believe that the bike is important.
    This is not to say that if you don't have the right bike then you can't play. Rather, it's more like the bike companies finally started making a bike that's perfect for what many of us do.
    Some products are designed to cover too wide of a market. On the other hand some products are too specific by design. I think that most mass produced mountain bikes up 'till around the late 90's were too specific. These bikes were designed primarily with racing in mind. They were light, stiff, and either un- or minimally suspended. That's all great if you're a cross-country racer. But, for me and many others (apparently) this was not the right bike and the right bike was not available.
    I don't know why the bike manufacturers started to make good all mtn bikes, but I'm glad they did. The bike hasn't changed the type of riding that I do. It has made that riding way more enjoyable.
    Paul

  72. #72
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    We all picked out the bikes we ride for our own reasons. We ride them where we ride them for our own reasons. I ride mine and have fun everywhere I ride. Is there a point to all of this or are we all just so damn giddy over bicycles we can't shut-up about them?
    WFO

  73. #73
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    OK lets see by this way:

    XC riders: they just go througth a marked circuit normally fast, not too long uphill and fast and technical downhill maximun 2 hours riding, ligth bike with few front and some rear travel (they don't care about the bumps) normally used for the run and stored after maintenance, not comfortables more that the 2 hours.
    DH riders: they just go downhill as fast as they can, heavy bikes but very plushs due to the long travel of the suspensions, can't go uphill because the weigth and the chainrings, can go really fast in technicals sections and fly over obstacles (nice no?..jeje) as the XC used normally for the races and stored, you need a second equipmet to bring you up.
    AM riders: as the two words say, you can go all the way up, that mean that your bike can be pedaled uphill almost all the way up, you don't have a circuit, enjoy the ride with your friends and stop to rest and eat in a epic ride (that mean: you go to spend more than two hours seated pushind the cranks, advantage over the xc riders) sure you have adjustable platform or travel in your fork to find the rigth setup for climb, you don't care about the whole weigth of the bike because you bring some more in your camelback. you reached the top of the mountain, happy rest, see the view and release the beast, take off all the regulations of the suspensions and take the downhill to home, suspensions long travel help to jump obstacles and rest the legs of the long travel to the top, reach home and rest.

    So this category doesn't fit in the middle of the XC and DH because you are free of a circuit and enjoy the ride, is just fun not time and a prize.


    See ya friends!!

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    That is about were I stand.

    For me it is not as much about the which bike as just going riding.

    "All mountain" is just that. "All," or at least "most."

    It is what I do when I say I am going for a ride. It is what I did when I bought my first mtb in 1983 and it is what I do now for most of my riding. I take the terrain as it comes on the bike I am riding. How much of the terrain I actually ride may be determined by the bike but more likely how I am feeling that day.
    I like to call it "Mountain Biking Without Adjectives".

    Quote Originally Posted by vladamir
    I would say it's the attitude of the rider. The successes of the intended adventure is determined by the ride and the equipment. Thats why for the kind of riding I do niether a lightweight XC racer nor a FR bike would be suitable. I ride to ride and sometimes I like to drop, push a hill, fly down a tech trail, climb a tech hill, cross a river or stream and ride the entire time.

    I've also seen this type of riding refered to as enduro, trail, backcountry and aggressive XC.

    My bike is an XCish "lightweight" steel hardtail with parts picked for durability rather than... lightweight

    I wouldn't huck my bike off a mountain or cliff but I will do 4-6 ft drops without fear.

    I wouldn't XC race my bike (actually I would ) but I can ride up any hill without the use of a lift or walking.

    I pick the bike for my riding which happens to be "all mountain"..which is really just all around MTBing.

  75. #75
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    AM is a clever marketing gimick to get you to "need" a bike that's a little more xc, but not too downhill. So now you need another bike in your stable. Now where can I find a heckler?

  76. #76
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    I'm going to step on some toes, but I think its a valid point.

    I think AM could be broken down a little farther in to two more segments; Those who drop and those who don't.

    I ride with a very mixed group. There are alot of guys who climb up and hit all the tech climbs and fly back down and roll all the techy rolls. Then there are the guys that climb up and hit alll the techy climbs and fly back down and hit all the techy rolls, but they also look for drops as well.

    Not that it really matters to me how or if we are able to define AM, I just want to ride my bike how I want and where I want.
    It's not a good ride if you don't scare yourself at least once.


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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by drum714
    I'm going to step on some toes, but I think its a valid point.

    I think AM could be broken down a little farther in to two more segments; Those who drop and those who don't.

    I ride with a very mixed group. There are alot of guys who climb up and hit all the tech climbs and fly back down and roll all the techy rolls. Then there are the guys that climb up and hit alll the techy climbs and fly back down and hit all the techy rolls, but they also look for drops as well.

    Not that it really matters to me how or if we are able to define AM, I just want to ride my bike how I want and where I want.

    ah but then you can subdivide even more, if'n you want. what about guys like me, who'll go down and hit some of the drops, but maybe not all?

    how much do we want to split hairs? does any of it really matter? not really, i feel.

    eh, i'll shut up now. just at work, and musing while surfing.
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  78. #78
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    For me it's about being able to ride the DH like I'm on a single track specific DH bike. It's the difference between riding defensively (loosing your line all the time in rough terrain because of chassis/fork flex) and riding offensively ( ) where you can look through the turn and control oversteer / understeer with your weight.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  79. #79
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    I'll second that

    Quote Originally Posted by Jukebox
    If I'm riding and I see a drop I want to do I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to race someone up a hill, I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to do every trail in the forest I'll do them.
    Thats all mountain.
    to me it's a non-racing category. just find a trail and hit what's in front of you. if you think it's too big, go around it.

    i hate the long climb. but to get the reward, you've got to just do it.
    Relax...Take it slow...and let the goodtimes roll....-Stifler

  80. #80
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    Well, what about this?



    No suspension, not much brakes, heavy, hard to ride. But they rode it all over the mountains. To me, any bike is "all mountain". It's the rider that makes a bike what it is, not the other way around.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo
    Well, what about this?



    No suspension, not much brakes, heavy, hard to ride. But they rode it all over the mountains. To me, any bike is "all mountain". It's the rider that makes a bike what it is, not the other way around.
    I don't think the term all mountain is meant to be taken literally. Just like Free-ride isn't a literal term. It's not about getting from A to B. It's about the experience. Riding an AM bike is a totally difference experience than riding a 4" XC bike, which is a totally different experience than riding a clunker, which is different than riding a SS which is different to riding a 29er. Obviously certain bike suits certain trails. Ride what you enjoy and what gives you the experience you're looking for.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  82. #82
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    Very well said

    I think like steve71........it's not about taking "x" amount of time to go from A to B, it's about the experience and the touch with the mountain, about yourself and your abilities and conquer fears (technical things)
    Also it's about how you ride (if you push yourself everytime a little bit more or dismount the bike when you see something a little scary) and off course; 5 inches are a little more cushier than 4 and a 69 degree angle it's better to go down than a 73


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    I don't think the term all mountain is meant to be taken literally. Just like Free-ride isn't a literal term. It's not about getting from A to B. It's about the experience. Riding an AM bike is a totally difference experience than riding a 4" XC bike, which is a totally different experience than riding a clunker, which is different than riding a SS which is different to riding a 29er. Obviously certain bike suits certain trails. Ride what you enjoy and what gives you the experience you're looking for.

  83. #83
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    Marketing

    It is a term made up by marketing departments to sell more bikes. Like the "SUV" is used to sell trucks to people who would not normally buy a truck or "cross-over" to sell the same thing to those of us who would not be caught dead owning an SUV.....

  84. #84
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    All mountain has no definition in my opinion, and that is the beauty of it. I ride for fun, not for recognition or to uphold a label. If I cared what my riding was classified as then I would either be out winning races or I would be all over videos.I can hold pace with hardcore XC riders and keep up with extreme Downhillers, on the same bike. Thats all mountain riding.

  85. #85
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    Whats in a name???

    I think AM is just another name (eg third force, freeride, trail blazing ect) for a movement started in the 90's where people started customizing their bikes to ride better on more rugged terrain They stopped being so concerned with how fast they rode to the top of the hills that they wanted to blast down.

    The point Im trying to make is the important thing was that you rode everywhere you wanted to go, over any obstacle and made your rides into a bit an adventure ie riding where none had ridden before you and your comrades.

    I think the one single product that really made this possible for the masses was Marzocchi Z one fork (and long travel forks in general). Sticking one on the front of some of the stronger fullsuspension frames of the time (eg Cannondale Super V Active) made a bike that could be ridden just about over anything. Even a long travel fork on a cromemolly hardtail made a great rough riding mile cruncher.

    But really none of this matters much...
    the term "All Mountain " just reflects the more adventurous side of mountain biking which was always there from the very beginning. As is human nature these terms become trendy and marketing tools.

    Its kind of funny that some of my local "All Mountaineers" like to think of themselves as non comformists and crosscountry racers as the trendy guys and girls But the truth is that there are far more AM then XC riders. Its crazy to see the number of six or more inch travel bikes people are dragging around the local groomed trails (thats me included).

    But I cant blame people for that. The bikes look fantastic and folks have a ball showing off their latest high-tech stuff. So, to sum things up, "all Mountain" is really seems to describes what most people who really love their mountain biking are doing ie riding their bikes everywhere they want to go with a bit of an adventure always waiting over the next climb

    After this bit of reflection, I've had a bit of a an idea, I might head for the local flee markets to buy a old steel frame. And then with frame in hand wander down the back shed , dust off my trusty (but slightly leaky) Z one forks and box of old bike bits.

    I'll build me a bike!!!

    Then I'll close my eyes and stick a pin into my old backcountry map and just go for a ride to see whats there...

    Might even put on my old lycra bike pants cause my designer baggies always slip half way down my fat bottom anyway. Just hope none of my "AM" mates see me cause i might feel a bit embarrassed.
    Last edited by other aardvark; 05-28-2006 at 02:44 PM.

  86. #86
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    an all mountain bike be able to do it all. moderate drops, small jumps, it must go down fast with agility, it must be able to climb technical ascents, it has to be light enough to pedal during almost the entire ride. basically, it should be able to get ou up and back down almost any mountain or trail.

  87. #87
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    no limits

    An all mountain bike is one that doesn't tell you no.

    An all mountain rider is one who doesn't need to be the first to the top of the hill but still enjoys the climb.

    An all mountain rider likes a fast decent and the occasional drop but still recognizes their own mortality.


    now bow before my all encompassing perfect analysis--next we'll define post-modernism--then maybe we'll go over the meaning of life...

    anyone for eggs and chickens?

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    I say its riding XC with 3 - 5 foot drops, i rode my Specialized FSR XC liek it was an all mountain bike and well it broke down often (seals on my shock etc) so its again... between FR and XC

  89. #89
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    I agree with what many of you have said, that AM is just the latest marketing gimmick. However, I can't help thinking that it's a terrible idea for manufacturers since it suggests that there really are bikes that can happily handle it all (or most). Even a couple of years ago, you had to make major compromises with choosing the "one bike:" either too heavy, too weak, too inefficient to pedal, to stiff to shred. Fine if you're always on one type of terrain, but tough if you wanted more variety. So of course like many of us I bought multiple bikes that were specialized for specific tasks, the right tool for the job. With current advances in technology though, I just bought a 5/5" bike that probably fits this AM bill -- great for all sorts of riding-- and it's replacing at least two, maybe all three of my old bikes.

    What's cool about this is that it's easier for people to get further in the sport at a high level; you don't have to hemmorrage massive amounts of cash to enjoy wide varieties of riding -- nor do you have to make major compromises in your equipment choices if you don't have the money to spend on a ten-bike stable. But, if I worked for a bike manufacturer, wouldn't this be BAD news?

  90. #90
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    All mountain shouldn’t be defined by the bike you ride, but by your riding style and terrain you choose. The riding style is usually very aggressive and you don't shy away from drops, jumps, roots, or rock gardens, but also believe that only those that suffer from climbing should deserve such a treat.
    XC riders usually shy away from the down hill and downhillers usually can't pedal for 20 straight minutes, because their bikes (and bodies in some cases) aren’t designed for every aspect of biking. That said I've seen people doing a down hill course in a full rigid bike and downhillers hammering their bikes on long fire roads. So the bike doesn’t make the rider, it is merely a tool to get from point A to point B.
    On the other hand MTB is a business and executives at large companies figured out that most rides NEVER enter a race, and some do a bit of everything and can’t afford to buy 2 $3,000 dollar bikes. These customers don't care if their bike is 28 or 32 pounds, don't need 10 full inches of suspension but 4 inches is definitely not enough. In my case I would never buy the bike Cedric Gracia or Tinker Juarez ride, because they would limit my ride, I love being able to do a 4 foot drop or take my bike in a 70 km ride, who cares if it takes 10 or 20 extra minutes to get to the top or can't take a 7 foot drop.
    Personally I not able to distinguish if its the wind on my face when I feel I'm going as fast as I can or that climbing a mountain makes me feel so alive, but one without the other isn’t enough for me.
    life is an adventure, make it epic.

  91. #91
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    Here are some of the 90-some posts so far that I like:

    Quote Originally Posted by theg1ant
    its bi-polar biking. you go up climbs that challange an xc bike then u blast down descents worthy of a dh bike
    Quote Originally Posted by bleu
    AM is just a marketing rebrand of XC. Now XC is associated with "lycra wearing pussies" so the middle-aged weekend warriors feel more secure with "All-Mountain".
    Quote Originally Posted by Jukebox
    If I'm riding and I see a drop I want to do I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to race someone up a hill, I'll do it.
    If I'm riding and want to do every trail in the forest I'll do them.
    Thats all mountain.
    Realistically and unforntunatley "All mountain" is a marketing technique to stroke mens egos and sell bikes wether the riders are good or just have money, that's no secret.

    If I could re-claim or re-define it though, it would mean "Shut up and ride."

  92. #92
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    i think "all mountain" is self-expanatory. all trails on the mountain. up, down, sideways, switchbacked, whatever, but not the 20-foot drop offs made of wood and stuff like that. but yes i guess i think that all-mountain is regular trail riding, or xc, if you will. xc racing is for the lycra wearers who count every gram. excuse me for saying this, but i believe the "weight weenie" connotation associated with xc riding has been brought on by egotistical free-riders and self-concious newbies, who want to be "extreme." i witness it almost every day. the people that i used to ride with are into the black-diamond stuff. one day, they saw my new clipless pedals and immediately stereotyped me into an "xc weight weenie." if that's what they call it, then i am an "xc weight weenie" according to them. in my opinion, i am a cross country rider/all mountain rider.

    long, yes. pointless? maybe. but i wanted to get my opinion out there.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Here are some of the 90-some posts so far that I like:







    Realistically and unforntunatley "All mountain" is a marketing technique to stroke mens egos and sell bikes wether the riders are good or just have money, that's no secret.

    If I could re-claim or re-define it though, it would mean "Shut up and ride."
    So, how do you describe a bike with 5 - 6" front and rear suspension weighing 28 - 34lb with slackish headangles?

    Like it or not, the AM tag is very useful, partly to describe riding style, and definitely to describe types of bikes. That's more than just marketing. If they were selling normal XC rigs with the AM tag, then it would definitely be just a marketing thing. They are selling a completely different class of bike though that doesn't really fit into any other category.

    I say "I ride an AM duallie"

    I guess you say "I ride a full suspension bike that is good for long days in the saddle, travelling at a reasonable speed over any trail I find, hitting drops if required, not fearing technical sections and in a reasonable weight range balancing durability and ridability.

    I find my way a lot more succint.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin.mac.au
    So, how do you describe a bike with 5 - 6" front and rear suspension weighing 28 - 34lb with slackish headangles?

    Like it or not, the AM tag is very useful, partly to describe riding style, and definitely to describe types of bikes... I find my way a lot more succint.
    I agree, AM is definitely the term I would use, heck my bike fits all those categories. I suppose on my post I'm referring to the unfortunate birth of the term rather than how we now use it, and I'm certainly not saying we cease to use it, because as you mentioned it is a useful term.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    I agree, AM is definitely the term I would use, heck my bike fits all those categories. I suppose on my post I'm referring to the unfortunate birth of the term rather than how we now use it, and I'm certainly not saying we cease to use it, because as you mentioned it is a useful term.
    yeah, it's a self explanatory word. the only other word i can really think of would be all-trail. still, basically the same thing.

  96. #96
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    Besides, it's easier to get to a store and ask for a “All Mountain Bike”, than to start describing your riding style
    life is an adventure, make it epic.

  97. #97
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    I called it 'off-piste' riding about 10 years ago before the man made stuff came our way. I'd see a slope and do my best to go down and sometimes up. Usually off the routine tracks where I used to ride.

  98. #98
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    other way around

    Quote Originally Posted by vladamir
    I think that, "something more than XC but less than FR" is pretty accurate.
    something less than XC but more than FR

  99. #99
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    how about double cross country?

    Quote Originally Posted by sriracha
    they should call it XXXC, triple XC or triple extreme XC.
    sounds way cooler.

    an all mountain bike, err..i mean triple XC bike, should be able to do everything, climb, descend, jump and drop.
    how about double cross country? XXC

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    Uh.. Hiya everybody, kinda new here an all, and just gettin back into mountain biking so Ill be asking alot of questions, mostly in this category. Seems that the 'All Mountain' style of riding, and Attitude of the riders has really caught on to me. Did anyone notice the two things I just said? Style of riding? Attitude? I think this is really the makeup of AM. I mean, when you think about it, you cant design a bike for a category that doesnt exist. Someone was riding a XC bike or some other bike, designed for another style.. and decided that those trails, or that drop, or those jumps looked like fun, they did them. Others started doing them, the bike industries caught on, and said, lets design a bike built to withstand the needs of these people who want to go from point A to point B, like a XC rider, but want to take a more aggressive route. And thus, All mountain bikes were made. You cant design a screw driver until you have a screw, it works the same. Regardless of what bike you ride, all mountain is a style of riding. Now, that is not to say its ok to ride a cyclocross bike on all mountain, its a completely different style of riding, with different needs. Attitude was the second thing I said. You will get along with someone else because of their attitude, and their interest. AM riders will get along well with most AM riders, and XC will get along with most XC riders, etc. This is why we have groups of friends we hang out with, and 'riding buddies' It's just people we enjoy spending time with, that can share our moments of glory, and understand that crazed look in our eyes when we get to the bottom of an intense section and stare up at them, almost begging to do it again. Its almost a lifestyle, and is to some. Its just my outlook on things, hopefully it helps some of you. Sorry if it was long.

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