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  1. #1
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    Definition of "All Mountain"

    What types of riding does all mountain cover? How is it different from cross country? I'm just new to this trying to sort things out.

  2. #2
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    It's a marketing term for an activity called "mountain biking". As far as I can tell, mountain bikes were originally designed to 'go anywhere', which seems to be the key principle for all-mountain riding. The average mountain bike that is designed to 'go anywhere' usually weighs around 30 pounds, and this rule of thumb has applied in 1992, 2002, and now in 2012. You just get much more technology packed into those 30 pounds these days.

    The name of this market segment may change over time, but the activity will always be general mountain biking.
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    <---- Don't feed them

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    AM is where you put flats on an xc bike and whine about climbing but brag about how high you can jump

  5. #5
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    Suspension Travel:
    4inchs = xc
    5inchs = trail
    6inchs = am
    7inchs = mini dh/ Freeride
    8+inchs = DH

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm View Post
    AM is where you put flats on an xc bike and whine about climbing but brag about how high you can jump
    Thanks for pigeonholing me dude!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms View Post

    The name of this market segment may change over time, but the activity will always be general mountain biking.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    Please Noooooo...
    Whats this line for?

  9. #9
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    This seems like a troll post.


    but

    an AM bike is burly enough for jumps, drops, bike park, DH, etc, but is still able to be pedaled uphill rather decent.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyHuynh View Post
    Suspension Travel:
    4inchs = xc
    5inchs = trail
    6inchs = am
    7inchs = mini dh/ Freeride
    8+inchs = DH
    What's the difference between "xc" and "trail"...?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    What's the difference between "xc" and "trail"...?
    About 1 inch!

    Thanks, try the Veal and don't forget to tip your Waiters!
    Try this: HTFU

  12. #12
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    The ways companies define the different types of mountain biking and the ways customers define them can differ greatly. In general (and I stress "general"), all-mountain encompasses more types of trails than XC, Freeride, Enduro or whatever else you want to call a type of riding. The idea behind an all-mountain bike is that you can pretty much ride whatever type of trail you want on it. An all-mountain bike won't be the fastest or most efficient bike over most types of terrain, but it will perform fairly well on a wider variety of trails than any other type of mountain bike. An all-mountain bike essentially lets you ride the whole mountain. It's a great option if you're heading to a big trail network with lots of variety, or if you're going someplace new and you're not sure what the terrain will be like.
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  13. #13
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    This is my take on it:

    XC = Racing laps around a track.
    Trail = Just going out and riding for the fun of it.
    AM = Similar to trail riding but you are constantly on the look out for technical routes.
    Freeride = Riding Technical lines just to see if it can be done.
    DH = Get down the hill quicker than anyone else.

    I think most mountain bikers fall into the trail/AM categories.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    About 1 inch!

    Thanks, try the Veal and don't forget to tip your Waiters!
    Sooooo...you're saying that XC bikes are just 1" short of greatness...Bwahahahahhaha!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    Sooooo...you're saying that XC bikes are just 1" short of greatness...Bwahahahahhaha!!!!!
    I actually have no hand in this argument because my bike has a sum total of 0" of travel anywhere yet I consider myself not a roadie but a hardcore, AM/Light FR rider. I do the occasional XC style ride and 24hr races too all on the same bike. So not sure where 0" fits into that metric but in case anyone notices you missed a criteria in there.

    How about this instead of measuring a genre by how much travel one can buy it goes like this:

    Recreational = shorter bikes, upright position, medium length top tubes, mix of paths, roads and singletrack with minimal or no jumps, drops or technical sections. Bikes can weigh from high 20's to high 30's and are generally lower end components and cost brackets but not limited to that.

    XC = longer bikes, stretched out position, longer top tubes, rides a mix of trails with fast singletrack, long ascents and descents, minimal jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low teens to ~30lbs.

    AM/Trail= Medium length bikes, more upright position and mid length top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, long ascents and descents, good amount of jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 20's to mid 30's.

    FR=Medium length bikes, very upright position and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, short ascents or lift access and long descents with a lot of jumps, drops, and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from the high 20 to the low 40's.

    DH=Long bikes, very upright position, and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, lift access mainly, long descents with a lot of jumps, drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 30's to high 40's depending on the course and focus of the terrain.

    Modifiers = RACE added to any genre. Time is goal over length of course, points can be added for tricks. All genres except Recreational.
    Try this: HTFU

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    How can I determine if a bike is an XC, Trail, or All Mountain? I just acquired a 2010 Cannondale F5 last October and wondering where it fits categorically. Would it be the frame, suspension, and/or components that determine the level of riding (jumping, technical level of terrain, ie). Thanks - still learning .

    Edit: Lol! Thanks rockcrusher for the post. I should have waited for you to finish typing.
    Last edited by yaga; 02-10-2012 at 09:04 AM.
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    Thanks alot for the replys. Rockcrusher your response was very helpful. I feel that I fit in the XC class for my style of riding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I actually have no hand in this argument because my bike has a sum total of 0" of travel anywhere yet I consider myself not a roadie but a hardcore, AM/Light FR rider. I do the occasional XC style ride and 24hr races too all on the same bike. So not sure where 0" fits into that metric but in case anyone notices you missed a criteria in there.

    How about this instead of measuring a genre by how much travel one can buy it goes like this:

    Recreational = shorter bikes, upright position, medium length top tubes, mix of paths, roads and singletrack with minimal or no jumps, drops or technical sections. Bikes can weigh from high 20's to high 30's and are generally lower end components and cost brackets but not limited to that.

    XC = longer bikes, stretched out position, longer top tubes, rides a mix of trails with fast singletrack, long ascents and descents, minimal jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low teens to ~30lbs.

    AM/Trail= Medium length bikes, more upright position and mid length top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, long ascents and descents, good amount of jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 20's to mid 30's.

    FR=Medium length bikes, very upright position and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, short ascents or lift access and long descents with a lot of jumps, drops, and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from the high 20 to the low 40's.

    DH=Long bikes, very upright position, and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, lift access mainly, long descents with a lot of jumps, drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 30's to high 40's depending on the course and focus of the terrain.

    Modifiers = RACE added to any genre. Time is goal over length of course, points can be added for tricks. All genres except Recreational.

    This is best description right here.
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  19. #19
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    my "in my 40s" take on this last year..pretty simple without getting marketing/tech babble involved and using just your own chickenskin levels as a your guide.
    xc - xtra careful
    am - ambulance maybe
    dh - definitely hospital
    fr - forget recovery

    on a certain bittersweet day you may experience all

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    my "in my 40s" take on this last year..pretty simple without getting marketing/tech babble involved and using just your own chickenskin levels as a your guide.
    xc - xtra careful
    am - ambulance maybe
    dh - definitely hospital
    fr - forget recovery

    on a certain bittersweet day you may experience all
    I like it!

    My definition -- there is no such thing as "all mountain" riding -- it is just riding.

    But an 'all mountain' bike is one you can ride competently and confidently in all circumstances, from an xc ride to downhill runs at the resort. Maybe not the best bike for any circumstance, but one that will get the job done nonetheless.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm View Post
    AM is where you put flats on an xc bike and whine about climbing but brag about how high you can jump
    best answer

  22. #22
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    Too much words and letters in those descriptions

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm View Post
    Too much words and letters in those descriptions
    true but with a lack of skill or skill set. one needs explained excuses for one's informed choices and/or purchases.

  24. #24
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    Not sure if this is a troll post, but here's my 2 cents.

    As someone who has been riding mtb for close to 20 years, these latest descriptions come off as pretty moronic, marketing-generated micro-categorizations. The kind of riding people are calling xc, trail and all-mountain was just mountain biking or cross country when I started riding.

    We used to race cross country races because it was fun, and got us out to different trail systems. In those days, xc races were not road races on packed dirt. We loved charging up hills so we could fly down the hills. If there were bumps or jumps that we could catch air on, better. Our bikes were built light, and so were we. We did this all on what people would call xc race bikes today. We didn't make excuses for not doing things because of our equipment - we too busy riding the hell out of everything & having fun.

    The categorization is pretty simple to me.

    1. If you're riding on trails, putting in miles up & down, you're doing cross country. There are a wide range of bikes that can do this. Yes, XC racing today is a different animal, but it's all the same sh*t.

    2. If you are gravity oriented, and tend to hike or chairlift up trails to bomb down, that's downhill. Again, a wide variety of bikes for this.

    There are other specializations like, trials & jumping but whatever.

    Don't believe the hype. It's all about having fun.

  25. #25
    meow meow
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    all mountain aka xc aka trail aka mountain biking.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I actually have no hand in this argument because my bike has a sum total of 0" of travel anywhere yet I consider myself not a roadie but a hardcore, AM/Light FR rider. I do the occasional XC style ride and 24hr races too all on the same bike. So not sure where 0" fits into that metric but in case anyone notices you missed a criteria in there.

    How about this instead of measuring a genre by how much travel one can buy it goes like this:

    Recreational = shorter bikes, upright position, medium length top tubes, mix of paths, roads and singletrack with minimal or no jumps, drops or technical sections. Bikes can weigh from high 20's to high 30's and are generally lower end components and cost brackets but not limited to that.

    XC = longer bikes, stretched out position, longer top tubes, rides a mix of trails with fast singletrack, long ascents and descents, minimal jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low teens to ~30lbs.

    AM/Trail= Medium length bikes, more upright position and mid length top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, long ascents and descents, good amount of jumps and drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 20's to mid 30's.

    FR=Medium length bikes, very upright position and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, short ascents or lift access and long descents with a lot of jumps, drops, and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from the high 20 to the low 40's.

    DH=Long bikes, very upright position, and short top tubes, ride a mix of trails with singletrack, lift access mainly, long descents with a lot of jumps, drops and technical sections but not limited to that. Bikes can weigh from low 30's to high 40's depending on the course and focus of the terrain.

    Modifiers = RACE added to any genre. Time is goal over length of course, points can be added for tricks. All genres except Recreational.
    It should also be said that you can ride pretty much an XC bike through a AM trail and an AM trail bike as an XC bike. You can modify a Recreational bike with a few select components to work as an XC through AM bike but once you cross the FR territory you are best off with an FR specific bike. However you can ride down the list until your hearts content with an FR bike, even an DH bike if you see fit.

    Once you cross into FR territory the bike begins to take a much larger beating and since climbing is less of a concern weight becomes less of a concern over strength. So repurposing a AM or an XC bike to handle the type of riding a FR rider will do is just asking for damage to you, your wallet and you bike.

    And the RACE category is usually reserved for specialty bikes, very lightweight bikes that are suited only to their genre and are sometimes not even used for training. Light wheels, tires, frames, parts etc define the extremes of the genre and even if you have the scratch for a 16lbs XC bike or a 24lbs AM bike or a 28lbs FR bike or a 32lbs DH bike it really isn't a super viable option as an everyday mountain bike for whatever your genre is. Most of the time racers have their race bike and then their training bike, which will be a similar bike but built to survive repeated runs and crashes and 1000s of miles of training and shuttle runs and abuse.
    Try this: HTFU

  27. #27
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    What about "over mountain". See how moronic this is?

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    funny posts and most everyone has an opinion about it. there really is no such thing as XC or AM as a riding classification. FR & DH, are valid types of riding. If it isn't FR or DH or on the road/paved path, it is basically trail riding.

    rockcrusher pretty much hits the nail on the head but to simplify even more...
    XC bikes are bikes built to be light weight and fast
    Trail bikes are xc bikes that are not on a diet, general mtn bikes
    AM bikes are built to take bigger hits with as little sacrifice to pedaling it uphill as possible
    FR built for extreme air and abuse
    DH built to excel at riding DH courses
    DJ built to jump, period.

    don't let your bike define your riding but let your riding define your bike. use the tool that is best for the job.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    there really is no such thing as XC or AM as a riding classification. FR & DH, are valid types of riding. If it isn't FR or DH or on the road/paved path, it is basically trail riding.
    Not so fast.

    Cross country in mountain biking is analagous in cross country in skiing and running. Yes, it means riding on trails, which in the most broad sense is mountain biking.

    Today, cross country means something else to a lot of people, but I prefer the broad definition.

    Anyone want to go for an all-mountain run with me?

  30. #30
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    I consider All Mountain like the competitions. Riding up extended climbs, usually fire road for 30 min +, followed by extended downhills 30 min+. The bike for shuttle runs if you want to ride the climbs.

    General up down stuff is trail. Doesn't necessarily mean easier terrain but the bike needs to be set up differently for flatter corners and pedalling efficiency. Steeper head angles , shorter wheelbase and chain stays helps.It's also lighter as it involves multiple sharp steep climbs. A long travel xc style bike like Trance x , mojo, blur LT.

    AM bike can be heavier[ not a problem on extended slow climbs], steeper seat tube angles[ for extended climbs], and longer travel and wheelbase.


    Freeride bike for those taking the shuttles or pushing up the hills.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    I consider All Mountain like the competitions. Riding up extended climbs, usually fire road for 30 min +, followed by extended downhills 30 min+. The bike for shuttle runs if you want to ride the climbs.

    General up down stuff is trail. Doesn't necessarily mean easier terrain but the bike needs to be set up differently for flatter corners and pedalling efficiency. Steeper head angles , shorter wheelbase and chain stays helps.It's also lighter as it involves multiple sharp steep climbs. A long travel xc style bike like Trance x , mojo, blur LT.

    AM bike can be heavier[ not a problem on extended slow climbs], steeper seat tube angles[ for extended climbs], and longer travel and wheelbase.
    Not to get into a pissing match but your first statement just proved the point I made in my opening statement. What if we're talking about a 30 mile epic and the ride consists of long climbs followed by long descents, then repeats... and, there is little opportunity for drops, log rides, boulders / big step-downs, etc. Is this now a XC ride? It would be general up down, trail riding by your definition.

    The point that I was trying to make was that outside of FR, DH and DJ, the rest of the mountain bike riding is "trail riding". As in, you are riding a bike on trails, usually single track.

    To further prove my point, you go on to start talking ALL ABOUT THE BIKE. In all logical sense, XC, Trail and AM are definitions of types of bikes and not types of riding. Some locales warrant an AM bike while in other areas an AM bike would be overkill.

    Where things get blurry is when people begin labeling a specific type of trail riding as AM or XC because the preferred tool for those trails are a XC or AM bike.

    Edit: what if I'm a total puss and slowly work my way through the same trail on my XC bike that you just rode through on your "AM" bike? Was I XC riding, AM riding or trail riding?

  32. #32
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    Isn't the entirety of mountain biking done on trails?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    funny posts and most everyone has an opinion about it. there really is no such thing as XC or AM as a riding classification. FR & DH, are valid types of riding. If it isn't FR or DH or on the road/paved path, it is basically trail riding.

    don't let your bike define your riding but let your riding define your bike. use the tool that is best for the job.
    I know, it is a silly, senseless semantic argument over marketing terms and word use, but I'm bored ...

    I agree most with classifying the bike as its fitness for particular purposes, although calling something an XC trail or a DH trail does give me some indication of what you mean, so I get that, too. Except for "AM trail" -- that term just sounds silly to me. I can and have picked my way down some pretty gnarly trails, eg, Fireswamp at Deer Valley, Sticks n Stones (or something like that) at Northstar, and although I rode 99% of it, no one would have said I was downhilling! Likewise, I've had some fast but mostly attached to the ground runs down Livewire, and I definitely wasn't freeriding like most in front and behind me.

    But if I really wanted to pound down a steep rocky run, I would probably be best off on a DH bike. If I wanted to huck the tables and gaps, a FR bike would probably help me do this best. If I wanted to ride 30 miles around a lake as energetically and fast as possible, an XC bike is probably my best tool. If I want to shuttle, but still have to climb a couple thousand vert, and/or I want to be able to hit all the "optionals" on the way down, an AM bike would probably best suit my desires and intentions.

    Note: if you want to see how silly the terms can be, try to explain it to someone who knows nothing about mountain biking, in any of its varied and lovely forms. My uncle and his 16 yr old son came over to watch the Superbowl, and were very inquisitive about my Enduro sitting in the corner, about what kind of bike he should get, how much he had to spend to get a bike, etc. My explanation of the different flavors wasn't very helpful, I fear ("wait, why can't you ride up the hill" or "why can't you go fast down the hill ..."). After all, the kid just wants to ride a bike on trails!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I know, it is a silly, senseless semantic argument over marketing terms and word use, but I'm bored ...

    I agree most with classifying the bike as its fitness for particular purposes, although calling something an XC trail or a DH trail does give me some indication of what you mean, so I get that, too. Except for "AM trail" -- that term just sounds silly to me. I can and have picked my way down some pretty gnarly trails, eg, Fireswamp at Deer Valley, Sticks n Stones (or something like that) at Northstar, and although I rode 99% of it, no one would have said I was downhilling! Likewise, I've had some fast but mostly attached to the ground runs down Livewire, and I definitely wasn't freeriding like most in front and behind me.

    But if I really wanted to pound down a steep rocky run, I would probably be best off on a DH bike. If I wanted to huck the tables and gaps, a FR bike would probably help me do this best. If I wanted to ride 30 miles around a lake as energetically and fast as possible, an XC bike is probably my best tool. If I want to shuttle, but still have to climb a couple thousand vert, and/or I want to be able to hit all the "optionals" on the way down, an AM bike would probably best suit my desires and intentions.

    Note: if you want to see how silly the terms can be, try to explain it to someone who knows nothing about mountain biking, in any of its varied and lovely forms. My uncle and his 16 yr old son came over to watch the Superbowl, and were very inquisitive about my Enduro sitting in the corner, about what kind of bike he should get, how much he had to spend to get a bike, etc. My explanation of the different flavors wasn't very helpful, I fear ("wait, why can't you ride up the hill" or "why can't you go fast down the hill ..."). After all, the kid just wants to ride a bike on trails!
    well put.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuartfleming View Post
    AM = Similar to trail riding but you are constantly on the look out for technical routes.
    This.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dump View Post
    Isn't the entirety of mountain biking done on trails?
    Yes, but you need the right bike for those trail. I laugh so hard on the inside when I see someone on a 6 inch bike when they are clearly trail riding and NOT all-mountain riding.

    One dude was on a hardtail, but dressed for trail, then he had some dirt jumper shoes and a cross-country helmet and he was pushing the bike up a hill, between the 29er wheels and the camelback.... I was like whoa, schizophrenic much?

    entirely sarcasm

    I hate marketing. Ride what you enjoy. If you are a noob, then understand that certain types of bikes have very specific specialties, regardless of suspension travel. Also be aware that marketing hype generally increases proportionally with price, while performance (unless you are elite enough for it to matter) generally increases at digressive rate.

    The beautiful pleasure of endophins+adrenaline+2 wheels, trees and dirt should not be spoiled by questioning whether you would enjoy your ride more if you had 10mm more suspension travel or a half-pound lighter bike or.....
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  37. #37
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    It's pretty simple, just take an original mountain bike and improve it for the type of riding you want to do:

    - make it faster by making it lighter for longer rides and you get a bike that is: XC
    - don't change much on it, just go ride it on your favorite trails for fun: TRAIL
    - make it handle rougher trails by giving it more travel & bigger brakes: AM
    - make it handle big jumps and lots of technical riding: FR
    - make it repeatedly survive high speed runs down the hills: DH

    It's just they way mountain bikes have evolved, marketing just tries to satisfy every buyer. Go ride what you like.

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    So we've now discovered that everyone here is very willing to feed the trolls, and yet we're no closer to a usable definition. Why? Perhaps Uncle Six Pack put it best right above me. Or perhaps the great Steve Winwood put it better?


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman829 View Post
    So we've now discovered that everyone here is very willing to feed the trolls, and yet we're no closer to a usable definition. Why? Perhaps Uncle Six Pack put it best right above me. Or perhaps the great Steve Winwood put it better?
    Just because a question doesn't have an answer doesn't mean it isn't fun to think about! Even if the discussion is brought on by a troll.

    I mean, every sport has all types of people involved in it; at one end of the spectrum are those who couldn't care less about the gear, the other end is the gearhead who likes the gear as much as the sport itself. Some people have one bike they just ride, others really enjoy having what they think is the exact right bike for every ride. Who is to say which approach is better? I dunno, but its fun to banter back and forth about it on a slow Friday afternoon.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    I hate marketing. Ride what you enjoy. If you are a noob, then understand that certain types of bikes have very specific specialties, regardless of suspension travel.
    I definitely get what you're saying, but in my view, bikes aren't as specific or specialty-oriented as they seem -- I think that is the marketing issue, or what 'they' want consumers to think. You can ride just about any bike just about anywhere you want to.
    I guarantee you'll have more fun than if you stayed home because you 'didn't have the right bike' for the trail.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I definitely get what you're saying, but in my view, bikes aren't as specific or specialty-oriented as they seem ...
    By "certain types of bikes" I was referring to highly specialized builds such as DH bikes (miserable to pedal anywhere), dirt jumpers (many have no front brake, maybe singlespeed), and things like that. If you know for a fact that you be jumping or dropping big hits or plan on racing competitively, then you may need something special. If you are experienced enough that you know you exactly what you need (want/enjoy), then go get it.

    For anyone else, any normal hardtail or normal medium-travel full-sus (which are offered by all leading manufacturers) will suit-simply choose a price point you are comfortable with and pull out the credit card.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  42. #42
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    AM bikes are freeride bikes that were designed to be pedalled uphill. Trail bikes are XC bikes without twitchy race geometry. XC bikes are for racing XC. Most bikes are "trail" bikes, 100-150, sometimes 160mm.

    I think we all know what AM is, we just like to play the word game and pretend we dont

  43. #43
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    My definition of all mountain X3
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Definition of &quot;All Mountain&quot;-carbon1-002.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    AM bikes are freeride bikes that were designed to be pedalled uphill. Trail bikes are XC bikes without twitchy race geometry. XC bikes are for racing XC. Most bikes are "trail" bikes, 100-150, sometimes 160mm.

    I think we all know what AM is, we just like to play the word game and pretend we dont
    See I don't think you do, for whatever reason people continue to define bikes by what they are not how they are ridden. AM bikes are bikes ridden on AM trails but that doesn't stop me from taking my XC race bike down those trails and having as much fun as a person a marketed AM bike.

    I ride a rigid bike. Where do I fit in, I have no travel front or rear but regularly ride AM trails and sometimes take the FR lines on these trails. Long descents, jumps, extremely technical lines and drops. My bike has classic geometry, slacker head angle, steeper seat tube.

    The problem when defining something by what someone rides and not what and how they ride is that you unfairly judge people by what they choose to ride and not how they ride. I think that is the beef many people have with the AM crowd. You judge whether I am an AM rider by the fact that my bike has X" of travel and a dropper post and if someone doesn't roll with your marketing influenced determination of AM then you give them grief call them trail riders or even XC riders. As has been pointed out numerous times, whether it is Greg Minear ripping it up on a CX bike or trials guys doing their thing on a road bike, it isn't about how much money you can spend or what you spend it on, it is what you do with your bike that defines you as a rider.

    This concept always reminds me of when I used to ride back in this area that was bound by a reall huge technical rock face. Trucks of all kinds would come and try that face to see whether they could make it or not. A lot of times modified jeeps had no problem, stock SUV's died horrible deaths and pickup trucks were 50-50 (too light in the bed). As we rode on through a big group of Jeeps we stopped at a water hole and a couple of jeeps came through. Then later on the trail a VW baja bug came through. We were astonished that it made it through but figured it just skated through and would make its way out an easier exit, yet there we were at the rock on our way back when up comes the Baja through the rocks and out past the waiting and failed line of purpose built offroaders. Just shows you that skill trumps technology on a lot of fronts.

    AM is a skill set not a technology. Jumping to the next level requires the skills more than the bike. Recreational to XC more skill. XC to AM more skill. AM to FR more skill. FR to DH more skill. From Rec to AM you can pretty much ride the bike you started with, as you learn skills you might upgrade or you might not, depends what you started with. From AM to DH you might upgrade or you might not, depends how fast and big you want to go.

    As Lance Armstrong said "it is not about the bike". Get over that.
    Try this: HTFU

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    See I don't think you do, for whatever reason people continue to define bikes by what they are not how they are ridden. AM bikes are bikes ridden on AM trails but that doesn't stop me from taking my XC race bike down those trails and having as much fun as a person a marketed AM bike.

    I ride a rigid bike. Where do I fit in, I have no travel front or rear but regularly ride AM trails and sometimes take the FR lines on these trails. Long descents, jumps, extremely technical lines and drops. My bike has classic geometry, slacker head angle, steeper seat tube.

    The problem when defining something by what someone rides and not what and how they ride is that you unfairly judge people by what they choose to ride and not how they ride. I think that is the beef many people have with the AM crowd. You judge whether I am an AM rider by the fact that my bike has X" of travel and a dropper post and if someone doesn't roll with your marketing influenced determination of AM then you give them grief call them trail riders or even XC riders. As has been pointed out numerous times, whether it is Greg Minear ripping it up on a CX bike or trials guys doing their thing on a road bike, it isn't about how much money you can spend or what you spend it on, it is what you do with your bike that defines you as a rider.

    This concept always reminds me of when I used to ride back in this area that was bound by a reall huge technical rock face. Trucks of all kinds would come and try that face to see whether they could make it or not. A lot of times modified jeeps had no problem, stock SUV's died horrible deaths and pickup trucks were 50-50 (too light in the bed). As we rode on through a big group of Jeeps we stopped at a water hole and a couple of jeeps came through. Then later on the trail a VW baja bug came through. We were astonished that it made it through but figured it just skated through and would make its way out an easier exit, yet there we were at the rock on our way back when up comes the Baja through the rocks and out past the waiting and failed line of purpose built offroaders. Just shows you that skill trumps technology on a lot of fronts.

    AM is a skill set not a technology. Jumping to the next level requires the skills more than the bike. Recreational to XC more skill. XC to AM more skill. AM to FR more skill. FR to DH more skill. From Rec to AM you can pretty much ride the bike you started with, as you learn skills you might upgrade or you might not, depends what you started with. From AM to DH you might upgrade or you might not, depends how fast and big you want to go.

    As Lance Armstrong said "it is not about the bike". Get over that.
    Oh boy, see this is the problem.... AM is not a type of trail or a level of difficulty or a style of riding. AM is definitely not a "skillset".... the internet has spread this misconception.

    A bike is what it is. It is not defined by how it is ridden. The VW baja bug (your words) is a VW baja bug, not a rock crawler, even though that is what you saw it doing.

    If I use a pair of pliers for two different jobs, did it just become a multi-tool?

    Your 2nd and third paragraphs lead me to believe that you have described yourself as an AM rider who rides AM trails, and you take offense to people not agreeing with you. Don't feel inferior for being a mountain biker (and not an AM rider-which by your very description you are not). I would even go so far as to say you may be intermediate to advanced in many of your skills and abilities, able to ride your bike at startling speeds over a variety of obstacles. But that is not AM-that is being a good rider. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best explanation.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

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    I'd have to go with a +1 to both Dusty and 53119's definition's.

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    Like an AM snowboard that's designed to ride everything on and off the mountain, an AM bike is designed to be a middle of the rd, dabble in everything platform for a rider that wants their bike to be capable of anything they want to try.

    That said, we are seeing AM move more towards light trail bikes and away from do anything bikes. My guess is FR will make a come back because FR bikes were the original do anything all mountain platform. AM filled that market because most riders don't need an 8 to 10 pound frames built for going big. 6 to 7lbs frames built for aggressive riding taps a much larger market and that's why AM has grown so large and FR bikes have just about died out.

    I would say AM means do anything, but I believe it is becoming to mean ride trails aggressively; FR will again be the do anything bike with AM filling today's trail category.

    FR was declared dead: I predict a resurrection as AM bikes move more towards super light trail bikes.

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    What is the difference between running shoes & hiking shoes? What about walking shoes, sprinting shoes, dancing shoes & dress shoes.

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    Try the search function next time. There is a new, idiotic, post every week asking this same question. It is equivalent to asking "do I like Top Ramen or Cup-O-Noodles better?". They're both dehydrated instant salt noodles. With bikes, buy the one that you like riding better. Next year they'll probably call it something else in the marketing brochures.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  50. #50
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    What would this bike be considered? It weighs 23 pounds, a 2 x 9 with bashguard drivetrain and a 180mm front rotor:

    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  51. #51
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    Rockcrusher read my mind...

    The way I look at it...
    I have a 97 Giant Yukon rigid that was my first mountain bike... Bought new in 97.
    While it is a MOUNTAIN bike... It did not hold up well to my local trail. The fork was threaded and it had a quill stem.
    I would constantly strip the threads on the fork riding through rock gardens...

    Now I own a Santa Cruz Nickel... Technically a "Trail bike".
    5" of travel... And it eats up the rock gardens that used to eat up my Giant!

    Can you ride a XC bike as an AM bike? Yes... But it might not handle the trail as well as a "trail" or "all mountain" bike.

    I can say though... My "Trail bike" is much faster downhill than my "XC" bike!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post


    Try the search function next time. There is a new, idiotic, post every week asking this same question. It is equivalent to asking "do I like Top Ramen or Cup-O-Noodles better?". They're both dehydrated instant salt noodles. With bikes, buy the one that you like riding better. Next year they'll probably call it something else in the marketing brochures.
    If you are refering to me I tried the search function and came up with nothing. Thankyou for adding nothing to this thread.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    See I don't think you do, for whatever reason people continue to define bikes by what they are not how they are ridden.
    Because thats the only way it makes sense If you take a ferrari off road, its still a sportscar. If you take a jeep to the racetrack, its still a jeep.
    AM bikes are bikes ridden on AM trails but that doesn't stop me from taking my XC race bike down those trails and having as much fun as a person a marketed AM bike.
    Of course not, but its still an xc bike.
    I ride a rigid bike. Where do I fit in, I have no travel front or rear but regularly ride AM trails and sometimes take the FR lines on these trails. Long descents, jumps, extremely technical lines and drops. My bike has classic geometry, slacker head angle, steeper seat tube.
    You have an XC bike. You just ride it hard. Ive know guys with 7-8 inch freeride bikes who put skinnier tires on them and really only ride single track. Its still a freeride bike.
    The problem when defining something by what someone rides and not what and how they ride is that you unfairly judge people by what they choose to ride and not how they ride.
    How does it judge anyone? The bike you ride doesnt define you, or the trails you ride, or really anything. Its just a bike. Thats why the classification makes sense. Doesnt matter whos on the bike or how its being ridden, its still an AM bike.

    Ive never gotten a comment from anyone about the type of bike im riding compared to the trail its being ridden on. A trail is just a trail, some are harder than others, but they're all trails. Bikes have non subjective mechanical differences that make it pretty easy to categorize them.

  54. #54
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    If someone says "am bike" 9/10 people think something with about 6 inches of travel, fairly burly, and can be pedaled. When someone says "am trail" Im basically clueless on what to expect, everyones idea is pretty drastically different. Might be fast rocky single track, or it might be huge drops and stunts.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by melsdad View Post
    If you are refering to me I tried the search function and came up with nothing. Thankyou for adding nothing to this thread.
    Seriously? There are more threads about all-mountain than the rep system.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    Oh boy, see this is the problem.... AM is not a type of trail or a level of difficulty or a style of riding. AM is definitely not a "skillset".... the internet has spread this misconception.

    A bike is what it is. It is not defined by how it is ridden. The VW baja bug (your words) is a VW baja bug, not a rock crawler, even though that is what you saw it doing.

    If I use a pair of pliers for two different jobs, did it just become a multi-tool?

    Your 2nd and third paragraphs lead me to believe that you have described yourself as an AM rider who rides AM trails, and you take offense to people not agreeing with you. Don't feel inferior for being a mountain biker (and not an AM rider-which by your very description you are not). I would even go so far as to say you may be intermediate to advanced in many of your skills and abilities, able to ride your bike at startling speeds over a variety of obstacles. But that is not AM-that is being a good rider. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best explanation.
    So what many of you are saying is that AM is directly your ability to buy a bike classified by some suit in a corporate office somewhere and speced by a spec manager to look the roll. Do if I buy a remedy but ride it in bike paths and the road I still call myself AM rider?


    I mean I define myself as a biker first and foremost. Categories are thought up by bike companies to sell bikes. If you believe you are an all mountain rider because you bought a bike then that is fine with me but in the VW example it isn't a rockcrawler because that is a marketing term but it it's in fact rock crawling which is commendable.




    I hope you can see what I am getting at and I have no stake in this argument I just think that when someone comes into a forum they shouldn't be excluded because they don't have 150mm travel or a dropper post.
    Try this: HTFU

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    So what many of you are saying is that AM is directly your ability to buy a bike classified by some suit in a corporate office somewhere and speced by a spec manager to look the roll. Do if I buy a remedy but ride it in bike paths and the road I still call myself AM rider?
    It goes way beyond marketing... the "AM" bikes coming to market these days arent XC bikes with a huge fork and stickers tossed on them, and they're definitely not soggy poor pedaling freeride bikes. They're purpose built, burly bikes, designed to pedal around. Its definitely a new type of bike.

    You seem very concerned about the title the rider gives themselves. Whats wrong with having a AM bike and riding whatever trails you want with it? You dont have to ride only x-type of trail because you bought that type of bike. Thats the great thing about the newer "AM" type bikes.. you can hop on them and do a 5 hour cross country ride if you wanted, and then take it on shuttle runs later.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    So what many of you are saying is that AM is directly your ability to buy a bike classified by some suit in a corporate office somewhere and speced by a spec manager to look the roll...

    I just think that when someone comes into a forum they shouldn't be excluded because they don't have 150mm travel or a dropper post.
    UMMM, no.. AM is a category of bicycles. BICYCLES. Anyone who calls him or herself an "AM rider" is just gonna sound silly.

    And no, I am not trying to exclude you from anything based on your suspension or your seatpost.

    I am just pointing out a silly inconsistency that leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

    But seriously, whatever...
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    FR was declared dead
    The rumors of FR's death have been highly exaggerated.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

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    In the early 90's, I was tired of flattening the tires of my road bike on a railroad track as I headed towards campus, so I bought a mountain bike. After college, it would annually be pulled out for a "rails-to-trails" ride, but that was about it. A couple of years ago, I became interested in riding a road bike again, built one up. But, that's broadened now, and I arrived here a few months ago, wanting to actually start mountain-biking now.

    Have to admit, I was completely lost for several weeks. FR, DH, AM, none of it made any sense to me. I thought a mountain bike was a mountain bike. I knew that my rigid was seen as old-school, I knew that different full-suspension bikes had different amounts of travel, but I really had no idea that people would use lifts to get to a mountaintop for a downhill ride. I grasped the idea of a cyclocross bike, but to say one bike was an AM bike but another was a trail bike...

    Although I checked the glossary thread, it didn't quite sort it all out anywhere near as much as this thread has, even with the disagreements. Very helpful discussion. Whether or not the OP was a troll or not, thIs would be a great thread to pin/make sticky, methinks.....

    Thanks all, for contributing, it's helped me wrap my head around some nuances....

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    UMMM, no.. AM is a category of bicycles. BICYCLES. Anyone who calls him or herself an "AM rider" is just gonna sound silly.

    And no, I am not trying to exclude you from anything based on your suspension or your seatpost.

    I am just pointing out a silly inconsistency that leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

    But seriously, whatever...
    Look all I am trying to do is help the OP realize that he can experience AM riding without having to get a new bike or perhaps think that his bike is not able to do so. By placing criteria such as suspension travel, frame design etc. you aren't helping anyone.

    By your definition this is not AM riding:


    from here: Fat fronts suck!

    no suspension, a snow bike tire and a no gears. It is just an example but again the OP should be given the chance to see that the only limitations is skill not bike.
    Try this: HTFU

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    It goes way beyond marketing... the "AM" bikes coming to market these days arent XC bikes with a huge fork and stickers tossed on them, and they're definitely not soggy poor pedaling freeride bikes. They're purpose built, burly bikes, designed to pedal around. Its definitely a new type of bike.

    You seem very concerned about the title the rider gives themselves. Whats wrong with having a AM bike and riding whatever trails you want with it? You dont have to ride only x-type of trail because you bought that type of bike. Thats the great thing about the newer "AM" type bikes.. you can hop on them and do a 5 hour cross country ride if you wanted, and then take it on shuttle runs later.
    I think you misread me, that is the point I am making. AM is not what you buy it is what you do with it. Just as you could do a 5 hour XC ride on a AM bike you could do a 5hr AM ride on an XC bike (skill set available of course). I understand I rode a SC bullit for years as an XC, AM and FR bike. It was my do everything. Now I ride rigid singlespeed/1x9 as an XC, AM and occasional FR bike. It is my do everything bike, my mountain bike if you will.
    Try this: HTFU

  63. #63
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    AM as a riding style is vague, and really kind of a joke at this point. More incites visions of dudebros chugging mountain dew than any real riding style. I think if anything, we should merge AM with the freeride forum, and change this is trail. "trail" is really the biggest segment of mtb on the consumer level.

    If you ride a typical XC bike on a trail that really pushes the limits of an AM bike, you're going to break it, and break yourself. I liked my old 4 inch giant trance, and I hammered that thing to death, but a day came when I realized id be better off selling it before i broke it. There definitely comes a point where if you want to ride harder, you really do need a bigger bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
    In the early 90's, I was tired of flattening the tires of my road bike on a railroad track as I headed towards campus, so I bought a mountain bike. After college, it would annually be pulled out for a "rails-to-trails" ride, but that was about it. A couple of years ago, I became interested in riding a road bike again, built one up. But, that's broadened now, and I arrived here a few months ago, wanting to actually start mountain-biking now.

    Have to admit, I was completely lost for several weeks. FR, DH, AM, none of it made any sense to me. I thought a mountain bike was a mountain bike. I knew that my rigid was seen as old-school, I knew that different full-suspension bikes had different amounts of travel, but I really had no idea that people would use lifts to get to a mountaintop for a downhill ride. I grasped the idea of a cyclocross bike, but to say one bike was an AM bike but another was a trail bike...

    Although I checked the glossary thread, it didn't quite sort it all out anywhere near as much as this thread has, even with the disagreements. Very helpful discussion. Whether or not the OP was a troll or not, thIs would be a great thread to pin/make sticky, methinks.....

    Thanks all, for contributing, it's helped me wrap my head around some nuances....
    I agree with you Bright I could not find a clear explanation that determined the different styles of riding. I was just trying to find out where I stood with the riding that I do. Just as I expected there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to defineing riding styles. Most of the posts here were very helpful, and some not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    The rumors of FR's death have been highly exaggerated.
    I don't know about that. It's not a rummer that we don't see as many FR bikes as we used to. I'm referring to marketing, not riding styles.

    We have seen a steady decline in FR bikes over the years with a steady increase of AM bikes with a few AM bikes on the heavy end of the spectrum filling the FR slot. We are seeing AM move away from burly do anything bikes, and move towards super light aggressive trail bikes.

    Sure there's still FR bikes coming out, but compare FR offerings to light AM bikes and it's no rummer. FR is not dead, but it's taking a back seat to light aggressive trail bikes that fall under the large AM umbrella.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post

    By your definition this is not AM riding:
    ....
    By my definition, there is no such thing as "AM riding". That appears to me to be a nice rocky ledge being taken with some style. When did someone define that as "AM riding"?

    Nevermind, though. It is not worth arguing. I am not judging you on anything other than semantics. Have fun AMing.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

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    I'm usually not this confrontational, but this thread is ridiculous. Just freakin' ride whatever the hell you want with whatever you have. If a bike with more suspension and burlier tires is more fun for you, then ride that. If you want the opposite, then ride that. I've always gone with the loose definition of AM as more than I'd see on an XC racecourse, but less than I'd see in a video like "From the Inside Out". BUT THAT'S JUST ME! Do you and who cares what everyone else says. When we try to categorize all this crap we just sound like a bunch of nagging roadies... Rant over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    What would this bike be considered? It weighs 23 pounds, a 2 x 9 with bashguard drivetrain and a 180mm front rotor:

    an XC bike with a bash guard and 180mm rotor!
    Last edited by rhyko; 02-12-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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    Ride on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    As Lance Armstrong said "it is not about the bike". Get over that.
    Lance Armstrong is an enormous twatwaffle.

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    Somewhere someone said this forum would be best redefined as the Mountain Biking/Trail forum and I will recommend that to the admin because it seems like the general consensus is that FR and AM bike are close relatives and you share a lot of similar concepts for gear and as others have mentioned FR is segueing to a more AM style of bike anyways.
    Try this: HTFU

  71. #71
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    Honestly... ahh I give up

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    If someone says "am bike" 9/10 people think something with about 6 inches of travel, fairly burly, and can be pedaled. When someone says "am trail" Im basically clueless on what to expect, everyones idea is pretty drastically different. Might be fast rocky single track, or it might be huge drops and stunts.
    100% what most people would agree with. AM is a style of bike. Really, really hard to define an "AM" trail. You either ride hard enough to need an AM bike or you have the skills to get away with something with a lot less travel/less burly. I thought we had settled this argument a few pages back!!!

    What is most funny is that people don't want to be labeled as a XC rider because they're on a XC bike. What we have here is an AM Ego identity crisis. I RIDE AM, DUDE!

    AM is a style of bike. Period. If you ride an AM bike but you ride it like a pansy then are you AM? It doesn't matter... there is no "AM trail". What you have is a pansy on a big burly bike. If you want to label that person, then they are a ...... you fill in the blank with choice of NAME.

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    Man... I was hoping this thread had degraded into hilarity by now.... I'm sort of disappointed.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    100% what most people would agree with. AM is a style of bike. Really, really hard to define an "AM" trail. You either ride hard enough to need an AM bike or you have the skills to get away with something with a lot less travel/less burly. I thought we had settled this argument a few pages back!!!

    What is most funny is that people don't want to be labeled as a XC rider because they're on a XC bike. What we have here is an AM Ego identity crisis. I RIDE AM, DUDE!

    AM is a style of bike. Period. If you ride an AM bike but you ride it like a pansy then are you AM? It doesn't matter... there is no "AM trail". What you have is a pansy on a big burly bike. If you want to label that person, then they are a ...... you fill in the blank with choice of NAME.
    Poseur? But wait a minute. If you "have the skills to get away with something with a lot less travel/less burly" then you are the opposite of "a pansy on a big burly bike." The first guy is more "AM" than the second obviously. So it's not really so much a "style of bike" as it is "skill of rider."

    At some point as a rider get more skilled and rides tougher terrain faster, he will dump the less burly bike for something more solid - like after he breaks the xc bike. It took me 2 frames and 2 broken 10mm QR rear axles over a period of about 10 years to figure out that maybe a tougher bike, more travel, and a thru axle might be a better option for me than a 4" race bike. Duh.

    But I only upgraded to a sub 30 lbs. 5" bike so I can still climb fast, and I'm not all that skilled in the air department. So I guess I'm still "x-c", huh?

    Oh, well. My ego is shattered.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    This is how I define what I ride. I ride my AM setup Nomad 1.5 (bought purposely over a Nomad 2 for the more active 165mm of travel) mainly up and down ancient canyons with lots of rocks and washes.

    To me what makes this bike" AM" is the parts spec: It has 165mm rear and 160mm front of travel with no lock outs on the RC2 fork and the titanium sprung RC4 shock, an overbuilt wheelset with wide rims for 2.5 high rolling resistance tires, big brake discs, an up right seating position, it has a KS dropper post, it has a mid cage Saint rear derailleur, it has a Saint crank with 31 tooth Homebrew sprocket and 36 tooth bail out on the rear, it's got a an e13 LG+ guide and only a heart rate monitor mounted on the bars to make sure I don't kill myself pedaling or pushing this pig up some 20+ degree fire road or crazy rock filled single track trail.

    This Nomad sucks if you have to pedal fast on low rolling resistance trails for extended periods of time, but it will go absolutely anywhere. I certainly would take the Nomad over my XC hardtail to go cut downhill trails or exploring new terrain. But on a ride with a bunch of hammer heads, the Nomad is staying at home and the twitchy and lightweight XC bike is going with it's low rolling resistance tires, lightweight wheelset, fixed seatpost, long cage derailleur, flexy-crank with three chainrings, and a computer with too many different acquisitioned data points that tell me and my friends what we've just accomplished.

    Yet I know that I could ride any of my bikes, including a 24" BMX bike if I had to, on any trail. I am afforded getting to "segment" my bikes.
    Last edited by dirthead451; 02-13-2012 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Poseur? But wait a minute. If you "have the skills to get away with something with a lot less travel/less burly" then you are the opposite of "a pansy on a big burly bike." The first guy is more "AM" than the second obviously. So it's not really so much a "style of bike" as it is "skill of rider."

    At some point as a rider get more skilled and rides tougher terrain faster, he will dump the less burly bike for something more solid - like after he breaks the xc bike. It took me 2 frames and 2 broken 10mm QR rear axles over a period of about 10 years to figure out that maybe a tougher bike, more travel, and a thru axle might be a better option for me than a 4" race bike. Duh.

    But I only upgraded to a sub 30 lbs. 5" bike so I can still climb fast, and I'm not all that skilled in the air department. So I guess I'm still "x-c", huh?

    Oh, well. My ego is shattered.
    you've missed the point. YOU are not XC or AM, based on the type of bike you ride. never mind.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm View Post
    AM is where you put flats on an xc bike and whine about climbing but brag about how high you can jump
    Almost there. To this I would add "brag about how fast you can descend."
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  78. #78
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    AM= poorly defined for new riders.. perfect for warranty dept.

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    There is no clear definition as all bike manufacturers go about things in slightly different ways
    Personally I think it is mainly about the head angle, that makes bikes feel so different.
    Xc 69-71
    Trail centre bike; 68-69
    Am 66-68
    Fr 65-66
    Dh 65 or less & longer than fr bike
    Obviously there is over lap & many are all round bikes.
    some people live more in one minute than others do in a year
    Ride on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Look all I am trying to do is help the OP realize that he can experience AM riding without having to get a new bike or perhaps think that his bike is not able to do so. By placing criteria such as suspension travel, frame design etc. you aren't helping anyone.

    By your definition this is not AM riding:


    from here: Fat fronts suck!

    no suspension, a snow bike tire and a no gears. It is just an example but again the OP should be given the chance to see that the only limitations is skill not bike.
    AM has nothing to do with how you ride. It's just a general definition, or guideline for what the bike is best suited to. In your picture above is a rigid single speed. You can ride it however, and wherever you like- but it's still a rigid singlespeed. How would you explain to a noob what is different about the pictured bike and a downhill bike? Again, you can ride a downhill bike anywhere, but that dosen't negate the fact that it has a generally agreed upon specific purpose.

    It's just a helpful way for people to select the right bike for them, nothing more, nothing less.
    Like the car analogy someone said above, you can drive an offroad racing truck on a roadrace track, but it's still an offroad truck, or a F1 race car offroad, but it's still a roadrace car.

  81. #81
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    Chicken or egg?
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerhillJDOG View Post
    AM= poorly defined for new riders.. perfect for warranty dept.
    Good thread topic: "things one never says when calling about a warranty"
    Naming is just a way to categorize bikes. Everyone seems to know what an xc bike is. Most know what a downhill bike is. Many know what freeride bikes are. Less know what a slopestyle bike is. Originally, all mountain was anything that was between xc and dh/freeride
    Now all mountain and trail bikes are fitting into the space created by the triangle of xc dh/freeride and slopestyle. They can take characteristics from anything or they can lean toward something (like xc). The trail bike I'm riding has:
    • Low BB (from dh)
    • Slack head angle (leaning toward dh)
    • Steep Seat angle (from xc)
    • Dropper post (maybe the only official allmountain component)

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    you've missed the point. YOU are not XC or AM, based on the type of bike you ride. never mind.
    Gotcha. Makes sense now; we agree.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  84. #84
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    Not this again...God damn it.

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    y'know what would be funny? if MTBR shut down the AllMountain thread for a week as a social experiment or study. where would i/we go? would i stand in the corner unnoticed and shy in the DH or dj room or would i yell out inapproriate mean things in an xc and 29er thread?

    if i take an AM sh#t in the woods and noone's sees it is it still AM?

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    y'know what would be funny? if MTBR shut down the AllMountain thread for a week as a social experiment or study. where would i/we go? would i stand in the corner unnoticed and shy in the DH or dj room or would i yell out inapproriate mean things in an xc and 29er thread?
    What a dilemma: Do you cower in the shadow of your perceived betters or **** on your perceived inferiors?

    I'm thinking that if you weren't born with a ton of talent, you'll never make it as a FR, DH, or DJ rider, so you might as well resign yourself to being "only" an AM rider. The FR, DH, and DJ crowd will always look down on you and you will never get into their club. Meanwhile the schlubs who are now newbie XC'ers and 29'ers just might catch up with your after a few more years of practice and experience.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    in mtb circles i am the Napalm of my own mind, dwt! i could classify as an aging bmxican as well.

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    just have fun

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    Ride hard, ride fast, and use the gear that works best for you and the trail you are riding on. Thats all MTB. Screw all the sub classes I say, they only create arrogance between mountain bikers anyway far as I can make out.

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    AM in warranty terms is just light riding of all sorts really. Just so, when something breaks, they can just say you were riding something 'too extreme' for the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by melsdad View Post
    What types of riding does all mountain cover? How is it different from cross country? I'm just new to this trying to sort things out.
    XC, Trail, and AM describe approaches to bike frame and component design. However, they are all designed to hit pretty much the same trails. The only real difference is that AM bikes can handle larger drops without breaking something. No matter what terrain you show me, if people are pedaling up and down it, you will see experienced riders on everything from XC to AM rigs riding it. If they are just out there having fun, you are more likely to see them on bigger AM bikes, if they are getting timed, you are more likely to see them on XC rigs.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    XC, Trail, and AM describe approaches to bike frame and component design. However, they are all designed to hit pretty much the same trails. The only real difference is that AM bikes can handle larger drops without breaking something. No matter what terrain you show me, if people are pedaling up and down it, you will see experienced riders on everything from XC to AM rigs riding it. If they are just out there having fun, you are more likely to see them on bigger AM bikes, if they are getting timed, you are more likely to see them on XC rigs.
    I like
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    XC, Trail, and AM describe approaches to bike frame and component design. However, they are all designed to hit pretty much the same trails. The only real difference is that AM bikes can handle larger drops without breaking something. No matter what terrain you show me, if people are pedaling up and down it, you will see experienced riders on everything from XC to AM rigs riding it. If they are just out there having fun, you are more likely to see them on bigger AM bikes, if they are getting timed, you are more likely to see them on XC rigs.
    That sounds like a very reasonable explanation. Thank You!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by melsdad View Post
    That sounds like a very reasonable explanation. Thank You!!!
    Thanks.

    I admit I posted without reading through the rest of the thread. I now realize I basically repeated what many people have been saying.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    LOL... I somehow see fit that this video belongs here
    street trial et dirt backflip vintage ladies bike mickael dupont - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizer View Post
    LOL... I somehow see fit that this video belongs here
    street trial et dirt backflip vintage ladies bike mickael dupont - YouTube
    This video is the prefect example of how a good rider can do anything they want on any style bike, but equipment failure is an issue when parts are pushed past what they were designed for.

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    The OP asked about the riding, not the equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by melsdad View Post
    What types of riding does all mountain cover? How is it different from cross country? I'm just new to this trying to sort things out.
    So Stuartfleming's take makes the most sense to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuartfleming View Post
    This is my take on it:

    XC = Racing laps around a track.
    Trail = Just going out and riding for the fun of it.
    AM = Similar to trail riding but you are constantly on the look out for technical routes.
    Freeride = Riding Technical lines just to see if it can be done.
    DH = Get down the hill quicker than anyone else.

    I think most mountain bikers fall into the trail/AM categories.
    That said, I enjoy taking the techiest lines downhill as fast as I can, all for purpose of having fun....done mostly on a rigid 29" SS.
    DID is a b1tch!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizer View Post
    LOL... I somehow see fit that this video belongs here
    street trial et dirt backflip vintage ladies bike mickael dupont - YouTube
    Best. Video. Ever.

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    ok i figured it out.If while out on the trails im wearing bib tights im xc or its wet and i dont want mud in my crack but if im in baggies its am for sure of corse i did that one cx race with my mtb last year so that screws things up but my gloves say fox on em and thats hardcore plus my front tire says tomac,way hardcore,but i dont get fat air unless theres stuff to rip air off of.Did i mention my bikes green?hmm i dont have a bashguard and i rock spd's but sometimes hit my big ring on rocks roots and logs.I guess im just a mountain biker,unless im on my road or cx bike but if i had a gopro i could definatly be fr cept i like to climb,hey if i put bigger rotors on would i be trail?or is that less hardcore?I did mention my bike was green right?well i hope this helps define whatever we're talkin about here

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