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  1. #1
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    i dont know if im all am or xc...

    i know that sounds dumb but idk. the trails i take do have some rocky sections. some parts are fairly steap. i saw some xc races on youtube that look flat and boring as hell. i ride in the boise foot hills mostly if that helps. they are usually loops that take a long up hill ride and a decent downhill. i know this is a total noobie question

  2. #2
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    You clearly are not extreme enough and do not drink enough mountain dew to be AM... But real talk; does it really matter? Are you trying to decide what type of bike to get? If so, just ride what you feel more comfortable on. Same goes for components. If you are just having an identity crisis, call yourself a "trail" rider, or better yet just say you mountain bike.

    If all of the above fails, I would say that you are more of a xc rider. It sounds like you are describing blue run vs a black run a la mountain bike park/ski hill ratings.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExCactus View Post
    just say you mountain bike
    This.

  4. #4
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    Hi nailtrail,

    I am currently on an xc bike but I join the boys in singletrack rides and sometimes attempt more technical trails where the low bb of an xc bike will pose a hindrance. Xc bikes are good for roads and trails but are a pain at tech or harsher courses. Maybe my skills are bad but that is how I feel about xc bikes. The geometry can be a tad nervous and steep sometimes.

    If u like the long gradual trails even though it comes with some climbs and nice downs, you are more a xc rider. if u enjoy the tech part of a trail and weight weeny-ing is not your top priority, go for an am or trail geometry bike. It helps u tackle the occasional steep downs and tech course better.

    Pardon me if I am off topic

  5. #5
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    It doesn't get brought up enough that the bikes the boards usually consider XC are not the same as XC race and the mellow trails people call XC on the boards are not the same the XC racers are on. Everyone has this impression that XC races are like cyclocross races with more trees and fewer run ups, not the case. The XC race series around uses many of the same trails I drag my huge AM bike up I'm just going slower uphill than they are and sometimes faster downhill they they would be.

    I'd say if you ride a bike to tackle technical challenges then you're looking for an AM bike. If you're out on a bike just to ride then you're looking for a Trail or XC bike. If you're riding your bike for milage or for speed uphill or on rolling terrain then you're looking for an XC or XC race bike. If you're just going downhill and not pedaling then get a FR bike if you're hitting jumps and features or a DH bike for pure speed down the nastiest terrain.

    Rocks will not break an XC bike, race bike or not it's still a mountain bike. And AM bikes will still go uphill they just take a bit more energy. For the most part you'll either have to make a compromise on comfort in technical terrain or ease of uphills. Personally it's an easy choice for what I like to ride; I will take a loss in climbing to gain a bike that won't shy away from any challenge that I come across. Shying away from challenges is my brain's job, not my bike's. Take a look at where you ride and decide which way you'd rather go. As was suggested you might prefer a Trail bike which is somewhere between all the marketing BS that is XC and AM.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  6. #6
    usually cranky
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    xc basically = trail basically = am

  7. #7
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    ^fantastic answer. One of the best I have seen on this topic actually!

  8. #8
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    PM fotu. He's an All-Mountain pioneer.

  9. #9
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    It sounds like we're in the same predicament. From best I can tell, if you want to do it all, 5" of travel is ideal for the "I want to do it all" crowd. If you want XC, 4". AM is around 6". Give or take, of course. The best thing to do is try them all out on your favorite trails and make the decision

  10. #10
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    It sounds like we're in the same predicament. From best I can tell, if you want to do it all, 5" of travel is ideal. If you want XC, 4". AM is around 6". Give or take, of course. The best thing to do is try them all out on your favorite trails and make the decision

  11. #11
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    PM fotu. He's an All-Mountain pioneer.

    hahahaha, he can set you straight on stem length too.

  12. #12
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    mt dew is so 2007-2008ish

    xc = xtra careful
    am = ambulance, maybe
    dh = definitely hospital

    this is how I sort it in my brain..haha (depending on chickenskin levels, ofcourse I still may proceed with any of the 3)
    Last edited by 53119; 07-28-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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  13. #13
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    all i have ever rode is xc bikes. so im not looking for what bike to get. i currently have a 07 marin nail trail that i like alot. and a mint 1999 stumpjumper fsr i have not rode yet. thanks for the posts

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    mt dew is so 2007-2008ish

    xc = xtra careful
    am = ambulance, maybe

    this is how I sort it in my brain..haha
    Pure Genius.

  15. #15
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    How about crosshilldowncountry? An old riding buddy called our riding style that before AM became the term. IMO, AM is just riding your bike up and down everything you can handle that your local trails have to offer. If you avoid advanced terrain, or only shuttle advanced terrain, it's tough to call yourself an AM rider. Of course advanced trail riding is relative to skill level and geography. I would consider a guy that just got into riding on an xc hard tail having a go at the most advanced terrain his local environment has to offer an AM rider. RIde everything you can! Have fun! That's AM.

  16. #16
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    I agree that it's all about comfort and where you're willing to make sacrifices. If you want to rally uphill and don't mind not having as plush of a ride then a 4"-5" bike works great. If you don't mind going a little slower up-hill to be able to rally back down faster then 6" is the way to go.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    It doesn't get brought up enough that the bikes the boards usually consider XC are not the same as XC race and the mellow trails people call XC on the boards are not the same the XC racers are on. Everyone has this impression that XC races are like cyclocross races with more trees and fewer run ups, not the case. The XC race series around uses many of the same trails I drag my huge AM bike up I'm just going slower uphill than they are and sometimes faster downhill they they would be.

    I'd say if you ride a bike to tackle technical challenges then you're looking for an AM bike. If you're out on a bike just to ride then you're looking for a Trail or XC bike. If you're riding your bike for milage or for speed uphill or on rolling terrain then you're looking for an XC or XC race bike. If you're just going downhill and not pedaling then get a FR bike if you're hitting jumps and features or a DH bike for pure speed down the nastiest terrain.

    Rocks will not break an XC bike, race bike or not it's still a mountain bike. And AM bikes will still go uphill they just take a bit more energy. For the most part you'll either have to make a compromise on comfort in technical terrain or ease of uphills. Personally it's an easy choice for what I like to ride; I will take a loss in climbing to gain a bike that won't shy away from any challenge that I come across. Shying away from challenges is my brain's job, not my bike's. Take a look at where you ride and decide which way you'd rather go. As was suggested you might prefer a Trail bike which is somewhere between all the marketing BS that is XC and AM.
    that's a great answer, i ride an xc bike. i'm not a racer and i 'll ride what my balls allow me to.

  18. #18
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    mt dew is so 2007-2008ish

    xc = xtra careful
    am = ambulance, maybe
    dh = definitely hospital

    this is how I sort it in my brain..haha (depending on chickenskin levels, ofcourse I still may proceed with any of the 3)

    winner winner chicken dinner

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    mt dew is so 2007-2008ish

    xc = xtra careful
    am = ambulance, maybe
    dh = definitely hospital

    this is how I sort it in my brain..haha (depending on chickenskin levels, ofcourse I still may proceed with any of the 3)
    That's awesome.

    What does FR mean then? Fancy Riding?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by klaxed View Post
    That's awesome.

    What does FR mean then? Fancy Riding?
    fr = forget recovery(epic fail imminent!) i just watch NWD flicks or Rampage and live vicariously..
    i'm on my Last Herb
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by klaxed View Post
    That's awesome.

    What does FR mean then? Fancy Riding?
    Flying rescue? Forced rehab?

  22. #22
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    somewhere on these boards is a pretty good description
    this is not my work but i dont feel like finding the original post

    xc= average drop less then a foot
    trail= 1-3 foot drops
    am= 2-4 foot drops
    dh= lifts access scary *****
    fr= dh with man made structures (ladders, wood kickers, ect)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by allenfstar View Post
    somewhere on these boards is a pretty good description
    this is not my work but i dont feel like finding the original post

    xc= average drop less then a foot
    trail= 1-3 foot drops
    am= 2-4 foot drops
    dh= lifts access scary *****
    fr= dh with man made structures (ladders, wood kickers, ect)
    I promise you, you don't need drops in your trail to make it AM or whatever you're riding or whatever you want to call things. I think the only thing anyone can probably call a consensus is XC < Trail < AM < FR/DH when it comes to technical challenges no matter how you define each.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  24. #24
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    meh it's a pretty good rule of thumb imo it sums up the different terrain i ride pretty well so like moby says dont be a d!ck

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by allenfstar View Post
    meh it's a pretty good rule of thumb imo it sums up the different terrain i ride pretty well so like moby says dont be a d!ck
    Actually it isn't a good rule of thumb and I've listened to all of Moby's stuff in the past several seconds and he never once said "don't be a dick".
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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