1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
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    Hope Do I ride all mountain (AM) or cross country (XC)?

    Dumb question but,

    I ride up the mountain and down the mountain trails in BC.

    Is that considered "all mountain" or cross country trail or ........

    Guess I am out of touch with the new classifications these days....i feel stupid for asking this dumb question.

  2. #2
    addicted to chunk
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    xc = wheels stay close to the dirt....

    lol I dunno, it's just a term, but I would guess more AM if you're riding stuff in BC.....
    Riding.....

  3. #3
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    They're dumb arbitrary classifications anyhow - one man's XC is another man's Downhill.

    Ride your bike and enjoy it. I suspect if you're riding the trails in BC you're more AM than most.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by honourablegeorge
    They're dumb arbitrary classifications anyhow - one man's XC is another man's Downhill.

    Ride your bike and enjoy it. I suspect if you're riding the trails in BC you're more AM than most.

    Not dumb at all it allows manufacturers of bikes to describe the bikes quickly and easily to people without discussing detailed frame geometry.

    If he is riding up and down mountains then that would be all mountain...

    Doesn't mean that you can't ride an XC bike there, doesn't mean you can't ride a downhill bike there....

    The up part means you want an efficient suspension (not downhill) and a slacker geometry (not XC)...

  5. #5
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    I am going to just throw this out there.

    When i think cross country i think race. when i think all mountain i think of a less competitive style of riding. simply because all mountain bikes are a jack of all trades and master of none. although i don't really know what the guys racing super D and four cross use. this is all opinion and my personal experience. anybody want to respectfully object? i know we all have or own opinions on this matter.

  6. #6
    usually cranky
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    am basically is glorified xc.

  7. #7
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    am basically is glorified xc.

    Who's glorifying it? I wish they'd stop.

    I've been riding the trails in BC for years & whenever people asked, I told them I rode XC. It turns out I was mistaken. I actually ride AM, Freeride, DH, XC, Trials, Urban, Road. 86% of the time I'm doing it on the wrong bike. I hope no one catches me.

    I was out with a group today and we did all the types of riding above as well as DJ (not for me thanks). Between all the people I was riding with today we had every type of bike except road & trials. One guy was on a cross bike so we were close with "road".

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys, umm, I guess I will be Cross-mountain then.....I have an FS XC bike BTW.

  9. #9
    gravity fighter
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    I thought "Trail" was the new XC, or basically AM without getting much (if any) air.
    Who gets paid to come up with all this stuff? I want that job!

  10. #10
    PVR
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    Crash Test Dummy
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    That's right! The marketing guys got to this years ago.

    You're a trail rider.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Not dumb at all it allows manufacturers of bikes to describe the bikes quickly and easily to people without discussing detailed frame geometry.
    correction, it allows manufacturers the ability to sell you another bike that has an inch or two more travel that you probably really don't need but they'll convince you that you do...

    I'm pretty convinced mainstream AM/Freeride/etc is all marketing hype for the most part... at least how the magazines and brands portray it anyway...
    Like is too short to grow up, go ride a bicycle!

  12. #12
    Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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    I think of XC as fast and flowy stuff punctuated by climbs. Trail/AM seem somewhat synonymous to me as far as types of riding goes w/ more technical features and some small to moderately sized drops/jumps with climbing still a big part of the equation. Seems kinda silly to me to call this kind of riding AM in areas where there aren't any mountains. Most of the trail systems around here have whole trails or sections of trails that would fall into both categories.

    As far as bike marketing terms go this year, XC seems more focused on lightweight, quick turning, climbing bikes w/ 80-120mm of travel, Trail slightly more robust w/ a bit slacker headtube and 100-150mm of travel, and AM burlier still w/ less head tube angle and 140-180mm of travel (kind of a lightweight FR bike).

    .02

  13. #13
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourflys
    AM/Freeride/etc is all marketing hype for the most part... at least how the magazines and brands portray it anyway...
    i totally agree am is bogus hype but freeride i dont think is hype. its a disipline thats greatly different from xc and similar to dh in the gravity aspect but not much else. am is far too similar to xc in my eyes to be considered a valid category. i understand the distinction but really all am is is xc riders hopped up on mnt dew.

  14. #14
    Life is a fun ride
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    Recently been looking into this myself. Seems XC is more a term that originated with racing, and long rides on trails without too much hot doggin, mostly on hard tails. The AM category seems to have been coined by thrill seekers that "had" to climb in order to enjoy their down hill jollies. More of a difference in focus and who's doing the describing from what I can gather. Hope that helps.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    If he is riding up and down mountains then that would be all mountain...
    If he's riding up and down mountains, then it's mountain biking.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by honourablegeorge
    If he's riding up and down mountains, then it's mountain biking.
    Actually better term for mountain biking would be off-road biking. Most of the "mountain bikers" don't ride at the mountains.

  17. #17
    think
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    A lot of people have this crossed up in their minds. XC and AM aren't riding types, they're bike types.

    You're just trail riding...unless you're shuttling, in which case your shuttling. Or riding lift access, in which case you're riding lift access. It really is that simple.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news
    A lot of people have this crossed up in their minds. XC and AM aren't riding types, they're bike types.

    You're just trail riding...unless you're shuttling, in which case your shuttling. Or riding lift access, in which case you're riding lift access. It really is that simple.

    Me + shuttle = never will happen

    eewwwwww

  19. #19
    Trying not to kill myself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    I've been riding the trails in BC for years & whenever people asked, I told them I rode XC. It turns out I was mistaken. I actually ride AM, Freeride, DH, XC, Trials, Urban, Road. 86% of the time I'm doing it on the wrong bike. I hope no one catches me.
    I ride my Stumpy on singletrack a lot, and it's never been in a race. One of these days I'm going to get busted for improper bike usage. I do wear tights sometimes so hopefully that will get me off the hook.

    If the bike companies had their way, all our garages would look like this, and they'd still come up with an ad campaign telling us we don't have the right tool for the job.


  20. #20
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    You could even label each independently:

    1. the rider: AM, XC, etc. as you improve over time
    2. the bike: AM, XC, etc. as you upgrade your bike
    3. the trail: AM, XC, etc. for the day's trail choice

    You ask about the rider, I think you're XC if you ride endurance rides, AM if there's no trail you can't handle, or something like that.

  21. #21
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    I remember when i had a mountain bike. and rode it anywhere/ everywhere i could. up mountains, down mountains, off jumps, through trails, on streets.
    it looked like this..

  22. #22
    Zero to drunk in $20
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    All mountain, cross country etc. doesn't describe the terrain you ride. It describes the bikes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffRock
    I remember when i had a mountain bike. and rode it anywhere/ everywhere i could. up mountains, down mountains, off jumps, through trails, on streets.
    it looked like this..
    Yea, I wish I still had mine too.


  24. #24
    think
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadwrong666
    Me + shuttle = never will happen

    eewwwwww
    As they say, don't knock it till you rock it.

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