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  1. #1
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    The Argument For Short Travel Bikes

    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  2. #2
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    XC trails, what else is there to say?
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  3. #3
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8shadow8 View Post
    XC trails, what else is there to say?
    I must admit, as soon as I saw it was a discussion of DH bikes used in BC my eyes kind of glazed over.

  4. #4
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Using the right bike for the right trail...not exactly a revolutionary concept, is it?
    Strava made me do it....

  5. #5
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    This article is not progressive. What needs to be done is build harder trails to justify bigger bikes. That's what progression is all about. Just ask the stakeholders.

  6. #6
    All my faucets is Moen.
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    Yeah, I guess not much of an argument needed if you live in Ontario.
    Many people have no travel at all.

  7. #7
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    What needs to be done is build harder trails to justify bigger bikes.
    If I don't post pics to my fb account showing me riding gnarly trails, my fb friends who know I do mountain biking will think I'm captain lame-o.

    Seriously though, the article is good food for thought, but in the end I think there's too many instances already of people trying to tell other people what types of bikes they should be riding, on what types of trails. I'm all for letting people find their own way to types of bikes and styles of riding that float their respective boats. Many cyclists will tick off multiple check boxes on the list of possibilities.

  8. #8
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    If I don't post pics to my fb account showing me riding gnarly trails, my fb friends who know I do mountain biking will think I'm captain lame-o.

    Seriously though, the article is good food for thought, but in the end I think there's too many instances already of people trying to tell other people what types of bikes they should be riding, on what types of trails. I'm all for letting people find their own way to types of bikes and styles of riding that float their respective boats. Many cyclists will tick off multiple check boxes on the list of possibilities.
    Seriously...I doubt my new race hardtail is the best bike for me to be riding when I am bombing around trails just for fun, any more than my Misfit was necessarily the ideal bike to ride at Buckwallow this summer. But that's what I like to ride and I'm OK with it.
    Strava made me do it....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    This article is not progressive. What needs to be done is build harder trails to justify bigger bikes. That's what progression is all about. Just ask the stakeholders.
    This.

  10. #10
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    I road a fully rigid bike for the first 8 years or so. Had a hardtail with 3 inches after that for about the same amount of time. Finally bought a 4-inch full suspension XC bike in 2008.

    Did starting out with no/low travel bikes make me a better rider? I suppose it did to some degree, but the trails I chose to ride and who I road with had a far greater impact on my skills.

    I didn't really progress as a rider much until I started riding more technical trails with people far more skilled than me, showing me what was possible.

  11. #11
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I must admit, as soon as I saw it was a discussion of DH bikes used in BC my eyes kind of glazed over.
    yeah lol same here...
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  12. #12
    cyberbully
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    did somebody say steak holders?



    edit: really? i got negative repped for this ? must be one of the stakeholders or a vegetarian...is there a rule to one sarcastic comment or pun per thread ?
    Last edited by SkidVicious; 12-02-2012 at 07:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    I've ridden through my local trails on many different bikes from long travel AM to hard tail rigid the difference is that on my hard tail, I did the loop about 20 minutes faster...that's more fun too me but if someone wants to lug a 30+ pound bike around a relatively unchanging elevation XC trail, so be it. I guess what I'm saying is I agree with Circlip...ride what you like to ride not what a bike shop salesman tells you you should be riding.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    This article is not progressive. What needs to be done is build harder trails to justify bigger bikes. That's what progression is all about. Just ask the stakeholders.
    So, this one liner was good for some easy rep but I feel that I should expand on the subject a bit in a productive manner. And it is a huge subject to tackle, as I believe that you cannot even make an argument for short travel (on whatever relative scale, trail or circumstance) bikes without first making the assumption that a 'correct' or 'ideal' bike exists. And even this assumption can only be reasonably be made for an individual or perhaps individuals of similar skill-sets or body types. Maybe after performing that subdivision it would still be necessary to identify their goals and the aspects of riding that brought them the most joy and this would lead to even further heterogeneity in determining the illest whip to shred.

    To try to get past this let's refine our definition to something a little bit more scientific. I am no scientist but let's just make something up like "a 'bike that does not produce a significant handicap' using some formula balancing speed with kJ expended and metered dopamine release (and perhaps mechanical durability)". Essentially a bike that is on a relative scale fast, easy to ride and fun. Why wouldn't everybody want to ride a bike like that? Well the problem is as riders progress the weighting of the inputs to the formula change pretty quickly. They will also change with topography, and as mentioned in the article, choice of riding partners.

    So now that I have questioned the premise of the article to the extent that I am even questioning my response to it, I will say that working in a bike shop in Ontario for the past decade or so, at first glance I was like "damn right!" I have seen a lot of heavy duty DH, freeride, all mountain and trail bikes (pretty much in chronological order of 'it bike' factor) go out the doors in that time. I have thought to myself that many of these consumers were probably not buying 'a bike that does not produce a significant handicap'. Mind you this judgement was almost certainly informed to an extent by my own XC-racer-with-slightly-above-average-tech-skills bias. But the important thing really is that these bikes provided a cool-factor that their owners could relate to, and provided a platform on which they could imagine themselves doing really cool things. And this is no different than a rider "over-biked" on a $10k XC race machine for weekend warrior duty, regardless of suspension travel. A bike that stokes you to ride is a good bike regardless of external variables.

    Enough feel good nonsense though, back down the rabbit-hole. Let's look at where this article is placed. Pinkbike. Undisputed epicenter of impressionable young groms and DH/freeride culture on the web. And Pinkbike is running 'less travel' articles? What the heck is going on here? May be hard to imagine for those of us who have been in the sport for the 15+ years since DH was fringe-of-fringe, but I am guessing that for a large part of their demographic 'bike' is synonymous with 'DH bike'. We don't really have that (collective) mindset here on the MTBR EC where the age of the majority seems to be well over the age of majority. But if you were in kindergarten or a stroller or an eye as a twinkle when the 1st freeride movies were being sold on VHS for $40, you may have never picked up a magazine where a lycra-clad XC weenie graced the cover as the epitome of cool. (or maybe you are 40+ and did pick up the magazine and still thought the cover boy was a loser) And I kinda think that this is the demographic the article is targeting. And, I think extrapolating a little further, a tenuous amount even, that an article like this on Pinkbike might be signalling "peak freeride/DH". Basically, look at the things that are being done by pros on essentially off-the-rack DH bikes. Look at the Redbull Rampage and Collective movies. Limits are being pushed so far on these bikes that I personally cannot even wrap my head around it; it literally seems insane. However there seems to be an endless supply of talent willing and able to push the bar even higher. True progression.

    But work the math backwards here. Believe it or not, I would say that there has really not been a heck of a lot of change in DH bike technology in the past 10-12 years. In 2001 you could get a 8-9" travel bike with 203mm hydraulic discs. Yes it was probably going to weigh 45+lbs, but I would argue that you could feasibly do most anything on that bike that the pros are doing today. And I would also argue that the things pros are doing today are A LOT crazier. And while DH bikes have basically gotten only lighter with minor refinements XC/trail/all-mtn bikes and everything in between have gotten lighter, stiffer, and gained suspension travel and damping technology. My current XC Blur carbon has more travel than the 1999 Rocky DH Race I took to Blue Mountain in 2000, while being lighter, stiffer, more efficient, and, you know, having discs instead of v-brakes. But I digress. The point is if guys today can take a 37lbs DH bike and send a 60ft gap and maybe throw in a back flip or 360, what on earth do you have to be riding to push the limits of an equally well engineered 28lbs trail bike? A 40ft gap while getting only moderately sideways?

    And I think trying to answer these questions is where the industry is at right now, and that's why you see an article like this on such a major website; they don't even know yet how capable the product is that they are currently putting out, and they need this generation of young rippers to figure it out for them. When a decidedly XC rooted company like Ibis can sponsor Brian Lopes, add some extra carbon to their 5lbs trail frame and send him out on the race course I think we have some idea of how they can sell 'middle' bikes to those on both sides of the fence. And seeing the fierce divisions that can be caused in this sport by differences in equipment, I think that seeing some consolidation of the out-of-control micromanagement of bike categories can only beget a positive outcome in the end.

  15. #15
    Evil Jr.
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    It's not just bikes. Pick almost any market for consumer goods and all you see is "nichefication". As riders new and old look for "THE" bike to suit their needs, every major manufacturer *needs* to have bikes at every inch increment in each range to make sure they have product that hits the sweet spot.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    The point is if guys today can take a 37lbs DH bike and send a 60ft gap and maybe throw in a back flip or 360, what on earth do you have to be riding to push the limits of an equally well engineered 28lbs trail bike? A 40ft gap while getting only moderately sideways?

    Simmons and Vanderham Ride "Cross Country" on Element from Rocky Mountain Bicycles on Vimeo.


    25lbs xc bikes being shredded.

    One point to add to your post. Pinkbike forums may be over run with snot nosed kids drooling for Freeride and DH but I can say the guys running the content not. Ask Mike Levy to go for a ride and there is a 90% chance that it will be a trail ride and he'll be on his 29'er trail bike. Pinkbike has changed.

  17. #17
    Workin for the weekend!
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    I like Mike Levy's "delivery", I find is stuff helpful and concise. I'd buy him a beer for the stuff he's taught me o those tech Tuesdays videos...

  18. #18
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    Shirk - nice.

    Is that bigfoot at 1:13?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    One point to add to your post. Pinkbike forums may be over run with snot nosed kids drooling for Freeride and DH but I can say the guys running the content not. Ask Mike Levy to go for a ride and there is a 90% chance that it will be a trail ride and he'll be on his 29'er trail bike. Pinkbike has changed.
    Yeah I am not on Pinkbike too much but am aware that Richard Cunningham at least was among the old-timers writing for them, and realize that their staff is a little bit more diverse than I may have come across. My 'epicenter' comment was more to do with the target audience that might not have a shorter travel bike that isn't a dirt jumper.

    Also regarding the vid...this one is my short travel fave. Blur TRc is a 5lb frame w/5" of travel....weighs about 25 out the box....watching this guy rail jumps on his (it is probably beefed up a bit) makes me really wonder how much more you need!




    PS on a bit of a tangent while I am not generally a RC fan, I do remember reading some stuff he wrote in the MBA days that leads me to believe that he was a bit of a visionary, one article in particular that might compliment this thread....I will see if I can yank it out of the archives....at least his editorials were always in the first few pages, should make the search a bit easier!

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