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  1. #1
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    The curse of being a gear head.

    I was just reading the Wild Hair post by Mikesee and it was interesting to see the bike set up that worked well for that local. Since snow is so variable and everyoneís trails and conditions are so different have you ever found yourself not having as much fun while out riding because you knew there was something better?

    Iíve got two fat bikes with different width tires, one has steeper geometry and feels racier and is definitely faster than my other bike. I was riding the fatter of my bikes today and was thinking how I chose the wrong one and Iíd be having more fun on the other one. It especially hit me when I got passed by another rider. Todayís experience was kind of annoying because when I got my first fat bike it was simply mind blowing I was actually giggling and shouting expletives at my ability to ride over wind drifts as my only previous experience was with regular MTB tires around 2.1Ē.

    Anyhow does not having the perfect set up for the given conditions affect your enjoyment of just being out riding? It happens in some of my other hobbies that Iím really passionate about as well.

  2. #2
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    Not for me. I simply enjoy the fat experience. I've definitely upgraded mine (Stem, bars, seatpost, saddle, pedals, tires), but now I just enjoy being out on it. I have a bike for commuting on and the fat bike.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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  3. #3
    All fat, all the time.
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    I try to sit back and think about where I am (forest, mountains, wherever), and just appreciate I'm able to be out enjoying it instead of working etc.
    Sure it's nice to have different gear for different situations, but at the end of the day, a bike gets you out enjoying the great outdoors, and should be fun.

  4. #4
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    Not really, if anything itís the terrain that affects my fun factor... for example, this morning I went fat biking on the Wozo with Barbes aired way down, my wife XC skied, trails were packed and groomed, no real features to play on, so the riding was sedate.

    On the way home I had my wife drop me off at the top of an eleven mile single track that was all dirt, rode the Fatillac with bfat wheels, got some good speed, plenty of features to play off, and I got my fun factor.

    If Iíd had the bfat wheelset on the Wozo, the dirt ride would still have been fun, just not as cushy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfat View Post
    ...Anyhow does not having the perfect set up for the given conditions affect your enjoyment of just being out riding? It happens in some of my other hobbies that Iím really passionate about as well.
    Generally no. I'm often on the wrong bike in the wrong place, eg I'll set off on a road ride with the intention of doing a century but I'll see an interesting track. Next thing I know I'm 10 miles in and up to my axles.

    Sometimes it's deliberate like taking a 1930s rod-braked roadster bike round the local xc course (carefully!), or trying a road century on a fatbike. It's all part of the fun.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  6. #6
    Give'er!
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    As long as my fingertips and toes aren't cold, I'm good.

    I can deal with everything else lol!

  7. #7
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    No fat here but...

    Not having the perfect set up for conditions is different things to different people. (*) What you describe is the very thing that amuses me.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand lots of people have 3 -7 or 10 bikes (three for me btw) and 4 - 6 pairs of skis. How or why they acquired them and use them is no business of mine and there are certainly lots of justifications. Then of course, the old;
    "Huh..... what's best for today ?"

    I enjoy the heck out of partnering with the outdoor elements- Wind, trees, brush, rock, sleet, trail and thick clouds, blistering sun or drifted snow. It's all about the experience and journey for me and the riders I get out with. We are not competitive and make the bikes we have work for us so we get appreciable expectations from them.

    I know there are limits and performance ranges for the 2.2's /Spesh, 2.4's /Kona and 3.0/Marin but I live with what I'm on that day and any compromises are just the ticket for keeping me humble and working on skill or technique.

    Now, I'll go along with the fact that getting caught on the wrong bike or tires for a given situation or exception could be a real p.i.t.a. but it's really not the bike to blame. I've ridden enough to have multiple opportunities for horrendous no-fun rides or experience's but it just hasn't happened short of a medium/slow rear tire leak on an aggressive uphill climb.

    * My vehicle tires are a compromise here in CO. I run All Season tires for simplicity and they do the trick darn well on my rwd sport coupe (with some limitations) and are impressive on the other vehicle, a portly gvwr CUV.
    I know the gearhead's will/ought to run summer performance, then meaty winter specifics for snow-ice and high elevation circumstances but I can find my own comfort zone with certain compromises that involve investment of my time or money.

    Would anyone else judge my cars or yours as the best for where you live or how you use them ? If it (bike, skis , tires, car ...) isn't fitting within your personal preferences or expectations, that's really the key. As cool as it would be to have 2 or 3 fat bikes with various tires, I think I'd be more happy with one that works well for that 85 - 90 %.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by velobike View Post
    generally no. I'm often on the wrong bike in the wrong place, eg i'll set off on a road ride with the intention of doing a century but i'll see an interesting track. Next thing i know i'm 10 miles in and up to my axles.

    Sometimes it's deliberate like taking a 1930s rod-braked roadster bike round the local xc course (carefully!), or trying a road century on a fatbike. It's all part of the fun.
    WIN !!

    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  9. #9
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    In general while I enjoy customizing bikes to the conditions and environments I plan to use them, while I am out actual riding them I just concentrate on riding clearing head having fun, going fast, taking it easy, whatever does it for that day. I wouldn't want to get too caught up in wishing I ahd a different bike during the ride and ruin the experience. Now after the ride it's on...sometimes to a fault.

    Run what you Brung for sure!
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  10. #10
    Professional Crastinator
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    The thought of having the "wrong" bike has never crossed my mind.
    There have been times I've thought "Gee, if ever I needed ________________, this would be the place to use it." But I relish the idea of "run what ya brung".

    OTOH, wrong gloves, wrong shoes/boots, wrong jacket, wrong color glasses, wrong shorts, wrong food/drink,......

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  11. #11
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    I get that feeling in the summer on my MTB all the time, but not in the winter on my fatbike. I think more about how cool my beardcicle will look when I'm done or how to keep my two little fingers warm.

  12. #12
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    Not really unless I'm riding my road bike and see a trail I would love to take a mountain bike down.

    Or blow out two 23mm tires in a pothole my fat bike or 29er would have gone right through.

  13. #13
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    Every ride, individual character -

    The "my worst ride in memory" happened months ago on my newer bike when it probably got the first few character marks and paint scuffs. I was meeting a friend for a local ride at a trail system I hadn't been to before.

    The ride up wasn't strong by my standards at all but for that day, I was either out of shape or just not feeling in the zone. Just a few miles in I was huffing it and as we continued to ride, I was hitting a lot of things just off the mark or not in tune with the delicate balance and nuances of timing, postioning and such. In fact, as we rode on, I'm pretty sure I realized I was a bit dizzy like my bp was a bit low - had that happen a few times, just not on rides.

    Anyways, final analysis was us laughing at the clown ride I had and a few minor crashes while enjoying a beer and that good ol cinnamon whiskey. Never thought once about feeling disappointed in having an "off day" and in fact, still think of it as a good time out there in a park I hadn't seen before.

    This ride made me realize that I rarely have a 'perfect' ride if scoring by hits, scrapes, dabs or even some walking at times. The challenge of finding terrain and trails to push me just a bit or riding with more capable, advanced and at times, 10 year juniors to my age are what really keeps me begging for more. By finding the rides that challenge me just so, really are the perfect rides.

    As much as I enjoy the camaraderie and idle chit-chat with some of the seniors I ride with other times and usually on the paths or gravel of less interesting traits and challenges, the vibe of those other adventures is just the giddy I'm looking for.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  14. #14
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    Itís refreshing to read how people view their bikes and riding. I sometimes think how nice it would be to just have one bike to do it all but I know thatís not realistic for me and I donít need to, but there is just something attractive about that idea.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfat View Post
    ...I sometimes think how nice it would be to just have one bike to do it all..., but there is just something attractive about that idea.
    My quest for such a bike is probably why my garage is now full of bikes...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  16. #16
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    Ha ha! I was thinking about it earlier and how youíd have to have different wheels, tires, gears, bars, etc. Rather than boxes filled with random extra parts, seems a lot more convenient to have said parts attached to rideable frames hanging off a wall in the garage ready to ride.

  17. #17
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    A man with three watches never knows the correct time. Ride what you brung. There is only here and now, pedal and move forward. Through adversity comes strength. If you spend your ride thinking woulda, coulda, shoulda ? You are missing the point. When drinking a stout, I don't wish I was drinking an ipa, same thing. Relish the present. Be the wheel.

  18. #18
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    The "Curse of the Gearhead" is slightly different for me. Yes, the type of bike I have comes to mind sometimes but for with my OCD/Gear Head knowlege the slightest hint of a mechanical issue or potential improvement can spin around my brain like Toto in the tornado.

    A little squeak, a derailleur out of whack, seat a bit too low etc can drive me nuts if I let it.
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
    16' Farley 7
    and I'm OK admitting..
    16' Sturgis

    Minneapolis MN

  19. #19
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    When I was younger and still into surfing, I eventually acquired an entire quiver of different sticks to match the various waves. Over the years, some boards broke, some just got retired into wallhanging status, some were sold off, and eventually I was down to riding only one good all-around custom shape that worked in anything I wanted to ride. It became an excellent travel board, as well as being right for my favorite local breaks.
    This hasn't worked out as well for me with bicycles, although I seem to be getting along just fine with 2 Pugsleys and a couple of wheel sets built around Shimano Alfine 8-spd hubs, as far as my fat needs go.

    I'm still dreaming about the perfect all-round touring steed, though...been salivating over a custom Pinion 29+/700c build, with room for 3" tires in the rear.
    Before I commit to ordering such an expensive beast, however, I am going to go on tour this Summer with my Pugs on the 29" RHs and 3" Bombolonis.

  20. #20
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    I ride one mountain bike for trail riding. Dirt or snow or mud. I usually own two bikes, but ride one for about half the year and the other for the other half. I find getting one bike dialled to my preferences and my skills honed on it is a better solution than say having 3 different bikes and trying to grab the perfect one for a specific ride.

    When I jump on a new bike or an old one after some time away it takes me a ride to get everything adjusted and my body/brain trained on it.

    To the OP's comment about getting passed by another rider...most of the time that's not because of the bike you are on that's because they are a faster/better rider than you. If you swapped bikes with them they'd still be faster. It's just easier to blame the equipment than to accept it's not a gear related issue.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  21. #21
    Thingamejigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    ...I'm often on the wrong bike in the wrong place...
    And these outings makes great reading for us all!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    To the OP's comment about getting passed by another rider...most of the time that's not because of the bike you are on that's because they are a faster/better rider than you. If you swapped bikes with them they'd still be faster. It's just easier to blame the equipment than to accept it's not a gear related issue.

    I understand what you are saying but in this instance that wasn't the case. I was riding my 2XL's and I didn't need to be, I just wanted to ride that bike because I hadn't in quite some time. During the ride I was thinking "Dang! These tires have a ton of resistance. I'd have so much of an easier time had I just ridden my other bike". Then when the guy caught up and passed me I was really like, "Why didn't I ride my other bike!" It struck me funny at the time because I was enjoying myself for the most part, not in a hurry, then I got passed and knew I had no hope to have either kept up or chased and passed and it changed my mood.

    I really love riding snowmobiles and am really particular about the skis. I've ridden from my house, come back and switched out skis before because I can't stand it when they knife in and don't float. Some skis work better than others in certain conditions and it dawned on me how when I was younger & poorer I'd just ride and adapt because I didn't have other skis and way back then there really weren't any choices anyway so I didn't know what I was missing.

    I know, maybe all this is pointless, first world problems and all. But I figure there must be a few others who geek out over stuff and I like learning how they deal with things. These hobbies are a passion so why not want and appreciate nice things?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfat View Post
    I know, maybe all this is pointless, first world problems and all. But I figure there must be a few others who geek out over stuff and I like learning how they deal with things. These hobbies are a passion so why not want and appreciate nice things?
    It sounds like the enjoyable easy-going ride was fine until another bicyclist came by and influenced your thinking.

    As for the last part, I think many of the most accomplished and talented tuners, hobbiest's, enthusiasts or gearheads find limits or continue to experiment with builds and parts or other tires etc.... Eventually most of us are just trying to outrun the next reason to buy another bike. As a few have already stated here , garages full of bikes in some cases.

    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

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