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  1. #1
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    Why are there separate Trail/Enduro categories for bikes????

    If "Enduro" was intended to be real MTB racing on trails like you normally ride. How did it evolve into "DHlite"? And so now we have "Trail" bikes with 140mm of travel and "Enduro" bikes with 160mm. And let's not forget XC now using up too 120mm and straight DH bikes with 180mm. Seems like a pattern of every 20mm changes the category.
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    thats how Steve Jobs wants it

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    If "Enduro" was intended to be real MTB racing on trails like you normally ride. How did it evolve into "DHlite"? And so now we have "Trail" bikes with 140mm of travel and "Enduro" bikes with 160mm. And let's not forget XC now using up too 120mm and straight DH bikes with 180mm. Seems like a pattern of every 20mm changes the category.
    I wasn't aware that Enduro was "real" MTB racing and that XC and DH weren't. News to me.

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    XC, Enduro and DH bikes are designed to win races. Trail bikes are not designed to win races. The only event I can think of that its won on trail bikes is the Downieville All Mountain Championship.


    Trail bikes still exist because race-focused bikes don't make sense for most of us. I don't want to ride a 71 degree, stiff as **** 29er hard tail or a 160mm 65 degree enduro bike or a downhill bike on my local trails. I want a mid-travel, slackish trail/all-mountain bike that no-one would ever use at the World Cup or EWS level.

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    Trail now means relaxed geometry. And XC is stepper (this has changed a bit as well). But you can get a trail bike in low to mid travel sizes. Endro as a race you will want a longer more stable bike. Trail bikes can be more playful/manuvarable even in longer tavel. I see XC/endro as more geared towards a race type these days. And Trail as more of an everyday bike to ride cross country(anything not lift assisted) and you pick a bike towards which side you ride the most or style.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    XC, Enduro and DH bikes are designed to win races. Trail bikes are not designed to win races. The only event I can think of that its won on trail bikes is the Downieville All Mountain Championship.


    Trail bikes still exist because race-focused bikes don't make sense for most of us. I don't want to ride a 71 degree, stiff as **** 29er hard tail or a 160mm 65 degree enduro bike or a downhill bike on my local trails. I want a mid-travel, slackish trail/all-mountain bike that no-one would ever use at the World Cup or EWS level.
    I took a phone call before hitting send, after this post mine is almost redundant

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    Trail bikes still exist because race-focused bikes don't make sense for most of us. I don't want to ride a 71 degree, stiff as **** 29er hard tail or a 160mm 65 degree enduro bike or a downhill bike on my local trails. I want a mid-travel, slackish trail/all-mountain bike that no-one would ever use at the World Cup or EWS level.
    Funny, I want to ride my XC rocket and a slacked enduro sled on my home trails.
    I like bikes

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I wasn't aware that Enduro was "real" MTB racing and that XC and DH weren't. News to me.

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    I did not mean real as those are fake. I meant real as to the "every day trail rider" Enduro racing, I thought, had the intention of racing segments along a trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    Funny, I want to ride my XC rocket and a slacked enduro sled on my home trails.
    I don't think most people have two bikes. If you could have only one would it be your XC bike or your enduro bike or something in between?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    I don't think most people have two bikes. If you could have only one would it be your XC bike or your enduro bike or something in between?
    Exactly what I'm getting at....It would be a trail bike! I expect there could be a race for that. They could call it Enduro...lol
    But seriously why is Enduro not raced with "trail" bikes. A race on a bike you actually would ride every day.

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    Enduro bikes are faster for the type of courses they are on. There's nothing else to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    Exactly what I'm getting at....It would be a trail bike! I expect there could be a race for that. They could call it Enduro...lol
    But seriously why is Enduro not raced with "trail" bikes. A race on a bike you actually would ride every day.
    Some people ride Enduro bikes every day. Some XC bikes. Some DH bikes.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    Exactly what I'm getting at....It would be a trail bike! I expect there could be a race for that. They could call it Enduro...lol
    But seriously why is Enduro not raced with "trail" bikes. A race on a bike you actually would ride every day.
    To some people, enduro bikes are their trail bikes. But most enduro bike I wouldn't want on a hard technical climb, or twisty techy down hill. But if the races are set up similar to your trails it works to ride enduro bikes. (Not saying you can't ride endro bikes on other trails if you want to)

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    We used to call the "enduro" bikes "all mountain", and before that, we called them "freeride". The "Enduro" specific bikes, as far as racing, are intended to race timed sections downhill, and then pedal back uphill un-timed. Enduro racing has gotten popular and as said above, it's a bike that is usually intended for this kind of race. Obviously you could push a DH bike up the hill if you wanted, but those are large heavy machines that are not the fastest way down every hill. "Trail" bikes aren't necessarily intended for any kind of racing, although it's not too much of a stretch to say they could be good bikes for ultra-marathon/distance type riding, as long as they are reliable, because the slight amount of extra cush is nice to have when you are spending days on the bike with no rest. XC racing is a little unique in that what makes a great XC racing bike doesn't necessarily make a great bike for everyone else, just like what makes a good track car doesn't transition to what makes a good sports car for everyday driving, even if it's aggressive driving on mountain roads.
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    50to10 races on "trail bikes"...It's not really how much travel but geometry that determines the "type". Besides, look at all the types of cars there are out there. Same thing. Different people like different stuff, so the market provides (usually).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    We used to call the "enduro" bikes "all mountain", and before that, we called them "freeride". The "Enduro" specific bikes, as far as racing, are intended to race timed sections downhill, and then pedal back uphill un-timed. Enduro racing has gotten popular and as said above, it's a bike that is usually intended for this kind of race. Obviously you could push a DH bike up the hill if you wanted, but those are large heavy machines that are not the fastest way down every hill. "Trail" bikes aren't necessarily intended for any kind of racing, although it's not too much of a stretch to say they could be good bikes for ultra-marathon/distance type riding, as long as they are reliable, because the slight amount of extra cush is nice to have when you are spending days on the bike with no rest. XC racing is a little unique in that what makes a great XC racing bike doesn't necessarily make a great bike for everyone else, just like what makes a good track car doesn't transition to what makes a good sports car for everyday driving, even if it's aggressive driving on mountain roads.

    Exactly, we'll have new terms probably by 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksanman View Post
    50to10 races on "trail bikes"...It's not really how much travel but geometry that determines the "type". Besides, look at all the types of cars there are out there. Same thing. Different people like different stuff, so the market provides (usually).
    The car world is worse lol, like sports car. Since the definition is small, minimal 2 seater with good handling.
    A M3 has to be a Sport Sedan and a Ferrari and Corvette are GTs.

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    I feel like there were some great descriptions and reasons given by others. Nailed it!

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    Why are there separate Trail/Enduro categories for bikes????

    Ok so is there an actual difference between All Mountain vs Enduro? I know Enduro is a race format but when used as marketing there doesn't seem to be much difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apolonios View Post
    Ok so is there an actual difference between All Mountain vs Enduro? I know Enduro is a race format but when used as marketing there doesn't seem to be much difference.
    Now you are catching on.
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    It's call Sales and Marketing. You need an Adventure Bike now, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Some people ride Enduro bikes every day. Some XC bikes. Some DH bikes.


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    This. It just depends on your home trails and the way you want to ride them. I am mostly focused on DH style trails with freeride features... But I basically never shuttle and I use XC trails to connect up the DH trails with minimal roads. For me a true 'enduro' bike makes sense. Hell, I'm half considering a lightish, single crown DH bike build for my next 'trail bike'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apolonios View Post
    Ok so is there an actual difference between All Mountain vs Enduro? I know Enduro is a race format but when used as marketing there doesn't seem to be much difference.
    Same thing from my perspective. Enduro racing is the sport of timing the downhill portion of your All Mountain ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    I don't think most people have two bikes. If you could have only one would it be your XC bike or your enduro bike or something in between?
    I only have the XC bike right now, well that and a $399 fat bike LOL

    If I could only have my XC (full carbon rigid) or enduro (let's say 150-170mm rear) I'd probably go enduro. Just don't ask me about wheel size because that changes things...

    Right now I'm saving up for a particular 160mm bike... But things could change by this winter. I know it'll be full suspension, carbon and a lifetime warranty.
    I like bikes

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    I don't think most people have two bikes. If you could have only one would it be your XC bike or your enduro bike or something in between?
    I think you might be shocked at how many people have more than two bikes. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of bikes these days that do everything well enough to be a quiver killer. Everything from short travel trail bikes, to 160mm sleds that climb shockingly well. It all depends on what you need the bike to do well the majority of the time. And sometimes that's hard to nail down. I think we all have visions (I know I did) of ourselves hucking huge drops while bombing down gnarly tech infested trails. But the reality is, I'd say very few actually do those things on a regular basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    I think you might be shocked at how many people have more than two bikes. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of bikes these days that do everything well enough to be a quiver killer. Everything from short travel trail bikes, to 160mm sleds that climb shockingly well. It all depends on what you need the bike to do well the majority of the time. And sometimes that's hard to nail down. I think we all have visions (I know I did) of ourselves hucking huge drops while bombing down gnarly tech infested trails. But the reality is, I'd say very few actually do those things on a regular basis.
    I would say want to do plays a big role too. I may not huck and bomb on every ride but I'll take the penalty to have the option with my Hightower. I also have an XC oriented 29er hardtail but even on rides it would shine on I still take the Hightower more often than not.

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  27. #27
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    Why do people care about this? Find a bike with the angles, length, and travel that you want, then buy it. Or don't. Why the constant consternation about categories?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Why do people care about this? Find a bike with the angles, length, and travel that you want, then buy it. Or don't. Why the constant consternation about categories?
    Because there are some people, not just beginners, I ride with some, that don't know how to interpret those numbers so they look at categories to help them decide. This isn't the only reason but it's one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Why do people care about this? Find a bike with the angles, length, and travel that you want, then buy it. Or don't. Why the constant consternation about categories?
    I think a lot of it has to do with marketing to. The market guys make you think that certain categories are for such and such and you need one for every trail and riding type so they can get more money. Just a thought though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksanman View Post
    I think a lot of it has to do with marketing to. The market guys make you think that certain categories are for such and such and you need one for every trail and riding type so they can get more money. Just a thought though...
    Oh I get why the categories exist. I just don't understand all the handwringing about them.

  31. #31
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    4" = XC
    5" = Trail
    6" = Enduro
    8" = DH

    for the most part

  32. #32
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    Well like I said marketing. Kind of like brainwashing. If you see it all the time you want. Other people talk about cars all the time, celebrities, food, mostly anything.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    The car world is worse lol, like sports car. Since the definition is small, minimal 2 seater with good handling.
    A M3 has to be a Sport Sedan and a Ferrari and Corvette are GTs.
    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    As soon as you add payload capacity for rear passengers you can't make a car that handles correctly. A sports car seats 2 and a sports sedan tries to approximate that (and fails to varying degree). GT cars are 'grand tourers,' they cover large distances quickly and comfortably. Pinpoint handling isn't the focus, but forgiving handling with lots of power and a comfortable ride are.

    The cars we're familiar with are so watered down they're all 'hybrids' and it's hard to see the differences, but once you know a fkn fantastic sports car/GT it's pretty obvious what makes the cut. Really, it's a lot like bikes- almost everyone owns the equivalent of a 5-700$ bike path cruiser, so how would we tell the difference between a fancy 2500$ bike path car and a fkn sweet 2500$ purpose built long travel hardtail?
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    As soon as you add payload capacity for rear passengers you can't make a car that rides/handles correctly simultaneously. A sports car seats 2 and a sports sedan tries to approximate that (and fails to varying degree). GT cars are 'grand tourers,' they cover large distances quickly and comfortably. Pinpoint handling isn't the focus, but forgiving handling with lots of power and a comfortable ride are.

    The cars we're familiar with are so watered down they're all 'hybrids' and it's hard to see the differences, but once you know a fkn fantastic sports car/GT it's pretty obvious what makes the cut. Really, it's a lot like bikes- almost everyone owns the equivalent of a 5-700$ bike path cruiser, so how would we tell the difference between a fancy 2500$ bike path car and a fkn sweet 2500$ purpose built long travel hardtail?
    Mini Coopers, the Toyburas, the M3, the GT350R and countless others all completely refute that theory. The first two are known for their handling and the M3 well, it's an M3 enough said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Mini Coopers, the Toyburas, the M3, the GT350R and countless others all completely refute that theory. The first two are known for their handling and the M3 well, it's an M3 enough said.

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    Standard traction control is an amazing thing, but my point stands. It's all academic anyway since 95% of the driving public can't drive worth a damn. It's the same for cyclists- 95% can't bunny hop up a curb.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Standard traction control is an amazing thing, but my point stands. It's all academic anyway since 97% of the driving public can't drive worth a damn. It's the same for cyclists- 97% can't bunny hop a curb.
    Porsche 911, yes the 911, Audi TT RS, BMW M2 and M4, and the Nissan GTR are some others. Your point was made in error. Surely you're not going to claim that those cars are not sports cars? Using invalid, broad reaching claims to prove a point does nothing to prove it.

    Traction control on Coopers sucks by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Porsche 911, yes the 911, Audi TT RS, BMW M2 and M4, and the Nissan GTR are some others. Your point was made in error. Surely you're not going to claim that those cars are not sports cars? Using invalid, broad reaching claims to prove a point does nothing to prove it.

    Traction control on Coopers sucks by the way.
    To varying degree, as sold, they are not. Sweet cars though. I'm not really interested in debating cars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Porsche 911, yes the 911, Audi TT RS, BMW M2 and M4, and the Nissan GTR are some others. Your point was made in error. Surely you're not going to claim that those cars are not sports cars? Using invalid, broad reaching claims to prove a point does nothing to prove it.

    Traction control on Coopers sucks by the way.

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    Lol, funny. I dont know why you feel you need to disagree me, i waa talking about the car purist, the cars though capable are not concerned sports cars. Boxster yes 911 no. So they make other categories to group cars like you named. I was making the comparison of car types vs bike types and the category names.

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    its what will go fastest on given trail. some trails dont need as much travel to be fastest. and demand more sprinting and lighter more responsive bikes shave more time. vice versa a slacker more travel bike goes through rock roots chunder drops faster without getting bucked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Lol, funny. I dont know why you feel you need to disagree me, i waa talking about the car purist, the cars though capable are not concerned sports cars. Boxster yes 911 no. So they make other categories to group cars like you named. I was making the comparison of car types vs bike types and the category names.
    I feel the need to disagree because you're wrong. All of those cars but the Cooper are almost unanimously considered sports cars. You're literally the only person, car rags, journalists, etc. included that I've ever seen make that claim that the 911 isn't a sports car. It's asinine to be honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I feel the need to disagree because you're wrong. All of those cars but the Cooper are almost unanimously considered sports cars. You're literally the only person, car rags, journalists, etc. included that I've ever seen make that claim that the 911 isn't a sports car. It's asinine to be honest.

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    Haha Well you're arguing with the the wrong person, I don't classify cars. Just race them. And only used the example to show how crazy the different names can be.

    There are quite a few cars with poor excuses for a back seat so they won't be considered a sports car by those that care. I don't care, if it's light, fast and tunable Ill toss it around a corse.

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    People don't need a Porsche to go race local SCCA.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    People don't need a Porsche to go race local SCCA.....
    I'm not going to argue with him any further. He made a erroneous, broad, overreaching analogy and has resulted to logical fallacies to prove its validity, argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority): argue with the powers that be, well I race are both classic examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I'm not going to argue with him any further. He made a erroneous, broad, overreaching analogy and has resulted to logical fallacies to prove its validity, argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority): argue with the powers that be, well I race are both classic examples.

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    obligatory

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    If "Enduro" was intended to be real MTB racing on trails like you normally ride. How did it evolve into "DHlite"? And so now we have "Trail" bikes with 140mm of travel and "Enduro" bikes with 160mm. And let's not forget XC now using up too 120mm and straight DH bikes with 180mm. Seems like a pattern of every 20mm changes the category.
    Thought I'd revisit the OP and post this:

    http://m.pinkbike.com/news/canadas-h...-day-2017.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I'm not going to argue with him any further. He made a erroneous, broad, overreaching analogy and has resulted to logical fallacies to prove its validity, argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority): argue with the powers that be, well I race are both classic examples.

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    This is going to be long.

    First I apologize. I had a bit to drink, and thought a few things were obvious. And they we're not.

    When you disagreed with me, I responding to a post that was comparing the car industry with the bike industry.
    Since I find it all silly and the separate names are marketed for a simple little difference.
    (Here is what wasn't obvious)
    With cars it started when sports cars were built for pleasure. They started as a 2 seater RWD small and driven for sport, much like the Miata is today.

    Then came other cars that were fun to drive/race that didn't fit in this box neatly. The purist argued, about definition. It got worse when insurance charged more if the car was defined as a sports car. And you couldn't race in certain clubs, if you're car didn't fit the definition. And the arguments about what is a sports car started (much like we had)

    The car manufacturers came up with different names for cars so people would buy the car and insurance wouldn't charge more. The first GT was a sports car with a back seat. The GT catagory got many different sub catagories later on since some were FWD, AWD or just larger than the original idea of what a sports car is. And was crazy to people that consider any car you drive for sport is a sports car. Eventually the racing clubs let these GT's race in their clubs but had to fit into their sub catagories.

    Examples of some the cars you mentioned the the GTR, GT350, 911 (GT3), fall into this category, and why GT is part of their name. So to those that need the separate categories they are not sports cars. To those that a sports car is just a car diven in sport. The arguments won't stop.

    Me I don't care what you call it. And find all the separate names silly. So I'll keep driving my sporty cars, and I'll keep riding my bike on all the mountain.

  47. #47
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    I have a 'Trail' bike, that I sometimes do XC races on & also ride 'All' over the 'Mountain'.



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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    I have a 'Trail' bike, that I sometimes do XC races on & also ride 'All' over the 'Mountain'.
    Which is as it should be!
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

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    Is it really a bad thing for companies to specify their intended usage for their bikes? Angles and suspension travel aside, if a company calls a bike cross-country I wouldn't take it to a downhill resort. I also wouldn't regularily ride a trail bike down a slopestyle course like I would an all-mountain bike. My first bike choice for Midwest trails wouldn't be an enduro bike. How is this topic always popping up?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    I have a 'Trail' bike, that I sometimes do XC races on & also ride 'All' over the 'Mountain'.
    So you often win those cross-country races? When you ride "all over the mountain", do you regularily hit up the 10' drops and big gaps? My guess is "no" to both, or you would be much better off on 2 different bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Thought I'd revisit the OP and post this:

    Canada's Three-Day Helicopter Enduro - Pinkbike

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    Yes thanks Leduke that proves my point exactly, Enduro has evolved into a whole different beast from what it was originally advertised to be. Because I don't normally take helicopter lifts to ride my bike, but when I do, I try not to wake up from the awesome dream I am having!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    So you often win those cross-country races? When you ride "all over the mountain", do you regularily hit up the 10' drops and big gaps? My guess is "no" to both, or you would be much better off on 2 different bikes.
    Take That you self-proclaimed all-mountain rider!
    It is interesting to me how I can buy a 120mm bike that is designed to rip trails while popping off everything. AND I can buy a 140mm 29'r that is very similar yet rides a lot differently.
    What a wonderful world!
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  53. #53
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    Everything to me except straight DH on a DH bike is XC, it's just different kinds of XC, and yes, on my "all mountain" bike I'll hit the drops and gaps, but if I powered myself or it's a long ride through varying elevations, it's an XC ride to me. How much vertical and how many fun sections/obstacles is what determines how fun the XC is

    XC Race bike is different to me than XC riding. XC racing can vary dramatically too, lots of people immediately think of riding in the midwest on a largely flat course with no technical. Modern expert and higher XC racers push their gear harder than most intermediate DHers IME, speeds downhill that would frighten most, on "spindly XC bikes". The closest we can come with "Trail race bike" would be a marathon type race, multi-day over rough terrain. Slightly relaxed geometry would likely be welcome there, but it's not nearly as big of a thing as XC racing and Enduro racing.
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    Enduro racing in the US may have started as "riding the trail bike you already have", but as with every racing discipline, the gear started to specialize to be more competitive. It doesn't help that many races are held at lift-access ski/DH venues, where a slack 160mm bike starts making more sense than a nimble 130mm bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Everything to me except straight DH on a DH bike is XC, it's just different kinds of XC, and yes, on my "all mountain" bike I'll hit the drops and gaps, but if I powered myself or it's a long ride through varying elevations, it's an XC ride to me. How much vertical and how many fun sections/obstacles is what determines how fun the XC is
    This is where I disagree (in an honest and friendly way). I agree that self-powered less-than-DH rides through varying terrain and elevation with fun sections and obstacles should have a general name without all this hair-splitting, but IMO calling it "XC" specifically isn't helpful.

    At least in my riding circles, the term "XC" has taken on a specific (negative) connotation about what sort of terrain and features to expect, that an "XC" ride is just mile-munching without "fun" being a priority. That's really not a fair characterization, but if I want to communicate effectively, it's usually necessary for me to call those "trail" rides.

    The closest we can come with "Trail race bike" would be a marathon type race, multi-day over rough terrain. Slightly relaxed geometry would likely be welcome there, but it's not nearly as big of a thing as XC racing and Enduro racing.
    Completely agree. The BC Bike Race is a prime example of this - lightweight full-suspension bikes with a moderate amount of travel, medium-aggressive/fast tires, dropper posts.

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    Threads like this

    Make me miss the days when we raced DH on Saturday and XC on Sunday......


    On the same bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    Enduro racing in the US may have started as "riding the trail bike you already have", but as with every racing discipline, the gear started to specialize to be more competitive. It doesn't help that many races are held at lift-access ski/DH venues, where a slack 160mm bike starts making more sense than a nimble 130mm bike.



    This is where I disagree (in an honest and friendly way). I agree that self-powered less-than-DH rides through varying terrain and elevation with fun sections and obstacles should have a general name without all this hair-splitting, but IMO calling it "XC" specifically isn't helpful.

    At least in my riding circles, the term "XC" has taken on a specific (negative) connotation about what sort of terrain and features to expect, that an "XC" ride is just mile-munching without "fun" being a priority. That's really not a fair characterization, but if I want to communicate effectively, it's usually necessary for me to call those "trail" rides.



    Completely agree. The BC Bike Race is a prime example of this - lightweight full-suspension bikes with a moderate amount of travel, medium-aggressive/fast tires, dropper posts.
    I agree with this. I have done some tamer enduros on my 140/120 29er and had lots more fun then a straight xc. Around here they can add a ton of field type riding in a XC race. I want Enduro style races on trails that people don't use a lift. I can't see where that wouldn't be popular...
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by profro View Post
    Threads like this

    Make me miss the days when we raced DH on Saturday and XC on Sunday......


    On the same bike
    a bike that was terrible for both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    a bike that was terrible for both.
    My experience at the time disagrees.

    If you need multiple bikes that are differentiated by 1" of travel to enrich your cycling experience, then you are doing it wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profro View Post
    My experience at the time disagrees.

    If you need multiple bikes that are differentiated by 1" of travel to enrich your cycling experience, then you are doing it wrong.
    Do you honestly feel that your bike from back then would hold up to lift served DH or even an EWS race? How would it compare, weight, geometry, suspension to a modern XC bike?

    There are categories because using the right tool for the job usually brings more enjoyment as it is being used per its design parameters. There is quite a bit more separation than just suspension between an XC and DH bike and even the suspension difference is greater than 1“.

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    Doesn't matter whether it would hold up to it or not. My enjoyment was what mattered. Absolute speed isn't the end all. The bike industry has gone crazy with niche segments and, in my opinion, has diluted the experience. I have a Chromag 26" hardtail and Yeti SB66. I have just as much fun, maybe arguably more, on my hardtail. Sure it is slower down hill than my Yeti SB66. But my KTM 250sx is faster than the SB66. Doesn't mean that I'm going to get rid of all my bikes and just keep the fastest, most suited one.

    I don't know how all that relates, but segmenting bikes into more categories with increasingly smaller differences isn't better for the consumer. It has no effect on my experience once I throw a leg over and hit the trails. In fact it leads to head aches making sure I have the "right" weapon for whatever fight I'm heading out for. I have found I'd just rather worry about my body position, braking points, lean angle, etc. versus making sure I choose correctly between an 5" All Mtn bike or a 6" Enduro bike.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    a bike that was terrible for both.
    ha Funny but maybe not so true. I just rode my old 1999 Dakar the other day. A joke of a "Trail Bike" compared to my 134Prcoess, the old Jamis still does what can. straight-line speed. I wish it could drop into corners the way my Kona does, and it doesn't fly off lips as well either, but it still lands 'em sweet. In its day it worked well, State of the Art.
    I'd love to race the trails and bike I ride today, it would be fun. I'd just hate to see how slow I really am. That and time, my racing days ended when the babies started coming home.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by profro View Post
    Doesn't matter whether it would hold up to it or not. My enjoyment was what mattered. Absolute speed isn't the end all. The bike industry has gone crazy with niche segments and, in my opinion, has diluted the experience. I have a Chromag 26" hardtail and Yeti SB66. I have just as much fun, maybe arguably more, on my hardtail. Sure it is slower down hill than my Yeti SB66. But my KTM 250sx is faster than the SB66. Doesn't mean that I'm going to get rid of all my bikes and just keep the fastest, most suited one.

    I don't know how all that relates, but segmenting bikes into more categories with increasingly smaller differences isn't better for the consumer. It has no effect on my experience once I throw a leg over and hit the trails. In fact it leads to head aches making sure I have the "right" weapon for whatever fight I'm heading out for. I have found I'd just rather worry about my body position, braking points, lean angle, etc. versus making sure I choose correctly between an 5" All Mtn bike or a 6" Enduro bike.
    It absolutely does matter whether it would hold up. As the trails people ride progress in difficulty, speed and roughness bikes have to evolve to handle that. An XC bike is just not made for a DH course as a DH bike is not made for non lift served trail riding. Both can be used but not optimal. You picked the two most disparate segments to make a point.

    As to trail, AM, and Enduro, trail is easily separated due to geometry and travel in my opinion. Where it gets fuzzy is the tweener categories of AM and Enduro.

    Specialization of tools is brought upon by progress in the industry. In the end the naming conventions are put in place to help the uninformed in the selection process. They are not there to tell you you must ride this bike for this terrain but to give insight into how the manufacturer sees the bike being used.

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    ha Funny but maybe not so true. I just rode my old 1999 Dakar the other day. A joke of a "Trail Bike" compared to my 134Prcoess, the old Jamis still does what can. straight-line speed. I wish it could drop into corners the way my Kona does, and it doesn't fly off lips as well either, but it still lands 'em sweet. In its day it worked well, State of the Art.
    I'd love to race the trails and bike I ride today, it would be fun. I'd just hate to see how slow I really am. That and time, my racing days ended when the babies started coming home.
    Right on man. At least you get it. Speed is relative. I have more fun on my Chromag hardtail locally than my sb66. It is so easy to get loose and rowdy, which gives me more joy than what the clock can tell me on my sb66.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by profro View Post
    Doesn't matter whether it would hold up to it or not. My enjoyment was what mattered. Absolute speed isn't the end all. The bike industry has gone crazy with niche segments and, in my opinion, has diluted the experience. I have a Chromag 26" hardtail and Yeti SB66. I have just as much fun, maybe arguably more, on my hardtail. Sure it is slower down hill than my Yeti SB66. But my KTM 250sx is faster than the SB66. Doesn't mean that I'm going to get rid of all my bikes and just keep the fastest, most suited one.

    I don't know how all that relates, but segmenting bikes into more categories with increasingly smaller differences isn't better for the consumer. It has no effect on my experience once I throw a leg over and hit the trails. In fact it leads to head aches making sure I have the "right" weapon for whatever fight I'm heading out for. I have found I'd just rather worry about my body position, braking points, lean angle, etc. versus making sure I choose correctly between an 5" All Mtn bike or a 6" Enduro bike.
    All these niches are a result of knowing exactly how to design/build a bike that works REALLY GOOD for an application. I don't wanna own 14 bikes, but i love that we can ride stuff where the designer understood what compromises he was making.

    Hardtails rule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    All these niches are a result of knowing exactly how to design/build a bike that works REALLY GOOD for an application. I don't wanna own 14 bikes, but i love that we can ride stuff where the designer understood what compromises he was making.

    Hardtails rule.
    This is exactly it. I don't get all the consternation and hurt feelings because someone rides terrain that may or may not be associated with their chosen bike.

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    I'd hit it. Mammoth on a 26" hardtail most the summer. I don't get paid to ride. Most of my equipment surpasses my skills as a rider. So trail/Enduro/AM...doesn't matter that much. Saw a dude riding a unicycle smashing the trail with everyone else few years back. True story.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    All these niches are a result of knowing exactly how to design/build a bike that works REALLY GOOD for an application. I don't wanna own 14 bikes, but i love that we can ride stuff where the designer understood what compromises he was making.
    This is it exactly. As a consumer, I absolutely love how many niches there are, how much diversity there is within the same market segments, and how much selection is available. I can find exactly what I (think I) want.

    Here's how my new bike/frame shopping decision process goes. I'd apply this train of thinking to whatever I was buying, whether it was my one versatile do-it-all bike, or the 3rd bike in the quiver that can be really use-specific:

    1) Decide what exactly I want to do with the bike. What sort of rides, pace, duration, chunky or smooth terrain, features or lack of, amount and type of climbing, straight-line stability vs nimble and playful, etc. What sort of trail manners am I looking for? How specialized do I want this bike to get vs how versatile I need it to be. What do I want this bike to do really well, and what am I willing to compromise on to get that. Those are the criteria that informs every following decision.

    2) Decide approximate travel and wheel size. Usually pretty straight forward if I've been honest in Step 1. What tires I expect to run probably fits in this stage, to the extent it affects tire fit and clearance.

    3) Decide on geometry. This is really the top priority. What wheelbase/HTA/chainstay length/STA/BB height are going to be optimal for my priorities from Step 1. Sort out which of those bikes have the right geo and also have reach/stack/ETT/ST height will fit my body proportions well.

    4) Decide on suspension type, both linkage and damper. This often ends up deciding the particular brand or model of bike. Lots of bikes climb great, but how that's accomplished varies a lot, and has an impact on how the bike descends. Do I need an efficient technical climber, or this see lots of smoother ascending? Does this bike just need gobs of traction at all costs? Do I need a leverage curve appropriate for soaking up big hits, drops, jumps? Will I be riding this on smoother terrain, or do I need something that can handle lots of repeated square edge hits? Will descents be long and point me toward a piggyback shock, or is a single-can OK? Is coil appropriate?

    5) Decide where this bike needs to fall on the frame material-weight-stiffness-durability-price series of trade-offs. Sometimes the weight really needs to be kept in check, and sometimes carbon isn't in the budget. I might anticipate a lot of chunky rocks and feel (arguably) more comfortable on aluminum. If it's a hardtail, maybe steel is real. And sometimes, the geometry I want and suspension I want is only available in one material, so I need to suck it up and accept either higher weight or cost than I might otherwise want. But I wouldn't compromise on geo or suspension to get the "right" frame material.

    6) After all that, decide which parts need to go on the frame. Yeah, that's last. Probably because I have some build kit preferences that won't change, and probably because I'm moving parts over from an old build.

    I'm really serious with all that - this isn't satire or sarcasm. Last frame I bought, I ended up making a spreadsheet comparing about 30 different trail/AM/enduro/whatever bikes. That's a ton of info to sort through, and it can be a lot of work, but I think it's worth it when you're dropping several grand on something for pure enjoyment.

    Then, when all that's done, I'm gonna go ride my damn bike. I'll have done all the fretting about getting the "right" bike and gotten it out of the way. I'll go ride my 6" enduro-AM-whatever on tame XC trails if it's the only bike I have, and I'll have a lot of fun despite knowing that I might be on the completely wrong bike for that day. Or I'll race it knowing it might not be an optimal Enduro race sled.

    And I'll sleep well at night knowing I had to make compromises, but I chose which compromises, because there are so many different manufacturers making so many frames in so many niche micro-categories. I got to pick out exactly what I (thought I) would want. And that's a really good thing.

  68. #68
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    I ride buff flow trails and free-ride trails on the same bike... Because I only own one mountain bike. I couldn't be happier that technology is so damn good that I can actually have a ton of fun on my bike regardless.

    I never understand this 'damn them, they're giving us too many choices... And they're all super capable!' issue. First world problems for sure.

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    I'm quite a begginer in all things biking, but I do enjoy to go to some MTB races. I don't know exactly what kind of races they are (here in Switzerland they don't specify DH vs XC vs. etc.), and I don't race to win, just to enjoy the atmosphere and the setting. 2016 was my first year going to such events, and I got ranked (consistently) in the last third.

    However, after reading this thread, I wonder: maybe it's not my skills, maybe it's not my training, maybe it's the fact that I have a single bike, a lightweight XC hardtail. In some races, people I was overtaking going up were overtaking me on the downhill sections. So should I stop thinking about how to efficiently use my small amount of free time to train, and instead research more the different types of bikes? Ensure I have the appropriate one for all races?

    Of course, I'm joking. The point is, sometimes the bike makes a lot of difference, but I think for most people, proper training—both fitness and technique—should come first. Once one has good skills and enough experience, they'll know if the bike keeps them back. I know for sure it doesn't in my case…

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I ride buff flow trails and free-ride trails on the same bike... Because I only own one mountain bike. I couldn't be happier that technology is so damn good that I can actually have a ton of fun on my bike regardless.
    Exactly. I know my bike is not suited to _all_ trails, but I'm thankful I can do a lot of things with a single bike, while having lots of fun.

  71. #71
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    Agreed. Bikes are so good now that rider skills play a more important part than xc/trail/all mountain choice. Good riders can crush everything on an xc bike that lesser riders can on the other two. Will the xc bike hold up to that abuse long term... Doubtful. For most of us weekend Warriors trail bikes hit the sweet spot though in areas like forgiveness, fun and comfort.

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    I think a GREAT rider can crush an AM trail on say a XC bike, in part because a good XC bike is so fast on the in between smooth parts where you can make up time. Although that bike won't last long under a rider of that caliper.

    I'm 45 years of age and only started riding about 3 1/2 years ago. Although I'm certainly well ahead of 'average riders' I'll never be a 'great' rider and I'll take all the help I can get in the form of high quality equipment.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I think a GREAT rider can crush an AM trail on say a XC bike, in part because a good XC bike is so fast on the in between smooth parts where you can make up time. Although that bike won't last long under a rider of that caliper.

    I'm 45 years of age and only started riding about 3 1/2 years ago. Although I'm certainly well ahead of 'average riders' I'll never be a 'great' rider and I'll take all the help I can get in the form of high quality equipment.
    I'm 44 and knee injured so while I'm experienced and skilled I will never be 'great' either. I guess my main point is most of the modern equipment is high quality enough for guys like us that an average modern trail bike doesn't hold us back from our potential on most trails. My trail bike is built up to a more all mountain kit to let me explore gnar with more forgiveness to both bike and body. It will never be an 'enduro' bike because that is a type of race which I don't do. If I preferred racing and/or smooth flowy lines/trails I would be on a lightweight short travel all carbon 29er but that isn't my thing. Choice is great!
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    Soon with all this marketing BS we'll need to carry few bike on a given trip... One for the climb to switch to one for the down to switch to one for the flat and if you only go out on 1 bike you're a looser...

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-ol View Post
    Soon with all this marketing BS we'll need to carry few bike on a given trip... One for the climb to switch to one for the down to switch to one for the flat and if you only go out on 1 bike you're a looser...
    Don't forget you need a plus size for when the terrain changes too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-ol View Post
    Soon with all this marketing BS we'll need to carry few bike on a given trip... One for the climb to switch to one for the down to switch to one for the flat and if you only go out on 1 bike you're a looser...
    I'll disagree. Those with more than one bike would be loosers. Looser screws, looser with their wallets, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    4" = XC
    5" = Trail
    6" = Enduro
    8" = DH

    for the most part
    My trails shine with a 6 " travel bike. Its not like one inch of sus weighs more.

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    Aaaaaaaaah.. yeah forgot fat, mid, +, half + (2.6"?)... Etc....

    This below is back in my days... I'm 45... We didn't fuss much around like 'oh I'm missing 0.3" of travel I can't enduro'


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    https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=mkascVQ8LrM

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-ol View Post
    Aaaaaaaaah.. yeah forgot fat, mid, +, half + (2.6"?)... Etc....

    This below is back in my days... I'm 45... We didn't fuss much around like 'oh I'm missing 0.3" of travel I can't enduro'


    1992 downhill french championship...
    https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=mkascVQ8LrM
    LOL showing a bunch of guys struggling to ride down a grassy hillside doesn't do much for your point...

    There were no good choices in the bad old days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    LOL showing a bunch of guys struggling to ride down a grassy hillside doesn't do much for your point...

    There were no good choices in the bad old days.
    I know there were no choices then... And it's an extreme as much as we see that many classifications... I don't mind the choices and diversity, but does it make sense to always have to categorize whit such narrow differences...
    But we're just talking... It's winter, otherwise I'd be out riding not thinking at all this )

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-ol View Post
    I know there were no choices then... And it's an extreme as much as we see that many classifications... I don't mind the choices and diversity, but does it make sense to always have to categorize whit such narrow differences...
    But we're just talking... It's winter, otherwise I'd be out riding not thinking at all this )
    Actually, im in sunny california and thinking about this cuz i'm a useless schlub.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Actually, im in sunny california and thinking about this cuz i'm a useless schlub.
    Ahahah
    Montreal... Minus something... Snow, about 10" for the last 24h...
    I ride in winter if it's not too cold to not hurt shox...

  83. #83
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    At the end of the day, you pick the right tool for the job.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I bought a 140mm Trail bike 2yrs ago, great for my trail system. If I set up the suspension firm I really have to work at it (or blow it)to use all the travel here, no mountains only short climb/descent. When I demoed 120mm bikes (Scott, Cannondale) I see how that is all I really need, but that extra 20mm on my Kona is not much of a burden. Todays bikes pedal so well it doesn't hurt much to over-bike. Last week Giant demo was in town, only had time for 1 and chose the 140mm Trance. Sweet. While I waited for it I kept eyeing the 150mm Reign, it looked so good and I'd love to test the theory that they pedal so well I wouldn't mind the extra travel.
    Life is good, with bikes it's great.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander.rider View Post
    At the end of the day, you pick the right tool for the job.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The Human is not taken enough into consideration as part of the tool... The other day I was having a chat with some dude... they were wondering where they could save weight on already super light carbon bikes... but both could lose 30 lbs easy... That's a complete bike!!

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-ol View Post
    The Human is not taken enough into consideration as part of the tool... The other day I was having a chat with some dude... they were wondering where they could save weight on already super light carbon bikes... but both could lose 30 lbs easy... That's a complete bike!!
    yeah but the problem that you run into is that those same guys would rather spend $$$$ money shaving a few ounces off their bikes vs. actually doing something good for their body and health by losing some weight. I mean that is that many more beers they can buy without having to beg/borrow/steal from their buddies if they do it right.

    Like my brother always told me... just take a large dump before a ride and that is a good pound of weight loss right there!

  87. #87
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    "Grinduro"

    Many of today's gravel/CX/monster-cross (drop-bar) bikes are as capable on singletrack as yester-year's XC mountain bikes. This is getting confusing.

  88. #88
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    I like how weve been having this thread for 10+ years now.

    Also, lightweight sportscars are terrible.
    WTB: Small aluminum hardtail 26 or 27.5 frame. Pm me!

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    lightweight sportscars are terrible.
    For what?

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