Been away from biking for a long time, whats changed in tech and bike choices?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Been away from biking for a long time, whats changed in tech and bike choices?

    Hi guys.

    Im in my 40s now but in my 20s I used to ride my mountain bike every day and on week ends cross country. I had a accident which stopped all that when a car pull out on me at a round about when he should have given way. 2 years later thinking im healed I got a second hand Whyte Prst 4 which is now a classic bike, but that was the last bike I had, but sold that was about 17 years ago maybe more.

    Im now in better shape and think Im ready to try again so need a update on whats changed in them missing years regarding whats the best known brands, group sets, and general weight on bikes these days.

    Last time I looked Shimano XTR was the best groupset, T661 alloy frames, and my Marin Nail Trail thena Whyte PRST 4 was the lightest bikes Iv owned.

    So I you where looking out for a second hand bike what would you regard as being a decent bike either a Hard tail or Full Suspension with having at least from my time a group set of at the XT level, disk breaks, and reasonable weighted? Cant give you a price point as I have no idea what can be got so Im going by my needs rather than costs. It would be a combo on on road but built for track cross country. For reference Im 5.11ft tall as to what frame size id need.

    Thanks, Dan

  2. #2
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    So, what's changed in the past 20 years??

    Holy cow...get ready for the responses!

    A price point will help, but I'm sure someone will organize options by cost.

    Seems a HT would suit your riding preferences unless your accident effected your back.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    So, what's changed in the past 20 years??

    Holy cow...get ready for the responses!

    A price point will help, but I'm sure someone will organize options by cost.

    Seems a HT would suit your riding preferences unless your accident effected your back.
    Lol yep its been a while. Iv been looking at the bikes of my day that where available like Marin Mount Vision Pro, Whyte 46. Iv not looked extensively but it would seem Id like to get a second hand bike about under the grand mark maybe, less. A indian Fire trial with a good group set and decent forks would do me but Im a bit behind. When I had a bike its was 26" wheels only, now there are options...

    As far as the back goes, I need to look after it as I do have L4/L5 disk bulge history so good posture is important. In my minds eye I want something thats very light weight that I can throw about over a trail but have at least decent suspension forks.


    Dan

  4. #4
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    what has changed? the short version: mountain bikes are becoming more and more like motorcycles. some even have motors. but for pedal bikes, they are capable but generally heavier. most people find the weight compromise to be worth it.

  5. #5
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    Frame material: Carbon is very popular.

    Geometry: Referred to as “new geometry. Lower slacker, longer wheel base.

    Wide bars: Some as wide as wide as your driveway. Better for climbing and control while descending, not so good in tight single track through wooded areas.

    Gearing: 1/10 - 1/11 - 1/12 Speed

    Better suspension designs, more plush fork and shock.

    Dropper post: Let’s you get behind your seat on technical descents.

    Tubeless tires: Allows you to run lower pressures which in turn gives you better traction.

    Larger wheel size: Better for rolling over obstacles and faster.

    Other than all that it’s the same sport. Oh, except the trails got easier, many called “flow” trails. More capable bikes easier trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  6. #6
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    Lets just get this out of the way. 26er is dead, and it ain’t coming back.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Frame material: Carbon is very popular.

    Geometry: Referred to as “new geometry. Lower slacker, longer wheel base.

    Wide bars: Some as wide as wide as your driveway. Better for climbing and defending, not so good in tight single track through wooded areas.

    Gearing: 1/10 - 1/11 - 1/12 Speed

    Better suspension designs, more plush fork and shock.

    Dropper post: Let’s you get behind your seat on technical descents.

    Tubeless tires: Allows you to run lower pressures which in turn gives you better traction.

    Larger wheel size: Better for rolling over obstacles and faster.

    Other than all that it’s the same sport. Oh, except the trails got easier, many called “flow” trails. More capable bikes easier trails.
    You forgot to add heavier.

    My current all-mountain bike probably weighs five pounds more than my all-mountain bike from 17 years ago.

    EDIT: I'm not really much complaining because my new bike is far more fun and capable.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  8. #8
    Old enough to remember ..
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    What changed?
    Everything!
    Cheers

    HJ

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  9. #9
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    No more 26" wheel bikes. Now we have 29" and 27.5" and plus sizes too.

  10. #10
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    Welcome back, Dan.

    To be honest you might need to go test ride some stuff. The evolution of mountain biking has been more than words could describe here. When NORBA racing was no longer the rule that measured all bikes the idea of making bikes more fun took over. I think the biggest difference you'll notice is that bikes tend to carve the turns now with way more momentum than an old XC bike was capable of. The other big change is that pretty much everybody makes good bikes now. In 2000 there were some high end bikes that simply didn't work. Today you might have trouble pinning down the right bike but you mostly won't have to worry about getting a bad bike.
    Well my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  11. #11
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    Coil suspension has been rediscovered.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  12. #12
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    Yeah weight:

    I didn't buy a bike between 1995 and 2016. I remember thinking that nice MTBs weighed somewhere in the low 20's of lbs. So getting back into biking a few years ago I went to my LBS just to look at one of the better bikes they were selling. I picked it up by the top tube and it felt like it yanked my arm half out of its socket. It took some recalibrating to realize that a 30-32lb trail bike was now light.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rectro46 View Post

    So If you where looking out for a second hand bike what would you regard as being a decent bike either a Hard tail or Full Suspension with having at least from my time a group set of at the XT level, disk breaks, and reasonable weighted? Cant give you a price point as I have no idea what can be got so Im going by my needs rather than costs. It would be a combo on on road but built for track cross country.

    Thanks, Dan
    A road/track cross country bike?

    I'm not sure what that means.
    Do you just want a hybrid bike for fitness? Are you going to ride roads just to get to trails? Do you want to primarily ride roads and some trails?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    A road/track cross country bike?

    I'm not sure what that means.
    Do you just want a hybrid bike for fitness? Are you going to ride roads just to get to trails? Do you want to primarily ride roads and some trails?
    this sounds kind of familiar... https://www.pinkbike.com/news/guerri...-category.html

    in all honesty a good hardtail (29er) or a short travel FS 29er seams to be what you are looking for.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2zmtnz View Post
    this sounds kind of familiar... https://www.pinkbike.com/news/guerri...-category.html

    in all honesty a good hardtail (29er) or a short travel FS 29er seams to be what you are looking for.
    Interesting!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rectro46 View Post
    Id like to get a second hand bike about under the grand mark maybe, less
    Prices have changed

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayold View Post
    Yeah weight:

    I didn't buy a bike between 1995 and 2016. I remember thinking that nice MTBs weighed somewhere in the low 20's of lbs. So getting back into biking a few years ago I went to my LBS just to look at one of the better bikes they were selling. I picked it up by the top tube and it felt like it yanked my arm half out of its socket. It took some recalibrating to realize that a 30-32lb trail bike was now light.
    Show me a bike from late 90’s that had 6” of travel and weighs 28 lbs like my current bike.
    You can find superlight XC hardtails currently, but they arent what is In demand so you dont see them on the bikeshop floors.
    Some other changes, if youve got the money, carbon fiber almost everything. Carbon rims, if your style isnt rim denting, are awesome. I havent trued a rim in five years since, except when spoke nipples broke.
    Black spokes for some reason. I like sparkly spokes, but black is what came setup on my wheelsets so thats what i got now.
    XTR is still Shimanos top of the line, but SRAM has stuff to compete. Oh, theres electronic shifting too. XT still the workhorse upper level, STX Is excellent performance for less money, and Shimanos finally gotten lower 1x groupsets for tighter budgets.
    Oh, and theres this new marketing category called “gravel” bikes. Road bikes that can handle off road. The most aggresive of them can fit XC MTB tires on them and you can ride pretty demanding singletrack with them.

  18. #18
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    Baggy shorts are out. If you're not wearing neon bibs with no shirt you'll be laughed off the trail.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all your replies. That gives some good ideas. What Id do would be ride on the road here and there, but mainly through woods and trails. I dont want a heavy bike, so am now looking at getting a older bike but a carbon frame. One thats caught my eye is a Scott Spark 10, old but quality. Im not sure how much difference a 29" wheel will make but heavy I dont want for sure.

    Dan

  20. #20
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    There was a bit of an epiphany in 29er bike design just a couple of years ago. If you care, a newer used 29er might be worth the extra coin.

    I had a 25 pound tricked out 26er years ago, when I was younger and at a point where I started timing rides. My 29er is 3 pounds heavier, I'm 20 years older and 20 pounds heavier. My times are much faster now.

    Times may not be important, but riding the same speed and using less energy as you get older (without electricity) is.

  21. #21
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    Technical trails are no longer a thing. Smooth manicured flow trails and participation trophys for everyone.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  22. #22
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    What's changed? Well, they don't make front suspensions like the Whyte Prst 4 had anymore! That was thinking outside of the box! Whyte's first bike, wan't it? They're still making awesome bikes.

    Rectro46, I know you said you aren't focused on price, but you may want to prepare for sticker shock. Well... maybe not. Wasn't the Prst a $3k bike in 2003? That'd be over $4k today.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  23. #23
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    You can now buy a suspension fork for $1000+.

  24. #24
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    Picard has changed his undertrousers but twice in your absence from all that is cycling.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Technical trails are no longer a thing. Smooth manicured flow trails and participation trophys for everyone.
    For me, this has been the most depressing change with mountain biking over the past 20 years...which is why I build trails that get comments like this:

    "This trail is one big rock garden."
    "I've been hoping for several years that this trail would smooth out over time. It seems to have, if anything, gotten lumpier."

    Ha!
    baker

  26. #26
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    It somehow became acceptable to ride a bicycle with a motor on it

  27. #27
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    technical trail status might be a regional thing. where I live, there are still plenty of technical trails and flow trails are a novelty. to some degree, it's likely a matter of local geology. you can't make smooth trails in places that are almost all rock.

  28. #28
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    The bikes are no longer trying to kill you. Going over the bars is no longer a given every few rides. Sure, they're heavier, but they descend AND climb much better.

    Don't buy something more than a few years old. As others have stated, the geometry has been much improved in the last few years and 1x drive trains are now standard on everything.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taroroot View Post
    XTR is still Shimanos top of the line...
    Saint. You forgot Saint. For all those gravity bikes. Oh, yeah, there's gravity bikes now, too.

    Saint is a decent upgrade if your trails include some good altitude loss. Or if you weigh a lot.

    Disc brakes? Did we mention disc brakes? Suspension posts that actually work? Go Pro? Has OP heard of Go Pro?
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Disc brakes? Did we mention disc brakes? Suspension posts that actually work? Go Pro? Has OP heard of Go Pro?
    That reminds me of the time riding buddy duct taped a 8mm camcorder (remeber video tape?) to the side of his helmet. How things have changed, now you got drones buzzing around taking footage that would have costed you thousands in helicopter time.
    Oh and open flat pedals are all the rage.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    For me, this has been the most depressing change with mountain biking over the past 20 years...which is why I build trails that get comments like this:

    "This trail is one big rock garden."
    "I've been hoping for several years that this trail would smooth out over time. It seems to have, if anything, gotten lumpier."

    Ha!
    I want to ride your trails.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
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    Been away from biking for a long time, whats changed in tech and bike choices?

    Seems to me that the biggest change has been in the culture itself. Two changes I have seen in the past 20 years:

    1- It used to be more about the challenge. Now it is more about the fun.

    2- people seem to take the sport and themselves way more seriously than they used to. It used to feel like an anything goes, we-are-all-getting-our-asses-kicked kind of thing. Now it feels more like roadie culture, but with different uniforms.

    I realize these two almost seem contradictory. Kinda strange.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  33. #33
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    I’m kind of in the same situation as OP. I rode and raced back in the 80’s and 90’s, then sat on the couch for 25 years.

    I ended up buying a hard tail—a used 2019 Specialized Fuse Comp 27.5+. It’s great. Handles everything I encounter on my local trails and is way better than any bike that was available in 1994. It was a $1,600 bike I bought used for $1,000.

    1x11 gearing, dropper post, and Rock Shox Recon fork that is light years ahead of anything available back in the day.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I want to ride your trails.
    I used to ride your trails...back in about 90-93. :-) I went to UVA and my best friend went to Va Tech. Blacksburg had much better biking than Charlottesville back then. I have no idea what either is like these days.
    baker

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    It used to be more about the challenge. Now it is more about the fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    people seem to take the sport and themselves way more seriously than they used to.
    Yeah, that is contradictory indeed. From what I've experienced, current culture is more the former -- let's go have fun. Maybe it's the people around us that color our perception?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    For me, this has been the most depressing change with mountain biking over the past 20 years...which is why I build trails that get comments like this:

    "This trail is one big rock garden."
    "I've been hoping for several years that this trail would smooth out over time. It seems to have, if anything, gotten lumpier."

    Ha!
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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