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  1. #1
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    You're almost certainly over-biked.

    How's that for an inflammatory title?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U39CsT5hrs

    I was watching this video earlier today, and aside from some good laughs, and some impressive descending (if you don't care to watch the video, it features Yoann Barelli descending some legit super-gnar BC terrain on a road bike) it also got me thinking about the current state of affairs. This is also in some ways in response to the "What will mountain biking be like in the next 10 years" thread. It seems that technology is headed toward making the sport easier yet. I question why this is necessary...

    For a long time, in conjunction with more and more capable bikes, I've noticed that modern trails are getting easier and easier. By the way, I'm not exempting myself from this either. More and more often, I've been questioning why I ride my main bike when the trail doesn't call for so much suspension, tires, etc. There have been times where I've been legitimately pissed that I brought my big bike, when so much of the trail featured no bumps, steeps, or technicality to speak of.

    I bought a new hardtail a few years back and have come to the conclusion that perhaps on the majority of all the new-school trails we have locally, I actually prefer it and am faster overall -- not to mention it is more efficient so I can ride longer and further.

    At many of the trailheads in my region, I see that the average rider is aboard a $5k + super bike, and yet, the terrain certainly doesn't necessitate or warrant so much bike. This thread is for those that have taken a step back perhaps, and are maybe finding more fun on a less capable bike. My next bike is going to be a hardtail as well; albeit a more modern one to take advantage of improved geometry. Please post your thoughts/experiences. Disagree even, if you want.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  2. #2
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    I suppose it'a all relative.

    Where I live, we more than enough really steep and chunky terrain to warrant a longer-travel and slacker bike. And there are even more of those trails in the pipeline.

    That said, I also have a hardtail for the mellower trails too.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  3. #3
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    I don't see trails getting easier. Maybe you should relocate?
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    I don't see trails getting easier. Maybe you should relocate?
    There are some trails where 150mm+ travel is nice, but those are all the old trails. The trend in new trails is buffed, bermed, and “flowy.” No need for suspension at all on a lot of them.

    I’d like to visit the Pacific NW more often, but moving there is not in the cards anymore.

  5. #5
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    I started riding off road on bicycles in the 60s. We would do all kinds of crazy stuff on them, big jumps, super fast downhill with little braking, the kind of stuff that has become a lot easier with current technology. What I did find out was that those old bikes were really not up to the tasks we put them thru! Many of them were utterly destroyed. I took a friend's road bike down the hill one day, and being unused to actually having brakes, when I hit the jump, my hands locked the brakes on reflexively. When I landed, I continued but the bike decided it wasn't so keen. Basically the thing exploded under me and my friend was not amused.
    Modern tech allows us to do the silly stuff without that great fear of whether the bike is up to it
    It's all Here. Now.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I’d like to visit the Pacific NW more often, but moving there is not in the cards anymore.
    The trails here are glorious!

    Come on over for a visit.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  7. #7
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    I think over biked is a thing that happens because people hear how the latest 140 or 160 bike climbs "like a hardtail" (it most certainly does not) and think there's no reason not to get a bike like that, in that case. If there's no penalty on the ups, and it makes the downs more fun, why not? I of course, am no exception to this observation. I don't think some of the trails I ride are any harder than some of the stuff I was riding 30 years ago on a rigid 26er 2x5. And, certainly all the trails local to me I've at least mostly conquered on a rigid single speed. Yet, currently my SS has a 120mm fork on it, and my FS bike is a 115/130 travel trail devouring beast that doesn't feel uncomposed on ANY of my local trails. That said, if I spend one day picking my way through the gnarliest sections of a trail on my SS and then the next day blasting through it on my FS bike, there is an undeniable thrill that I own such a machine! Yes, I possess the skill to do it the old fashion way, and that's gratifying as hell. But it's still astonishing, even though I've had my FS bike for a year, to experience the glorious capabilities it has. It's two complete different things to thrill to, and both are legitimate. I guess it kind of boils down to this - bikes, to most of us, are, if not toys, tools that we own to employ primarily to have fun. And as long as we're having fun....let's just ride as many as we can.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    I started riding off road on bicycles in the 60s. We would do all kinds of crazy stuff on them, big jumps, super fast downhill with little braking, the kind of stuff that has become a lot easier with current technology. What I did find out was that those old bikes were really not up to the tasks we put them thru! Many of them were utterly destroyed. I took a friend's road bike down the hill one day, and being unused to actually having brakes, when I hit the jump, my hands locked the brakes on reflexively. When I landed, I continued but the bike decided it wasn't so keen. Basically the thing exploded under me and my friend was not amused.
    Modern tech allows us to do the silly stuff without that great fear of whether the bike is up to it
    I remember doing the steep roots and rocks back in the 80s and 90s and it was "thrilling" to say the least. Sometimes I wonder how I survived.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  9. #9
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    I sometimes feel that some riders I ride with may think that I may be overbiked, 170mm fr, 160mm rear for my favorite bike.
    I've been riding mountain biking since 1982 and since that time I have seen bikes go through an amazing progression. I've also ridden and raced pretty much every discipline from XC, road, cross, singlespeed, tandem, bmx, track and DH. Pretty much I know what works and what doesn't for me.
    Back to my bike. I own several bikes now, 27.5" single speed hardtail, a 27.5" FS XC bike, 29er FS XC bike, 29er hardtail XC bike and my favorite bike, my Turner RFX.
    While the Turner definitely is not the fastest in all conditions, but it is definitely the funnest and most capable all around . Its the bike of choice for a lot of rides which consist of long days in the saddle with lots of climbing and descending.
    Sure, couple of my bikes may be faster on some rides, but since I ride for fun and not money or fame anymore, I'll stick with being called "overbiked"
    EXODUX Jeff

  10. #10
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    I remember riding the most technical terrain I could find 30 years ago when I started. I still do but terrain I'm seeking out is way more difficult now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    How's that for an inflammatory title?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U39CsT5hrs

    I was watching this video earlier today, and aside from some good laughs, and some impressive descending (if you don't care to watch the video, it features Yoann Barelli descending some legit super-gnar BC terrain on a road bike) it also got me thinking about the current state of affairs. This is also in some ways in response to the "What will mountain biking be like in the next 10 years" thread. It seems that technology is headed toward making the sport easier yet. I question why this is necessary...

    For a long time, in conjunction with more and more capable bikes, I've noticed that modern trails are getting easier and easier. By the way, I'm not exempting myself from this either. More and more often, I've been questioning why I ride my main bike when the trail doesn't call for so much suspension, tires, etc. There have been times where I've been legitimately pissed that I brought my big bike, when so much of the trail featured no bumps, steeps, or technicality to speak of.

    I bought a new hardtail a few years back and have come to the conclusion that perhaps on the majority of all the new-school trails we have locally, I actually prefer it and am faster overall -- not to mention it is more efficient so I can ride longer and further.

    At many of the trailheads in my region, I see that the average rider is aboard a $5k + super bike, and yet, the terrain certainly doesn't necessitate or warrant so much bike. This thread is for those that have taken a step back perhaps, and are maybe finding more fun on a less capable bike. My next bike is going to be a hardtail as well; albeit a more modern one to take advantage of improved geometry. Please post your thoughts/experiences. Disagree even, if you want.
    Not everyone has half a dozen bikes to choose from, so they ride their single bike on the hardest trails and the old rail trail MUPs. And don't get pissed about it, either. Being legitimately pissed that the trail you're riding isn't worthy of your "big" bike is the epitome of elite snobbisim on our sport.

  12. #12
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    I don't know ... my daily trail is relatively tame but I like to jump down its stairways! Hardtail? No thank you, too old for that unless I am on asphalt

  13. #13
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    You almost certainly don't know what over-biked means. The amount of bike needed for a professional rider to get down a trail is a useless metric for anyone (including a pro) in determining the ideal bike for their trails. You can tell mountain bikers are soft because they judge each other by how many millimeters more they have. Go with a $500 BMX bike, it will toughen you up.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I think over biked is a thing that happens because people hear how the latest 140 or 160 bike climbs "like a hardtail" (it most certainly does not) and think there's no reason not to get a bike like that, in that case. If there's no penalty on the ups, and it makes the downs more fun, why not? I of course, am no exception to this observation. I don't think some of the trails I ride are any harder than some of the stuff I was riding 30 years ago on a rigid 26er 2x5. And, certainly all the trails local to me I've at least mostly conquered on a rigid single speed. Yet, currently my SS has a 120mm fork on it, and my FS bike is a 115/130 travel trail devouring beast that doesn't feel uncomposed on ANY of my local trails. That said, if I spend one day picking my way through the gnarliest sections of a trail on my SS and then the next day blasting through it on my FS bike, there is an undeniable thrill that I own such a machine! Yes, I possess the skill to do it the old fashion way, and that's gratifying as hell. But it's still astonishing, even though I've had my FS bike for a year, to experience the glorious capabilities it has. It's two complete different things to thrill to, and both are legitimate. I guess it kind of boils down to this - bikes, to most of us, are, if not toys, tools that we own to employ primarily to have fun. And as long as we're having fun....let's just ride as many as we can.
    Good points— thanks for sharing! Without a doubt, there are a few trails locally that, while I have ridden them pretty fast on old XC bikes — it is a thrill to plow down them with reckless abandon on my modern bike. I guess those are the trails I yearn for, to begin with.

  15. #15
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    I'm pretty sure I am over biked. Considering my two newest are so much superior to the 16 year old hard tail that was too small with a fork that didn't work perfectly. I rode the crap out of it and loved it.

    Personally, I don't give a crap what the trail 'calls' for. I enjoy riding my bike as I'm sure most people do.

    There is probably a more defined point where being over-biked is obvious. My stock bikes are just fine (except I'd like better brakes). My frame is carbon, because it was cheaper used than new aluminum frame was. I don't need to add carbon bars or wheels. Maybe I'd feel a difference, maybe my trails aren't built for carbon wheels. Don't know. But my wheels on both bikes roll in circles and feel fine to me.

    Not sure if we are truly over-biked or if we enjoy the easy ride we have. I still ride aggressively on the local trails and do it faster than I could have on the previously mentioned bike. It was still just as fun not going as fast as it is today going fast on the bike that can go fast.
    Neither of the bikes are 'wrong' any more than the other bike is 'right'.

    Fun is fun. If a person has the means to purchase too much bike, good for them.

    I can't wait for it to stop raining and me not being too sick to ride and I'm going out on a ride on my over-bike on a relatively easy trail.
    Will be my first time this season on the super fun 10 minute downhill trail that isn't dusty but rather is full of traction for the first time in 8 or 9 months. Woot!

    Speaking of brakes, I better install the new pads and break them in first!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Not everyone has half a dozen bikes to choose from, so they ride their single bike on the hardest trails and the old rail trail MUPs. And don't get pissed about it, either. Being legitimately pissed that the trail you're riding isn't worthy of your "big" bike is the epitome of elite snobbisim on our sport.
    Lol okay dude. Having preferences for certain trail styles is elitism now?

    On more than one occasion I’ve been led to believe new trails were “the best DH trails ever” — so I took my aggressive bike; later to find that it made the trails boring. Disappointed would probably have been a better term than “pissed;” I’ll give you that.

  17. #17
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    @jeremy3220
    ^^^Over-biked means it is actually faster, on a given trail, to ride a less “capable” bike — ie- lighter, less suspension travel, faster rolling/less grippy/aggressive tires, etc.

  18. #18
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    I can't exploit the capabilities of my bike, and a good rider on a WalMart bike can outdo me.
    I agree that the vast majority of riders have more bike than they need. It's no different with cars on the road. Most people could never push their vehicle to within 50% of it's capability, much less "at the edge".

    But, it doesn't dent my pocket if someone else spends 4x what they need to, so have at it and have fun!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    How's that for an inflammatory title?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U39CsT5hrs

    I was watching this video earlier today, and aside from some good laughs, and some impressive descending (if you don't care to watch the video, it features Yoann Barelli descending some legit super-gnar BC terrain on a road bike) it also got me thinking about the current state of affairs. This is also in some ways in response to the "What will mountain biking be like in the next 10 years" thread. It seems that technology is headed toward making the sport easier yet. I question why this is necessary...
    Have seen it. Would like to see the results from riding like that every day for a year.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    @jeremy3220
    ^^^Over-biked means it is actually faster, on a given trail, to ride a less “capable” bike — ie- lighter, less suspension travel, faster rolling/less grippy/aggressive tires, etc.

    That townie bike is not faster then Yoann's normal bike of choice down any of those trails... so by your definition, your example is basically using the wrong tool for the job.

    Faster is a poor metric for fun anyway. I don't really give a fvck about how fast I can pedal out of a corner these days.

    Stating the obvious here, but bike choice likely comes down to comfort level/ability relative to terrain.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Fun is fun. If a person has the means to purchase too much bike, good for them.
    Here it is.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Have seen it. Would like to see the results from riding like that every day for a year.
    Hospitalization, without a doubt.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  23. #23
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    I'll admit that I am over-biked, but I like having the option of 9 different gears to choose from and my 100mm fork helps keep the front wheel planted better than my rigid fork did.

  24. #24
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    Are we overbiked if we like the ride?

    Are we overbiked if we find ways to exploit all of the more capable bike's abilities?

    I CAN ride my hardtail singlespeed over the same terrain that I ride my 160/140 FS bike. Isn't it up to me which one I prefer? Which brand of fun I choose on any given ride?

    Wish I could remember who's MTBR sig includes words to this effect:
    Making shit harder doesn't make it better, it just makes it... harder.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    At many of the trailheads in my region, I see that the average rider is aboard a $5k + super bike, and yet, the terrain certainly doesn't necessitate or warrant so much bike. This thread is for those that have taken a step back perhaps, and are maybe finding more fun on a less capable bike. My next bike is going to be a hardtail as well; albeit a more modern one to take advantage of improved geometry. Please post your thoughts/experiences. Disagree even, if you want.
    I agree that most people I see at my local trails are on way too much suspension than the terrain calls for, but they seem to be having fun so live and let live.

    Personally I gave up my last fully a couple years ago, a Santa Cruz 5010c v1. It was a nice bike, I had upgraded it heavily, but I tired of the constant maintenance involved with full suspension. There was always a creak, squeak or other noise I had to live with during a ride, and then spend time dealing with in the garage after the ride. As much as I liked working on my bike when I was younger and less responsibilities, now my time is more precious to me and I want to basically be able to grab my bike down off of the rack and head out for a ride with minimal fussing. I don't mind doing the needed upkeep every 25-50 hours, but its nice to just basically have to check tire pressure and go.

    After 32 years of mountain biking, I have moved back to a hardtail, 27.5+ PLUS (gasp!) and am having more fun that I can remember having on a bike. I put my money into quality parts that I enjoy and are dependable, like eeWings cranks, an AXS drivetrain, carbon wheels, a BikeYoke dropper, etc. The bike just suits me and I plan on riding it for quite a while.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  26. #26
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    Bought my timid beginner wife a full suspension bike. 160/150. I did it to make her more comfortable. It was also half msrp w taxes included. So i had to buy it. But i would have rather got her a top fuel than a remedy 8. As She will enjoy crushing climbs more than descending them at mach 4.

    She is def over biked. But then her plus hard tail had a minion dhf on the front so maybe she wont notice the big jump in performance. Lol

    But seriously... we can all drive a block to get the mail in a 2020 vette. When all we need is a pair of sandals.

    I think its more rewarding to have something that suits your needs perfectly. Than something shiny and expensive that you hardly need at all.

    I went fully to make it easier on the body as the knees didnt like any drop to flat on my ht. Getting older. But ive ridden both bikes on exactly the same trails and the ht was more fun. The fully way more comfy.

    ride safe and have fun

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    The trails here are glorious!
    Indeed they are. I feel lucky to live & ride in the PNW.

    Recently for the heck of it I opened a longstanding photo thread here on empty beer and paged through it checking out peeps, bikes & riding zones. As I perused the photos, something became clear to me.

    Something I already knew but had shifted into a dusty corner of my brain because it's not the world I live in.

    Not all mountain bikes are actually ridden in the mountains.

    It seems that, based on actual use, many mountain bikes would be more accurately called "off-road bikes." They're ridden on dirt, but not all riders are lucky enough to have local vertical terrain.

    Until I started traveling to different areas to ride, I took my local terrain for granted. Where I live & ride, it's difficult to go on a ride longer than 10 or 12 miles that doesn't gain 2000' or more. Many local trails have features, both natural & man-made, that encourage stretching one's abilities as well as utilizing the capabilities of whatever tool one brings to master the terrain.

    Every new bike I've owned I've had to grow into.

    In the movie "Dirty Harry," Clint Eastwood asks, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

    Yeah, I do.

    Not overbiked.
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  28. #28
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    Been on FS since 2001 and bike of choice has evolved to current Kona Process 153 (27.5). I'm using all the travel on my 153 rear and 160 Yari as is so I'm happy where I'm at. Trails around here have improved over the years but there is very little 'flow' terrain and it's still fairly low traffic. As new loops are discovered they remain mostly tight and technical with lots of rocks, roots, obstacles to clear and punchy up/down terrain.

    Over 60 now and the FS (properly tuned!) helps me reduce recovery time from all the pounding. I would probably be OK on a 120-130ish FS but I def could not do my desired 3 rides/week on this terrain riding a hardtail.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
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  29. #29
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    the trails here are getting much harder, not easier, still a good 10 years behind the PNW but things are getting better

    The kids these days a 100 times better than the kids in the 90s, who were better than the kids in the 80s... etc. They are finding ways to use the new bikes just fine.

    Also, why would you think that just because you see someone riding a 160mm enduro bike on a blue flow trail that they dont ride that bike on harder trails? Not all of us can afford a bike for every single type of terrain in the area.

  30. #30
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    I don't think off-road is the right term. I ride trails not off road. Regardless of mountains or not it's still a trail and I'm on a trail bike.

  31. #31
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    Not me. I'm seeking out the gnar every ride. The steeper the more technical the better. Slacker longer travel bikes are allowing for steeper and more gnarly terrain to be ridden!

    Oh yeah.

    I agree though that bike park trails are getting more and more groomed. Pussies.

    You're almost certainly over-biked.-viber_image_2019-12-24_09-06-46.jpg

  32. #32
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    Yep. I'm overbiked when I ride Moore Creek, Hidden Falls, or any of the other new, smooth, bermed, flowy trails. But, when I ride Cave or rock garden at Rockville, or the Downieville downhill, or many other trails, I'm about right. When I get a lift ticket at Northstar, I'm seriously underbiked. All on the same 27.5 FS. Here in the great state of confusion, we have some very nice groomy trails scattered about, but we have many more with butt clenching downhill, rocks, roots, and erosion. It's good to be overbiked on the easy stuff because I am then comfortable on the hard stuff.

    As for easy trails, virtually all trails are wide, smooth, and flowy when new if they have been "officially" built. Most trails, however, get serious regrading every decade or so with only maintenance in between. Thus, trails start too easy and get some serious gnar as they age. The "trail surface cycle" ensures that you will grow to love your trails soon enough to be a bit POed when they get rebuilt. Then, the cycle begins again! There are so many sanitized trails around because so many of them are new.

    The best trails: For me, the best trails are not really made trails, they just grew up that way. Old miners trails, reverting double track, and rides completely free of trails. Sometimes, you can find me on "not a trail" and that is a blast also.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  33. #33
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    Um, no. A single speed full rigid steel hardtail is as basic as it gets.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  34. #34
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    My POV, I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it! That said, I have a quiver of nine, so ‘horses for courses’ fits as well.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  35. #35
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    My long 150 bike pedals like a 120mm bike and with my extraordinarily poor technique it saved my ass today when I blew a drop and let the front end drop big time.
    My friend that was watching was like 'wow, you literally did everything wrong on that and still made it!'. Damn straight.
    Then I redid it and landed nicely with both wheels more or less even. Entry to slingshot in ATX for those in the know.


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post

    The best trails: For me, the best trails are not really made trails, they just grew up that way. Old miners trails, reverting double track, and rides completely free of trails. Sometimes, you can find me on "not a trail" and that is a blast also.
    Yep. My favourite trails are old abandon hiking trails. They are not made for biking and are not benched or groomed. The the photo above they are raw and gnarly with exposed roots.

  37. #37
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    Is that near cheese grater on the green belt back trails?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

    Thrill Bikers Unite!

  38. #38
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    My long travel bike is 120mm. My short travel bike is a rigid with 0mm.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Is that near cheese grater on the green belt back trails?
    Cheese Grater is in Travis Country, great trails btw.
    The other trail I mentioned is a bandit trail so I can't say exactly where it's at, but it's a fair bit away from the trails above.
    We do a large night ride out of Texas Cycle Werks on Thursday night thru TC & the GB leaving at 6pm. Must have at least 1 light. Join us!

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  40. #40
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    A couple of these recent comments are funny.


    "full rigid steel hard tail"

    "a rigid with 0mm"



    Jut poking fun -it is obvious the intent but is a funny read.
    Thanks for the morning chuckle.

  41. #41
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    In every single “hobby” people over do it.

    People buy full frame cameras and L series lenses and then go shoot their kids on “auto” mode. Others buy sub 200 tread wear tires and never even approach their grip limit. Others buy a corvette yet don’t even understand what the apex is.

    It’s a byproduct of people wanting to show they care about their hobby. They are willing to spend the extra money to show that they care about the last 5% of benefit they may be able to achieve (notice I said “may be able to” not will achieve).

    The other issue is people can only afford one bike. My local trails absolutely do not need a 150/140 bike, but that is what I will be buying. If I am buying a new bike, I will not purchase something that will limit where I can ride. I want to ride more downhill/aggressive trails. Buying a bike made for the trails I ride 80% of the time would make the other 20% of the time I ride complete miserable.

    Riding over-biked > under-biked

  42. #42
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    I see a lot of riders over biked. They just need to ditch the motor though.
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    The the photo above they are raw and gnarly with exposed roots.
    That's how a lot of biking trails are built here. Our local builders are beyond awesome and deserve every bit of praise that I can think of.

    We do have a number of smoother flow trails around, but there are also a great many steep and rooty ones too.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  44. #44
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    I run a HT and a FS, the FS just makes the ride that much better. Call it overbiked if you like. But I have more energy after 2000' of climbing in 14 miles in 2 hours on my FS instead of the HT which has about the same speed.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I see a lot of riders over biked. They just need to ditch the motor though.
    Didn't see that coming from this thread.

    Nice way to instigate E-MTB into threads totally not E-MTB related.

    Good job dude. Glad you're thinking outside the box.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Didn't see that coming from this thread.

    Nice way to instigate E-MTB into threads totally not E-MTB related.

    Good job dude. Glad you're thinking outside the box.

    Hey thanks man, I notice nobody mentioned it yet so I took the opportunity to jump on it. Next time, just hit me with some rep
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Hey thanks man, I notice nobody mentioned it yet so I took the opportunity to jump on it. Next time, just hit me with some rep
    I was going to but thankfully it's not available in the "general" area.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    I was going to but thankfully it's not available in the "general" area.
    I'm not here to call you a liar or anything but I know that's not true...I'll put you down for an IOU
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I see a lot of riders over biked. They just need to ditch the motor though.
    Well played, good sir!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    I agree that most people I see at my local trails are on way too much suspension than the terrain calls for, but they seem to be having fun so live and let live.

    Personally I gave up my last fully a couple years ago, a Santa Cruz 5010c v1. It was a nice bike, I had upgraded it heavily, but I tired of the constant maintenance involved with full suspension. There was always a creak, squeak or other noise I had to live with during a ride, and then spend time dealing with in the garage after the ride. As much as I liked working on my bike when I was younger and less responsibilities, now my time is more precious to me and I want to basically be able to grab my bike down off of the rack and head out for a ride with minimal fussing. I don't mind doing the needed upkeep every 25-50 hours, but its nice to just basically have to check tire pressure and go.

    After 32 years of mountain biking, I have moved back to a hardtail, 27.5+ PLUS (gasp!) and am having more fun that I can remember having on a bike. I put my money into quality parts that I enjoy and are dependable, like eeWings cranks, an AXS drivetrain, carbon wheels, a BikeYoke dropper, etc. The bike just suits me and I plan on riding it for quite a while.
    I toyed with the idea of selling both my FS and my XC hardtail just to get a sweet carbon, modern hardtail, but ultimately I figured I’d regret losing the suspension on some of the DH trails I ride (not that I couldn’t ride them on the hardtail). Gonna have to save longer and get an aluminum hardtail though. I really do enjoy them, even on rough terrain.

    It would be different if I lived in B.C. or Moab, where the trails are predominantly chunky. I wouldn’t think of riding a hardtail as my only bike there.

    Locally though, there are very few trails that require 150mm of travel for their entirety. What I’ve found in a lot of trails is that I can certainly clean everything on a lesser bike, I just have to pick good lines where it’s nasty and then enjoy the efficiency everywhere else.

    There’s also something to be said for being able to “feel” the trail. There are trails I ride where the big bike just makes it feel too effortless and smooth— and a hardtail doesn’t necessarily beat me up, but I can experience more of the trail, if that’s makes any sense.

    I guess my main point with this thread was to try a more minimalist setup sometime, you might be surprised to find it can be more fun in a lot of situations.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    My long 150 bike pedals like a 120mm bike and with my extraordinarily poor technique it saved my ass today when I blew a drop and let the front end drop big time.
    My friend that was watching was like 'wow, you literally did everything wrong on that and still made it!'. Damn straight.
    Then I redid it and landed nicely with both wheels more or less even. Entry to slingshot in ATX for those in the know.


    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Not everything was wrong. You kept the rubber side down!

    The bike definitely helped though.

    For those of us fortunate enough to have more than one bike, a big bike is really nice to have for things that are on the edge. Helps with that safety cushion to go ahead and try it. For those that are able to have more than one bike, having a bigger bike allows for those situations while maybe being over biked at other times.

    I was under biked for a long time. I remember a whole lot of crashes.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewphoto View Post
    In every single “hobby” people over do it.

    People buy full frame cameras and L series lenses and then go shoot their kids on “auto” mode.
    aperture priority and RAW for me, with wonderful 18-105 and 18-200 zooms on crop sensor nikons.

    if i want to ride and have to pay attention, it's the rigid singlespeed.

    if i want to ride the half-basho-line while paying attention, it's my pine mountain 29er hardtail.

    if i want to ride the basho-line like i don't care, it's the hawk hill.

    overbiked?

    nah.

    having fun?

    yeppers!


    You're almost certainly over-biked.-img-6633.jpg

  53. #53
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    I prefer over bike so it add extra margin of safety on really rough terrain. My skill will advance over the years so I don't have to buy a second bike.

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  54. #54
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    Currently, I'm on the simple side of things but somewhat 'modern' in the flavor of a 2017 h/t with disc brakes. Two + years ago, I was still on my 2002 with v-brakes and having lots of fun as well.
    I have fun challenging myself with the uphills and have lots of room to grow for techy trails and even areas I still walk some. I won't be seeking high speeds, big drops or jumps, probably not even medium sizes either.

    If I'm taking a break from a ride, it's sitting in the sun or shade, maybe having a snack or a post ride beer and enjoying the scenes and element of being out there to enjoy and soak it in.
    Dozens of riders can fly or roll by me and I might appreciate the odd color of a bike, recognize a few name brands or something but little to nothing will register with me as in rating them, their bike or their ride ability to see if it "fits" or makes sense.

    I guess I'm just conspicuously uninvolved or more likely, just needing a bit more focus or concentration on what I'm doing on the trial in the moment. *Not to say the these trails I speak of would give many others even a slight pause.

    I may see a fancy bike and a so/so rider and think;
    "This person has enough money to get something really fancy or nice no matter how well or unstable they may look or progress."
    Could be they like nice things and are a bit showy or maybe they just got a nice raise or job promotion... A bike to grow into maybe ? Won it at a Casino ?
    See, in my view of how any of that came be, I'm not connecting the dots. The How, What or Why any of that matters ?

    What about the guy you might see in the mall shopping and think "Oh my, those shoes he has on are around $400." Or the belt is $200, the suit is way special beyond a few hundred - maybe $4000 !! Sure, we'd all feel the obligation to drop our shopping bags right then and there and Shout;
    "DUDE You are soooo OverBiked !! "

    Keeping it fun and interesting on the trail is really key for my time/s out there and I just assume the others are having fun and enjoying it too.

    If they see me and think;
    "That poor old fart having such a time getting through some rocky or rooty uphill path,," I guess they'll pity me at a time I'm still in training on that bike I want to grow into.
    It sounds like plenty of other riders on all kinds of bikes are measuring their perception of their own ability or success by stopping to watch what everyone else is doing, how they are doing it or what kind of bike they have. On some level, that insecurity may be a personality trait or stemming from bike stores, shopping and the overwhelming choices we have.
    "Before you criticize, you should walk a mile in their shoes. You'll be a mile away from them and you have their shoes"

  55. #55
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    #$%^&* double post!
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  56. #56
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    ^ Can't say I ever really notice a guy's shoes or belt and if I do, I have no idea what they cost. And it's been years since I've been to the mall!

    Often times is seems like there is too much focus on "as fast as possible" in the sport. If you're racing, sure, and if that's your thing, ok. But I enjoy just riding without worrying if I'm getting a new PM, though I confess to using Strava and checking my results and in the past, I've pushed to improve times. As I am still recovering from my last crash, I'm really hoping I can move further away from that.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    aperture priority and RAW for me

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Should be on M. I decide shutter speed, not my camera
    I brake for stinkbugs

  58. #58
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    If my paycheck depended on it, I'd be riding a Scott RC900 or Epic Evo, which are ideal for my local trails. But I ride a hardtail for one simple reason: my local mechanics are incompetent and I would never trust them to service a full suspension bike. They have trouble replacing brake pads without things rubbing. Besides, the hardtail is fast enough and good enough for 98% of my riding.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Should be on M. I decide shutter speed, not my camera
    Who cares about shutter speed? Just get that aperture down to 1.4 and all the Instagram peeps will think your work is professional!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I toyed with the idea of selling both my FS and my XC hardtail just to get a sweet carbon, modern hardtail, but ultimately I figured I’d regret losing the suspension on some of the DH trails I ride (not that I couldn’t ride them on the hardtail). Gonna have to save longer and get an aluminum hardtail though. I really do enjoy them, even on rough terrain.

    It would be different if I lived in B.C. or Moab, where the trails are predominantly chunky. I wouldn’t think of riding a hardtail as my only bike there.

    Locally though, there are very few trails that require 150mm of travel for their entirety. What I’ve found in a lot of trails is that I can certainly clean everything on a lesser bike, I just have to pick good lines where it’s nasty and then enjoy the efficiency everywhere else.

    There’s also something to be said for being able to “feel” the trail. There are trails I ride where the big bike just makes it feel too effortless and smooth— and a hardtail doesn’t necessarily beat me up, but I can experience more of the trail, if that’s makes any sense.

    I guess my main point with this thread was to try a more minimalist setup sometime, you might be surprised to find it can be more fun in a lot of situations.
    +1 for minimalism. +1 for experiencing the trail. Hardtail for life!
    The revolution starts now
    When you rise above your fear
    And tear the walls around you down
    The revolution starts here

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    If my paycheck depended on it, I'd be riding a Scott RC900 or Epic Evo, which are ideal for my local trails. But I ride a hardtail for one simple reason: my local mechanics are incompetent and I would never trust them to service a full suspension bike. They have trouble replacing brake pads without things rubbing. Besides, the hardtail is fast enough and good enough for 98% of my riding.
    You're not over-biked, you're under-mechanic'd. Solution: DIY bike maintenance. So rewarding, so fun! Plus something to spend even more money on! Good bike tools are expensive.

    All kidding aside I never put my bikes in the hands of bike shop employees unless there's no other option; typically if I'm not doing the work myself (like building wheels or reaming a head tube, etc.) then my bike is in the hands of someone I know well enough to trust.
    =sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    +1 for minimalism. +1 for experiencing the trail. Hardtail for life!

    Lose the suspension fork and you can experience even more of the trail!
    I brake for stinkbugs

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    You're not over-biked, you're under-mechanic'd. Solution: DIY bike maintenance. So rewarding, so fun! Plus something to spend even more money on! Good bike tools are expensive.

    All kidding aside I never put my bikes in the hands of bike shop employees unless there's no other option; typically if I'm not doing the work myself (like building wheels or reaming a head tube, etc.) then my bike is in the hands of someone I know well enough to trust.
    =sParty
    I hear ya. Ideally, DIY is the way to go and I do most of the regular maintenance myself. But for the infrequent stuff where it doesn't become second nature and I have to go read about it and watch youtube videos to get caught up, I'd rather have a mechanic do it. I have about 6-9 hours a week of free time. I'd rather spend it riding than learning how to do something I only do once a year or less.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Lose the suspension fork and you can experience even more of the trail!
    Agreed. I'm pondering a "fully rigid" build. However, due to motorcycle accident, I have much steel in my shoulder and somewhat limited range of motion and strength, so I'm a little concerned about the idea. I have an aluminum 24 BMX, haven't taken it to the track since the surgery, we'll see how that works out when stuff opens up in the spring
    The revolution starts now
    When you rise above your fear
    And tear the walls around you down
    The revolution starts here

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I prefer over bike so it add extra margin of safety on really rough terrain. My skill will advance over the years so I don't have to buy a second bike.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    ^Strange that Picard would bring the insight but I agree with this concept for most riders. There's no mtb reward given for doing the most, with the least. In the big picture, most riders are sensible if they have some tolerance/margin built into their gear selection - I think it's not only safe, it allows one to expand and grow. Sure, you can thread the needle and hope you hit everything perfectly, everytime but mistakes happen and if the bike provides a bit of bail out that prevents you getting hurt ...that's a good thing. I encourage dropper post use through similar reasoning.

    Heck, even my hardtails could be considered overbiked these days & that's just the way I like it.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    I hear ya. Ideally, DIY is the way to go and I do most of the regular maintenance myself. But for the infrequent stuff where it doesn't become second nature and I have to go read about it and watch youtube videos to get caught up, I'd rather have a mechanic do it. I have about 6-9 hours a week of free time. I'd rather spend it riding than learning how to do something I only do once a year or less.
    Isn't it obvious that desk time at work is for hanging out on MTBR? Just look at how dead this place is on the weekends.
    =sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  67. #67
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    I disagree. Respectfully. For you, there is no reward for for doing the most with the least. For me, outskilling someone on a multi-thousand dollar rig, using my "obsolete" 25 year old hardtail is awesome! It's similar to the "sleeper" car I built a few years ago. The look on the face of the guy in the 'Vette who got burned by a rusty Civic with kid seat is my trophy.
    The revolution starts now
    When you rise above your fear
    And tear the walls around you down
    The revolution starts here

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Isn't it obvious that desk time at work is for hanging out on MTBR? Just look at how dead this place is on the weekends.
    =sParty
    haha true.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    I disagree. Respectfully. For you, there is no reward for for doing the most with the least. For me, outskilling someone on a multi-thousand dollar rig, using my "obsolete" 25 year old hardtail is awesome! It's similar to the "sleeper" car I built a few years ago. The look on the face of the guy in the 'Vette who got burned by a rusty Civic with kid seat is my trophy.
    Fair - but my actual statement is: there's no reward given.. As in, no one is handing out a prize. However, if you find value in mini-competitions with people who don't know they are in a contest, that's...um cool I guess? If you really want to apply that, I encourage you to show up to actual races or events (trials, etc). I get your point tho - but there are many aesthetics to and reasons people ride... not everyone has to groove on this same plane of gear limitations or pushing skills on that platform.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    Fair - but my actual statement is: there's no reward given.. As in, no one is handing out a prize. However, if you find value in mini-competitions with people who don't know they are in a contest, that's...um cool I guess? If you really want to apply that, I encourage you to show up to actual races or events (trials, etc). I get your point tho - but there are many aesthetics to and reasons people ride... not everyone has to groove on this same plane of gear limitations or pushing skills on that platform.
    Exactly. Love it when dudes talk about blowing the doors off 29ers on their 27.5 or rigid vs fs or 26 vs 27.5/29er like those people even know they are racing.

    Maybe they are just having fun or training or whatever.

    Now if you pass me on a ride you've done something. I don't go slow ever. I'm 70-90% heart rate 100% of the time. I've been passed on a trail while on my bike twice in my life.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post

    Now if you pass me on a ride you've done something. I don't go slow ever. I'm 70-90% heart rate 100% of the time. I've been passed on a trail while on my bike twice in my life.
    You're my hero, If we rode the same trails I'd be hunting you down!
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  72. #72
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    I'm going to expand on this because I don't want to sound like I was coming down hard on the other guy... so I'll share this through my own experience and fruitless folly.

    In my younger salad days, I *was* that guy. I rode clapped out SS for well-over a decade and found pride in being able to ride the heck out of that thing - particularly in contrast to people on the refined, latest and greatest of the time. I see this as a regressive period for me - limited horizons and growth. When the sh1t was being stirred, there was CarlMega holding the spoon. I liked to show up to races and see how many other journey men I could beat and especially how many sponsor pros I could give it to. When I was training riding, I didn't really shut this off - a harsh but, honest, take is I was a bike troll. Eventually I figured it out....99.99 people out there are just doing their thing and having fun. No one is impressed, no one cares. Maybe a few polite and nice comments here and there but it was a terrible way to measure one's self. People ask - well, how do you measure yourself against other bikers then? By height.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Currently, I'm on the simple side of things but somewhat 'modern' in the flavor of a 2017 h/t with disc brakes.
    If you're on a hardtail, then obviously you're not astride an FS Turner. But if you were, might we say...

    Bachman + Turner = Overbiked

    ?

    Just asking.
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    How's that for an inflammatory title?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U39CsT5hrs

    I was watching this video earlier today, and aside from some good laughs, and some impressive descending (if you don't care to watch the video, it features Yoann Barelli descending some legit super-gnar BC terrain on a road bike)....
    I would like to see those same sections ridden on a big bike for a compare/contrast. It didn't really get interesting until about 17:30. But you noticed how he actually had to plan his approach to each feature and pick a good line.

    The "under bike" is a self-correcting entity. It reminds you when you are going too fast or when you are getting over your head. The "over bike" allows you to get over your head so fast that you can't escape. Granted, the over bike saves you on occasion, but only in terrain where you could have ridden it on the under bike anyway. I have a rigid 29er and I'm probably still overbiked - esp. for my local terrain. It is enough bike that I can make a mistake once in awhile without hurting myself too badly or breaking a bunch of parts. That's about all I need.

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

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    You're my hero, If we rode the same trails I'd be hunting you down!
    Aww thank you. Im just a loner addicted to Strava. And I like pushing myself. Sometimes I tell myself im just gonna take it easy maybe session some stuff then ten minutes later I'm hauling ass and my lungs are burning.

    New year's day I'm doing a big group ride my local lbs has organized. I'm excited and a little nervous because I don't know any group etiquette. The mechanic said it all sorts itself out with the fast and slow people forming their own groups.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post

    Bachman + Turner = Overbiked
    Someone get this guy a gig
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    I'm going to expand on this because I don't want to sound like I was coming down hard on the other guy... so I'll share this through my own experience and fruitless folly.

    In my younger salad days, I *was* that guy. I rode clapped out SS for well-over a decade and found pride in being able to ride the heck out of that thing - particularly in contrast to people on the refined, latest and greatest of the time. I see this as a regressive period for me - limited horizons and growth. When the sh1t was being stirred, there was CarlMega holding the spoon. I liked to show up to races and see how many other journey men I could beat and especially how many sponsor pros I could give it to. When I was training riding, I didn't really shut this off - a harsh but, honest, take is I was a bike troll. Eventually I figured it out....99.99 people out there are just doing their thing and having fun. No one is impressed, no one cares. Maybe a few polite and nice comments here and there but it was a terrible way to measure one's self. People ask - well, how do you measure yourself against other bikers then? By height.
    Bikers should be measured by their taste in food, beverage, and music.
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  78. #78
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    Yes, my "biggest bike" has me overbiked for most of my local terrain...it felt slow and kinda boring...and dumbed down the trails. That's great though, it was the perfect reason to buy a new bike!

  79. #79
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    Great thread. LOL at Overbiked MTBR keyboard warriors trying to defend themselves, as expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    @jeremy3220
    ^^^Over-biked means it is actually faster, on a given trail, to ride a less “capable” bike — ie- lighter, less suspension travel, faster rolling/less grippy/aggressive tires, etc.
    Best description of over-biked right here. Sure if you have just one bike, ride what you brung. Bikes are better all round than ever before. But if you have a quiver like most of us do, I don't get the thinking to ride that 150mm bike on an xc ride where it will slow you down on the climbs and not provide any real benefit on the descents. Defend that choice and thump your chest all you want, I'm still gonna think you are an idiot.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    It would be different if I lived in B.C. or Moab, where the trails are predominantly chunky. I wouldn’t think of riding a hardtail as my only bike there.
    You can ride a hardtail just as well on steep, technical terrain as you can on any full susp bike if you want to. You just have to be more careful with line selection, body position, etc and commit. People did ride hardtails as their only bike at places like Moab and BC back in the day. And arguably had more fun doing it. A different kind of fun - you really had to be there to understand. There was huge satisfaction to finally cleaning some gnarly root infested drop or steep rock face on a hardtail that the endurbro on his $8k super bike on today's sanitized trails will never understand. These days most riders don't really want to be challenged, they just want to ride fast. And get a pat on the back from Strava at the end of the segment.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    If you're on a hardtail, then obviously you're not astride an FS Turner. But if you were, might we say...

    Bachman + Turner = Overbiked

    ?

    Just asking.
    =sParty
    Lol, that would be the case. Waaay overbiked ! BTO is the likely theory of my nickname as well.... 😎
    "Before you criticize, you should walk a mile in their shoes. You'll be a mile away from them and you have their shoes"

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    I’m over biked, guilty as charged. Just bought my first new bike in 17 years which was a lower end hardtail. Bought a used fsr 3 years ago. My first fs bike. Decided I wanted a 29" fs bike and bought the current rig.

    I hit the big time because this bike has a dropper post! I don’t exactly use it as intended yet. I slam the post just to get on the bike, pedal enough to get moving and stand on my good leg and pop it back up. Until I get my knee back to strength I can’t stand up to ride. Have to slam it back down to get off the bike too.

    Without the new bike I wouldn’t be able to ride at all. Riding seated the whole time sucks, but I’m riding none the less. The greater suspension travel, bigger wheels, better brakes, and 1x drivetrain are awesome! If I’m riding this good now, I can’t wait to get 2 strong legs under me and hit more "appropriate" trails for my new bike.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Are we overbiked if we like the ride?

    Are we overbiked if we find ways to exploit all of the more capable bike's abilities?

    I CAN ride my hardtail singlespeed over the same terrain that I ride my 160/140 FS bike. Isn't it up to me which one I prefer? Which brand of fun I choose on any given ride?

    Wish I could remember who's MTBR sig includes words to this effect:
    Making shit harder doesn't make it better, it just makes it... harder.

    =sParty

    This is a great topic, but I don't think it really applies to most MTBR members. The vast majority here know the basics, to put the seat up on climbs, down on descents, to downshift just enough to keep it comfortable on modest inclines, etc. The thing that really, really stands out on the trail is when someone is on an expensive bike and they don't even know the basics. They climb with the seat all the way down. They pedal like crazy on a modest incline in the granny gear, going 3 mph. They don't slow down enough on a turn and crash. All of these things could have been learned on a $500 bike, but someone told them they had to buy a $5000 bike because somehow it would instantly make them a capable rider. That's overbiked. I don't consider someone on a $5000 bike that knows what they are doing on easy hardpack to be overbiked. Technically they are, but if they know what they are doing they can ride whatever they want on whatever surface they want, they are entitled to that. It's the dudes that never bothered to learn on a cheaper bike and now are making basic mistake after mistake on their expensive bike that are overbiked.
    40% of the population doesn't even understand what a dictatorship is. Or worse...far worse...they don't care.

  83. #83
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    How does overbiked fit the criteria of those with N+ inventory ?

    Do 'we' assume just because someone has more than one bike, they are exempted from questionable overbikemanship ?
    I'm guessing not.

    Thus the advocate of N+ is now potentially guilty of multiple offenses ie: Overbiked N+



    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    ^ Can't say I ever really notice a guy's shoes or belt and if I do, I have no idea what they cost. And it's been years since I've been to the mall!
    In a literal sense, I'm sure you are right. But still, some people are over-dressed !!

    How 'bout those 455 hp cars that go from zero to Police sirens in 4.2 seconds ?
    On our bikes
    in our cars
    we see over car'd
    from here to Mars
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  84. #84
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    The N+1 overbiked concept is interesting. Could having too many bikes in the fleet be the actual meaning of overbiked, meaning that having only one bike, the big beastie that can handle everything is actually the correct amount of bike? Can you justify being overbiked with the "ONE BIKE TO RULE THEM ALL" philosophy?
    Discuss!
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  85. #85
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    Uber beast overbiked: If you have the disposable income, knock yourself out. I see lots of bikes that had to have cost close to $10k (if not more). Too rich for my blood and one bike does not have sufficient versatility for my purposes.

    N+1 overbiked: YES- I commute ~40 miles round trip (gravel bike for that), I hit very rocky/technical terrain maybe 15% of the time (FS bike) and otherwise ride longer distance XC/mountain along with some gravel and urban/street riding too (primarily on two rigid SS 29er's) and sometimes on my 10 year old hard tail (spare).

    My goal each year is to click off >3,500 miles so all of the bikes see action a couple of times per month at the minimum.
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Great thread. LOL at Overbiked MTBR keyboard warriors trying to defend themselves, as expected.


    Best description of over-biked right here. Sure if you have just one bike, ride what you brung. Bikes are better all round than ever before. But if you have a quiver like most of us do, I don't get the thinking to ride that 150mm bike on an xc ride where it will slow you down on the climbs and not provide any real benefit on the descents. Defend that choice and thump your chest all you want, I'm still gonna think you are an idiot.


    You can ride a hardtail just as well on steep, technical terrain as you can on any full susp bike if you want to. You just have to be more careful with line selection, body position, etc and commit. People did ride hardtails as their only bike at places like Moab and BC back in the day. And arguably had more fun doing it. A different kind of fun - you really had to be there to understand. There was huge satisfaction to finally cleaning some gnarly root infested drop or steep rock face on a hardtail that the endurbro on his $8k super bike on today's sanitized trails will never understand. These days most riders don't really want to be challenged, they just want to ride fast. And get a pat on the back from Strava at the end of the segment.

    You're not wrong, and I expect you'll get some backlash for this.

    I have come full circle, I guess. I started riding in the 80s, and fully rigid 26ers where all we had back then. I still rode quite fast, learned line selection, etc. I even kept riding hardtails long after full suspension bikes came out, and raced DH on one a time or two (against DH bikes). As well as I did on a hardtail even in those circumstances, I looked at the DH bikes people were riding and couldn't help but think -- "what could I do on one of those?" Fast forward a few years and I finally had one. My first "DH" bike was a Santa Cruz Bullit w/ a Marz Monster T and an Avalanche DHS in the rear. Thing weighed 45 pounds if it was an ounce. Naturally, I sought terrain that would challenge that bike, and gradually stopped riding tamer terrain. Well, I found terrain that would test that bike and even exceed its capabilities.

    Over time, I got out of riding lift-served terrain and still rode that beast everywhere, but I was starting to realize that I was doing A LOT of extra work just to pedal it around for not a lot of benefit. My next bike was 8 pounds lighter, but I'm now seeing that even it is overkill for 90% of the terrain I ride.

    Now, I've come to see that "just enough" bike for a situation is really the best for my style. I'm keeping my big bike for trips to BC and Utah, but more and more I'm finding an aggressive hardtail offers more fun for more of the ride, and yes, I still ride it in extremely chunky conditions and fall-line DH trails. It's a matter of "dumbing the bike down to the terrain" that makes more terrain fun for me.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Could having too many bikes in the fleet be the actual meaning of overbiked, meaning that having only one bike, the big beastie that can handle everything is actually the correct amount of bike? Can you justify being overbiked with the "ONE BIKE TO RULE THEM ALL" philosophy?
    Discuss!
    I think you raise an excellent question and one I personally grappled with over the last few years. Maybe someone will find value in my experience:

    At various points over the last 35 years mountain biking, I've had a tendency to build projects (often dictated by whatever events I was into) and hold too long. Example: DJ - Mod Trials - Stock Trials - Cyclocross - Fast SS - Fast HT - Long Legged Trail - DH bike - All Mountain Hardtail - Fat and variations of all the above and more over the years. N+1 building and riding did satisfy some creative and vision drive I had and was sort of gratifying chasing the dragon for the right bike for the right outing. But a few years ago, I shifted my outlook.

    I think when you have so many options, there's some background processing energy in your brain that is happening and, I think, detracting from the riding experience. That paradox of choice thingy. What bike do I choose? Would this ride/section/feature be better on [insert other bike]? You get the point.

    So, I cleaned house. Sold almost everything and broke it into two: days I want a long travel full suspension and days I want to ride a hardtail.

    On any given day I may be "over biked" or "under biked". Enduro bike at the resort? Technically, underbiked. Same bike on local trails - over biked. My one deal with these simplified platforms is: everything on my bike needs to be 100% sorted to my preferences.

    Anyway - I found freedom with this strategy. Interestingly, back to one the single speed mantras: run what you brung. Or to put it another way, stop fussing and just ride. You'll be fine.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  88. #88
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    You're almost certainly over-biked.-carl.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    On any given day I may be "over biked" or "under biked". Enduro bike at the resort? Technically, underbiked. Same bike on local trails - over biked.
    This is a good point. Some people on this forum will say that unless you're riding the most extreme downhill terrain an enduro bike is overkill. However, the pros are riding DH bikes on that terrain. The last enduro race I went to was more like a hard XC race with tons of pedaling. I figured someone on a short travel trail or XC bike would win...nope the winner was on a full enduro bike. Not that I think a pro would pick a long travel bike but there were racers on short travel bikes (including a Cat1 XC racer) who lost. Even WC XC racers switch between hardtails and full suspension depending on the track. Like you said, we're often over-biked then underbiked from one day to the next.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Now, I've come to see that "just enough" bike for a situation is really the best for my style. I'm keeping my big bike for trips to BC and Utah, but more and more I'm finding an aggressive hardtail offers more fun for more of the ride, and yes, I still ride it in extremely chunky conditions and fall-line DH trails. It's a matter of "dumbing the bike down to the terrain" that makes more terrain fun for me.
    I've come to a similar perspective on this. I never really went fully into "overbiked" territory by buying a long travel FS, but I dabbled with big bikes on xc trails at demo events and I didn't like it. Sure it was fast, but it was incredibly boring. Now I live somewhere that I could actually put a longer travel bike to some good use, and I have chosen not to (at least for now). The reason is because I want to keep my speeds more reasonable and keep the consequences for screwing up a little lower.

    Jolanda Neff ate it hard on a local trail within the past week and sustained some pretty serious injuries. I don't want to even try to ride faster on anything but the climbs anymore. I have plenty of fun at the downhill speeds I ride.

    I built an aggressive hardtail this year and decided that I was going to try riding it on everything else I'd ride with a FS to see how I liked it. It's great. It's been better than I imagined it would be. There's really only a few trails where a bigger FS would be more fun for me. I will probably have a FS of some kind or another around, too, but the aggressive hardtail will probably remain my primary bike for awhile.

  91. #91
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    So, if a good friend is looking for a new bike and taking recommendations would you recommend a bike that better suits the trails they'll most likely be riding or their riding style?
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    would you recommend a bike that better suits the trails they'll most likely be riding or their riding style?
    I don't think you'd ever guide someone using either of these in pure isolation. I'd want as much info as possible. A great question to start with is "What type of riding do you want to do?'... then a "where?" can help bring it in focus. A conversation paints a fuller picture than just one question/data point.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    ^Strange that Picard would bring the insight but I agree with this concept for most riders. There's no mtb reward given for doing the most, with the least. In the big picture, most riders are sensible if they have some tolerance/margin built into their gear selection - I think it's not only safe, it allows one to expand and grow. Sure, you can thread the needle and hope you hit everything perfectly, everytime but mistakes happen and if the bike provides a bit of bail out that prevents you getting hurt ...that's a good thing. I encourage dropper post use through similar reasoning.

    Heck, even my hardtails could be considered overbiked these days & that's just the way I like it.
    From a guy that rode rigid steel SS for years to challenge himself, this is true. The margin for error was slim to none on that bike. It was like a sharp precise tool, maybe a straight razor or scapel if you will. My other bikes only have 100mm of travel, but the margin for error is much higher than my rigid SS.

  94. #94
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    Agreed! (With title "almost certainly over-biked"). In fact, forget "almost"... I am definitely over-biked. But at least I know it. My last mtb purchase, I test rode all kinds but chose a 130/115mm FS instead of the more common 160/150 or whatever now. I purposely wanted to avoid being COMPLETELY over-biked, because trails are just boring when over-biked.

    Being used to a FS bike, it feels like torture if I have to use my back-up 26er HT mtb because of some issue with the FS bike. But recently, I had to wait for some warranty parts on the FS bike, and so I rode the old 26er HT several times in a row, and by the 3rd time on it, it was FINE! (And, V-brakes, no dropper post, 3x7.) Had a blast! And kinda nice being on a 24-lb bike instead of my 30# FS 29er.

    So, yeah, we're basically over-biked, and if after the zombie appocalypse we had to be under-biked again, I'm sure we'd be fine.
    Have fun!

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by BujiBiker View Post
    I’m over biked, guilty as charged. Just bought my first new bike in 17 years which was a lower end hardtail. Bought a used fsr 3 years ago. My first fs bike. Decided I wanted a 29" fs bike and bought the current rig.

    I hit the big time because this bike has a dropper post! I don’t exactly use it as intended yet. I slam the post just to get on the bike, pedal enough to get moving and stand on my good leg and pop it back up. Until I get my knee back to strength I can’t stand up to ride. Have to slam it back down to get off the bike too.

    Without the new bike I wouldn’t be able to ride at all. Riding seated the whole time sucks, but I’m riding none the less. The greater suspension travel, bigger wheels, better brakes, and 1x drivetrain are awesome! If I’m riding this good now, I can’t wait to get 2 strong legs under me and hit more "appropriate" trails for my new bike.
    I am having a total knee replacement on the 16th, and this is inspiring. I hope to be simply thankful to be riding my trainer as soon as possible as well!
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I am having a total knee replacement on the 16th, and this is inspiring. I hope to be simply thankful to be riding my trainer as soon as possible as well!
    Good luck on the knee replacement and recovery. Seriously.

    Less serious:
    I hope you have learned something from this thread. Please, please do not become "over-trainered". You only need a basic trainer since the conditions are um, well groomed to say the least.
    Besides, by time you pay your surgeon you won't be able to afford a carbon trainer anyway.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Good luck on the knee replacement and recovery. Seriously.

    Less serious:
    I hope you have learned something from this thread. Please, please do not become "over-trainered". You only need a basic trainer since the conditions are um, well groomed to say the least.
    Besides, by time you pay your surgeon you won't be able to afford a carbon trainer anyway.
    Oh I am no stranger, I did 90 days on rollers this last season, with about 20 days fat biking. Had the strongest season ever. Have been riding rollers since 93’.

    Just got a wahoo kickr and Zwift, excited to try something new.
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    And then we eat them."

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  98. #98
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    We have a lot of people over-biked. You don't need a Yeti to ride a city park trail system that could be ridden on a road bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    We have a lot of people over-biked. You don't need a Yeti to ride a city park trail system that could be ridden on a road bike.
    Because status.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    We have a lot of people over-biked. You don't need a Yeti to ride a city park trail system that could be ridden on a road bike.


    Is it a bad thing to be over-biked on a city park trail system?
    I brake for stinkbugs

  101. #101
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    Some people are overbiked for what they are riding, but not necessarily for their skill level. Believe it or not, a modern bike with a slacker HTA and a 150mm 36 will actually help some people roll the 2' drop they've had trouble with for years. To keep up with their friends on the local group ride on the XC trails.

    And, there's nothing wrong with that, even though it's not my solution to that particular problem. If it gets them out there again and again, they will theoretically improve over time. That said, if said bike is hindering their ability to enjoy themselves because it is built to do only one thing well, that's a problem in itself.

    I'm well aware of what I'm comfortable doing and the risks required to go faster. I'm generally a pretty quick descender and climber. To go faster, I'd have to take significantly more risks and take lines that would require more travel. Risk that I'm not willing to take. I'm never going to be the fastest around here going up or down, but on a given loop, given that I'm usually in the top percent or two going both up and down, I can put up some decent times.

    I select bikes that will help me doing both things at a high level; yes, it is mostly dependent on rider ability and skill, but a modern 120mm bike is a different beast than a 120mm bike from a decade ago.
    Death from Below.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Is it a bad thing to be over-biked on a city park trail system?
    Probably more of a red flag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Probably more of a red flag


    How so? Does it mean the rider is volatile? Untrustworthy? Possible sex offender?
    I brake for stinkbugs

  104. #104
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    MY current 130/120 f/r is just about perfect for my trail riding, I think. Looking at new bikes, I'm trying not to get over-biked in terms of too longer/lower/slacker.
    Do the math.

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    How so? Does it mean the rider is volatile? Untrustworthy? Possible sex offender?
    what do you think? You’ve got a wild imagination. I’m saying it’s stolen
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Is it a bad thing to be over-biked on a city park trail system?
    It all depends on someone's goal(s). If they're looking for an inefficient way to ride a dirt sidewalk while having style points or status (thanks Sparty) then they're doing it right.

    Personally, I don't care, but this is just an impact of the enduro trend. At the end of the day, at long as they're having fun that's what matters.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I’m saying it’s stolen

    Seems a bit presumptuous but ok.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    And, there's nothing wrong with that, even though it's not my solution to that particular problem. If it gets them out there again and again, they will theoretically improve over time. That said, if said bike is hindering their ability to enjoy themselves because it is built to do only one thing well, that's a problem in itself.
    Agreed. I think the issue is when people buy bikes without knowing the downsides. There are guys who think they automatically need(want) an enduro bike just because they like descending and 'freeride' more than climbing, even though everything in the area might be doable on a hardtail. The argument I hear a lot is "I don't care how fast I get to the top", but in reality the actual downside to a bigger bike isn't a few seconds on a climb; it's being gassed just trying to get to the top, it's how poorly the bike accelerates on rolling terrain, it's not being able to keep up on group rides, etc. On the flip side, I also know that not everyone riding an enduro bike on an XC trail is some ignorant hack. I also think knowing the downsides of buying an XC race bike or rigid is just as important. I know a few guys who have let their old-school XC philosophy limit their riding. They think their XC bike is completely capable for where they ride and ignore the fact that they're skipping bigger features and sections of trail. I also see this in *some* kids who are raised in XC racing families where their parents seem to be limiting the kid's experience on a bike.

    In other words, I see the same thing on both ends of the spectrum. People are influenced by many things (friends, media, parents, fear, etc) and that often dictates their bike choice.

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Some people are overbiked for what they are riding, but not necessarily for their skill level. Believe it or not, a modern bike with a slacker HTA and a 150mm 36 will actually help some people roll the 2' drop they've had trouble with for years. To keep up with their friends on the local group ride on the XC trails.

    And, there's nothing wrong with that, even though it's not my solution to that particular problem. If it gets them out there again and again, they will theoretically improve over time. That said, if said bike is hindering their ability to enjoy themselves because it is built to do only one thing well, that's a problem in itself.

    I'm well aware of what I'm comfortable doing and the risks required to go faster. I'm generally a pretty quick descender and climber. To go faster, I'd have to take significantly more risks and take lines that would require more travel. Risk that I'm not willing to take. I'm never going to be the fastest around here going up or down, but on a given loop, given that I'm usually in the top percent or two going both up and down, I can put up some decent times.

    I select bikes that will help me doing both things at a high level; yes, it is mostly dependent on rider ability and skill, but a modern 120mm bike is a different beast than a 120mm bike from a decade ago.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Agreed. I think the issue is when people buy bikes without knowing the downsides. There are guys who think they automatically need(want) an enduro bike just because they like descending and 'freeride' more than climbing, even though everything in the area might be doable on a hardtail. The argument I hear a lot is "I don't care how fast I get to the top", but in reality the actual downside to a bigger bike isn't a few seconds on a climb; it's being gassed just trying to get to the top, it's how poorly the bike accelerates on rolling terrain, it's not being able to keep up on group rides, etc. On the flip side, I also know that not everyone riding an enduro bike on an XC trail is some ignorant hack. I also think knowing the downsides of buying an XC race bike or rigid is just as important. I know a few guys who have let their old-school XC philosophy limit their riding. They think their XC bike is completely capable for where they ride and ignore the fact that they're skipping bigger features and sections of trail. I also see this in *some* kids who are raised in XC racing families where their parents seem to be limiting the kid's experience on a bike.

    In other words, I see the same thing on both ends of the spectrum. People are influenced by many things (friends, media, parents, fear, etc) and that often dictates their bike choice.
    I agree with both of these. I made the jump to big bikes with a long shocked OG Hightower. I knew I was overbiked with it but I am by nature a cautious rider when it comes to progression, I'll hit big stuff but as the risk goes up the time it takes to work up to it goes up for me, and having the margin of safety the big bike provided allowed me to progress more quickly.

    Now I'm usually technically over or under biked for general trail riding (170mm/160mm Rallon 120mm/120mm Oiz TR) as the trails around NWA would generally be the sweet spot for something like an Occam, Ripley, Primer, Optic, etc. However, there is terrain where a bigger bike is needed, 170/160 big, maybe not, but back to margin of error and for our 30-50 mile XC loops the Oiz is perfect, if a bit underbiked in a few small sections. So for me having two bikes on both ends of the spectrum works out OK, even if neither one is the perfect tool for the job. I'll probably eventually end up with one of the aforementioned "trail bikes" but right now I'm pretty content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Agreed. I think the issue is when people buy bikes without knowing the downsides. There are guys who think they automatically need(want) an enduro bike just because they like descending and 'freeride' more than climbing, even though everything in the area might be doable on a hardtail. The argument I hear a lot is "I don't care how fast I get to the top", but in reality the actual downside to a bigger bike isn't a few seconds on a climb; it's being gassed just trying to get to the top, it's how poorly the bike accelerates on rolling terrain, it's not being able to keep up on group rides, etc. On the flip side, I also know that not everyone riding an enduro bike on an XC trail is some ignorant hack. I also think knowing the downsides of buying an XC race bike or rigid is just as important. I know a few guys who have let their old-school XC philosophy limit their riding. They think their XC bike is completely capable for where they ride and ignore the fact that they're skipping bigger features and sections of trail. I also see this in *some* kids who are raised in XC racing families where their parents seem to be limiting the kid's experience on a bike.

    In other words, I see the same thing on both ends of the spectrum. People are influenced by many things (friends, media, parents, fear, etc) and that often dictates their bike choice.
    I think this is a fair take on the situation. If it's not hindering someone's enjoyment, I'm not worried about over/underbiked.

    I've known one person who I thought was really overbiked. He bought a dual crown freeride bike to ride trails. It was obviously the wrong tool and he didn't have as much fun because of it and so stopped riding (though life changes also factored in not just exchanging that bike for another).

    I've known one person who was underbiked. It was me when I started out on a crappy, late 90s cross country hard tail with a pogo stick fork and barely functioning rim brakes. I crashed it up to multiple times a ride and while I'm certainly a better rider now and could probably ride some of the same lines safely, it was also really partially the bike. I bought a used 2009 Fuel EX and suddenly didn't majorly crash in the next two years while riding harder.

    For everyone else I ride with, I don't see the bike holding them back excessively on either end. My friends ride everything from a full rigid to a 160mm Knolly. We all go up and down the same trails and are having a blast doing it. There obviously a bit of a difference in how they ride and approach some features, but they understand that and are having a good time.

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Agreed. I think the issue is when people buy bikes without knowing the downsides.
    I think your post has some good insights. Anyone with some actual experience in various bike platforms becomes aware of the pros/cons and almost feels physical pain when we see someone with less experience unknowingly compromising & hacking their way through a ride where their gear is obviously a hinderance. Basically unaware that the 'features' of their bike have meaningful downsides for what they are actually doing.

    But I'm going to position this - as a source of many of the arguments *here*.... Do we generally not give our fellow mtbr posters enough credit - that they are informed enough to a make a reasonable decision about the pros/cons and ultimately decided what experience they wanted? Or - that they are on a path of their experience and knowledge evolution - experimenting, learning a bit as they go and refining - and that's ok?

    After all - if you are on this site, you are interested in the topic and interested in becoming better informed and learning of other's experiences. Chewing on and processing that data - just visiting here means you have some drive to dive into what is hopefully useful information. That counts. Sure there are agendas, blindspots and tribalism - but maybe we leap too quickly to that as the basis for someone's opinion?
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    I loved when I overbike. I can explore more terrain than I can imaged.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    what do you think? You’ve got a wild imagination. I’m saying it’s stolen
    What if they’re just riding on that city trail network *that day?*

    I don’t know about you guys but I take my bike all over the place to ride different trails. Sure, someone might glance at me and think, “That’s too big of a bike for these trails” but maybe I was on my way home from riding at a DH bike park? You guys write as if you only ride one trail ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    But I'm going to position this - as a source of many of the arguments *here*.... Do we generally not give our fellow mtbr posters enough credit - that they are informed enough to a make a reasonable decision about the pros/cons and ultimately decided what experience they wanted? Or - that they are on a path of their experience and knowledge evolution - experimenting, learning a bit as they go and refining - and that's ok?

    After all - if you are on this site, you are interested in the topic and interested in becoming better informed and learning of other's experiences. Chewing on and processing that data - just visiting here means you have some drive to dive into what is hopefully useful information. That counts. Sure there are agendas, blindspots and tribalism - but maybe we leap too quickly to that as the basis for someone's opinion?
    I think most riders are on a bike that reasonably suits their needs. I think deep down most members here realize this too. I think we get so many threads like this one and claims that 'most people are certainly overbiked' due to a multitude of factors. These over hyped threads (OP stated the title was inflammatory) are from a vocal minority and the subsequent discussion is an attempt at reaching some sort of normalcy and clarity.


    I think there are some widely accepted positions that we always dance around when this topic comes up:

    1) A true expert rider can do more on a lesser bike than most riders. This is an important observation but certainly not one that should dictate what constitutes being over-biked or what the ideal bike is.

    2) Most riders have the ability/skill to get by with a lesser bike than what they have and would still be able to ride the same terrain. This is also an important observation but riding anything more than the absolute bare minimum necessary to be able to ride your terrain is also not what should dictate what is over-biked, and what is the ideal or fastest bike is generally not the absolute bare minimum to be able to ride a trail/course.

    3) Most riders are on a bike that reasonably suits their needs. It may not be the fastest for their terrain or may slightly limit their capability in some way but it is not a great hindrance. People have different goals that affects their bike choice.

    4) A small percentage of riders are on bikes that significantly hinder their riding experience and ability to reach their goals. This could be due to misinformation, lack of experience, lack of finances, marketing, conformance to peer or family groups, or dogma.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Agreed. I think the issue is when people buy bikes without knowing the downsides. There are guys who think they automatically need(want) an enduro bike just because they like descending and 'freeride' more than climbing, even though everything in the area might be doable on a hardtail. The argument I hear a lot is "I don't care how fast I get to the top", but in reality the actual downside to a bigger bike isn't a few seconds on a climb; it's being gassed just trying to get to the top, it's how poorly the bike accelerates on rolling terrain, it's not being able to keep up on group rides, etc. On the flip side, I also know that not everyone riding an enduro bike on an XC trail is some ignorant hack. I also think knowing the downsides of buying an XC race bike or rigid is just as important. I know a few guys who have let their old-school XC philosophy limit their riding. They think their XC bike is completely capable for where they ride and ignore the fact that they're skipping bigger features and sections of trail. I also see this in *some* kids who are raised in XC racing families where their parents seem to be limiting the kid's experience on a bike.

    In other words, I see the same thing on both ends of the spectrum. People are influenced by many things (friends, media, parents, fear, etc) and that often dictates their bike choice.
    Pretty fair take.

    Speaking of kids, my #1 gripe about NICA racing is kids on bikes that are too big for them will ingrain multiple bad habits. If you want your young kid to be a MTB star, start them on the road or on BMX, or both...but don't stick them on your (literal) big old bike or even something they'll "grow into" just so you can take them riding with you so you can justify it to the spouse. BMX is also significantly cheaper.

    In a way, people who had to put up with decades of bikes that just weren't that good can have an advantage because it taught us to do more with less because that was the only option. We advanced as the sport advanced and weren't sucked into jumping in over our heads and stagnating as riders out of fear. There was a slow pace of progression in both bikes and riding in general that works really well for gaining skill.

    A lot of people seem to think that if they buy the right bike and ride it at the right places, it means they've arrived...regardless of the fine details of what and how they rode their bike at the place. The difference between doing and a level of mastery is ignored far too often.

    Long time riders also weren't as tempted by as much information about "what mountain biking really is," bikes that were so safe and capable...or even the knowledge of where trails that are beyond your current skills are. Now you see it on the internet and give it a shot, back then you'd have to get invited along by someone who believed they wouldn't have to wait for you to wobble through the fun parts. If you tried to jump in over your head in the past, you were almost immediately humbled and punished, not so much these days. Can't really blame them though, I'd probably get sucked into the same cycle if I started riding now. People have no patience in general and will be driven to do all the things almost by default.

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    What if they’re just riding on that city trail network *that day?*

    I don’t know about you guys but I take my bike all over the place to ride different trails. Sure, someone might glance at me and think, “That’s too big of a bike for these trails” but maybe I was on my way home from riding at a DH bike park? You guys write as if you only ride one trail ever.
    This is what I often think of when I read threads like this. I don't know anything about people I encounter on the trail (usually) and the trail systems around here often contain super easy green sections and black or double black sections. So that person I see riding a free ride bike on a green trail might have been sessioning legit lines for that for that bike.

    The trails are also set up as nested loops, so the guy I pass going up the climb on his Enduro bike could be on his second or third lap and I just started out.

    I also don't know what someone's reason for riding that day is. Whenever I do maintainence on my bikes I rider them around my neighborhood. My neighbors probably think I'm totally overbiked riding my DH rig around the neighborhood (which is the only place they see me riding it). Once a year, I take that bike for a shakeout ride before the season starts on rough blue trail so I can get a sense of how the suspension is working. Totally the wrong bike for that trail, as the climb always leaves me gassed.

    I took my Enduro bike on a 16 mile green ride with a total elevation gain of 54 feet. Guy behind me in the group ride was on an old school ten speed. I wanted to take that bike because it is new. And you know what? It was fun! And I want holding the group back. Of course, if it had been a half century no drop and I showed up on that bike, I'm sure some eyes would have rolled.

    Just like mine might if someone wants to ride with me in true DH territory on their hard tail. But I wouldn't until after doing a couple of laps, because while I'm pretty fast, their are any number of riders that could beat me down the mountain on (almost) any bike they chose to ride.

    So I just go on with my ride






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  117. #117
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    If the OP is not riding this then he is over biked and most certainly not a real man.



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  118. #118
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    Many good points here.
    I'll admit my mind drifts at times as I'm riding. It's mostly about things going on in my world, that day, the views or topography of the ride, clouds or ??
    Fact is, just about anything can pop into my thoughts but I guess there hasn't been a nagging interest or concern about others on bikes.
    What is it they chose to ride that day?
    Is that the only bike they have?
    How accomplished do they appear?
    Wouldn't a coffee bike be better for the urban path?

    To wonder of these things about strangers or segue from 'my ride' to idle mind putter seems a tad more ridiculous than closing my eyes for the next 15 yards as wheels roll in any given direction.
    Then, to consider how or why others may constantly measure, consider or focus on such others as they ride and presumably enjoy what they are doing or thinking ,,, It's just too much ! LOL

    If this is truly how someone claims to enjoy their bike rides, my understanding it or even believing that concept probably won't effect them in the least and that's good for everybody.
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  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    A lot of people seem to think that if they buy the right bike and ride it at the right places, it means they've arrived...regardless of the fine details of what and how they rode their bike at the place. The difference between doing and a level of mastery is ignored far too often.
    I've seen that. Coming from BMX I've thought mountain bikers often fall into this trap where they think once they've hit one trail or trail feature they're ready for the next hardest thing; like they just have to ride the trails more and they'll move up the ladder. This works to a degree but I've seen where riders with bad jumping form get by on the moderate mellow jumps then have bad crashes when they try a jump that requires proper technique. BMXers ride the same jumps and do the same tricks over and over to improve their skills. MTBers often focus too much on checking features off their list.

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I've seen that. Coming from BMX I've thought mountain bikers often fall into this trap where they think once they've hit one trail or trail feature they're ready for the next hardest thing; like they just have to ride the trails more and they'll move up the ladder. This works to a degree but I've seen where riders with bad jumping form get by on the moderate mellow jumps then have bad crashes when they try a jump that requires proper technique. BMXers ride the same jumps and do the same tricks over and over to improve their skills. MTBers often focus too much on checking features off their list.
    Another good point.

    I'll never be confused with a RedBull Rampage contestant, but the one thing I do well, if anything, is get in a lot of reps. Gaps are probably the thing that freak out most people, myself included, so I made myself hit the local jump line at least a dozen times a day for a while, sticking to the tables. Lots of reps, relatively low consequences, varying my entry speed. Eventually, I was landing at the very end of the transition off the tables, or in this case, ~20ft from the lip itself. The optional gaps are half that distance, if that, so I knew I was good, at least in terms of clearing it. When I finally hit the gap in question, I went so far over it that I completely cleared the transition, had a hard bottom out on my 120mm fork and barely held it up. I had been so focused on not eating it into the front side that I forgot to modulate my speed to prevent overshooting it.

    Overall, in the lead up to hitting that one gap (I did it a few more times that day) I did the same run (four tables), a dozen (12) times or more a day, 5 or so days a week for two months. By my best guess, I did 1,500+ tables before hitting a gap.
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  121. #121
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    Where I am, all the trails get groomed to an inch of their life. So there is almost no way to not be over-biked

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    If the OP is not riding this then he is over biked and most certainly not a real man.



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    Perhaps you missed the part where I admitted that I'm overbiked a lot of the time as well.
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  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Perhaps you missed the part where I admitted that I'm overbiked a lot of the time as well.
    Perhaps I was not clear in stating that unless you ride a glider bike you need to turn in your man card. I was trying not to be inflammatory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I select bikes that will help me doing both things at a high level; yes, it is mostly dependent on rider ability and skill, but a modern 120mm bike is a different beast than a 120mm bike from a decade ago.
    We're entering a time when you can actually do more with less. In most situations, it was the geometry of long travel bikes that made things easier, the extra travel just provided a little more comfort. Now we have XC race bikes with the enduro geometry of a few years ago, they just pedal a whole lot better and their only weakness is when it's extra gnarly.

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    "Over biked". The buzz phrase of the new year?

    I guess I don't get why would someone would worry about what bike another guy wants to take to the trail?

    How about I do a foot-plant into their forehead on my new enduro and they can guess how much travel it has? lol

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    "Over biked". The buzz phrase of the new year?
    Just when “downcountry bike” was finally dying an ignominious death we get the “overbike.” So dumb.

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddleDuck View Post
    Yes, my "biggest bike" has me overbiked for most of my local terrain...it felt slow and kinda boring...and dumbed down the trails. That's great though, it was the perfect reason to buy a new bike!
    I think it really just boils down to this - if your trails are boring on your bike, then you're probably overbiked. Simple.
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  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I think it really just boils down to this - if your trails are boring on your bike, then you're probably overbiked. Simple.
    I could have saved myself a lot of trouble just writing this. >>>^^^
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    We're entering a time when you can actually do more with less. In most situations, it was the geometry of long travel bikes that made things easier, the extra travel just provided a little more comfort. Now we have XC race bikes with the enduro geometry of a few years ago, they just pedal a whole lot better and their only weakness is when it's extra gnarly.
    Exactly. 120mm of travel with wagon wheels and aggressive geometry is capable of being railed like most people wouldn't believe. And they pedal so well and are light enough you can easily go back to the top for another lap or three. Geometry is the key.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  130. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Exactly. 120mm of travel with wagon wheels and aggressive geometry is capable of being railed like most people wouldn't believe. And they pedal so well and are light enough you can easily go back to the top for another lap or three. Geometry is the key.
    Would this progressive geometry* make the shorter-travel bikes less interesting on tamer terrain though?


    * At least up to a point.
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    This thread has been really interesting and helpful to me.

    I've just got back into riding after a near 20 year hiatus and have been blown away by the improvement in bikes.

    A friend that rides decided it would be good for me to get back on the trails and so took me out for a ride lending me his custom build Canfield YelliScreamy 29er. I was instantly hooked...

    One by drivetrains, dropper posts, tubeless tires with low pressure and insane grip, 29er wheels that monster truck through rock gardens, progressive geometry and his Fox Factory fork... How did I live without these back when I used to ride?! I was smiling ear to ear the whole way down the trail. I was picking lines I wouldn't have dreamt of 20 years ago on a 26er xc hardtail and literally laughing out loud!

    I then got a 2nd hand Trek Roscoe 8 that was going for a good price and have found it insanely capable. Yes, it's not exactly got progressive geometry in modern terms and I know plus tires are terribly passé but the 120mm Judy fork feels twice as plush and progressive as anything I'd ridden back in the day, the plus tires have given me plenty of confidence and make the ride a little more gentle on my older bones and the 130mm dropperay not be top of the line but it's 130 times better than my old quick release seat post collar. You can still find me hammering down the local DH line on it with a massive smile on my face.

    I've got a shuttle day coming up on some far gnarlier trails and a jump line bike park day booked for April next year where I expect I'll get closer finding the limit of the bike (although I'm likely to find my limit first!)

    I've also got to admit that as my skills improve I'm guilty of accusing others of being overbiked and having a certain smug attitude when I see folks on $8k+ bikes bypassing features I'm hitting comfortably.

    There's certainly a lot of money around this area and no shortage of novices on Evil, Santa Cruz & Pivot Enduro bikes gingerly making their way down a trail relying on the bike to get them through rather than technique. However, as I ride more widely and explore different disciplines I can see how getting a very capable all-round full squish makes sense: I live in a city and don't have a lot of space to store bikes so if I want to enjoy the best riding in my region safely and enjoyably I'm going to need to get something that will leave me "overbiked" on my local trails.

    I wonder how I'll feel riding a modern 160/150 29er? Will I have the same excitement and revelation that I did on the Canfield? Or will it dumb downy local trails to the point of boredom?

    I guess that brings me to my question: if you are having the most fun you can have on a given trail then haven't you got just the right amount of bike?

    For me, I don't know what I don't know yet and will take my time hiring different bikes when I travel all the while pushing my hardtail xc "beginners" plus bike as hard as I can and learning on the way - I'll try not to be too smug about those dentists on Superbikes as I did get passed on a climb by a young guy on a gravel bike Last week...

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk66 View Post
    This thread has been really interesting and helpful to me.

    I've just got back into riding after a near 20 year hiatus and have been blown away by the improvement in bikes.

    A friend that rides decided it would be good for me to get back on the trails and so took me out for a ride lending me his custom build Canfield YelliScreamy 29er. I was instantly hooked...

    One by drivetrains, dropper posts, tubeless tires with low pressure and insane grip, 29er wheels that monster truck through rock gardens, progressive geometry and his Fox Factory fork... How did I live without these back when I used to ride?! I was smiling ear to ear the whole way down the trail. I was picking lines I wouldn't have dreamt of 20 years ago on a 26er xc hardtail and literally laughing out loud!

    I then got a 2nd hand Trek Roscoe 8 that was going for a good price and have found it insanely capable. Yes, it's not exactly got progressive geometry in modern terms and I know plus tires are terribly passé but the 120mm Judy fork feels twice as plush and progressive as anything I'd ridden back in the day, the plus tires have given me plenty of confidence and make the ride a little more gentle on my older bones and the 130mm dropperay not be top of the line but it's 130 times better than my old quick release seat post collar. You can still find me hammering down the local DH line on it with a massive smile on my face.

    I've got a shuttle day coming up on some far gnarlier trails and a jump line bike park day booked for April next year where I expect I'll get closer finding the limit of the bike (although I'm likely to find my limit first!)

    I've also got to admit that as my skills improve I'm guilty of accusing others of being overbiked and having a certain smug attitude when I see folks on $8k+ bikes bypassing features I'm hitting comfortably.

    There's certainly a lot of money around this area and no shortage of novices on Evil, Santa Cruz & Pivot Enduro bikes gingerly making their way down a trail relying on the bike to get them through rather than technique. However, as I ride more widely and explore different disciplines I can see how getting a very capable all-round full squish makes sense: I live in a city and don't have a lot of space to store bikes so if I want to enjoy the best riding in my region safely and enjoyably I'm going to need to get something that will leave me "overbiked" on my local trails.

    I wonder how I'll feel riding a modern 160/150 29er? Will I have the same excitement and revelation that I did on the Canfield? Or will it dumb downy local trails to the point of boredom?

    I guess that brings me to my question: if you are having the most fun you can have on a given trail then haven't you got just the right amount of bike?

    For me, I don't know what I don't know yet and will take my time hiring different bikes when I travel all the while pushing my hardtail xc "beginners" plus bike as hard as I can and learning on the way - I'll try not to be too smug about those dentists on Superbikes as I did get passed on a climb by a young guy on a gravel bike Last week...
    Rent a 160 enduro for a day on your local trails and you'll have your answer.

  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I think it really just boils down to this - if your trails are boring on your bike, then you're probably overbiked. Simple.
    if one's trails are boring, maybe one needs to find new trails?

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    if one's trails are boring, maybe one needs to find new trails?
    Yeah, if your trails are boring on an enduro bike then your trails are probably boring. There are trails I prefer to ride my hardtail and trails where the hardtail is more fun but the difference isn't extreme. I can't think of a single trail I've ridden that was fun on my hardtail but not my enduro bike.

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Yeah, if your trails are boring on an enduro bike then your trails are probably boring.
    there's always locking out/pumping up your suspension and pretending you're on a heavy hardtail...

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    there's always locking out/pumping up your suspension and pretending you're on a heavy hardtail...
    Seems like it could be fun to let someone see me as I let-on I don't notice while I add rocks to my saddle bag and frame bag …

    A few of us hiker buddies would slow down the old guy when he got too far ahead and mandate he carry about a 6# rock !
    "Before you criticize, you should walk a mile in their shoes. You'll be a mile away from them and you have their shoes"

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Yeah, if your trails are boring on an enduro bike then your trails are probably boring. There are trails I prefer to ride my hardtail and trails where the hardtail is more fun but the difference isn't extreme. I can't think of a single trail I've ridden that was fun on my hardtail but not my enduro bike.
    To be fair, most of the guys who are riding bigger bikes in my area are always asking us to build bigger downhill rock gardens and jumps. They sort of expect us to make the trail fit their bikes rather than them just buying the bikes to fit the trail.

  138. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    To be fair, most of the guys who are riding bigger bikes in my area are always asking us to build bigger downhill rock gardens and jumps. They sort of expect us to make the trail fit their bikes rather than them just buying the bikes to fit the trail.
    That doesn't mean they would find the trails interesting on whatever bike 'fits the trail'. I wouldn't make too many assumptions other than they want bigger features.

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That doesn't mean they would find the trails interesting on whatever bike 'fits the trail'. I wouldn't make too many assumptions other than they want bigger features.
    You are making an assumption that I am making assumptions. I left out some details to be generous, but they complain a lot about the trails being too easy and boring, along with a little bit of chest beating about the lack of riders who can "send it" and therefore we must be dumbing down the trails. It's actually pretty irritating listening to these bros.

    In any case, I don't really care what bike people ride until they start bitching and asking us to divert resources to meet their "needs." We have a small crew of regular trail builders and we can either add mileage or build more big bike features. Mileage attracts more rider participation across the skill spectrum and increases the size of the mountain bike community. We know this because we have built some alternative lines with jumps and harder features, but only 10% of the riders take these lines. We welcome these guys to build more alternative lines with the features that they want but they don't show up at the trail builds but expect us to do it.

  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    In any case, I don't really care what bike people ride until they start bitching and asking us to divert resources to meet their "needs."
    We always say it's the rider not the bike until it doesn't fit our narrative.

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Would this progressive geometry* make the shorter-travel bikes less interesting on tamer terrain though?


    * At least up to a point.
    I think it depends on the situation. If the terrain is tame ("tame" being defined as not as steep; fewer 'rough' features such as rocks and roots, etc.), I think a light, efficient bike with aggressive geometry can make that kind of trail more fun because you're able to go faster with less effort -- and not just faster in a straight line, but in corners and in pumping the terrain that does exist.

    That's assuming that *faster* is a metric that is important to the particular rider. For me, it is -- and that's a basis on which a lot of my opinions are founded.

    I have two bikes at opposite ends of the spectrum, which by and large is a pretty good quiver to have, if you're limited to just two bikes. One is a pretty overbuilt enduro bike with 180 mm of travel at both ends; 2.5" Minions, yadda yadda. The other one is an earlier 29" XC hardtail, to which I've fitted a dropper, wide bars, and a shorter stem -- just to improve its slightly old-school geometry and capabilities. I spent a lot of this season riding both bikes on the same trails, and comparing times and results.

    Generally speaking, if the trails were flatter and smoother, I had more fun on the hardtail, and logged faster times. This is riding at max effort, with both bikes, mind you. I found there were just a lot of situations where the big bike simply created extra work; it definitely smoothed things out, but almost to the point that I didn't feel as connected to the trail -- where on the hardtail I could pump transitions for extra speed, it was faster on flat sections, and honestly wasn't much of a hindrance on the occasional root/rock garden. Those feelings I just described, become noticeable again on the big bike -- as long as the terrain is a lot rowdier. Unfortunately (since I really enjoy rowdy terrain), there just isn't as much of that available in my neck of the woods as I'd like -- certainly not on the newly-built trails. Incidentally, a lot of the trails that are really fun on the big bike were built long before mountain bikes existed, and are under constant threat of closure because of Wilder-nutcases. Which is another topic for another time, haha.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    You are making an assumption that I am making assumptions. I left out some details to be generous, but they complain a lot about the trails being too easy and boring, along with a little bit of chest beating about the lack of riders who can "send it" and therefore we must be dumbing down the trails. It's actually pretty irritating listening to these bros.

    In any case, I don't really care what bike people ride until they start bitching and asking us to divert resources to meet their "needs." We have a small crew of regular trail builders and we can either add mileage or build more big bike features. Mileage attracts more rider participation across the skill spectrum and increases the size of the mountain bike community. We know this because we have built some alternative lines with jumps and harder features, but only 10% of the riders take these lines. We welcome these guys to build more alternative lines with the features that they want but they don't show up at the trail builds but expect us to do it.
    I'll just say, there is a LOT of boring trail in many locales, but often a lack of interesting trails. Fine and dandy for novice riders but sort of lacking for everyone else.
    Around here, the most avid trail builders are the hardcore riders, not the novice riders.
    Thanks for your building.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I think it depends on the situation. If the terrain is tame ("tame" being defined as not as steep; fewer 'rough' features such as rocks and roots, etc.), I think a light, efficient bike with aggressive geometry can make that kind of trail more fun because you're able to go faster with less effort -- and not just faster in a straight line, but in corners and in pumping the terrain that does exist.

    That's assuming that *faster* is a metric that is important to the particular rider. For me, it is -- and that's a basis on which a lot of my opinions are founded.

    I have two bikes at opposite ends of the spectrum, which by and large is a pretty good quiver to have, if you're limited to just two bikes. One is a pretty overbuilt enduro bike with 180 mm of travel at both ends; 2.5" Minions, yadda yadda. The other one is an earlier 29" XC hardtail, to which I've fitted a dropper, wide bars, and a shorter stem -- just to improve its slightly old-school geometry and capabilities. I spent a lot of this season riding both bikes on the same trails, and comparing times and results.

    Generally speaking, if the trails were flatter and smoother, I had more fun on the hardtail, and logged faster times. This is riding at max effort, with both bikes, mind you. I found there were just a lot of situations where the big bike simply created extra work; it definitely smoothed things out, but almost to the point that I didn't feel as connected to the trail -- where on the hardtail I could pump transitions for extra speed, it was faster on flat sections, and honestly wasn't much of a hindrance on the occasional root/rock garden. Those feelings I just described, become noticeable again on the big bike -- as long as the terrain is a lot rowdier. Unfortunately (since I really enjoy rowdy terrain), there just isn't as much of that available in my neck of the woods as I'd like -- certainly not on the newly-built trails. Incidentally, a lot of the trails that are really fun on the big bike were built long before mountain bikes existed, and are under constant threat of closure because of Wilder-nutcases. Which is another topic for another time, haha.
    This is my experience, too.

    My preference for MTB terrain is rocky and rooty. My FS is better that than my HT, but when my FS needs maintenance, I'll ride the HT on those rare occasions. Where I lived in VA, there were a couple of flatter, lower trails where, when you're really hauling, going both up and down, you can find flow that a slower rolling bike simply won't allow. Getting air while going uphill at mach chicken is a unique experience. Or, coming over a rise into a corner strewn with fist size, pointy but well anchored and doing a two wheel drift through it. A bigger, slower bike simply robbed those trails of any kind of enjoyment, for me. It simply won't roll fast enough without a super human effort to get the most out of them.
    Death from Below.

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    We always say it's the rider not the bike until it doesn't fit our narrative.
    I should add that I don't want to generalize the behavior of these individuals in our community to all big bike riders. I am a big Red Bull Rampage fan and love watching slopestyle and these guys are dedicated trail builders. Kudos to them.

    We also have hardcore XC guys who want steep and technical climbs and we also try to keep those to a minimum (or to alternative lines) because most people won't ride them.

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I'll just say, there is a LOT of boring trail in many locales, but often a lack of interesting trails. Fine and dandy for novice riders but sort of lacking for everyone else.
    Around here, the most avid trail builders are the hardcore riders, not the novice riders.
    Thanks for your building.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    True. Our biggest problem is that we are still in the expansion phase. Our longest trail is only about 8 miles. So we are still trying to expand in mileage and the size of the community. But hopefully, once we get adequate mileage and a bigger group of active mountain bikers, we can focus more on the quality of that mileage.

  146. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    ...because most people won't ride them.
    Don't you think that people would work their way up to riding more challenging terrain though? Someone might not be able to ride something now but after some time practicing and getting up the courage they might be able to do it later? It would be unfortunate to build an entire riding area for the lower end of the skill spectrum simply because that's what the majority of locals are capable of riding at the moment, then have minimal room for skill development.

    When I first scope out a new-to-me difficult trail I roll it at mellow speed in order to size things up. If someone were to come by me that day they might think that I'm incapable and riding a bike that's overkill for my ability. After awhile though, once I work out the speed and timing needed for the features, then I'll send it.

  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Don't you think that people would work their way up to riding more challenging terrain though? Someone might not be able to ride something now but after some time practicing and getting up the courage they might be able to do it later? It would be unfortunate to build an entire riding area for the lower end of the skill spectrum and minimal room for skill development.

    When I first scope out a new-to-me difficult trail I roll it at mellow speed in order to size things up. If someone were to come by me that day they might think that I'm incapable and riding a bike that's overkill for my ability. After awhile though, once I work out the speed and timing needed for the features, then I'll send it.
    Based on my experience, some will but most won't. We have a shorter super technical trail with rooty power climbs, uphill switchbacks, and some rock drops and I would say it is ridden by less than 5% of the mtb community - mostly regular cat 1 or 2 XC racers. Even long time regulars at other trails don't ride it. The big bike guys like the rock drops but don't like all the climbing. We even tried having group rides there on a regular basis and attendance slowly declined rather than increased.

    So on our longest trail, which we hope to attract more mountain bikers, we have excluded most of the outlier features or relegated them to alternative lines. One thing I learned is that most locals who are into MTB are mainly out to get exercise, enjoy the woods, etc. They don't want extra challenges. I suppose that would be different at a destination MTB community where people specifically go to ride certain features. But we are not a destination community....yet

  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    But we are not a destination community....yet
    Your last statement tells me that you'd like to become a destination some day. Do you have a "draw?" What would compel me to schedule a bike trip there versus anywhere else?

  149. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Your last statement tells me that you'd like to become a destination some day. Do you have a "draw?" What would compel me to schedule a bike trip there versus anywhere else?
    No draw at this point, sadly. And I doubt we will ever become anything more than a state-level destination community so that's our aim. But when I think of destination communities, the first thing I think of is a large trail network - lots of miles of singletrack that appeal to the meaty part of the skills distribution, combined with some kick ass trails that appeal to the top of the distribution. We are still working on the lots of miles part....

  150. #150
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    I have one rule when it comes to upgrading, whatever you end up riding should be the absolute BEST bike you've ever ridden.

    Regardless of price, travel, suspension or lack of suspension--life is short. Treat yourself to a really nice ride.

    Am I over biked? Perhaps. Do I care? Nope. Do I care what others think? Nope. Do I care what other ride? Nope. As long as you're out there enjoying the ride, I'm fine with you riding a $10k bike at a paved city park or a 15yr old HT on a DH course.

    Cheers!

  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    This is my experience, too.

    My preference for MTB terrain is rocky and rooty. My FS is better that than my HT, but when my FS needs maintenance, I'll ride the HT on those rare occasions. Where I lived in VA, there were a couple of flatter, lower trails where, when you're really hauling, going both up and down, you can find flow that a slower rolling bike simply won't allow. Getting air while going uphill at mach chicken is a unique experience. Or, coming over a rise into a corner strewn with fist size, pointy but well anchored and doing a two wheel drift through it. A bigger, slower bike simply robbed those trails of any kind of enjoyment, for me. It simply won't roll fast enough without a super human effort to get the most out of them.
    Yeah, that's exactly what I'm getting at. Those trails where the descent isn't really purely descending. On the lighter, more efficient bike, I enjoy the ups as part of the "descent." The big bike, like you said, can require "super human effort" to maintain speed when it's not constantly relatively steep downhill. I don't know, but most places I've ridden do not feature constant downhill unless it's a resort or whathaveyou. Even trails like Porcupine Rim and Captain Ahab in Moab are known as being descents, but the term "DH" doesn't really capture the real experience. I rode Captain Ahab for the first time this spring. It was a blast, but despite the fairly gnarly conditions, I felt overbiked on my big rig for most of the ride. I wasn't wishing for my hardtail though, haha.

    I will probably always keep a long travel bike in my stable, but it'll be reserved for big vertical rides with a sustained payout after that climb.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    This is my experience, too.

    My preference for MTB terrain is rocky and rooty. My FS is better that than my HT, but when my FS needs maintenance, I'll ride the HT on those rare occasions. Where I lived in VA, there were a couple of flatter, lower trails where, when you're really hauling, going both up and down, you can find flow that a slower rolling bike simply won't allow. Getting air while going uphill at mach chicken is a unique experience. Or, coming over a rise into a corner strewn with fist size, pointy but well anchored and doing a two wheel drift through it. A bigger, slower bike simply robbed those trails of any kind of enjoyment, for me. It simply won't roll fast enough without a super human effort to get the most out of them.
    I know this feeling and it is awesome, when you are able to get going so fast that you're riding a trail completely differently than you would on a big bike.
    There's one place I can get going so fast in an unusual spot that I can jump going up a hill and it's really cool.

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  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    if one's trails are boring, maybe one needs to find new trails?
    Certainly not me. See post #2.

    Not everyone has steep terrain near them though.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Certainly not me. See post #2.

    Not everyone has steep terrain near them though.
    exactly.

  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    Based on my experience, some will but most won't. We have a shorter super technical trail with rooty power climbs, uphill switchbacks, and some rock drops and I would say it is ridden by less than 5% of the mtb community - mostly regular cat 1 or 2 XC racers. Even long time regulars at other trails don't ride it. The big bike guys like the rock drops but don't like all the climbing. We even tried having group rides there on a regular basis and attendance slowly declined rather than increased.

    So on our longest trail, which we hope to attract more mountain bikers, we have excluded most of the outlier features or relegated them to alternative lines. One thing I learned is that most locals who are into MTB are mainly out to get exercise, enjoy the woods, etc. They don't want extra challenges. I suppose that would be different at a destination MTB community where people specifically go to ride certain features. But we are not a destination community....yet
    In reality it's all about progression. My local area has dozens of riders that regularly send large gaps, road gap step downs and 6'+ drops. This is in Bentonville where those things did not exist three to four years ago. If you build features that enable people to progress in steps you'd be surprised how many people will work their way up to the big stuff.

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  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    In reality it's all about progression. My local area has dozens of riders that regularly send large gaps, road gap step downs and 6'+ drops. This is in Bentonville where those things did not exist three to four years ago. If you build features that enable people to progress in steps you'd be surprised how many people will work their way up to the big stuff.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
    I think so too. People will rise to the occasion.

  157. #157
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    Kinda late to the discussion here, but just watched the OP's video. I'm sure others have said the same, but the video reminds me of the early days of mountain biking. Actually, it was free riding because trails didn't exist yet, we just didn't know it. That was the mid 70's. We were riding off road on what was basically a standard "10 speed". My first rides on stuff like the video shows was on a street 10 speed on which I replaced the "ram horn" bars with a straight piece of black iron pipe from the hardware store. My goal was to emulate a trials (not trails) bike (motorized). Anyone remember those?

    All of that is history, and I am glad I experienced it. But, do I want to do it again? NOT! I am over biked, and like it!
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  158. #158
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    My fun-O-meter disagrees with the thread title on most rides.

  159. #159
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    Ive been riding Mt Tam since 1975. Try to imagine what Type of bikes I rode over the last 45 years. Some really crappy fully rigid BMX/Schwinn Cruisers/Fully Rigid pieces of garbage. I have spent a life in construction, and my body is pretty banged up and arthritic. If you have ridden with me, you may be surprised at this admission of pain, as I crush 3,000-5,000 foot days in the saddle in my 50's (I should but stock in Advil). I am above avg fast, but not "Racer" fast. I Try to ride 200 days per year. Am I Overbiked or comfortable? These are very different points of view. I use an Ibis Ripmo for comfort, day in and day out. I can only afford 1 bike. One aspect of high end bikes includes 7 year warranty on Ibis Frame and Carbon Rims. Ive broken just about every bike part there is. Paying for high end stuff keeps me on trail, safe, comfortable, and able to ride home, from 20 miles in the wilderness. I dont think I am overbiked at all. I may only push my bike to its limit a few days per month, but the ability of my bike allows me to DOUBLE my limits.

  160. #160
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    I usually am advised that I'm underbiked when I show up on my Jones Plus SS. "It's too rocky to ride that here" and "Where's your suspension fork?" are 2 of my favorites. "How come you don't have any gears?" is another one.

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    I usually am advised that I'm underbiked when I show up on my Jones Plus SS. "It's too rocky to ride that here" and "Where's your suspension fork?" are 2 of my favorites. "How come you don't have any gears?" is another one.
    I was once getting ready to descend the trail "Ladies Only" in Vancouver B.C. -- which I've heard called "the most technical trail on the North Shore" (a point that I disagree with, but suffice it to say it's not a walk in the park) -- when a guy rolls along on a rigid singlespeed 29er and drops in without even pausing to scope the trail. Not that I was trying to go fast, as I was on vacation, but I never saw him again.

    And I ride pretty fast.

    Now, I wouldn't recommend a bike like that, for that sort of riding -- but the fact that a guy with enough skill can *shred* a trail like that on so little bike makes you pause and think.

    Interesting sidenote: I happened to be aboard a borrowed bike from that trail's builder -- the one and only "Digger."
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

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