5 Years Ago – how much has changed?

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  • 5 Years Ago – how much has changed?
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Back in 2009 I was riding round Australia on a long holiday

    Blue Tier by Mike Smith 79, on Flickr
    The best pics of me were generally just out of focus I had strange facial expressions when concentrating

    Not fitting through this one by Mike Smith 79, on Flickr
    I had 1 shifter on my bars and they didn’t fit between trees in some places
    Finally 5 years later
    having moved out here I was riding the same trail, my bars have reverted to only having 1 shifter, the best pics are still out of focus and I still have the occasional problem with trees 🙂

    Part way through the simplification process. Legs may not agree until the 40t rear arrives by Mike Smith 79, on Flickr

    So how much has everyone’s riding changed?

    I wasn’t riding anything but a 5 wheel variable hight gas shock office chair. I did have it slammed!
    Only started riding in 2011.


    How much do your zip ties weigh?

    Premier Icon lunge

    5 years ago I had a brand new mountain bike, an Orange P7 that was getting ridden every weekend. I was also considering doing Megavalanche and had started to accumulate the kit to do so.I didn’t own a road bike.

    Now, I have a 5 year old P7 that gets used 3 or 4 times per year. I have added 2 road bikes that get ridden 3 times per week to the collection along with a lot of Lycra. I am no longer considering Megavalanche but I am doing London to Paris in 24 hours instead.

    It’s safe to say my riding and my bikes have changed a hell of a lot.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    not much they are special “Enduro” zip ties

    b r

    5 years ago I was riding an On One 456Ti, and it was my only bike.

    Yesterday I rode my On One 456Ti, it is still my only bike.

    The bars are now 740mm (rather than 711mm) and it’s got a dropper – other than that, nothing really changed except for pretty much every other component has been replaced in the interim due to breakage/wearing-out.

    Premier Icon weeksy

    5 years ago i was running round on a Specialized HArdrock sport HT, just really getting into MTBing in a more serious way. Starting to think about weight, componentry etc etc. This replaced a stolen CUBE Ltd race 26″, back in these days it was all XC XC XC, now i’m trying to make it all a bit more AM AM AM… although currently due to BPW claiming my ribs, i’m off the bike for almost a fortnight !

    Overall though… i don’t think that much has changed… my fitness is about the same, weight a bit lighter… skills a bit better… but mostly, i still love riding bikes 🙂

    5 years ago I wasn’t into bikes at all, but liked the looks of them. Four years ago I started uni, joined the cycling club and got hooked. Now I’m out at every opportunity. In that time I peaked at owning three bikes, sold two to build my current one, other other got nicked.

    Damn, I love bikes.


    Good timing. In 2009 I bought an Alpine 160 and headed for a season in the Alps. Having worked through a range of builds and bikes, I have recently settled on another Alpine 160 build although this time with dropper, new Pike, Flow Ex wheels and NW 1×10. These definitely make the bike feel lighter than I remember. That however might be down to me being lighter and stronger having discovered road riding.

    Premier Icon nickc

    5 years ago I was on a Chameleon with 140mm forks and 3×9 had a 70mm stem and 685mm bars.

    Now I’m on a Shan at 160mm travel, 2×10 50mm stem with 711mm bars and a dropper post


    5 years ago my daughter wasn’t born so I was riding 2-3 times a week and going on a riding holiday to Spain every year. I now have a 4 year old daughter, with another due to arrive in a couple of weeks, and although I’m still riding 2-3 times per week the foreign riding holidays are less frequent. My riding hasn’t really changed though, as I’m still riding the same trails at the same daft speeds, but I’m now on a long travel 29er (160mm F/145mm R) instead of a 170mm 26er.

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    I’d just bought my first new ‘off the peg’ MTB (Spesh SX trail II), now, despite having a few MTBs (3) between now and then, I’ve just bought my second new off the peg MTB (rather fittingly, from the same bloke, at different shops), an SC 5010c. I like the second one loooooooooads more than I did the first!

    Premier Icon kiwijohn

    I’ve gone from a 140/125mm 2×9 trail bike to a 160/150mm 2×10 trail bike.
    My HT has had a couple of sets of tyres, nothing else.
    I ain’t exactly good for the bike business.


    2009 was the Year of the Fork for me. I changed the awful OE marz exr pro forks on the Marin Wildcat Trail to U-turn revs and also the AM4s on the Supreme to 36 Talas. Made such a difference (especially on the HT).

    The Supreme is now gone, replaced with a Stumpy Evo and the Marin has been spruced up and given to my eldest son.

    Missed most of 2009 summer after breaking leg in Morzine and getting tibia pinned out there.
    Missed most of 2011 summer after breaking elbow and tearing off tricep tendon in Wales, needed reconstructive surgery.

    So I now ride flat pedals, a little more conservatively, and often on the road!


    Just got a bit more awesome that’s all 😉


    5 years ago I didn’t own a bike and was about 21kg’s heavier than I am now.

    Premier Icon njee20

    5 years ago I had a 22lb 100mm travel XC race FS bike with 26″ wheels. I now have a 19lb 100mm travel XC race hardtail with 29″ wheels.

    So lots, but at the same time virtually nothing.

    Premier Icon D0NK

    Still riding a heckler unlike you mike with your la di dah vpp 😉
    It’s not my big bike anymore tho, slightly downgraded forks and ditched the hardtail (and broken etsx) to be my most ridden mtb. Have also traded in a road setup pompino for a disc cx and a shonky SS inbred for a nicer SS c456.

    Other than that pretty similar, no 1x? gears, not even 10spd, no silly sized wheels or singletrack incompatible wide bars.

    Premier Icon ton

    5 yrs ago, I was fit and healthy. and riding loads of northern chapter mtb rides.
    I am now fubar health wise, but riding 3 times as far every week….. 😕


    Hardly mtbing much these days, but I’ll get it back

    Sold my 03 Heckler last year and I want another!

    5 years ago I wasn’t even thinking about 29″ or 650b wheels.

    I’m still not.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Wider tyres.
    Wider handlebars.
    Wider rider.

    Ton, that you riding through Colden yesterday afternoon?

    Premier Icon ton

    Wider tyres.
    Wider handlebars.
    Wider rider.


    Pete, not me mate….I was riding the sette/toilet with the trots…. 😆

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    No wonder you didn’t wave back then.


    Premier Icon brassneck

    5 years ago I wasn’t even thinking about 29″ or 650b wheels.

    Now my Ti456 feels like riding my kids bike, and it’s going to cost me dear.

    Premier Icon simon1975


    Jacob’s Ladder by Simon J Taylor, on Flickr


    ScandAl by Simon J Taylor, on Flickr

    Who robbed all the flat coping stones?

    My bikes haven’t changed much. I’ve broken a few, fixed a few, still riding!


    Five years ago, I was about to go on a bike hiatus.

    Having got rid of my DH bike and hardtail, I tried the one bike fir everything approach and hated it. It was an Orange Patriot 66 that was slack but felt horrible descending. It was grim to climb on and weighed more than my house.

    I’m now on a bike with nearly as much travel but it’s slacker still, weighs less, descends better and climbs better too. It has less gears, a fancy post and weighs about 5lbs less too. It gets ridden more too and gets taken to more places.

    I’ve also got past my lycra-phobia and now have a road bike too. Having had a somewhat childish opinion of roadies, I now really enjoy it as something different to the MTB.

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    I’ve also got past my lycra-phobia and now have a road bike too. Having had a somewhat childish opinion of roadies, I now really enjoy it as something different to the MTB

    Ooh yeah, me too!

    5 years ago I was running.. a lot, and and getting injured.. a lot. I wasn’t riding a bike.

    I gave up the running and started riding again. Over the last 4 years I have gone from XC bridleway loops to more gnarpoon trail riding, culminating in a week in the Alps. I am a lot heavier than when I ran, but injury free, and able to ride all day without any problems. It’s good!

    Premier Icon GHill

    I bought a nice (IMO) bike 5 years ago. It:

    Doesn’t have a tapered steerer.
    Doesn’t have some fancy black or gold coating on the forks.
    Doesn’t have a dropper post.
    Has 26″ wheels.
    Has a 9-speed cassette.
    Has a HA of about 70 degrees.

    It still works and hasn’t killed me yet.

    In the last 5 years my stems have got shorter and my bars wider. Apart from that not a lot has changed. I’m still riding the same trails and getting the same results in the handful of events I enter each year.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    5 years ago I had a 456ti, an S-works Enduro, a Spesh Globe commuter and a Spesh Allez.

    Now I’ve got a blur LTc and a Croix de Fer and a lot more space in the garage.

    Did tapered head tubes / tapered forks exist five years ago?


    5 years ago I didn’t know what,where or who STW was.
    I have seen too much..


    less travel, bigger wheels, fatter tyres

    Premier Icon fathomer

    Five years ago I bought a Cube Ltd something, used it a bit in the summer, then the football season started again and the bike put in the garage again not to be seen for a long time.

    Four years ago I signed up to a 100mile road ride, bought a cheap second hand Boardman off flea bay, road it loads though the summer, did the 100miles, bike went back in the garage when the football season started again.

    Three years ago I’d had enough of football and have only played 5-6 times since, but in that time I’ve been well a truly bitten by the cycling bug and now own 2 MTB’s and the Boardman. I’m also in the process of buying a summer road bike.

    Premier Icon iainc

    Still 4, but all different 🙂

    I had :

    a FS, a short travel steel HT, a cx bike

    I have :

    a medium travel steel HT, a new cx, a road bike, a track bike

    ..it’s all still riding 🙂

    5 years ago: trek 6500 HT
    Today: trek 6500 HT
    Nice and simple.

    In the interim, some upgrading followed by downgrading when expensive stuff didn’t last!!!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Nice to see the changes, there was another heckler in between mine – it’s now with a kid from the LBS who does not care about wheel sizes or tapered steerers.
    I also aquired a road bike in the middle and started doing some XC events along side the gravity. This year was all XC/multi day stuff and no gravity – time to mix it up next year.


    5 years ago I had my ’04 Enduro and a Rock Springs. The RS was fantastic, but a touch too small for me so I gave it to the missus. However the affair with Marin’s Quad Link was an enduring one, so today I have a Wolf Ridge complete with a CTD shock and Marzocchi 55CRs and it’s probably the best bike I’ve ever owned – although it’s taken a long time to get it that way.

    The Enduro now hangs on my living room wall, having been replaced with a Camber and an Orange P7.

    Aside from having much wider bars and shorter stems, the other big breakthrough for me has been tubeless tyres. Oh and XT ten speed is absolutely brilliant…

    Same bike, but wider bars, slightly longer forks and a dropper

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I think I was just about to drag my 90s Carrera out of the back of my dad’s garage and fix it up for commuting. Which led to me getting overexcited and blowing a mighty £200 on a slightly newer used Carrera, and a trip to Glentress with an old mate…

    Premier Icon stevied

    5 years ago I had one bike, a Reign. Now I still have one bike but it is the bike I’d wanted at the time, an Intense 6.6
    I’m still riding the same trails on the Malverns but doing it all faster and enjoying it more..

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    ah the 04 enduro, that was sat in the cupboard while I was out travelling, built it up when we got home and snapped it 🙂

    How time flies. My Prophet was new 5 years ago.

    Still got it. Only thing still original is the frame and forks. Tubeless, wider bars, shorter stem, dropper etc.

    Sometimes I feel like a change, but it’s still pretty good to be fair.

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