Are UK riders moving further away from US/Euro riding trends?

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  • Are UK riders moving further away from US/Euro riding trends?
  • Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    Dear STW Massive,

    Looking at the reports back from Interbike etc, and some of the foreign MTB mags and websites, I can’t help but think we’re heading more and more in our own direction as UK riders.

    Don’t get me wrong at all, I’m quite happy if this is the case, but it seems the trend for us is towards more aggressive singletrack / trail riding on slacker all day enduro bikes and long-forked hardtails, whereas our American cousins seem obsessed with the 29er movement, possibly followed by those in Euroland this year.

    Our strongest riders in international competition seem to currently be DH / Freeride / 4X / Trials too, which would support our move in direction towards more aggressive riding.

    This direction we’re heading in might also have been fuelled by the “UK-specific” branding found on many of the bikes for sale in our LBS’s.

    Are UK riders and trends moving further away from other countries?

    If so, will we continue to go our own way?

    Thanks for reading,

    Paceman 😉

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    I think that’s an interesting point and generally I’d agree.

    But I like to think that rather than the UK moving away from EU/US trends, actually the fact is that they aren’t keeping up

    😉

    TooTall
    Member

    Are we doing your market research or your homework for you?

    Specialized are importing their 29ers for 2011, every manufacturer has 29er. There are more people on 29ers than ever before. We have always had the ‘hardcore hardtail’ – I fail to see what has changed from last year. Turner, Santa Cruz, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Scott, LaPierre etc will all sell loads of bikes in the UK.

    😕

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    I think one of the main differences is that UK riders ride in all conditions

    epicsteve
    Member

    There are more people on 29ers than ever before.

    Although personally I’ve yet to actually see one out on the trail.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I think the UK market is already split into 2 categories – trail park riding, and destination riding.

    A lot of UK riding is dictated by the lack of open access and restriction to trail parks. The trail centres I’ve seen (not many) seem to be best ridden with a geared bike with suspension.

    If you have open long distance trails then you have different requirements. A simple light rigid SS 29er is just the job for that IMO, maybe with gears if you’re camping. On-One have a pretty firm grip on this market at the moment.

    I hate the term aggressive when applied to riding. To me it sounds like you’re shoving folk into ditches as you pass them. Stupid phrase to use.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    Just my impression but UK riding seems to be much more about razzing about in woods where you can find them, mainly due to the lack of easily accessible epic type riding for most people. Hence the trend for more do it all tough and fun type bikes, that can handle mud. Makes us produce better riders IMHO, hence our big representation in the non-XC type riding categories?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Surrounded By Zulus – Member
    I hate the term aggressive when applied to riding…

    +1

    It always puts me in mind of those little fat boys who talk like tough Nintendo Ninjas.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I think I read the other day that in the US Specialized sell more 29er hard tails than 26er hard tails. We are know where near that

    I think maybe the UK is less polarised. Its less clear cut between freeride and Xc we are on a sliding scale bewteen the 2

    lazybike
    Member

    I ride the same way now as I did when I was a kid, funny really, my bike back then was a steel 5 speed racer with cowhorns, not that dissimilar to a rigid 29er!

    LoCo
    Member

    Have had this issue with some of my suppliers not being from the UK, trying to explain why people over here run coil shocks on their trail bikes the 190 and 200mm eye to eye ones!
    Finally got them to build me some in the shorter lengths whiich will be available in 2011. 8)

    GW
    Member

    honestly? WGAF?

    ride what you want how you want.. and stop worrying about giving it a name (and if it’s competitive it already has one 😉 )

    You’re not wrong that the UK are very strong in mens senior and junior DH at world cup level tho, there are many reasons why we’re strong in DH but TBH I CBA going into it. but we’re actually pretty rubbish at WC 4X, other than Elbry do we even have any full time competitive freeriders? no idea about trials (but I didn’t think our best Trials riders even compete in trials comps)

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    The Americans and Canadians seem to be more interested in the big jump slope style riding rather than downhill racing, although they seem to be a few more higher up the downhill rankings this year.

    There are loads of good French downhillers if you ever go to the alps, they just don’t seem to be breaking through to the top at the moment.

    Its good to see so many UK riders being so good in the downhill at the moment, but I think your reading more into it than there actually is, its just a temporary thing, it happens in all sports.

    And plenty of country’s continue to cycle in all weather, don’t believe the hype that its only the brits that do so, I saw far more riders out this weekend in Germany, at temps around -10 than would ever be seen in the UK.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I reckon the UK has built up quite a diverse range of riding disciplines and equipment to suit but I think to say we are “different” from the rest of the world is a bit much, the UK is just a slightly different profile, probably to us being a Northern European Island with mostly Damp but not particularly extreme weather…

    We’re probably not following all the “Trends” but anything with merit tends to make it’s way onto the UK riding radar and either fizzle out or get adopted & adapted as appropriate by the those who can make use of it within the prevailing UK terrain/weather conditions (29” wheels being and 5” air sprung bikes both good examples)…

    As a nation we took to Gravity fed stuff, DH/4X/FR en masse and it’s mostly stuck, hence we are quite well represented in those disciplines internationally, we have pretty much year round DH riding in the UK, you can probably book yourself onto one uplift or another somewhere in these Isles for about 97% of the year and a well developed domestic racing scene from small local stuff up to a very competitive national series means we’re churning out fast DH racers far better than the Yanks.

    As for XC again year round riding conditions and a solid racing culture mean it won’t die anytime soon, Endurance events are gaining ground year on year as well, I think that maybe puts us ahead of some other countries…

    There are people who do weekend survivalist epics with a bivey for a laugh, others who Blatt down Scotish or Welsh mountains and those who are happy with a couple of hours meandering round a forest, and some who do a bit of everything…

    I’d say UK MTBing is a broad and healthy church, we just don’t generally feel the need to keep up with Zee Germans or Yanks…

    GW
    Member

    LOCO – that’s good news, it’s a shame you can’t really get 165mm I2I coil shocks anymore! 😥 as 3.5-4.5″ travel coil sprung pinners is all most of us need really! talking of which, any idea where still has stock of short coil springs (ie. 1.5-1.75 stroke)

    ojom
    Member

    The UK is a tiny market in comparison to the rest of the riding world.

    I think one of the main differences is that UK riders ride in all conditions

    So other nations don’t? The Americans ride in all conditions, it’s a diverse topography and climatic place.
    Europe is similarly massive.

    There is a lot of ‘niche’ in the UK, which is good, but not necessarily a trend setter for larger companies from outside the country to be involved in.

    james-o
    Member

    The UK’s been a bit different to the US and Europe in some way or another since the mid-late 90’s when little ragger hardtails got popular. Different attitudes, terrain, weather etc creates a different scene. i don’t thing we’re moving further away, just that there’s more bike choice now so more diversity between markets and that’s good for choice.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    TBC – the americans I am in contact with thru an international forum dont ride in the wet at all. Theya re amazed we do.

    Similarly I have talked with German riders and its a summer only thing for them and they are suprised we ride in winter

    Of course its not exclusively so but I do believe that there is a greater tendency to ride in all conditions in the UK than other places

    ojom
    Member

    TBC – teh americans I am in contact with thru an international forum dont ride in the wet at all.

    Uh huh…. is that representative of the general population of riders or just those on that forum that you are in contact with?

    A bit of a generalisation.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    See my edit above

    ojom
    Member

    Of course its not exclusively so but I do believe that there is a greater tendency to ride in all conditions in the UK than other places

    That may be accurate – there is no real way of knowing. However… the number of people doing this in an already small market is still rather small.

    joemarshall
    Member

    So other nations don’t? The Americans ride in all conditions, it’s a diverse topography and climatic place.
    Europe is similarly massive.

    Most Americans I’ve ridden with don’t ride off road in the rain, or after a rainfall. I’ve ridden in N and S ends of California, and in Virginia / Washington DC area, with a few people and it’s always been the same.

    It is even in their official IMBA rules –
    “Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options.”

    I think it’s primarily because over there, they have no right to ride on most trails, so it is relatively easy for them to get chucked off, whereas over here, we have a legal right of access to a lot of trails (and way more trails) so banning us would be pretty much impossible. This means they are way more careful about projecting an image of responsible riding.

    There are also way more areas in the US where it is practical to do this, becuase in most places the weather changes less quickly than here. If you didn’t ride for 3 days after rain, like people do in some US areas, you’d never ride.

    We also have a climate where you can ride all year round – it is much harder to ride all year in places where the weather gets really cold and snowy in winter.

    Joe

    face-plant
    Member

    you only have to look at the the bikes small bike companies like cotic, on one, dialed bikes etc… are producing to see where uk riding is going; big travel hard tail trail bikes for spending the day thrashing down single track and verging on downhill the other forms of riding are still there and going strong but the uk is steadily swing to this form of riding.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Never seen a 29er in the flesh either
    I am intruiged by them

    GW
    Member

    ^^ they make total sense for riding dull XC trails in a non inspiring fashion

    Remember of course that the populus of this forum represents the UK riding culture as a whole. So saying we all ride throughout the whole year, no matter what the weather is doing and the Yanks/mainland Europeans don’t is 100% accurate*.

    * or may be complete b*ll*cks.

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    Makes us produce better riders IMHO, hence our big representation in the non-XC type riding categories?

    XC riders are not very good then?

    they make total sense for riding dull XC trails in a non inspiring fashion

    how’s that then?

    Should have added that its a very interesting subject but I think theres so many regional and local variations to terrain, accessable riding etc that its a generalisation you just can’t make. I do think that some trends that crop up in the States try to come over here but in reality we just do our own thing with them. Slopestyle for example. I’ve yet to see someone riding a full sus bike down a downhill track littered with huge jumps and stuff, backflipping everything in sight. But you do see ‘slopestyle’-style bikes all the time, being ragged around the woods, slogged around the trail centres to make the descents super fast and fun.

    I do think unique things happen in the UK scene compared to the rest of the world (long travel hardtails being one of them) but I suspect things that are just as unique happen in other countries.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    you only have to look at the the bikes small bike companies like cotic, on one, dialed bikes etc… are producing to see where uk riding is going

    We are mostly enthusiasts posting on a forum populated by similar enthusiasts. I would suggest that the manufacturers listed above are the same; they are catering to a minority need in the UK. An important market to us but very much a minority market relative to total bike sales in the UK.

    The majority of bike sales in UK will be big-brand lines featuring models much the same as are available in USA, rest of Europe, etc., so, whilst the UK has its own bike-specific niches it doesn’t reflect the mainstream IMO.

    GW
    Member

    I’ve never ever seen an on-one ridden by anyone not at least registered on here..

    Terrahawk – you serious?

    I think he rides a clown bike GW so he’s going to be a bit touchy about it.

    GW
    Member
    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    Are we doing your market research or your homework for you?

    A bit harsh don’t you think TooTall? I’m a teacher so I set homework not do it.

    Specialized are importing their 29ers for 2011, every manufacturer has 29er. There are more people on 29ers than ever before. We have always had the ‘hardcore hardtail’ – I fail to see what has changed from last year. Turner, Santa Cruz, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Scott, LaPierre etc will all sell loads of bikes in the UK.

    You wouldn’t happen to ride a 29er would you? 😉

    My local trails are The South Downs which you would have thought would be the ideal place for 29ers. However, i’ve seen only a handful all year despite riding regularly in all conditions.

    I’m also not suggesting that the hardcore hardtail is anything new, just that it’s become a very UK ‘thing’. What is changing from what I can gather is that the bikes we’re buying in the UK are becoming more removed from what they’re buying in the US.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    We also have a climate where you can ride all year round – it is much harder to ride all year in places where the weather gets really cold and snowy in winter.

    if we had a ski/boarding season then I would pack away the bikes for the season in a flash.

    GW
    Member

    the phrase “hardcore hardtail” was originally dreamt up by the bike media around 15yrs ago to categorise little 80-100mm travel Dual/4X/DJ hardtails.. what you lot now call hardcore hardtails are mainlyly just XC mincetanks. ie. too heavy for XC racing, too shit for 4X/DJ

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    I think he rides a clown bike GW so he’s going to be a bit touchy about it.

    I think I merely asked GW to elaborate on his statement.

    GW
    Member

    but do you?

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    do I what?

    GW
    Member

    ride a clown bike?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 218 total)

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