Do you have a 'hack' for bashing round trail centres?

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  • Do you have a 'hack' for bashing round trail centres?
  • Nah. I currently have one mountain bike that works, so I don’t have much choice.

    rocketman
    Member

    Doesn’t everyone have a hack bike?

    Nope, although I do have a singlespeed for winter rides and a FS with gears for the summer, and next month I’ll have an inbetweeny hardtail.

    I’m not worried about damageing bikes (the singlespeed isn’t a cheep beater by any stretch, infact it’s better spec’d than the FS!) but I reckon it’s a sensible way to prolong the life of parts (why get a year out of a semi buggered drivetrain when it could last 3 summers shifting perfectly if it rarely/never sees mud or rain?).

    I’d wouldn’t have 2 nearly identical bikes though, the singlespeed and the Pitch are borderline unrideable in the places the other excells in (the SS struggles on rocky decents, the pitch is hard work without gravity on your side) which is why I bought a longer travel hardtail to sit between them! I still ride the SS in the summer though if it’ll be the quickest tool for the job.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Subscriber

    No, trailcentres are the perfect place to showcase your pimp bike. You can always just ride around the carpark to reduce drivetrain wear.

    hilldodger
    Member

    Doesn’t everyone have a hack bike?

    Not for me, one decent mtb one decent road bike, both as good as I can afford and used pretty much every day – when I had a hack I was 99% wishing I’d ridden the “decent bike”, never the other way round.

    Do live/ride in an area that’s pretty kind on drivetrains though so wear’n’tear doesn’t come into it…..

    tomhughes
    Member

    See I have gone to this with the road bike, after my hack fell apart I started using my carbon road bike over winter. It got mudguards and was cleaned carefully and throughly after each ride, doesn’t seem to have done it any harm. Maybe I should just adopt the same principle with my mtb?

    Nicknoxx
    Member

    No, of course not. Mountain biking is all about riding in rough conditions and trail centres are purpose designed for us. If you want to keep your ‘posh’ bike for best, stay on the road/towpath/family trail.

    hilldodger
    Member

    If you’re happy to spend time on cleaning and fettling then I don’t see any issues with riding a decent bike year round, if you want a bike to just chuck in the shed after a ride then a hack does make sense

    deanfbm
    Member

    I have a “rubbish” hardtail for trail centres and local mincing jaunts. Bouncy bike makes it too tame and i can’t afford a “nice” hardtail.

    Mine’s a hack bike from lack of funds.

    Though in your situation, what’s wrong with cheaper drive components? Then you won’t worry about wear.

    Also, you’re meant to fall of, no matter what bike you’re on, you buy knowing it should get hammered.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    It depends on what’s important to you. The OP seems to favour racing so his best bike is kept for that. I don’t race and a trip to a trail centre involves 6hrs worth of driving so it’s a special occasion which means I’ll take the best bike I have for the job. I am in favour of having a hack to preserve the better bike(s).

    I would see a large “stable” being winter/midweek/loaner hack, xc/trail bike, Alps/Uplift bike.

    rocketman
    Member

    If you’re happy to spend time on cleaning and fettling then I don’t see any issues with riding a decent bike year round, if you want a bike to just chuck in the shed after a ride then a hack does make sense

    this is why I have a hack bike.

    100% functional and built from workmanlike parts that need little or no attention. No-one needs NASA levels of tech to ride around Cannock in the rain

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I use my HT SS for most trail centers esp Cannock which is a real bike destroyer in the wet, in fact I use my SS for most UK riding (except races and really rocky stuff in the Alps etc).

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I’ve found riding a unicycle has markedly decreased the time I spend on drivetrain maintenance.

    saxabar
    Member

    Troll? If not, I genuinely never realised that people have bikes reserved for “best”. Funny old world.

    rocketman
    Member

    more a case of having a bike reserved for ‘worst’ tbh

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Never understood the whole having a winter & summer bike. I’ve a decent FS & decent HT, I choose which one depending on where I’m riding and how I feel, weather doesn’t come into really. The FS is looking a bit battered but works well despite regular sessions riding through grinding paste.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Jesus! There are some ever-so-sensitive people on here

    Its a collection of metal and rubber/plastic bits. Ride it like you stole it. Everywhere. It doesn’t matter if its covered in shit/scratches/dings. When it breaks – fix it. Not complicated is it? 🙄

    tomhughes
    Member

    Whilst riding round cannock on monday (which was surprising dead considering it was a bank holiday) a thought occured to me. I have been looking at a possible carbon 29er as a bike that I thought I could race on AND bash round trail centres AND ride all day in the peaks. But in bouncy around on my fairly beaten up anthen I felt I would never really want to take a nice bike here.

    Not only does the grit everywhere causing some serious drive chain erosion but I wouldn’t want to be constantly thinking about falling off and knackering my pride and joy.

    I know most mtb components are a bit hardier than the road versions but I still would worry about landing on them!
    I try to ride round cannock on the edge of coming off, I find it most fun that way and it tests my limits. Monday was the only time I have been round without an off and in 3 laps of the Monkey I was pretty chuffed with that (although should I have gone harder???)

    I’ve come from a road culture of having a fairly s**t winter hack that does all the dirty work and the nice carbon bike for the summer and racing.
    Do people do this with mountain biking?

    OP what the hell is wrong with you?

    Edit: OP there is something wrong with you

    djbmtb
    Member

    You buy a bike to ride it surely? If you’re willing to spend a fortune on the bike in the first place why not take the time to look after it. Then rather than buying a hack bike use the money on new drive train parts as and when they’re needed. And if you buy mid level rather than top level you’ll get around 4 times as many parts for your money.

    If you don’t like the common sense idea then how about moving so you live somewhere that doesn’t eat your parts quite so quick only ever ride when it’s sunny and dry and has been for the last week and while you’re at it wrap your bike in bubble wrap so it don’t get scratched.

    Troll? If not, I genuinely never realised that people have bikes reserved for “best”. Funny old world.

    [quote]more a case of having a bike reserved for ‘worst’ tbh [/quote]

    Depends how you define best and worst though.

    Summer ride on non technical singletrack with only short/sharp climbs and drops no bigger than a foot – rigid SS as it’s the ‘best’ for those conditions and tracks

    Summer somewhere techie – Pitch (as its the best for those tracks)

    Winter somewhere techie – Rigid SS and accept it’ll be slow on the downs as it’s not the best but even if the ride takes 30min longer it’l be several hours less changeing bearings/drivetrain afterwards.

    Winter somewhere non technical – Rigid SS as it’s still the best bike for the job.

    To use the roadie example, some roadies use last seasons carbon superbike as a winter hack, others buy a second bike that’s still as good as a lot of peoples nice bike, some buy a cheep road bike, others spend money on a nice steel bike, others use a 30 year old steel bike! All this despite there being almost no difference between the roads or more fundamentaly the bikes!

    lemonysam
    Member

    Winter somewhere techie – Rigid SS and accept it’ll be slow on the downs as it’s not the best but even if the ride takes 30min longer it’l be several hours less changeing bearings/drivetrain afterwards.

    Seriously?! Christ…

    LapSteel
    Member

    My best bike is probably what most on here would call a hack bike!

    Seriously?! Christ…

    I went to university in Sheffield so never actualy saw the peaks dry for 4 years which prejudices me against anything that isn’t going to last almost indefinately!

    And I had a bad experience at swinely destroying an entire new XT drivetrain (£150), 4 sets of pads (£30), a rear hub (£20 of internals), and a BB (£25)in 2 hours, followed by half a day spannering changeing it all and cleaning out everything else that wasn’t terminaly FUBAR, so now my nice bike stays tucked up unless it’s dry!

    butcher
    Member

    What I’m struggling to understand here is where you would ride your bike?

    If you’re seriously into racing, then I think that’s fair enough keeping an expensive bike finely tuned and in tip top condition just for that.

    Otherwise a trail centre seems the perfect place for it. It’s probably less muddy there than most other places, so unless you ride it around the block a couple of times once a month, there’s not really anywhere more forgiving to ride it…

    atlaz
    Member

    And I had a bad experience at swinely destroying an entire new XT drivetrain (£150), 4 sets of pads (£30), a rear hub (£20 of internals), and a BB (£25)in 2 hours

    Wait what? I’ve had sets of pads go in a ride or two in Swinley but WTF were you doing that you knackered an entire drivetrain?

    rocketman
    Member

    Depends how you define best and worst though

    Of course 🙂

    Wait what? I’ve had sets of pads go in a ride or two in Swinley but WTF were you doing that you knackered an entire drivetrain?

    2010 Gorrick Enduro, and I missed the rear calliper offthat list which was never quite the same again!

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
    Subscriber

    I finally finished building up a singlespeed on Sunday, and took it for a quick lap of the dog after trailbuilding/drinking tea, was good fun, my knees didn’t explode, shouldn’t have any drivetrain issues, made the route seem more interesting/different, plus I already have a beard and own some sandals.

    I don’t have a hack bike, I have a nice geared FS and a nice SS 29er. I ride them according to whichever I fancy. Longevity of components doesn’t really come into it. (I’m fairly fastidious about maintenance)

    Generally, I find it more fun to ride my SS at trail centres and my FS on the natural stuff, but I mix and match overall.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Good wind up OP!

    Proper stupid.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Hardly a wind up – I’m not going to ride one of my XTR groupset race bikes round Cannock in the mud at the best part of 150 notes for a new cassette, esp as the cassette wouldn’t last many laps there, so I ride a SS in the winter / mud.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    I do have a trail centre ‘hack’ but not for the reasons of the op.

    Its an old Specialised Enduro built up with parts raided from the cupboards, budget stuff from the lbs and some respeccing of my 456 and my only pair of UST wheels.

    Its a parts bin special because it will only be used for trail centres and play outings.

    Most of my riding is more fun and challenging on a short travel ht or rigid. So those are specced nicer.

    Not a fear of damage or wear and tear thing (that is wierd to me) just fitness for purpose with priority of spend/regularity of use.

    transapp
    Member

    There’s no way I’d ride a mountain bike that I couldn’t afford to crash / bash and ride through mud and grit. In my mind, that’s what they are for. For that reason I stick to XT, because I couldn’t afford to replace all the XTR parts if I smacked them into a rock.

    If I was doing a lot of racing, I guess I would have a ‘best’ bike, but I don’t so I’ll stock on the Anthem thanks

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    There’s no way I’d ride a mountain bike that I couldn’t afford to crash / bash and ride through mud and grit. In my mind, that’s what they are for. For that reason I stick to XT deore, because I couldn’t afford to replace all the XTR deore parts if when I smacked them into a rock.

    all my bikes are ‘hack’ bikes…

    >See I have gone to this with the road bike, after my hack fell apart I started using my carbon road bike over winter. It got mudguards and was cleaned carefully and throughly after each ride, doesn’t seem to have done it any harm. Maybe I should just adopt the same principle with my mtb?<

    What is this “cleaning” you speak of?

    Get out and ride man and stop fretting about your kit.

    tomhughes
    Member

    I didn’t think this was such a stupid question, but hey ho.

    My thinking is along the lines of what a few people have mentioned, what is the point in having a nice bike if you aren’t going to ride it.
    I also like buying nice parts but as someone else mentioned about XT and XTR I do have the money to afford nice parts but I don’t have the money to keep replacing them!

    yunki
    Member

    I recently built a rigid SS hack from salvaged bits from the tip and donated parts, mainly with the intention of keeping a faff free bike locked up outside the front of the house..

    It’s mainly for strapping child seat and trailer to, but I also find the closet purist in me using it to add an extra dimension if I’m just going for a quick blast around the local woods, or trail centre..

    I have a Trek carbon Top Fuel for racing (and niceish weather rides) with full XTR and bling finishing kit.

    And I have a Santa Cruz Blur with XT/XTR 1×9 on it for shite weather burn up/smash the f00k out of your bike rides like tonight.

    pixelmix
    Member

    I had a singlespeed hack bike that started out life as a singlespeed MTB and then became a singlespeed slick tyred commuter. I split it up last week after realising that whenever I rode it I would rather have been on one of my other bikes.

    Sure I’ll now spend a bit more on drivetrains on the other bikes, but it’s nice riding a bike that I like rather than a bike that I tolerate.

    Saying that, my mountain bike is now hardtail so there is less maintenance involved after I fell out with the bushing play in the back end of my Anthem.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @tomhuges – it definitely wasn’t a stupid question. I think a disproportionate amount of wear and tear takes place in certain conditions (typically winter) so it makes total sense to have a hack bike if your budget allows (eg HT with cheap drivetrain, wheels and brakes for worst of winter weather XC, eg like April !).

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    This

    stumpyjon – Member

    Never understood the whole having a winter & summer bike. I’ve a decent FS & decent HT, I choose which one depending on where I’m riding and how I feel, weather doesn’t come into really.

    and this

    butcher – Member

    What I’m struggling to understand here is where you would ride your bike?

    If you’re seriously into racing, then I think that’s fair enough keeping an expensive bike finely tuned and in tip top condition just for that.

    Otherwise a trail centre seems the perfect place for it. It’s probably less muddy there than most other places, so unless you ride it around the block a couple of times once a month, there’s not really anywhere more forgiving to ride it…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t see the point of hack bikes. I just have bikes, they are made to be ridden so I ride them.

    Having said that my race bike gets much less use than my others cos it’s set up for racing and is hence not as suitable for the local trails, but it’s still had plenty of use.

    They’re bikes not works of art – ride them.

    If you don’t like your bike getting dirty, stay at home and watch TV.

    I think this thread highlights the differnce between roadie thinking and MTB’ers thinking. The OP claimed to have a road background, this best bike thing may even make sense on the road, I’m not sure? Mountain bikes get muddy and f*cked up, fact.

    I agree if you race bike you may have it for that reason and that reason alone. The price of drivetrains has come down so much now thanks to our European cousins shipping them over nice and cheap, I mean you can get a complete SLX train for about 100 Euros and thats going to last atleast two years. Do we really need XT / XTR / X0 above SLX, no really? It’s probably harder wearing anyway……..?

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