Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 55 total)
  • Have some mountain bikers gone a bit soft?
  • I got my new Alpine 160 yesterday. It can only be about 5 pounds or so heavier than my old Stumpy FSR. I've never struggled to carry 5 extra pounds. I used to ride an old Patriot with Jr T's and a 42t ring up leckhampton hill – well, till I got to the car park anyway – and still pass grown men on whippet racers.

    Does it really make that much difference unless you're a racer? I was told this bike might be a handful.

    And I'm not big and strong. I'm a 10 1/2 stone bag of bones.

    geetee1972
    Member

    In the same way, I can never really understand it when people look at my bike and say 'nah, it's too much travel for the trail'. I really don't get that; in what way is it too much? Surely if it was 'too much' it would inhibit your ability to ride the trail, but I've never found this to be the case, at least not on anything other than an upward slope and then my lack of pace there is due to lack of fitness.

    KINGTUT
    Member

    I'm a 10 1/2 stone bag of bones

    There is your answer, they are not soft you just weigh **** all.

    Very true πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    The physics of this is straight forward and the difference a couple of kg makes is negligible. Even for a 10.5 stone rifer. We are talking about 2kG in about 70 Kg. Less than 3%. Enough to loose a race but not to make much ods on a group ride.

    I'd like a light bike for lifting onto the roof rack though

    Onzadog
    Member

    I weight between 200 and 210 lbs depending on breakfast. It was a few years ago that I realised it really wasn't worth my time to worry too much about the weight of the bike.

    If I take my hardtail out, I wait for people at the top of the hill. If I take my 6" bouncy toy, I wait for them at the bottom. Either way, I'm not in a hurry so it doesn't matter.

    mooman
    Member

    How refreshing this thread is.
    The old mtb site I used to frequent was full of trail centre warriors who are more concerned how much their bike weighed and looked than actually enjoying riding it. And would have a tantrum if they met anybody riding a bike with over 6”travel. 😯
    I kid you not. There was one regular on there almost in tears because somebody rode Brecfa on a 8” travel bike. πŸ˜†

    Lack of fitness will slow you down a lot more than carrying an extra few kilos on the bike.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    There's a forum like that that isn't STW? 😯

    jedi
    Member

    its not about the bike.
    they all pedal, some people think the bikes pedal themselves!

    sax_widby
    Member

    people have got soft. but it works with people having too much suspension too, if people got their body position right they wouldn't need 6'' plus for your regular days in the peaks (look at hans rey in the early days).

    another thing, i don't understand why joplin-esque seatposts are so popular in the UK. There's so little need for them outside of the alps and other mountainous areas. man up and keep your seat up.

    I shouldn't complain too much tho, all the new kit comes out in january and the posers will be buying that! Which means all their barely used, high end stuff will be cheap as chips in the classified because they don't know the value of the kit they already have. Result πŸ˜€ !!

    Premier Icon GavinB
    Subscriber

    sax – I think you are pretty much the person that is being spoken about here! πŸ™‚

    Brilliant!

    geetee1972
    Member

    Brilliant Sax, as Gavin said!

    The whole body position with your saddle up thing is class. Nothing like raising your centre of gravity to put you in wrong position.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Which means all their barely used, high end stuff will be cheap as chips in the classified because they don't know the value of the kit they already have. Result !!

    so you buy the kit that nobody actually needs too then? πŸ™„

    sax_widby
    Member

    not following this? but yes, i buy the barely used mechs and cassettes cos i get through them pretty fast (1bike, used to commute, xc weekends, night rides and dj). otherwise, i'm buying stuff so i can fix my friends bikes. i don't think i'm soft, or a poser.

    Radioman
    Member

    Yes its easy to run a high XC pedaling efficient seat post & leave it there, miss out the jumps and ride round the tech stuff and stay firmly on the ground…however i wouldn't define that as "man up style".
    I admit that you can run a fairly high post if you use SPD's but it still limits you if you are doing drops unless you are dead certain of hitting the transition perfectly..
    Trials riders do big drops and super gnarly terrain with no suspension whatever, so we can all see it isn't "essential". However they dont "man up" like you suggest and run high seat posts! If they did that they would have high voices and bust bikes.

    The reason people are buying adjustable posts is that they are wanting to incorporate tech stuff into their trail ride that most riders would have left alone years ago. To do that you have to be able to move around the bike. An adjustable post saves riders having to stop to lower/raise seat posts. I think they are a great Idea. I admit they are not the thing for XC racers as the courses do not warrant it. Also for DH they are unlikely to get many buyers.

    On my hardtail I still run an inline Thomson post as its strong, can drop lower than an adjustable one, plus I dont mind stopping! I did have an adjustable post on it once but i snapped it. I do use and adjustable post on my "all mountain bike" Spec SX Trail…but even then change it for a regular post if i'm doing lift assisted DH on it or just pure jumpy stuff.

    Few riders totally "need" the suspension they have, they just like it and there is nothing wrong with that.. i like lots of suspension on bikes, and I also like hardtails. They all have their best uses.

    The interest in tech riding is clear from the growing popularity in skills classes such as Jedi's. People want more now than just a pootle around the woods and our sport is evolving and getting more fun.

    If I had to offset my bike against my weight id have to be ride a unicyle ,it always makes me smile when people talk about shedding a few grams off there bike , have a good crap and loose a few pounds its easier and much cheaper ,oh and you could try colonic irrigation the xtr of weight saving !

    sax_widby
    Member

    fair point, i meant man up by keeping seat up and still riding the same techy lines and drops. It really does help technique in the long run, as you have to get it spot on otherwise you suffer a rather prompt castration! still, as the old cycling expression says…

    no pain, no gain.

    sax_widby
    Member

    plus, lots of trials riders have their seats elevated to some degree, it means that they can grip the bike between the knees whilst performing no-handed tricks. It's not fashionable anymore, but it is seen.

    mansonsoul
    Member

    I think uppy-downy seatposts are the best. And I ride a singlespeed uphill with flat pedals, and I weigh 65kg…I'm clearly a massive soft poseur and not worthy of the description 'mountain biker.' I make myself sick. πŸ˜€

    B@rney
    Member

    Could'nt agree more – my brother went out on his new sx trail a few years ago with a respected member of this said forum and his pals. He built it exactly how he wanted it, big and burly..which is totally how he rides.. the opinion was it was only suitable for the 'alps' nothing else… He had much more fun on his bike than those muppets.

    PJ266
    Member

    sax – How different our views are! riding rocky, rough trails with the saddle up is no fun at all. Pretty much guaranteed to be more in control if you can move about on the bike a bit.

    Premier Icon chvck
    Subscriber

    man up and keep your seat up.

    How about you man up and keep your seat down. πŸ˜›

    sax_widby
    Member

    pj266, yeah very different indeed. I know what you mean, i used to ride seatdown (i'd forever be adjusting it to a particular descent or climb) and i could throw it about alot then. I don't have my seat so far up i can taste alu at the back of my throat, but high nontheless. However, my skills have improved alot since i left the seatpost static, the result is that i'm as mobile now as i was then and i can ride longer distances and i have the energy and strength to attack the descents!

    I tell you what tho, i definately had a few big crashes getting used to it, but i still think it's been worthwhile in the long run.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I reckon you could devote an entire PhD to this subject!

    There are definitely people out there who have bought into the whole image thing or (slightly differently) have bought into the idea that you *need* a 6" travel all-mountain 'rig' and the accompanying body armour to ride a trail centre, the sort of people who wouldn't ever dream of any other sort of riding (ie going out with a map on 'natural' trails). You get the same sort of thing in road riding now with some Sportive riders – people who almost exclusively ride their Sportive-specific bike (another fantastic bit of marketing genius) around a fully waymarked route with food etc all laid out and again, there are some people in that group who couldn't imagine a club run or a road race. They've found their little comfort window, the safe secure grounds of a Sportive or a trail centre and will happily stay there, never really improving much but still buying the latest kit and enjoying themselves in the process.

    Equally you get the deliberate inverse snobbery of "I did that loop on my rigid fixed 29er and smoked all the downhillers"

    Some people get really het up about it all. Others just ride their bikes and don't particularly care what everyone else thinks.

    Mountain biking certainly is evolving at a rapid pace and the type of trails that people want to try and ride has changed too but in most cases all the adjustable seatpost stuff/extra suspension etc is a distraction from the fact that it's a skill compensator.
    I've seen guides and local riders in the Alps etc ride stuff on their saddle up titanium or carbon racing hardtails that no-one else in the group would even attempt on their 6" full-sus bikes with dropped saddles so that kind of puts the lie to this "oh you *need* it" marketing rubbish.

    You could argue that adjusting suspension/saddles etc allows people to ride more technical terrain or you could argue that it spoils the whole flow of the ride.

    Or yu could just say "each to their own" and get on with life…

    mansonsoul
    Member

    sax – That's why adjustable seatposts are such an amazing idea! They give you the best of both worlds, pedalling height going up, suitably low going down.

    EDIT: And with no faff with a QR, all from your handlebars!

    sax_widby
    Member

    crazy legs has it right.

    Adjustable seatposts are great, don't get me wrong, but i think they're a bit overkill for UK. I do agree that they can make the ride more fun, but with a bit of effort adapting to a higher seatpost on the descents, your skills improve and you save Β£100 – Β£200.

    Premier Icon rootes1
    Subscriber

    bit like when people say 'ere that bike climbs well…

    if it was a motor x then fair enough, but doh mtb are human powered..

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Crazylegs wrote,

    "in most cases all the adjustable seatpost stuff/extra suspension etc is a distraction from the fact that it's a skill compensator."

    I'm perfectly happy that mine is a skill compensator πŸ˜‰

    guido
    Member

    I had a i900 and loved it (when it worked) but i did notice that i was only dropping an inch or so- so i just went back to my thomson and qr- even then im noticing that im not even bothering to drop that anymore ether.
    Oh and i have a 5.75" travel bike. as im rubbish and need a skill compensator.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Sorry but I'm not buying this whole 'learn to ride with your saddle up will improve your skills' malarkey. Frankly I think it's just plain wrong. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just taking issue with what I believe to be a point of fact. Here's the argument.

    To ride fast on any kind of trail other than up hill, the skills you need are basically about weight distribution. Nothing else on your bike, suspension, tyres, handlebars etc, makes anything like as big a difference to how fast you can go over any kind of terrain than where you place your weight on the bike.

    If you've got your saddle up, then you weight will ALWAYS be in the WRONG place for maximising how fast you can go; you will always be limited to it being in more or less one place and in addition being too high on the bike, because you've got no where to go. Lowering your centre of gravity will make you more stable and therefore faster and that’s even before you start to learn how to balance the bike by moving around on it.

    Sax keeps making reference to the saddle height issue being overkill for the UK. That comment implies (he might not mean this though so apologies if I’ve misinterpreted the comment) that the terrain isn't steep enough for long enough to warrant dropping your saddle but that's another big misconception.

    People used to drop their saddles to get their weight backwards in order to ride steep terrain. But actually, being way over the back of the bike is technically the wrong place to be for most situations. The ideal place to be in balanced between front and back so you can balance traction between the wheels. With all your weight over the back, you've got no weight on the front and thus almost no grip for steering. On a DH bike, because of the length and layout of the bike, you don't need to be hanging off the back, although there will be exceptions. The reason we all do it on trail bikes is because trail bikes are compromised for riding down very steep terrain; it's not ideal, but its necessary to stop pitching over the front.

    You can learn to ride fast on any bike with any kind of saddle height, but that’s not the same as being as fast as you could be or the same as developing the kind of skills that let you go even faster.

    trusz
    Member

    Or yu could just say "each to their own" and get on with life…

    You could have put your post in one line if you'd thought of that first

    in most cases all the adjustable seatpost stuff/extra suspension etc is a distraction from the fact that it's a skill compensator.

    …to put it contentiously. Perhaps we should all ride unicycles, because two wheels is just just compensating for crap skills! πŸ˜€

    mansonsoul
    Member

    Geetee, I think you're quite right there. Nicely put.

    Blower
    Member

    seatpost up helmets off i say, πŸ˜‰
    dont blame it on the bike and mtfu.

    man up and keep your seat up.

    Depends. On an event I don't want to stop so saddle up. But I downhill better with it down 4".

    Yeh your right about the weight thing I think, its not going to make too much difference unless your racing where every little can help. Saying that though, having a dead heavy bike can be a bit **** for cycling up hill and they are generally require quite a bit more effort to lark about on.

    As for the "too much bike for the trail" thing, of course it makes sense. You can have fun on any bike on any trail i guess, but whats the point in wollowing about in 6 inches of travel if all you do is ride around trail centres which are more fun on a hardtail?

    Would I go and ride our bmx trails on a long travel trail bike? No, it would be **** cos I'd be sitting in about 2.5 inches of sag and every jump would be an absolute nightmare to do.

    Get whatever bike makes you happy, but im sure some people kid themselves into buying something they dont need

    adstick
    Member

    How refreshing to read this on STW. I'm with geetee, saddle down allows you to ride the bike better (when you're not climbing), and of course it's more fun.

    It's up to you though, there's nothing 'wrong' with keeping your seat up, but it seems silly to criticize others for riding in a way that you don't like. Same goes for 'too much' suspension.

    PJ266
    Member

    To add to the discussion, I ride a hardtail so its a bit more important to be able to absorb the impacts with your legs.

    Suggsey
    Member

    I am a sad git that has a bike for all sorts of riding, a road/sportive bike for fast commute, LeJog and other random road rides with mates who only ride on the roads. I have a 6" travel damage limitation/skill compensator full suss for big days on rocky rides where my hardtail may start busting wheels. Then I have my 456 with 140mm u turn forks and 'freeride' based wheels etc as again I ride heavy as I am heavy. Finally I have an impulse follow the crowd/give it a go SS that Ihave used for slow commuting and rides that are flatter/non rocky/mud fests.
    The fact of it is that I would like the convenience of say a gravity dropper but cannot justify the additional cost when balanced agaianst life expectancy of the mechanics of the thing, I just regularly regrease the Hope seat clamps and practice thumb exercises.
    My bikes are all governed by the hard riding I do and my bodyweight (17 stone) with the exception of the SS. The bike may stay, it may go, it ay get higher gearing to be iused as the winter commuter and is the only real sign of me following the trend of some of my riding buddies.
    I am glad that there are some soft riders about that jack it all in till the weather is fine as it makes for empty fast trails for me during the winter.

    lyons
    Member

    equally, riding a 34pound bike up ahill is definitely harder than riding a 26 pound bike up a hill….

    genesis
    Member

    *tempted to join in debate but thinks not, doesn't want to upset anyone* leaves thread quietly…..

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 55 total)

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