Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Here's a question

Why did it take me so long to get a proper mountain bike? I almost never carry on about how much I love riding my mountain bike.

I love to fill the odd gap in a day's obligations with a quickie trail ride. I've been riding the high drive trails for the last 6 years or so. But until about 6 months ago, I rode the trails on a road bike or a fixed gear or a cross bike. And that was fun. But bombing through the trails on my mountain bike is so much more fun. I guess it's the front shocks. And being able to brake confidently with a single finger while hanging onto the bars with the other fingers does matter. Weird.

I wonder what other bikey great thing I'm missing out on? I pretty much dismiss the carbon race bike thing and the TT bike thing and the "Amsterdam" style bike thing. My buddy Bill, who enjoys torturing me on hills has offered to let me borrow a carbon race bike. Maybe I'll take him up on that.

For the record, I have tried a full-suspension high zoot carbon mountain bike, and I liked it for the super downhill suicide course I took it on. But climbing was hell. And to really enjoy the high drive trails you've got to do a lot of climbing, so I'm not that interested in trying it.

All the 29er folk talk about how magical that wheel size is and how easy they roll over stuff. You know, the whole "angle of attack" thing. I'm dubious, but lots of people I respect carry on about this. So maybe it's worth spending more time on a 29er.

All the single speed mountain bike folk sing a similar tune to the fixed urban dudes. I'm not that into fixed gear anymore unless it's icy. But maybe playing around on a proper single speed mountain bike with shocks, wide bars, short stem and the whole enchilada would be fun.

A for the the fat bikers. No issues there. They have me convinced. I'm in for that. I'm in the queue for a Spider AT.


Anonymous said...

have you tried a high quality rear shock full susp? I note pedal bob in bikes about $1600 and less, but once you get above $2100 for a new full susp, the shocks are much better.

Christopher Grande said...

For me, a lot of MTB shit hits a new strada with all the fancy hydraulic lines, giant suspension, thru-axle bolts, flashy disc rotors, bash guards, tubeless rims, etc. Oxy-acetylene torches make sense to me; servicing a downhiller suspension fork is out of my d.i.y. abilities... Plus all these things cost a whole lot. So I think it's just a thing of accessibility for people who have been into bikes for a while but mainly on old steel stuff with mechanical rim brakes, clincher tires, straight derailer cages and the alike. Shit's scary when its like, 'uh, wtf is that?'

I definitely would advocate for SS and twenty niners. I don't get road SS so much unless you're doing it on the cheap, but off road it makes sense. Since the trail's grade changes so much from ascending to descending, shifting becomes more a cumbersome task especially if you aren't pedaling the downhills. Using a small gear for the occasional incline takes far less brain energy, which sounds stupid, but makes sense when you actually do it.

I like twenty niners because I'm tall, and most small wheels make me feel weird. What people told you about being able to roll over shit is true, and it's pretty nar. I don't know if you'd like it, but it is at least worth trying. Have you seen that video of a guy riding a 36er? Goes straight up a huge flight of stairs, crazy.

I'm not a huge fan of full suspension, but that may be just some retro-grouchy apprehension...

Elissa said...

I think I actually just heard Liza roll her eyes.

patrick said...

I heard it too. It was pretty loud

Unknown said...

29ers aren't magical, just different. I'm definitely coming down on the side of SS being the way to go if you start rolling big wheels. I find myself kind of wishing I had a 26er(in addition to my Unit) with gears and I've been riding my El Mariachi like a single speed since day one.