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  1. #1
    Rouleur gattm99's Avatar
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    Trail Bikes = SUVs

    OK so here is a thought that popped into my head when I was reading a mountain bike magazine. Its seems like I'm seeing a constant flow of new 5 inch 6 inch trail bikes, and it seems like they are getting down to the weight of a good hard tail.

    These bikes are great because they are good for most anything, they can climb, descend, huck, whatever.

    So whats wrong with that, nothing except, they cost alot, the cheap ones are like 2000 dollars, and I have this sneaking suspicion that alot of people who are buying these are getting them to just go out and ride trails.

    My SUV analogy follows that SUVs are the most lucrative vehicles for the manufacturerers to sale, they are also the least effecient and most of the time alot more vehicle then the owner needs.

    OK I was bored, but does it make sense.

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    Well if the trailbikes were heavy and unnefficient, then they could be compared to suvs. But that isn't the case.

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    So what's wrong with using a trail bike to ride trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheard
    Well if the trailbikes were heavy and unnefficient, then they could be compared to suvs. But that isn't the case.
    Compared to road bikes, yes, they are. The point of having a mountain bike is not to be efficient, its to have more fun. People buy SUVs for a similar reason.

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    Rouleur gattm99's Avatar
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    Like I said nothing is wrong with buying a trail bike and riding trails, but my point is that manufacturers are marketing these 2000 3000 dollar bikes as trail bikes when the average rider would probably be better served with a 3 inch bike or a hard tail because they don't need 6 inches of suspension travel to just go ride trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by austin86
    Compared to road bikes, yes, they are. The point of having a mountain bike is not to be efficient, its to have more fun. People buy SUVs for a similar reason.
    Comparing road bikes to mountain bikes is like apples to oranges.

  7. #7
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattm99
    . . . the average rider would probably be better served with a 3 inch bike or a hard tail because they don't need 6 inches of suspension travel to just go ride trails.
    Sayeth who? Who's appointed themselves the gatekeeper of "acceptable" travel? I'd say the rider is best served by as much travel as they're willing to pedal around.

    The analogy to SUVs does not hold water either. In a gas-guzzling SUV, people are using finite resources that affect the rest of the populace. With a bigger bike, the engine is the rider, so any extra energy expended is only affecting the rider and their stored energy.

  8. #8
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattm99
    Like I said nothing is wrong with buying a trail bike and riding trails, but my point is that manufacturers are marketing these 2000 3000 dollar bikes as trail bikes when the average rider would probably be better served with a 3 inch bike or a hard tail because they don't need 6 inches of suspension travel to just go ride trails.
    Could you clarify your point? Are you saying that product manufacturers market things in order to get people to buy their products? Or that people frequently buy things they don't need?

    Either way, it's not really any sort of revelation.

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    The analogy to SUVs does not hold water either. In a gas-guzzling SUV, people are using finite resources that affect the rest of the populace. With a bigger bike, the engine is the rider, so any extra energy expended is only affecting the rider and their stored energy.
    I think you missed the point of the comparison. He was alluding to the fact that most SUV's will never leave the pavement, hence are never used to their real abilities. A long travel bike on a trail is not being used to it's abilities either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad06ag
    I think you missed the point of the comparison. He was alluding to the fact that most SUV's will never leave the pavement, hence are never used to their real abilities. A long travel bike on a trail is not being used to it's abilities either.
    So long 5-6 inch trail bikes aren't being used to their abilities on trails? that doesn't even make sense. How would anyone know that.

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    Senior Member Curtis_Elwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad06ag
    A long travel bike on a trail is not being used to it's abilities either.
    If a LT bike would not be used to it's potential in a trail, when where would it be able to?

    The whole "trail bike" name kills me. Aren't all mountain bikes made for trails anyway? XC trails are just a bit smoother while downhill trails are steep and manky, but they're all still trails.

  12. #12
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad06ag
    I think you missed the point of the comparison . . .
    Actually, I did; or I skirted it anyway. I was picking up on his contention that long-travel bikes are inefficient. I guess my point is that a particular bike's inefficiencies only affect the user, so why worry about what the other people on the trail are riding?

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    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattm99
    OK so here is a thought that popped into my head when I was reading a mountain bike magazine. Its seems like I'm seeing a constant flow of new 5 inch 6 inch trail bikes, and it seems like they are getting down to the weight of a good hard tail.

    These bikes are great because they are good for most anything, they can climb, descend, huck, whatever.

    So whats wrong with that, nothing except, they cost alot, the cheap ones are like 2000 dollars, and I have this sneaking suspicion that alot of people who are buying these are getting them to just go out and ride trails.

    My SUV analogy follows that SUVs are the most lucrative vehicles for the manufacturerers to sale, they are also the least effecient and most of the time alot more vehicle then the owner needs.

    OK I was bored, but does it make sense.
    i bought my trail bike at the end of the '03 season. got it for about half of the cost you mention here for the "cheap ones". of course, my upgrades have since raised that amount to $2500 (and rising). i use my bike for pretty much everything: xc, fr, dh (whenever i have the chance), and i dj with it as well.

    current ride: 2003 norco vps fluid 3.0 (custom build).



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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattm99
    Like I said nothing is wrong with buying a trail bike and riding trails, but my point is that manufacturers are marketing these 2000 3000 dollar bikes as trail bikes when the average rider would probably be better served with a 3 inch bike or a hard tail because they don't need 6 inches of suspension travel to just go ride trails.
    Your definition and my definition of "trail" may differ significantly. Are you talking about actual "trails" or something like paved pathways? I ride several "trails" where additional travel is a big asset and results in significantly more speed on the "trail".

  15. #15
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor
    Sayeth who? Who's appointed themselves the gatekeeper of "acceptable" travel? I'd say the rider is best served by as much travel as they're willing to pedal around.

    <snip>
    I agree, I think people should ride trails on a whatever travel bike they wish to do so, if you ride a trail with a 6" front and rear bike then you'll most likely enjoy the downhills more, maybe suffer on the climbs but it's worth it (it would be for me).
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  16. #16
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    to each there own, if a guy wants to ride an XC trail on a 10" travel DH rig, so be it. He's entitled to his right to ride a DH rig on an XC trail. Not the smartest choice but it's what he wants
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

  17. #17
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    I was riding with a guy last week who was on a $2500 stumpy fsr. He was slow, he pretty much sucked. But really nice guy and although its way too much bike for him right now....he'll grow into it, where as ill be looking for a duel squishy of my own eventually.

    Whos dumber? The guy who bought an economical hardtail and uses all the travel already? Or the guy who bought the expensive fsr and uses barely half of its travel, but will grow into the bike? You could make a solid case against me.

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    Whos dumber? The guy who bought an economical hardtail and uses all the travel already? Or the guy who bought the expensive fsr and uses barely half of its travel, but will grow into the bike? You could make a solid case against me.
    I say the guy who gets to get another new bike is the smart one.

    But seriously, I would be willing to bet that the guy on the hardtail would learn proper skills at a much faster rate and would ultimately be the better rider. Personally I love my hardtails and with the full squishes that I've ridden, i can't see my self ever getting one. Heck, I even DJ on a full rigid and love it.

  19. #19
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    An SUV, when compared to a normal car, is pretty efficient when used in the element for which it was designed.
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  20. #20
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad06ag
    But seriously, I would be willing to bet that the guy on the hardtail would learn proper skills at a much faster rate and would ultimately be the better rider.
    I get so tired of hearing these comments. Who say's Joe Blow $$$ wants to be a "better" rider with "proper" skills? Who is going to say he's doing it wrong? Maybe he's doing it the way he wants to do it. Maybe he wants to have more fun. Who say's cutting 20 seconds off your lap time is more productive than sucking up 4" of root with 6" of travel? Which one smiles more...the one with the Stumpy FSR that just glided through a rock garden or the one on the hardtail racer that is working so hard to ride 4x as fast as the guy on the FSR just to prove a point all the while frowning b/c he is in such pain? Which one is having a good time?

    I've had it with this place...I'm out!!!








    ...umm, I was just kidding. I just build my "Trail Bike" a couple months ago and there have been times when I would have rather had a 3" travel racer. Most of the time though, I'm happy with it. I have a hardtail for racing and a trailbike for...trailing (hehehe) 'cause that's what I usually do...trail behind the racers.

    I would say that I use every bit of my 130mm of travel, even if it's on the street. I like to drop off stuff and make the most of the trail. I love the cushy ride! The SUV analogy is on par with SUV's vs. cars / Trailbikes vs. Racerboy's. I just wish I could afford one of each.

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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    I have a 140/150mm travel bike and a bike with 80mm of front travel...I parted out my 80mm travel bike because the other one is so much more fun to ride.

    And I don't know about a full suspension bike limiting your ability to learn proper skills, you just learn different skills.

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    I mean, this is an accurate observation for one reason: the bike industry is capitalistic just like any other industry. They make products which give them the highest profit--if that's a 6 inch bike, so be it. Look at the p.3/chase/dirtjumping trend that's kind of sweeping through the industry. How many people are actually serious about dirtjumping? Probably fewer than the number of bikes sold would indicate.

    How many people need or want a hardcore lightweight racing road bike instead of a comfortable touring bike? I know I converted from a racing bike to a steel 'cross bike with room for fenders/etc, because I realized I was making big sacrifices for racing--something I don't do.

    You don't need carbon record derailleurs, gossamer tubes, and a double butted scandium frame. If you're like most people, your needs are more than met with a crisp-shifting 600 dollar mountain bike, or a tiagra road bike with a carbon fork.

    Bottom line: trendy bikes are cool. They're pretty, they're fun, and they make people envy you. If that's what someone buys, fine. The more people who are biking, the better. It's better to let the marketing hype get you into biking than get you into a Hummer.

  23. #23
    Rouleur gattm99's Avatar
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    Please don't get upset

    anyway I own a 5 inch trail bike, and the reason I made this post is that I was thinking that I really don't need that much bike, and that I might be happier with a lighter more effiecient hardtail. I'll soon find out since I should be getting a Leader hardtail frame in the mail monday.

    Anyway, there is nothing wrong with SUVs except for when people buy them and use them as if they were a car. I think nate said exactly what I was thinking. I think a direct response to what I am thinking about here is the single speed revolution or whatever, which is now just another way for the manufacturers to sell you one more bike.

    As for the price of bikes I was wrong, its not just trailbikes, they are all expensive. Its just astronomical what they can price these machines for, of course they hardly ever bring retail.

  24. #24
    ed
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    I don't own an SUV, but how can you say it's wrong to drive one on the street? That's like saying you can't buy a Viper unless you're going to race, or you can't buy a truck unless you're going to haul something. "You can't buy a truck b/c they make bike racks to go on your car." C'mon, don't be foolish.

    If I could afford a nice Durango, I'd buy it. I have kids, I have a minivan. It works, but I'd rather have an SUV. The van was just waaaay cheaper. I can see a good place for SUV's on the road in the winter...it's kinda hard to drive a car with screamin' kids in a foot of snow and ice.

    Even if it's dry all the time and paved all the time...why is it wrong to drive what you want where you want? Kinda communistic if you ask me.

    If you want to ride a Nomad on your local paved trail...props. If you want to ride a Cyclocrosser on a DH course, good on ya. You're in my prayers.

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    As a guy who road rides to work on a 8" travel bike, I fail to see your point.

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