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  1. #1
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    Mountain Biking Defined

    Several months ago I made a post asking "What is Mountain Biking?" Back then I really never came up with an answer. I think that it is because there isn't one.

    It seemed like the predominant response was, "don't worry about it, just ride your bike" sort of deal. Many would probably wonder why does it matter? To me it matters because so much information is distributed on the internet about mountain biking products and riding and it is largely not applicable depending on how you ride.

    For example there is a current thread about whether Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, Kona etc. are better bikes. Trek is ruled out because it supposedly can't take a beating. That is fine for someone who is going to tear the crap out of their bike but what about for someone who just wants to ride XC or trail ride?

    What if a XC rider gives a product a great review and has never jumped off anything better than a curb? To me it seems like there needs to be better defined categories other than just Mountain Biking.

    Plus we wouldn't get all of these "super stars" getting their "intelligence" insulted because someone has a kickstand on their bike.
    Last edited by Portis; 01-21-04 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #2
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Ranger, you pose a very difficult question to answer.

    You can go broad and say "anything off of the pavement", but what about the increasingly popular Urban scene?

    You could say, "Anything with a 26" wheel", but what about the 29ers and a lot of guys riding 24" wheels with a 3" tire?

    You could say, "anyting with a knobby", but wait, cyclocross bikes have knobbies and I can put slicks on my mountain bike.

    You could sub-sub categorize till you're blue in the face. XC, DH, DS, 4x, DJ, Urban, Comfort....etc.

    Then you could say, Entry Level, Sport, Expert, Pro., but what about people who don't race?

    You could say, Enthusiasts or Weekend Warrior, but that doesn't really describe it.

    To me, mountain biking is one thing: Freedom!

    Freedom from my stressfull job, from my responsibilities, my my family (if alone) from everything. Just a chance to be on my bike, riding in the woods.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  3. #3
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    To me it's anything that a stinkin road bike won't work for. Don'tget me wrong, I do lots of road miles, but to me the road bike's only purpose is to build strength so the more fun mtn biking is that much easier, and more fun. As for bikes, I rode xc on a 38 pound Bullit for a year, even raced a couple events on it fairly successfully, it was probably my favorite all around bike I ever had. This year I kinda got caught up in the hype and sold the Bullit for a shiny new xc race bike. It's good, and fits in better in the race crowd, but as everything else in biking it is a compromise. Mountain biking for me is my escape, from work, from all the other pressures we all face, and from the road training regimen...

    Plus... we try to go to the mountains every summer for some "real" mountain biking. To me riding pure single track in the mountains is one of the last pure endeavors left for us as amatuer athletes.

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    2 Things

    1. Who cares, stop worrying to much.
    2. It is a very easy question to answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by A2
    You can go broad and say "anything off of the pavement", but what about the increasingly popular Urban scene?

    You could say, "Anything with a 26" wheel", but what about the 29ers and a lot of guys riding 24" wheels with a 3" tire?

    You could say, "anyting with a knobby", but wait, cyclocross bikes have knobbies and I can put slicks on my mountain bike.

    You could sub-sub categorize till you're blue in the face. XC, DH, DS, 4x, DJ, Urban, Comfort....etc.

    Then you could say, Entry Level, Sport, Expert, Pro., but what about people who don't race?
    I cant believe you even took the time to type that all out.

  5. #5
    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    Several months ago I made a post asking "What is Mountain Biking?" Back then I really never came up with an answer. I think that it is because there isn't one.
    Apparently it has a great deal to do with obssessing about equipment rather than discussing the real part, actually riding.

  6. #6
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    Why worry Klein?

    1. Who cares, stop worrying to much.
    Maybe because of this thread where kickstands were being discussed.

    I said I didn't like to lay my bike on the ground and liked a kickstand and you (klein) said...........

    There I drew the line.......thread ends here.
    If you read on Sonny then says that he wishes there was a forum for REAL mountain bikers. Apparently you must agree that I am not one if you wanted to have the thread closed after I came out of the closet and admitted i have a kickstand on my MTB.

    You are one of the reaons I asked the question. And BTW if it is so easy to define than please define it.
    Last edited by Portis; 01-21-04 at 12:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I said I didn't like to lay my bike on the ground and liked a kickstand and you (klein) said...........
    Why don't you like laying your bike on the ground?

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    What is a mountain bike? Good question, with the new freeride Bikes, XC bikes, Downhill Mountain Bikes, ETC.

    As far as I am concerned, A mountain Bike has to be capable of the riding that an accomplished Mountain biker can throw at it, within the bikes capabilities. If you are Downhill, you will not often go up many hills. If it is a freeride bike, then you are not going to do many 40 mile trips. If you are XC then you are not going to emulate Hans Rey in the local shopping centre. If you are a complete and utter nutter then you are going to try all of these things on the one bike. Good luck to you, but one thing that all these different styles of Mountain bike have, is a friendship and admiration that all the owners have for others in the different disciplines. That even comes down to the beginner that can finally do a bunny hop, the novice downhiller that has finally missed the tree that everyone else hits, and the 20stone, unfit git that finally manages a 10 mile ride off-road without walking.

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I think you CAN limit it to a few choices...

    xc
    freeride
    dh

    Some companies make bikes that only fit into certain categories...the tricky thing is that those definitions themselves change from area to area. xc here and xc to a race are 9 different things. Freeriding on the shore is ery different than utah which again is completely different than florida. Its complicated but easy to figure out if you know what you are looking for.

  10. #10
    The XC Hucker Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Eh, who cares. I do urban/freeride/dj on my 22 lb XC race bike that I also race with...Its just what you make it, yeah theres subcategories, but when you getit all together its just mountain biking. I do everything because I love to...I don't really care if my equipment isn't "adequate" for a certain activity (Take my XC bike on dirt jumps, for example), I'll do it because I love it and because I want to. Who cares if I'm dressed in my tight XC jersey and XC helmet and XC shorts? i'm going to do it because its mtb and I want to and label it what you like...

  11. #11
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    Urban = BMX

    Urban on a mountain bike still = BMX

    Mountain bikes belong on dirt or rocks, but the occasional short trip on pavement to link two trails is acceptable (barely, and only in small doses when it's absolutely necessary). I've ridden a mountain bike on the road with slicks but it's kind of like doing cyclocross, wishing you were one thing and doing it half way. Cyclocross is roadies who secretly wish they were mountain bikers, but don't want to drive out of the city to do the real thing.

    This might liven things up he he he.

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOK
    Urban = BMX

    Urban on a mountain bike still = BMX
    Whatever...jeez. Bmx isn't a style...its a bike. Really its that simple. Anyways

    This might liven things up he he he.
    Maybe

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    I think you CAN limit it to a few choices...

    xc
    freeride
    dh

    .
    I think you might be right. Can you define what each of those is for anyone that might not know?

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Not really. I can explain what I think of them...

    xc - generally pretty boring. Most 'xc' trails are not technical enough to offer any challenge except for endurance. 'Sometimes' you find trails offering more variety but really it is dull except for people looking for distance. However xc out here is extremely technical, very rooty, dh section, rock gardens and sometimes basic skinnies etc. Now in some places that is freeriding, but our xc is really technical compared to what other describe. For example we had the 24 hour world championship here and I was riding the trail just for ****s and giggles and ran into a group who couldn't navigate over logs or heavy roots and ended up walking. Fair enough, but all they could do was complain about how technical the course was. Whether racing or just riding these riders tend to be concerned with weight and if they can pedal up.

    Freeride - For me personally it is simply 'different' than xc or dh. Although both dh and xc are bring in aspects I suppose. Personally for me there are two things that define freeriding. Shore style and Utah style. Both are freeriding and both are very technical and/or going big. Dh in whistler anyways, has started to incorporate some freeriding aspects with skinnies and stuff. Freeriding tends to be very slow riding and doesn't always relate directly to speed. Another thing, these riders ride up and down. They may go up slowly but most freeriders ride everywhere. Also imagine style. Freeriding has really gotten better thanx to the influx of urban style riding and bmxers. A lot of cool tweaks and other moves that make a 25ft drop look even better than a 40...All about the style. These bikes, imo, have to be very maneuverable and be built for manualling and wheelie drops in order to be 'built' for freeriding. DH bikes can be used but are damn annoying as fr bikes.

    Dh is speed. Rock gardens, roots, jumps, drops (usually flowing drops) etc...but you hit all of this at max speed.

    Oh and a caveat...again this is different for everybody. I go by the people out here and what we generally consider what. But to be honest I don't personally care. Just ride. I know guys with one bike who do all ofthe above. Maybe not the fastest, or even the best at pedalling but they have to do it all to ride here.

  15. #15
    K2 Biker Sonny*Daze's Avatar
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    Get A Life ....

    A Mtn. Bike is meant 2 B rode "Off-Road"....Period.... Anyone who disagree's is a Dumbass.... There are many variations of MTB's, but one thing remains prevalent, they are designed to be off-road bikes....

    Regards,

    Sonny*Daze

  16. #16
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny*Daze
    A Mtn. Bike is meant 2 B rode "Off-Road"....Period.... Anyone who disagree's is a Dumbass.... There are many variations of MTB's, but one thing remains prevalent, they are designed to be off-road bikes....

    Regards,

    Sonny*Daze
    Ok but then you have issues with how far off road and what it entails. To reduce mountain biking to one term is ridiculous. Yes it is all offroad but all of the disciplines within the sport are very different...most sports that grow become divided, it is inevitable. I couldn't imagine the weak pieces of crap that would be on the market if mountain biking was an all inclusive term.

    But hey who am I but a dumbass

  17. #17
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    It all depends on who is answering. I think most (emphasize most) will agree that mountain biking is purely off road. For the old school purists (like me) it is at it's best on rugged terrain single track. If I were 20 years younger it would be doing drops and hucks like you see on the extreme videos. I am very impressed with what they are doing with the north shore type riding. Also dual slalom and 4X, but that is just big-boy BMX. I still say urban has nothing to do with mountain biking, it only has similar equipment.

    Have any of you ever ridden any of the single track in Colorado or MOAB? That is pure mountain biking in my mind.

  18. #18
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOK
    Have any of you ever ridden any of the single track in Colorado or MOAB? That is pure mountain biking in my mind.
    Its a dream of mine. I would love to ride their once simply for the mystique. But really the terrain does nothing for me personally. I am a rainforest north shore kind of rider. Maybe when I have moved from Whistler and have a 'career' in vancouver I would consider a trip. I really want to ride in Seattle skate parks, Oregon for its beauty, California and Moab...

  19. #19
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    Some of the Colorado stuff is amazing. You can camp and ride for a week, a different trail every day, do 50 or more miles a day and never see the same trail twice. They have every type of terrain there too, and you will rarely see another bike in some areas. I was on a trail near Crested Butte one time, probably 30 miles from any town or highway, and there were wood bridges built over the creeks! I have no idea who maintains and builds these trails but whoever it is they are doing an excellent job and deserve our thanks.

  20. #20
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    Just ride your bike.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  21. #21
    Mr Jerk
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    SUV of the sidewalk

  22. #22
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    There Goes The Biking/ED Theory

    Well, I guess that shoots the theory that cycling causes erectile disfunction.

    When i see pictures like that it makes me proud to ride a banana seat!

  23. #23
    Senior Member imprezaman's Avatar
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    Its not that hard to notice...

    Think about it...road riders don't get air with there Skinny Road tire mountian bikes, or aviod it and do long rides on the road...

    Anytime you Jump a bike with knobby tires, and are calling it Mountian biking, its mountian biking...it really depends on the persons opinion...

    You are way over analizing this
    Cedric Gracia is a badass...

  24. #24
    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imprezaman
    Its not that hard to notice...

    Think about it...road riders don't get air with there Skinny Road tire mountian bikes, or aviod it and do long rides on the road...
    It depends upon the road rider.

    Trying to pigeonhole people just ends up making you look clueless.

  25. #25
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    mountain biking has evolved over time with the added popularity,exposure,and technology upgrades.it started with a bike with big tires for suspension(hence the term fat tire)with multiple gears(first one i saw had15) and caliper brakes.they were used mainly for fireroad type rides complete withthe obstacles that nature left.more for transportation than fun.as things have changed over time there has been a need to categorize for those who ride different styles(i consider myself crosscountry but with big hills,tree jumps,creeks,or any obstacle that works on the technical skills.the twistier, narrower, rootier the better)now we can get bikes specifically made for a certain type of riding or for crossover style like downhill-freeride or crosscountry-downhill etc.the options can boggle the mind if we let them.as far as "pure" mountain biking you gotta1 be in the mountains,2 ya gotta have a bike that can go downhill real fast yet light enough to climb BIG and long hills,be capable of taking serious abuse cuz you will be a ways from help and3 gotta love it enough to be miserable from being cold, wet, tired and possibly half lost from the map not matching the trails you on.if anyone can add to the definition of "mountain biking" please do so but that is about as pure as i can think of.we have many types of terain here in va.so i can get a "mountain bike" type experience without going to the mountains but it is not the same to me as relly being there.there are some GREAT places in va. and west va.to "mountain bike" if you want pure riding but with the additions of all the new technology we can JUST ENJOY THE EXPRERINCE OF RIDING OUR BIKE WHEREVER ,WHATEVER,AND HOWEVER WE CAN AFFORD AND ENJOY!enjoy the ride for what it is.life is short and hard.GOD gave us a beautiful planet to enjoy.do it

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