Join Date: Apr 2002
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
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Its hard to make a sticky because everyone thinks something different. FR especially is left to the imaginations of many. But here is how I see it (if you do a search you will find many many many definitions)
Xc - racing format. I just can't ride xc. Typically for what I have seen on tv it is non-technical aerobic riding. Climbing and some decline. The WC races I have seen reminded me of why I don't find the sport interesting. In a super steep technical sections on grouse (north shore WC) 80% of the riders got off an walked. To me anyways this kind of riding is really groomed and road racers can make the transition pretty easily (which they shouldn't be able to do).
Trail riding - what most people consider xc. some technical, some climbs and some descents. Usually a perfect ride into the woods to get away and have some fun going fast.
DH - Long trails that point down. When I think dh I also think racing. (same as xc but all down, all technical and fun) In england these courses are 1min to minute and a half. Here you can find dh runs of 20 minutes from top to bottom. Jumps, rocks, rock gardens, roots, berms, jumps....speed...fun...
FR - Probably the most overused term and the most difficult to nail. Everyone thinks they FR or know what FR is. Fr is the combination of everything but it has to be extreme (haha I despise that term but thats the easiest way to put it) for me FR means super steep, very technical and I like my stunts. Some people say I fr but I refuse to claim that. I trail ride with some dh and some stunts (did I say I love riding stunts)...I think there has to be some aspect of danger beyond simply falling and fr encompasses that. FR usually requires a long travel bike to absorb the hits. (7 to 8 inches I suppose) I consider this to be like bmxing more than mtb. I can sit in one spot and session a stunt or drop 100 times.
Now that i have labelled a few of the basics....there are no labels. I know guys who FR on ht's and I know guys who trail ride on FR bikes. I know guys who race expert DH on ht's and guys who need 10in of travel to race dh. There is no pigeon hole. Just ride, figure out how hard you really push yourself and buy a bike built for it.
This is also why there is not a sticky