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Why a Mountain Bike

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Why a Mountain Bike

Old 09-28-14, 11:18 AM
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ejaggers
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Why a Mountain Bike

Me being old school and a child of the 60s, I saw mostly Cruisers and road bikes in my neighborhood. I bought a Schwinn 10 speed in my 20s and called it a day.

BUT

while looking for a bike for my daughter on CL, Ive seen a boat load of MTBs, more of those than any other type. Since I missed the MTB craze, help me understand why theyre so popular. I find it hard to believe that many people take to the hills to ride as I see in MTB ads.


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Old 09-28-14, 11:48 AM
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They are also very tolerant of the kind of abuse some people hand their street bikes, like riding on sidewalks, park trails, gravel, grass, and muddy spots, jumping curbs, etc. Also, due to their relatively low value on the used market, they can be an excellent choice for campus and city bikes. Got stolen?, oh well, for $40 you can buy another.
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Old 09-28-14, 12:15 PM
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Partly it's that they are excellently adaptible bikes, with durability, soft tires, lots of gears, easy seating. For people who want it they can have suspension. IMO a hybrid would be better for most people but those don't have the SUV tough image.
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Old 09-28-14, 12:30 PM
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Tough to beat a vintage mtb (rigid fork) and slicks for general purpose riding. They're not fast but they'll get you where you're going in style.
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Old 09-28-14, 12:32 PM
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I have bikes with 700c wheels, bikes with 27" wheels and bikes with 26" (mountain bike vintage) wheels. Not sure why, but I like the position I'm in with 26" wheeled bikes. I'm 5'6" and maybe it has to do with being closer to the ground. On the others I feel "tall", which makes me feel somewhat insecure.

Also with mountain bikes you can fit real wide tires? Benefit? Nice cushy ride. Many opt for 26" wheeled bikes for world touring due to ease of finding replacement parts. Mountain bikes can be "morphed" into a lot of different style of bikes. Put slick 26 x 1.5" tires on, a rack or basket and you've got a city bike. Different tires, drop handlebars and you've got a drop bar mountain bike conversion.

They're plentiful, relatively inexpensive and bomb proof.
Depending on where you live, yes, people are out every weekend riding forest roads, even in urban areas.
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Old 09-28-14, 12:48 PM
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I think a big part of the answer as to why there are so many used MTBs for sale (compared to road bikes) is that so many people THINK they're going to go out and hit the trail. Fun! Fitness! Adventure! Fresh Air! Glowing sunsets over Big Sur!

Then six years later, they put a mostly-unused MTB up on CL for $50.
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Old 09-28-14, 01:31 PM
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Most American consumers are obsessed with buying the most whatever for their money, and MTB's seem, in an ill educated sense, seem like the best bang for your bike buck. Plus, for the same reasons that so many people buy Jeeps that never see a gravel road, much less a dirt trail. MTB's have a "tough outdoors" image, that most American consumers buy into, but never seem to follow through on.

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Old 09-28-14, 02:26 PM
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A lot of people ride a bike in a traffic-avoidance mode. That often means riding on rough shoulders and sidewalks instead of taking a piece of the smooth pavement. That kind of riding is much easier on an MTB.

What you do have to watch out for is the seller who thinks his MTB should sell for just about what he paid for it when new. There are cheaper ones out there.
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Old 09-28-14, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ejaggers View Post
while looking for a bike for my daughter on CL, I’ve seen a boat load of MTB’s, more of those than any other type. Since I missed the MTB craze, help me understand why they’re so popular. I find it hard to believe that many people take to the hills to ride as I see in MTB ads.
One reason for MTB's rise in the 80s was shifting and braking at the same time, without moving your hands. This became possible on roadbikes with the advent of STI road levers in 1992 but they were VERY expensive.

More upright position is also popular, generally in between upright cruiser position and down low roadie position. Tougher tires that made for a more comfy ride. They were kinda like more sprightly cruisers with gears for climbing hills and better brakes.

There are more MTBs because they're more popular and cheaper. For example in 2000, the cheapest somewhat decent MTB was around $260 whereas the cheapest somewhat decent road bike was $450.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 09-28-14 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:04 PM
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Riding off road is fun. Trails that are boring when hiking become very fun when MTBing, I have an 16 year old rigid Kona, that is a blast to ride in the woods. Also, no chance of getting hit buy a car in the woods... but watch out for trees... they can move fast... my friend lost six teeth and almost had his upper lip torn off when he kissed an old pine tree at speed.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:22 PM
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Generally, the mountain bicycle is more durable than a road bike or roadster.

The seating position is more upright, suggesting increased comfort for shorter rides, not to mention the increased visibility gained by not being forced into a crouch. Finally, gearing options and ground clearance are improved, once again adding to the durability and user friendly concerns. To that add this...

Great marketing, on the part of the manufacturers. The name alone captures the end user's imagination - Mountain Bike, with mountain being the hook word(that is just today's happy hour opinion, in case you were wondering). And, let's face it, even though the Mountain Bike is a slower steed, it is, by far, more versatile, immediately increasing the potential market size.

Remember, it is happy hour in Thunder Bay - right now!-)
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Old 09-28-14, 03:29 PM
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I use my mountain bike more for on-road errand and general transportation use than off-road. With the handlebar extensions and a longish top tube, I can approximate a racing crouch or ride a bit more upright. In traffic I can take evasive maneuvers or ride directly over some types of road debris that might trip a road bike. As others noted, you can't beat the versatility, and for me the mountain bike eliminates any desire or need for a cruiser or comfort bike or hybrid of any type.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:56 PM
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I is hard to beat a nice late 80's early 90's MTB. They are indestructible.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ejaggers View Post
Since I missed the MTB craze, help me understand why theyre so popular. I find it hard to believe that many people take to the hills to ride as I see in MTB ads.
I started riding BMX in the late 70's, started road riding in '86 and got into MTB's in the early 90's and started racing them. I love being in the woods and riding a bike. Road riding is more convenient since I can go out my front door and ride but mountain biking is a little more fun. You're in Hurst and I'm from Euless ( moved away 6 months ago to be near my daughter). You have plenty of good trails in Grapevine, Arlington, Ft Worth, ect and they get packed on the weekends.

This was at the LB Houston trails in Irving this past February.






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Old 09-28-14, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
I is hard to beat a nice late 80's early 90's MTB. They are indestructible.

I agree, my go to bike is my Rigid 1984 Peugeot Canyon Express, it is bullet proof and a joy to ride on any terrain.

I have nice road bikes but there is something about an old mtb that is fun and comfortable...lol


I think the reason a lot of people buy mountain bikes is the same reason people buy off road 4 x 4 trucks, big tough macho image, and image is everything right?
Like most 4 x 4 trucks and mountain bikes, most never see true off road.

I buy old 80's and 90's mountain bikes so I have a lot of spare parts...
Perhaps someday the old vintage mountain bikes will be as collectable as the old vintage road racers.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:46 PM
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MTB's are fun and easily ridden. Road bikes are fun, but you need to pay more attention. Thus, the MTB is the beer go getter.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:53 PM
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Mountain bikes offer an upright seating position which is more natural and intuitive for most people.

Mountain bikes offer a more plush ride due to the fat, low pressure tires (suspension is not needed for most street riding).

Mountain bikes offer super-wide range gearing to get you up any hills you come across coupled with,...

Mountain bikes have click shifting which eliminates the need for skill to access the gearing you have.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by xuwol7 View Post
I agree, my go to bike is my Rigid 1984 Peugeot Canyon Express, it is bullet proof and a joy to ride on any terrain.

I have nice road bikes but there is something about an old mtb that is fun and comfortable...lol


I think the reason a lot of people buy mountain bikes is the same reason people buy off road 4 x 4 trucks, big tough macho image, and image is everything right?
Like most 4 x 4 trucks and mountain bikes, most never see true off road.

I buy old 80's and 90's mountain bikes so I have a lot of spare parts...
Perhaps someday the old vintage mountain bikes will be as collectable as the old vintage road racers.
Peugeot didn't make many MTBs but ones they did we're pretty nice.
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Old 09-28-14, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ejaggers View Post

while looking for a bike for my daughter on CL, Ive seen a boat load of MTBs, more of those than any other type. Since I missed the MTB craze, help me understand why theyre so popular. I find it hard to believe that many people take to the hills to ride as I see in MTB ads.


057912
Because bike shop mtbs start at about 1/4 of what bike shop road bikes start at. All of my neighbors ride mtbs. I watch them ride around the neighborhood, with full knobbie tires. They never ride on anything but pavement.

Most of them headed to a bike shop to get a road bike, got sticker shock on what a new road bike costs, and came home with an entry level mtb instead.
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Old 09-28-14, 06:14 PM
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It's already been established that most people do not use a MTB to the limits of its capability - and of course the same can be said of a road bike.

IMHO, for most American riders, NEITHER ONE is the best choice. Swoopy road bikes demand much more focus and don't take kindly to road hazards.
MTB's, with their knobbies, offer enormous rolling resistance (which may be why many riders are constantly pedaling away at 5mph in low gear - - Not that I don't see some roadies doing the same thing).
- And of course, MTB's are even better than road bikes for splattering a riders backside with mud and grit in wet conditions.

I think that (in all but the most hilly environs), a traditional upright, single speed steel-framed bike with fenders would make a better all-around townie or campus bike for most people. Simple, durable, and they adapt well to racks or baskets.

- Probably not the choice of most people here, but we're not "most people".

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Old 09-28-14, 06:35 PM
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MTB's were my gateway drug into the world of road bikes.

They were cheap, sturdy, urban ready, with lot's of gears and they came in such pretty colors! So knowing little about bikes, and seeing everyone else with one, I bought one and started putting around the neighborhood with it. But I started watching the TDF and my competitive juices started flowing again. I thought those guys were the coolest and I soon found myself wanting to ride like the guys in the peloton, so a lowly MTB wasn't going to cut it anymore, and I bought my first road bike since I was a kid and never looked back...

I'm still not in the pro peloton however...
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Old 09-28-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
It's already been established that most people do not use a MTB to the limits of its capability - and of course the same can be said of a road bike.

IMHO, for most American riders, NEITHER ONE is the best choice. Swoopy road bikes demand much more focus and don't take kindly to road hazards.
MTB's, with their knobbies, offer enormous rolling resistance (which may be why many riders are constantly pedaling away at 5mph in low gear - - Not that I don't see some roadies doing the same thing).
- And of course, MTB's are even better than road bikes for splattering a riders backside with mud and grit in wet conditions.

I think that (in all but the most hilly environs), a traditional upright, single speed steel-framed bike with fenders would make a better all-around townie or campus bike for most people. Simple, durable, and they adapt well to racks or baskets.

- Probably not the choice of most people here, but we're not "most people".

I would agree with the single-speed cruiser. However, so do a lot of other people, especially those who want to impress others with an old beach classic, and I'm not talking about a new Wal-Mart Huffy "cruiser wannabe" either. They want the real thing, and that happens to be a mid 1960's Schwinn, whether it be a Stingray (adults can ride a Stingray) or Typhoon like the one pictured. And forget about a "girl's" step-through frame. It MUST have the bar on top before it'll be worth more than $40.00.

OK, so that's out of the way, let me come full circle back to the topic. Mountain bikes, especially Huffys and Pacifics, appear on Craigslist because nobody wants them. But, those who own them most definitely want them gone so they don't take up any more space in their back yards or garages. And, to add insult to injury, they want what they paid for the bike when they bought it at Target about 7 years ago. Now, add the flippers and brokers who find these bikes in dumpsters, "fix" them, and THOSE get unloaded on Craigslist. Fill in the rest of that pile with common cheap "girl's" step-through frames. Now you have a glut, which makes a cheap bike utterly worthless, and there are as many as there are common horse flies. And that, I believe, is why it's so difficult to find a decent old 10-speed in reasonable condition, for a decent price, let alone an early Stump Jumper or Schwinn Cimarron.
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Old 09-28-14, 07:42 PM
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I rode motocross and like utilizing 'mountain bikes' as in the real semse of the word, takes body english. Same with trials riding (not trail riding). I first experienced 'mountain bikes' in the late 1980's when most of motocross bud's were into these new type of bicycles. But most weren't into road bikes or simply snubbed them. The natural progression of hard hammering full rigid bicycles in the woods was sensational. We wanted to push them and see if they could break. And just like riding a dirt bike, one doesn't hold back when approaching a whoop or burm. Coming off a powered two wheeled machine and its weight handicap, the new 'mountain bike' was a scream! No way would we take a fine road bike and attempt the same. The flat bar, higher bottom bracket, fat knobby tires fitted to a lighter weight frame were the main ingredients.

And we didn't care about suspensions either but once the aftermarket forks became available, we all had them with no turning back for wanting more improvements. We welcomed the evolution and know the rest of the story. One thing it did for the industry is it refueled a stale marketplace for former roadies plus found a whole new customer base. It took the mainstream cyclist safely off the non-structured or lack of bike lane roadways and into the woods. For city dwellers, they likely were the only bike and made far better utility bikes.

Today its morphed or branched into many kind of riding uses. Funny today to see the thousands of once forgotten 80's mountain bikes now gaining popularity as in road drop bar gravel bikes.
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Old 09-28-14, 08:18 PM
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Most people I see riding would be better served with a 5 speed lightweight road like frame with upright bars and thumb shifters. They just don't know it, or will not admit it. Most of them don't even know how to shift their bikes, or they're afraid to, or it doesn't shift right to start with.
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Old 09-28-14, 08:31 PM
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Same reason people who live in NYC, Boston and LA buy SUV's.
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