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Does the mountain bike world have retro grouches?

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Does the mountain bike world have retro grouches?

Old 10-11-12, 11:00 PM
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Violet
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Does the mountain bike world have retro grouches?

So in the more road oriented cycling world, there are a few famous-on-the-internet type retro-grouces who like to go on rants on things like clipless pedals, 23c tyres, carbon fibre forks and low-spoke count wheels. People like Jobst Brandt and Rivendells Grant Petersen.

How about the mountain biking world? Are there any older, articulate off-roaders rallying against suspension forks, short chainstays, wide handlebars and excessively sloping top tubes?
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Old 10-12-12, 07:06 AM
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It's hard to compare road and MTB cycling in that aspect. I'm sure there are plenty of folks still grinding it out on their outdated MTB - some by choice, some not. Though, I think the number of those true retro grouch MTBr's would be far less than in the road cycling world. It just comes down to the massive improvements made to mtb's over the years, where it really makes a difference - offroad. Heck, even Gary Fisher rides the new stuff.

The MTB world does have tons of purists though. These are the folks riding fully rigid and singlespeed(or even fixed), but on more contemporary equipment. Purist MTBr's carrying the torch for all those retro grouch MTBr's out there!
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Old 10-12-12, 07:50 AM
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There is a compelling argument that 11 speeds, STI levers, electronic shifting, aero carbon frames, and clipless pedals do not really make you any faster, allow you to ride anywhere new, or let you have any more fun compared to a 50 year old road bike.

I think that argument is a lot harder to make when comparing today's geometry, disc brakes, suspension, bigger and stronger wheels, tubeless, bigger headsets, easier to use shifters, and stronger rear derailers with clutches to even a 15 year old MTB.

Even rigid singlespeeding is not retro-grouchery. I ride rigid singlespeed - the wheels, tires, geometry, steering, and brakes are so much better than my 15 year old rigid geared MTB that I cannot imagine wanting to go back to that for fun. (I only ever use it for pulling a tag-a-long.)
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Old 10-12-12, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Violet View Post
How about the mountain biking world? Are there any older, articulate off-roaders rallying against suspension forks, short chainstays, wide handlebars and excessively sloping top tubes?
Short chainstays? Why would we be against that? You'd be surprised how much shorter some chainstays were in the early 90s, particulary on the e-stay bikes. One of my bikes has a 40.3cm (15.9") chainstay length and a 103.2cm (40.62") wheelbase.

I have a few older bikes and a modern one, and I do have mixed feelings about modern bikes.
I fully embrace front suspension and can live with the sloping top tube. Perhaps I'll even like full suspension, but I haven't tried that yet.

However those modern brakes really get on my nerves. The tolerances have become so small that it really isn't fun to work on them anymore.
V-brakes or Magura rim brakes were much easier to set up and had nearly as much braking power. Actually ... I never had any problems with cantilevers either. My 20 year old canti-equipped bikes will happily throw my 180lbs over the handlebar if I put 3 fingers on the lever.

For long rides, I'll pick the modern. That's what I bought it for. However for fun or city traffic, I'll pick a retro MTB any time.
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Old 10-12-12, 08:41 AM
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@ RobertFrapples-

Rear derailleurs with clutches? Never knew about this. I must be a retrogrouch.
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Old 10-12-12, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Raging_Bulls View Post
Actually ... I never had any problems with cantilevers either. My 20 year old canti-equipped bikes will happily throw my 180lbs over the handlebar if I put 3 fingers on the lever.
A hydraulic disc should be able to do that with one finger.

To the OP, there are retro grouches for every era. Some people here think 7-speed was enough; a bunch think 8-speed was enough; tons think 9-speed was enough; some think 10-speed was enough.
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Old 10-12-12, 09:36 AM
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Mtn biking is not old enough to have the retro grouch.
Are you going to have some 19 year old punk tell you that your 27.5" wheel is removing the essence of the sport that was there when he started? That 22 year old kid telling you that elastomer forks are when it was real, and this hydraulic stuff is just bluring lines and creating confusion from the core of the sport?
I still have the occasional hobo, riding a fully rigid Huffy Stone Mountain (with his dog in a crate on the back wheel) pass me on the gravel road up to the ski resort, but other than that, I see far more 40+, 50+ or 60+ year olds out there tearing up the trail on the newest and greatest technology that the sport has to offer.
Retro grouches can suck it! (Dust, that is.)
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Old 10-12-12, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Raging_Bulls View Post

Perhaps I'll even like full suspension, but I haven't tried that yet.

V-brakes or Magura rim brakes were much easier to set up and had nearly as much braking power. Actually ... I never had any problems with cantilevers either. My 20 year old canti-equipped bikes will happily throw my 180lbs over the handlebar if I put 3 fingers on the lever.
I know I'm bit off topic here but I just wanted to point out that disc brakes benefit is not just for stopping power in normal situations but also for stopping during wet or muddy conditions too. and other benefit is in case if you bend your rim while out riding you can still make it home without any problem. I only bent my rim once with my old hardrock and it was only about a thumb size bent on the lip of the rim and and it was a crazy feeling every time I touched the lever that popping feeling every time pad hit that little lump of bent spot.
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Old 10-12-12, 09:53 AM
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Disc brakes enable you to go faster.
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Old 10-12-12, 10:24 AM
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Retrogrouches exist in MTBing but the time span is a lot shorter. They will argue against 10 speeds, saying that 3x9 was all anyone ever needed and the 9 speed gear was a lot cheaper (maybe) and the chains lasted longer (definitely true). They won't be riding a carbon frame or wheels. (Me either, but it's due to a lack of funds, not disbelief in the technology. )

Oh, one more. Retrogrouches don't like 31.8mm bars on a MTB. I like road and mountain using the same size so we have more stem selection. And I have huge hands so I like the fatter bars too.
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Old 10-12-12, 10:42 AM
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^Really big hands here, too. It would be nice to have a larger diameter bar, but, alas, most all mtb bars are 7/8" dia. at the grip area. The 31.8mm refers to the bulge dia. at the stem.
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Old 10-12-12, 10:55 AM
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i'm a retro grouch mtb fan (25.4 bars, rigid forks, friction thumbies and level top tubes rock!) , but i use mtbs as "city bikes", so most MTB tech isn't really that important
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Old 10-12-12, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Wheelie View Post
I see far more 40+, 50+ or 60+ year olds out there tearing up the trail on the newest and greatest technology that the sport has to offer.
That's because the only people who can afford the newest and greatest technology are people with high-paying jobs. When an Air Nine Carbon will set you back $4500, or a Specialized Epic between $3300 and $10,000, you're not going to see many 20 year olds riding them.

IMHO, this is really bad for the sport. Don't get me wrong: I love nice gear, and I ride an expensive custom bike. But MTB'ing used to be a bunch of dirtbags and weirdos having a good time on whatever gear they could put together, and it has more and more become an arms race for older, well-to-do technology fetishists. If teenagers don't take up the sport, it will die, and along with it will go all the work many of us have put into trails and advocacy.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
Disc brakes enable you to go faster.
Those must be some brakes you have. My brakes only make me go slower. I have to use my legs to go faster.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:20 AM
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There are wheelsets that build momentum as you pedal. I hope to one day break the sound barrier on my fully suspended, carbon fiber Scott! I need sponsors, anyone, anyone?

We used to have Pablosnazzy, but someone chased the guy off. He was given to long rants. What cares if you make Empirical/Impirical Sense as long as your grammer is good?
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Old 10-12-12, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
That's because the only people who can afford the newest and greatest technology are people with high-paying jobs. When an Air Nine Carbon will set you back $4500, or a Specialized Epic between $3300 and $10,000, you're not going to see many 20 year olds riding them.

IMHO, this is really bad for the sport. Don't get me wrong: I love nice gear, and I ride an expensive custom bike. But MTB'ing used to be a bunch of dirtbags and weirdos having a good time on whatever gear they could put together, and it has more and more become an arms race for older, well-to-do technology fetishists. If teenagers don't take up the sport, it will die, and along with it will go all the work many of us have put into trails and advocacy.
This happens in every gear-based sport. sometimes the older participants barely use their gear before selling it and someone gets a great deal on a nearly-new bike that was top notch 2-4 years ago.

MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging.

But anyway, teenagers don't need the latest and greatest to fall in love with MTBing. They need access to trails. Without places to ride, that's when participation really suffers.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
@ RobertFrapples-

Rear derailleurs with clutches? Never knew about this. I must be a retrogrouch.
I've got a sram X9 type 2 rear derailleur and have put about 300 miles on it. Chain slap is almost completely eliminated, but the bike is demonstrably harder to shift up in the biggest cogs. I haven't tried a shimano shadow plus RD which has an adjustable clutch. My sram unit will wear over time and the shifting will be easier, but I would imagine the chain will bounce around more as well.
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Old 10-12-12, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
What cares if you make Empirical/Impirical Sense as long as your grammer is good?
. . . or if your spelling sucks.
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Old 10-12-12, 12:46 PM
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^Thanks for that, really I haven't followed product innovations much in the last few years- getting more tension is a logical place to tweak performance, albeit at the loss of 'light action' . A clutched tensioning mechanism. Probably won't be using the shadowplus for a while, I stocked up on pre-shawdow XT rd's a few years back.
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Old 10-13-12, 10:05 AM
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I bought my Litespeed titanium frame in 1991. It uses 1" threaded headset so I put on blue Chris King 1" threaded headset. I 'm still using canti-lever brakes - blue Critical Racing cantis matched with blue Paul Love Levers. The shifters are XT top shifters, these are indexed for 7 ..in friction mode they work with any number of speed...Very reliable. I'm still using 8 speed XTR cassette,front and rear derailleurs...still running fine..

If it ain't broke...there's no need to change. I guess with all these old parts...I qualify to be a retro-grouch.
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Old 10-13-12, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
We used to have Pablosnazzy, but someone chased the guy off. He was given to long rants. What cares if you make Empirical/Impirical Sense as long as your grammer is good?
Pablo is completely gone? I still kinda miss 666.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
That's because the only people who can afford the newest and greatest technology are people with high-paying jobs. When an Air Nine Carbon will set you back $4500, or a Specialized Epic between $3300 and $10,000, you're not going to see many 20 year olds riding them.

IMHO, this is really bad for the sport. Don't get me wrong: I love nice gear, and I ride an expensive custom bike. But MTB'ing used to be a bunch of dirtbags and weirdos having a good time on whatever gear they could put together, and it has more and more become an arms race for older, well-to-do technology fetishists. If teenagers don't take up the sport, it will die, and along with it will go all the work many of us have put into trails and advocacy.
I'd still argue that it's good for the sport. If teenagers want to ride, they will ride whatever they can put together just like always. Having the option of expensive, technologically advanced gear doesn't remove the ability or incentive to jimmy-rig & scrapyard-built your own stuff. It does change the way many people see the sport, but people who want to MTB will MTB regardless.

Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
We used to have Pablosnazzy, but someone chased the guy off. He was given to long rants. What cares if you make Empirical/Impirical Sense as long as your grammer is good?
Gone as in no longer a member, or gone the same way that I have been for the last few months/still kind of am? I liked his mid-evening drunken rants.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:50 AM
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What if you ride a custom built rigid steel mtb with drop bars, 8 speed XT, and cantis ?



Mind you... I also have a Blizzard hard tail running 9 speed but it does not see the same kind of miles.
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Old 10-15-12, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TiBikeGuy View Post
I guess with all these old parts...I qualify to be a retro-grouch.
Only if you are grouchy about it and militantly insist that the vintage stuff is superior . If you're happy with it and it suits your needs, that's all that counts . . . keep on keepin; on.

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Old 10-15-12, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Retrogrouches exist in MTBing but the time span is a lot shorter. They will argue against 10 speeds, saying that 3x9 was all anyone ever needed and the 9 speed gear was a lot cheaper (maybe) and the chains lasted longer (definitely true). They won't be riding a carbon frame or wheels. (Me either, but it's due to a lack of funds, not disbelief in the technology. )

Oh, one more. Retrogrouches don't like 31.8mm bars on a MTB. I like road and mountain using the same size so we have more stem selection. And I have huge hands so I like the fatter bars too.
The grip diameter of a 31.8 bar is larger than the grip diameter of a 25.4 bar? Hmmm....I wonder why my grips work on both types.
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