The Mountain Bike Life

I have been riding mountain bikes for around 26 years now, I have seen trends come and go and every time a new product is released it’s touted as the best thing since the last best thing. I don’t want to get all “well back when I started it was different” but it really was, we knew what worked and we rode it. There were not as many options as there are now, and to change things up even more there is the Internet with its “experts” and “armchair engineers” spouting off their opinions and theories as if they were the truth. I am here to say…phooey on that.

Image by K.Steudel

I am by no means one of those guys who eschews the latest and greatest – I love new blingy bits as much as if not more than the next person. What I am trying to say is that while it’s great to have an opinion, it may not work for the next person. Don’t hate on others for their choices in bikes, wheels or what style of riding that they do; it’s immature and brings us all down. We are all here for the same thing, we love riding bikes in nature, so let that person ride their fully rigid, single speed, fat bike; they are having fun just like you.

Image By Robert S. Donovan

I am not talking about products that just don’t work, are unreliable or more flare than function. Those need to be pointed out at every opportunity, yelled from the rooftops, posted on the forums, tweeted  about, and generally let people know that the product does not work as advertised. I am talking about stuff that works or products that are well designed and thought out. I am talking about people talking shit because they don’t happen to like the item or the person using it and feel the need to spout out about it in public. No need to get nasty with anyone else, or tell them what they ride is stupid; it’s their decision and it works for them.

I feel that the media is part of the issue as well. It has become minimal facts and too many journalists spouting off half truths, marketing mumbo-jumbo and ad copy. I would love to see more facts, data and better testing methods. I know it’s not easy to provide a fact-based product review but it does not mean that it is impossible.

Image by Glory Cycles

Okay I may be coming off like a crusty old guy here, and I can see the irony in telling people to mind their own beeswax while I am on a soapbox. I just hope that you understand that what I am trying to get at is just let people ride what they like. Keep having opinions, they keep us alive and thinking, but there is no need to bring others down or negate their choice in gear. As I said earlier, we are all here for the same reason. Just shut up and ride.

Heaven is a Bike Park
To patch, or not to patch

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