Fixing MTB in 2015

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Jan 14, 2015

Have you read enough New Year’s Resolution lists yet? Us too. Naturally we all think about the new year and some changes or improvements we’d like to make. Boring! Dave Tolnai took a different route and wrote about some things that would help MTB as a whole. Cam and Pete chime in from the peanut gallery.


Fewer Sweeping Judgments of What Other People are Doing

I don’t care that you hate 29ers/650b/26”/unicycles. I don’t care that you think the only way to ride is triple/dual/single ring. That’s great that 9/10/11 speed is how you roll. Your sweeping judgements of SRAM/Shimano aren’t very interesting. The truth is that most ideas have merit. Not everybody is going to appreciate your amazing set-up and it’s not necessarily going to work on everybody’s trails. Stop shitting on people that choose differently for their bicycles.

Pete: I noticed you left Fat Bikes off the hate list.
Cam: Loving the return of Biopace. And now that you won’t be judgin’ I’m ditching my visor and rocking armour over my wife beater and jeans at Whistler.


More Sweeping Judgments of Terrible Products

On the other hand, if a product sucks, it deserves universal scorn. It’s time to start calling out bad stuff based on its proven track record of terribleness. No more wishy washy reviews. No more products getting by on brand recognition. Let’s make life hard for crap. Certain products work nowhere well. Let’s make a list.

Pete: I love this idea! But you go first.
Cam: 1. Salad is terrible. 2. And Naugahyde. 3. I’ve always hated room temperature. But 24″ rear wheels got a bad rap.


An End to New

I’m sick of ‘new’. I was reading today about a new width for 15mm axles, to improve on the improvement to the improvement. We’re not Formula 1 racing teams. If your ‘revolutionary’ idea involves a change in diameter or width of a long accepted (or worse, recently created) standard, please start windsurfing or something.

Cam: I’ve thrown up a white flag to signal my surrender to change for the sake of change. It’s like resisting gravity and I’m tired of being grumpy all the time. Dave, I’m passing you my torch.


Be Less Selfish and Nicer

Everybody be all parkin’ their monster trucks on the front lawn, strippin’ down and hangin’ their junk. Then bargin’ down trails, yellin’ about how fast they are. Or jumpin’ in front and ridin’ all slow. I don’t like it. I don’t get it. Pay attention to other people.

Pete: Sorry for partying.
Cam: Sorry for Pete’s partying.


Be Mellower

I’m sick of getting passed on the way up Fromme.  Chill out people.  This isn’t triathalon.  And I’m just saving energy for the way down.

Pete: Dave, Dave. D. This isn’t a Resolutions list, but maybe chill on the large format IPAs for a month, and you’ll be passing more than being passed? But seriously, this is the year we take down half-wheelers. No more riding just in front of the pack. Bottle rocket mounts are going on the bars. *WHOOSH* goes the firecracker over your ear, chump.

Cam: I’m more non-competitive than you are Dave. Just sayin’.

Ease Up On the Clichés – Pete

“Climbs like a goat”
“Feels Bottomless”
“On offer”
“Game-changer”
“Ground-breaking”

The state of the written word on the internet is depressing enough without everybody using the same stale platitudes, and the bike world is a terrible offender. I like reading what the other editors have to say, but the litany of typos, poor grammar, unimaginative phrasing, and clichés is maddening. Get a proofreader. Ask them if your review reads like something from MBA in the mid 90s (no offence to MBA in the mid 90s, but find your own style, dudes). There is good writing out there, but not enough of it.

Cam: That’s not writing; that’s typing.

Unless you happen to be sacrificing a virgin, words like ‘offering’ are just sloppy. Have you ever used offering in conversation? Then can we banish it from bike reviews? It’s like restaurant reviewers using ‘eatery’ to describe some pizza joint. Why just the other day I said, “let’s trundle down to the local eatery to see what game-changing nourishment they have on offer.”

Personally I’m going to work on banishing playful and lively (call me on it) to describe bikes that are… playful and lively? Shit.

Trolls – Cam

The level of stupidity that breeds below articles on most web sites is remarkable – and those whose only mission is to pick scabs are the pond scum of the web. I know it’s impossible to resist feeding the trolls (I’m a sucker) but please try. Unless you happen to devise some sort of e-arsenic for these keyboard heroes. Then by all means let ‘er rip.

Remember - every time you Troll Mike Vandeman kills a puppy.

Poor Mike Vandeman made a brief appearance on NSMB before he was banned. Before we flipped the switch he was wailing, “censorship!!! What happened to free speech!!!” The poor dear. I think he called us Nazis as well.

Luckily NSMB.com has somehow escaped this cesspool of impropriety and – even under controversial articles – the discourse is generally intelligent and often, dare I say it… friendly.

This thread is now guaranteed to be derailed by trolls (just so they can prove me wrong) and will self destruct by midday.


Please take this all very seriously. And let us know what you’d fix.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

martyz
0
Marty Zaleski  - Jan. 16, 2015, 11:20 a.m.

But I like getting a sweat going up Fromme. I'm not racing you. I'm racing me. And middle age.

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colin
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colin  - Jan. 15, 2015, 8:39 a.m.

Four little words.

More digging, less poaching.

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cape
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c.ape  - Jan. 15, 2015, 6:43 a.m.

the phrase "go-to" instead of favourite, has got to go…

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skooks
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Skooks  - Jan. 14, 2015, 6:55 p.m.

Can we please stop using the term 'curate' when talking about building up a bike? The Oxford dictionary simply defines curate as “to look after and preserve,” . Unless you have an old classic bike that you are restoring /preserving, this term is pretentious at best.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 10:16 p.m.

I've never heard that one.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 15, 2015, 4:57 p.m.

Me neither but it sounds pretentious when talking about bike parts to me, too.

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awesterner
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awesterner  - Jan. 14, 2015, 6:43 p.m.

Climbing prowess, brethren, small bump compliance (evolved into small bump sensitivity), lots of common terminology across websites.

What I don't get is the increasing use of 'Pacific Northwest', even among Canadians, referencing Sea to Sky areas. As well I can't fully understand the phrase 'I was fortunate/lucky ENOUGH to…" Just enough? 😉 This is almost printed as often as Enduro!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 7:21 p.m.

I'm with you on a lot of these (including Pac NW to include Canada) but small bump sensitivity/compliance is a specific term used to describe an aspect of the performance of suspension products. What would you use instead? And what do you think about Cascadia?

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awesterner
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awesterner  - Jan. 14, 2015, 10:44 p.m.

Cascadia! That'll get DrewM going:-) Since online publishing is essentially creating vocabulary in a lot of ways, that one I can get behind. I would prefer Cascadia to extend to San Luis Obispo and stop about there--perfect.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Jan. 15, 2015, 3:30 a.m.

If I was president for life of the Beerpublic of Cascadia we would conjoin words with righteous impunity and it would definitely include Herman Story's winery in San Luis Obispo.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 2:56 p.m.

Don't even get me started on Must watch, insane, you're not gong to believe what happens next and all the clickbait bullshit. MTB sites should be above that - but I still see it. I saw it today.

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jake-rose
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Jake Rose  - Jan. 14, 2015, 10:08 a.m.

I rode my 1995 Gary Fisher Mamba for 15 years, 3 or 4 times a week, put over 4000 miles on that bike, I never even changed the chain. I rode trails 95% of the time. Finally the front derailleur got so worn out it couldn't be tuned. So, I upgraded to a $2300 Trek full-suspension 29er. I love the bike. Of course within a year, some motherfucking deuche bag tells me, "oh, 29? 27.5 is way better."
Well, I can't tell you how many rich assholes riding multi-thousand dollar bikes I passed on my Gary Fisher. Now I still pass all of them on a slightly more comfortable bike. The guy who make that comment will probably damage his ACL or whatever, then he'll stop riding and get fat, and he'll just have Instagram pics of the time he used to bomb down hills. 15 years from now, I'll still be pedaling the trails.
PS - I used to ride with a speedometer/odometer computer thing, not anymore. No computers, no cell phone, I don't mountain bike to keep track of anything other than the thoughts in my own head… but it was cool to know that I rode 45 mph down steep dirt trails.

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ian
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ian  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:53 a.m.

for bikes to be more affordable

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Faction
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Derp  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

thank you for calling out the over use of the word "offering". MBA used it one too many times now everyone uses it. It should die.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 7:27 p.m.

MBA didn't originate much in terms of vocabulary that other people use - and certainly not this one (but wait - there was black diamond riding - that caught on didn't it?). The use of offering is rampant in any industry or publication that reviews gear and beyond; electronics, snow sports, footwear, food, entertainment you name it. Googling instantly served up this. "Mugatunes is the Latest Offering in Music Sharing."

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Jerry-Rig
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Jerry Willows  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:04 a.m.

no more words that state "Enduro specific".

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ben
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Ben  - Jan. 15, 2015, 10:24 a.m.

Well, we don't want to get sued for using the word Specialized.

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jonathan-harris
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Jonathan Harris  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:36 a.m.

Finally Cam has aired his dislike of "offering" to the masses. Maybe 2015 will be the year that we give up discussing the various merits of wheel diameters to death.

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mammal
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Mammal  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:09 a.m.

Mostly good points. BUT… Sick of getting passed up Fromme? Seriously? Pedal harder then. It might not be a d*ck swinging contest, perhaps people just like to get some nice cardio prior to dropping in.

The amount of people dogging it up that hill, I'd think you probably pass as many people as pass you.

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jonathan-harris
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Jonathan Harris  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:28 a.m.

Dave would at least pass the few people that still push up that climb. He has a point though, the pace of people riding up there now is much faster than it was 10 years ago, maybe we are all fitter?

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D_C_
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DMVancouver  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:33 a.m.

Lighter bikes + Strava

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Jerry-Rig
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Jerry Willows  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:04 a.m.

Enduro training!

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x
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x  - Jan. 15, 2015, 9:34 a.m.

Maybe the bikes are better and the trails are easier than they were 10 years ago? Cough, cough, dumbing down, cough…

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Captain-Snappy
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Merwinn  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:47 a.m.

The amount of peeps pushing their bikes up Fromme always blows me away. Yeah, the corners have a decent grade on the inside and the gravel's a bit chunky- rolly under tires, but I really don't think the road cassette on that Glory is doing you any favours outside of the WPB.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:47 a.m.

I see that a little with guys (and kids sometimes) lugging big bikes to Bobsled - but otherwise not so much. And really I'd rather see these folks walking up Fromme than sitting at home eating corn dogs and watching Judge Judy.

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Captain-Snappy
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Merwinn  - Jan. 14, 2015, 11:13 a.m.

Amen!

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kat-barry
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Kat Barry  - Jan. 14, 2015, 11:27 a.m.

Guilty… until I can afford a trail bike I'm stuck on my DH. Definitely aware it's best suited for WBP but I'd rather push it up 4kms of fire roads than spend all season waiting for the bike park to open again.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:05 p.m.

Well then…what am I supposed to eat while watching Judge Judy?

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el_jefe
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el_jefe  - Jan. 14, 2015, 10:07 p.m.

Really? I have been surprised at the number of people pushing single crown bikes up Fromme (not little kids nor DH bikes). I started calling it the Giant Reign syndrome just because that seemed to be the push bike of choice for the first while when I noticed it, but I certainly can't single out that bike. You used to get ridiculed if you didn't ride your DH bike up. (I was 50/50 on the DH bike years ago when I actually rode one on Fromme - 224 got rode up because I could put my seat waaaay up, but the V10 got mostly pushed).

But you are right (and also kindly pointed out by a friend), it sure as hell is better than people just sitting on the couch and not getting out riding !!!!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:43 a.m.

"Please take this all very seriously." Thanks for heeding our words Mammal! 😉

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mammal
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Mammal  - Jan. 14, 2015, 10:40 a.m.

No, I get the context. Just caught completely off guard by point #5. It's kinda like, "man I hate it when I'm downtown and people walk faster than me down the sidewalk".

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 15, 2015, 5 p.m.

It's fair. Though if you know Dave Tolnai, or read enough of his writing, you'll know that he always puts at least one head scratcher in there - it's part of his charm.

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alden-wolgram
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Alden Wolgram  - Jan. 16, 2015, 3:50 p.m.

but i DO hate it when people pass me on the sidewalk!

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bavaria-20
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Bavaria 2.0  - Jan. 14, 2015, 8:06 a.m.

OK. If you're still not going to do it, I will.

"Pete: I love this idea! But you go first.
Cam: 1. Salad is terrible. 2. And Naugahyde. 3. I’ve always hated room temperature. But 24″ rear wheels got a bad rap."

OK. I'll go first. The 15mm axle is a turd. The Maxle light was nearly as light and considerably stiffer. Thanks for failing us, FOX and Shimano.

And on and on and on..

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Jan. 14, 2015, 9:45 a.m.

Yep. Fox was listening when they brought back the 20mm axle with the 36. But… as you mentioned they were the ones leading the charge to kill it in the first place.

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jamie-hamilton
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Jamie Hamilton  - Jan. 14, 2015, 4:40 p.m.

Just like Alanis "More-up-set", isn't it ironic…

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Lalena
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Lalena Desautels  - Jan. 14, 2015, 7:39 a.m.

Basically… Just ride your damn bike and laugh a lot.

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jimithng23
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jimithng23  - Jan. 14, 2015, 11:04 a.m.

Boom.

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matt
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Matt  - Jan. 14, 2015, 2:24 p.m.

Drink beer too.

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