DSCF7056
ASK UNCLE DAVE

The Wrong Tool for the Job

Words Dave Tolnai
Photos Dave Tolnai
Date Oct 6, 2022
Reading time

If you were to justify the amount of time that you spend reading about bicycles (and parts of bicycles), what is it that you would say you were doing? This is something that I actually think about every once in awhile, as I scroll through endless words written about things I will probably never purchase, use or see on the trail. What am I doing and why do I care?

When I scrape my way down to the surface, I think what I imagine is that I’m participating in some sort of immense, multi-year project with the end deliverable of a bicycle optimized for my particular trails and riding style. I’m speculating that you are in the same boat. Why else would we read about things as tedious as bicycle grips? There must be some magical payoff at the end of this quest for (bicycle) self-improvement. There has to be for us to justify such a time commitment.

This, I think, is the beating heart of bicycle consumerism. We see our bicycle, and we know what it is capable of, and we know that can’t be it. So we embark on a battle of micro-optimization. We worry about brake pads and tires and frames and wheels, and then we spend money on these things because we know they’re going to improve our riding and give us greater amounts of pleasure. It’s probably a bit more complicated than that, but I think this is the essence of the dream. The perfect bicycle is right there, waiting, if only we have the time, patience and money.

A few weeks ago, a minor incident shattered this idea. There I was, huffing up the Old Buck, minding my own business. Now, I know that I’ve painted myself as an old, out-of-shape loser who likes to stand around in his underwear, drink beer and scratch himself, but some of this is exaggerated for effect. I’m not that old, and I’ve usually passed at least three or four people for each person that passes me on a climb. I’m not saying I rise too far above mediocrity, I just want to give you all an accurate picture of my climbing abilities as context for what is about to happen.

So, anyhow, there I am, pedaling away up the Old Buck, thinking about food or cleaning products or something, and some dude goes by me at a speed that I didn’t think was possible. After a few moments, I realized that it was not an ebike that had gone flying past, it was just some fit bastard laying waste to the mountain aboard the latest trend in cycling. He was riding so quickly that it was disheartening, and in the very literal sense, almost unbelievable. Who knew there was an actual purpose to these gravel bike things?

And of course this guy dropped me like a turd-frosted carrot stick! He was a specimen of a human astride a bike that weighed half as much as the one that I was riding and with the rolling resistance of one of my pedals. He would have blown past me aboard a Norco Shore fitted with MaxxGrip Assegais (zing!) so the sky was the limit on a precision-crafted, hill-destroying missile.

This event should have been easy to put from my mind. We think nothing of a road bike blasting by us as we slog up a section of asphalt. Why was this different? Well, the difference was that I thought I was on my own turf! These bikes that we ride are supposed to “climb well”, aren’t they? Gravel bike guy showed me just how far my situation was from optimized for climbing. And when I got to the top, there were a bunch of long travel enduro bikes leaning against a post that showed me just how far I was from optimized for the descent. If forced at gunpoint, I could probably describe 40-50 meters of trail where I actually was astride the perfect bicycle for that particular moment, but it turns out the rest of the ride was nothing more than making do with a gigantic compromise.


This, I think, is the beating heart of bicycle consumerism. We see our bicycle, and we know what it is capable of, and we know that can’t be it.

This probably shouldn’t have been news. We all know that selecting a bicycle is a tradeoff between climbing and descending, weight and cost, and on and on and on. It was just surprising to be shown so suddenly and so violently how delusional I was about some of the things that I thought, and the decisions that I had made.

As per usual, I blame the marketers! When was the last time you were sold anything on the promise of compromise?

“Good enough to slowly climb on, reasonable for the descents!”

“Better than our other fork on small stuff but not as good as this other one on faster terrain!”

“Pretty good if you only want to spend a bit of money! Not as good as the one that costs a bit more! Neither of them measure up to our competitor!”

In a sense, all of this should be comforting. If you were to design the perfect mountain bike, the halfway point between a gravel bike and a downhill bike would be a pretty good starting point. If you can get 60-70-80% of the performance of either end of this spectrum at the same time, holy cow, that’s pretty amazing! But nobody ever sells it like that. It’s always “climbs like an XC bike and descends like a DH bike” and when our own bike doesn’t do that, well, we’re probably on the wrong tool for the job. Better spend some more money to go up/down in travel so that I can climb/descend better and finally start having some fun!

And somehow, all of these bikes are the best of all worlds, but also completely wrong if they possess 20mm too much or too little travel for the specific type of riding. It’s the fascist playbook, where your enemies are both too strong and too weak to be trusted. It’s fucking paralyzing! You’re an idiot if you aren’t riding the latest bike, but NOT THAT ONE! What were you thinking?

Now, I’m not a total idiot. I’m not going to spot a gravel bike in the parking lot and think “Ya, I’m gonna dust that guy on the climb!” We all know certain bikes are going to be vastly better at certain things, but that’s sort of the point. We never really used to worry about this all that much, but now we’re convinced that there is some sort of perfect bike out there for every kind of terrain. This might be true, but we haven’t really stopped to think that there might not be one perfect tool for the whole ride. But short of your butler hot swapping bikes for you at the top of the climb, it just isn’t so.

Unfortunately, I think that this strive for perfection is holding us back. Part of why I thought about gravel bike guy so much is that I was in the midst of planning a longer, overnight ride. Seeing what was possible on a tool better suited to the job that I was considering convinced me that it would be crazy to embark on this ride on anything less. It was going to more-or-less be a 150km gravel bike ride, which is not something that is typically done on a 150mm full suspension bike. My balloon was popped.

But then I started to think about just how fucked that guy was going to be at the top of the climb. What was he going to ride down? The road? Turns out he wasn’t actually riding perfection. That guy would probably kill himself if he tried to ride down some of the trails that he had just gained access to! Or at the very least, break his bike in half. Everything has a flip side. Nothing is perfect.


...we’re convinced that there is some sort of perfect bike out there for every kind of terrain... but we haven’t really stopped to think that there might not be one perfect tool for the whole ride. But short of your butler hot swapping bikes for you at the top of the climb, it just isn’t so.

Just roll that thought around in your head for a moment. Nothing is perfect. Do you understand what it means if we can admit that for most rides there is not one perfect tool for the job? That nothing is 100% perfect? If no one bicycle was 100% perfect for every ride, well, maybe that means that no bicycle is 100% wrong either? And if no bicycle is 100% wrong for the ride, well you may as well just run what you brung.

Once I got to that point, it was easy for me to commit to my gravel adventure. Who cares if parts of it are going to suck? Parts of it were going to suck anyways. Other parts might now suck a bit less. Would dropping 30mm of travel and a few pounds fundamentally change my experience? Probably not. That’s not to suggest that I was some kind of sadist about it. I swapped my DH tires for some XCish rubber, and I adjusted my cockpit so that it was going to be a bit more comfortable for two days in the saddle. I wound up with a heavy-assed bicycle that was comfortable to ride and that rolled a hell of a lot faster than I was used to. This felt like a pretty good compromise.

It wound up being not terrible. For sure, I would have been faster overall on a gravel bike. Those miles of asphalt and buffed gravel are tailor made for just such a machine. But then there were parts that were messes of potholes and washboards where I didn’t feel quite so bad about my bicycle. My 2.2” tires and locked out suspension still gave me plenty of relief and I certainly had no concerns about things breaking or a flat tire. I finished the ride fairly exhausted, yes. But I finished the ride! This felt like a better conclusion that sitting around fretting about finding a shorter travel bicycle.

And that right there is what I want to leave you with. Stop pretending that any bike is going to be perfect. Stop worrying if you have the right amount of travel for the terrain. Make sure your bike is fit for purpose, yes, and isn’t going to kill you or break all of the time. Get rid of those Ardents and move on from the resin-pad-only brake rotors. But after that, just ride the fucking thing and if you’re going to think about anything, think about all of those places where what you have is the absolute perfect tool for that particular job in that particular moment. Whether it’s ten feet or ten kilometers, that old beast is the best at something. Things are probably neither as bad as you think they are, nor as good as you hope they’ll be. What this can be for you is your “even Gisele and Tom Brady poop” moment. I mean…they probably don’t poop exactly like the rest of us, but close enough. Their bathrooms are fancier and their diets are weird so who knows what happens in there. But just when you think either of them are perfect, sitting around drinking mimosas, at some point they pop into the bathroom and take a weird, smelly, rich person dump. Just like that fancy bicycle you’re thinking of buying.

Sorry,

Uncle Dave


Uncle Dave's Music Club

There’s a few songs that I keep hearing over the last couple of months, and I’m going to talk about them.

When Panda Bear gets it right, Panda Bear gets it right. Of course, this is Panda Bear & Sonic Boom, but you get my point. Edge of the Edge is somehow both timeless and futuristic. Classical and groundbreaking. New and old. You could play this song in 1960 and people would start gyrating their hips and snapping their fingers. You could play this in 2060 and people would wonder what the fuck was going on.

Sudan Archives is from Ohio, which was a surprising thing for me to learn. This song kept popping up on the radio as we drove across Italy this spring, so I assumed, both from the sound and the source, a more exotic backstory. No matter. This song fucking bangs. Too bad you just missed her at the Hollywood Theatre, you crusty oldtimers!

We’ll end with the most straight forward entry on this week's list. Watching this video, you get almost a Gap commercial, adult contemporary vibe. You can sort of see yourself jamming out to it while you drive your mother to the grocery store, and she’s just sitting there, humming along in that weird sort of motherly way. But there’s something lurking beneath the earnestness of this song. It only unveils itself for a few moments, but it’s enough. I like it.

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Comments

SpencerN
Spencer Nelson
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+16 Pete Roggeman cheapondirt Cr4w Todd Hellinga mikesee ElBrendo JT TristanC Timer dhr999 mrbrett tashi Adrian White Chad K dirtnapped Derek Baker

"Get rid of those Ardents" - I love that in the call to action to run what ya brung, this remains as a specific, concrete action.

Reply

skooks
Skooks
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+12 Pete Roggeman Karl Fitzpatrick ElBrendo bishopsmike DanL Vik Banerjee Adrian Bostock Velocipedestrian mrbrett AlanB Derek Baker Tremeer023

Timely article Dave. I recently rode my Knolly Fugitive for the entire duration of the BC bike race. Obviously not the best tool for the job, but it is the bike I own. The wrong bike for 90% of the trails, but oh boy did it feel sweet passing people on the few properly steep sections. I did what I could to make it slightly more suitable, replacing tires, fork, and shock, but it still weighed 32 pounds.  Was I slow? Yes. Did I fully enjoy myself? Hell yes!

Reply

sanesh-iyer
Sanesh Iyer
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+10 Perry Schebel Pete Roggeman trioofchaos Adrian Bostock Bikeryder85 Velocipedestrian Lynx . mrbrett Derek Baker Tremeer023

My favourite bikes have always been the ones that suck at everything. Short travel or hardtail, noodly forks, saint brakes, DH tires and wheels. Or what we used to call Mullet bikes... DH frames with all mountain build kits. Idiosyncratic. Oxymoronic. Imperfect.

But by god do they bring a smile to your face. Once you get over having the perfect bike for everything and just focus on making it durable and easy enough to hop on and go on any adventure with... Smiles for days.

Ride enough, you'll break shit and wear it out, and you'll never have to stress about buying something new for performance because you'll be so fixated on needing to replace parts just to maintain function.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

i've similar sentiment. some of my favorite bikes were cherished for their idiosyncrasies - some of which were actually counter to optimal performance. we're adaptable creatures; i often prefer to ride something that does things differently (in an entertaining manner) rather than perfectly.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Dogl0rd

Well said, Sanesh. For years, I've been saying (and heard it said by others) that there's a difference between how many of us feel about current incarnation bikes vs the steel hardtails of the past. What I try to work out in my mind is how much of this is about the bike, and how much of it is dictated by my age + experience, ability to swap bikes out more easily than it was to swap out a fork when I was young with very little money...or is there something about metal bikes that all kind of sucked for what we expected of them (talking about late 90s / early 00s) vs. plastic ones that all kind of rule.

Are those imperfections we learned to live with part of what we loved, or did we just not know any better and grow content? Does keeping a bike longer and slowly upgrading it lead to loving it more? (that's a pretty obvious 'yes' to me). Is this a different form of 'the journey is sweeter than reaching the destination'? Likely.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+9 Pete Roggeman Karl Fitzpatrick Todd Hellinga GB Andy Eunson Velocipedestrian Lynx . AlanB Tremeer023

Everything is a compromise, and calling something "high performance" requires parameters. Also, that sounds like you had fun, which is the most important measure of performance.

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+7 Karl Fitzpatrick Cr4w Pete Roggeman bishopsmike Vik Banerjee mrbrett Derek Baker

I recently moved to Germany for the next two years. This meant two things: I had to leave my big pile of bike parts that I'm constantly swapping behind, and I only brought one bike with me (for now). I've only got my gravel bike with centerslick 38mm tires when I'm used to having a fat bike and a 140mm plus tire hardtail. The past month has been educational as to what it can do - it struggles in mud and I have to very carefully unweight the tires when I'm going over roots to avoid bonking the rims, but it does pretty well in 90% of use cases! I'm enjoying riding it in thoroughly inappropriate places.

https://i.imgur.com/4uXi7zo.jpg

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+6 Pete Roggeman Timer trioofchaos Velocipedestrian Sanesh Iyer tashi

The bike you are on seems to matter less when riding solo. Going at your own pace, complaining about the drag of DH tires becomes an reference to previous experiences.

Riding with a group, i find it's more important for the bikes to match in capabilities as a 26lbs zippidy doo feels like your buddy is on an ebike when you are trying to churn the pedals of your 38lbs darkside steed. 

Pick your friends and match your bike to them...

*Some sarcasm in this reply

Reply

sanesh-iyer
Sanesh Iyer
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+7 Pete Roggeman Dogl0rd trioofchaos Lynx . Deniz Merdano hairymountainbeast Nologo

I believe you mean pick your bike and match your friends to it...

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Touché.

Reply

GiveitsomeWelly
Karl Fitzpatrick
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+5 Zombo Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian Lynx . mrbrett

https://m.pinkbike.com/news/bikepacking-340km-a-day-to-complete-the-ews-series-part-3-saving-the-hardest-for-last.html

I'm frankly surprised no one has put this link here yet. 

Aside from young Matthew being a motivated, perseverer extraordinaire with no taste buds and a presumably dissolved digestive tract, his weapon of choice is a great example of making do. 

I only have two bikes. A rigid single speed with fairly modernish (slack, mullét) geo and a heavy 150mm modernish trail bike.

I like both of them and actually prefer to clean things either bike ISN'T designed for. 

I wanna take the single speed for a couple of nights adventure someday. Summer's coming down our way so wish me luck.

Reply

heckler
Sven Luebke
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+3 Karl Fitzpatrick Pete Roggeman Andy Eunson

and Matthew Fairbrother was the second half of my post, thanks! This kid rocks! Give him a follow IG @matthewfmtb so he can get some more sponsorship!

https://www.instagram.com/p/ChX2l24ORw5/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

> After the shortest but most eventful commute yet I’ve made it to Sugarloaf for @world_enduro #6! 🇺🇸 > > This leg was a relatively short 240km but was the most mentally challenging and action packed ride to date.

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Karl - similarly i've got two bike - a HT/rigid Surly Krampus (first gen) and a Starling Murmur.  Both are fairly overbuilt and I ride both a similar amount and ride the same trails on both.  

Riding the wrong bike is fun.

I'm surprised Matthew Fairbrother hasn't been snapped up by a pro road cycling team.

Reply

cheapondirt
cheapondirt
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+5 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman doodersonmcbroseph trioofchaos dirtnapped

Really enjoyed this even while feeling a little convicted by it. An unhealthy amount of my thoughts are bicycle optimization schemes.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 cheapondirt

Uncle Dave knows many of us better than we know ourselves.

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+4 Sandy James Oates Pete Roggeman mtnfriend LWK

Well, at least you didn't get passed by fit gravel guy on a descent! That would have really stung. Very well written and enjoyable as usual. Thanks

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+4 ZigaK mtnfriend Velocipedestrian LWK

The best bike for the job is the one that you already have that's ready to go. Good advice.

Reply

cxfahrer
cxfahrer
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

With N+x bikes this is always true.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+2 mtnfriend Blofeld

I think I learned to hate marketing from being an alpine skier for years. Some of the stupid shit I’ve seen and heard over the years. With bikes I often think the reviewers don’t finish their sentence. "This bike climbs well" they say but leave out " for what it is." I’m sorry but there is no 180/170 travel bike with a 64° Head Nile and 80° seat angle that will climb better than a shorter travel bike with better angles that weighs far less. But they it’s written you’d think you would keep up with Shurter when you’re on a good day and he’s not feeling well. The whole seat tube angle thing too. It’s more efficient. Why? Because it’s steeper. Why is steeper better? Because it’s more efficient. Circular logic prevails. My friend just test rode a Hightower and ended up buying one. Except the one she rented was the previous model and the new one is current with a steep seat tube angle. Her hands got so numb she couldn’t feel the brakes. I’m sure the shop will help her make changes to get the bike to fit better but still. I think she’ll end up more upright to get the weight off her hands but more upright is less efficient as it’s harder to generate power.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andy Eunson

I'm right with you about the marketing, and I think some of it comes down to poor writing and comprehension. It's shocking how little attention most people pay to what they read, and I think it goes all the way back to whomever is often ultimately responsible for the text that gets published that is used to market a bike.

However, your second anecdote has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with poor/lazy sales staff at whatever shop your friend bought from. Hopefully she gets it sorted!

Reply

heckler
Sven Luebke
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

We both pedaled a stock Giant Reign and Hail Advanced (the old 27.5 ones), fully loaded camping from Auckland to Rotorua.  Best and worst ride of our life!

-rough mountainous gravel roads (great gearing, perfect tires, nice to have suspension, I don't know how people ride this on road (gravel) bikes)

-pea gravel paths (this sucked, wrong gearing, super slow tires)

-shoulderless 100 kph highways (this really sucked, we ending riding along the ditch for safety, the mtb were perfect!)

-undulating gradual downhill flow trails next to a river (amazing!)

-endless rough mountainous gravel roads (again, happy to not be on a gravel bike, but way too slow)

-DH trails and shuttling with friends in Rotorua for 2 days (amazing, this is actually why we went there!)

-stupid Covid shutdowns canceled our holiday plans to ride back to the airport and put our bikes in a rental van. (no bike deserves this!)

Reply

alexdi
Alex D
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 doodersonmcbroseph

My version of a do-everything bike is an Epic Evo or equivalent. The weight penalty over a typical gravel frame and fork is 2.5 pounds (which is mitigated by a lighter drivetrain, bars, and brakes). For that, you get 2.4"+ of tire clearance and 120mm of properly damped travel. Fit inner bar ends and slick tires and you can keep up with the roadies on asphalt. Swap in wide wheels and knobby tires and you can shred up to the black diamond level.  

This works for me because I'm entertained by being slightly under-biked. The suspension is never so plush than I can plow and my tires never have a enough tread. Keeps the average speed high and limits the max speed. Put me on an enduro sled with DH-rated Assegais and I'd probably get myself into trouble.

Reply

boomforeal
boomforeal
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Timer

An eco reference in an mtb article. I have that essay in a collection from college but haven’t thought about it in years. Thanks Dave

Reply

jt
JT
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I used to lust after big travel bikes and even owned a few that were too much for my local rolls. Slowly but surely I've been paring down the stable so that each bike is more jack of all, master of none with the outlier being the DJ. The Wolverine makes a fine CX race bike (at Cat5 at least), roadie, gravel, touring, and in the right place a decent singletrack ripper. My Trance X is big enough for most all big bike trails with a wheel swap, and the Seargent sees summer and winter duties with a fork and wheel swap. Each one is a compromise, certainly, and I definitely feel the inequity when I ride with fast friends on more terrain appropriate rigs. But so be it. The Merckx Maxim of it not getting any easier, you just get stronger applies in those times. I've found having a smaller stable allows for more meaningful tinkering and thinking.

Reply

OLDF150
Kerry Williams
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 shenzhe

Last year I turned 52, and went through my 2nd tibial plateau fracture from trying to be "radder" than I really am.  I figured it was time to take stock of how I approach riding, and all of the things you talk about came to light for me.  Hence now I have one bike to do it all in a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of attitude.  And, at the heart of it, a set of Vittoria Syerras keeping me quicker on the climbs, and less prone to just "send it".  Thanks for the column Dave.  It's good to know I'm not alone.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I've got a set of the Syerras now.... and I'd say they keep you honest, hahha. You're not getting away with too much on 'em, that's for sure.

Reply

OLDF150
Kerry Williams
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Definitely. My achiles heel is not knowing when I’ve reached that edge so I wanted something that didn’t ever let me forget.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

This never occurred to me before in quite this context, however riding only one bike no doubt could be safer as you'll be much more aware of what it will do under you in all conditions.

Reply

OLDF150
Kerry Williams
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Yeah, I am not the best at feeling those grippy tires reach their limit and so would push too hard without realising it. Now I know that at all times, take it easy in the corners! Lol.

Reply

tashi
tashi
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Sanesh Iyer

Whenever I start think i “need” this or that upgrade on the mountain bike I catch a glimpse of my Cross-Check and I’m back to reality. It may never be the BEST bike for any particular purpose but whenever I choose it it’s the RIGHT bike for the job. It’s been a great third-world tourer, CX racer, winter road bike, groad bike, child hauler, MacRide trail bike, SS high-speed commuter and for every role it’s opened up an awesome time on the bike where the bike was in no way holding me back.

Turns out the quiver killer is basically a hybrid with good tire clearance. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
1 month, 1 week ago
0

My Krampus is similar - it's more Chameleon than a Chameleon (the SC one that is).  

Surly sure know how to make a keeper.

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Dave - I'm not a golfer but compare riding with trying to play golf with only one club.  It's always going to be a compromise so you may as well just enjoy it.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Riding single speed and rigid with one brake and no dropper is like golfing with one club ;)

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Single Speed rigid with no dropper is fine but one brake is verging on madness....

The question tho is do you pick the front brake (so at least you can stop) or rear brake and hang it out Klunker style....

Reply

tehllama42
Tehllama42
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

I literally spent 30+ pages of my MTB purchase optimization tome figuring out exactly how to:
Optimize the 50-150m of my entire 10mi ride to extract maximum total enjoyment from just that one bit.  I'm totally OK with it... because the rest doesn't exactly suck.

That being said, at this point I put so many more miles on my Maxxis Asspen equipped hardtail that I'd almost be better suited to sending that even down the rough stuff where I know I can hang with dudes on Enduros, because I'm most comfortable on that setup and can actually run that bike to its limit, aided primarily by being less out of gas from the climb.

Reply

mikeynets
mikeynets
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Great article, even better song selection. Sudan Archives just added to my rotation. And you're 100% spot on for Panda Bear being 100% spot on about 10% of the time. Same for Animal Collective IMO.

I just did an overnight bikepacking trip on my Banshee Spitfire where 90% of the saddle time was uphill fireroad but the other 10% was descending fun singletrack. All in just shy of 40 miles RT, 6000 ft elevation gain/loss. The "right bike" time pretty much was that 10% of descending time.

Could easily have done it on my rigid, lighter, faster rolling, more efficient Cotic Solaris, but I didn't regret my bike choice at all. With that said, I'm curious about doing the same trip again soon on the other bike just to see what the qualitative difference is.

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fartymarty
fartymarty
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

We did a 100 mile ride earlier this year (South Downs Way 100).  It was on a lot of bridleways and I rode it on my coil sprung Murmur.  It was sweet on the rough techish climbs and anything pointing down.  It was OK on the flatter sections.  There were lots doing it on gravel bikes which were suggested by the ride organisers but boy were they suffering.

Modern trail bikes are quite good at doing everything quite well from DH to XC as long as you aren't racing.

Reply

Ripcraft
Ripcraft
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Anybody else can't help but hear Soul Asylum Runaway Train in that last song? Damn near a knockoff IMHO

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