The Death Of Vanity AndrewM
EDITORIAL

Vanity Dies with the Season

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major & Noted
Date Nov 5, 2018

Call Me Joey

The banter has been on point. At times vicious, absolutely hilarious, a bit raunchy, 100% friendly, and totally relentless. Pretty much standard for a parade of mountain bikers climbing single track in the pitch black sporting overachieving flashlights. The rain's just starting up but no one's expecting a deluge so the pace is brisk and jovial.

By the time we reach our Tuesday night destination we've been pedalling for an hour and a half. Pads are pulled out, a pump feeds a tubeless tire that's hangry for sealant, and I unpack my chin bar and quietly pop it on my helmet.

That's when the sh*t show actually starts. 

nsmb_2017_gear_review__apparel_7mesh_guardian-9096.jpg

The Leatt DBX 3.0 is in contention for the best looking removable-chin-bar full face. Photo: Dave Smith

Death Of Vanity AndrewM

Until I remove the visor for night riding that is. If Rogatkin can't make it look cool I don't have a chance in hell. Photo: AM

I don't need a mirror, the impression I'm leaving is reflected in the eyes of my comrades; the stubble on my upper lip, the chin bar,  eyes squinting straight into someone's lamp. Oh, and of course I have removed the visor from my lid. If Matt & Jason were recasting I Only Ride Park I'd have a solid shot at the role of 'Joey' - Squidlid included. 

Nope, I didn't break my visor off in a crash. I removed it for a small improvement in helmet light performance on the trail. Yep. Nerd. And, I'm certainly not toggling the peak on-and-off all winter so when a daytime ride warrants the chin bar I'm going footloose and visor free. 

nsmb_2017_gear_review__apparel_7mesh_guardian-9098.jpg

Sure, visors look boss. But, do they actually do anything on the trail? I've been daytime riding in a bucket lid for a few months - rain or shine - and I'm thinking not. Photo: Dave Smith

I love it. The rain picks up but we're too busy laughing to head down the trail. A beer has come out of someone's pack and it's going to be at least three minutes of abuse before we drop in. I start thinking about all the subtle gear changes that happen this time of year and the suddenly-silent evangelists trying to get away with them. 

Off-Seasons Pass

I see you hip-pack guy. I see you but, strangely, I don't hear you. A mere two weeks ago you were  singing the praises of that little black strapless number that is perfect for every occasion but here you are sporting a mid-sized Camelbak complete with a rain cover. 

What's stuffed in there? An extra jacket and gloves? Maybe some bonus food. Hopefully a light, as we'll be finishing close-enough to dusk. Maybe a reflective blanket, a flask, and a couple of single-use heat packs in case we need to spend a bromantic night snuggled up in the woods.


CamelBak 2018 Crankworx AndrewM

Hip-packs have absolutely all the room that a smart-packing compact-gear-buying rider needs.

CamelBak 2018 Crankworx AndrewM

Until they don't. 

I don't ask. I imagine him halfway out the door when the zipper pops open spewing his fanny-packings all over the floor. Or the well-endowed multi-tool puncturing the hydration bladder that somehow stays in place with only a cranked down waist belt. 

And now you're standing with I-never-wear-gloves guy who is sporting a fresh set of 100% Briskers debating which front fender option looks the least stupid. 

nsmb_2017_gearreview_raceface_agent_gloves-1003.jpg

At some point, all the whiskey, carbon brake levers, and lack-of-f***s in the world won't save you from the chill coming through your bike. At that point try some winter gloves. Photo: Dave Smith

Something witty comes to mind and I'm in the process of forming a sentence when a rider comes around the bend and shouts "nice lid Drew, where's the best place on Upper Oil Can to bust out a backflip?" Before I can release my snide reply, my all-too-fashion-conscious and currently heavily-gloved friend replies, "give the guy a break, everyone gets an off-season pass." 

And that about sums it up, my über-aware Enduro-Brah mountain bike fashionista friend. If I can rock shants and a visor-less full face and walk away unscathed, you're probably safe to pack some extra clothes, keep your water source out of the dog sh*t, and be able to feel your brake levers. 

There will be plenty of time to rock the smallest stash pouches, gnarliest naked meat hooks, latest colourways, and the largest bucket balconies when the mercury rises and the sun comes out. 

Comments

kekoa
+4 legbacon Pete Roggeman Skyler Andrew Major
kekoa  - Nov. 4, 2018, 10:34 p.m.

I'm done with this website, promoting reckless visorless riding. Ahahaha. 

Always enjoy reading about others and their riding groups; makes me feel less/more fortunate about mine.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 4, 2018, 11:29 p.m.

Ha! You gotta try it! The post-MTB-fashion-you will wonder why you didn’t throw off the shackles of useless-visor-dom sooner!

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Nov. 4, 2018, 11:55 p.m.

I have noticed a lot more lycra and booties in one of my local rides since the weather has turned cold.

Reply

craw
+7 Endur-Bro Zapp Andrew Major legbacon Pete Roggeman Mammal James Vasilyev
Cr4w  - Nov. 5, 2018, 8:13 a.m.

NSMB is just a paid shill for Big Visor.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 9:57 a.m.

Wait... is that Right Brim or Left Brim conspiracy?!

Reply

FLATCH
+1 Jonas Dodd
flatch  - Nov. 5, 2018, 4:42 a.m.

booties ?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Zapp Jonas Dodd
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 6:58 a.m.

A pirate’s favourite piece of cycling kit. 

“Yarrrr! They’re after me booties!”

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Nov. 5, 2018, 7:09 a.m.

Fluorescent neoprene thingees that go over disco slippers....

(thinking about it I think a few roadies have infiltrated one of my riding groups)

At least the other group I ride with wears 5.10s all year round....

Reply

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - Nov. 5, 2018, 9:58 a.m.

If you're a clipless guy I can't recommend the Shimano MW7 enough. Goretex, a nice cuff and closure system, SPD tracks that allow you to run your cleats quite far back. Good traction on wet stuff when walking. It's a joy to go out in the rain and come home with dry feet.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5044-884/SH-MW7-Winter-Cycling-Boots

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 5, 2018, 5:59 p.m.

Unfortunately the MW-7 has been discontinued, however the MW-5 is also a great option. I thoroughly love mine, and here's a review to prove it: https://nsmb.com/articles/shimano-mw5-winter-shoes-reviewed/

Reply

legbacon
+2 Cr4w Andrew Major
legbacon  - Nov. 5, 2018, 6:28 a.m.

I move the visor from one of my helmets and keep it for night riding over the winter.  The visor does cut off the beam and even during the day it is always pushed up out of view.  I do manage to go packless as my SWAT bibs hold a lot and work better than the fanny pack I had for a few months.  I will also strap gear like a rain jacket to my top tube, and my hardtail has a frame bag.  Rear Mudhuggers and front RRP Proguard take care of the slop.  I may be the dorkiest rider here, but as I was told in the Army 40 years back "any fool can be uncomfortable".

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 7:04 a.m.

“Any fool can be uncomfortable” is an amazing line. 

Anecdotally it seems to me that a much higher percentage of female riders are rocking the hip backs? I think ‘hips’ is the operative word. 

Are you using a headlamp with a built in battery or do your bibs hold a battery pack without it bouncing about?

Cheers!

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Nov. 5, 2018, 7:13 a.m.

I'll admit to being a year round hip-pack wearer.  

It does sit nice and snuggly under my riding jacket and I have about a litre of water in the camelbak bladder with the hose run and light cable under my jacket as well to keep the mud off.

Reply

legbacon
0
legbacon  - Nov. 6, 2018, 7:59 a.m.

Fanny packs are very popular with the ladies, maybe because the don't have to cinch them too tight to prevent sagging?

My battery going in a bib pocket and this works quite well.

Reply

jason
0
jason  - Nov. 7, 2018, 4:22 a.m.

Separate helmet for night riding with light attached.  Still with a visor though.  I still where a pack in summer so no real diff in winter other than I carry more.  Winter additions include food (bars), and gloves.  If it is wet out I climb up with a pair of simple fleece gloves.  Once at the top I put on a fresh pair of riding gloves.  I usually carry at least three pairs of spare riding gloves ( of varying thickness and waterproofness), on winter rides so my pack sometimes looks pretty big.

Reply

trumpstinyhands
+1 Andrew Major
trumpstinyhands  - Nov. 5, 2018, 9:31 a.m.

Ha ha..... Mountain biking fashion is weird though. I remember being a regular in WBP in 2007 and you were a total dork if you didn't have your visor on your TLD carbon lid slammed all the way back, making it totally pointless. And now I hate the sensation of having it blocking vision so still push it up out of the way. I know there is the argument that it helps push twigs and falling squirrels out of the way but really? I'm temped to just buy a DJ / skid lid next and say goodbye to visors for ever :)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 JVP trumpstinyhands
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 10:04 a.m.

I’ve been wearing a Kali Viva bucket for most day rides since August (review coming soon). That includes hot days riding up No Quarter and chasing friends around Tech-C trails on Single Speed Sunday.

Crazy comfortable.

It has their top end tech in terms of foam density and is pretty light in a relatively cheap package. I’ll argue a pad-fit helmet has the original slip-plane tech.

It definitely gives up venting but it isn’t anywhere near as bad to climb in as I expected.

I don’t miss a visor at all.

Reply

Vikb
+1 legbacon
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 5, 2018, 10:51 a.m.

Now that I have a bike with room for a frame bag and 2 water bottles I don't even bother with a hip pack 95% of the time except for really long hot summer rides where there are no creeks to refill from. Light batteries get attached to the frame and put into a pocket/attached to a belt depending what I am wearing.

I wear pads all the time, saves carrying them and in winter they add some warmth.

I've fixed at least 5-6 bikes of people wearing big hydropacks this year. I always wonder what the heck they have in there...clearly not enough stuff to keep their bikes rolling! ;-)

I've got a helmet I use mostly for night riding since it works really well with my light mount. The visor doesn't get in the way and I like it so I can lower my head and block out the 10,000 lumen light from my friend when they look at me forgetting to turn off their light.

Reply

DaveSmith
+3 Zapp Pete Roggeman Andrew Major
Dave Smith  - Nov. 5, 2018, 11:33 a.m.

I cannot endorse this message

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 Pete Roggeman Cr4w Mammal
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 11:36 a.m.

The alternate working title was: 

‘Love Letter To Dave Smith’

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Nov. 5, 2018, 6:48 p.m.

Don’t chuck that visor in the recycling bin though. With a few well chosen holes made with a small hot screwdriver you can repurpose is as an equally questionable mini fender for your fork. 

I remember when TLD came out with velcroed on visors around 1990. Total fashion thing. I find that they do keep rain off my glasses and deflect spider webs a bit when I’m first out. I suppose they provide some sun protection for my fish belly whiteness. Yeah, I have them on my helmets because I don’t need to give the kids one more thing to laugh at me about.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Andy Eunson
Andrew Major  - Nov. 5, 2018, 7:27 p.m.

A bucket lid will take 10-years off minimum.

Reply

flowrider
+1 legbacon
flowrider  - Nov. 5, 2018, 7:22 p.m.

I'm about to slap on a big ass ugly Mudhugger rear fender. Nothing says Off Season like that monstrosity.

Reply

troy
+1 legbacon
Troy  - Nov. 6, 2018, 12:43 p.m.

But damn if they don't work well.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Nov. 7, 2018, 12:51 p.m.

I bought a pair of Mechanix gloves yesterday, the 'leather' wraps right around the fingertips to the second knuckle (this is where my gloves usually fail).

Pink. Womens large. Off-brand. Warm and strong looking for $10, I'm looking forward to the jibes.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 7, 2018, 1:09 p.m.

Those sound wicked! Not every product comes in a Man Specific version so sometimes you just have to grab a Ladies/Unisex model.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Nov. 7, 2018, 4:12 p.m.

I'm not a very man specific chap at the best of times. My usual colour scheme is designed to detect arseholes.

Reply

taprider
0
taprider  - Nov. 9, 2018, 6:54 a.m.

why are bills/brims/peaks so cool anyway?

I didn't even know what the point of your picture was until I read further

Moto GP and Skater helmets don't have them, and those sports are considered way cooler than mtn biking

here is any example of a backwards one http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9PfzYshYSCM/TyiebQ7UA4I/AAAAAAAACwc/UaP5exb0j6M/s1600/rossi+sepang+helmet+2012+01.jpg (ps: the visor is the clear thing in front of the riders eyes)

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 10, 2018, 10:48 a.m.

I actually figured this out Tuesday night! The visor (peak, brim, etc) is to deflect roost when the guy passing you climbing singletrack on an e~bike digs deep sans-technique and the DH paddles on the rear tire break loose the trail.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.

Trending on NSMB