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Bike tech vs rider skill and your riding "philosophy" therein

April 29, 2022, 10:17 a.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb. 8, 2022

I've just mentioned this in another forum but I wonder if there's some crossover point where we can say that everything past a certain year was surely too old or out of place to ride or won't help with skills etc. or if the point of an "old" bike will always be a certain number of years back from the present.

There certainly are improvements that have been made that make riding "easier" (larger wheels, slacker geometry to name a couple), but I don't think the limit has been pushed appropriately for the average rider. The trails are largely the same as they were when everyone was riding 26" and 70deg head angles. But who cares anyways i guess, it's fun to ride regardless.

April 29, 2022, 10:54 a.m.
Posts: 901
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: mammal

I've found very similar results, through my self-acquired insight. There are many days, often but not exclusive to after-work rides, where I quickly realize I'm a little off. Whether that's due to being tired, fatigued, or just distracted by life things. I've found that if I let everything else go, and only focus on body position and braking points, I end up regaining my form really quickly and often end up feeling like a ninja by the end of it. The old me would probably just have slowed to a relative crawl and accepted my fate. 

Adding a gravel bike to the mix has really helped me with this. I have two settings for rides:

1 - I need super high focus/intensity experience to clear my mind by effectively wiping it clean with terror - I go for a proper shore ride on my enduro bike

2 - I need a long pedal to churn over my thoughts and psychologically exhale - I go for a spin on my gravel bike

Recognizing this distinction has increased my ride satisfaction a lot these last few years.

April 29, 2022, 11:55 a.m.
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: craw

Posted by: mammal

I've found very similar results, through my self-acquired insight. There are many days, often but not exclusive to after-work rides, where I quickly realize I'm a little off. Whether that's due to being tired, fatigued, or just distracted by life things. I've found that if I let everything else go, and only focus on body position and braking points, I end up regaining my form really quickly and often end up feeling like a ninja by the end of it. The old me would probably just have slowed to a relative crawl and accepted my fate. 

Adding a gravel bike to the mix has really helped me with this. I have two settings for rides:

1 - I need super high focus/intensity experience to clear my mind by effectively wiping it clean with terror - I go for a proper shore ride on my enduro bike

2 - I need a long pedal to churn over my thoughts and psychologically exhale - I go for a spin on my gravel bike

Recognizing this distinction has increased my ride satisfaction a lot these last few years.

I see that logic for sure, but for me it can be really difficult to ID which mode I'm in until I'm "IN IT". Some days, I'm physically tired and anticipate that I'll ride like shit, but then things just click and I've got all the focus I need. Other days, I've got no clear excuse that I can think of, and I'm just all over the place. Simplifying my focus when my brain is a tangled mess seems to almost always do the trick for me these days.

April 29, 2022, 6:41 p.m.
Posts: 901
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: mammal

Posted by: craw

Posted by: mammal

I've found very similar results, through my self-acquired insight. There are many days, often but not exclusive to after-work rides, where I quickly realize I'm a little off. Whether that's due to being tired, fatigued, or just distracted by life things. I've found that if I let everything else go, and only focus on body position and braking points, I end up regaining my form really quickly and often end up feeling like a ninja by the end of it. The old me would probably just have slowed to a relative crawl and accepted my fate. 

Adding a gravel bike to the mix has really helped me with this. I have two settings for rides:

1 - I need super high focus/intensity experience to clear my mind by effectively wiping it clean with terror - I go for a proper shore ride on my enduro bike

2 - I need a long pedal to churn over my thoughts and psychologically exhale - I go for a spin on my gravel bike

Recognizing this distinction has increased my ride satisfaction a lot these last few years.

I see that logic for sure, but for me it can be really difficult to ID which mode I'm in until I'm "IN IT". Some days, I'm physically tired and anticipate that I'll ride like shit, but then things just click and I've got all the focus I need. Other days, I've got no clear excuse that I can think of, and I'm just all over the place. Simplifying my focus when my brain is a tangled mess seems to almost always do the trick for me these days.

I can usually figure it out with a sort of visualization/thought experiment: is what I'm preoccupied with going to be helped by getting bumped around a lot, or will it limit focus on really demanding riding when I need it the most? Usually I can figure it out in advance. Also, timing. Shore traffic is so bad these days that time of day can limit choice. There's lots of fun gravel rips right outside my door and I can have a fun out and back in under 90 minutes.

May 1, 2022, 4:15 p.m.
Posts: 121
Joined: March 12, 2021

Posted by: silverbansheebike

I've just mentioned this in another forum but I wonder if there's some crossover point where we can say that everything past a certain year was surely too old or out of place to ride or won't help with skills etc. or if the point of an "old" bike will always be a certain number of years back from the present.

I stepped away from the sport for about a decade.  In that time away dropper posts became a common thing, and to be honest it has been such a game changer in terms of the amount of enjoyment that I have on a ride that I will confidently say that I'm not interested in riding a bike without one.  So that's how I will determine how "old" is too old. If the frame is not dropper post compatible I'm not interested.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about niche bikes/disciplines.  My sons dirt jumper doesn't have a dropper post and I will gladly take it to the pump track and have a good time.  If I go to Whistler and I decide to rent a DH bike that doesn't have a dropper - same thing.  It will still be a good time.

I'm talking specifically about biking in the woods on trails that involve going up, down, and everything in between, over and over again.  Not having to stop and adjust seat height with an allen key or quick release has added an incredible amount of flow to every ride.  I'm pretty sure I use my dropper more often than I shift gears (yes, I should probably use my derailleur more, or just say F it and go single speed).

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