Hey Peter. I'm sure you've ridden in the Okanagan before, but just for you and everyone reading this, please keep in mind, many people who come here from the coastal region get an unexpected number of flats because of all the sharp edged rocks in this region. I live in Kelowna and it's not as severe as Penticton. Penticton has tons of it and I'd hate to see an awesome week become frustrating from too many unforseen flats. Enjoy the Okanagan, it's such a great riding area.
This article really hit home for me as I'm transitioning from trying to improve jumps and speed to improving fitness and climbing ability. The last few years, I haven't listened closely enough to what my body is telling me and have had injuries that'll last a lifetime. But, I'm not ready to give up on riding, I love it too much. So, I'm going to lean more towards climbing and tech skills and bring down the speed and for the most part, 2 wheels on the ground. But, I will always want to progress, as that is part of what I love about this sport.
I'm considering downsizing in travel from an Instinct BC to a Blur TR and your review was pretty inspiring Pete. Thanks for all the good perspectives.
I hear ya there Tim, and the last time I used flats for an extended period of time(about 7 or 8 years ago), I had those same issues and ended up going back to clips until I broke my leg. I don't know if shoes are better, or if its the HIIT training I do throughout the week, but I don't have any of those issues any more, so the flats are my go to. @thedumpsters I change shoes, even being on flats. Must be an old clip shoe habit, LOL. I do sometimes miss that locked in feeling though. Defintiely just a matter of what works for each person. It's awesome that we all can find what works for our individual quirks these days.
This article really speaks to me Andrew. Being 52 this year and on my 2nd tibial plateau fracture in 2 years, I was in need of flat pedal useage after the first one. I ended up enjoying it so much, along with a gym membership that allowed me to keep up with most of my riding group, that I didn't plan on going back to clipping in. But, I kept the enduro type bike and pushed the limits a bit too far and am now recouping from the 2nd tpf. so, now I've decided I need to be more XC in my riding style, and was wondering, do people ride flats on XC bikes? I want to, but would the community allow it, LOL? My plan is to ditch the enduro bike for something closer to XC (eliminate the send temptation) and stick with the flats. Glad to hear I won't be the only person doing this combo! Thanks again for a great article.
Actually, I bet you can ride with about 9 friends. You just have to lay down the other 8 in the bed and then use a couple tie down straps to keep them safe to the destination.
My big takeaway from this Uncle Dave, is that yes, we need a better metric for how far back from the cranks my seat will be. Add that with the reach number and i'd finally have some useable data. I'm not extremely tall at 5'11" but my long legs mean most bikes that I've owned over the years could stand to have way better seat tube angles. Until I bought an XL Instinct BC and slid the seat all the way forward, I've never had an ideal seat tube angles. Nice thing is, the latest bikes are finally starting to address this issue for those of us with long legs. Ahhh, the human body, such a PITA to find an ideal fitting bike since we all vary shape and size so much.
Thanks again NSMB and AJ. Absolutely love this series. And Genevieve, congratulations on some awesome choices. Car, bike and dogs all look like a ton of fun.
Nice. Thanks for the responses. I'm always on the lookout for a good shoe.
I'm currently using the Shimano GR9's. They fit really well, and have adequate grip for my first flat pedal shoe in about 8 years. I wonder, how do my Shimanos compare to an RC or a Stealth? These RC's look to be a great next shoe for me.
I'll try to be brief and to the point (not my strong suit). I'm 52, 5'11" with long inseam. Not until the current generation of bikes, have I been able to find a bike with the right reach and STA that makes climbs feel like I'm not hanging off the back, and a reach that let's me descend in the centre of the bike. I've found that to be waaayyyyyy more important than the weight of the bike. Then there's fitness. I heard a pro bike fitter/physiotherapist interview where she said it's not always bike fit (geometry). A lot of people need to take control of their body health and get flexibility into their bodies to relieve the pain of riding. I joined a bootcamp to help rehab my leg break from 2 years ago, and I continue to go because it's 30 minutes out of my day that has really, really helped me do 3-5 hour rides without back pain. Like all things in life, it's not quite as simple as weight vs geo, but for me, I'll take geo over weight all day, every day. Thanks for the article.
I feel the same, I always enjoy an interview with Mr. Porter. You don't have to agree with him, but he definitely gets you wondering if the things you take for truth about bikes, really are.
I'll try to keep from writing a big story, but suffice it to say, this is my favourite column in all the the interweb world that I visit. And, this has been the best entry yet. At first, I thought, ugh, a boring Dakota. But I clicked anyway, and read a great article about another person who loves bikes and cars and has had adventures with both. I too have had a varied vehicle life and find positives in all the experiences. My latest purchase is a Toyota Sienna so that my wife and I can do epic road trips that include a bit of sleeping in a vehicle. It also enables me to do rides and stop at the grocery store in the same run as my bikeshop owning friend sold me some fork mounts that I put inside for interior bike hauling. No more putting bikes on a rack and hoping nobody steals my bike while I grab something from a store. One of my biking buddies came up with the best hastags for the van too: #siennaisthenewtacoma. Read it, learn it, live it. Thanks again for keeping this column going. Love it.
Absolutely loved this article. I fully believe bike sizing and geo are far more important than what type of suspension design a frame utilizes. I remember Dirt Magazine did an interview with Fabien Barel back when he was on Kona and it was all about the experiments with sizing and geo he and his mechanic were doing. If I remember right, they were onto the same conclusions as you, AJ. There is so much more to discuss about the ramifications of mixing ALL the geo numbers on a bike. Reach means nothing without talking about seat angle, chainstay length, stack, etc. It’s a stability pyramid (forklift operation terminology) that is also affected by our body shape and each individual’s ability to move around within it. Great article, and thank you.
I had a 2016 Process 153, not the DL version. While I loved that bike, it too was a bit short on the quality parts, especially the rims. Still, I loved that bike and only sold it due to a broken leg. When it was time to re-up, a new Process was on the shortlist, but the RM Instinct BC had a better parts spec for the similar price range so gave the Instinct the nod. I love this Instinct but still kinda lust for the Process. They are kinda quirky but super fun bikes and would ride one again in an instant.