On being "underbiked"
If you follow me on Twitter you already know about my love for mountain bikes1.
Last week I had the pleasure to test a couple bikes at the Italian Bike Festival (IBF), where many high-profile brands showed their current and future product line-ups2.
Since there weren’t any trails near the location IBF took place, the festival management was kind enough to build a small bike park course inside so that attendants could test bikes to the best of their abilities.
I had the pleasure to try my first enduro e-MTB — a Haibike ALLMNT 6.03 — and a BH Lynx Race, a highly-specced XC full-suspension bike.
Both bikes sported a carbon front triangle at least, equipped with high-profile suspension setups, top-of-the-line transmission and brakes: I had a lot of fun, although the Lynx Race was a bit off its natural habitat.
The Haibike one felt fantastic.
Magura brakes are incredible, and a proper Fox shock/fork setup makes you feel like you’re floating on rocks.
After three days of COVID-19-safe bike show-off the IBF finished, and I got back onto my 2017 CUBE Acid hardtail.
The front fork is near the bottom of Rockshox offerings as well as the Shimano XC brakes4, wheels aren’t exactly the best and I did my fair share of heavy trail riding abuse.
I even brought it to what might be classified as a heavy blue/single black diamond trail, which I do not recommend if your bike is built as a climbing machine.
Riding my Acid5 and practicing drills taught me where I’m able to push myself physically, where I should place more practice time and how much body positioning and balance can affect riding even on flat surfaces.
It also taught me that you can’t just lift the front, your back wheel exists too.
I feel that whatever “being underbiked” means in your context should be considered positive behavior rather than a limitation – yes you can’t hit that 3 meters gap because you’ll probably end up with two broken rims, but you can still learn how to approach smaller jumps in preparation for the big one.
Bear in mind I’m not bashing high-end/full-squish bikes – I’ll probably buy a proper trail bike by the end of next year – but rather, I’m appreciating what a less capable bike can do for your riding skills.
If I started with a slack, long enduro MTB I would’ve enjoyed more extreme trails, sure, but my basic riding skills would be still in an embryonic state.
although literally anything on /r/bikeporn will make me exclamate an appreciation “Ooooh!”. ↩︎
some of them even gave product on-hands previews! ↩︎
which I believe hasn’t been announced officially yet, I literally cannot find it anywhere! ↩︎
except the drivetrain, which is an optimal mashup between an XT derailleur and SLX 11-speed cassette/shifters. ↩︎
#opinion #nontech #bikes #mtb