I realise fashion has a part to play in the MTB world, but I wish people (the Yoof?) would realise that in the UK the majority of trails do not require long travel, then we might get more investment in creative and intelligent alternatives to "all mountain" bikes which have become the norm.
Agree, but all mountain bikes have become the "norm" due to the average rider having bigger asppriations than several years ago.
In my book, there are two types of mountain biking most commonly done in the UK (NOT including racing) these would be trail centre riding, & er, going out in the countryside, (something we all here know all about being "retrobikers")
Therefore i ride predominatly two types of mountain bike, the first being either one of my old school MTBs (when its dry!!) or my thrash hardtail with 100mm fork, or my (wait for it...!) "all mountain bike" ! a lapierre spicy, with, 6" travel, disc brakes & a 50mm stem ! (s**t the bed) & why you ask ? a few reasons ;
retro steed & hardtail for local through the woods, or up in them there hills.. (if i wana go for a "thrash/blast/rag" the hardtails best, much more fun)
The Spicy for riding afan, cwmcarn, or the megavalanche. For wales, idealy, due my wanting to "go for it" (i ride/race DH) & push myself. You see its my attitude to my riding that effects what i ride. Im FULLY aware that i could ride my muddy fox seeker over Afan, but it wont be no way near as much fun! & besides, no matter what all you may think, the facts are that a four-bar linkage suspension (set up right) aint that half bad to ride!!! (shock horror) the only penalty being extra weight, but hey, im pretty fit, & all that crap is in the mind anyway. Mind you the only occasion it was not, was on a media demo ride with John Tomac @cwmcarn not long ago.. he was behind me, & steamrollered past me on (wait for it!!!) 6" travel bike! he was f**king flying up that first hill.
Theres nought wrong with "fashion" we were all victims once, christ, you aint EVER gona catch me in bright yellow lycra any more! but ALL mountain bikes, ridden by all ages, are fine for the UK. just not every person.[/quote]
I am not claiming that there isn't a place for 6" travel bikes in the UK, of course there is and I only recently sold my Ellsworth Epiphany (5.25" travel 4 bar linkage). My point is that the majority of riders in the UK are relatively new to the sport and have started out riding on a 6" travel "all mountain" rig or even tried a hardtail. This is negative because most of them aren't as fit as John Tomac and will struggle up hills compared with a hardtail (I don't care what anyone says, even the most efficient full sus rig can not match a hard tail in the climbs with equally matched riders on board).
I was in the peak district a few weeks back and saw so many riders out on shiny new £3k all mountain rigs and when they returned from their rides, they were barely dirty. The enjoyment seemed to be coming from the purchase of a bike that was more expensive than their mates', rather than enjoying the riding itself.
If the magazines and fashionista's were a bit more balanced and educated new riders about buying an appropriate machine for the kind of riding they do, the market place would be more diverse and bikes like the Cleland wouldn't be so "unusual".
I like modern bikes as much as retro and own both, I just think that the majority of modern bikes are clones of one another and would be extremely difficult to tell apart without their decals. Full sus bikes are pushed as "must have" because full sus bikes have many more components to wear out and therefore have many more bits to replace/upgrade, so generate more money for the manufacturer. I doubt we will see a huge number of carbon full sussers being ridden by enthuiasts in 20 years time!
94 GT RTS 3 (in build)
05 Cinelli estrada
93 Saracen Ltd Edition - In need of love
93 Ozone O2 E-stay (the wife's)
2013 Whyte 129-S
2016 GT Grade