Article: The Culture of Mountain Biking Has Gone Astray


Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
I do enjoy a shuttle day here and there, but I still find it sad that so many that ride now seem to just want to bomb the descent. It seems like they're missing so much to me.

I'm definitely no XC whippet, but even when suffering with muscle cramps, or struggling to catch my breath with sweat dripping off me I still enjoy 'The Journey' of a ride. The moment where you run out of puff part way up a big climb might suck, but f*** it - we're still out doing something we love even if that moment is a tough one.

I'm sure this is partly because I simply just enjoy being outdoors. When climbing or riding flattish trails I like having the time to look around and see the trees/flowers/birds/insects/reptiles and even over the course of a year just watching the seasons come and go. Sure the descents are fun, but just a part of the overall experience for me.

I'm happy just to be "fit and able" enough to be on a bike, and well off enough to be able to afford a bike and transportation to get to the trails to begin with.

It's a pretty good life, and having to stop for a few seconds for someone else going the other way really doesn't bother me. It's still better than being stuck in an office or layed up sick.

Mr Crudley

Wheel size expert
Have to agree with that article.

MTB'ing has moved from riding up and down things to more towards just down and the bike development and bike parks reflect it. No one is in it for the climb since a slow, hard work climb isn't as sexy and won't sell bikes as good as the hammering down the gnar. Has been a slow evolution.

I partly think it is due to US organisations like the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society that have pushed hard to have bikers outlawed from forests and wilderness in the US. They have tolerated MTB's reluctantly and still are up in arms about eBikes from what I understand.
The advent of bike parks and DH MTB use in ski resort areas in summer has somehow validated it, if it meant to or not. XC races are visually dull and don't make good TV like DH and 4x racing where each heat is over quickly and has more action to be seen. That is the image that media will associate MTB'ing with more consequently.

From the above, we have a perceived preferred place to use MTB's plus an easier to sell image, so we got have slacker angles, droppers, 1x gears and other more gravity orientated features on regular trail bikes. Advertising showing goggled full faced helmeted guys kicking up rooster tails that is more MX than humble pedal bike doesn't help.
MTB producers have noticed this plus the coolness of the gnarly d00d opposed to some XC-ish stick insect grinding slowly up an unforgiving climb is an easier sell. Not that i'm here or there on this but it is what it is from my point for view. Regardless of the generation of MTB I have, the trails I've rode since I've started riding haven't changed too much.

XC isn't and never will be sexy but 3xtr3m33 d00dz riding the chunk looks awesome. MTB marketers know this well, hence we have what we have now, which might not reflect what MTB'ing means to you. It also shows to me that MTB producers and marketers care more to sell you 'something' opposed to selling you what might actually be better.

I haven't ever been a spoon and pan clanging advocate but I am leaning more towards that way now.
Ride how and where you like but respect it. Only leave behind tyre imprints.

Daniel Hale

She fid, he fid, I fidn't
the way bikes specs have moved to meet or match this, see the optic thread 125mm, slack angles & descends like a boss

many riders don’t want to be fit, they are just out for some fun, i think mtb’ing , like the iphone has peaked, and is on a slow slide down, ebike s are just propping it up for now


Eats Squid
Sod off.

The current attitude of new riders will see MTB access go backwards.
It's started in Victoria where on one hand you've got development of specific tourism infrastructure mainly targetted at gravity bros in Warburton and Closure of long standing trails in Bendigo.

The market for gravity trails has proven to be finite.
There's already a storm brewing in Tas over which council area will get MTB tourism bed nights.
Throw in an offering on the mainland and wait to see the towns asking why enduro bros haven't saved their economy.


Captain obvious
people these days rarely have an attention span any longer than it takes Haakon to jump down the throats of anyone trying to challenge him on his hippocritic views.
Fads come and go, but in reality it is just the minority trying to operate outside the mainstream and to try and relive the feeling of doing something that few people dare to tread.
back in the day, mountain bikers were seen as adventurers and thrill seekers, but now it all seems a bit naff and main stream..those that dare to step outside the lines are persecuted.
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Call me Ken, whoreken
Meh. I prefer to ride alone anyway so don’t much care what others do. Only issues I’ve had is the occasional rude prick, but I’ll get over it.

People making illegal trails and whinging when they’re closed is annoying though, as it ultimately restricts access for us all. But as with everything, there’s always one dickhead ruining it for the rest of us...


Likes Bikes and Dirt
I think there’s definitely a lot to be said for the generational shift and I’m not even old (though I do feel it)

I’d lean more towards @Ackland’s side of the story, in that i don’t like going for a ride unless I’m actually going for a proper ride.

I’ve come from the XC racing side and I simply don’t have the desire/time to train or the fitness to race XC. I enjoy the more mellow trail rides for pure enjoyment now, but I’m still doing the same rides, just lugging a bigger/heavier bike around the same trails at a slower rate.

I’ve been vocal about this before, but the market is driving people towards bikes that make a regular ‘trail’ ride shit. Having ‘insert rad pros name’ shred a big bike at warp speed looks unbelievable, but Australia, in particular, does not have the gnar/elevation or trails to warrant those bikes 95% of the time.

The new Norco’s are a prime example of this. The Sight which was considered a well balanced trail bike has become an absolutely pig of a bike and the Optic has supposedly jumped in to fill the gap, but with none of the characteristics that made the Sight so popular. Great in North America or Canada where you have proper wild trails, not so good in Australia.
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