Sunday, October 29, 2006

Researching a bike

Mountain bikes are starting to sell again. Mostly because people are buying more than one bike for different riding. They are starting to follow a trend toward simplicity on one side and over complexity on the other side. Examples are single speed 29ers and Santa Cruz's Virtual Pivot Point (VPP). These two machines can be compared only a little and contrasted everywhere. The main thing that they have in common is that given the right person on the right size, these bikes are FUN. People are getting so caught up in the technology and weight and over-toughness that they are losing sight of the thing that matters: riding the bike. My advice to those who are considering a fully rigid bike because it appeals to you is to ride one. See what you think. The same goes for people who want suspension. Go ride one. What will happen is what I call the "at home factor". If the bike feels at home, you will enjoy riding it. If it doesn't feel right, you will not enjoy it. You cannot expect to have the feeling of "at home on a bike" if you have not ridden many bikes. My advice to the new rider is pick out 3 bikes that appeal to your sense of what a bike should be and go try it. Buy the one that feels the *most* at home so that you will have a great bike to start with. When you are ready to buy a new bike in a few seasons, you will have defined your needs and wants because you will have a vocabulary of what you like and don't like. And all that time in between you will be having a blast without doing all that insane research. Research what trails you want to explore instead. Look up the trail photos on Google Image Search.

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