View Full Version : FUTURE OF MTB?
December 10th, 2002, 07:23 PM
What is the future of Mountain Biking? ???
December 10th, 2002, 08:22 PM
Wow......such an expansive question Todd!
I think one thing you'll keep seeing is more variety of rides available with new technology in suspension. I also think you'll see a return of the hardtail, but in a different format than what is traditionally thought of as hardtail territory (XC racing). Instead I think you'll see more and more hardtail freeride/Dual Slalom (or whatever the hell they call it these days), Dirt Jumping/Urban Assault Rigs.
Another thing that hopefully will be in the future of mountain biking is NEMBA ownership of that parcel of land in the Nam!!! Wouldn't that be amazing and newsworthy!
And hopefully we'll all be able to come together (freeriders, downhillers, huckers, racers, and plain old trail riders) behind a common love of riding our bikes! :) IMO there is room out there for everyone and I personally love to watch freeriders, hope to get to a NORBA race, would love to see a Trials rider in action, and plan to get out and ride the trails myself as much as possible!
December 10th, 2002, 09:45 PM
It's as dark and cloudy as your avatar!
December 10th, 2002, 10:22 PM
Woody! Where have ya been man??
I take that back......why did you return is a better question.
December 10th, 2002, 10:39 PM
Ahhhhhh frig Woody is back
As for the future of mountain biking I think that there will be additional consolidation in the industry with more small companies being bought up by the big guys. I also see less and less people out there on the trails. There just arent as many people riding as there were 5 years ago. As for the people that are riding it seems to me there are more good riders around these days.
There are definately less races and less attendance at races, more people riding for fun.
Bottom line get out and ride and have fun doing what you like to do.
December 10th, 2002, 10:46 PM
Pecker head could you elaborate on the dark part? I'm serious, I'd like everybody's detailed and long winded opinion on what our sport will be like a couple years from now.
December 11th, 2002, 01:39 AM
Damn Woody yer makin friends all over the place..LOL. :D I'm hoping the future doesn't lead to paved trails in the woods. I've been seeing more and more of the blowdowns cut away around the trail. I can see cutting away stuff that is 3 feet above the trail and totally impassable.
If its flat on the ground leave it. Climbing over that stuff is what makes it fun....... If we want to ride on flat ground why don't we get out the skinny tire bike, dress up like wonder woman (like most of the cyclists around here) and plague the motorists of new england. Boing
December 11th, 2002, 02:03 AM
sorry just felt like doing that.. The future is never ending in my eyes.WE have one of the greatist sports around. It will never get old and never be boring. As long as their are people like us to keep it going . This sport will not fade..
my 2 cents
December 11th, 2002, 09:25 AM
Mr. Cheeze envisions ultra light machines fashioned from elements discovered on one of Jupiter's newly discovered moons. This bike will weigh a mere 9 pounds and be stronger than diamond. It will be outfitted with smart suspension, retro propulsion, auto shifting (of course), security systems, satellite radios, and air bags. It will come standard with GPS memory and talk to you while you are riding, recommending courses depending upon ones proclivity. It' state of the art sealed bearings guarantees maintenance free riding for 15 years.
All of this in a couple of years. Mr. Cheeze sees the future.
December 11th, 2002, 09:58 AM
I agree with AA on the consolidation of the industry. I think racing as we know it today will continue to become less popular but already we are seeing an increase in mtbing in adventure and 24 hour races. I also think we will see more folks on big bikes doing stunts, ramps, and park type stuff playing with the BMX crowd. I think "trail bikes" will continue to make sense for many people who ride technical XC and enjoy epics but don't race. On the free ride/DH front people are just going bigger and bigger. (Wade Simmons is crazy). I also see less of a faction between roadies and mtbers than in years past.
Like anything else advocacy will be important. Housing developments will continue and they need land. Also outdoor enthusiasts will need to continue to share our resources. We need continued activity that leads to progress. Many of us can do more (I include myself here) and beyond just $$$, efforts spent on visibility, education, and trail maintenence are equally important.
The advent of women specific bikes (Juliana Furtado line) and "real" kids mountain bikes (e.g. Kona) will hopefully aid in getting people into the sport. On the flipside, some of the technology is downright ridiculous and the marketing engines of some of these companies are making it difficult for the lay person to differentiate between a durable high end product and "the next greatest thing". Additionally, the lack of interoperability between aftermarket parts and what is considered stock could lead down a bad road.
Overall we need to get people excited about the sport as there is strength in numbers. We need to insure we have legal places to ride. We can't judge others on why or what they ride...we everyone we can get...as long as they play by the rules.
I still ride for the same reasons I did over 10 years ago. Now it just happens to be on a more advanced rig and I'm carrying a few more pounds and have less time to ride. But I make it happen and don't get caught up in everything else going on....I save that for the forum ;).
My two cents. Nobody has a crystal ball.
Todd - you ask and you shall receive.
"When I was your age, we didn't have surgically implanted telepathy microchips! When we wanted to talk to our friends, we had to use a CELL PHONE!"
"Senility, my ass! I'm telling you President Hasselhoff used to have a talking car!"
"Did I ever tell you about the time I got my pole waxed in the Oval Office, Bill Jr.?"
"You kids have it so easy today! I made the trip every day. 10 miles, uphill, in the snow -- in an old-fashioned 2004 Lincoln Navigator."
December 11th, 2002, 01:50 PM
The future of the industry aside people ride bikes because they enjoy riding bikes. The future of any sport is based on the renewing interest of youth and the guiding experience of the elders. The existance of advocacy organazations like NEMBA are more vital to the sport as a whole than NORBA. The pioneering efforts of NEMBA to purchase and conserve land in the name of both mountain biking and open space is the cornerstone of building a secure future for the sport here in New England. The aquisition of land and work with local and state governments to preserve Vietnam is the blueprint for MTB advocacy across the country. Over 40million Americans ride a bicycle every year. As development continues and roads become more and more unsafe to ride on the need for open space and rail-trails is only bound to increase. Mountain biking offers escape and it always will.
In terms of the evolution of the sport I don't think MTB in 10 years will be exactly as it is now. Just as MTB now is not exactly as it was 10 years ago. MTB now are beginning to show up in skateparks and in more urban enviroments which is going to spark the next evolution of the way MTB are used. Now bikes are made for: XC, DH, FR, Backcountry, Cyclocross, Road, BMX, Freestyle. And many of those catagories can be broken down even further depending on specific use. It's the "specific use" that will continue the evolution of the sport. And nostalgia and the thirst for things "old school" will keep old technology around for a while in the face of "new school" technology for as long as humans ride the trails.
I'm beginning to ramble . . .
December 11th, 2002, 07:20 PM
continuing from your ramble, you seem to be discussing the fragmentation of the concept of mountain biking, which I think is a real movement today. Calling urban riding mountain biking is more than a little bit of a stretch. I think maybe the term MTB was useful early on when the conceptual break from the bike as a pavement-linked tool to a generally more capable vehicle generally used on dirt. Now all that technology is flowing back onto the hard surfaces. I see roadies with front suspensions, and soon they'll have disks. They won't, however, be MTBs.
All of the hardware still has wheels and pedals, and most of the wheels have spokes, which is a Good Thing. Less people on the trail may turn out to be a Good Thing, who knows?
Anyway, lurching to a fuzzy conclusion, MTB has no future, because it's an inexact and elusive concept.
December 11th, 2002, 11:54 PM
I know your talking "techy" future of MTB, but I'm gonna just spout as a newbie for a bit.....
The future of MTB is even brighter than the past.
It's amazing that this is a sport that has developed and blown out in our lifetime.
I'm new to it and there are more people riding each year. More choices in bike style and more affordable.
I have never been riding and felt like too many people are out there. We're lucky to be mountain biking in New England. Nemba and the volunteer work really adds to it.
All the new bike designs and riding styles are OK, but it's being out in nature and covering some ground that will always attract people.
I'm sorry...what was the question again? :)
December 12th, 2002, 09:35 AM
No I’m not necessarily asking about the tech side of MTB. Although I like MrCheeze’s Vision. I want to know everyone’s personal opinion on what direction is our sport going- what are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong. What do you think non-bikers think of us. Those of you with kids that ride, what excites them about our sport. I really don’t want to suggest anything, because so far the free flow of ideas has been great! Sorry for sounding pompous, but all these redundant questions like “What kind of bike do you ride”, “What kind of car you drive”, “What the best studded tire” it’s all getting very materialistic. I want to see what kind of intellect you guys are packing. So far, so good, but then again we haven't heard Big Games opinion yet.
December 12th, 2002, 10:43 AM
quote author=Todd@Mt.A link=board=8;threadid=796;start=0#5438 date=1039703706]
What do you think non-bikers think of us.
Most non bikers think of us as "crazy" or "extreme". To the general populous a big risk is driving the SUV an alternate route to work, so to actually ride your bike in the woods must make us nuts. I work with several people that have bought high-end mountain bikes in the last few years and they have never been off road (and never intend to). They ride 3 or 4 times a year on the bike path or around the neighborhood. This is what accounts for the high participation rate for cycling as a sport. What we are lacking is a large number of enthusiasts.
In the past mountain biking didn’t have a great appeal to kids but with the advent of freeriding I think that more kids will be looking to ride mountain bikes in place of BMX. The big down side is that non cyclist parents have a tough time shelling out big bucks for a freeride bike when they can buy little Johnny a pretty good BMX bike for $400.
OK I'm rambling......
What I'm trying to say is that Mt biking will always have a greater appeal to adults than kids, much like hiking. Most people hate to hike as kids but many grow to appreciate it as adults.
Damn you Todd! Why cant I just say I like Nokian tires and my new Lake shoes.
December 12th, 2002, 11:21 AM
Those of you with kids that ride, what excites them about our sport.
I bought my six year old son, Liam, a new Trek this summer from Scott's in Willimantic. His previous bike was a Toy R US Pacific BMX style bike (I know I know, but I didn't know any better back then). I thought he'd want to go with a BMX rig since he loves to watch the XGames, Gravity Games stuff like that. I asked him several times and he repeatedly told me he wanted a mountain bike so he could ride with me. I thought that was super cool so we got him a Trek M60 that is a six speed with grip shift, adjustable handle bars for when he grows, decent brakes and a front fork that will absorb some hits.
It took him a while to get used to not having a coaster brake, but he rides the crap out of that small Trek. He likes the fact that he'll get to ride with his Dad come spring and he really likes geting out and seeing other hikers/bikers, people with dogs on the trails.
My 4 year old, Connor, got a Fisher for his birthday and rides the crap out if as well. I want to find him some knobby training wheels for the spring until he's ready to graduate from them. Anybody know where I can find some? I think I saw an ad once in Dirtrag for a company that makes some off-road training wheels.
I'm stoked that my kids enjoy riding their bikes so much and I really think Liam can become a really good rider. I'll encourage him, but won't push him. I was surprised that he wanted to go for a mountain bike vs. a BMX bike though.
So many of you long time riders started out in BMX, do you think I should have tried to steer him in that direction? I think he knew what he wanted so I went with it. He really can rock on that bike. Can't wait to see what he can do come springtime.
So at least the future looks bright for MTBing with the McGrath kids.
I forsee a sweet Kona hardtail for Liam in a couple of years. Their hardtails designed for young riders look really sweet. And Connor can grow into Liam's Trek and then onward from there if they choose to pursue mountain biking.
How many others ride with their kids or have kids that ride mountain bikes?
December 12th, 2002, 12:24 PM
What do you think non-bikers think of us. Those of you with kids that ride, what excites them about our sport. I want to see what kind of intellect you guys are packing.
Yeesh Todd. If I knew you were judging my intellecut I would have put on my ascot, silk day coat, and stoked up the pipe to prepare some sort of mission statement Jerry Maguire style...instead I mashed on the keyboard during a conference call. Anyway - I like what your are trying to achieve here and I'll throw in some more commentary...
It is my experience that Non-Bikers have a couple schools of thought. One is that we are "extreme" adrenaline junkies. Some of these folks focus on the "Mountain" part of MTBing. They get confused when I tell them there is great riding right in Lynn, Ft. Rock, Bear Brook and various haunts right off the highway. (no official mountains there ;)). I have had several opportunities to take some non-mtb friends on short hikes over the same singletrack we MTBers get off on. They then realize you don't need a mountain but rather dirt, ocky, root infested trails with changes in elevation.
It is an interesting perspective. About 5 years I went Sky Diving as as a kind of "cross off the list" kind of thing. A group of us were going through our "lesson" before the jump and talking about other activities we do more routinely several people indicated they would never MTB...I found that somewhat enlightening.
The second school of thought I have come across is that of having a MTB bike but not riding it off road. For instance, I know plenty of people who own MTB's and ride them on paved paths (like around the Charles). I think that is great as they are cycling, but they should have picked up a hybrid or road bike. I have taken "cyclist" friends on fireroad rides and they usually get excited about riding their bikes off-road. That is a good thing.
As far as kids, I took the training wheels off my nephews bike when he was 3 (yes three!) and he was good to go. He is know 5 and pushes his bike up the hill behind his house just so he can ride down. Soon I'll work on getting him off that Schwinn Gremlin (which he loves) and into a more solid bike. My point is the kid loves to ride we spend time together riding off curbs, doing skids and all the stuff I did on my BMX. He has asked for a MTB but only because he sees me on one...although HE IS PART OF THE CYCLING FUTURE AND IT MAY VERY WELL BE ON A MTB!
December 12th, 2002, 12:58 PM
Honestly Todd I just like being outdoors. Biking ,hunting and hiking make that possible.1997 a friend of mine introduced me to MTBING. I have been hooked ever since.
I like the fact that u don't need anyone else to do it makes it conveinent. Riding around in the woods is a huge stress release for me. It isn't a question of where is the sport going .Its where are you as a rider are gonna take it. I am gonna ride untill I can't get out of my wheel chair and onto my bike. Don't care what non bikers think. Don't care about the technology. If I had to ride a ridgid bike It wouldn't matter.There will always be a place to ride.
As long as I can keep riding my little world will be good.
December 12th, 2002, 01:10 PM
Mr. Cheeze sees the future of MTB in society as a whole as all people, young and old, fat and thin, gay and straight, Republican and Democrat, evil and good, rabbis and ministers, hollywood actors and professional athletes, housewives and illegal aliens... EVERYBODY except Iraqis will have the Mr. Cheeze bike of the future because cars will be obsolete and Iraq will be a nuclear wasteland.
And as far as kids go? The future hold the same as the present and past, they must stay out of Mr. Cheeze's way or they will get run over. Damn kids. What to priests see in them anyway?
December 12th, 2002, 02:43 PM
The future of mountain biking, now that’s a good one. I personally see mountain biking starting to splinter off into segments. Sure things like XC and downhill will always exist, but things like urban riding, dirt jumping and park riding are pushing mountain biking in a whole new direction. Look at freeriding, just a few years ago this type of riding was so new and different, no one could really make heads or tails of it. Now it's pretty safe to say that freeriding has become very main stream. Just about every bike company makes some sort of freeride bike and pretty much all of the component companies have followed suit. Even your average trail rider now knows what a “huck” is and is doing vertical drops on a regular basis.
To me the next new segment that seems to growing and growing is urban riding or street riding.
About 2 years ago I tried talking a few friends into riding in a local skatepark with their mountain bikes, most declined and thought I was crazy. I did manage to get one guy to go, but when we got there he got very intimidated by the local BMXer’s and decided to go home. Just this past week I took my mountain bike up to Rye Airfield (it’s a huge indoor skatepark in Rye NH) and I counted over 6 mountain bikes that night. Back in August Rye hosted the first annual Big Wheels Street contest, which had over 30 entries and brought in riders from all over the US. This isn’t bad for a fringe sport that most people don’t even know about.
Another good example is the number of riders riding in Boston. Again back a couple of years ago a group of us use to get together on a regular basis and do a city ride. We’d hop on our bikes ride, up, on and all around Boston. It was blast doing stair gaps, hopping up and off of walls, we figured it was good practice for riding in the woods. We very rarely if at all, ever ran into anyone else. Yeah you’d see the occasional bike messenger or commuter, but that’s about it. Do that same ride today and you run into your fair share of both trials riders and mountain bikers.
Even now we’re starting to see frame and component makers making products for mountain bikes that are for “street” use. Frame companies are starting to look into adding pegs (for grinds and stalls), tire companies are starting to make big fat street tires, and the list is growing daily. This may not be the next “big thing” like freeriding, but it’s got the potential…
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