Tuesday, September 25

The whining and bitching part

Saturday was my first real ride in the North Carolina mountains on my Scott Genius 40.  As expected, I enjoyed the bike here a bit more than I did in Idaho.  The trails of Sun Valley are honking fast and super buff. 

Pisgah is not super buff.

Having 150mm of travel and being able to use it is luxurious... if that's your bag.  And on-the-fly adjustable travel?  It's the future, but only half the future.

The other half is electronically controlled suspension.  Like it or not, I can only see it gaining more acceptance and market share.  I used the suspension adjustments almost as much as I shifted gears on this last ride.  Not quite the 240 times Geoff Kabush uses it in an XC race, but close.

The 2012 Genius 40 combined with the 2013 Fox 32 Float 150 CD FIT has three modes.

~150mm of travel front and rear, wide open
~95mm of rear travel with moderate low-speed compression up front for pedaling efficiency
~fully locked out front and rear

It was handy.  If I were racing enduros, and I'm not, this would be a hot set up...

but, the lever takes some effort.  The kind of effort that could be greatly reduced and sped up with a switch, a battery, and some wires.

Does "the industry" media elite agree?  Maybe not?

"Electronically-controlled suspension does not make my heart sing."

"I’m simply asking a loud, public question—Is this really where we want to go"

Like it or not, it's going that way.  At least it is on certain bikes that will benefit from the technology.

"Too complicated," says the adult who grew up with an Atari 2600.

Whatever.  Although I gave up on video games once controllers got past the Nintendo 64 level of complexity, that didn't stop future generations from adding enough buttons and knobs to confuse a fighter pilot.  It's an Amish way of thinking that a certain amount of technology is where it all ends.  Who decides?

Fortunately, you do.

I think we all know that even that eventually I will tire of riding this pile of comfort on the trails.  It's not my style.  I like going rip shit fast down the mountain, but I prefer to be more engaged in the experience.  Less thinking and button pushing, more mashing and sweating.  Greater rewards for smoothly pulling off a move, and even greater punishment for making errors.

There is one thing that "the industry" media elite agree and I agree upon; fat bikes.

"This has got to stop. Really folks, it is just way out of hand now. Unless you ride on snow, sand or ridiculously rough roads with a loaded touring setup, this is pure folly." 

Or unless you're Amish...

That's fine too.


Jason said...

Fave line from the Bike piece: " I am not sure there is anything sadder than the image burned in my brain of an overweight shop owner grinding his way up the road in near-100 degree temperatures."

John Parker said...

can't wait for Strava driven telemetry...having anything controlled on your bike by a electronic motor and not the rider but it shifty bits or squishy (your terms) just takes away from the fundamentals of what it is to ride a bike

Mark said...

To each their own H8TR'S!! :)

BTW like the old Amish did airing it out on the fatbike. Fatbikes are really, REALLY fun to ride!!!

Big E said...


Does someone need an ice cream cone and a puppy?

Buck up little camper! Everything is going to be okay.


Big E

RossC said...

I think you missed the logical progression here Mr Dicky:
Fat bikes are the cure for this electronic mumbo jumbo. They aren't light, they don't have suspension, their made of good ol' steel and they aren't a racerboy machine. In fact, anyone who is a racerboy and tries to build a lightweight fatbike is an oxymoron.

You just pedal and smile and the world is a happy place. Isn't that what life is all about?

rick is! said...

agreed. you insist on riding a rigid steel bike and call fat bikes silly? they are just plain fun (not fast) to ride.

silly goose.