Is the Free Ride Over?

Jun 30, 2011
by Mitchell Scott  
Graham Agassiz thinks the word "freeride" might be dead. Or dying anyway. At the same time he’s cool with being called a “freerider.” Talk to a lot of pro mountain bikers these days and there’s a good chance they’ll agree. “Freeride” as a word, is fading from the mountain bike canon. That or its true definition is changing, perhaps now misunderstood, or mired in confusion. Think about it for a second. When was the last time you used the word? When was the last time you read the word? Sure, it's still out there, but for those of us who saw the genre widely categorized as "freeriding" rise to meteoric mountain bike fame, with a heyday that peaked out say, four or five years ago, the current state of affairs begs the question, what does it really mean?

Let's back up a bit. This is all relatively new territory, the dual suspension mountain bike game that is. If you were riding bikes in the year 2000 you knew that long travel offerings were slim. Freeride was revolutionary because it opened riders up to new worlds of possibility. It transported our sport and some of its athletes into the film star stratosphere, a hierarchy that only existed in sports like surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. Finally mountain biking had non-competition athletes who merely had to shred and be cool. Life was good.

But we had to label it. A weird side-effect of our sport. Mountain biking has more classifications and sub-genres than the Periodic Table of Elements. But for such a significant label, one that did so much so fast, where did freeride go? How could it possibly be dying?

John Gibson Photo
Robbie Bourdon and Joe Schwartz back in the early days of Nelson, BC freeride grandeur. Photo: John Gibson

Only a few short years ago magazines around the world were writing about the import of freeriding, how it was revolutionizing the sport. There were emerging pros, guys who went on to have fantastic careers, athletes like Wade Simmons, Richie Schley, Robbie Bourdon and Thomas Vanderham -- some of the first mountain bikers to cut a pay cheque without going through a finish line. Not only that, they were (and some still are) some of the best paid and most visible athletes in the entire industry. Companies were building specific bicycles just for them: 7 to 8 inches, with graphics and marketing campaigns that were way more vibe than race.

The pro downhillers deplored their Camelbak bullshit. XC racers were jealous of their big success sans 24/7 training. Yet they were the dudes. On the covers of magazines, featured in all the films, sponsored out the wazoo--from freeride shoes to freeride helmets, freeride jerseys and freeride gloves. There was even hot girls around. And then it all seemed to drift away. Think not? Just look around and tell me what you see.

Search the industry for a "freeride" labeled and promoted mountain bike. Doesn't really exist. Try and find a "freeride" branded team like the Kona Clump. Even Specialized's first gravity athletes were all of the freeride ilk, and Trek's too for that matter. Just think, not even eight years ago neither of those bike companies had a single bike with more than 5 inches of travel, now they have two of the strongest DH race programs in the world. The initial foray for both powerhouses was inspired by freeriding, not downhill racing. We're talking serious, multi-million dollar paradigms here. And "freeride" had everything to do with it. Now it has very little to do with either companies long travel dual suspension program--on the surface anyway.

Freeriding is all about not competing, which is approximately 99% of what mountain biking is. "You can't put a number on freeride," explains Agassiz. "Racing is all about times, and slopestyle is all about score, freeriding had nothing to do with any of that." More specifically, according to Aggy, it's about not riding trail, specific freeriding should be unbounded by the structural confines of singletrack or manufactured landscape. "Just shredding lines down gravel chutes and cliffs," says the 21-year-old from Kamloops, BC, what many refer to as freeriding's birthplace. It's that whole notion that got everyone excited in the first place. It's what inspired the folks at Red Bull to host the first ever Red Bull Rampage, which, if you think about it, might have been the main contributor to the fade on freeride's original gleam. Now it was a competition. Now you weren't freeriding anymore. Now your style and your line choice and the amplitude of your air counted for something.

John Cowan backflip Morph Castlerock New Zealand New World Disorder 5. John Gibson photo
Freeride pioneer John Cowan filming during NWD 5. Photo: John Gibson

Just look at what ensued: slopestyle competitions that struggle to find the sweetspot between a dirt jump comp and a big mountain comp (which is what?). Athletes that struggle to find the same happy place. You've got this Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour, which has a lot of us (and apparently a bunch of the athletes) wondering what that all means, especially considering the huge range in some if its more marquee events. Sure, it's just a name, but is Crankworx really a freeride competition? Or what about 26 Trix? Isn't that more dirt jump that freeride? Which brings us all back around to the big question, what the hell does freeride mean in 2011? And I ask you because no single person seems positioned to lay down the real answer. Ask yourself the question, how do you label a kid like Aggy? Paul Bass? Brandon Semenuk?

I still think you can call athletes like Vanderham, Hunter, Bourdon, and Simmons freeriders, but where's the next generation, and where do they fit into the equation? Hopkins? Buehler? Sorge? Are they qualified as freeriders? Talented as they are, they're not competition athletes. So if not, how does a company qualify their results? Hopkins recently starred in one of the biggest mountain bike movies ever, Life Cycles. Just so happens Scott let him go shortly after its release. Go figure.

Photo Ale Di Lullo
Graham Agassiz at last year's Rampage. Freerider? Mountain biker? Big mountain slopestyler? Photo: Ale Di Lullo

So how do we qualify the evolution? Street, DJ, bike park, downhill, enduro, slopestyle, these are the children of freeride for the most part. The question is, are they being respectful of their forefathers? Individually you would think, no question, but collectively, well, to keep the analogy going, once you've grown up, you don't really need your parents for much do you? Save maybe a little cash and a place to crash when you're passing through town.

That all being said, head on over to Europe and ask anyone whose got more than six inches of travel and they'll all tell you they're freeriders. Proud of it too. But that just might be a transAtlantic delay. Europe outscores North America on pretty much every fine development in the modern world. But they weren't the first when it came to knobby tires and catching air in the woods, nope, that's purely a North American invention. Surely, if freeriding dies as a reference over here in North America, it won't take long for the Euros to catch on.

So, here's the question, a fairly significant one at that. Is freeriding on its way out the door? Is it really true that one of the most important, revolutionizing movements in the history of our sport is now seeing its influence eclipse into a professional venue wholly committed to times and scores and world tour points? In the end, I don't think any of us get to decide. There's something larger going on, and we can only wonder with great excitement what that might be. Quite certainly though, I would guess, that we probably don't need to give it a name. Aggy would prefer we didn't.


Agree or disagree, curious to hear all your thoughts

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388 Comments

  • + 335
 Mitchell, i dont know what you want to get with this text, but in my opinion, it is only you who dont know what "freeride" mean.

You are only speaking about some riders that appear everyday in magazines, videos, webs and comercials. But this is not the "real world".
They can be the "image" of your sport, the companies use them to show us their products and have more sell, thats all.
I can tell you that they represent the 0,005% of the woldwide freeride scene.

For me, freeride means ride my bike (any bike) as the way i like and love, for the places i love and choose. Any magazine, web or video is not going to show me where, how and when i can ride my bike, because i will do it as i want. It can be road, bmx, trial, tandem, rigid, fron or double suspension, monocicle, or whatever. Freeride it is only this = FEEL FREE ON YOUR BIKE

They competitions you speak about, the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour and so, it is just bussines. I dont say it is wrong for the sport and they industry, i say it is just a game to earn money. Nothing to be with freeride. And in the same hand, there could be freeriders in this competitions, they choose this way of life living, thats correct too.

That phrase you wrote up there, say me more about you: "that's purely a North American invention".
The Americans could have had the perfect word to call this life living as it is, freeride, but they havent invented anything, they just have gave a name to it.

I can tell you that when i was 13th, every afternon after school, my friends and i took the bikes and digging tools and we rode searching new lines to go down around our village. It was in 1993, and i can say we are not the inventors of anything, we just loved and love to ride our bikes.

And one image say all, that me with my first freeride bike. Any magazine, video, web or company didnt tell me how, when and where to ride my bike...

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6796140

See you on the trails...

www.freedreams.net
  • + 39
 100% contigo!! free ride will never die.
  • + 23
 Agreed. Most people 'feel' like freeriders, just going out riding with your mates having a laugh and we've always done that. Lot's of the comments on here say I'm a freerider, I ride XC, DJ, DH etc IMO this is part of the reason the term has died. We have all adopted freeride to mean a more all-encompassing mentality, so it is too broad to apply to a specific mountain bike in order to sell it, since it means different things to different people.
  • + 11
 Well said chapon. I too have been fooling about on a bike for years. Sometimes badly, sometimes well, sometimes on a good bike, sometimes on a bad bike. Freeride is indeed a good name for fooling around on a bike. I hope that in twenty years time I am still fooling about on a bike and I still wont mind what you call it.
  • + 10
 Maybe the definition is changing but Freeride will never die!
In my opinion are Slopestyle an Big-Mountain just another category under the word Freeride.
For sure it's changing but never that far. Freeride is the most aesthetic way of mountain biking so keep it up to yourselfes if you say "I am a Freerider" or "I ride Slopestyle and Big-Mountain!!
  • + 19
 god im sorry to be stiffler but there were soo many grammatical errors in this story, i mean normally i wouldn't care, but this is a long article on a respected site, and i shouldn't have to tell myself to ignore the improper english because its an action sports website.

things like, "There was even hot girls around". There WERE hot girls, come on. Or constantly asking us to think about it, constantly addressing the audience- that's such a quick way to lose an arguement because its assuming youre correct
  • + 1
 This is so true!
  • + 14
 @Filipei7 - yeah true, but to be fair it was an otherwise well structured & thought provoking article. At least it wasn't yet another rehashed press release!
  • + 23
 Exactly his point though, that's not what Freeride means, people confuse 'Freeriding' and 'riding free'. Regardless of dictionary definition, Freeride used to imply people riding ridiculous lines, sending huge shit, and generally doing impressive stuff. Now more and more people take it to mean 'doing what you want' and think that somehow they're rebelling against a racing dominated sport when in actuality that's what pretty much everybody does. It's also a nice excuse for being too shit to race but that's beside the point...
  • + 7
 big words danny! agreed though!
  • - 9
flag eder (Jun 30, 2011 at 4:33) (Below Threshold)
 Chapon. You both are according. Mitchell said we are free for ride. Sometimes we call that "trail" or "all mountain". We don`t care about the name, the name is dead...
  • - 2
 OK!
I want a saying in this. Freeride is when you go out for a ride. If its just a ride down the street and some jumps on the side, its freeriding! The Freeride Mountainbike Tour is NOT just about money, its good for our sport. This is the kind of thing that can happen to a person when you have experienced those awesome days! I used to be like that, looking back on stuff but now i have changed, Now im in present and looking forward to things and the sport has not been bigger then it is today! 26 trix is a dirtjump contest but who cares? we dont have to know what these words mean, its about riding and have fun. I used to not like when people say it that way becouse it sounded like the sport wasnt evolving that much as it was those days. But really, it actually does, its evolving. Ive seen a huge change sence the FMB world tour came in.
  • + 2
 Perfect way of putting it. Fully agree! Past mediation of the term has only led to further confusion and uncertainty, whereas, this theory is fitting to every rider of all abilities and disciplines!
  • + 1
 simplemente acojonante tio... lo has explicado todo a la perfeccion!
  • + 10
 I agree with Chapon. Freeride is not dead. Marketing "Freeride" is dead, but the original idea lives on forever. Many of us spend hours of our days pedaling up, climbing and pushing to get to the top. To catch the free-ride down. Maybe that term will go by the wayside, and maybe it means different things to different folks. For me, its going into the woods with my bike, and exploring the possibilites - pushing my abilities, and the abilites of my two wheeled machine.

WC Racing and Slopestyle is just the current way companies market to us. Its not the real scene.
  • + 4
 WERD. too bad im not free to ride right now, friggen work, atleast i can still shred the gnarly lines of the interweb
  • + 6
 I love how he says 99% of Mtb is about comps. none of the guys i know compete and most guys are in it to have fun. this is a poorly written article that is over exaggerating a ton of things. Free ride is not dead or dying, the meaning of the word is not changing. It still lives on and always will.
  • + 1
 totalmente de acuerdo
  • - 2
 This article was not well put together, i think that he was desperate for an article! @Chapon probably the best comment ive read in a long time!
  • + 3
 I think the word Freeride means more than we imagine.. I'm truly agreed with the user "Chapon"!

Nadie dice donde debo andar, como, ni cuando, solo andar y buscar el propio limite y superarse a si mismo.. eso es freeride.
  • + 3
 I kinda agree with Mitchell Scott, it is dying or being re-defined as a word. its sad in my opinion....
  • + 5
 haha one day someone through a ball in a hoop and called it basketball. now they have 5 on 5 teams, an NBA and plenty of rules. not much like the very original but its still basketball.....
  • + 24
 I think the author is absolutely correct and the comments above here support his argument perfectly. Freeride, at least as it was coined, is a genre of mountain biking. Just because the term freeride is made up of the words 'free' and 'ride' doesn't mean you get to redefine it to mean riding down a mountain in lycra yelling "I'm Freeeeeeeeee". Freeriding according to a dictionary is biking "focused on tricks, style, and technical trail features". It doesn't mean free to ride your bike...All you've done is define "mountain biking". This image shows you what freeride means www.pinkbike.com/photo/82577.

So two things have either happened. freeride as a genre is in fact dying so much so that people don't even know what it meant. Or the term freeride has evolved to mean something completely different. Almost all genres of sport/riding have ambassadors or heroes. DH has guys, old and young, like Peaty, Hill and upcomers like Brosnan. BMX, XC all have guys who have lived the sport and new guys coming up. Who would be labeled a freerider these days in the same breath as guys like Simmons and Tippie? The youngest freeriders (Vanderham, Berrecloth etc) are all hitting 30, that's a dying breed.
  • + 1
 pretty much what chapon said
as soon as i read the title i had pretty much the same thoughts

real world riders dont have a name for what we do

just cycling/enjoying the world on 2 wheels
no constraints or labels

its all advertising hype
  • - 1
 humm!? if i say "I do some XC riding" means that i do "mountain biking" with open helmet, lycra shorts and skinny shirts!? and if i say "I'm a BMXER!", it means that i do "mountain biking" with a 20" bike?!
  • + 3
 Freeride to me has not died at all.... It may be harder to find awesome freeride trails at a bike park, but there are definitely some great freeride trails that are not in a mountain bike park. LONG LIVE FREERIDE!!!!!!!
  • + 5
 Define Irony....A guy named "ryanfreeride" negative propped this guy's speech about how the word freeride is not dead and is in fact very alive. HAHAHA.
  • + 34
 Sarcastic seems to have got this article more than a lot of people. Yes champon you wrote a lot in yoru comment, but the point of the article seems to have missed you.

What freeride was, IS dying, You riding a bike and calling it freeriding is not the same. It is in fact just riding around, I do all the same suff as all you 'freeriders'; some jumps, some dh, some xc etc, but I am not a freerider. I do not go looking for untapped terrain in big mountains to shred, I am not pushing boundries like REAL freeride did. Freeride still exsists in things like snow sports today as everyday there is fresh snow, new lines created to ride, new things to try. BIG things to try with no one scoring you out of ten. But I dont think champon you are a freerider, just a rider who has labelled himself that. Thats largely the meaning of the article (grammer aside) that we have lost the idea and that pioneering aspect, by labelling it and scoring it, till we have this pathetic watered down version that you think applies to you. I class my self as a rider, not a freerider.


Yes you all think freeriding is about being free, thats just what RIDING is about, freedom, just you and the trail. Stop thinning down the iconic genre of riding that was freeriding into some hippy bullshit label for the feeling that we all know and love, it already has one, it's called 'riding a bike' not freeride. Freeride was the aspect that made out sport an 'extreme sport'. Us everyday riders are not doing anything extreme or iconic. Hucking was part of freeriding, not all it was about, but it was big, crazy and nobody scored you. It was amazing to watch and be around. I wish someone would bring it back and remind you guys what it is.
  • + 25
 *chazdog* hits the nails on the head with his comment

I totally agree with the article - its one of the best articles I have read on PB in a long time Smile


as one of the few Pro freeriders in the UK (riding for Banshee Bikes and Da Kine) I went through the entire Freeride movement during the 2000-2008 era that was inspiring our Canadian and American cousins

I rode the North Shore in Vancouver a number of times, rode bike parks in Europe, built Esher Shore freeride bike park here in the UK, entered freeride jams and comps here in the UK, did magazine shoots with MBUK, MBR in the UK, filmed video sections, shot photos, etc.

but from 2008 onwards, I saw a big change in the UK scene from freeride back to downhill racing and dirt jumping, both in terms of what riders were doing, which bikes were being sold in quantities, and what the magazines were featuring

the bikes have totally changed, riders in the UK realised the 7" bike does not really have a place to suit our terrain, the DH guys and the All-Mtn guys are totally satisfied on their 8" and 6" bikes

I am now retired from Pro freeride at 38 years of age, and spend my time riding all-mountain bikes on the dirt and BMX in the skateparks

Freeride was to me, the extreme end of mountain biking, and involved sending insane gaps, building sick stunts and finding new gravity-orientated lines to ride - those early NWD, Down and NSX videos blew the minds of many riders all over the Globe, and inspired many of us to "send it large..."

riding "free" (doing what you want) is not the same thing as "freeride"
  • - 3
 For me freeride has nothing to do with how you ride your bike or what surface you ride on. look at the face of a little kid after he takes his first ride down a hill. that smile to me is what represents freeride. the only difference is the hills got bigger, our talent progressed, and more friends have joined in. Freeriding will never die as long as kids take that chance and take there freshly unmounted training wheels and roll down a hill.
  • + 0
 I couldn't agree more. Freeride is riding your bike when you want, wherever you want, however you want. Freeriding is progression, and the stoke to ride tomorrow and try something bigger. Freeriding is enjoying the ride, without rules or regulations on how or what you have to ride.
  • - 1
 Pinkbike should hire Chapon to write. His words have been the most meaningful thing (to me) I've read in a long time here. Some of us are disinterested in competition, professionals and marketing terms. Thank you, Chapon, for clearly articulating this point of view.
  • + 17
 He wrote some nice feelgood stuff yeah, get over it, we all love being free and riding bikes etc etc etc. He still missed the point of the article , the whole issue that it tried to raise, which if anything supports the point in the article imo....

It wasnt about what freeride means, its about what freeriding was, it was orginally a specific part of mountain biking. Everyone here's definition of freeriding is much easier to write as one word: RIDING. The article may have annoyed some of you by saying freeride is dead, as you all think you're freeriders. But largely your just riders, the freeriders, the real ones, where those in the nwd films, those sending the huge inspirational extreme lines on magazine covers that we looked up too like superheroes, yeah there was a bit of marketing thrown in, that life, deal with it. But that rock star loonacy on a bike image was the original defenition of freeride, and from your comments, it is truly dead, if freeriding now can include little kiddies having their first go on a bike.


neg props awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
  • + 7
 Chazdog is getting what I am trying to throw down with this article, grammar aside (my copyeditor is on holiday).
  • + 6
 Yeah, all these comments just prove the point really dont they. Freeride and riding free are now the same thing to people, and that has killed it. Okay its a nice sounding way of saying you just like to ride your bike, but in being redifined so differently it has lost the purity of where it started and what it was. Hucking is probably the only bit left of the original big mountain freeride movement that people still differentiate from the watered down form that they label themselves as. People say freeride is not having labels, well they happen to have gone and given themselves one havent they, one thats lost all true meaning because of the vast number of things people use it to label.
  • + 1
 here are two examples of what "Freeride" meant to me:

this is the kind of stunt I would ride as a "freerider"

www.pinkbike.com/video/109268

this video won 1st place in the MBUK / Kona competition in 2004 - my buddy and I got a 10 day all-expenses paid trip to Whistler to ride with the Kona Clump crew, Shaums March, Josh Bender and friends

www.pinkbike.com/video/112314

photo from the same trip

www.pinkbike.com/photo/377571
  • + 3
 i think the term freeride is thrown around an awful lot lately. but perhaps it's not lost, but become something more underground. yes i said it like a hipster, underground. the next generation has come in, and do you know what they're saying? build us this, take me there. i find it hard to classify places like whistler, freeride havens since everyone rides the same trails. right now they are putting the final touches on a bike park here in lethbridge. it's got dirt jumps, log rides and drops. sure in the beginning that is a sweet formula for some nice freeride, but it's no different than a skatepark, sure you ride with your own "free"style, but even freestyle skiing has lost it's "FREE". the whole freeride movement is lost on this new generation, they're not willing to put in the effort to go out somewhere never before ridden and build trails or jumps and truely ride free, with NO LIMITATIONS. that's what i think freeride is about, the other day i heard some kids whining about the bike park not being done because of rain delays. what did i do the next day? i went and hacked my way down one of our coulies clearing brush and rhubarb so i can later shred the line. it's about the guys that are willing to go "out of bounds" and ride or build something completely free, and we have lost touch with that. what i have written may seem a little redundant with what a few of you have said already, but that's what i feel in my heart and mind, I AM A FREERIDER! always have been always will be, sure i love whistler, fernie, kicking horse, mt.7 etc. but now these places are the developed, nobody is pushing the boundaries and stepping off the beaten path like they used to. i don't mind, means more virgin trails for me, but riders should learn the difference between freeride and slopstyler or djer. sorry for the essay. i'll be happy to discuss this in a forum with anyone, or even here stillSmile
  • + 4
 The perfect example of freeriding was that video of the Claw and Sorge in the Gobi desert.
  • - 4
flag samuelity (Jun 30, 2011 at 13:35) (Below Threshold)
 my idea of freeriding has turned into any type of riding that you do anywhere you want how you want to without any kind of score.
  • + 5
 @chazdog

I didnt write a lot just to be better, i just wrote the lines to express myself. It could be more, it could be less, but it is.
I just didnt like what i saw on pinkbike when i woke up this morning.

I respect your comment, but not the lines you mention me or who i am or who the others are. (by the way, it is Chapon, no champon)

In some words i can tell you that i continue doing what i liked 15 years ago, even more now, and i will continue doing it until my body/brain let me do it. You and others can say and think freeride is died or dieing, them it will only mean that you and this other are out of this. Some people goes and others come...

You can check photos and videos in pinkbike or my facebook or flickr gallery, and you could see some of my life living.
Freeride is not go big and do crazy things with the bike, and of course it is not take your bike and go down the street to buy some bread.
It is a bit difficult to choose the correct words to describe it. But theese who are in, feel it.

Thanks for all the comments and props.

Theese are words from a rider who likes to feel free.
  • + 8
 freeride isnt dead.... ...I'M DEAD..from readin this long ass article and long ass list of comments..
  • + 2
 Judging by all the props Chapon got,and all these comments... free ride is deffinately NOT OVER!
  • + 2
 Does anyone read those REALLY LONG messages people post halfway down the page?
  • + 5
 Just riding your bike IS NOT FREERIDING.
Freeriding is basically the underground scary aspect of mountain biking. gnarly steep lines, drops, gaps, skinnies, etc. If you scare the shit out of yourself by cleaning a line and theres no prize money, no trophy, no interviews, just high fives from your buddies then it is probably freeriding. All that stuff just that isnt mainstream anymore.
Whens the last time anyone saw a skinny in a mtb film other than the north shore extreme series?
Does that mean its dead?

No.

Freeride still exists. I do it every weekend.

Its just not what's mainstream anymore.
  • + 1
 Freeriding is simply riding your bike (on a mountain of course) without the restraints of trails or markers. That's why most of it is huge drops, because most people won't try it and is therefore not usually marked because we know the people that will do it would do it whether or not there was a sign saying "Expert Only" or even "Do Not Attempt." I don't think Freeride is dying, I think it's not as popular as it was as it once was, but it will come back to life as soon as more people find uncharted lines they want to hit.
  • + 1
 I think the word freeriding has been misused for the beginning and I hate labeling anyway.

We are all riders and all want to be free during the ride, so we are all Freeriders. It's not about the scary drops and steep lines, where do you draw the line?

Everyone is pushing it's own limits and that should be enough. No one invented freeriding and no one will destroy it, it's just there and it will always be there.

As kids, we were building stuff in the forrest and rode our bmx, that's where it starts, you take that spirit up into the mountains or anywhere. That spirit will never die and that's what is Freeride to me: free to ride anywhere I like and on any bike I like.

So get a new label for what you thought Freeriding was all about.
  • + 1
 I absolutely agree with Chapon, thx for writing down my thoughts... maybe here in Europe the "Enduro/Allmountain"-thing is close to my definition of free riding...
As I remember the term "Freeride" existed in the mid-90's for snowboarding backcountry, so you northamericans didn't give it a name- you stole it a name Smile
  • + 0
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 HELL Yeah
  • + 1
 Freeriding has only been around for a little more than 10 years, maybe less. It's still a young sport, and hasn't been given much time to evolve, unlike skiing, which has been deciding what it wants to be and branching off for over a 100 years. With that said, Almost all mtb videos that come out have some aspect of freeriding, so you certainly can't say the genre, or word is dead when you don't see as many freeride videos come out in a certain year. Also, Does it really matter that we now have a bunch of different subcategories of freeriding, we need to argue over the use of the word?
  • + 0
 This article makes me mad freeride isn't dead. not even close in fact i think its as popular as ever! at least it is where i live hear in B.C. This article was probably written by some dumbass who just sits at a desk all day long writing these shity controversial articles about stuff he doesnt even know! thats what i had to say now im gonna go rip up a trail which i guess i should be calling freerides grave
  • + 1
 thats right! i dont know how pinkbike can say this, i thought their point of view of the sport was diferent... freeride cant die, its a young sport and "freeride" as it was konwn in the beginnings is still practised by a lot of riders. so how can it be dead??
  • + 1
 You guys need to read the article. Like really read the thing. Nowhere does it say Freeride is dead. It merely asks the question, what does freeride mean in 2012? FYI, the writer has been writing about mountain biking a hell of a long time, and could probably challenge your ass up, down, and all over town. First guy to ever write on the North Shore, first guy to ever write about Freeride....list goes on. Yeahbra!
  • - 2
 I guess you missed the first and second sentence where he mentions dead and or dying.
  • + 31
 Freeriding is what seperates us from all other extreme sports. You can take your BMX over dirt jumps...but you can't shred anything other than a mountainbike down utah or the north shore. You gotta remember your roots. Freeriding is oldschool and its still cool.
  • + 4
 So true. Think skiing or snowboarding for example. What would they become without snowpark. Oh, wait, no! there's powder as well....
  • + 21
 "freeride" is dying but not by choice. everyone is to into what there time is or there bag of tricks and scores and not enjoying just riding and going big with a bunch of friends. we gotta just sit back and look at things like we use to. "freeride" will never die for me but it might for a lot of you and when its finally gone that will be a very very sad day
  • + 21
 Freeride is what separates us from bmx and moto. You can't 360 a dirt bike off a 25 foot drop and you can't ride a bmx at Rampage. We're seeing the evolution of 'freeride' now, guys are tricking lines and booters that would have been dead sailored a few years ago. Vanderham said it best, ''keep the mountain in mountain biking.'' Big mountain over dirt jumps any day.
  • + 7
 In western Australia people love freeride. Only thing is we don't have the facilities or legal action to build such trails, I myself is still a huge fan of freeriding
  • + 8
 I dont think freeride will ever end. There will always be people who dont care about races and comps, riders who just want to do their own thing with a few mates. I also think that red bull rampage was a good thing for freeriding. It made freeride more known and probaly partly inspired many good freeriders pushing mt biking to the limit right now.
  • + 22
 Honestly I think it's quite bs... I mean who cares about how you call it, as long as you ride your bike and enjoy it right? Who cares if it's called freeride, or slopestyle or whatever. Then there's also that only a small part of the world lives in the mountains, so the others have no other choice than go riding freeride in the city (street) or build some dirts or rock skateparks... But in the end we're all sharing the same passion for riding bikes on our own way, who gives a fck how they would call it in the dictionary? It's about the passion, not about the name
  • + 7
 Freeride is not just a sport. it's a life's style too. Don't forget.
  • + 4
 True... Freeride is an extension of my life, talking 100% true. It isn't just a sport... lol I think It will never ever die. I enjoy a lot take a day to ride in the woods with a buch of friends, Freeriding... Just have fun, going big, doing what we want. Next reneration of Freeriders?! Curtis Robinson, Kyle Norbraten, Dylan Dunkerton, Mike Hopkins, James Doerfling, Brandon Semenuk, Graham Agassiz, Cameron Zink, Garret Buheler, Kyle Jameson, Evan Schwartz, Callum Jelley, for me, are great examples.

Every guy's opinion are the same - Freeride Will never ever ever ever ever die!
  • + 23
 I think it more alive than it's ever been...
  • + 6
 No need to read comment above nothing to see...
  • + 2
 ..
  • + 11
 freeride will NEVER die! all types of riding are freeride to me. the red bull rampage is a huge freeride event. as long as there are freeriders there will always be freeride.
  • + 9
 But how can it still be FREEride, if you're put under a pressure (to get a high score, to win an event etc.) - you're not free, you've got to do well.

On the other hand, though, noone says that a good 4x racer or a dirt jumper cannot be a freerider outside their competitions...
  • + 2
 as long as the riders huck off drops and jumps and throw some tricks its freeride.
  • + 3
 Why has IH4LIFE neg props? I think what he said says everything... +1 buddy
  • + 3
 i think freeriding is not something which happens in the comps for the fact that it is not free at all freeriding is what happend behind the scenes when people just go out to have a bit of fun on their bikes and trying out massive stuff the would not try if points or times depended on it not going wrong

so going off that i dont think it is dead i just dont think it is publicized as much as big comps and stuff so you dont hear from it and the diamondback scapegoat is a all out freeride bike too cant get it over here though Frown and i work in a diamondback stockists lol
  • + 5
 Just because Slopestyle riders don't "freeride" In their competitions doesn't mean that freeride is dead. I like to go into the woods and build drops and jumps, (not jumps that you could 360.) To me freeride will never be dead. Just because the top slopestyle guys aren't freeriding doesn't mean that others aren't.
  • + 2
 These are all big names in mountain biking and they are still freeriding...

www.pinkbike.com/video/173404
  • + 2
 I think what this article really means is how marketable freeride really is these days, not so much if people are leaving it for slopestyle, dh, dj, etc. if you notice, theres not alot of true freeriders who are signed to big name brands anymore besides people like vanderham, schley, simmons, etc. its hard to get anywhere as a freerider when theres guys like semenuk placing first at every slope event pulling 720 unndowns. so in a way I completely agree that freeride is dying in the commercial mountain bike world, which is a shame, but in the hearts of mountain bikers around the world, thats another story. I think freeride will always remain one of the most fun, well balanced disciplines in mountain biking and as a result will likely never fade.
  • + 3
 Somebody should come up with an international freeride day
  • - 2
 i myself would class the new freeriders as, danny mackaskill and chriss ackrigg as the modern freeriders (I cant think of any that dont come from britain atm, obviously there is) more chriss ackrigg though, ok they are rather trials orientated but theyre not as if theyre riding man made trails theyre shredding whatever they can ride and just hoping over obstacles.
  • + 18
 I am totally a FreeRider. Yip I dirt jump, I ride trail, I huck drops and love structure riding. But none of that makes me a FreeRider. What makes me a FreeRider is that i build and ride all of the above. Being a FreeRider is about going out into the wilderness and finding new terrain to build on. Then being the one to try it out and see if it works. You were free to choose what to do whislt being a rider. Even if it doesnt work its all part of FreeRiding. FreeRiding is the foundation to mountainbiking, without it you wouldnt have DH or DJ or even XC. Because originally it took FreeRiders to make a DH track or a DJ or an Xc trail. It all goes hand in hand. Ride Free fellow bikers, keep building and always shred to the max.
  • + 3
 I have to agree with you Smile You wrote about one of the most important sides of freeriding - finding, building and trying out your own trails. That's what I love to do, just spending whole days with the shovel and a bike in the forest. And yes, I race downhill and do other things sometimes and it's cool, but it doesn't make me feel so much free... So for me personally, Freeride will never die, as long as I will be ridingSmile
  • + 5
 Freeride aint dead, its just got a new style.. the big hucking side is dying away yeah, but that's not all freeriding's about. Look at the Coastal Crew, that's freeriding right there!
  • + 2
 Freeriding isnt a type of riding its a state of mind. freeriding is all about being free on your bike. your not racing, your not throwing 720s on the DJ lines, your shedding for fun and for your own enjoyment.
  • + 6
 Living in bc , Freeriding for me is ALL About going into the woods and build creative and unique lines that s come from inside your head . There is no better feeling then hitting the stuff that you build for the first time....... Go back 5 to 10 years ago , riders in general had mad respect for the builders because most of them were building themselves, now thoses days it s all about (for certain type of peoples) finding the hard work , riding it once or twice for camera and putting it on the internet .....so lame. Thumbs up to all the warriors in the woods that keep bc the best place on earth to ride!
  • + 4
 You guys have it down. Freeriding is getting out of the trail building new hits, lines, or just manning up and riding down the side of the mountain trail or no trail. Its about riding creatice not riding competitive. If your pioneering new lines or just doing something fun in the local quarry every day free riding wont ever die.
  • + 3
 I totally agree. Riding mountain bikes is about having fun out in the woods and then the freeride aspect is making it unique. Sure bike parks and the local trails are great but a hand-built trail is far more meaningful. There's no better feeling than shredding down the mountain and then afterwards knowing that it was your own hard work that made that fun piece of trail. Isn't that what Life Cycles set out to teach us?
  • + 13
 Dying? mabye for those who make money on freeride (filmmakers, proriders, bike parks or manufacturers).
But for us who build own (mostly illegal) trails and ride them with friends, nothing changed since beginig.
Freeride is about being free not making money.
  • + 2
 too f*ckin right@
  • + 12
 Free Riding will never be over. Cos we r free to ride & we ride to be free.
To me Free riding is about ride freely enjoying the ride a getaway from daily working life.
Riding makes me free from the chain of working life & the struggling of everyday life to make a living out of it.
Free Riding Live on. Just the bike & rider, anywhere, anytime.
  • + 2
 True shit bro
  • + 3
 Well I gotta say just looking at most of the posts we will definitely not let the essence of Freeride go away. Great article and Graham Agassiz's comments are solidly put. Freeriding in its truest form is just enjoying the mountain bike experience however you want to. Having gravity push you and your adrenaline to a sweet spot...just don't clutter it up with competition all the time. Have fun for the sake of it and progress with your buddies along the way...take it in....enjoy the ride....
  • + 3
 Just the way you guys are spelling it shows that it doesn't have the same meaning...

Free riding: some random guy enjoying the freedom his bike provides...
VS
Freeriding: freeriders like Berrecloth and all the others sending it big and pushing the limits of unimaginable line and stunts like your average dude would never dare to do while on his ''free ride''...
  • + 10
 Amazing article...so true. But I think a vast majority of the riders are still "freeriding", just the big name sponsored riders that everyone follows are competing in none slopestyle competitions. Really what it is is that there are no big name "freeriders" or big name pure old school "freeride" competitions. Most of the mountain bike community, I would think, are still the traditional old school freeriders.
  • + 3
 Edit: Competing in none "freeride" competitions, not slopestyle.
  • + 2
 Edit: Competing in NO "freeride" competitions, not slopestyle.
  • + 10
 Wow. Such an amazing number of emotional, literate, and well thought comments. I'm stoked to see this level of conversation on Pinkbike. As a photographer who was around in the beginning, when "Freeride" mountain biking began, I feel that I should comment. I worked with many of the early freeriders in the late 90's when what was then called "freeriding" was being defined. And I have to agree with Mitchell and others that what we used to call freeriding is now mostly gone. However in the past 15 years the definition of "Freeride" has changed dramatically. If we were to go solely by the majority of the comments I read above, then Mountain Biking is now "freeriding". The term originally meant that you weren't competing, and that for the most part you weren't riding on an established trail. You were riding free, free of the constraints of others. Now we have Freeride trails and Freeride contests, which entirely contradict the original meaning of the word. In a large number of the comments above people take freeriding to mean just riding your mountain bike and having fun. That used to be what we simply called mountain biking, as opposed to mountain bike racing. So the meaning has quite obviously changed, and I think the real question now has become "what does Freeride mean to you?"
  • + 2
 Nicely put Ian. I too am blown away by all of the amazing comments. This is exactly the reaction I was looking. Truth be known this is just one person's opinion, an idea inspired by talking to athletes like Aggy and Paul Bass who themselves have strong opinions about the word and what it means. It's discussion and debate like this that enables the mountain bike community to evolve the semantics that define our sport. Sure, you can say it's dumb and who cares and just go ride your bike, but for people who are new to the sport, or outsiders, the words we use to describe what we do become very important. Believe me, I don't know the answers. I'm just asking questions. And I'm wrong in certain elements for sure. When it comes to freeride branded bicycles, it's one thing to have a "freeride" platform on your website, it's an entirely different thing when a company actively markets a bike as a freeride bike, like in a webisode or a magazine ad. Please comment if you've seen specific "freeride" campaigns lately. I haven't been, so that's where that comment is coming from. As for the Freeride/DH comment. Yes, of course DH has been around much longer than Freeride, but I'm quite certain that Freeride inspired a lot of companies (suspension and bicycle) to start investing in long travel technologies. Specialized and Trek are two prime examples. The Sessions and the Demo were marketed as freeride bikes long before they turned into DH race bikes. Another interesting thing to know is whether the 888 came from the want to make a freeride long travel fork or a DH race travel fork? Anybody know? That's where I'm going on that point. But in the end, don't be a hater on a guy who's trying to ask some tough questions based on the observations built upon 20 years in the mountain bike .
  • + 1
 Ian nails it for me with the last sentence of his comment. And because there are so many different answers coming in, I think we can safely say that "freeride's" true definition remains elusive (today). And sure, it certainly might not be dying, but it is experiencing a paradigm shift, and if you know System's Theory, you know that when an idea shifts, it falls into a state of chaos before re-ordering itself into a new idea. I think that's where "freeride" might be in 2011. Again, just one guy thinking...
  • + 2
 That was the funny thing back in '97 when Swetty and I were filming the teaser for "Kranked" with Begin in Fort Shepherd...he wanted us to describe "freeriding"...it was just regular riding and not being part of a race or festival. Maybe that's why the quoted line in the film was " freeriding, it pretty much explains itself...ride and feel free" It's such a great oxymoron the "freeride comp" oh well it's come a long way and good job Mitch " you got em real good....right the f*ckin mind"
  • + 1
 Thanks Larry, for all those reading the comments still, good ol' Clean Gloves was one of the original freeriders. A man of many men.
  • + 2
 From reading your comments Ian I have to say that the definitions of freeriding and mountain biking sound the same. This is what I meant when I said elsewhere about not liking the whole classification in mtb sometimes. You mentioned that "The term originally meant that you weren't competing, and that for the most part you weren't riding on an established trail." Isn't that what most people who own a mountain bike do? Maybe sometimes we use trail centres, but most of us will do 'natural' rides, find our own trails, heck when I got into mountain biking their was no such thing as a trail centre.
To me the difference between freeriding and mountain biking is therefore how big you go, and surely that's a relative term anyway. Big to one person is the norm for someone else.
I just don't see a real difference between freeriding and mountain biking. To me (and people may give me neg props and disagree) the original freeriders were just doing what the rest of us were doing at the time, but doing it bigger, often much bigger.
  • + 9
 holy comments! my short answer to this is, the word freeride is barely used now because since then we have evolved more in to sub categories, the mtb freeride tree branch has gone in a few definitive directions.. however the roots of this tree still stay the same. freeride has just evolved
  • + 1
 There we have the answer! you said it thevish, you should have top props.
  • + 1
 Excellent point. The article is all about the word freeride in 2011, there's no questioning what it meant in the past.
  • + 7
 i would consider myself a freerider. i love being in the trails bombing around and haveing fun getting air. i see people all the time saying. "that was a a sick 360" i dont care about tricks i just care about having fun in the great north american wilderness. freeriding as a term might fade to black, but going to whistler and having a good weekend with friends and not caring what your time was is still freeriding
  • + 7
 Back when I was 7 or 8 we used to build ramps in the garden with a few bricks and a bit of wood.... Freeride
When I was 13 I had a single speed boneshaker I used to ride down hills.... Freeride
When I was 16 I got my first mtb, rode it in woods down rivers across fields.... Freeride
Now Im 38 and I have a seven inch travel bike that I ride down things, off things, over things occaisionally through things and into things. I dont even do it very well sometimes (a lot of the time) but in my head it will always be freeride. I don't care how old I get or what I'm riding as long as its still fun.
Freeride dying? Nope, mabye the brandname, but you cant kill doing stuff on your bike just for the thrill of it.
  • + 2
 Well said. Hit the nail on the head.
  • + 3
 missed the nail and hit his thumb..
  • + 1
 Maybe. But I think that is kind of what the debate was all about. How the term maybe doesn't mean the same thing any more and matbe isn't even relevent. In a lot of riders heads we are all still keeping it real even if we aren't going as big Cam Zink or Berrecloth.
What do you say to people when they as what you do on a bike. There are so many different disciplines what do you say. Part of it I think is the type of bike your riding but the biggest part is what you do. Me for instance I dont really hit trail centers a lot but do hit locally built trails. I try to hit bigger jumps and more technical lines when Im out. But I might do that on my local streets riding steps or on a purpose built down hill too.
Ian hyland wrote that for him the meaning has changed to just riding your bike and he might be right. But if I tell some one the sort of ridiing I do its not cross country, it isn't downhill, it isn't slopestyle or dirt jump so how do you define it?
I do it for fun, I dont compete and dont really want to. I always try to go a bit bigger (but in fairness anybody who has seen me ride will tell you theres nothing very big about it) so to me its Freeride.
Ramble over
  • + 1
 That's essentially what I said in my other post on here, looks like we have very similar views. I'll copy/paste it here to save you finding it.
"I really don't like the classifications in mountain biking a lot of the time anyway. Why, as humans, do we feel the need to pigeon hole everything that we come across? Why do we feel the need to have to categorise? Can't something just be what it is? Can't I just be a mountain biker? Why do I have to be a XC rider, or a DHer, or a freerider, or a DJer, or whatever?
I ride trails, I ride XC, I ride DJ, and sometimes I just go out into the forest and get off the track and see what I can find to ride. Whether that's just some ground between a bunch of trees with no worn trail, or a fallen tree that I think may be fun to play about and ride on. So what am I?
Do you know what? I think I'm just a guy who loves my bike, and who loves getting out on it and having fun, regardless of how or what I am riding."
  • + 1
 Mostly at chazdog. I can see his point too though. The dawn of freeride saw a bunch of guys hitting big shit. We al bought into it but the majority of us are far removed from the origional ideal. I cant hire a chopper to fly me to the top of an argentinian mountain. I cant hit some monumental peice of utah landscape but the feel of it stuck on a much smaller scale. Its still freeride for me when i nail that near impossible slope into my local park or the time i fully drop the seven sets of steps down to my local cafe (see Scarborough fat face race course)
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/2549820
Me doin it in my home town. Not the fasted or the best
Still it was my freeride run five years before fat face Smile
  • + 7
 This year I've been up in the mountains surrounding Kimberley B.C. building new trails. To the west of my trails lies a handful of older unused trails (due to deterioration/ lack of maint.) Having the chance to hike around some Dh/freeride trails from at least ten years ago, brings me back to a time where stacking on the armour and hucking, or sending your carcass of poorly planned wooden features with little or no landing was all the rage. We would have lined up to hit these stunts. It's kind of like a trail museum.

I then find myself back at my trails, planning the next bermed cliff outrun, or flowing jump section. Realizing that my definition of a fun trail to ride, no longer fits the same criteria as it would have ten or twelve years ago. But a few things still remain constant, wether it's old school big stunt type gnarl, or the super evolved multifaceted flowing trails of today. I still want to go ride seven days a week. And so do most of my riding friends. Very few of us are stoked on races and competitions, while we still show great appreciation for the different aspects of the ride. Trucks filled with bikes, going up shuttles roads all week long, happens in pretty much every town in B.C. It's a freedom that can only come from freeriding! Long live the shuttle.
  • + 6
 Unfortunately this article is pretty true. Most riders I know care only about their times when they go outside...they forget the essence of mountainbiking: which(to me at least) is to go out with a couple a friends and just feel the trail, stop in the middle and have another go at that big jump that scared you yesterday.

Freeride isnt all about big jumps and big air...it's about the feeling of freedom you get when you get up on your bike. Razz
  • + 6
 Danny MacAskill is a freerider - he does not compete and he is public only because he is payed for that. His life is riding, sponsors just feed him and they are not his goal. I think of myself as a freerider too. I'm not interested in competitions, I'm not interested in becoming the best in any style, I'm not interested in other people opinion about my ride. I just ride! Today I jump some stairs in the city, tommorow I have some nice descents on a local hill, next week I might try something else. It does not matter what I ride and where - it's all about enjoying my MTB bike.
  • + 6
 After reading through the great comments here, it sounds to me that the term and meaning of Freeride is only "dying" in the minds of marketing people and industry execs - who never realized in the first place that it's nothing quantifiable. In the minds of riders, it's alive and kicking...and that's all that matters.
  • + 5
 In his article, Mitchell is clearly complaining about all thos subcategories that have been added to mountain biking. So why does he then try to define the word "Freeride"? There's nothing to define about it, let it be what it is, whatever it may become. That's the great thing about freeriding: you're free to do whatever you want on your mountainbike.
And what I don't get, is where Mitchel got the idea, that Freeride is dying, just by listening to a bunch of pros?
So what's with all the bike parks that are being built worldwide? If riding at bike parks isn't Freeriding, I don't know what is. And most of the people there are in fact riding Freeride bikes. To just name a few of many: Kona Operator, Specialized Big Hit/SX/Demo, Scott Voltage FR, Trek Scratch/Session, Canyon Torque/Torque FRX, most of the Banshee Fullies, Norco Truax,...
So basically, the statement that there are no bikes out there, which are promoted as Freeride bikes, is simply untrue.

To sum up, Freeride is VERY alive. So grab your mountainbike and do whatever you wanna do.
  • + 5
 Depends on your perspective. Freeriding is unbound to any set of rules. You basically do what you want. In that sense if you're riding your bike and having fun, picking new lines, through the city, on the trails or completely offroad. That's really how I see it. It's making it up as you go. With your local trail, you know what features are coming, what turns to expect. I used to call myself a freerider but I realized that trailrider fits my style better. Riding trails you lose a bit of creativity when you ride someone elses dirt. But I guess it's up to you to throw in that little flair of originality and forge your own "line". I guess in essence most of us are freeriders. There are after all different flavors of ice cream, we all freeride in our own way. The dirt jumper riding a trail will do something different than the enduro junkie. Maybe it's not dead, but becoming synonymous with non competitive mountain biking. idk those are just my thoughts.
  • + 4
 I guess it's because they bring the freeriding into competition that killed it.... We used to love watching a video of riders jumping a canyon gap, road gap or just go as fast as they can on an open trail or down a mountain.... we can feel the freedom of riding your mtb where ever you want.... Now that we have crankworx, 26 trix or freeride world tour etc... it makes it bias.... how can you be freeriding in a competition ? It's a freestyle competition. The course is a man made... not the natural terrain where you could be the 1st rider to ride it. Should have more of rampage.... big mountain ride. Freeride never dies in my heart... it is what got me into MTB'ing....
  • + 4
 freeride is like old school hip hop. It'll always be the party favorite even though it's not played in the charts.... when I catch some air on the slopestyle I am a freerider, when I try to nail the line on a DH I am a freerider and when I'm surfin down some high alpine trail I am also a freerider. It is how you do it not what you call it.
  • + 4
 Um well.... Just take a look at how many people said that punk is dead... through the decades, mind you. Now that it is in its n-th rebirth, it might not all be the Sex Pistols anymore, but on the upside there are legions of young people enjoying that sound, possibly more than ever before.
Commercial or not, Sell-out or not, that particular style of popular music seems bent on sticking around, whereas the style-specific transformations go back and forth throughout its own history, sometimes more polished, sometimes more lo-fi.

Now, if you transfer what I said about punk towards freeride, there are plenty of parallels. Artists (riders) get signed or dropped, are one-hit-wonders or benchmark references, or even both at different times. Sure, there are financial concerns, but the sheer fact that there IS an economic aspect to it speaks for its resilience, imho.

Bikes got more specific to their task over the years (slopestyle, AM, DH, FR, whatever), now the manufacturers are back to the "one-for-all" concept, slamming 180-200mm travel on something that would've been called "enduro" just 2-3 years back. As in popular music, the trends repeat themselves, get discarded and reborn to keep the show running, but at the end of the day, it's about the essence that is particular to that kind of music/sport.

I wouldn't worry at all about about freeride dying. Next time you see an old dude with a Misfits T-Shirt, think about why he's stubbornly wearing this rag for 20+ years. He's hooked, and so are many of us and they're here to stay.
  • + 4
 I read it, and am not sure what the heck it matters. What's in a name? Did the pioneer "Freerider" care what the heck we called it? or just want to shred, and maybe look cool doing it?
If all this... say "Sell Out," industry promotion and classification changes the name of what all of us posers want to throw our money at, then big woup what ya call it. (that's right, I said "poser" 'cause I didn't invent it, but I do enjoy it) Ya send a guy to the moon and a couple decades later I get to have a phone that could run this website. I embrace what ever evolves the technology that allows me head out into the woods w/ a half dozen friends and challenge each other's abilities and have a little fun. Call me XC 'cause I pedal up the hill, AM 'cause I have more then 4" of travel, or FR cause I hucked off a wall that isn't part of a marked trail. I don't care, I'm just having some fun.
  • + 2
 P.S.You all please keep buying the newest coolest best stuff at retail, and I'll be happy w/ your out-of-date cast-off parts "RIDING FREE" in my local woods!
  • + 1
 I Like that Smile
  • + 4
 ladder bridges and skinnies. big part of what was considered and helped start "freeriding" they used to be one of the cool things to do. They are getting more and more rare now though..connection maybe? also, Anyone remember a little show called Drop in? if anything was to take credit for "being" freeriding, i would think that those shows would be pretty high up on the list. Anyone remember season 1? how much fun that was
  • + 4
 Maybe if it was more affordable, not to sound like the average 15 year-old harassing the buy/sell on this site, but I got my freeride bike new in 2007 for $2000. That was a lot of work for me when I was that much younger, and to this day I never got full use of it, the reason being is finding anyone else who did it, to help build trails or carpool to a hill to do it on. If you look at BMX or dirtjumping, for around $1000, even less, the average 16-21 year old can go ride in their local area, at almost no cost. To freeride now requires either ownership/permission for land, the gathering of groups of rare individuals, or paying the cost of transport/lift tickets ect, not to mention how heavy the upkeep can be. It's more worthwhile for the cost to do Motocross.
  • + 1
 I'll have to agree with you except for one detail, it's not about the money, we love what we do and that's why we do it!!!
  • + 2
 Never said it was about the money, but the money puts stress, and even in love, marriages fall to money issues. I love freeride, but I can't afford to do it.
  • + 3
 Most importantly freeride scene is not interesting for the companies. Tha pressure from the companies comes to the slopestyle,dirt jumps and other competitions,so the athletes they sponsor could show the whole wide world that (for example) none of the competitiors can win with Brandon Seemenuk. It's all about marketing...
In my opinion,that's the basic idea of creating FMBA,so all the compenies could compete in the race and kids could see,that (another example) Cam Zink rioding for Evil bikes is the leader of the whole tour. It's really sad,but being a true professional extreme mountainbiker is never again ONLY about riding a bike. It's about the promotion of the company,and genering money for the bike company U ride.
Freeride is out of the race,so allmost none of the main companies sponsors the true freeriders.
Ok,there's a Kona supporting Graham Agassiz,there's s Specialized with Darren Bearclaw and that's it...
I still can remember,when Kona Clump was a team of 5-6 guys who were pushing freeride to the limits and enjoyed it to the max,but even a company like Kona is stepping away from this scheme. And we gotta remember that they created the first ever FR bike...
Having fun from riding a bike is not lucrative for the companies and that's the whole point...
  • + 1
 Dude freeride snowboarding is also about generating publicity for your company. The same as in every sport. Freeride is just off the podium for a while. It comes in weaves - at one point you see fr on the top, at the other dh or dj. Also yes - you get fired for not generating publicity for your company but you dont have to win crap to do that. Just look at CG in the last few seasons. Before 2011 his results were sub par but he is great for the company so he was still sponsored.
  • + 3
 Freeride is a bit like The Force, maybe you won't notice it but it's there and always will be.
Each time you go out, alone or with your mates, shred a trail just to have fun, that's all about Freeride and it will never die. Maybe you call it something else, but that's just your problem since you don't know the true meaning of Freeride.
You can consider yourself as a Downhill racer, but when you are ridding just to have fun, you are a Freerider.
I can say with 100% certainty that I'm a Freerider.

One of the best explanation about Freeride was given by Voreis (in the
NWD Greatest Hits - Kirt Voreis' Edit)

"(...) At first, was going off and not going to a race, it wasn't going to signup and being part of this big group. It's going out with your jeans and going up to the hills. Pushing up and just riding down. (...)"

Just check it out - www.pinkbike.com/news/NWD-Greatest-Hits-Kirt-Voreis-Edit.html
  • + 1
 Agreed!!!
  • + 3
 Only those who class themselves as a 'freerider' might consider it dying..

I find it quite sad when people have to pigeon hole themselves : "I'm a downhiller", "I'm a freerider", "I'm a racer" etc.

Me? I just ride...... my xc ride might involve some dirt jumps, man-made wooden structures and downhill trails on the way round...
  • + 3
 Freeride will never die... Everyone rides it sometimes. As for me, i`m never seperate my self for one style... I ride downhill, north-shore and so on... I ride freeride!!! Like it. For everybody it should bring a lot of FUN at first!
Go to ride guys! cheers Smile
  • + 1
 fun at first?
  • + 1
 yeap. why not? It`s only my opinion.
  • + 1
 why is it fun at first? riding your bike should always be fun.
  • + 2
 I think he meant fun first and foremost. Smile
  • + 1
 I think, brett236, didn`t understood correct... ``riding your bike should always be fun`` - that what i mean))
JonathanCarre - +1
  • + 3
 I think we all put too much emphasis on biking terminology.. XC, DH, slopestyle, all-mountain, street, freeride, gravity, DJ, enduro, cyclo-cross, etc, etc.. why does everyone care what category they fit in? Just go ride your bike how you choose to, and stop worrying about your description.
  • + 2
 Today, me and three mates jumped on our road bikes, rode 30km up hill to build trails in the bush so that we have our own place to ride our "freeride" bikes at and, to me that is freeriding, the love of riding no mater what discipline it is! and free riding will never die!
  • + 2
 I think mountain biking as a whole is changing and seems to be going down the same road that skiing went down in terms of popularity and media attention. just the past week i noticed guys like greg minnar in a commercial and the Atherton project as a show on fuel tv, I think freeride will be one of two main sides of big bike riding. DH racing and Freeride.
  • + 2
 Simply put: I would rather watch/participate in freeriding than DH racing or any other organized/racing type competition (slopestyle, Xc, etc), ANY FRIGGIN DAY.

Freeride stylings are just awesome, and the freedom it expresses is to die for!
  • + 2
 Hit it on the head. And possibly made me tear up a bit. I was one of the lucky ones who grew up riding in Rossland (45 minutes from Nelson, albeit probably better trails). I got to ride with Dave Swetland (Kranked 3) and Chris Lawrence (Kranked I) on a regular basis. We all rode K2 Animals, Rocky Mountain Pipelines and Santa Cruz Super 8's. It was a lifestyle of riding, something that seems completely lost now that I live east of the rockies in Calgary.

The freeride movement wasn't about competitions, or endless red bull marketing, or doing 360's and backflips over perfectly groomed dirt jumps and stunts. Freeriding was a lifestyle... it was a group of people of like mind. It was bombing down illegal runs with shoddy ladders and 30' rock slabs. Freeriding was meeting up at the bike shop every single evening for group rides. It was watching kranked or NWD or north shore extreme and being inspired to go ride again. It was pushing your bike for 2 hours up a road because there were gates blocking us from shuttling.

Freeriding was a culture, and that culture has all but disappeared from what I see getting back into the sport after a few years. Even when I go back to Rossland for riding vacations, I sense that things just aren't the same. The locals have all grown up and moved away, to be replaced by American Tourists living in fancy condos with fancy all mountain bikes. The lifestyle has been replaced by something different. It's not all bad, Life Cycles proved that there are still people out there who are about the sport, not the hype. But things have changed.

Freeriding has become the new downhill. Downhill was and is all about course times. Freeriding, it seems, has become all about having a fancy bag of tricks, and scoring big with the judges.
  • + 2
 Freeriding is not just an out-in-the-woods activity. I am an old school urban freerider. Back in the day, before mountain bikes, when all we had were BMX and freestyle 20 inchers, and before that it was 20” cruisers, a lot of us were doing urban freeride. We didn’t call it that but that is what it was.

Now, with the advent of the modern burly hardtail front suspension dirt jumpers (known to some as BigMX) and sexy durable full suspension slope frames, us old school and new school urban freeriders have access to much better equipment that is far more suited to the discipline than a 20” BMX frame. I don’t do “street” (flatland to us old guys who still ride). That has never described it. It is more than that.

Freeride is not dead. Freeride is not fading. In terms of definitions, freeride is everything that is not road or XC. It is the master discipline that encompasses everything gravity, slope, north shore, dirt jump, urban, ect.

Freeride, as many have said in response, indirectly, is also a philosophy, a way of life, a way of being. It is the eXtreme zen of losing yourself in the flow and rip of intense kinesthetic expression. It is the dirt and mud cousin of surfing. As the mantra goes… “Live to ride, ride to live”. And that’s all there is to it.
  • + 2
 For me the freerideing is when you go out and find trails , spots and ride them and have fun (the tricks aren`t excluded). Every terrain or aspect of the riding requies the proper bike. Personally I like to ride every kind of terrain.
  • + 2
 To me freeriding will never die, nothing beats going out with a few mates with shovels and carving a new jump into the hillside, to me that is freeriding and I think that all the online videos on pinkbike will keep it alive because it keeps people interested, however I must admit that I do greatly miss the NWD series as they were always pushing the boundaries of freeride. Nothing seems to be trying to truely do that anymore. - I with the first comment stating that you only really mention the professional riders, theres a whole tone of us that just do it for fun and thats what free riding is! Having FUN! And that will never stop Smile
  • + 1
 This is freeeeerideee! -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvNpofd4g8g Makes me wonna go shred aha
  • + 6
 freeride is all i do!! Never pure dh, never pure dj. always a blend.
  • + 2
 Me three
  • + 2
 I think it's still around, it's just gotten more popular and has been more specifically classified into sub-categories. And I think Freerideguy14 is right when he says most people are still freeriders who don't d specific things like "just" downhill or "just" dirt jumping. Freeride was just an early term for, "riding but not racing/competing."
  • + 2
 They’re two definitions to freeriding (which most words have).

1) Riding your "Mountain Bike" on a trail or street with no time allocated and just having fun tricks, jumps, wheelies, etc...

2) Extreme Mountain biking performing highly Dangerous tricks, jumps, downhill lines, drops, wheelies, etc... Where scores or fastest time is not judge.

To correct Mitchell Scott: The only "freeriding" thats over is the business $$$ side of it. Not the word and not the use.
  • + 3
 i dont think freeride will die untill mtb dies, which is never going to happen, the defenition might change and it may get pushed under the sofa away from all the competitions but it will never die
  • + 2
 With you on that one... to other's the idea of freeriding might fade but I'll stick to what I love doing, which is riding for fun anywhere I can & I'm gonna keep doing that till I'm an old hag. So in my eyes, freeride isn't goin' anywhere. 2 cents
  • + 2
 Freeriding is more than just mountain biking. Just because there you add the element of competition or professionalism to it doesn't diminish it at all. think about it. There's freeriding ski comps, snowboarding comps etc. They have only served to expand and popularize freeriding, not 'kill' it as the article would imply. What distinguishes it from a plain old downhill or crosscountry racing is an element of style, creativity, and an pushing past the boundaries of what once seemed impossible, not only on the level of the sport as a whole but on a personal level as well. That is why we can all be freeriders.
  • + 1
 I think people can have, "style, creativity, and an push past the boundaries of what once seemed impossible," just as much in racing...
  • + 2
 Um not really.
  • + 2
 Freeride is dying, however there are small people such as myself who haven't been drawn into the the world of racing or pure dirt jumping or pure xc. In my opinion, its all about taking that one bike (7'' or similar) and fully pushing your limits. Just a few people generally hucking it and pulling stupid whips is the new freeride, and I like it! The only problem is, we break ourselves too much...
  • + 2
 i got afew paragraphs into this article an gave up, all the talk of magazines video's an bike companys......... if thats where your looking than yea freeride might be on the way out
or

its evolving.. going underground ....back to where it came from

hands up....how many people here are racing world cups or hitting up major dirt jump/slope style events????

not many, most of us work or go to school an are out in the woods (mountains or not) freeriding every weekend or after school
i consider any riding that isnt racing,competeing or training to be freeride.......
so thats most of us..most of the time then.........
  • + 2
 Freeride marketing might be dead, since it's such a loose term.

And no, freeride doesn't mean riding whatever bike/wherever/however... maybe let's call my 8 year old neighbour kids on Huffy's freeriders too, since they're just riding around...umm freely?

I grew up making trails and shredding/learning to shred too, but I wish I could call myself a freerider, let alone a racer....

That's why it's not easy to market. And freeride might just be another marketing name.
  • + 2
 Freeride for me is, to quote the intro to Roam, not about the destination but about the ride. When I ride XC or road, it is about speed, distance, physical training, etc. When I am on my Reign X in the woods, I don't care about any of that. I can spend an hour sessioning 25 meters of trail. It is just riding for the heck of it, finding something fun and repeating it until I'm smooth, hanging out with friends, digging, whatever. Oh, and with freeride, high levels of adrenaline have to be in the mix or it isn't officially freeride.
  • + 2
 i think its still here. the sport would not be where it is without it . if you want to be vague and less critical it means freedom on a bike.. but if you want to get into how it changed the sport you need to remember when it was fresh.. where was it happening? who was calling it that? if i remember correctly it was folks that were progressing there lines.. yes there were easier to define freeride moments like all the sand shoot riding that still goes on today.. people will be more inclined to say that is still freeriding because they don't see a particular path in front of the rider so he must be making it up as he goes along.. sounds pretty free to me rite? but for every body else they are riding a trail so the path is set and freedom is limited.... but . then there was the shore guys . some of wich were the same guys that were riding those sand shoots. they decided they needed a more progressive line to ride and looked off there trail and saw a more desirable feature . they cut a line to it put some love into it and pow! a fresh line nobody has ever put rubber to .. now for all the simple thinkers out there you will shout out "Yo thats freedom bro" well yes you are right.. but allot of you didn't have the frame of mind to go and come up with a individual line to call your own..most of you just stuck to the path that was there before.. until the day you saw in the video's .. only then after you had seen somebody shred a tree on the ground or huck a huge boulder in the forest that had never been seen before did you think .. i need to go do that . where do i find that? only to realize that in order for you to find that you had to go get it yourself. hence starting a revolution to go a seek you own line that will push your imagination and skills on a mountain bike.. so ya ! its still here because people are still doing just that ..
  • + 1
 and its fading as a labeled style of riding because there are many trails that were built buy a pioneer freeriders used buy hundreds of mountain bikers today that still haver never steered of the beat'n path to go ride something that they created. i would call those guys DH mountain bikers.. long story short.. thanks freeriding! thanks for making thinking outside the trail so main stream that there are sick trails to ride all over the world that were not made buy a hiker or a horse.. You rock!! Freeriding might be something more spiritual to most of you .. but freeride "mountain biking" is still pushing this sport to the Extreme to me..
  • + 1
 Can you paraphrase that comment a bit bud?!!
  • + 2
 Do you want a solid proof that Freeride is alive? Here it goes: I simply ignored what you've written.

Just think with me:

Do you remember the moment you grabbed a bike for the very first time? What propelled you? A time being showed at the end of the trail? Someone scoring your style while riding it?

I don't think so.

What impelled you was the pure essence of a bike ride, the absence of boundaries, the lack of "where tos" and "how tos".

Freeride is some sort of embryonic philosophy that I'm pointing to discover.
  • + 2
 And in response to the full article, its true i don't here the term "free ride" nearly as much, but i do think its still there. free riding is what everybody does,every time you take out your bike, slay that one berm faster then before, see a big rock and launch yourself of it. even if you are just exploring new paths through the woods. free ride to me seems like it came from a bunch of guys doing what they love to do. the term free ride may not be as prevalent in the slope style and pro competition scene, but its where all of those guys came from. just a bunch of kids who loved riding their bikes and thought that maybe that big old rock drop out in the woods wasn't such a crazy idea after all. and all though the pant-legs may have shrunk to a near spandex like quality, and most pros are flicking around 4 inch slope bikes instead of hucking 8 inch bikes off of cliffs, i don't think free-ride, even if only in spirit, will ever cease to exist.
  • + 2
 mitchell is forcing the issue. the need for quantification of the term serves the interests of business development. like all esoteric developments that feed the soul, freeride was hijacked by companies looking to make some money. not that this is entirely bad, but as always, when something looks cool and potentially profitable, the suits will do all they can to quantify and define it so that we will buy their stuff because it fits the definition. i am of course thankful for the moving forward of business in the industry... it gives me better products and more ways to love my riding. but there are ghosts of resentment that rattle in my soul when something i love has all of its wonder and sense of unique discovery distorted by those who aim to profit from it. but this is an ongoing cycle in the world of commerce. we will just have to continue to choose to define our individual mountain biking experience in ever evolving matter of verbiage. freeride as a term is dead relative to its definition a few years ago. but it isn't dead as a way of riding to those who don't give a hoot about anyone else's definition.
  • + 1
 Freeride was a name made up by companies.. I remember when they came out with it and thought, what a funny name.. I was always pretty sure I paid alot of money to ride my bike.. I was sure I put alot of work into building trails.. I was sure I lost jobs because I was 4 hours late for work due to a flat with no patch's and didn't just have to cruz down the buff'd trail to the chairlift. I was sure that I'd have to pay for having a broken hand(or many other parts, body and bike) And I was sure that I didn't give a f*ck about that shit.. Just wanted to make the next ride the next day.. I guess some would say that was priceless... Pending on the card you hold.. Freeride was over the day riders were told to wear and where to ride.. But that doesn't change there stoke.. And I am stoked that they can make a life out of a name someone came up with.. I just don't understand all these tight pants? Andale!
  • + 1
 michell, this is such a good question. i think my answer is yes, freeride is still here but people dont know that theyre riding it. what some people call DH many others would consider freeride. theres way more answers but thats just one i think
  • + 1
 Back in the ‘90’s our trails were lame. Then NWD, Kranked and NSX films came out. We were blown away. We built trails that emulated those in the films. We incorporated jumps and drops, stunts, rolldowns and other gnarly lines into everything we built. This kind of riding was made possible by the availability of long travel bikes.
Ten years latter trail systems all over incorporate these kinds of features. Yes the flavor of the features is a bit different and it’s no longer considered extreme or edgy. But just because this sort of riding is (sort of) main stream, doesn’t mean it’s no longer freeriding. Far from being dead, Freeriding is alive and well. Just look at how any good bike company now offers a 160-180mm frame.
The various competitive genres of riding mentioned in the article are logical outgrowths of the of the original freeride movement. As with so many competitive genres, they are increasingly regimented and specialized. But the Freeride spirit of non-competitive gravity riding, getting big air, and riding big lines and building what you ride is now ubiquitous (i.e. not dead)!
  • + 1
 Let's think for a minute: why was the term freeride even created? It was used to define a type of riding where riders freely rode various terrain types and interpretted what they were riding on. Having started mountain biking in 1993 in eastern Canada, well before long travel suspension, and then moving to the Vancouver area in 1994 due to the emerging North Shore scene, I have seen HUGE evolution in bikes and the terrain that can be riden. Freeride is not dying. Every time I see riders on the trails, riding for leisure, they are freeriding. We are all interpretting the trail, it's features and how big we go based on our personal view and experience. To suggest that freeriding is over or dead would be to suggest that mountain biking as a sport is ending as the majority of us ride for fun, not competition...and fun means FREEDOM!
  • + 1
 I fully agree with Chapon, 'freeride' or whatever 'ride' is far and beyond marketing, commercials and lifestyle as well. I kinda believe that this guy, Mitchell, has a tendency to consider 'hard core' mountain biking as the art of sports as he did some months ago with the article "Life by thousand cuts" (28 Apr. 2011). Also, I tend to believe that he might love supporting this fake lifestyle about huge leaps, broken bodies, marketing etc. Mate, go see a TT Isle of Man race in order to realize what 'freeride' means and who are the real heroes.
@ Filipei7 & Psyckphuk: this is one of the best, if not the best, articles on this web and not a Proficiency test. At least Chapon speaks two languages (Spanish & English) what about you?
I know for sure that I am gonna get thousands neg props but I don't give a sh*t because not only I ride free but I FEEL free as well.
  • + 1
 My apologies @ Filipei & Psyckhuk. I thought that you were referring to Chapon's post, I truly feel sorry.
  • + 1
 if it is dying, then what form of mountain biking is the new red bull competition based on? I agree that it may have lost popularity, but only after the nwd series ended. They really glamorized freeride with guys like Bourdon, Berrecloth, and Simmons. Though it may not be a marketable trend with the pros anymore, however, it doesnt mean that guys aren't up in the hills building ladders and drops...
  • + 1
 If there's more money in DH, SS,DJ,AM, companies are going to capitalize on that. Just because FR is no longer a marketing money maker, doesn't mean FR is dead. Companies could call their 6 and 7" bikes FR, but they market them as AM or Park. Call it FR, call it AM, they are just terms. There will always be guys that want to ride crazy lines and explore what can be done on a bike rather than see how fast they can go from point A to B. Does it matter what it's called? I call it riding my bike.
  • + 1
 The only thing people are worried about in the media is money! Free riding will never die; it's about going out of the norm and just letting your bike rip. It's really sad that media has placed a label on what people have been doing forever. We freeride because we are passionate about mountain biking, and I don't believe you media ass holes can take it away from us. I know when I wake up in the morning I look forward to hopping on my rig and just letting it eat, but just like any other sport business have to have a marketing gimmick to sell "freeride" merchandise. Maybe the word is dead because us people who actually ride our bikes don't have time to buy or deal with your marketed "freeride" garbage! I've done see freeride: hat, gloves, bikes, suspension, and drivetrain parts; none of that garbage means anything to a true freerider!
  • + 1
 funny, all discuss the life and death of freeride.
to begin with, the freeriding will stay alive for years to come, because it encompasses many riders that are out of racing, fat, old, young, women, shy, or just people who are not content just to ride a trail to have the hope of winning a trophy.
I, for example, I have 36 years old, cycling from 17 years old, I dirt jump, DH, XC; change bike many times. and saw the evolution of the bike. but only participate in two racing DH when I was 18year old.
freeride practice always, the Americans only had the right word to define an activity. practical activity for many years.
in fact, in Argentina the races are so bad, and there is so little support from businesses. that all the riders here are freeriders. because the idea of competition here is not winning. The idea is to get together with friends.
freeride involves crossing a mountain out of trails. or trails, seldom used here in Argentina so much.
freeride far from dead. is growing every day.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6347114

www.pinkbike.com/video/169795
  • + 1
 It seems to me that you are labelling freeride as a big mountain to northshore crossover. I always thought freeride as the whole scene of mountain biking that is not including racing. Seems the definition has changed since I started biking.
  • + 1
 funny, all discuss the life and death of freeride.
to begin with, the freeriding will stay alive for years to come, because it encompasses many riders that are out of racing, fat, old, young, women, shy, or just people who are not content just to ride a trail to have the hope of winning a trophy.
I, for example, I have 36 years old, cycling from 17 years old, I dirt jump, DH, XC; change bike many times. and saw the evolution of the bike. but only participate in two racing DH when I was 18year old.
freeride practice always, the Americans only had the right word to define an activity. practical activity for many years.
in fact, in Argentina the races are so bad, and there is so little support from businesses. that all the riders here are freeriders. because the idea of competition here is not winning. The idea is to get together with friends.
freeride involves crossing a mountain out of trails. or trails, seldom used here in Argentina so much.
freeride far from dead. is growing every day.

www.pinkbike.com/video/169795

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6347114
  • + 1
 If you call Freeride a rider or a group of friends experimenting with new lines and riding how and where they want to, Freeride will never die, the name might change, that's all, and Freeride is just a name for something that existed long before. If Freeride means a group of sponsored riders who are paid to ride crazy terrain on camera and frequently get injured, that could fade. DH riding and enduro DH races might be the future, as Sam Hill said 'Jump for show, corner for dough'.
  • + 1
 " But they weren't the first when it came to knobby tires and catching air in the woods, nope, that's purely a North American invention"

Well, that's a load of crap for a start! Americans invented racing down fireroads and marketing it.....
  • + 1
 hell, all gravity mountain biking could be free riding...DH,DJ, trials, shore, slope style are all subdivisions. Secondly, just because it's a paid competition, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's not free ride. When you think about it, competitions are only held because both sponsors and the public want to see some more crazy stuff. So what is freeride? To me, the first thing that comes to mind is the rampage, a mixture of all forms of gravity cycling. But I have realized that the category has broadened over years of progression since 2000. What we need now is someone willing to push the envelope and relight the candle that the end of nwd blew out.
  • + 1
 i dont think free ride is dead its just kinda becoming foggy on what it really is. free ride is not going to a comp and doing a back flip tail whip or what ever. i would never call the claw, mcCaul and or semenuk free riders, they are slope style riders. free ride is going out and seshing a jump or a drop with friends and pushing your limits and trying to out do your friends. you know what i mean, seeing if that thing you though was impossible last year is possible this year. its about building trails and trying stuff most people think is stupid and not worth it. its about pushing the god dam pig of a rig to the top of some cliff and hucking that shit. its about maybe even pedaling a bike to a sweet spot to sesh it with friends. its about having a good time and doing some crazy shit on a bike its not steeling a bmx trick and doing it on a mtb on a jump line facing slightly down hill.
  • + 1
 I'm finding that freeride is referring to more of the trick and style based raiding such as dirtjump and slopestyle, and that the term big mountain, which can be used in reference to enduro and stage races is referring to the classic definition of freeride, finding/ building technical trails, make them as steep as possible and as gnarly as possible, and trying to get as big air as possible
  • + 1
 All i know is, I was into free riding hard 4 years ago i started, everyone was doing it, friends would all get together and ride....Now it just seems to be me and my bike. free ride is something you do with friends it gets everyone together, without competition. It brings friends into a circle of joy. Have you tried building a jump with just you and a shovel?....it's definitely not as fun. Because so many of my friends left the free ride scene, its just me...and you know what...as much as it seems like free ride is slowly drifting away...i can still put my headphones on and rip any trail...any road, any mountain and i will enjoy every damn second of it... because that is what free ride is.... freedom... freedom from reality, and everyone needs some freedom.
  • + 1
 In muy opinion, Freeride will not die cuase really, Freeride is more of a life style, A vicion, its just simply going out to ride your bike, cuase the beauty of it, not racing just having fun, and enjoy the experience of the ride.. and making a own perception of the slope, and just being free to do waht you want, for me thats freeride
  • + 1
 didn't read all the responses, but to me freeriding is being able to decide for yourself how you are going to ride the terrain in front of you. Are you going to pop off that lip? roll it? hit it straight on or at an angle?

I don't like the idea of dirt jumps as freeride, because for the most part you only hit them one way.
  • + 1
 I think "freeriding" is any riding with out constraints of rules/regulations, point system or judging system. If there are rules/regulations, point system, and/or judging system then you are forced to give the act/sport a title. People were throwin/hitting balls or stones around before someone decided the rules of baseball, correct?
  • + 1
 Competitions had to happen to market the sport just like in freestyle motocross with ramps slopstyle had to happen but there is still guys like Matt hunter who still freeride like in the nwd. I just started building a demo 9 and all I plan on doing with it is building crazy shit to ride that push my limits big jumps drops and sketchy lines. In any of the freeride videos we all watch all disciplines of freestyle mountain biking are displayed freeride anything has always been going and riding with your buddies and it always will be
  • + 1
 what a waste of article space. defining an end to a definition that has no beginning or ending. It just is. 99.9%...no...100% of us would just ride to ride whatever whenever when we're able. It's dirt culture much like surfing I would imagine. $$ makes the wheel but you choose how to make it go around. how about "soulride" then?
  • + 1
 To be honest i think freeride developed from riders wanting to ride more extreme terrain and them not just wanting to ride single track, and due to the demand of many riders wanting to ride more extreme more harsher terrain, a new bread of bikes were developed to suit the needs of the riders. and i think that to say that freeride is now dying is preposterous idea as of course it's not dying! if anything its flourished into what it was always destined to be. yes the meaning of FREERIDE mountain biking may have changed but what we classify AS freeriding has simply hit the mountain bike scene by storm, so much so that many riders have decided that they dont want to travel to utah or kamloops to 'FREERIDE' they want to ride that type of terrain on their doorstep. and due to this, many FREERIDE orianated trails have been made so that riders can FREEride without having to go out of their way to do it. I suppose that this has caused peoples conception of freeride to change as the riders are not riding in barren landscapes far from civilization but are now just riding their local trails. Is this still freeriding? yes i think so, maybe the meaning has changed but what riders are riding is still the same as if they were to say go FREERIDING.
  • + 1
 A very good point, that brings up a very big question. How many people here actually ride terrain that is free? And by that I mean free of trails, free of the limitations of defined trails? How many of you carry your bike up to the top of a mountain and ride down it, not on a trail? The was a big part of the original true meaning of freeride, and while I do see the occasional photo here of people freeriding in the original sense, I don't see many. This is the true original meaning of freeride, as is this shot of Aggie If it involves a trail regardless of type, it is not technically freeride by the original definition. Rampage is a freeride competition, but by the fact that it is a competition is it really freeride? And for the most part Rampage is a contest on extreme (yes I occasionally still use that word) trails, but a larger number of the Rampage lines are just that after the first few days, trails...

It is changing, and it's not bad or good, it's an evolution of meaning based on bike companies and media outlets taking something that was originally very limited in scope, and marketing effectively to tens of thousands of consumers. We've all bought into it, and in buying into the hype, we've redefined freeriding, and turned it into something that we can participate in. We're all free riders now, regardless of whether or not we'll ever personally carry our bikes up the side of a mountain for an hour or more, just for the thrill of riding down a slope with no trail...
  • + 1
 The whole slopestyle thing i guess must be an evolution of freeriding, as riders are still riding jaw dropping obstacles which are certainly not standard to find, isn't freeriding just riding extreme terrain that you wouldn't normally come across? Slopestylers have just chosen to ride something besides the standard mountain bike trails which i would now be classified as xc i guess. And even if they are being judged on what they are doing i dont think that means that they are not FREERIDING, okay the whole slopestyle thing is basically a step forward from freeriding with riders choosing to ride jumps and drops instead of say sand chutes but this is still an evolution of freeride. okay its not the same type of riding as freerides original roots but i would not hesitate to say that slopestlye falls under the freeride banner. and to be honest i dont see why people would think that freeride is dying, it is still the same riding is it not?
In my opinion i think that freeride mountain biking (although appropriate at the time) was not the right name for this genre of riding. and the fact that it has flourished and has become more popular and easier to do should not be a reason why it should be said to be dying.
Just seems a bit dumb to me Razz

essay over Pimp
  • + 1
 Freeriding is a state of mind. It's not 7 or 8 inch of travel, Oakley gear, Red Bull Rampage or other things. It's the way you ride and the feeling while riding. Freeride and competition will never exist together. It's either, or.
  • + 1
 i don't believe freeride is dead. not for one second. the way i see it, anyone who takes their DJ bike for a rag around the woods with their mates is a freerider, or who takes their DH bike to the dirt jumps, or who takes their 4x bike trail riding, we're all freeriders. anyone who doesn't think inside the box when it comes to riding a bike, which is and should be all of us, shouldn't it? freeride is riding your bike, however you want, wherever you want. thats where the basis for a 'freeride bike' is, its a bike that you can ride around the woods, shred a DH course on, and session dirt jumps, all in one package. its the hardest genre of riding to define, yet we all fulfill it. so to say that freeride is dead is stupid, we're all freeriders.
  • + 1
 Freeride will never die. When you go somewhere on your trail on saturday morning,you don't need to have the best time, or you don't need to have more points than your friends.Just ride your bike anytime and anywhere-that's nature of freeriding. You just want to enjoy and feel free. That's freeriding for me. Untill we will ride for fun and not just for best time-freeriding will be alive.
  • + 1
 if it wasnt for "freeriding" then mountain biking would not be where it is today. we take things from every discipline and combine them into others. like at clemson freeride course. they have wooden jumps and a wall ride, they also have rock gardens and root sections. freeride is like bmx street, but for mountain bikes. as long as someone is doing something new, freeride is here to stay. just ride your bike and have fun! thats freeriding!
  • + 1
 Back in the day they used to say "groovy" to express certain things. Just because they use to different word to express the same thing does not mean that that thing has died. Freeride, even though the word may not be thrown around as much lately, will never die!!
  • + 1
 The man totally has a point and I see it every day, especially in the young kids who hang out at our local bike shop. It's all about lots of travel and wide open trails now. Nobody seems to want to challenge themselves any more with technical lines, scary drops, or crazy Dangerous Dan stunts. It's all about trails like Bobsled. It's kind of sad, cause it really is about how fast you can go now. I've met kids these days who don't even know what a skinny is. Building a trail to them is clearing out a loam line. The sport all together is changing, and if you want to remember what freeride is go watch some North Shore Extreme movies or something. It's all about speed now, not pushing yourself and your buddies to do something crazy and unique that you can't find anywhere else.
  • + 1
 Freeride is to me comparable to freestyle snowboarding. I see it as when a rider starts looking for new features to push the envelope of being on a bike. Ladder bridges, big gaps, wallrides, drops, etc. being thrown into an otherwise ride through the forest or whathaveyou. I see freeride as skilled riders interpreting their own lines in new ways. I don't think for a second that freeride will ever die. There will always be people visualizing, building, and improving trail experiences.
  • + 1
 I agree
  • + 1
 In the article, all forms of riding were listed as the children of "freeride" , however I must disagree. It seems clear the term freeride is in fact the child, whereas the various forms of riding of All sorts, since the inception of the wheel, are the parents. It is not the act of freeriding that seems to be losing ground to corporate compettition, times and scores, rather the trend of marketability in the term. We are all freeriders, unless you are forced against your will to ride, and when has that ever happened?
  • + 1
 In my opinion, freeride is not dead. I feel like it's been misconstrued with slopestyle. It seems like their attention has now switches to riders that go bigger and bigger. They want to see bigger jumps, bigger tricks, and bigger stunts, but that's not what freeride is. Freeride is all about the creativity that goes into the riding. I have my respects for all the pros out there, but honestly, I'm getting sick and tired of seeing the same tricks being done over and over, but seeing riders like Berrecloth throwing down tricks not really done before (360 turndowns), Hunter finding that huge jump gap to wallride as see in Follow Me, and all the other creative lines, freeride isn't dead.

Think of it as mainstream hip-hop vs. underground "real" hip-hop and hopefully that'll make more sense of what I'm trying to say here.

SORRY FOR THE LONG AND CUT-UP POSTS - APPARENTLY, MY POST WAS TOO LONG =P
  • + 1
 i feel like freeride is dying and dirt jumping/slope is taking over. if you watch The Collective, then you will realize what freeride was and should still be. now it is all about tricks. thats why there are bmx bikes? mountain bikes are meant to ride the mountain!
  • + 1
 Trying to decide what "kind" of rider you are is so much pointless navel-gazing. This article is like the age-old argument of "What's punk?" There's no point in trying to debate it. No two people are going to give you the same answer. Both "punk" and "freeride" are just words in the end, not the ethos of the "thing."

Does competition have any bearing on my riding?! Other than the roundabout way of driving innovation, the simple answer is "No!" Whatever your style/attitude/etc., just go out and enjoy riding your f@#king bike...
  • + 1
 I kind of miss the old ladder bridge and skinny days of years gone by.... so i would have to say that old school freeride style is going out the door ,although not gone completely. Everything now days is all trendy dirt jumping and super smooth jumps trails, which isn't a bad thing but i still miss some of the old skinnies and gnar.
  • + 1
 Dude
Trek and Specialized had gravity teams well before “Freeride” was even a term for mountain biking. There was a few years in the late 90's when all the big manufactures figured sponsoring racing was not translating into profits and they got rid of almost all of their teams (also influenced by the fact that many of the big makers were now owned by bowling companies etc). About the same time the boys in Canada started hucking cliffs getting people stoked on riding again and the big guys found they could capitalize of sponsorship better paying one or two guys to do “extreme” stunts to sell bikes, and surprise for everyone when it actually became more than a marketing idea and a viable movement within mountain biking that just happen to coincide with amazing advancements in suspension technology that enabled anybody to do stunts that only a few years earlier would have been an unimaginable stunt in a video.
Freeriding did not start the long travel movement, it just happened at the same time as world cup DH tracks were getting more gnarly helped push the marketability of such a product and pushed it over the top so for the first time people besides DH racers were stoked about long travel riding.
  • + 1
 Freeriding as a world may go away, but the answer to the question if Sorge and the new gang are real freeriders? Of course they are, the riding they do to train for events is freeriding and the “events” are merely venues to display their skills and inspire others to go freeriding. Just because something gains a competitive outlet does not negate what inspired it in the first place. I am sure many of the new riders would be riding just the same if there were no sponsors or events, and that makes them freeriders. Were Simmons and the gang not real freeriders because they got a paycheck?

I still believe that the freeride movement stem's from DH being sunbed form the Olympics in 96. Gravity guys finally said screw it lets have fun. And isn’t having fun pushing the limits on a mountain bike really what freeriding is/was?
  • + 1
 We should all be thanking Craig Kelly and snowboarding if we are so attached to the truth behind the meaning. Thank you Freeride Snowboarding.

There is a huge difference between feeling free on a bike and freeriding on a bike. My grandmother feels free when she rides down the street; Robbie Bourdon is a Freerider. Any early NWD part with Bourdon or Vanderham will somewhat explain what freeriding was when it was first used in mountain biking. Natural cliffs, chutes, drops, slabs, sinlge senders and insane ladder and bridge building. The meaning now isn't dead, it's just forgotten or altered. With so many new trails, ski hills and MTB parks, freeriding doesn't happen nearly as much. But it still exists and always will. Riders will always scope natural terrain and go ride it. It just isn't a priority on the majority of mountain bikers minds these days. The original meaning of the word will always remain the same in mountain biking. But it's such a sweet word to say. It sounds so cool. Just say it "FREERIDE". It just feels good. We just can't let it go. And that's probably why marketing and ad campaigns can't give it up. They don't have any other words to use. It almost has the feeling of "organic" or "native". Today the word is used by journalists, marketing companies, and the media to represent something different than it's original use.

Actions speak louder than words...or should I say RIDING SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.
  • + 1
 First dudes point is very very valid. and whoever said that riding free is an excuse because your too sh*t to race is just talking rubbish, not everyone gets a buzz from racing. you may well class me as too crap to race i dont know ive never tried it i dont see the attraction. riding as fast as i can is fun but pushing too hard and messing myself up for a piece of paper that said i was 1st. no thanks id rather spend more time on the bike. Freeriding to me is finding lines that maybe no one or very few people have ridden, they dont have to be some gnarly huck or monsterous gap (although i'll admit finding a nice new drop/ gap is always a bit of a buzz) but just generally new lines new trails and fresh natural places to ride.
  • + 1
 It's funny - people use freeride as a way to describe their riding style, their lifestyle, etc. But in essence, freeride is simply going out and doing whatever you want. Look at how snowboarders define freeride (I use snowboarding as an example because in my opinion, snowboarding and mountain biking are essentially very similar in terms of style and events) - to snowboarders, freeride is just going out there and riding what's out there on the mountain. Doesn't have anything to do with the half-pipe or any slopestyle comps. Most of the snowboarders we see out there in the backcountry, building enormous booters and sending it, I see as freeriders because they've broken away from the norm of just riding down a mountain or sticking to a already laid-out course, etc. In mountain biking, I think freeride is more about the exploration of natural hits and trails - breaking away from the conventional trails and whatnot. It's also just going out and having fun.
  • + 1
 For me, there is no way I'll ever get as good as the pros, in terms of throwing down tricks or sending it off booters, but I still consider myself a freerider because I like to go out and test my limits. I'll take my 40+lb bike and hike up 2 miles to what is normally an "all-mountain" downhill course and shred that thing to nothing because it's what I enjoy. When I'm at home and don't wanna drive far, I'll take my bike and hit up the local trails that have very small jumps and whatnot, but mainly meant for XCers. Most XC riders will look at me and say, "a bike like that shouldn't handle well on such flat terrain." But do I care? No, because I enjoy it. Freeriding isn't just about the big jumps, tricks, and technical lines, although that's what makes it fun and really sets it apart from everything else, but it's all about the ride. Although I'm finding myself going bigger and bigger on jumps and drops, I still enjoy riding all sorts of terrain (except really REALLY flat long distance trails for obvious reasons Razz ). TO BE CONTINUED.
  • + 1
 I don't know that I agree with the notion that Freeride is dead. I think that freeride is what it has always been at its heart, unable to be commodified. Companies tried to turn Freeriding into dollars the same way that the music industry takes whatever is cutting edge and makes it pop. Freeride is the "punk" of the riding world, when you try to make it popular, you have violated its very essence. Freeride isn't about buying things branded as freeride, it is about going out with whatever bike you have, whatever gear you have, on whatever trail you can find with your friends and riding it in the most creative and enjoyable way possible. As soon as you try to make money off of that pure riding, you have missed the very reason it started and why it persists. Freeride is not dead, and as long as people are out there riding without care of what label to apply, it never will die. Unlike a marketing campaign, you can't kill and idea or a feeling.
  • + 1
 Trying to decide what "kind" of rider you are is so much pointless navel-gazing. This article is like the age-old argument of "What's punk?" There's no point in trying to debate it. No two people are going to give you the same answer. Both "punk" and "freeride" are just words in the end, not the ethos of the "thing."

Up until the late '90s, I don't remember labeling the riding it was doing; I just enjoyed being out riding/beating up my bike. Did coining the term "freeride" have any effect on what I was doing? Negative; riding was just riding. Does competition have any bearing on my riding?! Other than the roundabout way of driving innovation, the simple answer is "No!" Whatever your style/attitude/etc., just go out and enjoy riding your bike, and if you're doing it to be "cool," there are cooler things out there...
  • + 1
 And sorry about posting the same thing twice...
  • + 1
 Freerideing will never die so long as people document it wether its through film or photos. Our sport has grown so much. Heres how I divide the discplines of mountainbiking. Mountainbiking.(XC)-All Mountain then it branches off like crazy to (DH)-Raceing-Freerideing- DJ/Street-Slope style. and the future will only bring more.
  • + 2
 the last time i used the word freeride, i was screaming it out the window of my buddies car at a bunch of roadies riding down the side of the street, i feel it was appropriate.
  • + 1
 In my opinion freeriding is all about north shores and long rides for those people who are stuck between the choice of dirtjump or downhill, for those people who want to ride for fun, not for being competative, freeride isnt about being the better rider, in my opinion freeride is where you are not to ride hard and fast, but to enjoy yourself!
  • + 1
 Grat article... not only for the content but for sure for the effect Smile ... In indeed true what GA is saying and i am agree that things has evolved new an more specialized domains has been born and grow lately, ethics has been changed, bikes has been changed and maybe freeride cannot have anymore a precise definition in the MountainBike Dictionary, maybe athletes and pro riders are not anymore real and pure freeriders as time ago. But every of us that are doing this thing wen we ride for our selfs, when we go in the woods behind our homes searching for new lines to interpret and ride, when we are exiting from a trail also for 10m only because is the way that we want to interpret that thing, or when some one like CG shoot a no hander on a DH race, when we are building something new etc. we are all doing this thing with the same spirit... The FREERIDE SPIRIT... that exists in every of us, also if we are DH racers, DJ riders, Slopestyle PRO riders, or as majority of us simple RIDERS on some bike in the middle of the woods... My opinion is that the freeride word can also not exist in the dictionary or have a precise definition but the most important thing is that The FREERIDE SPIRIT will be always in every rider Smile
  • + 1
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 One question? Who cars if the term "freeride/freeriding" dies, as long as there a men and women who ride?
does it mean a difference to any of you, if someone says you are a freerider or a downhiller (or whatever)?! the only thing that is important is that we have fun on our bikes. how ever your riding style is called!!
  • + 2
 The term 'freeride' is used to make what riders have been doing for years into a marketable product. Freeriding is horses**t! Just a commercial name for going out on your bike!!!
  • + 1
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 well my 2 cents is that downhill and freeride have definitions based on the terrain. for example the austrailian canberra world cup track is a freeride track, thats a freeride "track" not a 4x "course". and downhill to me is a mostly natural track littered with rocks and no berms.... freeride to me has little to do with a lifestyle or genre...
  • + 1
 I use freeride to describe my riding style all the time. Last time I used it? Two days ago on PB. Keep it simple. FR is lift access smooth trails with a focus on jumps and tricks. No race. Not overly technical. Fun tricks. Almost every bike park has at least some FR trails.
The difference between dh and fr is that dh is about technical descents and FR is not. Any smooth and fast trail with a lot of jumps and wall rides etc is FR.
AM riding is like light FR with a bike that can climb well.
  • + 1
 I never understood people who cried freeride died. People ride bigger stuff ond smaller bikes and add tricks to it. Yes there is a bigger focus on the competition but you still have many riders who live without starting or having results in comps. Trond Hansen, Coastal Crew ( i know they kinda started getting them but they were sponsored for a while), Voreis, Ben Walker (sponsored by Scott so it is not like Scott forces you to have results), Jaws and many many more.


Freeride is not over people just panic because it is not the center off attention right now. Was downhill over a few years ago? Is dirt bmx dead? No!
  • + 1
 I wouldn't say that Freeride is dying, i think peoples perception of the word just differs so much Personally i'd call a Freerider someone who goes out and explores for new areas of land, maybe builds a trail or a kicker and generally rides with their own style.... it may look good to others or it may look bad but freeriding is really all about showing off your style by riding a variety of terrain in the way you want and defining your style.... it doesn't necessarily mean on a DH or FR bike, could be on a bmx or even an XC bike if you have enough creativity to create a ride that looks good!
  • + 1
 freerides still going, its just not in the spotlight anymore, the medias not hunting down the next star and yes its been splintered up with all-mtn and slopestyle, for me freeride means big hucks, gaps etc.. think bourdo stuff.
  • + 1
 Im a litle bit disapointed the way extreme moutainbiking go. Some riders seems to ride just to win competion, not for pleasure. Back in the day I downloaded by mistake Kranked IV movie, I was so inspired by riders straight hitting monster gaps and drops just for fun that I started riding too. I raised on NWD 1,2,3 and riders like John Cowan, Wade Simons, Timo Pritzel, Thomas Vanderham, Josh Bender and others. I miss those days when freeriding was really freeriding, nobody did care about bike weight and the backflip was something that you can't see every day. I wonder what another 10 years will bring to us ?
  • + 1
 i remember when the first new world disorder came out, i was shitting, looking at all the pros like scheley, and simmons made me want to go out and ride my bike everyday. freeride to me is all about going out and finding some of the most unique shit you can hit, or ride down. sadly i do see freeriding dying. my friend and i who also rides bikes is sitting here with me reading this article and we completely agree, its not about just riding anymore, its about times, and scores. its more competition then anything now. he also skates and said that skateboarding did the same thing. it used to be about just skating, and now its about score.
  • + 1
 Freeride is most definately not dead or dying, it's simply moving out of the professional lime light. I see slopestyle taking over in a way, but freeride lives on with every day riders. I count myself as a freerider, because I will give everything a go. Surely the true spirit of freeride is getting out there and pushing your limits, be it one the trails, the jumps or the drops. Too many people attempt o specialise themselves into fitting into a category, all too often you here "oh Im a dirt jumper" or "I only ride street" A freerider is someone who will have a go at everything, and not try and force themselves to fit into one category.

In my opinion a freerider today is someone who gives everything a go, may not be amazing at one particular section, but they'll give it a go and keep at it. That is a true freerider Salute
  • + 1
 I don't think defining free and ride gives a person the perspective of what freeriding is. Since technically freeriding is undefined in itself. It doesn't matter if you're zipping around traffic on your langster or finding new lines on your demo, you're out there riding your bike and that is considered freeriding, to me at least. In terms of where mountain biking is going...I don't think freeriding is dying and most certainly not on it's way out but it is changing, whether that's good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. The lines between what's what is just becoming more blurred these days. As humans we naturally have to stick a label on anything and everything as it helps us understand the unknown, but the best part of freeriding is the unknown.
  • + 1
 Nice specialized descriptions...what if I'm sitting on my SX, isn't that a type of free riding too. On second thought, I guess it'd just be free sitting
  • + 1
 Freeriding will never be dead because not everyone is good enough, has the money or the bike, or time to enter in competitions. Everyone else just wants to be free to ride their bike however they want and wherever they want doing whatever THEY feel like. Period the end.
  • + 1
 the term "free" means that its really up to you, your free to decide what you want to do on your bike. if u want to jump and get big scores, thats you. if you want to go fast and get nice times, thats you. the roots of what that is is the most important though, even if (or when) freeride really does die, i hope when someone lands that first backflip or finishes on the podium for the first time, they know were they'rr sport came from and never forget the people who made this sport what it is today.
  • + 5
 I am a freerider, this is whack keepin it alive in the bay stay reppin
  • - 10
flag flipside (Jun 30, 2011 at 0:49) (Below Threshold)
 You either Dirt jump,Downhill,XC or 4X these days no one combines anything or freeride they are all done individually.
  • + 6
 NOT TRUE. All my friends and I jump dirt while riding downhill while riding across country all at the same time, imagine that.

And as far as the author saying that a ''freeride'' "labeled & promoted mountain doesn't really exist"...also NOT TRUE. Go to the norco, specialized, rocky mountain, transition, & kona websites ( just to name few) and you will see bike descriptive phrases like "gravity & freeride" "Out of Bounds/Freeride" and even just "Freeride" it's self.


This article seems delusional to me, or maybe I'm still stuck in the paralel universe of 1999
  • + 1
 what you just described could be interpreted as "all mountain" though, i think the reason freeride is "dying" is that it is being blending into lots of smaller subdivisions of the sport. origionally freeride was just jumping a bike off stuff on a hill, now if your going fast and there is a tech aspect, its downhill, if there are any jumps that vaugly resemble dirt jumps its slopestyle. so i think, in reality its not dying its actuall just evolving it still exits for sure but the original style isnt as popular any more.
  • + 1
 valid observation, it could...but when "FREERIDE" is being explicitly stated on multiple major bike manufacture's websites, I don't see how that can be interpreted as in any other way the what the letters says: F-R-E-E-R-I-D-E.
  • + 4
 freeride seems to be getting smaller but it will never die! theres a free rider in all of us Big Grin
  • - 1
 arghh i just puked, thanks for that
  • + 2
 There might be a Freerider inside you. But I keep my insides clean living the Freecountry lifestyle.
  • + 1
 I know this is a bit late now & many of my points might've already been made, I didn't read all comments. BMX has been segregated into street, park, dirt, vert, flatland & maybe others, I don't know. Those more specific categories never stopped being "FREESTYLE". Freeskiers, still "freeski" in "freeski" contests. Mitchell, there is such a thing as a dumb question, and you asked one. Kinda like asking if a computer is an electronic circuit or a calculator? Or if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or how about one that asks whether or not "God" answers prayers? These are all blatantly stupid questions asked by people who have simply not done enough thinking about the issue in the first place, or are unwilling to accept the "ugly truth" that is the answer.
  • + 1
 You mentioned something about the last time anyone saw or heard the word "freeride", and then you answered your own question, exactly as I planned to do for you. It is the FMB tour, encompassing all that can be competitive about "riding" without "racing". "Freeriding" is anything that is NOT racing, plain & simple. You either already know this, or you are someone who probably also might make such mistakes as thinking that a computer doesn't use electricity to do math, or that there's an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, invisible, transcendent consciousness that listens to crazy people who think they're sane while they whisper, or that the molecules in a medium that is in contact with something such as a falling tree don't vibrate to the tune of a falling tree just because no one is around to hear it.

Maybe the reason you're so confused is simply because you haven't identified the REAL differences in "freeride", which are not the smaller categories underneath it. They are only the differences between "freeride" the fad, and "freeride the activity". "Freeride" the fad is that thing that the industrial corporate greed machine exploits for capitalization. Motivated by people who probably forgot how to pedal a bike decades ago, nevermind actually "ride" one. You remember when Cannondale tried to patent the term? If you don't, you certainly remember The Rocky Mountain "Froriders"? You mentioned two of them in your article. They were "Froriders" because believe it or not, the bike industry has it's own highly proprietary parasites looking to cash in on anything they possibly can, any way they can. Cannondale is one of them. Or at least they were. Shimano is another, but that's another topic. "Freeride" the fad still exists today and you already found it. FMB World Tour.
  • + 1
 As for "freeride" the activity, if Simmons, Vanderham, Schley & Bourdon can't answer that, maybe the super insecure & arrogant d-bag Cryin' Brian Lopes could offer some insight since he was so scared of it. If not then ask Fisher, Bontrager, Breeze & Ritchey. They might be able to tell you something about "freeride" because they were the first ones to be doing it, at least on mountain bikes, but WTF is a "mountain bike"?!!!



Freeride Forever!

(Sorry for 3 separate posts, didn't know it was too long)
  • + 1
 I am freerider. I do not race, I ride XC, AM, DH is fun for me. I am freerider I am blessed to walk out my front door and choose to ride on four world class mountains. But with the movement to more flow trails with less skinnies and drops the knar of the freeride of the past has lost it's punch. I think the term will be around for some time, It meaning is already morphing back to the live style comment that it all started as.I think it was Chaz back int he day explaining whet free ride is to him back in 1998
  • + 1
 I dont think that freeride is dieing, although if it is, i think its because the standards at downhill courses are changing a lot. Both DH courses near my have just has some serious makeovers, now they run so nice and could ride with any travel, and some pretty sweet jumps too. Freeriding may have just become more difficult to class now, and not so easy to find a place to do it because all they sweet funky trails that were classed as freeride may have been done up and made into a more popular bike discipline. I dont know about any freeriding places around here, i know of little trails that run around in the woods, but they are all downhill. Freeride i think can still be done on a dh course with the quality that they are in now, the skills and imagination of the builders/diggers are getting a lot better. Smile
  • + 1
 Mountain Biking is a young sport. Now it's time to come back to our roots. Thanks Claw, Doerfling, Buelher,(...) , with the next Freeride Entertainment movie "Where the trail ends..." to bring back freeriding to his roots. I need to freeride, like many of you: Freeride For Life !!!
  • + 1
 I would say that freeriding is not being pinned down to one discipline. I, for instance, ride a Fireeye Spitfire. Its a DJ/Park bike, but even so i don't just ride park or dirt jumps. Sometimes(quite often) i like to go down to the woods near where I live and hit some drops, or shred some deer trails. True freeriding is not just big mountain stuff, fair enough that is how it started, but there is a whole genre of Urban Freeride aswell? Freeriding is just going out and doing whatever you want to do on a bike, aslong as its big. Smile
  • + 1
 freeride is when you just go out there and ride your own way and don't care about brands, bling-bling gear or big name energy drinks. that's why they call it freeride cuz you just ride in order to get a better feel of the freedom!
  • + 1
 EXACTLY.
I ride a ladder bridge park, and I call it Freeriding.
I love hip jumps, and I call that Freeriding.
My street riding time is very free, thus...

See the pattern here...? LOL
  • + 1
 I think there is a level of creativity implied in the concept of freeriding. Not that it is a form of riding stricken from trails or big jumps but owes to the freedom of inspiration that the riders and builders explore. Whether or not they are judged by a group of other people or choose to define a trail as 'dh,' a flowy jump trail, or some super gnar there is still the creativity and imaginative freedom in the building or expression of the rider that embodies what freeriding is all about. And just because there are so many more people who ride now than when freeriding was a more common tern doesn't mean its dead. I bet all the people who are using it now are riding wherever you aren't. Just sayin.
  • + 1
 This article could have been really good, but its let down by multiple errors which I hope the riders older then 14 out there can spot too!!! The sweeping generalisations made and just the way it written makes me sad, and asking Aggy about the history and place of freeride when he's a young gun coming from a snowboard background (not mtb) and using him as a spokesman for the mtb community seems a mistake right?

Anyone fancy a re-write of what could of been a good topic to cover?
  • + 2
 But the topic of FreeRide cannot be written properly by anyone. Because there is no right nor wrong way to define it. I think what the write up was more about was just sparking the conversation of the topic. Not to try and sum up what it is. We are all re-writing the article in posting our own definitions. No one can be 100% correct on the topics. This is not the fisrt time ive read such an article. Everyone has there own view.
  • + 1
 I'm a rider then downhiller, but Freeride lives forever for me, stop labeling shit and get out just ride free, big or small, personally have huge respect for Wade Simmonds and Scheyler and many more too many to list for what they have done for mountain biking, and co they got MTB riding real MTB not road riding on dirt, the real pure riding on the map even more sp than the racers in DH because we could relate to them and what and where and how they rode, most people 10years ago would only dream of what thee guys do ,now many people are riding that big, maybe not the really big stuff but they and Freeriding have pushed us to expand thanx Freeriding thanx to those pioneers you rock.
  • + 1
 ....... I hope its not dead , cos I dont need rules and regulations it suites my ridin' style fine , shiiter than the bestest of shiites ever shiited than the shiitist shiite ever , that shiited the shiite and a shiitester that oozes shiite, no stylee , no fineese but Im good at the finest of crashes that involved surgery on more than one occassion !!!
  • + 1
 Freeride will never die, I think. When you go somewhere on your trail on saturday morning,you don't need to have the best time, or you don't need to have more points than your friends.Just ride your bike anytime and anywhere-that's nature of freeriding. You just want to enjoy and feel free. That's freeriding for me. Untill we will ride for fun and not just for best time-freeriding will be alive.
  • + 1
 I am the president of Southern Oregon Freeride Association. When first created our goal was and still is to create MTB specific trails that involve manmade and natural trail features. As we have grown as a group we have evolved into a more encompassing group. Free ride to us is riding as you please. Many of us ride XC, DH, DJ etc. It's about mixed disciplines. Not just XC not just DH. We ride it all ! Free to ride as we please with no labels !
  • + 1
 freeride: riding your damn bike the way you very well please, building trails and improvising new lines, and having a good f'in time without competing against other riders. The word "freeride" to me brings up images of a few buddies riding their bikes into the woods with a chainsaw, hammers, nails, and shovels slung over their back. And proceeding to shred whatever trails they find or make.
  • + 1
 I've been riding since 2001, all this slope style stuff never made sense to me. To me, mountain biking is a form of expression as well as a passion that brings some of the most interesting people together to create the most unforgettable experiences. Its not about the bike you ride or the gear you wear, its about who can show you something new, weather it is a sick new trick or a scary line that you would have never thought of trying. Freeriders push each other and the sport so I really hope that freeriding is not dead but maybe in hibernation, ready to resurface. Maybe if more bike parks that have let their bike program slip, put more money into making their park sick then free-riding will be able to grow again as a sport and be reborn. The sad thing is, in the end we are just viewed as a bunch of dirt bags with no money and only a few places like whistler and silver star have figured out how to build a good park. FREERIDE-4-LIFE
  • + 1
 I think that the freeride scene is still out there. It always will be. The media seems to focus on center stage which is not the freeride scene. I dont care for the slow motion jumps and fast forward single track myself. Gets old fast. On my trails there are skinnys,jumps and steeps. There is no fast forward or slow motion. Freeriding is getting out with friends hitting some stunts if it feels good ....going around stunts if your mojo is not flowin.
  • + 1
 I think **Ragdoll** gives us a good definition of what's Freeride (Mtb & Spirit). I agree too with Mitchell & this subject is totally legitimate, but I would add Steve Romaniuk concerning his start-list of "authentic freerider".
But Freeride is deeply changing since 3 or 4 years, that doesn't mean that it's dead; the new kinds of competitions which mix Dj, Slopestyle & Freeride up are good for MTB, for sur and fans a increasingly numerous than before. However, pure-style of what we called Freeride 5 years ago is relatively different these days. There are more and more dirt events with a touch of slopestyle and freeride, with perfect jumps based on incredible slopes (to pass everywhere on a mountain is not enough now), we are more closed to BMX style...
It is a shame because this is not Freeride, I'm sorry. Brendon Semeniuk who is probably the most talented slopestyler we've ever seen of this new generation has a dirt style, that's the same case of Kurt' Sorge, whereas we can't say that riders like Pilgrim is a freerider (but that's not I'm not criticizing this fabulous MountainBiker).
Concerning organisation of competitions, The Rampage is the last event of authentic freeride comp' in North America & the firts two Châtel Mountain Styles were the last one in Europe.
  • + 1
 In my thought, freeride means free ride; if you're not competing, if you're chillin, if you're riding a MTB, if you get these these things at the same time, you're freeriding, no matter where and how you ride, i think that's the main point of the sport, it's all about being free and having fun. If someone really found a way to definite what freeride really was and how freeriders should rode their bike, then freeride is dying, cuz it's not free anymore; so it's too hard to say it's growing up or dying, as long as there're someone want to be free and MTBs are still out there, then freeride never dies.
  • + 1
 The term Freeride came about as a marketing scheme for the bike companies to exploit and make some more cash. They wanted to pidgeon hole the riders who didn't quite fit the full blown DH scene or the spandex slinging XC guys. Now if you look into the All Mountain catagory , you'll see the same thing. Another word to exploit, and another group of riders to sell shit to. Some other "words" have tried to make it in this industry, like "Black Diamond riding". When it all comes down to it, we are all on the same team, doing the thing, having fun... Remember, Freeride existed long before suspension and studded belts wrapped tightly around the asses of your little brother wearing your sisters jeans...
  • + 1
 Wow, so many responses. Free riding in my opinion is that guy that shreds downhill and can compete and win when he wants to, but would rather camp and hike a bike because he gets more riding. Or even some of the epic adventures that are posted here on pinkbike, the big mountain stuff of virgin trails and steep slopes.

Free riding is non sanctioned competition. The winner is the guy that is the better rider no scoring system, just the better rider (completely subjective and non-quanifiable). Free riding is not about the bike or the label but instead about the life style, go out and tear it up!
  • + 1
 i think free riding means finding somewhere new and thrashing it, a new trail somewhere that feels you're the first one thats ridden it, the first person to catch air on the natural jump or the drop. free riding is still here and will always be here as long as there is woods and bikes.
  • + 1
 Ok, how many of you remember when Canondale wanted to trademark the word "freeride"? Remember when there was a big issue about it with the rocky mountain freeride team, an they decided to change their name to the "rockymountain froriders". That is when the term was first coined, and I have no idea how the word came about, but it did by biking pioneers redefining what was possible to do on a mountain bike. Call it what you will, but it all comes down to the sport's evolution. It is constantly evolving, and the marketing guys eat it up, another why to profit from the sport. The "core" of biking in downhill races, xc races is what makes technology advance. Better materials, lighter, suspension designs, the list goes on. to be honest freeriding isn't dead, or dying, as long as there are people out riding, and challenging the boundaries of what we do on our bikes. I am a trail builder, and like to challenge what we can do with our trails. I am constantly thinking of new ways I can improve the trails, make them different from what is already out there, Hmmm maybe I am a freetrailer, or a trailrider. What I am is a mountain biker, we all are, no matter where we ride or how we ride, we are all mountain bikers.
  • + 1
 A lot of people have been saying that "freeride" is what every you want it to be (I AGREE) but not really addressing some of the points he brought up. I think one of the main reasons for righting this article is how big the FMB tour is and how he doesn't think that the events are "freeride". He is exactly right and very wrong at the same time. Crankworx and 26tricks are not free ride competitions. But IMO the tour is a freeride tour. It is a bunch of very talented individuals riding all different kinds of terrain. Riders like Aggy, Paul Bass and Brandon Semenuk didn't get as good as they are by only doing one type of riding. They are "freeriders" and this tour just puts them up against eachother. If there was one competition that was called "freeride competition" or something along those lines, it would be incorrect. But the tour makes complete sense!

Freeride will never die!
  • + 1
 As others have mentioned; just because you are riding a trail doesn`t make you a "freerider", simply a trailrider or a mountainbiker, rider, etc. Freeriding involves gutsing on steep lines, gnarly passages, and big drops.

Funny how people claim that simply riding (free) is "freeriding", and then complaining that "freeride" was a term hijacked by commercial interests and turned into something it isn`t (or wasn`t), that freeriding is not about scoring points or competing, simply enjoying biking.

Whereas most people I meet trailside or otherwise who define themselves as "freeriders" actually are just riding a an overly built bike labeled as "freeride" by those same big, nasty, evil commercial interests on trails that can be tackled on a much lighter bike with some guts and a fair bit of skill.
Those are no better than fixed-gear-freestylers, it`s all about buying into an image.
  • + 1
 freeride for me means exactly that free ride to ride your bike is about being free free from all the rig moral that surrounds you in real life free time to your self and your bike i am a freerider i ride near enough all the disciplines in the mtb world but my most common term is i am a freerider the meaning may change and die but the word will always live on i am a freerider and very proud to say so
  • + 1
 I think the original meaning of freeride is already dead judging by the comments to the article. Freeriding in it's original meaning was about "Just shredding lines down gravel chutes and cliffs" and gnarly stuff like that. By the sounds of it now free riding has been switched around and is now just about 'Riding Freely'. Riding BMX isn't what the original meaning of freeride was about. IMO it's already dead Frown
  • + 1
 Freeriding = backcountry ski. Not defined trails, not groomed anything. Just you, wilderness, some selected few friends and your thoughts. Freeriding is a state of mind, not a sponsored ramp or the sickest trick. Freeriding is challenging yourself, find your limits.. Freeride would never die as you can not kill the SOUL.
  • + 1
 Hey, i don't agree nor dsagree...i guess that maybe the name is dead, but the means still go on, and it evolves....
i was 18 when Kurt Cobain died, and the grunge died with him in some ways, it was a great moment (the grunge, not the death of Kurt obviously) and me like many others thought that it would never end, and one day it happened. things evolves, the matter transform... i have a full suspended, a dj bike, an all mountain, and i love doing all that stuff, what more freeride than this? just an humble opinion.
  • + 1
 I really don't like the classifications in mountain biking a lot of the time anyway. Why, as humans, do we feel the need to pigeon hole everything that we come across? Why do we feel the need to have to categorise? Can't something just be what it is? Can't I just be a mountain biker? Why do I have to be a XC rider, or a DHer, or a freerider, or a DJer, or whatever?
I ride trails, I ride XC, I ride DJ, and sometimes I just go out into the forest and get off the track and see what I can find to ride. Whether that's just some ground between a bunch of trees with no worn trail, or a fallen tree that I think may be fun to play about and ride on. So what am I?
Do you know what? I think I'm just a guy who loves my bike, and who loves getting out on it and having fun, regardless of how or what I am riding.
  • + 1
 Freeride will never die for me. We ride for the thrill and the fun, and constantly push our own limits even in our backyards where there are no judges, just so we can say we did something to our friends. I freeride every day of my life and want nothing more.
  • + 3
 Banshee Scythe=freeride bike, watch the video, that's what freeride's all about

www.bansheebikes.com/scythe.html
  • + 3
 The original Santa Cruz Super 8 is what freeride is all about. Before the Bullit was made, the Super 8 was an overbuilt long-travel DH bike with front derailleur compatibility. We're talking 1998-1999 ish. Also the K2 Beast and Foes Weasel.
  • + 2
 You must have grown up in my world. I had a beast for a long time, all my friends were on Pipelines and Super 8's. Also, I grew up in Rossland/Nelson, so there's that.
  • + 1
 I think that freerideing is building somthing technical like a ladder with a drop off the end or building a rock gareden and flying threw the trees then hitting a jump and rippen
  • + 1
 Errrrr ......... I dont want to worry anyone but it will get dark soon and I dont want to be disrespectful and ride if it's dead , SO , is it alive or dead ???????????? I just wish you'd make your bloody minds up !!!
  • + 2
 well Crankworx and all that stuff, i think is still freeride, cause someone always has to come up with a way to make it a compition, cause "freeride+crazy skillz= $$$$"
  • + 1
 Like Chapon said freeriding to me is being free while riding your bike as to big dirtjumps, downhill, slopestyle,trails like A-line or sometihng like rampage, freeride is your own definition of riding!
  • + 1
 HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT DH IS CHILD OF FREERIDE???!!!! OMGGGG...D!!! HOW CAN YOU SAY THERE WERE NOT DH BIKES WITH MORE THAN 5 INCHES BEFORE FREERIDING???!!!! OMGGG...D!!! DID YOU RIDE A BIKE BEFORE FREERIDE????
  • + 1
 Who gives a rats arse what its called ..... as long as your on your bike and having fun that's all that matters .... 90% of the time when riding I'm just a passanger holding on for dear life ..... but loving it
  • + 1
 i think that it has been a 'buzz' word for a while now. a lot of people say that they freeride without really understanding the term, i personally like it and feel that it sums up different styles of riding all-in-one...
  • + 3
 Don't we all ride bikes of all forms and variety's for one common reason: Fun?
  • + 1
 its not dead, far from it, maybe as a marketing phrase its not as it once was, as racing has taken more of a front seat to freeride, it'll be back once everyone's done with the restraints of competing
  • + 1
 "Search the industry for a "freeride" labeled and promoted mountain bike. Doesn't really exist. "

That's not true. Norco has a section devoted to freeride bikes, there are 5 actually. www.norco.com/bikes/mountain
  • + 1
 FREERIDE WILL NEVER DIE!!!!!!!!!!! Since slopestyle has made a name for itself the media has taken a few steps away. They are forgetting to use the play of Freeride for some photos in the mags that we read.
  • + 1
 To me, Freeriding is more of a "Feeling". I Freeride to express myself and I can't see that feeling going away anytime soon. The term may fade but the feeling will always remain.
  • + 2
 I miss the days of seeing hunter, romo, and vanderham just shredding having a good time. That is what this sport is about anyhow, having a good time?
  • + 1
 How can you miss the days of them doing that when they still do it? Freeride isn't dead, not by a long shot.
  • + 1
 Notice that the norco free ride series are all bikes that are suitable for many forms of gravity ridin?
. Free ride is all forms of riding your bike downhill, or on a trail with jumps, or ladders.
  • + 0
 i would call freeride like doing everything like xc enduro slopstyle dirt jump dh and may be a litle bit of trial... like chris akrigg... the word freeride is dying because many people dont use it... in the clip "chris akrigg - a hill in spain" for me thats the best clip of freeride i had ever watched i would say even thats the clip that defines whats freeride... of course its missing slopstyle in that clip and dirt jump to be really the definition of freeriding... but you look at the description of the clip and you dont see the word freeride... thats the problem...
  • + 1
 To me FREEride means doing what you want to do and how you want to do it. Putting your own flair in in your riding. Freeriding will never die because everyone puts there of style in their riding.
  • + 0
 Freeriding is all sketchy wooden skinnys, big hucks to flat and poorly cunstructed jumps. I will forever wave the flag of Freecountry, which is all about living in America, shooting stuff and dodging trees wearing baggy shorts listening to Bob Seger and chugging cheap beer. Long live Freecountry!!!
  • + 1
 Freeride Entertainment will never let Freeriding die. Where the trail ends is coming in hot and will make big mountain Freeriding bigger than ever. Thank them. www.pinkbike.com/video/161366
  • + 2
 I've got to commend you Mitchell Scott for producing this level of conversation on Pinkbike.
  • + 1
 long live freeride. couldnt care less what the companies do, if anything its good they are less involved, freeride shoudlnt be so commercial
  • + 1
 Freeride will never die. It is pretty much everything on a bike. The only way freeride could die is if people stopped riding bikes altogether.
  • + 1
 "Free" from labels, specifics, and marketing plans. Free from some definition that, ultimately, limits what it really should be about.
  • + 2
 What the hell is this guy talking about? Too much time in a cubicle? Go ride for gawds sakes man.
  • + 1
 What a complete load of ridiculous nonsense! If Can Zink's 360 off the Oakley step down at Rampage isn't freeride then what is!
  • + 1
 is freeride not just purely an ethic ?????
Ridng of any form is purely a spiritualised experience that belongs to the individual.
  • + 3
 There's no such thing as a free ride. Oh wait, yeah there is! Big Grin
  • + 0
 oh no there isnt Yogi ! errr ..... yes there is ? or is there ? I dont know , Yes I do ? have we all decided yet ???? All I want to know is , is it dead or alive ? No one seems to know !!!
  • + 2
 i kind of agree, because now its more slopestyle than going deep in the woods to go build and ride some wood ladders
  • + 1
 As far as bike companies "marketing" freeride bikes, Morewood still sells and advertises a line of FR bikes!!

www.morewoodbikes.com/
  • + 2
 So my 2011 giant faith isn't a freeride bike? Maybe freeride died for people that get paid,
  • + 1
 Freeride will never die! Freeride is the best part of moutainbiking. There is no rules and we can make all! I love freeriding.
  • + 1
 wait wait wait...Europe outscores North America on pretty much every fine development in the modern world????? really?? like what???
  • + 1
 When people ask me what style of Mountain Biking I do I always answer with one word, Freeride! Though usually I have to explain what it means after!
  • + 1
 The term freeride has been desecrated by the corporations (decline, dirt, trek, specialized, etc), like everything else they touch.
  • + 2
 HELL NO, FREERIDE IS FOREVER!!! And that's all that needs to be said. LOL
  • + 3
 drama bullshit. just ride your damn bike?
  • + 1
 Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine.... talk about it. and guess what.... its for free!! www.freeridermag.in I use that word atleast 75 time a day.
  • + 1
 Nathan Rennie said it best in one the bike videos, essentially he said he wouldn't call it freeriding, he would just call it "going for a ride".
  • + 1
 have to also agree with Chapon ,its your ride ,you do what you want with it

the word freeride means what you want it to ,i see it as freedom to do what you want / enjoy
  • + 1
 Freeride is here to stay. Anyone that goes to the mountain/hill and rides their way, not competitively, or in a specific genre, is a freerider.
  • + 1
 Free Riding _ is void of boundaries, judges, time clocks and the media. Currently its the only way I ride.
  • + 1
 freeride is still with us, no this word also means competition(slopestyle, dirt jump, big mountain) and money
  • + 1
 F'ing dumb article I wasted time reading. I get the gay ass "DONT LABEL ME MAN" vibe of this post.


retarded
  • + 1
 i say freeride is just what it is. no need to explain, just get on a bike and see where it takes you.
  • + 2
 You guys keep arguing...im going to go ride my bike.
  • + 1
 Anybody remember the Rocky Mountain "Fro-Ride Team"?
Still riding free for the last 25 years!
  • + 1
 Does anybody know if it's alive or dead yet ?????? I wish you'd bloody decide so I know if I can go out yet............ lol.
  • + 1
 4 million comments. Holy shit. Major props for this very well written article. I enjoyed reading it very much.
  • + 1
 roll over the kona ad in the top right corner to see what "the industry" is doing with freeride..
it's alive and well.
  • + 1
 Saying that it's dead, is like saying that metal was dead many years back! Freeride is dead...long live freeride!
  • + 1
 Free riding is simply riding while feeling the freedom to do as you feel with your bike beneath you.
  • + 2
 I keep freeride alive by hucking stairsets daily.
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/video/204122
I would say this video is pure freeriding and to me it seems quite alive
  • + 1
 SCOTT VOLTAGE FR??? even the name includes the freeride word the article is a lie !!! freeride will never die!!!
  • + 1
 There is nothing "Free" about needing a pricey$$, heavy downhill bike, body armour and a shuttle vehicle to go riding.
  • + 1
 same here... shredding the big mountains of China... Not XC nor pure DH... just blazing... they arent even bike trails.
  • + 1
 Back in my day sonny freeride meant the bike we took from the weak kid in the neighborhood.
  • + 1
 Judging by the ridiculous amount of comments and the lenghts of those, FREERIDE IS DEAD!
  • + 1
 All these comments are so heart-felt.
...Who really cares? go outside and ride, sweet Jesus!
  • + 1
 No way! ..Freeride will never die! >Smile
  • + 1
 i know. no one is ever going to stop making short tracks packed with jumps. you cant beat them!
  • + 0
 The mountain bike oracle says: "Only when freeride is dead; can you truly ride free..."
  • + 2
 How can anyone Neg Prop that statement K3ano ??? Sarcasm at its finest ! Sir I salute you ! pmslol. Wink
  • + 2
 I don't think they have sarcasm in Canada
  • + 1
 Hey hey, my my, the name freeride will never die!
  • + 1
 It's like saying love is dead)
  • + 1
 I'm onna go ride my bike.
  • + 1
 free ride will never be over. Smile
  • + 1
 freeride is definatly alive
  • + 1
 i had a feeling this was gonna happen.... i hate it Frown
  • + 2
 I'm a freerider.
  • - 1
 Did you read the article?
  • + 0
 yup. I'm not dead. and i'm not european. and I freeride. did you read the article??
  • + 1
 Why is it so hard to interpret the word? You are riding, and you are free.
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 I think this must be the most commented article ever on pinkbike!?
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 the most comments ive ever seen on pb
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 Semantics and rhetoric...they're fun.
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 Freeride never dies
  • + 0
 It was evolving more, then dying. !!!! Big Grin
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 THERE IS NO END TO FREE-RIDE
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 RidEOn!
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 If there were more competitions around me, I am sure I would do it alot more!
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 Just ride.
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 YOU are over now
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 I use freeride a lot Smile
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 this is pure philosophy
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 I hope freeriding doesn't die.....it's so much fun!
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 Its only dead if you quit riding!
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 Hucking is where its at!
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 now*
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 Excellent. No competition, I'm free! Congratulations Mitchell.
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 delete
  • - 1
 I don't understand your question. I'm going for a ride.
  • - 1
 I agree with Chapon!!!
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