Pinkbike Poll: What's Your Mountain Biking Vice?

Jul 8, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Goddamn donuts. I don't remember my first one, but sometimes I wish that I never took that introductory bite out of my first glazed circle of goodness. It was all downhill after that, and it was because of this very Canadian dessert that I never became the racer that I was destined to be, which also kept me from becoming a multi-millionaire, having a vacation house in Whistler, and being shirtless on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine with a tan and some manly stubble on my face.

Okay, I can't really blame donuts for anything besides an extra five pounds of body fat, but I also can't say no to them. Ever. If a donut told me to inject drugs, I'd probably do it with a smile on my face so long as I could take a bite out of him afterward. That probably means that I need more discipline, but also that donuts are a vice, a weakness of character or behavior, of mine. I want to quit doing donuts, I swear, but my dealer, Tim Horton, has me hooked.


Cannondale Habit Carbon SE review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
  I ate a few donuts after this skid. Clayton Racicot photo


Donuts are obviously a pretty insignificant vice in the grand scheme of things, but eating one or four of them every day certainly does count as a weakness of character. And so does skidding on purpose, I've been told. I'm just as guilty for that one, too, and I know that I'm far from the only rider out there who enjoys a bit of tactless braking now and then. Depending on where you live and how you ride, other mountain bike vices may or may not include shuttling, riding in wet conditions, choosing to take the cheater/Strava lines, and maybe never doing any trail work, among others. Then again, someone once said that one man's vice is another man's virtue, a point to remember before getting up on our high horse.

So, what's your mountain biking vice?





174 Comments

  • + 376
 My vice is spending more time on mountain bike websites than actually riding. Then again, I can't ride my mountain bike around at work... :-x
  • + 9
 hope ur boss doesn´t know of pinkbike..... :-X but yeah been there
  • + 6
 Yup, when I got kids this became the problem. Or at least it kept me from riding my mountainbike enough. Of course still need to ride to work, do shopping (loads), riding along with them to school etc. Recently started doing some online mountainbike lessons (by Ryan Leech) and the good thing is that much of the exercises is stuff you can simply do in front of the house. You don't have to bother with putting on your gear, fill the camelbak etc and you don't have to clean and lube the bike afterwards. Not sure if it qualifies as proper mountainbiking, but at least it is a better contribution to it than visiting a website.

This vice deserves to be an option in this poll.
  • + 64
 My vice is I've got too much grip
  • + 2
 @ViceGrips: get some slicks and start drifting!
  • + 9
 My vice.. spending just as much if not more time buying and selling bikes as I do riding them...
  • + 3
 @manchvegas: But you work in a shop, right? That's not a vice.
  • + 2
 @manchvegas: Some people would call that "working in a bike shop"
  • + 4
 @vinay: no I work at a powerplant and race for a local shop. I do wrench on my own bikes for the most part... Thats why I say its my vice just addicted to having a new bike and trying something different every year
  • + 6
 I hope my school doesn't block pinkbike
  • + 0
 My vice is, not crashing,but when I crash,I make sure that I knock myself out when crashing....
  • + 65
 That survey makes me look like a saint.......but then I have always been a shimano kind of guy.
  • + 9
 very nice
  • + 6
 Dunno...having four options might be some kind of Record.
  • + 5
 This pun flew like an Eagle
  • + 15
 Wrong brand. Waki loses zee game.
  • + 2
 @tinfoil: I'll bet we all have some eXTra comments in the bag.
  • + 58
 I can't keep my front tire on the ground.

Riding to the bus stop? Wheelies.
Crossing the fire road to drop into the trail? Wheelie.
Transferring to a new trail via a double track path? Wheelies.
Ending a ride on a fire road? Wheelie.
Heading to the bike wash station? Wheelies.
Random part of the trail where you might be able to do a wheelie? WHEELIE!
Random part of the trail where you should not be doing a wheelie? WHEELIE!

The wheelie 'float zone' is stronger than heroin... if you find it once, your brain only ever wants to find it again.

Tip: Wheelies don't damage the trail as much as sick skids, but are just as fun.
  • + 31
 Ever pulled a skid while pulling a wheelie. Next level.
  • + 13
 That would be me, if I could wheelie lol
  • + 20
 1 wheel = half the tyre wear, half the trail wear, you're saving the planet man!
  • + 3
 @teamperil: Hmmm maybe even less wear on the trail than those dam self-indulgent hikers! God I wish I could wheelie too. I practice I do.
  • + 6
 This. I even apologize to my riding buddies because I feel like I'm showing off. I'm not. I tell them that I wheelie even more when I'm by myself. I sometimes drop to the back on a lame doubletrack trail so I can wheelie more without feeling like I'm showing off.
  • + 7
 @Endurahbrah: If you got it you got it. No need to hide it. I'd do the same if I could hold a wheelie longer than two bike length
  • + 4
 @Endurahbrah: Yes!
Here I was thinking I was the only person in the world who felt guilty about pulling wheelies when riding with people... But I just can't stop.
  • + 1
 I agree, can't beat a wheelie. People tend to think you're showing off though.
  • + 2
 @HpSauce: I just went for a nice solo ride. Wheelies all over the place, and it felt great!
  • + 38
 This is a deep inner shame for me... color coordination. I will literally spend twice as much on a part if it matches, and I have. I intend to buy a Pike to replace the perfectly good stock 34 because the shock is a Monarch and because black goes better with the frame. Somebody help.
  • + 20
 send me all your money = problem solved!

You are welcome
  • + 6
 I have this problem too. Gotta be black and red everytime... Although I did just get a renthal fatbar lite which is giving me inner turmoil everytime I look at it on my bike. It does have red and black logos though, that's ok right? right!?
  • + 4
 Mine might be worse.

I'm going to repaint a perfectly nice and shiny black/neon blue accents frame just to make it match with the upcoming set of parts for it. I need it to match with black, platinum and gold parts.

Renthal FatBar on the way just because of the color to match the also upcoming fork. I'm thinking I might not like the sweep, but yeah...
  • + 35
 Donuts, pfft. Those are easy ones to break. Mine was significantly tougher. However, using a great deal of force and determination, I recently was able to break mine.

davepics.com/Album/2002/07-28.RockEm-SockEm_Robots/2002/dsc00904.jpg
  • + 26
 My real vice is NOT riding when it's raining. That's a whole lot of not riding in the UK. Sometimes I don't ride if it's windy
  • + 3
 Me too, I should ride more regardless of weather, but I usually stick to the dry days
  • + 3
 Thick mud makes cleaning my bikes really annoying, so I usually skip wet days. I don't mind if it starts raining while I'm out though!
  • + 2
 A bit of rain i can live with. Wind i will not tolerate, wind is the main reason why my road bike has seen virtually no use this year. I don't mind wind if I'm riding in the woods where its sheltered.
  • + 23
 Ignoring bike maintenance and just riding it till its shagged!!!
  • + 18
 my vice is breaking bike parts and not having the money to fix them
  • + 2
 slx 11 speed is coming to save us
  • + 2
 @xeren: GX and NX is already here, shimano is late as always
  • + 15
 My vice started when I bought my first DH bike, things went downhill from there...
  • + 9
 None of those fit me! I hate skidding, Im a trail builder so I know the damage it does along with rain rides, they are fun but cause extra erosion unless the track is packed tight. I have no idea what a strava line is so I doubt I do it, I love climbing more than shuttling so I can film sections and session. I usually wait until my bike is broken or has been used for multiple years before buying new and my pack is full of all the necessary things needed to fix bikes, keep nutrition and have fun. However my vice is, not being able to grind corners too fast. Especially off camber corners, too many bad crashes and my right should can't withstand another dislocation! hhahahahah As for food my vice is BEER! RideOn!
  • - 1
 We all know that you take various substances, your videos indicate that you are enhanced! Wait a minute... Not sure if it's a vice
  • + 4
 Well, thats not a vice as it comes and goes, when I have those substances I enjoy them to the fullest but don't abuse them in any form, they help enhance my current state of mine in a form to create and project myself. If it were a vice, I would be out of control! Plus the substances I used to enhance my personal being are more natural than beer! hahahahhahahha No added sugar, artificial flavor, artificial coloring and contains the goodness of our natural earth! Then, this comes from pure truth. My life in California was abundant with substances that enhances one's sprit and natural being. Moving to this country that I currently live in, those natural herbs were scarce but they continue to thrive in the deep mind and soul of one's existence. So, a lot of my videos were filmed and made totally sober but, the feelings and emotions of an enhanced state are always at my fingertips. So those videos that express a lot of what you may have felt was from memory being expressed at a current moment! Thats totally rad man! Something that alcohol will never give a person! It just fades your sprit into shady corner to the point where you can forget who you are! ahahhahhaha Thank you for the great opportunity to shed some light! RideOn brother!
  • - 4
flag lyophilization (Jul 8, 2016 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 I'm a trail builder so I feel I can skid all I want.
  • + 0
 @lyophilization: hhahahahahhahahha Go for it buddy!
  • + 2
 @nikoniko: I wasn't serious Wink I forgot to put a smiley at the end of my comment. I have nothing against substances, infact I enhanced myself yesterday, and feel I should do it more often. I was a kinder and more focused human being for 2 hours. Alcohol is a good starter but it's not good in a longer run, in fact I don't take more than 2 beers anymore. I am fortunate to be able to get in good mood, crazy or transcendental with very little external chemicals. And your videos are amazing, always pour joy into my heart and smile on my face. SShreder also makes some masterpieces lately.

Cheers buddy! Keep on spreading your fantastic vibe Wink
  • + 2
 I know you were joking as you are always joking. But its cool as this was a little opportunity for me to be open and shed some light. However, it goes unsaid but Im sure most riders enjoy the enhancements we get from good herb. Im happy to hear you are keeping the alcohol to a limit, I too need to keep doing the same. After years of replacement, alcohol for herb, its began to catch up to me and I too can't drink like I used to, nor do I feel the need! hhahahhahahahha Cheers Buddy! I want to keep creating little by little as time allows! Recently there is way too much rain! ahahhah RideOn!
  • + 1
 @nikoniko: for me alcohol just doesn't work beyond some point, I don't get happier or more talkative, I just get more pissed. I have no probs talking crap and tossing jokes when sober. But I need to find herb in Sweden...
  • + 1
 Me too man, I get pissed and become a jerk! Your standard of 2 beers is spot on, just enough to keep you a little goofy! hhahhahah It took me 14 years to find herb here! Coming from Cali thats hard to imagine, I think herb is more abundant than alcohol now! Im sure its a bit easier to come by there in your happy golden land! I have a nice stash, I cherish little by little! ahhahahha Cheers matey!
  • + 13
 Bike maintenance after way too much alcohol Frown
  • + 1
 bike maintenance is like listening to live jazz. its so much better with a couple of drinks
  • + 8
 My my riding mojo is a little low, I go for a solo ride to clear my head - sometimes i'll see other riders - if I can, I'll give them a big gap and then race to catch them up to prove just how great I am. I don't ride their back wheel or force them to move over or anything - if I get within 3 bike lengths with say a 15 second lead I'll count that as caught, but I still I hate myself a bit for it.
  • + 5
 My vice is riding with a partly not functioning bike (recently tore my rear derailleur cable right at the end, so I just took those broken centimeters out and connected the rest of it, and now I have 4 gears less than normal) because I'm too lazy to fix things the right way.. Only on small things that don't affect me that much of course. Same thing with creaks, as long as nothing feels weird I just don't care enough
  • + 2
 Scared to up vote this in case of bad karma...
  • + 1
 Didn't upvote it. Headtube is creaking anyway.
  • + 5
 Since having a kid, my vice has become riding my bike at night instead of sleeping...riding faster than I would ever ride in the light of day.

Head out between 9-10pm with a thermos of hot toddy too keep me warm on the hike-a-bike climb section, and provide that loose "this is really dumb, but I do it anyway" type of buzz. Crank it up to 5k lumens and scream my head out the whole way down to the bar on main street. Try and find someone at the bar that is sober enough to take me back to the top for $20. In bed around 2am to be up at 6am to take care of the kiddo.
  • + 9
 Staying on the bike.
  • + 1
 awesome!
  • + 3
 None of the above. I tend to drag my brakes a lot! I go through pads frequently. I'm not necessarily ON the brakes, but I seem to like to use them to monitor speed, etc. I'm really tough on my brakes (pads and disks) because of that.
  • + 6
 I seem to care more about mountain biking than any meaningful relationship. Well any relationship that isn't my bike :p
  • + 2
 Haha, yep 37yo riding and racing mtb for the past 24 years and single. But I own 6 bikes! Go figure!
  • + 3
 Tires. Might be a fetish. And I rarely try anything new. But if DHR II's or DHF's go even slightly on sale, I buy at least a pair of every size I run. And I never throw away old ones for some reason. It seems to be the only thing I collect.
  • + 3
 My vice is probably overthinking adjustments and always looking for a perfectly working drivetrain, suspension, etc. Creaks drive me nuts. Squeaks drive me nuts, and so on... I end up overtightening some stuff or losing a lot of time trying to find that annoying noise.
  • + 3
 Thats not a vice its OCD. I'm the same way, takes me awhile to get my bike dialed in. Get a torque wrench so you don't over tighten and break shit. And don't worry. As you get older, as your hearing gets worse you wont be able to hear all those little squeaks, and creaks. So no worries!
  • + 7
 I paint my toe nails. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.
  • + 3
 As a trailbuilder, I can tell from my own experience that the guys who skid too much are almost always from the "I just ride/wreck trails, but don't care how they're built or maintained"-section of bikers.
Trails don't build themselves, take care of them! Skid on you own trails or in bikeparks, where the builder crews (hopefully) get paid for doing the job...
  • + 2
 Replacing parts that are not worn out or broken simply because I've found something new to try.
That and I don't like riding in the rain. I don't mind me getting wet and dirty but I hate what it does to my bike (my regular trails are sandy).
  • + 5
 Finding secret zones and sharing the location of newfound zones with anybody willing to pick up my bar tab
  • + 3
 I really want to know why we shouldnt ride in the rain? Does BC only have dry weather trails? Maybe if you put the question along the lines "I only rape other peoples dirt jumps when its soaking" it would be more apt?
  • + 3
 In Sydney (AU) it's usually considered poor form to ride after big rain on managed trails, as it's considerably tougher on the trails we have. Such a kafuffle with council trails, and a lot of them actually close the trail when its rained for a few days in a row to avoid damage.

Also base rock here is Hawkesbury Sandstone, so the ground base is fine sand. Imagine a nice combination of water and sand getting into all your bike bits...
  • + 4
 @darkmuncan: Similar in Christchurch NZ. Really light volcanic soil that gets trashed if ridden in the wet. Also have lots of expat Brits who get all huffy and indignant if anyone suggests they shouldn't be ridding wet tracks:-)
  • + 2
 copy-pasted from a comment I made above: Please don't ride in the rain in Arizona (at least in the deserts) because it ruts up, then hardens into en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliche which, if you read that article, they describe as a "natural cement." So we all get to ride over your ruts for the next 6 months, & if we try to fix it, we have to break it up with picks & rock bars, & if we don't have water to use afterward, it doesn't pack, it just turns into dust.

Makes freaking great jumps though, that hold up great. one of the reasons all the freeride guys love the desert southwest is that you can build a jump out of dirt that's just as stable as a cement skate park.
  • + 1
 What gro^ said. With so much of Western North America, the birth place of MTB, having clay based soil...many areas aren't too fun to ride wet, besides completely trashing the trail. So the "Don't Ride Wet Trails"education campaign had to be started. Of course there are places that can be ridden wet no problem...but they are fewer and farther between
  • + 2
 I just received a parts order for a new DJ build....half the parts were the wrong color....So I phoned this company to give them an ear full...and I said......"Hi..Its Andrew...got my order...some of the parts were the wrong color...can you just send the right ones....i will keep these." wtf... i have issues.
  • + 2
 I'm amazed the 'cheater strava lines' poll isn't stronger. Apparently people don't believe it's totally anonymous, 'cuz Strava has ruined damn-near every local trail I ride on, and a helluva lot more people cheat on Strava than copped to it on here.
  • + 5
 "Skid too much"

Sorry, I don't understand.
  • + 7
 its a chipotle thing..
  • + 1
 @AndrewScottLester:

HA! You win the internet.
  • + 3
 Buying cheap second hand bikes to save money, and then upgrade, personalize and fine tune them until it cost more than buying a new bike.
  • + 2
 I bring zero tools, no matter how far I'm riding. Such a vice. But since I went tubeless and started using TruckerCo sealant the odds of me flatting on a trail ride are so low it doesn't even seem worthwhile!
  • + 4
 my vice is... i will never wear lycra!! ever!!
  • + 9
 It's pronounced Virtue .....
  • + 3
 I ride an ebike on the trails. But it's stealthy, same one the road racers uses.
  • + 3
 I feel lazy when I know there is mud in the woods, picturing the time I will loose washing all my stuff. Shame on me.
  • + 5
 DO TRAIL WORK, PEOPLE!
  • + 0
 I like to think that my skidding problem really isn't a problem at all. I am moving dirt from the inside of the trail to the out side of the turn, thus, overtime, building burns. So my skidding also counts for all times I couldn't make out to do trail work, I hope.
  • + 2
 You can't possibly think that what you wrote is true.
  • + 4
 Vice? It's not wanting to participate in these types of questionnaires
  • + 4
 Come on, cheats, 99,9% of you had to click "I never do any trail work"
  • + 1
 If almost everyone's vice was never doing any trail maintenance we could all probably ride in the rain... That said, I have never done any trail work...
  • + 2
 saying i'll keep it chill and stay together.. only to sprint away and disappear at the sight of a descent haha!
  • + 2
 My vice is having a good toke before dropping in to an awesome downhill section.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy you are such a great composer, we cant stop laughing, we`ve been to Canada only once like a year ago and we cant stop talking about Tim Horton glazed donuts
  • + 1
 pulling off the trail on a rowdy decent for a climber.... i do it with a smile but on the inside I'm screaming!!!!!!! damn stava
  • + 3
 There's no all of the above option
  • + 2
 After reading the comments section in the latest claudio dh preview my biggest vice is now nugget porn.
  • + 3
 Crack.
  • + 2
 Kinda sad "I never do any trail work" has the most votes........
  • - 1
 I don't often carry spares or tools but I carry tobacco so if it goes wrong I'll walk and smoke. It's a no to all the other vices though, in fact all be spending most of this weekend trail building.
  • + 2
 Post ride bacon and egg sangas! ......is 4 too many? ;-)
  • + 1
 nothing like working in a shop and not carrying a single spare/ tube... loves it
  • + 2
 First working everyday at my trail and then ride, I love building
  • + 3
 I am so pure.
  • + 2
 i think i'm faster than i really am
  • + 1
 I don't ride DH when the mud is mucky muck :-O
That's what my trail bike is for haha
  • + 2
 "What useless thing that attracts rider to buy it?" -Company 2016
  • + 3
 Ah yes, the in depth answers like "i dont do trail work" and "i buy things i dont need"! thats some crackshot data right there. million dollar campaign if ive ever seen one!
  • + 2
 Those are not vices. Those are guilty pleasures!
  • + 1
 hitting a random corner around town over and over until it's got a sick rut in it instead of actually riding trail...
  • + 3
 Riding hiking trails Wink
  • + 1
 Spending extra money on building bikes that a don't necessecarily "need"
  • + 1
 if us scots didnt ride in the rain we would never get out on our bikes
  • + 1
 I won't ride unless there is a generous amount of weed.
  • + 1
 My vice is trying to beat everyone uphill when I am out of shape...
  • + 1
 Harassing slower riders in front
  • + 1
 Two words; Chamois Cream.
  • + 1
 I cant stop railing ruts and nailing sluts!
  • + 1
 I don't think I really have one. No seriously, I'm trying to think of one.
  • + 2
 I'm right there with ya. None of these really applied.

Maybe riding in the spring/fall when I turn to my fat bike, when the trails are pretty muddy? But fat bike tires don't really rut up the trail like normal ones do... So I don't really qualify it as a vice, I guess.
  • + 1
 Riding on the trail is kind of like trail work? Keeps the weeds down...
  • + 2
 Morning sex
  • + 1
 What happens if only one of the options isn't one of my vices
  • + 1
 Sorry, I don't dig.
  • + 1
 Whips and berms!
  • + 1
 Cronichiwa for sure.
  • + 0
 Not riding in the rain must be a north American thing
  • + 1
 I bring beer.
  • + 1
 Oh... my MTB vice Oops.
  • + 0
 I love me some skids. And donuts.
  • - 1
 Mountain biking is my Vice!
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