Ride More, Think Less - Opinion

Dec 28, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles Mike Kazimer

When I was nine years old I received a set of oil paints for Christmas. At the time, I thought I had a knack for drawing and painting (it turns out those were youthful delusions, but that's a different story...), and the set of paints and brushes, nicely packaged in a faux-leather case, seemed like the ticket to becoming a successful artist. Except for one thing. I barely touched the paints, and years later they were still sitting in that brown box, stuffed into the back corner of a closet as evidence of a dried-out dream.

Why didn't I use them? After all, I had plenty of free time, as most pre-teens do, and there was nothing preventing me from spending those hours to create whatever colorful creations I felt like. Well, almost nothing. In my mind, every time I used the paints they would be that much closer to running out, and for some reason I couldn't get over that mental hurdle. The idea of painting appealed to me, but taking that first step and accepting that someday that gift wouldn't be shiny and new was just too much for my little mind to grasp.

I saw the same scenario play out multiple times during the years I spent working in bike shops. Without fail, there were always a few customers who would bring their bikes in for yearly maintenance, despite the fact that it was obvious they hadn't left the garage since the last time they rolled it in.

These weren't inexpensive beach cruisers either – I'm talking about top-of-the-line, pro-level machines. Realistically, that type of customer is the dream for any shop – someone who buys a $10,000 bike and never rides it further than the end of their driveway is a pretty ideal scenario, but it still pained me to see how little use the bike had seen. The grips weren't worn in the slightest, and even the little rubber hairs were still intact on the tires.

Vintage DH bikes
Bikes are made to be ridden hard, not put on pedestals.

I'm sure they had a whole list of reasons for barely, if ever, venturing off road, but I have a feeling that the thought process that created that situation was similar to what I went through with that box of paints. After all, a bike will last a lot longer if you never use it, right? You bet, just like how if you don't go outside you won't get hit by a bus, or if you don't turn on the stove you won't get burned. Fear and anxiety are powerful emotions, but when it comes to mountain bikes, it's important to keep in mind that they're tools designed specifically to deliver enjoyment, functional toys that should be ridden hard, not babied and coddled for fear of a scratch, dent, or ding diminishing their value.




The latest film from the 50to01 crew is a prime example of refusing to let potential consequences to bike and body get in the way of a good time, and we could all learn something from that half hour of inspired anarchy. Those guys aren't worrying about their fancy carbon frames, or how many spacers they should run under their stem to achieve the ideal stack height. Nope, instead they're testing their limits, trying to escape gravity's pull whenever possible, and having a damn good time while doing it. Sure, some of us would probably end up spending more time in the hospital than on the trail if we tried to ride exactly like them, but stepping out of your comfort zone and trying that no f*cks given attitude on for size every once in a while isn't a bad idea.

Trade out cleaning your drivetrain with a toothbrush for spending more time goofing off on the trail, and rather than worrying about whether or not a 2.6” tire will improve your life, how about heading outside to see how long you can ride a wheelie for? A worn-out and well used bike is world's better than one that's never been crashed, and the stories and memories generated by all of that pedaling, skidding, hucking, and drifting are going to be a thousand times more valuable than an un-blemished paint job.





176 Comments

  • + 276
 Mr. Kazimer, I do not possess enough thumbs to put up. That last paragraph should pop-up any time we're foolish enough to click on the next flashy banner ad. Well said, sir.
  • + 10
 I bought it to ride it! -ME
  • + 3
 YOLO, bruh!
  • + 1
 mega-dittoes here!! As the old Nike ad said: "Just do it1"
  • + 7
 hmmm most of 'm are riding some 10k santa's though... Razz
  • + 17
 Don't let this distract you from the fact that Ratboy and Loosedog are gonna be running 3 Santas with 26 wheels. On top of that they just came into Harry's and ordered 3 pcs of volume spacers with burgtec component and a bottle of tubeless sealant.
  • + 3
 @chyu: that will pull a premium during outerbike
  • + 2
 We should totally move on from these things. correct. BUT NORBS GOT ROBBED
  • + 7
 @chyu: subtle. +1

...nobody likes the tuna here
  • + 2
 Agreed.
  • + 3
 @chyu: O.G. F&F will always get my upvote.
  • + 1
 Fantastic article, it's all really very true, I have a shed full of smashed up bikes but still need to find time to enjoy them.
  • + 91
 Agreed. Bikes are meant to be ridden hard, not just to sit around in your garage. However, you have to consider the fact that the everyone in the 50to01 crew, for example, is getting all of the parts they smash replaced for free.
  • + 55
 Good point you should quit biking because you have to pay for parts.
  • + 35
 I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of Santa Cruz marketing money goes their way, despite the guerilla style.
  • - 10
flag eswebster (Dec 28, 2017 at 12:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Adamrideshisbike: #missingthepoint
  • + 7
 Maybe they do get a decent amount of free stuff but even Josh Lewis picked out that aluminum 5010 frame cause he knew he was going to be doing gnarly shit on it. I think it also helps that these guys are extraordinarily talented so their bikes don't really take as much damage, they seem to keep their bikes for a long time, longer than a lot of our fellow pb members....
  • + 5
 @eswebster: Not missing the point, just a poor example. It's try to be gun ho when some on else is picking up the bill and you still get paid when you break yourself
  • + 14
 I'm not sure you're right about that. That guy on the bmx bike and old looking DH bike does not look like a sponsored rider. His style is funky and somewhat unusual, but he's a MANIAC and it's really fun to watch him ride! Give him a bike at the least.
  • + 2
 @Speeder01: that's p, definitely had the best part!!!!
  • + 4
 plus you guys have to pay if you hurt yourselves, right? ouch
  • + 1
 In the video did the hawk ever get the ladybug or was it just kinda thinking about it?
  • + 22
 Not true at all actually. Last year I was living in Wharncliffe Woods, riding daily, and often with people from the 50to01 crew, like Craig and Max, as well as Ratty and Loose whenever they were around. Max has no sponsors, and neither do quite a few others in the crew. The 50to01 crew isn't just pros, its a big group of mates, some of whom happen to have made it as a pro, some who haven't. The pros get new bits sure, but the others don't. Max, as an example, bought his dh rig for about 1600 quid off ebay. One day he snapped the rear mech and chain - he couldn't afford a new one, so he took them off, along with the shifter and cassette, and rode with no drivetrain. He rode it like that all summer, even on their trip to Morzine. Legend. Also, watching him on the run up to maaaaaaaassive gaps with no way of increasing his speed is gnarly!
  • + 1
 @employee7: that wasn't his point at all
  • + 50
 Sometimes I make fun of my brother in law who's a navy officer. I do get him along on a ride occasionally but he kind of treats his bike like a helicopter. That is, one to twenty ratio (flight hours to man hours of maintenance for navy helicopters). I still need to manage to get my neighbor to come along. Being a doctor he's obviously busy. But his Liteville 301 fully (would be called a 101 nowadays) spec'd with Tune and XTR is considerably lighter than my steel hardtail, it should ride like a dream! I'm pretty much the other way around. Yes I'm pissed at myself when I've gone too cheap and find out I need to buy the higher quality variation anyway (this mostly goes for tools, not bike parts). But for bike stuff, I'm more afraid to spend money on something I won't be able to fully use. So yeah at the end of the day that also means it took me years to decide on my next frame. But it doesn't stop me riding the hell out of my current bike (which mostly consists of over ten year old parts).

That said, never judge until you know the full story. Maybe those customers in the article used to be avid mountainbikers. Then got a well paying job that allowed them to buy the bike they always wanted and then found out the same job consumed so much time that they couldn't find the time to actually go out and ride. I consciously chose to not get one of those jobs but I can image some people are just being sucked in. And then at some point people are getting children...

I wouldn't call the 50to10 riders the fitting example here. At the end of the day these are still (semi) pro riders with industry support. Breaking stuff doesn't mean being out for a couple of months saving up for replacement parts. Those riders you meant to mention are those who aren't at the forefront. Those with a regular day job, family and still regularly go out for a dig session or a blast on their trusty hardtail or Orange Five. You don't find them in the videos pushed by the industry. You find them if you actually go out riding too.
  • + 10
 Some weeks my bike needs only slightly less maintenance than a damn helicopter. Its a constant source of little shit needing attention.
  • + 1
 Sounds like the service intervals for a Pike.
  • + 1
 @acali: do you ride a specialized?
  • - 1
 @acali: my bikes too, that’s why I don’t understand n+1 joke. I hate working on me bikes
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: The correct number of bikes is 4 - wives - children.
  • + 1
 @properp: There are 24 brands of major parts on my bike. If all I ever had to do was maintain the one Specialized part (the frame) my bike would be more reliable than my Honda Civic.
  • + 5
 'And then at some point people are getting children... ' :-)

Very good post ! I never had a better bike than the bike I have right now. I also never had so little time to ride. 2 little kids and work (and house construction).

What I read between the lines in this article is in fact: Don't be the guy with an expensive bike that never rides, but instead embrace the anarchy and don't let the fear of bodily harm spoil the fun.

You make it seem like it's a choice (and in a way it is). But most normal people don't have the freedom to just make choices like that. There are (a few) more important things in life than biking imo.
  • + 17
 @WAKIdesigns: If you spent 10% of the time you spend on PB tuning your bikes, it would rival the maintenance a helicopter gets!
  • + 2
 @acali: This doesn't hold water: I have 1 wife and 3 children therefore 0 bikes?!?!

But you make a good point about children and wives affecting the number of bikes you have. And then there should be a 'household' equation and a 'personal' equation.

Personal: n = 2W+1C10+1C>10+X+1

Household: nh = n + 2W + 2C>10 + 1C10

where w=wife, c= children, n = number of bikes, nh = number of bikes in household, c>10 children over or under 10 years of age.
  • + 2
 @jnicol: I noticed lately that wife is too far from being a constant to put her into equation. First off wives differ more from each other than kids. Then As My relationship with her got better after a rather low point, I realized how hard work it is to have a happy wife. She just talks and talks and talks. It is easier for me to go out and ride but trying to be a good listener after 3 bad years is getting too much to handle. I ride in skate park in the evenings and even if kids don’t kill my brain, she will. It takes me half of an hour of riding for her voice to stop reverberating in my head. Help...
  • + 1
 @jnicol: thats the truth. Hahahehe
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: it's easy to have a wife like mine I just have to convince her we can't ride all the time. It's my wife telling me to shut up and load the bike so we can go ride. Maybe you got the wrong wife bro.
  • + 1
 @properp: my wife rode more than I did when I met her. She kind of got me to it. As soon as she put a ring on my hand she stopped and went on with PhD and fkless academic environment
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: sounds like a good saleswoman. Over advertised the goods to get you to commit to the contract. You signed on the dotted line? Best luck with that.
I went for the florin model and life just gets better and better every day. Mine is happy if the lights are on, there is food in the frig, and the bike shifts all 9/10/11 gears. Estonian women are the best.
PHD just use that $ to buy happy bike parts. Change the tables committee to the mirage for $. Spend all her $ and enjoy it. One life.
  • + 3
 @properp: the problem is that the moment a man learns how the women work and how to operate them it is often too late... one also learns what he really wants after some time. But there’s little chance for escape, since most of them will want to have a child at some point so I can’t imagine divorcing and getting together with some25-30 yearold since by her 35 at latest I will end up in the same mess. I haven’t tried speed f*cking with tinder but I can see how this can’t be fun for too long. I don’t know. It’s a funny world we live in today, it actually feels more convenient to raise kids separately. This is my confession, bless me father
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: kids change everything. Thats more challenging than selling ebikes on PB.
Best luck to you raising kids in today's world.
  • + 27
 Is there anything more unburdening than the first real scratch or mark on a new frame, when that newness is shattered and you can ride with zero f@#ks given and ride it like you're supposed to?
  • + 9
 I crashed my bike and scratched the hell out of it on the first ride. It was pretty awesome.
Other than my vintage bike, I ride all my bikes like I stole them and fully expect to break them all at some point. Life's short, the whole point of mountain biking is to have way too much fun doing stupid and/or reckless stuff without ending up in the hospital too often.
  • + 19
 Mike, we've never met but you know me so well! I suffer the malady you describe and I can't tell you why, expect perhaps that I had a poor upbringing and new material things didn't come along often. Fortunately I'm in a better position today and can afford to buy a bike and get it dirty. But for some reason I fret when I do. So, thanks for this article - I'll take it to heart when i finally buy my next whip and hesitate about taking out and "abuse" it!

Cheers,
Sal
  • + 11
 I feel the same way. A couple of years ago I saved up and bought my "dream" bike - a 2015 nomad c. My first 10 or so rides were painful and every click of a rock on my downtube made me cringe. I washed and waxed it after every ride.

After a few months i realized washing it all the time was stupid and was making my bike worse in the long run with bearing wear and whatnot. I finally just started riding the damn thing and fixing it when stuff was actually wrong.

It's made me a much better rider because i can't blame the bike anymore and have to just nut up and ride it. It's been some of the best money I've spent on a hobby once i just rode the thing.

I don't plan on replacing it anytime soon
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 29, 2017 at 5:52) (Below Threshold)
 I don’t have this problem. My Antidote Carbon Jack is locked at the attic and it is covered in mud since 1,5 month. I wash my bikes extremely rarely.
  • + 2
 @UtahBikeMike: Actually it happens to be that cleaning actually is a cause for premature wear. Joe from Santa Cruz actually wrote an article about that on their website. Kona also mentioned someday that mud makes for an excellent protective layer. Dirt on the outside is still in the outside. Shift it from the outside and depending on how you do it, part of it is going to make it in there. Best would be to take the bike apart and actually clean it from the inside but then again taking the bike apart causes wear to threads etc as well. I rarely clean my bike, never got me into trouble. There is always mud on my bike.
  • + 0
 @when I bought Nomad back in 2008 it was stated in users manual to wash the bike as rarely as possible, off course within common sense...
  • + 17
 Mike, you just made me realize how well one of my favorite quotes applies not only to life, but to bike riding as well:

'Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"'
  • + 1
 I get it ...Hunter S Thompson... Fear and loathing of riding a bike !!!
  • + 14
 Wow, do people actually not ride a bike to keep it looking new? I'll admit that I'll clear film my bikes to protect the finish and I enjoy maintenance but I'd never put off a ride to keep a bike looking new. This reminds me of an article I read in a Mustang magazine I read over a decade ago. The idea was "you bought it, now use it" as opposed to leaving it parked in a garage forever.
  • + 8
 I think those people are few and far between. If a bike is not being ridden, it's usually due to motivation, fitness, or time.
  • + 4
 @funkendrenchman: I believe a flat tire is the most common reason people don't ride their bikes.. for shame for shame
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: flat for sure. That's the only thing that keeps me down.
  • + 1
 @properp: flat tires used to be the bane of my existence haha
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: a went flat yesterday. Thanks Stan for the walk.
  • + 2
 @properp: damn, at least you were out riding.. fortunately and unfortunately I've just been working so far in he new year
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: don't get hooked on that nasty addiction they call work. Less is more simple is better. You will never go to a graveyard and see a headstone that said I wish I would have spent more time at work. The only thing you get for a day's hard work is a sore back and more hard work.
  • + 9
 Buy a 3 year old Kona for £400 and then all the worst damage and loss of value has already happened. I guarantee that you'll have more fun riding a bike that you genuinely don't give a crap about
  • + 1
 I have a 2011 Cove STD with a modern drivetrain/suspension and I love the damn thing. I picked up the frame for only $100 and did the whole build under a grand and it’s one of my favorites.
  • + 8
 But what's the resale value on that paint set? I bet the Corporate Machine of Big Art has some consiracy in which they drive sales by innovating and offering new products every couple years...maybe a different finish in the handles of those paintbrushes or a slightly longer bristle length. You definitely paid too much for them anyway. #watercolor4lyfe
  • + 1
 New for 2018: #boostwatercolors Wink
  • + 7
 Well, most of us who are in full time jobs, and/or have little children just don't find the time to ride as often as we'd like to. Now, thinking about riding, or contemplating which bike would be best if we were planning to ride the EWS, you don't need a large window of opportunity for that. And the upside of holding on to that fulltime job long enough is, that, besides putting bread on the table, you might be able to afford that 10k sled, even if you are not going to ride it much, but it will stil be great every time you do, and the rest of the days you can at least have a quick peek at it before leaving for the office.
  • + 7
 Work less, ride more. I'd rather ride a 5k bike twice as often, then a 10k bike half as much. I guarantee you'll be faster and have more fun on the 5k bike ridden twice as much. You don't need to save up for the 10k bike to have fun. You just need to get out and ride moar.
  • + 7
 Philosophically, totally agree. However, way back when I worked in a shop, we LOVED the guy that bought a top dollar bike and beat the hell out of it. That was the best customer.
He broke stuff, he'd show up with a six pack and a grin, we'd fix it while he waited, he paid. Did we give him a deal? Sure, 'cause we liked him and the way he rolled - AND he's the guy who all the other guys ask which shop to go to . . . everyone wins.
  • + 6
 Why all the push to tell people what and how to ride? Buy the bike you want and hang it on the wall for all I care. The better you take care of it, the better bike I’ll get when you sell it and the value has plummeted. I’m all for abusing a bike in the name of fun but I’ll also drop $80 of Invisiframe and some Shelter tape first.
  • - 2
 It all depends to which peer group you want to please. Buy a new bike every second year and certain group of people will compliment you and make you feel better about yourself. Sell your Enduro bike and buy a long travel, steel hardtail and you will find many who will clap to this. Now in each of these opposing approaches add a negative comment against the other team and you’ll find many who will call you a hero Smile now where is riding in it? Well people tend to assume that a rider on a crappy bike is a better rider by default which has little to do with reality. People who buy expensive bike think that this makes them appear as better riders or will at least motivate them to train more. The reality is riding is riding. You can or you can’t. Bike is of very little relevance. Hence we should care less about what others ride...
  • + 7
 Well said -- I'd much rather have a few scars on the body and on the bike than the "what-ifs" of not trying something new and challenging.
  • - 3
 Tell it to your mother or wife or kids or any other close-related people, who will visit you after you'll became some kind of invalid. Wink
Especially when someone is strictly depends from you, such lifestyle-thinking is ridiculous.
  • + 3
 @ka81: but it makes your life so much more fun
  • + 1
 @ka81: Life is a balance. On the one hand, you can live your life thinking 100% only of other people and never do anything personally rewarding. On the other, you can send every gap and DJ set in sight, YOLO swag 420.

If it is sufficiently important / rewarding to you personally to ride your bike a bit wild, then it's probably worth the compromise. To each their own.
  • + 6
 How about not buying the most expensiv stuff and give less fucks if it's wrecked. Bike industry is going crazy with their prices anyway. You can even ride crappy stuff and have fun!
  • + 3
 Exactly! Looking for a new bike, I try to find something with top class suspension, yet without Sram 12 gear plate, so once I smash my rear derailleur once again, it won't cost me a fortune to get a new one.
  • + 4
 Buy used, save 50% off the bat on a 1 year old bike + learn to build and maintain your entire bike on your own = no f's given when you shred hard to earn the smiles the bike was meant to deliver. If you buy new and bring your bike to the shop every time you break something by pushing your limits on the trail you wont be able to maintain the hobby for too long.... unless your one of those damn awful overpaid dentists.
  • + 4
 My first ride back after a longggg absence on my new, not-so-expensive dual suspension trail bike had me flat within 30 seconds and bending my big ring (yes, was running a triple at the time) on a drop I had no business on after 15 years off a mountain bike. So within 60 minutes scratched, flatted, bent. But we fixed the flat and smashed the ring straight enough to turn with a rock. Was thinking about selling it this year but now I'm intrigued to see if I can increase my mileage on it next year and how long I can keep it running. My skills aren't improving at a fast pace but I can ride a little more terrain and farther than I could before so I'll just keep plugging along.

For those bitching about Mr. Kazimer's opinion piece and the "sanctimonious" tone and message it sends...if you're unable to absorb another civil opinion about how the world could work then you are the other edge of the sword.
  • + 3
 Hehe Mike, one could read it as a populist gesture, there is this group of riders who occasionally feel lesser for not owning the latest bike and they hate people who do, hence they call them dentists. It’s a quite sad moment of existence to feel minority complex fueled resentment to upper classes. i am quite sure You just made those people happy for a moment and even more resentful.

What one does with his money is his own business. The universe doesn’t care whether he rides his bike or not since doing it is a limited interaction with the surroundings. Nobody knows about what the lone wolf feels at the top of the mountain. What one says about it though...
  • + 3
 In regards to the whole resale value issue, I feel like i see a lot of guys in my area with really nice bikes, but they're babying them on the trails. maybe this is just their riding style, but it's kind of a bummer to see a guy riding a $8k bike like he's scared it's going to fall apart at any moment.
I solve this for myself by trying to buy mostly used parts. I never really sell anything anyways (can always keep something for a spare) and not having to worry about damage while I'm on a ride allows me to really ride the bike as hard as i can.
  • + 3
 I agree with this post completely.

The most important thing to me is riding creatively and having fun. Not buying the perfect bike or parts. Not riding faster than everybody else.

The reason this vid was so cool is that it's really just people riding bmx on mountain bikes. I think a lot of mountain bikers have this limited view of mountain biking which is: I want to be fast at x/y/z discipline and I need a better bike to make me fast.

But learn a little trials, learn a little bmx, and you'll realize there's a whole new beautiful universe of biking to be explore. Jib some stumps, nose bonk the roller, manual the rock, foot plant off the drop, and you will be rad. Is there anything better than that?
  • + 3
 Whenever I take my suspension for a service or the rare times my Bronson goes to a shop, I have received on a few occasions comments like “this bike has the looks of a used and ridden bike”, referring to the various scratches and rings on it...I am chuffed when I hear those sort of comments, it means I m still using my bike for it s intended purpose !
  • + 2
 I'll be the first to admit I love the "tech" side of mountain biking, mostly because as someone who rode rigid in the 90's and all the tire and wheel sizes available today, I do actually notice the difference in enjoyment between an old bike and a new bike. Sometimes all it takes to make an old bike ride like a new one is a bigger set of tires and a dropper post. That being said, part of this hobby is actually getting out and using the stuff you just spent 10 hours deciding on, but that's the fun in it. When you get back after riding those new brakes, or that wider tire, or the new saddle and you say "that didn't make a damn difference!"
  • + 2
 The funniest, similar advice I ever received was while trying to analyze technique while learning to jump. In the words of Cory Leclerc, "you think too much. Just go."

Still cracks me up. Advice I should still probably listen to more often.
  • + 5
 Go on, inspire people to break their bikes, You’re in the industries payroll after all!
  • + 2
 I completely agere with the article, but not the toothbrush part... with the price of SRAM cassettes and their wear rate you will have to pry the toothbrush from my cold dead hands. Otherwise yeah, I do my best to ride 4 times a week and my 20 month old frame is already scratched and dented. Not particularly happy about the scratches and dents, but it's a mountain bike...
  • + 2
 If you were really meant to be a painter then you would have used the paints without caring. Wanting to keep it new is just an excuse for either lack of interest, motivation, or some kind of weird anxiety. Im sure you beat the crap out of the bike they gave you. Now your a biker not a painter. C'est la vie. The video is highly motivating and watching it a couple weeks back set my resolve to learn the manual this year.
  • - 1
 DDoc - start with wheelie, it is easier and will teach you side balance and brake control in a less frustrating manner. But once you get to manual you riding trails will change a lot. Then add serious bunnhops som Dirt Jumping and everything will be much different. Any idiot can pedal. Few can fly.
  • + 2
 Millennials....typical. but of course, I mean what else, right? Only "wanna be's" and "posers" have a nice clean bike and rarely ride. This forum is run by, and made up of predominately Millennials I reckon.....who of course have little experience with getting thru a full day, or a week, exhibiting true responsibility in life.......I presume. Nope, they are out. In the hills. On the trail. Riding!! Doing what their generational giving natural right demands of them; making damn sure their bikes are utilized!! They certainly are a special group.

For the rest of us....who hail from a differing, and dare I say - more 'grounded in reality' time period......will generally not be out in the hills or on the trail riding. We will be at work or tending to family. Not on the bike. Which is a funny and distressing notion for the majority of this audience.

While our bikes sit, stationary in the garage. Nice and clean. We non-entitled, non-Millennial will be physically tending to our responsibilities while deep, deep, way back in our minds and in our hearts we will be doing loops around our favorite
trail. Out. In the hills. On the trail.

I guess those of us who have too clean of a bike, too un-ridden, too un-used......can just turn our bike in. garbage all our gear and close our wallets. I mean....whats the point, right? All the bike gets is a once a year tune up at the shop.
  • + 1
 Just logged in with the only intention of propping your post and looking back out. (though i narrowly fall into the millenial bracket). The bike is great.... But the family is infinitely greater.
  • + 2
 Ill be the asshole,here.... until Waki. Ive gotten more joy out of the technical innovations since 1995 than most of you will agree to. Dropper posts, cushcore, tire improvements in spades, yes...eagle drivetrain, wide bars, bluetooth headphones,strava, suspension x10 etc,etc. I know im wired differently than people that get off on spending half a day trying to wheelie ,or a month digging a jump line. Ive got about an hour,hour and a half to get out. And all these vast improvements have actually made me as one of those weirdos with no other life, on a homemade single speed rigid . Different strokes...
  • + 1
 "..actually made me as happy.."
  • + 3
 I agree.....except for eagle, cushcore, and strava....wierdo
  • + 2
 @me2menow: pffft haha.
Cushcore is the sh**!
  • + 2
 nice words. saw myselft more than one time - haha. such a nerd. at the moment iam hitting the gym and burn the taxing trainer for hours. only to get better. at work i am reading reviews and things about bikes, just to get out the last potential. but iam fucking lovin it.
  • + 0
 He? My current bike has majority of latest and greatest stuff, save giant cassette in the rear. I even got myself procore
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: color me surprised
  • + 1
 It sounds like someone doesn't have kids and a job outside the industry. I'm lucky I get to even think about bikes. There's a lot of people my self included who are now living vicariously through pink bike celebrities and are lucky to ride 25 times a year. And that's with jump lines behind my parent's house.
  • + 1
 Really nice article to end the year on!
Over the years I have ridden various brands of MTB but ultimately settled for Klein, my first purchase being the Pulse II in 1996. At the time it was seriously expensive but here is the thing, I am still riding that same bike, it has been raced, ridden in many countries and still gives me huge pleasure. My formula = cost $ / years of use. In other words what a cheap investment that was! All of my bikes get ridden a lot and I am out every single weekend. The advice I have taken away from this article is that I need to push myself more technically.
What gets me are those garage queens! The old school collectors of bikes that have never been used, ridden or raced. A well used but well-maintained bike is good, but the pleasure and benefits gained from doing that far outweigh the thought of having a top-end bike hanging upside down is some locked up garage rarely seeing the light of day for bragging rights. I agree with the author and am already planning my next Nepalese and desert adventures in 2018, no doubt with a few more scratches on me and the frames as well!
  • + 1
 We build a (demo/display) bike from new, we take some pictures, we throw it across trailhead carpark. (Drive side up, thank you). It's scratched. It's done. Now go ride it without overthinking every turn room and rock. It doesnt make us better riders, it just helps us to worry less.
  • + 1
 @mikekazmier

Telling people not to clean their chain with a toothbrush(or maybe at all) ... Bad bad advice!

There are really just a few things that should not be neglected about maintenece to keep a bike running well for low cost. Cleaning chains, pulleys, drying the bike to preventing water ingress and lubricating chains, fork sliders, and cables As well as keeping bolts properly torqued and bearings preloaded corectly are key to keeping a bike that may see heavy use but continue to thrive.

A bike should take wear from turning lots of miles, g forces and the bad side of good gambles and mistakes ON the bike. Not niglect or disrespect.
  • + 1
 I dented my trail bike in the first month of owning it. Made sure it was alright and kept riding.
My downhill bike has dents, scratches, and scuffs all over. I'm not a gentle rider. I don't abuse my bikes, I keep them running mint, but they have had (and always will) have a hard life.
  • + 1
 I have a bunch of perfect bikes...for places I used to live. Maybe these guys are like me and keep getting ready to sell them but can’t remember if they had them tuned up or not. Life gets in the way and before you know it you can have a great stable of gravity sleds and poor enough fitness to make them properly dangerous.
  • + 1
 Years ago when finally finished school and got my first professional job I treated myself to a new bike. I had always bought second hand because I couldn't afford the bike I wanted otherwise. I really was concerned about the first ride and first scratch. My good friend and I headed up a logging road in his truck with our bikes over the tailgate for that first ride. Seems he hadn't fully closed the tailgate. As we were speeding up the road the tailgate came down and our bikes went tumbling down the road behind us. Needless to say the bike got it's first (and second and third) scratch but nothing else was wrong with it. Two great things happened. It took the bandaid off and showed me just how much of a beating those things can take. Ride your bike!
  • + 1
 I put my broken bikes on a pedestal. My 2013 carbon covert is going up on the wall. Rode it all over the world and now the rear triangle is cracked and the wheels are dead.

I’d rather put the money it would cost to fix it towards a new 170mm bike. And instead I get some awesome wall art with tons of history behind it. Building that dream workshop!
  • + 1
 I wish I could ride like when I was younger. Honestly my mind set now that I'm older is, "the more you try, the more you fail". I tried really hard in sports, I tried really hard in biking, but really if I never did it wouldn't make a difference. Also when I did do well in sports, I got diabetes to hinder me for the rest of my life.
  • + 2
 That being said, I would say that I enjoyed all of It, so it was probably well worth it.
  • + 3
 Love the Marzocchi Shiver! I was actually contemplating putting my old Shiver on my Wreckoning. Still may, but will require some machining on the fork to accept boost.
  • + 2
 my 09 sx/4x happily living your suggestions everyday every ride since day one, mrkazimer! the older i get the faster i was but the less i care. grins the same.
  • + 1
 Using a film with professionals-who are GIVEN their bikes- is a pretty piss-poor tool to drive home your point. Besides, most people on this site actually USE the bikes they likely PAID FULL-POP for
  • + 1
 Not only professionals who are given their bikes, but also professionals on full custom builds with custom paint jobs I cannot afford.
  • + 1
 Ride Ti and your bike will only get better with age...plus no scratches! But agree...if anyone wants the bike to stay pristine, this is not the sport for you...maybe road biking (urgh) is more suited!
  • + 0
 The difference is that while even the best mountain bike rider will crash when pushing the limits of gravity, traction, physics, if your road bike if beat up from crashing, you're doing it wrong.
  • + 1
 I only fix my bike when its seriously broken. broke the chain, go chainless you'll get faster. Maintenance should never take precidence over getting on the bike to have fun ever.
  • + 1
 I want to see people throwing their bikes every time they fall like bmxers, otherwise they are sissy gear nerds who are worried about breaking parts. There is no middle ground
  • + 1
 I tend to baby my new things until they get the first bit of damage. Then I don't care anymore. I have a rigid mtb that is well maintained yet beat up and battered that I ride it without a care.
  • + 1
 Or, you could ride your bike hard, then clean it and make any adjustments you need to, and put it on a pedestal if you like while you're sleeping and working, then go ride like a maniac again.
  • + 3
 Yeah ride em hard, but drivetrain cleanliness is next to godliness so keep it clean and it will last.
  • + 2
 Wow, i feel vindicated. I ride my bike until it literally falls apart. I will have the dirtiest bike and drive train. I don't care about scratches, its a mountain bike!!!!
  • + 1
 Ride it like you stole it!! I had that written on my replacement lowers after just 6months, those were the Italian made marazzovhi's 66's! There is alot of trueth and wisdom in this article
  • + 3
 I like it! i will copy paste it into my next for sale ad on pb...
  • + 1
 From the time I bought my 1996 GT Aggressor to my 2017 Specialized Enduro, one thing has remained constant: my love for riding my bike!
  • + 1
 Every chip on my Spartan's frame is a memory from a bike trip some where on the west coast. Ride Hard. Take Chances. Drink Beer.
  • + 2
 Don't let the noise of the Suntour Durolux 29 bother you too much @mikekazimer. Just ride it.
  • + 1
 Love it. I abuse the shit out of my bikes and break parts on a regular basis. Its a tool for a good time and brain power not a garage dust bunny collector.
  • + 2
 Spot on! Scratches and scars yeild the best stories. Who cares your bike never crashed, means you are not progressing.
  • + 2
 Scratches dents and scrapes from a ride - awesome. Scratches dents and scrapes from pedals rubbing against shiny bits in the car- bloody crap
  • + 1
 Same goes for cars. I loved rallying my unregistered 2 door datsun wagon, with no license plates when I was 18. When it broke, I left it where it broke down.
  • + 2
 I'm old enough to remember Datsun's the 510 was an great car you could fix it with a hammer two wrench"s and a pack of gum, I remember blowing past a vette going downhill to Watkins Glen we laughed for months at the look on his face. Took us about a 1/4 mile to build up enough speed, you can have fun no matter what you ride or drive , just get out and play.
  • + 2
 Great article. An abused bike is a happy bike
  • + 2
 Not to split hairs, but I'd argue that a "used" bike is a happy bike, while an "abused" bike is a liability and will break down at the most inopportune time.
  • + 1
 Loose dogs segment was the best thing ive seen on 2 wheels in a really long time.
  • + 1
 It's 2° and pissing down rain, this just motivated me to ride before the snow comes back (boo.)
  • + 2
 Ho ya? -27 and pissing snow. I'm fine staying inside...
  • + 1
 I just think I'm blessed to be around when such an awesome thing as mountain biking exists.
  • + 1
 Well said Mike...been riding MTB for 36 years and still like to "Send It" !!
  • + 1
 Another reason you are never riding, because you don't see any progress in your skills, because you are never riding.
  • + 1
 But but but... I am watching our out for the re sell price for my next bike, that’s why I don’t use it.
  • + 1
 Bike = Weapon on weekends + Wall art on weekdays.

Try do that with your Picasso!
  • + 1
 But who knows, maybe that 2.6” tire might improve traction so you can wheelie longer.
  • + 2
 Eh, probably not.
  • + 1
 All that very well said... someone buy my well loved and much ridden Enduro, paint blemishes and all.
  • + 1
 Got a new bike this year, beefed it on the first ride. Only got more beautiful with its battle scars.
  • + 1
 It's always a relief to get that first scratch out of the way. Somehow I have usually have a knack for getting that knocked out pretty quick.
  • + 0
 I heard a rock hit my brand new frame today while riding. It pained me for half a second, but the joy given by blasting over a root section is worth it 100 times over.
  • + 1
 Very well said!! Stuff putting frame wrap on a carbon frame. Just ride the damn bike!!
  • + 1
 I ride my bikes until they are worthless, at lest to everyone else but me. Great write up !
  • - 2
 I have friends who hardly ride and also don't take care of their bikes. Throw them in the back of truck beds without racks, through them down on rocks for a trailside piss.. Bend RD hangers and their bikes ride like shit... They also don't respect my bike and any of my other shit.. I ride at least 3 times a week and still baby the fuck out of my bike. Frame wrap, clean them regularly and service when needed. If that bothers you, go fuck yourself.
  • + 1
 when you do stupid. like a 360 on rock garden: you will get hurt!
  • + 1
 parts are expensive #ride85
  • + 1
 This is great! Awesome article!
  • + 1
 Well put. Shut up and ride your bike.
  • + 1
 A cove with a shiver....nice! Don't think....Do.
  • + 0
 In the first 10 mins rat has used 2 bikes, broke a wheel and no one has ridden for more than 5 seconds.
  • + 1
 Ride More, Think Less... ...but first read this online article.
  • + 1
 Thanks man, am off getting muddy Smile
  • + 2
 Tools, not jewels!
  • + 1
 Upgrade parts once they break
  • + 1
 False dichotomy. Ride more, think more.
  • + 1
 Enduro keyboard commando happened!
  • + 1
 My bike is a tool and I beat it like a redheaded stepchild.
  • + 2
 Think ride, more less?
  • + 1
 Well written piece. (puts toothbrush and touch-up paint in bin)...
  • + 1
 In other words, STFU and RIDE.
  • + 2
 AMEN TO THIS !!!!
  • + 1
 Amen
  • + 1
 Yep
  • + 1
 thank you
  • + 1
 You're welcome.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: This is the best thing I've read on this site to date. Thanks for saying what so many of us in shops and elsewhere in the industry think every day.

The technology fetish > riding experience attitude that prevails today has always rubbed me the wrong way, fun first and gram shaving second!
  • + 1
 Hear Hear!
  • + 1
 JUSTFUCKINGRIDE
  • + 1
 great write-up
  • + 1
 Amen Brother Beer
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