Henry’s Waffle House: Mountain Biking is Getting Too Easy

Apr 18, 2022 at 12:12
by Henry Quinney  
Kaz let me make my own banner. It only took two full days.

Welcome to Henry's Waffle House. Here, we serve only absolute waffle, each and every one doused in a hubristic sauce and washed down by an accompanying pint of inane babble. Bon appetite.



It looks so capable, so easy to ride - both up and down... what fresh hell is this?

Lighter, faster, more efficient, and more comfortable. These are just some of the terms that may well be the top of your wish list, even if you're looking at a bike with over 150mm of travel and with capabilities not too far off a downhill bike. In 2022, it's potentially a very real prospect to desire a bike that has electronic gears, tyre valves that saves you the oh-so laborious drudgery of using a pressure gauge to check the pressure. If it's not within a decimal place of pumped-up-perfection you can then connect it to your gazillion-dollar wall-mounted electronic pump that will inflate it just so, as you drink your expensive coffee and look wistfully into the distance and think to yourself that you do indeed look like a f*cking movie star. All this convenience and luxury and that's not even mentioning the e-bike question.

E-bikes bring up two main problems in mountain biking. The first, and most significant, is the rise of the term "analog bike" to describe a normal bike. Can somebody stop the world from spinning? Because quite frankly I want to get off. I actually said it once in a video and, much like a teenager who wants to distance themselves from the pre-teen cheeriness they were once known for, I live in fear that one day I will have the video presented for me and I too will have to answer for my past life as a cringe-inducing criminal.

Just nipping out for a ride on the ol' analog.

The second question, I suppose, might just mean a lot to you but to some have no doubt it will be absolutely inconsequential. Are we trying to make mountain biking too easy?

The joy of riding bikes is to feel so many different things. Is trying to isolate any one particular value from the full bandwidth of feeling to the experience's overall detriment? Is there such a thing as too much sweet? Too much sugar? Do we not need some savory now and then too?

Are bikes that make both climbing and descending just so easy a good thing? Does it always have to be on a plate?

Of course, I would never contend the days where you're soaked to the bone up a long climb and are genuinely considering pissing yourself just to feel a brief reprieve from the cold are anything but shit - but those shit days sure do distill over time to become something like satisfaction. That being said, you're very welcome to piss yourself on an e-bike. Whatever works for you and, save from the risk of electrical fires I can't see anything fundamentally wrong with it. We live such cosseted lives, and I'm not saying we should arbitrarily make them worse but it is an interesting thought. Why do we need to have everything our own way? Why are we all so precious? A little misery never hurt anyone.

I suppose the idea of trying to make something easier is something that often plays on my mind and, to be transparent, is one of the reasons I will never be sold on e-bikes. With all that said though, I still ride my 170mm travel bike that can get me up and down things with ease. So really, who am I to say?

I might look at somebody on an e-bike and think why must you try and make the climbs easier? That's the point!. They're probably looking at my carbon fiber 29er with a 62.5-degree head angle thinking the exact same thing. "Why do you need all that travel?"

Why is this a great thing...
And this a bad?

If we look at road cycling, I personally subscribe to the belief that it's a lazy person's sport. It's about going as fast as possible for as minimal effort as possible, and that's kind of respected as the sensible way to go about things. It's out there and, assuming you're not a bearded influencer riding some god-awful bike on badly maintained roads in the name of "freedom", all whilst subscribing to a very limited aesthetic, as a road biker you probably wouldn't totally disagree with it.

To call it lazy isn't to question somebody's motivation to get out the door but rather the sport itself. No road cyclist in their right mind would turn down a 10-watt saving but, conversely, they're also out there to push themselves hard and often focus on mastering their own body. Is that not counterintuitive? Shouldn't they all be on 25-kilo beach cruisers? Well, no. Just because they want to be lazy doesn't mean they want it to be easy.

Giacomo “Zico” Pieri riding a Quaddrouple Everest - an incredibly difficult thing to do - but also on a very light bike. That isn't a paradox - even though superficially it may well seem so.

I suppose the reasons we ride mountain bikes are far more varied. Many are shared with road cycling - the outdoors, the smell of fresh air, the blank cheque to eat 15,000 Oreos without so much as a flicker of guilt, but there are differences too. Road cyclists could well boil down the desire to ride their bikes to two or three main reasons whereas we ride mountain bikes for a whole myriad.

Although there is no such thing as a wrong way to do things, Levy certainly does look to prove that there is as he rides silly bikes down silly things in a silly way.

Maybe we want easy living on the climbs, maybe we want to keep up with our friends, or maybe we just want to have more control and safety. Truthfully, that's just scratching the surface of the plethora of different intentions and each individual's motivation to ride a bike is both rich and varied. To look at somebody is not to know them.

As I work my early morning shift keeping the gate, I often have to remind myself that to assume really does make an ass of you and me. After all, better and easier are just concepts that we leverage to fit our own ideas when it suits us.


327 Comments

  • 278 3
 Gotta say, that banner is a masterpiece and needs to be put in a museum. Well done Henry.
  • 39 0
 Truly Genious
  • 56 1
 @dolface: Holy shit - I meant to right tedious but I'm so absolutely incapable of even the most basic spelling, and at the point probably overstimulated. Not sure whether to leave it in.
  • 24 0
 @henryquinney: My vote is it leave it, it adds to the whole vibe! (Also did you mean to write "write" instead of "right"? Wink )
  • 7 0
 I am disappointed that none of the cut out photos have that spikey edge that everyone remembers from back in the day when school yearbooks were made by cutting actual photos up and gluing them onto the pages. It really was the star wipe of old media.
  • 13 0
 @henryquinney: you know, "tenious" is basically a mix between "tenuous" and "tedious" ...seems appropriate.
Tenuous culture references
Tedious culture references


..yup, works
  • 39 0
 @dolface: Please, have mercy. I had to actually check! Haha. FML.

EDIT - I'm actually that stupid.

Yeah - let's leave it. It's meant as a monument to my own stupidity, it seems fitting that only most of it is deliberate. That irony might just be the best bit.

@SATN-XC: Haha! Very appropriate.
  • 5 0
 @henryquinney: I guessed you couldn't decide on tenuous or tedious, so just went for the middle ground.
  • 80 0
 @henryquinney: honestly I thought it was on purpose when you sent it for approval.
  • 42 0
 @brianpark: that thing was approved? Then well done, the both of you!
  • 17 0
 @henryquinney: apropos tenious cultural appropriation: God bless you for calling out the "bearded influencers" who believe buying a bike as a fashion prop 1.75yrs ago (after running out of space for tattoos) make them the avant-garde poster boys of cycling. There will be a special rung in Hell with zero beard wax and horrible WiFi for these "cringe-inducing criminals."
  • 11 3
 Properly checked and edited version available to Beta subscribers only
  • 2 0
 Graphic design is my passion
  • 9 0
 @henryquinney:
Why pamper life's complexity
When the leather runs smooth
On the passenger's seat?
I like peecan waffles...
  • 2 0
 I'm sure Taj is stoked.
  • 3 1
 @DustOnCrust: This is how I feel about The Radavist site…
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC:
I read it as ‘Genious’. After some consideration I reflected that this was slightly overblown but, in the main, fair.
  • 4 0
 @WeaselSqueezer: To be fair, the Radavist has been on-trend for way longer than just the past few years. And beards were replaced by mustaches as the de rigueur look at least as long ago. I'd argue that the massive influx of bearded influencers is jumping on the Radavist's bandwagon, not a product of that site itself
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: if you're overstimulated, perhaps you need more than 1 hand on the keyboard
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I thought it might be one of those British words or idioms I didn’t understand. Seriously though, I really enjoyed the article; it was a lot of fun to read and brought me many smiles and chuckles. Keep it up.
  • 176 1
 What honestly bugs me about this "easier" phenomena is how watered down many new trail systems are. So many new trails have to be built to some ridiculous IMBA standard, were we end up with deep bench cut/4' wide trails that are manicured over with a super smooth top layer to hide any exposed roots or boulders. I get it, erosion sucks, but we don't need so many new systems to just be dirt highways because a mini excavator cut the trail. The only tech feature that seems to exist on many modern built trails are jumps.
  • 44 0
 +1.
I've had trails near me that this has happened to. Excellent technical green/blue singletrack that rode fast, really rooty and rocky... and they pretty much just paved over it with a gravel/dirt mix that feels like riding slippery cement. Meanwhile all the new trails are black gap-jump trails that I'm not interested in riding. Very glad those jump trails even exist now for the people that like them, but when the trails I like get changed to the most boring roads in existence, it stings a little.
Reminds me of that Futurama episode where they get a new ship for safety reasons, but switch back to the old one because the danger gave it character and fun, whereas the new one was sterile and boring by comparison. S7E15.
  • 18 0
 That and you either have green and blue flow trails and black technical trails. Like there is no way to progress your technical skills if you've never seen a rock or a root before going into a black diamond.
  • 14 0
 Agree. This whole article focusses on the bikes too much. MTB is getting easier because trails are being dumbed down. The interesting analysis would be whether riders or bike design is driving trail dumbing down... chicken or egg
  • 12 5
 Not sure if you're already a voice in your local mountain bike advocacy chapter, but I'd imagine there are others who share your point of view in your community. If you want more tech trails or trails with different features, bring it up at the next chapter meeting or approach the town if there is no independent outdoor/mountain bike group. You can have an influence either building or at least asking for different trails, and if you don't voice your opinion directly it won't happen.

I know that in my community there is no shortage of unmanicured trail with tech features and so new trail may be "milktoast" "boring" "easy" "flowy" "robust to deterioration" or any other adjective you might want to throw at it but for me those machine-built, roll-y, jumpy, smooth trails are a luxury I'm ecstatic to have. Additionally, rough trails are a lot faster to build so if the land conservancy or owner is okay with those types of trails being built you can make it happen right away with minimal cost. Sometimes a poorly built trail is the most fun and best suited to the area, and it's awfully convenient that they can be built so quickly.
  • 18 1
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: I think calling those trails 'poorly built' misses the point. They are build perfectly well for what they are designed to do. Trails changing and eroding, with new lines developing and evolving, is a feature, not a bug.

I'd say most council planned blue flow well-drained rubbish is 'poorly built' if resists erosion and looks nice in photos, but fails the use case for the community it's meant to help.
  • 13 0
 Yup. For me personnel I find these manicured jump trails more dangerous too as the speeds that I need to carry to ride them makes the crashes way worse . My favourite technical just results in my going on trail or loosing my rhythm
  • 8 1
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: I agree getting involved is huge, but the reality is it's not a localized issue to me or anyone in particular, it's happening everywhere.

I don't want to sound like a douche, more power to whomever, and I understand why professional trail builders on high dollar contracts build new trails that way. The core of my complaint is that a certain style of building has now proliferated into altering existing trails - some that have been around for three decades now. Approaching from the same cookie cutter template is counterintuitive to the idea MTB is for everyone, the diversity of sport, and its riding styles.
  • 4 0
 @Linc: well built, poorly designed.
  • 4 2
 @Linc: "Sometimes a poorly built trail is the most fun and best suited to the area, and it's awfully convenient that they can be built so quickly."

I have found that the blue flow suits most riders in my community and is much more welcoming to new riders. They always get the most traffic and I'm glad they are built with longevity in mind. The point I was trying to make is that tech trails or "old school" trails are easily built in a relative sense. If you want one, you can build it. If you're not involved with making it, get off the worldwide internet forum until you've brought up that you want different trails in your locality. No dig, no bitching about what other people but lots of thought, time, and resources into building.

I want a wide variety of trails as much as anyone. In my region I'm lucky to have many trail networks that have rocks and roots, built technical features, and new blue and green flow trails with jumps and berms. I don't want to go back to a time where there were minimal resources put toward building trails and everything was either ATV infrastructure through swamps and sand pits or old hiking trails that were virtually un-rideable uphill.

Yes, effort should be aimed at building some nice tech or quick loamers in new trailbuilding projects (in my area this happens) but we're catering to the masses here and we should. Look at the heat maps in a place that has blue flow and then some black jank. Here, the blue trails are getting at least 50% more traffic and I'm fine with that. It's a great balance between usership and resource allocation. Plus, those new blue trails absolutely rock. It makes perfect sense to me that money from the general riding public would be put toward trails that most of that general riding public would use. If you want black trails, make it happen. You have to advocate for your views.

Just go do it yourself (with landowner permission).
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: ^^^ Seems like a great Podcast topic, appears to be an issue on a lot of trail systems... tech trails being traded for, or converted to overly manicured/machined trails.
  • 2 0
 @Moonie2123: I 100% agree, it'd be awesome to hear some differing opinions on the topic from the whole PB crew.
  • 4 0
 @Pseudotaxus: Uninformed blue-flow riders are the core PB growth demographic. I’m sure there’s a slide on this in the pitch deck that went to Outside.
  • 4 0
 *laughs in Northeast*
  • 1 0
 @samhandwich: I think this is where both parties lack perspective.
  • 132 0
 Careful Quinney (or should that be Uncle Henry?), you're in danger of leaving the Outside and wandering into NSMB territory.
  • 5 0
 With a banner like that, and living on this side of the pond, he's only a hop-skip-and-jump away. They do need some video content....
  • 14 1
 Sign of good writing
  • 1 0
 A distant cousin to Mike Ferrentino?
  • 1 0
 This is quite the compliment, and well deserved. Besides, NSMB is sorely lacking oblique references to The Smiths.
  • 100 18
 This really boils down to moving purely under our own power vs. electronic assist. Technological advances are great for any sport. If I can ride a trail/segment faster than I did because some innovation to kinematics/geometry/precision saves me some marginal degree of effort, I'm all for it!

However, f*ck e-bikes.
  • 91 8
 I am not sure you should call it an electronic assist. to me an assist would be maybe 50-100 watts of help. From what I see on the trails now people are way beyond assist levels. If you can pedal up the climb in a huge gear sitting down and turning the cranks at 60 rpm that is not an assist, that is a straight motor. Especially when it is 70F out and you are wearing pants and a jacket and not sweating.
  • 13 53
flag nickfranko (Apr 28, 2022 at 12:53) (Below Threshold)
 @rcrocha: If you know what an electric motor can actually do, you'd realize that what they have motors doing right now is a joke. Also, if it still keeps your heartrate elevated then you're still getting your workout in.

It's like complaining that people are walking on a treadmill for 3 miles instead of running, even though it's still significantly better than them sitting on their ass all day.
  • 12 0
 @rcrocha: to be fair, the motors are actually programmed to work best in a rpm range thats rather low, about 60-80rpms. You also forgot that their droppers are half way down.
  • 81 3
 This reminded me of the Greg LeMond quote "it never gets easier, you just go faster". I think this is true for both road and mountain biking. Better bikes allow us to ride further and on more challenging trails, but we're still putting in the same amount of effort.

If I'm going on a two-hour ride, it's a two-hour ride regardless of the bike selection. It'll just be a longer distance on a carbon road bike instead of a beach cruiser. I would say that makes it more fun as well.
  • 70 6
 I deeply respect anyone with such attitude no mater what they ride. But then I meet dads on ebikes, with bods, drinking beers before the ride and I am not sure what to think. Where is the border between adequate challenge and simple laziness, I do not know. I know however that probably they are still better being on ebikes then just sitting in the bar, still it's quite tough to respect them. And I should just give a sh*t, but they annoy me, I cannot help it.
  • 26 68
flag Dixonm (Apr 28, 2022 at 12:51) (Below Threshold)
 @lkubica: I ride both regular and ebikes. My rides end up being the same duration and I'm just as tired during each. I tend to have a lot more fun on the ebike rides, though, as I was able to either go faster and turn normal obstacles into jumps etc or do more downhill laps without my legs feeling like they will fall off.

I'm 37, have been riding since I could walk. I exercise daily and have done many 30-50 mile mountain bike rides. At this point, no matter what I do the uphills just keep getting harder. Ebikes make it more fun again.
  • 9 3
 @lkubica: I ride with people that crush a six pack in the parking lot prior to riding.
  • 42 18
 @Dixonm: I am 42, and a 30 mile MTB ride is called my "after work ride".
  • 34 2
 @Dixonm: you might want to look into TRT, 37 is way to young to be in geriatric decline.
  • 28 2
 Soft in the legs ya are youngster @Dixonm:
  • 9 0
 @lkubica: The border is where you are not riding a bicycle anymore but a motorbike
  • 8 15
flag Dixonm (Apr 28, 2022 at 16:42) (Below Threshold)
 @JSTootell: mine is usually about 15 with my regular bike and 30 with my fun bike. You win.
  • 9 17
flag Dixonm (Apr 28, 2022 at 16:44) (Below Threshold)
 @NWintheUSA: Probably. Never been great at climbing, not matter how much I tried. Still did and do it regularly, but hated every minute of it until the ebike. Now everywhere is a bike park, but without the bike park culture.
  • 12 4
 @Dixonm: If you’re seeing significant decline at 37 despite maintaining high activity levels something strange is going on. Age related decline before 50 (and likely 60) is almost entirely due to a reduction in activity. There is some evidence that around 35 or 40 people who have been inactive throughout adulthood have less ability to adapt to training, but that goes away when they test people who have stayed in shape.

Don’t know what’s going on with you or your riding, but there are quite a few things to check before you start suspecting age.
  • 8 3
 @Blackhat: I do have one health issue going on that contributes to my lack of stamina. I still ride almost daily, about half the time on my normal bike. I hated the climbs when I was 20, though, and in excellent shape. Since then I've gone to med school, done residency and fellowship, and work in a surgical subspecialty. I think I do pretty well overall on the normal bike, but the ebike makes climbing fun and flat Florida terrain more enjoyable between my trips.

Not sure if my original post came off as "I'm out of shape and want an ebike so things are easy!" But that seems to be how it was taken. It wasn't how it was intended. I just enjoy my ebike as well as all of my other bikes. Two wheels plus nature equals fun.
  • 4 9
flag valrock (Apr 29, 2022 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 @lkubica: In my opinion, we need those beer belly dads on eBikes and here is why... More bikers means a bigger biker lobby, city will develop because more people will advocate for biking and elect politicians that will have no choice but accommodate those demands. We all win. Good for bike companies because they can sell shit and that shit is expensive. Which brings capital to develop even better bikes, and moves the economy. Also if more people drive their cars less and just bike on nice days I am pretty sure the amount of CO2 released to produce eBike in the first place will be offset relatively quick ( I only need to offset about 600km travelling by my non electric bike to make my TREK bike carbon neutral )
  • 8 1
 @Dixonm: That's a more understandable analysis.

My deeper reason for objecting is that narratives about dramatic drops due to age cause far more harm than middle age could ever hope to achieve. People reduce activity as they age and are explicitly told that this is the proper and wise course of action, which then leads to loss of muscle and fitness which then leads to negative experiences with movement such as injury or soreness. Those experiences reinforce the idea that they are "too old" to do things which feeds right back to the start of the cycle. But deeper research shows a FAR more hopeful picture. Hope that clears up where I'm coming from and why I'm pushing back.

Concerning how people took the post: Why did you mention declining fitness and age? That's not a gotcha question or anything but a genuine inquiry/feedback. Readers assume a writer provided the information they did for a reason. So we try to figure that reason out and then interpret the rest of the post in that light. And it's hard to rationalize the inclusion of age and fitness without concluding that your point is "I'm out of shape and want an ebike so things are easy!" The parts about hating climbing even in your 20's points that way too. You say "2 wheels plus nature equals fun" but you totally have that while climbing a mountain bike. The only difference is climbing is hard instead of easy.

Maybe people took your post that way because subconsciously that's what you actually feel? Once again, not a gotcha, just kind of feels like you're telling yourself a story that doesn't reflect your true motives.
  • 10 7
 @Dixonm: the number of downvotes you got from the mention of you owning an ebike only proves how many idiots want to tell others how to live their lives. These are toys people - relax
  • 2 2
 @JSTootell: good for you! Would like a cookie?
  • 13 1
 @valrock: We have plenty of these beer belly dads in my area. All that has happened is more trail congestion, people riding uphill on primarily downhill trails, and waaaaaay more trail erosion and braking bumps from newbies on heavy bikes riding like newbies on heavy bikes.
  • 19 1
 @valrock: at the risk of misusing the term, more weekend warriors on ebikes results in further "gentrification" of the trails as mentioned above. Most of the areas I've ridden in the PNW, higher up means more difficult. Ebikes continue to allow no skill Freds to get way up to the good stuff, break their collarbone, then complain to trail council to take those dangerous slabs/roots/rockgardens out of the trail so they can actually enjoy themselves.

Enough of those squeaky wheels means more 4' wide flow trails compacted to hide all the scary rocks and roots. Obviously this isn't happening everywhere all the time, but the more inexperience that can get further out on the trails, the more headaches it causes those of us who put in the blood and effort to get good enough to make it out/up on human power alone.
  • 10 1
 @windclimber: I see way too many people in over their heads because their bikes allowed them to get to trails they're not ready for just yet. Plus, a lot of them fail to learn proper trail etiquette because they don't spend time riding with more experienced riders.
  • 79 2
 Is it me or are bikes becoming bigger, more capable to ride gnarly trails, but the new trails tend to be perfectly smooth jump lines?
  • 15 24
flag PhillipJ (Apr 28, 2022 at 12:34) (Below Threshold)
 Can't see how you know what everyone else is riding so probably it's you.
  • 33 4
 Please please no more new blue flow
  • 4 1
 @seanlah: I don't mind the blue flow b/c that's where most of the trail dads and their kids end up. Better that than crowded stoke lines.
  • 4 0
 @PhillipJ: Because err, I ride a lot of trails in a lot of different places. So its me, and few thousands others experience also.
  • 17 0
 @noplacelikeloam:
You can't have ridden much in BC then. Janky nasty trails fair outnumber flow trails.
  • 6 0
 @notthatfast: I need to move there!
  • 2 11
flag PhillipJ (Apr 28, 2022 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 @noplacelikeloam: I remain unconvinced. There's over 400,000 trails just on Trailforks.
  • 5 2
 When I over shoot and land flat on a short travel trail bike my lower back throws an absolute fit and locks me up for at least a week. Maybe there are more 36 year old riders with bad backs out there influencing the direction of the market and trail designs?
  • 4 5
 Big bikes are harder to ride on tech trails though
  • 4 0
 @Linc: depends what you call a tech trail
  • 2 0
 @noplacelikeloam:
That’s what I did. Would recommend.
  • 6 0
 @PhillipJ: Have you considered reading instead of being a dick?

He said “new trails” and “tend to be” and somehow you twist that into a claim that every rider in the world and every trail on trailforks. Just absurd.
  • 2 0
 @ripridesbikes: you are probably suffering from anterior pelvic tilt. Google some exercises/yoga to counteract it. Changed my life.
  • 1 1
 Fuck your blue flow
  • 57 1
 Oh one more thing @henryquinney calling a bicycle an analog bicycle is like calling golf "ball golf" because disc golf players want to feel more legitimized. That's not needed.
  • 9 0
 I prefer the term "Frolf".
  • 7 1
 Lets just call them totally different sports.
  • 7 2
 The correct term for a non-motorized off-road bicycle is "Mountain bike". If it has a motor you need to come up the another name for it. My favourite is "Bro-ped".
  • 1 2
 In the context of this article, golfers are lycra wearing roadie's, and disc golfers are dirt bag mountain bikers. But good on you for the very poor analogy.
  • 1 0
 @ericbe3: Well I’m and engineer, not an English major. So no qualms with the call out. They way I see it the article was about making things too easy and yet saying it’s the same thing. Riding a road bike up a mountain, or a mountain bike up a mountain under one’s own power, to me, is much closer in relation than someone riding an e bike. Playing disc golf is much easier than real golf, that was the analogue. I get that if it had to be explained it didn’t land right.
  • 1 0
 @ericbe3: * an engineer* see… not an English major.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: no harm no foul, also an engineer! I'm just lucky to live in an area where even an e-bike won't get you to the top of the jankiest trails for the most fun technical, so haven't had to deal with motorized encroachment of trails as much as others in this board seem to have.

I play golf and disc golf with a beer in one hand, or nearby, but there's always the people who want to take everything too seriously and feel like they need to aggressively validate their hobbies.
  • 47 0
 "As I work my early morning shift keeping the gate" Smile
  • 13 0
 and "A little misery never hurt anyone"
  • 42 5
 Henry is no sarcasm saving this platform with humor (actually good humor) and long-form articles.

I will say, regardless of riding perspective, the TYPE of people I've seen getting e-bikes and the way in which they ride is... Not a great look. It's funny to watch the "it's for older people who wanna keep up" narrative absolutely fade into the background... And there's a lot of overweight, unhealthy, unskilled riders doing hot laps on boost mode and going up the climbs at an obnoxious pace which would be less annoying if it weren't on a weekend where the trail has quite a few riders and we're all frequently leaning off the trail to dodge these donuts.

I wasn't even against the idea of e-bikes... But I fear it attracts a type of person and enables them in ways that aren't a net positive. There's too much of a shared venn diagram with the boomers and trust fund babies on electric dirt bikes and surons and whatever. They don't have trail etiquette, and they presumably ain't gonna go online to learn any and do what other people say. Especially given those things are illegal on most trails. Sigh...
  • 31 4
 It’s interesting how it always has to be all or nothing. A month or so ago I went to ride kanuga rented an E bike at an E bike specific bike park. Did about 35 laps in a day my battery died I rolled it back had a blast. This type of park will open all sorts of opportunities. No longer limited by a lift, shuttle etc. Kanugs trails were amazing.

Two weeks later I’m riding my local trails. Basically xc trails with a few features. A guy stuffed me in a corner on an eBike bike with full Moto kit, chest protector on full face helmet. It was a case of instant karma. He hit a stream crossing and went otb. Of course I rode by and said cool moped dude.

I’m in my 40’s and still ride hard in dh, moto, xc and everything in between. Maintaining fitness is harder sure. Just have to eat clean and take care of yourself. I cant eat lighting and shit thunder like I did in my 20’s. Maybe when I’m 70 an ebike will will make sense on local trails. For now I’ll earn my turns unless the environment was built for it.
  • 4 2
 What the heck is "an E bike specific bike park"?
  • 18 12
 @plyawn: a paved road
  • 13 1
 @plyawn: E-Bikes aren't allowed in the forest here (Pisgah). Kanuga is a bike park without lift assist, so you have to pedal to the top. It's the one place where e-bikes are allowed, so you can ride all day.

It's far from paved.
  • 14 1
 @SATN-XC: you pedal up a steep gravel fire road. There is no shuttle or lift. They rent e bikes there and you can ride naturally aspirated bikes there as well. However, the climb would gas you even if your fit. We did about 5-6 laps to one for the guys on regular bikes. With this model all you need is elevation to have a downhill bike park. No lift or shuttles required. Moral of the story is that this setup could create more bike parks like this. Which I’m all about. Getting passed by chodes on ebikes on my local trails not so much.
  • 1 8
flag dancingwithmyself (Apr 28, 2022 at 18:52) (Below Threshold)
 @plyawn: One that can't figure out how to install a lift or run a shuttle.
  • 3 0
 Ride kanuga is awesome! I hope they keep improving and expanding.

That brings up a question: if you drop your e bike in a stream while crossing, what happens? I'd hope they protect all the electrical connectors because that could be problematic.
  • 4 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Yeah because its economically viable to slap up a lift and I'm sure partnering with uppety skii mountains is a joy as well. We all love waiting for a shuttle. Then your driver calls out with a hangover and your screwed. With Kanugas model, they can spend more labor building great trails instead which they do. I guess more bike parks that are open year round are a bad thing in your mind?
  • 1 0
 @mdinger: the question is what if you do it going 88 mph?
  • 2 4
 so you liked an eBike but you hate those who ride eBikes? OK dude
  • 4 0
 @Struggleteam: "Naturally aspirated". Let's file that with "analogue bike"? :-)
  • 2 1
 @valrock: do you read before you comment? Couldn’t be more clear my stance on ebikes. Great at a place like kanuga. Lame and can be reckless on local xc trails.
  • 2 0
 @sbh071: hey at least it was Original
  • 31 6
 Man I thought this was gonna be musings on trail difficulty, the evolution and trends of rider’s trail preferences, and maybe how mtb is creating/splitting into multiple disciplines that aren’t so “shreddy”

But drat, it’s just “ebikes are just like full suspension and 29 wheels!” repeated for the thousandth time
  • 37 12
 To answer the question: Why is this a great thing (standard mountain bike) and this a bad (E-MTB)? The battery, the motor, the additional resources. Of course a carbon fiber mountain bike with tyres, suspension, disposable parts, shipping packaging is very far from sustainable/green/etc., but do we really need more batteries in landfills? Do we need to use more energy to power something that is such a perfect system to be powered by our bodies? Call me a gate keeper, but when I see a perfectly healthy 20 or 30 year old (or 40, 50, 60) riding a klunky ebike around, it breaks my heart. I do feel a line has been crossed with mountain ebikes ridden by capable, healthy humans. I do my best to be polite on the trail, not judge and allow for the inevitable progression of my favourite thing to do in life, and at the same time I am disappointed. Thanks for listening. ✌️
  • 4 2
 Sometimes i think the question is: why do we (humans) always have to get the easiest paths? The future bikes will allow us to: pedal less (tiny motors with more power), shift automatically (like Di2 or a torque sensor paired with a power meter who 'senses' you are getting tired and find the perfect gear for you), inflate and monitoring tyre pressures, monitoring suspension settings and adjusting on-the-fly... Why do we will need a bike anyway? (sorry for the rant and my bad english)
  • 2 0
 @StFred: I hear you, and I wonder about the ethics of biking and constant advancement. I started out as a runner, loving the simplicity of only needing shoes (and something to cover up the privates.) Then I figured rigid single speed mountain biking is ok. I never thought I’d end up on one of these complex machines…but here we are! So I see the hypocrisy in my own views. Perhaps it’s time to just walk around.
  • 29 7
 Every time I climb to the top of Tiger Mt. and someone passes me on an Ebike going up part of me always is a little jealous. At the same time every time I am on a two way trail and some Ebiker is going all out at 25 and almost shit rails me, with no regard I am reminded that while they look like a mountain bike they are not.

It goes beyond is it easier. It's like driving a Ferrari for a morning commuter. that thing is not going to obey a speed limit. The person operating the machine is always the one to blame, but if one can pedal at 25mph all god damn day, and an Ebike is their first "mountain bike" why would they think someone could be around that flat corner not ready to get killed? Some trails need to be real bikes only.

Also, real selfish note here : if you are on an Ebike and set a strava KOM on a climb expect a lot of hate.
  • 5 1
 Or just tell them to move their ride to the eBike category.
  • 2 0
 @bocomtb: You know... I didnt realize they finally implemented that. I never change activity types because all I do is ride. Good to know, thanks!
  • 1 0
 It’s time for a bike-off.
  • 12 6
 The only good thing about ebikes is that they f*ck with all the stavaholes.
  • 2 5
 Yup.

Last encounter I had with George Jetson, I had just finished cleaning the crux of a very steep climb, and was 'track stand' for a breath or two...f#(er goes off-trail into the grass to pass me. No noise, no bell, no "Howdy, stranger!" When I caught up with him later, and made my true feelings known, he split the scene at 25mph.
  • 4 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: exactly! Doing something like that on a an actual bike would still be bad form, but the risk posed to others is higher. Honestly If an ebiker is behind me and they tell me they want to pass, I’m glad to get out of their way, but I’ve seen what you described more than once. And that’s a real problem.
  • 8 2
 @thomasjkenney1024: I'm all for some e-bike hate, but you're mad that someone rode through grass to pass you when you were blocking the trail immediately after the crux of a climb?
  • 1 1
 Oh man, i remember one day we roda an 'morning epic' with a mixed XCM group. After 90km and 2k meters, the 'analog group' battered up and the 'electric group' was cheering and calling for more.
  • 3 3
 @thegoodflow:

Dude had about a whole minute of visibility on my position, the rideable crux is an 'alternate' line through a fence cut. If he yelled at 30 seconds approach, I'm off the trail no problem. Run me down without a warning, dude is gonna cause an accident. Dude was a Class A Shithead and deserved a stick in the spokes.

Previously, on that same trail, I had a couple nice old ladies on e-bikes announce themselves and dust me. Their younger friend didn't give a shit and did the same f*cked up thing, nearly running me into a rut. It's the same DGAF the Stravaholes exhibit.

Soon the materials required to build a lithium battery will be in short supply, so maybe the issue will fade.
  • 22 1
 It’s a fact that anyone who uses the term ‘analog’ bike isn't just the bell shaped part, but is indeed the whole phallus.
  • 4 3
 I prefer the term "acoustic bike".
  • 2 0
 A few years ago at Sky Park in Big Bear there was a super hot chick riding with E bikers on a regular bike and she called it a “ me bike”
  • 17 1
 Analog?
Amish was the word that an overweighted group of E-bike cowboys used when passing me left and right on a steep section with out calling out.
Next thing I'll get a mirror.
A: to see them coming
B: to see their faces when I drop them again.

(E-bikes are great for certain people under certain circumstances. Lazy posers with no respect are just lame)
  • 20 6
 I like both…

I enjoy the experience of grinding climbs and enjoying the fruit of my labor on the way down on my trail bike. It’s the mtb that I grew up on, all-mountain. It’s the real experience.

That said, I also love meeting up with my one friend who enjoys DH as I do on the weekends and hitting all of the shuttle / DH trails on our E’s. Frankly our local trails get so mobbed on the weekend, the E is a blessing as it opens up the unsanctioned / DH that is very difficult to self-service.

I understand the vitriol towards E bikes at a high level I suppose, but they’re a fun tool if you want to get a ton of DH laps in certain circumstances.

I would never want just an E bike, and if I had a more rigid budget I probably would just keep my stumpy Evo as my single bike…but hey, I work hard, why not have all the toys I want.

I must say it’s fairly comical to see the look of disdain towards us by regular mtb Jerry’s when we rip around on the E’s on the weekend. You can ride circles around these muppets (I’m talking ability, not fitness lol), but they sure are righteous. Cracks me up.

I’d say if I were new to the sport, I’d be pretty uncomfortable if I owned an E bike. There is some very negative attention towards them here locally.

I guess I’m a prick, but I enjoy how annoyed people are about E’s. Makes me laugh.
  • 3 0
 Perfect. I regularly do 2.5 hours of grinding up the hill for about 20 mins of down. I absolutely love it. However sometimes - not always - it'd be nice to balance that out a bit more. I have one on order. I bloody love Henry and his writing style.
  • 14 1
 I tend to just with what I believe I heard Kazimer essentially say: these are just fancy toys and however you want to play with your toy is fine. I'm sure you can find your fellow people who want to play with their toys the same way you want to.

Also, maybe it's just that I live the the US southeast, but I don't get the whole Waffle House reference. Unless it's a reference to like drunk fighting people at 3 AM or something?
  • 24 0
 Waffle means to expound on a topic without saying anything substantive or conclusive. So Henry’s Waffle House sounds like a highly accurate description of what Henry does best.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: I can't tell if you are criticizing his writing or not... This article indeed deftly avoided hard conclusions Smile I immensely enjoyed his Substantial considerations and reconsiderations of values, judgments, motivations, approaching the whole basis of this 'being human' game
  • 6 0
 @WoodenCrow: not at all. The addition of Henry has been one of my favorite changes at PB. And I’d happily criticize overly-loquacious writing at any opportunity, but I’m certain Henry’s point was to waffle in this article and it was enjoyable because it was intentional.
  • 1 1
 @Hayek: "overly-loquacious" is redundant, please remove
  • 1 0
 @owl-X: as soon as I posted that I knew it was just a matter of time before someone called that out
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: pot kettle etc

It’s heartening to see there’s still bloggers…I get it. Inventing arguments to debate with imaginary nemeses. Taking strong stances on nothing. I’ve been there.

…same as it ever was!
  • 12 0
 I like Henry and his, perhaps antagonistic, conviction. I don't agree with him on plenty, but I still like him. This is a world where we can like, respect, and think well of people with whom we don't agree--gatekeepers included.
  • 1 0
 I agree with you but sadly, that world is not the internet.
  • 13 0
 Well... I really REALLY like trail running and I can't figure out why, but I can definitely say it's not because running is easy...
  • 15 3
 Biking is like Elden ring. You are not getting the right experience if you are not doing it naked, with the worst equipment possible facing the biggest obstacles that can one shot you.
  • 2 0
 Downhill Dom > dark souls
  • 3 0
 How do you feel about natural terrain golf?
  • 24 14
 being in my 40's, none of it is easy, ever. I'm at the point where I wonder "what is my heart rate and when is it dangerous?" on almost every ride I do. Would it be more fun with a motor to drag this decay up things, yes. would i feel like I just did something very inapropriate in public after, also yes. so, I just keep untangling my lungs from my front spokes to earn the ability to go down things (and tell my wife i did an excercise).
  • 56 1
 Jeesh man, talking like that in your 40's? I'm in my 40's and won't talk like that until my friends in their 50's and 60's stop sending it harder than I do. Chin up!
  • 5 0
 Being in my 50's it's all hard LOL. If my vivoactive is to be believed I spent 1 hour and 26 minutes with a heart rate over 152bpm on my last 2 hour ride. Just take a few more breaks while catching my breath. I'll start looking at an ebike when I hit 60 and need to slow things down a bit.
  • 18 0
 Also in my 50's, and there's nothing like beating a PR I set back when I was in my 40's.
  • 24 2
 @rickybobby18:
Biking gives you a reason to live a healthy life. Over 40, faster than I ever was. The E in E bikes seems to stand for Excuses.
  • 1 1
 I think the massive increases in bike and parts prices make it harder to ride MTB than ever before. I have two bikes that are about to cost me a fortune to repair, again.
  • 1 0
 maybe too much bacon joe? The mans ready for the retirement village in his 40's.
  • 12 2
 Here's the thing ..in today's society at least in affluent areas .. everything is easy with modern technology making it so..as someone who has grown up through the evolving mtb sport ..the activity of riding bikes in mountains is hard and it's supposed to be .. anything worthwhile should be hard it makes the payoff so much better..the act of climbing a mtb is enjoyable and there's no rush to get anywhere fast , except riding fast and taking chances back to the beer..ebikes totally takes that element out of the sport ..this becoming something different than mtb ..you are now ebiking..and the kids these days there lazy no work ethic thus the ebikes..and all the newbies on the e they shouldn't be out in the wilderness to begin with..modern mtb is great ..modern society not so much..
  • 15 2
 Just ride a rigid SS if you're gonna be that grumpy.
  • 10 1
 I mean I'd rather do a couple big pedal-access laps in Whistler than spend a day in the bike park any day. I fully get the 'ebikes are lazy' argument and that's why I've zero interest in them. I get no personal satisfaction from completing a climb on an ebike.
  • 8 1
 I'm more than fine with eBikes being used on long fire road climbs, or by people with health problems that would otherwise keep them from being able to ride. That's not how they're being marketed though, and not who is buying them. I live in Delaware, where the biggest hills are optimistically 150' of vertical, and I'm seeing more and more people riding eBikes on my local trails. I'm already battling a movement to make our trails one-direction due to hiker complaints, and now I've got eBike riders going 15mph UP the hills, and on a much heavier bike if there's a collision.
  • 6 0
 Every time I see some dwEEB post up cleaning a steep climb, tech move, or otherwise, I did a little inside. "Finally got the top of bolt mountain ⚡⚡⚡"

No you didn't. See 52t eagle, a 25lb downcountry bike with beep boop shifters, droppers and otherwise don't add to the human output of wattage. Comparing tech advances to strapping an 800 watt motor is the most obscene of apples to oranges and yet the battery powered community defers to it every time.

Mopeds are their own sport; I guess? I'll give up that I'd rather see people on 2 wheels in some form than not riding at all, but there's also a lot of dumbing down of "the good stuff" up high on the mountains because these guys can get to it now, they get hurt on it, and they're vocal about it because boomers.
  • 5 0
 I had a well-written post all set about how I disagreed with a basic point of yours before I reread what you wrote and realized you had come around to the same conclusion as me anyway. That will teach me about assumptions as well, I suppose.
  • 12 5
 The only thing getting too easy is sterile boring flow trails. Outside of that an ebike can be a total blast! Nothing is worse than the term 'down country' btw.
  • 5 0
 I really like that banner, nice work! After reading a few atricles ebike related it just makes me think who cares what people ride and how they ride it. I have both a "real" mountain bike and an E mountain bike. They're both great. I dont discriminate against anyone who wants to get off the couch whether its assisted or not. Just nice to see people out enjoying what theyre doing.
  • 10 2
 Every time I hear this exact same sentiment I wonder, why do you care so much about people being on their couch?

Just stay home and watch TV, the trails here suck.
  • 7 3
 @RonSauce: This guy gets it! MTB sucks, dont try it
  • 5 0
 Well said, I for one have owned various bikes from rigid single speed mountain bikes which made everything really hard, to urban, to fixed, to road, to gravel to E-MTB. Each bike was special in their own way and the enjoyment I got from them and the experiences I had were all unique. I am very fortunate to have those experiences. Two wheeled fun, is just plain fun. being around people who are having fun, is fun. Lets all have some fun whatever you ride.
  • 8 3
 Have you tried square wheels? Way harder. The reality is you are always welcome to make the sport "harder." Bikes are getting too light, too motorized, too slack, to whatever... cool... lots of older bikes on the used market. By all means Lazarus up an old Stumpjumper and crush fire road laps in inclement weather with an intensity that will undeniably make happy in believing you are doing the thing better than others who do it differently. That might be rewarding for you. Cause that's what it's all about right? I mean in world where some are sleeping in bomb shelters every night and many are worried about the scarcity of basic needs, maintaining and propagating the meaning you have constructed around a transportation/recreation machine that drives two wheels via pedaling is pretty low on the list. Lots to be grateful for when these are the worries. I'm so happy for the bikes I've had, in all forms, over my past 35 years of cycling and places they've taken me and how they have made me feel. My thought on this waffling would be to quote Cheryl Crow and say that if it doesn't hurt others than: "If it makes you happy, than it can't be that bad..." and I'll add this next part for you @henryquinny "...if it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?"... It's just bikes. Bikes are great.
  • 8 4
 I really wish someone would do a Pyschology analysis of the Cult of e-bike on the internet. Don't get me wrong they have their place & yes they are great for people who may otherwise not be able to ride or replacing cars as transport.
However the vast majority of people who comment & their reasons for owning one, come across as if they are trying to justify it in their own heads, rather than convincing others, they probably would have been better off buying a copy of the Chimp Paradox, reading that & not buying an e-bike ;-)

You want to ride an e-bike, crack on but stop trying to brainwash the rest of us & Oh don't be a dick on the trails.
  • 8 0
 My reasons end up exactly like that. I always feel like I'm trying to justify myself to people with their nose in the air and their shitty attitude towards me on trail at intersections or a viewpoint. And it's getting old. Some people a genuinely interested about them, some people just instantly want to condescend and treat you like a lesser rider.

Now I if the attitude starts we just tell them unpolitely where to go and either ignore them or carry on. It's really more sad than anything. If you don't like it, mind your own business Karen.

I've put my time in on cross country when thats all there was, then chair lifted for years at whatever bike park we could drive to when DH bikes were 55 lbs, shuttled most of the interior of BC for weekends on end when we were younger, and broke more than a few handlebars doing trials. I shouldn't have to prove I'm an "actual rider" to anyone.
  • 4 0
 Of course its becoming too easy.... But it has nothing to do with "progressive geometry".
We have become soft in what we ride, how wide a trail is and how manicured the trail is.

Its all about looking pretty these days on a silent bike thats long, slack and has Dh tyres on it!

Bring back the old school when we shredded gnarly stuff on XC tyres...
  • 5 0
 In the 7 or so years I've been riding, bikes have become quite a bit more capable, while existing trails have gotten easier and the new trails being built are a highway through the woods.
  • 3 0
 I'll agree with that we have had some of our local trails sanitised, corners straightened, small trees removed as, you had to have a knack to get wide bars through. I see youngsters rocking up now in full downhill gear, full sus bikes, pads & they look at you weird as you cruise down the same trail on a hardtail, with XC tyres on it.
  • 2 0
 @plainsrider: It's the same around here. The trails are already tame enough as it is. Yet the people maintaining the trails insist on cutting out roots and smoothing out the trail. I have taken part in trail days and voiced my concern, but there's not much else to be done. We are moving to the mountains this summer anyway so I won't have to worry about it anymore! Lol
  • 3 0
 "And these questions lead straightaway into such deep and treacherous waters that it’s probably best to stop the public discussion right here. There are limits to what even interested persons can ask of each other." - David Foster Wallace
  • 3 0
 To me, it's not about making it easier per se. But I find that whenever I ride my full sus on the road, it just doesn't inspire me to push hard like my road bike does. But when I get to the trails, I will pedal until my lungs burn. Because the bike feels good there. I never rode an e-bike. I think I would enjoy that a lot more than shuttles or lifts for bike parks or more remote trails. But there is something really satisfactory about getting to the top of a long climb all by the power of your own legs. Wouldn't want to miss that as long as I still can.
  • 4 1
 Single track and tech are dead. The future will be all flow trails and covered with all manner of electric vehicles thanks to pioneering ebikes triumphing in the face of adversity! Coming soon to a trail near you!

youtu.be/u0XwDav1fE0
  • 7 2
 but heyyyy man, all they did was add a little electric motor to a skate board and subtracted some wheels, quit the harshnessss bru. Its still plenty physical, they're sending it like 4x as hard and doin 4x as many lapzzz. I mean sh*t man its pretty much a mtb if you just thinkkkk about it. such hayyytred for electric wheeled devices. cant we all just mind our own buziness and yolo in peaceee?? all you haters are just pore and jealous
  • 6 0
 Ride your ebike all you want. Just don't blow your cigarette smoke/vape smoke in my face as you pass me. Thanks!
  • 4 1
 I have ridden the same trails for over 15 years and think about this a lot when I see uphill cut lines and downhill go arounds that weren't actually built by trail builders. There is everything from green to black trails to chose from yet there seems to be a new line that goes around the obstacles being cut in every day. If you don't have the skill to ride the trail as it was built then don't ride it. Practice more, get better, then progress to harder trails; don't widen or sanitize trails because you can't ride them! This is especially important for multi-use trails where mountain bikers are already the black sheep of the community and blamed for a larger portion of the environmental impact. As for technology I agree with companies innovating to allow us to push the limits of the sport but I don't think a motor is innovating. Personally I don't think you should have an e-bike unless you are over 50 or have a disability. It is furthering the problem of allowing less skilled people to ride trails that don't match their still level. We have gotten too accustomed to comfort and reward without the hard work.
  • 2 0
 In response to pissing yourself to relieve a bad situation on a human powered 2 wheeler.
I’ve been hearing some pretty crazy stuck up shit creek without a paddle stories from ebike rides gone wrong. I believe there are many more to come, perhaps involving fires and explosions, smoke and angry land owners. Regular bike misfortune stories will pale in comparison.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney ebikes aside, what about the bloke who poked fun at Shaun Palmer's ill-fated return to UCI Downhill racing with repeated references to his sponsorship by Waffle House? Now that was some funny a$$ shite! Well, not for some. He was threatened with censorship @mikelevy ?
  • 4 0
 One of the good things about mountain biking is that you don't have to pay attention to nor care about what any other mountain bikers do.
  • 3 1
 10 years ago this website was mainly the hang out of the DH crowd. DH riding was 80% powered by shuttling, be that chairlifts or vehicles or whatever. “Modern” mountain bikes are almost as fast as DH bikes from 10 years ago, so now they are self-shuttled by an electric motor. And all of a sudden this is a “bad” thing and people are “lazy”?

I ride an ebike cos I like going downhill, if that makes me a cheat in the eyes of the pinkbike commenters, then I’ll wear that like a badge of honour.

I like cheating, and being lazy. It lets me do 3 runs for every 2 that the “acoustic” crowd can do. (God I hate calling them acoustic, somebody kill me now) (( Don’t kill me just yet, I still have 2 bars and can get a few more descents in first))
  • 2 0
 Surely its "tenuous" not "tenious" or this an "aluminum" vs. "aluminium" conundrum? Perhaps "tedious", at least that is how I find his pop culture references so it fits for me Wink
  • 6 1
 I think Quinney is my spirit animal!
  • 1 0
 I recently discovered that my mountain bike can, in fact, be pedaled on the road if I ever choose to do so. Which I have, in the rare occasion that I'm either A) injured, or B) it's a really hot day and I want to go to the beach and jump in the ocean.

I realized that if I'm not competing in road races, or trying to keep up with a group, or trying to get Strava records, that I may as well just sell my road bike and ride my MTB on the road on a few occasions, and still have the same workout capability if I so chose. It's pretty crazy how cheap road biking can be if you're not climbing Strava leaderboards or racing.
  • 9 8
 "To look at somebody is not to know them."

... and that's the problem, you're looking at the wrong person.

Try a mirror, it's a lot more truthful.

People focus on what other people are doing, then judge those people.

Why do you care what other people do?

That's a problem right there.
  • 3 1
 Too easy? Go ride a DHT, double hard tail, formally know as a rigid.
Oh, single speed only of course.
However, i'll stick with single speed with issues, all twelve of them...but keep the stiff twolegs out front.
  • 3 0
 best article on pinkbike recently, More op ed please.too serious lately not enough taking the piss. "ride or don't, its not that serious"
  • 5 0
 Where do I subscribe to Henry+? Now that’s content I would pay for.
  • 3 0
 sounds like you're flirting with the dark side of the internet, my dude Wink
  • 1 0
 Username checks out as well @alicialeggett:
  • 1 0
 This is exactly the content we need more of, and what is starting to make me frustrated at the industry. Why would anyone need a green mtb trail? If you do you should probably just go ride your bike more.. waste of resources to be building such boring things.
  • 1 0
 I absolutely love switching back and forth between my full suspension and my hardtail to make things harder. I agree that the sport is more satisfying if it’s harder even if the new bikes are “better”. At some point an Ebike with traction control and antilock brakes is coming for all the fat unskilled lazy folks and I’m sure they’ll think it’s great.
  • 1 0
 When the annals of time are eventually compiled, by a bearded dude drinking a macchiato, sat upon a pile of Ebike motors, I’m sure this article will be remembered as prophetic Henry.

To keep this philosophically legit, I should really put forth my own opinion, because in this age of easier, faster, more often, it’s one’s own desires that are the most important factor in life!

I fear I am the paradox you speak of Henry! I paralysed my arm to make things harder, which has won me great applause, yet I have a bike with electric gears. I have those tyre pressure things in my wheels, but infuriate my peers by stubbornly running no batteries in them to save weight, yet being comfortable with the squidge pressure test. I philosophically hate Ebikes, in that they represent all that I think is wrong with the world (more, more, more consumption of everything) yet I bought my Dad one so that his 69 year old (what a number for an age!) self doesn’t simply fall asleep all day in his poly tunnel after tending to his tomatoes. It’s been great for him.

In short, I think if we were in a pub we might be the pair that have long, meandering conversations all night while everyone else has an awesome time getting shit faced on vodka trebles. That presents a dilemma as I love a good “set the world to rights” conversation but I equally enjoy hardness of trying to recover the next day.

It’s all so confusing.
  • 1 0
 A interesting look at the whole thing. I thought it was going to be all about how bad e bikes are. In reality a more interesting look. Why do we ride bikes it dose not matter what type of bike. All our reasons are different. So why should I judge another rider thay may have different motivation then me
  • 1 0
 Sounds like Henry and Ryan Palmer need a head to head debate on this topic!

Seriously though, as a 47 year old riding a 36 pound, 150/160mm aluminum bike still with knees that have long gone to shit, I still don’t see the appeal of an e-bike…maybe in another decade?

Regardless, as long as folks aren’t a*sholes about it, let people ride what makes them happy. I get the appeal for folks with disabilities as I have a friend who can’t really ride a traditional bike because of lifelong injuries since birth, so I think it’s rad that there are more options out there for every walk of life to get out there and have fun.

I also live in Minnesota and basically every trail system I ride has some variation of “no e-bikes allowed” so I don’t really have to deal with any pedal assisted jerks being unsafe.
  • 1 0
 This ‘Are we making it too easy’ question is basically accelerating us to a point where there’s less room for grey areas in life and society.

Ultimately technology progresses, and what was once accessible to only a few, becomes easy for many to participate in. If this causes legitimate problems, it’s time to step back and look at the big picture. Do we need to come up with new rules or laws to limit damage?

A more extreme area where this same basic discussion is playing out is side by side ATVs.

Off-roading used to be a fairly difficult hobby to participate in. You had to start with a road-going vehicle- modifying a beater into a capable rig, or pay big bucks for an expensive Rubicon or Land Cruiser. Either way, your vehicle had a lot of personal value invested, and you were putting it all on the line, constantly. Even with careful driving, the risks of braking an axle and getting stranded, or doing enough body damage to write it off were high enough to enforce a level of responsibility and etiquette. Not everyone was an angel, but the a*sholes could only do their thing for so long before karma kicked in.

Now, with a SXS, you can forget about all that. Just roll in to your local Polaris dealer, and finance a $15k purpose built off-road machine, with shitty credit and no money down. Glorified golfcart or not, these SXS will take you through and over pretty much anything at twice the speed of a built Jeep. Forget about breaking it- Just mash the pedal and point at the target, the CVT and 15” of racing suspension will figure it out, and the plastic body panels don’t dent if you roll it. These machines make it so easy for anyone to drive off-road with no experience at super high speeds. Bring your grandma, bring your dog… Use it hard, put it away wet- the machine doesn’t care. You’ve got a factory warranty and a dealer to fix it. Bored? Sell it to someone else for most of its MSRP. Combine all these factors, and choosing to get into the sport is stupid easy, and instantly gratifying. Obviously this means more people off-road, more crashing, more injuries, more damage to the environment. Nothing has torn up trails the way SXS have.

Now don’t get me wrong- SXS are a legitimate marvel of engineering and value, and I’m happy reasonable people have access to such handy machines. But it does beg the question- Should every a*shole be able to hoon a mini Baja race buggy for the price of an economy car? Idk. Maybe it’s time to start talking about specific licenses and driver training. Maybe their use should be limited to more suitable areas. It’s not the machines fault, it’s the choices humans make. We are not helpless, we can run things differently and avoid conflict if we desire.

End of the day, ATVing and traditional off-roading are totally different sports, with different motivations and goals, just like bicycles and mopeds, even if they overlap the same areas. They each have their place, but they are not the same.
  • 1 0
 stuff the nah sayers, you/I/We owe them no explanation, the big keyboard warriors, ride what ya like. I don't see people moaning about catching a ride up to the top of whistler, in my day we would have ridden up, bunch of losers/cheaters, man their rides easier because of dropper post, oh in my day we didn't have any, bloody dropper post, cheating pussies.
yeah i got both bikes, why because i wanted both bikes and don't give a rats arse, couldn't care less what someone i don't like, and don't need their blessing or approval from, who gives a shit.
I ride my e bike hard, and im bloody puffing , i ride my reign hard to and still puffing, but whenever i see someone saying cheater, lazy, unfit, whatever peeps, i dont complain about your language, your clothes, your whatever, why , cause i mind my own business, E bike haters are the new KARENS/DAVES of the trails, and there is nothing better than winding up a Karen or Dave, makes my day
  • 5 0
 This is incredible.
  • 4 3
 You crack us up Henry! There are only so many diplomatic ways to say "get the sand out of your pussy and build some skills, you'll enjoy those more than the latest slight technological improvement."
  • 1 0
 You know what would be harder.... if you went on a tough trail ride on that steep angled bike with 26 inch wheels in your sweet banner... you didn't really make that did you? Kaz made that didn't he.
  • 3 0
 Doesn't like eBikes...doesn't like Squamish trails and doesn't even have a BMX background...
  • 4 2
 Too easy?
They still sell rigid singlespeeds...
Or even better, dust of your pop's old bike from the shed and have a rip down your local trail
  • 2 0
 Solid gold. Henry's stuff is gonna end up exclusively on Beta, I can see it coming. I might even subscribe if that was the case.
  • 4 1
 My trails are the same, my bike is better, and I'm way on the wrong side of 40. Seems like a wash.
  • 1 0
 I would have read it , but just keep picturing you high on shrooms riding the trail with your phone playing music , trying to be cheerful to people trading cereal bars for bike parts.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney - you and I may disagree on ebikes, but, we both use too many commas, and isn't that what makes this sport, great?
  • 2 0
 Commas are the backbone of this good website. I used to work with a guy who used commas and not full stops in ellipses. He was an,,, artist. His comma count blue mine out of the water,,,
  • 5 3
 We’ve had lift and shuttle accessed riding for years, how is this different from using an eBike to get to the top with ease? @henryquinney
  • 2 0
 I don't think there is a difference, in my book at least. But that's my point, no? Wink .
  • 1 0
 Man, living in PNW, touring on world cups, riding cool bikes, throwing waffle here & on the pod, listening to the music on your phone speaker and getting paid for that? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
  • 1 1
 Lets remember that a lot of those who started int he early days of the sport are now in their 50's. Thus it doesnt matter how much riding you do, eating a single oreo will make you fat and you stand a chance of pissing yourself on any ride, electric or otherwise.
  • 5 0
 Speak for yourself, don't tar all of us over 50 with the same brush.
  • 1 1
 @plainsrider: Yawn, it was a joke.
  • 1 0
 @bombdabass: don't worry, it was obvious enough to at least make me laugh.
  • 2 1
 I am riding more terrain, faster, and catching bigger air, with more expression and style. Because yes, this is so much easier than it was in the 90s. Love it. And F$%^& ebikes.
  • 1 1
 The thing that happened when we all bought bigger travel ebikes, we sold our DH rigs. We're not racers, fun not sport. Never had chair lifts closer than 5hrs drive away, just shuttles. Now we ride up. 2018 Kenevo.

And if you ride an ebike until your legs are done. Well, your core and upper body are in a world of pain. No assist there. You get a more whole body work out.

But all bikes are getting easier, long, low and slack. For years and bigger wheels. And all the young kids think the old techy trails suck, because the new bikes are too bloody long low and slack for slower tech to be fun.

I take my 2010 26" out a bit. Still an amazing fun bike. Twitchy as now. The L is shorter now than most S. 67 HA is no longer slack and the 420mm chain stays means you body position must be spot on. Rode every A line on it same as my 2006 Enduro. Once standard for an AM etc and now Enduro, this is now DJ territory. Santa Cruz Chameleon with 160mm 36s.

Enjoying my Status 160 now. Old school back end geo on new school front. Old trails and fun, so are the new. Not a race bike. My goto for me rides when I need to play and chill. Not max the gravity descents in limited time.

My Kenevo gets used as a tractor. Hauling 16-25kg kids riding Shotgun from 2.5 years old. Brilliant up to 2 hours in the bush, wheels on the ground to intermediate. Kids picked up the body position, feel and balance riding with me. My eldest, now on a 20" 6 speed Norco and 6yo can't to big climbs, tow her out 100m+ climbs with the ebike while my 4yo is on Shotgun. Daddy time with my two girls. Brilliant.
  • 3 0
 Alternative title: Henry pretends to be an NSMB writer.
  • 10 10
 Don‘t get the e-bike bashing anymore. I have a bike and an e-bike these days. Do whatever makes you happy, makes you smile. I think that there‘s no need to explain why I ride this or that bike. Just RIDE =)
  • 16 17
 God damn it! Will everyone just stop?! Go ride your f'n bike and stop shitting your pants over what and why people ride. Its a bike. And if your fragile little ego cant handle someone getting up the hill faster and easier than you thats your own problem and a character flaw you should probably try to work on. When did mountain biking become a sport full of whiny little tough guy bitches?
  • 1 0
 "but those shit days sure do distill over time to become something like satisfaction"

That little nugget right there I'll be using later, thank you sir.
  • 2 0
 Do you also like internal cable routing because external routing would make things too easy?
  • 1 0
 Love Henrys writing, he has a distinct way of putting the fox among the chickens. Hope this becomes another of his regular pieces
  • 2 0
 i wish the NEMBA guys would make better trails, not everyone wants to ride a walking path.
  • 2 3
 The ebike gives you a choice on any given day to make your climb as easy or hard as you want it to be, want to really suffer pedal 23kgs up a hill with no motor on! if everyone really wanted to suffer they would do that surely?
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: or buy a car and push it everywhere
  • 1 0
 Got rid of my full squish bikes.
Now I ride a modern steel hard-tail, but I feel waaaay faster!
(and slightly more sore lol!)
  • 1 0
 Just want to say how much I enjoy Henry's opinion pieces. Right now the podcast and these articles are the two things that make me the most excited on the main page.
  • 1 0
 “Analogue Bike”. Someone on an E-bike told me the other day that he also has a “Muscle Bike” in the shed at home too. I did laugh.
  • 2 0
 Walker Brothers Pancake House gift certificates- mean girls
  • 1 0
 oh man, that place is the best. German pancake from there is amazing
  • 3 1
 you have rear suspension? weak!!Wink
  • 6 8
 I don't think I've ever understood how we, as a collective, will spend infinite sums of money to make climbing easier, make us exert less, make the bike more efficient but then choose adding pedal assist as the perversion of the sport. Comparing a 2022 high end MTB to a early 2000s MTB is about the same efficiency shift as comparing a 2022 high end MTB to a light eMTB. I own all of the above.
  • 1 2
 Amen!
  • 3 5
 Let us know how you feel when you are over 50 and riding with the young lads. I agree some people are lazy or just don't want to put in the pain. Some of have and are looking for options to keep us out there. If we would all open out horizons a bit before we judge the sport and the wolrd would be a bit better.
  • 1 0
 Forget the waffle house reference, I can't tell if this is a serious article or not...
  • 2 0
 Banger article @henryquinney! Looking forward to the next Waffle House.
  • 7 9
 Everybody I took out on demos, loaners, or the many people I ride with on bikes of various "enduro" fashion all agree it changes the ride.

It isn't about easy. It's about expanding a ride, or the challenge of a trail, or a climb, etc.

I agree with Danny Macs opinion that it changes every aspect of my rides for the better. I do 40-50km rides no instead of 20. I get more laps, more turns, more terrain.

I don't give a rats ass what the haters say. I dealt with them when they hated skateboards, dealt with them when they hated snowboards, and deal with them when I'm on my ebike. Same elitist shitty attitude it always has been.
  • 1 0
 I want to see a whole video of Henry saying things just to get under Levy's skin. Very satisfying
  • 2 0
 Some of the best writing I’ve seen on Pinkbike. Thanks Henry!
  • 1 0
 Its pretty easy to talk smack about what you don't like from behind a keyboard.
  • 1 0
 is it easy, half the time but checking lines most dont want the corners at all or do what they can to avoid content
  • 1 0
 Dear Pink Bike. Henry needs to be promoted, and @brianpark, Levy, and Kaz all need to be his unpaid interns.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney Thx, nice english class. I'll take a few more of those until I eventually grasp your misspellings
  • 1 0
 going to need some more syrup over here...comments are going to get rowdy
  • 2 0
 We all know the only reason this story was written was for the resulting comment section. Kaz was here instantly and is probably wearing out F5 right about now. To be clear, I love it.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: some people just want to watch the world burn, lol
  • 1 0
 Nothing I love more than a good rant! Keep it up
  • 1 0
 Whilst reading this I decided that Henry really enjoyed those mushrooms.
  • 1 0
 throw on a set of mike bears and call it a day, a sketchy as f day!
  • 2 1
 Someone make a decent 200mm+ DH ebike FFS!
  • 1 1
 Yup...mostly pussies riding today. Same make up as the planet's people...pussies.
  • 1 0
 The Buddha will see you now
  • 1 0
 Never say never Henry, you witty cynic!
  • 1 0
 that banner better not change
  • 1 0
 I can’t believe I didn’t have to subscribe to Beta to read that.
  • 2 5
 What a bunch of elitists and Henry Quinney, the self righteous shepherd of the better than thoug herd.

My dislike for you @henryquinney is getting worse the more you talk and write. Always the same spiel, with a opinion that is barely defensible, or flat out wrong, then getting delighted listening to himself justifing it for ever and feeling smug about yourself in the end.

It's tiring and annoying, grow up.
  • 4 0
 Not that keen on you by the sounds of it. Pretty stoked you didn't like it - would be gutted if you did.
  • 1 0
 Comments are Smothered, Covered and Chunked ! I love Bacon
  • 1 0
 We're witnessing the rise of the philosopher @henryquinney
  • 1 1
 That might be the worst article I have ever read. An ebike is just another type of bike. lets get over it.
  • 1 0
 Can't get enough of Henry's madness, keep it coming!
  • 1 1
 Wait till we get MTB VR experience on the metaverse
  • 1 2
 Just wait til i see the next guy shuttling or riding a chair lift, oh they're in for it! (insert face palm emoji here)
  • 1 0
 That was well done.
  • 5 5
 "I will never be sold on e-bikes" is something many e-bikers have said.
  • 1 0
 Three rights make a left
  • 1 0
 MTB kook fest
  • 1 1
 Your comments about roadbikes are really stupid. Are you retarded?
  • 1 0
 Henry rules.
  • 1 0
 this was yes
  • 3 4
 I don't get the waffle house reference
  • 38 0
 Waffle definitions:

North American
Fail to make up one's mind.
"Joseph had been waffling over where to go"

British
Speak or write, especially at great length, without saying anything important or useful.
"he waffled on about everything that didn't matter"
  • 7 0
 He's undoubtedly never visited one States-side.
  • 10 0
 Waffle is UK slang for not knowing what the hell you're talking about but going on and on about it anyway. Waffle House is delicious Thank you for attending my TED talk
  • 1 0
 To „waffle on about something“ is british slang for needlessly talking and talking without stop.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: But Waffle House at certain parts of the US means 'be drunk late at night after the bars close, see a bunch of characters, eat a lot of greasy, sugary food, and possibly fight someone'
  • 10 0
 @FMHUM, very true. Henry hasn't made it across the border to America yet, so he still hasn't experienced that important cultural experience.
  • 4 3
 @FMHUM: Exactly. This is the ONLY definition in my mind, so the play on words just didn't come across for me - they got lost somewhere in the fake maple syrup (which IMO is better than the real stuff).
  • 1 0
 @FMHUM: lol, ...whether its you or someone else..inside or in the parking lot, there will be a fight. ...I haven't been to a Waffle House in like 15 years...I doubt they have changed
  • 7 0
 @Whatajohnny: I wasn't aware of the American term but I like it. It's also quite fitting - I'm going to speak a load of nonsense and we can fight about it in the comments after?
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Waffle House: Southern United States restaurant chain open 24 hrs originally from Atlanta, Georgia where you can get it scattered, smothered, capped, chunked, diced along with a cup of coffee to wash it down.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: this is all coming together nicely ;-)
  • 3 0
 @hellbelly: Another fun fact about Waffle House is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses an informal "Waffle House Index" to decide how bad an extreme weather event was--if the Waffle Houses are closed, then shit's bad.
  • 3 1
 Waffles. While the British kind made by Birdseye are potato compacted into a grid formation with clear holes between the lines, in America they are made with batter and the grid is merely depressed indentations rather than complete holes. In short, you can see through a British waffle but you can't see through an American waffle and for that reason i prefer American ones. And actually I've just had a rather funny idea because it occurred to me that because some Americans can be more gullible, that Americans can't see through their waffles and they can't see through waffle. Whereas in Britain we can see through our waffles and we can see through waffle. That struck me as quite funny and I thought if I do do stand up I could open my act with that dual waffle observation, or i could just give it to one of these new young stand-up comedians who I'm sure would snaffle that up and possibly improve on it.
  • 2 0
 @Whatajohnny: On behalf of Vermont I am legally required to downvote your syrup blasphemy.
  • 2 0
 @VtVolk: good humor compels me to upvote your comment Wink
  • 2 3
 Cool blog bro.
  • 3 6
 Judging ebikers is peak American stupidity.
  • 7 0
 @AnikaS: we Americans aren't even close to our peak. Just wait for it....
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: I agree with this statement
  • 2 0
 Don't sell us so short. You ain't seen nothin'yet. Hold onto this beer for a sec...
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: There will always be higher one to shoot for.
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