The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 154 - What Are Your MTB Priorities?

Nov 30, 2022 at 7:40
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


Aside from needing to have anywhere between a bit and a lot of fun, of course, what are you hoping to get out of your rides? I'm sure our personal pie charts all include different-sized slices of fitness, fun, progression, nature, and so on, but which is the priority for you? I'm willing to bet that your pie and wherever you live had a big effect on your bike choice, but there are countless horses for the same courses, many of which offer drastically different kinds of performance to match whatever you prioritize.

Today's show sees Kazimer, Matt Beer, and myself talk about our own priorities. The list includes quiet bikes, no electronics, definitely no idler pullies, either a lot of adjustability or none at all, some frame storage, and maybe even some headset cable routing; you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out who prefers what, though.

What are some of your mountain biking priorities?





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 154 - WHAT ARE YOUR MTB PRIORITIES?
Dec 1st, 2022

Fun, fitness, or funtness?



Podcast presented by Canyon





Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, LibSyn, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.


75 Comments

  • 34 1
 Priority number 1 is to have as much fun as I can on the bike. Aside from that, it's to escape from day to day life for a few hours, and to unplug from the digital world we spend so much time in these days, so no apps, no electronics. No stress. Just me, my bike and some good trails.
  • 15 2
 And the sound of an electronic groupset.
  • 3 2
 @TimMog: the “zip,zip,zip” makes me smile.
  • 13 0
 Riding as much as i can until I'm too old to. Riding truly is one activity with so many +'s and few -'s. I can't wait to feel the burn from some intense technical uphill, crush it on the way down, feel the sweat, stop for a swim in the river, ride home and have a beer or two. Recovering from surgery makes me appreciate the feel of gravel under my wheels even more. Only 4 more months!
  • 5 0
 heck ya dude.
  • 14 2
 Clean bike look. Thank's God bike manufacturers started routing brakes through the headsets or even stems (which is much more preferable). All I want from MTB is a beautiful carbon bike, fully integrated with no wires or cables to be seen, with titanium 3d-printed cranks and stem. In fact the bike should contain no metal other than titanium (cause gold is too heavy).
  • 6 0
 What do you mean cables ? That is such a peasant backward way of thinking ! I want to routing at all and just be fully dependant of tinny batteries everywhere and wireless connection.
  • 1 1
 I appreciate your sarcism...
  • 13 1
 My sole priorities are to have a better bike than anyone else, and to race everyone I see on the trail, so please respectfully get out of my way when you hear STRAVA!!!
  • 7 0
 I’m getting old so priority 1 is to maintain fitness and keep my bones unbroken. Beyond that is everything else that makes riding fun: honing skills, riding with friends, traveling to new areas and trails, and retrofitting all my cable routing through my headsets.
  • 2 0
 This is pretty much where Im at. I want to get out in the woods and get some exercise/no electronics time to unwind. I dont want to compromise my ability to work so I prioritize not getting hurt and everything past that is icing on the cake.
  • 1 10
flag garrisond5 (Dec 1, 2022 at 19:14) (Below Threshold)
 @mtmc99: you sound lame.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer IIRC Boone twist cranks we’re from the early 90s. Not late 90s. Perhaps you’re older than you remember Smile

I realize this sounds super nitpicky and pointless but XTR m950 came on the scene 1995-1996 and killed the whole CNC industry. Which was/is sad for me because I think that stuff was so cool. Though lots of it broke so maybe it’s a good thing.
  • 5 0
 Ah, yeah, I think you're right. About the timeline and about me being older than I remember...
  • 6 0
 After owning a Trek Slash and a Stumpy Evo, I am not sure I will own a bike without frame storage. It is so nice to have everything you need without a pack, and I cant forget my stuff if I am in a hurry.
  • 5 0
 Mountain biking is my therapy. It is my breakaway from work and general stress of life. It is also my connection to my childhood and makes me happy. I tend to ride solo. As far as priority on my bike, bikes are so good now a days that i just want a good reliable bike. No electronics. As i have entered into my 40’s, i like to use biking as a health tool to stay in shape. Its a good all around sport for me.
  • 4 0
 Another point on Headset cable routing:

it will lead to increased costs at the shop. Now for a shop to replace your headset, they'll have to essentially do a brake bleed every time. This adds a ton of cost and time to a simple job. You may even need new hoses depending on the length...

This is NOT WORTH IT for the sake of aesthetics (which in my opinion are worse).
  • 3 0
 Nah it's great. #supportyourlocalbikeshop.

/s
  • 8 1
 Priority #1 - Re-evaluate intern vetting program
  • 5 0
 For a full twist frame, how about a Lynskey Ti? There must still be a twisted stem out there too. I'd love to see what you guys find for a full twisted build!
  • 2 0
 Oh heck yes, that is the frame we need. Good call.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: what about a starling twist!
  • 4 1
 Having ridden MTB's for over 30 years, a few years racing BMX and 6 strong years as an 80's freestyler, finding the motivation to ride as much as possible is my priority. I'm now 52, still ride a wheelie on my B-Day (tribute to my highschool friend who passed) still manual 300+ feet, on my 29er, still get that "this is why I ride" feeling. But some days, I'm just tried. Hopefully I can get back to 3-4 days a week. Not 2.
  • 1 0
 Haha! When I looked at your comment, it says it was published 43 minutes ago. IYKYK!
  • 1 0
 @TheR: There is a whole 43 thing from back in the day and freestyle. I have signs with 43, 43 on jerseys, stickers with 43, even a tattoo. I notice mileage, the time, minutes, addresses. Always 43. It's a real problem, just ask my wife.
  • 1 0
 @oldschool43: Yeah, I know. I was around back then. That’s why when I looked up and saw your comment was posted 43 minutes before I saw it, I just shook my head.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: That's awesome!! About 10 years ago, I was at a race and Mark Murphy and Rick Moliterno were behind me and Mark's wife goes,"OMG!!! Mark, he has a 43 tattoo!!". I hadn't seen them in forever, and caught up with them a bit. It's weird how big it was for such a small group.
  • 1 0
 @oldschool43: I don’t mean to give you the impression I know all those old pros, but I was immersed in the culture, for sure. We rode from sun up till well after sundown in the summer. So I know all about 43. That’s where my love of bikes started.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Cool!! My little brother was kinda like too. Rick was in the movie Rad, "Cru, sign my cast?" and owns Standard Byke Company, Mark rode for him. I have enough stories from back then to make one crazy movie! Riding, parties, road trips, jam sessions, randomly riding with pros. It was a great time to be in it.
  • 3 0
 As a person whose only social media platform is strava with around 20 followers I'm still way to much on my mobile phone, computer etc. This is why I want my bike to be simple and get me outside. No batteries, no electronics no freaking apps for gods sake. Just have a good time on my own or with my friends and wife. I hope I can withstand these 'innovations' as long as possible. Progress and growth isn't as important as happiness in simplicity and contentment (relativly speaking as bikes are still luxury goods).
  • 3 0
 This isn't a priority question, but more of an all around thing. @mikelevy, @mikekazimer and @mattbeer, how do you plan/what is your process for going out riding solo, given that it sounds like you do it all the time. I love the idea of it, but when I am out solo I often find myself subconsciously riding more conservatively to make sure I'm not having to hit the panic button and have someone come rescue my sorry ass.
I live in humble little Aotearoa, and we don't have to contend with the likes of tigers, bears, snakes, cougars, just the odd cheeky parrot. Would love to hear the process as it were to going out and staying safe on a solo ride.
  • 5 0
 I honestly don't think about it much. Maybe it's because I started riding before cell phones were a thing (I'm old), so being away from everyone and on my own in the woods doesn't bother me at all. Sure, I might tone my riding down a little, typically when it comes to bigger drops / jumps, but otherwise I ride all the same trails that I would with a group of friends.

These days, having a phone with you and letting someone know where you're going are obviously good things to do.
  • 6 0
 Same as Kaz, I don’t really think about it ever. Accidents can always happen, but I feel very comfy in the forest by myself, maybe too comfy sometimes. I might not ride something really rowdy when I’m solo, but I love being waaaaay the f*ck out there by myself.
  • 2 0
 As a Kiwi living in Canada, it feels very different going for a solo ride knowing you may have a bear or cougar come say hi compared to the biggest danger back home being a Weka trying to steal your steak pie.
  • 3 0
 I'm that guy, at 63 I've squirreled away enough high end 3x drivetrain goodies to last a lifetime. As a machinist and mechanic I've never jumped on the latest crazes just because they said so, as they spend years and your money to "correct" all their wishful improvements. My v3 Tallboy is the last one with front der. compatibility and will be my last FS frame.
  • 2 0
 Everybody's idea of "fun" is going to be different. So one person may prioritize "fun" being an hours long ride with their friends followed by a drink while another person's "fun" could be a 4 hour solo XC ride.

My #1 priority is having fun. But my version of fun is different from many others, so...

Maintaining/building fitness is a means to an end for me. Being very fit lets me have more "fun". I don't ride bikes to be fit, I work on being fit to have fun. Doing large rides are "fun" for me. Also doing obstacles at the edge of my abilities are "fun". Being fit let's me do those.

As I sit here typing with a very sore shoulder from a send gone wrong last week, where I rode 20 hours on a 4 day vacation (maybe 2/3 was with my GF). It was a lot of fun.
  • 2 0
 #1: Find features. The trail "ride" is everything in between and what it takes to get to the features.

I vary rarely go out and pedal just for the sake of pedaling around. Fun is #1 goal.
  • 2 0
 Not crashing on a ride. If I manage to ride for a few hours and not hit a tree/rock/the Earth with a part of my body that hurts disproportionately for the impact it's sustained, then I'm happy.
  • 4 0
 Spend as much time as possible riding my bike in the woods with friends/family.
  • 2 0
 1)] not getting hurt as mountain biking is not my only recreational activity, ironically I broke my collar bone 4 weeks ago but not from biking.
2) just having fun and exercise which now means easier trails.
  • 1 0
 Adjustability is one of the greatest things ever. Everybody has a opinion on what is better short or long chain stays, how about having both on the same bike?
I use mine all the time and it's the greatest thing ever. I go to the bike park and I put it in the long chainstay, which also increases the wheelbase, and then slack it out a little bit. It goes from being more agile to a much more stable bike when hitting those higher speeds.
  • 1 0
 You basically explained why long chainstays are the greatest thing ever. I don't see the point in going back to short chain stays unless I'm practicing manuals. Ditto for other adjustments, I'm only going to use the low/slack setting.
  • 1 0
 Tbh I’ve started to hate fox factory suspension for having too many adjustments. I feel like I understand them better than most folks but I’d just really rather not bother.
  • 1 0
 @fentoncrackshell: Not me, I switch back and forth. It only takes a few minutes to do. The trails I mostly ride and my favorite jump line likes the short stays with the neutral head angle. It matters what trails you ride, there isn't one perfect size for all trails.
  • 1 0
 How long have advertisements been a part of the PB podcast? I swear I have only just started hearing them in the last couple? I'm talking about the advertisements where its clearly a break in the conversation, the volume suddenly increases etc.
  • 1 0
 We've been doing them for a while, some that we flow into and some edited in later, but the ads for Outside and Trailforks are new. We'll sort out the volume!
  • 1 0
 It struck me how Ben Cathro doesn't do an ad at the beginning of his videos anymore. How come? If he doesn't do ads, he doesn't get paid. If he doesn't get paid, he can't buy food. If he doesn't buy food, he can't eat. If he can't eat, he dies. If he dies, we'll never learn to bike. That'd be sad. Bring back the ads. And put them on autoplay.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: This might just be me but I keep having trouble playing these podcasts, they download at over 4 hours long and then the content jumps backwards at random intervals and repeats over and over making it impossible to follow, I thought I was going mad the first time it happened.
Happens in both my Podcast Addict and Google Podcast app. Just tried Spotify and that seems to be ok. I'll just use Spotify I guess but I thought I'd let you know as it's obviously your fault Razz
  • 1 0
 I prioritize a bike that I can take anywhere and have fun and feel confident. The new SC Bronson is that bike for me right now. My ideal ride would be 4-8 hours with lots of sessioning features and lots of challenging down hills in the first half and flowy jump lines in the second. End the day with 5000ft+ of elevation lots of smiles.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy
I agree on the two bottles for an full suspension XC/endurance bike and am lazily looking for one now
What am I missing as a good candidate? Preferably used but still want fairly modern geo
New design Kona hei hei seems to be top of the list right now as semi modern geo, light frame, and two bottles
Allied and rocky element look awesome but too pricey

Any others that come to mind?
  • 1 0
 Epic and epic evo have two bottle cages
  • 1 0
 @Mihag1: thanks, forgot about those
  • 1 0
 I gotta defend ride 9 here. I just bought an altitude and I was honestly really impressed with how elegant the system is. The number 9 makes it sound way more complex than it is. Really you have 2 little chips on either side that interlock to give you adjustabilty on 2 axes. One axis affects the HTA one effects the ramp rate. Really pretty easy to use if you do a little reading. ...that said I just put it in the slackest most progressive position and haven't thought about it again.
  • 1 0
 The MTB world continues to develop but doesn’t seem to spend much on refinement. My priority would be to refine linkage! I spend so much time servicing my linkage because the industry simply uses roller bearings rather than investigate bushings, needle bearings and side-load bearings. Roller bearings don’t work in linkage and Evil has recently confirmed that by offering lifetime replacement bearings… because they barely last a season! Drop the trends and build something that lasts!
  • 1 0
 My priorities for a new bike:
-Efficient pedaler no matter how much travel the bike has
-Room for a 20oz water bottle in front triangle.
-In-frame storage. I bring more water in the SWATer bottle on my stumpy evo for longer rides.
-Quiet ride. Rattle-free cables and silent chainstay protection.
-Steep seat tube and high stack height to accommodate my height of 6’3”.
  • 3 0
 I like my cable routing as i like my riding - everything outside See what i did there. Xoxo
  • 2 0
 having fun, and i think finding new trails and progression are the best way to do that
  • 3 0
 1. Air
2. Skids
C. Speed
4. Danger (applies to all above)
  • 3 0
 1. Skids
2. Speed (up and down)
3. Danger
4. Air
  • 2 0
 I ride to take shi*t pictures of bikes in the bush. Hope to some day bring down the entire internet.
  • 1 0
 Getting out with enough time to put in the miles. Still having enough skill to hit challenging trails and not break anything on my body
  • 1 0
 Main priority is winning lots of free shit in the pinkbike advent calendar. So far having a pretty rough go of it.
  • 1 0
 first priority is not crashing. if i didn't crash, nothing else matters - it was a good day!
  • 2 0
 p1 - shred p2 - not break my bike p3 - not break my body
  • 1 0
 This was like an episode of Misanthropes Anonymous. “Hi, my name’s Mike and I’m not really fond of other people.”
  • 1 0
 stems land headsets looking dope without cables routed anywhere nearby
  • 1 0
 The riding skill to keep up that's most important is fitness.
  • 1 0
 An interrupted seat tube is an auto-fail for me
  • 1 0
 Capturing sweet slomo drift edits.
  • 1 0
 I WANT YOU GUYS TO TALK ABOUT THE UNPAID INTERN OF PB : SEWER-RAT, PLZ
  • 1 0
 Fun Form Fitness Rediculous Fun Debauchery Progression Health Fun
  • 1 0
 Surprised no one said durability. That’s a huge one for me.
  • 1 0
 Reduced sperm count





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