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The first sign of the apocalypse

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11 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

In 1972 my family spent a week in Negril, Jamaica. Seven miles of white sand beach, the clearest blue water, and not a soul in sight. By the '80s that had all changed.

I venture to guess that increased access to that beach had a negative affect on the beach? Would you say that, before easy access by roads, only people who cared enough about really savoring the beauty there made the effort to find their way there, and respected the place more for it?

I take that as a metaphor for the affect that broad acceptance and attainability of e-mtbs might have on trails. Am I gate-keeping? I sure am, without a hint of shame. 

Edited by mack_turtle
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You guys are acting like companies like Pivot, Santa Cruz, or Intense don't exist. (just to name a few) These brands don't offer bikes geared to "the masses", and they don't want to.

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10 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

Wow... That must have been quite frightening, El Gringo. Coming from the Caribbean — we have no bears — encountering a bear on a trail has always been something that I've wondered about.

Yep. She was climbing up a rock face we had been sesh'g to retrieve her bike. As she was pulling herself up to the top, she noticed bushes moving and a bear popped out. I think her mistake was letting go. She fell back to the bottom, which I think the bear perceived as fleeing. YOU DO NOT RUN FROM A BEAR. Everything you've heard about bears not being able to run downhill is complete rubbish. That thing came down that rock face so fast. It's an all-terrain animal. From there, Kendra did pretty much everything right. She stood her ground and shouted, "Bad bear! Bad bear! Go away bear!" At that time, I couldn't see him anymore, but I would see by where she was pointing that he was close. She later told me he was in a stalking walk coming toward her. At that point, We started talking to her. THAT stopped the advance and the bear stood on its hind legs. Not a sign aggression, but curiosity. What Kendra forgot to do was back away. She gets aggressive when she gets spun up and she started stomping her feet. In the bear world that IS a sign of aggression. By that time, I had made my way over there and backed away with her. The bear went back up the rock - and the most terrifying part of the encounter🤣 - started sniffing her bike. He eventually went into the bushes and I went up to get her bike. That was a nerve-racking recovery mission. This came a week after I almost ran into a sow and her cub. She displayed aggression, but didn't charge. I was within 10' of her. I got off my bike, put it in front of me and slowly backed away. Thankfully, the cub didn't come over to check me out, as they sometimes do.

Here's some tips:

1. Make noise when you're riding in bear country. Bear bells DO NOT work. We shout to each other, sing, etc. Yes, we feel like fools.

2. Ride in groups of 2-3. When we're together, bears seem to see us as on entity. The bigger we look (like with mtn lions) the better.

3. Carry bear spray when practical.

4. Scan local resources for bear sightings/reports.

5. If you encounter a bear, do not run. Stand your ground and speak authoritatively to it back back away.

6. Pray.

Just glad we weren't this guy - and yes, this video is real.

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I remember when I first started skateboarding... It was around '78/'79, just after the upswing in the industry began. All the innovations were in place, and the parks were being built. I only came to know about them (the skateboard parks) from magazines though. Yet, there was a counter culture that existed. Riding street. Downhill. Riding pipes for construction. Riding old pools. But the riding was done on new products. So it was kind of mixing things. But as the marketing hype took hold of a wider consumer market things began to change, and even the counter culture leaders started showing up in advertising. The parks began shutting down in the late '80s though, and the industry went through a transition, heading more towards what we see today.

Product development has its cycles (raw material innovation impacts this), as do consumer trends (human culture impacts this). And product development departments need to keep an eye on these cycles. We're discussing e-bike now... But I'm pretty sure that e-bikes have been in the product development consideration process for some time now (many years).

Edited by RidingAgain

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14 minutes ago, El Gringo said:

Yep. She was climbing up a rock face we had been sesh'g to retrieve her bike. As she was pulling herself up to the top, she noticed bushes moving and a bear popped out. I think her mistake was letting go. She fell back to the bottom, which I think the bear perceived as fleeing. YOU DO NOT RUN FROM A BEAR. Everything you've heard about bears not being able to run downhill is complete rubbish. That thing came down that rock face so fast. It's an all-terrain animal. From there, Kendra did pretty much everything right. She stood her ground and shouted, "Bad bear! Bad bear! Go away bear!" At that time, I couldn't see him anymore, but I would see by where she was pointing that he was close. She later told me he was in a stalking walk coming toward her. At that point, We started talking to her. THAT stopped the advance and the bear stood on its hind legs. Not a sign aggression, but curiosity. What Kendra forgot to do was back away. She gets aggressive when she gets spun up and she started stomping her feet. In the bear world that IS a sign of aggression. By that time, I had made my way over there and backed away with her. The bear went back up the rock - and the most terrifying part of the encounter🤣 - started sniffing her bike. He eventually went into the bushes and I went up to get her bike. That was a nerve-racking recovery mission. This came a week after I almost ran into a sow and her cub. She displayed aggression, but didn't charge. I was within 10' of her. I got off my bike, put it in front of me and slowly backed away. Thankfully, the cub didn't come over to check me out, as they sometimes do.

Here's some tips:

1. Make noise when you're riding in bear country. Bear bells DO NOT work. We shout to each other, sing, etc. Yes, we feel like fools.

2. Ride in groups of 2-3. When we're together, bears seem to see us as on entity. The bigger we look (like with mtn lions) the better.

3. Carry bear spray when practical.

4. Scan local resources for bear sightings/reports.

5. If you encounter a bear, do not run. Stand your ground and speak authoritatively to it back back away.

6. Pray.

Just glad we weren't this guy - and yes, this video is real.



Quick way to find out you can ride far better than you might have thought...
 

 

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54 minutes ago, El Gringo said:

 

Here's some tips:

1. Make noise when you're riding in bear country. Bear bells DO NOT work. We shout to each other, sing, etc. Yes, we feel like fools.

 

I really don't like people on mountain bikes playing music, but in bear country I think I would make an exception to that. Did anyone you see  have music playing out loud?

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1 hour ago, The Tip said:

I really don't like people on mountain bikes playing music, but in bear country I think I would make an exception to that. Did anyone you see  have music playing out loud?

Not really. First of all, it's surprisingly rare to encounter another riders on the trails outside of the bike park. Secondly, the terrain doesn't make it practical. Given the drops, etc. I'm not sure you could keep a speaker on the bike - but I agree, I don't like audible music so I've never tried securing anything like that to my bike.

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4 hours ago, notyal said:

You guys are acting like companies like Pivot, Santa Cruz, or Intense don't exist. (just to name a few) These brands don't offer bikes geared to "the masses", and they don't want to.

For sure but once you get into a niche of a nice of a niche market, gross sales cant be that great. Besides, i cannot imagine many bike shops wanting to showroom a lot of $6-7k ebikes with margins and sales being as tough as they are.

For me its not a matter of who should or should ride an ebike. I really don't give AF. I think the e-bike riders will sort themselves out when they get the cold shoulder from traditional riders. Ive seen / heard how roadies treat the e-bike guys and its pretty funny and IMHO, justified. 

To me e-bikes are the fruitboots of the skateboard world. Anytime a person showed up to the park on rollerblades they got heckled from beginning to end. 

Edited by ATXZJ

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6 minutes ago, ATXZJ said:

 Anytime a person showed up to the park on rollerblades they got heckled from beginning to end. 

I was a big time roller blader...but I played hockey.

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6 hours ago, The Tip said:

I really don't like people on mountain bikes playing music, but in bear country I think I would make an exception to that. Did anyone you see  have music playing out loud?

My brother and I were doing the road climb (yeah I know, wrong bike to bring to Mount Seymour) up Mount Seymour in Vancouver and I played some Living Colour on my phone and we shouted at each other.

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7 hours ago, El Gringo said:

1. Make noise when you're riding in bear country. Bear bells DO NOT work. We shout to each other, sing, etc. Yes, we feel like fools.

 

Reminds me of the joke:  how can you tell grizzly scat from other bear scat?  The grizzly scat smells like pepper spray and has a bear bell in it.

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19 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

What's a good analogous product that we already know? tandem bikes, maybe event tandem mountain bikes, come to mind. mountain unicycles? 36" wheeled bikes? mountain handcycles? there's a market for those things, but which of them was a popular target that several manufacturers tried to hit at the same time, leaving only a few to continue?

examples of things that were small at first that went mainstream: fat bikes... ?

Fat bikes.

Remember when that was all the rage? Every manufacturer got into them. Fat bike advocates told you this was the only way to ride. Fat bikes would be the future. Everyone would have a fat bike and a regular bike.

Then regular bikes got boost and plus wheels. Fat bikes became a niche for snow areas only. Probably lots of rental opportunities from resorts, but how many fat bikes to you really see any more?

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15 hours ago, ATXZJ said:

For sure but once you get into a niche of a nice of a niche market, gross sales cant be that great. Besides, i cannot imagine many bike shops wanting to showroom a lot of $6-7k ebikes with margins and sales being as tough as they are.

For me its not a matter of who should or should ride an ebike. I really don't give AF. I think the e-bike riders will sort themselves out when they get the cold shoulder from traditional riders. Ive seen / heard how roadies treat the e-bike guys and its pretty funny and IMHO, justified. 

To me e-bikes are the fruitboots of the skateboard world. Anytime a person showed up to the park on rollerblades they got heckled from beginning to end. 

 

Shops stock a lot of expensive bikes now, but we all know their margins are in service. The average rider can do a fair amount of maintenance in their garage with a few youtube videos and a can-do attitude, but where are they gonna go when their motor is on the fritz? I see a new revenue stream for shops. 

And niche of a niche, how many of those do we already have? XC, down country, enduro, trail, downhill, slopestyle, hardtail, aggressive hardtail, full suspension, singlespeed, bikepacking, endurance, fat bikes, plus bikes, wide trail, 29er, 27.5, do they still make 26", mullet, and on and on.

 

47 minutes ago, AustinBike said:

Fat bikes.

Remember when that was all the rage? Every manufacturer got into them. Fat bike advocates told you this was the only way to ride. Fat bikes would be the future. Everyone would have a fat bike and a regular bike.

Then regular bikes got boost and plus wheels. Fat bikes became a niche for snow areas only. Probably lots of rental opportunities from resorts, but how many fat bikes to you really see any more?

You don't see many cross country skis around here either. There are still plenty of fat bikes on the market, and I bet they sell just fine in regions where it snows enough to justify owning one. You are right that you heard a lot more about them when they were new. The new has worn off so they aren't on the hype train as much, but fat bikes absolutely paved the way for boost hubs and plus wheels. Trends tend to overshoot, then regress to the mean. I think that's what will happen with eMTB, and the SL line from Specialized is a prime example. Smaller motor, lighter weight, looks a lot more like a regular bike, just a little cheat mode. 

Edited by notyal
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58 minutes ago, AustinBike said:

 how many fat bikes to you really see any more?

I don't travel afar very much, and certainly not in winter. F*** snow and freezing temps! I grew up in that. You don't see fat bikes around here much, but I would not be surprised to see them as very popular in some Hoth-like region. If I was tied up and dragged to Wisconsin or something, a fat bike would be among my first purchases.

But yes, it's likely that e-mtbs will find their niche among people who can't pedal a normal bike, people who use them in place of a shuttle for downhills, and the occasional tech bro with money burning a hole in his wallet.

Edited by mack_turtle

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The problem with the idea that bike shops will get new revenue from servicing e-bikes is with the nature of what makes an ebike an ebike. You don’t just bust out a wrench and tune up an electric motor. Electronics are a PITA to troubleshoot and you generally end up just replacing an entire board or motor. Anything more specialized and your paying for electrical engineer skills to do bike maintenance? Tough sell.

Same thing happening with electric cars. How many private shops can service a Prius or Leaf or Tesla? Not many. When it takes custom software to access the bike ECU, my manufacturer will have me over a barrel for the cost of the service. Shit...it might be cheaper to buy a new bike? What a coincidence.


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2 hours ago, AustinBike said:

Fat bikes.

Remember when that was all the rage? Every manufacturer got into them. Fat bike advocates told you this was the only way to ride. Fat bikes would be the future. Everyone would have a fat bike and a regular bike.

Then regular bikes got boost and plus wheels. Fat bikes became a niche for snow areas only. Probably lots of rental opportunities from resorts, but how many fat bikes to you really see any more?

This. I could always tell what hype was being pushed every time i walked into BSS on lamar and saw whatever was front center on the riser. For a while it was fatbikes, then FS fatbikes then salsa rep showed up with their 27 & 29+ FS bikes telling me that they set new KOMs on strava with these plus bikes *rolls eyes*. Last thing on riser were e-bikes. Now there is no riser and the store is almost half the size it was.

1 hour ago, notyal said:

 

Shops stock a lot of expensive bikes now, but we all know their margins are in service. The average rider can do a fair amount of maintenance in their garage with a few youtube videos and a can-do attitude, but where are they gonna go when their motor is on the fritz? I see a new revenue stream for shops. 

And niche of a niche, how many of those do we already have? XC, down country, enduro, trail, downhill, slopestyle, hardtail, aggressive hardtail, full suspension, singlespeed, bikepacking, endurance, fat bikes, plus bikes, wide trail, 29er, 27.5, do they still make 26", mullet, and on and on.

 

You don't see many cross country skis around here either. There are still plenty of fat bikes on the market, and I bet they sell just fine in regions where it snows enough to justify owning one. You are right that you heard a lot more about them when they were new. The new has worn off so they aren't on the hype train as much, but fat bikes absolutely paved the way for boost hubs and plus wheels. Trends tend to overshoot, then regress to the mean. I think that's what will happen with eMTB, and the SL line from Specialized is a prime example. Smaller motor, lighter weight, looks a lot more like a regular bike, just a little cheat mode. 

Shops are shrinking and dying left and right, so not sure how their strategy is working out for them. There has actually been discussion of the disappearance of the fatbike as it's considered even less practical than a full DH rig. If I still lived in snow country, I might have one to ride with my buddies, but we usually went south to the desert for the winter.

friend in ut demonstrating proper usage of a fb 

 

kremlin in the snow.jpg

Edited by ATXZJ
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I love my fat bike. For its intended purpose, it's a blast, and I miss 10 degree regular rides in the snow. And it's even kinda fun to screw around with it at Walnut or SATN or even Goodwater about once or twice a year. But it's silly and not terribly fun to ride it as a primary bike. And it's absolutely absurd to consider riding to the trail with one. The tire pressures that work on the trail are super goofy on the road. 

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I know people that still ride/love their fatbikes. It's not for me, but that only matters to me.

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2 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

This time... 26" being specifically for kids.

Actually that works for me. That bike has killer geometry and it looks like a good price point. Now I wish I was short. 

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7 minutes ago, Barry said:

Actually that works for me. That bike has killer geometry and it looks like a good price point. Now I wish I was short. 

And right there we have the beginning of a secondary market... Adults buying/riding kid specific bikes.

Maybe even the same adults who gave up 26" mtbs.

I wonder if there will ever be a bike that can take all three wheel sizes, and still ride properly?

Edited by RidingAgain

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1 hour ago, RidingAgain said:

I wonder if there will ever be a bike that can take all three wheel sizes, and still ride properly?

Kinda. But tire OD stays similar because of tire widths. My fat bike works great with 26x4.8, or 27.5x3 or 29x2.5. Otherwise the bbh is way too low and the cs is longer than necessary. Track ends help the csl, but there is no help for a bbh when running 26x2.3s on a bike designed for 29s.

Edited by Barry
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38 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

As usual...

The comments to the article are great...

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 10.46.09 AM.png

You should start posting on pinkbike like you do here.

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