|Professional Tweaks, Tips & Reviews By "AJ" Picarello
|I hope you find my Tweaks and Tips section helpful. If there is something you want to know about, send me an email and I will try to add that to one of my upcoming articles.
It’s mid September and Interbike is just around the corner. By now, pictures of anticipated products have been leaked out on the internet for all to see (so much for unveiling products). Sort of feels like X-mass eve, when you peeked under the wrapping paper and spoiled your surprise.
Well, surprise! (Try and look surprised). Guess what’s coming out? More sophisticated products that do the same thing they did 10 years ago. Only these days, the slightest tweak or modification has its own patented terminology. A fairly new phenomenon, but getting worse each year: Abbreviations for technology. As annoying as it is confusing.
Modern day bikes have evolved into precise machines. Today, you need a specific bike for every discipline. Sure, the new “freerider” can handle most styles of biking, but at a price. They’re very heavy on the climbs and a bit sketched out on the descents. Years ago, we didn’t have the death defying stunts we have today. The same bike could be raced competitively in every event from XC to DH.
“Do all” mountain bikes are no longer available. It’s no wonder riders are dusting off the classics. Lately, old school, retro bikes have become desirable. Typically, a retro bike is at least 15 years old. Originally available with center pulls, but probably upgraded to V-brakes.
15 years ago, suspension was in its infancy. Front suspension performance was mediocre at best. Most full suspension bikes were horrific and suicidal to ride at all. Unfortunately, these original designs often discouraged people from mountain biking. Fact is, they were a stepping stone in the evolution of mountain biking and should never be forgotten.
The original mountain bikes scared the heck out of you and toss you on your head before you got your hands out. Poor suspension designs flexed and deflected off the smallest nub. Either you remained 100% focused or faced the consequences. As nerve racking as this may sound, it was actually tons of fun.
Mountain biking was innocent back then. Everything from the bikes to what we were doing on them was experimental. The trails we rode were for hikers and I was usually lost, thirsty, clueless and broken down miles from home.
Think maybe you’re taking your new fangled dually for granted? Get out on your old bike and get ready for a rude awakening! Either you’ll appreciate the advancements we’ve had over the years or you just may park the new school bike in favor of your old clunker.
Your old bike is bound to be a one of a kind. You’ll get some stares and it will be a great conversation piece. Have some fun and ride over your head! Get out there on 15 year old steel and drop all your friends!
When people ask: What is that type of bike you’re riding? Tell them, it’s an F.S.R.O. (For Sentimental Reasons Only). If only I kept my Zebra graphic Etto helmet.
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