|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.
A few years back I wrote an article about a new type/style of bicycle, “Freeride” bikes. I couldn’t help but wonder if this style of bike was a fad. I suggest you read this old article first before continuing on.
A fad is a product that eventually phases out when people become tired of it or it simply becomes played out. Fads can last months or even years. I always felt that Freeride bikes will fade out and people will catch on to their shortcomings.
Reflecting back to my old article from years ago: DH bikes weighed about the same as a properly speced freerider, the differences between the two bikes played like this: DH bikes have triple clamp (dual crown) forks, single front chainrings, and geometry that suites high speeds (slacker head angle, lower bottom bracket height and longer wheelbase). Freeride bikes mostly have single crown forks, dual front chainrings, and geometry that handles OK at speed, but is better suited for slower, techy trails.
The Freeride bike is sort of a dual purpose bike and anyone who has owned anything dual purpose knows that “dual purpose” means it excels at nothing. I do not mean to bash Freeride bikes, the purpose of this article is to make a point about our exciting industry that we all love so much. The mountain bike scene is constantly evolving and we are about to enter a new era! Turns out that Freeride bikes were a fad after all and we will all benefit from our mistakes.
Seven inch travel, heavier than all heck, Freeride bikes are a dying breed! You will soon see the major brands phasing out this style bike. Freeride style riding, such as slow speed drops, log rides and jaw breaking impacts are all old news. Pedaling these bikes back up the mountain was always old news.
I’m sure bicycle engineers shrieked when manufacturers asked them to design the Freeride bike and or components. Single crown forks must be made super heavy duty in order to not tear off the front of bikes from bottom outs. Some long travel, single crown forks have solid or close to solid steerer tubes and thick stanchions. Many weigh more than dual crown DH forks!
Obviously people could not continue to ride bicycles Freeride style. The abusive impacts were so great that bikes failed and people suffered and will continue to suffer, tremendous pain. These riders either progressed to a more fluid style or they became hospitalized, and unfortunately will never return to the sport. Riders who lived through this odd era are now looking for or own full blown DH bikes. Let’s face it, if single crown, long travel forks worked, motocross riders would be running them. I always look at what works in the world of moto. Why should we reinvent the wheel when moto guys have already done this for us?
Lightweight 6” travel bikes are the present and I believe the future. They will motor up hills and will hold up to most trails that have evolved with better flow. So what do you do with that 40+ pound freerider that does nothing well? Got me, maybe get a shorter eye to eye rear shock, slacken and lower that sucker. Top it off with a dual crown fork and then maybe you’ll have converted your Freeride into a fore real DH rig that can be used for something worthwhile!
You are not authorized to write a update.