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Oh, and that is WITH driving on R-compound tires that won't last 1 season of DE days much less timed runs if he's that good!

BUT, more likely he, in his fancy-schmancy 911, would be getting passed by people in BRZ, Miata, and even Volkswagen Golfs who are die hard track rats. Talk about being over-car'd! (But fun tho!)

(Why am I responding to this analogy? Replace 911 with AMG and that's me at LS, getting passed by honda S2000's with less than half my power and crappier tires! And getting absolutely WALKED by spec class miatas in the turns. Those guys are GOOD.)

So yeah, I've learned not to take it personally when I ride a bike that would be at home with the team redbull bikers, yet biking on trail slower than folks on a santa cruz blur. Overbiked, tires are dragging like velcro, gap jumps mostly smaller than 6 ft, drops mostly smaller than 2 ft.

WAY overbiked.

....damn it's fun tho.

Much more fun than NOT being overbiked!!

 

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I'm also over PADDED. Do I look like a total ASS wearing a helmet, elbow pads with arm guards, knee pads with shin guards, and wrist braces?

Riding a 180/180 mm travel bike?

Taking the pee-wee jump line with 6 ft gaps while the hard core guys are on 140/130 bikes, padless minus a FF helmet, on the advanced line, gapping 15 ft with twice the air height I'm getting?

Yes! Yes I do look like an ass!

I'm over it tho. Still having fun. Still giving respect for the guys on the advanced line, and the 12 year olds smashing my line and looking better than me while doing it.
 

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I'm also over PADDED. Do I look like a total ASS wearing a helmet, elbow pads with arm guards, knee pads with shin guards, and wrist braces?

Riding a 180/180 mm travel bike?

Taking the pee-wee jump line with 6 ft gaps while the hard core guys are on 140/130 bikes, padless minus a FF helmet, on the advanced line, gapping 15 ft with twice the air height I'm getting?

Yes! Yes I do look like an ass!

I'm over it tho. Still having fun. Still giving respect for the guys on the advanced line, and the 12 year olds smashing my line and looking better than me while doing it.
I much prefer to be more padded, than more broken. I'm not afraid of some pain, but the broken part causes more impact to my daily life than I want. So I try to pad up when it doesn't feel overly intrusive. I wouldn't worry about what you look like, if its getting you out there to ride.

I'm FF on pretty much every ride, knee, elbow, and hip pads (I love my Leatt armored chamois, it literally feels exactly the same to me, other than my hip socket being slightly armored if I hit the dirt). And while I'm not the slowest at all, I'm definitely not hitting as big of stuff as some less padded people. Maybe I will be more cavalier about it in the future when my skills are higher, but for now, this feels right :).
 

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A neighbors dog got loose and I had a hard crash on pavement as a result and it has taken my right knee nearly 3 months and it is still not at 100%. If I had broken a collar bone with would have been a 4 month recovery period with no riding whatsoever. The older I get the less I rely on dumb luck.
 

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A lot of people wondering why someone would bother with full suspension where they would use a hard tail must have really tough tailbones or something. I got sick of riding my Specialized Aluminum HT from 2014 on flat ground that had dried very hard with ruts and smallish bumps- couldn't go too much lower tire pressure wise. Even if the actual roots, rocks, minor drops and climbs weren't available on my trails I'd have traded just to be more comfortable in these visibly flat but rough areas, it's just noticeably more comfortable on a 130/140 FEX8 FS bike.
I've been riding bikes with my wife around the school's paved track and put the lockout on on my rear shock. My butt was hurting so bad and then I thought to reach down and flip the switch. It felt so much better even on a paved track.
 

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It's worth pointing out that for a lot of us, there is a compromise between how emotionally invested we are in the sport, and how much financial investment we can afford. If you are passionate about mountain biking, but have limited funds, it makes sense to buy the bike that covers the widest spectrum.

I see a lot of college kids on my local trails that are seriously over-biked, but given that we live within a days drive of some of the best riding in North America, it only makes sense. I was talking to one youngster just yesterday who was riding a Santa Cruz Hightower. That bike is overkill to the Nth degree here, but she and her friends are heading to Moab to camp in the desert for a week over Thanksgiving break... At which point that bike begins to make an awfully good case for itself...
 

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Great discussion. As a self-proclaimed cheap ass that has been riding nothing but 2nd hand bikes for the last 30 years as a purely recreational rider I figured I would add my perspective. Maybe others on here read threads like these can relate.

I don't do jumps, drops, mountain downhill or races. I ride mostly ride local single-track in MN. The last time I did lift service downhill was in Vail, CO in 1997 when I rode my 1996 Schwinn High Sierra SS with a Manitou 3 fork a Englund Speed Springs installed. No jumps then either, but it sure was fun going 40+ mph down the fire roads! I lusted for something like a M2 Stumpjumper, Schwinn Homegrown or cool CNC parts like Kooka, Ringle, etc - but I was a broke college kid.

Fast forward a number of years and i got back into riding MTB and loving it again. I upgraded to a used 06 Stumpjumper m4 hardtail and installed some mechanical Avid bb7 disk brakes. Life was great! I felt great great and questioned why so many at the local single-track were spending thousands on full carbon long travel full suspension bikes when I was passing them on the trail.

I did recently upgrade again to a short travel xc full suspension bike - a 2015 Salsa Spearfish. I bought it used for a great price. I spent months searching for the right used bike, agonizing over head tube angle, hardtail or squish, 29 or 27.5, etc, but buying used means I was limited to what became available. This bike is just 80/100mm, and so far it is great for me. I also picked up a modern 29er xc hardtail and it also works great for the riding I do. I will say that the Spearfish is very smooth and less jarring on my rides, and my body has appreciated that.

Am I having any more or less fun than someone that has more or less bike? Who knows, and who cares? The hobby is whatever you make it. Do you have to spend thousands of dollars to have fun? No. But if you do and you can afford it, go for it. I have no dilusions that I am ever going to hammer down the giant gap jumps on the A-line at Whistler so I made a decision that I don't need a bike for that, but I sure love watching the videos on YouTube! Anyway, have fun everyone. Regardless of the bike you have, be thankful that you can ride it and enjoy the experience.
 

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My latest all rounder MTB has 130-140mm of travel and is perfectly adequate for rough descents and efficient enough for lengthy climbs. If I need to get out of those bounds I will get on my FR bike for descending and my HT for climbs.
 

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A lot of people wondering why someone would bother with full suspension where they would use a hard tail must have really tough tailbones or something. I got sick of riding my Specialized Aluminum HT from 2014 on flat ground that had dried very hard with ruts and smallish bumps- couldn't go too much lower tire pressure wise. Even if the actual roots, rocks, minor drops and climbs weren't available on my trails I'd have traded just to be more comfortable in these visibly flat but rough areas, it's just noticeably more comfortable on a 130/140 FEX8 FS bike.
I happily seek out chunky, steep, black terrain on my 120mm hardtail. Misery is flat, pedaly, hardpacked, gopher-pocked chatterfests, where I'd like to be seated, but it's like my saddle is bolted to a jackhammer.
 

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I love this thread. It has so much leg it will run forever.

I'm not riding for fitness, but if I were, shouldn't I be climbing on a 40 lb 200/180 behemoth? It's the same workout as climbing on a huffy, or on an XC bike but I put weighted straps on my legs for muscle strength.

Descending on a huffy tho.....


(does huffy even still exist?)
 

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I've never been overbiked, only underbiked.

I like to do more with less, though as I get older I think more about upping the suspension to take the sting outta the chunder.

Both my bikes are 140/160.
 

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I subscribe to the old motorcycle adage, "it's way more fun riding a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow"
100% agree. Up to a certain point. Example: I had a 250 cc Honda. My buddy with the cafe racer GL1000 was always asking to borrow my bike for back road blasting. However, once he'd tried to pass a transport on the interstate, his enthusiasm for its 13 horsepower waned.
 

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After owning a few HT’s over the years which all were far from top shelf, I went to the road for a few years, spent way too much, and now at 61 years old and fighting cancer (in remission), I bike for fitness. Living in Maine I needed to get around in the winter so now my Growler is the bike I ride year round. I’m not overbiked by any stretch but I can see the allure. as others have said. Have fun. Stay fit.
 

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