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DWlink Fanboy
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Like probably everyone here, I love cycling of all kinds. I ride road, single speed, and full suspension bikes, and I have loved being a spectator at cyclocross and track events, even though I have tried neither.

Recently, many people I ride with on the road have been doing "mixed terrain" rides. I went on one such ride with my single speed and I couldn't figure out what the appeal was. The same people whom I could never get to go on a mountain bike ride are now embracing mixed terrain.

To me, it seems as if it is off-road riding light - the terrain is completely non-threatening, but the worst part is that there isn't any flow or bike handling progression that is really going to take place.

For me, at least, mountain biking is the opposite experience of mixed terrain riding. I keep heading to the same trails for years, find new lines, new flow, and I am always improving my technique, speed, and smoothness through either personal learning, the acquisition of new bikes, or a combination of both. It is what keeps the stoke going strong for dirt riding and why my road rides have been cut down to 1x per week.

What do people here think? Should I just take a chill pill and let the hating go, or do you also think that mixed terrain is another form of cycling and that we should embrace it not only for bringing people onto trails, but also for giving bike shops a new revenue stream that enables them to continue to thrive and be there for us?

Albert
 

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Since I have never heard of "mixed terrain" riding, maybe you should define WTH it is?
 

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since 4/10/2009
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are you talking about gravel rides?

it's gaining popularity in most places. it's certainly more appealing to me than road riding. but mtb is my favorite.
 

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The appeal is probably that one gets away from traffic, and maybe into some pleasant natural settings. Bikes like the Salsa Fargo and the Vaya and so forth work well in that scenario.

Lots of old double-track and similar roads where I live. Very little singletrack, really. My wife and I currently share just one working vehicle. Some days the mixed-terrain rides are all that I have.
 

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GD it, just hate it already. Seriously though, it's better than not riding. Given the option mtb always wins for me, but if I can't I'd do any kind of riding. Beats not riding.
 

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You find a lovely unpaved road or unpopular rail to trail route, wild flowers every where, with single track off shoots here and there, small towns in between, and you put it in the big ring and grab the drops, lower your head, and hammer.

Edit: My opinion is that it is a fun work out.
 

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DWlink Fanboy
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Discussion Starter #8
Like others have said here, it is taking a road or cross or hybrid bike on a combination of roads and unpaved double track and fire roads. Here in New England there is a stark difference in difficulty between these mixed terrain rides and even an easy mountain bike ride.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Webster: Mixed terrain riding, to ride varied terrain on a mountain bike. Rocks, cactus, roots, dirt, mud, up down and all around, etc.
 

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I didn't do it
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If those guys want to ride nontechnical doubletrack then good for them. Why the hell should I care? Now if they decide to ride on my lawn then we've got a problem.
 

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sooo... "mixed terrain" is actually Gravel Grinding "rebranded"?

What's next- do they plan to trademark a logo for it?
 

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I think it's the other way around: gravel grinding is mixed terrain rebranded. I've been hearing about, and doing, mixed terrain rides since before people started talking about "gravel grinding."

Some people like linking up nontechnical gravel roads, fire roads and trails with paved roads to make long routes. If you prefer a different kind of riding, do it. There's no accounting for tastes.
 

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I'll chime in on this one. I ride with a "gravel grinding group". It's a better community than being a roadie around here, not to mention the traffic on the roads we ride is absolutely minimal. You couldn't pay me to ride and train on the pavement after spending so much time on gravel.

I recently added a singlespeed cx bike to my quiver, 700x40c tires and 44x19 gearing and I've been hitting the gravel around my house having a blast. If I can't get on the mountain bike, you'll find me on the gravel bike.
 

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Sir crash-a-lot
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I have been half tempted to buy a cx bike and try some of this, but honestly to me it's a watered down version of either. If I want to make my heart and legs explode I've got a road bike and lots of hilly terrain for hundreds of miles around me. If I wanna make my legs scream for short periods followed by my adrenaline for the same period, I've got a mountain bike. I don't really like the idea of half assing either. I can see the appeal for some but it's just not my cup of tea. I "almost" bought one last month but just couldn't convince myself so I went with a new Roubaix instead.

With all the flooding in Tx, it'll be a while before anything I own touches dirt again anyway .
 

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local trails rider
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I suppose you could call my yesterday's ride mixed terrain, riding a variety of trails and connecting them with some smooth paths and streets...
Being out of shape after recovering from a knee injury, the smooth parts were good for recovery between the rocky/rooty/twisty areas.
 

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I have been half tempted to buy a cx bike and try some of this, but honestly to me it's a watered down version of either.
I guess I look at it more as just a matter of riding whatever it is that one has nearby and convenient to ride.

Where I live, most "mountain-biking" is still done on old doubletrack, or some mix of ATV trail and doubletrack and gravel. Our ratio of gravel to pavement is such that you limit yourself by riding a full-on road bike. Some do, and that's fine, but a gravel-capable bike opens up a huge world of beautiful places and without any worry about traffic.
 

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Sir crash-a-lot
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I guess I look at it more as just a matter of riding whatever it is that one has nearby and convenient to ride.

Where I live, most "mountain-biking" is still done on old doubletrack, or some mix of ATV trail and doubletrack and gravel. Our ratio of gravel to pavement is such that you limit yourself by riding a full-on road bike. Some do, and that's fine, but a gravel-capable bike opens up a huge world of beautiful places and without any worry about traffic.

Totally understand that man, I'm not knocking it at all. I live on the south side of Fort Worth though so I can walk out my door and jump on my road bike and head south west and have all the back country roads you could ever want to ride on a road bike. Or I can throw my mtb in my truck and go to any one of the pretty decent mtb trails around dfw or drive 45 minutes to cleburne/glen rose and have (for Texas at least) 3 really nice rocky rooty climbing descending awesome mtb trails that you can hit all in one day.

A cx bike for me would be kind of a waste because I really couldn't place where I would actually ride it. The guy who wrenches on my bike in ft worth when I don't have a particular tool needed for something has a great gravel bike and he does the race across tx and a lot of other stuff on it. I see the appeal for things like that by far, but between having two kids, a wife, a 3000+ hour a year job and being a full time student at 37 trying to become a petroleum engineer so I can STOP working 3000 hours a year in 26 weeks I don't have the spare time to race across tx lol. I love the convenience of a light easy to maintain road bike and a mtb to take out when I want to drive to the trails.

One day, when I'm making the same money for working 40 hours a week, I'll probably be much more interested.
 

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road bikes make great gravel/dirt/singletrack bikes. i run 700x25's and will be out on a long road ride and throw in all kinds of dirt roads, rail road beds, singletrack......

no need for cx bikes for dirt if yer running pavement as well. run 95-100psi for the 25's and call it good. i'm doing a 100km dirt road raid event sunday. 25's all the way.
 

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A cx bike for me would be kind of a waste because I really couldn't place where I would actually ride it.
And what you say makes perfect sense also. Buy the right bike for where you live, right? I have not always done that, and I've sort of learned the hard way that my bikes that actually get used are the ones that match my local riding conditions.
 

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Professional Crastinator
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Define "mixed terrain"

I suppose you could call my yesterday's ride mixed terrain, riding a variety of trails and connecting them with some smooth paths and streets...
Being out of shape after recovering from a knee injury, the smooth parts were good for recovery between the rocky/rooty/twisty areas.
I ride "mixed terrain" very often: I ride down my street, up a 4-wheeler hill climb, down a road to a 10 mile parkway, merge onto a multi-use path, turn into a MTB singletrack for 10 miles, then ride back home.
I've done rides like that up to 80 miles.
This one was shorter:
A few years ago...
View attachment 989177

...56 miles total to ride two MTB courses connected by farm lanes and roads in central Ohio. That was about my limit. All that mud came mostly from the farm lanes. The trails were not bad at all; just wet.
btw - that drivetrain was still working perfectly.

-F
This guy mixes it up even a bit more.

No matter how good a trail is, I always feel stupid riding in a circle. I wanna go somewhere.

-F
 
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