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Under-biked...

Old 12-26-20, 09:08 PM
  #1  
woodcraft
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Under-biked...

A line of thinking holds that mtn bikes have become so sophisticated that the challenge is gone,

and riding a rigid frame or cx can bring back some interest. So that could mean that while riding a top of the line mtn bike, one is over-biked.

What other points do you see on the over/under spectrum? Electronic shifting? Fatbikes? $10k+ superbikes?
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Old 12-26-20, 09:45 PM
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Why don’t you post your first sentence on the mountain bike forum. Bet you will get some feedback.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:50 PM
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I personally don't believe in the under/overbiked thing at all. If the same rider does X.XX time on a course on a rigid/CX bike, they will quite likely annihilate that time on some fancy uber-MTB. But for every guy obsessed with speed and/or marginal gains, there's a guy that doesn't wanna pay for it.

If some guy is toodling around at 14mph on a Cannondale Black Edition, it's not like he's wasting it. Ridin' is ridin'. Plenty of guys buy supercars to get them mired in LA traffic. Wants > needs. By the same token, if someone wants to go full-bore around the local crit course on '80s gas-pipe steel, nothing wrong with that either.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
A line of thinking holds that mtn bikes have become so sophisticated that the challenge is gone,

and riding a rigid frame or cx can bring back some interest. So that could mean that while riding a top of the line mtn bike, one is over-biked.

?
Thats not really what “overbiked” means.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
A line of thinking holds that mtn bikes have become so sophisticated that the challenge is gone,

and riding a rigid frame or cx can bring back some interest. So that could mean that while riding a top of the line mtn bike, one is over-biked.

What other points do you see on the over/under spectrum? Electronic shifting? Fatbikes? $10k+ superbikes?
You should understand the terms before throwing them around.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Thats not really what “overbiked” means.
I always took the term "overbiked" to mean significantly more bike capability than is necessary to the point that it detracts from the joy of using it.

I've only heard it used in the context of full suspension bikes being so cushy & capable with such slack geometry that anything short of riding high speed downhill becomes boring in short order. The implication is rigid or hardtail would be more fun & interesting. eg: on flowy singletrack or fire roads.

But, I suppose it could apply to using a long tail cargo bike or bakfiets where a touring bike & panniers would suffice. Or any other bike at the extreme end of any specialization where a more general purpose bike would be equally suited but more enjoyable.
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Old 12-27-20, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I personally don't believe in the under/overbiked thing at all. If the same rider does X.XX time on a course on a rigid/CX bike, they will quite likely annihilate that time on some fancy uber-MTB.
You don't believe in it, yet you just cited an example that defines the term.
Confusing.
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Old 12-27-20, 02:38 AM
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I have always understood over biked to mean the rider is only able to do a small percentage of what the bike could do with a more experienced rider.

Last edited by phatjonny; 12-27-20 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 12-27-20, 05:27 AM
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It’s going to be a long winter.
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Old 12-27-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It’s going to be a long winter.
It already is.
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Old 12-27-20, 08:18 AM
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Under-biked means not riding enough. Over-biked means riding too much.
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Old 12-27-20, 08:23 AM
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Underdog is happy with his Underbike.


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Old 12-27-20, 08:39 AM
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Whatever gets people off the couch and provides transportation without cars is a good thing.
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Old 12-27-20, 09:21 AM
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I began on a fully rigid mtn.bike. Learned to pick good lines and the challenge was fun. That being said, enjoying my hardtail more. If I was younger and riding trails more often, wouldn't mind trying a full susp. But for now, and the amount of riding I manage, the old hardtail will do. Our road bikes aren't up with current tech., but serve us well. I don't FEEL underbiked, guess it all depends of what you think you need, or want.
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Old 12-27-20, 09:26 AM
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To be fair, there is no official definition of "underbiked". The way it is most commonly used in MTB discussions is a bike with excessive DH capability than is needed for a certain type of riding.

However, it is not synonymous with "too capable" or making things "too easy". Those may be true in some cases depending on one's goals for riding, but it is not really the point.

Being very DH capable, as another poster points out, usually means more travel, longer, and slacker head angles. They also end up being heavier. The issue with this on less technical and/or less steep terrain is not so much that it is too easy or boring, but it can actually be a drawback (at least in the minds of those using the term "overbiked"). A bigger bike is going to be slower on the flats, rolling terrain, and on climbs. It is more work to pedal a heavier bike with more travel. There is a reason you don't see Enduro Bikes in XC races often (and never at the higher levels). Not even in XC races in mountainous "Enduro" terrain. They are slower in these scenarios. In other words, less capable for the task at hand.

Even beyond racing results (which I could care less about 99% of the time), some people simply big bikes less fun when they are not pointed downhill or on rough terrain. They are not as responsive or playful in some scenarios. Less "poppy". So in some ways, they are less capable in that terrain (depending on what you want from your bike).

This is very different than simply being too nice of a bike. A $10K Short travel play bike is going to be more fun for most people than a $1K version of the same type of bike. Also, I don't think anyone would find a top of the line 170mm Enduro Bike to ever be too DH capable and make doing DH runs less fun or boring. Better suspension (for any type of bike) never makes a ride more boring or too easy.

Also, some folks don't even buy the "overbiked" idea. They prefer a big bike regardless of what they are riding, even smooth rolling terrain.

That's my take on this, anyway.
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Old 12-27-20, 09:57 AM
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Years ago my wife and I rode the carriage trails at Acadia NP on road bikes with 23s Definitely would have been more enjoyable on MTBs or current gravel bikes. There was no plus side to it, IMO. More recently I've tried local "gravel" rides on 32s. Would have been OK if I was riding alone. With a group, it meant I would catch up on the climbs and drop back on the downhills and creek crossings. No virtue in having the wrong tool for the job.
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Old 12-27-20, 10:38 AM
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Why is it always the bike’s fault?

Isn’t it really the rider’s ability.

John
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Old 12-27-20, 10:51 AM
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Whatever kind of ride I'm doing I'd want the bike that is best suited for the job, so there really is no such thing as 'overbiked'. And 'underbiked' means that I was perhaps too lazy to prep a better bike for the ride and end up regretting it because I couldn't keep up with the group.

Riding solo, the bike you have is always exactly the right bike.
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Old 12-27-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
A line of thinking holds that mtn bikes have become so sophisticated that the challenge is gone ???
my under bike has never been over ridden
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Old 12-27-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Why is it always the bike’s fault?

Isn’t it really the rider’s ability.

John
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Old 12-27-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
You really think that red dot exists in this thread?

John
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Old 12-27-20, 11:58 AM
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I started single track downhill mtn biking on a rigid frame way back before suspension and have to say that on rocky, root infested trails with drops, it would beat the crap out of me in a couple of hours. My body was the shock absorber with bent elbows and bent knees out of the saddle and still it was brutal, and I was in excellent physical condition. Was I over biked for the terrain I chose to ride? Definitely not. If I just used that bike to noodle around on rail/trail conversions it would have been perfect.

To lesson impacts, I grabbed the first front suspension hard tail, and that made a significant difference in enjoyment and duration. Asking the same question, over biked? Nope, because staying out of the saddle to use knees for shock absorption still became tiring and my back still took a beating.

fifteen years ago I bought a full suspension bike and OMG what a difference in comfort, ride ability and longevity of rides. Taking the same trails as my previous bikes was far more enjoyable. Now I must be certainly over biked! Not so fast. The new bike was so much more capable I was now taking the trails faster and doing much more technical descents. In other words, It raised my game to take on more challenge and push the limits. Mountain biking is about conquering technical challenges, conquering fear, and bike handling. With the wrong tool, just like taking slalom skis to a downhill course, it can really is not as enjoyable.

OTOH, riding a full suspension mtn bike on a MUP or rail/trail is definitely “over biked”.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
You really think that red dot exists in this thread?

John
I guess it would be more of a splatter than a dot.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:13 PM
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I did this summer’s local socially distant XC time trial series on my cross bike. I typically would catch my minute man on the uphills but then they’d recatch me on the descents and then just ride away and I’d never see them again. I’d spend the entire race laser focused on the jagged outcroppings and my hands and arms would be sore and tired after 20 minutes. I usually finished mid-table in my division. It was great, but next year I’m getting a proper MTB.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:30 PM
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Underbiked= N-1
Overbiked=N+(>1)
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