I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride my bike ~ I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride it where I like
~ Queen, Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A SG Challenge to Mountain Bike Manufacturers

So, I just had the 6th full suspension bike crack under my awesomeness. Yeah.....6 frames have crumbled while I have been riding them. Now if I was someone who hucks, or hell even gets much air under my tires at all I could understand this, but I am not...I am the guy in the group who rides around most stunts and drops. My fight or flight response is finely tuned to let me know that tires in the air = pain. Because of this I have modified my riding style and for the most part keep the rubber bits in the dirt, so I really should not be breaking this many frames.



The thing I have going against me though is I am 6' 4" and 250ish pounds. After taking the latest victim to the bike shop this week the owner/mechanic said he thinks that the problem is my 'long levers'...and I tend to agree. I know lots of big guys who ride, but none of them are as tall as I am. That means that a bike that is designed around smaller people get's super sized...now I don't know if the enginerds take the extra forces the longer tubes on a XL bike have to deal with into consideration when designing bikes...but from the considerable amount of testing I have done...I would think the answer would tend towards not so much.

I don't break much else on my bike, been running the same Mavic 321 rims on the last few bikes and no issues...not even a wobble, pedals...nothing, cranks/stems/bars...nada, but for some reason full suspension bike frames...snappy snappy.  I have ridden many hard tail frames and never had an issue, but I seem to be the kryptonite for anything with a spring in the rear.



So, I ask you bike manufacturers, do you not think that big guys ride bikes or is it such a small piece of the market that it is easier to just replace frames than to actually build a frame that will withstand the abuse that big guys will put out? I did a ton of research before buying my last bike and now have had two frame crack in as many months...that can't be right, can it?

All I am looking for in a bike is something that is not a DH/Freeride bike...something that can pedal up the hill, have a long enough seat tube so I can pedal efficiently up the hill and on XC rides but is also stable and not twitchy on the way down and have 5/6 inches of travel...a good AM bike is all I need to be happy.

People keep on telling me that I need to ride a big freeride bike...well...no...not only are very few of them large enough for me to get proper leg extension but they tend to be tanks while pedaling up hills as well. I mean...yes I would like a big DH/FR bike...but not as my main bike because I do that type of riding so infrequently it just would not make sense to have one as my main ride.

So I put a challenge out to the bike industry...can you make a bike that I wont break? A bike that pedals well, is at least a 20.5" seat tube, and one that can take the full brunt of my awesomeness day in and day out? If so please let me know, hell let all the big guys know...we are in need of someone to step up and make a frame that we can ride...hard tails are crap and FR bikes are too much bike for how most people ride. How about you stop telling us to ride a bike that does not suit our needs and instead buck up and make a good bike for us larger than average individuals. Given that the average is changing and people are getting bigger each ear I would think this would be a demographic that you would want to be a part of. Am I wrong?


I know that everything breaks, I am not asking for a magic bullet here, just a bike that we can ride, have confidence in and that will last longer than a season or two....I feel that is not too much to ask, do you?

I also know that losing weight is the best thing I can do to help out this situation, but I chose this sport to keep me fit and active...now how am I supposed to ride my bike when I am waiting for it to be warrantied...or saving for a new frame because I keep on having to switch frames?

So bring it on...show us you care, show us that you CAN make a good bike for bigger people. If you build it we will come...we will ride, and we will spread the word. So come on...we are waiting for you now, I have seen many amazing things in this bike industry over the past 20 years...lets make it at least one more.

6 comments:

  1. You ROCK! Only you would take a problem and turn it into a chance to better the whole MTB industry. :)

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  2. Hey there,

    New to MTN biking and just getting to fitness after back surgeries and busted ankle etc.

    Living out in Sooke, tried Broomhill - holy crap it hurts. How the hell do I get over those ramps over the felled trees?

    I want to ride but don't want to kill myself.

    Any ideas where a fat old man can go and not get killed...also I would be alone and slow.

    slowtriathlete@gmail.com

    Cheers

    Brian

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Brian,
    Try Harbourview, a bit of a slog up to the top, but the view is amazing and the ride down is fun. Lots of area to explore up there too. Go talk to Lorien at Sooke Cycles and maybe buy a map book...tons of great trails in the area. If you ever want to ride with someone let me know, I can show ya around.

    Rivers

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  4. Did you crack the swingarm too?

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  5. Yeah, bad weld they say. Waiting for my new rear triangle now, hopefully be here soon...trying to sell it so I can get on a Prime. :)

    ReplyDelete