Saturday, April 3, 2010

Just Ride What You Want to Ride

In the end, mountain biking is about getting out and having fun on your bike.  Sometimes people get too hung up on what bike they're riding, what component isn't as nice as they'd like it to be, or what isn't working right on their rig.  This general guide has been written to explain and give examples of why Walmart bicycles are not a good choice as an entry level bike.

If you find yourself in the position of being a proud new owner of a "Walmart Special" because you wanted to try the sport out, that's great!  Welcome to the sport of mountain biking!  Riding singletrack is a blast, and I hope you stick with it long enough to become as addicted as I am. However, based on all of the previous posts in this series, if you decide that mountain biking is something that you would like to do more than once a month, I would recommend upgrading your bicycle once you have made the decision that it is worthwhile.  Some people may choose to upgrade the components on their original department store purchase, but in the long (or even short) run it will be a much better investment to at least start with an entry-level hardtail from a reputable company. 

The bottom line is that mountain biking is about mountain biking.  If you can step up and throw down with your $1,000 dollar bicycle way harder than the poser with a $6,000 blinged out ride, you are way more legit.  For a rider to gain respect (not that that's even a goal) in my book, they have to have mad skills.  I couldn't give a rip what bike they're riding if they can blow by everyone else on a 3 mile grind-climb, and leave everyone in their dust again on the rocky singletrack bomb back down the mountain.  That my friends is what it's all about. 

The bike doesn't make the rider.

So get out there, and just enjoy the sport of mountain biking! It is exhilarating,  and everyone of us that rips the singletrack is part of a special brother hood of mountain bikers that crosses brand and status lines.  We all ride singletrack.

So get out there and rip it up!

Read the whole series:
This post is a part of the series "Buying your first mountain bike? Here's what you should and shouldn't do." For a well rounded and informed view of the topic, I suggest reading all of the posts in the series.

What do you think about the sport of mountain biking, and what makes a good rider? What did you think of the series as a whole?

This series has been aimed at the absolute beginner looking to buy their first-ever mountain bike.  Due to many requests that I have gotten during this series, I am currently working on drafting a couple of posts about general bike-shopping guidelines. 


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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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