Man Kesteven tries to pin down the ethereal component of mountain biking – what’s it precisely about biking that makes it such a hoot?
Why is one bike ‘funner’ than every other?
Enjoyable is a massively overused phrase in bike testing as a result of it’s a straightforward, throwaway remark about any bike that places a smile in your chin strap. However with so many potential definitions of how you can have ‘enjoyable’ on a mountain bike, almost all of which depend upon private choice, is it really a very pointless, meaningless phrase to make use of?
In response to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘enjoyable’ is “Gentle-hearted pleasure, enjoyment, or amusement; boisterous joviality or merrymaking; leisure”. Sadly it doesn’t trouble to transpose that into shock charges, head angles, chainstay lengths and even wheel sizes, regardless that everyone appears to recommend that having no less than a 27.5in ‘mullet’ again wheel is extra ‘enjoyable’ than two 29in wheels.
Chatting to the SCOR mountain bike design staff about their 4060 mannequin (now ridden by the Recent Prince of Jibbing himself, Josh Lewis) in Italy the opposite week, centred round its “play the mountain” mantra. So I requested Bastien – one among SCOR’s growth and design crew – what that meant when it comes to suspension. And once more the “it’s poppy and playful” reply was fairly imprecise and subjective feel-good language, slightly than a precise development price or the bottom excessive velocity compression and rebound valving he’d chosen for the shock. Because it seems, the bike did really feel actually, actually ‘enjoyable’ and I had an absolute blast chasing different media, and Bastien himself, down some candy, flip and burn trails on the Bike Connection Company occasion.
And if I used to be reviewing it right here, I’d put right down to a extremely quick reacting, super-short chainstay, and a really progressive suspension really feel that was tremendous grippy off the highest, an absolute turn-railer via the mid-stroke, and unimaginable to get full journey out of with out eradicating quantity spacers. The 65.5º head angle and was quick sufficient to catch the following flip a cut up second after exiting the final one, and mixed with the slide-happy Maxxis Dissector rear tyre, it actually acquired my hips shifting in a Shakira singletrack shakedown. And for me, a motorbike that makes me really feel alive, concerned, sucked into the motion and buzzing at my skill to maintain up with the group and share whoops, hollers and fist bumps on the backside might be the proper definition of ‘enjoyable’.
However would utilizing the bike in mullet kind be much more ‘enjoyable’? Would working a big body not a medium one be much less ‘enjoyable’? And whereas it blew my bloody doorways off on this explicit Italian job, that quick again finish, underused stroke and middling head angle set-up will make the 4060 much less steady and speed-hungry on flat-out rock backyard runs or large sketchy sends, which is what another person would possibly outline as ‘enjoyable’.
Nevertheless, after I rode Hope’s HB916 enduro bike, it’s utter calmness and completely assured ‘principally a DH bike’ management at speeds, and down sections that I’d usually discover abdomen churning, was very spectacular, however personally I discovered it actually uninteresting. In distinction, I had a ton of ‘sort two enjoyable’ racing e-bikes up climbs on a superlight Canyon Lux XC bike the day prior to this, even when I do know combining laughter and lactic acid burn might be completely alien to lots of people studying this.
So I assume the reply is identical as it’s for a lot of mountain bike-related questions. Arsing about within the dust on a push bike is essentially a “gentle hearted, pleasurable and amusing pleasure” so no matter/nevertheless you’re using, don’t get too severe about it and simply have ‘enjoyable’.