If you’ve flicked through a website or magazine lately, chances are you’re wondering what’s happened to the world of mountain biking.
Well, it’s simple. It’s following a new set of rules. And if you want to be invited to the party, you’d better follow them too.
- Think your bike’s perfectly adequate for the riding you do? Think again. By next week, it’d better have full suspension, 5-7 inches of travel, and weigh less than 32 lbs.
- And 650b wheels. No other size is acceptable.
- And a dropper post. Y’know, because you can’t stop during a ride. Ever.
- Do you like having a granny ring for long, grinding days in the saddle? Ditch it. Get a fancy single-ring setup with an unreliable chain device, a custom sprocket the size of Flavor Flav’s clock, and tell everyone who’ll listen that it’s shaved off half a pound of excess weight [from your wallet].
- Hardtail? Singlespeed?! Piss off back to 1993.
- Thou shalt have no other God but Strava. Every ride must be a fruitless quest for KOMs, or new segments to make and fleetingly dominate.
- If you didn’t Go-Pro it it didn’t happen. Never leave the house without your mansiérre and first-person vanity camera attached, and be sure to upload all the footage as unedited 3-hour videos that not even your close friends and family can be bothered to watch.
- Fluoro is the only acceptable colour for clothing.
- Helmets included.
- Helmets must resemble the offspring of a Lego man and a coal scuttle, and have goggles and cameras affixed at all times.
- Only enter events that cost £45 or more, and have no uphill and no uplift. Leave DH racing to those rubber-boned kids.
- Every time you’re riding a fun trail, think how much better it would be if you’d paid £45 to do it, and been able to spend the next few days hitting refresh on the race website, before seeing your name on a spreadsheet next to a number in the high 50s.