There’s something compulsive in all cyclists. An irresistable urge, a condition, an obsession, a chronic addiction, it’s irresistable and probably incurable. What am I on about? Buying new bike stuff.
Grippy pedals, shorter stem, wider bar, stiffer bolt thru fork, lighter rims, more accurate shifters. Got to have the colour co-ordinated bolt on grips and matching seat collar, can’t live without the smooth, sweet rolling hub, sure like the look of those 2.3’s with the faster rolling stick-e rubber.
We know. Because we do it too. A slightly embarrassed shuffle when the next door neighbour comes round with yet another box or we swing in with a carrier bag stuffed full of goodies.
It’s retail therapy and it feels good.
So, what’s your point caller? We’re not here to tell you not to buy stuff. In fact, go for it – it makes us feel good. And it will make your bike handle better in many cases, to a point. And that’s my point.
Getting new kit is brilliant and gives you a warm fuzzy glow inside but it won’t make you an instant hero on your mountain bike.
We had a client not too long ago who admitted he was on his fifth set of new tyres in six months. He was having a problem with his cornering, he spent hours researching rubber compounds and grip patterns. Hans Rey using these one’s, those one’s are dual compound, wider, knobblier, super tacky. You get the picture. Turns out he was having problems because his technique was all over the place. After the session with us his cornering was at last on-track; exit point sight line fixed, controlled speed in and faster out, feet position corrected, body position corrected, purposeful weight shift, timing fine tuned, pump out of the corner. Job done.
We were told just this week that a tuition session was “.. the best £120 I’ve ever spent on my bike.” It’s not the first time we’ve been told that either.
So, buy stuff. Buy loads of stuff. Enjoy it. But don’t think it’s going to be a magic fix for all the riding niggles and confidence shaking near misses. If you want to get good, get some help. You’d never dream of going white water rafting or hauling yourself up a rockface without some advice from someone who knows all about it. Mountain biking is not such a different sport.
So, our advice is consider getting some tuition. Get out and put it all into practice. Get good. Work on your technique not just your kit.
It’s ultimately all about the riding and your post tuition confidence and the techniques learnt will make you ride faster with more control and get you riding technical terrain with style. As we say ‘Skills to put in your back pocket forever’.
You’ll probably look even better once your bike has those colour co-ordinated spokes and CNC machined 2014 T6 (XR400, Crest, 717) aluminium rims with 2mm brass nipples with Q/r & 15mm Conversions though Hmmmm….