There’s no point in beating the mushy pile of flesh that used to be dead horses any further when it comes to saying 4X pretty much sucked.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was a killer idea back at that Sea Otter with the huge jump that single handedly broke 175 forks that first year.
Yeah, there have been a few sections of tracks that were cool and there have been a few good races over the years thanks mostly to the participation of downhill racers.
Yeah, ‘roided out bmx crossovers that pedal hard and can’t handle a bike in the rain are boring.
Yeah, good track design/building is really hard to do, expensive, and time consuming.
Yeah, UCI scheduled the finals at night for like 3 years in a row, virtually assuring that there would be no original, distinguishable, or interesting photos coming out of those races , effectively turning all those talented photographers into a bunch of Fraser Brittons.
There is an often overlooked effect of 4x racing, whose ripples are still spreading through this tiny, scummy pond we call mountain biking: Trail Bikes.
We are reminded of this due to this video of Bernard Kerr touting his Pivot M4x as his best bike.
Now the video was largely boring in production, but it did have some great bike handling in it. And do you see his back wheel in the clip at 2:13? 4X bikes have been some of the best damn trail bikes we’ve had in the last decade. While cross country whey drinking pansies have been making messes of race venue bathrooms and wheel sizes, 4X has been pushing for bikes to have short chainstays, low bottom brackets, long top tubes, slack head angles, lots of stand-over, single chainrings, firm and controllable suspension, and be strong enough to snap into corners facing the wrong way for overly slow-motioned web videos.
See also the Santa Cruz Blur 4x which has essentially come back from the dead as the Blur TR, and this Turner that we have always been green with envy about.
Though, nobody’s envious of that build.