Jonathan Taylor Greenland?
Sea Otter is full of gems that could easily skip past your radar due to the much more fun thing of watching rims get beat like a drum on a college campus on 4/20 at the Croatian world cup.
There’s that aluminum hardtail that, while made by Frank The Welder, is nearly $7000 and somehow this is the better business plan than the company’s failed kickstarter project from a few years back.
There’s the full suspension gravel bike from Niner- the perfect bike for both roadies who just can’t bring themselves to buy a mountain bike and mountain bikers who just can’t bring themselves to buy a road bike, who all want a bike that compromises on everything.
But oh boy, Ellsworth, the lowest hanging fruit on the hate tree, has grunted, gritted their teeth, and pushed out their new turd.
The truth is that the people who will buy this bike are the same ones who have purchased any Ellsworth for the last decade- rich old white dudes who will skid upright through every turn back to their audi in the parking lot to put this thing on a Kuat rack and drive home to their 6000 square foot McMansion in the ‘burbs occupied by their sexually disappointed wife to eat corn flakes with skim milk. So it doesn’t matter how flexy the back end is, what tire size it clears, how many minutes before it cracks, or for that matter, what it costs. None of those things are of concern to the Ellsworth customer.
Back to World Cup fun.
More like push this whole idea into the dumpster, right next to similar product concepts.
Look at this bike that is going to be old enough to vote this year:
It was amazing for its time. It had 33% as many ‘shocks’ as a Yeti SB bike does today. It had a carbon swingarm (and the top model had a carbon fork) where a bunch of bikes today are going with aluminum chainstays. It had like 80-100mm of travel or something crazy. It came with pedals that perform better than anything Crank Brothers has offered in the company’s history.
It weighed about 30 pounds. Your only options were rock hard compound tires that would pinch flat if you looked at them funny- probably because they were mounted on rims that were so skinny that Sally Struthers would have tried to feed them bags of UN grain. It had an interrupted seat tube that gave you roughly one inch of drop ability before chopping your shock in half. It had a fork that dove like it was working at Casa Bonita on a Friday night. It came with a stem that was too long and bars that were too narrow. It was something like $3000 at the time.
When you hold it up to the spotlight of today’s measures, this bike sucks shit.
It’s easy to complain about the sea of bottom bracket standards, hub standards, and headset standards, and whatever hilarious shit some butthole engineer overthought this week because it’s immediate. Lord, save us from 28.99mm spindle diameters! Buddha why hath you forsaken us to a life where Boost front hubs exist?! (Insert whatever religious icon, who cares), why do you continue to allow Knolly to exist and put DH hubs on trail bikes with inside out chainrings as if that’s something cool?
But you know what? That primordial goop of stupid evolutionary dead ends has crapped out some stuff that undeniably works. Ditching flippers for feet has made land-life less horrible in the long run. Pick literally ANY trail bike from (almost) ANY brand off the sales floor (or online direct-to-consumer webpage) and spend $4600, about the same amount after adjusting for inflation in 1997 bucks, and you’ll get a carbon framed trail bike with a dropper post that has possibly as much travel as that ProFlex did on both ends combined, wider tires that are made of sticky rubber, brakes that work, and suspension that won’t pitch you neck first into the dirt for no good reason. It will weigh about 30 pounds and will go faster in both directions on the hill than the old bike by a bonkers margin.
The old thing sucks now, but you didn’t know it sucked a couple decades ago because you didn’t know anything else. You rode what you had and you fixed it when it broke, and you had so much fun on the damn thing that you got hooked on riding bikes hard enough to still be doing it over 20 years later despite literally everything else in your stupid life being different. You still bitch about parts, and companies, and standards because something has to be the scapegoat for why you’re terrible at riding. The mountain bike industry sucks a lot of the time in the moment, but mountain biking will always be pretty god damn fun.
When it comes to bikes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
We can all get behind some ADD/Raw stuff because that’s fun as hell, but not many folks are doing the kind of video work where basically every frame is also a good still photo.
Also, this is a good example of the fact that a good shooter can pull their best material from a year and it’s still under two minutes of stuff in slow motion.
Great shots take time.
Probably the most impressive thing about this video is how Vink is able to keep his knees tucked together through flight despite clearly having freakish, mumps-infected, circus sized balls.
And yes, we are aware of how balls are fragile and the opposite of how “having balls” is used in common language. But the joke doesn’t work without perpetuating the obsolete concept. SUE US.
We’re all for not sitting at a desk in a cubicle for 8 hours a day. That is a toxic way to get through life that ruins the human body.
But this bike-desk is dumb.
The “work” you’re doing isn’t going to be very intense and neither is the spinning. Plus you’ll just end up looking like a middle aged Stifler with a mild case of swamp ass and a jeans-chaff on your crotch. Just what every office needs, more of that.
This post is more of a ‘thinking out loud’ type thing. It’s not full of cited information. It’s not meant to insult anyone’s efforts at trying to make this world a better place, because that image of “a better place” looks different for everyone and the route to getting there is vastly different. This, like everything else posted on this blog, is just for fun. In this case, it’s a rambling thought that we hoped would make more sense once put to digital ink.
There sure is a lot of talk going around about how IMBA sucks for poo-pooing a bill that would allow mountain bikes into Wilderness areas. A lot of the commentary is along the lines of “IMBA sucks, they don’t speak for me, cancel your memberships” and so on and so forth.
This raises the question for me- who out there is still a member of IMBA to have a membership to cancel anyway? Is this really the event that lead you to the conclusion that the group does not necessarily represent your voice? If you’re reading this blog, shouldn’t you have realized that about a decade or two ago? I mean, better late than never, but damn.
If you read this blog, you probably enjoy smashing rock gardens, punching the guts out of a berm, and aren’t trying to spread the Gospel of Mountain Biking to get millions of assholes into the sport with a coupon for 15% off a used Gary Fisher hardtail with the purchase of a $25,000 Subaru and a sticker for your back window. No, you probably have a touch of that old west spirit in you that leans away from ‘cycling club’ and towards ‘bike cult ‘with initiation ceremonies that include ripping your shin open with the pins of a flat pedal, digging fun shit of dubious legality (is this ditch in the back of a cemetery cool with dirt jumps, does this rarely present land owner care if a trail cuts through a mine plot, do local authorities care more about the rampant heroin and meth problem in town than your shuttle trail dumping out into a construction company’s back lot?), and getting a bunch of concussions. And big surprise- that’s not what IMBA is about.
That old west spirit of “who are you to show up and ride our jumps without digging?” is rooted in some sense of preservation of nice things. Loose lips sink jump spots, blow up shuttle trails, and generally shut down the good times. You don’t spend all that time scouting spots, moving dirt, practicing your craft of shredding, and risking health and legal repercussions without trying to protect it. There is a barrier of entry to the cult. You get to prove you’re worthy by making some sacrifices. More on this in a moment.
So here’s another question- a legitimate one because I really don’t know- was that bill being proposed really the best thing for our collectively owned and preserved Wilderness lands? Those places are special and while it’s a total load of semantic crap that bikes are not allowed in them due to the interpretation of an old but crucially important law, was this new bill proposed a good thing for those spaces? Did it let in mountain bikers at the cost of letting in RVs and toilets and pizza boxes and the American Fat Fuck that would tarnish the Wild part of the Wilderness? Due to the inherently complicated nature of bloated bills put up for law, I doubt that it just said, “Hey, let’s let some bikes in already, eh guys?”
The final question I have is this- do you really need to ride your bike in Wilderness areas? A hundred skid happy bike riders cause about .000001% the erosion of even a mild winter, so I think the wear and tear on the land is possibly minimal, but they also bring another person into a space where we, as a species, haven’t screwed everything up so badly yet, with that much more invitation for trash (even if accidental), or any other impact.
There are so many Wilderness spots that I would personally LOVE to ride a bike, because hiking sucks and is boring. And I would love for you to go responsibly ride your bike in those areas too. But maybe you don’t need to. Maybe the barrier of entry to the cult of Wilderness is that you leave your bike out of it and frankly, leave yourself out of it to the maximum possible extent. Maybe you can suck it up and lace up your cranky little boots and walk your ass in and out of those places if you want to enjoy the views. Maybe there can be a class of spaces that we all agree to not collectively fuck up- just leave alone for future generations and the other species that occupy those places to enjoy.
You know, all 2 or 3 generations we have left before the climate start to kick us foolish humans off this mortal coil.
I’m sure I would feel very different if my backyard were Wilderness and there was very little else to ride. But my immediate pleasure to ride a bike somewhere doesn’t outweigh the collective effort to leave some places alone. For once, I think IMBA was right, or at least has a valid point, even if it’s in the same way that a blind squirrel occasionally still finds nuts.
So yes, IMBA sucks as a general rule. And yes, they probably don’t speak for you. But this time, I have to ask if there was a better way to get bikes into Wilderness than this bill I frankly know nothing about. Probably so.
Commence hate storm in comments.
Crowdfunding on the internet has given an audience to whatever solution you have come up with for the non-problems of the world in a way never seen before in human history.
Unfortunately, most of those ideas and their execution are barely discernible from those infomercial clips of people being ham fisted morons.
But at least those clips are produced tongue in cheek knowing full well they are ridiculous to serve the point of the sale. The same can’t be said for all those kickstarter Thomas Edisons that think this idea of theirs is the ticket to some of that sweet, sweet money.
Not every kickstarter is successful. Not everyone has the stroke of genius combined with work ethic to follow through on the concept of taking the zipper off a sleeping bag and growing that into a full on blanket empire.
Do people commuting on step-through framed bikes really work up a thorough sweat wearing rain jackets going 8mph – er, sorry, 13kph?
My first question for this invention is that rain happens in storms and sometimes storms happen with wind and sometimes you ride a bike with that wind to your tail. So what happens when this giant sail of an umbrella catches a gust up its ass and inverts like every umbrella in history is want to? Guess you’ll just have to find out when you can’t see a god damn thing.
Really took that mellow commute up a notch!
But these folks can’t be completely ignorant. They clearly made a conscious choice to score the second half of the kickstarter video with Smetana’s “Moldau,” a piece of music inspired by and sonically illustrating the flow of rivers through the composer’s homeland.
And what are rivers made of? Water.
And water is? Wet.
And umbrellas fight? Wetness.
And ain’t no one’s choochanita getting wet when they see you riding an umbrella’ed bike like that.
So even if the invention isn’t a perfect solution (or even a solution at all for that matter), at least they stuck to a theme for the project which is more than we can say for most mountain bike web videos.
This e-bike promo video that was supposed to tell you how you can participate in an outdoor activity together with your much more/less active parter thanks to an e-bike came across much more as a “look at how we can be alone but together!” type thing.
If you’re the girlfriend you can go for a leisurely bike ride while your impossible to beat world champion boyfriend goes off on a completely different trail from the service road you’re on. Great. See you at the picnic table at the top with a dead battery.
This just goes to show that if you have the god-like ability to make a moto trials bike do anything you damn well please, you can also sort of throw around a heavy and comparatively vastly underpowered e-bike in a borderline unimpressive manner.
It’s also a ding to see the stilted conversation at the beginning shot from their backside. So what if there is nothing inherently interesting about a euro-breakfast of coffee and two pieces of dry toast, shoot them from their front so they don’t have to awkwardly open up to the camera so damn far they end up in total profile. This in the first 15 seconds was a signal of the level of (or rather lack thereof) thought put into the whole package. And probably a part of why this feels like a cash grabby effort to latch onto that euro e-bike market teat.
On the scale of authenticity, this isn’t as bad as say, Harley Davidson (the least authentic brand in the history of the world?), but it definitely misses the mark of Giving A Shit.