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12/4/2017 7:28 PM

Australia's ABC News writer Michael Rennie seems genuinely shocked to learn that mountain bikes have progressed in the last twenty years:

Mountain bikes go high-tech, leaving old-school off roaders in their dust - ABC News

Extremely light yet super tough, mountain bikes have undergone a high-tech metamorphosis since the "horrible" days when the likes of Cadel Evans used to hump a heavy aluminium work horse along a dirt track.

PHOTO: Dall said older bikes like this were much heavier and "horrible" to ride. (Supplied: Michael Brown)

The new bikes, weighing less than 10 kilograms with the frames built to withstand any sort of abuse a rider can dish out, have already helped Australian riders like junior world champion and Commonwealth Games hopeful Cameron Wright achieve more than Evans did on a mountain bike.

Former mountain bike competitor Donna Dall, who now coaches Wright, said new generation mountain bikes were remarkably different from the "awful" beast she had to race 20-odd years ago.

Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, rode similar sorts of two-wheelers in the 1990s during his early days as a mountain biker.

"It was horrible," Dall said of her old bike.

"I've got one in the roof and I'll bring it down occasionally and have a ride on it and it just feels awful, and I cannot believe the feats that people like Cadel Evans used to do on those bikes — just amazing."

"They were a lot heavier back then, just awkward to ride."

PHOTO: A 2018 edition Specialised mountain bike. (Supplied: Michael Brown)

Dall described new mountain bikes as phenomenal, saying they allowed riders to push the boundaries more than ever before.

They are made of specially engineered carbon fibre, weigh less than a small child and are designed, optimised and tested using computer programs that fine tune aerodynamics and performance.

"They've changed incredibly," Dall said.

"Back then they had 26-inch tyres. We're now on 29-inch wheels.

"The actual construction of the wheel has changed from aluminium to carbon, which makes the ride a lot smoother, a lot faster — sometimes it feels like it's free speed."


After reading the full article, Junior XC World Champ Cameron Wright's "the previous year models" quote makes one think that perhaps pinner XC race bikes just got more fun to ride?

"It [the bike] is next level," he said. "From the previous year models, it's just completely different, it's not quite as aggressive as a cross-country race bike, which actually makes it a lot better for a cross-country race bike."

Paradoxical and ironic, isn't it? I suppose I'll have to try some to find out...

Regardless, I hope Cameron continues to crush it on the race circuit. Get some, buddy! Put one of those new-fangled dropper posts on the XC rig and see what it can do!

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12/4/2017 9:49 PM

That awkward moment when you realize you're horribly out of touch but have an assignment due the next day...

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12/5/2017 12:35 AM

“Specialised” with UK/AUS spelling - journalism at its finest.

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12/5/2017 12:54 PM

I also like how these great leaps and bounds apparently have nothing to do with geometry, wide handlebars, brakes that work, more refined suspension designs, improvements in springs and dampers, tubeless high volume tires, or stiffness gains. No, it's cause they're light and made of carbon.

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12/5/2017 6:01 PM

The bike I rode in 94 was 10 lbs lighter than the bike I ride today.

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12/6/2017 8:17 AM
Krispy wrote:

The bike I rode in 94 was ...more

hahaha. gold.

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The Enginerd
12/6/2017 1:28 PM

I also like how these ...more

Quoted for truth.

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