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"Is it all the same ?" Taj's etnies blog, 2006

cmc

Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
2,059
5
austin
this is worth a re-post, considering events of the last 2 years...

http://etniesbmx.com/blog/2006/05/18/is-it-all-the-same/

I have to admit, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've developed quite a collection of bikes and other wheeled objects and its fun riding all of them. BMX is my first and strongest love by far, but I wonder if a smile from my beach cruiser is worth any less then one from my BMX?

Bikes are the best! I wish everyone rode a bike, and I wish the cars on the road were replaced with bikes. Unlike snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, or any other "action sport" bikes have a very functional secondary side; transportation (well, they're all forms of transportation I guess, but if you had to travel across town bikes would be the way to go... er, unless you lived in a city that was flooded with great waves!). Although this really has nothing to do with BMX exactly, riding a bike to somewhere can save you money, creates no pollution, and keeps you in shape (well, hell, it is National Bike to Work Day on Friday).

Last summer I rode some 4-cross MTB and had a blast. Its just like BMX racing used to be when I was a kid. Super fast, fun jumps, big berms and laid back atmosphere. I don't know if I'll ever do it too much, but it sure was great. The track was a hell of a lot more interesting then any of the BMX tracks I've seen in years. You could ride the 4-cross track on a BMX bike, but it wasn't nearly as fun. The track was just too bumpy and you got going too fast for a suspension-less little wheeled bike. So here I was, riding a mountain bike and it felt maybe even more BMX than BMX racing did. That kind of got me thinking about how there's tons of different bikes just waiting for whatever kind of riding you might want to do. If what you're riding is bumpy, downhill and fast having suspension and bigger wheels makes sense. If what you're riding is smooth and Skatelite or if you're grinding up a handrail ride a BMX. If you're riding to the grocery store ride a bike with baskets, or get yourself a touring bike to go across the country and go camping... etc.

"There's a whole new world of BMX "style" mountain biking happening right now. They are starting to have their own magazines, and their whole entire own sub-culture of cycling. On first glance it seems pretty lame to me, as it looks like most of the guys are just doing old school BMX tricks on big wheeled bikes (though for sure, there are some guys pushing it). On another hand though, I wonder if the guys riding those bikes aren't just doing it because they feel alienated by the "BMX Scene". Or maybe they're afraid of the little bikes 'cause they look too small? I don't know."
 

pHeller

Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
106
0
or maybe we don't like riding BMX bikes because they are small and are considerably more abusive on joints than their big wheeled brethren.

That doesn't mean we won't try them out though, because they are half as expensive and feel so much more nimble!
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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For the record. I consider myself primarily a dh'er. when I was in college, I started riding bmx because it was a way to keep riding during the winter months when I was snowed in (this was rochester, ny). We had a great indoor park (x-dreams for those of you in the area). Its actually a great way of cross training for DH. I enjoyed it so much that its something I've continued to do.
 

DirtBag

Monkey
Feb 1, 2006
649
0
Here is my path:

Raced 20" BMX for years at age 10. At age 18 I took a break from BMX and picked up MTB XC racing. Then picked back up the BMX on a cruiser 24". Raced both for a few years until age 24. Eventually dropped the BMX again. Raced XC and Road for about 4 years. Got burned out at the XC and picked up FR/DH. Been riding that ever since.

Now I am getting into my second year of park/DJ on a 26". I will now be getting a 24" cruiser and racing BMX again this year. SO FR/DH on 26", park/DJ on a 26" and BMX on a 24".

I will never get another 20" as I just can't go from a 20" to a 26" anymore. At age 34 I gotta ride what I can and 20" just does not feel comfortable. Maybe it's because I don't wear girl pants??
 
Feb 20, 2004
350
0
Oklahoma
in my view it is all the same. it is all just bikes. I respect anyone who is pushing THEIR limits. It is not just about the limits of the sport but pushing yourself. An elitist mentality will get us no where. When I go to the park, BMX track or dj's I am just looking to have a good time on my bike. I ride a 26" bike because I could never get really comfortable on a 20" I have no beef with any of the 20" riders though and they have always been respectfull and helpfull to me.

koom by ya Yall...
 

Cru Jones

Turbo Monkey
Sep 2, 2006
3,032
0
Hell Track
You haven't been paying attention.



Hang out at your local dirtjump spot for a while
Haha, exactly.

That's an interesting post from Taj. He's pretty much saying what I've been saying for awhile now. Except he doesn't go so far to admit that a bigger bike may be better for certain "bmx type" riding (except racing).

And to answer his question, there are lots of reasons why people choose the big wheels over the little ones. The "scene" and big adults on little bikes may be part of it, but I think the biggest reason is that the bigger wheels are more stable and easier to jump. I bet 75% or more of the people that dirt jump on mountain bikes couldn't do the same size of jumps on a bmx without wrecking themselves. I know there are some jumps that I've done on my hardtail that I would be scared of on my bmx.

When it comes down to it, riding bikes is about having fun. Some people just find it easier to have fun on a bigger bike.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
23,630
3,042
In my pants
I ride big wheels because it shows off how much money I have.


Anybody can afford a bmx bike. But it takes a special kind of begging for mommy to drop 1500 on a hardtail 26er. I get the respect I deserve from the kids in the hood.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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:rofl:


back to the topic at hand... this kind of attitude isn't limited to BMX riders. I see the same elitist attitude in the road scene, and surprisingly the xc mtb scene as well. I've heard quite a few xc riders refer to freeriders and dh'ers as "goons" "morons" "cavemen" (the list goes on). A lot of them apparently refuse to accept these niches as legitimate forms of mountain biking.


All I have to say is... what the hell people? Seriously, get your heads out of the f***ing sand.
 

cmc

Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
2,059
5
austin
:rofl:


. . . . I've heard quite a few xc riders refer to freeriders and dh'ers as "goons" "morons" "cavemen" (the list goes on). A lot of them apparently refuse to accept these niches as legitimate forms of mountain biking. . . . .
but the xc magazines still feature photos of dudes jumping. adds some excitement the cover, with headlines like "Heart Montitor Shootout !!!"
 

pHeller

Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
106
0
They are only jealous because they can't do it.

I didn't grow up on a BMX bike because my dad insisted that they were not proper bikes. He was an XC racer and roadie commuter.

Now that I can buy my own toys I'm determined to learn how to get down a proper table.
 

spliffy

Monkey
Dec 10, 2007
174
0
DURANGO Colorado
I ride big wheels because it shows off how much money I have.


Anybody can afford a bmx bike. But it takes a special kind of begging for mommy to drop 1500 on a hardtail 26er. I get the respect I deserve from the kids in the hood.
both these bmx bikes cost more than two grand a pop


and this mini is over $2500
 

bcar

Chimp
Dec 3, 2007
8
0
:rofl:


back to the topic at hand... this kind of attitude isn't limited to BMX riders. I see the same elitist attitude in the road scene, and surprisingly the xc mtb scene as well. I've heard quite a few xc riders refer to freeriders and dh'ers as "goons" "morons" "cavemen" (the list goes on). A lot of them apparently refuse to accept these niches as legitimate forms of mountain biking.


All I have to say is... what the hell people? Seriously, get your heads out of the f***ing sand.
I think the "elitist" portion of any riding type is a very small portion of the overall riding population. Over the years I have ridden road, xc, DH, bmx, "freeride", you name it. Over many of those years I also worked in shops, didn't have a car, and pretty much relied on my bike as a way of life. In all that time, a few people were assholes, but most were just other riders. Tune out the assholes, and keep pedaling...

*Also I would point out that to me, the intent of Taj's post did not seem to bash big bike riders but rather appeal for more understanding from his bmx brethren....
 

spliffy

Monkey
Dec 10, 2007
174
0
DURANGO Colorado
I have raced and riden all forms of bikes as well as worked at bike compaines and stores for the last 15 years. And I must say that from my accounts that DH racers are the most open minded class of riders out there. Most of them who are searious racers ride road bikes, xc, dirt jump, and bmx. They take all of this riding and put it into their racing. This can not be said for 90% of other types of riding out there.
 

ebrider510

Monkey
Dec 7, 2006
410
0
Bay Area, CA
I have raced and riden all forms of bikes as well as worked at bike compaines and stores for the last 15 years. And I must say that from my accounts that DH racers are the most open minded class of riders out there. Most of them who are searious racers ride road bikes, xc, dirt jump, and bmx. They take all of this riding and put it into their racing. This can not be said for 90% of other types of riding out there.
very good point..that is why the "gravity" MTB racers really do deserve a lot of credit in my opinion. People think they are just pointing a huge over built bike down a hill and plowing over everything in their path. People don't realize how much bicycle handling skill and strength you need to do well.

there have been so many threads on so many sites regarding the wheel size issue..it's nice to see that everyone is really getting along better then ever at this point from what i hear. I think Taj did a good thing with that interview because although it's funny to say this when talking about bike riding, it was kind of a bold thing for him to address at the time.

the way i see it is BMX is a style of bike riding. it shouldn't be classified by wheel size or even if you have suspenion or maybe even gears or not. if you are doing the same things on slightly different bikes designed for the same purpose, then how are you really that different..? in my opinion, you really aren't different at all. ride a bike that fits you well and makes you comfortable enough to shred the gnar.
 

cmc

Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
2,059
5
austin
I don't judge my bikes by how much they weigh or their parts build, but by how big of a smile they put on my face when I ride :D
dude, you're not supposed to smile. it's not hip. only smile if you're high, or a 12 year old just smashed his teeth AND broke his crap bike at the same time.
 

Haitiracers

Chimp
May 9, 2005
94
0
Reading, PA
Taj has pretty much been my favorite rider of any type of bike since the mid 90's, and this really sums up why I feel that way. I wish there were more role models like him in "gravity sports"
 

cranberry

Monkey
Dec 30, 2005
163
0
Waaaay out there
The best (and coolest) wheel size is whatever I am riding that day.
Exactly :clapping:

I have a FR/DH rig...I love it
I have a XC/AM rig...I love it
I have a XC hardtail...I love it
I have a 700c fixie...I love it
I have a 20...I love it
I have a stretched out beach cruiser...yep you guessed it....I love that one too.
It amazes me how we ALL love riding bikes, but many are all too quick to say what they do takes the most skill and talent.
Dont take yourself too seriously....you are an adult and still ride a bicycle.
 

t1maglio

Monkey
Oct 29, 2001
855
0
southern wisconsin
lower ceiling of prices is more important here. You can get a REALLY nice complete bmx bike for $400-$500 nowadays.
Perhaps with your mindset you can get a super sweet DJ 26er for the same price. But then again I will poo-poo your take on that and say that my 20" and 26" that are about three to four times that cost are worth the investment because they are way higher quality.

I am annoyed by the number of people who rave about their $400 bmx bike and then ride a MTB that is over $2000. Just saying you might be missing out by not dropping a little more on a pieced together job, or maybe I'm a snob and have got cost for to long (or more recently have a grown up job) to afford nice stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say (and I know this is widely understood), you get what you pay for.
 

cranberry

Monkey
Dec 30, 2005
163
0
Waaaay out there
Does that mean if I would have spent $8000 rather than the $5000 I did on my DH rig I would have a better quality ride, go bigger, be faster, and have more fun? :twitch:
I think not.
I have more fun on my $600 BMX bike than I do on any of my other rigs. Fun is kind of the reason I ride.
 

cmc

Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
2,059
5
austin
Perhaps with your mindset you can get a super sweet DJ 26er for the same price. But then again I will poo-poo your take on that and say that my 20" and 26" that are about three to four times that cost are worth the investment because they are way higher quality.

I am annoyed by the number of people who rave about their $400 bmx bike and then ride a MTB that is over $2000. Just saying you might be missing out by not dropping a little more on a pieced together job, or maybe I'm a snob and have got cost for to long (or more recently have a grown up job) to afford nice stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say (and I know this is widely understood), you get what you pay for.
mtbmx's are more expensive for both beginner stock bikes AND for high end.
e.g. $599 blackmarket mob frame plus $400 manitou gold label fork.

versus: most expensive frame at empire is $369 plus $114.95 fork.

then other things like brakes and wheelsets will cost you more on an mtb if you want something badass.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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Perhaps with your mindset you can get a super sweet DJ 26er for the same price. But then again I will poo-poo your take on that and say that my 20" and 26" that are about three to four times that cost are worth the investment because they are way higher quality.

I am annoyed by the number of people who rave about their $400 bmx bike and then ride a MTB that is over $2000. Just saying you might be missing out by not dropping a little more on a pieced together job, or maybe I'm a snob and have got cost for to long (or more recently have a grown up job) to afford nice stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say (and I know this is widely understood), you get what you pay for.
my point was that you can get a good quality frame with a solid build for a relatively low price nowadays - making the sport less cost inhibitive to get into (and more accessible to get into for a greater number of people). This is regardless of wheel size.


That being said, I just ordered a new bmx whip today - by the time all was said and done I spent around $750 (sales, discounts yadda yadda).


And yea, I got a grown up job too! salary, vacation, 401k, the whole nine.... and most importantly HEALTH INSURANCE :D




edit: and just cuz i got a salary doesn't mean I can go spending money all willy nilly... I still look for sales and good prices. SoCal is effing expensive!
 

Bryan67

Chimp
Nov 23, 2007
83
0
Fresno, Ca.
This is really a good read. I`m 42 now and I think I am pretty much done riding a 20" or even a 24" bike. I have been BMX all the way since I was 12. I did build a Santa Cruz Heckler when they came out and rode it for a couple months but would turn to jello when I had to climb anything steep and rode on flats the whole time. I did have fun on one particular downhil run here with big rolling jumps and huge mountain side berms but that was it. And it was great riding street with the MTB`rs from the shops I worked at. But I could`nt invest the time into it to get into shape for cross country and climbing hills so I sold it. Just could`nt justify the expense. Now I am anxiously awaiting the rest of my parts for my Working Class Hero so I can ride again. I sold my Bmx bikes off so I am bikeless at the moment. I never thought of BMX as a cheaper alternative to road or mountain so I don`t feel the same way as a lot of people into this scene since I always had high end BMX bikes and thats it. I do love riding just for ridings sake no matter what I`m on but will most likely always love the simplicity of the single speed. And will never consider what I ride a mountain bike. I think of it more like a BMX cruiser or just a 26" bike. Anyway, I think the idea here is just to have fun no matter what you ride and not take it too serious.
 

DirtBag

Monkey
Feb 1, 2006
649
0
I don't think it matters what people ride and how much they spent. The fact is you can get a DECENT 20" bike for around $500 complete. You cannot get the same quality 26" for that price. You get maybe a Rockhopper that would suck at park/DJ. You have to go to about $800 - for example a P.1.

Now that said I too have a REAL job and have for a while. At 34 I have the ability to spend $2,000 on a 26" dedicated park/DJ bike. Hell I have 2 DH bikes that are about $5,000 each. I choose to ride a 26" beacuse I have been riding DH and FR bikes for so long I am not comfortable riding a 20". It is not because I hate 20"!! I just can't ride them. But I don't go and bash others that can. In fact I am envious.

So in the end ride what you like and like what you ride.
 

pHeller

Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
106
0
Ya, part of the reason BMX's are so cheap is because of supply and demand.

Little people (kids) demand cheaper stuff that they (and their parents) can afford. As they get older, they can spend 500-800 on a super-high end BMX, and they know they are getting some of the best quality stuff they can buy.

On the other hand, MTBers are accustomed to spending over $1000 for a decent bike. I've been lucky in that I've avoided spending that kind of money on a single bike, but then I've got several $800 bikes. If there was a demand for $500 BMXMTBs, we'd have many more inexpensive options. We are slowly getting there, but we've got aways to go.