Singletracks Mountain Bike News, Product Reviews, MTB Trails and Community › Protected: Forums › Mountain Bike Forum › What frustrates you most about mountain biking?
Tagged: biggest hurdles, challenges, difficulties, frustration, most frustrating, problems, rant, things to overcome
December 6, 2017 at 10:39 #230310
While I wish it was all happy-happy fun times, sometimes a ride can go sour. What frustrates you most about the sport of mountain biking?
Personally, it’d probably be not getting to ride as much as I want, or feel I deserve for some reason. But ask me on a different day, and maybe I’ll have a different answer 🙂
December 6, 2017 at 10:51 #230311
Two things (perhaps related).
1. All the hassle of getting ready for a ride. I try to cut down on this as much as possible (ride to the ride, minimize gear) but it still takes a lot of mental effort to get out on the trail. My personal checklist includes: helmet, shoes, gloves, hydration, snacks, tools, bike (tire pressure, chain lube, etc.), keys, light (is it charged?), extra layers, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting. I wish it could be like in the videos where the guy just jumps on his bike and goes for an epic ride.
2. Maintaining my gear. This is really it’s own sub-checklist, but it seems like stuff is always wearing out and needs attention. Bikes are justifiably complicated–thankfully they are incredibly capable, safe, and mostly reliable. I just wish I didn’t have to think about tire pressure (is there enough Stans in my tire?), brake pads, derailleur adjustments, chain lube, suspension settings, etc. every time I ride. This is mostly my own fault because as soon as the ride is over, I ditch my bike and don’t think about it until the next time I ride, when I wish I had taken care of that stuff in the meantime. 🙂
December 6, 2017 at 11:32 #230330
I’m with you on number one Jeff. It seems like every time I get ready for a ride, I have to run back into the house to grab one more thing I forgot. Except I have to do that five times. One thing that has helped with this is having at least one bike with flat pedals and keeping a tube and a pump on the bike at all times. That way, if I kinda sorta feel like riding, I can jump on a bike with whatever I’m wearing. It really cuts down on prep time since all I have to do is put a helmet on and maybe grab a water bottle. I’m way less likely to talk myself out of going for a ride. Granted, this works a lot better in the fall/winter, when it’s not 95° out it doesn’t matter as much what you’re wearing.
I actually enjoy working on bikes, so #2 doesn’t bother me.
December 6, 2017 at 11:36 #230333
Now that you mention it, I get sick of all the ride prep as well. It’s also the primary reason that my wife doesn’t ride more. She’d rather throw on running shoes and go for a run instead of tracking down all the gear necessary for a bike ride.
December 6, 2017 at 11:36 #230334
Not getting to ride as much as I’d like and not getting to ride anywhere good as much as I’d like. Any place that I’d consider “real mountainbiking” is a couple hours away.
December 6, 2017 at 11:49 #230336
You guys hit it on the head, soooo much prep prior to riding. I have tried to simplify it by leaving most of my gear in my car so I don’t forget anything, but it is still a “high maintenance” sport. Don’t even get me started about the extra effort and prep prior to fat biking in the winter. Still it is definitely something I am willing to do because of the joy I get from riding.
December 6, 2017 at 11:55 #230337
Other than my job interfering with my riding time, not much. I keep one bag with enough gear to ride, and a medium tool box ready in the garage by the bike, all the time. I keep a double walled stainless bottle ready in the fridge all the time, and put it on the bike before I load the truck. So just two things to load other than my bike. I keep a long sleeve jersey, and jacket in my truck all the time. There are often other things I usually take, but if I forget, doesn’t ruin the ride.
December 6, 2017 at 13:08 #230352
Lack of time to ride or not getting enough riding time is my number one mountain biking frustration.
I can kind of relate to the aforementioned issues of those with preparation problems being an absented-minded yutz that I am. However, I have rectified this by simplifying my ride gear for sub 2 hr rides immensely over the last few years. Sub 2 hr rides are my mainstay locally so I have a go to “bug-out bag” for just this. I have everything I need to hit it within including food, bottle, repair/first aid basics, extra glasses, arm warmers, tubes etc. I throw in a jersey/chamois/shorts combo and these BTW are all organized in my gear closet as to be easily grabbed. My helmet/wrist guards/gloves/knee armor are all on a roller cart ready to go too in the same way. As such it’s: 1-2-3 from the closet and 1-2-3-4 from the cart into the bag taking maybe 2 minutes. The same way every single time with only changes due to weather. Bag is packed the night before any potential rides and by the front door with bike. My shoes/floor pump/shock pump stay in the boot (yeah it’s Euro and I like sounding like a snob for my own amusement) of my car along with spare tools, rags and gear that know that I’d easily forget. Organization and simplicity go a long way towards more ride time and less headaches. Party.
December 6, 2017 at 13:16 #230354
knuckleheads not following the rules of local trails. Bombing through puddles so they can go home muddy and ruining manicured singletracks
and trash in the forest..hate seeing trash, i take it out with me no matter how icky but it frustrates me to see it
December 6, 2017 at 13:26 #230355
@DrSweets I have a riding “bugout bag” too! When I get a new pair of shoes, helmet, etc., I demote the older items to the bag. I leave the bag in the back of my truck so when I inevitably forget something, I can still ride.
I’ve got a full kit, gloves, and socks in there too, just in case.
December 6, 2017 at 13:34 #230356
Argumentative bike shops does it for me.
I am at the stage with my mountain biking where i am experienced enough to know what i want. I know what works and doesn’t work for me based on how and where i ride. So I need this particular part, i have done my research, i have the money and i know exactly what i want. I go into my bike shop to buy X but they recommend Y instead. I spend the next 30 minutes arguing with them. It’s friggin annoying. So annoying i order my stuff online so i don’t have to interact with them.
December 6, 2017 at 14:57 #230365
The prep thing has never ruined a rid for me. I’ve forgot to lube the chain (oh well), bring a pump (fine if it’s not flat), left basic tools behind (I prep my bike over beers at night anyways). The only fun times were forgetting shoes, I nearly lost a toe riding in sandals.
December 6, 2017 at 18:53 #230368
The amount of time this sport requires. Rides are not rides unless they are at least 1.5 hours. And then you have to ride muliple times a week to keep your fitness. Bike maintenance. Research.
December 6, 2017 at 19:33 #230370
Here’s my list:
- Hunting season
- Wet trails that shouldn’t be ridden
- Idiots riding/destroying those same wet trails
- Weekend rides with so many trail users you have to stop every two minutes
- Horse poop that blankets the trail
- Wet leaves covering wet off camber roots :0
- MTB’ers that don’t yield when they should or say “thanks” when you do
- Other riders blasting music as they ride
- Mechanical issues and my inability to fix them myself
December 6, 2017 at 20:40 #230373
You guys never whitewater kayak/canoe or high angle cave much do you? Those are some major prep and maintain intensive activities; and why MTB’n is my go to endorphin injection method. Not all circumstances encountered are serendipitous though-
1. forgot the stupid bandana again. Something about not having a bandana makes me feel sorta like Linus without his blankee. Old man alert here, we like our hankies.
2. Overly serious riders who just can’t be bothered with saying “Hi” or even just a glance and a nod. Old southern man alert here who drives an F250 and loves to wave at strangers in other vehicles because some Yankee once mentioned how much it irritates and “wigs him out”.
3. Getting to the trail and it is closed for a scheduled hunt. Mostly frustrated with myself for not checking online first.
December 6, 2017 at 23:17 #230375
I have to agree with sethyancey. The thing I dislike the most are overly serious or snooty riders who do not give other people the most basic common courtesy of a friendly hello or a thank you. They are terrible representatives of our community. When I first started riding, I too struggled with the pre-ride prep and forgetting things, etc. Now I use a technique in management called back-planning that is used for projects or events that are repeated. Basically at the end of each ride I do most all my prep for my next ride. I repack my bag as needed, so it is always ready to go. I lay out my clothes, shoes and all other items and put them in one pile ready to go. So I am pretty much ready for my next ride in 15 minutes or less after each ride. It definitely gets rid of a lot of scurrying around and frustration before a ride. About the only things I do just before a ride or the day of a ride is (1) get dressed (2) prep my food (usually a p&j sandwich and an apple to keep it simple) (trail bars and the likes are already packed), (3) fill water bottles, and (4) check tire pressure.
December 7, 2017 at 07:55 #230391
Frustration is a strong word. There is some work to making the time, getting the gear, getting ready and getting there, but I don’t let it bother me. I love riding in the woods. The prep feels like Christmas Eve when you are a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
As far as rude people, it’s not MTB specific. But most people are good.
December 7, 2017 at 09:25 #230404
First me, riding mtb is a passion and I embrace the whole process as that passion: research, travel, gearing up, riding, maintenance.
That said, busting knuckles fixing flats on the trail and dialing in a suspension are time sinks. Though with heavy duty casings, the former is less frequent; and I’m going to give a technology solution a try on the later.
Most of its fun, all of it is fulfilling.
December 7, 2017 at 09:37 #230407
Hands down ride prep! With a wife and young kids, time is a RARE commodity in our house. In my wife’s mind I’m always gone “ALL afternoon” Despite my pleas that my actual ride/workout time is only a reasonable 1.5 hours on average (I agree with Midwestbiker that rides have to be at least 1.5 hours), even though it may take me 30 min to round everything up at times to go, 10-20 minutes to get to the trail, 10-15min to unload and prep before hitting the trail and God forbid if I ride with or run into friends to chat with for awhile (or have a couple post ride beers). Yeah, DEFINITELY ride prep!
Second is any mechanical problems that might arise to ruin the ride and all that prep…hitting that rock, root or drop just wrong and BAM! within a split moment your ride may be over and worse your next ride may be weeks and hundreds of dollars away! (My exact predicament right now)
December 7, 2017 at 10:52 #230424
This time of year? Leaves.
You’re out enjoying the cool autumn weather, riding singletrack in a calm, quiet forest, when suddenly… BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. That frustrates me way more than it should, to the point where I’ll stop to fish out the leaves that are caught up in my frame, fork, chain ring, etc. And, of course, another 30-40 feet down the trail after taking off again… BBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
December 7, 2017 at 15:51 #230457
Maybe when its below freezing, the extra prep, but not really that frustrating.
December 7, 2017 at 16:52 #230469
Cost. That and…..well, that’s it. $$Cost$$.
It’s terribly frustrating to see the prices of parts/bikes/clothing/etc. Used to be, we were broke and bombed around the woods on our bikes BECAUSE we couldn’t afford motorcycles/ski passes/boats/whatever. Nowadays, anything less than a (several) thousand dollar bike<i> </i>won’t hold together on the trails I ride longer than a few miles. The low end of decent bike shoes is $100+, jerseys and shorts are $50+, and the list goes on. Need a new fork? Decent ones start at $600 or so. To me, the economics are stupid. How many black folks do you see on your local trails? Think there’s a reason maybe?
So yeah, unless you’re pretty well off/financially comfortable, the cost of mountain biking keeps me frustrated.
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