The 5 Most Frustrating Things About Mountain Biking

Singletracks readers share the 5 things that frustrate them most about the sport of mountain biking.

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

We recently asked you on Facebook, “What frustrates you most about mountain biking?” Apparently y’all had a lot to get off your chest, as that post received almost 800 comments!

Here are the 5 most frustrating things about mountain biking, according to our Facebook commenters.

5. Elitist Assholes

We like to characterize mountain bikers in general as awesome, fun-loving people. We often say that mountain bikers are willing to help other riders out, are considerate of other trail users, and are generally upstanding citizens. Apparently, not everybody thinks that’s the case.

“Judgmental a-holes who divide people if your perfectly functional kit is slightly too tight/too loose or the wrong color or happens to be made of something resembling Lycra.” -Roger Bombardier Jr. (25 upvotes)

“The elitist iPhone X mentality that you have to have the latest equipment in order to enjoy the sport, which is the exact opposite of the ‘ride what you got and enjoy yourself’ grassroots start the sport was founded on. Also, WAAAY too much emphasis on downhill and big air driving product design (super wide bars, crazy suspension travel, raked back geometry, dropper posts, etc.).” -Geo Raj (63 upvotes)

While Geo received a lot of upvotes, he did get plenty of pushback for dissing on dropper posts 😉

“The elitist, judgemental douchebags. It’s not everyone, but it’s certainly prevalent enough to piss me off and make me want to ride alone most of the time. Lots of mountain bikers need to get over themselves.” -Leo Makowski (21 upvotes)

4. Your Own Limitations

Photo: Steve Chaffin

“When my body won’t keep up with my brain.” -Steve Chaffin (90 upvotes)

3. Inconsiderate Trail Users of All Stripes

While perhaps this could relate to the “elitist assholes” frustration above, I grouped these comments together because it’s not just fellow mountain bikers causing frustration.

“Trail runners wearing headphones oblivious of my shredding.” -Gary Baker (122 upvotes)

“Trying to enjoy the sounds and solitude of the forest [when] someone blaring Nickleback on their bike-mounted Bluetooth speaker comes riding up.” -Rich Stackon (78 upvotes)

If you want to listen to music on the trails, you can’t win: neither headphones nor speakers are acceptable, apparently.

“Mountain bikers trashing hiking trails by riding when it’s wet, and going so fast they can’t stop for hikers or dogs.” -Barton Churchill (18 upvotes)

While it’s difficult to say if Barton is even a mountain biker or not, his comment did get 18 upvotes. He also received a number of responses, such as “same can be said for some entitled hikers out there. Plenty of a-holes returning my greeting with a dirty look,” and “entitled dog walkers who don’t obey leash laws [are equally frustrating.]”

2. Dumbing Down Trails

Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Libby K.

Mountain biking is supposed to be difficult… at least, according to the vast majority of our Facebook commenters.

“The dumbing down of trails. Some people have the mentally that if it’s too hard for them it needs to be ‘fixed.'” -Dennis Rhodes (56 upvotes)

Apparently, it doesn’t matter if the trail is supposed to be easy or not–our commenters think there are too many manicured trails out there.

“Perfectly-groomed trails that are so good I could ride a road bike on them! Seriously people this is mountain biking, not gardeners weekly!” -Tim Carter (134 upvotes)

And it doesn’t even matter if the trail work is done by an official builder…

“I can not stand when people working on the trails say they are making it better, only to see they dug up all the rocks and roots to make it super smooth, and say ‘it’s flowy now.’ Thanks for fucking the trail, let me take my roller skates down it now.” -Kyle John Son (56 upvotes)

1. The Cost of Mountain Biking

The number one most frustrating thing about mountain biking? How expensive the sport is. Why can’t it be free so we can just ride all the time?!

“Having to keep a real job to pay for it.” -Jeremy Floyd (228 upvotes)

“Cost. It used to be something almost anyone could afford. Even expensive bikes were affordable if you saved up some. Now, even low end bikes are too expensive for most people.” -Ryan Palmer (23 upvotes)

Your Turn: What do YOU think is the most frustrating thing about mountain biking? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!