Saturday, November 26, 2011

Repost: Technical habits of Chris Akrigg @Mongoose & Types of Mountain Biking

For 4 min 45 seconds of film, this is about all the inspiration I needed to get out (tomorrow) and ride another 150K for the weekend. Chris Akrigg of Mongoose demonstrates the finer lines of mountain biking control. Obviously, the mountain bike is designed to perform in all road conditions, there are distinctions though, let's have a look in each category. This is an incredible video, glad to share it here too.

What are some popular styles of Mountain Biking?

(XC) Cross-Country: is the most popular style of mountain bikingCross-country trails consist of a mix of rough forest paths (tree roots and rocks exposed) and narrow mountain trails that are ideal for this type of riding that are known as 'single track'.  In other areas between forested areas, there are also fire roads (gravel roads in timber areas or through protected national forests), and even paved paths connecting other trails. Riding or racing is also only deemed cross-country if the technical complexity of the trails is easy or moderate. Trails nearly impossible even to experienced riders are more often dubbed "all-mountain", "freeride", or "downhill".

(DH) Downhill: is a gravity-assisted time trial mountain biking event. Riders race against the clock, usually starting at intervals of 30 seconds (seeded from slowest to fastest), on courses which typically take two to five minutes to complete. Riders come from all around the world. 

Freeride: is closely related to downhill cycling and dirt jumping focused on tricks, style, and technical trail features. It is now recognized as one of the most popular disciplines within mountain biking. Freeride bicycles tend to have shorter wheel bases, and lighter components than Downhill bikes. 

(AM) All mountain: these full-suspension mountain bikes are crossed between Freeride and XC. These bikes have long-travel dual-suspension and are suited for big mountain terrain. The frames are made from aluminum, carbon, and dual composite builds. Take this simple example: a 2008 Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe. This model was built with Bontrager Race Disc wheelsets and handlebars (by the Trek company). The traditional double-walled rims are ultra-durable and featured SUP-tubeless ready applications. The standard rims on most mountain bikes in this category are 26" and feature 6-bolt hubs to mount 185mm front and 160mm rear disk rotors powered by Avid Juicy Five hydraulic brakes. The crankset is the standard Shimano Deore LX, and drive train is complimented with SRAM X7 rapid-fire shifters, SRAM X9 rear derailer and Shimano LX front derailer using a 9-speed chain. These mountain bikes have 27 external gears, while newer models have switched to 2X10 (2 gears up front, 10 gear cassette in the rear). Popular components are now the 2011 Shimano Deore SLX, XT and ultralight (and expensive) Shimano XTR models. SRAM produces similar component groups like the X7, X9, X.O, or ultralight X.X. components and these shifters are designed to work with complimenting SRAM rear-deraillers only. Depending on your bike and model and price, these components will be available to you to choose from.

(MTBT) Mountain Bike Touring: is a category where riders carry equipment to be self-supported and ride variable terrain, such as fire roads, single track, or pavement. There are two classifications, light and heavy-loaded MTB touring. The carrier setup can be similar to those racks and traditional bicycle panniers used in combinations to comprise a heavy-loaded touring MTB carrying everything from water purification, cooking stoves, sleeping bags, tents, clothing, food, tools and maps or navigation. The lighter category includes MTBs that are equipped with minimalist camping gear and clothing, attached directly to fixed/non-moving parts of the bicycle, and the handlebars. The lighter category has become popular in the continental North American Rocky Mountain - Tour Divide race. The heavier category hasn't become popularized, however, I have tested the setup using a hardtail aluminum mountain bike frame with Fox RL 120mm front suspension and all components carried over from the 2008 Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe.  Heavy loaded bicycle touring with a mountain bike is ideal, and stronger frames and suspension forks are well designed to carry up to 40kg of equipment plus a rider (myself being 85kg).  The heavy MTB setup I'm mentioning worked flawlessly across 3,200km of western China's roads this summer. So, I added this new category. MTB touring is becoming popularized across China, while resources for touring vacations and the MTB brands like Giant are finally becoming popular at home (Eastern China's bicycle touring population riding across the Western half of the country*, Tibet as example is now popular with Chinese, although entry is restricted to foreigners*). This photo set includes photos from crossing the 552km stretch of the Tarim Highway across the Taklamakan Desert this summer on my way to the Himalayas of Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region. Heavy loaded MTB touring is ideal out here, where the roads lead you southwest towards the Himalayas (hard to believe from these photos, but I found it with a paper map in my hands). Enjoy the free Korean-World!

An introduction to types of Mountain Bikes. Thanks for visiting. Good luck, enjoy the rides!

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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