Which one are you?
Mountain bikers come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Here are 14 different types of mountain biker you’re guaranteed to see out on a ride.
Recognise any of your mates (or indeed yourself) in this list..?
1. The Off-Roadie
The rider who can’t quite leave their road cycling ways behind them. Either an old-skool road cyclist who pops out on the occasional mountain bike ride or a lapsed mountain bikers who’s spent the past few years behind drop bars and learned all sorts of weird behaviour.
Wears Lycra everything, fingerless mitts and a peakless helmet (possibly with cute little cloth peaked cap underneath).
Spends most of the ride making minute and incomprehensible hand gestures about the trail ahead.
Refuses to own a dropper seat post. Yet, strangely rides an overly aggressive mid-to-long travel enduro bike. Falls off a lot.
Most likely to say: “How can you ride without a power meter?!”
2. The Singlespeeder
One gear, many speeds. Typically fast uphill (there is no alternative) and often stuttery downhill.
A glutton for punishment often combined with an insufferable piety and/or a compensatory propensity for sloping off to the pub.
Spends most of the ride wishing and hoping that someone else’s drivetrain goes wrong so they can crank up their smugness to 11.
Most likely to say: “Yeah, I would’ve cleared that but…”
3. The Veteran
Been there, done that. Rides a bike from the last century. Isn’t even aware of 29ers let alone pathetic enough to argue about wheel size. Never puts a foot down. Never stands up. Never crashes. Cranks out 50 mile rides every couple of days because that’s what they have always done. The veritable tortoise to your hare.
Most likely to say: “Still, good to get out isn’t it?”
4. The XC Racehead
Quite similar to The Off-Roadie in appearance and apparel but usually riding a pared down carbon hardtail 29er with a massive stem, unwisely narrow handlebars, foam grips, carbon saddle, 140mm rotors and the smallest clipless pedals available.
No dropper post, obviously. Often never seen again once the first climb has begun. Not even at the pub or café at the end of the ride; they’ve gone home to upload their Garmin and hop on the turbo.
Most likely to say: “[insert latest fake reason why they ‘aren’t feeling 100% today’ here]”
5. The Enduro Wannabe
This type of rider has supplanted the old Downhill Wannabe (triple clamp fork coil sprung bike, slogging round a trail centre). The Enduro Wannabe rides a ridiculously expensive carbon enduro bike, wears goggles and the biggest Edam-style helmet they can find and will buy anything that has the word enduro written on it.
Very much like the triathlete of the mountain bike world. Spends most of the ride checking his tyre pressures with a digital gauge and talking about what races they might enter this year. NB: they will never enter an actual enduro race ever.
Most likely to say: “Yeah, I tried to enter that race but it’s sold out.”
6. The Navigator
The Navigator is often an old hand who has been riding “since before there were even proper trails here”. They will always be at the front of a ride directing the way and showing off their knowledge of the cheeky locals lines.
Most likely to say: “If we cut between these two trees there’s a great little off-piste trail back to the car park.”
7. The Mechanic
This is always the rider with the biggest trail pack, and for good reason. Whereas most of us will pack a pump, a multitool and a chain tool, these guys will bring their whole toolbox and an intimate knowledge of how to bodge any component from the past 20 years. We love The Mechanic.
Most likely to say: “Your brake lever’s fallen off? I can fix that with a twig and a few cable ties, no problem.”
8. The Disorganised
On the other end of the scale comes The Disorganised. They turn up late in rotting, knackered kit that’s festering in mud from their last ride. They will always have forgotten something and are guaranteed to hold you up at some point.
Most likely to say: “Anyone got a tube? And a pump?”
9. The Instabanger
For these guys, a ride didn’t happen until all their friends and family know about it. Expect them to be taking selfies at the top of every climb and filming every descent on a GoPro for their ‘end of season edit’.
Most likely to say: “One sec guys, the light is perfect for an Instagram right now hashtag mtb hashtag happiness hashtag outsideisfree hastag mbr”
10. The Crasher
This rider takes the old mantra ‘if you aren’t crashing, you aren’t going fast enough’ to a new extreme. Despite the fact they spend more time in the ferns at the side of a trail than on the trail itself, they always seem to bounce back up and get riding again. Their collection of elbow scars is legendary.
Most likely to say: “Don’t worry, I’m alright.”
11. The Gearhead
If you want to have a conversation about anything other than bikes then steer clear of this rider. They will happily chew your ear off for hours about their latest upgrade or the bike of anyone that passes you by.
Most likely to say: “I’ve just added an oval chainring, I can really feel the difference.”
12. The Eater
Sometimes you’re unsure whether these guys enjoy the riding or the fuelling more. They have Mary Poppins’ Camelbak with a seemingly impossible amount of food stored within its modest size. They will be on first name terms with the staff at every café and buttie shop and will have the cake selection memorised and ranked.
Most likely to say: “The lemon drizzle isn’t as good as usual today…”
13. The Strava Addict
Love it or hate it, Strava isn’t going away anytime soon.
The Strava Addict doesn’t know if they’re enjoying the ride or not. They live in a perma-delayed state of pending assessment. The Strava Addict will base their enjoyment of a ride on how many KoM times they can knock off in one lap.
Their natural habitat is the inside of a corner or at the top of a fireroad climb gasping for breath.
Most likely to say: “I was just removing those rocks to improve the trail’s flow. Ahem. Let me go up and do it again anyway.”
14. The Colourist
You would expect a trail centre car park to be as far from a catwalk as possible, but not for these riders. They roll up in the latest, matching luminous kit and make sure everyone can see them.
Or… there’s the more common version of The Colourist; the rider who can’t stop buying components and/or clothing that’s all of the same colour. No one has the heart to tell them that 14 different shades of orange isn’t actually aesthetically pleasing. At all.
Most likely to say: “Oh damn, I got oil on my shorts.” or “Where did you get those grips from?”