And you won’t get in trouble
SHAVE YOUR LEGS
Road riders have to do this to fit into
their cliques. Our sport, by definition, is for
the free spirit who is not interested in fitting in. We are interested in breaking out.
Shave your legs if you want to (it is a free
country), but there is no practical reason
for a mountain biker to do it. Bottom line:
the shaved riders we talk to rarely have a
good reason for breaking out the Bic. We’ve
heard everything from “It’s better for massage” and “It prevents road rash in a crash”
to “It’s more aerodynamic.” Those might be
somewhat true, but if you’re a leg-shaver,
own up to the fact that it’s more about the
look than the performance benefits.
NEVER CROSS-CHAIN YOUR DRIVETRAIN
This little tidbit came into popularity when 3x9 drivetrains
with huge gear ranges were all the rage. Yes, it’s true that the
more you “cross the chain” (meaning you use either the “
big-big” or “small-small” chainring and cog combination) the more
wear you potentially put on your expensive drivetrain parts.
Modern-day drivetrains are much more streamlined and
robust than they were even just a few years ago, though. If
you’re running a single- or double-chainring setup, as long as
the chain is the correct length, you’ll have no problem running
the drivetrain at the extremes. In fact, we have to admit that the
big-big combo is one of our favorites for descending, because it
puts more tension on the chain and keeps the drivetrain quiet.
Technology, riders and trails evolve, and some of the things we, the Mountain Bike Action wrecking crew, recommended back in the day
no longer apply. They have reached their expiration
date. Case in point: “rat trap” toe clips. We urged
every rider to use them. The trouble is that was back
in 1986. Today, we would not offer that advice.
We’ve received countless tips over the years from
pro riders, pro mechanics and even riders who read
Mountain Bike Action; however, we also hear plenty of
bad advice, which, for whatever reason, simply won’t
go away. Here are a few of our favorite “rules” that
we feel you need to break. Don’t worry, you won’t get