I’m about to indulge in some heavy bike snobbery, but before I do, I’m going to tell you why it’s not snobbery.
Being a bike snob means that you’re only interested in, or only like, certain bikes. High-end, handbuilt bikes of course.
A bike snob would look at a $700 mountain bike and think “trash,” because they know that the only bikes out there worth their salt are made by Artisans. You know, guys that wear hats that only cover the back of their head, and only got one weld done on your frame today because they just weren’t feelin’ it man – between their $8 hand-pressed coffees and $12 artisan sandwiches made from old world grains and organic free-range ham – and you just gotta feel it, you know?
I’m going to make fun of a couple bikes here, but it’s not snobbery. Not entirely anyway. It’s more about usability and building a bike that makes sense.
These two bikes just don’t make sense;
This is a Soma Juice, made by Soma Fabrications of San Francisco, California. It’s a 29er for trail riding, or touring, or whatever you want. Like, mounting a DH fork, Rohloff internally geared hub, terrible high rise bars, a terrible seat, and silly white cruiser tires.
It’s really hard to imagine what kind of ride the builder wanted. I guess it’s a luxury 26″ BMX, with suspension and gears. Whatever it is, I hope that it provides the very specific ride that the owner wanted. And I’m sure that the rider is looking for something very specific, because why else would you build something this ugly?
This is a Norco Aurum, a DH bike from Norco of Vancouver. It’s made to pound down mountains with 8 inches of suspension travel. It’s strong – which is a good attribute for any kind of bike – and heavy – which is not a good attribute for any kind of bike, but it’s generally what you have to accept for a DH bike.
This Aurum though, is not setup for downhill activities. Notice the white barends (the extensions on the handlebars)? Those are to give you a different hand position on long rides, and give you more leverage when climbing. DH races are not long rides, they’re typically five minutes. And you don’t climb in a DH race. In fact, sometimes, you don’t even pedal.
Also, the seatpost is at full extension, and there’s a Brooks saddle. More evidence that someone bought this bike to ride around on. This bike, which probably weighs twice as much as a hybrid, and would pedal like junk, but also would roll over curbs like they’re not even there.
So yeah, it’s silly, but you bought it, so go ahead and do whatever you want with it. Don’t be surprised though when you go to sell it – and this is for sale right here in Edmonton by the way – if people aren’t asking what the heck you’re doing.