Paris, Milan, New York? Passé! Now you can get a fashion show in the bike park or trails right on your doorstep – and Instagram, of course! Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to look cool on the bike? We’ve made a list of the most popular styles and stereotypes, taking a look at each to see what they’re all about. No jokes!
When you arrive at the trailhead, it sometimes feels like you’re stepping on a catwalk. This doesn’t just apply to the styled EWS pros. Do your socks match your outfit? Is the irony in that obligatory mismatch obvious enough? Can I be seen in public wearing last season’s helmet? These are the fundamental questions going through today’s mountain bikers’ heads before they leave the house. Is it stupid? Not at all! Style often gives you trail credibility and sometimes the results are just amusing. Of course, it can also lead to absurdity, as you’ll probably have seen on many Instagram posts, true to the motto “all the gear, no idea”.
Long-time readers will know that we hate not having fun and that we love it when everyone simply has a good time on their bike! Enjoy the following styles and stereotypes, which you might already have encountered on the trails. Maybe there’s some truth to them and they might even inspire you to experiment with your own style ;)
The Trail Ninja
The motto is obvious: “black is the new black”. Pure style and pure understatement. Trail ninjas do everything to keep their bike quiet: all cables are clamped down, the chainstay protector has been modified to make it more effective and the bearings are so well greased that they don’t even think about creaking. Some even go so far as to remove the chain and derailleur to make rattling impossible. Somehow, they still manage to get to the trailhead quicker than anyone else. On the descents, they disappear just as quickly, never stopping and whipping out a roundhouse kick or two on the jumps. Ride first, ride hard, no mercy – Cobra Kai would be jealous!
The Weekend Warrior
Weekend warriors are the backbone of every weekend getaway. They live for the weekend, allowing them to break out of their weekday routines. They know the weather forecast for all trail centres within a radius of 300 km and it’s rumoured that they call up Petrus every Thursday to get their meteorological data first-hand. They use whatever time remains in the open-plan office to hype themselves up with the latest YouTube “shredits”. When the weekend finally arrives, they pack more than you would need for a Himalayan expedition. They have at least three jackets, two pairs of shoes and enough snacks to feed a small family. Complain about the weather and you will get verbally abused with clever sayings like “there’s no bad weather, just the wrong clothes”, “preparation is everything” and “I was born ready”. They believe that sustainable clothes can save the planet and have an Amazon Prime subscription. The only thing that upsets weekend warriors is when they get overtaken by a woman on a bike that she borrowed from her boyfriend, wearing sneakers on flat pedals and showing a gap between her knee pads and yoga shorts. The most “gnar” that weekend warriors encounter is in their office-hour daydreams!
The XC Dude
Just like Corey Hart, XC dudes only wear the fastest glasses, no matter if it’s day or night. They never wear anything but bib shorts either. Except maybe for bib tights in winter. And while Mark Zuckerberg predicts that we will live in the metaverse in the near future, XC dudes don’t care. Why? Quite simply because they already live in the Stravaverse. People with too much money buy virtual land in the Metaverse, but XC dudes already own thousands of miles in the Stravaverse or Watopia – and they’re the king of every stretch. Their diet consists of energy bars, gels and drinks. The only thing bigger than their ego is their chainring.
You may not have noticed the connoisseuses before. That’s because they simply enjoy the moment for themselves, completely laid back, not stressing about that Instagram shot. They’ll rather leave that to the mountain bike influencers, who spend more time taking more photos than actually riding. But don’t be fooled by their low-key nature! They can go big if they want to, but they don’t have anything to prove to anyone. They like having epic moments on the bike, but they’re not the type to tell everyone about it. While they don’t make a splash, their style is cool nonetheless and their gear is top-notch.
Like Keanu Reeves in Speed, racers never ride their bike slower than 50 miles/hour. Of course, they depend on a lift or shuttle to regain their elevation and the bike park is their second home. All the conversations they have somehow end in stories about wild inside lines and two-wheel drifts. They don’t just ride either. Instead, they consider every minute on the bike to be training. When the racing season starts, they live in vans that they modified themselves and yet still sleep curled up on the driver seat because the back of the van and the bed is full of tools and spares. You’ll find them with EWS start numbers attached to their handlebars long after the race, as proof of their heroic deeds.
The Fitness Trainer
Fitness trainers swear that they change their outfit everyday. But you wouldn’t notice that because their entire wardrobe consists of Adidas tracksuits. Of course, they also have matching clipless shoes with the three stripes! Some say that they were born in tracksuits and training is their religion. Their friends only get to see them when they train together because they don’t have time for recreation. Contrary to what you might think, fitness trainers don’t train anyone else but themselves and they do so eagerly, consistently, structured and without mercy. Alarmingly, no one has noticed that they occasionally ride eMTBs. They address everyone as “boys”, even when they’re talking to a woman on her own.
Steeze is the most important thing to freeracers. Everything else, especially nonsense like aerodynamics or even functionality, is secondary. Freeracers are convinced that it looks cool to wear goggles with an open face helmet, even if they’re the only ones who think so. Of course, the goggles must be as big as possible – the bigger the cooler! Their bikes have never touched the forest floor because they only hang around in the skate park and tell anyone who crosses their path about some “stair set of doom”.
For dentists, there are only two things that matter about their outfits: they must be the newest and hottest thing on the market. Even better if they’re limited, special editions. After all, they’re not just style items, they also serve as investments. Rare bike components are the new shares! Their outfits always match and are freshly washed and ironed – if not, they’ve been seen to use the sparkling action of Veuve Clicquot to clean their € 500 POC dungarees. Using the 1.5 L Magnum bottle, of course. Dentists could have it all, which makes them picky. They’ve heard that MAXXIS, Rapha, POC and Patek Philippe are the hottest brands and like to show them off. They’re likely to have exchanged their Santa Cruz for an Orbea – in gold, of course. It matches the gold Kashima coating of their FOX suspension beautifully. Dentists despise heavy materials like steel unless they’re limited special editions, such as their chronometer. Oh yes, and by the way, they usually aren’t dentists by profession!
What now – Fashion fiasco or trail hero?
There’s a thin line between the two… Honestly, just do what you want. Wear whatever you like and make the bike world more colourful! Let’s not take everything so seriously.
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Robin Schmitt, Peter Walker, Thomas Weiss