Mountain biking is not a new sport in the strictest sense
of the word. The sport itself was pioneered in the late sixties and
early seventies, primarily in California. This makes it an old timer
in the realm of ‘new’ sports. But honestly, with age comes
responsibility, and it’s far easier to find mountain bike parts
than say… long board skateboarding components. Not that either
is an especially onerous task, but mountain biking has really developed
as a sport in the past two decades. Ironically, this development as
a sport has come coupled with development of many once-popular mountain
bike trails as communities expand.
The increased popularity of mountain biking should come
as no surprise to anyone who’s done it. The challenges of the
trail, the sweat earned while busting out a climb, the adrenaline rush
that accompanies a near miss, even the pain of a crash all bring the
human condition into stark relief. To be biking is to be alive in a
very real, persistent sense.
Modern Americans seem to need reminders that they are
alive, and more than that, that they need to live. And by living we
aren’t speaking of continuing to exist, but rather to reach out
and experience life. Mountain biking is an experience rich pursuit,
which is part of its appeal. It gets many people out of their comfort
zones, which is something everyone needs in order to grow.
But mountain biking is also a sport that requires equipment
tools, and parts. Mountain bike parts
can take the form of just about anything, from a new front fork, to
rims, from shocks to chains, from replacement treads to replacement
tubes; and from new brakes to a new derailer. Derailer is the English
spelling of the French word derailleur. They are the mechanism that
allows a mountain bike to change gears.
Most of the things you would consider as mountain bike
parts aren’t all that large, but without them it’d be fairly
difficult to go on a successful ride. Whether you’re using caliper
brakes or disk brakes, you don’t want to hit the trail if they
aren’t functioning properly, that’s an invitation to visit
the hospital. Without a derailer it becomes nigh unto impossible to
go on a ride with both climbs and down hills. Handlebars are an easy
thing to spot; you won’t be maneuvering without them.
One thing the casual biker may not realize is how much
less expensive it is to upgrade the bike they have with new mountain
bike parts than to buy a new one. Avid bikers hit the trail with a toolkit
in tow, just in case they have to make on-trail repairs. But a startling
number of mountain bikers don’t even feel comfortable adjusting
their bicycle’s brakes. Now if you have a top of the line set
of disc brakes, this is understandable, messing them up could cost a
lot of money. But there is no reason bikers cannot adjust a rudimentary
set of caliper brakes on their own. In fact, in order to change out
tires, it’s necessary in most cases to unlatch the brakes first.
Buying mountain bike parts over taking your bike into the shop can save
a lot of money per repair, adjustment, or upgrade. That’s just
another reason that it makes sense to do it yourself, in addition to
the sense of ownership.