A Bike By Any Other Name…

A Bike By Any Other Name…

The weekend is upon us, and before I disappear into it like a pubic hair into a salad I wanted to let you know I’ve just learned there’s something called a “downcountry” bike:

Vittoria’s all-new Syerra tyre is designed specifically for downcountry. Is this specificity gone too far? What do you think? https://t.co/yeOOLbOqb9

— BikeRadar (@bikeradar) October 8, 2021

And clearly I’m way the hell out of it because not only does it exist but it’s also “well-established:”

Vittoria’s new Syerra mountain bike tyre has a downcountry-specific design. Its tread pattern, casing, and compound are tailored to meet the more rigorous requirements of the now well-established downcountry discipline.

So what is “downcountry,” anyway?

Imagine a bike that can tackle all-day epic rides with ease and efficiency, cover ground extremely fast and has just the right mix of componentry to fly down descents and you’re on your way to picturing the best downcountry mountain bikes.

In other words, basically it’s most bikes.

It’s hard not to adopt a sarcastic tone when talking about yet another kind of mountain bike, and indeed even the person who coined the term back in 2018 seems to have meant it sarcastically:

Though no less a company than Trek now has a whole category of bikes devoted to it:

As does Canyon:

So any sarcasm did not survive the transition to full-blown marketing term.

As for the “downcountry” tire that made me aware of the whole thing, here it is:

Yes, that definitely looks unlike any other mountain bike tire I’ve ever seen. Knobs in the middle with bigger knobs on the edges, what will they think of next? Anyway, looks like a nice tire, but don’t install it on anything other than a downcountry bike or it will explode.

So there you have it. Any mountain bike braaahs among you will no doubt find my lack of awareness as pathetic as my dated bicycles, but if like me you’re willfully out of it I hope you’ve learned something today. An all-around mountain bike…I suppose it was only a matter of time.

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