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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Underbiking


Underbike | ˈəndər-bīk |
verb
1. ride a traditional road bicycle on surfaces that typically warrant the use of knobbie tires, flat bars, and sometimes suspension : its fun to see dual-suspension mountain bikers’ strange looks on the trails as we underbike.
noun
1. a bicycle with a light frame, drop bars, slick tires, multiple gears, suitable for ordinary roads, but instead ridden on fire roads, trails, singletrack, sand, and rocks : let’s put some 35mm road tires on there, we’ll have ourselves an underbike.
2. a bicycle that facilitates mixed surface riding
• Rivendell: a country bike
DERIVATIVES
un•der bik•ing noun
un•der bik•er noun
Thesaurus
noun
an underbike ready for the trails COUNTRY BIKE, all-rounder, cyclocross bike, mixed-surface riding
Underbiking used to be called “bicycling,” long before the logic of marketing dictated design. Since then, the tried-and-true technology of bicycling has been replaced by gimmicky bells and whistles (although without the actual bells), and the industry has divided bikes and components into highly specific uses.
Can you spot the “mountain” bike in this photo?

Before all this nonsense, Raleigh DL-1s would ramble along dirt roads with 28” wheels and French cyclotouristes would ride their 650B randonneur bikes on long rides through the mountains. In other words, people rode bicycles around long before most roadways were paved. In fact, roads in the U.S. were originally paved in order to facilitate bicycle travel. But that’s another story...
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