Water bottle bosses , pockets and clever venting
Mountain bikes have been popular for well over twenty years now, yet the manufacturers, and some journalists, still try and peddle their roadie ideas and ways onto us. Isn’t it about time we broke free? As what works well on road bikes and on roadie paraphernalia is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard out on a mountain bike…
I guess the roadie designs filter into our world because the manufacturers think that mountain bikers are still mostly cross country racers, and that the rest of us still aspire to be cross country racers, too…err, no, not really, not for at least ten years or more now.
So what exactly do I mean?
Well firstly, water bottle bosses on mountain bikes, placed not just once, but sometimes twice. Even on big freeride bikes! Hello, the hydration pack has been with us for how long now? Why are water bottle bosses still needed? Are they one of those quirks of life that will never be gotten rid of for fear of the bike not looking quite right aesthetically? To use a biological analogy, perhaps it’s like nipples? Perfectly functional (amongst other things) on women, but why do men have them, too? Maybe because our genetic designer decided that men would look more stupid without them, so left them in place, even though they have no ‘functional’ use?
As I’ve hinted at above, it’s a very long time since I’ve seen someone out on the trail without a hydration pack on their back. So why do most manufacturers still make jerseys with a pocket in the back. Sorry, correction, generally there are three ‘easy to reach’ stash pockets! With one sometimes rather handily advertised as being zipped, so you can store a mobile phone, or keys in it. You know, that hard rectangular object and those looped together spiky objects that would leave an imprint or three in your spine if you landed on your back! Even If I decided to fill these pockets, they wouldn’t be easy to reach now would they, because they’d be obscured by the feckin’ hydration pack I’ve been wearing for ten years, wouldn’t they?
Maybe the people who make jerseys should be made to make hydration packs too, then they’d realise that there really was no need for pockets in a jersey, as there are already more than enough cunning spaces in a hydration pack to weave pockets into to their hearts content for things like mobile phones and keys, maybe even there’s room for a clever pocket to store an cross country racer jersey…
Some shorts also seem to have a stupid amount of pockets, as do some coats…LISTEN, manufacturer guys, I only want one fuc*king pocket anywhere but in my hydration pack, and that’s in the front of my shorts, so I can easily reach an energy bar, or put my mobile phone there if I really have to e.g. only when I’m riding solo, in case I break my back and can’t take the hydration pack off to get to my phone. Interestingly enough, however, this scenario would be better solved if a hydration pack had a neat little mobile phone stash pocket built into one of the front straps, that really would be ‘easy to reach.’
Oh, before anyone else says it, there are some great shorts that we’ve inherited from the roadies, but we are far too cool to wear them on the trail. They’re called lycra! There are also ‘freeride’ jerseys with no pockets. Maybe I could start a new trend? Anyone for the roadie freeride look? Yeah, didn’t think so!
How many coats have clever pit zips, or worse still, clever venting at the shoulders to let your hot air out…Really great idea, until you put your hydration pack on, that is!
But you know what, maybe it’s just me. Maybe there is a better solution waiting to be invented. Perhaps it’s a bottle boss mounted bag (cunningly affixed to the down and seat tube bottle boss mounts), complete with built in hydration pack. If these were invented, those existing clever venting flaps will actually keep you cool and you’ll also be able to easily access your ‘easy to reach’ jersey pockets…just one word of advice though, make sure you land on your front when you fall off!