The North Shore mountains in Vancouver, BC, Canada, are internationally renowned as some of the finest and most well-established mountain biking terrain out there. A committed group of enthusiasts work hard to maintain the trails, which have been enhanced even further by the installation of a network of ladders, teeter-totters and bridges. This is where freeriding originally began, so the locals really know their stuff.
One such local is Chromag team rider Nick Tingren, seen here absolutely killing some downhill runs through the fog in the North Shore woods. Nick has been exploring these mountains since he was a kid, so he knows the trails like the back of his hand. And it shows. He tackles the steep gradient and tight turns with apparent ease, all with a flair which is rooted in his background as a skateboarder and BMX rider.
Nick chooses to ride a ‘hardtail’ as opposed to the full suspension bikes which have become ubiquitous in mountain biking today. But Nick’s Chromag Stylus is nothing like the heavy, primitive bikes of ten years ago or more. It has a custom chromoly tubeset, and has been geometrically optimized for performance across all styles of mountain biking. The end result is a tighter ride and a heightened connection with the terrain, which contributes to the awesome riding seen here.
But the most vital ingredient is the skill and experience of the rider. So if you want have a go at emulating Nick’s amazing style, a ‘hardtail’ bike is certainly worth a try. But more importantly, you need to actually get out there and ride as much as you possibly can. And if you can’t make it out to the North Shore, your local trails will do just as well.