My colleague, who is decades younger than me was positively influenced to pick up mountain biking. He came from a culture where riding is the mode of transportation. He rode daily to school, even going to shops and social events. The village where he came from were mountainous, and gravels trails were considered road. He had no idea what gear shifter was, as they only rode elephant steel bike with fixed gear. Consider that kind of training he had gone through over the decades, and the number of riding hours he had clocked, trail riding in Singapore should be a breeze for him.
For what he had gone through, I would not blame him when he bought a market bike from supermart despite being briefed on the physics and science of mountain bike. Well, I guess in science we need factual evident to prove a hypothesis. Unwillingly (as I know what will happen), I agreed to test ride the market bike at Gangsa and T15.
The test ride substantiated my hypothesis that market bike is structurally unsafe to be ridden off-road:
1. Failure of hub that cause front wheel to jam
2. Failure of brake
3. Failure of tire and tube
4. Failure of fork
5. Failure of drive train
5. Failure of geometry (non-scientific, based on observation analysis)
We have proven the myths of market bike to be true...mmm...I should rephrase it: "The results of the experiment has positively substantiated the hypothesis that market bike is structurally unsafe to be ridden off-road".
I feel obligated to inform the public about the consequences of buying a bike from supermart for off-road ride. My colleague was convinced by the sales people in the supermart that the "top of the range" bike he bought was fit to be ridden off-road. The sales people offered him a bike that happened to be the last piece on the shelf, which does not fit his size at all. I seriously doubt the salespeople knowledge about bike was any better than man on the street. After the test ride at Bukit Timah bike trail, my friend finally convinced that market bike is best leave it as market ride. I feel responsible for my friend's injury, as I was unable to convince him against using market bike for off-road ride. I wish him a speedy recovery...