It's not the bike holding you back. It's you.

There's not much in this world that's more exciting 
than ordering new bike gear/components.
Maybe when it arrives is slightly more exciting.
But it gives you a proper buzz doesn't it?! 
I ordered some new tyres and brakes over the weekend. A
Minion DHF for the front, High Roller II for the back and some
Shimano XT's.
I'm on Hope Tech 2 brakes at the minute that are good, but I want something
a little more 'on and off' so I've gone for the XT's.
Tyres - I currently roll Specialized Ground Control's which are fantastic 
in the dry but horrendous in the mud. Most of my crashes have 
been the front wheel washing out in mud (I's not just
the tyre). I've never ridden Minion's but I know they get fantastic 
I was at Gisburn the other week with my dad riding through the boggy flat section at 
the bottom of 'Hully Gully'. If you've not been, it's literally just a field, that
in winter gets wet and muddy. 
My front and back wheels were like Bambi on Ice, while my Dad's Minion/High Roller 
combo had zero issues. It was so much grippier. 
But...the reason for today's email. 
It's not about the bike...
nor the components you have. 
New tyres.
New brakes.
Carbon fibre frames.
​​​​​​​Shock compression, rebound and air pressure settings.
ALL make a difference.
But the fact is - your biggest limiting factor is your skill,
strength and fitness levels.
Yes...most of my crashes have been washing the front 
wheel out, and new tyres are going to help that. But, give
my bike as it is to Gee, Ratboy, Danny, Fabien or Rachel and I can guarantee
they'll rip the muddiest of corners at warp speed with zero issues. 
Give your average rider the fastest carbon XC bike and put 
​​​​​​​him up against Nino Schurter on a £100 steel full susser 
from Halfords and your average rider will still get his arse 
handed to him.
Bikes do a fantastic job of making riding awesome, fast and 
relatively safe for us 'novice' riders. But in reality - it's the 
rider on the bike that makes the real difference.
This year - buy new bike gear. 
So of course :
Get the new flashy X01 Eagle in Gold.
Spend on the new Brakes.
Get the best and nicest bike you can afford! 
But don't expect it to put you at the front of the pack
on the sunday morning group ride.
And don't expect to leave your fastest mates in the 
dust on your favourite descent because of your new 
There's only one way to get to the front of the pack.
Hard hours practicing in the saddle.
Putting the hours in.
Nailing it in the gym. 
Losing weight.
Eating right.
And working
​​​​​​​Work hard on yourself...and buy the fanciest bike you can afford and then
you'll be the fastest and best rider you can possibly be.
Just know...and this is to myself as much as it is to you : 
It's not the bike holding you back. It's you.
Until tomorrow!
Matt Mooney