I don't think Spomer was getting defensive or took it the wrong way, just pointing out where the skew may come from, the actual audience of riders. I think this is a really good topic for discussion. I hope/dont think Vital has the pompous/condescending voice that would keep anyone from sharing their passion about riding, whatever the type.
Decline has in the past three years significantly uped the amount of trail bikes and products they have reviewed and included. I read Decline because of the audience they tend to address, where MBA doesnt cater to my major interests in riding.
I love trail riding and do it just as much as my other types of riding. The past few years at Angel Fire for example had more than double the number of gravity riders as the endurance side of the sport. There are also a huge number of gravity groms here in Colorado and the western states and that number grows every year. Gravity is growing, but is still small compared to XC/trail riding.
I am a mountain biker, I dont fit into the categories listed by MBA because I ride everything. I think a HUGE number of gravity riders are the same way. To each of us, being on our bikes in the woods or desert is like nothing else out there and the grade of the slope and travel of the bike doesnt really matter, to us, if it has 2 wheels and is outside, its the best ride/day of our lives.
Why does the gravity side get so much attention? There are way more videos made about the gravity side than the trail/XC side, that being said, Voreis section in Disorder 10 was essentially a trail ride, it was awesome! XC and trail riding would be hard to show how cool it is in a video unless the majority of the movie was about the descent. Watching someone climb just isnt that exciting. Gravity is easy to translate the excitement and adrenaline.
Go to just about any major manufacturers website and you will see a few gravity/DJ types of bikes but dozens of hardtails and trail/XC bikes. Yes, gravity is a blip on the screen compared to the millions of "regular" bikes out there. I would absolutely agree, there definitely are more riders out there ripping up local loops and singletracks than those out shuttling or hitting up the lift.
I think of it as the silent majority and the vocal minority.