Thomas Vanderham and Wade Simmons Shredding Cross-Country 9

Most mountain bikers aren’t lucky enough to have a quiver of bikes to choose from on any given day. Most mountain bikers aren’t blessed with places to shuttle a freeride or downhill bike. As professional freeriders and North Vancouver residents, Wade Simmons and Thomas Vanderham are lucky enough to have a range of bikes to pick from and certainly do not suffer from a lack of shuttle terrain at their doorstep. Wade and Thomas, who at the mere mention of their names, conjure up images of massive whips, drops, and rugged lines in the minds of most, ride almost every day. Not for photo shoots, video shoots, or even cruising to the coffee shop, but simply because they are addicted to the sport. None of this should be too surprising, however you might be surprised at which bike in their respective envy-inducing garages gets pulled out the most – their cross country bike.

To the all-mountain or gravity rider, the term “cross-country” is tainted with all sorts of connotations like spandex, bike steep geometry, lame tires, six inch brake rotors and even bar-ends. The truth is that the vast majority of mountain bikers are cross country riders and they come in all shapes, sizes, preferences, and ability levels. Since most riders fall into this category, there’s a huge range of bikes to pick from. 100mm travel, 120mm travel, aluminum, carbon, steep, slack.... The list goes on. With the trickle down of gravity geometry and bike setup into the cross country realm, the bikes are becoming more capable than ever. The extreme gram counting of years past has given way to putting weight where it matters. Riser bars, short stems, 7” rotors and meaty tires can now be found on 25lb cross country bikes and what a difference it makes to the ride quality. As Thomas and Wade will attest to, there’s a new generation of carbon frames which are lighter and stiffer than their aluminum predecessors and are tougher than you’d ever imagine.

Most of us will probably never ride a cross country bike with as much skill and style as Thomas and Wade, but watching them ride theirs shows us that it’s not the bike that’s holding us back.

Credit: Rocky Mountain / Matt Denison
9 comments
  • Park

    5/13/2012 4:53 PM

    Great video, that course dosent look to challenging

  • marcio.c.prado

    5/4/2012 2:57 AM

    Awsome video… please tell us about the sound track….

  • kidwoo

    4/28/2012 3:09 PM

    Why would a mountain bike company pretend that they don't make mountain bikes or that they aren't expected to make mountain bikes?

    Weird.

  • Scott_Townes

    4/27/2012 10:32 PM

    Sorry but whoever had the perception that these 3-5 inch travel bikes are only good for XC are n00bs to being with. People have been slaying drops, elevations and tech. downhill for quite a while now even when the idea of full suspension was still deemed a fad. The technology of today is so incredible that a XC bike would easily compare to a freeride bike of well over a decade ago, focusing on the suspension aspect. Hell my brother and I were able to ride Goat's Gully to A-line with the most basic model, 6inch travel Kona Stinkey's in '06. It's not at all surprising to be able to rip today's XC bikes like that and it's not at all bringing down the walls of any conceptions because at the end of the day those bikes are designed for XC riding and although the advancements in technology allow them to be ridden otherwise, that doesn't mean they will last very long... which this could falsely advertise.

    Other than that, this video was so fucking incredible.

  • Wayne_Nagata

    4/27/2012 8:45 AM

    Great video show its Mostly rider! Bikes are starting to blend x/c and all mountain. I still prefer Alloy mt bikes.

  • sideshow

    4/27/2012 8:35 AM

    That lit a fire...

  • thinkdrastic

    4/27/2012 3:00 AM

    Fully awesome.

  • lev

    4/27/2012 12:20 AM

    Rad. It's great that mountain bikes are at this level and that manufacturers are confident enough to say, ride pretty much what you want on our light bikes! It is a pretty pure mountain biking.

  • lawrenuk

    4/26/2012 11:31 PM

    that was so awesome