Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Pontiac Aztek of mountain bikes

When General Motors revealed the Pontiac Aztek at the Detroit auto show a gasp was made by the audience that could be heard 'round the world. This gasp wasn't a gasp that one hears when showing elation, but more one makes when attempting to grasp how a company could have come to such a horrid design.

Packed on to a minivan platform, which it wouldn't have taken anyone older than a six year old to say that's a bad idea, the van, err Aztek, was supposed to be "sexy, edgy, and a bit off-key". In the lemming's opinion, minivans are never sexy, even when they have their own fan club, or are equipped with a "peppy" engine, standard air mattress, and car ass diaper (tent). Although one owner (Doug) notes that his Aztek is great because "my girlfriend loves the camping package for our little 'get togethers' in secluded areas", while his wife appropriately drives a Rendezvous. An Aztek owner that can land two women? Maybe the van is sexy.

But nonetheless, Aztek owners will always love their cars despite what the more cynical of us will say about them, and truth be told, the car did have some innovative designs. But what really does this have to do with a mountain bike? Well, I opened the issue of Mountain Bike that came with my unwanted issue of Bicycling this month and the same gasp overcame me, ending with me throwing up a little bit in my mouth.

Really, I shouldn't pass judgement on the Marin Mount Vision 5.9, I've never ridden it, I'll probably never even see one in my lifetime. Yet the first thing that came to mind when I saw it was "Pontiac Aztek", and just like the Aztek it is innovative.

In my years of reading bike magazines, I've yet to see one bad review, and of course Mountain Bike loved the Marin Mount Vision 5.9. If the lemming got to test one I'm sure he would find the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 "nimble and responsive" on the trail while exhibiting a "plush yet exhiliarating and efficient" suspension response. I also have no doubt that it climbs like a squirrel on crack, downhills like a snowball destined for hell, and blasts out of corners like an angry Ken Shamrock.

Yet, it's bizarre looking, the quad-link suspension is an unintended flashback to the day of Schwinn cruisers, stare at it long enough and you see a chainguard that's been rotated upward to link in to the suspension, or worse yet you'll see a praying mantis claw. It's a $6,300 bike that is constantly going to be asking you, "do I look fat with this suspension?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'car ass diaper'