Less than Downhill, more than XC – not really a great description of All Mountain imo but one that seems to pop up often in MTB forums.
For me AM is about the ride — getting out there and having fun in whatever terrain comes your way — more so than downhill and XC which often seem to be more about the race, getting from A to B in the shortest possible time.
I reckon a big chunk of AM’ s appeal is versatility.
Like today for example, I had the day off work and planned to visit my father-in-law who has just finished 6 weeks of chemo and radiation treatment. The weather is awesome at this time of the year so took the Mojo HD instead of the car.
The ride out to Maldon from Castlemaine through the bush is XC terrain, but a good AM bike like the Mojo HD has an efficient pedaling platform making cruising terrain like that enjoyable. While I was out at Maldon thought I might as well climb Mt Tarrengower (the downhill guys regularly run shuttles on weekends there) and do a run or two on the downhill tracks. Good AM bikes are also rocket climbers. Cycling up to the summit on the HD was no drama in fact it climbs so well it was kinda fun. Point the HD downhill and the fun continued albeit with way more intensity. Those DH guys are NUTS.
Stopped in and visited Matt who is doing well all things considered, then late in the day jumped on the bike and tootled off back through the bush to Castlemaine.
All up a 50km or so ride with a little bit of everything. AM versatility is great fun. The Mojo HD is a do it all kinda bike, love it!