Pinkbike's Predictions for 2012

Jan 5, 2012 at 0:06
Jan 5, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Mike Levy Predicts


The Comeback: Sam Hill returns to the top

With a schedule of World Cup events held on some of the most challenging tracks, as well as a World Champs that was decided on the perilous slopes of Champéry, Switzerland, the 2011 season looked to be tailor made for Hill to reclaim the title of the fastest downhiller alive. Unfortunately for Sam, it didn't work out as he was no doubt hoping. There is no denying that Hill began the 2011 season not looking nearly as fit as the rest of the field, a fatal mistake when you consider the efforts that Gwin and company were making in the off season, but a shoulder injury was the final nail in the coffin of a year that really should have been his for the taking. It seems that half of the people I talk to feel that Sam's best days are behind him, and while I can't argue that the consistency of Gwin's race runs or the excitement of Danny Hart's World Champs win seems to have stolen some of Sam's fire, I'm still willing to bet that we'll see Hill on the top step of the World Cup podium once again. Yes, Gwin and the rest of the field have raised the game to a new level in Sam's absence, but an athlete returning to the top after an injury or off-year is the hallmark of a champion in any sport - many have already forgotten that Hill has done just that once before with his World Champs win in Canada, not to mention his 7th place at this year's Champs in Champéry after a season ending injury, a result that many people absurdly look at as a disappointment. Sam is often compared to Supercross' James Stewart, a rider who can often be too fast for his own good, but he also shares Stewart's drive to win - you don't put it on the line like Sam has in the past without a massive amount of pure desire. It's that fire that will have us fans see him start the 2012 season trim, fit and ready to shut down the doubters as only he can, hopefully wearing the loudest Troy Lee Designs gear that we've ever seen. - Mike Levy



More Flow: Dropper posts drop on their own

No, I'm not talking about the already common issue of a failed dropper post that has a mind of its own. There are few locations around the world where a telescoping seat post won't benefit your trail ride, mainly routes that get all of the climbing out of the way right off the bat, but the large majority of riders will benefit from adding a dropper post to their bike. While the category still needs to improve on the reliability front, I believe that we'll soon see a telescoping post from at least one manufacturer that lowers at the press of a button without requiring you to use your body weight. This would eliminate that awkward moment when you are forced to sit for a split second before rolling into the gnar. I'm not going to pretend to have an idea of how the system would work (maybe some sort of negative air pressure would be involved?), but the technology is there to make it happen and raise the flow levels even higher. Is it a needed development? Nope. Would it be useful? Hell yes. You heard it here first, unless it doesn't happen, of course, in which case you can forget that I ever said it. - Mike Levy



Hard to Beat: Derailleurs continue to rule

I'm likely not going too far out on a limb when I say that, from what I've seen so far concerning gearbox technology, derailleurs will continue to rule the drivetrain world. Sure, a story on a new gearbox bike seems to light up the forums and comment boards, but I've yet to see these bikes actually make any headway into proper day to day use by more than a few select riders. Some will point out that Honda's 'derailleur in a can' design reaped some success, or that a gearbox system should require less maintenance and shrug off abuse, but there are facts that will always hold the gearbox back from being accepted by the general public. First and foremost, as much as many complain about the current systems, derailleurs are pretty damn dialled these days. Even Shimano and SRAM's entry level kit is impressive, with the 9 speed Deore and 10 speed X5 groups offering more performance and reliability than you'd expect from parts that retail for such reasonable prices. There is also the issue of weight, which will likely always tip in the favour of traditional systems. While many riders, especially the downhillers out there, often claim that they would be happy to trade the added weight for a gearbox's theoretical advantages, the fact of the matter is that we're a fickle bunch when it comes to counting grams and even the lightest gearbox systems are currently quite a bit heavier than a derailleur setup. There are then the issues of the friction associated with most designs, or having frame manufacturers come to an agreement on how to attach them to the frame. But the most damning fact is that neither Shimano or SRAM seem to be behind the idea, despite both producing internally geared hubs for quite some time. The jaded and suspicious of you are likely to ask why they would bother, given their investment in standard derailleurs, but I'd counter that by saying that either company would love to get the jump on the other by releasing a lightweight and reasonably priced gearbox design. Will it ever happen? I'd love to say that I'm looking forward to having a go on a competitive gearbox bike, but I highly doubt that it will happen anytime soon. - Mike Levy



Less is More: More riders will use bikes with less travel

While I can't argue that a downhill bike lets you get away with mistakes and line choices that would spank you hard on a shorter travel bike, there is something to be said for mastering that same terrain on smaller rig. More and more riders who would have previously spent most or all of their saddle time on a downhill bike are discovering how much fun they can have on a shorter travel bike, but why? Part of if is a fundamental change in how many riders look at their riding. A trail bike, or whatever you want to call it, means that you get more saddle time instead of sitting on a lift or in the back of a truck. Don't take me the wrong way, racing and riding big bikes with buddies will never get old, but there is no way that those long travel beasts can give you the same bang for your buck when talking about amount of time spent on singletrack. Manufacturers are also waking up to the idea, with more and more designing trail bikes that agressive riders can feel comfortable on. The idea of such a bike is far from new, but we all win when big players like Specialized put out bikes like their 145mm travel Stumpjumper FSR Expert EVO, a mid travel machine with geo that allows you to charge hard. Many brands, both big and small, are designing similar bikes that allow a skilled rider to work the terrain more, with many discovering that they are actually faster in a great deal of places on their shorter travel bike. But here's the clincher: these progressive bikes are showing riders that it isn't about outright speed, but rather outright shits and giggles. And when are you having the most fun? When your bike is sliding around, loose and spraying dirt behind you, a point that is much easier to reach on a mid travel trail bike than on a full fledged DH sled. Slack and low geometry combined with short stems, suspension technology that lets you have your cake and eat it as well, and dropper posts that allow you to squeeze every last ounce of flow out of the trail are all factors that will ensure that these evolved trail bikes will continue to gain in popularity. - Mike Levy


Do you agree with Mike, or is he talking rubbish?





RC's Predictions


Before you read further, I must tell you a story that relates to every successful prediction that I have made for my brief 96 years in the bicycle industry. Once I was struggling to cross a wide sand wash on my Mantis Pro Floater. This was a hellish place where only I rode. Beyond a two half-buried washing machines, a doll head and four non-matching truck tires from the '30s, there was no visible evidence of humans for a half mile in any direction. You may understand then, why I was curious to see a Magic 8-Ball laying on a smooth sand bar next to an impact crater the size of a cantaloupe. The black sphere was a fresh addition to the wash, it glinted in the afternoon sun and the marks it made in the sand were distinct. I could clearly see that the orb impacted near vertically. The flares surrounding the crater radiated evenly in all directions and there was evidence that the 8-Ball bounced only once before settling window down, approximately seventeen inches from initial impact.

Given its remote location, Nolan Ryan could not have thrown the black missile high nor far enough to duplicate such a decidedly vertical impact. I ascertained that the magic 8-Ball must have been dropped from the sky by a pilot or passenger who, after losing spouse, home and fortune to an unforced 8-Ball error, flew to a god-forsaken place and heaved it out the window. I picked it up the ball, shook it around and asked an unspoken question: 'Did some jerk throw this ball from an airplane in disgust?' The floating icosahedral within slowly loomed up from the dark blue alcohol. The message read: 'It is decidedly so.' Intrigued, I asked a more subtle question: 'Am I the greatest living editor in the bicycle industry?' I shook it good and hard. It seemed to take forever for the ball to reply: 'You may rely on it.' Well, that was all the evidence I needed. I stuffed the eight ball into my Camelbak and to this day, I have used it to predict the future of cycling.



Will 650b Bikes Re-emerge in 2012? "Signs point to yes"

When 650b marched into the spotlight, 29ers were facing resistance from mainstream bike-makers and a mid-sized wheel format seemed to be a reasonable compromise that offered the benefits of the 29er's larger wheels while retaining the familiar handling qualities and component spec of a comparable 26er. The Momma-Bear wheel solution captured the imagination of riders, the press, and a number of tire and wheel makers, but the cycling industry was already having a tough time translating the benefits of 29ers. Explaining the benefits of 650b was more difficult because the mid-sized format appeared similar to its smaller 26-inch brother. With its clearly different profile and widespread support, the winds of change filled the sails of the 29er and 650b disappeared from the lineups of all but a few of bike brands. The re-emergence of 650b is already gathering speed, however, and insiders report that suspension makers are gearing up to produce 650b forks on the order of the biggest names in the bike biz. This indicates that 650b bikes are slated for future production.

Why? It's no secret that Specialized and Trek are locked in a heated battle to own the 29er business worldwide. Both brands have sharp design teams who are struggling to adapt the 29er to the longer travel AM/trail market which is the fastest-growing segment. After 120 millimeters of rear-wheel travel, squeezing additional suspension from a 29er becomes a bit of designer's nightmare as standard components crowd each other for space. On top of that, reinforcing the frame to counter the additional forces generated by big wheels and more aggressive riders heaps on weight - an issue that 29ers already suffer from. Those who have continued to develop 650b know that the harder those designers try to cram 29er wheels into a 160 to 180 millimeter chassis, the better 650b will begin to look. Plus, riders who are feeling pressured to jump over to big wheels might choose a mid-sized format if it makes sense, simply because it isn't a 29er. The reasons for 650b may still be the same, but the circumstances are far more compelling. - RC



Will Four Cross Return to World Cup Racing?
"My sources say no"


They say that when you are acting stupid that you get three chances to live before nobody can save you from inevitable death. Four Cross promised side-by-side action that was sure to wow spectators and attract television coverage that had been lacking from um-who-was-that-rider downhill and my-god-this-is-taking-forever dual slalom formats. What we got was a bunch of groomed big-boy-BMX courses that, on paper, were wide enough for passing, but in reality, offered only one line. On a smooth, banked course, there is only one fast line and if you don't claim it at the start, your only option for the win is to push the leader off the track. Rubbing is racing, but purposeful moves that take out the field in nearly every heat is unsportsmanlike conduct (unless its roller derby). Protests were rare and officials failed to respond to stop the foolishness. After watching their homeland heroes get taken out by jerk moves time after time, spectators started to thin out and top names began to no-show simply because winning an event staged at night after the big show was not worth a broken leg and a hundred bucks. Strike three was that you could win almost any four cross race on a hardtail - which is fine for BMX lovers, but kind of silly in front of a crowd that rides 140 to 180 millimeter dual-suspension bikes. It was sad to see worthy courses finally appear throughout the 2011season with serious terrain and line change-ups that actually offered passing opportunities - and gave the advantage to dual-suspension bikes. By then, however, the exorbitant cost of crafting a race course that only got used once by an abbreviated field of riders soured promoters to the point that most secretly wished for the decision to be handed down by the UCI. Had four cross began where it ended, it probably would have grown to a successful stand-alone series. Three strikes, and now it's dead. - RC


Will the Enduro Racing Format Gain Traction in North America? "Ask again later"

Already an established and popular series in Europe, Enduro racing is one of the few formats that allows us to race a normal mountain bike. Enduros have all of the pieces that AM/trail riders have been wishing for, like an emphasis on technical bike-handling skills and reducing the climbing component from dominating the odds of a podium finish. It's better than Super D because there a number of racers who compete side-by-side on course and Enduros offer multiple stages to highlight different skillsets. Where Enduro begins to falter is that North American racers tend to like uncomplicated events. Although the premise of an Enduro race is relatively striaghtforward - accumulated timed stages connected by un-timed uplifts and climbing sections - as long as an Enduro racer must translate his or her sport to convey its importance to friends, it will continue to be a slow growing event. Another block is that it is accepted practice in European events to cut the course to gain an advantage. Much of their pre-race ride-arounds are spent searching the courses for cheats. The excuse is that if there is no tape on either side of the course, then it is OK to ride wherever you can to gain an advantage. US racers abroad have followed Enduro stars down secret routes that have gained the leaders 15 seconds or more. Antics like that are rare in North American racing, even in 24 hour events, where there is virtually no supervision and racers enjoy the cover of darkness. Enduro racing has great potential in North America, but it needs to be repackaged to lure trail riders out of the woods and onto the race course. - RC


Will the UCI Continue to Impose Dress Codes on Downhill Racing?
"As I see it, Yes"


The UCI is all about making rules and you can bet that, now that downhill racing is on the radar of the international governing body for cycle racing, that more rules are in order. The UCI knows a lot more about kits than courses. Reverse logic suggests that if Olympic teams run the same kit, and ProTour road racers ride the same kit, and Pro XC teams all wear the same kit, that Pro DH teams should follow suit. Downhill is one of the last mountain bike race venues where the individual looks like an individual. When rain pours down and contestants are muddy, it's still possible to differentiate racers by their kits. Plus, DH is a timed sport - one man or one woman laying it all on the line against nature and the clock.

Mick, Neethling and Minnaar Ian Hylands photo

Why should a downhill racer conform to ANY dress code beyond appropriate safety gear? I would love to see an up-and-coming pinner smoke the pro field in double low-rise stretch jeans and a T-shirt. Of course, it's a pro sport, so sponsor logo placement and country flags are part of the deal, but what individual team members wear should be up to the team and the racer. With money tight, racers typically contract with gear and clothing sponsors outside of the team's and it is doubtful that additional dress codes will give this valuable income source a workaround. Brace yourself for some UCI meddling near the end of the 2012 season. - RC

Will Slopestyle Events Hit a Plateau? "Very Doubtful"

Throughout 2011, it appeared that slopestyle events were won by the same tricks, just a lot bigger and a lot more of them. By the end of the year, however, the focus seemed to take a turn. We are seeing more tricks launched from natural features and at contests, the moves are becoming larger and more graceful. Instead of cramming as much as possible in two and a quarter seconds between lips, riders are creating a flow, sewing together huge arcing tricks with lighting-fast moves. There is a new aesthetic emerging that seems to be transforming the sport. One of the new-school guys is Anthony Messere, who at 15 years, placed a convincing third at the Kokanee Crankworx Red Bull Joyride. Watch this Aaron LaRoque video and notice how Messers seems to have a clear vision of how he'll execute his routine and at the same time, what it will look like from an observer's perspective. It's a beautiful style, and he's just getting warmed up. - RC


Anthony Messere's Redbull Joyride Run

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Will RC's predictions for 2012 come true?

There are 20 answers inside the Magic 8-Ball:



Must Read This Week









163 Comments

  • + 70
 Sam Hill FTW.
  • + 21
 Like a boss.
  • + 3
 Lets hope so.
  • + 10
 with danny hart right on his heels
  • + 5
 it will be a crazy year!!
  • + 22
 You can't win against gwinn on the hill even if you have alot of Hart. Lol i dig hill he rips,, this popped in my head so I put it here. I think those 3 have the capacity to put this sport on a solid whole nother level and will be good to see Hill at it again.
  • + 7
 oooooohh i notice no ones mentioned GEE o.O
  • + 18
 We want to see Gwin's fitness and precision, with Sam Hill's balls out win-it or bin-it style with a few Danny Hart wild saves thrown in!
  • + 10
 Sam's run in Val Di Sole will always remain in my memory. When you can ride a bike that fast you can always come back and be at the top!
  • - 4
 Sam was great back in the day, but that is just it, back in the day. The game has moved on big time over the last couple of years. Results speak... he has already been spanked by Troy this year, so imagine what Gwin will do to him come WC. Wait for an excuse for sure from Sam......
  • - 1
 betsie is probably right... but I would LOVE to see him proved wrong!
  • + 11
 "Already been spanked by Troy this year..." Really? Remember that the WC series and Champs is what these guys focus on. Yes, they obviously want to win their own National rounds but this is still their off season, much in the same way that 'Otter doesn't really count.
  • - 2
 Fairclough and Gwin are surely the two to be battling it out for the world title this year, especially now Brendan's had knee surgery. Danny Hart will be chomping at the bit too.
  • + 6
 I feel I should way in with my opinion. Dh racing is changing every year. When Sam first exploded onto the Scene every one was amazed, then Gee and Greg went on a tear. Last year Aaron smoked the field. What I am getting at is, every one is tryin to step up there training, commitment and desire to win. Will we see another dominant year form an already established bad ass, or will another of the new young guns be on top. Hart, brosnan, fairclough all have the potential to win big. I shouldnt forget to mention Steve Smith, another young gun who could unleash some terror on the rest of them. I believe we'll see just what we see every year some one will have a break out season, the regulars will be battling for top five, and there will be a couple surprises. All in all I cant wait to see how it turns out. best sport in the world...with the best announcer ever. thats right Rob I'm talking about u.
  • + 3
 Gwin has been beaten on home soil too. Doesn't mean a thing for the World Cup. Hill is Pro that puts it all out there for the races that matter and holds back on the ones that don't. Like most pros. One thing is certain; this season will be one of the greatest of all time!
  • + 9
 Betsie, by "back in the day", do you mean 2010, the second last World Champs, when he won?

Sam has a talent that can't be learned, or improved by training. But unlike the others who train hard physically, Sam has great room for physical improvement. A fit, injury-free Sam Hill will be World Cup or World Champion again.
  • + 2
 Yes in 2010 Sam had 1 good result, although it could be said he came down in differing conditions to others...
I hope Sam comes back fighting this year, it would be nice to see someone challenge Gwinn.
Gwin is still new to the sport (200Cool , and is improving race to race.
What he does in 2012 could be epic. In a lot of respects I hope it is, the latest stars are moving the sport on to another level.
Must be tough positioning 3,1,1,2,1,1,5 (Crash),1,1,1,3,1,12 (Crash),2,1 last year for Gwin.
  • + 2
 I can't see Josh Brycland's (heaps sorry for spelling) name in here. I think if he keeps her on 2 wheels we could c a win from him. The english could theoretically and very possibly take the top 5 in one race, even coming from a Sam Hill supporting Aussie that would be cool to see.
  • + 0
 wait, a second guys, WHAT ABOUT 4X!?
  • + 2
 maybe he meant as a UCI wc sport, not the new thing thats starting
  • - 1
 Theres definitely a reliable seat dropper, the Gravity Dropper rules them all.
  • + 3
 The only concern I have with Hill is the bike. He'll have one of the heaviest bikes on the field unless specialized comes out with a carbon fiber
  • + 1
 IAMAMODEL you've hit the nail on the head. The skill of Hill cannot be coached. I think Hart has more of the same. Hill isn't much of an athlete though, and if he became one he would blow the bloody doors off every race. I think the same could be said for Hart. Both of them balls to the wall, dripping with raw talent, but a bit puny in athletic terms. Put one of them in Gee's body and they'd be untouchable. DOORKNOB100 - Specialized do have a carbon bike, or at least they had at the world champs judging by the photos.
  • + 2
 Gwin is going to win 2 or 3 races this year for sure. idk about sam he might win 1 but u never know. GEE won't win 1 race because there on the new bike and everything. he didn't win 1 last year and that was coming off of a championship season. fairclough will have a good season i bet with his knee healed up and he's on that sick scott, he's not in the shadow of ol sam now, i gurantee this year he will not be just recognized for throwing mad whips and going fast sometimes. Minaar i think won't do as good as he has been doing probably just some top 5s. Thats my input on it, hate on it, like or whatever haha.
  • - 1
 Its going to be Peat to Beat or Gwinn for the winn but not the little fart hart. Hill at Bill and Cedric will start doing pornos. That's my prediction. Lol not really just bored at the moment but yeah Cedric will be the Mr.bean of porn.
  • + 2
 Peat to beat? Okay no... not this year, sorry. I love him too but his prime is well passed
  • + 1
 2 wins for Peaty in 2009, plus the world champs and a top 5 in 2011... And La Bresse where he would have been top 5 if he'd stayed between the tape! Sure, I'm not going to bet on him winning the overall, but it wouldn't surprise if he won a couple!
  • + 1
 I think best case he wins 1. I would love to see it.
[Reply]
  • + 24
 Interesting article Smile
  • + 1
 Yeah! I totallly agree with Mike about the shorter travel bike thing. You can ride so much more terrain on an aggressive all mountain bike than you ever could on a full out dh machine, and the fact that they're lighter and more nimble makes them really fun bikes to ride as well. With bikes like specialized's enduro evo or trek's slash on the market, I think that people will soon learn how capable shorter travel bikes are becoming, as well as the benefits of being able to shred anywhere on them -- from flowy xc trails, to bike park or gnarly dh lines. Just my .02.
  • + 1
 Roger that. This is Mike's most interesting comment to me. I felt a little out of place initially on my 6" AM/FR bike on my first trip to Whistler this past summer. Its plenty slack and burly, but everyone was on 8" DH bikes so I rented a Demo 8 for a day. I took it back after the morning. The Demo would certainly monster truck most anything when I made line mistakes but it seemed glued to the ground and sluggish by comparison even with the dampers adjusted to full boing. Had a blast the rest of the week on the shorter travel bike.
  • + 1
 I just bought a Konig because a full DH bike is too much for Taiwan with its lack of proper trails or ski lifts. Now I'm praying for the day when the big boys release TR250-esque, slack, long and low 6" travel bikes made of carbon. I think in 5 years that will be where it's at for most casual downhillers and park riders. Hard out racers will still be on their 200mm+ bikes with triple clamps, everyone else will be on mini DH bikes or beefy AM bikes with 65ø head angles and single crown forks.

Plus there's nothing like sticking it to someone when you're on a short travel bike and jeans to their DH monster, fivetens and neck brace!

Giant are you listening? I want a mini Glory made of Carbon!
  • + 2
 "Plus there's nothing like sticking it to someone when you're on a short travel bike and jeans to their DH monster, fivetens and neck brace!"

Amen to that! Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 20
 29ers are the 3D TVs of the bike world.
  • + 7
 Yes! But where does that leave 650b? I place 650b in the same category as that goofy steer tube Giant is trying to pioneer.
  • + 2
 aww god but i hate that bloody steerer tube!!
  • + 9
 Damn im confused, I hate 29rs but love my 3dTV?????
  • + 9
 650b wheels are the Thai lady-boys of the mountain bike world because both cater to guys that aren't quite sure which way to swing. Those hoping for something that has the best properties of either merely find themselves with a compromise and limited choice i.e. can't find a 3C Minion or an Eastern European beauty. So then they find themselves with a second rate tire and a girl that has lovely skin and is very pretty, is also an ex-Muay Thai fighter who almost beats you to death everytime you want to go play golf. Yeah, I'm just jokin'.
  • + 2
 Here's the thing, gentlemen. Most 650b options WILL WORK ON YOUR 26. Most 26" full suspension bikes only need to have room for a high volume tire, and have some way of limiting travel.

I think we'll see more bikes with "wheel geometry" options.

This will probably correspond with the mid-travel AM/FR Enduro bike category. You'll see bikes that are designed to be 30lbs with 160mm of travel and have the roll over advantages of 650b at the top model and the "standard" or low end models will have 26" wheels.

The 650b model may have different drop-outs or shock links to maintain good geometry. In "FR" setup, you'll run 26" wheels, bigger tires 2.5+, longer travel, more slack, think Mini-DH. In the "AM" setup you'll run 650b, 2.35 tires, slightly more steep HA throw the seat post up and you've got a good alternative to the wagon wheels.

I ride a 29er, and I'm very excited about the new crop of AM 29ers like the Satori, Tallboy, Prime, Lenz, etc, but I believe there is definite limit to both suspension travel and head tube angle with the bigger wheels.
  • + 2
 I say if a 650b fits within the confines of my frame it's too close to a 26" in physical size to deal with the additional complexities of another standard for rims, tires, tubes, etc.
  • + 1
 I compare bikes with 29 inch wheels to 3D TVs because the manufacturers keep telling us we need them. The people who wanted them and have spent the money on them love them. But honestly most of us don't want them and will never buy them.

Even now that 3D HD TVs aren't any more expensive than regular HD TVs, people are buying them, but they only sell 3D glasses to a very small % of people who buy those 3D HD TVs. The consumer doesn't care much about 3D, and isn't going to take the disadvantages (wearing glasses) to get the advantages (seeing the same shows/movies in 3D).

Hey Sony, I don't want to have to wear glasses when I watch TV. People stick plastic lenses to their eyes with their fingers and have surgery to not have to wear glasses.

Hey Intense, I don't want a bike that handles like a Buick on singletrack and downhills just so I can "roll" over bumps better. The main reason I ride a mountain bike is for the singletrack and downhills... a 2 mile singletrack downhill? YES PLEASE!

I'm just really annoyed with manufacturers telling me "you need to ride one!" I have, and I'm not a fan. It's bad at everything I love about mountain biking. Not to mention, just like 3D glasses, they look stupid!
[Reply]
  • + 14
 RE: Sam Hill, I would like to see him pin it again, but I think the fact is not that he is over the Hill, the ”fact" (WELL, but fact I mean assumption) is that he is not that fond of pedalling and while his skills certainly outstrip those of Gwin and likely even the young Hart his training does not lend itself well to what being champion of an elite sport is all about. I think the difference between Hart and Gwin showed that pretty well. Gwin took the overall with ease - had a race n hand - but on any given day it was the lights out riding of Hart that won it. If Hill is willing to put in the hours to get the fitness up then there is no doubt he has the most skill and insanity out there. Watching him on Iron Horse was like watching Bobby Orr play. THey played the game/sport in a way that simply had not been even conceived of and were thus revolutionary and hands down the best. But Orr trained hard year after year. Will Hill? Early results in the Australian national series have him 2 seconds behind his protege Brosnan. 2nd round goes soon... stay tuned!
  • - 25
 ^ he is right, sam hill has had his day and has been replaced just like steve peat has been, sad to say it but its correct
  • + 45
 Steve peat can still kick everyone's ass and drink them all under the table, ultimate human being? I think so...
  • + 2
 I don't think he past it just yet.
I also don't think he'll be a consistent winner or performer.
He still has some great races to do though... I believe.
Smile
  • + 15
 peaty deserves respect not for his champ wins, but for being a top WC capable rider for the last 2 decades, and constantly stepping it up as the new young riders appear.
  • - 8
 Typical neg prop...
  • - 10
 Just watch this years outcome, Sam hill and Danny hart will push it but peat has stepped down now and you can see it, The syndicate team is taking over from him.....
  • + 9
 Just to re-cap, Peaty got 2 podium finishes this year, and it would have been 3 if he didn't go outside the tape in La Bresse.
  • + 4
 robc10 is on the moneyish. They have not got much slower, it is just the others have become faster.

Gwin is nearly the package, Danny on a wild day can keep with or beat him, but that was just it in 2011, Gwin makes what others (Including Gee, Steve, Greg) make look hard, look simple.

Train hard, race as a 100% professional not a media star and you can do it.

I remember Greg (or might have been Gee) saying about the young boys Gwin, Hart, Stevie, Josh and Brendog can do ok for a run, but are not consistent at the start of 2011.... well Greg (or Gee), you better have been training hard over the winter to catch back up!
  • + 5
 @cameronbikes -

"Gwin took the overall with ease - had a race n hand - but on any given day it was the lights out riding of Hart that won it."

Have to disagree with you there. On "any given day" it was Aaron's riding that won it. Hart won one race, admittedly it in a very spectacular style, but Gwin won the most WC races in a single year by any male racer in the history of the sport.

Regarding Hill and Troy's results in their national rounds, remember that these are not WCs. They obviously want to win these races but much like Sea Otter, their focus is on the WC season and World Champs.
  • + 4
 @mikelevy

Totally agree.. and to say that Sam got "spanked" by Troy when he was down 2 seconds on a 5+ minute track without much vertical is a bit silly. The fact that Sam was that close to Troy ( and ahead of Graves ) on flats is telling... bring on the WC tracks!
  • + 2
 Either way you never know the outcome, cant realy base it on past performance due to the fact that a injury could happen
  • - 1
 dont u dear speak about sam hill that way his is and will always be the fasted rider on the plantet so show some effin respect he will live and die a legand
  • + 1
 @scriz well said. I thought graves would take it hands down (he pedals like Cavendish). Thredbo is not a technical coarse so the difference in line choice won't make up too much time against a track like Champery where Hart was smashing lines that were pulling seconds away from others (eg: that crazy ass drop). I think Hills going to be well on it Smile
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  • + 15
 Great Read! Thanks...I don't think slopestyle itself will hit a plateau but many riders will...
  • + 1
 yeh its not the riders [increasing] talent that is progressing the sport, its the waves of new talent coming through all the time, each rider with more BALLS than the last
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  • + 15
 i think stevie smith is in for it this year
  • + 8
 Man I hope so.I like the Aussie riders but I just like this guy not only for his riding but he is a genuine nice bloke who really deserves to win something.
  • + 9
 ever since i watched his section in seasons, i've always wanted him to get the overall. a legit dude who really deserves it.
  • + 5
 Ha man thats for sure....Great how his mum shuttles his him and you can tell he is from a down to earth person.Even in Whistler when he is doing runs with Peaty you are cheering him on to over take him lol.....
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  • + 9
 @mike levy, you hit it spot on with short travel bikes. i do ride mostly XC and throw in some DH rides but im am mostly on my trail bike and have more fun with it at times. for me, XC (i race XC back in the day) and fun on full on DH bikes will never die its just that trail bikes bring in some kind of different mix into what we already have. just makes mountain biking more fun than what it already is , IMO.
  • + 1
 I am rocking a 145mm trail bike (Devinci Dixon Split-Pivot) which has slack 66 degree head angle with Fox 36 Float forks, 30.5lb with Reverb seatpost, 1 x 9 gearing and sensible, tough custom build

lp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb7394968/p4pb7394968.jpg

goes up the mountain, across the mountain, down the mountain - the true "mountain bike" just like my first MTB in 1986 which I rode everything on?

so much quicker than any of my previous long travel DH / FR bikes, and so much more fun to ride, as it requires skilled input to navigate steeper, rougher terrain than just "ploughing" through like you can do on the big bikes!!
  • + 1
 The short travel bikes are starting to have the geometry of of FR/DH bikes rather than road bikes, which makes a heck of a lot of difference when you want to jump and roost. Yeah, they climb good too, but I don't ride for the climbs. Big Grin
  • + 2
 "Less is More: More riders will use bikes with less travel" - Sing it brother
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  • + 11
 SAM HILL IS GONA HAVE MORE THAN A COME BACK , HES GOING TO REMINED EVERYONE WHOS DA BOSS
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  • + 7
 you can't have a post that will go up and down on its own over and over again. something needs to power it. when you sit down on the seat to lower it, you are 'charging' the spring, be it coil or air. And I am guessing nobody will want to pump up the charge on their seatpost every ride, or put in batteries.
  • + 2
 You "can't" based on *current* designs. There are a lot of things that we take for granted today that we thought were impossible just a few years ago.
  • + 0
 An electric motor with a gear tooth inside the shaft can raise/lower the post just fine at a press of a button and doesn't necessarily need to be any heavier than the current crop of air piston/spring units. As to charging/changing batteries... I fail to see the problem. I already double-check my tire pressures and chain state before every ride. What's a few more seconds to check the battery on something ?!
  • + 1
 "Velcro Ass Shorts" FTW!! Gravity drops the post, velcro ass attaches to the seat and lifts when you stand! hahaha.

Hmm. seriously though, there could be a weight inside that bounces, creating air pressure to lift the seat when you're ready.. but, weight = bad.. so, that's not so great. (besides, it wouldn't work for short changes, as it would need to recharge)

or, I wonder if you could use the extending rear suspension to 'charge' the uplift.. after the rear suspension cycles a couple times, that energy could be used to lift the seat.. I have no idea how to tie the two together.. a cable attached to the rear swing arm would be light, but not super clean.. Hmm.. needs more work. ..

It's an interesting concept though. that's how great ideas get started, Mike! someone has to find a need for something, then find a way to do it. Identifying the need is sometimes the hard part, so perhaps we are half way there already!
  • + 0
 It's called a hydraulic actuator. It would be very simple to make into a seat post, just expensive.
  • + 6
 Seriously folks, its not that hard to drop your arse on the post to make it go down. if you're doing it right, you wouldn't be waiting till the very last second to put it down so the issue of "dropping it right before the gnar" is more a problem of user error than post design. all in all, a dumb thought IMHO. but you know, opinions are like a__ holes, everyone's got one.
  • + 1
 Thumb shifters were not hard to use either, but that didn't keep them from becoming obsolete and being replaced by something better. Nothing wrong with innovation.
  • + 1
 @sixkdollars - This "technology" already exists in many forks in the form of a positive and negative air chamber, it's nothing new.
  • + 1
 Yeah well I was hoping Mike meant in price...however they work.
  • + 2
 The negative air chamber on forks simply replaces the negative spring (the smaller steel spring in a fork that stops them from topping out). It is completely different in function to what you are implying. the only logical way I can see to make a post that could go up and down is either an electric motor (which would be rad and easily do able) or have the button as some sort of hydraulic pump that increases or lets off pressure in the system.
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  • + 5
 How is Sam over the Hill? Isn't Gwinn older? If everyone saw how Gwinn rode last year and they all stepped up there training we are yet to see some great compitition! Atherton, Hill, Gwinn, Hart, Minnar, Fairclough.... all top contenders and hungry for wins. I just hope Redbull does a amazing job with the coverage.
  • + 2
 It wasn't a reference to Hill's age, but rather his desire =)
  • + 1
 No Sam Hill is older (a year and a half roughly)

Sam will win races but not Championships...
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  • + 4
 Hey RC, your argument about Euros cheating is absolutely ridiculous for at least 2 reasons.
1. you say it's cause of this that enduro won't take off in north america. So you assume there's no cheater in north america??? Let me laugh. You find cheaters worldwide.
2. now let me point another non-sense (but what a non-sense): how the heck can you say that "cut(ting) the course" is "an accepted practice" and then say the riders (euro of course, cause north-american either are no cheaters or may not be allowed to follow the same rules????) are "searching for cheats". You know that if it's allowed by the rule it's not cheating? Is it a formulation problem or just bad faith?? The latter I'm afraid. Moreover, it should actually better be in the rules cause how do you wanna tape 4 courses of say 5-10km (~3-6 miles for our north-american friends ;-)) and even better: have a commissaire every 10 meters???
I thought you are a respectable person but your lines are so offensive to european riders (and even to european in general) that I might have been wrong. I'm not fond of politically-correct/boring articles at all but here I think you really crossed the line.

(cut, too long)
  • + 3
 As for Euros winning cause they cheat, another one against you: did you follow the Trans-Provence race? Nobody knew the trails (except the last stages for Vouilloz and Barel, and even, they surely knew the trails but not the course). It's Clementz who one, not Mark Weir nor Ben Cruze (unfortunately got injured) nor Matt Ryan. They did fantastic results that I'll never get (got 22), and I'm not boasting myself about euro-riders results (cause they are not my results!). I guess you got this "cheat" story from a guy who actually tried to block the guys who were trying to overtake him during the Enduro of Nations, right? Does he know it's not allowed by the rules? Who's cheating?

And please, if you dare answering keep the "nations" out of it. There are good people and idiots everywhere.

Finally, I think and hope (for the pro-athletes and for the average dude like me and for you too RC) that enduro keeps growing, including in north america. You said it: that's the kind of race you run with your trail/enduro/all-mountain bike, which is it seems the largest market segment for the MTB enthusiasts. and best of all: it's fun!

Enough typing, I have now to "escape winter" with another Pinkbike article in Utah (let me dream...)
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  • + 4
 I do really think we will start to see a decline in 200mm travel bikes quite soon, as yes they are faster but they are just boring.

before you down vote me, hit the same trail you been hitting on your massive DH rig and tell me its not as fun on a hard tail?
  • + 4
 I don't think it we be the decline of DH bikes, by any means. But any real mountain biker knows you spend 70% of saddle time on a trail bike and 30% on the big bike. At least in my opinion.

Riding a trail/all-mountain bike is great training for riding/racing DH. I do hope there are more Enduro events in the US. They are incredibly fun and challenging.
  • + 4
 I've been riding hardtails since I was 14 (I'm 19 now) and I always loved it, but I got my first DH bike about a year ago and I think it's just way more fun!!! I spend 90% of my riding time on my DH bike. I moved to a new place and there's a proper DH course here, which is so rough, that you wouldn't have any fun on a hardtail. I'll buy an AM bike in a few weeks time, tough, because I think it's good for training and for having fun, but I'm sure I'll spend most of my time on my DH bike!
  • + 7
 Ultimately i think it depends on how many bikes you can afford, donch15. I for one can only afford one bike and I think for people like me (currently riding a DH bike) shorter travel bikes will beome more popular, as they have become way more capable over recent years.
  • + 3
 I agree completely. If I could only afford one bike, it would definitly be a 5" or 6" travel bike like the Specialized Enduro, Yeti SB66, or similar.

I have been riding XC/Trail/All-Mountain bikes all my life and was putting wide bars, short stems, single rings & chainguides on my trail bikes long before it became the cool thing to do. It's amazing what a properly spec'd and set-up trail bike can handle. I swear I'm faster down some gnarly DH trails on my Enduro.

Years ago I used to get really stange looks for running 745mm Sunline VI Bars, a 50mm Sunline V1 Stem, a 34 tooth single ring & chainguide, burly wheels and a Minion DHF & High Roller on my Stumpjumper. Now Spesh specs their bikes in a very similar fashion.
  • + 3
 Im not the wealthiest guy in the world. When it comes to buying a bikie i have to be smart with my money, and for me my dh bike is my one stop shop. Many will disagree. I love my 200mm of travel.Its there if i need it, and i can always count on it ifi get into a situation that needs a little extra forgiveness. I started on a hardtail, and soon needed more and more travel. I use my dh rig for singletrack, and love how it feels like im floating along. The possible decline of long travel is a phase. Evryone can go follow the trend, but im a dh lifer, and will stay true. Its not that im stubborn. Its just the right thing for me.Riding is all about fun, and i have the most funn possible on my dh rig.
  • + 1
 The trails here in the rockies for the most part would be not fun at all to ride on a hard tail. It all depends on location, and with 4+ resorts within less than an hour of me, pedaling is almost non existent if i want it to be.
  • + 1
 ^ like what you said, it depends on location. i had 3 bikes for the first time in my life the last couple months and i dont think i rode my dh bike more than 5 times in those 2 months. i mostly rode my dh riders trail bike (short stem, wide bars, 1x10) and my dj bike. this is all because i have to drive atleast 30 minutes to get to a dh trail, but i can ride out of my garage and down the street to get to all of the xc/am trails and dirt jumps.
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  • + 4
 From what I heard, the reasons for 4x being dropped aren't entirely what was mentioned above, though I am sure this went some way towards the decision. Hope Hill does come back on form simply because he was exciting to watch. Hopefully it'll be a season that's wide open for anyone to take.
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  • + 3
 26, 650b and 29 are fine, but sometimes i just feel like i need something in between, like maybe 26, then 640a, then 650b. probly a 670c as well, in case i dont wanna ride my 29er. and of course i will need the corresponding fork and stem size too...
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  • + 7
 Some very interesting predictions..
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  • + 3
 I see derailers as the biggest design flaw in mountain biking. If you ride a bike hard they are going to break frequently. Went through two X0's and two X'9's just in the last 5 months. Fail. Unfortunately you are probably right here and big companies won't push for a solution any time soon.
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  • + 8
 4X is not dead
  • + 7
 yer the 4x world tour thats been set up looks awesome.......and the idea of urban 4x coming in next year?! AWESOME!!!
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  • + 6
 As much as it would be cool to see sam up there once again. I am not too sure as he is havin a kid.
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  • + 5
 Sadly Hill became a party animal and a tattoed and pirces marketing icon, lost his agression and speed. Liked he more when he was not smiling and pinning it...
  • + 7
 He smiled?
  • + 4
 Leroy - I don't think that Hill's worse results in last seasons was caused by his tatooes - injuries played much bigger role... Razz
And what's more, few years ago I just loved watching DH movies with guys like Gracia fooling around and all the others partying together after the race... Today dowhill seems to become more and more serious (I know it builds better image of this sport for sponsors, media etc. but personally, I think it's a bit less exciting too watch...)
So I think that when Hill will be 100% free from injuries, he will be pinning it like few years ago, and his "partying tatooed animal" part would just make him more interesting to watch Smile
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  • + 4
 What about a similar article, but instead of predictions, we can ask some questions: like will there be an Enduro DH World Cup?
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  • + 2
 I love the mid travel do it all bike. But being 6'3", 200lbs, strong and very aggressive I can't see a Stumpy evo (or similar) holding up to me for very long. I love my Coilair but would prefer something in the 5-6" travel range that is still burly enough to now blow into pieces after a year and a half (that is my average frame life span).
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  • + 6
 High quality RC 8ball predictions. Good read, sir.
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  • + 2
 Is it really necessary to ask ourselves what 2012 will bring?

If you trust Mike, lots of good stuff for us bikers. If you trust the Maya, the end of the world.

We can only want things to happen and hope for them to be realised.

I wish all of you the best for this year, lots of riding, lots of jumping, lots of pinning, a good health and may no bad shit hit the fan.
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  • + 2
 Enduro not gaining traction in North America because the Euros are cheater... that was a nice try RC! I think it is not gaining traction because there are simply no infrastructures for that kind of race in NA....
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  • + 3
 P.S. It is for the same reason that I think Steve Smith will be top 3 this year. Dedication to total body training (and continued skill and confidence development)
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  • + 1
 love gated racing, bmx,moto.. but i have to admit I'd probably walk over to the slopestyle comp first if the 4X comp was going on at the same time. unless they bring back that format and track they first used @ the X-games with big gap/jump lines suited for short travel mtbs it'll stay the same. i think rc is on point.
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  • + 1
 If it's true Hill's got a kid on the way he's finished. That's why Steve's got slower too. Speaking from experience, it plays on your mind at times. You've got to have no ties to go hard out in a dangerous sport. Stay in one piece, there or thereabouts, pay the mortgage until you're 40. Smash yourself to bits chasing dreams you've already realised at least once, you'll be looking for a new job when you're 30. No disrespect to pro sportsmen, but most aren't going to get as much money outside their sport... probably because to get that good they didn't go to school half of the time! It's a gift and a curse unless you're an F1 driver or a golfer.
  • + 1
 Hopefully as the sport gets bigger and better, more money comes in, which can support the riders more.
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  • + 5
 UCI out, Sam Hill top, Four cross in and derailleur's stay!
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  • + 1
 Danny Hart WORLD CHAMPION.
Gwin is not a World Champion he is the World Cup Champ
The one race TOO win he did not win.
Gwin had a great year all the same but he cannot be called a world champ yet.
Sam Hill can come back if he wants too no doubt. Last year was not just about injury other issues messed him up too hence silly crashes and injuries and unpreppardness. Like Tiger if he can over come those hurdles watch out I hope he rises to the challenge go Sam. The rest is wide open in 2012 its more mental now all riders have skills to win it will take mental skill which is also about prep.
Good luck to all the racers 2012 could be the best yet pity such a stupid gap between rd 1 & rd 2. UCI sucks still the only thing I can predict for 2012.
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  • + 1
 Although Anthony Messere's run was fantastic, If you watch any of Brandon Semenuks runs from Joyride, he has perfect flow which greatly enhanced the look of his run. I think the biggest trick he did was a flipwhip, but the overall flow of his run made it great.
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  • + 1
 I'm mostly onboard with Mike's predictions. Hill's the tough call. He definitely came into the 2011 season taking a page from Nathan Rennie's book. He's got gobs of talent; but if he's not fit this season, he's not going to win. Trail bikes being used on more aggressive trails is a natural--as long as the geometry allows that to happen; a 120 travel bike with a 70 deg head angle's not gonna cut it.

RC's 8 ball predictions:

•Fox is on record to make a dedicated 650b fork for the 2013 season. So 650b is definitely coming back.
•4X is done--too expensive to build a track from scratch.
•Enduro racing is the only race format that does't require a specialized bike--you can race your day in day out ride. So it's available to the general public in ways that no other race format is. It's gonna grow, for sure. After all, you can do an enduro race with middling fitness and do passably well and have a ton of fun. But to race XC or DH and not get spanked requires the right tool and gobs of fitness.
•The fun police, I mean the UCI, will continue to enforce a dress code. Slopestyle blows my mind every year with it's progression--that's not gonna stop soon.
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  • + 1
 Bring 4Cross back with more challenging tracks as seen at the World Champs, make everyone in DH wear matching wiggles uniforms (TIC), Derailleurs are here to stay, Sam Hill will pull a Gwin in 2012 and dominate everything (with Troy Brosnan nipping at his heels)
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  • + 1
 rad article, love the 8 ball story, awesome.
i've been punting the 6" all mountian do everything soak up any trail bike for years, and they just keep getting better and better.
nothing is more fun than being able to conquer anything anywher for 50km, long live the all mountain, trail, whatever you want to call..................MOUNTAIN BIKE
wish enduro racing would get UCI status as well, i bet you'ld see a lot of the DH boys crossing over.
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  • + 1
 Dear Mike.

As much as I'd love love to see a two way dropper-post, from a physical point of view, I would say that's highly unlikely. As most people should know, energy is a constant and can't be created, just change form. (I.e. no prepetuum mobile, we don't live in a perfect world without friction or heat dispersion) A traditional dropper-post relies on some sort of spring, be that air or steel, that stores energy to move the seat against gravity and friction to an erect position. The force that restores that energy into the spring, is the weight of your body. To move the seat in any other way, would require some sort of stored energy that can exert that energy repeatedly to move the seat up and down, be that a motor of sorts (energy stored as electricity in batteries) or hydraulics/pneumatics (energy stored as pressurized liquid/air). Either way, all these alternative methods of moving the seat is fragile and requires recharging at given intervals. -Not something most of us would like on a trailbike I assume.

The only other way to move the seat the desired amount without externally stored energy, that I can see, is to have a lever on the handlebar that asserts as much energy when applied both ways as needed to move the seat up or down. A hydraulic lever using hydraulic leverage could possibly move the seat the desired amount, but it would take some force and some locking-mechanism to overcome the friction and other forces at work.

So for all you hydraulic engineering nerds out there: There's money to be made if you can get this to work. I know Hollywood special effects makers have been struggling with this for ages for applications like retractable claws/knives/guns etc. They still have to be reset manually after each use or use hidden pneumatics.

My 2 cents Wink
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  • + 1
 "the fact of the matter is that we're a fickle bunch when it comes to counting grams and even the lightest gearbox systems are currently quite a bit heavier than a derailleur setup."

Depends on who you talk to. A lot of people already add some weight to their DH sled to make it "bombproof". If you're a racer that is fortunate enough to have good sponsors and a team mechanic, I understand that it's not worth it. For the weekend warrior though, it could be a great addition and there are much more weekend warriors out there than pros on the circuit. That being said, dh is pretty much the only discipline I'd see this "observation" applicable to, unless they find a way to make the weight comparable to a regular derailleur option.
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  • + 1
 how bout a dropper post that's a bit smarter: preset positions please?

as for sammo: i worship the guy, but I'd settle for him just riding each race this year, ie a slow build up: confidence, strength. If he does it within 2 races, sobeit.But welcome back Sam. We missed you

oh and for the record, Sam Hill DID beat Gwin at worlds. Razz
  • + 1
 Specialized has been making a "smarter" dropper post with preset positions for a while.

I've said that from the get go...why would you want infinite adjustment? Having preset positions seems to make alot more sense to me. Having a preset "cruiser" position allows you to raise the seat while you're riding and know exactly where it is without raising it all the way up.

Check out the new Specialized Commandpost Blacklite. It's pretty rad.
  • + 1
 Yup, both the Blacklite (we have one on test here, stay tuned) and the Gravity Dropper both have preset positions, but they can be tricky to find in the heat of the moment. This is where the infinite travel adjust comes in, not because you can set it to the exact postion you like, although that is nice, but because you don't have to search for the postion that it just 1" lower.. you can just put it there.
  • + 1
 awesome, thanks Donch. Look forward to the review Pinkbike.
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  • + 2
 That shot at European Enduro riders was the lowest of the low. Much respect for RC lost right there, stereotyping and making claims you have no proof for isn't cool.
  • + 2
 That, and making assumptions about what North American riders will want to compete in. Enduro isn't complicated at all compared to the most popular sports in NA with the amount of rules it has, and even relative to Super D its not thaaat much more.
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  • + 1
 RC has a great point about 650B helping bike makers mate longer travel and bigger wheels. Imagine a Specialized Enduro with 160mm of travel and 650B wheels. Two years later, they'd figure out the same bike with 29.
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  • + 1
 Everybody keeps saying "there's no reliable dropper posts" but no one ever mentions the Command Post any more... Super reliable, none of the hydraulic hangups... it's out there.
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  • + 1
 i agree with the shorter travel bike prediction...tired of driving 5-6 hours to bike parks and big bikes...ride local with shorter travel bikes and imagine in your head you are riding at a bike park...on a big bike...
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  • + 2
 Seems like a dropper post that drops itself wouldn't be that hard to do. A dual valve with a dual-air chamber ala some Rock Shox forks.
  • + 4
 i'd say yes and no. if it was easy i would figure big companies would already have done so. the issue is the change in pressure in two chambers, right? how do you put another chamber in a state of less pressure (to move one way), then have that same chamber increase in pressure for release (to move the other).

but yeah, i honestly think its a great idea. i hate that awkward sit-on-the-seat moment, especially when we are racing - the intended original goal of the dropper post.

i honestly agreed with everything mike levy said.
  • + 1
 Lol, "negative pressure". A dropper post with this interesting feature I'm guessing would have a travel range of almost -200mm!!!
  • + 2
 I said "dual air" which implies two air chambers. In this case only one air chamber would be filled at any time. During the "up" position, the top air chamber would be filled; during the "down" the air would move to the negative chamber and suck the post down. Now I may be wrong and that it may not work like that. In which case they should just make it motorized Razz
  • + 4
 I say convince people to train more so they can ride longer with standing pedalling... more "science in MTB specific training unpolluted with both roadie and body building influences. Convince people to listen less to industry tech-bullsht and look more into the mirror to find sources of problems on the trail
  • + 3
 If you had two air chambers, one for up and one for down - when the air moves from one to another the post would stop in the middle when the two pressures equalised...
  • + 1
 The only way to let a pressure operated post down would be to bleed off the pressure. How would you get it back in the post?
  • + 2
 It just doesnt work, it would be the first perpetuum mobile ever. But i would buy one
  • + 4
 I think we will first see a carbon fiber Reverb... with CF remote and ti hardware to cut 15g like on this Monarch XX shock, as well as no-can-do-how that Fox dropper will come without Kashima coating...

The weight must be cut daOn! The numberz! it's all about the NUMBERZ!!! I've had a dream - I saw Numberz! The prophet with an eye in his rectum appeared said: Do the SRAM-ANATRA's will, Go Sub-30lbs! From now on kitchen scale shall be my lord, my saviour, my misery and my joy, sweetness and ash, now and forever more amen, kryshnah kallah-asja-bedin!!
  • + 2
 The only thing negative air does, is to help negate the friction of seals. If one applies more pressure to the negative chamber on a for, the fork simply compresses. To expand the fork again, you need to either apply more positive air or let air out of the negative chamber. It's simple pneumatics 101. You still have to apply energy (pump the damn thing) to get any movement or apply pressure (weight) the same way as a fork. -As I wrote earlier. Wink
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  • + 1
 I have no doubt that if Sam sorts out his training he will be the best rider in the world, and I believe he will cause he is getting pretty tired of not winning,
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  • + 1
 I predict that this year will be the most entertaining downhill season ever. Hill, Hart, Gwin, and all those other wildmen on the hill! AESTZDYUTFXGKH EXCITED!
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  • + 1
 That's a pretty bold claim by you, RC, to state that the Euro's are winning Enduro's via 'cheating'. Provide citation, evidence, or don't make claims as such.
  • + 0
 It's not considered to be cheating. If there is not tape on either side of the trail, they feel it's OK to go off trail and cut the course. OK over there is cheating in North America. RC
  • + 1
 Sounds like it's within the course to me!

Nothing wrong with creative line choice. Wink
  • + 1
 It happened with the euro's at c-worx in the open enduro....saw it first hand and had friends witness it. They got read the riot act by PO'd locals, but they really didn't think they were doing anything wrong or should change their behaviour.
  • + 1
 Sounds like the rules need to be better defined and enforced to prevent such as happening then, because they would assume they're doing nothing wrong, whereas others would. I believe it now, because Todd's a stand up guy Wink
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  • + 1
 The stumperJumper evo has 150mm of travel not 145, the standard stumpjumper has 140mm
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  • + 1
 Still feel derailluar's need some work with the profile & at the same time drive should be sealed?
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  • + 1
 i hate 29ers . It`s a other product the ``industry`` is trying to push on us to make sales.
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  • + 2
 This is just the start for 4X.........
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  • + 2
 "More riders will use bikes with less travel." Yes - definitely. I not.
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  • + 2
 King/Profile with a 1.5LB 10 spd gearbox for the win!
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  • + 1
 Damn! Anthony killed that run!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Magic 8 ball gives you mojo, Mike! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 please tell me you're gonna test the '12 stumpy EVO.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Agree with the shorter travel prediction, love my Enduro Evo even more.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i want to see Sam Hill back on the Iron horse....
[Reply]
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