Poll: Most Influential Innovation of Last 10 Years?

Jul 11, 2012 at 0:03
Jul 11, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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229 Comments

  • + 288
 They should add pinkbike to the list
  • + 15
 Staying alive.
  • - 2
 dual-link rear,has had the most just think with out that you,we would just be bmx bikes on trails,don't forget the rider's that made the sport like John Tomac,Shawn Palmer,Nickolas V.,C.G.,Myles Rockwell,Sam Hill,BENDER,' V-DUB',the north shore boyz,,,,.
  • + 62
 The seats with the hole in it so your genitals get more blood.
  • + 66
 I think they forgot to add 5-10s , easily in my top 5 bike products of all time
  • - 56
 carbon isn`t innovation of last 10 years.. It`s innovation of last 2-3 years Big Grin
  • + 9
 Athletes who continue to be great influences and role models to us all! Thank you!
  • + 11
 Poutiainen..In 1993 Trek introduced its first OCLV Carbon mountain bike frame, the 9900, i remember it well, mainly as I wanted the rich kid from down the road to crash a lot as i was insanely jealous !
  • + 7
 @mobber7127.....could not agree more. Without PB getting me so stoked I would just be a "every now and then" rider.But now i am a obsessed bike geek who spends way too much money and time on bikes which in turn keeps me sane and keeps me out of the pub so I know my wife would pick PB if they had that option ....do like the dropper post though.
  • + 2
 I had a carbon Giant CFM3 in 1991. It was lugged, not monocoque like the Trek stuflair refers too (and I did own one of those too - raced DH on it in the days when if you turned up on a dual suspension bike and tried to race anything other than the top class you were called a no-good glory-hunting sand-bagging cherry-picker, dag nabbit!).
  • + 18
 where was the steve peat option?
  • + 4
 I would have to say I'm surprised that no one mentioned Rampage, so I will. Sure the tech has helped out bikes as far as progression goes, but as far as I'm concerned, the way I ride today comes from watching Rampage. Seeing those guys in the early Disorder videos made me want to go out and push my limits, even if the bike wasn't up to par. It's is the reason I first got a DH bike. All those guys were on Rockies, so I worked in a shop and bought and RM7 (and broke it). I would be lying if I said nothing on that list has influenced the way I ride (disk brakes has allowed a lot of progression too). But as far as influence on the sport, the Rampage for me takes it.
  • + 5
 Carbon is used since the early 1980's....
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree with you more.
  • + 1
 Carbon shouldn't be on the list, neither should bike parks, drag free disc brakes, POV camera, dual link suspension (Outland VPP), and I would give more credit to Nico than Hill for slack angles. Some of the other things were around but werent mainstream, but nobody had wide bars 10 years ago unless you had moto bars, which wasn't a mountain bike product.

650b should be on the list, not dual sus 29ers.
  • + 1
 I knew it was Samjam when i read "keeps me out of the pub" lol
  • + 1
 they need to add AIRBAG!!! duh
  • + 3
 Pinkbike was created 12 years ago, which is why it's not in the poll.
  • + 1
 The first Red Bull Rampage was 11 years ago, so it's too old for the poll aswell
[Reply]
  • + 73
 How about making these non-brand specific?
Air Shocks rather than FOXRP23 or Dropper Posts instead of Gravity Dropper.
  • + 7
 or rear-derailleur clutch instead of "Shimano Shadow Plus rear-derailleur clutch", not to forget, Sram also releases rear derailleurs with clutches next month!
  • + 13
 Gravity Dropper was the first to bring out a decent dropper post and prompted others to up their game. Same with the shadow+.
Fox RP23 Propedal - highlightling the propedal feature?
When talking about a product that has driven a new market or provides a specific advantage over others then you kind of have to be brand specific.
  • + 5
 exactly why i steered clear of those options... blatant advertising.... but its cool ya know
  • + 2
 I disagree, take the Fox 36 for example. It was one of the first forks to be long travel and super versitile. It opened the doors for rougher trails, higher speeds and even bike parks. Better quality suspension has really pushed the limits of the sport and the 36 is not to be overlooked since it was a pioneer.
  • + 1
 gravity freak, I agree- Plus the RP23 came from the 5th element technology they acquired right, if this is over ten years then 'progressive/curnutt' control valve technology would be a better standard to list, since it begat spv/propedal of course
  • + 2
 The first big SC fork was Manitou Sherman breakout, first at 150 then at 170mm of travel. Came with travel adjustment. It also opened doors for 1.5 headtube so it deserves a lot of recognition. Then MZ stepped in with Z1 150 and year after in 2005 with 66. Same year when Fox 36 came and Manitou went over the edge with 200mm (!) SC Travis. What Fox did was they made a 160 fork at weight acceptable for XC riders.
  • + 1
 FOX 36 shouldn't be on the list, I had Single crown RST with almost 5" of travel back in 94 that I raced DH on. It was flexy POS though.

I agree with WAKI, Manitou deserves more credit here. I also dont think the RP23 should be on the list; overrated.
  • + 2
 I agree with the Manitou Sherman being more notable. Sure it only had 6" of travel - but it was the first major production fork with 6" of travel and a single crown and it only weighed 5.5lb's so it wasn't by any means a heffer for the day. I used to race DH on it in 03/04 and it may not have been as plush as some of the dedicated DH forks, but it was definitely better than some of the shitty ones!!

I'm putting my vote in for Sam Hill which really was in combination with Dave Weagle and Iron Horse bikes. They made the modern DH bike a reality through REAL engineering! Shitty thing had to happen with IH though... At least DW's still pumping out gold!
  • + 1
 seems like PB is fox's personal page some days, id like to hear about other brands more actually, fox is too $$
  • + 3
 Before the Fox 36 and then after the Fox 36... Consider that and you will be hard pressed to plug another brand's fork into the equation. Same with the Gravity Dropper. Just sayin' RC
[Reply]
  • + 49
 you forgot to put "the kids"... the ones pushing our beloved sport. there would be no need for innovation if there weren't these whacked-renaissance-mountain-bikers reaching, stretching, aching to do more... more... MORE! on their mountain bikes. if there wasn't some kid who wanted to record their adventures, no go pro. if there wasn't some kid who wanted to ride up like and XC beast, and down like a WC DHer, then there is no dropper post/fox 36/rp 23, etc... if you didn't have some kid who wanted to ride mountain lines like the snowboarders, then there's no bike park... and so it goes...

you get the idea.

at the end of the day... it's the human element that has continued to push technological advancement in our massive love affair with mountain bikes. we're doing all the companies a favor by reporting to them what we think is important materially about mountain biking. but they ALL know... it's the kids who have to live it, dream it, do it... to keep this sport vibrant and advancing.

thanks for the inspiration, kiddos... keep at it!
  • + 11
 your welcome
  • + 14
 He has a welcome? Smile
  • + 4
 Well said, pholange, and this is precisely why I voted for the Leatt neck brace - anything that improves the safety of the people pushing the limits for our entertainment and benefit deserves the win.
  • + 20
 Kids were an innovation created longer than 10 years ago though.
  • + 2
 Ah wrong post replied on. disregard.
  • - 4
 what is a kid?
  • + 5
 bahaha, smike! it's the APPROACH to mountain biking by the kids that makes all the difference... their soul for the sport... that's the actual innovation i guess. having ridden for many years BEFORE what has happened in the past decade or so with mountain biking in terms of progression, it's amazing to me. i'm envious of those who had the vision, and are also able to experience life as young mountain bikers in this time. it's way different than it was 20 years ago... i always had fun back riding in the early 90s +, but the ideals of style and progression and the bike as a means for personal expression for all riders... that created an entire new world... which, by turns, pushed the need for better equipment.

*you'll have to excuse the ramblings. usually i'd be riding, but a dislocated shoulder, AC joint, and torn labrum is upping my time on the pinkbike forums. bahaha! in week 16 of rehab, and it sucks.
  • + 1
 Nice thought, but it would have been wrong to put "the kids" on the list. Too vague, and makes it sound like people under the age of 18 are responsible for progression in the sport, which is definitely NOT the case with mtb.
[Reply]
  • + 35
 Hey what about Lock On Grips, they sure help. I couldn't imagine riding with the old grips anymore, all loose in wet weather and the ease of changing out parts or even handle bars. I think they're the most under rated part on the bike.
  • + 4
 I was scrolling to see if anyone else had already mentioned lock-ons. Easily my top innovation tbh.
  • + 3
 They might be the best invention, but that's probably not cool enough to mention for the pinkbike-kids because it's cheap
  • + 2
 I'll never own a mountain bike without putting lock-ons on it.
  • + 4
 Hairspray.
  • + 1
 My most recent dh bike came without lockon grips, as opposed to what I had on previous bikes. I was worried at first but I figured I should at least give them a shot before buying lockons. They ended doing the job just fine. I'll probably buy lock ons the next time but I don't find the minimal performance loss problematic enough to justify changing them before they're worn out. So hardly a game changer imo.
  • + 1
 Loc ons over 10 years old, shouldn't be on the list. Time fly's doesn't it?
[Reply]
  • + 26
 Imagine riding a modern raked out carbon bike, wearing your Leatt and capturing it all on your Gopro, wide bars in hands, putting the power down on your 2x10 drivetrain, losing barely anything to your dialled SC fork and air shock. Then BAM, out of nowhere the trail is obstructed ahead. You grab a handful of brakes and the pads slide hopelessly on your rims. You nail the obstruction, which turns out to be a tree at head level and die horribly from your injuries.

You tell me, how much fun would you have at Whistler with rim brakes?

My vote goes to those beautiful metal disks that give me the confidence to go fast knowing I can stop on a dime. Without them we'd all be doing wheelie drops on low speed skinnies.
  • + 3
 this was hilarious!
  • - 10
 No problem at all, just run HS-33s with supersoft trials pads, that will have more brakepower than most discbrakes. Downside is the lack of brakepower when it's wet
  • + 2
 Never mind that most mountain bikers are looking for modulation too, not just raw braking power. If I rode DH with an HS33 with trials pads in it, I'd be too afraid to even think about touching the brake...
  • + 6
 The list says 'drag free disc brakes'. Disc brakes for bikes were 'invented' in the last century, I'm pretty sure...
  • + 2
 disc brakes kept me from having to have two wheel sets in my quiver: one for the current ride and one in the shop getting rebuilt. Thanks to discs I can go much longer riding the trails in the vancouver winter.

My vote too.
  • - 1
 This is a chicken-and-egg problem though. If bike parks like Whistler didn't exist, would there have been the same level of innovation in disc brakes as quickly without the demanding conditions bike parks present?
  • + 1
 still really trying to figure out how to get my disc brakes to not rub at all (avid x.0). Shelled out $100 to my lbs to get the job done, and they didn't really succeed either. they bled them, trimmed the lines, trued the rotors, used the "business card on each side of the disc" trick....does anybody have disc brakes that run w/o rubbing? maybe the new hayes w/ the micro adjust?
  • + 1
 In reality though, Whistler is a place you could definitely run V's, its always dry and all but a few double blacks require good braking skills. a soaking wet steep rooty trail in wales on the other hand, you wont stand a chance! Disc brakes were around over ten years ago, but the improvements are so massive you might aswell call them a new innovation. and frijo, just put a white piece of paper on the floor on the other side of the brake from where you are looking through and align it by eye, only sure fire way to get it done properly, and if you are going to do it...
  • + 4
 Dude you were obviously not here in May/ June - always dry you are having a laugh!
  • + 2
 Sorry but the Hayes disc brakes I rode over 10 years ago were drag free, and were a huge improvement over rim brakes. The main improvements have been in modulation, power, reliability, weight, and lever precision (the early Hayes had lots of lever play). Shouldn't be on the list, just say'in.

Wide handlebars are the obvious choice, it's the biggest thing you notice when you ride an old bike or see an old picture from in front if a old bike. All new bikes are coming with wide bars;DH, AM, XC, hardtail or not, even girls bikes. It's a huge difference maker in control and even safety more than any other thing on that list.
[Reply]
  • + 23
 what about tubeless tires with stans sealant?
  • + 1
 I'm wondering why this isn't top of the list. Seeing as it's not there though, I'll have to choose the dropper post.
  • + 2
 When I saw the title I thought immediately of tubeless tires as the thing that has most changed riding for me - and it changed riding by giving me more riding time instead of fixing flats.
  • + 2
 was looking for this myself, and it's actually relatively close to being new in the last ten years, unlike "carbon stuff" or "dual link rear suspension."
  • + 3
 Yes I was thinking the same thing when I looked at this, stan is the freakin man
  • + 1
 Many pro XC racers were using Stan's over 10 years ago, that's probably why RC left it off.
  • + 3
 right, but as i said, the same is true of "carbon stuff" or "dual link rear suspension." except neither of those is only 11 or 12 years old, they both date to the 90's, where stans can't be much older the 2000.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 Wide bars aren't an innovation, they are a trend
  • + 3
 Just like large amounts of rise used to be, and very little rise is now.
  • + 1
 Yeah, because 600mm bars were awesome. I don't see bars in the 700s going away anytime soon.
  • + 3
 Narrow bars are like religion; a bad idea of the past that you don't want to defend in public. I used to call them girls bars but now I even see girls with wide bars.
  • + 1
 Well, we didn't have them before. Now we do. And they are better. They are not merely a trend.
  • + 1
 Depends what you see as 'wide', the word being an opinion and not a fact. There are even wider bars now on the market than before, but it's not like before there have only been narrow bars?
  • + 2
 spongebomb says what I think, I've been running "not narrow" bars for years, but some of the recent widths are really only good for people with really long arms, though cutting is always an option. However, I do find everybody's fascination with low rise to be a a little silly, we went with those big riser bars on DH bikes because it moves you farther back in the cockpit, and you had to do it at the bars, because DH stems are pretty much all 0- rise.
  • + 2
 Wouldn't having high rise bars putting you farther back in the cockpit give you less traction on the front tire on top of raising the cog?

I kinda had to go flatbar+stem slammed on headtube on my AM bike to compensate for having a longer fork than intended and I dig it a lot, especially for cornering and climbing. Only inconvenient would be on super duper mega steep stuff and i haven't met a terrain so steep I wished my bars were higher yet.

Oh and I was extremely skeptical with wide bars as I highly doubted a 8% increase would translate into anything tangible in the real world. Ended up bending my stock 690mm bars on a dh rig. Went for 785mm (they were the cheapest) knowing id cut them and experimented with grip widths. For me, 730-745 is the sweet spot. I was suprised how the 8% increase gave so much more leverage to resist front wheel deflection, a common thing due to the terrain around here. It goes without saying that bars that are too long can be a bad thing as it can make your bike too twitchy. Bars that are too short are equally as bad though. Don't forget that your body is most powerful within a certain grip width and too narrow/wide bars will result in a loss of efficiency.
  • + 1
 your second paragraph is alot of what I'm saying: you're compensating for an adjustment in geometry (a longer axle to crown) with less rise in the cockpit, which is perfectly reasonable. Alot of other people are just buying flats or low-rise because it's cool. It'd be like you putting that same cockpit on a bike a size too small for you, or with a super short fork.

As for the less traction part that's really about the terrain you're riding, and sometimes it advantageous to be able to unweight the front wheel easily. want to float that front wheel through that rock garden? much harder with a flat bar, and it gets harder the steeper you go, and that's when I don't want my front wheel sticking to stuff.

COG isn't as affected as much as you would think, because the farther over the back you can get, the easier it is to get lower on the bike, and it tends to even be a natural reaction, not something you have to think about.

This is all, of course, subject to reasonable limits, and mostly applies to DH riding.
  • + 1
 So many people run forks which are too high for the frame and try to compensate it with lower bars? Sounds like a really bad idea to me.. If the frame isn't designed for a fork that high it'll get snappyhappy, and you can say bye bye to the warranty and your teeth.
  • + 1
 No, most people run lower bars with the correct size forks for the frame, putting too much of their weight over the front wheel, and compromising their ability to get behind the bike on the steeps. I agree with the snappyhappy part, though you can usually go 20mm either way and stay pretty safe.
  • + 1
 The bike came stock with a f32 150mm. I wanted something stiffer and the only option at the time was a f36 160mm. I would have been happy with a f34 150mm or something like that but even the f34s come in 160mm iirc. So the increased 10mm travel added to the longer a2c makes the bike a little higher than intended. I found it too floppy with the stem high up so the stem slammed down and the flat bar really helps keeping things under control. Its not ideal but it's a good compromise. The manufacurer warranties the frame with a 160 so no problem there. The whole point of this is you gotta keep in mind that what seems retarded to you might be a great idea for someone else. Go tell my 6'5 friend his 785mm bars are stupid, i bet it wont take long for you to realize how longer his reach is compared to yours.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I guess to start you would have to have been riding for the last 10 years to even start to make a decision, so that is most of pink bike ruled out.... lol

It has to be reliable disc brakes.

As for Sam Hill, he never invented slack geometry! But would be quicker on a Sunday with cut screams on than on the carbon demo..... would be an interesting experiment.

Funn bars... Sam dominated on them, now Gwin is dominating on them... they are just perfect..;;
  • + 1
 Funn bars, indeed.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I would say the big one missing from this list is the culmination of the All Mountain bike category as we understand it today. 5” (give or take) travel bikes with disc brakes that are robust enough to drop/jump yet efficient enough to climb quite well. The class of bike owned by pretty much every weekend-warrior type rider out there. And for the more invested type of rider, they are pretty much guaranteed to have an All Mountain bike in the stable as well.

Yes, one could argue that All Mountain bikes kind of existed prior to 2002, but similar arguments can be made for a lot of the items on this list. I would argue that the past decade really defined the All Mountain class of bike.
  • + 1
 I agree 100%! Add to that on the fly adjustability of seat post and suspension characteristics (which we already have) and the class of bikes really shines.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Too many innovations to narrow it down, riding mtn bikes has just come along way in 10 years and cant wait to see whats to come in the next!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 how can anyone vote for carbon stuff? thats like got almost zero impact, since its still all silly priced and hardly anyones got it

dual sus 29ers = fan boy votes
and there isnt a option for all mountain geometry Frown
  • + 4
 well i suppose sam hill's slack geometry sort of had an effect on the geometry of an am bike, so you could vote for that.... deffo agree with the carbon dissagrement though.... you can still have some pretty epic alu frames
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Disc brakes for sure. I got into mtb'ing about 12 years ago when 90% of bike were equipped with crappy v-brakes. Back then you were lucky if your brakes worked on a dry day, on a wet day forget about it. Excessive skidding, running into trees, planting your feet on the ground, or just bailing right off the bike were perfectly common and acceptable ways to come to a stop.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Richard, you should know more than anyone on the planet that a few of these things in your list have been around longer than ten years. Dual link suspension, drag free disk brakes, carbon frames and parts, and bike parks. Probably also a few other things up there (Hite Rite was sorta like a dropper post, plus there was that parallelogram design that dropped the seat low and back too).
  • + 2
 Exactly.

This "poll" is fluffing the industry like a porn film "fluffer" working on Mr Pool Cue.
  • + 1
 Carbon is in there because it was once not considered safe for the DH/all-mountain riding that the PB community was founded upon. The recent application of carbon fiber to the segment of the market that once once thought to be the exclusive domain of aluminum, mostly for safety reasons, has brought down the weight of 180mm travel bikes into the realm of XC/trail - and the weight of some DH bikes into the realm of an aluminum AM sled. The development of super strong carbon H-bars, cranksets, frames and now rims, for AM and DH is a recent occurrence. Carbon stuff for XC racing has been around for a long time, but that is an insignificant development by comparison.
Of course, that would be a long and cumbersome poll question, so I took the short route and left the reader to fill in the blanks.
RC
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would say the ability to make 6in travel bikes light enough to ride xc on has had the biggest impact in 10 years . Trail builders are making tracks to accommodate , super d and enduros , basically the whole all mountain "style" of riding has happened so thankyou Carbon frames , long travel forks , pro pedal , dropper posts and big ass cassettes so we can run 1x10
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I think Sam Hill pushed the sport to where it is today, he really pushed the limits, just like AG is doing now. So he has my vote, If 5Ten shoes was there i would vote for them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Freeride mountainbiking!
Alot of innovation has come from the FR/DH scene.
Real suspension, dual suspension, discbrakes, oversized HT, OS bars, rea l grippy tires, todays bike geometry, AM bikes... And on and on... Alot were around before, but it was FR /DH popularity that evolved it to were it is today.
  • + 1
 well thats kind of like checking everything off!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Even if you don't have a bike park near you, they have influenced the trail builders in your area to build similar trails. Which influenced dropper posts, slack geo, long travel sc forks, POV cameras, and the rest. Bike parks get people out riding, growing the sport, demoing the high end stuff, getting stoked. If I didn't ride and saw an add for a neck brace, disc brake, or special axle, I wouldn't care. But, I'm on summer vacation in BC, Mammoth, Tahoe, or Colorado, I would try out a bike park and rent a good bike and find out what it's all about.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Obviously brakeless, rigids and singlespeed are the best innovations that happened to mtbs. Who needs that crap anyways? Less parts = less weight = less things that can break, so stronger. And mtbs going street!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Um... Fiveten Impacts.
  • + 2
 Totally dude , I am so surprised 5-10s are not there , one of the best purchases I have ever made for my bike , infact as my last two frames have shown they are a better purchase than my last two bikes...
  • - 1
 ^^agree with this 100%
  • - 2
 You're both idiots. Cheers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hard one, I think the way I'm guna look at it is which has made my riding more enjoyable? Wider bars? Not really, I run 750 bars industry standard nowadays but if they didn't exist I'd still be riding the same stuff I always ride. Axles? Phhh still have a 9mm quick release on my sx and its fine... Suspension , well I haven't really been riding long enough, always enjoyed FSR and maestro on my sx and glory. I'd have to say enjoyment wise it's the helmet cam. I love my go pro, got one of the first ones when they came out over here and have loved making mini edits and reliving trail mischief with my buds. So go-pro's innovation gets my vote. Boom.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 clearly the POV camera is the biggest inovation! without it all that action would not have been able to get out and inspire all riders of all abilities!
what would you be doing when we are not riding?

WATCHING BIKE FOOTAGE IS WHAT!
  • + 9
 But most GoPro footage people put up is dead boring to watch...
  • + 3
 POV is only really useful as coverage I'm finding: all the really good shots capture the rider, not their POV.
  • + 2
 pov cameras are not only used for pov footage though! but have made filming accessable to the masses!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i don't consider listing premium goods true innovation as they are often out of the reach of your average joe rider, i don't have the stats to back it up but i'd presume the majority of riders are all using mid range gear, make affordable stuff that changes riding for the better, thats true inovation...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Without disc brakes, none of you suckers would be riding bike parks. How many of you actually ever even used v-brakes or cantilevers for mountain biking? Disc brakes by far the biggest innovation in biking. Not discounting suspension tech or geometry improvements, but disc brakes have been one of the biggest improvements.
  • + 1
 I did for over half of my riding career. Crashed my @$$ off too!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't think there are any game changers on that list.

2*9 was a huge improvement - nobody has 2*10 yet so you can't really assess it's impact!

I do think sram have contributed a huge amount to the perfection of gears,brakes and suspension though. Without competition from Sram, Shimano would be even worse!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Bikeparks? I can get a carbon frame for less than what a travel to "bike parks" would cost to me. In many countries, mountain bikers still can just dream of bike parks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think it's a stretch to call Carbon and Disc Brakes innovations. Boht have been around for ages and used extensively in aviation and other forms of racing. It was inevitable that these would make their way to MTB'ing.

What I do think is awesome is the amount of think and technology that the sport is now infused with. The bikes (all of them) have now become just plain awesome and are more often then not well above the capabilities of most buyers. One could buy a 5 year old (and more) frame and go incredibly well for sometime.

My guess for the next big deal will be in the area of shocks and their having adjustable ride height (independent of spring setting) capability much the way sport bikes (motorcycles) have had available to them for years.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 an innovation id like to see is a brake system where the front and rear brake are controlled by one lever and uses a proportioning valve to distribute braking force. it may have been done already but ive never seen it. i figure itd be quite useful for dh and xc
  • + 1
 not really an innovation i guess seeing as its been around since the start of hydraulic brake systems but ive never seen it in the mtb industry
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Christ what a crap list! How the hell are neck braces on there? Wearing a seat off a crapper round your neck is hardly an innovation. If anything it's a step backwards because it just makes the sport look more bent. Coupled up with some super tight PJ bottoms too for added gayness.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dropper posts are the only answer. The long travel sc fork was pioneered by manitou and made rideable by zocchi, who cares about shilmanos latest attempt to make high end products more complicated and shorter lived, bike parks are awesome, but I was riding bromont ten years ago, carbon is old news, and the rampage was cool, but slope style has had a much bigger impact on making the sport accessible (unfortunately, we didn't invent slope style, we stole it from snowboarding). Back to the list, anyone who has ridden a dropper post will tell you, it changes how you ride. There really was nothing like it ten years ago, and it is a product unique to mountain biking. I honestly think I use my dropper post more than my shifters.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In proper poll there should also be an answer: none of the above. And because it is not included I do not vote. In my opinion most influential are people riding bikes rather then products this days. Unless someone will introduce something game changing (maybe new XX1 will be such a thing?). But it is is very hard to find something of a format like introducing suspension to bikes...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bikeparks is on the top? really?
For me Mountain Bike is all about takeing a shovel and pedal to the nearest place with dirt or nearest mountain. Build your own trails with friends and enjoy what to do... Yeah, probably with no bikeparks the sport would be at a very lower level compearing to today's but bikeparks contribute to make the sport more competitive, more global, more influenced by the brands, bikeparks make our passion a business.

I voted for Red Bull Rampage, wich also makes what I said about bikeparks, but in a way that motivates bikers to go out and be in contact with nature instead of going to skateparks or the street. I mean the "mountaing" is almost in surplus in MTB nowadays.

Well maybe I said all this beacause I never gone to a bikepark, probablly I would change my mind, I don't know
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gravity Dropper seat post should be changed to _adjustable high seat post _ . Second place now is carbon fiber frames - strange choice. Good and cheap brakes are more important innovation
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I guess its a bit like the chicken and the egg. Did bike tech progress allowing us to ride bigger stuff or did riders push the limits and the bike tech developed to keep up? I voted bike parks
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Who ever voted for ultra wide bars should be kicked in the balls. And POV cameras have had far from a profound effect on the sport on the whole IMO.
  • + 1
 Huh, you just lambasted the two most innovative things, IMO.
  • + 1
 Whoever likes narrow bars should have their balls surgically removed, IMHO.
  • + 1
 Wide bars are far from innovative. And with cheap POV cameras its watered down bike movies. I can't count how many shaky, nauseating videos people have shot that look like they hung the camera off their junk. Its much the same as digital cameras made everyone a photographer, especially the ones that should have just stuck with their point and shoots. But they do have their place and are nice at times.

And I cut my bars down. You ever get a wide pair of bars stuck in your knee pads when doin an X-up on a large and fast double? I doubt it. I have tried 30" bars and they did nothing but sketch me out and make a very nimble bike feel like I was driving a bus. 27" is as wide as I go and 25" on the Dirt jumper. Its worked quite well for the last 12+ years. In 5yrs people will be chopping their bars back down when the trend dies. Kind of like how every bike had to have barends back in '96.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Bike parks have existed since the mid 90's, thus they cant be the most influential innovation of the last 10 years.
  • - 4
 Not only that, they are only a big deal/innovation for those who either live near one, or can afford the expense of traveling to one regularly.

They haven't done a single thing to/for my riding, even though I've ridden in a few, and even though I mostly ride for descents, and even though I spend the winters skiing lift-served terrain.

Bike parks don't have much to do with bicycle riding. You could remove the drivetrain and ride a scooter. Don't even need to pedal. Sounds to me like an "innovation" that rewards laziness. Can't see how laziness translates to bike riding skill development.
  • + 2
 Bike parks have changed the equipment you ride, giving most of the world's best riders the ability to progress and influenced their riding, which indirectly has influenced everyone else. Tell me that you don't try to ride like a pro?
  • + 0
 NMK, you speak for yourself, I'll speak for myself. I don't try to "ride like the pros" probably because I ride often enough, and have ridden for enough years, to have developed my own way of riding. I'm not a middle schooler or high schooler who has "heroes" that he worships and emulates among "the pros." I've ridden with plenty of pros and don't find myself driven to imitate them in any way.

Point remains: bike parks are for people who don't pedal their bikes, so they may as well be places where people ride chainless contraptions with pegs equally placed, rather than drivetrain-equipped bikes that don't ever get pedaled. If you spent all your riding time at a bike park and built your bike accordingly, you'd have an awfully lousy bike for any purpose except bike parks.

To you bike parks are everything. To me they're irrelevant. Your perspective doesn't mean I'm wrong, nor does it mean bike parks have "progressed the sport" in any way that benefits anyone other than park riders.
  • + 1
 I never once even mentioned personally riding a bike park in my post. The point remains; bike parks influence the types of trails, the type of riding, and the skills that we use on trails every day, and give millions of people around the world a great place to practice them. Whether on an all-mountain trail or DH specific bike park trail, these skills are relevant. If you aren't trying to ride like a pro, you aren't trying to progress your riding (lets face it, they ride better than you or I do). I don't have a bike "hero" and I've been riding long enough, but I am trying to emulate some of the skills that pros have nailed down better than anyone else. You don't try to be better at cornering, drops, balance, and/or speed?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I answered 'bike parts' - it's broad, but the products today are incredibly strong, reliable, light, and good looking. Can't ask for much more.
  • + 1
 its "bike parKs"
  • + 1
 You are kidding, right?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Mountain Bikes that are looking like Motocross Motorcycles rather than 10 speeds with nobby tyres. Wide ratio cassettes. Flat pedals with big screws. AM instruction videos.
  • + 1
 all mountain instruction videos?? please tell me you're taking the piss
[Reply]
  • + 2
 CamelBak / water packs .. extended rides and every person uses one in all styles of riding
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Ask the same question about what current innovation will influence the next 10 years. My guess is Enduro racing.
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  • + 3
 The full sus. 29er catergory is there for profiling purposes.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Just for the record - bike parks exists in Europe too. However, I feel that without the New World Disorder- or Kranked series, just to name a few, I would probably not have started riding in the first place.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think this should a question where you could choose more than 1 answer.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I could spend all day throwing props at people for stuff I agree with. Alot of interesting stuff coming up in the comments, lovin it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think that the web has made a huge differnece
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  • + 1
 The first Red Bull Rampage was in 2001, which makes it 11 years old, so too old for the poll
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sam Hill started a dh revival and a revolution in bike geo, i vote for him
  • + 3
 Go back a bit further and see that Sam Hill is just one in a sequence of riders who have raised the bar. He may have been the most notable while you've been riding MTBs, but there used to be this French guy named Nicolas Vouilloz who was pretty much in a different league/world compared to the others. Vouilloz looked at DH riding/racing differently than his peers, and probably is the reason why you see Sam Hill as you do. I think it a safe bet that Sam Hill was very inspired by Vouilloz, even though he seems more like an admirer of Shaun Palmer on the surface.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 The only reason why Whistler is winning and most likely will win is because its Whistler. People have to consider how far we have come from alloy frames to carbons frames/parts. Without carbon frames/parts we wouldn't have stiffer and lighter frames that would make us go faster, and climb easier. I love Whistler, and how big it has become but my vote is with carbon frames and parts simply because we wouldn't be doing the things we are without them, regardless if its DH bikes, Roads bikes, XC bikes, or any other types of carbon bicycles.
  • + 3
 i reckon the majority of folk can't afford carbon frames, let alone most the parts. so while carbon may be pushing the sponsored/pocketed set( and eventually the industry), true innovation effects the whole. also, no, i won't touch you slowly.
  • + 2
 I don't have much carbon if any at all on my bikes and I don't feel like I'm really missing out. Actually I don't think I know anyone with a carbon frame/bars/seatpost/whatever.

A lot of choices are recent "innovations" that we don't even know if it will become a true standard or if they're just bad fads. Putting them in the invention of the decade seems a bit early to me.
  • + 1
 PLC07,

One thing I've noticed in riding MTBs and reading about them on the internet for 20 years is that in the past 5 yrs or so, the most active internet users are people with a lot of down time at a job where they make a lot of money. They relate to bicycles only in the sense that a bicycle lets them project an image on the internet. Thus, to them, a bicycle is a vector for ego gratification, not a tool for fun. To the ego-soother, a bicycle must be expensive, must have the latest-and-greatest-fad-accessories, and must be photographed and documented in its build and "upgrade" steps for projection on the internet.

To these people, extremely expensive fads are the very soul of MTBing.

It's not really about bike riding to them. It's more about bike ownership and bike display.
  • + 1
 Those people you speak of , though they may not ride for the right reasons , with thier constant upgrading to the ' lastest and greatest ' keep our sport alive financially , though maybe it kills the soul of the sport some what.
  • + 2
 @CFOxtrot do you have a lot of down time at a 20 year job where you make a lot of money? Must be, to have such a big generalized judgement...

I think there is a touch of the person you described in EVERYONE who rides bikes and knows what the internet is, and saying its "only to project an image" is kind of harsh and unrealistic. Unless you're talking about Los Angeles, then maybe I'd agree with you. (jk)

Why can't fun equal ego gratification? I agree there are complete d-bags like the person you described, but most of them don't stick with the sport for very long - usually buy in, pose for a while, and then forget about bikes and riding.

Carbon is sweet but it is the flavor du jour, and something else will come along in five or ten years that makes people treat carbon like hi-tensile steel.

My vote was for Whistler because it combines and gives a context to so many of the other candidates up there: the social aspect, the great trails both up and down, the feeling of being "out there" as well as "tuned in", the venue for torture testing product, the accessibility to old and young and male and female, and the constant coverage by news and marketing people who then broadcast how awesome it is to the world. I'd give my left (something) to live there.
  • + 1
 twozerosix,

Not at all clever how you began that post with a personal insult. Guess I must have been describing you, eh?

Oops.

Yes, I did. Your second paragraph even admits it. To your mind, everyone uses a bike to project their ego and uses the internet to help them do that.

I'm guessing you weren't riding MTBs 10 years ago. Pre-facebook, pre-twitter, pre-GoPro. The internet hasn't always been ego-ville. 20 years ago it was just lots of information, some good, some mediocre, some bad. Then it became commercialized, bland, corn syrup-added brain fattener.

Talk to someone who's been riding 20 years and see if that person agrees with you, or with me.
  • + 1
 CFOxtrot,

1. Pretty much, yes. I don't have a problem with that either. There are down times and up times.

2. Nope. I did my first mtb race in 1992, actually, on a blue Cannondale M700 with Force 40 braking and a rigid fork, and came in third in the beginner class. Twenty years ago. Have the t-shirt to prove it.

The only people using the internet in 1992 were defense departments and universities. There was as much ego-stroking on the bike back then as there is now, just in different forms.

I don't know what mountain biking looks like for you but judging from all your comments it has to be a pretty lonely place, as your definition of "bike riding" can't be communicated through email, internet, photos, bonding over bike parks or disc brake performance, etc.

I'd prescribe coming out of your cave, feeling the sunshine, and submitting to the sweet dopamine rush of buying some new forks and a park pass. You might enjoy it.
  • + 1
 "judging from your comments"

You need to work on your reading comprehension. You don't know me at all if you think I'm "lonely" or angry.

Also, you need to realize that outgoing, Frat Boy attitudes are not the only way to be a human being. So desiring some solitude when riding my MTB is not sad, defective, wrong, screwed up, or something you should look down your nose at. Plenty of people ride MTBs to ESCAPE the crush of crowds, humanity, "me too" extraverts who have to brag about everything every waking minute of their lives.

Apparently, that stuff energizes you. You need to realize that not everyone feels that way. And you need to account for the fact that MTB as a sport hasn't always been this stupid Frat Boy Flatbill Bro-Heem crap that it is in 2012.

Riding isn't the same as posing with pictures on the internet. What people post on PB or ridemonkey or MTBR, that's not anything remotely related to riding MTBs. It's just shootin' the schitt, wasting time, and feeling like a part of the crowd.

Nice fraternity, Skippy. Hope you enjoy that trust fund.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lol in the first 5 mins pb already changed the whistler option to bike parks haha good decision pb
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  • + 1
 everyone rides carbon something on at least one bike. Not everyone can go to whistler.
  • + 1
 i am proud to say i dont have a single carbon part on any of my bikes
  • + 5
 Why are you proud? Carbons heaps good if you can afford it ^.^
  • + 4
 yeay, I actually have some carbon spacers underneath my stem Razz
But actually I'm a big fan of Carbon, just couldn't afford it yet!
  • - 6
 @allan-taylor64 because i dont want to ride on composite material, a quality metal part will always outlast and in most cases outperform a carbon one. And after seeing and dealing with the countless carbon failures of customers at the shop i work at i just dont trust it
  • + 4
 Enduro27 - did you see that Santa Cruz destruction testing?
  • + 1
 Fair point but you oversell carbon. I know plenty of riders who have no carbon (-supplemented thermoplastic) bits on their bikes.

A true innovation should be something that improves the state of the bicycle.

Not something that improves the state of one's ego (GoPro etc).
  • + 1
 yes I have seen that video and yes carbon is extremely strong with regards to straight edge impacts and push/pull forces but everyday wear and odd sharp impacts is when santa cruz frames fail. For me its just not as durable as aluminum.
  • + 1
 bike parks are for the weekend warriors, and how i do love them, are not a year round thing; let alone an everyday thing. carbon is something that almost every bike company has adopted. it makes your bike lighter and stronger, and gets you out on the mountain wherever and whenever you want, and can only make your ride better and more fun. how is that NOT influential??
  • + 1
 You can't be serious that everyone has carbon something on at least one bike? I don't have any carbon on any of my bikes, nor do any of my friends save for one roadie. I don't have any thi ng against it, but for most people it's just plain not necessary and hence not cost justifiable. My point is, while carbon may be better and innovation is always good, I'm not going to buy any unless it is cheaper than other options, simply because aluminum and steel are good enough for me.
  • + 1
 yeah well my friend actually made that comment at first, but i do agree with him. i dont have any carbon on my bike either, but i still think it is more influential in the long run
  • + 1
 I still have to disagree. I think carbons just getting started, and will go leaps and bounds in the NEXT 10 years. For something to be the most influential, I'd say it would have to be something that would significantly hurt mountain biking had it not been invented/improved in the past 10 years. If there were no carbon frames and parts, I say we'd still be just fine now because the other options are still perfectly fine without the,. My vote goes to disc brakes, because it is a part that almost every single mountain biker has on their bike.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 i think its carbon...such a radical and positive change in the way bikes are made and it translates to every aspect of the sport whereas the others (like whistler bp) may only have a specific division (DH/FR) that they influenced. This broad spectrum is what makes me think that carbon fiber has been the most influential innovation.

P.S. not hating on whistler...Whistler is still incredible...id have stayed there last summer if i could have.
  • + 1
 okay now they changed it to bike parks...so my comment doesnt stand as much
[Reply]
  • - 1
 The Leatt neck brace can save tons of lives. how can it not be the most influential?
i had several friends that died because of not wearing it.
they would have been alive, you know what i mean?
  • + 1
 Save "tons of lives"?

Please don't bother with the truth!
  • + 1
 What Is this "truth" about Leatt braces?
  • + 1
 The TRUTH is that they have NOT saved "tons of" lives and maybe haven't saved a single life.

You confuse sales boolshyte (marketing advertisement copy) and truth. You should pay more attention to the truth, and less attention to marketing.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think that BOXXER needs to be in this list
[Reply]
  • + 1
 May I pick up two: 1. Leatt neck brace & 2. POV camera. Extra fun combined with safety!
  • + 35
 Just like ribbed condoms Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 my vote is to 5-10s i've never had a shoe that gave me so much confidence, that and i don't ride mtb
[Reply]
  • + 1
 way tooo many to choose from i wanted to say yes to atleast half of that list lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was hoping there would be a comment regarding the recent developments in 4x
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would like to see word "stoked" in the list. It has changed everything. You know, I am so stoked writing this comment.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 hahaha bike parts ftw..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its gotta be tubeless setups.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank you for.... Bike Parks
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bike Parks...for the win. They have influenced all of the above.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 we dont have a bikepark, the same for many places :C so guess that carbon fiber had made a huge change over us
[Reply]
  • + 1
 5-10's Lock on grips Nickle coated chains
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  • + 1
 1. Bike Parks 2. Redbull 3. Carbonfiber
[Reply]
  • - 3
 The only real advance in the past decade from the choices listed here is the Fox 36, a sturdy single-crown fork. And if I weighed 200lbs and not 150, I'd be even more adamant about this.

The other 9 choices are about fads/trends, not advances to the bicycle, nor advances to what people call "the sport." The activity of riding a mtn bike is not defined by infotainment media such as PB or Dirt Rag or dirt magazine or Clay Porter videos. Only your own acts when riding a MTB define MTBing. People shouldn't confuse hype for bike riding, even if armchair "stoke" and e-riding gets them through the work day. In that context, it's no different from whatever you daydream about while your wife/gf makes you watch that chick flick with her.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Without the parks not enough people would use this stuff to justify the expense of development.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 bike parks are pumping things up for the sport i love it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Tubeless MTB tires, disk brakes
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  • + 1
 the answers for 142x12 axles says it all
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  • + 1
 Below threshold threads are hidden
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  • - 1
 Just so we're clear on this, the answer is absolutely The Whistler bike park tup
  • - 40
 cows
  • + 9
 IMO the answer should be "All the Bikeparks" because its not just the whistler BP that innovated mountainbiking the last couple of years. All the Bikeparks should be rewarded for this, not just the one in whistler Wink
  • + 6
 Quite Possibly. But where would we be without a decent set of disc brakes? They allow for so much progression on the fact that they can slow down and stop the ridiculous speeds which we are achieving nowadays.
  • + 6
 Parts are great and all, but without trails that push the limits of riders and bicycles, progression of the sport wouldn't happen..
We'd all still be wearing spandex Eek
  • - 33
 wow 5 minutes and 18 down votes
  • + 4
 Don't worry shimano shadow plus rear deraileur clutch, I'll give you a vote :')
  • + 7
 How about the builders?
  • + 2
 Pendsocks i agree with your sentiment but the Whistler Bike Park showed a lot of naysayers that bike parks could be successful moneymakers and attract locals and tourists alike. It was the first and still is arguably the leader. Without it, I wonder how many other places would have bikeparks?
  • + 1
 Dude ... they changed it to Bike Parks !!! Big Grin Thanks PB !! you guys are awesome !! Smile
  • - 25
 DONT PAY ATTENTION TO THIS COMMENT
  • + 8
 How the Sam Hill have Neck braces impacted the sport more than disc brakes?
  • + 14
 Sam hill gave us a need for disk brakes.
  • + 7
 why? he never touches the brakes Wink
  • + 0
 without the pars not enough people would ride hard to have justified the development of most of this stuff.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 That felling yo get when you vote on something and it turns out being the top one.
  • + 2
 You should vote on hot chicks, maybe you'll get them on top aswell Wink
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