1 Question - When is Change Worth It?

Feb 2, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike 1 Question


Nothing seems to stoke the fires of hate more than a new, so-called standard.

Better referred to as simply being changes rather than standards, they are usually decided one or two years in advance, and can leave consumers scratching their heads over why things had to change at all. But the companies behind these changes are not evil conglomerates who only want to rape and pillage your bank account; they are run by people who also love bikes. But they're also most certainly businesses that are out to make a profit. In order to do that, they must sell product, and in order to sell the product, it has to be - or at least should be - better than what came before it. We'd all win in an ideal world: riders would get a better performing product, and companies would sell said product because it was better. But all too often it seems like these improvements are marginal at best, which raises the question of when it's worth it to make a change.

Predictably, a handful of companies declined to take part in this 1 Question, some citing the bitter comments that they assumed would follow, and probably feeling like there wasn't any possible way to come out looking good, regardless of their answer. If anything, that in itself is a pretty damn good indicator of the mindset of many mountain bikers in 2016.


Scott LT 700 Plus Squamish 2016
Shimano XTR Trail review test

Pivot Les Fat 2015
Trek Remedy 29 Review

We are all too familiar with the most recent examples of change, with some of them making more of an impact than others. Wheels moving from 26" to 27.5''. Gearing has gone from eight, nine, ten and now eleven-speed, with strong indications of twelve coming soon. Handlebar clamp diameters, bottom bracket interfaces, headset and steerer tube dimensions, and even hex versus Torx hardware all spring to mind. And then there's obviously Boost.

I could make some strong arguments both for and against everything on that list, as can many of you, but how do you decide if a technological change is worth the inconvenience?








Simon Cittati

Brand Communications Manager, RockShox and MTB Brakes


bigquotes
It would be easier to answer this question with a better definition of “inconvenience” – as in most product worlds, all technological advancements imply some kind of “inconvenience” for the existing products and their owners (i.e. a new engine technology will render a current car model obsolete).

This said, in our world technological advancements have two main drivers: our internal product development process, and requests that come from our OEM partners. In the first scenario, we are able to judge the “worthiness” of an innovation based on our own judgment, and we can also gauge this from the level of interest of our customers. Take 1X drivetrains for example: we started developing a solution in this direction by looking at what cross-country and enduro racers were already doing with their ten-speed drivetrains, which was taking the small ring and front derailleur off their bikes, and identified a number of products (X-Sync, wide range cassettes, to name the two main ones) as necessary to make this a true technological advancement – which resulted in our 1X group sets such as XX1, X01, X1 and GX.

With the second scenario, where one or more of our OEM partners ask us for a specific solution for a new frame or line of bikes, the decision is based more on technical feasibility and business opportunity. A good example of this is the Monarch Relay shock that is an integral part of the Ei system on Lapierre, Ghost and Haibike bikes.







Peter Vallance

Director - Mountain Product Management, Cannondale




bigquotes
At Cannondale, our mission is to make bike rides better and this guides our System Integration engineering approach. We want to actually make rides better, noticeably better, not just a few percent better to put in a PowerPoint presentation for journalists. This has led us to some very unconventional solutions like Lefty, HollowGram, and DYAD. Almost any rider can feel the difference those technologies deliver when they hop on one of our bikes. One of the best things about working for Cannondale is that we are not trying to appeal to every rider out there - we are happy to cater to those who appreciate our approach. Lefty freaks a lot of people out, but it's all in the name of advancement and performance.

In recent years, we've seen a ton of micro-innovation like new wheel sizes and rear wheel spacing. For wheel/tire sizes, we will only adopt a new one if we think it delivers a real benefit to the rider and we also have to consider lineup simplicity. Do we really need a platform in 27, 29, and 27+? That is confusing for everyone, and it limits the resources we can put into real innovation. For us to continue to make real, exciting leaps forward, the industry will need to stabilize on wheel/tire sizes by intended use.

So much effort goes into advancements that in reality falls too short for the rider. Boost, for example, affords the designer 3mm in extra tire clearance, chain stay width, or chain ring compatibility. For reference, 3mm is about as wide as the number '3' on a typical computer keyboard. While we recognize that real estate is ultra tight, and every millimeter counts, these specific 3mm are not worth the inconvenience they bring. For reference, our Ai system delivers 6mm of extra room, all while using a standard 142mm rear hub. The 6mm offset yields a stronger and stiffer wheel, but more importantly, it enables us to have very short chain stays and not compromise mud clearance or frame stiffness. To us, Ai is worth the slight inconvenience it brings.

We're confident that the industry will move past Boost soon and settle on something else and we can't wait to read the Pinkbike comments when that happens.






Tom 'Tam' Hamilton

BTR Fabrications





bigquotes
We're always aiming to offer the best possible riding experience to our customers. That's what drives us to run BTR, and it's the basis for why I think incremental enhancements are crucial. Testing and rolling out new technology and new features step by step is faster and more effective than trying to only launch new features in complete chunks, so it will bring better products to our customers sooner.

It's important that new technologies and features are made available to the customer as soon as they are ready so that the customer is buying the best available product at the time of purchase. There's just no sense in sitting on new technology which could improve products - it would be dishonest to the customer to sell an outdated model, and would give a poorer representation of our company. Quite often, it seems, other companies attempt to blind customers with the smoke and mirrors of new paint schemes, with the pretense that the 'new model' is an improvement over their previous offering. While I see no reason anyone shouldn't buy a bike in a colour scheme they like, it annoys me when it's touted as a new feature.

There is always room for improvement or refinement in design, even if the features and technologies involved don't change - this is why we all update our products periodically even though they're all still bicycles! As improvements are made in manufacturing techniques and materials, new features become possible and/or necessary, and designs must change to fully take advantage of the new technologies. No single company develops complete bicycles, either, so new features are often a reaction to new componentry becoming available. This is particularly the case for us small manufacturers, but we have the advantage of being able to react very quickly to new 'standards' if need be.

Deciding whether a technological advancement is worth pursuing is a matter of judgment; if there's a foreseeable benefit to the customer, then it must be worth investigation at least. In order to provide the best bikes to our customers we are constantly looking for ways to improve our products - from listening to feedback, to developing new concepts, or researching new materials, or honing our production methods. The ideas which reach our production models are generally only the top few which offer the most clear-cut benefits to the customer. We don't have any solid rules about which changes are worthwhile, except that it must bring benefits to the customers; we won't just change something for the sake of changing it. The majority of our judgement comes from experience, both as riders and engineers; we'll have a clear idea of our target and can calculate or understand whether a given change will bring a useful advantage to our customers.The pitfall we're all trying to avoid is to launch something which isn't ready. A product which fails in any way is (at best) disappointing for customers and damages reputations. We must have a very high level of confidence in a product or technology before it can safely be released; it's our duty to customers to do all that we can to prevent any failure which may cause an accident, and a broken product certainly won't perform well!

Just like a lot of consumers, we get very frustrated by new 'standards' which don't seem to serve any purpose other than to make older components obsolete. These moves seem as if they could only to be damaging for the industry, but the companies behind them surround the new products with a lot of hype in order to drive more sales. I won't name any names...

Technological advancements are really necessary for the development and growth of cycling. Across the board, the bikes we have now are so fast and fun and capable and reliable compared with what we rode even as recently as five years ago, let alone fifteen years ago and, in the grand scheme, that's very recent. Without constantly pursuing and implementing new technologies, this massive improvement would never have happened, and cycling would be much less enjoyable and exciting.







Richard Cunningham

Tech Editor, Pinkbike



bigquotes
I can speak with some authority on technical changes and industry standards, because I have been riding that wave since the first mountain bikes appeared. I still own the first mountain bike that I built back in 1981, and the only parts which are interchangeable with the modern version are its pedals, grips, saddle and certain tires (if 26-inch wheels are still considered current). Its Schrader-valve tubes are as outdated as its geometry, materials, and construction.

In retrospect, all of the improvements that caused its obsolescence were justifiable, and like today, most created much controversy when they were instituted as “new, industry-wide standards.” Perhaps more important to this discussion is that I have also met with a great many of the individuals who instigated those changes and, with few exceptions, all of those people did so with the highest expectations that their efforts would result in a better mountain bike. They weren’t always right, but nobody is. The reason that bikes are so good now is because the industry is made of people who are stoked on them.

So, when is change good? As it applies to mountain bikes, change is good when it provides a tangible benefit to the rider. That benefit can be related to performance, comfort, durability, safety, value, or fashion – and, it can either be a necessary improvement or simply a desirable one. Face it, for almost all of us, a mountain bike is an expensive toy and a means of personal expression, so “want” and “need” are interchangeable terms for evaluating benefits.

Necessary vs. Desirable: The shift from the 25.4 millimeter handlebar-clamp diameter to 31.8 millimeters was a crucial change that provided a necessary safety margin of strength and additional stiffness in response to handlebars growing wider and riding styles, more aggressive. Secretly, most component designers admit that the addition of the larger, 35-millimeter clamp-diameter standard was mechanically unnecessary. True or false, the presumption by elite level riders that fatter bars equate to more precise steering overrides any need for further justification and 35-millimeter bars have become an essential product.

Evolutionary vs. Revolutionary: Incremental change is the substance of cycling and chipping off one gram at a time has resulted in impossibly lightweight and reliable frames and components. Wheel design is an example of how the process of steady improvement has produced outstanding reliability and performance while conforming to worldwide standards. Similarly, frame geometry, suspension travel, and additional cassette cogs creep forward at a speed that makes change easier to anticipate and more digestible for reluctant customers and bike makers alike. The flip side of evolutionary improvement is that it fails to teach us anything new. Revolutionary changes force us to rethink other aspects of the bike’s design. Beyond reliable stopping, disc brakes freed up suspension configurations, allowed wheel designers to optimize rim profiles and gave birth to through-axle standards. The 29er inspired wider hub standards, forced fork makers to recalculate offsets, pushed bike makers to abandon the front derailleur, gave reason to adopt the 27.5-inch format, and facilitated the plus-sized trail bike.

Us vs. Them: The prevailing notion is improvements that result in industrywide changes which are driven externally by popular demand are good – but that changes of similar magnitude which originate from bike or parts makers without popular consensus are bad. Changes crafted to satisfy the customer’s existing needs are an easy sell. But, an equal number of innovations that result in new standards are developed in secret to solve problems, add features, or to enhance performance in areas of the bike which riders are not yet aware of, or do not yet perceive a need for - “Show me something that I don’t think I need and then tell me in the same paragraph, that it will make my existing bike obsolete.” That’s a hard sell, and it may smell like a conspiracy, but it defines a job well done for the product designer.

Why the Big Secrets? It is logical then, to assume that if bike and component makers were more transparent with their future customers about upcoming changes, buyers would be able to make more informed choices and peace and prosperity would reign. But, it wouldn’t go that way. Customers and product designers operate in time zones that are years apart. Lead times to produce a new bicycle design average 12 months or more, while a new drivetrain can take up to four years to bring to market.

While you are signing the credit card receipt for your new 2016 bike, that same brand is secretly rolling out the 2017 model to key bike dealers, while the people who designed it are off working on the 2018 version. So, from the bike maker’s point of view, your new bike is, at least, two years behind the times before the ink dries on the receipt. The reality is that the current model is the best possible bike that they can actually sell to you, and keeping their new stuff secret is probably in your best interest. Imagine if your sales person said: “Hey, before you sign that Visa slip, how would you like to watch some videos of the 13-speed 2017 model and our 2018 Z-link suspension?”







Lars Sternberg

Marketing Manager, Airtime Engineer, Transition Bikes



bigquotes
There are many layers to this here onion. Hopefully, we're ready to shed some tears, which is usually my immediate reaction when I learn about the next 'new thing'.

Regarding industry-driven changes; whether we all like them or not, sometimes they are necessary. And sometimes they are simply a pain in the ass. In the end, it's all a balance. For the most part, we're presented industry changes in ​very ​much the same manner as consumers are, just far earlier. ''Hey guess what, all those tires you have? They won't fit on the new wheels everyone's beginning to use.'' Yep, I was one of the last holdouts. It's just as frustrating for us to deal with given issues such as new tooling cost, additional manufacturing time, product compatibility issues, the waste and devaluation of newly outdated product on a consumer level. Not sweet. We do our best to approach every new change in product compatibility or function as if we were the end consumer and assess it as such, and we are are damn lucky we can still do so. If we decide to alter an existing product for adaptation it is because we believe in it.

Riding as much as we do, we've experienced the 'excited to build up a bike, only to realize you can't put it together because you forgot X changed and now it won't work with Y' issue just like you. So we are very cautious of which 'enhancements' will really be worth adopting or not. For instance, the 12 x 142mm hub/axle standard or 27.5'' wheel size. We are the size of company that we didn't want to be the first to integrate those things into​ our bikes, but we certainly weren't the last to move on them. After much internal deliberation, we determined that they were worthwhile enhancements and it was apparent that the entire mountain bike industry was moving that direction. Everyone was going to have to deal with the same growing pains. And now think about having to use a 10 x 135mm QR rear wheel on a 160mm travel bike that you ride DH tracks on. I know, crazy​, right? I think everyone that rides mountain bikes at an enthusiast level can high-five​ after that one.

Then you have some of the ​adaptations that are currently evolving. At the moment, we feel a lot of the latest enhancements coming to the surface aren't really a benefit for us​​. So we're busy focusing on other things that we feel will be worthwhile (new acronym's included). I feel I can speak for the entire Transition crew when I say that when we drive an enhancement on one of our products, it ​will be immediately apparent to our customer​s​ why we did it.






Wacek Kipszak

Pinkbike commenter as WAKIdesigns



bigquotes
The first thing that comes to my mind is what counts as an inconvenience in the realm of mountain biking: a flat tire, chairlift out of order, or racing with a dislocated finger? Nah, I guess we are here to discuss the first-world problems related to bicycle standards, so let's focus on that. I reckon that realistically speaking, for an average, healthy mountain bike keyboard warrior, inconvenience boils down to the situation when the desired item is ''out of stock'' or ''discontinued'' while the latest toy, which is in stock does not fit his current bike. This means that instead of buying one missing component, he needs to make a set of purchases in order to keep his bike in running order or up to date. This doesn't seem to be much of an issue with new hub spacing since we can always hope that some small company can provide us with adapters and spacers. The introduction of 11-speed drivetrains is hardly inconvenient because all of us wear out or break our drivetrains eventually, so we may just go up one gear and enjoy the wide-range cassette without spending much more money.

The real problem starts when our three-year-old frame breaks like has happened to me. I had a decent 26'' wheeled bike, and if I were to buy counterparts of my fork, wheels, and tires to fit the 27.5'' wheeled frame, I would need to spend up to 1,500 dollars. That is a high price for blurry benefits of increasing the wheel radius by 12.5mm, a move that took a great effort to coordinate actions of four branches of the industry - just to make it happen all over again three-years later with the introduction of 27.5+ tires, which ironically makes for an exotic 29er, a wheel size that one of the world's biggest bike companies pre-sentenced to death when showing their 27.5'' bike range for the first time. The 27.5+ tire has a contact patch so much bigger than a 26'' tire that I can observe the difference with a naked eye from the distance of 12.5 meters. I become a climbing god by getting loads of additional grip, instead of one second every three minutes, given my surname is Vouilloz.

There's no problem with fine-tuning​ the system by changing one thing at a time, but when someone reinvents the wheel, the semi-solutions don't seem to be worth the producer's and customer's inconvenience while we can try to fix issues, like gearing systems attached to the swingarm, which adds half of a kilo to the unsprung weight, or having the same chain stay lengths for all sizes of a frame type, from XS to XL. I like it when the industry takes inconvenient risks by sending it big and acting a bit like riders on the FEST series. It is mountain biking, and we are all here for the thrills and there are no medals for keeping the steadiest pace while following competitors.







Noel Buckley

Founder, Knolly Bikes



bigquotes
There is always going to be a lot of consumer skepticism regarding actual performance benefits of touted incremental improvements, and in particular ''new standards''. However, in general, I feel that most companies are indeed trying to continually improve their product, or else they would be quickly outpaced by their competition. The question then becomes: What represents an advancement that's significant enough to truly warrant a purchasing decision? Conversely, what is a small evolutionary improvement that's perhaps hyped up but doesn't provide an actual noticeable performance increase? These are commonly a ''fix'' disguised as an improvement, or can simply be a marketing initiative designed to 'out-feature' a competitor. Constant standard changes can also feed corporate desires for increasing annual turnover by reengaging customers prior to their natural purchasing cycle.

The vast majority of products are best served with an evolutionary development cycle. This allows the design team to build on past experiences and to take into account a large amount of direct (i.e. formal development teams) or indirect (i.e. warranty or sales performance) product feedback. This process typically takes at least a year or more (for relatively sophisticated products) before the design direction is ready for the end user market. Once you factor in the additional cost and time of getting a new product up and running (tooling, marketing, and support as well as production timelines) a product lifespan of three to five years becomes necessary to justify the fundamental architecture of the product. Hence, the changes in a product year over year may not be that relevant, but looking back over many years will start to show large advancements in product design and performance.

Let’s look at two examples of rapid market adoption of new products: The introduction of the 27.5'' wheel size is a great example of a major switch in product specification that was proclaimed to be revolutionary, but which also caused a step backwards in many aspects of product design. The race to ''be the first to market'' with this new wheel size flooded the market with frames that eschewed all previous progress of 26'' wheeled frames. Many advancements that had evolved from two plus decades of 26'' wheel frame design were thrown out the window simply to mount 27.5'' wheels on mountain bikes. It took an additional two to three years for frame geometry and suspension kinematics to properly adapt to this new wheel diameter and not compromise on chainstay length, tire clearance, stand over height, front end height, pedaling / suspension performance, among others. These issues led to a ''fuzzy'' introduction of the 27.5 wheel size, where a significant amount of highly developed 26'' bikes were still outperforming newer 27.5 bikes for a few years.

Sometimes a revolutionary technology really does enter the market and take everyone by surprise. One of the best examples of this was the emergence of the platform shock in the early 2000's. This technology completely caught both the cycling community and established players off guard and resulted in a massive change in product specification. Even with some of the initial reliability issues, the benefits of the technology were immediately apparent and clearly outperformed existing products. The technology has continued to develop extensively over the past dozen years since its introduction, but undeniably the initial bump in performance was substantial. The final part of the decision-making process has to be financial. It's one thing to find a new set of tires that is absolutely perfect for your normal riding conditions: in this case, $100 or so could be a relatively small but very worthwhile investment. In fact, I can't think of many better investments for mountain bikes than quality tires! When it comes down to more expensive components (wheels, forks, frames or a completely new bike), then the question becomes more difficult, and unless you are really unhappy with your current product, the rewards need to be substantially greater.

While often difficult to wade through the sea of marketing hyperbole, it is still important for the customer to do their research and prioritize their purchases. What is the performance that you can live with? What represents an absolutely clear performance advantage and do you need it (do you even care)? Can you afford to be on the bleeding edge of product development, and if so are you prepared to deal with potential performance letdowns and possible reliability concerns? Are you better off making small improvements to your bike or are you at the point when you're probably better off just replacing everything? No one but the customer can really answer these questions, but after doing their homework, the perceived value should be there.






Dave Weagle

Inventor, Product Designer, Design Consultant



bigquotes
For me, standards have to meet the litmus test of practicality, cost to riders, and longevity. No doubt there have been some useful standards over the years, built by consortiums of companies, beneficial to riders, and implemented widely (IS brake mounts, ISCG05, and tapered steerers come to mind), but recently, I see companies using what they call ''standards'' to act as a positioning device for their brands, with little regard for rider impact. Clearly Boost is one that's been met with huge rider criticism, and I think it's justified. It's just too small of a step. Why the heck did we abandon 20mm axles up front in the first place? For that matter, why didn't Boost become a 20 x 120mm front spacing with 36mm flanges? In back, our drivetrains are crammed into the same tiny space as before; we could have at least given some room to grow! Okay, yeah, it may have made wheels a whopping 20 grams heavier but damn, at least we'd be future proofed.

The problem is in part that you have big corporate machines whose marketing engines rely on them feigning some kind of technical innovation. In a boardroom, I'm sure that this stuff seems to make sense, but as a rider, when you have to buy a new wheelset with your hard earned cash, reality starts to hit. It becomes even more insulting when the ''standard'' completely changes again in a couple of years (and it will). Frankly, our industry needs to get its shit together and start talking openly before going to market with pointless incremental steps like Boost.

Listen, we know that 1x is here to stay. We know that that we're eventually going to 12, 13, 14-speeds in the back. We know that riders aren't going to start going slower on their trail bikes. It's inevitable. Why not position the ''standards'' to intersect with that near future rather than where we were three years ago? Bottom-line is that this mess is on the industry - all of us. We should be bringing large and meaningful steps to market industry-wide, and on a planned and publicly open schedule. Until that happens, we're asking the riders to foot the bill for the shortsightedness of a relative few, and it's not fair.

Sure, riders can vote with their checkbooks, but we live in a FOMO marketing-driven society and companies from computers to cotton balls bank on it. This can be fixed. Who knows, perhaps today can be the catalyst for change.



266 Comments

  • + 238
 DW for President. The man always speaks the truth with a frankness not often heard from industry insiders, it's refreshing and depressing at the same time.
  • + 3
 Weagle the populist
  • + 41
 Anyone who thinks the major manufacturers don't have long-term product release plans is fooling themselves. Rolling out incremental improvements and changing standards on an annual basis makes financial sense. Don't expect the bike industry to do anything different than the auto or tech or any other industry. It's probably never going to stop so just buy something you like and ride it til you break it or run out of parts. I've been riding 10 spd 26ers for a long time and I can still find everything I need.
  • + 25
 I love what he said. Consumers have said these points, we get shit on by industry apologists, then an actual industry guy with some weight chimes in and agrees exactly with what we were saying. The countdown has begun to another new standard (err... money grab) appearing really soon.
  • + 28
 i figured waki would be more harsh than anyone else's opinion, and then i read weagle's.
  • + 47
 You understood Waki's opinion?
  • + 22
 Proud to be riding a DW link bike right now.. I think he nailed it
  • + 6
 "The problem is in part that you have big corporate machines whose marketing engines rely on them feigning some kind of technical innovation. In a boardroom, I'm sure that this stuff seems to make sense, but as a rider, when you have to buy a new wheelset with your hard earned cash, reality starts to hit. It becomes even more insulting when the ''standard'' completely changes again in a couple of years (and it will). Frankly, our industry needs to get its shit together and start talking openly before going to market with pointless incremental steps like Boost."

Ya...I've rebuilt my rear wheel 6 times instead of forking out cash for a new standard.wish more industry folks like DW would voice opinion and offer solutions...communication never hurts any industry.
  • - 11
flag gonecoastal (Feb 2, 2016 at 19:30) (Below Threshold)
 LOL @ DW complaining about Boost when the Troy has a Boost ass end.
  • + 13
 LOL @ you assuming DW has complete control over every bike that comes with his suspension designs. I'm sure he happily accepted his consulting fee to make Split Pivot work with Boost.
  • - 11
flag dirtworks911 (Feb 2, 2016 at 20:51) (Below Threshold)
 Honestly, any change in standards is to increase the progression of the sport. Could you imagine the aftermath of Kurt launching his rampage huck if he was riding on 9mm quick release?!
  • + 12
 So a weekly article for weagle?
  • + 10
 Dude is spot on. It's getting to expensive for me now!!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/13129298/#cid10122049
  • + 14
 After all the blah blah of the preceding contributors I finally got to Dave Weagle. I loved his candid comments. Refreshing indeed. He is the only one who really said something. Thanks DW.
  • + 5
 I'm riding an old Iron Horse 7 point.
It's odd that 2006 frame is really up tu date with some newest standards.
I have 1.5 headtube so tapered forks are no problem.
135x12mm rear axle - up to date. obviesly geometry is getting out of date (though i slacked HA -2deg. with Syncross's adjustable headset) but what is my point.
DW says of a forsightness of industry. Apparently that's what Iron Horse were doing in it's time.
Dave, why don't you get Iron Horse back from Dorel Industries and do stuff how you were back in the days.
That would just be perfect.
  • - 1
 Classic how I was able to just discredit all respondents to this article by reading Dan's section. Correction, I read Dan's section three times!
  • + 0
 @zshipowick The Wreckoning as well. Wink
  • + 10
 Take your technical innovation from the boardroom to the real world for testing before you call it a industry standard. Quit F##KING with stuff that is not broken. We are not all world cup racers or gram weenies.
  • + 8
 As consumers, we can always vote with what we buy, and turn "BOOST" into "BUST". Giant tried to pull this BS with their stupid-ass overdrive stem system - and it died in flames.

DW's comment on how there could be a real step forward into the next standard, as opposed to the micro-incremental cash-grab by Trek hit the nail on the head, and is one reason why I support other brands. It's very telling how the companies that foisted this thing on the industry, expecting to be applauded, now see the shit-storm and are notably absent from the discussion.
  • + 0
 You have a good point but most of us aren't riding at Kurt's level and likely won't anytime soon.
  • + 4
 It gets worse.
On the one hand we do have the mainstream media, pushing everything new (or worse pushing specific brands), under a really overactive manner they sound just like salespersons. This is quite apparent if we take notice of the language used to “cover” what the industry needs to push…
On the other hand we DO see (at least, the people who get actively involved onto the evolution of the machines we are ridding) many ideas getting “frozen”, for some time, in order to allow “air” for existing ones to sell…
Many times, nice ideas are getting either ripped or “buried” for the benefit of the mainstream policy of the sales model we have so blindly embraced.
I do agree with Mr. Weagle. He dares to address this situation…
  • + 5
 Dave Weagle just went up in my estimation, someone finally shooting and straight talking!
  • + 7
 DW - he's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him. -Bob
  • + 10
 I'll never forgive the industry as a whole for the switch to 27.5". I ride downhill almost exclusively, and as we all know, it's a f*cking expensive sport. It took me years to finally buy a high-end (a few years ago) DH bike and enough spare 26" tires and wheelsets to have peace of mind when I'm riding somewhere that's sixteen hours from home. Not to mention the luxury of using rubber that's actually appropriate for the conditions.

My Session 88 has now seen five years of use, some years it's been ridden as often as four times a week. It's nearing the end of its useable lifespan. The plan was always to simply buy a new frame and shock, then swap all of my parts onto it, including my dead-reliable and plush Fox 40. My stockpile of rubber and wheels would stay healthily in the mix.

Now, since the universal switch to 650b, I really don't have much of a f*cking choice when I get a new downhill bike. I'm stuck with a wheel size invented by marketing department. The only real option other than that is to buy a used, possibly battered frame. The affordable option of buying a new 26" frameset: gone. My meticulously-maintained 40, my stack of wheels and tires... it all becomes USELESS. I guess I could just start over from square one and give the industry a bunch of money for parts that I already own (but in the "wrong" size) but it's not even about the money at this point. It's just a dick move by the industry as a whole. And really, who's to say they won't do the same thing again in another 2-3 years? After all, we were dumb enough to switch to 27.5...

It comes down to this: it's a blatant money grab at the expense of the riders, and one of the many reasons why I seem to be dedicating less and less time to this sport. I understand that businesses need to make a profit, but the whole 27.5 fiasco has been a slap in the face to riders who don't have (or want to spend) the cash to simply buy a new bike every year.
  • + 4
 Also, Dave Weagle's comment wins Pinkbike. Period.
  • + 5
 mark my words: when everyone has their 27.5 bike and sales slow down, 26ers will start showing back up as "retro" and then by 2019, 27.5 era will be forgotten. it sounds a little far fetched, but manufacturers wont have a choice if they want to boost sales again. think about it, around 2011, 26ers got as good as they were gonna get for a good while, so the move to 27.5 was swift. since they're arent any forseeable "gamechangers" coming down the pipe, and bringing another wheelsize to market will just be plain dumb, 26 will come back.
  • + 1
 It's also quite telling that some of the guys who are going bigger than anyone else on the planet (Zink, Aggy... not sure who else at Rampage) are competing at the biggest, gnarliest event on the planet on 26 inch wheels. And it's not like these guys haven't tried 27.5... www.pinkbike.com/news/cam-zinks-custom-yt-tues-cf-red-bull-rampage-2015.html
  • + 1
 @keystonebikes. I completely agree. People like 26ers, and for a whole range of scenarios they are much better than the bigger wheels. Last Whistler bike survey 90% were on 26 - that's huge!
  • + 3
 the biggest hurdle to overcome for the companies will be how to bring them back without looking stupid. my guess is that they might bring out a model or 2 and then be like "we had such positive feedback from our riders that we felt we should bring them back to the public"
  • + 2
 As I'm sure you already know this, you can still buy cool 26" dh bikes...but I hear what you are saying
  • + 0
 Trek have done this with their Trek Session Park *claps hands*. But if I think they targeted it as an option for more jump friendly AM bikes that would be the logical way to sneak them back in.
  • + 1
 i believe that a "freeride bike" comeback will be the catalyst to reintroduce 26ers. when people realize that a carbon enduro bike cant handle a bail without cracking.
  • + 0
 @keystonebikes you nailed yet another point. My biggest issue with enduro bikes is how dainty and fragile the damn things are. By their very nature, they're "compromise machines" built to climb comfortably AS WELL as descend like a DH bike. Lightweight carbon frames, dropper posts, a dozen cables and levers to get shredded into scrap when the bike tomahawks through a rock garden... all of this is fine and dandy when you're climbing a fire road, but I can't honestly see most of them standing up to continuous park laps and the inevitable crashes that come with it.

Bring back the Freeride/Park bike. Intense is giving us (close) to what's needed. www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-intense-uzzi-275-interbike-2015.html and www.pinkbike.com/news/prototype-intense-spotted-at-fontana-california.html
  • + 1
 what i have noticed, is that these new enduro quiver killer machines are pushing over 30 pounds yet still crack if u drop them on a rock. i have a titus supermoto from 2004 with similar geo to today's bikes and it is only 31 lbs with pedals. no dropper, but shit, i could run over it with my suv and it will still be rideable.
  • + 4
 I had one carbon "quiver killer" bike, a 26" Cannondale Trigger. Third ride, a 1" diameter tree branch did this: www.pinkbike.com/photo/13133493
  • + 1
 wow, it looks like your spokes held up better than the seat stays! i like carbon fiber for my bass rods. thats about it.
  • + 1
 I was amazed that the spokes weren't even bent. This bike was a loner when I worked for Cannondale... my one foray into carbon. The head of my department wasn't amused when I brought it back to the office in this state. Give me aluminum or give me death.
  • + 2
 if anything, it makes a strong argument for 26" wheels. I'm such a 26 fanboy i even have 26 followers haha!
  • + 3
 I do respect DW for rallying against unnecessary new standards. However, his comments are exclusively aimed at Trek and Boost. Dave and Trek have history over Split Pivot and ABP, if that is what it's called, and it isn't pretty. I'm not saying he is wrong, but I doubt he has much love for Trek.
  • + 75
 Fuck ya Waki
  • + 1
 Who dared to downvote this comment concerning my lovely neighbour?
  • + 59
 Kudos for keyboarding your way into a legit position on PB
  • - 14
flag powderturns (Feb 2, 2016 at 18:23) (Below Threshold)
 @wakidesigns, aren't you off on the radius increase? am I missing something? you said an increase of 12.5mm, which is ~0.5", but the increase from 26" to 27.5" is 1.5", so half that is 0.75" = 19mm. Maybe you had some smaller tires in mind for that 27.5"? Wink
  • + 17
 27.52 isn't actually 27.5" its actually closer to 27 but was named 27.5 inch to make it seem better for buyers who couldn't choose between 26 and 29 so as to appear to be in the middle between both......this Is why I don't like seing 27.5 or 275 on bike frame decals such as gt's as I have to question how technical there designers are if they want to advertise an exaggerated wheel size.
  • + 11
 I switched to 27.5 last year and I can honestly say that the difference is hardly noticeable. .
  • + 4
 @powderturns The increase is not 1.5". A 650b rim is 25mm larger (about 1") in diameter than a 26" rim.
Really nothing is 26 or 27.5 or 29. Those are just rough guesses as to what a rim plus tire is.
  • + 9
 wow. to quote jack nicholson, don't I feel like a f*cking *sshole...
thanks guys - i forgot that wheel size started out as 650b - this was a good history lesson.
thanks for not being dicks about it.
  • + 2
 Clearly 650b wasn't sexy enough for the 27.5" marketing - ad-wizards
  • + 1
 @powderturns 26in rims are 559mm in diameter which is 22in and 27.5in rims are 584mm in diameter which is 23in. So the difference is only 1in. Also 29in is 622mm which is 24.5in.
  • + 10
 26" wheel rim diameter: 559mm. 275/650B d=584mm
584mm-559mm= 25mm.
25mm/2=12.5mm

I mentioned radius since it is the dimension that is more directly related to the roll over than diameter. In general 26-4-life folks will always say that 275 is not really 27,5" as it is closer to 26", while 650B early adopters will tell you that 650B tyres are taller. Many of us try to bend the truth or rip one page from a book, then burn 2 following ones, in order to be able to deal with reality Big Grin
  • + 0
 Actually 27.5 is pretty much 27.5". 26" was named as such back when people were using smaller tyres - these days with a 2.35" tyre the diameter is closer to 26.5". Waki is right there's only an inch between em but it's not the fault of 27.5, more that 26 is to blame ;-)
  • + 5
 26x2.35 Schwalbe Muddy Mary=685mm=27.0in
27.5x2.35 Schwalbe Magic Mary=708mm=27.9in

So small 26in tires are still 26in in diameter but your normal everday one is already 27in. And 27.5in tires are actually closer to 28in so this is why we should start taking about rim diameter and NOT wheel diameter (it will always vary depending on what tire you use).
  • - 2
 650b sounds pretty French. And we all recall how the US feel about those pesky French.
  • + 4
 @SintraFreeride I agree dude. But maybe it would be better to just stop talking about wheel size altogether? The manufacturers are like "all I see is those guys over at Pinkbike talking about wheel sizes, like all the time" ..."I've got it, they must want more wheel sizes!"
  • + 9
 gonecostal - apart from the fact that it was US where some people went: this 26 may be too slow and too boring, I've had thirty seven 26" bikes but 29" is too big, too strange dunno about that. How about something in the middle. There's this guru out in the desert, Kirk Pacenti they say, he has something in the middle, he'll show us the way. So they rode on whatever frames with whatever forks on terrible tyres, saying that it makes all the difference in the world. Meanwhile you could ride Spec Enduro, SC Nomad but no, we take some Haro with 71 head angle and Manitou fork with SPV damper and Kenda semi/slicks. 7 years later companies figured out the way to make people buy more of complete bikes and as a side effect discourage them from leaning towards second hand market or making custom builds. So they pushed for 650B and all those early adopters suddenly realized that they've been hearing the voice of God himself all along.
  • + 1
 believe it or not, its not about the wheel!
  • + 2
 Nice summary waki
  • + 0
 I work in the industry and a lot of our brands actually polled us to see whether they should call their stuff 27.5 or 650b. Our customers responded better to 27.5 because it was more intuitive as a "between" description- accurate or not.
  • - 3
 Nobody cares if it is 650B or 275, how big it really is. Only 26-for-life crowd does.
  • + 55
 People would get a lot less heated over these innovations if it didn't take most of us 5 years to save up the money to afford a new bike. Most of us, when buying a bike..have to live with the fact that this is the steed we will be riding for the better part of the near future. With bike resale value pretty much non existent, once you've chosen a steed of choice, you've pretty much decided whatever the newest innovations are you will not be a part of them. Thats a tough pill to swallow when the innovations like wheel size require not just a new wheel set but a whole new set up. I wish it was as easy as swapping handlebars to enjoy some new improvements, but thats never really the case is it.
  • - 11
flag fatenduro (Feb 2, 2016 at 15:20) (Below Threshold)
 wheel size isn't exactly an innovation. So called innovations only matter if you're racing the clock. Otherwise, a BMX is just as fun, if not more fun on the trails than a dually.
  • + 6
 Change is worth it when youre the last guy back to the car?
  • + 1
 Thats the only thing thats motivating me to want to change up haha.
  • + 5
 not sure im quite feeling the bmx on a trail analogy, wouldn't enjoy a rock garden too much!
  • + 2
 Agreed @IsaacO A broken dust seal has forced my hand in selling an otherwise functional 2008 DH Rig. They don't make them the same any more and it was going to cost a few hundred to have one fabricated...not worth it when I can only sell the bike for about 700.
  • + 8
 I remember years ago selling a 5,000 dollar downhill rig with only about a dozen rides on it...for 800 bucks. That hurt bad, but it was literally all i could get for it. Even my recent bike is only 3 years old, purchased right before the shift to 27.5....and now when confronted with the options to spend good money servicing it and upgrading parts that need replacing i can't help but think . " I'm not even gonna be able to buy tires for this soon...how much do i really want to spend on it?"
  • + 10
 That is a little extreme. You probably have 5 years to infinity of buying quality 26" wheels. The dirt jumpers, slalom, slopestyle and freeride guys are going to stick to 26"
  • + 3
 Good point^.
  • + 4
 PinkBike BuySell is the answer Let all the posers pay the big bucks for the new sh!t ... then buy it when it is a year old, and ridden twice but discussed at great lengths for 12 months ... for half price!
  • + 2
 You will ALLWAYS be able to buy 26 tyres an rims 26 inch wheels have been around for what like 40 years...... That's a lot of bikes, retro to current day that will need new rims an tyres, for another 40 years, if not EVER!!
  • + 1
 I've recently moved to high volume lightweight 26 tyres as a cheap alternative to a complete new 27.5 bike. Holding out until 29 becomes the norm.
  • + 1
 Sorry to 'inverted180' . Bloody props buttons too small and close together! Oh and my massive finger. I completely agree with you.
  • + 45
 Weagle is so damn right. Dude knows what's up and how to fix it. Get to work Dave!!
  • + 34
 Dave Weagle friggin nailed it. Thank you.
  • + 26
 What the f*ck Waki is doing here for god sake?!?
  • + 20
 how is it that a random guy pinkbike commentator weighs in on the state of the industry? That was really odd.
  • + 12
 The infamous keyboard warrior finally has a chance to voice his loud opinion...
  • + 37
 Its a New PinkBike Standard.
  • + 6
 Im still trying to figure out what he said. Lots of words but a confusing message. I like Waki and you can gleam some knowledge now and then but a lot of the times the later is his MO.
  • + 3
 I read wakis comment and thought it was the most sane and easy to follow read that hes made, aside from a few wakileaks articles. Must have been sober for that one
  • + 19
 Notably absent is the Trek opinion, one that initiated the Boost "improvement". Bueller? Bueller?

I've grown accustomed to 27.5" wheels, and to spacing standards that are alien to what I have. Works for you, and you have the money? Great, more power to you. I'm done slinging sh*t toward you because if it works, so be it.

The other thing is what some of us ALREADY HAVE. A year ago, I purchased a a 2011 Stumpjumper EVO frame. Complete with 135mm QR rear axle. Works great for my wife and I, because we can go ride trail on Galbraith, AND still hook up the Burley trailer to the QR rear end so we can tow around our pre-schooler. And I hit jumps with it regularly, ride cross country, and it has relatively "modern" geometry. I fitted a 160mm 2015 Fox 36, some Magic Marys, and it's good to go.

Need carbon fiber? Go get it. Longer reach? Fine, have at it. Boost? Hey, if it makes your day better...

We do fine on our four year old bike. Times and standards have changed. Trails do so at a slower pace. That transition you hit a couple years ago will still feel the same...and the landing too. Can you always have a better tool at your side to do the job? Absolutely. Not always worth the price that the industry would have us pay, I say. YMMV.
  • + 21
 When the industry can actually define the word STANDARD
  • + 17
 The great thing about 'standards' is there are so many to choose from.
  • + 10
 I'm here for the comments... lol
  • + 14
 the industry does define the word standard..... every month or two
  • + 2
 True. Its B.S. Who is the governing body around these "standards" ?? NO BODY.
  • + 19
 So that's what Waki looks like.
  • + 10
 Frightening looking man if you ask me.
  • + 31
 Not half as scary as what's going on inside his head.
  • + 8
 Funny, I pictured a heavily bearded miscreant with a tweed jacket and a stooge.
  • + 6
 Heh. Stogie. But I kind of like the error better.
  • + 15
 Change is worth it if it can get people to spend more money to buy new stuff all the time to make the industry bigger. Mountain biking should only be for people who can afford a new standard every 2 years. Everyone else should be shamed off the trails for riding last year's equipment.
  • + 23
 ...but, I thought my 9-speed 26er was... like... you know... fun. Oh, God.
  • + 9
 26 still is fun!
  • + 1
 I sure hope this is satire...
  • + 7
 change can be for the better but if dirt jumpers get 27.5 wheels i'm resorting to my little sisters broken scooter in the garage.
  • + 4
 All my bikes are still 26's, if that answers your question @therage43.
  • + 5
 Some douchbag rolled up on us a few days ago with a brand new 650b , DVO fork and coil shock, and a fresh TLD kit, saying "oh, your bike is 26" Im sorry, and you need to try DVO because fox 36's suck, and on and on."

It was hilarious when I looked him up on Strava, lol
  • + 14
 This is possibly the best thing Pinkbike have ever released.
Thank you.
Well, maybe not the best thing, everything on Pinkbike is awesome.
Most of it is awesome.
But this article was really really good.
Big Grin
  • + 14
 still riding a 2013 26" and loving every minute of it. like many of these guys said, i'll vote with my pocketbook. I really wish SRAM could have made a comment on this. They're bearing the brute force of this debate...
  • + 6
 Funnily enough, this year would be the year I'd buy a new bike, the current one's four years old and looking a little rough. But with so much stuff changing but staying the same I figured I'd just do a re-fit. So the 2x9's going for 1x10 wide ratio, some shiny new Saint brakes are coming and I've bought a tin of gloss black touch up paint. So this year I'll have a long, slack, 150mm #notEnduro# bike to play with. The more things change...
  • + 11
 26" wheels are every bit as good as 27.5", but after owning a 27.5" bike, I can't really tell much of a difference.
  • + 2
 Same here! Intense 951 Evo vs M9 ... no difference attributed to wheel size!
  • + 12
 "The problem is in part that you have big corporate machines whose marketing engines rely on them feigning some kind of technical innovation." - BOOM!! Nail, Hammer, full contact!
  • + 16
 "Planned Obsolescence" is a widely accepted marketing tool used by most large companies, bicycle manufacturers included. It's a very real idea and it's why a 1965 Chevy 1500 will loooong outlast a 2015 Chevy with the same levels of maintenance. The problem lies deeper than most will look, in that, companies are forced to find ways to sell... sell, sell, sell. Products aren't made because they're better, or they serve some new purpose, products are made because they will sell. Numerous amazing designs have fallen by the wayside because they didn't sell large numbers. This is a problem inherent to the capitalistic greed system that forces everyone to think that "the more I have, the better off I am", which is faaar from the truth.
  • + 3
 ^ totally @therage43 There is no money in making things last
  • + 7
 Marketing is the root of all evil.
  • + 1
 There's also no innovation in making something last forever. Catch 22
  • + 3
 There also would be no sponsorship or jobs if companies can't turn a profit. I still don't really get how the bike industry sustains itself....but glad it does.
  • + 11
 "There's no problem with fine-tuning​ the system by changing one thing at a time, but when someone reinvents the wheel, the semi-solutions don't seem to be worth the producer's and customer's inconvenience while we can try to fix issues, like gearing systems attached to the swingarm, which adds half of a kilo to the unsprung weight, or having the same chain stay lengths for all sizes of a frame type, from XS to XL."

Longest sentence I've ever seen on pinkbike.
  • + 28
 Its WAKI, the rules of humanity do not apply.
  • + 8
 Bicycle world is becoming a real joke, materials don't last very long ,problems after problems ,new standards all the time ,all a stupid joke ,but at least geometry are getting a lot better ,oh and that talk that the more people riding the more the prices will fall yeah right ,I want a 9 speed rear derailleur with a cluntch and a midle chain ring with that nw system but with that ramps to use a front derailleur with a small or granny gear also ,cause 11 speed might be good but not for every one and not even for the rear hub and chain,just give technology from 2 years past but make it 50% cheaper and the new thing make it pricier cause I can live with that ,what I cannot live with is to pay for small tweaks,and twists and fancy words from makers and reviewers that in the real world it's all a joke ,LOWER THE PRICES
  • + 11
 D W said it very well. I personally don't fall for all the bs marketing hype.
  • + 12
 Long Live the English Bottom Bracket
  • + 8
 I'm all for improvements that are worth while or will at least stick around. But for now I'm out of the buying brand new latest and greatest shit for a few years to see if things settle down a bit. The mtb industry need to learn how to plan. I could never figure out why hub standards were not changed to help 29ers right off the bat. Now we have some people left with some outdated brand new stuff and lot of confusion. Also. Not everything is about being faster more fun is what I'm after.
  • + 7
 Also I think a lot of people have grown tired of "hey, this is stiffer" marketing, without any actual number to back it up. EVER.
  • + 4
 And the funny thing is that there comes a point when bikes/frames/parts become too stiff. It seems mountain biking hasn't figured that one out yet.
  • + 2
 I fell out of the mountain bike scene around 2009/10. I bought a car, started drinking, working in the local pub and most importantly, chasing the opposite sex.
I stuck with my tried and tested DMR and still got out every now and again.
Fast forward 5 or so years and a lot has changed, mainly wheel size and the introduction of a 15mm front axle standard.
So as I was working properly after university, I thought I'd catch up on all the developments I've missed and buy myself a super modern mountain bike. Here I am 2 years later with no new bike as I've sat and waited to see what the market settles on - wheel size, hub axle, stem reach, tire width, hub width. In the time I've waited the list has only grown. So I'm now at the point where I think I'm just going to try a load of bikes that I like and buy the one that feels the best. Otherwise I'll never get a new bike. The market can keep changing all it wants but as long as I'm happy in not bothered.

EDIT: I forgot bottom brackets on the list of ever-changing standards.
  • + 8
 How are we still letting $250 derailleur's hang right where rocks bash them silly? Richest person in the world who doesn't care about paying to replace an xx1 will still miss out on their whole ride and get stuck 2 hours deep in the woods b/c of that shit. c'monnnn!
  • + 6
 I haven't seen my type of comment here yet so here I go: mtb is a first world sport/hobby. Almost every rider I know has a fairly decent above average income and the industry knows that they can constantly change the smallest shit and people at our buying bracket aND above will buy it.
Why?
Simple....market research easily indicates that people with a measure of disposable income that have a hobby like mtb will happily (or unhappily) continue to pay for even the smallest but "oh so necessary" improvements.
We buy and they sell vice versa.
Sure, the back end of the industry is feverishly figuring out what they can make to "improve the ride" while we feverishly work at our stupid jobs to figure out a way to buy the next piece of bling.
Like they say in the mob and in politics: "it's just business. Nothing personal"
Why should mtb be seen as any different?
  • + 3
 I'm stumped. What did he say??
  • + 5
 I think he is saying that if you step back and look at the big picture, mountain bikes have made a huge improvement over the last 35 years, even if that evolution has been painful at times. The idea of riding the stuff I do now on my first bike from '86 makes my sphinker pucker and back go into spasms...
  • + 2
 So true I moved back to Vancouver a few years ago after leaving in 2001 and the sh!t i was concerned about at the turn of the century on my RS Judy equiped, hard-tail Kona CinderCone is now a walk in the park ...
  • + 5
 I just want to know when to buy a new bike Godamit. I'm not shelling out for a 2016 bike with boost if there's going to be a new standard next year.
27.5" tyres and 11 speed, fine those are hear to stay and I don't mind investing into it. It's all the crappy little changes that stop me buying a new bike.
  • + 9
 Just look past the large manufacturers that consistently make these changes. It's not hard to see who's making this stuff up as they go along and who actually rides their own bikes.
  • + 5
 Yep, I bought a new Stumpy 6Fattie Comp Carbon. Yep, it has 27.5. (They are even plus sized.) Yep, it has Boost front and rear. Yep, it has 1x11. Yep, it has a dropper. Yep, it even has a hole in it to stuff a burrito. But you know what? That bike has given me the ability to ride the widest range of trails in the widest range of terrain in the widest range of weather that I have yet been able to. In the end, isn't that the goal?
  • + 15
 Mmmm...burrito...
  • + 8
 You sure that hole isn't actually for people with mechanophilia?
  • + 4
 Admit it you just stuffing that hole with the grass the crazy kids are doing these days
  • + 3
 Thats better than what dusty was gonna put in it dirty! Wink
  • + 6
 Come on....everyone knows you put your weed in there. Next years seat post will double as a bongSmile
  • + 1
 True that, the 6 fattie is even more fun to ride than a stumpy from 2 years ago because of all these recent standards like 1by, boost, and 27+
  • + 4
 @warehouse - somewhere someone is talking about how cool that would be and that they're going to patent it...right after they get some more Cheetos.
  • + 6
 I have a near new 31.6 Thomson covert elite dropper post...just bought a new frameset, evil insurgent....30.6 seatpost, another 450 out of my wallet for a g'd damn .7mm difference.
  • + 1
 That's infuriating. Not the same, but I've been growing more and more frustrated trying to find a non-tapered fork for my hardtail. It's a 2015 for f's sake. Why is it impossible to find a compatible fork? Being new to biking I felt totally mislead by the shop I purchased the bike from.
  • + 6
 "I become a climbing god by getting loads of additional grip, instead of one second every three minutes, given my surname is Vouilloz."

Can someone explain ? I guess its a joke but I didn't get it ?
  • + 5
 WAKI is comparing feeling like a god via purchasing new technology (in this case the enormous grip of 27.5+) with becoming a god the way Vouilloz did -- through talent and hard work.

I think.
  • + 2
 Commenting to see the reply...
  • + 7
 Steve Jones asked Vouilloz in an interview at an EWS race if 27.5 was faster, Vouilloz answered yes. He then asked how much faster, and Vouilloz answered one second every three minutes.
  • + 3
 Thank you Cliff-Racer. I like riddles... Too much I guess
  • + 4
 DW gets the #1 prize, and credit is long overdue to many of the bike industries product engineers who are NOT managed by the Marketing Depts. or out-of-touch Executives. It's not an easy business model these days, it's a wickedly complicated product eco-system that we're all involved in. But nobody is getting ripped off as we evolve the hardware, everyone just grab the ride that's best for you, then ride it to your full potential, that's doing your part to keep the sport healthy.
  • + 5
 Lars Sternberg - 'And now think about having to use a 10 x 135mm QR rear wheel on a 160mm travel bike that you ride DH tracks on.' Well that's exactly what I do on my old Santa Cruz and I can't see any issue with that!
  • + 1
 Yep, precisely. My 2011 Enduro is the same.
  • + 4
 I feel for all the retailers in this too.
Selling forks for example would have been straight forward a few years ago. Few lines, varying on spec. Now, with multiple wheel, hub and travel sizes means if a retailer wants to keep up, they have to list a whole pile of SKUs all under 1 model, because if they don't have the right variation, the customer ain't guna hang around until they do, just trot off somewhere else. So all of a sudden, rather than stocking 2/3 lines under 1 model, they need 15 lines under 1 model of fork to keep everybody happy! That's a lot of money tied up in a few forks.
Then they'll be getting complaints as to why they hardly sell any 26" products or can't service these type products anymore, when in reality, they just aren't available from manufacturers!
  • + 4
 All these new ridulous "standards" and stupid wheel sizes are what have lost my interest and motivation for mountain biking after 25 years .Im all for good and meaningful innovation like 1x11, Narrow/Wide, Suspension tech, Modern geomertry. But totally unessecary things like 135,150,142,148 Boost shit, 26,29,27.5,27.5+, 29 front and 27,5 rear bollox. Overpriced gloried plastic is better the aluminium or steel total bullshit. Oh and the 31.8/35mm bar diametre farce.
  • + 8
 Boost will last 5 years MAXIMUM. Not falling into that trap
  • + 4
 My conspiracy theory is SRAM pushed boost first to get all manufacturers on the BOOST program with silly lies of why it's better....when behind closed doors, Boost is really the spacing needed for 1x12 drive trains with 50t cogs coming to a bike near you soon!
  • + 1
 But we already have 150... 2 friggin' millimetres!
  • + 1
 Yeah it's all smoke and mirrors.
  • + 5
 "we're asking the riders to foot the bill for the shortsightedness of a relative few, and it's not fair."

But it works.
Mostly.
I am sure Deeight will be along with some data to prove it soon.
  • + 3
 I think Deeight doesn't post as much after that incident with Amanda Batty. Too bad he always had a lot of insightful things to say.
  • + 3
 I think that there will be parts available for older bikes as long as there are buyers. For example I can still get good quality 7 speed free wheels for an old steel framed mtb from the 90s that I ride on the street in the winter sometimes. Lots of people in the world use older bikes for their daily transportation and need parts. I build my own bikes for trail riding because I enjoy it and if I spend $5000-$10000 dollars on a two wheeled vehicle it better damn well have a motor in it. Mountain bikes that have a half decent build and drive train for sale these days are for the rich only. If you need to spend $8000 to have fun riding a bicycle in the dirt maybe you are just showing off and trying to keep up appearances.
  • + 3
 Dear Pinkbike, everyones tired of hearing about this shit. More articles that make us commenters question our open mindedness and tolerance for change won't make us accept + and Boost... Because everyone knew it was a stupid idea from the beginning.

Signed, every pinkbiker that rides down hills fast.
  • + 3
 I combat marketing goons by purchasing quality bikes and components and maintaining them myself as well as i can. I learned to true and lace my own wheels, bought my own tools and made my own adaptors when simple enough. It's amazing what a dremel can do when you're creative enough.

I had two 2006 DHR's: one broke in 2014 while the other in 2015. I still have a mint 2001 Monster T as well. I upgrade parts or frames when my breaks and then I buy the new standards (but used). My "new" ride is a 2013 DHR (Dave Weagel is the man) and I'm keeping it until it breaks.

As a man with a limited budget and limited skills I can tell you that I don't see the "zyx % increase in whatever* as much as i feel it in my reduced budget so unless it's a benefit I can actually feel, I'm not buying into the marketing hype.

I don't know about you guys but I'm not riding at a pro level (though I can sort of hold my own after 16 years behind the bars). My 2006 DHR can do the same things as my 2013 (yes really) and I didn't become a pro-level rider on my newer bike, though it did give me a bit of a confidence boost. Technological advances are great, even in our sport, but at what expense to us? $10k on a new bike that'll become obsolete in 3 years? No thanks, I'd rather save that toward retirement and much needed medical expenses lol
  • + 3
 Finally I read something coherent. I still ride a 2009 NS Surge frame with a Fox Vanilla RC2 36. Hardtail and CoMo frame... very "old School"? I guess. But this 26er rig still gives me miles of fun and I have been able to fit a modern @SramMedia GX 1x10 (even with a 42T from @OneUpComponents ) and some CB Iodine wheel set with a 135 QR rear axle with not much of a problem. The bike still looks awesome and supports almost every punishment I can give to her.

Changing... not soon. I just bought a brand new 2014 GT Fury DH bike form Jenson that was sitting in the warehouse for half the original price. Still a 26 and I guess it'll work just fine for my purpose which is... HAVING FUN ON MY BIKE!

Cheers everyone.
Beer
  • + 1
 Cheers!
  • + 3
 "This said, in our world technological advancements have two main drivers: our internal product development process, and requests that come from our OEM partners. "

So what the actual riders want doesn't even enter into the equation? Bought my last bike with a rockshox fork . Replaced it with a fox 36 and now it's sitting in my storage because it's not worth my time to try to sell a crap fork. Will never buy a rockshox fork again out anything made by sram for that matter. Every product they make has a competitor that is cheaper and performs better.
  • + 4
 Vinyl ( from analog 2 in. into 1/2 in,) to 8 track to cassette to DAT to CD to Vinyl (from 16 bit then 24 bit) back to vinyl (from analog) just to make music lovers rebuy the same stuff over and over!
  • + 3
 Seems I was a bit conservative about the 'standards' I dislike...well played DW- let's bring back 20mm front axles across the board, and scrap 148 because we already have 157!
  • + 1
 defo, 157mm is the 142 guided axle entry standard for dh. No need for 148.
  • + 2
 Saw WAKI's comment and I was not disappointed! I like your sarcasm and fire, I can always count on you for that!
Also, Dave is on the money. I am very frustrated that the 20mm front axle is fading away for absolutely no apparent reason and that there are 135/142/148/150/157 rear spacings. Why would SRAM make that stupid Boost in the first place? We already have a 150mm, are you daft! There is no explanation needed, as financially, evry friggin' thing makes sense, hell, selling people makes sense financially, that does not make it a good idea!
  • + 3
 The world economy is based on consumerism and this is reflected in mountain bikes, cellphones, cars, etc. They have to make something new all the time, that's how it works. If changes are useful or not, that's another topic.
  • + 6
 get rid of boost, press fit bb's and possibly 35mm bar clamp area
  • + 2
 Noel said it well. Change when in makes sense, not just because it's popular. Go ahead an stuff a bigger wheel under your 26" design frame and watch my 26" wheeled bikes continue to kick your ass. Then wait a couple years for me to make sure I get this new shit right, and I'll clobber you with the sickest bikes in every category I care about. Change is good, only when change is actually good.
  • + 4
 Why all the hate on 27.5, 29 f*cked it up first! And while riders of all sizes can use 27.5, 29ers are not made to fit people under 5'8" tall.
  • + 3
 I would say anyone under 6 feet. I don't care what Luke Strobel did winning a DH race on one, watch most people go down a trail on them and it is a joke.
  • + 6
 I have your agree with you.. Nothing looks dumber than a 5 foot tall person riding a bike with 29 inch wheels.
  • + 6
 Well done weagle, smashed it!
  • + 6
 Since when is a schrader valve "obsolete"?
  • + 6
 the best valves
  • + 2
 "Its Schrader-valve tubes". Not the valve itself, the tube that comes with it. Most of decent rims are drilled for Presta nowadays. Only low end or super-market bikes come drilled for Schrader.
  • + 2
 Lots of gravity riders, fr, trials riders... use tubes with schraders too. Low pressure works great. Personally I haven't used a tube since 2008.
  • + 4
 Schrader forever!!! I drill my rims if they arent already. It makes getting sealant in a lot easier as you just pop the valve core out.
  • + 2
 Not my i9 wheelset... drilled for Schrader thank god
  • + 1
 One part of our sport that we all love is the fact that we can just ride cool fun bikes, whatever shape or size we like, they can be as different as any one person's imagination - and they usually are. Unlike our poor road friends who are constrained by the useless UCI Regulations and endless rules about frames, forks, wheels etc, etc.
Every time I get on my bike (okay, sometimes it does take a little bit of coaxing) I get that unreal feeling of freedom that I got on my first ride when my Dad set me off across the grass on a big green 70's dragster - only a bike can give you that (okay, maybe Acid but we're not in Kansas Baby) - it really is sheer joy (mostly!). Even the simplest little bit, tyre, bolt, thingo - whatever - can be interesting: it's how our sport evolves, it's why it's fun and it takes us to amazing places
  • + 2
 It only comes down to profit. But you can't blame them for wanting to keep the lights on and having enough left over for a vacation. Just wish the standards would be...well standard.
  • + 1
 The biggest problem in reality is that you're no longer left with the latest tech but craving what's just been said to be an improvement, usually after shelling £6k on a nice bike.

Does the latest gear make you enjoy your ride any more than 'normal'? I don't think so. The bus ride is optional too, I'm staying with 26".
  • + 1
 There are two thinks that come to my mind talking about innovations in mountain bike. The first is that there should be a balance within companies between last a product in the market (to obtain more benefits due to the fixed costs) and put a new product in the market to keep the line-up updated. This could be solved increasing costs but it seems it is a very competitive market.
The second is that mountain bike industry is a very new business. It is going to take some time to get the optimal solutions per each issue, but I'm sure that it is going to happen. There is only one best wheel spacing, one optimal wheel size per each category, and so on.
So, let's try to survive in the market in these days cause the good ones are about to come.
  • + 2
 "...I guess we are here to discuss the first-world problems related to bicycle standards..." Nailed it. If you are truly upset about our constantly changing (insert the "standard" here) then you are a lucky person.
  • + 8
 So because you live in a nice county and can afford to mountain bike you can't be mad about getting fcked in the ass every 2 years?
  • + 1
 Ride the bike you have, tweak and tune it as you get better then when it's trashed or not good enough for you sell it on/ give to someone and buy a new one. bringing parts over is a waist, probably worn out or damaged never mind a bad fit. 12/13/14 speed? Really? Surely the fat retard market will be filled by e bikes? Who here really needs more than 360% or 400% gear ratio?
  • + 1
 Also without progressive development bikes would be pretty crap compared to what we can buy. Just look at how road bikes have been held back by UCI.
  • + 3
 I bet Specialized declined to comment. New standards and over proved proprietary parts are the basis of the big S and their business model
  • + 3
 It's gonna be a fun 2016 racing with them hidden motors in the frame! How's that for a change?
  • + 3
 All these improvements..... And the steel hardtail I bought 3 1/2 years ago is still the best bike I've ever had.....
  • + 1
 Hardtails are great for that reason. I'm on a 29 with 135mm rear and its plenty stiff. I'm sure people like Hope will still be making 135mm hubs for years to come.
  • + 1
 I don't know if you'll be able to get "quality" 135mm hubs forever. But they'll still be there. They still make 20mm front hubs and they're only really on DH forks still.

Buy a King hub and you'll have quality and it's convertable. You can still convert a Discotech hub to 142!
  • + 0
 Once the tooling is made there is little reason to discontinue the hub for specialty shops like king. They operate on wide margins.
  • + 4
 If you have American change and you exchange it in Canada
  • + 0
 At least bike companies are letting us know about the new tech they are developing. Imagine if it were all hush hush and they developed in isolation. Then we would have different standards from different companies and wouldn't be able to mix and match as we do now. I agree it is a pain but I am sure things settle down in a few years.
  • + 5
 Is my 26' now dead?
  • + 9
 No Lurch, its awesome!
  • + 2
 Thanks for the reassurance. I almost gave up mtb due to all these new 'standards' NOT
  • + 4
 Take a look at my 26'er. I will be riding one for the years to come.
  • + 1
 Peregrine! Dude that bike is sweet! Steel IS real! Respect.
  • + 3
 But won't you be empty inside without the extra 12.5mm?
  • + 1
 I had a Peregrine bmx! Nice looking dh bike dude
  • + 2
 Thanks guys, we have designed a trail version of it and will be starting on a rune of those pretty soon.
  • + 2
 I heard Waki hates new technology because his seat fell off one day while riding and he shot his new dropper post up his ass.
  • + 4
 12 speed!
12 speed?
f*ck it I'm out
Where's my bmx
  • + 2
 Every time my 650b "betterment" hits me in the ass on a steep, unsafe stair-step or chute, I remember the good ol' days...26-4-life!!
  • + 1
 The pursuit of perfection is expensive, tiring, and fleeting, but bikes are always improving. Comparing an early 1990's bike to a modern one is like seeing dinosaurs die with your own eyes.
  • + 1
 '90's bikes definitely but even early 2000's bikes are great, even by today's standards. Look at any of the original "Superhero" or "Chain Reaction" videos... those bikes handled drops some of us wouldn't even consider today. My Evil Imperial is a 2004 and I must say the reviews on it aren't lying, this thing is as sick as it looks.

Do I really need 12/13/14 speeds on a bicycle? No thanks, i still think 10 is too much. Especially when you think about the cost.
  • + 1
 Corsair bikes had some great ideas for bikes then some guy named Dave lawyered up and killed them, now he bravely blames the big guys for bullying consumers with unneeded standards. that's a bold move
  • + 1
 "(i.e. a new engine technology will render a current car model obsolete)"

Except nobody buys a car body then wants to build it up with their old engine interior suspension and wheels.
  • + 3
 Hover bikes are coming 2018... Don't tell Specialized I told ya ssssshhh'
  • + 3
 Ooh lawsuit right there!! Wink
  • + 4
 Giant working on the Hover+ that will make Spesh's obsolete
  • + 1
 Well yes, Giant will have the leg up on Speci when they fix the exploding battery issue.
  • + 1
 Yes but they only hover 0.1mm off the ground and only on a metal track, oh and when you charge them, they are 89% likely to catch fire and explode.
  • + 1
 Really good video from BikeMag www.bikemag.com/gear/mean-27-plus-29-plus-bikes/#6fPHCwHT6ZZRZVgs.97

Adds a bit to this discussion I find.
  • + 1
 really cool link
  • + 3
 When there is opportunity to make more money..... Change.
  • - 1
 It depends on how you upgrade your bikes. If you drag old components from 10 years with you along a route of upgrading pieces at a time then you must hate increment changes. However if you simply buy a new bike every 2-4 years I don't think any standards effect you very much. You simply buy the bike you like and it comes with what it comes with. If something breaks there will always be replacements.
  • + 0
 you're getting some down votes, but unless you're really hard on gear, or it's a DH bike, I tend to agree. as long as you're buying a complete, it DOES matter less. It's a win for the 26" crew since they can pick up used ones for next to nothing, since we all know 26" are valueless... (just kidding about that last part)
  • + 1
 My Free ride bike used to weigh close to fifty pounds. My latest free ride bike weighs in at 35 pounds. Thanks to innovation.
  • + 2
 Press fit bb's piss me off more than anything on this list. The rest i can deal with.
  • + 3
 I'm giving 27.5+ about 2-3 years to mature then slowly go away.
  • + 2
 12 speed - how thin will that chain be? Very. How strong will it be - less so?
  • + 0
 The thinner the chain the stronger it is, look it up. It is recommended anyone running 9 speed use a 10 speed chain because they last 30-40% longer. And why on earth would you think they need to make the chain thinner when they can "simply" create a new cassette, hub, and axle standard?!?
  • + 1
 Never heard that one before...
  • + 1
 I remember when the "industry standard" brake mounts were all the rage only to be usurped by post mounts then only to go back to a mix of both later on....
  • + 1
 What is the advantage of changing the chainstay length based upon frame sizing? This is an argument I've heard before, can't remember the reasoning though.
  • + 1
 Read some of Chris Porters articles. It makes sense.
  • + 3
 Change is worth whatever the industry can get away charging.
  • + 3
 YYYYuuup.
  • + 1
 ..and marketing can influence.
  • + 3
 What the Faki is going on here?!
  • + 2
 Thanks for bringing this up Pinkbike !
  • + 1
 Wait, the rockshox guys response wasn't posted when this article wasnfirst released.......
  • + 1
 Yup, you're right that it wasn't included. I had approached them awhile back about participating and they did supply the above response, but some wires got crossed on my end and it wasn't included by mistake. My bad - I added it a few hours after the article first went live. Good catch!
  • + 2
 Any chance of a list of who declined to comment....at least by company.
  • + 3
 trek... trek would be my first guess
  • + 4
 Rocky, Trek, Specialized
  • + 4
 Whats with all the proprietary stuff that Spez uses - like shock mounts that restrict your shock choice. Hate that concept.
  • + 3
 Don't buy Specialized...I don't
  • + 2
 bikeyoke.mysimplestore.com/t/specialized-enduro

New suspension yoke that fits 2010 to present Enduros and allows any shock to be used...
  • + 1
 Why don't sram concentrate on an internal shift system that can only be oem, that's all they really are interested in...
  • + 2
 They should ask consumers, no overpaid bike "insiders "
  • + 11
 I did. That's why Waki is in there - he is a consumer, and that view is especially relevant to this topic.
  • + 11
 Waki is in no way, shape or form, an 'average' consumer.
  • + 2
 The "average" consumer buys a fully built bike every 4-5 years at most and doesn't give a shit about all the standards because it doesn't affect him.
  • + 3
 the average consumer is not on pinkbike, you would have to go to the trails, on the weekend, to meet them
  • + 2
 I buy my parts. All of them. But I can use my experience to complete an 8k bike under 3,5k with tiny abreviations and most components being almost brand new. I live off "average exclusive consumers". Such person doesn't give a damn about standards since he buys a complete bike every now and then. In such way, axles could be changing every year. It's people like me who feel the weight of the tree of evolution.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy honestly @wakidesigns is one of then worst things about pinkbike for me. As far ad I can tell he's a borderline paid pb employee and a pretty douche-y guy from his comments.

Id rather see the opinions of some borderline pro or privateer riders who are trying to make it in the industry they are often the first ones to feel the industry changes and the pressure to keep up.
  • + 2
 minus the waki analogies it was a standard waki thread post. was waiting for the satire. dw nailed it
  • + 1
 @mikelevy
The question should have been :
Speak ,praise or predict one product or technology that is not made or advertised by your company .
Then you will see the true meaning of change on the sport
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns I don't think @thisspock has ever been trolled before. Don't take life (or the internet) too seriously man
  • + 2
 mark€ting and some evolution
  • + 2
 I blame Niner. I hate those f*ckers! Wink
  • + 2
 I love You Dave Weagle. I really do.
  • + 1
 no clothing guys to talk about the new DH/Enduro Lycra material standard coming out?
  • + 2
 > When it increases quarterly shareholder value.
  • + 1
 It was “inconvenience” to buy a new fork and wheel.
  • + 1
 DW is right on the money!
  • + 1
 They have asked this question to the BOOSTa creator employee? Yeah, right.
  • + 0
 What a dull topic
  • - 2
 PB readers are a bunch of luddites. Vallance is pandering. Buckley sounds intelligent. My $.02
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