2019 Pinkbike Awards: Component of the Year Nominees

Dec 16, 2019
by Mike Levy  
2019 Pinkbike Awards


Component of the Year Nominees


Components are, by their very definition, just one small part of the big picture. Sure, your bike's geometry, design, and suspension play a more important role in the ride than what kind of derailleur or dropper post you have, but all it takes is one poorly running part to ruin a day. On the other hand, a smoothly running drivetrain, a reliable dropper post, or brakes that won't let you down can all make the day just that much better.

This year's nominees pull at the heartstrings (goddamn, AXS is neat) and at our common sense (who needs anything other than XT), while OneUp has managed to improve an already impressive dropper post, and Trickstuff made a brake that might be able to slow the earth's rotation.











Why it's nominated

The price difference between an XTR drivetrain and an XT drivetrain? Around $1,000 USD depending on your setup. The performance difference between them on the trail? It's debatable, but practically nothing besides half a pound. The internet was understandably excited when Shimano released the all-new XTR system, but it turned out that a few parts of the group weren't quite ready for primetime, specifically the whisper-quiet freehub that's since been ditched. Very not Shimano-like.

Meanwhile, XT dropped in May and has been impressing us since with its action, most notably the shifting under power that matches XTR's abilities. RC's November review of the 12-speed group is glowing, so much so that some of his cons are a bit of a stretch; the derailleur's matte finish always looks dirty, he wrote, and the cassette is kinda heavy (470-grams), but that's prefaced with it being the "Best shifting cassette I've ridden.''

You get the gist of it. The new XT drivetrain isn't cheap - $622 USD is a good chunk of money - but the price-to-performance ratio is off the chart compared to the fanciest stuff.
Shimano Deore XT 8100
The new XT cassette offers the best shift action that RC has ever seen.

From the review:
bigquotesMany joke that XT is the poor man's XTR, but in this case, that statement could be amended to "smart man's XTR." XT 8100 components are not inexpensive, but their performance is so close to XTR that emotion may be the only motivation to buy Shimano's premier group. RC








Why it's nominated

SRAM's AXS technology doesn't come cheap, but it brings perfect shifts every. Single. Time. It's atomic clock-precise, and because there's no wires or cables, unlike Shimano's aged Di2 electronic group, it takes longer to strip your old drivetrain than it does to install the Eagle AXS components.

RockShox's Reverb AXS dropper post is also controlled via an encrypted wireless network, just like the drivetrain, which means you don't need to feed a length of cable and housing through some impossibly small hole inside your frame to set it up. Instead, you slide it in, spend twenty-seconds doing the pairing, and you're ready to party.

Okay, the eVerb costs $800 USD, and the 12-speed AXS drivetrain goes for $2,000 USD in XX1 guise (the derailleur is $700 on its own!), so I suspect that it's not in the cards for the majority of us. But if you're one of the lucky or hardworking people who can get their hands on it, SRAM's top tier drivetrain offers simplicity and consistency that a steel cable won't ever match.
SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
My AXS derailleur is scarred but still running perfectly.

From the review:
bigquotesYou can say that computers and batteries don't belong on your bike, and you can certainly moan at the cost as much as you want, but the bottom line is that nothing else on the market offers this combination of simplicity, consistency, gearing range, low weight, and overall performance. Mike Levy








Why it's nominated

The folks at OneUp are so clever that I'm sure they have solutions for problems that you don't even know you have yet. Their first attempt at a dropper post resulted in one of the go-to options for riders who didn't want to spend Reverb-money, and the revamped version is even better. If you're going to lower your seat and take the added weight that comes with a dropper, you may as well lower it as much as possible.

OneUp's $199 USD V2 dropper post has the lowest stack height at the collar and head of any options out there, meaning you can get more travel. A 150mm-travel post measures just 420mm long, and you can have as much as 210mm of party if you have the room. Better yet, you can change the travel by 10 or 20mm at a time with shims, so it can be set just right.

OneUp uses a $60 USD replaceable cartridge to control the action, and their remote (which is now aluminum instead of composite) is probably the most ergonomic feeling on the market thanks to how it tucks up under the grip.
Sea Otter 2019
OneUp's V2 dropper uses a revised travel-adjustment system and a shorter overall length.

From the article:
bigquotesOneUp's dropper post has been getting a lot of positive feedback - I've had a 170mm version for months and it's been trouble-free - but they've made some notable changes to the design for 2019. Mike Levy








Why it's nominated

Shimano's Saint brake not enough for you? Want more power than what the Code offers? If you're okay with spending three times as much as either of those costs and also with waiting six to nine months to get them, you probably want a set of Trickstuff's crazy Maxima brake. The German-made, four-piston brake is easily the most powerful stopper on the market right now, and Trickstuff says, “The Maxima doesn't help you by being able to lock up a wheel even stronger. It helps you by needing way less finger power to get there.”

As Kazimer found out while testing them, they aren't lying.

''They don't offer quite the same level of modulation as the Codes, but they also deliver more power, more easily,'' Kazimer wrote back in September of this year. ''While the clamping force ramps up more quickly than the Codes, the Maxima brakes aren't quite as 'grabby' as a set of Shimano Saint brakes - there's a little bit more modulation before the pads really start to bite down on the rotor.'' Enough power to bring a train to a screeching halt, it seems, but with enough control to be useful. They're beautiful to boot, as they should be at 1100€ for a set. Yes, you read that number correctly.
Trickstuff Maxima
There are other four-piston brakes out there, but none can match the Maxima's power.

From the review:
bigquotesTrickstuff's Maxima brakes deliver more than enough power to slow down the biggest riders on the longest descents. They're beautifully machined, the lever-action is silky smooth, and they're a surefire way to stand out from the crowd. Of course, with a price that's three times more than other top-level competitors, you'd hope that would be the case. Mike Kazimer










152 Comments

  • 134 18
 I vote XT.

I love bikes for their simplicity and unless bikes start being made where they are unable to use cables, I'll use cables.

Some boutique brakes that aren't even relevant to 99.9% of riders just don't belong in a "component of the year" category no matter how beautiful they are.

I have no experience with that dropper post.
  • 9 4
 Now I always gotta preface this stuff with "it's just my opinion" but this is the first time I'd say that Shimano has out beat Sram in a groupset. I've always run Sram shifting but on my new Pivot 5.5 it came with the xt/xtr 12 speed. It shifts like absolute butter. No jumpiness or hesitation, it just goes. Now that being said, no shops carry Shimano 12 speed really so finding a new chain in a pinch can really tough (I speak from experience). Other than that, I have no complaints!
  • 13 5
 My Shimano drivetrain has been flawless for two seasons with no wear... That 18T DX Singlespeed cog is the real deal!
  • 19 13
 I think the point is what component pushed the envelope and the sport the furthest. My vote is AXS. Eventually if nothing required cables you can design a better bike. It opens up the most doors and pushed the ball further down the road. New xt isn’t technically executed significantly better than the last gen or the one before. They’ve all been good, this one just has the range at an affordable price and now people who like shimano don’t have to buy sram.
  • 3 1
 @CoffeeHouseMedia: and you can get the stuff (and SLX) on eBay for an absolute steal brand new.
  • 6 7
 @usedbikestuff: It has certainly pushed the envelope and innovated rather than refined, but no one can afford it so what’s the point?
They should have two categories. One for real world and one for dream world. I’ve never even seen AXS, let alone considered buying it. Don’t get me wrong I would love it if I won a groupset, but as it is it’s just not relevant.
  • 5 2
 I have to disagree with you here. Brakes that work no matter how much have to get my component of the year vote. I have been satisfied with the codes, disappointed with the new xtr 4 pistons, I love my Maguras, but the consistency isn’t always there, and the levers are annoying, yes even the aftermarket levers. Brakes that work without complaints sound too good to be true, so I’ll have to try the maximas next. All that being said the XT groups set is legitimately one of the best products out there for the price. Shifting under full load pedaling is a game changer and is really nice. I would still rather stop better.
  • 3 1
 Since when is a whole drivetrain a single component?! Definitely can't include the cranks anyways...
  • 3 0
 @jaame: that’s like saying the sr-71 or concord was pointless because no one can ride in them for cheap. Relevancy to affordability is a lot different than innovation. Perhaps pinkbike just did a poor job at limping a bunch of shit together that they like in an effort to write content
  • 4 1
 @usedbikestuff: id argue hg+ shifting is more of a step forward than axs. Electric shifting was done by Shimano years ago. Turning a wired product wireless is pretty unimpressive in 2019. Haveninh ridden the new xt, shifting both ways under load is a total game changer, and a much bigger achievement imo.
  • 6 6
 @usedbikestuff: there’s a Falcon heavy taking you to Mars for most expensive holidays out there and there’s a Maybach plated in Ivory with a golden toilet with diamond flush button on a road in Dubai. Both push the envelope but AXS is closer to the latter. There is nothing it does better than a regular drivetrain while being extremely expensive. If anything, it deserves to be in rotten tomatoes of MTB.
  • 1 0
 @mgrantorser: I’d counter point that the use of wires to wires to shift doesn’t negate frame design shifts to the point AXS doesn’t require engineers to design around stops and routing. It’ll be a bigger deal eventually, but like Fox Live, it has to start somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I thought I read Falcon Punch as first and got excited for the reference. Again, frame design. Hasn’t taken effect yet, but frame designs will get better when you have to design around less things. Less holes, less dirt, less routing pains, less small parts, not to mention no frame rub from cables. AXS has more effect on bike design than just being a drivetrain
  • 1 3
 @usedbikestuff: price is prohibitve to say the least. 99% of people in teh world never cross XT GX price level. When it comes to rear mechs costing more than entire XT drivetrain, that's an even worse financial prospect, especially given the fact that SRAM is planning to make direct mount rear mechs (like Saint 800) with their latest universal hanger. It will mean that derailleur safety will no longer be enhanced by a flexible replacable hanger. They will get even more beating. perhaps Sram will introduce a rubber cage and a rubber body between paralellogram and the mount. The prospects are not any good. For it all to work, rear mechs must cost under 100$. If they make a wireless mech in that price? - I see no problem but 300-500$ is unacceptable for any bike under 8k. Companies make next to no money on Halo bikes. Only Enve make their 500% margins on stuff like that. It is also comical to praise Sram electornic shifting when using Sram cassette ofr anything else than Fireroad racing. Works in road maybe but they shift like crap under power when compared to Shimano. Buying XX1 cassette when changing from XTR is the priciest downgrade I have ever made, I rode XX1 Eagle and it shifts just as shitty as 11sp one.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: eh, it’s pinkbike being pinkbike. Really there is no reason for these four things to be pitted against each other, just a wouldn’t this be cool article that someone hit publish on. Your understanding of bike industry margins is comical at best. Everyone makes a lot of money on halo bikes. Just the consumer that loses the most.
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: how exactly do you get a return on AXS when you sell 1 per 100 XX1 at best which means 1 per few thousands GX while R&D and tooling costs are higher? You get net return in form of AXS being the marketing engine for lower end stuff, but looking purely at AXS, it seems rather unlikely AXS sales give returns on investment in selling AXS. I know that shops get Sworks for 5k but they still sell tens of stumpjumpers alu. Shop owners here tend to count profits on apparel and protection, bikes are there... to sell apparel.
  • 1 0
 @CoffeeHouseMedia: no worries! A SRAM 12 speed chain should work!!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: because the margins of producing AXS are not proportional to the rate of margin return on lower end spec despite the exponentially higher price
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: now stick that in your ass and smoke it!!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yea when I saw SRAMs cost on stuff and my head blew up, I understood how they had the cash to just replace everything for consumers, at least in the UsA. The sram welfare line aka customer service. They got smart but they don’t field a half dozen pro teams, fleets of vehicles and countless pro athletes with bad margins. Go back to drawing cartoons, those were funny.
  • 50 3
 With droppers being on nearly every MTB these days, the value presented by Oneup is too good to ignore. $210 for 210mm of adjustable drop. Bombproof for me so far, and they even fixed their weird actuator from the V1. EZ choice.

Also, SLX would make more sense instead of XT. And who cares about the other two.
  • 11 0
 I'm with ya - SLX is pretty much the sweet spot in terms of price/performance.
  • 2 1
 Yes, they're great value. But I had nothing but problems with my V2. Unfortunately had to swap it for another brand.
  • 2 1
 @rjhayter: same here. Not a fan of the way the oneup dropper holds the cable taught and relies on the housing moving.
  • 2 0
 @rjhayter : What should I be looking out for?

I just bought one that came with the 2.1 actuator, cable is held and the inner moves. Love the extra drop and the lever is very ergonomic. Hopefully I won't run into any problems!
  • 2 0
 @rjhayter: What happened? Mine has been working great for several months.
  • 2 0
 @genericparkrider...2 things:

1) There's your new dropper standard. $1/mm travel, lever included. Bonus points if you can manage an extra collar to allow for internal or external routing.

2) I know it's about pushing the envelope and all that, but it's too bad the 4th liner can't make the all-star game more often. SLX on my hardtail and I really like it...which is good, it's one of the reasons I bought the bike.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: That's why I mentioned that Oneup fixed that problem with the V2, well technically the V2.1 actuator. My V2 came with the standard actuator that causes that housing movement, but I ordered the V2.1 actuator at the same time and replaced it out of the box. Only moves the cable, just like it should, and works way smoother!
  • 2 0
 @rjhayter: Interested to hear what went wrong. My experience with the V2 was not a cakewalk if I'm honest, but it's been working flawlessly since I did what needed to be done, and with the proper tools.

I had the rattling cartridge issue, fixed it with instructions provided by Oneup and some tape. Also using slick honey makes it work so much smoother.
  • 2 0
 I'm having a hell of a time with a V1 (purchased new last year) that leaks air. I imagine I'll look elsewhere for my next dropper.
  • 2 0
 I'm on my second V2 (warranty) with no issues as of late (2 months).. first one failed within 3 months of regular use. OneUp's customer service was helpful in the long run , but a bit condescending and a pain in my ass to deal with.
  • 2 0
 Been biting my tongue, but my 18 month old OneUp 170mm has deep scores in the stanchion. It doesn't like hot weather (doesn't return to full height, despite regular grease), it has more play than any other dropper I have. It's a V1 and you can see the V2 version has much smaller bushing. If I take out the bushing, it returns fine. Emailed OneUp a bunch of times and they were going to send me a new bushing and never did.

It still goes up and down, but it's currently residing in the container my Bike Yoke Revive came in. Just saying.
  • 1 0
 @BobChicken: The Bikeyoke stuff is on an entirely different level. If you are riding all the time and putting a lot of wear on the dropper the Bikeyoke Revive is pretty much the only long-term reliable option.
  • 1 0
 Easy easy guys, Santa just put a v2 in my mail box. You scare at me now!
  • 1 0
 @BobChicken: Using slick honey or equivalent? The V2 does has two bushings at the collar, one is embedded in the collar that screws off and one is free moving.
  • 2 0
 @Clem-mk: you'll be fine bud. Slick honey is your friend.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: Yeah it's been sweet. When I installed I thought I'd screwed it up because the action is so much lighter. Get what you pay for I guess. I suppose the disappointing thing for me is getting treated like a chump by OneUp (Just lube it!) despite a bunch of detailed emails and everyone rates their customer service. I think I just l got unlucky and got a crap bushing.

That said I like what they do in fixing problems and creating solutions to things we didn't know we need, but the V1 was a fail for me. The V2 looks like they fixed problems they identified in the V1, just don't appreciate being treated like n00b and not able to get a part I know I need, e.g. a bushing, and now das post ist kaput.
  • 33 1
 You guys missed the kurvy flats fender.
  • 3 0
 They're actually not too bad as a rear fender if your frame allows it, I have one on the back of my Trance and I'd say it looks pretty cool
  • 27 4
 Rockshox and Fox have unmatched resources and production volumes, yet little ol' OneUp comes along and blows them out of the water with their $200 dropper post. Imagine if they could do the same with forks and shocks???
  • 2 0
 I like how you think
  • 15 0
 I nominate......XT and the OneUp (and SLX). Affordable(ish) stuff that isn't super heavy and is dead reliable is what most of us buy.

Trickstuff brakes require all your allen keys to work on(!) and might stop well, but don't actually move bike brake design forward. Beautiful, sure. Effective, yeah. Paradigm moving-no.....and at their MSRP, a product had better move the goalposts.

As for SRAM AXS-it works great, but the rear derailleur alone costs more than an XT drivetrain. And that's the part that will hit a rock and (even with the fancy clutch) get wrecked. Unless SRAM can make AXS affordable (GX AXS??) it will always be a curiosity for the dentist crowd, rather than an innovation that impacts the bulk of riders. I kind of doubt they can get that rear derailleur price that low.

A final note-I run a OneUp V2 dropper and it has gotten a little sticky on me.....but it took 15 minutes to pull it, clean and grease it, and get it back to full return speed. I wish some other droppers (Thomson, Rock Shox, Fox) were so easy to work on!!
  • 9 1
 Oneup for the win! Had so much problems with Reverbs, Levs, etc. Now the Oneup works and is the only post where I can run 150mm in my frame.
  • 15 10
 I like Shimano -- always have for their reliability and no-nonsense approach -- but coming to market three years late, with irritating delays in getting to market, to solve a problem that didn't need solving (talking 12-speed in general), and only incremental performance improvement in shifting does not strike me as a worthy candidate. Doesn't mean it's not an excellent drivetrain (it is), but I expect something more from the "component of the year."
  • 18 5
 It's component of the year because we've been freed from SRAM by XT for a modern drivetrain.
  • 11 5
 @Explodo: But that's half my point. Where was this product 2-3 years ago? The only reason SRAM is on every mountain bike on the market is because Shimano was presumably too busy marketing 2x drivetrains and Di2 to make the product they should have 2 years ago. This should have been component of the year in 2017, which I think should preclude it from component of the year in 2019.
  • 3 0
 @Explodo: Soon as my Eagle drivetrain wears out I'm switching over. Love the range, hate the crunchy (and that's with a perfectly clean drivetrain) shifting.
  • 7 4
 @Hayek: SRAM treats buyers as beta testers. They rush stuff to market and deal with issues later. Shimano tends to finish stuff before release.

Are some SRAM products great out of the gate? Sure. Are some Shimano products missteps despite a longer development cycle? Yeah. But Shimano stuff tends to be more reliable because of how the develop their products.
  • 3 3
 Lets just say you can now replace your flogged out eagle setup with something that is refined & knowing shimano, will last longer. Sram may bring some interesting ideas but the product is made of cheese.
  • 3 0
 @zyoungson: Microspline has to be available for your wheels though.
  • 3 0
 @chezotron: and when Sram came out with XD, same issue/complaints. Another year it will be just as before, Shimano or Sram cassette body
  • 3 1
 @Hayek : have you ridden the shimano 12 speed? i don't know if i would quite call it an "incremental" improvement. i was pretty blown away at the difference between my old XT 11 speed and the new XT 12 speed.
  • 2 0
 @novajustin: I have, and that's why I say that it's really good. You're right, especially coming from the XT 11-speed I had previously, it's better than an incremental improvement. My last bike came with X01 Eagle and it was also really good -- I'd say the difference between X01 Eagle and XT 12-speed felt more like an incremental improvement. I'm sure that won't be a popular opinion, but it's coming from 1,700 miles of great shifting on my last Eagle group.
  • 4 0
 XT and OneUp both excellent contenders. That being said, I think AXS is pushing the limit in the newest and best way this year. Obviously stupid expensive but that will come down and the experience will be much better as riders from this.
  • 7 0
 Man i wish there was an 11 speed version of the new XT
  • 4 1
 I may go the Waki route and just grind off that 51 tooth cog.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Well at that point you might as well just keep it no ? If you grind it off you keep all the disadvantages (narrow chain, weight, etc) but loose a gear lol
Just put on a bigger chain ring Wink
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Im honestly so bummed theyre no doing it, id rather buy the old m8000! Why on gods green earth are they doing 2x12 but not 1x11???
  • 1 0
 @TransforDerek: It was a joke- Waki threatened to do it and he calculated it would save 70 grams.
  • 1 0
 there kind of is... XTR has an 11 speed cassette and the XTR shifter has a selector on it to go 12 or 11 speed. get an xt derailleur and you have a quazi xt 11/12 speed
  • 2 1
 Try 12. Didn't think I needed/wanted a bailout gear that low. Turns out that at least for slogging it out on long, steep climbs at altitude it's really nice to have, with no real drawbacks.
  • 2 3
 @peleton7: the drawback is weight, shifting performance, wheel strength, less efficiency in the lowest gears, and too small of jumps between shifts.

The newer 12 speed stuff does shift better overall, but thats because of new technology. If the same tech was applied to a 11 or even 10 speed then the new stuff would perform even better. 12 speed cassettes are dished out over the spokes a little to make room, and this creates a less efficient chainline (www.cyclingabout.com/speed-difference-testing-gearbox-systems). I have an e*13 10 speed 10-42, and I love the larger jumps between shifts. Its also much lighter, and smaller overall with the same range. It doesn't need a long cage derailleur. I wish we could get drivetrains (and bike suspension systems) optimized for a 9-42 instead of 10-50
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Damnit, I missread "Waki" as "wacky"...
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez:
How has wheel strength been compromised by 12 spd. Unless I missed the memo the free hub body is the exact same width as it has been since... 8spd days...since whenever Shimano hg freehub body came out.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: it COULD be wider!

Since Lord Odin the Wise declared that no hub standard shall last longer than 3 years, we could get a wider hub with less dish (or the brilliant Cannondale offset solution) if cassettes were thinner....
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez:
I don't get this comment. We had one hub width(135/142) that lasted something like 30 years. And then another hub standard (150/157) that has existed for quite a long time and is still going strong. Yes boost exists and was an answer to increase wheel strength at least some while staying away from DH widths which would never fly in the XC world.

Now freehub bodies have been the same width, pretty much since freehub bodies have existed. One exception is the 7spd DH freehub bodies but that isn't really enough room. Perhaps you are just kidding around but I don't think many would agree that we should release a new freehub body width which would multiply the number of hub shell widths.

The current width will be around for a long long time to come, and most do not think that that the gearing jumps are too small. The 9 tooth cogs are great if you never really need to put down any power as they are terribly inefficient. Just get your chainring spaced inboard as far as your frame will allow to get some of the efficiency in the easiest gears back. AKA don't use boost chainrings unless a non boost chainring will hit your chainstays.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: yes, its partially a joke, but the main point stands. If you want to keep the freehub width constant, you can go back to wider cogs and chains, improving durability and shifting. You could also probably fit 9 or 10 cogs on the DH 7 cog width if you dish the last two over the spokes, like what 12 speed does today
  • 4 1
 I love many things about my OneUp V1 dropper (especially the price). However, it is pretty finicky, especially in bad conditions. I have to clean and grease the bushings on a very regular basis - like after every single ride in the wet. Unless they have fixed this in V2 I don't think it's component of the year level. Yes the value for money is good, but it is really not "as good as fox/bikeyoke for half the price" like some folks seem to think.
  • 2 0
 I had similar problems. Adding 305psi to the dropper fixed it though
  • 2 0
 V2 is much better than V1.
  • 1 0
 I'm in this camp. My V1 has nifty features but in the end, it was really,really finicky and time consuming to keep performing. Plus the lever feel was sub-par. I'd consider V2 but it'd be a try before you buy moment. On that bike, I've installed a Transfer and I haven't thought about it once since.
  • 7 5
 XT all day. Sram may drive have new features, but that much money for a drivetrain is a hard no for me.

I love them BrandX dropper from chainreaction because 100$ doesn't lie.

For brakes, the slx four piston probably should have taken top spot for their amazing value, but even then the Deore Level four pistons look amazing.
  • 3 1
 If I were picking the product by technology and the potential impact to the sport, then SRAM AXS has the win, hands down. Disappointed the Trust Performance Shout didn't make the list. Yes, I know it's not the first linkage fork ever, and there will always be the folks stuck in the past saying, "...it's always been done this way, and ...telescopic is better than ever, why change." But, Trust is the first of it's kind to provide the true benefits of a linkage fork in a manner that can eventually compete with the mass market options. The Message and Shout forks (like the AXS groupset) are pushing technology to deliver better performance from the bike, not just a fetishized version of an already existing product.
  • 6 3
 Eagle AXS.. it's a very well executed product. Wireless, electronic drivetrain. Simple, beautiful, and revolutionary. I can't afford it too. But hey, thank you for making it.
  • 3 0
 Why the top two things are nominated:
Because SRAM and Shimano pretty much pay the bills around here.
Why these other two things are nominated:
Cuz they're actually f*cking rad
  • 2 0
 It's not new this year. But the best "bang for a buck" I have gotten is out of my Five Ten Free rider shoes. They have changed my riding far more than upgrading my cassette to a cassette worth more than my entire bike.
  • 7 4
 AXS for sure. Having put AXS on my bike I really don't wanna ever go back. The quality of shifting is on another level. Plus the setup is so simple.
  • 3 1
 Seconded.
  • 2 1
 @seraph: thirded.
Makes me want to do dumb axs stuff to all my other bikes.
  • 1 0
 Shimano can kiss off with that microspline patent. Ive waited a year for a king microspline freehub body and still... crickets. I have full xtr except cassette and itll be in classifieds for those who have compatible hubs. Might get box just to protest.
  • 1 0
 One up without question. It's time we had a product of the year at a very affordable price instead of 1200 dollar shocks! Smile

Though, gotta say XT 12sp @ $600 isn't too crazy and that's pretty nice. Plus you could do some mix and matching, cheaper cranks, etc. and get mostly XT shifting for not too bad...

STILL, $200 dollar One UP Post should be the winner. Works, great, better fit and adjust ability than the rest and a 60 dollar cartridge instead of sending the post off to be rebuilt every year. YES!
  • 1 0
 TL : DR The OneUp Post moves the cable housing to make it work, which is incredibly unreliable.

The One Up dropper post utilizes the most unreliable and troublesome post actuation I have witnessed. Every other post manufacturer that uses a cable for actuation actually USES the cable. The one op dropper post compresses the CABLE HOUSING. The cable itself doesn't move. The end of the housing presses against a button on the bottom of the post. While this unique approach allows less overall length (shortest in the business!!!), it requires the housing to have a small amount of movement available, in order to actuate the post. If you happen to own a frame with tight internal routing that causes the cable housing to be restricted, that restriction directly applies to the post actuation.

Fox Transfer gets the win for my budget.
  • 1 0
 OneUp Dropper v2. If you are buying any other dropper...you aren't buying right. Its that well done and its that cheap. period. Support is incredible too. Get it with the new actuator (free) and it's near perfect for 200$. Crazy. Total gamechanger for a market segment that specialized in 350-450$ droppers that still aren't perfect (taller stacks, not customizable travel, need servicing)
  • 4 1
 I have V1 of the OneUp dropper and unlike my Reverb it actually works in cool to cold conditions.
  • 1 0
 I have no love for the Reverb (it takes a couple hours to do a rebuild...ugh!). But it's the seals hardening on the hydraulic actuator that makes Reverbs stop working in the cold. Put a Wolf Tooth cable conversion kit on and that problem goes away.
  • 1 0
 @peleton7:
I’ve only ridden a few times in 20 degree weather so far this year, but I’ve had zero problems with AXS where I used to have problems with 1st/2nd gen reverbs
  • 4 0
 My OCD goes crazy on the Maxima brake using 3 torx bolts and one hex...
  • 2 0
 Please enlighten me with the point of nominating an 1100 Euro pair of brakes. That's like 3x more than any other MTB brake out there(I think)
  • 2 1
 Because they’re the best available?
  • 1 2
 @tomhoward379: You mean best available in 6 to 9 months. Not sure why they nominated something that only exist in the future.
  • 2 0
 @mfronk: they exist now, you just have to wait to get them. Limited availability and limited demand are why they're not on every lbs's shelf.
  • 1 0
 @mfronk: guess I’m living in the future.
  • 5 5
 Why would you reward Shimano just for getting back up to the level where SRAM have been for awhile now, when SRAM just went and one upped them at their own electric shifting game with AXS?

If Shimano has released a working version of that new gearbox they patented, then you got my attention...
  • 1 0
 The 12 speed XT is really great. I love it and shifting under load has come in quite handy. Everything else just seems to be way to expensive for lost of us to be able to afford to have an opinion on it. Dentist money.
  • 2 0
 We’ll see but from a popularity contest standpoint I’d be surprised if AXS won. Most amazing bike product I’ve bought in the past year though
  • 5 4
 No need to spend a mint on Trick Stuff, the TRP Quadiem are just as good. Granted, the Trick Stuff are pretty nice looking, but that's a lot of cash for brakes.
  • 4 1
 You forgot "way lighter'"...
  • 2 0
 Plus one on the quadiems. Easy to bleed & maintain, great lever feel, great mod & power
  • 1 2
 XT ftw. just got mine installed and took it out for a good beating over the weekend. took a minute to adjust to shifting under power, but once i got that down the shifting was just butter smooth and never hesitated. was also impressed at how quiet the system ran. chain slap was almost non existent. that probably has a lot to do with shimano doing away with the stupid 2 piece axle that they used to have on all of their derailleurs. now the derailleur bolts right to the frame without the add on rotational piece.
  • 3 0
 Box 9 speed for component of the year!
  • 1 0
 if only they made a 9-46ish (or even 10-46) 9 speed cassette....
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: they make 11-50 9 speed
  • 1 0
 @Frank191: i don't want a 50 tooth + long cage, if it topped out at 44 or 46 then it could use a short cage
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: ah got it. I thought you need a long cage for 46 too. I have 11 speed NX and recently went from 11-42 to 11-46
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: then you are in luck the box prime nine is available with a 46t cog and its awesome bow 3 ftw
  • 1 0
 Xt for sure. Wish they would do an 11-51 cassette option, the only time I ever used a 10t cog on eagle was spinning out on tarmac.
  • 2 0
 Just drop down a size on your chainring. More effective climbing gears, more ground clearance, less weight.
  • 3 0
 very hard to choose between xt and oneup droppers
  • 4 2
 Maxima or AXS for me. Both are truly wonderful to use.
  • 9 3
 found the dentist
  • 3 1
 @gumbytex: Nope, desk jockey here. On a very average salary.
  • 6 2
 @gumbytex: Some of us actually know how to save money so we can buy the things we want. It's called money management and it works wonders.
  • 3 1
 XT -Shimano took their time but it was worth it!
  • 2 0
 Only one of these contenders could really be described as revolutionary.
  • 1 0
 ...but I suppose that's more relevant in the Innovation category
  • 2 0
 Am I the only one who thinks that Box Prime 9 should have been on there?
  • 1 0
 I think so too got robbed.
  • 2 0
 SRAM Universal derailler hanger........
  • 1 0
 It's nominated in a different category Wink
  • 1 0
 XT has always been a great performer at a decent price and the XT12 is no exception.
  • 1 0
 1100€ for a set of brakes?? does it come with a bike? bargain of the year award!!
  • 6 4
 XT by a country mile
  • 2 2
 Xt is my choice, also one-up dropper is great. But xt is high quality for us mortals.
  • 2 1
 My xt has been sweet! Nothing but problems with eagle...
  • 2 3
 Sram drivetrain, Shimano drivetrain, yawn. I vote the Trickstuff brake. That thing is beautiful and well worthy of component of the year.
  • 1 0
 Can the dropper cartridges be serviced or do you have to replace them?
  • 1 0
 XT 12 speed. Next question
  • 1 0
 After I slide it in, pairing only takes me 10 seconds.
  • 4 4
 out of the nominees its gotta be the xt.
  • 1 0
 ENO freewheel
  • 3 2
 XT 12 speed.
  • 1 0
 I Vote Smart Money.
  • 1 0
 XT for the win.
  • 2 4
 Should be XT. AXS and Maxima aren’t affordable and mainstream enough, and the dropper isn’t as important of a product.
  • 1 1
 I go for the Sram AXS.
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