2020 Pinkbike Awards: Innovation of the Year

Dec 28, 2020
by Mike Levy  

Innovation of the Year

Sometimes it seems as if mountain bike innovation moves as quickly as a fat bike with a flat tire, while other times things seem to change far too quickly for anyone's best interests. While 2020 might not have seen any standout innovations that change the sport for all of us as a whole, there were plenty of other notable developments over the past twelve months. Our shortlist includes alternative manufacturing methods like 3D printing, stash compartments in less-expensive alloy frames, consumer-ready data acquisition systems, recycled carbon wheels, and (relatively) lightweight e-bikes.

Which of our five picks makes the most sense to you?

Why they're nominated

Love 'em or hate 'em, e-bikes have been the biggest change mountain biking has seen since someone put knobby tires or a suspension fork on their klunker. But ask anyone who's not convinced and they'll probably tell you the 150lb average weight of an e-bike is one of its biggest drawbacks. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but sometimes that doesn't feel too out of line, with the extra weight of the motor, and especially the battery, doing a good job of making sure your e-bike doesn't leave the ground too easily.

But there's a new breed of e-bike that employs lighter, less powerful motors and batteries to help bring total bike weight down closer to an early 2000s freeride rig while still providing a worthwhile amount of boost. Two bikes meeting that brief are Specialized's 38lb Turbo Levo SL and Orbea's 35.6lb Rise, both of which are intended to be motorized, do-it-all trail bikes. The Levo SL gets a 240-watt Specialized SL 1.1 motor (with a cool magnesium motor casing) and a 350Wh internal battery that can be supplemented with a 160Wh battery in the bottle cage. Orbea has chosen to go with a customized Shimano EP8 motor that delivers 60Nm of torque (not changeable) from a 360Wh battery and an optional 252Wh add-on that's said to bump range up by 70-percent.

A relatively light e-bike is still an e-bike, but the closer in weight they get to a traditional rig, the more fun they're going to be.

Why they're nominated

I mean, the title gives it away, doesn't it? Revel is a small US brand with just three bikes in their catalog, but they're on this shortlist because of their out-of-the-box wheels that combine clever manufacturing and recycled materials. The RW30 rims are made with thermoset carbon, but an advanced polymer is used as a binding agent rather than a more common epoxy. As Daniel Sapp described in his review, picture nylon holding the strands of carbon together. Fusion-Fiber is a product used by Revel for their rims, much like how Gore-Tex is used and licensed by many different companies to make various products.

The process of using Fusion-Fiber for manufacturing the rim is something Revel isn't keen on sharing, but the (very over-simplified) process involves pieces of thermoplastic put into the mold before being flash-welded into a rim. That rim then goes through three different heating and cooling steps, and requires no sanding, clear coat, or paint when it pops out of the mold. Being a thermoplastic, Fusion-Fiber is said to be easily recycled. CSS, the company that makes Fusion-Fiber, can do it themselves by chopping it up into smaller pieces and melting it down to form parts that use short fibers, like stems and other smaller components. Actually, it's said to be easily and infinitely re-moldable into something else, whether it's in the bike industry or elsewhere.

Oh yeah, the wheels happen to perform quite well to boot!

Why it's nominated

Why carry supplies on your back when you can put them inside a downtube? Riders have been using integrated storage since mountain bikes first became a thing, but credit has to go to Specialized for re-energizing the idea of on-bike storage with their SWAT system. Thankfully, other brands have joined the cause as well, including Trek with their own big hole in the downtube. But while Specialized's hole can only be had on the fancy carbon frames, Trek has figured out how to do it on both their carbon and less expensive aluminum Slash frames. Expect it to pop up on future versions of other aluminum bikes as well.

That means that you don't need to spend all the money on a carbon frame that, while being lighter, doesn't offer much in the way of tangible performance benefits, and you still come home with one of the most useful features.

Why they're nominated

When it comes to suspension, there are three kinds of riders: One will take a few minutes to pump up their fork and shock to an indeterminate pressure, turn dials that they may or may not know the function of, and then happily hit the trails without ever thinking about that stuff again until something is painfully wrong. Then you have the type who know what HSR or LSC are short for and how they might change their bike's performance, and they happily tinker with them a bit before settling on a setting that feels pretty good. Finally, you have the turbo geeks who speak almost entirely in acronyms and tune their damper and spring rate before every and for every ride.

Now, companies like Motion Instruments and BYB Telemetry are bringing semi-affordable data acquisition systems to consumers, letting regular Joes geek out while getting the most from their bike's suspension. Both use a smartphone app and include well-thought-out instructions on setup and how to understand the data, as well as being relatively easy to install. I've had a Motion Instruments kit for months now (overdue video review in the future, I swear) and can tell you that it's a slippery slope; once I started using it on a Specialized Enduro, I couldn't help myself from looking at the results to see how its suspension could be improved. The future is now, it seems, and you certainly don't need to be a World Cup pro (or a turbo geek) to use it.

Why they're nominated
New manufacturing techniques are beginning to pop up in the mountain bike world, including 3D printing and CNC'ing entire frames. These techniques have been proven outside of the bike industry and still have a ways to go before being considered ready for primetime, but the possibilities sure are interesting.

For now, you'll find Atherton Bikes, Gamux, and Moorhuhn employing 3D printed parts, tubes and lugs, while Pole, ActoFive, and Alutech are manufacturing fully CNC'd frames. Hey, I never said they'd be inexpensive, did I? But just imagine buying a new frame with custom dimensions, having a file sent to you with everything needed to create it, then getting it made, er, printed locally while you watch. I suspect most of us will be on welded or baked frames for awhile yet, but the future sure is interesting.


  • 345 86
 Does harvesting user ride logs to create your Trailforks app, and then turning around and charging us for an app to access our own data count as “data acquisition?”

Before you @me, yes I know they said suspension data, but the Trailforks heist is also a form of data acquisition....and for profit no less.
  • 29 19
 Preach. BS.
  • 123 27
 I was unimpressed as well. The classic google-style, "crowdsourcing" development model. Give users a platform to upload a wealth of their knowledge, giving them access to an amazing, free online resource....but only for a little while, until you become the dominant source....then charge them money to use what were ultimately their own contributions.

When I think (naively) about all the beautiful things the internet COULD have been - a wealth of free information for those who wanted it to make the world a (hopefully) better place - given freely by those generous enough to pass on their knowlege, I feel like it all went wrong when it turned into a massive, corporate cash grab.

I get the whole capitalist argument, but seriously....not enough people these days just willing to do good things because they're good things.
  • 80 29
 come on thats not even true, if the app works and provides some good info, why shouldnt they charge a little. better than having some ad base data mining shit app that doesnt work half the time
  • 100 8
 Did you want to spend months/years creating a better free app thousands will use and not pay you a dime for? Oh yea and it'll cost you money too.
  • 16 5
 @Korbi777: You don't think this is collecting user data to sell? How is it NOT data mining, do you figure?
  • 32 3
 I'm also miffed that they had that in plan since day zero. But the users didn't know that part. So the outrage comes because of that: dishonesty (some may call it bait-and-switch scheme). I'm sure that they would not get as much users if they've announced the plan from the get go.
  • 27 2
 I should add (particularly in the hopes that some pinkbike decision makers are perhaps reading this? *cough cough*) that I would have been HAPPY to contribute to help pay for development and inevitable costs of running the trailforks app (which is undeniably a helpful, valuable service), but I had hoped it would have been a one-time fee instead of an ongoing, yearly subsciption.

I think this should have applied ESPECIALLY for "early adopters" who were only offered a discount on the yearly rate. If it would have been a lifetime buy-in, I would have jumped on it! A lifetime DISCOUNT (on a not-so-small subsciption) was quite a bit less tempting.

In the end, if it does have to be an ongoing yearly fee, I think the one they are asking is also simply too high. Sorry Pinkbike.
  • 26 5
 It wasn't nominated because it's not an innovation. Operate a free service until you run out of money then lock it up behind a paywall is how the entire Internet was built. Sorry I was late to post this comment but I had to wait for two YouTube ads in a row.
  • 36 6
 Pretty sure in high school economics I learned there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • 24 17
 @rory: that philanthropic ideal was always just that.....and ideal. the notion of some bygone era of people doing for the greater good with no other motivation is a myth. one that should die like all other fantasies. the way forward is to stop demonizing capitalism, and see that people's desire for resources and success can/and has been harnessed to accomplish the best things humanity has ever known.

re: the internet: nothing on the internet can or should be "free"(quotes to denote that free is also a myth. someone is paying. always). servers, peoples time, infrastructure, etc. all cost money. either you pay for it or someone pays for you and takes your data. that's literally the only two ways...
  • 8 0
 Simple answer is yes, of course it is. The internet has been about data since we started using it. Why are you so surprised this hasn't worked out in your favour?
  • 11 5
 @conoat: No, it cannot be harnessed. Because there is no ceiling and someone will eventually own this planet including you and me. The idea that someone trying to have it all will benefit all others is ridiculous. Millions of people die each year because someone needs to get rich selling shitty food, using the cheapest packaging and adding tons of preservatives. And there are countless examples of this on all fields. They are wolves and we are sheep.
  • 67 21
 Let me get this straight... you knowingly used and provided your data to a free app and you're upset the app is no longer free?

No one forced you to upload every ride so you could have loc dog fastest rider, KOM bragging rights. Here's a solution, don't use the app, you entitled garbage person. "Wahhh, the app on my $1,000 phone is no longer free! How can I let everyone know how fast I am on my $3,000 bike!?" Good luck with those 1st world problems, bud. Sounds rough.
  • 3 3
 @Archimonde: it’s a pretty prevalent business model that’s been around a long time.
  • 2 1
 @Regamaro: You don't need to,someone already did,at least for Android: Oruxmaps, It's free as in "no ads"...and someone is doing the same bit for maps with OpenAndroMaps.And it works offline, something Trailforks lacks atm.I wouldn't mind to pay a reasonable fee for a dedicated MTB platform, but not being able to use maps offline is a big turnoff.
  • 14 2
 @rory: maintenance and updates require employees and cost money. The cost of the app is so freaking cheap as well.
  • 8 2
 @rory: you should create an app that competes with Trailforks for free. I will most definitely be an early adopter.
  • 3 7
flag m1dg3t (Dec 28, 2020 at 5:02) (Below Threshold)
 @lkubica: "We are all sheep" LoL Speak for your self.
  • 21 5
 Good on Pinkbike/Trailforks for creating a sticky app and product that so many want to use and contribute to. They should be charging fo for it. It’s always possible to opt back out, or try another free service if paying for the service isn’t in your cards.

It’s also really impressive they built 2 very solid brands that produce some of the very best original content out there. Advertisers are getting smarter with ad dollars, so for Pinkbike finding a way to generate revenue from a news site/brand by offering a valuable service is mighty impressive and speaks very highly to the people running it. My hats off to all of them.
  • 37 6
How the f*ck did you think trail forks was going to be free forever?

It was a nice ride getting to use such a good app for free for so long, now you have to pay a small amount for an extremely useful service.

Don't want to pay, don't use it. Don't be a child and cry that someone stole your cookie
  • 14 16
 @lkubica: and even more people die at the hands of socialism. There is no perfect system of human governance. People are terrible and the best system is one that is as small as possible and stays out of the business of consenting adults in all manners of life.
  • 2 1
 @rory: ad based data mining is a little different than voluntarily recording your trails.
  • 10 1
 @rory: there is a ton of philanthropy in the biking world. Ever heard of volunteer trail days? Well who paid for the gas to power the backhoe to originally break the trail? Who repaired that equipment? Who bought the shovels. You can never avoid COST. You can only pair MONEY with PHILANTHROPY to cover all of the COSTS. You can never avoid this law of economics.

Trailforks is global software platform. Maybe they started with a vision of by users for users and came up against the harsh rules of economics. Maybe that was their strategy all along. Who knows. It was poorly executed... but pay for and use the product or move on
  • 7 0
 You can also guarantee they are not touching this comment with a 39ft pole.
  • 6 1
 Trailforks and Strava both deleted in 2020 for the same reason. How did that impact my riding? It didn’t.
  • 20 2
 People are on here bitching about $3/month for almost every trail on the planet but will happily spend absurd amounts of money on carbon wheels, the latest brakes that are 1% better than the last model and 10K on a full bike!? I have built and put my trails on Trailforks and will still pay breadcrumbs to have the data base for trails everywhere I go.
  • 14 0
 If you aren't paying, you are the product. Sometimes it just isn't obvious who the buyer is. In this case, the buyer was future you.
  • 7 6
Because I contributed the chocolate chips. A bunch of trail organizations were telling all of their users to get Trailforks because it was the place they put all their data. They got huge amounts of data and advertising for free.

I would also pay a single lifetime fee for the app, but “upgrading” to a “pro” version that is literally the same things sounds like they lost their latest round of VC funding and decided to hold their user base hostage. Also the constant begging to help them out mapping for other sports? Nah, I already got hoodwinked once.
  • 10 11
 @conoat: More people die from starvation and resource wars every 5 years due to capitalism's inefficiencies than all people that died from socialism/communism combined but go on with your bootlicking act. It's cute.
  • 6 0
 @gafoto: You contributed an idea to the cookie, you didn't provide any material that costed you anything. Hell you even got to eat some of the cookies for free but then when they said that you have to pay for the cookie you got upset because you got used to getting them for free and now your upset because free things are nicer than things you have to pay for.

How it's a shocker or upsetting that trailforks is charging now is mind boggling. Things cost money to run, either the app is bloated with ads everywhere or it's a subscription service. Take your pick and just be happy its available for cheap and you got to use it for free for so many years
  • 1 1
 @lkubica: If you're over 18, you must work pretty hard to maintain, in the face of overwhelming evidence, the ignorance required to believe what you believe. Keep on keepin' on, my man.
  • 10 12
 @schofell84: what? you think Capitalism has somehow directly killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot? that's such an absurd stance, that it actually isn't shocking you are a communist. stupidity usually bleeds into all aspects of one's life. So much so, that I would wager you ride a Specialized.

*the Spesh comment was a joke, to all the non-schofell-level morons that ride one. LOL
  • 4 0
 @rburroughs4: As much as I agree that Trailforks should charge and frankly my 9 dollars a year for life is cheap cheap cheap. There are no laws of economics and to portray the rules as laws makes it seem to people like the capitalist system is some sort of natural way of being that cannot be questioned. Not the case, it is man made and we can choose to organize our collective wealth differently if we needed.

That being said, I would prefer to pay 9 bucks a year and get no adds.
  • 11 7
 @conoat: Hitler was not a socialist in anything but name. He was capitalist autocrat, also known as fascist. That is why all the very rich in the US would have preferred to support the Axis.
  • 5 1
 @rory: what does the app cost? 3 bucks a month? That's nothing compared to what it could cost.
God forbid someone wants to make a living off something they love, and not just develop it solely on the joy and happiness it being to people.

You can't have it all, when apps like this continue to be worked on without requiring payment for any reason they tend to take years, as they are just side projects at the point. Would you prefer trail forks to ask you incessantly to donate a couple bucks to keep them alive?
  • 5 0
 Pretty easy to fix the model, if you upload X amount of new trails then you earn Y amount of free access. That way the data producers get repaid in kind for their data.
  • 2 0
 If the service is "free", you are the product.

I'm ok with it as long as there is transparency. That said, I just deleted Trailforks (I don't value it enough to pay for it), just as I use strava very little now. It's actually kind of nice severing the cord to the smart phone and going for a ride without it or at least with it off or in airplane mode.
  • 2 2
 @Trudeez - TF is rad. If you have a financial issue with parting with 1.50$ a month I think you must have bigger problems than whining that TF cost 1.50$
  • 5 3
 @conoat: lol guy ... how many Native Americans alone were killed in capitalist hunts for resources?

You absolutely can combine all of those *fascists* deaths and they are no where near the body count caused by capitalists hoarding resources.

Damn, dude. Open your eyes.
  • 4 2
 @butters1996: You're completely ignoring the people that put in the time to log the trails and maintain the information.
  • 4 2
 @schofell84: So much this! Let's not forget the countless Mexicans & Africans who have suffered at the hands of American capitalism/capitalists. That's just North America.

Isn't it funny that the only "political ideology" that hasn't murdered countless numbers of people throughout history is anarchism.
  • 2 0
 @m1dg3t: accept that in the only anarchy ruled states lots of non state actors murder eachother
  • 3 2
 Why do people think they should be able to permanently access Trailforks for free just cuz they uploaded a few rides that were used to form the app?

It's a cool and very useful product for mountain bikers, and I am sure the founders/employees put in a ton of work to make it what it is today, so I don't understand this backlash for using rider data... you really think you are the key to the Trailforks app and that Trailforks owes you something?
  • 5 5
 @schofell84: re: NA killed by "capitalist hunts for resources: that number is considerably less than a million. best guess from experts in the field is 2-300K over 130 years. and that's not direct, but indirect as well(disease).

Stallin alone killed 20-50 million, you f*cking dolt.
  • 3 1
 @Korbi777: yep, apps don’t make themselves.
  • 3 0
 I'm glad MTB Project covers most places I ride pretty well.
  • 9 0
 In Ye Olden Days before the internet we sometimes got lost; and that was often the best part. For better or worse, the web ended the wonder of things unknown.
  • 1 0
 @rory: this guy gets it. Cheers
  • 1 0
 @ptrcarson: Does the pro version of trailforks still have ads?
  • 3 0
 In this day and age you have to know, if the service is free, you are the service.
  • 5 1
Socialism = govt. control of the economy.
Indirect control via regulation, "crony" capitalism, corporatism = fascism
Direct control via govt ownership of industry, business = communism

IOW a lot of people mistake fascism for capitalism/free enterprise. It's not.

And before it hit the fan, nobody thought Germany and Italy helping inspire FDR's New Deal was a big deal.
Hitler and Mussolini were economic heroes. Diff story afterwards.

  • 3 0
 Somebody better tell this guy that the polls on the right side of the screen aren't just "polls".
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: this. and much better that way than if the buyer were big tech. or ads.
  • 2 1
 @conoat: bud, all it takes is a quick search of native population to prove you comically wrong.

Nice move with the name calling. Really adds some flair to your "argument".
  • 1 0
 @rory: It has no adds
  • 1 0
 For those still complaining about feeling hoodwinked or what ever now that they have ads in Trailforks, go install Blokada and no more ads. For the rest of us, pay the monthly fee, smile, and pat yourself on the back for continuing to support a very good app that relied on its users to help it get off the ground.
  • 1 4
 @schofell84: oh, so if native populations are different, then obviously the white man killed them? do you understand what kind of moronic logic that is? you must also think 80M people voted for Biden.
  • 4 1
 @conoat: I had a feeling you were a moron. Thanks for proving it!
  • 5 1
 @ihatetomatoes: Wikipedia has been free forever. Not everybody has the goal of turning everything into a profitable venture. Some people just want to provide something very useful and interesting for people...but for free!

It's a pretty unusual thing to see this in today's world, but there are some good people left in the world who actually don't want to use people's volunteer data for their own personal profit. Pinkbike obviously is not a part of the goodwill movement. It's the most egregious theft in the history of mountain biking, quite honestly, when you consider the amount of volunteer data that was generated and the hours that went into it. The whole episode shows the outright shamelessness of Pinkbike, the for profit website that trolls us every month with the "Was this a good month or a bad month"? pathetic journalistic endeavor.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: You're right, it was the unicorns that decimated the native population.
  • 3 1
 @rory: f*ck capitalism
  • 3 1
 @GBeard: bet you went to an american public school system, brain-washing you to believe the american way is the only way.
  • 1 0
 @bsdn06: best comment
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: Like most schools in most countries.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Smile
  • 1 0
 @conoat: This notion of capitalism is a myth. A myth like any other religion. When used judiciously or in moderation, it can spur healthy competition and innovation. When used at its extremes it generates massive inequities, warps our collective psychology with greed and dehumanizes populations into commodities/resources to be exploited. All in the name of some adolescent fantasy where "winning" means you're exceptional.
  • 1 4
 @Dopepedaler: there is no collective anything. collectivism is a mental disorder at best and a method of populace control at worst. Doing anything in a collective is less efficient than doing things on a singular level.
  • 2 0
 @bsdn06:I know I was over simplifying the topic and I would say I still disagree with you slightly.

Capitalism is not a political system, it is a way of organizing an economy. Fascists used it but only for those they approved. It is used by many different political systems with different controls on who has access. Dictatorships around the world today use capitalism to organize their economies.

Socialism is a critique of unregulated capitalism and they are interdependent in most of their use around the world. Capitalism has been reliant on Socialism for its greatest successes and vice versa.

Socialism is also not a political system and sucked when theory was applied without capitalism through the autocratic system of communism. At the same time it has shown to be quite successful when partnered with capitalism and democratic governance. FDR's new deal is probably the most prominent example of that. Although, northern Europe today is doing quite well from a quality of life for all no mater their economic status point of view.

Also, there was a large enough American population that supported the horrendous things done by the Nazi's even after it was known, late 30's, that they were quite visible in American society. Both Canada and USA were happy to turn away boats of Jewish refugees even though they new what was happening in Europe. I would assume this is because public opinion was not sympathetic to their plight.
  • 3 1
 @conoat: Fighting wars better singular? How about sports? I have never seen a single person build a new house in my community. Frankly I am very happy I don't have to build all my own roads to use. It would expensive if I had to do my own policing but thank goodness for the collective community and our willingness to pool funds and create a police service so I don't have to.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd @m1dg3t: My comment is about Opportunity Cost and has nothing to do with what you guys are rambling about. You inferred way too much from my comment. Nice job immediately stooping to insults to prove your point btw. Strawman and Ad Hominem in one.
  • 2 3
 @DoubleCrownAddict: wikipedia relies on donations to operate. It may be free for people to cheap to donate but it still costs money to run and anyone who uses it and has a shred of morality pays to use it. Services cost money to run and operate. Your whole argument relies on because somethings are free to use for me and I want this to be free too just because I like free things. Sure it would be nice for you if Trailforks went with the donation model like wikipedia so people like you can ride the coattails of other who will donate but they went with a subscription model, free is better but unfortunately that's just life. Pinkbike made a great product and are going to profit off it, good for them as without it riding in new places is a massive pain in the ass.
  • 4 1
 @conoat: Biologically, psychologically, metaphorically...you are part of a system and a system is part of you.

Thanks for making my point for me...by zeroing in on the word "collective", labeling it crazy and romanticizing the importance of the individual.
  • 1 4
 @ptrcarson: ok. you clearly don't understand the meaning of collectivism or indiviuality.

pssst, it's not plural and singular.

I would wage this is not the end of your ignorance.
  • 5 0
 @conoat: Ok, you can change your definitions in your head but collectivism and individualism can both exist as values in the same communities, it is not all or nothing. A good society will always have balance of both, it is not one or the other. Simple one way or the other thinking does not reflect reality.

I would wage that you live in a different world than you think you do.
  • 5 0
 @ptrcarson: He's lacking the mental capacity to realize/understand that they are not mutually exclusive.

I would wage he lives in a bubble.
  • 3 1
 @ihatetomatoes: You are completely incorrect in your assumptions about my argument. I've never used trailforks, but I know people who donated lots of time to it and now pinkbike wants to profit from them to access the data they gave pinkbike.
Biggest theft in the history of mountain biking. the biggest betrayal of volunteer labor in the history of mountain biking, and the most vicious backstabbing in the history of mountain biking.
  • 3 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Your friends are idiots for "donating" time to an app and expecting something in return. I call BS on that as well. Your friends were just looking for bragging rights on who rode what trail the fastest and how many rides they got in.

I know this sounds shocking but you can ride without using an app! Crazy right?
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: Have you ever made a trail on Trailforks? You know it doesn't magically populate after you ride it, right?
  • 4 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I would love to know what kind of time they donated. Did they help with the programing? Did they help put the app together? What kind of time are you talking about and what were they promised in return for this time?
  • 3 1
 @ihatetomatoes: Have you ever mapped and submitted a trail?
  • 4 2
 @schofell84: No. I build the trails. I spend 100s of hours building trails for free, plenty of businesses from trail forks to the local pub or bike shop make money off my donation of time and labor. Do I give a shit? Nope. I don't expect anything in return cause I'm doing cause I want to. If you spend some time GPSing a trail and submitting it to Trailforks and are expecting something in return or expecting it to be free forever then that's on you.
  • 2 2
 @ihatetomatoes: yeah it's so easy to say you build trails on the internet and everybody loves them. I call bs and trailforks is still the biggest theft in the history of mountain biking. the biggest betrayal of volunteer labor in the history of mountain biking, and the most vicious backstabbing in the history of mountain biking. Nothing else is even close. Tomatoes are awesome, your whole take on food is as bad as your trail opinions.
  • 2 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: yeah it's so easy to say you know people who donated time to the Trailforks app on the internet. I call bs on that.

Unless Trailforks promised these so called people you know something for giving them some trail information then there's no fault here. I mean it's like $3 a month or something for the membership. Really these so called people you know are just responsible for the overcrowding of places and destruction of trails built by volunteer hours. They should just be ashamed anyway.
  • 1 0
 @ihatetomatoes: It is $1.50 a month. If you signed up early it is $0.75 a month
  • 2 0
 @ihatetomatoes: Whoops, you were right 3 bucks for the regulars, 1.50 for the early folks.
  • 4 0
 @schofell84: Yeah and it was fun to contribute. The difference is, I'm not a jackass going around calling it theft like these KOM clowns.
  • 1 3
 @scott-townes: so, someone put in their labor and someone else is using it to make money without compensation.

That's a theft of labor.

I'm not suggesting anyone should go to prison, but that's a genuinely crappy thing to do. You also should be empathetic to people who are upset about it.
  • 1 1
 @ihatetomatoes: You haven't built any trails. Stop lying or prove it.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: How you want me to prove it? I'm not out there posting everything on social media for credit.

Come to Cumberland, BC and ask who built Chunder or Numbskulls. You'll get a name that rhymes with gosh.
  • 1 0
 @ihatetomatoes: OK you don't have to prove it I believe you. I've never done trail building is it hard?
  • 99 50
 My E-Moped filter seems to be broken
  • 36 57
flag endurafrica (Dec 28, 2020 at 0:50) (Below Threshold)
 They say you are extreme fun to have at parties...always the latest jokes!
  • 21 23
 Change the record. Or at least come up with your own jokes...
  • 39 9
 Ebikes are being thrust down our throats. Videos, magazines, websites, ...
  • 11 1
 @pinkknip: Gotta secure those ad $$$
  • 14 29
flag thechunderdownunder (Dec 28, 2020 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 @pinkknip: dude. Try and e-bike. So fun.
Seriously, right now!
  • 30 3
 @thechunderdownunder: cocaine is fun, too... But they didn't mean it's a bicycle.
  • 32 5
 They are still trying to market motorcycles as an evolution inside the human powered bicycle world.
  • 14 2
 @pinkknip: Got to sell you something and while there is little innovation in mtb at the moment there is a huge market for mtbs for lazy people that come with an engine
  • 5 1
 @pinkknip: not of these things would exist if there was no interest or demand. Some of it spills over since it is mostly the same manufacturers.
It's not my cup of tea, but my old man likes his and it gets him out in the woods, so I am ok with it.
  • 7 22
flag Allen82 (Dec 28, 2020 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 Why people hate ebikes... 1 Never tried one. 2 Tried one. Loved it. Can't afford one. So pretend they're shit.
  • 7 4
 @Allen82: or, because they explode on the trail in areas already prone to wild fires and with serious preexisting trail access issues. Or because newbie ebikers sanitize trails that are too hard for them. Both have happened locally to me. Just saying bro.
  • 1 0
 @pinhead907: sarcasm lost on PB haha!
  • 6 2
 @pinhead907: Not heard that reason before.
Although it's quite a far fetched reason not to have an ebike.
  • 5 9
flag DylanH93 (Dec 28, 2020 at 12:23) (Below Threshold)
 Regardless of what we call them, I want one lol. As the weight comes down and people can no longer tell you're even riding one, they'll just get better and better. Can't wait to see how far they progress. You can't stop the future!
  • 7 2
 @Allen82: dude, you're in the uk where it rains 400 days per year. We seriously did have an ebike catch fire on the trail a couple weeks back. Fire is a serious issue in some parts of the world, and the equestrians here would love to ban all 2 wheeled traffic, battery or no. Granted, I think this was a home brew ebike, probably not a factory built specialized or giant. And the ebike trail sanitizer is a true story too. Anyhow, I'm sure ebikes are fun, maybe I'll even have one someday... But none of that makes them a bicycle ????
  • 4 6
 @DylanH93: Exactly. You also get used to the weight and handling after 4-5 rides.
They're actually really nice to jump.
  • 4 4
 @pinhead907: So some kook with a home brew had bad shit happen, and you link it to E-bikes. Gotcha. So when equestrians link some regular MTB rider with lighting a spliff and setting a fire, you'll be ok with that too, right?
  • 3 3
 @Chuckolicious: don't put words into my mouth. Fact is, it happened, home brew or not. It'll happen again. If pinkbikes ebike filter actually worked, I wouldn't even be here. But it is what it is.
  • 3 5
 @pinhead907: Wait, are you serious? You have so little self control and are so easily triggered that without an active filter you have no choice but to click on the article? And then you are so utterly offended that you proceed to post multiple comments about it? For real?
  • 5 3
 @Chuckolicious: go re-read the thread. Some guy posted that there were literally only two reasons that you can't like an ebike. I responded with valid criticisms to that argument, and the ebike goon squad came for me. Geez. Pinkbike says it has a filter, but the filter doesn't work.
  • 4 4
 @pinhead907: Oy vey. Ok man, whatever you gotta tell yourself. Good luck.
  • 4 2
 @Chuckolicious: dude, get a life. You're the one making these absolutely nonsensical wild leaps of logic about how I can't stop myself without a filter or whatever your nonsense was.
  • 3 5
 @pinhead907: I get it. I thought ebikes were pointless and would ruin mountain biking.
I used to scowl at the owners and call them names under my breath.

Then I tried one and it made everything about mountain biking fun.
I never really disliked climbing. But, like 99% of riders I done it to get to a descent.
You want to ride fast and have fun. Now going up hill is fast and fun. (if you put in the effort and not just let the bike carry you up)

Why can't people just see ebikes as another genre. Some people love XC and think DH sucks and vise versa.
If you don't like it or want to do it. Fine, then don't. Makes no difference.

I don't see what some dodgy home made ebike has to do with anything either.
Everyone walks around with something in their pocket that could just as easily catch fire.
But that's OK?...
  • 1 1
 @pinhead907: Umn, well, I’ll just leave this quote right here. Author: you. “If pinkbikes ebike filter actually worked, I wouldn't even be here.”
  • 3 4
 Safe to say that E bikes are turning snail bikers into the biggest snowflakes in the sporting community.

"Wahhhh, I had to look at a picture of an e bike on a free website, I better publicly cry about it now."
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: snail bikers?
  • 3 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Sadly, you're not wrong. Pretty insane how delicate so many people have become about the most random and innocuous shit. Being a cynical Gen X, I look back and think that if we came across anyone in our 20's that behaved like this, we would have bitch slapped them out of it without mercy. Like the scene in the Godfather: YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN! :-D
  • 3 1
 @Chuckolicious: you have no point dude. You went on this wild tangent about my self control based on that simple, innocuous quote. You are wrong, go away.
  • 2 3
 @pinhead907: Seems I'm not the only one calling you out. Learn and grow from this. Or dig your heels in. Your choice.
  • 3 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: bro, pinkbike says they have an ebike filter. I clicked it. It still shows me stuff I don't want to see. Pinkbike makes money from my clicks. It's not too much to expect them to get it right.
  • 2 1
 @Chuckolicious: oh, so mob rules. Gotcha. You win.
  • 2 3
 @Levin192: Yeah the old school retro-grouches that climb mountains on outdated technology at 3 mph.
  • 1 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Or the young baby-dults who somehow have emotionally invested in their perceived tribe and must therefor virtue signal by attacking the "other" tribe at every opportunity.
  • 3 0
 Not every opportunity. Just every 10th pathetic complaint on pinkbike.
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Ahh well, whaddya gonna do? Kids today... :-D
  • 3 1
 @thechunderdownunder: man try a motorcycle it's more fun than an E-Bike. Or should I better say : what the hell are you doing in a bike community when you are an E-Bike fan????
  • 1 0
 @buschpilot: 100% agree. Dirt bikes are more fun...but the "cost" and frequency of riding can push the advantage mountain bikes.
Growing up, I rode dirt bikes, but since it was an all day thing, ,min 1 1/2 hour travel, made it almost only on Sundays.
On a good week, I'm riding my mountain bike 4 or 5 times. I can ride from my door to some meh trails, but good stuff is 20min by car.
  • 45 0
  • 8 0
 They bought more joy to the MTB community than any of the above.
  • 5 0
 @chakaping: Exactly! And yet they are forgotten, left to fall slowly into the bottomless pit of insignificance. Everything they stood for, all the ambition and bravado of a drunk slug, thrown to waste! A tragedy to stand the test of time, one day to be recalled in the same breath as Shakespeare or Homer, a singular prick of light in the dark tapestries of history! A lonesome moment of inspiration, a lifeline to the future where one day some sorrowful inventor bends, laboring, over his life's work and raises his eyes to the horizon, desperate for a glimmer, a breath, of reassurance to give respite from this slow suffocation caused by the heartlessness of capitalism! Oh, to inspire, to push beyond the bounds of time and bring light to those who follow after us! To be remembered in spirit if not in name!
  • 44 2
 @mikelevy How is the Grim Donut's Future Geometry not on here? Its sole purpose is extreme innovation.
  • 60 22
 E-bikes aren't a bicycle innovation, they are a new motorcycle category, that doesn't want to be restricted to moto trails. Killing the planet one small battery at a time.
  • 11 2
  • 1 2
 @Veggiemoto: OK, I guess I'll go back to shuttling with the ole smokey truck rather than shuttle with my emtb.

  • 6 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: if only there was a way to get to the top of the hill on a bike without a motor involved......
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I'm not telling anybody what to do, what ever you chose is on you.
  • 52 19
 Imagine if a moped stole the Innovation of the Year award.
  • 11 43
flag Medacus (Dec 28, 2020 at 4:56) (Below Threshold)
 Imagine if you actually had any brains......
  • 23 6
 Right? On a cycling forum no less. Anything to generate clicks & move product for sponsors I guess... Frown
  • 2 0
 @Medacus: Imagine if I had any brains...
  • 19 6
 It's a shame to be nominated in the first place even an honorable mention would have been pushing it.
  • 32 5
 @mikelevy did you guys nominate Specialized when they came out with the SWAT compartment? I honestly don't remember it. Nominating Trek for copying them doesn't seem to fall into the "innovation" field...
  • 18 5
 alloy frame is the innovation
  • 8 1
 Quiet year for actual innovation, obvs.
  • 4 0
 @Urwho: Cutting a hole in an aluminium tube is hardly innovative
  • 3 0
 @chrismac70: yeah, maybe should have given them the award for making the knockblock removable instead...
  • 1 0
 @Urwho: No, it's the derivation. Very very different thing.
  • 1 0
 @Urwho: underrated comment.
  • 29 0
 Where is that handlebar alignment tool? This is fixed !!!!!!
  • 1 1
  • 28 1
 Hey Pinkbike. How do the e-bike filters block out this nomination? If the e-bike wins the award, will the filter give it to someone else?
  • 3 0
 If the e-bike wins, the internet will break.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: And a lot of old used RVs are going to set out on trips.
  • 30 7
 "A relatively light e-bike is still an e-bike, but the closer in weight they get to a traditional rig, the more fun they're going to be."

you're sooo close to realizing the idiocy of e-bikes for anything but commuting...
  • 5 5
 OK, you look like a good candidate for my question. If you could take your personal favorite current bike, and without any changes to weight, form factor, performance, or anything at all, you simply had a button that could give you maybe 250W of boost when yo felt you need it...would you take it? Seriously, I really want to know what people who currently despise Ebikes think of this hypothetical. No trolling, no arguing, just asking for an honest and thoughtful answer.
  • 3 2
 An e-bike for me is the difference between:

1. Riding 4mi of road to the trailhead and doing a solid mountain loop if I have 2h of gaps between meetings.

2. Having to load a car and losing a bunch of time climbing steep, 20%+ Bay Area hills for the same loop. This effectively means 3h+, which means I only ride on weekends and end up driving and loading car more.

Which would you pick?
  • 11 2
 I personally would not. I wouldn't take an ebike if it was lighter, came with better components, and was cheaper. It cheating, plain and simple. It's fake biking. It says to people who have put in their time "your efforts don't matter, I just bought my way in".

I just had a kid, so ALL of my buddies are faster than me. I'm 42 and broken from biketrials fails and a shitty career in construction. My body is in constant pain in one form or another at any given time. I will never be as fast as I was, and all the other folks are leaving me in the dust. I still wouldn't ride those things.

I won't ride an ebike until MTBing becomes 100% impossible.. so like maybe when I'm 70. The only people who should be on Ebikes are a) LEGIT OG's who are otherwise destroyed and still have the itch to ride and b) anyone doing trail maintence. All you other fat asses just need to pedal more.
  • 4 1
 @Chuckolicious: I’ll answer that if it’s ok with you. Having test ridden mountain, commuter, and utility ebikes I see their appeal. I still like the feeling of accomplishment pedaling unassisted on my MTB and my next one won’t be electric. But the one after that?... we’ll see. I’m a high mileage 53 year old and I already have to swallow my pride and walk steep climbs that I can still pedal up, but I don’t want my knees to bark at me the next day. I will definitely buy a beast of a utility bike in the future to use like a car. My biggest concern with ebikes of all types is unintended consequences. I have seen a few of those in my lifetime. To finally answer your question; if the weight is negligible enough for those hike a bike situations I inevitably find myself in then the answer is solid maybe/yes. I will however do it begrudgingly because it will be an admission of defeat.
  • 3 0
 @EricHarger: Reasonable answer. Thanks man, from one 53 to another.
  • 7 0
 I respect the question Chuckolicious, and would answer by saying that making something easier doesn't necessarily make it better. Perhaps riders who would take that extra 250w and I are shooting at different targets? I just feel mountain biking is difficult by nature and don't see the need to lower the bar, especially given how ridiculously good regular bikes are these days.

Question for you...What if it was a free 5000W? Would you take that? How many watts before it's not a mountain bike?
  • 1 2
 @FarmeR57: and that's the thing. 5000w isn't out of the realm of possibility! just think about electric cars. the GM EV1 first came out about 25 years ago. it made about 130HP and could go 50mi on a charge. now in 2020 we have Teslas that make 1100HP a range of over 500mi. that's a 10x increase in 25 years! ebikes now put out 500-750w. where will they be in 25 years(or less, since innovation in this space is happening much faster than it did in the 90's)???
  • 1 2
 @FarmeR57: I just put in the wattage of the new strain of light ebikes. My point wasn’t power, it was philosophy. That’s why I was specific in that the hypothetical bike was your favorite regular bike in every respect. That means you never have to push the button if you don’t want to. It’s just an option. I firmly believe that 30lb versions of bikes like the Levo SL will come to pass within 10 years. As to your original question, if combined with my hypothetical 30lb bike, sure. However I would set it to only give me 250 watts and then instead get much more range. But to be serious for a moment, 5000w assist (we have been talking assist, not throttle) would be totally unworkable. You’d flip it with every pedal stroke. ;-)
  • 2 0
 E bikes are stupid and dangerous for commuting, unless your commute is a huge climb or you are 60 years old. They only go 20 mph, which isn't hard to get up to on a road bike on flat terrain. They do accelerate quicker but that just makes them more dangerous. The best use of an e bike is downhill mountain biking, cause it eliminates the truck shuttle.
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: commute any SF or Seattle hills in business attire and try not to arrive sweaty. Try 20mph in a head wind on a utility bike.

So many myopic takes on this topic, but the market really doesn’t seem concerned about the bickering on Pinkbike.
  • 1 1
 @Chuckolicious: Thanks for the reply Chuck and I agree 10 years of improvement will bring about very capable 30lb ebikes. Though imo it's naive to think they won't all eventually have throttles. Assist will die and pedals will be replaced by footpegs because once we have enough power, what will be the point of pedaling?
  • 1 0
 @FarmeR57: Nah man, that would have already happened. Know anything about the "Sur Ron Segment"? Some awesome stuff, based primarily on MTB hardware. I want me one bad, and will likely end up with one soon to do trail maintenance. At least that'll be the excuse. :-D
  • 21 3
 Hey Pinkbike, how much would a user have to pay so you spare us the moped commercials? Seriously.
  • 26 10
 Welcome to a new E-PinkBike for 2021
  • 34 2
 wrong, it's pink-e-bike
  • 5 3
 @lev3000: you're right! And thats a good one Wink
  • 15 0
 A numbered rebound dial....a numbered rebound dial...a numbered rebound dial...
  • 10 0
 "The RW30 rims are made with thermoset carbon..." No, they're made with thermoplastic carbon composite. The polymer is thermoplastic, not thermoset. Thermosets are the non-remeltable polymer used in conventional carbon composite parts on bikes.

It's nice to see an innovation that's good for the planet. Nice article. Smile
  • 2 0
 Thanks for clearing that up!
  • 12 1
  • 5 0
 Agree. Not much in the way of innovation this year. I'd say maybe the vorsprung seccus is probably the most actually innovative thinking that I saw this year.
  • 2 0
 As a fan boy of shimano's cranks I'd say the new direct mounts, but not really innovative just about fkng time
  • 6 0
 "The RW30 rims are made with thermoset carbon, but an advanced polymer is used as a binding agent rather than a more common epoxy."

This sentence is so wrong.

The carbon is not thermoset, the binding agent is. (I suppose you could argue "carbon" here refers to the prepreg sheets (carbon plus binder ready to cut and lay out), but it's strange to refer to the entire prepreg and then immediately start talking about the epoxy/binder/resin by itself, in the same sentence.)

And "thermoset" refers to irreversibly hardening: pretty sure "thermoplastic" ("Thermoplastic materials can be cooled and heated several times without any change in their chemical or mechanical properties.") is what you mean.

Epoxies _are_ advanced polymers ("reaction of polyepoxides with themselves or with polyfunctional hardeners forms a thermosetting polymer"). I think you meant "a thermoplastic polymer binding agent is used rather than a thermoset epoxy"

You got it more right in the linked article. I know for most people 10 months in 2020 is a relatively super long time, but you could at least refer to the original to get the very important definition of thermoset correct.
  • 7 0
 None of these are innovations. They are modest iterative improvements using existing technologies.
  • 7 4
 If carbon fibre manufacturing had suddenly switched to recyclable, it would be the clear winner, but we're talking about one little manufacturer's proprietary tech that they're unwilling to share. So I'll vote custom geo ti shizzle, with integrated storage!
  • 3 0
 But it is best innovation of the year. Just wait for best licensed tech of the year. then trek spec Twat Swat will be the winner
  • 5 2
 I know this is a troll but... What do you mean? Nothing is stopping other manufacturers from using thermoplastic composites in their products. In fact Guerrilla Gravity frames are thermoplastic composite. There are multiple varieties of carbon composite structures that are used by the automotive and aerospace industry but most carbon bike frames/wheels are made with a thermoset epoxy prepreg because the factories/supply chains have been established and it’s expensive to switch to a new process. So Revel has “innovated” by picking a different process then the status quo and figuring out how to adapt it to a bike product. But if you think much composite innovation happens first in the bike industry first you should take at aerospace products. Cheers!
  • 2 4
 @ericolsen: "I know this is a troll but..."

but you continue to write a multi-paragraph response. LOL
  • 6 0
 There is quite a bit of info on the multiple thermoplast carbon processes used in other industries. Its only "new" in biking.

Still, i think it doesn't deserve any kind of award because its mostly greenwashing. Thermoplast carbon is heavier than epoxy, which eliminiates the main reason for using carbon over aluminium in bike applications. If you want to make heavy bike stuff thats easy to recycle, use aluminium.
  • 4 1
 The Rise is lighter than my normal bike. That is impressive.

Recycleable carbon fiber rims. That is also impressive.

Both are pretty big game changers.

The others while cool... aren't quite on the same level (we nominated a hole in the downtube as a top innovation?).
  • 2 0
 Opening that little cover and pulling out a tool from within an alloy frame is profoundly transformative. Still gets me every time.
  • 7 0
 Where is Spec's push bike on this list?
  • 7 0
 Never thought I would see the day Levy would support ebikes
  • 3 0
 I came for the Super Wheel, I leave disapointed....I am also confused about if I am a sheep, a product, a facist and a schofeld level moron all at once... Deore for the win. Wait a second dolores is just Deore spelled with a few extra letters and a few letter missing, It was the Shimano AI program that is winning all the PB prizes....turning off all electronics now.....aAAAAAHHHHHHH too late. Well played Shimano, well played you own me now ....Bah
  • 1 1
 I enjoyed the first comment when the conversation got into capitalism vs socialism and who's caused more deaths. All starting from someone complaining about trail forks asking for $3/month. Mountain bikers are an interesting group to say the least haha.
  • 2 0
 While you could argue it's an interaction not an innovation I'd say treks Alu frame storage wins for me... I'm lucky to have a carbon bike with plenty of nice kit but anything that brings features to a reasonable pricepoint is a win for me
  • 2 0
 First of all props to trek for being the first to do a storage in downtube on alloy bikes... BUT given that basically every bike company is making integrated e bike batteries that pop out a much bigger hole it begs the question, why has it taken so long? Of course it adds weight and cost to the build process so doing without makes alloy bikes better value? from a consumer point it could look like they only give the good stuff to people who can drop the big bucks!!
  • 2 0
 Things I've learned in 2020: trail forks asking for financial support is akin to slavery and robbery, and ebikes trigger a whole lot of people lol. The future will be interesting!
  • 3 1
 I don’t think any of those products are innovative. They are all very established technologies that have been around for years
  • 3 0
 Go into settings and set No E-Bike News for your feed .... Sure hope it works ....
  • 3 0
 Remember when the internet left trolling for the comment section... Not the posts themselves Pepperidge Farm Remembers.
  • 3 1
 And a Gearbox motorisation ? Not a innovation ?

  • 4 1
 Good thing Trek was the first to come up with in bike storage....
  • 1 0
 Can't believe I missed this when it came out! My college capstone project was designing a frame mounted CVT. Cool to see someone actually released one. With the rise of ebikes I could definitely see frame manufacturers going towards frame mounted drivetrains to consolidate designs
  • 1 0
 @cstich: if you already have the power there the turn the planetary, I see it as a no brainier to get rid of the whole derailleur and cassette. And with an ebike it's all there.

Now to get it to go on a non electric would probably take a small battery that recharges itself somehow. There always are those old wheel powered lights that just clamped against the tire!
  • 2 0
 I’m not that into e-bikes because I think they’re ugly. The Rise is the exception.
  • 6 4
 how much do the ebikes weigh with the range extender batteries?
  • 3 2
 40lbs Large. Still pretty funWink not as “fun” as a normal bike though.
  • 1 0
 Last time I rode I'm pretty sure I had exactly as much fun as my friends who fiddled with their phones and have trailforks.
  • 1 4
 Laughing at all the ebike hate coming from shuttle truck/chair lift warrior boys, suddenly turned into strava spandex wearing fitness heroes...Don't worry kids, them ridiculously priced ebikes will eventually come down and I do agree it is retarded to pay more for an ebike than a brand new KTM...
  • 6 6
 And the award for comment section butthurt of the year goes to...
  • 7 10
 PLEASE..... PLEASE give the award to the ebike! It would be a laugh just to see all the buthurt ebike haters go into meltdown lol
  • 5 6
 Lmao seriously, I don't even own one but I'd love to see how much people freak out over that. Who gives a shit, if people want to ride them then let them. I definitely want one in the future, they look amazing and they keep getting better and lighter. Maybe when people can no longer recognize them by looks, people will stop freaking out so bad. Probably not, but ehh..
  • 4 3
 @DylanH93: Of course they will. And they'll disavow any knowledge of their former online selves being ebike haters. Oh how many people on snowboards fell into that same category back in the 90's.
  • 4 4
 @Chuckolicious: It really is amazing how similar ebike haters sound to those old skier dudes from the 90's. Good thing most mountain bikers you'd meet in real life are actually chill and not seething douches.
  • 3 4
 @shagolagal: Totally agree. The vocal minority.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.026213
Mobile Version of Website