April: Good Month or Bad Month?

May 1, 2015
by Richard Cunningham  

Traditionally, April brings in the new cycling season and in North America, that means walking the aisles of the Sea Otter Classic's Expo to get a first look at the trends that will dominate the inevitable barrage of product launches which we will be following closely during the summer months. April usually marks the start of the World Cups, and if the DH at Lourdes was any indication of how the season is going to play out, we'll be installing seat belts on our sofas before the next live feeds. Before I get too far into the story though, I should remind readers that, while April's dramas were juicy bits, some did not end well. So, PB presents the best and worst stories of 4/15.


Anyone in the Market for a New Drivetrain

SRAM and Shimano debut affordable component groups

SRAM started the fire with the announcement of its GX eleven-speed group, which can be had with either a one-by or a two-by crankset, Yes, that means that SRAM has a new front changer and a corresponding left-side shifter for 2015 - a big step backwards in its campaign for one-by-drivetrain domination. At the heart of the GX ensemble is the Full Pin cassette, which dramatically reduced the sum total of the GX's sticker price by eliminating most, if not all of the machining once required to make an X-Dome cassette.

SRAM says that the starting price of GX is $564 - less than half of what an XX1 ensemble runs. GX opens the floodgates for OEM bike makers to deliver near-XX1 performance on a bike that should retail in the neighborhood of $3000 USD. Better still, designers can shovel some of those savings to upgrade suspension products, which have been the weak link of lower-priced trailbikes. GX is clearly targeted to OEM customers, but when the one-by-eleven arrives at bike shops this fall, it should be a hit among cost conscious customers who were considering cobbling up one-by-ten drivetrains.

Truvativ GX-P
Shimano waited until the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, to show its new Deore XT 11-speed group. As expected, Shimano will offer their 11-speed cassette paired with a single, double, or triple crankset, so customers can choose what is best for their ride ("customers," meaning the OEM bike brands who will be making those decisions for you).

For the first time, however, Shimano will offer a wide-range cassette, not quite as wide range as SRAM's, but close enough. The small cog is an eleven tooth, which curtails your top speed range slightly, but not so much that many will care about it. The latest XT group is as beautiful and integrated looking as the Japanese parts maker's recent XTR 9000 release, albeit with a lot less titanium and a bit more steel in the mix. Best news is that the 11 by 42-tooth cassette will retrofit to the new XTR kit. As sweet as XT looks, we don't see many XTR equipped trailbikes in our MY2016 crystal ball. XT pricing around $740 USD for a two-by transmission with no BB, which is significantly less than XTR and well within reason for the high-performance crowd.

Shimano XT 2016

Aaron Gwin to Show Who's the Boss

Four insurmountable seconds at Lourdes

Ask Aaron Gwin how he put almost four seconds on a stacked and hungry pro field down a brutally fast, steep, no-pedal technical course, and he will just smile that "no dice buddy" grin which clearly states that he knows and he ain't tellin' anyone - even his mother. Gwin's massive crash in qualifying should have, if he were a mortal man, taken the edge off of his game for the main event. Evidently, Gwin didn't get that memo. In spite of the super-stiff suspension setup that he chose for his factory Demo, Gwin's race run appeared remarkably smooth and uneventful, and apparently it led announcers to assume that his time would be eclipsed later as the top seeds came across the line.

It was not to be. Gwin occupied the hot seat for the better part of an hour while World Cup Hopefuls filed down the track in search of his magic racing line. The course was holding up. Competitors were laying down smoking runs. Theoretically, the top times should have been bunched within fractions of a second. Finally, with only a handful of riders to go, the announcers seemed disappointed as each split time repeated the inevitable: Gwin was untouchable. In their hearts, they must have known that when Gwin is on song, he races as if he came from another planet. As the Emperor put it: "Now, watch your friends perish as they experience the power of a fully armed and operational death star."
Aaron Gwinn has been pushing limits all weekend here with blazing speeds and creative lines and to say he doesn t badly want the win is an understatement. After blowing out a few corners while carrying too much pace in practice in the morning he took a tumble down the gnarliest section of track in his quali run as well. If he can control the speed he has on track we fully expect to see him at or near the top step on race day.
Gwin rode the straightest possible line down the Lourdes World Cup course, with little regard, it seemed, for what may have been lying in wait for him along the way - and made it seem easy.

Watching "Builder"

If you don't want to ride after viewing this, consider another sport.

Yeah, it was produced by PB staff, and perhaps that should exclude it from positive mention in PB editorial, but this video succeeds where the past three notable and well marketed full-length action features fell short. Shot by Scott Secco, whose passion for building may exceed his devotion to the lens, "Builder" is a simple storyline: we follow notable riders as they construct trails and features specifically for themselves and then ride them. Without belaboring their efforts, we are introduced to a number of construction styles and building techniques - each done by masters of the craft.

We watch in horror as riders far better than ourselves guinea pig stunts without success, and sense their relief when it goes as planned. The editing is crisp, the segments are long enough to fulfil, yet short enough to leave us hungry for the next chapter. Throughout, Secco's video cameras provide luscious, often imaginative perspectives that could only have sprung from the mind of one who has a firm grasp of the four elements that made this feature-length work so compelling. Secco understands the camera, he knows how to dig, he knows how to ride, and like us, he shamelessly watches in awe when a truly gifted rider is performing in his or her element. You won't be disappointed.
Builder movie
Still from Garett Buehler's segment filmed in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

Patent Lawyers

Little guys go after, um, other little guys.

The vacuum left by SRAM and Shimano, when the two drivetrain suppliers decided not to make a wide-range ten-speed cassette to usher their cash-strapped customers into the one-by fold, created a temporary marketplace for quick fixes like OneUp's 42-tooth cassette booster cog and its RAD cage rear derailleur modification. Presently, a number of parts makers offer ten-speed cassette booster kits, but that may not be the case in the near future. OneUp announced this month that it has acquired one or more patents which cover its ten-speed booster cog and an as yet unproduced ten-speed wide-range cassette. OneUp states in its press release that it intends to enforce its intellectual rights.

Oneup Components 42 tooth cog test review Cassette with cog installed
OneUp was granted a US patent for this sprocket design, along with a yet-to-be-produced, wide-range ten-speed cassette.

MRP and e*thirteen made a late-April announcement that the two entities have reached an agreement to share a number of patents that e*thirteen and MRP own for an integrated bash guard on a direct-mount chainguide, and that, using their combined might, they will be sending notice to alleged patent infringers to cease or to capitulate.

e thirteen direct mount chainguide
E*thirteen's direct-mount chainguides use an integrated bash guard that is similar to the one developed by MRP.
Wolf Tooth Components says that they have been granted at least one patent on its special narrow-wide tooth profile, which is news in itself, because SRAM, the folks that originally took the concept to market as an essential component for a one-by drivetrain have not succeeded in obtaining patent protection for their narrow-wide X-Sync sprocket design. To be fair, although Wolf Tooth announced its patent award, the verbiage did not include a course of action.

Wolf Tooth Components sprocket tooth design
Wolf Tooth Components' patent covers its faceted tooth profile and not the larger definition of the narrow-wide concept.

Having been on the designing and manufacturing side of the business, I am completely in support of an inventor's right to protect and profit from his or her creation. In these cases, however, it is almost a given that the only entities that are going to reap a profit from the components in question are patent lawyers. Selling cassettes, cogs and chain guides to the likes of SRAM and Shimano is akin to selling salt water to Samoans, so when the defendants and plaintiffs arrive to argue their cases in court, the battle will be between small-potato parts makers. Lawyers cash in when clients argue and it doesn't take much effort to argue up two hundred grand. So, how many sprockets does one have to sell to stash a quarter of a million dollars in a war chest?

e thirteen
E*thirteen debuted a ten-speed, 11 x 42 cassette at the Sea Otter Classic. We wonder where it falls within the context of OneUP's patents.

The chainguides-for-the-masses era is well behind us. Soon, few mountain bikers will either care about or remember ten-speed drivetrains, and the narrow-wide tooth profile has nearly completed its transition from SRAM's vanguard concept to a common cycling appliance. Unless the color-anodized CNC folks can sell their patents to the industry's wealthiest component suppliers, I suggest that they keep the lawyers out of their piggy banks and make hay while the sun shines.


Injured Downhillers

The number of top contenders who are sitting on the bench is growing quickly.

Stevie Smith may as well become a Devinci ambassador after missing most of the 2014 season and then suffering another foot injury that forced the Canadian hopeful to sit out the first races of 2015. Sam Hill announced that he will be a no-show for the first races of the season. Minnaar is limping through the terrible thumb injury suffered at the Rotoura EWS, Ratboy is not yet 100 percent and Tracy Hannah, who came into this season, smoking fast, is a question mark after separating a shoulder in the final at Lourdes. Gee Atherton's suspected broken wrist that he suffered at Lourdes has been re-evaluated as an aggravated injury suffered earlier, and acute soft tissue damage. He'll be back for round two.

Lourdes was a dream track for DH fans and racers who have been pitching for more challenging courses. The carnage that happened in the lower ranks was not tallied, but the World Cup DH opener must have set a record for the number of awful crashes suffered on a dry course. Judging by popular sentiments - that the new French race course set the bar for how a "real" World Cup DH track should be constructed - we anticipate that consecutive venues will compete to raise the levels of technical difficulty and raw speed at their races. If so, Stevie should have plenty of company on the bench.
Not something you would see in every sport. Today s winner Emmeline Ragot who holds a physical therapy degree taping up her rival Tracey Hannah s separated shoulder just after the podium presentation.
Lourdes winner Emmeline Ragot tapes up rival Tracey Hannah's separated shoulder. Hannah was on pace for an easy win before binning hard. Her margin was large enough to recover and finish fifth.

Fat Bike Haters

Plus-size wheels and tires threaten to flatten conventional trailbike sales.

Plus-sized wheels and tires were on the tip of every bike and accessory maker’s tongues at the Sea Otter Classic – the Central California bike festival that has evolved to become the first and most important industry show in the USA. For those who don’t know or haven’t cared to find out, plus-sized wheels and tires are smaller-width derivatives of their monster-sized Fat Bike counterparts. Rim widths are in the neighborhood of 40 millimeters and tire widths vary from 2.8 inches to 3.5 inches (70 to 90mm).

Trek Stache 9 29 hardtail 2016
Trek's Stache 9, 29-plus hardtail represents an effort to establish the mid-size fat-bike in the performance trailbike category.

Presently, plus-sized bike and component design is all over the map, with wheels and tires being offered in 26, 27.5 and 29-inch sizes. Bike makers are struggling to find a unified voice with which to purpose the plus bike. On the furthest ends of the spectrum, Trek is selling it as the rebirth of the high performance hardtail trailbike, while Rocky Mountain is pushing it as the ultimate back-country touring fun machine. But, most of the plus bikes (real and imagined) at Sea Otter were shamed into the nefarious realm of “fat bike lite.” The truth is, nobody, even the mighty Trek, knows where plus is headed – as evidenced by the ironic surety of everyone's marketing spiels.

Rocky Mountain s Sherpa
The trailbike of the future? Rocky Mountain's 27.5-plus Sherpa is being billed as a do-anything, go-anywhere back-country explorer.

Don’t make the mistake of passing plus off as a revenge of the nerds. All the key suspension fork suppliers are on board, which represents a huge investment on their part, and is the strongest indicator within the industry that the concept has legs. With mountain bike sales relatively stabilized worldwide, the success of plus bikes, however, must come at the expense of sales in other categories, and the most likely losers are lightweight, 100 to 120-millimeter-travel, dual-suspension cross-country trailbikes. They are too chubby to seriously compete in XC events, while enduro's self-destructive evolution into a "Hyper-technical He-man slugfest in the woods," has eliminated the category from being a viable competitor there. So, the short-travel XC trailbike has been relegated into the recreational back-country bicycle that we used to refer to as the "mountain bike."
Meet the Dragon Slayer 27.5 offering from Jamis that is aimed at the bike touring marketplace. Blackburn also equipped all the bags on this bike.
Jamis' Drangonslayer 27.5-plus steel-framed hardtail, outfitted as a bagger with Blackburn accessories, depicts the popular opinion of where the plus-sized bike is headed.

Traditionalists will argue otherwise, but, the plus bike promises to be a far more capable and easier to ride option for that role than its predecessors, and it may be able to do so at a more economical price. Fat bikes taught us that huge, low-pressure tires can empower a rider to roll up and over almost any terrain, while doubling as an effective suspension. On the opposite side of the spectrum, 140 to 160-millimeter-travel enduro racing bikes taught us that, if we were willing to pay the premium price for technology, a lightweight carbon chassis with supple suspension and wide, super-tacky tires could be trusted to do the same job, but with greater precision and at a much more exhilarating pace.

Sea Otter 2015
Specialized is also on board in the performance realm of mid-sized fat, with a 27.5-plus hardtail called the Fuse.

The unrealized potential of a trailbike designed to take full advantage of the plus-sized wheel is to find the happy medium between the two extremes: A supple, low-pressure tire that can deftly grip and traverse almost any surface, combined with a basic short-stroke suspension chassis that is enhanced by the wheel's small-bump sensitivity to provide performance that, at present, can only be obtained by employing expensive, long-stroke damping systems. Plus bikes are little more than curiosities today, but they have the potential to displace all of the categories that span the gap between dedicated XC racers and the 140 to 160-millimeter-travel enduro bike.

Riders Who Didn't Get Invited to Cruz Fest

When have you seen this many pros smiling at the same time?

The Fest series is still searching for a marketplace, but that may be a good thing. Riders are invited to each location to participate in the building process and then session the lines together for a number of days. Winners are chosen by the riders themselves - a practice which should be included in all judged freestyle competitions. Cruz Fest was staged on a private ranch near Santa Cruz, California, where Andreu Lacondeguy took top honors, and a number of the world's top bike-slayers had the time of their lives riding perfect dirt among friends. Apparently, professional freeriding is still alive and well. The only thing bad about Fest is not being there. Check out the full story and the videos.

Cruzfest 2015
CruzFest Photo Epic

CruzFest Photo Epic

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 103 5
 First there was 26", then came 29", but they made the middle size of 27.5 and ditched 26".
First there were 'regular sized tires', then came 'fat bikes', but then then made 'plus size' tires...
...and ditched regular sized tires'???? ... oh dear....
  • 252 4
 Good thing about + bikes they make you scroll down faster to Fest Series.
  • 29 213
flag zepper (May 1, 2015 at 15:10) (Below Threshold)
 I think Gwin won because he had those 27.5" wheels on his bike.
  • 78 5
 zepper I am predicting the largest down vote in history
  • 12 2
 The fat bike revolution is outstanding. I predict a whole bunch of band wagon jumping and a whole raft of very reasonably priced semi-new choices on PB Buy n Sell. Woo hoo! Gotta go deposit into my PayPal account.........
  • 18 23
flag StanMarsh (May 1, 2015 at 18:41) (Below Threshold)
 I scrolled down to Cruz Fest faster then I asked myself WTF, why is Cruz Fest in the shit category? Because some people didn't get invited? I am confused. Cruz Fest should be first on this page, I don't give a f*ck about Shimano and Sram making new affordable trail bike components. Fest was best for April, not even close.
  • 11 2
 @StanMarsh - Did you read the last line? It says the only thing bad about Fest was not being there. CruzFest was so good that it was a bad month for riders that didn't get to go.
  • 2 4
 Sarcasm people!
  • 3 2
 oh man!! I hate it when you click a "below threshold" expecting something juicy, especially -138, WOW this guy musta really blew a load all over the biking community... LET'S CHK THIS OWWWT!!!
Ugh what a let down: the all too familiar fool that brought a broom and a black cat to a witch-hunt, prompting the torches and pitchforks to be thrust upon one of their own Frown ... you said "27.5" ...a wheel size?!!? are you crazy?!!?
You might as well be uttering a spell to cast drought upon everyone's farmland.
Oh boy oh boy I bet someone knocked fat bikes in this thread... I'm scrollin for it!
  • 92 9
 I'm sorry pinkbike marketers but I don't think fat bikes are threatening the conventional trail bike. They are more of a niche thing. Anyway, April was great!
  • 18 105
flag Thisisnotatest (May 1, 2015 at 13:13) (Below Threshold)
 You obviously havent ridden a fat bike.
  • 34 3
 Yeah, I straight lol'd at that.
  • 39 15
 Fat bikes are stupid. Hey let's throw tires on a mountain bike that cost as much as car tires and weigh almost as much, then take the suspension away, so you have a bike that rides and accelerates terribly!
  • 25 9
 They're secretly fun though
  • 26 5
 Simply put bigger tires, whether it is a 29+, 650+, 26x4.x, make it easier to roll over _____(fill in the blank). They are not about speed but about enabling a rider to bolt-on technical ability. For more advanced riders they just may allow you to push the envelope of what you thought was possible. They are really fun in there own way but if you like bikes as much as I do, and I suspect most people on this site are "bike nerds," most anything on 2 wheels is fun. Whether or not we're willing to admit in a public forum however is a different story...
  • 7 0
 There are now so many bikes that every bike is a niche bike. Pretty soon we will be like surfers with a huge quiver of 2-3 bikes for each trail we ride depending on weather.
  • 12 0
 "Ladies, ladies one at a time"
  • 12 0
 I'm running 2.35 tyres on my trail bike because 2.5 is too burly. Why the hell would I want to go plus sized?
  • 2 2
 I thought my 2.35 Vigilantes were plus sized..???
Did I get any on me?
Am I outta da club?
Awwww cumon guys, it was only one time!
And and and i didn't really like it all that much...
"–que FBG++++"
  • 1 0
 In the northeast the Fat bike is great. 5" tires on groomed snow is hella fun and I'm coming out of winter stronger than ever... it's a whole different experience. That said the only place Plus size tires have for me is a summer wheelset for my 26" fatbike that can fit 29x3" tires and be under 27lbs. Super grip for a hardtail and the 3" and lower pressure makes for a more forgiving ride for a hardtail on our northeast rocky rooty terrain. It will however never replace my full suspension trail bike
  • 50 12
 Those plus size wheels can go fuck right off. We have enough bastard wheel sizes without this absolute bullshit.
  • 25 5
 Still bullshit. Don't conform to the industry telling you "it's the next big thing". We have had a gut full of that bollox for the last 2 years. Just don't buy it.....that will teach the f*ckers.
  • 3 2
 Hallelujah bruvva!
  • 19 4
 I didn't buy 29 or 27.5.... didn't stop anyone from killing off all the 26 bikes. Companies these days don't care if you buy or don't. They will just force you to buy when they stop making parts for the bikes you ride now.
  • 3 4
 It will teach them, though. Believe it or not, these companies want to make money. If their product isn't selling, they'll stop producing it. I don't want plus sized wheels either, but there's no use in getting upset over it.
  • 11 7
 @nismo325 Well unfortunately for you, most consumers have shown that they do want 27.5 and 29 bikes. Do you realize how ridiculous it is to say companies don't care if people buy their products? How else are they going to make money? And there are still plenty of 26" parts, so I don't know what you're talking about.
  • 11 2
 @dlxah oh lots of 26 parts? lol 90% of new rims don't come in 26, most new forks are 27.5 or 29 and have you seen any new production bikes coming out in 26? in basically a year the industry made 27.5 and 29 the only options. yes us 26 riders have a few part options left but even they are going fast. even when satacruz v10s where still wining races on 26 they made the jump to 27.5 because thats when everyone else was doing.
  • 13 0
 It only takes a few min going threw pinkbike to see that there are still a ton of people on 26 wheels that feel they are being forced into buying bigger wheels.
  • 5 9
flag dlxah (May 1, 2015 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, but that's only some of the new stuff. You can still buy plenty of replacement parts, just maybe not the latest and greatest tech. I'm guessing the reason companies are doing that isn't to force you to buy a new frame, it's because 26 is a slowly dying market. And to add to that affect, many (most?) 26 riders are probably trying to ride on a tighter budget. There's probably only a small portion of 26 riders who are willing to pay for the latest and greatest upgrades for their 26er. Research and development is extremely expensive for new high end mtb parts. They have to sell a certain number of parts to cover R&D before they even start making profit, and these companies probably just don't think they'll be able to make a profitable investment developing new 26" parts.

Take Maxxis for example. Many of their new tires are not being offered in 26". But that doesn't mean they're trying to force you to buy a whole new bike. They probably couldn't care less if you upgrade to a 27.5 or keep your 26, because they aren't making money on the new frame and fork you'll have to buy. So why would they try to force people riding 26" wheels to upgrade their entire bike? And even if they did want to, then why would they keep producing any 26" tires at all? The reason they aren't developing new 26" tires is because they probably don't think it's worth the investment for the initial R&D compared to 27.5 and 29, which are currently expanding markets. They still produce plenty of older 26" tire designs, though, just maybe not the latest and greatest.
  • 8 4
 650b is overrated. Let's see a 180-200mm travel 650b bike with 16.5" or shorter chainstays and I might change my mind. There are not that many 26in bikes with those specs (session park, kona precept 200, banshee darkside come to mind) as it is, and putting on larger wheels makes the bike feel slightly more sluggish due to cs length.
  • 10 2
 They made 26 a dying market by pushing it out and because i'm on 26 inch wheels i have less money to spend? haha thats the biggest load of BS. I bought one of the last stumpys they made in 26 because i didn't like 29. not because i'm on a lower budget, they cost the same when i bought it brand new. I'm not going to waste my time convincing all the new 27.5 fan boys that they are sheep. Just keep doing what the industry tells you to do bud.
  • 5 2
 I'm not down-talking 26ers at all guys. I'm trying to objectively explain why companies aren't developing new 26" parts. It sucks, but that's just the she goes. I absolutely agree that 26" wheels have a lot of advantages, and if it were up to me, there'd be just as many 26" options as there are 27.5" and 29".
  • 7 0
 Just got a new banshee rune with 26" drop outs, i've got 4 26" wheelsets ...i won't get another one Just because it's the latest and "greatest" BS or for That 6% rollover thing.
  • 19 5
 bikes are bikes. If you can't find one you like among the ridiculous variety available, that's on you. If you can find a bike you like, but you are still angry about there being even more kinds of bikes other than the kind you like, you're just a jerk.
  • 4 7
 27.5 is the perfect size for me. Even before they started coming out I was hoping they would make an in between size. Now, I'm not saying they should have stopped supporting the 26 but for me anyway, I would never want to go back to a 26 and would only want a 29er for certain conditions. But this plus size stuff doesn't make much sense other than for those who want a cheaper bike with little to no suspension and don't care much about performance. Hopefully the industry doesn't focus too much on it.
  • 3 0
 Just think ten years from now, Buying certin bike parts for that bike that was "the next big thing" is about as awsome as trying to find a 24" Dh tire For my Bighit that i bought 10 years ago....theres just not alot of choices
  • 1 0
 Ibis still makes 26s
  • 3 0
 ...not to mention hub sizes...
  • 2 1
 Lol, I predicted getting down-votes for voicing my personal like for 27.5. These 650b haters are intense!
  • 36 1
 Great month for me! Got to spend a week in Moab/fruita and I got my first DJ bike!
  • 10 0
 I got my first DJ bike on Tuesday too!
  • 8 0
 I've only had 2 bad wrecks so far! one where I landed on my tall bone, and the other where I landed with my throat on my handlebar and my saddle on my pelvic area. . .nothing broken, so still good!
  • 6 0
 it would have been a good month if my bike was working Frown
  • 2 0
 Sold my DJ bike to help pay for a trailbike but DJ bikes are still such a good time
  • 2 0
 my bike is gettiiing fixed today yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy @identiti124
  • 1 0
 On April 1st I broke my navicular bone in a mountain bike wreck. April sucks and so do all of you. OK, sorry I didn't mean it's just that I haven't been on a bike in over 30 days and I'm grumpy.
  • 35 4
 I feel like Plus size tired bikes are going to intrigue the older rider market. If you are 50+ and your prostate is hanging on for dear life, your lower back is shot and your body just ain't what it used to be but you are looking to either get into mountain biking or just reviving an old love these bikes are gonna be just the thing for you. These bikes are very capable climbers and make for a very stable, predictable and cooshy ride for the descents.

Or I could be completely wrong and in that case... f*ck it, I'm not gonna buy one so I really don't care... screw you guys! haha
  • 9 1
 I think you're right...and that market segmet spends a lot of cash on bikes.
  • 15 13
 I'm about to buy a steel hardtail all mountain 29er. And I'm sure as hell gonna throw some 27.5 rims with 27.5+ tires on there, and it's gonna be fun as hell...
  • 3 1
 And as RC alluded- a good replacement for FS XC beginners. Those tires will hide the trail chatter cheap suspension won't, and the bike isn't gonna track precisely or go fast anyways....
  • 6 1
 @brockfisher05 - I do see a lot of more mature folks on the chubbies more than groms.
I did ride an obese bike for a bit and it was quite fun
For me though, you'll have to pry my Camber, Enduro, and Demo from my tightly clenched butt cheeks before I give up those bad boys.
Ain't democracy sweet?
  • 7 1
 Well, I'm an older rider, 57 this summer and my new bike is a Warden. Perfect bike for an old man. Climbs well, goes down like crazy, forgiving for when my mind wanders, and plush on the old joints. + looks cool but are probably a 2nd bike for most, like a single-speed. Hmm, 27.5+ single-speed....
  • 3 1
 50+ isn't that old if you take care of yourself.
  • 30 0
 i had my first official shart when i was tying my shoes to leave for work one morning this month...
  • 30 1
 You're not a man until you have shit yourself in public.
  • 7 0
 I became a man when i was about 12 minutes old!
  • 3 0
 And 12 minutes ago, judging from that poobutt stanky stank! Fukn lucky guy enjoy moab
  • 2 0
 ...shit. Hey max
  • 21 2
 i dont think enough is being mentioned about the new XT 11-42 cassette being able to fit on ANY standard 8/9/10speed freehub body. No matter how cheap SRAM's 11speed options become, unless they ditch the 10tooth cog, you will need to buy an XD driver for your hub. XD draivers can cost around $150 making the cost of even the new GX series far most costly than the new XT. $150 is not worth 1 less tooth on the smallest cog of my MTB bike...

Shimano 11speed ALL THE WAY!
  • 2 0
 Also, it says "E*thirteen debuted a ten-speed, 11 x 42 cassette at the Sea Otter Classic. We wonder where it falls within the context of OneUP's patents."
That's a 9-42 cassette. Pretty big difference actually.
  • 4 1
 I think we will see a bunch SRAM users converting to Shimano XT 11-42 cassettes because they're more cost affective. I think SRAM will have to respond with lowering their costs or losing out.......I see the market share turned back in Shimano's favor once XT 11 speed hits the streets. I know SRAM has released a more cost effective cassette but it's not XT level.
  • 3 0
 That's true, I'm really excited to see the 11 speed XT stuff, the new groupset absolutely knocks it outta the park. Still, you have to admit SRAM has the best cassette out there if you're willing to put down the money. It's steel so it will last a long time, and it's still 30% lighter than even XTR.
  • 19 0
 Holy shit, I take a 8 month break from MTB and there's two new f*cking wheel sizes?

Bike industry, U WOT M8.
  • 11 1
 Good/bad month for me. I retired my aging ass from pro dh racing!I was never very good,but i enjoyed the frustrating journey of racing guys half my age and trying to push my limits for at least a few years
But,its run its course and time to move on to things that hopefully dont require as much medical interventionSmile
  • 9 1
 Bad month for me. Had a big off and wrapped myself round a tree. It doesn't matter how many times you ride your local trails, they can still bite you when you least expect it.
  • 10 0
 Much respect to Emmeline for helping out a fellow competitor, I admire you even more Smile
  • 8 2
 Gotta take offense to the "chainguides-for-the-masses era is well behind us" statement. If you haven't noticed, the usage of two and three-ring drivetrains is diminishing, replaced more and more by 1x drivetrain options. Whereas in previous times chainguides were pretty much solely used for downhill and freeride bikes, today you can see them on virtually every kind of bike. Even World Cup XC racers? Yup. So it's actually an expanding market. Sure, not everyone needs a guide, but there wasn't a time when everyone did (this "for-the-masses era").
  • 2 0
 They forget how smashing up $100 chain rings on a blown tech move was played out 15 years ago. And when a bash + guide is only a few grams heavier than just the bash and gives 100% chain retention, it's pretty much a no brainer.
  • 10 1
 Best thing of April by far was Cruzfest
  • 5 1
 Without a doubt, been checking pinkbike every hour for the past week to see if a full video edit has come out!!
  • 3 0
 If I say that patents, overall, are bad for the industry and the economy as a whole I will get downvoted. If I say that the Fest series makes up for ALL the downs in April I will get upvoted. Seriously though, the Fest series should be the future of competitive non-racing.
  • 5 1
 Started out great but ended up bad. I went over the bars, broke my Scapula and tore my Rotator cuff. Down and out for up to four months.
  • 4 0
 So is an upvote good here, or bad?
  • 2 0
 Soooo large volume non fat tires are new? We did have 2.7 DH tires many years ago and a 2.5 Nevegal is pretty damn big... how much bigger are these plus tires when you figure in the complete lack of any standards for measuring tire volume?

A soft bouncy tire without rebound control is going to replace a proper suspension system? No wonder the big guys can't figure out how to market these things they know there is no real need for them. Fat bikes do have a purpose for snow sand and other soft surfaces but no one is suggesting they are a replacement for a high performance trail bike in normal conditions.

Next up... multi gear cranks are back although they never went away at Shimano... I guess you can have a front derailleur with 11 speed after all or you can have 9 speed saint or 7 speed Sram X1 or is it X01, you know the DH group. Not mentioned is the new dual range cassette approach that is the next idea for trying to get 1 x11 to actually give the masses the total range with manageable steps they really need and want.

Sram offering up GX 11 speed with an FDR isn't a step backwards its recognition their 1x parade never has and never will really serve the masses. Pedaling efficiency over the widest range of conditions is what is truly faster. When you are forced to hammer to big a gear or spin out to low a gear you loose efficiency. A little extra weight for the FDR cable and shifter to be able to pedal efficiently in the right more of the time will always be faster and more efficient especially on long rides. The 1x parade has peaked and we'll see a return to more chain rings, hopefully fewer cogs and much better quieter, smoother and more efficient chain lines.
  • 2 1
 Right down the middle for me. Got to ride Black rock mountain in Oregon for the first time and got some good riding done in Colorado. Having fun shredding my new Nomad was good. Dealing with weather and having to cancel my trip to Fruita was not so good in April.
  • 4 0
 This 11-42 cassette from E-thirteen has an interesting 9 tooth smallest cog I noticed. Very interesting.
  • 1 0
 So its really a 9 - 42 cassette?
  • 1 0
 I think they just didn't have a pic so they used the 9-42
  • 2 0
 Yep 9-42. The jump between gear seems reasonable. I hope there won't be issues of dropped chain with this small cog. If not then riding with a single chain won't be a compromise anymore.
  • 2 0
 I'm not a fan of the plus sized tires and still wish the 1x drivetrains were cheaper. I still wouldn't call them "affordable" considering they are less complex than 2x or 3x systems but typically cost twice as much.
  • 1 0
 27+ will come into my brandnew Speedfox02 still when Schwalbe brings the 2.8" Nobby Nic!
Also will be a 29" AMClassic/tune-wheelset for the fast hometrail round... ;-)
with just a switch of my wheelset (not a new bike!) i broaden my capabilities. So why not?!
  • 1 0
 I feel like I'm hanging on. 51 years old with a nice selection of 26" wheeled bikes, DH, AM, XC and hardtail and still able to ride them, well just about anyway. What do I do? Ride them until they break and replace with 27.5? Take a hammer to them and claim on the insurance? Stock up with parts for the time when there are none left and I'm still not too old to get out there? Sell them now and get virtually nothing for them? Or maybe just stop worrying about it.
  • 2 0
 From the link posted to the wolf tooth website it looks like their patent application is pending That only means they have filed for a patent, not that it has been granted.
  • 4 1
 April ruled because they announced Whistler opens earlier (tomorrow!). Whoop.
  • 1 0
 April sucked!! I found out my fox dhx rc4 compression settings don't work and I either have to wait to get the new dhx2 or spend $300 to fix the rc4.
  • 4 1
 Everyone should enjoy the pleasure of riding a plus sized model.
  • 2 1
 Well... Here on the eastcoast we got record amounts of rain in April, so thumbs down in that category
  • 3 1
 April sucked for me as I broke my collar bone
  • 3 0
 Fist bump... You and me both, dude (and mine on my birthday of all days). Heal up fast! Smile
  • 4 2
 Ride your damn bike! Size doesn't matter!
  • 8 0
 They say size doesnt matter.......... But lets be honest here.
  • 7 0
 Its not the size of your wheels that matter, it's how you work the suspension!
  • 1 0
 The best part of April was getting a new Transition. Best decision I have made, yet again.
  • 1 0
 Best part was picking up my new giant glory
  • 1 0
 I miss the print version of Dirt mag on this list as well as in my mailbox...
  • 1 0
 Any month that wcdh happens is good! Outside of sports, the world isn't doing so good tho.
  • 1 1
 Personally for me what I viewed as a bad point for April was the lack of coverage for Lourdes DH. But plus side red bull TV is still free.
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 It was alright. Not the best not the worst
  • 1 0
 Nice section, keep it I like it
  • 1 0
 Was there no "Fails for your Friday"?
In that case April sucked...
  • 1 0
 iam a 29er and fat bike hater!!!hahahah
  • 1 0
 I broke my ankle and missed riding half the month
  • 1 0
 Where can one watch Builder??
  • 2 1
 No one cares!
  • 6 8
 I feel like I'm reading MountainBike Fiction magazine.
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