A little over two years ago, Pivot released the Switchblade, a 135mm bike designed to work with either 29” or 27.5+ wheels. A carbon frame, roomier front center, moderately slack head – the Switchblade fell right in line with a number of other do-it-all bikes that hit the market around the same time. Except for one thing – the rear wheel spacing. The Switchblade uses 157 x 12mm spacing, which was previously reserved primarily for downhill bikes, but Pivot decided to pair it with a trail bike width bottom bracket shell and cranks.
There's more to the story, though; Pivot also worked with hub manufacturers to create hubs with wider flange spacing than before in order to create a better spoke bracing angle, and a result, a stiffer, stronger wheel. The concept was called Super Boost Plus 157, a name meant to poke a little fun at the constantly changing hub standards. The claimed benefits of Super Boost include the ability to create bikes with short chainstays and plenty of tire clearance, along with the aforementioned increased wheel stiffness. Sound familiar? You're right – those are the same benefits that were touted when Boost 148, which uses a 148 x 12mm axle, was first introduced.
At first, it seemed like Super Boost was going to be a feature found solely Pivot's mountain bikes – after all, most companies had just finished making the switch to Boost 148. But then Knolly announced that they would be updating their entire lineup to 157TRAIL (their name for Super Boost), and not long after that Devinci released the new Troy, which also had 12 x 157mm spacing.
Will Boost 157 replace Boost 148? It's sill too soon to say for sure, but it does seem to be gaining some traction. Keep reading to see what a selection of key players had to say about this topic.
"Where do you see the Super Boost 157 standard going in the future? Will it become the new norm, or is it going to remain a relatively small blip on the radar?"Duncan Riffle – MTB PR and Media Coordinator, SRAM
Noel Buckley – Founder, Knolly BikesTravis Ott – Marketing Manager, Trek Bikes Chris Cocalis – Founder, Pivot Cycles Craig Richey – Director of Marketing, Race Face & Easton Cycling Peter Zawistowski – Director of Engineering, Yeti CyclesJoe Buckley – Mountain Bike Category Manager & Jason Chamberlain – Principal Engineer, Specialized Bicycles