Dear Bike Industry - Opinion

Aug 25, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
I am not a marriage counselor. Nor am I an engineer. So maybe you should take what I’m saying here with a pound of salt, but I’m going to say it anyway—I wish the bike industry would get together, talk things over, find some common ground and get on the same f@cking page when they roll out the next big thing.

I’m not against progress; I just think the way we go about this evolution-thing is creating a world of prematurely incompatible parts and burnt-out riders.


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PROGRESS DOESN’T SUCK
First, let me state for the record, that I am a-okay with the inexorable march of progress. Bikes change. In general, they get better. I know a lot of readers will disagree with me on that score, but really, it’s hard to deny.

I rode a 28-pound, 6.7-inch (170-millimeter) travel bike up several miles of steep, taint-mauling mountain the other day and not once did I think “This bike should be lighter or pedal more efficiently.” Not once. Calling that bike a “rocket” would be overstating the matter, but, sweetbabyvishnu, that long-travel beast climbed better than most trail bikes from six years ago. And on the way down? It was damn near as capable as a full-on downhill bike.

A 28-pound, park bike that you’d happily tackle all-day trail rides on? No shuttles or chairlifts required? You can sign me up for that shit all day. And, yes, we have progress to thank for that.

Having purchased my first mountain bike back in 1988, I can tell you that all those classic retro bikes may look cool, but are actually about as awesome to tote around as a ten-gallon sack of crap.


BUT AT WHAT RATE SHOULD THINGS EVOLVE?
So, yeah, change is good. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be more intelligent about how we change mountain bikes. The rate at which bikes and parts become incompatible with one another today is blinding. You buy a bike today and tomorrow there’s a whole new wheelsize, bottom bracket or axle standard popping up that renders what you bought…well, not obsolete—you can keep riding that thing and having just as much fun on it—but when you inevitably taco a wheel or destroy a fork, you find your options radically reduced.

Manufacturers might trickle out parts from the “old” standard for a couple years, but make no mistake, the pipeline on that stuff will clamp down right quick. Suppliers, distributors and bike shops can’t carry all those "legacy" drivetrains, tires, wheels and forks for long. At least, not in the numbers or variety that riders will demand. It’s not cost-effective. At some point (and that point rolls around faster and faster each year) you’re going to have a much harder time finding 26-inch wheels, tires, anything with a 142x12 rear axle or a non-Boost 110 fork.

Again, I understand that things change and I wholeheartedly embrace that change. The rate of change and the proliferation of “standards” that hate one another, however, has gotten out of hand and this, I wholeheartedly believe, is because so many companies are operating in relative isolation, pushing out new parts that are incompatible with everyone else’s parts and, moreover, aren’t as fully evolved as they could be.

Charles Darwin
Evolution doesn't suck.



X
Wider flanges, more stiffness, better strength...could "Super Boost 157" be a better solution than Boost 148? On paper it looks that way. Either way, however, it would have been great if more companies in the bike industry had collectively put their heads together on this one.

OKAY, HERE’S AN EXAMPLE
Consider Boost 148. I am not opposed to Boost. At all. It makes sense. I understand that Boost 148 rear spacing pisses people off, but when wheel sizes grew bigger and spokes grew longer, wheels got weaker and flexier. This particularly affected rear wheels, which, thanks to being dished, have unequal spoke tension—the bane of wheelset durability.

Boost 148 spreads the hub flanges apart six millimeters, which improves the spokes’ bracing angle. The end result? Stiffer and stronger wheels. It’s impossible to argue with that. Really. You may not like that Boost suddenly outdated the expensive 142x12 wheelset you just bought, but it’s math. Not only did Boost 148 make for stronger wheels, it also allowed for shorter, wider chainstays to co-exist with larger tires. If you like to descend and you like tight trails, these are obvious wins. If you want to go plus-size with your tires, it opens up your options there as well.

So, yay, for Boost 148.

But here’s the thing—Why did we stop at 148? Why not go wider? I was one of many editors who asked Trek why they didn’t simply bypass the Boost 148 middle ground and go to downhill spacing instead. Trek’s thinking was that Boost 148 improved things without screwing up Q-factor or requiring entirely new cranksets and bottom brackets. You could shift the chainline outboard 3 millimeters by simply adopting crankset spiders with 3-millimeters more offset.

That logic seems sound. They (Trek and SRAM) were innovating in a way that didn’t require as much wholesale change. In fact, that sounds downright compassionate. And I think Trek’s engineers came to that conclusion sincerely. Hell, it seemed reasonable to me at the time. As it did to every editor out there.

But then Pivot shows up a year later with Super Boost 157, which affords even more rear wheel stiffness and strength, more tire clearance and still doesn’t jack-up your Q-factor or require entirely new cranks or bottom brackets.

I’m looking at the landscape of change here and it appears that Pivot’s use of older downhill spacing affords riders more of the benefits (stiffness, durability) and more flexibility (in terms of tire choice). Boost 148 works, but could Boost 157 work better? That’s the question. Frankly, it’s too early to call it, but here’s where I loop back to my premise: What if representatives from the bike industry got together and talked this shit over before they pulled the trigger? I’m guessing we’d have fewer “standards”; that would be a very good thing because right now, shit is changing so fast and furiously that riders are afraid of buying a new bike, fork or wheelset.

Why would anyone, for instance, dump a thousand bucks into a fork, for instance, when it might suddenly be incompatible with front wheels in a year or two? And wheelsets? Who in their right mind spends a grand on a wheelset after seeing 27.5 wheels with 142 axles enjoy the half-life of a fruit fly? I hear people say it all the time, “I’ll buy a new bike when things settle down.”

Well, things aren’t going to settle down. Ever. That isn’t a problem, in and of itself (again, that’s just progress and progress is thoroughly kick ass). But the rate of change? That’s gonna bite the bike industry in the ass, sooner rather than later. Riders are losing confidence in the very worthiness of upgrading their bikes and parts. And if that sounds too touchy-feely for the bike industry, let me be plain: A loss in consumer confidence is going to cut into the bike industry’s bottom line.

vernon felton wrecked hippies
For the record, I'm not confusing the bike industry with a hippie commune.

JUST A PIPE DREAM?
I’m not entirely naïve. I also understand that the reason companies don’t get together over tea and share their trade secrets is that—no shit—they are competing against one another in a free market.

Innovation sells a whole lot of bikes, so why would anyone give up their goods to the very companies that are trying to squeeze them out of the market place? Fair question.

I’m not, however, suggesting that Mike Sinyard of Specialized jump on a flight to Wisconsin and divulge his latest frame designs to John Burke at Trek. I’m neither stoned nor crazy. All I’m saying is that if one bike company is going to come up with a wider axle dimension or a widget that births all sorts of proprietary offspring, that they talk it over with a couple other companies first. Having more minds poring over such a thing would result in fewer half-steps and more breathing room between “advances” that render everyone’s bike incompatible.

I know what I’m saying here sounds crazy. The marketplace is not a hippie commune or a 1960-s style love-in. I get that. I’m not suggesting that companies give up their trade secrets, I’m just saying that when we start mulling the idea over of changing a “standard” that we put our heads together and come up with the best solution—one that benefits both companies and riders.

The bike industry has tried to do this before. It’s not entirely without precedent. I remember an Interbike (I think it was back in 2000), for instance, at which fork manufacturers met and decided which brake mount to go with—international standard or post mount. Sadly, they went “international standard”. It took another six or seven years to realize that Manitou was right about the superiority of the post-mount system and, yes, this whole historical tangent sort of invalidates what I’m saying here about the wisdom of talking things over, but, hey, at least they tried. I’m just asking that we at least attempt it.

Dear bike industry, do it for the children. Or the kittens. Or the dolphins. Or the long-term profitability. Take your pick. I don’t really care what the motivation is here, just do it. Get on the same page.


wrecked vernon felton
A kitten dies every time a new press-fit bottom bracket is invented. Save the kittens.



MENTIONS: @vernonfelton




340 Comments

  • + 398
 "A kitten dies every time a new press-fit bottom bracket is invented. Save the kittens."

Gold!
  • - 30
flag chrisingrassia (Aug 25, 2016 at 17:02) (Below Threshold)
 oh sure, but puppies are OK to sacrifice!!! Ppssshhh...
  • + 191
 I just press-fitted a kitten into my BB, quietened it down for a while, but then it started making a weird noise.
  • + 57
 #catlivesmatter
  • - 27
flag chrisingrassia (Aug 25, 2016 at 18:23) (Below Threshold)
 @davidsimons: was it a grinding noise? I'm familiar with that. It's the skull.
  • + 18
 Waiting for a comeback of Giant infamous overdrive 2 headset.
  • + 30
 This article hits home for me. Went to Downieville, got a flat, and one bike shop had zero 26'' tires and the other had only one! I guess I'll continue to shop online and bring everything I need instead of relying on local bike shops.
  • + 15
 @abzillah: Exactly. Split open a tire 26" tire at DH resort last year on my first run and nobody nearby really had anything I could replace it with. Drove 6h back home. Now, tires are usually quite common but if its a proprietary shock or an unusual part failure you're usually shit outta luck since no bike shop carries anything anymore (and I can't blame them). It adds an extra stress to road trips and road trips are supposed to be fun.
  • + 22
 @davidsimons: Ah, yes, the Pressed Feline 30 bottom bracket, commonly known as PF30.
  • - 8
flag tblore (Aug 26, 2016 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 @abzillah: that's rough, unfortunately 26 is going away my friend. I rode my 26 Giant Reign the other day and it did not compare to the Bronson or Ensuro I have now
  • + 7
 @davidsimons: sounds like you are 'kitten' your bike out with some nifty kit
  • + 6
 There's something worse than press-fit BBs and Boost combined. Let's talk about E-Mountainbikes, the most disgusting cancer abscess the bike industry was ever able to come up with. I beg you bike industry, kill the hype and kill it fast.
  • + 2
 @ridethree: I've been wrong before but I really don't feel e-mtbs will ever become mainstream. Not only I've never seen one on the trails but they also go against the core reasons why most people MTB so I'm not too worried.
  • + 1
 Well then what dies when they make an overdrive steer Fork. If it were politicians I would go out and buy everyone available.
  • + 3
 @chyu: The fork steer tube is the worst!
  • + 1
 Must be the reason my GFs cat likes do cuddle against the chainrings on my road bike
  • - 3
 I'm confused!

Been in this game for over 20 years, working at and managing shops..... How many creaky-ass threaded BB's have there ever been?? ANSWER..... A SHIT TON! My last 4 Rocky Mountain Altitudes, with Press-Fit, have been fine......some we have sold have required maintenance.....As does EVERY PART of EVERY BIKE, if that bike gets ridden hard! So, to all you anti-press fit people, do you use threaded headset cups? I mean, they press in, so they must be terrible? What am I missing? Can one of you people please tell me where to get threaded headset cups!
  • + 1
 @PLC07: Just saw a whole group of Silicon Valley folks riding them in Demo last weekend. I'd start worrying...
  • + 2
 @dodgecitycycles:

f*ck Yeah! KILL THE HATERS
  • + 2
 @soups250: Nuke the Tree Huggin Gay Whales for Jesus!
  • - 2
 Damn, seriously? 44 downvotes for my comments?!?!? Good thing PinkBike'rs have a sense of humor. Sheesh.
  • + 3
 @acole020: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, Silicon Valley IS NOT the real world. I mean anywhere people making $200,000 a year choose to live in their cars because they feel they don't have enough money to buy a home is insane.
  • + 10
 @dodgecitycycles: For me its about ease of maintenance. I go through a lot of bottom brackets because of the wet conditions we ride in often in Bellingham. Yes threaded bottom brackets creak too but headset bearings slip in and out of a headset by hand, pressfit BB's do not... It's easier and a lot less risky to unthread grease and rethread a bottom bracket than it is to press in and out bearings or cups from a frame. Its also annoying that the main reason for press fit BB's is just to lower manufacturing costs and help increase that companies bottom line...
  • + 8
 @dodgecitycycles: I get what you're sayin' however there is so little angled pressure put through a headset compared to my 100+ kilo body, trying to crank up a hill, on a pressfit BB that slips out of line by a quarter of a degree and then eats itself alive, requiring a new one every 4 weeks.

I buy my bikes based solely on the BB fitting... if it's pressfit I look elsewhere simple as
  • - 1
 @PLC07: This is EXACTLY why when 29ers were coming out I refused to play the game. Went on an out of town trip with the fellas and BOOM, my bro got a flat on his 29er and had not tubes. We rolled into town to Wally World and what did they have? Yup, tons of 26 and not one single 29. Why? Because they were new and Wally hadn't begun stocking them yet.

I'm always slow to change. Heck, my rig is 14 years old. HA!
  • + 0
 @PLC07: I see almost 50% e-Bikes here (around Bern and Berner Oberland, Switzerland). Mostly people past 60. But A LOT
  • + 9
 @mtb-journal: Honestly, as much as I find e-bikes ridiculous, if you're handicapped or an ancient human being you get a well deserved free pass in my book.
  • + 1
 super double post. sorry kitten lives matter!
  • + 1
 @PLC07: I'll be getting an e-bike in 20 years...lol I'm fat and lazy now...
  • + 2
 @timdgoodwin: are you quite sure about that? Consider the relative length of the lever, fork vs crank. Lock up your front brake and you will put far more pressure on your headset bearing than you ever could on your BB.
FWIW, an outboard BB is just a set of cups screwed into the frame, into which the bearings are, you guessed it, PRESS FIT!
Not saying some frames don't mess up the execution, but there is nothing wrong with the principle of 'press fit' bottom brackets.
  • + 3
 @dsut4392: In theory the principal of communism could work but in reality, not so much...
  • + 3
 @PLC07: Just came back from a two day trip in the Alps. On the gravel roads we met more than 80% people on e-mtb (although I would not call all of them mountainbikers) and even on the more remote places there were more than a few people on Spec Levos and Haibike XDuros
  • + 98
 Hey, plucked this gem of a quote by Dave Turner off of mtbr today


We will go to Boost someday, we will have to, but every little supposed revolutionary invention from Trek/ Specialized etc does not need to be applied to every single bike brand/model to make a great bike. Boost on a 275 trail bike is Really not needed in that 27.5 has way shorter spokes than what boost was created for. Those minuscule gains are not perceptible by anyone if all other parts being equal.
  • + 8
 not to mention using asymmetric rims adds more stiffness than boost and requires only a different rim.

Now I say that and my current mtb uses boost 148 AND asymmetric rims (29er mind you), which i honestly cannot fault. its not too stiff yet it does not flex too much no matter how hard I hit it. Maybe that's what boost 157 plus thing tried to achieve.
  • + 2
 @polarflux
+1 Vote for guys like this with your cash!
  • - 10
flag chrismac70 (Aug 26, 2016 at 2:01) (Below Threshold)
 Why the dig at spesh/trek when superboost was a pivot design?
  • + 3
 @chrismac70: I think the point Dave Turner was making is that when one of "the big two" make a decision, the industry usually falls in line.

So even if it was Pivot's idea, the industry will only jump on Specialized or Trek's say so.
  • - 5
flag Pichy (Aug 26, 2016 at 3:46) (Below Threshold)
 Boost was created to make us believe 29ers aren't gay.
  • + 3
 Vernon mentioned the fork manufacturers agreement on mounting standards...he didn't acknowledge the unfortunately named ISIS BB standard which also involved agreement from component makers. It was short lived due to the advent of external BB (using the same BSA std) and press fit.
  • + 3
 @ReformedRoadie: Oddly enough, is is was one of the longer lasting bb standards.
  • + 37
 @ReformedRoadie: Funny story, we had a customer who couldn't use his credit card for a couple weeks because he was under investigation from whatever government agency for purchasing an ISIS bottom bracket. Apparently even the U.S. government is confused by the bike industry.
  • + 3
 @Pichy: no that was the evil following, process111,...
  • + 7
 @ReformedRoadie: Good one. I'd forgotten about that example. So, yeah, communication doesn't always yield the perfect result, but I stick by my guns: We're in a better place when new standards aren't created in a vacuum. It's a matter of putting the best foot forward and at least trying to reduce the mayhem of a new, half-progression every couple of years that makes it harder for us to walk into bike shops and find parts that work with our bike from two years ago. Cheers.
  • + 3
 I'm just thankful Giant's OD2 steer tube didn't catch on in the mtn bike world. Considering we just eliminated 1.5 a few years prior.

Metric shock sizing, while offering zero performance gains, at least was talked about and many of the shock manufactures are on board with it. New Slash uses a 63.5mm stroke shock = 2.53937" Blank Stare
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: absolutely agree. But ISIS was a response to Shimano's Octalink which was not an Open design. It made it clear that square taper was no longer cutting it. The problem was that ISIS was the collaboration of many smaller players, vs. the Shimano behemoth. Then Shimano releases external BBs...
The point is, the industry is mostly driven by the big players, and they seem to not want to collaborate at all since they are fighting for OEM market share more than anything.
  • + 2
 The answer to this is for the smaller companies to just get on with forming the forum and invite the larger parties to participate. Once you get one or two big names in, the others are left with the choice of either joining in or coming up with such great innovations that customers don't mind buying bespoke stuff with limited parts availability
  • + 71
 The bike industry is new and relatively immature. The people in it are far from experts or leading edge in terms of long term thinking. By that I mean project management, SCM, forecasting, market research; all the various things that go into analytics, metrics or thinking about the long game.

Also the consumers are lemming sheeple. Prone to peer pressure tendencies in buying habits and vacuous fascination with style over substance. When the majority of potential customers are cube dwelling monkeys prone to sales pitches emphasizing technology and bling as a proxy for skill development why shouldn't industry forcefeed pap? After all Joe Bro gobbles it up.

I know this article was a gigantic rhetorical question. Let's face it. It's an industry of bros. Keep your expectations low. You won't be disappointed
  • + 20
 Unlike the wise old ski industry. Wait, there's triple rocker now? My local rep who hooks me up with bro deals told me its 137% better.
  • + 5
 @GeorgeHayduke: but whats he basing that on, a single or double. how can he feel that difference. When people talk percentages to me I just turn off, as "off the top of my head" isn't really a percentage game. That and I'm an engineer so work to fine tolerances. but seriously where do people get this idea of ya its 137% better, how is that even possible! 100% better yes, like at rugby being ask'd to give 110% well I would if I could but I can't as 100% is everything I have lol good old days.
  • + 5
 Aldus Huxley, "A Brave New World"... Nothing else needs to be said...
  • + 3
 Aldous* apologies.
  • + 4
 The bike industry isn't new, but it is young. I'll bet that is what you meant.
  • + 2
 @GalenS: good catch. Proper reference should have been the mountain-bike industry

@GeorgeHayduke - the ski industry is no exception to my characterizations although on the industry side they are much much better
  • + 4
 @leelau: 137% better Smile
  • + 13
 @leelau: is there actually such thing any more as a "mature" industry that serves a majority of consumers that can cut through the haze of marketing to prioritize genuine substance over the mirage of image & desire?
The 600 yr-old publishing industry can't sell books any more without an Oprah endorsement.
You're describing contemporary American consumerism as a whole, not just our little recreational ghetto. It's an infinite regression of smoke an mirrors: for most consumers, the shining, "new & improved" image of substance has supplanted substance.
Frankly, I don't believe it is "visionary" captains of "mature" industries who fix these kind of problems. Quite the opposite. What it took to save the American beer industry was a grass-roots movement away from mass-market watery swill, and back towards taste & quality. Those cottage industry pioneers taught consumers to recalibrate their palates & values.
Consumers & value-minded manufacturers in our industry can push back too. Unlike Oprah's book club, I actually give a damn about the outcome.
I'm with Vernon.
  • + 3
 @ssteve28:
Funny, I often mumble "Electric Bumblepuppy" while reading industry ad-copy...
  • + 7
 @Veloscente: "the shining, "new & improved" image of substance has supplanted substance." I agree 100%. And as a side note to this, good luck selling a bike! They are worse than new cars these days--you can buy it, and as soon as it leaves the shop it's worth 50% of what you just paid, zero miles on it and all. That might be ok if I knew I would be riding it for the next 5-7 years, but when the flaming new sh-t standard comes out every 12 months, it's hard to hang onto a bike for more than a couple years, let alone try to sell it toward your next purchase.
I work in a shop, and honest truth, I just borrow bikes from our demo fleet because I can't get a straight answer from a bike or component rep on what size hubs I should build a wheelset with. Imagine what sort of tw0-faced snake oil salesman I look like when I sell a 12x142 bike and then Boost 148 comes out, only to get a new standard with SuperBoost 1-2 years later. Tomfoolery, the lot of it.
  • + 20
 @GeorgeHayduke: Except with a triple rocker ski from 2017 you can still mount your bindings from 2016 which still work with your boots from 2015, which are still fully compatible with your poles from 2014, which interface perfectly with your gloves from 2013.
  • + 5
 @mikealive: I don't have access to a demo fleet, so I bought a bike. I'm going to ride till I can't, and then see where the market is when I need a fresh one. Best I can hope for is that parts are available to keep me going. When my last bike went "obsolete" I turned it into a single beach cruiser. Still ride itSmile
It's fun to always have what's "hot". if I had deeper pockets I'd probably do it too. It's a luxury that is getting more expensive every season. If you wanna keep up to your neighbour, prepare to pay. The marketing industry will keep offering more expensive options, cause people keep paying.
I'll gladly be a bottom feeder with a 160mm 30lb bike for $3K, foreverSmile
  • + 6
 @kiksy: You're spot on. ... and I would add that all this ski gear will cost 10 times LESS than a new MTB.

As an avid skier I often make parallels between the ski and MTB industries; and boy if we compare the two of them we conclude that we are truly getting f*cked in MTB. The ski industry being more diverse, the competition is more sane and favors the consumer. Conversely, the MTB industry behaves like an oligarchy: all parts are SRAM, Shimano and Fox, and the majority of bike companies have their frame made by the few factories in Taiwan (mostly the big ones in Taichung). The MTB industry is basically managed the same way than a subsaharian , underdeveloped country. Which makes sense I guess, due to the fact that this industry is barely 30 years old. Maybe it's going to be much better in a few decades, but unfortunately by then I may be too old for MTB and will have to start road biking, wearing spandex.
  • + 4
 @kiksy: You're absolutely right - I'm just a Wildsnow fan so I was giving @leelau are hard time about the age vs. maturity of the ski industry.
  • - 2
 @Bragelonne: cheaper? What? Perhaps the entry cost is less. But the operation cost is significantly more. Very few people ski tour. So you have to buy a lift ticket or a pass. Usually people travel to go skiing, ever look at what a condo costs to rent?

Even still, a nice ski/boot/binding package is going to be the better half of 2.5k. A ski helmet essentially starts at $150. You can spend so much more on ski apparel than cycling. Look at what a descente or spyder jacked costs. Mtb goggles are what? $50-100? Ski goggles start at $100.
  • + 0
 @bonfire: Condos ? Descente and Spyder jackets ??? You sound like a rich c*nt who complains about the price of Louis Vutton hand bags and first class plane tickets.
Try AirBnB on ski trips, travel to mountains such as Revie instead of Whis, get your gear like everyone else at summer sales (my 40$ Burton jacket got all the abuse in the world, both on ski and board, on and off parks and backcountry, and still does the job).
Here are good 23$ ski googles for you : www.evo.com/outlet/goggles/giro-siren-womens.aspx#image=82387/398916/giro-siren-goggles-women-s-black-porcelain-amber-rose.jpg
And a 55$ ski helmet: www.evo.com/outlet/helmets/anon-wren-helmet-womens.aspx#image=83349/377308/anon-wren-helmet-women-s-pink-right-side.jpg
The main clientele who wear spyder and descente jackets are Vail's holiday c*nts that can't ski for shit, have tons of cash, show up with their private instructor and end up in the Chalet after two runs.
ho, and for the record, travelling around with your bike in a box costs much, much more than with a ski bag.
  • + 3
 @bonfire: Forgot this: get the proper bindings and a pair of skins and hit the backcountry, you would kill the "operating costs", maintain your legs in great shape for the MTB season and have first track wherever you go (unless you can't ride outside of resort's groomed slopes).
  • + 1
 @Bragelonne: To provide some semblance of fairness you have to provide the low down on the bike you ride, gear you ride with and how you acquired it all.
  • + 2
 @Bragelonne: So you're adding the cost of a good shovel, beacon, probe, at least an Avi 1 certification, maybe an airbag backpack...
  • + 3
 @GeorgeHayduke: Add it all up and it's still much cheaper than an decent entry-level MTB.
  • + 2
 @Bragelonne: Getting outfitted for my first year of splitboarding, and it is pretty pricey, even buying everything at last season/closeout prices, but you're right, it's still about half the cost of an XO1 carbon full-suspension bike.

In favor of the mountain bike though, at least that I can ride 6 day's week, going before or after work for about 9 or 10 months out of the year, with splitboarding I can only hit it on weekends, and only 3-4 months a year. So in that respect, for me, the bike is actually a better value. Not that I'm not looking forward to some epic days on the splitty up on Red Mountain Pass this year. That shit looks fantastic.
  • + 2
 @GalenS: the bike industry has been around before the invention of automobiles so it is quite an old industry. We had bicycles long before we had cars.
  • + 2
 while i agree with many of your comments the bicycle industry is far from 'new' - since the early 1800''s people have been producing and selling bicycles. most of these complaints can be applied to any gear related sports and the auto industry.
  • - 2
 @TucsonDon: Again, with the apples-to-apples. I don't split board so know nothing of the quality of kit you bought, but comparing that to an upper end, well-spec'd bike may not be an accurate comparison.

If you bought mid-level split board gear then compare to a mid-level full suspension bike. And if you got nos good split board gear then compare to a good nos year-old bike.
  • + 3
 @warehouse: I can appreciate that sentiment, but I don't feel good spending $4k+ and relying on "Best I can hope for is that parts are available to keep me going". That's too much money (for my budget) to simply hope I'll have a decent variety of replacement parts available still when things start getting worn out or broken.

But to be clear, I appreciate the advancement of technology in the industry, and I know some things will go by the wayside with time. Have you recently tried to source a non-tapered suspension fork? The choices are extremely slim, and nothing high end at all. I'd be happy forever on a 2x9 drivetrain, but again, not much there for components. So I get it, things will change. However, it would be great if the industry could get together on a few things: flat-mount disc brakes, thru-axle thread pitch, and hub spacing would all be great places to start, but the list goes on...
  • + 1
 This is the best.

You don't have a clue.

Whistler bike park doesn't exist from Internet dirtbags like us trying to scrimp every penny. It exists because people pay to go there. They spend their dollars on renting a condo, eating at the restaurants, drinking some beers at the GLC, putting their kids in a day camp, trying their hand at the zipline, maybe buy a lift ticket or four. The benefit of that is that Lifties get paid, the lift gets paid for, the trail crew gets paid, the park patrol gets paid, and we get to ride at the biggest bike park in the world.

Ever looked at a rental on the hill in Revy during the winter season? It's a huge number, it's that number because it gets rented at that.

I have never had the luxury of renting on the hill there, usually end up on a couch of a gracious friend.
  • + 1
 @Bragelonne: I have plenty of touring stuff. This is besides the point.
  • + 2
 @TucsonDon: bang on.

When you combine the cost of a jacket, pants, helmet, gloves, boots, bindings, probe, shovel, beacon, Avy course, and paid in season pricing it's a huge cost. That's if you went with just a jacket. If you went with a 3 layer setup, base layer, insulation, shell. That shit gets pricy real fast.

On a bike you need a helmet, and a bike. You likely already have some sort of shoes, t shirt, shorts.
  • + 2
 @properp: completely agree!

I was just trying to illustrate that amongst some in the industry there is an underdeveloped business acumen. So when I said young I meant to imply immature.

Not to get snarky or defensive, but I've had the good fortune to ride a few miles on an 1850 Colombia Expert, so I am pretty grounded in the actual age of the industry.
  • + 3
 @Veloscente: "is there actually such thing any more as a "mature" industry that serves a majority of consumers that can cut through the haze of marketing to prioritize genuine substance over the mirage of image & desire?"

Sadly I can't think of one. I can only think of niche highly technical industries but those are business to business. I fear you may be right that the vacuousness of consumers is the tail wagging the dog
  • + 2
 @bonfire: WBP was a loss leader up until a season or two ago.

A Bike Park Patrol member told me there was 2800 riders on Thursday of Crankworx. 1500 riders is considered a busy day for WBP. I've been told numbers above 25,000 riders for a ski day are common now.
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: Just a touch off on the numbers for skiing. Numbers above 20,000 for a ski day are common. 25,000 is where the lift system is overwhelmed and is more typical of weekends. The bikepark in and of itself isn't the profit center as you correctly said
  • + 2
 @mikealive: MRP will still build you any of their forks with a non-tapered steerer, and the Stage damping system and their air spring with bottom-out adjust separate from pre-load are better than Fox34w/Fit4 or my PikeRCT3.
  • + 67
 I find some of Vernon's articles/ramblings a bit "too" hipster or from what I perceive edgy for the sake of novelty. However, this article I am fully 100% on board with. I believe many of 'us' MTB'ers feel the same way. We understand a better performing component and that things evolve. However, many of us are viewing the last few years as the bike industry acting like the cell phone industry (Apple specifically) with planned obsolescence. This is particularly with BB and axle dimensions. With all the computer modeling available, wider axles at 148 or more should have been the jump from 135mm. Only thing 142mm did was provide a better axle interface, not width. Most knew 148mm was in the pipeline. 157mm makes way more sense than 148mm in many respects. And the BB press fit mess is just that, mess. If the manufactures wanted larger diameter for welds, carbon wrap, shock mounts, etc...just make a threaded in that size.
Ok rant over...thanks again Vernon!
  • + 27
 Didn't even know superboost plus was a thing. Actually thought it was a joke for a long time.
  • + 12
 I don't think the idea of talking together is impossible. The electronic industry managed it. That's how we got CD-ROMs, DVDs.... that all machines could read. Same thing with USB and so on.

So, Bike Industry, TALK TOGETHER PLEASE. There'll be hiatus sometimes but surely this can work most of the times.

I'm exactly in the case of considering a Pivot Swithchblade for overall features. But Super Boost 157 +? How long are we gonna see that? That is currently the only bike in the world to sport that. Not even the newly released Pivot Firebird has it!
  • + 5
 Mr @vernonfelton has firmly hit the nail with a 10lb hammer.

Maybe a "Coalition of the Willing" is set up and voluntarily entered by bike manufacturers. They could then discuss these things between themselves and agree solutions. At least this way we would have frame builders, component makers etc talking and forging the way forward in unity. And if you are buying a bike, frame or component with this "stamp of approval" you know you're going to be able to get parts until the end of days.

On another rambling rant I see carbon as a protagonist in the whole problem especially for the small to medium guys.... Carbon moulds for production runs are expensive. You have to either jump on the bandwagon or not. If you don't jump its hard to claim your bike is bang up to date with all the latest "standards". If you do you get blamed for the changes. It's a lose lose situation especially for the small / medium guys who have invested in expensive carbon moulds. The bigger companies probably wear out their moulds before the new "standards" are introduced. This is why a "Coalition of the Willing" makes sense especially for small / medium companies. Change will happen slower and people can buy with more confidence.

On a third note - why did we ever go from 36 holes to 32 holes. Im still running a set of 36 hole hoops on my 29er with 135mm hubs and they're still fine.
  • + 2
 I keep wondering how much this comes down to the disadvantages of wide rear axles WRT clearance of stuff on the trail. I mean Specialized, one of the big two "standardmakers" for years, made Demos in 150mm, except for the s-works, which was 135. They did this because their racers asked for it. when they'd test them with a 150mm rear, they'd complain about bashing the rear end against things more often.

@fartymarty 36h makes sense for durability, but it's pretty dang heavy. widening flanges or making them taller gets you similar stiffness for much less weight. Also, rims are way better than the single wall, rim brake having Weinmann rims we rode in the heyday of 36h rims.
  • + 1
 @maxlombardy: wont be for long, watch em get sued for using "boost" in the name.
  • + 40
 I feel like the bike industry has paid it's dues and is now becoming a common past time in many regions of the world. The industry is maturing and working out the kinks of its tapering boom market.

The only way to maintain market share is through obsolescence. It's the only way it can sustain it's growth. The emergence of direct to consumer sales models is seriously changing the game, so staple brands have to now value proof themselves with bigger and greater innovations. The problem is, there hasn't been any, save for OEM components. These companies have to market the ever-living shit of their subtle design changes, which cost money, which raises prices, which forces more subtle changes to stay competitive.

But the market never lies. People are obvious buying this stuff the above model is obviously working. The issue will be some years down the road if the aftermarket isn't big enough to support the fragmented obsolescence model. It's the PC market all over again. 400 brands making computers reduced to less than a handful over a decade. The market simply will never be big enough to support so much change.

Bike brands: Band together and create your own standards like other commodity industries and then focus your business models on providing your consumer the best value.

Consumers: focus on value not on latest tech if you want to this change.
  • + 5
 Never agreed more with a post, and your comparison to the PC market rings very true. Though I would disagree that it directly applies in all sense.

But it's true, how does a large bike company plan for the future? How do they forecast projected sales figures?
  • + 5
 Well stated. The bike industry has no idea what the word "value" means. I just had a lengthy discussion with Trek about value and in every response I received they skirted the issue. To the bike industry it is all about constant change to make incremental sales. But you are correct - you can only do that for so long before you bleed the consumer dry or irritate them well enough with the constant annual change in component specs, frame geometry etc. What I would love to see after each bike review completed by Pinkbike is a value score. How much value exists in the product being reviewed for what the consumer is asked to pay.
  • + 3
 @macroman: value is based on earnings, some people could buy a bronson with a months wages, so not a issue , they charge that much, due to the market paying for items that much
  • + 3
 @macroman: There is only so far the industry can go with incremental changes before there is no significant gain in performance.

Geometry can only go so far. Weight can only come down so much. The perfect amount of flex. Suspension. Gearboxes. Electrics. Bikes are pretty simple things.

I think we are 5-10 years away from this and then what is there for the industry? There was a good note above by@Veloscente related to the craft beer industry. I see bikes going the same way. Yes you could buy "big brand" but why would you when you can get a custom from someone who has made it with their own hands with love and care.
  • + 3
 @fartymarty: You say we're 5-10years away from the technologies reaching a plateau but they've been saying that for years. I stopped riding MTB 6 years ago, started riding again recently and found the same debates are still on going.

I see the bikes and the variety of wheelsizes, widths of axles, standards for mounting systems blah blah blah and the only real advance I have seen is carbon fibre frames becoming commonplace.

I'm happy with my 26"ers but I wonder, how long it will be before I can't get the parts I need.
  • + 1
 @SASchofield52: For me the last 5 years has been about: Wheel Sizes (26 is now nearly dead), Geometry and Carbon. We now have light long travel carbon 29ers with great geometry that are damn quick. I see geometry settling down in the next 5 year - with longer and slacker bikes like GeoMetron / Pole.

Once geometry is sorted the last thing to do is stick a gearbox in the bike. This is probably 10 years away. There are other things like electric shifting and suspension but its a refinement on what we already have.

I still ride my 26" and don't see an issue with getting parts to fit - parts for the frame are another matter altho most things can be made at a cost.
  • + 4
 @SASchofield52: and why change you're bike if you're still having fun and you don't have to. I think too many people get caught up in having the latest stuff.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Well said. The part that upsets me the most with the bike industry is that with each incremental change they charge more money. And in 99% of the cases we as riders can't notice the difference of the incremental change. As an example - The next model year bike frame incorporates a 3 mm drop in bb height and a top tube adjustment of 5 mm. Do you think that every rider will notice that change? But the bike companies push the frame change as revolutionary and far superior to their previous model. And the other people we should pull into this discussion is ALL those bike testers from websites and magazines that test the bikes and tell us that that 5 mm drop in BB height is a game changer.
  • + 4
 @tigerteeuwen:

Giant is the largest bike manufacturing company and like apple sits on dollar reserve, these guys don't mess about, very robust business with long term planning.

4 year development cycle on frame model, shimano 's largest customer, responsible for many innovations in manufacturing and standards.
  • + 20
 Im a huge dude, over 200lbs and have been riding 26" wheels with 135mm spacing on all my bikes except one which has a 142mm rear spacing and have never had any issues! Comparing the 142 to the 135mm I feel no difference, am I an idiot? I can't feel the difference. I don't know maybe so but I just stick with what works and like this article stated, I don't want to buy new stuff as what Im riding feels good and I am scared of having to purchase new parts to match new bikes. I was pissed off when I got my new bike that had a 142mm rear spacing because I had to buy a whole new rear wheel when I didn't need it! Now the biggest problem, I still ride 26" wheels and yes they still ride freken awesome but tires are out of date and going up in price, Yaaaaaaa Thank you bike industry for fudging up such a great sport and adding tons of beautiful confusion to aimless riders who just enjoy the forest!
  • + 7
 Not an idiot as 135 and 142 the only difference is the 3.5mm end caps on each side to slot.into the frame. You will not feel a wheelbuild difference (assuming using same spokes/nips/rims)
  • + 6
 You could not have put it better Niko, here too I am on 135 x 10 on everything except a DH rear end and there is no way I am taking the risk to buy anything that either:

A) doesn't fit the frames I have

Or

B) leaves me with a sense of fear it will be incompatible sooner rather than later.

Hell, I built up Stans flow 26 on Novatec 4in1 hubs 4 years ago and have beaten the hell out of them, even on a DH race, and there is nothing at all wrong with them. They are so bulletproof I got new stickers on them last week to make them look spanking.
There is nothing worse in my opinion than the feeling that the components one buys become incompatible before they have been properly used and abused.

Ride on (old but good stuff)!
  • + 2
 I'm 213lb (97kg in my birthday suit) and ride 135x29 with 10mm bolt through and 36 hole hoops. My DH bike is the same except 26x135 with 10mm bolt thru and 32 holes. No issues so far
  • + 2
 It's funny you say that @Nikoniko because like you, all I see is an obsolete 26" tyre which makes the only people still riding them (Us broke non-professionals) unable to afford maintenance and/or we'll be unable to find parts to fit...
  • + 3
 @SASchofield52: @nikoniko no idiot bro just stating facts that i completely agree with. dear bike industry, stop messing up what we already have, try to work with us not against us.
  • + 2
 @baggyferret: I think you misunderstood, I wasn't mocking you. I agree with what you are saying.
  • + 2
 @SASchofield52: no, im with ya buddy. referring to niko's comments asking if he was an idiot. ( I feel no difference, am I an idiot?)
  • + 4
 Wow thank you for all the great comments everyone!
I went out today and played hard with my bros, all 26 inch bikes, ahhahahh
I don't mind there being other options out there for us to enjoy and venture into but now that its a point of so many different sizes, I truely don't know where to begin. Then, here in Japan I live in a rural area so our bike shop only carries whats new and up to date as he is just trying to make a happy business but when a lot of the distributors stop carrying 26" tyres and forks, its going to make upgrades tougher and tougher. Today my buddy George, an average Japanese male a tad on the short side stated, " Why would I want bigger wheels, my 26" bike size XS feels too big for me"! ahhhhahahhah I was rolling! I too have Novatec hubs, they have been doing be great since 2010! It truely is a mess this industry has created, I feel sorry for the smaller brands that may have trouble shooting at what to produce next to keep their customers.
Thank you again for all the cool comments!
RideOn bros!
  • + 17
 no one will read this, whatever.

I work at a shop, and i do the rides, i build trails and i build bikes. Im deep in the trenches shoveling the sh!t, servicing coaster brakes as well as rebuilding forks and overhauling XTR. Im on the front lines of the bike industry, and i gotta say all this "innovation" is really hurting customer confidence. They dont know what to believe anymore or what to invest in for fear of obsolesence. plus it makes service a nightmare. I gotta pull out my decoder ring every time i swap cranks.

29ers: 27.5 becomes the happy medium standard, but now we see comapnies rolling out new 29s thanks to boost.

BB standards: dont even get me started on how many different sizes and adapters exist on road bikes, and now we see companies going back to threaded (bless them) even my own bike (kona 153) is reverse obsolete in this department.

Hub standards: do i even need to argue this one? Currently shopping for '16 and older models of bike so i dont have to scrap my "dream wheelset" that i built Some time ago. Cant even use the front wheel because its obsolete too.

Seatpost sizes: 31.6 ok no problem, 30.9 ok... Giant pivot we can deal, 34.9 why is this size beginning to pop up again? (Think specialized enduro kona honzo AL)

Chainring mounts: shimanos tried and true 4x104 is replaced by multiple sizes (see also: deore BCD) SRAM has multiple interfaces and sizes, race face good design but another type of direct mount, other direct mount systems are also emerging (think Hollowgram, rotor)

Handlebars: 35 millimeter clamp? Cant we just make the tubing thicker? Hold your horses WTB Padloc...

Hub body: sram XD great design dont like sram derailleurs dont wanna buy a new hub, shimano at least it hasnt changed but my cassette is eating away at my alloy hub body.

Tire width: 2.2-2.5 established standard, 27+ great small bump absorption and grip but the tires are heavy and rip in light casing also adds uncontrollable rebound variable, 2.6 is well on its way now as the "new wide"

It was nice being a part of this community but i think im gonna try ROLLER BLADING from now on.
  • + 3
 Agreed about the mess with the standards, but what is more upsetting is the seeming planned aspect of this "obsolescence" I'm cool with the new standards, but there are old standards, out there where there must be millions of bikes that still use these parts, and to see that there are no major manufacturers supporting that part of the community is disturbing to me. I used work in a bike shop 19 years ago, and what I see now out on the market is just a mess for a mechanic to work through, but even bigger mess for a hobbyist mechanic. The way I see it, is that all of these rapid changes are a result of industry collusion - yeah - forks, wheels, frames - in order for them to be compatible there must be some sort of conversation occurring. Consolidation in the biking industry only helps this trend, and I think we as riders fall for a lot of the marketing... because let's face it we always did - first it was all the anodized crap that didn't work and broke, then it was all about the platform, now stability. The truth is that we are the ones who ride and bikes don't become obsolete, unless we stop riding them. I wish there was a company that made top end obsolete everything, so that no bikes were "retired" because "I can't get my hub to work with a fork, and the fork doesn't fit the frame".
  • + 12
 I actually don't mind all the different standards. It gives me and all the other machinists of the world the opportunity to adapt all the standards and make a living. So keep it up! Do me a favor though and share out some more of your CAD drawings.
  • + 53
 I like them because perfectly good shit gets sold second hand for dirt cheap by insecure people with too much money.
  • + 8
 @anchoricex: This ^^^ I'm so stoked I can get barely 6 mo old brand new components for 3 yr old prices on swap pages all the time! I don't even have to try! Admittedly I build my own frames and forks so I don't give too much mind to any standard, other than freehubs and crank spacing.
  • - 5
flag ibishreddin (Aug 25, 2016 at 16:37) (Below Threshold)
 @anchoricex: just no. If you had "too much money" wouldn't you want the newest bike each year if it wasn't a financial problem? Seems stupid to not want all the newest best stuff. Btw Im not rich by any means, 17 and broke after scraping together enough for a dh bike.
  • + 3
 @anchoricex: my bike is made from other people scrap! And I have enve wheels! ya 26.. But I have fun on my bike Wink
  • + 2
 @anchoricex: please buy my 142x12 rear wheel
  • + 10
 1. Hell yes.
2. All that and no mention of the titanic PF BB disaster? Far worse than axle standards IMO. How many people are now stuck with creaky frames? When MFG are recommending GLUEING in BB's ya gotta say WTF? There are still a number of mfgs in denial about this.
3. Boost: High flange 142 hubs were achieving wheel stiffness similar to regular size boost hubs but no one wanted to talk about that. Boost certainly had a positive impact on frame design, short stays, stiffer rear ends, ect. This needs to be communicated the correct way to consumers and it was not so people were pissed.
4. Why are Metric shocks being marketed as a "thing". Just add the new shock sizes, evolve and STFU. Instead, it is shoved down our throats like the newest, latest, greatest...BS. When you do shit like that it is clear you don't think much of the intelligence of your customers.
  • - 7
flag Tsoxbhk (Aug 25, 2016 at 15:56) (Below Threshold)
 Have you ridden a new metric shock? I am running under 100 psi in my metric super deluxe monarch. Try doing that with a monarch from last year..
  • + 7
 @Tsoxbhk: Its not the metric bit that makes the huge change it is the fact that with the "new metric shocks" the shock length is larger in comparison to the stroke length so there is a greater surface area and oil volume to deal with heat build up and dissipation which is what leads to inconsistancies and fade in air shocks. No different to deciding that a 216 x 50 makes more sense than a 200 x 50. The whole metric things is pure marketing hyperbole.
  • + 6
 @Tsoxbhk: I'm running 0psi on my BOS Stoy, try doing that with your fancy metric super deluxe (did you get fries with that?).
  • + 2
 @Tsoxbhk: I'm running 0 psi in my new super duper 5000 EVO DeBoner coil shock. Try doing that with your old shit
  • + 1
 Like specialized crap that uses end caps...
  • + 10
 Still riding a 2011 Ibis Mojo HD. I don't race, so the 26" wheels and 12x135 axle don't really matter to me enough to upgrade yet. I fall into the category of having enough money to buy a new bike, but not wanting to drop that much coin on something that might not be supported in a few years. Already getting harder to find parts for my current bike and also know the resale sucks due to obsolete standards. I'll stock up on some 26" Minions and hold out for a few more years.
  • + 16
 I have a moderately large stash of 26" Minion DHF's that I keep in an undisclosed location. What's sad is that I'm not joking.
  • + 2
 I have a stash of 26' minions myself. People are begging me to sell them
  • + 4
 I thought I was the only one with a stash of Minions haha
  • + 2
 I have a nice hoard of 26" tires and a couple wheel sets as well.
  • + 9
 He's got a point with the rate of change being too fast, I'm in no hurry to upgrade my bikes as I've no idea what new tech might be lurking round the corner so I feel safer hanging on to my hard earned cash until I see something that truly looks to be a game changer. Unfortunately boost and 12 speed drivetrains are yet to have me convinced.
  • + 12
 I ride a 26" still from 2012. I tried some of the newer bikes and I honesty haven't been impressed. They ride good but the difference is hardly perceptible for mere mortals, so not worth spending hard earned money on. With the press fit fiasco, the boost idiocy, the new wheel diameters/widths coming out just about every year and expensive unreliable products, my distrust for the bike industry is starting to take its toll. I love this sport but at this point I'm just going to ride my 26" until it isn't worth it anymore and then I'll see if I really want to sink that much money on a bike again.
  • + 1
 @PLC07 I ride an aluminum 2011 Giant Reign X, which except for the 26" wheels. When my azonic outlaw hub ratchet system exploded I got a chris king wheeset for a song! I was really considering upgrading to a Jeffsy 29r but was just telling my friends...what will it really do for me that my current bike doesn't...maybe a little faster over the chunder, maybe slightly faster strava times? Just to say I got a new bike? And then I was just telling my friends, if I get the Jeffsy, then everybody is gonna be on the 27.5+ and I'll be outdated...(and honestly it looks like a "mini plus" standard is gonna be the next thing, 2.6-2.7" tires (like the new Specialized Enduro)...oh gawd....
  • + 7
 @Hammerschmidt: current year bikes are outdated before they even hit the shelf because the next big thing is already around the corner. I feel the bike industry does this for more profits but if you fail to "generate value" for your customers, this will not go well.

Vote with your money they say... I'll be sitting on the sidelines until they get their shit together.
  • + 9
 I agree. I've been mountain biking for over 20 years and have welcomed many of the changes that have come along during that time. I used to buy a new bike every couple of years and get excited about having all the new & improved gear. That started to change more recently. The last new mountain bike I bought was almost 5 years ago. Like many are saying, I've been waiting for things to settle down and for everyone to make up their minds on everything. I've had my eye on a couple of bikes that might be suitable replacements for my current ride. But again, with so many conflicting opinions, higher prices and all the new stuff rolling out for next season... I pretty much gave up for now and bought a new dirt bike instead. It cost me about as much as a high end mountain bike...except it won't depreciate as much and has a motor. I'll still keep riding my old mountain bike. Finding parts for it has already become a challenge and eventually will become impossible.
It sure would be nice if the bike companies got their shit together though.
  • + 3
 And dirt bikes and are pretty much standard when it comes to hubs, tyres and such like. They seem to worry more about suspension dampers and power output ( rider skill too) rather than the next "big thing". I am sure MX riders are teh same as MTB enthusiasts and buy the latest KTM because it looks great and has a few BHP more, but the hubs wheels and tyres all fit the same as they did on the previous years model and the new owner of their traded in bike still has a machine he can get parts for for years to come. When bikes were cheap it was okay to replace and upgrade, but a set of hubs and a new frame and wheels don't come cheap anymore...
  • + 1
 @headshot: I may have bought the latest KTM because it looked great...
I know very little about dirt bikes and got a little excited.
  • + 8
 @VernonTaylor - Boost did increase the stiffness of the rear wheel by improving triangulation of spokes, particularly ones on the inside of the flange. That if we skip the topic of asymetrical rims or chainstays with offset hubs like Cannondale did. What it definitely didn't do is it didn't shorten chainstays by any significant margin. It shortens Cs by 3mm. If you have a 650B 2,5" tyre and 36t chainring, and chainstay length at 420mm, the distance between the tyre and the chainring is about 15-18mm. How can you put tubing in there? You must bypass that bottleneck - either make a wishbone (like specialized or Ragley did) oooooor you do what Trek did with Stache (this is fkng hilarious in it's irony) and you raise the CS above the chain ring. Aaaand who said short chainstays are so awesome? Stephen Geobro?
  • + 16
 We could have skipped 148 and kept the last dh standard of 150 and still had compatability. Boost was a dick move. If dh bikes had 150 and 157 how could they justify the answer of q factor being screwed up? I never got that.
  • - 12
flag rrsport (Aug 25, 2016 at 16:32) (Below Threshold)
 @makripper: maybe because we no longer have 8 or 9 gears so freehub bodies have gotten longer
  • + 7
 @makripper: Well, DH bikes usually have an 83 mm BB, so that comparison is lacking.
That being said, I'm pretty sure that if manufacturers can make regular BB width and Q-factor work with 148 mm rear, then the extra 1 mm on each side it would take to go to 150 can't be an insurmountable obstacle.
  • + 10
 @rrsport: shimano freehub bodies have been the same length since 1994
  • + 3
 @makripper: I had a 2001 Iron Horse DH Pro bike with rear hub of 165mm! I never had a problem with q-factor or heal rub...! www.bikewagon.com/sun-ringle-lawwill-dh-rear-hub-32h-12-x-165mm-black
  • + 2
 @makripper: yeah, i mean, we give the benefit of the doubt but really its just all a dick move to make money. Pretty sure Vernon knows this. It doesn't mean it cannot be better.
  • + 7
 @makripper: "Boost was a dick move". Truer words have never been spoken. This should be the title of this article.
  • + 3
 @rrsport: freehub bodies are the same width for 8-9-10-11 speed stuff (on shimano side). Srams xd driver is not any wider, just a different interface that accepts a 10t cog.
  • + 1
 the new Hope prototype bike, got very narrow hubs?
  • + 0
 @lesz42: or why not develop gearboxes and we can use 135mm single speed hubs with stupidly strong wheels.
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: or 110 to ride chainless with 2 front hubs
  • + 4
 @Hammerschmidt: Cannot agree more. Q-Factor must be some carryover issue that roadies are worried about. What does a wider Q-Factor impact, Aero, and lean angle? Who gives a crap about Aero on a mtb and if the 150 spacing is ok for DH lean angle doesn't matter either. Is there something I am missing?

From an engineering stand point Q-Factor shouldn't be a thing. Foot width, lean angle, chain line... these are actual data points that can be measured. As soon as someone says Q-Factor I just think BS Coefficient.

If anything I would think a wider stance would give you better balance on the bike. In 5 years Trail bikes will catch up with DH, and everyone can throw out their Boost components to go back to a standard that has existed for years.
  • + 2
 @Gttroy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_factor_ . As you pointed out it makes bugger all difference to mountainbikes with the exception of XC race bikes. Quack on Dood!
  • + 1
 @makripper: What would have been the difference if they had created boost with 150mm hubs instead of 148mm ones?

The chainline and brake position would still have had to change to realize the benefits of boost, just the number would have looked familiar.
  • + 2
 Having recently got a Pole Evolink 176 with 460mm chainstays I can state that short chainstays are overrated.
  • + 0
 @SintraFreeride: yaaaay! Cool to hear you finally got it. How's it going compared to your DH bike?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: It is without a doubt the best bike I've ever had! Super stable but still agile, insane amount of traction but with a small shift in weight I'm still able to make the tightest turns! Going back to a normal bike just feels sketchy! haha. Since the lifts are still working for another week around here I have yet to fully test it's climbing capabilities. I got the large size and put on a mondraker 10mm stem and the cockpit feels perfect, enough room to breath but without feeling too stretched out. Putting the bike on the lifts is however a tad tricky with my wheelbase of 1340mm! I highly recommend it and hope the bike industry will move ASAP to longer bikes! I can imagine a +1300mm wheelbase, 63º headangle, 445mm chainstay Specialized Enduro coming out in 5 years and it will be an insanely capable bike!
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I am intrigued. After I saw how my 1230 WB carbon jack tackles climbs I am willing to see how far one can push it. @polebicycles - do you have any "ambassador" in western Sweden where I could try any of your bikes?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I will let you know how it climbs in about 2 weeks. But with 520mm of reach the bike doesn't feel too long at all! I could probably go even longer and still not have any problems. I am 1.79m tall for the record. Just added an angleset to steepen the headangle to 63º and now the bike is perfect!!!
  • + 8
 Wondering if somewhere 20yrs ago, they had all these ideas and someone said "hey lets to that"!" And then someone else was like "nah let's let them all out about .5% a year and make a complete fortune over the next 2 decades"
  • + 1
 To some extent we, the unwashed consumer, wouldn't buy it. I was thinking just this thing a while back with forks. They did sort of dribble out travel in small increasing incrents over the years until things settled out to what we have today. Would any of us have bought a 100 mm travel fork for our racing XC bikes in 1991? No way. Or long low slack bikes. Would what have today have sold five years ago? Or multi speed cassettes, or dropper posts. Maybe it's because I am small and don't ride crazy stuff, but my non boost wheels hold up fine. Are or were riders going through wheels at a mad rate before boost? I think some improvements have to be incremental. I also think some improvements are not necessary. I recall I think it was Race Face who advertised a stem as being 40% stiffer than the competition, which clearly Thomson. OK my Thomson stem did not flex as far as I could tell, so 40% stiffer than no appreciable flex means what exactly?

The cynic in me is fully expecting a new thing better than boost 110 front hubs. Boost 110 with. 20 mm axle.
  • + 3
 It's because if someone had said to you 20 years ago that you would happily buy and use an 11(12)-speed cassette that cost more than $100 to replace as a wear item, where all the sprockets were joined together so you couldn't replace just one, weighed about a pound of unsprung weight, and where the largest ring was somewhere between 42 and 50 teeth you would have told them to stick it somewhere where the sun doesn't shine. The only way to get here is incrementally.
  • + 7
 Hey, remember that crazy DH standard of 150?! I know, it was three years ago, so few probably understand my personal rage over the whole '148' bullshit... But when companies could have easily gone with 150 (or your point, Vernon, of 157) and then chose not to, it's a tad difficult to not get a little butthurt. With that said, this was an excellent article as usual. Progress isn't always progress. Keep 'em coming.
  • + 6
 buy a sweet bike, ride the shit out of it and stop worrying about 6mm here and 10mm there...makes so little difference in the long run considering the skill level of the majority. I still ride a 26" hardtail sometimes and the thing puts a smile on my face the size of a small kitten.
  • + 2
 Yes, yes and yes! Ride the shit of your bike for two years.put on PB buy and sell for very little and get a new one... What is Vernon Felton riding that's 28lbs and climbs awesome...
  • + 5
 I think there are three groups with sometimes conflicting interests.

1. The industry.
2. Racers.
3. The casual riders who just wants to go out for a blast.

On thing I consider a move driven by the industry is the shift to the PM brake standard. As more complete bikes were being assembled with disc brakes, facing the IS brake tabs became a bit of a handful compared to just slapping on a PM caliper. I think for the rider once you've got an IS caliper (on an IS frame or fork mount) properly aligned, it stays properly aligned. Whereas it is easy to whack a PM caliper offline and once the pads are worn like that, it gets pretty hard to get it right unless you pop in some new pads. I suppose this is the reason it were actually the top level brakes (Hope, Shimano XTR) which were last to make the complete transition to PM whereas the lower end brakes (Shimano Deore) and the OEM minded ones (Hayes, Avid) were quick to go PM only. Of course many riders also like the PM standards as it allows them to get their new brakes (bought on the internet) aligned without having to have the lbs facing the IS brake tabs. But still, PM isn't a similarly stable brake interface as IS is.

Then the racers, they just demand the best. If a new standard gets you a better performing bike then so be it.

Finally the casual rider. Sure higher performance is nice but it is frustrating when you destroy your old fork and find out that the replacement forks don't match your 20mm axle, IS brake caliper, 26" wheel and 1 1/8" (straight) headtube. There is no such thing as a better performing fork if it doesn't fit your bike.

There is never a good solution when the world has already tumbled into this mess of new standards. After all, they're all standards other component manufacturers will stick to hoping that that is what it will settle on for a fair while. I'd say we might need development branches. Like a no holes barred "performance" branche, like XTR stuff. You can buy this stuff knowing that it is currently the best performing (lightest etc.) stuff there is but fully aware that it is not here to stay. Then you can have a "works" like branch like Deore XT stuff that at least holds on reasonably long onto a certain standard. And then finally maybe the not so flashy "shut up and ride" brance like Deore that performs well and keeps producing stuff in the standards that also made it to the Deore XT branch. No need to keep making the funny XTR standards if they became obsolete as XTR buyers were already aware what they were getting into. I guess this will allow manufacturers to experiment and push the limits with XTR level equipment and look good on the race scene yet at the same time keep the industry going with the lower end properly performing gear.
  • + 9
 this article is just setting us up for the next standard. sly. clever.
  • + 0
 Not really. It's just a bunch of semi bike related jabbering. I was expecting a point at the end but it never happened. Why were they such a*sholes when they could have kept the 150 dh standard and applied it to am Enduro bikes? Way more room to play with and all the q factor talk? I never lost a chain on my dh bikes? Even w out guides.
  • + 1
 @makripper: last time a post like this happened every article was about 27.5 proto types, and boost 148. ????
  • + 1
 @tigerteeuwen: why can't we just have the same standards as bmx's? they are way cooler. I hate the industry so much lately. "hey lets change all this shit for no reason! oh damn, lets make up a reason to sell it!"
  • + 5
 All motor cycles use straight 1and1/8 steer tubes.
Having a one by puts all the drive train weight in the worst place.
I have no trouble at all cornering with (long?) chainstays. In fact my bike feels very stable on steep trails.
All wheels larger than 26 inches will be heavier and less strong.with exact same builds.
Innovation or new ways to siphon your bank account?
  • + 3
 sadly the bike industry is focused on profit only, if it aint broke...ummm make a different version anyway and up the price, and make it fit only new bikes...make it shiny and have lots of adverts about how it is sooo much better...riiight.
  • + 4
 Thing is we still want to ride, so we will buy stuff regardless. Anyone that actually knows boost is something realted to hubs will be like this, which is their target customer. The none initiated ride will buy his or her qr equipped hybrid/commuter and not care one cent.


So its just a matter being smart about your big purchases like frame, fork and wheels. Look ahead, how often do I need a new rim, tires, lowers etc. Probably not that often.


I dont see the whole obsolete thing either, I can readily find pads for my old juicy brakes, 26 minions are also pretty easy to find. What I do agree on is that its a f*cking nightmare to buy a new frame and know what stuff you have will fit.
Before it was only a question if it was either a dh bike with 83/150 or anything else 73/135.
  • + 6
 This. As long as I can still get decent 26" tires like DHR2s and DHFs, I don't really worry about new "standards". When the frame finally flies off to hang out with Stevie Smith in the great cloud mtn bike park, I will likely have to buy new wheels, fork and probably cranks. But by that time most of those things will be ready to be made into decrotive furniture anyway. Like my 2009 model year car, I plan to ride my bike until the wheels *almsot* fall off.
  • + 4
 It's a bike "industry", driven by the impetitives of continually stoking the consumerist fire. It's their job to convince sheeple to part with their hard earned cash, with Vernon and Pinkbike leading the charge. The message always being some variation of : what was necessary before is redundant now, and that only by buying the latest and greatest can you be fast/cool/hip/satisfied enough. Arguing about axle standards is more of the same. Mountain biking is just playing with our friends on trails, and all this nonsense about competitions and gear is consumerist propaganda. Why do you really need to spend all that money to own something newer/lighter/faster? Ride bikes, build trails.
  • + 4
 I like Vernon and usually agree or enjoy what comes out of his pie-hole. However, I understand his idea, but it's just not feasible that industry professionals/competitors are going to talk over the next newest thing. It's a double edged sword and in theory sounds warm and fuzzy to all talk it out, but get real dude. Progress is going to happen fast. When Bike Maker A creates a new cool thing that works better, you better believe they are keeping it under wraps till it hits. That's the world today bra, get over it and smile while you ride your $8K rig. Peace of Love
  • + 4
 I appreciate what you are saying but not the premise for it. You're suggesting the desire to make things proprietary isn't intentional when for many companies it is.

The real issue is many of the minor tweaks provide differences on paper and sales talking points but don't make any difference in the real world for consumers.

Some improvements simply are not better for the consumer they are better for the company's profit margin. 1x lets Sram develop, stock and sell drivetrains with fewer parts and simpler cranks at a higher price for more profit. You change one set of issues with front derailleurs for another set of issues caused by the atrocious chain line on 1x systems with more than 7 0r 8 cogs... sprockets if you prefer. The added bonus being chains wear out faster so you have to buy new ones more often.

Press in BBs, sold as a weight reduction improvement are the creaky thorn in the sides of everyone unfortunate enough to buy a frame or bike with a press in BB.

2017 releases we've seen suggest this is the year of everything old is new again. Plus size tires... we get 12 year old bikes in our shop all the time with 26 x 2.6/2.7 tires all the time. companies are "reintroducing" threaded BBs... like they haven't been available for the last few seasons.

New shinny bikes and bobbles season is upon us and the industry will pay millions to hammer you with the latest trends you need to have to ride longer, harder, faster and do what you can't do with what you have. If your bike is appropriate for how you ride ignore the latest things getting the hype, do the maintenance your bike needs and use the savings to do some riding clinics that will really make the difference and enable you to clean that section you want to do.
  • + 4
 real surprised no one has mentioned this
www.pinkbike.com/news/hopes-hb-211-enduro-racer-nears-production-whistler-crankworx-2016.html

130mm rear end so no heel clearance issues. 0 dish wheel = strong, 17mm rear axle = stiff... Who knows if it will make production but I'll happily bet you'll start seeing these ideas pop up in other places soon

After testing a series of plus bikes in the last few weeks, my feeling is its bullshit. They ride like crap. They bounce when you don't want them to. They cant have strong sidewalls because its too heavy so they puncture easy and have 0 cornering knob support when you push them into corners and theres still lots of weight near the outside of the wheel means lots of gyroscopic feedback when you steer. Its just shit shit shit. And now I hear rocky mountain murmuring about 26+ what the flying f***. suddenly were back where we started 15 years ago with 3 inch Gazzdloddi's. maybe the answer is in exploring tread patterns rubber compounds and where we put rubber (and weight) in tyres to maximise support, grip, rolling speed and puncture resistance which surely is what were after anyway.

Making concept bikes public is a great idea, it gives product designers an opportunity to take other peoples ideas and run with them and therefore we arrive at a satisfactory solution without umpteen baby steps in between which we're forced to buy into if we want to keep our bikes updated.
Basically publicity and sharing of information and ideas is a good thing. It helps everyone in the bike industry from the designer to the manufacturer to the end user. lets do more of it!
  • + 3
 Are wider hub flanges AND super-short chainstays really what we want?

If your feet are any larger than a child's you end up with heel clearance issues. That, or you're stuck with an awkwardly wide Q-factor and are forced to pedal like a duck.
  • + 3
 I actually think it hurts the companies especially for people who have been riding for 20+ years and have the income to actually buy these high end bikes. When there is constant change, and multiple model variants of almost identical bikes with 10 - 20mm travel difference, they have created too many options...people get confused and people just keep riding what they have...

I held off and now a V3 Nomad is what I ride and can tackle everything on it... Boost or another standard ain't gonna make me appreciably better...
  • + 3
 I have biked for over 25 years & have seen a lot of changes ... some good, some bad.
Bikes are def better than they used to be but I think more of the industry than not have completely turned a def ear to the average rider. average riders keep the bike business alive not the 1%'ers

I will forever be pissed about the nonsensical 27.5 so called upgrade & the forced death of 26. I may never buy a new bike again!

Speaking of new bikes ... the prices are insane these days!
  • + 4
 So we get one review a couple of days ago calling for narrower rear ends on bikes as they are getting too wide... and now we are getting told "hey 148 isn't wide enough, how about we go 157?"
  • + 7
 Wait for super deluxe boost ! 193!!
  • + 4
 157 is the same effective width as 150 (just as 142 is the same as 135), just with 3.5 mm end caps that slot into the frame to hold the wheel in place during installation.
  • + 2
 Turbo boost 165mm will be first
  • + 0
 @skiwenric: Turbo boost sounds like a nice bit of KIT.
  • + 3
 This is a great article. I write for another large print publication, get my stuff for free or very cheap, and still get really irritated about the rate of change. I think you are onto something here Vernon, there needs to be some consideration and colaboration...I hear my peers getting more furious as the days go on...Someone listen up.
  • + 3
 Somehow this is just the nature of our sport that has so many people trying to figure out how to make us faster, bikes stronger, bikes lighter, stiffer, more gears, less gears, more efficient, more travel, less travel. The method of progression since day one has been to throw a bunch of shit at the wall: whatever sticks you use to climb higher and throw more shit. There is saddly a whole bunch of crap that was short-lived or never accepted but if you look at mountain bikes from the early days and compare to today's bikes, it was all worth it. The one thing I would say is it does pay to have a healthy dose of skeptisism, because a keen eye has been able to avoid 80% of the crap that was marketed as the next big thing.
  • + 3
 Key example... Those WTB grips that require you cut your bars. Smile
  • + 3
 What the hell is Super Boost 157? So companies are going to try to come up with weird 'standards' to one up each other?

If this is being done in the name of wheel stiffness, then why not innovate and come up with something that replaces the traditional spoke and rim design? Otherwise this 'minimal gains' crap will continue to outdate your new bike as soon as it rolls out of the LBS and make it completely backward incompatible.
  • + 1
 Can you imagine the collective pissing and moaning if the evil bike industry did away with traditional spokes and rims?

That "discussion" alone would take up 5.8 million comments, hundreds of thousands of negative votes and would comparatively make peace in Ghaza look like child's play.
  • + 3
 The bike industry is pissing off a lot of current riders with ever-changing standards, and pricing lots of new riders out of the market with their $4000 "entry level" bikes.

I guess "alienate or rob all of our potential customers" is seen as a viable business strategy.

Smart.
  • + 3
 Vern, why no mention of Metric Shocks? The big bike companies wanted it. SRAM told the small players to get on board the train or be left behind then used their OEM pricing power to jam it down the throat of the bike companies that didn't want it and now Fox is making metric shocks and pretending they came up with the idea themselves.

Can't wait until next summer when non-metric shocks are harder to find than a 9mm QR on a 6 inch travel bike.

I thought my Bronson was set since it had 148 spacing... nope, next year I won't be able to get a shock for it.
  • + 2
 So is the main takeaway that the industry should have just gone straight to Super Boost 157 instead of an incremental move to Boost 148? Nah..the bike industry is getting everyone on board with 148 and will milk the new bikes sales for a few years and then collectively all move to 157 Super Boost in the next phase of the programmed obsolescence design roadmap. We're just along for the ride and a garage of used mismatched parts
  • + 2
 My full suspension bike was outdated the day I bought it. 135mm rear end. I wasn't pissed, but it did limit my options in terms of hubs. Everything is now 142 or boost. My bike is a 2015 model. I get what he is talking about. Super frustrating.
  • + 2
 Hope hubs, novatec 4-in1 hubs... It's not like there is no quality or no choice at all...
  • + 1
 @Mac-Aravan: I actually went with novatec 4 in One's but those were one of the few affordable options that left me any room for growing later down the road.
  • + 2
 Biking is a bargain at any price. If you got the dough, then the newest, latest greatest is really good. It is more fun, more reliable and and higher performance than anyone could have imagined a few years ago. If you are tight on cash, or just a smart shopper, then late model used bikes now are better dollar for dollar than equivalent price new bikes from any time in the past. And if you are super tight on cash, just hold on another couple years and the rad stuff that started showing up cir. 2013 will be in your price soon enough- dump your data plan and start saving; bikes are more fun than the Internet anyhow.

Me, I gotta sell a Nomad v3 to pay for the Wreckoning I just bought...
  • + 2
 But there is 150mm traditional DH hub spacing!!! So can anybody explain me boost?!?!?! In my opinion even superboost makes more sense!

I would like to see a brand that offers a 150 or 157 spacing from the trail shredder through the whole range up to the DH.
  • + 2
 The bike industry is not much different than any other consumer industry. Bike companies will do whatever possible to stay competitive and sell bikes. Even if that means make a component that the average rider will not see any benefit to. If it helps sell bikes, they will try it. This is no different than the any other business or industry.

The consumer is not forced to buy the latest components or bikes. People have FOMO complex, so they *think* they need the next best thing, which keeps the industry innovating to stay competitive.
  • + 2
 Wow! I've got 3 29er's all about four years old and all with 15x100 and 10x135qr. Just finished a 2500 mile mark riding some of the nasties that Western North Carolina has to offer and guess what? All my flexy wheels are still true and all spokes are accounted for and best of all all, my threaded BB's don't squeak.
  • + 2
 'Again, I understand that things change and I wholeheartedly embrace that change. The rate of change and the proliferation of “standards” that hate one another, however, has gotten out of hand and this, I wholeheartedly believe, is because so many companies are operating in relative isolation, pushing out new parts that are incompatible with everyone else’s parts and, moreover, aren’t as fully evolved as they could be'

I said exactly this in a thread a couple of weeks back!
  • + 2
 I'm pissed about boost 148 in general in the sense of why'd we ever get rid of the 12x150 DH axel? Plus I just built up a darkside last year to run 12x142 and to find out that's obsolete is infuriating. Luckily I work in a machine shop and should be able to recreate my dropouts to the appropriate spacing.
  • + 2
 Take a further step back - the industry should be marketing to grow ridership, not sell the 12th bike to the already emphatic rider. We need more people advocating for trail riding, not a niche of a niche hanging on the 12th hook in the garage.
  • + 4
 These bike companies target more naive people with money. It's easier to sell something that makes the consumer think they are going to be better.
  • + 3
 Regulation on business is a dangerous concept overall. Usually best to let the consumers decide with their wallets....and if nothing is available that may be in demand, an innovator will make it.
  • + 2
 Vern,

Libating with great beer and sipping whiskey, a few friends and I attempted to map out where the industry might end up with respect to hub sizes in the not too distant future. Mind you, we’re from Alaska and we’ve seen the complete birth and evolution of the fat-bike phenomena so our insights are likely relevant. In the last 10 years, I’ve witnessed ALL machinations of the fat-bike BB / HUB systems and it was painful. It took 8 years to FINALLY get to the 100BB, 150Front, and 197Rear standard (and I believe this will remain static for a long, long time).

Well…. trail / enduro / Plus bike designers have really just started their “fat” journey and already industry is repeating the same mistakes it made with the fatbike evolution. The long and short of it is “Boost” will prove to be an interim step to what I see as the logical conclusion to this "Plus" bike evolution. I predict the 83BB, 110Front and 157Rear will prove to be the final resting place for ALL modern mountain bikes. This will solve all the CL, drive-train, and tire clearance issues (regardless of 1x, 2x, or 3x) with Plus sized tires up to 3 to 3.5 inch tires.

Like you describe, “Boost” was a way to increase 29er wheel strength while minimizing Q-factor growth at the BB and no thought of “Plus” sized tires was considered. I contend 148x12 is not a good solution for the Plus size frame design because there will still be some CL, drive-train, and tire clearance issues. Anyone who rides a fat-bike KNOWS that Q-factor is a totally and completely overrated issue for the vast majority of riders. I’ve been moving back and forth from 68/73 to 100mm BB for 10 years and it’s simply a non-issue regarding off-road bikes. So, industry is behind the curve in this regard, but it will soon come to this realize the 83BB / 157HUB spacing is the solution they’ve been looking for. Pivot nearly got it right with their new Switchblade….

So, beware when chasing constantly moving targets. As for me, I’m content with my 142x12 rear and skinny 2.4-inch tires since I ride a fat-bike for 6 months of the year already. I’m going to wait this out because I believe the industry will shake up the standards again.

Regards

The EndUser
  • + 2
 Building a rear wheel using WTB Asym I29 rims on Hadley 12x142 hubs. No dishing needed and spokes are almost the same length, tension for DS and NDS about the same. These wheels are strong and will stay true longer because of these attributes. This is the solution people, not anther hub standard. Asym rim have been around for awhile. Always wonder why rim manufacturers never adapted to it. Plus, machinist are making adapters to fit boost frames if for some stupid reason I have to go that direction. Furthermore, my new 27.5 165mm travel full suspension frame is non-boost and has a short 16.5 inch chain stay! You don't need boost to achieve short chain stays, it's marketing BS.
  • + 2
 This is an interesting piece that resonates with us all. Im the proud owner of a Meta AM V4, and I love it. This week quite a few sites were leading the release of the Meta V4.2 (the only thing that has changed is everything) well my TWENTY FIFTEEN AM V4 is now out of date. 12 * 142 is not right for 650b, the spring rate is all wrong, not enough travel and the shock is not fit for purpose. This is madness, this is version 4 of the Meta, did they get is so wrong that they revised everything. I'm going to e-mail Max Commencal (please read this) and ask if they are considering a product recall as teh V4 is not fit for purpose. As I was reading stories of hard to find parts and stock pilling Minions DHFs my stress levels were rising - I should have gone for a blast on my obsolete bike but it was nearly midnight... This has to stop, was the whole wheel size thing all about planned obsolescence and to stop MAMIL's spending there bonus on skinny wheeled carbon stuff. Pressfit is buggin us all, axle sizes - see above, metric shocks..... Its a joke and has to stop. All this new stuff means is the occasional strava PB and something to break the ice with when we meet another rider on the trails. Thinking about it most of my Strava PBs were on a 2011 Orange five (26")..! I have no idea what the answer is but surely manufactures need to talk and agree on certain standards, surely the product release cycle needs to change. Is this all down to the finance people and the constant drive for growth (exponetional growth is just bonkers) I was trying to work out how I could get a v4.2 but thankfully common sense prevailed and I'll stick with what I have. Next bike will be back to an orange (new alpine) as they have been obsolete for years yet they go fast, are easy to maintain and look (IMHO) cool as.. Why the £100 for a cool colour though - but that’s another story
  • + 2
 What we really need is a frame and a fork that can accommodate all of these standards! instead of these changes forcing us to replace our frame and fork in the first place. But then we live in the real world and that would probbly NEVER happen.
  • + 2
 I would have to firmly agree with the statement that "I'll wait for things to settle down" and that "I've lost confidence in the bike industry" due to sheer volume of the changes occurring. So much in fact that my 2007 Giant Reign is "cool" again, save that it doesn't have 27.5 wheels. It appears that there is a power vacuum between all the competing brands that it's hard to decipher who is the true 'game changer' in the industry anymore? Shimano used to be the big dog and we could see how they tried to make everyone conform to the XTR and SAINT line up through a proprietary integration, but the industry came back hence the splined BB and the raft of other competing products which shut that down. In terms of frame design and functionality, the R&D time is not really being spent on these new products, instead the consumer is being made to choose. I believe that a new product should be the cheapest product to purchase as there is no reliability in it yet, and the tried and true should be the more expensive product because it is time tested. Reliability and longevity should be the selling point, not "new and shiny".
  • + 2
 @localmotion:

Your comment: Reliability and longevity should be the selling point, not "new and shiny". Well said.
  • + 2
 With the whole "metric" shock sizing thing, I feel like maybe Rockshox (along with several other rear shock makers) is definitely on the right path in relation to your plea Vernon.

I also think that naming the new, standard sized shocks "Metric" is f**king moronic (because, whoa! I had no idea that shocks DIDN'T already have metric measurements!!!) but at least it indicates a desire to make suspension design/frame building, and shock sizing (and shock portability maybe?) slightly more predictable. I think?

All I really know is that I want to buy a Fox Float X2, but I am reluctant to drop $625.00 on a shock that may essentially get stuck on my 26" Yeti SB66c because any new frames a year or two from now may only fit standard "metric" shock sizes.

What do you think?
  • + 2
 Buy an Eleven Six and they'll change it to whatever magical dimension system they come up with next. Cost more than an X2, but about the same as a fox 40 or a cheapish carbon wheel set, and then you'll have a pretty future proof shock.
  • + 0
 @jackalope:

I have to wonder how much that procedure will cost though... I'd imagine at least close to as much as a new shock might.

Don't get me wrong, if I could swing the ElevenSix I would.
  • + 0
 @MasterSlater: I could be mistaken, but the impression I got was that if you send your shock in for a service rebuild, they could do it for a nominal fee (basically just any new parts). Theres also the very real possibility that the Eleven Six will still be a better shock than whatever new, boost spacing hardware, magic magnet, carbon shaft shock offerings they have in the Buck Rogers era.
  • + 1
 Boost is around 3 years old. It is already well established in the industry. I think what Vernon wishes for (greater industry collaboration) just happened. Not only is there Boost on a x/c race winner, it's also on many of the bikes that raced the EWS at Whistler as well as introducing a new segment - plus bikes. All of this in 3 years? I'd say there was more collaboration than not.
  • + 1
 I still don't get it.

Where is the problem with any of these new "standards"?

Why should innovation move slowly in the bike industry?

I've been mountain biking for more than 20 [EDIT: Make that almost 30] years now, and every invention that replaced something that had been established before received the same critical comments, about making things incompatible and forcing people to throw away their otherwise perfectly good 7 gear drivetrains, rim brake mount frames, 25.4mm stems, quick release wheels, straight steerer forks, and so on.

But in all those years, I have rarely met someone who a) rode the same bike/frame for more than a few years while b) constantly upgrading it with all the latest and greatest parts.

So, where exactly does any kind of problem occur for someone just wanting to ride his bike?

If I am so inclined, I can still today purchase spare parts for my 3x8 drivetrain, I can get 26" forks and tires, I can get new pads for my V brakes.

Sure, I will maybe not be able to ride the latest rubber compound on my old 26er, I might not find a square tapered bottom bracket for my new frame, etc. But I still can (and do) keep a bike from the 90s up and running.

If someone really "needs" to have next year's parts on his bike, in my experience this person will exchange their frame anyway after two or three years, and can then go for whichever new standard they like best.

Personally I have not yet (and am pretty sure I never will) bought a bike/frame with a press fit bottom bracket. There are alternatives out there for everyone. And anything that doesn't work will not be able to take over the market in the long run. So why bother?
  • + 1
 This thread is funny. I have a 4 year old cheap Carbon SS that I have beat up. Me 220 lbs and a masher. Not a peep out of the press fit bb that I installed without any special tools. Agree the axle widths are less important than getting the spokes the same length. Just sold my 2011 Santa Cruz Tallboy with 135mm dropouts. A through bolt and asymmetric rims made a strong stiff wheel. If widening the hub flange to make it stronger that is good stuff. Going from 135 to 142 was just dumb.
  • + 1
 Perfectly sums up how i as a consumer reacted.
Just recently i needed a new bottom bracket. I called all the shops here (including the ones in a bike destination like Saalbach) and asked for a screw in BB. No chance. They only had Pressfit. Are you kidding me?! There are no 83mm screw in BBs available in a bike region like Saalbach anymore?
As a consumer, the logical consequence for me is buying cheaper bikes from online retailers like YT. ANd even then i won´t buy the pricey high end option. They offer more value for money and at the same time once my shit is outdated, the loss in resale value isn´t that big.
  • + 1
 226 comments and still going strong. I think there is a lot to be said about this topic. I think there are a lot of riders not to happy with the bike industry. I sure hope that bike company representatives have read this article and more importantly they are reading all the Pinkbike rider comments.
  • + 1
 BMX did this year's ago, the heads of underground frame companies got together and decided on mid BB's when there was 4or5 different BB types to choose from AND IT WORKED!! Thing with MTB is...... Its a fucking greedy industry Proprietary systems are becoming all the rage in the MTB world, and sram are the fucking worst!! Soon you won't be able to put a wheel from a Specialized on a trek , or the stem from a cannondale on a cube Etc etc I predict a new brake mount system soon, probably from sram
  • + 1
 Trail bikes have nothing on fat bikes. With 5 different rear length standards and 4 different front standards its next to impossible to know what will be here the next year Im perfectly happy with my Yeti SB66 still. Got it for a steal amd will ride it into the ground.
  • + 4
 Less yapping more brapping! All anyone ever talks about is how much everything sucks but never does anything about it!
  • + 0
 As long as we can get out there and shred, does any of this stuff really matter? If you dont like it... dont buy it.
  • + 1
 Much sound and fury... For those of you who really feel that you're getting screwed by the bicycle industry I have a couple of suggestions: 1) Don't buy anything you don't like. 2) If there's nothing out there that you like, MAKE something yourself that you DO like and STOP CRYING. Nobody says you absolutely must buy what the industry offers you, and nobody says that you aren't allowed to design your own bikes and components if you don't like what's available. If you can't or won't design something better than what's currently offered you really shouldn't gripe about the people who can and do design these things. It would be a little bit like me saying, "I don't understand why these stupid pharma companies don't just make one pill that costs a dollar and cures everything..." It's a free market folks. If you think you can do better, go right ahead and try. If you bitch about what's out there, but offer no alternative then you're just another arm chair quarterback.
  • + 1
 I'm going to ride my bike and not even worry one little bit about my rear hub spacing. If my hub ever explodes during my ownership period, I'll figure it out. I won't think about "but what if my frame/wheel isn't as stiff as (insert brand/rider's name here) bike?" Then I don't need to give one flying fawk about boost this, boost that. I suggest more do the same, so one may avoid incendiary feelings towards the bike industry or subsequently, your own "less-than-optimal" equipment.

Maybe there is an pill you can purchase online to make it wide, stiff, and boosted. Your hub.
  • + 1
 I'm saying @#$% it to Boost and keeping my rather new 142x12 and 15/20x100 wheelsets. I'm using spacer kits for the hubs/rotors, living with the supposed flex, and when I die and get reborn... then I'll build a new wheelset up with Boost hubs.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton what are your thoughts on spoke bracing angles and rim design? While I get that it makes a stronger wheel, weren't most rims were designed with the forces of 135 or 142 hub shells in mind? While I haven't seen them myself yet, I've heard from industry friends of brand new carbon wheel sets with spider web fractures all across the rims from the change in bracing angle. Are we changing one small component for the better without taking into account the adverse affects on the rest of the wheel? Seems like we are going to need boost specific rims?
  • + 1
 I like to see, and experience the time of change. Skate boards are shaped all the same now, but damn if Alva, Dwain Peters, Lony Toft, and some others, come up with some weird stuff. That was a fun time. All the fun conversations over Lony Toft's 4 truck/8wheel pool board were epic.
  • + 3
 I agree with the article! I like progression but not the garage, fade, gone in 4 months trends because No one else came out with compatible parts. ....
  • + 1
 Ultimately the solution lies with the people who want to see some change. If you want to see more 26 inch parts then start making them yourself. Right now despite all the whining consumers are buying the new parts every year. As inspiration look at the aftermarket performance market for cars, all sorts of things have become standardized because of the interest and initiative of the consumer and not the Original companies. Look at all the small companies making LS swap kits for every model of japanese car. Or look at the bmx industry for a pretty good example of effective standardization. I challenge everyone on here to attempt to make just one dream part for their own bike and then try to do the math to see what it would take to make and create 100 units and then see who else is interested. Ive already done this experiment myself. It is eye opening.
  • + 2
 Yep!!! The "standards" madness hurts the bike industry. Also, if you want to big-league another company, just add "super" in front of their newly developed standard. Go ahead, try it...
  • + 3
 It hurts the bike industry through smaller volumes for less-compatible parts, driving higher individual costs to recoup investment, driving people away.

I ride a pretty fancy 6" bike right now (with 26" wheels!), but can't imagine re-upping due to cost and relentless outdating of standards.

The bike industry is somewhat opposite of where most things are going now too - providing better value and simpler products and services to people, because HEY BIKE INDUSTRY wages have stagnated vs inflation. We don't have the spending power that we did ten years ago. Lot of companies fighting for the top end of prices. The computer geeks who make salaries that can afford those bikes barely get to ride anyway.
  • + 3
 @twozerosix: "Lot of companies fighting for the top end of prices." This is a good point, it's is a big issue.

The standards issue for me seems to be about part manufacturers which have been led strongly by SRAM/Rockshox in a fight for their slice of the profit. Over the last couple of years I've decided to avoid buying anything SRAM/Rockshox as I feel their aggressive tactics are a central issue.
  • + 2
 @twozerosix: very well stated. My feelings exactly. The bike industry as a whole is hurting in 2016 and I think this is a sign of more troubled times ahead for them. This constant changing of specs and upward spiraling of prices will cause the average rider to revolt. The bike companies really need to open their eyes. I, as well as a big group of my riding friends have basically said enough is enough and are looking at more creative options for our next bike purchase.
  • + 1
 @Injuredhippo: I agree. Along with your boycott list I have done the same with Trek.
  • + 0
 @macroman: yup. Thinking steel hardtail for some measure of simplification (and revolt).
  • + 1
 I read that an entry-level porsche is a used porsche. Maybe that philosophy is trickling in to the MTB world too.
  • + 3
 I used to be really annoyed about Boost until I discovered Boostinator

www.lindarets.com/boostinator

Not a solution for every hub, but many of the most popular ones
  • + 3
 I wonder how long until they shove 2x drivelines back down our throats and claim how innovative it is to just switch one gear to get to a climbing gear instead of 12 clicks?
  • + 1
 @TBagTantalizer - your comment is killer funny but very scary if it came true. LOL.
  • + 1
 Well put, and it would take me the rest of the day to read all the comments. I agree in general, deciding and agreeing on standards would be great. I think the industry is trying, the shining recent example IMO being metric shock sizing (though they royaly messed up naming it). Adding/changing standards can be a good thing, but when done in a vacuum and constantly changing them (ala boost) is bad form!
  • + 1
 I started mountain biking waaaaaaaaaaay back in the 90s. Perhaps not as way back as some but lets just say I have put in some miles on many, many bikes. From a £99 Apollo Kalimunda right up to the Santa Cruzes and Oranges of the world. Trail bikes, DH bikes, trials bikes, park bikes, the list goes on and continues to grow.

Do you know how many times I have thought "Holy shit these wheels need to be stiffer"? Once. And that was recently on a Whyte T129. And frankly those wheels were a wobbly mess.

Everything else has been acceptable despite me destroying about 10-15 wheels in my time.
  • + 3
 The entire industry would probably do pretty well in the long run, and save countless hours and dollars, by just asking Chris King what he thinks and do that.
  • + 1
 I still have my 2012 mtbike....a 142x12 rear wheeled, threaded bb, 66 degree ha, 26" wheels and a shit load of 2012 crap that I still enjoy to this date... call me sentimental and call me cheap but if aint broke.....it aint need no fixin!
  • + 3
 Working in the industry I can say it really is hurting sales with all the change after change. People have shut their wallets waiting for the size wars to run their course.
  • - 1
 You seem to be in the wrong part of the industry, as far as I can tell business is better than ever.
  • + 1
 Things will settle down, because eventually the buyer always decides they want X and not Y. You can promote your new better standard till you go blue in the face and pass out, but if people don't want it eventually you have to drop it. See 1.5 forks and headsets, 'overdrive 2,' Octalink, ISIS, 10mm rear thru axles, Press fit BBs (soon). Eventually buyers will dictate one or two axle standards the same way everyone decided 142x12 was just better than 135QR, 135x10 and 135x12 a few years ago. I expect 148x12 will win out since it works for everything from DH bikes to fat bikes... of course the buying public doesn't always pick the right standard, why we're not all on 20mm axle forks remains a mystery to me.
  • + 1
 Wrong. 148x12 does not / will not work for fat-bikes. Unless you offset the rear, which sucks.

I'm from Alaska and 135, 150, 160, 170, and 177 have been tried... and they all died. 197mm was always the correct solution regarding running 5-inch tires and 100mm BB and here it will remain.

I think 157Hub / 83mm BB will be the solution for standard mountain bikes. Why? Q-factor is a non-issue for most riders. I've been moving back and forth from 68/73mm BBs to 100mm BB for over 10 years without issue. Industry has yet to figure this out... they're making the same mistakes they made in the fat-bike evolution.

Regards,

The EndUser
  • + 1
 It is the way it is, stop complaining about it. Do you think Ford cares if their air filter is compatible with Chevy's? Do you want all cars to have the same wheel/tire size so it is easier for you to find the right one? These companies are competing with each other and if I owned one I wouldn't call my competitor to tell them what our plans are. Just get out and ride!
  • + 3
 I think you may have missed the point a bit. Here is the problem I am having. We have three bikes in our family that have 29" wheels. All wheels interchange on each other's bike. Bought my kid a new 29" bike with Boost (only option available). Guess what? I can't interchange wheels with his bike. In the event my kid damages a wheel I can't use a wheel from any of my other bikes to keep him riding.

Also the automotive industry is required by law to make replacement parts available for our cars for 10 years beyond the model year. Bike companies are not required by law to make parts available. Once they change a frame, for example, they are not required to support the old model. I would not care at all about changing bike standards if I had a 10 year guarantee on parts availability.

And just as an fyi - there are a lot of cooperative technologies that automotive companies share in order to bring products to market sooner and more cost effectively. The bike industry should look at following this same model. I am pleased with the fact that Giant welds a great majority of frames for other companies like Trek, Specialized etc. More sharing of technologies could prove to be quite synergistic and profitable for the bike companies.
  • + 1
 The bike manufacturers will be bitten back with all these standards. As the resell value of pretty much every frame sold prior 2015 will drop significantly because the frame is with the already obsolete 142 mm rear or has a fork with 15/100 axle, people will not that easily gather the cash for a new bike. By killing the second hand value, they also kill their own business.
  • + 1
 While I agree whole heartedly on the sentiment, wishing the industry players will do this voluntarily is futile. This is a failure of or due to the lack of any sort of bicycle industry association that has real clout with its members. Such associations are typically the driving force of collaboration, forcing members to play nice in order to keep them from driving consumers away from the category with needless innovation. The other angle would be for the retailers or a related association to force collaboration across the industry, but being so fragmented by independents it would take decades and the death of countless of our beloved independent bike stores. We may generally talk smack about the tactics of bigger chains in the industry, think the recent CRC acquisition, but those guys may actually have the clout to talk some sense into the manufacturers... So protest with your closed wallet and ride what ya got until this shit calms down, when our money talks, hopefully the bullshit will walk.
  • + 0
 I simply learned to just buy a brand new bike every 2-4 years, buy the middle-to-top build as it's way cheaper in the long run and keep it stock and enjoy it till it's time to get the next bike. end of story. just don't believe the hype and you'll be fine
  • + 0
 My 2011 Enduro has 135mm QR at the back. It never gives a moments trouble. At a recent shuttle day a late model Giant Reign had a problem with its 142x12 DT axle. The thing comes unscrewed on its own repeatedly.. I am sure its not common, but it made me think about my trouble free back axle.

Seems to me the "rot" really started with the introduction of 29er wheels leading to stiffness issues. (although I have never ever seen a proper scientific study showing the measurable difference between say a QR axle and a 12mm screw in ...)
  • + 3
 How to not get sucked into changing standards orbworry about wheel stiffness:
1. Buy a Banshee frame.
2. Stop casing stuff.
  • + 2
 Call me a communist, but mass producing one good product seems way better than producing 5000000 different half baked pieces of shit.
  • + 1
 As long as the bike industry continues to provide free beer, they can innovate all they want. Your only vote is with your dollar - buy from beer fueled companies. Preferably US ones.
  • + 1
 Damn... talk about a turn around from the last one your articles I read. This is a nice read. Very well thought out. Intelligent. Make sense. WTF is the world coming to. nice article.
  • + 1
 At the end of the day an awesome bike today will still be an awesome bike in ten years. Don't buy into the newer is better because its only marketing or such a small percentage of improvement. Go ride your bike.
  • + 1
 Tell me about it. I just spent a month trying to find a 26" 142x12 rear wheel, and it ended up costing $650 because it had to be purpose built. On a 3 year old bike that was high end then. Dayum.
  • + 0
 "Not only did Boost 148 make for stronger wheels, it also allowed for shorter, wider chainstays to co-exist with larger tires."
Can someone please explain to me how can be chainstay shorter because of wider rear hub?? As I understand chainstay legth cant be shorter than radius of the rim + tire clearance and some clearance for mud...
On the other hand, great article but Im missing some words on the BB fiasco!
  • + 2
 I just got back from riding my bike. Reading all these comments makes me want to get off Pinkbike and go ride my bike more and think less.
  • + 0
 THANK you for putting this article out, I've been cursing these new standards for too long. A note I don't think was touched on as much as is that part of the reason for all these standards is it drives sales, bike companies are in the business of making money so by rolling out new standards right and left helps to do this by forcing your bike to be obsolete.
  • + 2
 So the Turner released today that looks exactly like my Trance 26" from 2010, you want more of that? My switchblade rolls better than any bike that I've owned.
  • + 1
 Because of the DW-Link suspension or because of the 157 Super Boost rear wheel spacing?
  • + 1
 @amrskipro: exactly the question that should be asked
  • + 1
 @amrskipro: Pivot designed them to work together so it's hard to say but I've dropped friends on descends and cleaned climbs that I haven't before.
  • + 0
 its not so bad if you don't need new spec all the time.
i also dig all the deals on new/old parts. my last build saved me mucho $$ just buying
2 year old new stuff. bike riders are suckers to peer pressure and marketing spin.
  • + 0
 Excellent article. Unfortunately no matter what we say as riders, it will fall on the deaf ears of the bike companies. This innovate or die attitude ends up costing the consumer. Why can't the bike industry make a bike that keeps the same spec for 3 years. They would be able to keep their production costs lower, increase their profits and provide riders with a well priced product. I have lost all faith in the bike industry.
  • + 0
 If sram had a dedicated seven speed-width xd driver cassette freehub for 157 hubs then we could have wider-flanged non-dished, stronger rear wheels, like e-thirteens lgr-1. Wasn't this the point of 7spd? Would this equal super-boost 157 with 7 speeds? Why I am I even considering this? Time to go ride and clear my head.
  • + 1
 The road riding and cyclocross industry looks simple compared the the new age of mountain biking. My next mountain bike(my thoughts at the moment) will be a simple steel or ti hardtail. Good article.
  • + 0
 I got scared there for a second. My bike has 27.5/ 650b x 142 mm. I Googled that and found a crap ton of options. Phew. Keep innovating. I guess my next bike will have something where my spare parts inventory will be useless. As I experienced when I moved to the current rig with 650b 142 mm. Whatever?! Who cares, just ride your bike.
  • + 0
 I've long been beating the drum of versatility. To me the idea that manufacturers are still making frames without adjustable geometry or flip-chips seems short sighted. We still get frames made that will ONLY fit a 2.3 tire, meanwhile the industry moves towards 2.5, 2.8 and 3.0 tires, while trying to sell us on why we need a fat bike. What they don't tell you is that a 275x3.8 tire can fit in a well designed frame with 73mm BB and 148mm hub and that same frame will also fit a 29x2.6 tire. For the longest time they told us they just couldn't make (or sell) 29ers with less than 420 chainstays. Trek blew that out of the water. They told us full suspension 29ers couldn't have 430 chainstays, now everybody does it. Tons of companies sell bikes that you can swap the shock and change the links for different travel and/or BB height, but everybody refuses to combine those features with tire clearance, light weight, and affordability.
  • + 2
 Canfield puts that whole argument under question - the Riot has 414mm chainstays, happily fits 27.5x 2.8mm tires (or 29x2.4), and does so with 142x12mm rear spacing in a 5.5" travel package.
Rocky mountain have had Ride9 adjustability for a while, with great tire clearance, and arguably the latest implementation of their smoothlink chainstay pivot would be the ideal setup to run 157x12 rear ends without absurd levels of heel strikes.
  • + 1
 now hold on for a second. and.. CONSUME!


then all of your outdated stuff should pop off on ebay, so most of the less fortunate 2nd world dwellers could still ride kick@ss rigs for peanuts.
go bike industry, GOGOGO!
  • + 5
 This is the bright side to all of this crap: Getting great lightly-used stuff that the gear snobs think is irrelevant.
  • + 2
 They know this and it's part of the reason fancy bikes are made from carbon. Not only does carbon command a premium price but it also has reduced value on the 2nd-hand market as many will be reluctant to purchase a 2nd-hand carbon AM/enduro/downhill frame.
  • + 1
 @Injuredhippo: Never thought of this but i'll be damned if it doesn't make sense.
  • + 2
 "But here’s the thing—Why did we stop at 148? Why not go wider?"

Because they need to save something to put out in a couple more years to make 148 obsolete.
  • + 0
 I agree the pace of change and moving targets in bike standards is a pain in the ass and erodes consumer confidence in the longevity of a bike purchase or upgrades. The newer standards like the PF30 make bikes harder to work on and more difficult to customize.

If this bike that I just paid $6000 for is so good, then why toss out new standards every couple years? Maybe it's not really worth it. Kind of reminds me what it was like to buy a computer 15 years ago and it was relatively considered a piece of junk within a year.
  • + 1
 Just bought a new Chromag with 135x10 dropouts and a 73mm threaded bb. Cant wait to rip some trails with it while my buddies on 12000$ carbon fiber enduro rigs wonder what the hell is wrong with me.
  • + 0
 I think the place for this to start is with the big compnent manufactures. If Shimano SRAM FOX could agree standards they could influence the bike companies. Given that these 3 companies supply a huge proportion of the market this approach would allow bike manufactures, that in realtiy are frame builders, to innovate to their hearts content to sell us the best bikes. The advantage of this approach is that with fewer players it would be easier to reach agreement
  • + 2
 I think the concerns about Q factor and 150 spacing is BS. What is the actual problem if the pedals are 2mm wider?
  • + 1
 it's been over 1 year that i'm looking for a new bike in the 5K range. can't find the bravery to drop that cash into something that tomorrow will be obsolete.
  • + 2
 @giustino my thoughts exactly. Well said.
  • - 1
 Am I the only guy who doesn't have a problem sourcing components for any bikes from the last 10 to 15 years.
I could hold more sympathy for the notion of obsolete if it was no longer possible to buy what I need.
Still able to buy 135 hubs 8 speed brake blocks for rim brakes. Front mechs in every conceivable diameter.
Square taper bottom brackets. Standard 1" 1/8 headsets.
I'm genuinely not seeing a problem unless you've been hoarding parts that you can no longer use on a new bike.
  • + 2
 I'm one of those that got hosed with 27.5" w/ 142mm spacing. Thanks Trek for future proofing my 2015 Remedy....
  • + 2
 Brilliantly written article. Thank you for saying what we all have been thinking
  • + 2
 Thanks Vernon! I think you just gave me the name for my newest trail - sweetbabyvishnu -
  • + 1
 I agree, the problem is when you upgrade with these "new standards", the old ones are not compatible anymore with the newer ones, hence lots of extra parts just gets dumped,,
  • + 1
 Dear trek keep your dirty 29er wheels off of downhill bikes yes I prober lay will be fast as f#^* but dam it man do you have no honour !
  • + 3
 im just gonna buy a dirt bike and take the motor out!
  • + 2
 I gave up MTB and took up CX and later road bikes and Strava, because, well, the MTB industry are parasites.
  • + 0
 The only way to save our old trusty bike is to do a petition and freeze all changes to mountain bikes so that they will still be so rad our grand children will fighting for it.
  • + 1
 Fuck the bike industry. So many of those corporate goons are so out of touch with mountain biking. The sport is in full-on bitch mode.
  • + 3
 You said it!
  • + 3
 dear bike industry fuck off
  • + 0
 Pretty much the stupidest thing is new "metric" shocks, it makes NO sense, Makes it so the shock needs to be longer for the same stroke length. Just engineering wise, it makes NO sense.
  • - 1
 The new standards were created for the seamless introduction of boosted, fattie, E-Bikes. I thought you already knew that Vernon Felton. Specialized still use 135mm hubs on the Demo, so why do any of us need anything wider on our trail bikes?
  • + 1
 it almost feels like when buying a new computer with the latest technology or a new tv now days , you just know that 6 months later you are already outdated
  • + 2
 haha are we at a point where Moore's law applies to mt bike standard changes? For computers I always upgrade the specs a bit to help improve the viability of the machine as things grow. With my bike, we will have to wait and see how viable the current spec is down the line ('15 Tracer 275C with custom spec), but I think she is dialed in pretty darn well.
  • + 3
 The difference is that the computing power is growing exponentially (although the software bloat keeps pace).
In bikes, it's small linear improvements, which is far harder to justify. Computers still run the sane PCI-E, CPU sockets, and atx layouts, which makes even that obsolescence-based market seem downright logical when compared to what the bike industry is up to of late.
  • + 1
 Just tell your friends don't ever buy Pivot switchblade then 157 super boost is dead.... problem solved..... For awhile
  • + 1
 That read was well worth my time! Thank you Vernon---note: I am old, cranky and short on time
  • + 1
 Got my 2016 Enduro Expert for $2,000 off MSRP, out the door, with an S Works Carbon bar. Keep up the standards deluge.
  • + 2
 Couldn't agree more, great article, hope it gets heard
  • + 1
 Devinci atlas has one of the shortest chainstays on a 29er with a 12x142.... Just saying.
  • + 1
 "For the record, I'm not confusing the bike industry with a hippie commune". Well maybe you should...
  • + 0
 the next big thing will be the megaboost 162... more tyre clearance, 3% increased rear stiffness, compatibility with 29 and 27,5 and plus sizes and 13-speed drivetrain.
  • + 2
 just take a bath in it, thats the new standard.
  • + 2
 A few half decent arses amongst those hippies
  • + 0
 All frames and forks should be designed with modular dropouts to accommodate any width and any diameter axle. That was easy.
  • + 1
 I think the bike industry is going to be like the beer industry. Mega brands will fade and the micro shops will thrive.
  • + 1
 Except that the big brands are as profitable as ever, and still hills the vast majority of market share.
  • - 1
 Still using 1-1/8" steerers, 9mm QR, 26" Tripple's (except one bike), Hell i even have two old 'Standard' 25.4 handlebars on more than one bike. New stuff is fine. I just don't want to pay over inflated prices for it yet.
  • + 1
 I think boost is a good idea for 29er wheels. Is it really needed for 650b though? Maybe super boost plus for 29+ wheels?
  • + 2
 26" on 135 and a 2x9 drivetrain FTW!
  • - 1
 Have you spent a day or two on a 27.5 142mm 1x yet?
  • + 2
 @WolfStoneD: No, but I did put a day on a borrowed 29" 142mm 2x10 two years ago, does that count? I can't remember if it was any better, to be honest.
  • + 1
 Hell yes I agree!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 "Taint mauling"
  • + 1
 Vernon...the Voice of Reason!
  • + 0
 DEAR BIKE INDUSTRY...
HINT: THE HD TV WAS PLANED AND CONCEPTUALIZED 20 YEARS BEFORE IT WAS BUILT.
  • + 1
 Still not buying into 27.5, 29er, 11 or 12 speed, boost plus, Enduro hype!
  • + 1
 iPad spell check thinks it's better than me
  • - 1
 Bike manufacture should provide warranty for whole bike rather than frame - in that case i'll never care about incompatible standards;
quite similar to the cars;
  • + 1
 Except that bumper to bumper warranties usually cover a very limited time, then it's only a chassis/drivetrain warranty
  • + 1
 @tehllama: where im living you can warranty only the frme
  • + 1
 @clownpnd: I was only saying that most automobile warranties are mediocre anyway. That said, with warranty support that limited, might as well go direct sales
  • + 2
 Nailed it.
  • + 0
 I think you have said it all @vernonfelton Wink
  • + 0
 Bikes are solved. Talking about bikes is nearly dead. Find a new thing.
  • + 1
 F*** overdrive headsets
  • + 1
 A-fucking-Men!
  • + 1
 Amen.
  • - 2
 148? why not go 2 more mm to size that already exists, 150mm. gotta say, changed dropouts from 135mm to 150mm and made rear end noticeably more stable.
  • + 1
 Preachin Truth!
  • + 1
 I agree
  • + 0
 Crazy Frog tee scoped !
  • + 0
 well spotted. I didn't even know who crazy frog was. had to look him up...
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