12-Speed XTR, Devinci’s Return to DH, and a Santa Cruz eMTB? - Rumors from Eurobike 2017

Sep 6, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Eurobike 2017


If you happened to have caught any of our Eurobike 2017 coverage, you already know that it wasn't exactly a riveting show full of new and exciting gear. No, she was a bit of a snoozer this time around, which is, sadly, becoming the norm as you'd have to have the marketing IQ of a gerbil to think that debuting an important product at a tradeshow is a good idea. We need more gerbils to make these shows exciting again but, in the meantime, they've turned out to be great opportunities to put one's ear to the proverbial carpeted show floor and pick up on rumors and whispers.

This edition of Levy's TMZ has some doozies, including a pretty solid rumor about the *possibility* of Shimano's next XTR group sporting twelve cogs. Will that or any of other the below rumors pan out? If they do, remember who told you first; if they don't, please don't remember where you read them.






Shimano's 12-Speed XTR Drivetrain is Coming

Well, we all know this one is coming, don't we? Of course, but I finally heard some solid whisperings from a number of different sources confirming not just a 12-speed XTR drivetrain from Shimano, but also a handful of interesting details. Among those details is that the twelve-cog cassette will have a 10 to 51-tooth spread, beating you-know-who by one tooth and taking dinner plate-sized large cogs to new, er, diameters. And much like how SRAM had to develop a new freehub body design for their own 10 to 42-tooth block (and, later, their 12-speed Eagle drivetrain), rumors have Shimano also employing a new freehub, and using a smaller version of their Centerlock threaded lockring to attach the cassette. Also, news that many won't welcome, there could actually be a few different 12-speed freehubs from Shimano to suit different setups.


Eurobike 2017
All that booth space and not a single 12-speed mountain bike drivetrain to be seen... yet.


Expect a new 12-speed derailleur and chain to go along with all of the above, of course, as well as a fresh, single-ring XTR crankset; all likely finished in that classy gray color that their high-end drivetrains always wear. Shimano is also said to be releasing a new, four-piston XTR brake that would go up against SRAM's Guide Ultimate stoppers.

Shimano is not a company who teases, or even hints, as to what's in the pipeline, so it was no surprise to me when my inquiries were met with mostly cold stares at their sprawling Eurobike booth. Joe Lawwill, Shimano's Mountain Bike Marketing Specialist, did have this to say, though: ''Shimano is constantly working on new products. However, Shimano does not comment on any products in development, or any rumors or innuendo - whether true or not.''

Yes, all of the above is hearsay and dirty drivetrain innuendo, but I'd also be willing to bet both of my thumbs that we'll see most, or maybe all, of the rumors to be proven true when the Japanese giant does decide to release the information.
Shimano XTR Trail review test
Eleven cogs? Pfft, the next XTR group will turn it up to twelve. I think. Probably.

Chance of this rumor becoming fact: 90%



The Return of Marzocchi's Range

Fox Racing Shox and Marzocchi shared floor space inside Messe Friedrichshafen, as you'd expect given that the former owns the latter. But while Fox's section of the booth was full of the latest suspension goodies (but not their new, four-way adjustable fork damper that I spotted at Crankworx), the Italians only had a handful of last year's models, as well as a Marzocchi-branded Transfer dropper post, hanging on the wall for people to see. Word is that will change in the near future, however, with Fox planning to lift the Italian name back up into the front of everyone's minds.


Eurobike 2017
You don't need to be Nostradamus to know that Marzocchi will have a larger presence in the near future.


That's not exactly a surprise, though, as it's not like Fox picked up Marzocchi just to let the name fade away. But rather than just a few revised, low-end models, rumors have Marzocchi soon debuting an entirely new range of suspension offerings. If or when it does happen, I suspect that they'll be focused on original equipment rather than aftermarket sales. And, because nothing says ''come back'' like a steel stanchioned tubed fork, they'll hopefully have something nicer than just entry-level products. If you think about it, all these aftermarket coil conversion kits coming out are a sign that many riders are happy to move away from air-sprung suspension, and wouldn't it make sense to see Marzocchi's new forks answer that demand while Fox stays with air?

Chance of this rumor becoming fact: 70%



Devinci's Return to Downhill Racing

It wasn't that long ago that Devinci was a serious presence on the World Cup downhill circuit, with wins and overall titles coming from the late, great Stevie Smith, and some solid results from his teammate, Mark Wallace. But then, as we all know, tragedy took Smith far too early, and Devinci switched their efforts from downhill to the Enduro World Series. To be fair, the team has had some EWS placings worth being proud of, including a win from Damien Oton. But the EWS isn't World Cup downhilling, and a successful World Cup campaign sells far more than just downhill bikes, with eight-inch-travel sleds being the pig in the window of the mountain bike butcher shop.


Mark Wallace grips and rips coming into the steepest section of the VDS course.
The Wilson is an out-and-out race bike, and I'm betting that they'll have some top-20 riders on the World Cup downhill circuit next season.


I'm not just talking out my ass here, either, as more than a few insiders have mentioned Devinci's return to the World Cup scene. With what riders, I'm not sure, but it would just feel right to see Wilsons being raced against the clock again.

Chance of this rumor becoming fact: 80%



Santa Cruz Has an eMTB in the Works

I don't have any faith in this one being true, but hey, it's fun to speculate. The crew at Santa Cruz vehemently denies any eMTB plans, but there's a tiny smidge of chance that it could happen down the road. Wait, at least hear me out before you accuse me of being a looney heretic for saying that Santa Cruz, arguably the "coolest" company in the game, might jump on the battery-powered bandwagon.

The most telling sign of the end times for me is that Santa Cruz has been owned by Dutch company Pon Holdings since 2015, and battery-powered transportation is a large part of Pon's portfolio. The Dutch conglomerate already owns a number of other cycling brands, including those who have their hands deep in the ebike pie, so it's pretty obvious to see where the tech would come from.

It's no secret that eMTBs are the current cash cow that companies are pushing, and this is especially true in Europe where Santa Cruz doesn't have the same foothold that they do in North America. On the flip side, Pon Holdings is known to be a hands-off type of dark overlord, so it's by no means a sure thing.
Santa Cruz Nomad 4
The new Nomad's appearance was divisive, but just imagine the comment section if it had a motor and battery bolted to it.

For their part, Santa Cruz denies that they'll be joining the battery brigade anytime soon. ''E-hostilities aside, our best bikes represent a convergence of passion and differentiation,'' Don Palermini, North American Marketing Manager at Santa Cruz, explained when I posed the eMTB question to him. ''I'm not sure we can deliver on that right now, so we're not working on one. That doesn't mean never, but we're not willing to spend the financial and social capital on a 'me too' product.''

So that's that, at least for now, I guess.

Chance of this rumor becoming fact: 20%

Must Read This Week

293 Comments

  • + 118
 All Shimano needs to do is price XTR 12-speed 25% or so lower than SRAM Eagle and they will be as sure fire success. The Sram Eagle cassette is a nice piece of machining. However, the price of that and the other Eagle components is downright ridiculous.
  • + 13
 The pricing will have to take the new freehub into account, which may end up equalling it out unless they can use some existing freehub design that is readily available. Replacing freehubs can be an expensive ordeal with some hubs.
  • + 42
 Just having Shimano compete with Eagle will bring down the prices, SRAM eagle basically just competes against itself with GX eagle.
  • + 51
 Ya cheap xtr, keep dreaming. More like shimano to gauge its retailers with high wholesales and no margins
  • + 10
 @Tr011: I didn't say 'cheap', just less that SRAM Eagle. XTR is usually a bit lower than top end SRAM (except for the Di electronics). Hopefully that sticks. SRAM pulled it's products from Chain Reaction US sales because of lower prices, they are no better than Shimano in that regard.
  • + 36
 Waiting for SRAM or Shimano to make a 10-44-ish 12 speed cassette to make the XC'ers happy. Less jump between gears means cadence junkies will be happier. Also lighter than the huge eagle 50t. And really, who needs anything above 44?
  • + 11
 @Tr011: preach brother. then we'll see it on chain reaction priced lower than whole sale
  • + 40
 Excellent. The prices of 11 speed drivetrains will decrease and 10 speeds will hit rock bottom. Where pick them up I shall!
  • + 28
 Honestly don't see the need for a 10T small cog; 11-51 would be huge range, same weight, and work with existing freehubs.
  • + 4
 @Drew-O: wait until some fella from Colorado chime in, he will school you on climbing and the necessity of wide range.
  • + 5
 The fact that a well cared-for high-end (X01/XX1) Sram cassette will outlast several cheaper versions makes the high price worth it. I have over 250 rides averaging 1.5 hours and 1600 feet of climbing per ride on mine. I measure chain stretch, keep a clean chain and change the chain 2 times a year. I did replace my bail-out gear recently with a wolf-tooth but the rest of cassette is shifting very well. Expensive..yes..but in this RARE case the higher cost component actually lasts longer. In fact, my cassette and rear derailleur are the only stock parts left on my 2015 Enduro...
  • + 63
 Waiting patiently for the 2020 12spd SLX here.
  • + 13
 Do people find they really need this level of gearing?
I'm not super fit/strong and run a 1x11-34T-11/42 and have no issues.
  • + 14
 @ryan83: X01 cassette, running a 30T for about half a year, then a 32T for the rest of the two years i've been running the cassette (i bought the bike mid july '15). I'm measuring the chain religiously and changing it ~once a year (once every spring for the past two springs) with the front chainring as well.

In these two years, i've done say 200 or 180ish rides (about half and half per year), each with between 800 and 100 m of climbing on average, 2016 was completed with 105 rides and almos 107.000 verticals per Strava (so lop off ~20 %). I killed the 42T about a month ago due to the teeth getting used up on the non-drive-side and creating a nice ramp, with the tops folding over a bit.

I did successfully prolong the life of the cassette by bending the teeth back (it works now, the chain jumped a bit with the teeth folded over), but it's on it's last legs.

I want to go Eagle just to have an aluminium chainring that rarely gets used and to have a proper bailout gear on hold if needed. And it is needed, at least 10 times a year, if not more.

As for the wolf-tooth replacement, a GX cassette, though heavier, is about the same as their 42T cog and you get a whole new cassette. I'm going that route if i'm not going GX Eagle (it's sooooooooo temptig).

Anywho, as for the new freehub design, WHY?? WHY GOD OH WHY??

The XD driver is an open standard, why not use it? Sram used the Shimano freehub design and everybody was happy. The XD transition was/is a chore with incompatible parts, but it brought something to the table, the use of the same tool and a wider range. Why does Shimano have to rethink it again, when we have something which works?
  • + 6
 @Allen82: Where do you run it?
  • + 1
 @ryan83: this works on my 11-40 xt cassette too. It's lasted 3x my 9 and 10 speed cassette from the past.
  • + 16
 @WAKIdesigns: I am one of those 'fellas from Colorado'. Yes, more range the better with 1x systems. Sustained climbs above 8k feet (2400+ meters) definitely warrant bail out gears. And, on the descents, taller the better. Would a 2x make up the difference? Of course. However, the simplicity of 1x in the front really can't be beat. I am natively from the southeaster US. Not as much range needed there. However, there are plenty of short, steep climbs in that area as well as the Northeastern US.
  • + 2
 @Primoz: Everywhere around the UK.
  • + 3
 Bring on the deals for 10speed cassettes.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Colorado living, ran 10spd 11-36 all summer. Legs>range
  • + 5
 @Primoz: Love my Oneup 50t on a XT Cassette, plug and play!
  • + 1
 @garrettstories: Ride eThirteens 9-44t cassette
  • - 16
flag sessionman123abc (Sep 6, 2017 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 12 speed is bad, it just breaks
  • + 9
 @Primoz: Amen Primoz! Shimano lost the race and should do the world a favour by using XD - there's no excuse for another "standard"!
  • + 3
 @sessionman123abc: Same was said about 8-spd, 9-spd, 10-spd, 11-spd etc. etc....
  • - 10
flag sessionman123abc (Sep 6, 2017 at 12:28) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: i work at a shop and its just for slow old guys, it is just too big and flex's and breaks off
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 6, 2017 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: yea, and guy like you would repeat same thing when Sram will release 9-64 in 15sp
  • + 4
 @sessionman123abc: You want to call a large population of super fast racers /riders 30 and under in Colorado 'slow old guys'? Fine...have fun.
  • + 5
 @Allen82: Depends where you ride I suppose. In BC and I think my legs would literally explode with that combo.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Been Shimano since 1994. Back then every gear they introduced was met withe the same complaints. 'Why do we need 8-speed? 7 is just fine" etc. etc. I now have 11-speed XO which is great on one of my bikes. Shimano on the other. So if you want to be a smart ass, fine. However, I was just pointing out the humor in saying "We don't need insert improvement/new gear here>>>______". Internet whiners every single release of anything these days unless it's close to free and or gearbox (which i want one day).
  • + 1
 @Allen82: Only because it exists. I know plenty of guys that NEED Eagle for the steep climbs here; but 7 years ago ran 11-36 1x. I finally went with the XX1 cassette because the damn thing is a functional jewel. I'll never roll Eagle unless they produce a smaller size.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: hey I'm from Colorado. And I love my eagle!
  • + 12
 @bman33: oh dear, why don't you just take out the argument about cantilever brakes... I've just had enough of these discussions to see how people think and talk like puppets, both the 26forlife crowd and Di2 crowd. I had Enduro bike before it got cool, sold it and got a trail bike before Enduro stopped being cool and trail got cool. I jumped on 10sp as soon as it got available, 1x as well, got one of the first Reverbs in Sweden, literally within week after first ones hit US ebay. Got UST as soon as I could afford it (200Cool , n/W chainring within first months after xx1 got available, same with oval ring (which turned out to be a bullshyte), same with clutch rear mech, same with 1,5ply semislick, thin flat pedals, fkng hollowtech2 crankset back in 2005, list goes on and on.

So if you consider myself as a luddite you are mistaken. You are being played by A- old school of pedalling and B planned, progressive one step at a time pseudo innovation.

So if back in 2012 I told you 11sp is bs, you'd tell me that you heardit about 7sp, 8sp, 9sp, 10sp, and I would tell you: hah maybe 12sp 10-50 and people would tell me that I am exaggerating. So please remember this: I tell you now that there will be for sure 54 - possibly 56t cassette expanders and there willbe people just like you saying: it's best. And quoting some huge mileage from their Strava. Well if you do such mileage, then it just doesn't speak good for you, since my brother in law, Peter Sagans Team mate, rarely exceeds 25h riding a week. On road bike. So well it just means you do a lot of mediocre effort. If you do more than 10h a week you should be fkng flying on 11-36t cassette. If I had so much riding time on my hands I'd be on EWS start lists and in Swedish top 5 in Enduro.
  • + 4
 I like what Waki said. He's right
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: Like it. Screw the marketing and just ride your bike - 26, 27.5 or 29 its all good fun!
  • + 5
 GX eagle ain't that bad hombre
  • + 18
 @WAKIdesigns: "If I had so much riding time on my hands I'd be on EWS start lists and in Swedish top 5 in Enduro." Well, you have a lot of time on your hands to type. My point is very near to yours....I was poking fun at all the whiners and complainers. I never accused you of being a luddite, those are your words. As for me being played, I still run XT 10-spd on one of my bikes. I've been around MTB since 1992, rode and raced semi-pro for years and now just ride for fun. Do I like/enjoy new bike goodies? Yes I do. I don't have a Strava account and probably never will. I really like how you assume and form an opinion from someone you've a) never met b) was making a similar (not the same) point as you and c) didn't assume or name call anyone any labels on my post. As for 'mediocre' riding, you are welcome to stay at my home in Denver, CO and I'll take you on my local trail and DH rides and THEN you can form an educated opinion as to my riding habits.

I'm headed out to ride my 11-spd bike on a 'mediocre' Colorado ride. Have a good evening.
  • + 2
 @Drew-O: @WAKIdesigns: A lot of these new bikes with their wide chainstays to fit 2.6 and plus can't take big chainrings, so the 10 tooth is nice if your bike can only fit a 34T (or lord forbid, only a 32T) chainring.

from CO, with love. Smile

PS: Granted, probably only an issue if you race.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: so true lol
  • + 1
 @Allen82: You don't have very steep technical climbs where you live, obviously!
  • + 5
 @Primoz:

> The XD driver is an open standard, why not use it?

This. I appreciate Shimano's many contributions to cycling, but if there's not a *very* compelling reason to add another standard, it just looks like arrogance. And it's not like it's the first time. "We hate front derailleurs." "No, actually, you love them because our 5-year product plan says you do. Have some overpriced electronics."
  • + 1
 @garrettstories: Could not agree more. My Enduro rig runs on an XTR 11/40 cassette.
  • + 3
 I always thought why not 5 speed 11-50. Less unsprung weight. I don't understand why we are adding more weight to the worst place to add weight on the bike.
  • + 2
 I'm from Colorado and I can get by easily on 10 speeds when I ride regularly. With XX1 even in bad shape I can usually clean any climb I'm actually skilled enough to get up. 12 would be nice for those really long days but certainly not necessary for anyone who rides regularly. Then again the climb up Belcher will bring even the strongest to their knees on a 95 plus degree day. Ride what makes you happy. Give me less gears with a wider spread. In reality we only need one. It's all DH from here anyway!
  • + 1
 @bman33: That's EXACTLY why they're a better company to work with than Shimano from the IBD perspective. They aren't tolerating grey market product and price wars.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: Exactly, I want less gears to have to shift through, these aren't road bikes where cadence matters. 5 speed 11-42 would work for me.
  • + 2
 @Allen82: Of course this gearing is relevant, and thats because The Alps and the Rockies are a bit .....hillier....than Exeter. Horses for courses matey.
  • + 2
 @billreilly: very steep technical climbs, yes my favorite. Especially in loose conditions. Standing up, using lots of body language, Harder gear is preferable for grip, power modulation, balance, ratcheting, 3/4 strokes, pedal timing, avoiding rock strikes. Climbing in greasy mud, wet rock slabs, sandy rock slabs, chunky gravel - hard gear only.
  • + 3
 @the-gringo: hang on mate, some mountains in England are in excess of 500 m high. Surely there are no peaks higher or slopes steeper in the world.
  • + 3
 @BenPea: 1,5h climb on fireroad for almost 900m and then descend is easy peasy compared to riding 1,5h at one of my riding areas on 50-100mm tall "hills" totalling at 500 vertical meters in my area. One of my favorite riding routes features 4 climbs that will fist your butt. Check out how long you can ride at 120-140 BPM compared to 180+ BPM. It's basically like swimming in the +20C pool compared to swimming in the sea witho no wet suit at +5. Good luck.

General idea is bollocks, fine gravel fireroad at mellow grade is one thing, if gravel gets coarse it gets harder, add more gradient and you get screwed in a matter of 10 minutes and if it's dry, spinning fast doesn't help since your rear wheel spins out all the time. Crappy old cobble stone road in the mountains? Maybe one made of limestone? In mild rain? Maybe old fireroad with patches of mud? Singletrack climbing, everything goes there. Steep gradient on loam, no probs, greasy mud - oh sht. In my hometown in Poland there's one mountain with 300 v.m climb and another with 700 v.m. Fireroad to the lower one is steeper. You get more tired on top of it than on the another. Now they made a trail center kind of climb there. You arrive fresh as a baby to the top as mellow gradient is broken with flat and even few slightly down sloping sections so your heart rate goes down often.

What is universal though, at least for me (and couple of people I know) is that the moment I ride at hiking pace, I see no point in continuing. Especially on a long ride. It is painful, boring and inefficient. I may try to clean a climb without dismounting as a form of challenge, but I would never do it on biking holiday having some sweet descends ahead as I prefer to save energy for the most fun part. I ditched the rear mech and stopped spinning like a roadie after a 65+ year old man overtook me on a climb, running up. It's a real sory, I ordered 10sp drivetrain within a week. 2 years later my body was perfectly adapted to low cadence.
  • + 1
 @the-gringo:
?... They're more places to ride than Exeter... Riding in Wales now this week.
  • + 0
 #f*ck12speed
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Here we go again. It's all subjective. Climbs can be very variable and involve a variety of gradients, surface types and grip levels. Ultimately I'd just rather be on the bike if I can. Clearing the seemingly unclearable is a buzz both up and down (to me). I get off when I run out of muscle.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns:

"...since my brother in law, Peter Sagans Team mate..."

WELP, THAT SETTLES IT!
  • + 0
 @garrettstories: Who needs more than 42.....
  • + 1
 @casman86: I do hope you're kidding.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Where do you want me to start ?
  • + 1
 @ryan83:
Agreed. I've got three seasons on my X01 and a few thousand miles with no issues. All I do is change my chain when it needs it. Most flawless drivertrain I've ever used.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I wish you could come visit Washington state and we could ride together because I disagree with everything you just said about using a taller gear and standing climbing. I've seen some people climb well for short bursts standing up but nothing truly technical and not for long. Actually i will be riding from Chamonix for the next week albeit on guided tours. But probably the closest we will ever be in proximity.
  • + 1
 @Tr011: Boom! Roasted!
  • - 2
 Calling *bullshit* on the 10-51T cassette rumor. I've never seen an 'odd' number cassette sprocket. I don't think a 51 tooth sprocket would work. It's the same reason why we don't see a 33 T chainring, or a 35 T chainring, etc. They don't make a symmetrical circle.
  • + 5
 @allballz: we dont see odd numbered chainrings because they are all narrow wide now, shimano has odd numbered cogs on their cassettes just like everyone else. For example the cog on every single shimano mtb cogset starts at 11t
  • + 1
 @Tr011: Sarcasm much? Smile
  • + 2
 @casman86: SRAM do an 8-speed ebike specific groupset, something like 10-40 something. makes a lot a sense in a way...
  • + 1
 @robhill: in a way where you have multiple kW ebikes (that can be unlocked easily instead of being rated to 250 W like the regulations say), otherwise there's no point. The current drive trains could have finer jumps between gears, at least I noticed that at times. Though I prefer the range over smaller gear jumps at this moment.
  • + 67
 Rumour has it Finn Illes is off to Devinci
  • + 38
 #teamrumors shots fired.
  • + 25
 I think everyone would be ok with that, would love to see them land the world's/Canada's best young talent. Finn on a wilson....hell yeah.
  • - 3
 that would be a negative
  • + 7
 @jdylandean: Negative how? Up and coming Canada DH star on a Canadian brand. How is that negative?
  • + 9
 I've heard on the grapevine that Brook Macdonald is headed that way too...
  • + 5
 @bman33: sorry meant a "not happening"
  • - 8
flag naadams2 (Sep 6, 2017 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 @jdylandean: sorta like your comment score I reckon?
  • + 4
 @naadams2: um. ok... you got me. you're a clever one there.
  • + 2
 @jdylandean: ahhh, gotcha.
  • + 1
 @jdylandean: Jdd pissing people off on pinkbike and Facebook.
  • + 11
 Rumour has it Finn started his own brand Finnici. Heard it on the train to office
  • + 1
 @treymotleyDH: trying to... since i don't see you anymore Wink
  • + 1
 @jdylandean: I knew you missed me
  • + 4
 Finn and Miranda are going to Devinci.
  • + 2
 @sam-hughes1: one of the coolest riders in DH mentoring the best up -and-comer on Devinci? that's the type of marketing move that would make me buy another Wilson or Devinci trail bike!
  • + 1
 @plyawn: You should want to buy their bikes because they're honestly the best bikes out there!
  • + 45
 I don't think Santa Cruz is the "coolest" bike brand out there, maybe at some point back in time they were, but not for me at least today. Santa Cruz is becoming more and more snobby as time goes by (at least their real customers who actually buy their stuff).

A cooler brand IMO is Transition or Kona.
  • + 54
 That's one poll I'd like to answer : "coolest" bike brand
  • + 14
 I'll second everything you just said, with the caveat that my next bike is likely the SC Hightower. Why? It has all the numbers I'm after, and fits me well.

When Santa Cruz first brought the Blur to market, that was the start of my SC fandom. Even through their over-worked inside reps, poor communication, poor stock levels, and long lead times, I remained a bit of a fan boy--I don't know why. But in the same way that Yeti has put me completely off their brand, Santa Cruz is starting to wane in my view of their company. Great bikes, but riding one these days just means that you have more than a Trek store to choose from in your town. It's become the go-to brand for the casual rider that wants the 'hot bike' right now. I say this from the perspective of having sold them for the last 5 years.. (and of course that only applies to a part of their customer base).

At the end of the day it's the rider, not the bike, that earns the credit, absolutely. But damn, I do love me some Konas and some Transitions. Both companies are full of awesome people, and both make bikes that rip here in the PNW. Can't say enough about both of those companies willingness to bend over backward to make sure a customer gets to keep riding their bike.
  • + 8
 For sure. SC is legit an awesome company though, I live an hour north and they have a huge community presence and are super active in bike-activism if you will, sponsoring trailbuilding days, etc. But there are a lot of smaller companies that have more of that frontiersman attitude we know and love, chromag, guerrilla gravity, zerode, etc, and transition and kona are awesome too. It's hard when you have so many customers for them all to be chill, and SC does have to own some of the noobs it markets to, can't have your cool cake and eat it with a noob spoon. But hey, there are worse companies than bike companies ; )
  • + 2
 Santa Cruz is probably the most overpriced brand, though. If they were as expensive as they are but at least offered the same component specs as competing brands, it would be one thing, but they are more expensive AND have worse components. Given how ubiquitous good linkage design and geo is these days, you're essentially just paying for a bright colored paint job.
  • + 10
 @xeren: yeah I was going to say their prices/build kits aren't exactly middle-class. they have that VPP dialed though and I'll admit their cust serv is hard to beat, lifetime warranty on all frames and free bearing replacements every year.
  • + 5
 @xeren: And not even that these days. After so many people bitched about the 'rainbow colors', they've really been subduing their paint schemes lately, relatively speaking. A shame, I dug the loud colors! I agree about their spec--if you want to change any parts at all from a build group, you are at a break even to just buy a frame and build from there. Very little incentive to buy complete from SC.

@gemma8788 You make a great point man. It's hard to grow your customer base so much in recent years and for them to all remain chill. At the end of the day I'm sure SC would like that all the people that ride their bikes be cool folks, but I suppose that is out of their hands once you cross a certain number of sales per year. That's a really valid point.
  • + 1
 @SK250: agreed! YT is pretty f*cking cool too, especially having Zink, Gwin, Lacondeguy, and Neko Mullaly.
  • + 3
 @Uuno: Pole would win the poll for sure. Clever. From Finland too. Nice!
  • + 3
 Imagine how many Emtb haters would stop buying Santa Cruz if they did make a Emtb...So I see no real chance this happens. Then again Rocky Mountain just released one so anything is possible.
  • + 7
 @mikealive: I've also been a SC fanboy even through the earlier years of poor customer service, poor forecasting and lousy inventory systems.

IMO they've always made killer bikes and I definitely prefer them over other designs such as FSR, DW Link, Split Pivot, etc. I also like the fact that they don't change their models every year like most other brands do.

On top of the killer bikes, their warranty support is amazing. You pay for it up front when you buy the bike, but it is amazing.
  • + 4
 @SK250 there are plenty of s-nobbs on transition's and kona's too!
  • + 5
 @xeren: their lifetime frame warrantee is worth the extra money if you're hard on equipment
  • + 2
 SC is pretty much on Specialized level of coolness, isn't it? DMR is still cooler though the rough edges went off, same goes for YT (though it may be different in North America because they're still fairly new there). BTR is pretty cool, so is Cotic. Commencal always remained right up there.

Want to know about cool? I know all about cool, man. I am cool.

Chill.
  • + 1
 @mikealive: I'm the happy owner of a Kona Four. I don't have huge disposable dollars to buy a new bike every year, so I hang on to them for 8-10 years and then upgrade. Yes, it means I'm still on 26ers, but the bike is great.

That being said, I won't be buying a new one. Their component spec per dollar is too low. They are really outfitting their mid and low range bikes with some crap components these days. Yes, it gets the bike out the door, but you are starting out at a huge deficit.

I'll be purchasing a new ride in the next 12 months and you can bet it will likely be Transition (Sentinel? Smuggler? I can't decide!). They really have a fantastic pricing model and spec even their lowest end (if you can call 3k low end) with good kit. They get my vote for coolest.

As for SC. Huge snob/dentist factor going on there. Similar to Cannondale IMHO.
  • + 3
 @therealtylerdurden: YT not selling just frames does limit their audience though.
  • + 3
 But the 50to01 guys all ride SC, that keeps on up on top of the cool list no matter how many dentists that can't bunny hop buy them
  • + 19
 I've had 6 Santa Cruz bikes. If they make an eBike I'll quit buying them. So will a lot of other people.
  • + 6
 This. For sure.
  • + 4
 @chize: Kona and giant have lifetime warranties too though
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden: agreed! Down to earth people who love riding bikes!
  • + 3
 Santa said "we are not interested in plus size" just on month before sell the HT plus

So did Enve...
  • + 1
 having had all 3 bikes and still own a Honzo Ti and now a Hightower, I love all three brands. I personally think they bring something good to the table.
  • + 2
 Well SC will be never be Intense.. Smile
  • + 1
 @SK250: hell yeah!!
  • + 1
 Everyone seems to forget Banshee, old school brand run by less than 5 people + they don't even have xc or road bikes. As true mtb brand as it can be...
  • + 2
 @slowrider73: We finns are not cool, we're functional.
  • + 2
 SantaCruz arent cool. They are just another mass production brand shipping stuff in from SE Asia. Im not sure how they get away with the premium. Clever marketing I guess
  • + 3
 @gemma8788: Santa Cruz isnt a company Its a brand within the Pon portfolio just like focus bikes.
  • + 1
 @sml2727: Im sure Pon will want them to. Stick the motor from a focus on it and off they go
  • + 1
 @nfontanella: the 50to01 guess is one of the better reasons not to buy one. Clearly SC are overcharging if they are paying for that lot too
  • + 3
 Transition and Evil for the win! Cool lives in the Pacific Northwest.
  • + 2
 @chrismac70: where do you think the other two brands stuff comes from? Think before you type!
  • + 2
 SC is sort of played out in my mind now. Everywhere I go theres the latest über Santa Cruz w/ Enves hanging off a bike rack. The N4 carbon is a pretty tasty frame but I went a different route instead.

FYI Santa Cruz already has an e-bike out for a few years now, krankedbikes.com
I like how going over the recommended fork travel by 10mm or reducing the travel on a dual crown voids warranties, yet strapping 15+lbs to a frame is perfectly legit.
  • - 1
 They totally sold out. They aren't even owned by Rob Dydrek anymore.
  • + 3
 @allballz: what's not owned by Rob anymore? DC??
  • + 26
 In my opinion Devinci should never have cancelled their World Cup DH program. The right move after Stevie Smith's untimely and tragic death would have been to continue their support for his teammate Mark Wallace. Wallace moved to Canyon and he's become a top-10 WC rider for them. Now after a one year hiatus they want a team again? Poor decision making Devinci.
  • - 7
flag neubiker (Sep 6, 2017 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Couldn't agree more. Super shitty move by Devinici
  • + 82
 Team Devinci was devastated after Stevie died. He wasn't just another team rider. He was a buddy and more importantly a friend. The whole team support team couldn't function. Only reason Mark kept racing is racing is his escape. And that's how he coped with it all. As mtb riding for many of us. They may have made the less profitable decision but I think they made the decision that was best for their employees well being. And for that I'm more inclined to support their brand than I was before. They made the well being of their employees too priority not money. And that is a true sign a good company.
  • - 17
flag RedBurn (Sep 6, 2017 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
 Pretty sure it impacted their Wilson sales
  • + 13
 @RedBurn: as the owner of a bike shop that sells Devinci I would say it did the opposite. Interest in Devinci after Stevie's death went up.
  • + 17
 @rumblefish255: interesting, it played a part in my purchase, I was down to a patrol and spartan and was like f-it, I want to pay homage with some canadian goods that stevie raced at world champs, had to go spartan. Not sure if that was silly or not but I don't regret it.
  • + 6
 #RIPCHAINSAW!!!
  • + 16
 You will not ever regret a Devinci purchase. They make some of the best bikes in the world. One of the reasons I started a shop was to sell brands I believe in, not being forced to sell a brand we have to make a minimum with. As far as the way the bike performs and how the company is to deal with, as a shop owner or a consumer. There is a good reason the first brand I brought on was Devinci. @gemma8788:
  • + 5
 @gemma8788: Funny I was the opposite. I had purchased a Spartan before Stevie passed and they shut down the DH team. I was similar to you in that I was down to a Spartan or a Patrol, but I ultimatlely decided to go for the Spartan as I'd rather support a Canadian company (that still manufacturers their Alu frames in Canada anyway) and was supporting Canadian riders in the DH scene. I felt a bit miffed and put off a customer when shortly after they pulled their DH team.

Certainly made me re-consider when I am going to be purchasing a new bike.
  • + 8
 @rumblefish255 - Mark kept racing because it's his passion, motivation and current career choice in life. It's what he's always wanted to do. Become one of the best DH bike riders in the world. If Devinci hadn't folded their team, Mark surely would have stayed on with them and continued. But he went to Canyon because Devinici folded and he needed a place to go and one which would support him.

Call me crazy, but after a huge emotional loss like with Stevie's passing, wouldn't you maybe take a slight financial hit a bit but continue to support his team mate and the DH sport in general?
  • + 3
 Yes that is true as well. However I'm sure that he used racing to keep his mind off what happened to his buddy. Tragedy like this gives focus too. I don't know Mark personally but I know as a racer myself. I use challenges such as a friends death as something that helps me focous and training also keeps my mind off what happened.
And why is everyone focusing so much on the financial status of what happened? Obviously that was not their highest concern. And rightfully so. Money isn't everything. It's the people that make your company what it is that makes a company great. Who cares if they lost or gained money. They did what they felt they needed to @neubiker:
  • + 3
 @mcnab: That's a valid perspective too. I might've felt that way as well but I made my purchase literally the month Stevie passed, team was still in the middle of a season although maybe that news was already out. It felt like pulling the team was both financial/sign of mourning/perhaps even sign that they'd been considering it before his death, pure speculation though. I will say they have marketed Stevie beyond his death far too much for my liking. Anyway like I said, might've been a bit silly but I don't regret it and keep a ride-r-die top cap on so that I don't do his memory injustice ; )
  • + 1
 @rumblefish255: what other brands have made the cut to be sold at your store?
  • + 3
 @dean @neubiker What an ignorant and disrespectful comment towards those who felt, and still feel the loss of Steve. Why would you feel the need to question the decision making of this company, this team, and his teammates? All decisions reside solely with the Smith family (the only people who matter here): would you make that comment to their faces? Show some respect.
  • + 4
 @therealtylerdurden: the brands i decided to carry based on customer service, geometry, and suspension linkage leverage ratios and technology that uses the least amount of proprietary technology were Devinci, Rocky Mountain, and Niner. Those are the very points I'm trying to make @PinkyScar. but some people can't see past the money though. You can build a profitable business that tears up those that made the foundation of it, or you can build a profitable business that grows slowly through the success and happiness of those who help it happen. One major difference is one has the risk of blowing apart at any second and the other has a solid foundation that has positive growth for all involved.
  • + 1
 @rumblefish255: Interesting! Thanks man!
  • + 1
 @rumblefish255: question - is that still true will their carbon bikes? Are they much different from anyone else? Just wondering because when I bought my first true DH bike about 5 years ago it was Devinci having an XL size and making their frames in Canada that made go with them.
  • + 2
 @rumblefish255: shuttering the team was NOT in the spirit of S.S. and not good optics by any logical measure. I also can't recall any sales % going to the SS foundation. A lot of us Canadians and SS fans were taken aback by it all, leaving Wallace out. Shuttering the DH team was a weird move, and not something in line with supporting the team, DH racing, or S.S's legacy. IMO.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: I don't see how it's disrespectful. I think Devinci should have continued to support Wallace... losing a friend and then losing Devinci's race support seems like a double hit. It isn't an ignorant comment either, having known and raced both Stevie and Mark. I talked with Mrs. Smith last weekend at the bike park named after Stevie and have the utmost respect for her.
  • + 2
 @PinkyScar: The irony in saying that to Dean is what's actually ignorant.
  • - 1
 @dean @atrokz: I guess you have some inside angle on this that the rest of us don't. Or this is the internet, and people just say whatever they want because they believe it to be the truth.

The "optics" of prioritizing racing and the sale of bikes after a man's death seems the ultimate in bad taste. But again, that was/is for the family and Devinci to decide, not the pinkbike peanut gallery.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: he raced him and knew him you goof. His opinion has more weight than yours because his parallax is from the riders seat not the internet. Sit down.
  • + 1
 And the point is dropping the team left Steves friend and teammate without a ride, which like Dean stated is two blows in a row. I don't think that was in the spirit of Smith. Im sure they have their reasons but it did what it did.
  • - 2
 @atrokz Ok, you win -- Devinci should have plowed forward, letting a young, grieving 2nd year pro lead a grieving team. Once those top 10s inevitably started to roll in, they could have capitalized due to increased brand exposure after the tragedy. So many marketing/money making opportunities lost.

After getting thrown out in the cold with the inexplicable disbanding of the Devinci team, it led to a season of terrible results with that not-Canadian brand. Moving on was a big mistake for Mark as a racer and as a person, and for the people at Devinci too.

Most importantly, there is so much economic value in tragedy surrounding extreme adventure sport. Shame not capitalize.

Now I understand.
  • + 2
 I imagine it the costs of sending support staff for one racer, even though that racer was extremely promising like Mark, across the world might have factored into the decision. It may have come down to a financial decision for a smaller company like Devinci. Regardless, the Wilson is still one of the three bikes I'd be looking at if I had the coin for a new DH bike.
  • + 1
 @OriginalDonk: Good point.
  • + 0
 @OriginalDonk: They had a Jr racer as well. Similar to Trek sending Rachel and a Jr around all this season, even though she was injured, results were meh (for her) and the season was a wash. Similar to Gravity sending Finn and Miller when Bruni was injured, this is what teams do. However, it's important to realize this was done over the off-season, which was an opportunity to pick up one of the dozen freed up riders. Maybe they will come back strong, I hope they do, it was just sad to see it done the way it was.

I'm done responding to pinky, he calls a friend and competitor of Steve disrespectful for his opinion, then triples down on his stupidity of not understanding why people (racers, people who knew Steve and actually know the industry) might think differently. Also, Wallace is 4 years pro. Dude is so out of touch, it's not about capitalizing, it's about keeping Canadian WC DH racing alive and supporting Canadian talent, and racing. Yes, we have the 'inside angle'. deal with it.
  • + 0
 @atrokz: As an industry insider/racer/etc. etc., sounds like you should have been in charge of the decision to stop racing. I'm sure it was made callously and without consideration to everyone involved. As you said in your original comment, "Poor decision-making Devinci."

It's a ridiculously naive comment towards a complex situation. Try saying it to those who had to make it.
  • + 0
 @atrokz: Try focusing on the present and decisions that are actually yours to make.
  • + 0
 @PinkyScar: I actually did. Sit down, you're out of your element. Clearly obtuse beyond reason if you can't understand a difference of opinion. Your post about respect was asinine and ignorant, and you have no skin in the game unlike the dude you called disrespectful. Dude you don't even know any of the team, or talked to any of them. Your comment was ignorant, rude towards Dean, and incredibly obtuse. Keep doubling down on your bullshit.
  • + 2
 I suggest you take opposing opinions as just that, opinions. You attempted to claptrap with "I guess you have some inside angle on this that the rest of us don't", which is actually the case, especially for the *PRO* you called disrespectful. If you can't see that, or respect people who knew Steve and the team, then there is nothing left for us to discourse. We have different opinions, simple as that. One from dude who knew Steve (and Mark) and a guy who was in this industry as a business owner and am racer for years, and you. That's cool. It's an opinion. Don't disrespect other peoples opinions, especially when they actually have the inside angles you don't ...... it's unbecoming and instigating.
  • - 1
 Look at how successful Mark continues to be. Look at the powerhouses that might be on this rumoured new, refreshed, Devinci team. Look at the new park in Nanaimo. Look at the time and space that people had to grieve the loss and begin again. But yeah, priority on bike racing and stuff. Bad move Devinci. But hey, I'm obtuse beyond reason. You win.
  • + 1
 Well this went sideways. Respectfully agree to disagree and move on.
  • + 24
 I heard a rumor ebikes are dumb as f*ck and if you want to climb a hill faster you should just ride your bike more instead of attaching a motor to it and being a lazy piece of shit.

Chance of this rumor becoming fact: 100%
  • + 2
 That said, it is nice to know that if for some reason you can't ride a mtb up a hill anymore (old age, leg amputation, who knows), at least there is an alternative that allows you to do so. An E-bike can at least help the people thar really need it get out and enjoy a trail ride. Makes me feel good knowing I may be able to ride bikes further into old age.
  • + 26
 I hope it's more like 0% for the SC rumor.
  • + 9
 Hopefully more like -10%

SC never caved to the fatbike trend so there's hope...
  • + 22
 @LCW1: Fat Bikes are not a trend, In Canada we now have dedicated fat bike trails in national parks that are not open for mountain bikes in the summer. They have allowed us to get out and ride year round and not be forced to cycle on a machine in our basements. There are charity events based around fat bikes and many races as well. They wont be as popular in regions that dont get a lot of snow but they serve a purpose for a lot of riders.
  • + 12
 @indydave124: trying to get us to use fatbikes in conditions other than those they were designed for was a trend. Using them in the snow is legitimate.
  • + 3
 I don't get where they got this story from. Santa Cruz denies, PON is hardly about electric bicycles, let alone electric mountainbikes. Other than tire and parts brands, the bicycle companies I've seen in their portfolio are mostly about commuting. It may be near impossible to grasp from a North American perspective, but people ride their bikes to work here. If this weren't the case, the whole transportation system would be on it's ass. The electric bicycles simply allowed more people to do so and also over longer distances, with more cargo and/or until an older age. That's what Union, Gazelle etc are about. And then you have Santa Cruz doing business in a completely different market, yet you go all cross eyed and merge that motor on a Gazelle cargo bike with a SC trail bike. That'd be like saying Lamborgini is busy developing an estate family car because Seat and Skoda have done so too. If SC would be part of Accell then yes, most likely they'd have a go too. Accell owns Haibike, Lapierre etc and Accell brands have been busy with some type of pedal assist for decades. But PON hasn't acquired Accell hence Santa Cruz has nothing to do with Accell hence SC is not in the same consortium with any other brand making serious mountainbikes and at the same time also has a mountainbike with pedal assist.

Please stop giving your North America readers a heart attack with your own rumors and do some basic research.
  • + 4
 @DMal: Who cares where people use the bikes they paid good money for? If someone wants to ride a DH bike on xc trails all the power to them (they will need it) if someone wants to use a fatbike as an a DH bike good luck to them. As far as the industry goes, if companies can make money producing a product then its legitimized through sales. If people dont buy it, then it gets tossed out at a rubbish idea and ends up on the "do you remember this stupid idea" page of pink bike in 10 or 20 years.

I've ridden my fat bike in the summer for shits and giggles, its actually kinda fun and not as slow as youd think.
  • + 18
 So this post is basically a trial balloon so Don can get a sense of how the troglodytes who reside in the pinkbike comments section will react to the news Santa Cruz is going to make eBikes right?

I'll give my reaction. I will never buy another Santa Cruz if they make eBikes. I'm just one person on the internet, but I own three Santa Cruz right now. In the future, I will never buy a bike from a company that makes eBikes.

I fully expect Santa Cruz to be making eBikes next year. In fact, I bet they make an eBike before they have a proper long travel 29er with on-trend geometry,

And I fully expect to be a grumpy old riding a steel hard tail with 1992 geometry purely out of spite. Hell, I spend as little money with SRAM as possible since they make eBike stuff. It's the one pitiful effyou gesture I can make towards the bike industry that 100% does not care about people who spend money.
  • + 6
 If the end times that you describe are true... Sounds like transition is the right co for you
  • + 4
 You know Shimano makes E-bike stuff as well right?
  • + 1
 @DIYsandvich: I already stopped spending money with Shimano after getting stuck with an early batch of m8000 XT brakes that they refused to acknowledge a problem with. Then they very quietly changed something in the levers and essentially did a "stealth recall" on them. Very shady business practices on their part.

Also, they are five years behind SRAM and their quality control is awful now that they moved Production out of Japan
  • - 1
 Ha, that's funny, I'm the grumpy old guy riding a hardtail.
  • + 17
 Shimano why 12 come on go to 13 you know you want to....
  • + 5
 13 is unlucky. They should skip straight to 14!
  • + 1
 luck? maybe they'll skip an go 14 Smile
  • + 1
 Shimano already has a patent on 15 sp cassettes, I mean they had it since the 90's maybe.
  • + 6
 4 minute abs.
  • + 0
 they've had 18 speed cassettes, but that was 40 years ago.
  • + 11
 I don't think Santa Cruz can claim "differentiation" any longer. A: They've become one of the biggest mtb brands out there, so they aren't unique or elusive anymore. B: They regularly go on sale for deep discounts from online retailers. C: Every one of their bikes looks the exact same now. Flavor of the month now. Don't get me wrong, they're awesome, top technology bikes. They just aren't as cool as they once were.
  • + 1
 SC was bought by an investment firm that happen to own other brands such as felt etc... it is not SC anymore as you can see they already making decisions based on how much money can be made quickly rather than what is right to do for brand longevity. An example is the cut down budget for syndacate videos. Expect no more syndacate in the future as they may figure it is better to invest those money in some thing else, i.e. Ebikes. I am afraid they will become a random specialized
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: I think if you spent any time on NPD industry trends, you'll find that they're a top 4 MTB brand along side of Trek, Giant and Specialized. That's last year July before factoring in online sales.

They're not a random Specialized, they're a VPP Specialized.
  • + 2
 @raditude: I meant they may become a company that only cares about making a quick dollar and suck every inch of blood from the current mtb renassence.
I.e. Specialized spends 10xx more $ on e-bikes than all other mtb categories combined. Money is the only god. No heritage, just cash for business investors. Make it as cheap as possible, sell as high as possible
  • - 1
 Top technology bikes? Jesus. You guys are total idiots.
  • + 2
 @allballz: I mean SCB's new bikes can't compare to Gt's Marathon I-drive, but they seem to sell so I am guessing they have something going for them.
  • + 14
 Ti coil Marz 55 full range open bath damper adjustments 29".
  • + 7
 I may...or may not...have recently seen on a local bike a 12-speed test drivetrain, up close, that apparently works pretty well according to the tester who says that it utilizes a regular free hub from:

Box Components.
  • + 6
 I wish I could find the article, but the marzocchi thing is 100% going to happen. It was the plan almost immediately after marz went to Fox to keep the 2015 line through to 2017 then release new product in 2018. It won't be entry level Fox suspension either, marzocchi will retain its own identity and unique product line.
  • + 12
 what i'd like fox to do with the marzocchi brand is to make well priced, bomb proof forks and shocks, which while won't be the latest or greatest dampers or air springs, but something which is good enough, and built to take abuse, and doesn't really care if it's been serviced or not, and of course keep the espresso coating.
  • + 6
 @colourclashing: i would love that too, but with fox owning it, i don't see that happening
  • + 2
 @xeren: it could happen in some form, just as fox needs something to to go against the yari and new 35mm revelation, as their rhythm forks seem to tacked on just to get more OE sales without offering anything worth while.
  • + 2
 So far what I don't like what I have seen since marzocchi was bought by fox.
  • + 4
 @colourclashing: I sold my 350cr and bought a Yari. I really wish I kept the Marz. Aside from some initial stiction issues the 350 was a very plush, reliable fork. One thing I loved about the Marz was it didn't collapse like the Canucks in game 7 of a Stanly Cup run when under heavy braking on steep terrain.
  • + 2
 I bet the Bomber is coming back, espresso is already gone in lieu of black. They have to go air on the single crowns but I bet long travel single crowns and the 380 remain coil. I have a 380 I upgrade with the latest parts for comparison, the seals last longer its a consistent performer and its plently light and rigid, at 150 lbs I would hate to run air at the park. And the dual spring rate of the elastomer bumper is pretty awesome, you cannot bottom
  • + 2
 Fox should be careful. They end up making marzocchi coil sprung, they might just be better than a 36!
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: they couldnt care less the money is gonna go in the same pockets
  • + 7
 The 12sp Di2 upgrade should require nothing more than a new cassette and a software update.
  • + 1
 I second that..
  • + 2
 They're out of room with standard free hubs. SRAM did it right with the XD driver and hung the extra cog where the lock ring would have otherwise gone. Shimano shoved it further inboard hanging over the spokes, and already it doesn't work as well. Adding in another cog is not realistic on a standard free hub. Really what they need to do is XD, but the Shimano version.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Di2 works just fine with the xD driver as well as non-Shimano cassettes. As long as they don't stray too far from the existing paradigms then Di2 should work with only a software update.
  • + 1
 @tsheep:

Shimano just needs to use XD. It's open source and works well.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: You haven't had your cassette bond with your XD driver have you!
  • + 1
 @nicolai12:

Nope. I grease it liberally a couple times a year.
  • + 4
 Ok -I think this is what would really turn my crank. I cannot stand the SRAM shifter ergonomics. If Shimano comes out with a 12 speed with the same spacing as Eagle maybe we could run an XTR 9100 (making it up) setup with an eagle cassette and an XO driver. Also for us racing folks regardless of what Shimano does - it would be nice to have a few 12 speed cassette ranges - 10-42, 10-46 and 10-51 for different terrain/leisure/racing.

I may be dipping into my kids college fund soon. Hopefully the rumor is true.
  • + 4
 11s Shimano shifters with a sram cassette have been my favorite mtb setup for a while.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: Exactly. Used an Ethirteen for awhile then decided I actually wanted a setup that did not remind me of 10 year old Deore but the SRAM cassettes are the way to go!
  • - 1
 Calling *bullshit* on the 10-51T cassette rumor. I've never seen an 'odd' number cassette sprocket. I don't think a 51 tooth sprocket would work. It's the same reason why we don't see a 33 T chainring, or a 35 T chainring, etc. They don't make a symmetrical circle.
  • + 2
 @allballz: Hey. Wickwerks makes a well reviewed 33 tooth front middle ring. Check out their mountain doubles and triples. Wolftooth makes a 49 tooth rear cog.

But that aside - I hear what you are saying -most of use probably would no even know the difference anyways. Once shimano comes out with a 51 then will box come out with a 53 etc... etc...
  • + 7
 Waiting for the first "gearbox" comment with a packet of biscuits.
  • + 5
 thihihi gearbox
  • - 2
 Gearbox is by far the most superior... bleh, I ate that crap so many times
  • + 2
 PON holdings, the owner of Santa Cruz, owns a lot more than other bike companies. Their largest assets are cars, not bikes. They import all brands from Volkswagen Audi here in NL. They also do some heavy industry. And they are linked to bribing scandals. Not a company I would call 'cool'.
  • + 1
 Am I the only one who thinks its so awesome to see the big M on those fork lowers? I started my mountain bike life on Marzocchi forks, granted they are made by Fox now, but just the thought of the brand living on, makes me very happy.
  • + 3
 Wow, shimano coming to the market with an inferior product a year behind sram and saying its much better?! Shocking haha
also 26 for life
  • + 2
 at least you'd be able to shift down more than one gear per click. this alone makes Shimano better than SRAM
  • + 1
 With Intense Cycles moving their bikes to discount sporting stores here in Canada (MEC) I was seriously looking to make a switch to SantaCruz for some tasty VPP action. Ebike in their line up means... NOPE !! But I guess I'm that small 0.0000001% so It doesn't matter. I hope local cities start banning motorized vehicles from trails.
  • - 1
 VPP sucks. Horst Link FTW!
  • + 4
 pikebike.com epinkbike.com pikeebikerumor.com . . . It is getting hard to keep up with so many new addresses!
  • + 1
 George Brannigan needs to be back on Devinci. He rode with Stevie on the team fresh out of Juniors and his style has some similarities. He's definitely a great fit! Not sure how long the Commencal contract is but it's a great thought!
  • + 5
 The "coolest" company in the game is Transition guys...
  • + 1
 It would be nice if Shimano were to try and out do Pinnion instead of Sram. Who needs another 12 speed system with 2 more chain wheels than 2x9 and still less over all range especially if its coming with more than 1 new free hub configuration? Just do it in 11 speed or better 10 speed and save some weight. They can't do that though because the market is so easily duped into thinking craming another cog onto the back wheel is the right thing to do. Skip 12 and bring on 13 speed Shimano, jump out in front for the first time in 10 years.

As for a Santa Cruz Ebike. Of course they will offer one no matter what they say. Like Shimano they have no choice to go where the market is heading.
  • + 5
 Why Shimano don't buy Marzocchi to make a front with SRAM???
  • + 1
 Deep and longstanding partnership with Fox
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: Is true!
  • + 4
 I heard somewhere that finn is making the move to davinci
  • + 1
 If I were high up in Fox I'd focus Marzocchi on coil sprung forks and focus on Fox on developing the air sprung line. I imagine most rear coil shocks could be Fox or Zocchi like their transfer post.
  • + 1
 I hope Shimano comes out with a decent cassette and freehub body to legitimately compete with x-dome and XD. I also really hope Marz doesn't get knocked into cheapville. DBC forks are excellent.
  • + 1
 Why can't shimano ever make their drivetrain components look good? Obviously aesthetics are secondary but everything shimano looks so drab and unfinished. Just make a black cassette with refinement!
  • + 3
 XT 11-46 is a good example imo, looks like made from scrap metal compared to SRAM.
  • + 3
 Shimano can do no wrong, what a company. I would buy a Shimano car as soon as they made one.
  • + 1
 Right!? I don't remember SRAM ever making fishing gear, golf supplies, nor snowboarding equipment...
  • + 1
 Sram has an uber-expensive machined tool steel 8 speed e-bike cassette that costs more than an Eagle cassette: the XG899 eblock.

8 speed is obviously the new 12 speed. You know you want it.
  • + 1
 Gorbaruk 11-50 works great. With XT derailleur and their replacement cage. Fraction of the price, as light as Eagle, and I don't miss one intermediate gear.
  • + 1
 These days the only good stuff that cones from shimano are brakes and pedals... they're still just playing catch up when it comes to drivetrains...
  • + 2
 And shoes!
  • + 2
 Nonsense. Better cranks, better bottom brackets, better derailleur, better chain, better shifter ergonomics, more options, better value for cassettes. SRAM still can't do clutch right. Their cranks explode.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: 100% and at least their shifters can shift down more than a single gear at a time. This alone makes my XTR stay on my bike.
  • + 1
 I don't know, you'll have to define better because I haven't ever had any issues with Sram cranks, bbs, or their clutch. I hated the shimano shifters because I would always shift twice on accident after hitting a bump or something. Plus I think the upshift lever start position is a lot more adjustable. And Sram's product (specifically cassettes) is a lot lighter and not as flexy. The biggest reason I like Sram is that they're always innovating. Yes, it's more expensive, but in my mind that's the cost of innovation and better product. Thanks for replying Smile
  • + 3
 Bulldog to Devinci #rumours
  • + 1
 Why can't everyone just play nice together!? (Read: stop making proprietary "standards"). I'm all for pushing design and advancing technologies, but just play nice together!
  • + 4
 Then they wouldn't be able to rip consumers off buying new standards and their own proprietary blends
  • + 3
 @vtracer: poor boy, but worry no longer, i have just the solution for you: don't buy and keep what you have. Works great.
  • + 1
 XTR 12 speed, that drivetrain alone will cost more than the bike you're putting it on. Christ, Im still running 2x10 XT and it's sweet! 26/38front 36/11rear
  • + 1
 Marzocchi looks sad, like denigrated by Fox. I never had a product from them but I used to think they were a "cool" italian brand.
  • - 1
 Calling *bullshit* on the 10-51T cassette rumor. I've never seen an 'odd' number cassette sprocket. I don't think a 51 tooth sprocket would work. It's the same reason why we don't see a 33 T chainring, or a 35 T chainring, etc. They don't make a symmetrical circle.
  • + 2
 Devinci needs Dakota Norton
  • + 2
 Finn Iles and Bulldog to Devinci
  • + 1
 Don't care about any of this... All i want is for the Z1 Bomber to come back from Marzocchi!
  • + 2
 eBikes and drones, the two most dreaded techs.
  • + 0
 Why can't they change the chain distribution to avoid those stupidly big and heavy cassettes? You'll need a new chain anyway.
  • + 2
 I think I saw XTR 12spd on sale at CRC already...
  • + 1
 If Santa Cruz would put a motor on the new Nomad then they may aswell give it to the Syndicate.
  • + 1
 POLL: Will Shimano will ever incorporate Sram's hub driver?

[ ] Yes

[ ] When hell freezes over
  • - 2
 Sram's hub driver is crap.
  • + 0
 @Axxe: How?
Lets start with the cons:
-Requires X-dome cassettes
-Requires a new driver if you have a standard one.
Annnnddd that's it.

Pros:
-Much bigger cog bearing area, so less wear over time, especially in muddy conditions
-Puts less axial load on bearings, so they last longer
-Lighter
-Gives much more room for further drive train expansion
-Can go to smaller cogs (10T, 9T)
  • + 0
 @tsheep: X-dome cassettes will never be as cost effective. It is bad engineering.
  • + 0
 @Axxe:
Bad engineering? Not a chance.
Single piece parts are always lighter and stronger than multi piece parts for a given application.

They may be more expensive at this moment due to increase machining costs, but given the rate labor is rising, that may not be true for long.

Plus they wear slower, and wear your hub slower than multi piece parts. Over a few years, cost wise you come out at least even, with better performance.
  • - 1
 Single piece parts are not always lighter and stronger. That's just pure nonsense. Larger and smaller cogs have dramatically different loads and wear rates. Even SRAM does the largest cog out of aluminum.

You drunk too much SRAM cool-aid. Their design was half baked, and will never be adopted for mass market (99% of bikes out there).
  • + 1
 @tsheep: The pinned Sram cassettes are put together one rivet at a time by a team of tiny unionized German oompa-loompas, hence supporting your theory on labour vs. engineering costs.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Shimano just uses assembly lines.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: You 're drunk on the shimano fanboy vodka. For a given application, a single piece part will be lighter, because you don't have to add in the connecting hardware. The only nonsense is in thinking that adding more mass magically makes it lighter. And wow, to account for different loads and wear rates... you can make the profile of that cog and it's support different from the other ones! Amazing!

As for the mass market... well, SRAM does currently spec more than half of the OEM builds with drivetrains, so I'd call that pretty well adopted. Maybe the idea is not as half-baked as you would assume.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: Not sure if serious.. but both the single piece and pinned ones are made on automated lines.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: With 800.00 cassettes vs 150.00 cassettes you come out ahead in the long run? I guess whatever you do for a living doesn't involve math. Labour isn't going up in manufacturing its being replaced with automation. Doesn't mean costs will ever go down though.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Yeah, we need 13, 14, 15 cogs. How will that be lighter? Cog bearing area in muddy conditions? You actually think mud in the cassette freehub interface is a wear factor? Maybe try taking a cassette off a few free hubs. If you are saying mud is a wear factor for the chan and cogs its actually the side load from cross chaining and torque loading that are the big wear factors.
  • + 1
 marzocchi is 70% better than fox. 100% fact
  • - 3
 Shimano, never the innovators, always the bridesmaid! These guys need to stop following Sram and start working their way in front of them!! With all the industry guys going from one company to the next, it surprises me that they can't set a trend! Meanwhile companies like Fsa and box components are coming like a freighttrain to take away their bottom line.
  • + 0
 Neg propped for the truth?

Okay haters, when was the last time Shimano was the first to market with anything? Pretty sure it was hollow forged cranks some two (?) decades ago. They may make the reliable baseline, but they are never breaking new ground.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Clutch mechs
  • + 1
 On Shimano's Stech forum Shimano reps constantly say they are too big to lead market innovations. They leave it to the smaller more agile companies to service niche markets like wide ratio cassettes and derailleurs...
  • + 1
 why oh why Shimanoooooo???!!!
  • + 7
 Gotta roll with the punches. Shimano is regularly a couple of years behind SRAM in terms of drivetrain technology and features, so it only makes sense that they'll eventually come out with a 12-speed MTB group. I mean they don't even have a dedicated 1x drop bar drivetrain yet. SRAM has 3.
  • + 4
 Im both surprised and upset at this article. didnt see this coming from shimano but damn what a lame way to be creative.. when is a big company going to something that is actually BIG instead of following the leader.
  • + 1
 @treekilla: I'm not sure what else they could do besides add gears. Hopefully they stick with their 11t cogs though.
  • + 4
 I agree @ekho, I don't really want another cog on the already-heavy cassette
  • + 0
 @seraph: Wanna bet they will still release 2x chainsets?

My problem is that 11-42 is all I will ever need and 10speed with expander covers all of my gear ratio change expectations. So I am looking forward to spend well those last 5 years of drivetrain that makes sense. Unless someone will start One Down components...
  • + 3
 @treekilla: really? shimano is pretty much the leader (with countless innovations) and they are like 3 times the size of the next competitor... everyone else is trying to dodge all their patents to come up with something, and then hope they can carve out a niche in the 3-5 years they have before shimano decides your market is worth moving into... then they do something at least as good as you, if not better, and cheaper with better delivery...
  • + 1
 Does Shimano have engineers in US and EU like Sram, or are they trying to backseat all of this stuff from Japan?
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: Shimano engineers travel the world, and in addition (they used to at least) send out engineers to work at key dealers for a year to see what dealers were seeing on the ground.
Example: They sent a guy to work at a shop on the North Shore, and when he saw the barrel full of smashed derailleurs they started working on Saint.

And to the guy who's impressed that SRAM have three 1x drop bar groups to Shimanos zero - how many Grand Tours has SRAM won Vs Shimano, and which is the bigger deal do you think?
  • + 6
 @seraph: the only real tech advance of the past 10 years in drivetrains is the rear derailer clutch that was invented by shimano and quickly copied by sram.
  • + 1
 @seraph: Shimano is not behind in any form or shape. There is nothing good or innovative about SRAM free hub "standard" and Shimano was right not to rush.
  • + 1
 Since I can order Shimano on the cheap from the Euro-Zone and SRAM said "FU" I'm running more Shimano than before.
In theory, the SRAM Red electronic shifting for road bikes is better than the Di2 Ultegra on my bike.

Every time I build a custom bike some of my parts are dated before I've even put a pedal stroke down. X.0 Type 2 and X.0 Trail brakes last time, Shimano 12 speed this time.
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: But the clutch wasn't needed until 1x came along. Half the time my clutch is off thanks to my funny buddies are always screwing around with it. Joke's on them since most of the time I don't notice it running 2x10.
  • + 1
 @treekilla: Shimano flatted and got run over by Sram 5 years ago in MTB and shows no indication they will ever catch up let alone get out front again. They are too arrogant and stubborn to actually do something different. They are more likely to use their steps edrive to replace shifting than to do the obvious and turn the Alfine system into high performance light weight gear boxes. Shimano reps are constantly saying they are too big to be agile and innovate new systems.

Its not the cost to develop either system that is prohibitive to Shimano its the cost of the lost repair replacement sales that is prohibitive. They know the majority of their Alfine and Nexas hubs go years without maintenance, not even chains needing regular replacement. Its the best system we'll never see.
  • + 1
 @davemud: Sometimes I forget to engage the shimano clutch after wheel removal/installation and I don't drop the chain as long as I have NW chainring. It makes for a much quiter ride though
  • + 1
 Marzo girls will be like Conchita Wurst,
  • + 1
 Rob says : "Santa cruw will never realease ebikes" so ... Smile
  • + 3
 Well Rob doesn't own Santa Cruz anymore does he,Pond will do what they like.
  • + 1
 RIP Santa Cruz Bicicles 1993-2016
  • + 1
 We don't want ebikes on santa cruz trails. Don't put them on the brand
  • + 1
 Santa Cruz jumping on the e-bike bandwagon lol
  • + 1
 That Marzocchi Transfer dropper post though!!
  • + 2
 Stay classy Santa Cruz!
  • + 1
 Finn and Loic to DGR, you heard it here first!
  • + 1
 Only if it's wireless!!!
  • + 1
 Devinci !!! Hell yea!!!!
  • + 1
 Conspiracy
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