The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?

Jul 2, 2020
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich

Did you see that so-and-so released a brand new bike? It has some pivots, a shock, and even comes with geometry. Wheels, too! You can get it in that low-key color that everyone's sure to be a fan of, and I can pretty much guarantee that it'll easily outperform anything that wasn't made within the last couple of years. Wind back the clock a decade or two and magazines were showing us a future that would surely be full of wild machines; two-shock suspension designs, CVT transmissions, carbon leaf springs, and who knows what else?

But that's not how it worked out. It's probably for the better.

Sure, this four-bar bike is going to feel different to that one because its pivot is 3.5mm higher and there's a degree between them, but it seems like they're all becoming a bit homogenized. A bit... regular, don't you think? I know that bikes are better than ever - that's not in doubt - and I certainly don't want to go through the last two decades of reliability headaches again, but I'm not a fan of the uniformity that mountain bike evolution seems to be causing. It's hard to argue with lower prices, better reliability, and improved performance, but where are all the wild bikes and crazy tech?

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

July 2nd, 2020

Where's my carbon leaf-sprung, CVT transmission hover-bike at?

Hosted by Mike Levy and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike Podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?

Hit us in the comments with your suggestions: What do you want to hear us talk about? Would you be into watching a video version, or are our dulcet voices enough for you?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 96 9
 Are bikes too regular? It doesn't matter. People need to stop looking for benefits from the next technological trend and start improving their riding skills. Too many hacks out there thinking they can buy skill on a bike instead of putting in some work.
  • 87 81
 Learning to pedal, hard, repeatedly, for a long time > literally any bike technology. I've ridden with people on fully rigid 29ers with 'dated' geometry who would crush 90% of the commenters here.

You, reading this - you KNOW it's true. You know power training will make you faster, but you don't do it. You know eating better and getting enough sleep will improve your riding, but you don't do that either.

You're willing to be mediocre at a sport you claim to love because browsing parts, reviews, and commentary on the internet is easier than training hard and getting faster.

Stop doing this. Start doing what you *know* will yield results. There isn't one weird trick, part, or setting - you know this too.

Do the work you know you need to do.
  • 121 5
 @tempest3070: dude it’s fun to ride and chill not everybody wants to go full try hard. Bike tech is neat and interesting to geek out over at times. Let people enjoy things.
  • 37 1
 @tempest3070: "browsing parts, reviews, and commentary on the internet" is also something I can do at work, when things are slow... Power training is not something I can do sitting at my desk appearing to be working. Most people bike for fun, taking it super serious can ruin it.
  • 21 0
 @tempest3070: Not everybody needs to go full Type A roadie to get the most enjoyment from the sport. We are not paid to ride perpetually stronger and faster. Fitness and diet will help in the prevention of and recovery from injury, but otherwise, some of us don't feel the need to be "power training" to be perpetually faster.
  • 27 0
 @tempest3070: That sounds more like a job than a hobby. No thanks.
  • 13 7
 @herzalot: Yep. In my experience the type that are always chasing fitness improvements are also the type to avoid jumps, drop, and steep tech trails because an injury would interfere with their fitness goals. Amateur riders, I mean, pros are a different story.
  • 13 0
 @tempest3070: lol! Not one of the things you mentioned about getting "better" at riding has ever interested me in 30 years of loving the sport.
  • 13 0
 @tempest3070: I must do a different version of mountain biking to you for the last 25+ years because I throughly enjoy it and enjoy looking at reviews too. I will always get to the top but have no interest in rushing.
I enjoy the whole package. Its a hobby. If I want to suffer I go running. And no, I never strava an mtb ride because why?
  • 57 3
 We actually talk about this in the podcast and tbh I think it’s kind of lame to shame mediocre riders for having good bikes. It’s a hobby, and everyone’s got their personal skill sets.
  • 18 31
flag chriskneeland (Jul 2, 2020 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: Sorry. I can't relate. They're a different breed I guess. I just hate listening to all the same old excuses why they can't ride a certain section of trail year after year, only to hear about how great all the recent updates on their new bike are. Take that shit to goon town.

And no disrespect to mediocre riders. I'm one myself. But I ride to progress. Not nut out on over-hyped gear that never actually equates to better riding.
  • 18 2
 @brianpark: yeah it's mega lame. Bike shaming is just pathetic. I was bike shamed for having a Walmart bike in highschool back in the day then bike shamed when I got my first "real" mountain bike because it was old and used. Now getting bike shamed for having a nice fairly current bike? Like come on!
  • 13 3
 I gotta agree with @chriskneeland and @tempest3070 I don't think either are saying train to be an olympic athlete, but riding bikes will always be more fun than buying bikes or geeking out on tech for me. Not shaming here, but I think a lot of people would benefit from not drinking the kool aid and marketing dribble and actually trying to ride more. We need another Return to Earth 30 day ride challenge!
  • 7 5
 @tempest3070: Yes and No. As someone that DOES put in 100 miles a week power training, I gotta say it helps me enjoy riding a lot, and I mean A LOT. More than most care to admit.

But also, I started to work on drills and a lot of them, like 30 laps of a jump line every week, corner drills, drop drills, endless drills. Wow, that made a huge difference. And yeah an ebike helps with the drills too. Shock, horror. So for me at least, drills made me faster than power.
  • 6 1
 @noplacelikeloam: some people ride because it's fun. Nothing wrong with practicing skills. Good for you but that's not for everyone. Even if I had the time to I wouldn't. I'd be going for longer more epic rides.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: Thats fair. Good for you! I feel like that would take me even longer. Ha! The irony!
  • 7 2
 @TerrapinBen: Could not agree more. It seems like some of the replies are really taking @tempest3070 comment to heart as though its a personal attack haha. Improving your skills can mean a variety of things and doesn't have to be this grandiose goal. Even just bunnyhopping a log you'd go around is a positive gain riding and mentally. It's fun to ride, but it's also fun to get stoked on setting a goal and achieving it.
  • 18 1
 @chriskneeland: Sometimes the comment section reminds me of excited zoo monkeys either flinging shit or masturbating depending on if they like the geometry of a bike or not.
  • 17 7
 @noplacelikeloam: Deliberate practice, whether it's reps on the bar, reps on the jumps, push ups, or whatever - training to improve will always *always* trump part geek improvements.

This seems to have really hit a nerve, which is in itself an interesting comment on the state of this site.

Y'all, this isn't *attacking* you or (god forbid) shaming you for owning a good component on your bike. Look, I ride. I have carbon parts. I have had every range of bike out there price wise and I'm telling YOU (the person who may be reading this right now, yeah you) that getting better at the thing you love doing isn't going to come from spending time reading / listening to speculation / theory-crafting about the latest and greatest geometry or bar width or god knows what else.

Improvement will come from effort and consistency - whether that's pump-track time, gym time, miles in the saddle, whatever. Bike park laps clipped in on a bike with a 66 degree head angle.

You know who you are and if you're reading this and wondering what the big secret is that separates you from the fast (and I mean *really* fast) riders that must have more time, better parts, personal trainers, excuses, excuses - the thing that's slowing you down isn't going to be solved by neg-propping this comment either. You can ride 'just for fun' but you'd be faster with better training.

You can have 'just for fun' on a 6 year old bike with worn out parts too, so don't give me that 'I don't care about speed' argument - you wouldn't be commenting rabidly on bleeding edge geometery changes and $1000 USD forks if that were the case. Better high-speed compression circuits aren't just for fun.

The thing that's slowing you down is you. No excuses, just improve.

This message will either land with you or it won't, but you'll know it when it does.
  • 5 3
 @brianpark: Nobody's shaming anyone [though I think I saw 'Type A roadie' up a little further in the comments thread, so I won't speak to the intent there] and I think your take is based on a pretty disingenuous read of what I'm saying.

> I just hate listening to all the same old excuses why they can't ride a certain section of trail year after year, only to hear about how great all the recent updates on their new bike are. Take that shit to goon town.

> And no disrespect to mediocre riders. I'm one myself. But I ride to progress. Not nut out on over-hyped gear that never actually equates to better riding.

Totally agreed here.
  • 2 0
 @tempest3070: when ur only bothered about clearing 40ft gaps it doesn’t matter I think lack of sleeps a good idea as you tend to think less
  • 5 0
 @clink83: never mind the podcast tell me more about these excited zoo monkeys.
  • 11 0
 Yeah, most of us don't need our fancy toys. We're not racing professionally. Seconds don't matter. They're just Shiny and fun. Comments are entertaining, but let's turn down the attitude a bit team. Working class folks ride yetis because they're rad bikes and are attainable luxury, super well off folks buy giants because they're great value. Xtr is the best for some because of how it shifts, axs for others because no wires. None of this is really an objective science, and everyone's opinion (about bikes) is ok.
  • 4 0
 @tempest3070: what gets me most is the folks who preach. Aka you have to get this, that is garbage, x is objectively better (hear this one about 29ers a lot, ignoring that max speed doesn't define fun for everyone). At the end of the day all that matters is that folks get out and enjoy themselve.
  • 1 1

Whose excuses are you listening to Chris? Maybe find some new people to roll with?
  • 10 1
 @tempest3070: Didn't really hit a nerve for me, but I couldn't care less if people want to geek out over the latest and greatest bike part, or they want to engage in highly structured "power training" to get faster and stronger. I find it interesting when people such as yourself insist that comparison to others and perpetual improvement is and should be everybody's goal. I don't have to be better than anybody to enjoy the sport - nor do I have to have better equipment than others to enjoy the sport.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: you can't like a geometry until you've used it for long enough to test it's tolerances
  • 8 2
 @tempest3070: sounds like you aren't fun to bike with. If people aren't up to certain sections don't crap on them for it
  • 1 0
 @tempest3070: I was riding my rigid single speed 29 last night - soooooo much fun even if you aren't going as fast.
  • 7 0
 @tempest3070: you're making a fundamental assumption there, which is that the reason people ride is to progress or ride better or faster or whatever. And yeah obviously training (skills or strength or fitness or whatever) will do a lot more for riding ability than new bike parts. But being a better rider isn't the only part of riding bikes that people enjoy (if it was, I wouldn't have enjoyed riding for the past 10 years, since I haven't really gotten much better in that time). There's also the social side, there's the "hey I have a cool new toy" side, there's the geeking out on new stuff side, there's the fact that some bikes/parts are more fun to ride, easier to ride, faster to ride, more suited for what you're riding, there's the interest in new technology, there's the interest in the how and the why of bike design. If you can even remotely empathise with the kind of person who would buy a brand new car or a $1000 iphone to have a fun new toy then it's hardly unreasonable to see how people would derive enjoyment from something about mountain biking besides their actual ability level. When I ride, the people I see who are the most stoked are not always the best riders. Ability level or fitness does not directly correlate with enjoyment of the sport.
  • 3 1
 I don’t think people like @tempest3070
  • 2 0
 @Socket: Totally agree, loving our sport can be based on so many aspects of it!
  • 2 1
 @Ooofff: yet look at how many people are responding and justifying themselves to a total stranger. Maybe instead of improving their riding, people should work on their mental toughness. Haha
  • 2 1
 @nyhc00: Conversation is not a sign of mental weakness - just sayin' Now if there were name calling involved, yes - mental weakness.
  • 2 0
 @clink83: but I have two hands
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: now I'm afraid
  • 3 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Guess you don't know what it means to be a regular at a bike park.
  • 1 0
 @Ooofff: it’s because he is gatekeeping mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 He’s talking about bikes ! not the people ( unskilled) unlike you’re awesome self lmao
  • 2 0
 @tempest3070: I have acquaintances that solve everything by buying a new component (new brakes, new DVO, new dropper...) and they truly believe the new part will make them better.

Sure, new parts are nice, and many times they can make a bit of a difference (for instance, changing a crappy fork for a half-decent one is very noticeable, while changing a nice fork for a dentist one is not), but that's not what makes you ride better, particularly on bikes that you only have to point in the general direction of down and slightly turn here and there, while it plows through everything in comfort.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I concur: we should shame everyone for whatever reason.
  • 22 0
 Hadn't seen anyone answer this question from the podcast:

Yes modern reviews of old bikes would be a fun weekly post you guys should do! As an added difficulty you should create marketing buzz words to try and sell the old bikes as "the next big thing"
  • 1 7
flag tempest3070 (Jul 2, 2020 at 13:23) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike is a website that is paid by their advertisers to market new products and encourage interaction with the brands and branding. If you pitch this idea successfully to Specialized I'm sure Levy and co will be all for it.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I'd also love to see this. My local shop has an old Yeti Ultimate hanging on the wall, always wondered what that would be like to ride.
  • 15 1
 @tempest3070: our tech editorial team (Kaz, Levy, Dan, & Dan) isn't beholden to any brands. I work hard to ensure that their work remains independent. If we evaluate some old bikes to modern standards it won't be at the behest of a brand, and the verdicts will be the reviewers' own. Smile
  • 6 1
 @brianpark: you should get into politics. It would be easier than dealing with pinkbike commentors
  • 10 0
 @makripper: ehhh you're all good shit. The knee-jerk cynicism gets old, but I do think it's good for people to be skeptical of the media and hold us accountable.
  • 2 2
 @brianpark: that's exactly what a well-trained shill would say! Smile
  • 1 0
 I've got an old Banshee Wildcard frame that I'd donate to this. I make no guarantees regarding its mechanical condition
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I'll give you my old Yeti 303RDH if you do a complete review of it.
  • 20 1
 I. Geometries these days are too much speed/ bikepark oriented.
II. Fun does not alwas come with speed!

I am missing playful and nimble geometries, f.e. sub 1200mm wheelebases on trailbikes (sic!). 8 years ago my freeride bike (giant faith) bike was shorter and more nimble than trail bikes these days. It was more suited for my thight and techy trails.
  • 6 0
 As someone that is on a bit older bike with a chain stay that would be considered too short, a front center that would be considered too short, too slack of seat tube too steep of head tube I wonder if when I go to get a “modern” bike if I will miss some of the playfulness. I really have no frame of reference. Was gonna demo a bike once but they wanted it back in an hour. Not gonna make a half lap when the fun stuff is up higher.
  • 11 0
 Don’t mind my spelling…

I was seriously thinking of buying a new trail/am frame for my trailriding in the alps, which means most of the time balancing, trackstands and lifting the back wheel around tight switchbacks at slow speed. For this kind of riding the current "regular" geometries are unsuitable unless I am willing to buy a small frame at 5’11, or spending money on a custom built frame.
I have been wondering a lot lately – Can It be, that I am the only one, who thinks, that modern geometries are the spawn a downhillish speed cult, sacrificing their false gods all the lovable traditional characteristics of sub 150mm bikes (f.e. snappiness, playfulness, agility)?
  • 5 0
 @Cirest: Santa Cruz 5010 is the ticket!
  • 1 0
 @iantmcg: I switched from a 150mm 27.5 with a with a 1205mm wheel base to a 130mm 29er with modern geo but short chain stays and 1235mm wheel base. I would say I would only prefer my old bike when I ride with a group that is big time noticeably slower. Example, party ride with all our friends and their kids. Even if I'm just dicking around by myself or the wife, I want my modern geo.
  • 2 0
 @Cirest: maybe a Stumpjumper (Not the EVO)?
66.5 headangle and not too long.
  • 1 0
 @Cirest: sounds like you might as well save money and buy used. Put in some new frame bearings, rebuild the shock or get a new on and use the savings on an awesome bike trip.
  • 2 0
 Kona process is still kinda short, the 5010 is kinda short, there are more
  • 1 0
 @Cirest: I hear what you're saying, and agree that things are going too far in some regards, but as someone who loves poppy nimble riding, some movement towars the new Geo isn't bad. It just takes a few rides to really gel with it, but once it clicks, moderate new Geo is pretty solid (6' riding a large druid). I absolutely wouldn't go back to my large 2014 Troy, nor would I want to go any longer. I tried a 2020 sight and it felt like riding an armchair. Also, rider forward Geo really is good, especially for techy punchy climbing, amd without some growth in length bikes would be super cramped.
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: If you want to go shorter just buy a smaller frame size, but frames used to be silly shot?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: yeah doesn't Josh Bryceland ride a medium or something?
  • 4 0
Agreed, I’m also 6’/6’1 and the 465mm reach on my endorphin feels just about perfect. I’ve owned bikes with 445 reach (too short) and 488 (way too long, even with a tiny stem). The Druid is the dream!

I think the industry has jumped the shark with “progressive” larges these days having 480-500 reach. Maybe great if you only ever haul ass in a straight line, but not much fun for playing around.
  • 1 0
 @Cirest: I agree with you.
They invented gravel bikes to fix this (!).
  • 16 0
 i had this coworker who would shit everyday at work, multiple times a day. That is too regular.
  • 15 0
 Billable shitting hours
  • 5 0
 Sounds like my regular Pinkbike break.
  • 3 0
 @iainmac-1: I sneak it into overhead on heavy days
  • 14 2
 Better questing is where is the Grim Donut review?
Yes, you have to different ideas, to see what works, but really slack head angels only work on choppers & lowriders
Even then not that well !!!!!!!!!
  • 6 0
 What do we call "really slack"? And what's "really slack" five years from now?
  • 9 1
 I think it's pretty clear what's happening here with how long it's taken.
What we know: They've gone through the engineering - they've made a prototype - they've tested it.
They already have a marketing machine reaching a broad audience.

In depth review will be released along with the production model of the bike - which has been delayed by the pandemic.
  • 11 0
 @skeeple: it's entirely possible.
  • 1 0
 But they look cool AF!!!!!
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: But would you dare to paint it pink if that were to happen?
  • 10 0
 I think as consumers, we want development, we want innovation but mostly, we want lightish bikes that can pedal up and be abused on descents. We all have differing ideas of whats aesthetically acceptable so form and function need to appeal across a broad spectrum. The bike industry on the whole is pretty awesome. Even those electric dowangers Wink
  • 6 0
 True and we want it to be affordable.
  • 11 1
 It is no wonder when Pinkbike stifles innovation by suppressing the release of the Grim Donut...I think it is obvious what is going on. You want us to keep buying crap bikes so we won't have truly revolutionary geometry and be able to huck 50 foot gaps. I'm onto you Levy.
  • 13 0
 All I'm saying is look into it.
  • 6 0
 I’ve also always thought that suspension designs are purely different for the sake of being different. To attach a unique aspect of the bike to the brand. Motorcycles all use a variation of the same form of linkage and no one cares. There is so much weight put on suspension design.
  • 5 0
 At Structure we advocate for working out more, eating better, getting a coach, and running drills on a 2005 hardtail 26er. But then we think you should buy the fastest, most capable bike available and enjoy the hell out of it.

Putting all of the above together is what gets us out of bed every morning, and we promise: No boring bikes.
  • 5 0
 Cars come in an average of about 8-10 colors. When you're spending more on a bike , than you can on a decent used car.
You want color options....more options = less boring ....also press fit bottom brackets = very boring.
  • 2 0
 Press fit bb isn't boring. Try fitting an eccentric bb in a standard threaded shell! (Phil's, trickstuff are beside the point)
  • 4 0
 Wouldn't want your BB to be too exciting...
  • 7 0
 "...where are all the wild bikes and crazy tech?"

Germany, mostly.
  • 6 0
 Either conservative or ultra wild. Nothing in between.
  • 5 0
 SPD sandals
  • 4 0
 It seems mountain bikes are becoming more like modern hatch back cars where you can barely tell brands apart by looks because of conformity to what works for aerodynamics and fuel economy.
  • 3 0
 Efficiency is such a large part of what is needed on a mountain bike that all manufacturers are chasing the same goal. They have to work around or license various suspension patents and whatnot to reach that goal. There are specific designs that are best for certain least until someone imagines an better design. People keep trying, but if a fancy new design is less efficient or much less reliable than something that already exists, it won't catch on.
  • 3 0
 Nobody buys 'interesting' stuff, not in any real numbers anyway. They comment saying 'wow thats cool, im definitely buying that next!' then buy the normal, tried and tested standard stuff. So manufacturers stop making the cool stuff.
  • 2 0

As a podcast idea, I would love if each reviewer would do a 1, 2, 3, 4, probably 5 bike quiver selection such as they do at Blister:

I mean that is what we are all dreaming about all day, our quiver. Except of course the kids that can ride rad on their aluminium transition or YTs and shame us for our Yetis who can't ride that well :-)
  • 2 0
 I think that bikes that are too far from the norm probably won't catch on because of aesthetics too, people care what the bike looks like and clean simple (more or less) designs look better. I'm not sure what it would take for a structure works or Marin wolf ridge with a linkage fork to take off (or have big brands start breaking from the norm) even if the performance was really good.
  • 2 0
 Speaking of "too regular" and "boring" vs. true innovation and not just marketing - I heard Yeti's setup mentioned and praised, but what do you think of Revel's usage of CBF suspension? Marketing hype, or, as Revel claims, the "absolute best full-suspension mountain bikes—EVER"... hmm. Really?
  • 2 0
 I love the idea of reviewing old bikes. So much has changed so quickly in mountain biking it could really show off how we got to where we are today. What about an old bike vs new bike; a collection of old bikes compared to their newer counterparts/replacements?

The content around buying the bike, fixing it up, and then riding it at someplace like Whistler would be amazing. One could show how the bike and all the old standards/components came about, hit some of the highlights of how the bike made an impact on the sport, and then contrast that vs the latest and greatest offerings.

It would be really cool to see something along the lines of the Holy Grail of DH bikes, the Iron Horse Sunday, vs a modern class leader with multiple riders giving feedback on each bike... Maybe it could fill the Crankworx-sized content hole this summer.

(tagging @brianpark just for old comment visibility)
  • 5 0
 Some weird MTB contraption coming up @pinkbike in a day or two
  • 2 0
 Is it grim?
  • 4 3
 When you spend so much it has to look good IMO. Aesthetics are more important than performance for the average non-informed rider. Its always the first thing you hear people say: 'wow that bike looks so cool'

Look at linkage forks...they were just ugly. Even if they were better nobody wants to ride something so ugly.
  • 4 0
 Nah, if linkage forks were cheaper than telescopic forks (for similar or better performance) we'd just ride those.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: they always come back then disappear again. Linkage forks were the forks to have in the 90's
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I recently bought a Trust Message as I was in the market for a new fork and it was heavily discounted. Thought I'd take a chance just to try something different really. After owning double figure numbers of telescopic forks it is a welcome relief.
  • 1 0
 Bikes are a tool to enable a good ride. Get a good tool and go ride. Dont get another tool until you identify shortcomings and then and only then find a replacement tool that addresses those shortcomings of the first. Also ignore srams advertorials. Theyre mostly fluff. Just ride.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Mike for bringing such an essential question.
That`s a constant wondering I have actually, the fact of arriving at a ``butée``point like we say in french, that point that can`t go and can`t be pushed further. I don`t know how to translate that in english.
Geometry is the main ``point of butée``we`re facing nowadays with slack HTA and steep STA. Your Grim Donuts was an excellent and funny experience to illustrate that purpose.
Some say that suspensions can always evolve... I don`t know; probably... until what?... and what for?
I`m trusting human genius capacity to create and bring more surprises, but nothing revolutionary at the point we are now.
But who knows?
It`s true that it starts to get boring...
  • 1 0
 Bikes are finally getting to a point where they work. It took mad skills to ride a dh bike from 2004 well, now someone with OK to average skills can get down a dh track on a modern bike and not go otb because the bike works. next step will be gearboxes, hopefully..
  • 1 0
 "when electronic suspension is super cheap and super good".
What would that look like, in your opinion?
The initial promise of electronic suspension has always been to make a soft dh/enduro bike ride firmer like an XC bike when not descending. Since RC's early reviews of Fox livevalve though, he's made comments that bike geometry has closed the gap so much between trail bikes and DH bikes that pedalling efficiency isn't as bad as it once was, on a super capable enduro bike.

Would people ever trade off having a somewhat understandable mechanical linkage bike for a simple mechanical bike with high maintenance electronic system and a dynamic (complex) tune?
  • 2 0
 Vapourware at this point, but it's reasonable to think that the future could be simpler/stronger/cheaper hardware and more complex and integrated software. I also don't know if it's a given that an electronic system needs to be high maintenance.

Pure speculation of course. It's equally likely that hardware will get more complicated, and software will compound that complexity.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Thanks, Brian.

I think it will certainly be higher maintenance, when including recharging, battery replacement, extra cable routing and electronic seals/gaskets failure, which will be on top of the 100-200 hr service interval of (almost all) existing suspension. That's something I'd happily take for far better performance and they could definitely do it, just no one is courageous enough to throw R&D dollars after Live Valve.

IMO there's a couple of ways they could go with this that would be far better than existing suspension. I think they should make the shock tune non-static, selecting between several (pre-selected by the rider) tunes which the electronics chooses, based on what it detects the rider doing (climbing, descending, cornering, etc).
Ohlins look like they're going that way from a patent they filed last year.

An other could be that tuning changes are mapped directly from what the rider wants (more suppleness, more ramp up, etc) to changes in the shock settings. This would be similar to the shockwiz but helping to better visualise the tradeoff that's made when changing settings. That seems to me to be the way for the software to reduce the complexity of suspension while giving all the adjustments possible. It's easy to tune a simple LSR & LSC shock, but hard to tune LSR, LSC, HSR, HSC, tokens, spring rate and initial suppleness (OTT). Mapping these settings to functional terms would make an electronic shock better than a complex mechanical shock.

Simply monitoring the stiction of the shock/fork to give a reminder when the air sleeve/piston is gummed-up and needs cleaning would be nice too. It'd probably make more of a difference than a climb control working on velocity (rebound/compression) circuits.

My 2c, but I really want them to make this work.
  • 1 0
 @ozhuck2flat: I think we'll see some more electronic suspension stuff soon.
  • 1 0
 I think this all the time as of late. The Pivot Switchblade is what I feel is one of the better examples of this with their latest revision. It used to be at least a little unique in its design and now looks like all the others that have gone the conservative route. DWLink or not the bike just has that super-basic triangle form factor.

I feel like they can be creative in the frame design at least?
  • 1 0
 Late to the party and maybe not the main demographic here but I’m wondering what choice folks would have made for a $3k hardtail. I don’t pursue the gnar too much so a decently competent hardtail that climbs like a rocket would be my ideal. Thinking of a Honzo CR at the moment but can’t think of similar bikes.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy After the “mtb capital of the world post”, and seeing all the reactions, what about the next podcast about the biggest mtb destinations? And what criteria it needs to have for being name capital of the world? Is it cause of pure trails? Community? Mtb History?
  • 1 0
 Hey @mikelevy, when are you guys going to add some show notes for the stuff you're talking about, similar to the Blister Podcast. Its pretty awesome when they have a list of videos, interviews, and product reviews in the summary of their podcast on their website. That way I don't need to search for hours, and repeatedly start and stop the podcast to make sure I heard correctly....
  • 2 0
 They spent all their money on stupid new wheel sizes and bottom bracket standards, so they didn't have any money left over for R&D.
  • 2 2
 Regular, maybe. Too expensive, definitely. With a family of four trying to get decent quality bikes for each of us, not to mention the maintenance. It’s getting to all be a bit much. Even a decent hardtail cannot be had for less than 2000.00. We are not all dentists, and being Canadian, we will all soon be hit with the minimum 5 percent “covid recovery” tax.
  • 13 0
 We've been over this. A bike for $2000 would have been $1350 in the year 2000. And would have been only HALF the bike of a $2000 bike today. Inflation is a thing.

I'm not a dentist either, but I have about $15000 worth of bicycles (actual paid value). I also have no tv, and drive a cheap economy car. Pick your priorities.
  • 4 0
 @JSTootell: exactly. Whenever a non cyclist tries to say anything about the cost of my bike..."how much do you spend a month on cable?" We have different priorities obviously.

Bikes aren't cheap...nothing is cheap.
  • 4 1
 Structure Cycles guys, those look super interesting and definitely not regular.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy how could we forget? Smile
  • 2 0
 Came to post this. Trying to think of strange or unique bikes and forgot about the weirdest of them all...
  • 2 0
 Trust fork, Robot/Atherton, machined Pole frames, gearbox bikes, the suspension used by Polygon/Marin...
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: All good. Look for lots of noise from us this year about new full-linkage offerings that will spice up this conversation.
  • 4 0
 The fact that they have a wheel at either end works for me.
  • 4 0
 reviewing old bikes with a modern review would be awesome!
  • 2 0
 MTB definitely needs more innovation. But a side effect of a good economy is low innovation.

I’m hoping for more low innovation.
  • 2 0
 If any of you peasants are tired of regular bikes, I do happen to have a Starling Sturn up for sale.
  • 1 0
 Wasn't Cannondale working on a dual shock rear suspension?

Isn't someone working on CVT for eBikes?

Aren't flex chainstays just leaf springs?
  • 2 0
 We talk about almost all of those things in the podcast. Smile
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I'll probably find out on my run tonight...
  • 1 0
 Heck Ya, bring on the modern review of the old bikes. Would love to reminisce about what I learned to ride on and compare it to today's standard.
  • 2 0
 As for older bikes to review... specialized enduro 29. What year did it come out 2013? Or Kona process 111
  • 1 0
 As a response to reviewing old bikes and suspension designs, I have a complete 1999 Chuck CRFS if you want to give it a spin and review.
  • 2 0
 Speak for yourself. Can you guess where I am?
  • 1 0
 the quick release on the old rocky mountain suspension was called Ride 3 technology.
  • 1 0
 On the pipeline (newer one, not original) and it was sketchy as
  • 2 0
 We need some sucky bikes! All the new ones ride well!
  • 2 0
 That microphone is definitely a penis.
  • 2 0
 Probably drawn by Disney then.
  • 2 0
 Taj drew a different microphone in there but it was too fancy. I told him that Levy's more of a "beat up SM58 kind of guy"... I guess it's a bit freudian.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Lol, I think it's awesome Big Grin
  • 1 0
 There are fewer weird bikes for sure, but they are still out there. Structure Cycle Works, for example.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see a Terrain Control show up in a field test. The steel version even!
  • 2 1
 Regular? I'd say: least, that's what the kids tell me.
  • 4 0
 I think that's when your bike comes with a Starbucks gift card.
  • 1 0
 This sounds like the title of a Brendan O'Neil column in Spiked
  • 1 0
 URT without chain, amazing!!!
  • 1 0
 Never mentioned the grim donut. Unforgivable
  • 1 0
 do you think that electric brakes will become a thing.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely review old bikes!
  • 1 0
 It's been two weeks since the last episode. Is the PB Podcast dead?
  • 1 1
 I do miss my I-drive.

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