The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle

Nov 18, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


Modern drivetrains let us climb straight up the side of a mountain without having to get out of the seat, but they also offer a high enough gear for pretty much any descent, almost never let the chain bounce off, and even shift gears when you tell them to. If you've been around long enough to know what cross-chaining is or use shifters that didn't click, you know how good things are these days. But could they be even better?

Episode 89 sees the crew chat about all things drivetrain, from the so-called "good ol' days" when nothing was that good, our favorite drivetrain tips and tricks, our dream set-ups, gearboxes and cranks with gearboxes, and also how today's drivetrains could be even better. We also dream about having our own EGS Up Cage and White Industries LMDS derailleurs, although a Shimano Airlines system would also be near the top of the list.





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 89 - THE DERAILLEUR PICKLE
Nov 18th, 2021

''It's just so much more rewarding to use non-indexed shifting, man.''


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.

This week's podcast is presented by the Saris Foundation and Lapierre Bikes.




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?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget


134 Comments

  • 17 2
 Levy wants to do an episode on F1 but wont cover Fatbikes ridding in the snow? I thought this was a podcast for folks that love bikes? P:rehabs we need some hardy folks on you editorial board and not just tender West Coasters? Winter riding is a huge amount of fun and even though I love summer and dirt I actually look forward to sliding across the ice and snow.

I know it’s niche, but it really is great riding and shouldn’t be dismissed, not if you’re really do love bikes.
  • 8 0
 It's difficult for us to talk about riding fat bikes in the snow when that just isn't something that happens where most of us live. Yes, lots of people do own and ride them in the pacific northwest, and I've enjoyed riding them (in the dry) in the past, but fat bikes in the snow aren't something any of us spend much time doing... there are no groomed trails for us to ride them on here, and our snow isn't ideal for fat bike tires. That said, maybe I'll find someone who has an opinion on them Smile
  • 14 0
 In my experience, if you live somewhere where skiing is a viable winter activity, very few people will choose fat biking over skiing...
  • 7 0
 Fair shout. @mikekazimer @mikelevy It's snowing in Squamish and I'm happy to be the sacrificial lamb - let's organize me a fatbike? I'm a little skeptical and to be honest I don't have the expertise to compare it to anything other than my own non-fatbike experiences, but that could be the discussion in itself? Does fatbiking have its place in non-snowed under places etc. I can always go up to Whistler to ride some "pow" anyway.
  • 2 2
 @henryquinney: I agree they dont really make the most sense where you guys are, but North America is a big place and they make a lot of sense in some places. Should we send Sarah Moore back to Quebec for a session?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: what if, and hear me out on this wild and crazy idea, PinkBike had an employee that lived someplace like Western Montana, where they have miles and miles of groomed fat bike trails every year? And that employee could maybe come on the podcast from time to time?

But that’s probably too much to ask, isn’t it?
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: You can rent them and ride them on the groomed ski trails at Mount Washington on the island
  • 6 0
 If you do an episode on Formula 1, call it the PinkPole podcast.
  • 3 0
 @kookseverywhere: Don't tell Brian that or it'll turn into a damn Field Test haha
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: lol you thought we had an off season.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I ride one of my old frames in the ski season with these attached... www.a2xtreme.com/2000/0068.htm (my knees are too shot to allow skiing or snowboarding any more). Don't underestimate the capability of a ski bike, I've done some pretty epic back country powder runs, and clocked 66mph on a groomed run, which is pretty nuts on a bike with no brakes! And.... hitting the snow park is really good fun.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Again, there dozens of miles groomed & snowshoe packed trails here in MInnesota with a community that would gladly be willing to fly you guys out and put you up in luxurious (& warm) surroundings for your field test.

I'm serious. Have the Field Test scheduling monkey at Pinkbike PM me & let's do this.
  • 1 0
 STOP SAYING DRIVECHRAIN!
  • 11 0
 Question for next week: would building more aluminum bikes make it easier for bike companies to produce locally and ease some of the supply chain issues? I know it's better for the environment and obviously better for our wallets... why aren't there more aluminum bikes?
  • 3 0
 Would be interested in how steel plays in as well since the fatigue life span of the frame wouldn't be as much of an issue, but other issues such as wall thickness, strength to weight, corrosion, etc would play in.

www.engineersedge.com/wwwboard/messages/141.html
  • 2 0
 On the supply chain issue: it would have a very marginal effect.
Most Al frames are still built overseas. If there was the manufacturing capacity to build all of the markets Al frames over here it would help, but the factories and tools and raw materials are all still over in Asia. It would probably take the better part of a decade if not longer to build the infrastructure locally to ease supply chain issues. It would be cool to see more bikes produced in the Americas though.
  • 1 0
 @schlockinz: #steelisreal.... in all seriousness steel and aluminium are great materials for those of us who don't race and like to keep bikes for more than a few years.
  • 1 0
 @schlockinz: I've owned plenty of steel bikes in my day, but I'm a steel hater. Only because I sweat like Niagara Falls, and every "down to metal" external scratch starts to rust if not tended to. And let us nor speak of JP Weigle’s Frame Saver to treat the internals.
  • 1 0
 Curious: in what way is aluminum more environmentally friendly?
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I think the basis for this claim is that it CAN be recycled. But that benefit is only realized if they bike actually gets recycled. The mining process certainly isnt environmentally friendly.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: even racing - unless we are talking XC, I don't think an alum bike is going to hold anybody back, up to and including pro riders.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Not only is it recyclable, but recycled aluminium use huge amounts less energy to produce than carbon fibre. Steel is even better in terms of both recyclability and energy to produce. Carbon is bad on all accounts, it can't be recycled, and used huge amount of energy to produce.

And to counter all the comments saying carbon can be recycled, not it can't! It can be used maybe once more in a downgrade state. If your cycle rides only lasted two revolutions, you'd be pretty pissed off. Recycled means it can go on forever!
  • 2 0
 @phutphutend: I’d say very few people ever recycle their bikes. A poll they posted on Pinkbike a few months back confirmed that. I’m just not buying any benefits in that respect. What’s the date of bikes actually being made from recycled aluminum? I’m not aware of any. The mining and smelting of the alloy is not very environmentally friendly, but maybe you are right — the manufacture of carbon might be worse.

As for steel, I grew up in the shadows of the largest US Steel plant in the country, plus a couple other big ones in the region.. There is nothing environmentally friendly about steel manufacturing. It takes its toll — a big one. It’s smelly, dirty, pollutes water. Just awful. Although it is better than it used to be.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: Ain’t no one recycling their frames. Or very few of us, anyway.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I've recycled a couple of broken frames, several trashed rims, bars. But I also have ~5 old frames as decoration. Just saying.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: I’m not saying there aren’t people out there doing it, I’m saying that as a rule it’s not happening. Not on any scale that would make it environmentally friendly.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I've seen people but a literal pile of bikes at auction to fix what they can and put the rest in the scrap pile. It's happening, just not as fast as we would like. Although, I do find it amazing when I see someone riding a bike from the 80s. How do they do it?
  • 1 0
 @schlockinz: People who are still riding their bikes from the 80s are doing more for the environment than all of us.

Personally, I’ve bought 3 aluminum bikes in my life. I still have 2 (from 2001 and 2002), and sold one from 2010. They’re not in a landfill, but I also barely ride them. They’re just sitting there on two wheels.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Some recycling is better than none. I don't understand why some people don't sell their broken stuff as scrap, there are scrap yards everywhere. I have a dozen or so old wheels and a few boxes of old/broken parts I keep mainly to rob spare parts off, bikes and parts are expensive, lots of people hold onto a them even if it's old/broken and will probably never be used again. My junk will eventually end up being recycled, delayed recycling. I think the point is that at least al and steel can be recycled whereas cf, cannot.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: the right steel frame will last forever. If you have the right geo there's no need to update.

There are plenty of old steel road frames being ridden around over this side of the pond. Plus if it does break there are plenty of people who can repair them at a reasonable cost.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: all of my old dead bike parts get recycled.
  • 11 1
 Why can't we go to smaller chainrings instead of bigger cogs? Do people really need 32x10? I feel like at that point I'm better off tucking or pumping rather than pedaling (except in an xc race scenario). I'm running a 28t front ring on my enduro bike with 10-42 and I feel like I could still go smaller in the front.
  • 3 0
 I use my 32x10, but only on the couple miles of pavement going to/from the trail head. Trails where you want 32x10 do exist, but yeah, not super common.
  • 4 0
 After looking at my riding for a year, I concluded I never used 32/10 on dirt, not once. I looked at the ratios I like most and figured I could be happy with 28. I don’t expect to need 28/51, which will mean a year more down the road I will either be climbing bigger stuff or spinning higher rpm’s everywhere or free to bump down to 10-45. Those are all upsides to my mind, whichever may be
  • 1 0
 This makes so much sense. Even with eagle and whatnot I think many people are over-chainringed. You dont want 11 speeds for riding down and 1 for climbing, especially when you spend 80% of the time climbing. It's not a good chainline and wears out that aluminum pie plate. Off the cuff, I think ideally most climbing is done in the ~10th cog and other two are bail out gears.
  • 2 0
 I slapped a 26T I had kicking around on my latest bike with Shimano 12spd. 26/51 literally made me laugh climbing up silly steep trails. I’d happily continue running it, but there was a noticeable downside in suspension performance and feedback through the pedals. I tried a 36T just to get the other end of the spectrum and the improvement was worth the loss of climbing power. Smaller chainrings are obviously better for climbing, but if the bike isn’t designed around a small ring (like every modern mtb) I think it’ll negatively impact the ride everywhere else.
  • 1 0
 @Snfoilhat: this is how I got to singlespeeding. Next step is running a Zee freeride derailluer and 11-36. Then little 200g road casettes. Then you ride 32:20 and are like ytf would anyone put these clicky, clanky, oh shit its getting ripped off and ruining my ride contraptions on a bike
  • 7 0
 I would 100% listen to Levy and Henry talk F1 for an hour. Make it happen bois! Also Levy is dead right, that was an INCREDIBLE drive from Hamilton last week.
  • 2 0
 People will be talking about last weekend for many years to come.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Do the F1 podcast! Would love to hear it! Sure there are plenty of actual F1 podcasts out there, but there is something interesting hearing about it from people who you normally associate with something totally different. I am sure there are plenty of Pinkers who are into cars and bikes equally. I love the engineering of both and the intensity of the racing across both sports. Drawing comparisons could also be an interesting chat?
  • 1 0
 If Lewis is the goat he could win with Hass but it's tool that makes him great.
  • 1 0
 @Remedy808: LOL
  • 4 0
 I've run 12 speed GX, and (currently on one bike) XT with an e13 Helix Cassette in addition to my trusty Single Speed hardtail. Both shift really well, but feel like a step down in terms of reliability compared to my years on 11 speed stuff.

Yes- there are places where that extra gear really feels better.

However... I live in NW Arkansas where 500ft is a big elevation change, and I've decided that 11 speed XT is the best most reliable thing I've run here. I would LOVE to see a high end 10 or 11 speed option from Sram or Shimano with a new cassette that goes from 10-45 or 10-48 and works with a medium cage derailleur. The Sunrace 11-48 is good if you don't mind the weight. (around 500g)

In the mean time, 10-42 gets the job done, and I find the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in this terrain.
Did I mention 1) cheaper 2) lighter 3) you can actually find parts right now 4) more durable and reliable 5) slightly easier to work on
  • 2 0
 Preach! 10-45 11 speed cassette seems to be the holy grail for all the reasons you've listed. I don't understand how this stepping stone got skipped in pursuit of the pie plate 10-5X 12 speed cassette.... Yes there were a few smaller manufacturers who have produced a cassette of the like, however, I believe if either Sram or Shimano had produced a 10-45 XD compatible cassette before Eagle was released, we would not see 12 spd spec'd on every new bike post 2020.
  • 3 0
 @TerrapinBen: 11-42 10 speed here. Good, cheap and light. Plus you can run a Zee / Saint mech that is tucked out of the way.
  • 4 1
 @mikelevy I disagree with AXS.
I think the reliability of AXS overall is much better. The derailleur is that much stronger than a mechanical. The parallelogram axles on a mechanical get bent pretty easily, making the top gear not working well. AXS derailleur are that much stronger, and the way they get out of the way is a big difference. Now that applies to places like Sedona, Moab or other very rough terrain, where hitting your derailleur is frequent. As far as pure shifting, I d say they are similar when everything is brand new, but that doesn't last long on mechanicals. Also i found that the cable routing has a big impact on how well the mechanical shifts. I have a couple 2 years old AXS derailleur that I still use without any issue, but i can't say the same for mechanicals with the amount of time I spend on trails
  • 1 0
 I kept waiting for @mikelevy to mention the durability. I’d like to see some numbers from SRAM one day but anecdotally I believe AXS is much stronger snd more reliable than a traditional derailleur.
  • 1 0
 Yup, I'd agree with that. I think it's more consistent and more reliable than a cable-operated drivetrain, and the derailleur is super beefy.
  • 3 1
 More cogs are to keep jumps between gears at a good level while providing a larger gear range. Going to a single front was bad for total drive range, so they're trying to make up for that. 6:1 total range is a good goal. 5:1 is a bit small.

Remember that bikes are used in all sorts of places, not just the PNW.
  • 3 0
 I haven't listened yet, but if Shimano 12 speed with the smaller 45t cassette and shorter derailleur doesn't come up, that's a big miss. Haven't broke a derailleur since switching to this setup.
  • 4 0
 Kazimer is your man - that's what he said.
  • 2 0
 Yes - also, Shimano announced 11 speed XTR 9100 series, with a special dedicated hub (slightly slimmer hub driver) aimed at their pro racers, but killed it before it hit production. Around the same time as the 'silence' hub that never made it to market...

Also currently Deore 5100 offers an 11 speed 11-51 cassette
  • 2 0
 The build quality on the new shimano mechs is poor when compared to their older models. Not only does the clutch seize after a much shorter time and need greasing, the plastic internals that house the cam unit just disintegrate, effectively ending the ability to run the clutch.

Two xt mechs, one lasted a year, the other 6 months. Now on an SLX but the internals look the same.

The old Saint/Zee/XT etc would go for years.
  • 2 0
 I'm sure it has everything to do with the terrain I ride and they way I ride but, 90% of the time I'm skipping 1 or 2 cogs when shifting up or down the cassette. For me, a 10 speed cassette 10-46 or 50 seems ideal. I'm not sure I would even notice the jumps between gears.
  • 5 0
 I'll take an F1 podcast with a side order of Hammerschmidt V2, thanks!
  • 1 0
 You talking about the Truvativ Hammerschmidt right? Had for several years, good piece of equipment, sturdy and worked without issues. Just bit on the heavy side and noisy too.
  • 1 0
 @elyari: yeah it got called out in the podcast. I enjoyed mine that I had for a while too.
  • 2 0
 Same here. I liked my Hammerschmidt - zero reliability issues and worked as it was supposed to.
  • 1 0
 Sign me up for the F1 podcast as well! Things are heating up between Hamilton and Max, should be a super spicy end of season!!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: have you seen the Classified Powershift hub? It's like Hammerschmidt except it's built into the hub. Wireless shifting. It's for road bikes, not sure if there will be an MTB application, but seems like a good way to have a smaller cassette, shorter derailleur, and still maintain gear range.
  • 1 0
 @secondtimeuser: just finished the podcast, yeap, good idea, mine is actually somewhere on the shed, buried under some old componentes and tools XD
  • 5 0
 if you view your own advert on buy/sell, does it add to the view count?
  • 3 0
 Aluminum has no place in a drivetrain. All steel cogs and a steel chainring will outlast Al-based drivetrains by at least 3x
  • 1 0
 That's what i keep saying with ebikes equipped with aluminium cassettes.
  • 2 0
 That might be the case, but I'd still buy an expensive and much lighter aluminum cassette instead of running some 800-gram steel block. Chainrings have a lot of wrap and last a long time, especially if you keep your drivetrain clean and lubed, so I'd run an aluminum chainring as well. Different story on e-bikes, of course!
  • 1 0
 I run Aluminum chain-rings and steel SRAM cassettes. As soon at that ring/chain combo starts to feel/sound slightly like an egg beater, I know my chain is stretched. But it's early enough to spare the steel cassette.

I get like 800 miles out of a ring/chain and THOUSANDS of miles out of my cassettes. Currently over 6K on my oldest XO Eagle cassette and going strong.
  • 1 0
 I thought this too then I folded over my big cog on a stupid shift. I am thinking aluminum would not have bent in that case. So it still has nice teeth but they are covering about 4 other cogs. I of course ordered a replacement with a bigger steel cog.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: XG-1150 weight = 393g, all steel. Spending $$$ to save 40 grams on something that's going to wear 3x faster is nutso
  • 1 0
 Could you guys do a podcast about installing tires? And how crazy hard it is to get dh casing tires with inserts onto a damn rim. I recently had an experience where I was getting the last bit of a dh casing dhf on with an insert and the f*cking SPOKE on the industry nine enduro s wheels broke! I know it was probably just a manufacturing defect on the spoke but still, it was crazy!
  • 1 0
 Some combos are THE WORST. We did a mechanics episode a while back where we talked about installing some terrible tires. When I used to work at the shop, I'd come up with any excuse not to install a Ninja on someone's wide rim.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I'd like a short discussion of you reviewers' opinions on what "climbing efficiency" actually is. On trails, at least, not fire roads. I've been on an evil insurgent lb for a couple years and singletrack climbing is okay, but not great (although Kazimer wrote "There's minimal undue suspension movement, but when faced with rough ground the suspension stays active and supple, which makes it easier to keep the rear wheel stuck to the trail rather than bouncing and skittering around on tricky climbs" - a view I do not share). I took a demo stumpjumper out and was astonished by how well it climbed. It was sublime. I just got a propain tyee, which is a good climber per pinkbike review, and I am underwhelmed with its uphill ability.
So what is it that is "efficient"? The evil has all the antisquat in the world, and does not feel great on singletrack climbs. The stumpjumper has lower antisquat and has infinite traction instead, making it extremely comfortable and sprightly. The Tyee is somewhere between the two.

In my opinion, when climbing over obstacles, I want the suspension to take the entire hit and the saddle to not move an inch. 100% traction, 100% comfort. Is this a downside of high antisquat, and would I then get along better with a bike with low antisquat on the climbs? And is this view opposite of what you testers prefer in an "efficient" bike?
  • 3 0
 Excellent idea. I think there's suspension efficiency, which is obviously a factor, but other things like tire/wheel choice, riding position, suspension setup, etc are all factors that can turn a so-called efficient bike into one that can feel slow, and vice versa sometimes. Added to the list.
  • 1 0
 not using gripshift, but i did buy it for 9 speed in the mid '00s, but realized trigger was better, and changed over. and I was into it in '98 as well. i think part of the appeal was that the trigger shifters at the time weren't very good, and on cheaper bikes, you were picking between thumb shifters and grip shifters, triggers weren't even an option.
  • 1 0
 I seem to remember Gripshift letting you go through the gear range much faster than using an old trigger shifter, too. I definitely broke a bunch of old triggers back then as well.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: yep, but with a lot of crunching from the rear end. going through the gears a fistfull at a time wasn't great for those old rickety rear derailleurs. And while i haven't ridden AXS, I'm confident in saying I could not shift a grip shift as fast as XTR Di2, which i have ridden.

The other aspect of the late 90s was that we were starving for a Shimano competitor. They were the 1000lb gorilla at the time, and they priced their components accordingly. maybe gripshift was less good, more "good enough and not extortionately priced."
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer there will be a hub limitation if it goes bigger and more gear. Most hub companies are already fighting the reliability because of extra torque with those huge pie plates.
Some system would need to improve on that side. It would become a compromise on how much bigger the freehub needs to be, or the axles... and that will likely leads in new standards
  • 1 0
 Tech question for the next pod: I’ve got a 27.5 trail bike that I’d love to try as a mullet but I don’t want to change the geometry too much or dropping the fork travel. Do you know of any 29er forks that have a significantly lower axle to crown than other brands or any 27.5 forks that are known to have enough clearance for a 29er wheel?
Love the podcast, keep up the good work.
  • 2 0
 How much travel does your bike have? A lowered dual crown usually has way less axle to crown than the comparable single crown.
  • 3 0
 These podcasts are a highlight to my week, they're that good. And frankly, I could give two shits what you guys talk about. Just keep them coming!!
  • 1 0
 I'd love to get the team's thoughts on a product like Intend's Magic cranks where the freehub is in the cranks, not at the rear wheel. For me doing it that way seems to get rid of a few of the drawbacks (the big one being shifting without pedaling) of the current drivetrain setup without the need for massive changes to the current setup. More of an evolutionary change than a revolutionary one
  • 1 0
 I ran SRAM gripshift from 3X9, to 2X10, 2X11 and was running it on 1X12 until June 2021. I loved it found it reliable in bad, muddy conditions, or very cold where you start to lose control in your finders to change gears.

My new bike came with trigger shifters recently (first complete bike build in a long time) so I just ran with it and didn't bother to change over to gripshift.
  • 1 0
 How did a conversation about triple rings and front deraileurs not also include a reference to those dark days when we would all pull the largest chainring off to swap it with an ENVE or RaceFace bashguard...or better yet ripping it down to one and running a MRP chainguide?
  • 2 0
 Double bash life.
  • 1 0
 The biggest issue with current drivetrains is the jump from 52/50/etc is the that the next cog is too many teeth of a drop down. I'd rather give up my top speed (high speed 10t) for a cog in the middle. I almost never spin out my fastest gear but man do I spend some time in the 50t.

And let's take a minute to appreciate that wide range cassettes help balance out the rear end with a 200mm rotor!
  • 1 0
 Sorry haters, but Gripshift is the best, for single and multi shifts, and reducing clutter on the bar. The SRAM and Shimano paddles and triggers are terrible. I’ll never get my dream of AXS gripshift, until it’s made after-market and costs a bomb. God damn it!
  • 2 0
 Would love to see a discussion, or even a review of North American production for bikes/bike parts, especially given the supply issues with parts coming from overseas.
  • 2 0
 American production would be overseas for someone, though.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: True, but I'll bet that the majority of people on this website are North America as compared to other continents.

Maybe another one with European manufacturing?

Not sure whats being made in the Southern Hemisphere when it comes to biking...
  • 3 1
 All this derailleur innovation going on lately, and here I am, reading the title and thinking someone made a derailleur out of an actual pickle.
  • 2 0
 Claussen only...then I would give is a go.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Grillo
  • 1 0
 @TwoNGlenn: I have not tried them, but heard good things about them
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Their pickle salsa is awesome.
  • 1 1
 Topic for another podcast: there's lots of parallels between the car/motorcycle worlds and bike world, lot's of the truism or maxims of car have mtb equivalent. For example, when talking about bike suspension travel the phase "there's no replacement for displacement" from drag racing is used. Meaning that an 180mm enduro bike is a big bike, but it's no 200mm dh bike.

What are the mtb equivalents of sayings like "lights before lockers", "with age comes the (roll) cage", "spinning ain't winning". I've heard the last one about motocross but it could have originated in any motorsport?

Any one else think of good sayings to add?
  • 2 0
 Skids are for kids. Its probably the equivilent of spinning aint winning, but given that we cannot usually break traction through power, only through poor braking technique.
  • 2 0
 The dh equivalent of "if you want to win, employ a Finn" should be pretty easy!
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: That's such a good one! With age comes the roll cage is also accurate haha
  • 1 0
 Question for another day: What would happen to the mountain bike world if energy drink companies suddenly decided to change their marketing strategy and pull out of sports? Speaking of Red Bull--bring on the F1 pod.
  • 1 0
 Not sure much would change besides some riders needing new sponsors...? Maybe I'm wrong, though.
  • 3 0
 We have "Are energy drink companies good for the sport?" in our to-do list. Levy's biased with his Monster hookups though, so he's been dragging his feet.
  • 2 0
 I have Eagle grip shift on both my mtb’s. I’m a vet moto guy and it reminds me of twisting a throttle plus doesn’t make my arthritis act up.
  • 1 0
 I've been running X01 11 speed gripshift on my fatbike for 7 years now, and love it. Easy and fast shifting, plus shifts easily with mittens on and no metal levers to freeze your fingers.
  • 1 0
 Was listening to you talk about bikes with gearboxes not being up to much....these guys make pretty sweet gearbox bikes with both chain and belt-drive options - Zerode Bikes (zerodebikes.com) - may be worth a look..
  • 3 0
 Come on! XT front derailleur is really easy to set up.
  • 2 0
 do we wait for the shimano wireless option or try the franken-drive of GX AXS-XT combo?
  • 2 1
 Stick to two wheels please. There are lots of places to go for four wheels. No skis as well. Fat bikes have two wheels, ski bikes do not.
  • 1 0
 Prediction: some sort of clutch electric gearboxes that shift in less than a tenth of a second while under load. Belt drive.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Topic for next time: setting up bikes for big / small riders. Go recruit a couple guests at either end of the bell curve.
  • 1 0
 @mikeley Sunrace have a 9 speed wide range mech and cassette. You should run a test?
Items are: RDM900 (mech) and CSM 993 11-50T cassette.
  • 1 1
 All I want is an axs drivetrain that works with the 10-42 11 speed cassette. Mountain bikers are getting too soft. If you need a 50t cog you might as well just walk your bike or get an ebike.
  • 2 0
 Mmmmmm, pickled derailleurs.
  • 1 0
 If I have to listen to an F1 podcast, I want a Supercross episode... season is right around the corner.
  • 1 0
 Mud boggin racin and tracter pull racin would be mighty nice! Levy grew up rastlin' sheep so there's that too!
  • 2 0
 alternative sports and F1 for the effin WIN! +1000!
  • 1 0
 Best short cage drivetrain option: 10 speed 36-11 cassette w a Zee derailleur.
  • 2 0
 Still waiting on mike to finally get that alien theory's podcast out.
  • 2 0
 Maybe for number 100!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: How about now?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: do it!!!
  • 2 0
 Proud twist shifter on my Lefty Cannondale Habit ✊
  • 1 0
 I did a GX Eagle GripShift because that was what was available. I thought I would be fine with it and that I would swap it out for a trigger when one became available. Now I'm stuck running GripShift by choice and talking to everyone about it as the best thing that's happened to me. I should never try a vegan diet or going to crossfit.
  • 3 2
 id love to see an other sports podcast.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like this could be a salty episode.
  • 2 0
 Internal chain routing?
  • 2 0
 Henry already hates it.
  • 1 0
 Today I learned Danny Beer's brother works for pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Dick Punches for those who say "pickers".
  • 2 0
 Good thing I was saying "Pinkers" then eh Wink
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: haha dick punches for typos.
  • 1 0
 A 6 speed that is every second gear of a 12speed.
  • 1 0
 I would listen to a Pinkbike F1 podcast but also MotoGP > F1.
  • 1 0
 Name checks out haha
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: you have no idea how disappointed Ive been these last 6 or 7 years in the turbo v6 hybrid era. I went to COTA the first year they ran it with the screaming V8's and that was the real F1 experience.

but c'mon Mike you know F1 is to top level motorsports what road biking is to bicycles. MotoGP is MTB equivalent - shorter duration, more hardcore/intense action, and more exciting spectacle to watch.

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