April 2018: Good Month or Bad Month?

May 1, 2018 at 15:23
by Richard Cunningham  
Pinkbike


Aaron Gwin exits the podium in style.
Happy to start the season with the correct number plate, Gwin came out swinging, but he didn't win by a knock-out


Race Fans

Lošinj World Cup DH Opener


Lošinj, Croatia's downhill course may well be the shortest on the 2018 calendar, but what a show. The mountain-to-the-sea track had enough rocks to restore a castle. Racers had to thread between and launch over stone walls at mach speeds and drift through cobbled streets to a sea-side finish. Brook Macdonald muscled his way to top qualifier, but crashed out of competition. It was Aaron Gwin who took the win, joined by Luca Shaw and a first podium for Dakotah Norton. The Women's race was at least as thrilling, with Myriam Nicole trouncing all - 3.5 seconds over Rachel Atherton on a 2.5-minute course. Fifth place was also an upset, as Cecile Ravanel, the reigning queen of enduro, put the hurt to the rest of the women's field.
Myriam Nicole charged down the track today to take the win at the opening World Cup of 2018.
Myriam Nicole was in a league of her own in Croatia.


29er Downhill Bikes

Almost every team has one now


Norco Aurum HSP
Sam Blenkinsop rode his 29er Norco Aurum to the podium in Croatia.
Last year, PB photographers were scrambling to get any spy shots of 29-inch-wheel downhill prototypes. This year we were mowing through press releases and fake spy shots "leaked" by their makers to decide which ones were most newsworthy. Pivot, Commencal, Norco, Saracen, Transition, Trek, Cube, Santa Cruz, Scott, NS Bikes, Mondraker, and Intense top the list, with more big-wheel big-bikes on the way, but the real story here is that racers are actually going to ride them this year. Four out of five on the men's podium at the Croatia opener were on 29ers. (The women's podium was all 27.5-inch.) It's a safe bet that the 2018 World Cup series will become the battlefield that will determine the outcome of Wheel War II.



Pinkbike

PB Celebrates its 20-year Anniversary


Pinkbike celebrates its first 20 years, beginning at the Sea Otter Classic, where we put together a timeline of events and historic bicycles that marked the crazy journey that began with free website and went on to see its membership become the largest mountain bike media channel in the world. Pinkbike was established in 1998 by Radek Burkat, as a medium for early-day freeriders to get together and show off pictures of their bikes and the features of their home trails.

Legend says that the name was decided upon after a lengthy dinner meeting, where Radek and his chosen ones brainstormed names for the startup-website. (Alcohol was involved.) Domain squatters
Wade Simmons' RM 7.

Shuan Palmer's Intense M1.
World, according to Pinkbike.

had already begun to eat up every name in the English language that had to do with mountain bikes. So, it turned out that every powerful descriptor that the motley crew of freeriders came up with had previously been registered by one of those scum sucking cheaters. As a joke, one of the guys said, "Why don't we pick a dumb name, like 'Pink Bike' instead?" Of course, the lad was immediately slapped down, but after the effects of the previous evening wore off, "Pinkbike" was the only name that anyone could remember. Radek searched it and the domain was free. The rest, they say, is history.




Pinkbike

Tracey Hannah

Big crashes in the season openers


Tracey Hannah has never been faster than she has demonstrated during 2017 and coming into this year. How fast? Hannah was way up in the green, then crashed, midway down the course at the 2017 World Championships in Cairns. She recovered and still managed a bronze medal, only two seconds off the winning time.

Unfortunately, the Aussie superstar has suffered two big offs this year that put her out of contention: the first, at Rotorua Crankworx and the second, at the Lošinj, Croatia, World Cup. Clearly, Tracey has the speed and form to stand at the top step, but she'll have to keep the rubber side down if she wants to walk away with the number one plate this year.
Tracey Hannah was well up for this fight unfortunately a huge crash would take her out of contention and leave her in 10th place.
Tracey Hannah has been screaming fast aboard her Prototype Polygon DH bike. She'll be a serious threat this year if she can sew together a series worth of top to bottom runs.



Future Bike Buyers

Asian-made products are going to cost more


Bike prices are going up. Asian currency is gaining strength at a rate, especially against the US dollar, that cannot be absorbed by many bike brands. Specialized was the first to announce that it was raising its prices this April from one to 12 percent to offset some (not all) of the higher costs of importing bicycles and components from Japan, Taiwan and China. Other bike brands are secretly planning to do the same, so bikes are going to cost more soon.

Currency fluctuation is always a factor when importing and exporting goods, but this trend has been looming for a number of years. Reportedly, China has traditionally kept the value of its Yuan in step with US and European markets, but most indicators say that China will make an "adjustment" soon that will significantly raise the price of its
2019 Specialized Stumpjumper
If you want a new Stumpjumper, you are going to pay a little more than Specialized first anticipated as upward currency fluctuations have increased the cost of imports from Asia.
exported goods. Other Asian nations are expected to fall in line. A number of years ago, similar currency adjustments, first by Japan and later, Taiwan, resulted in significant upward spikes in global bicycle prices.



Claudio Fans

The most anticipated World Cup pre-show crashes hard


Much to the dismay of fans, Claudio Caluori's pre-ride video was not aired at the DH World Cup's opening round, reportedly, because his monstrous crash was deemed too visceral for the general public. Claudio, the master of disaster, is well known for shaking off crashes, precipitated by following champion DH racers down World Cup venues, often without the benefit of pre-riding the tracks.

His luck came to an end in Croatia, where he was hospitalized by the crash while filming the Lošinj course. Not to worry though, Claudio assured his public on a Facebook post that he would be back on the horse, wired for sight and sound, at Fort Bill.
Claudio gurns a unhealthy looking pain-face mid TRX session.



220 Comments

  • + 239
 its been a bad month for kanye
  • + 11
 Wow, started off way strong with that comment!
  • + 93
 I guess you could say it was his choice?
  • + 50
 He wants to be president. I'm not kidding. He saw that another egomaniac compulsive liar won and thinks he could do the same. He needs to adjust his medication doses it seems.
  • + 66
 So gutted for him, he seems such a humble kind of guy.
  • - 19
flag Asmodai (May 2, 2018 at 12:41) (Below Threshold)
 @Sycip69er:
you are really buying what hes saying ?
  • + 13
 @Sycip69er: Hillary was beaten by an egomaniac liar which is ironic considering she is a master in those two areas herself. American politics at it's best right?
  • + 8
 He's pulling Trump-style egomaniac rhetoric to get people talking about him again.
  • - 15
flag preston67 (May 2, 2018 at 13:35) (Below Threshold)
 Why is it a bad month for Kanye ?
Because he has an opinion you don't agree with ?
Doesn't that make it a bad month for you not him ?
  • + 49
 @alexsin: All joking aside, a lot of these highly-successful people are really, really full of themselves, to the point where they exist in a reality entirely of their making. They're highly competent and driven, but they exaggerate the extent and importance of their accomplishments and contributions to their respective disciplines. They're delusional. They have a borderline god complex. They not only believe their own B.S. to the extreme, but they're really good as selling it to other people. Really good. That's how they end up where they are -- that, plus a little bit of talent. But by and large, you'll find their talent isn't even close to what it is in their own minds, but it doesn't matter. They are not living in the same world as you.

Trump and Kanye are both cut from the same cloth in this respect. A couple others who readily come to mind are Gene Simmons and Evel Knievel. Watch interviews with these guys, and you'll see what I'm talking about. A lot of CEOs are this way, too. I find it fascinating.
  • + 30
 He goes by Uncle Tomye now...
  • + 15
 @OGC: Kunta Kanye
  • + 3
 @TheR: many high profile personalities (ceo, sportsmen, stars, politicians...) tend to be arrogant, egocentric, full of themselves, for a mere self defense mechanism, they need it to cope with the pressure. Iinfact many guru / life-coaches insist on the importance of a better self image . I guess someone just push it too far
  • + 3
 @Sycip69er: just remember if you think somebody is completely mental there are much worse cases Big Grin youtu.be/4dvc4mYCCO8
  • + 6
 Scoopity poop woop poop
  • + 6
 @TheR: They're called Sociopaths.
  • + 8
 Kanye is just saying think for yourself and don't let the news, or anyone think for you. I'm no fan of kanye, but it must be said he is not referring to physical slavery.
  • + 5
 There is no more MTV, the guy has to promote somehow. --Comedian Bill Burr
  • + 0
 @TheR: Evel Knievel was the best crasher the world will ever know ! Only ever watched kanya for the broads !
  • + 2
 @inverted180: not really. They're called narcissists. It's a recognised description in psychology. They can pursue their goals without intending or wishing harm to others. Though perhaps not in these cases! Sociopathic narcissists perhaps...
  • - 2
 @TheR: as one may have heard recently , more and more of those people are proven to be tripping their balls on amphetamines and opiates. So you thought: how does man X get so much sht done? He’s so charismatic, otspoken, disciplined, mmm... he may be taking more productive drugs than you do. Meanwhile thousands of poor fkrs sit on motivational seminars to crank the speed up for a month and then get burned out and depressed. Yes Mr Tony Robbins it’s forging the patterns of behavior, focusing on who we want to become, breaking down the tasks and the executing them, you just forgot to tell us to take Adderall and Ritalin
  • + 6
 who ?
  • + 0
 @ibishreddin: @ibishreddin: No Kanye was initially saying that for there to have been slavery for so many hundreds of years slaves must have been accepting of being in that position on a mental level besides a physical which is unfounded and an opinion made out of pure ignorance and lack of empathy. In the backlash of his comments he has had to amend his comments but they contradict in that slavery is not a choice so saying those slaves should of or could of have "thought for themselves" is a pretty repulsive thing to say...

Define slave: a person held in servitude as the chattel of another; one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
  • - 3
 Remember kids - slave owners, the KKK, and John Wilkes Booth were all Democrats.
  • - 2
 @TheR: Alright, firstly, yes Kanye West has an ego unlike any other, but to suggest that the man lacks talent is absurd in the extreme. Almost every album he has made has redefined the sound of the hiphop and pop music that succeeds it.

Also, I'm no psychiatrist, but I've been close to people suffering from psychosis and he's exhibiting all the symptoms of a man with a mental illness who is not taking his medication. There are interviews in which he is articulate and insightful, then there are those in which he is talking absolute nonsense and rambling in a stream of consciousness. I find it fairly tragic that people are laughing at a man who is clearly unwell, whether you think he's an a*shole or not (as most of us do) is irrelevant.
  • + 10
 Yeah, when the Republicans were Democrats and Democrats were Republicans prior to them switching platforms in the early 1900s/late 1800s @Thustlewhumber The Southern “Democrats” we’re not liberal Democrats in the Liberal sense of how people think about them today.
  • + 3
 Congratulations to him! You are now officially off the DNC Plantation...
  • + 1
 @TheR: or you could just sat narcissistic sociopaths
  • + 0
 No way! S2E2 of West World.... That was an amazing cover of Runaway
  • - 3
 @RedBurn: it was on one of the latest JREs, some doctor that medicated Trump, a dozen of politicians and celebs opened his mouth.
  • + 0
 @Thustlewhumber: They also opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • + 2
 Everyone makes good points -- they show sociopathic tendencies, psychopathic tendencies, maybe some signs of drug use. I don't know. I'm not a clinician, nor have I ever spoken to these people, so I can't give them a diagnosis. I can only go by what I've observed in interviews or reality shows or whatever, and my observation is their realities are much different than the one most people live in. Is it a mental illness? Maybe, but it's not just those four people I mentioned -- if you look around, you'll find it's much more widespread and commonplace than you think.
  • + 1
 @TheR: drug use can make you act like a sociopath. When you run at twice the RPM of your employees/ partners you’ll start throwing them around. You’ll be so involved with what you do and yourself, surrounded by asslickers and people who want a piece of you that you’ll get aggressive towards anyone who questions your stride.
  • + 4
 @ibishreddin: I've always thought the guy was a jackoff but his latest comments have a lot of truth. He's saying that if you think you can't win you've already lost.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Maybe I should give it a try.
  • + 3
 @Thustlewhumber: they were all Americans too !
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: Remember kids - Trump is a republican.
  • + 2
 Who?
  • + 4
 @TheR:

Nailed it. I've seen it several times in the corporate setting. A few new executives are hired to stir things up, they spend 2 years making half-assed business changes that end up devaluing the brand and pissing off both customers and employees, and then they leave for the next gig with a fresh set of bullsh*t metrics on their resume about all the positive changes they made. Classic corporate america. No accountability, no loyalty, every man/woman for themself.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber:

Thustleweiner back in the game! I love it!
  • + 1
 @metaam: NO, That would be naming after a slave that freed other slaves and died for other slaves. He is no warrior, more like an ass bandit.
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: Is this guy normally this ignorant and biased?
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: YES!!! I'm definitely familiar with this cycle. Sometimes, I think I'm the only one who notices it. I'm glad every once in a while someone steps in with similar observations to confirm I'm not going crazy. I have a theory -- in business, there are two types of successful people. Those who work their asses off from the ground up, and con men. And if they don't watch their backs, the honest hard workers will be eaten by the con men. I've seen that happen more than once.
  • + 3
 @TheR: yes the pattern is there, a new guy is often very malleable into becoming a puppet to the top dogs in the company. One thing I don’t agree with though: there are too many people who work their asses off and don’t get anywhere. Then there are con men who are likeable. To be in a top managing position you have to enjoy being in the spot light, going to meetings, you must like being listened to, you must value power rather highly. Then you must be confident and at least a bit cocky. None of that excludes being good at shat you are doing, being a good boss. But if you don’t have those values, nobody will listen to you, you won’t get anywhere, no matter how skilled, dedicated and hard working you are. Hence sometimes con men and all sorts of freeriders are more likely to get higher than dedicated bees. Sorry
  • + 3
 @vw4ever: Clearly history is not your strong subject. The "switch" happened during the civil rights movement prompted by Democrat Strom Thurmond and his record filibustering against the Civil Rights act of 1964 (which by the way was passed by more Republicans than Democrats). When he switched to Republican, the minority vote switched to Democrat just to vote against him.

Look up the LBJ quote about how minorities were going to vote for the next 200 years. Kanye is just realizing the truth.
  • - 2
 @Thustlewhumber: "switch", switch, switch

Sorry, all I read was switch. Remember kids, the KKK supported Donald Trump.
  • + 0
 @thedeathstar: and that brain pill idiot from INFOWARS ! I must admit to watching ever now and then for little chuckle Smile
  • + 1
 @thedeathstar: since you know them so well...tell them there pointy white hats look ridiculous.
  • + 3
 @thedeathstar: And remember David Duke, a modern day Dem, was also Klan member. Fruit loops all the way around. Those thinking their 'side' is infalible are sorely blind and naive
  • + 2
 @AndrewMak: plus 1 for quoting bill burr.
  • + 3
 @bikeetc: nah the best bit from Burr about Kanye was that we’re licky he’s not white. A white dude with that ego would burn the world, but black guys have no chance to raise armies and start killing people in millions. Kanye is black Hitler with no tanks
  • + 0
 @bman33: maybe you know something I don't, but I'm pretty sure David Duke is not a "modern day dem". It's irrelevant anyway you dipshit because it's not a question about party.
  • + 0
 @bman33: David Duke switched political parties to Republican in 1989...round the same time he decided to become a total bigot/racist.
  • + 4
 @inverted180: I don't think people 'decide' that. They are douche bags anyway. I am from the southern US (I live in Colorado now). Trust me, racist a-holes (both black and white) come from all income levels, party affiliations, etc.
  • + 0
 @thedeathstar: Wow, some keyboard courage calling me a dipshit. Very adult and manly of you. Note that I never named called anyone names here. I am sure your friends and relatives are proud of you calling names behind a keyboard. By 'modern day' I meant after the 60's since everyone calls the civil rights era party 'flips'. See my response to the other comment below. I live in Denver, look me up next time you are here and we can grab a beer and discuss things if you like.
  • + 2
 @bman33: keyboard courage hahaha Smile
  • + 121
 Happy birthday pinkbike! Fab
  • + 2
 You ol' bastard!
  • + 56
 You could look at it as a bad month for 29" DH bikes. Every team except the winning team was running 29". Newly released 27.5" takes the win.
  • + 41
 Anthropomorphism refers to assigning human characteristics to non-human entity's- like bikes. Gwin won the race. The confirmation bias is strong on both sides here. However, a few years ago people were convinced 29ers couldn't hack it in DH. Now we see riders in four out of the five spots on the podium having ridden them. The one rider who was the exception to that just happens to be a great candidate for best downhill mountain bike racer of all time and has done well sans chain and sans air in his tire in the past. I'm not saying 29ers are faster or slower, just that I think they have proven a viable option at this point and that it seems like some riders are faster on them. I'd say it's a good month in that regard for them. Further, it's not like we can compare Gwin's time on a 29er against his time on a 27.5 yet; so him winning on the 27.5 doesn't add much empirical evidence to the heap. Yay more choices though!
  • + 5
 Clearly Pinkbike is in on the 29er downhill scam. Even when they all get beat by a 27.5 they can't help themselves but still call it a good month.
  • + 6
 F this I want a 30.5 er...it's probably faster
  • + 4
 @PJD1: I personally want to just skip to 37.41 since it's 29% bigger than 29 it must be 29% faster too
  • - 3
 @snl1200: all I have heard over the last five years is that tracks have gotten easier more buffed and burmed out they changed the track to suit the big wheels to sell you on something you really don’t need unless your over 6 foot if it was 26 vs 29 on tech tracks the story would be different.
  • + 5
 @snl1200: Solid commentary but I came to say

HEAL UP CLAUDIO AND TRACEY
  • + 6
 Hey @loganflores, curious if you checked out the race these comments are referencing? Despite early critiques, most reports were that the track was chunky AF and a real technical challenge. It spit out some super talented peoples. Perhaps tracks have gotten easier- but four on a podium at THIS race likely doesn’t represent a data point on the ‘dumbing down of WC tracks makes it easier for big wheels conspiracy graph.’
  • + 5
 @endlessblockades: Don’t forget Bulldog! That suuuuucked to watch!
  • + 2
 Tues 29er coming soon. That Capra 29 is a killer.
  • + 2
 @snl1200: Hooray for a well reasoned and articulate argument.

I would add that Gwin could have probably taken the win on a 29er as well. In Gwin we trust
  • + 2
 @snl1200: Yay more choices? You mean hello clunker wheels, goodbye 26 and 27.5.
  • + 2
 Does nobody count Myriam Nicole's win as a win on PB?
  • + 1
 @snl1200: sorry little drunk last night should not be near a keyboard. I was more talking about trails in general not this race or other pro races. We tend to look at everything in the bike world as the high end parts and top level riders but i dont think those things have as large of impact on the cycling as a culture as say the entry level bikes and trails by making green and blue trails more tame they are able to get more people into cycling which is good but people entering the bike market are more prone to not know what the difference is and to believe the hype that the industry spouts when they buy everything without any knowledge of whats fact and whats marketing everyone is forced to buy whatever the common trend is and at some point you grandfather in a part or bike as being the best without ever having to prove it was the best. I dont have any problem with 29ers they are great for a lot of people and types of riding my problem was always with 27.5 which made millions of parts obsolete for no good reason i would have preferred that we would have kept 26 and continued working on 29ers. 29ers sucked when they came out they didnt sell very well so they convinced us to drop our old gear over a tiny bit of efficiency. i honestly believe that 26 with modern geo and tech would have been superior to 27.5. and far less wasted parts.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: For sure. I now ride a sentinel with big hoops but previous rode 26 and loved it. I gotta say though, as a guy with really long legs those big wheels feel like a pretty nice fit for me personally. I think in every sport there are those that jump on trends or images. Personally I was waiting since 2012 for a 29 that had the geometry I wanted and was stoked when I read the numbers on the sentinel. Big wheels made sense of this six footer. @cmkneeland sorry the industry is making some preferences harder to get. The same is happening with other previous standards and is the nature of the game sadly.
  • + 2
 @snl1200: maybe it all just means wheel size doesn't matter :-p
  • + 46
 More price inflation due to import expenses??? I don't know if my a** can take any more...
  • + 45
 thats what she said!!
  • - 11
flag raditude (May 2, 2018 at 12:23) (Below Threshold)
 You gotta be joking my ass
  • + 16
 Don’t worry, I have sources inside that say with inflated prices they’ll include the S-Works suppository to open you up and make buying a less painful experience
  • + 6
 Apparently Intense never got the memo, as they just announced new lower prices 4 months ago.
  • + 3
 @ninjatarian: Thats because they went hybrid consumer direct and cut retailers out of the equation. The retailer doesn't have to buy the bike and make a profit so therefore the price drops.
  • + 1
 Get ready. This is only the beginning. The coming years will make 08 look like a cake walk
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: doubt it, there will be a slow down for sure, especially due to electronics, but the sht will hit the fan in 10 years when new age of automatization will come. If you are a bus/ truck/ cab driver/ pilot, or any of your relatives, friends are, change job to anything ASAP. Actually if any little slow down in economy is coming it will give those people a bit of time to readjust
  • + 4
 BUY SECOND HAND, DONT BE STUPID !!!!!
  • + 6
 @RedBurn: and who will supply the second hand market, you selfish bottom feeding scum?! PEASANTS!
  • + 29
 Should add 'The Ugly' category as well.
  • + 8
 Where have the Fails of the Month gone????????????????????
  • + 2
 @rrolly: moved to youtube. they're constantly reusing the same clips and its quite a bit less enjoyable, up to something like compilation #35.. gotta get them yewtube $$$s
  • + 19
 Poopy-di scoop Scoop-diddy-whoop Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop Poop-di-scoopty Scoopty-whoop Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop Poop, poop Scoop-diddy-whoop Whoop-diddy-scoop Whoop-diddy-scoop, poop
  • + 11
 Name a person with more pure lyrical talent. I'll wait.
  • + 2
 @ibishreddin: Maybe Bob Dylan? On the real though, it's like everyone's just forgotten what Ye's done, the man is without a doubt the most influential musician of the century so far. You want some great lyrics?

Inter century anthems based off inner city tantrums
Based off the way we was branded
Face it, Jerome get more time than Brandon
And at the airport they check all through my bag
And tell me that it’s random
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: it's a joke man
  • + 19
 Too visceral for the general public?

The world's a soft place..
  • + 40
 My guess is because he got back on and finished his run after an obvious head injury.
  • + 5
 @madisob: great point. I didn't think that deep into it. I was to hung up on their sugar coated description.
  • + 1
 @madisob: If that was true, couldnt they just cut it after the crash and post it? My thoughts at first where that he mightve been badly winded and made some funny noises he'd rather not have on the internet but that's not like claudio...
  • + 16
 Anyone know where the Claudio video could be found ?
  • + 25
 As far as I know, it was never released by Red Bull. I'm hoping it'll be leaked and PB will sneak it into one of the Friday Fails compilations.
  • + 15
 Sam Hill you legend!
  • + 11
 Good day bad day good day. Girlfriend got her first bike stolen off our doorstep out of the box, but shipper is sending another at no cost. Emotional roller coaster
  • + 10
 the hell trump. now bikes cost more, as if they weren't already enough before. cant wait till he gets impeached.

**edit** i am not involved in politics, but trumps an imbecile.
  • + 0
 Even if you aren't involved in politics, we all want bikes and if he's taking bikes from us then we can agree on something haha
  • + 16
 Why does any North American bike company HAVE to import materials from anywhere but the USA? Humbly speaking, I don't think these materials are proprietary to any specific country? Now would be the time for someone to begin manufacturing these materials in the USA...? The goal is to create more industry in the US and less dependence on imports. Also for what it's worth, all 3 of my bikes are Specialized, but I sure as hell didn't buy them new. Agree 100% most new quality bikes are extremely over priced.
  • + 23
 @popot85:
>Why does any North American bike company HAVE to import materials from anywhere but the USA?

because import is cheaper
  • - 4
flag popot85 (May 2, 2018 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 @Asmodai: It would appear that isn't the case anymore...
  • + 10
 You did read that it is related to currency and not tariffs correct? And no, I didn't vote for Trump.
  • + 3
 @bman33: Which is a problem directly correlated to importing goods.... The risk you take when relying on imports.
  • + 7
 @popot85: Currency valuations are 100% correlate to imported goods. Agree with you on that one. China has been manipulating their currency heavily for years.
  • + 13
 @popot85: Totally valid points, the main issue comes from the fact that the ore for these material is extracted in other countries, so even if we manufacture the end material we still buy our ingots from other countries (usually China or Russia). The destruction and environmental costs for sourcing our own ore is too much for most Americans to stomach... Either way this article was talking specifically about components/frames manufactured in Asia not necessarily raw materials. I see this as a good thing, it will make our USA made aluminum bikes more cost competitive and will drive the cost of all Carbon bikes higher than most people can afford(as if they weren't already...) which in turn will up the demand for alloy frames allowing USA manufacturers to prosper. If your interested in a company that does as much in the USA as you can hope for go with @GuerrillaGravity, you can even get American made suspension products spec'd on them! I'm planning on purchasing a Shred Dogg this summer Smile
  • + 2
 @Asmodai: Not any more... that was the point of it being in the "Bad Month For" section...
  • + 3
 I suspect the tooling costs of setting up manufacturing operations on the scale of specialized in the US would be prohibitive vs absorbing potentially short term currency fluctuations especially when you factor in the carbon frame know how in the current source countries. Plus if you sell to multiple countries and your currency is dropping then you make less on sales to those other countries - so if Specialized make a bike in the US and sell it to a country with strong currency they make less where as if they buy it made in another country and pass on the currency exchange to the customer they win and we lose.
  • + 1
 @paulskibum: "so if Specialized make a bike in the US and sell it to a country with strong currency they make less where as if they buy it made in another country and pass on the currency exchange to the customer they win and we lose."

Very good point! It is all about the money in the end anyways... I would like to point out though that just because more carbon frames are made in Asia it doesn't mean they have more know how... There is a reason the US leads the world in aerospace carbon manufacturing!
  • + 9
 @millsr4: Hey, at least you're not in Canada where we not only extract, but sell our raw materials to other countries and buy the value added product back at an inflated price (raw log exports, the current plan to export bitumen for refining in China, tar sands oil that goes to Wa. state for refining and gets sent north to BC as gasoline,etc.)
  • + 2
 @woofer2609: Haha yea none of that makes sense... I'm honestly asking here, does that have anything to do with your higher tax rates? Would that make it more expensive to do in your country rather than importing and paying those taxes?
  • + 2
 @millsr4: Let's keep in mind that aerospace carbon manufacturing is a little different than bikes.

People really underestimate the value and cost of changing manufacturing locations and operations. It's a ton of work and go be incredibly challenging. We're also assuming that there is a great workforce in NA that can ramp up to speed here - its a much more competitive labor market in NA than a lot of Asian markets. Ask a company like BD about how moving manufacturing back to the US.

People whine a lot of about Asian manufacturing with some items/areas. Frankly, they are better and more efficient at making some things than in NA. in a production environment - its simply a fact. Just like with Aerospace Carbon manufacturing is better in NA. The xenophobic BS is a little old at this point.. It's not the late 1980s anymore.
  • - 4
flag ibishreddin (May 2, 2018 at 22:03) (Below Threshold)
 iT's TrUmP's FaUlT!!!!11!!
  • + 0
 @dhx42: The only reason Asian carbon manufacturers are more efficient is because of cheap labor. Cheap labor ensures the manufacturing stays there and they in turn end up having more experience which breeds more efficiency. In my opinion the Asian market really specialize in rate manufacturing across all processes, it's not unique to carbon bike manufacturing... when it comes down to the actual material technologies were are in the forefront. Get out of here with your xenophobic/social justice warrior sidestep of the issue, I have nothing against people from that part of the world or their countries... I'm simply debating manufacturing capabilities. Don't be a punk and start making shit personal...
  • + 3
 Time for a Revolution. This world is going to shit.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: ever the pragmatists. "Hi Switzerland, could you look after our valuables while we burn the world. We might pick it up later, but we might not. Cheers."
  • + 3
 @millsr4: Apologies for sounding like taking a shot at you - that was not my intention. Was more speaking about the overall commentary on Asia v NA manufacturing at this time.

Cheap labor was definitely the genesis for the transition and I am not suggesting that we aren't a leader on the a large number of the material technologies. I am trying to point out, albeit somewhat poorly, that there is a real manufacturing personnel and management deficit in NA that makes many of these Asian production lines a lot more efficient and effective. And in a lot of ways that is becoming more of a driving factor in manufacturing decisions that the cost of labor.

Building a product like a bike is two step process - you have the design and engineering of the product you like to make and then the design, engineering, and execution of replicating the product over and over again with minimal errors. The latter, in a lot of ways, is the real difference between companies. Its difficult to do. It's a constant management challenge for a product like a bike frame. NA's labor market here is challenging. The job is either too boring for highly skilled workers who command solid pay that is worth paying or we have cheaper labor that lacks discipline to guarantee quality that their Asian counterparts have. Wish there was more love for quality manufacturing jobs, but, unfortunately, its not the reality.
  • + 2
 @dhx42: Best answer so far describing the manufacturing situation.
  • + 5
 @dhx42: When you put things like that your points make much more sense to me and line up better with my interpretation of the situation... Smile Now your also touching on a subject that is near and dear to my heart as a former machinist! We have a real issue with a lack of skilled trades workers in our country. I would love to see more of an emphasis on tech programs at a younger age and give more respect to blue collar careers. Not everyone needs to go to a 4 year school and work from behind a desk. Not only is that type of work rewarding but it also pays a decent living, even if your not in the "highly skilled" category. I may have used an engineering degree to get ahead in my career but I know other people my age who started working in a shop straight out of high school and are doing the same thing I am for a living.
  • - 1
 @popot85:

But importing goods is the only way many countries have affordable access to goods that they otherwise wouldn't.
  • + 1
 @millsr4:

Another random thought. Specialized dropped the price of the comp carbon stumpy from $4k to $3.5k from 2017 to 2018. Almost identical spec.

So 2019 comp carbon is $4.2k, just $200 more than it used to be (yes, but $700 more than last year), and that gets you a full carbon frame as opposed to carb f / alu rear with a slew of refinements, similar/better spec (i'd argue the suspension spec is now better as well as the brakes).

Still not "cheap" for what you get, but a nice package that's in line with the market (excluding d2c) and maybe one of the best trail frames out there.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: Meh... I'd rather take that same money to a USA based manufacturer and get an aluminum frame like I said in my first comment above. For me the gains of using carbon don't out weight the trade offs, I feel like the use of carbon in the MTB industry is largely unnecessary not to mention a waste of resources and money, but that's another discussion I've had before lol.
  • + 2
 @millsr4:

GG do make some cool bikes..... hopefully they're at Outerbike in the fall.....

Also, but where would i store my massive burrito without a huge ass hole in my carbon downtube?

Unnecessary? The whole sport/industry is unnecessary when it comes down to it. Value is defined by the customer. Some want aluminum, some steel, some titanium, some carbonium, all for their own reasons.

We're consumers. Most shit we own is unnecessarily for us to live our lives, aka, a waste of resources and money.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Yea but there is a big difference between all of those materials and carbon, carbon fiber materials cannot be recycled and it takes a huge amount of energy just to reclaim the fibers and burn away the resin,which is then lost value, if you do want to reuse those small shredded fibers for a different application. It also doesn't help how short the lifespan of a frame tends to be these days... This on top of the fact that I firmly believe it is the wrong material choice for the large majority of bikes, road and XC excluded. MTB's should be durable and the current methods of carbon bike manufacturing do not take this into account enough for my liking. The simple fact is that you can damage a carbon component without any external witness and next comes catastrophic failure without warning. Once we start seeing more woven materials, more durable resins, and the additions of other types of fabric into the lay up i.e. Kevlar for durability I just can't trust my life to a carbon frame no matter where it is made. When it comes to all mountain, enduro, and DH frames the weight savings are negligible these days and generally aren't any stiffer... Pivot even admitted that their goal with their new carbon bikes was to be as stiff as their aluminum ones... remind me again why that material is the right choice?! Well I guess it is if your just trying to show off how big your check book is...
  • + 2
 @millsr4:

All valid points. I'd don't know how often carbon frames are failing for trail/am/dh vs alu ones? I see that durability is very good these days but you're right, when they fail they fail. Yes, some riders care about the weight savings. Yes, some purport to prefer the "feel" of carbon better. Yes, some love their bling. I happened upon a favorable deal for the frame/bike i was looking for and it was priced about the same as a similarly specced alu model. Yes, consumers are now used to "high end" meaning carbon. it is what it is. I'm considering both the GG Smash and Knolly Fugitive LT as my next ride, both are aluminum. But Transition's bikes, for example (and Kona), are unnecessarily heavy (AF!) in aluminum to the point that I wouldn't consider a non-carbon version. Anyway, I don't have a bias either way but i'm not butt hurt by people having the money for carbon. Many models only come in carbon these days (i've learned to accept this). The merits of manufacturing all 4 materials can be debated forever.
  • + 1
 @millsr4: well, that's a great question. Personally, I think it has to do with foreign ownership of a lot of resource companies. Weyerhaeuser bought MacMillan Blodel, the Chinese govt actually owns Nexen, a very large oil company. Honda and Toyota Canada are wholly Japanese. In the case of oil, it is probably cheaper to refine in a country with slacker environmental laws and cheaper labour. I wish we had more of a Norwegian system for oil exploration and taxation. Taxes here are actually very low if you are a corporation, not at all if you are an individual. Pre Trump, corporations paid less tax in Canada. I think it is a mindset as well. We tend to want to not offend, so sell out pretty easily. Long subject, though.
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: Haha... "We tend to want to not offend" I think that is want Americans give Canadians shit about more than anything! Well thank you for that insight, taxes are a subject I know just enough about to get myself into trouble lol.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: Honestly I have no idea on the numbers of failures for one material vs. the other but I'd personally prefer a material that fails a bit more often but shows witness first. I wouldn't say I'm butt hurt that people have money for carbon but I would say I'm but hurt about the image the industry gives the material, that it is the answer to everything...

Those are both some solid choices for a ride but I think I'm going to go with a Shred Dogg and run a 29 up front and 27.5 out back. I refuse to buy a Transition for different reasoning and this opinion is blasphemy where I live... they outsource everything including engineering and they only employ graphic designers, sales people, or warehouse personnel. In my opinion a bike manufacturer should manufacture something or at least do their own engineering! How heavy are the new Kona's? I can't find weights listed in the quick search I just did... I wish they would bring back the 111, it would be a tough choice with the Shred Dogg if that were the case!
  • + 1
 @millsr4:

Shred Dogg would be mint! Wheel size mismatch is intriguing.

Interesting point about Transition. I started a forum on the 2018 Smuggler, it has some weights for the alu models buried in the comments.

Fun fact, for less than the price of a carbon Smuggler or Sentinel frame ($3k), you can get a Guerrilla Gravity frame with a Push 11-6 shock. I'm still gonna swing a leg over both Trannys before i decide on my next purchase.

Don't know weights on the alu Kona but I demoed a Process134 back in the day and it was a pig, tho that was the low end build. I owned a Process111 for short period and loved the bike, but it gave up too much in the rough stuff. If i had room for 5 mtbs in my arsenal, it would be one of them. I was hoping for an update and a (gasp) carbon version but as you know Kona abandoned it, which to me makes the Smuggler the clear leader for aggro short(ish) travel 29er for trail shredding, flowing, and jumping.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro:
The new Kona Process 153 Carbon weighs more than the old aluminum one by a few pounds. The carbon one is a bit of a pig.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: It's super intriguing, especially for a short guy like myself! I've already reached out to them and confirmed that they would even ship it that way for me and the warranty will stand. I assume that this is because it is compatible with 27.5x2.8 tires. In any case that is rad! Most other companies will void their warranty if you mismatch wheel sizes... you gotta love small independent companies!

I demoed a 111 last summer and had an absolute blast on it. I wasn't too worried about it being under gunned in certain situations since my plan after getting a trail bike is to build a FR/DH rig with a totem and wheelset I have on my current pig of a bike lol. To be honest the biggest turnoff to me was the press fit bottom bracket... I'm a picky SOB due to my nature and profession lol.
  • + 11
 I think consumers are getting maxed out so good luck with those increases.
  • + 2
 if they were getting maxed out you wouldn't see a price increase
  • + 4
 @Asmodai: been a couple bike company restricting and a sales model or 2 change. Prices are out of control and we will see how those price increases go. Just because you raise your price does not mean the consumer is going to just say ok..
  • + 10
 wait why we talking about politics
  • + 4
 because I can't leave work for another 6 minutes. Then I'll go shred some gnar on the North Shore!
  • + 9
 Good month! TWO FEST events! BLACK SAGE and BIGGEST LITTLE FEST!!
  • - 1
 aren't those the same? serious question
  • + 3
 @George1220: no biggest little fest is hosted by cam zink in Reno Nevada, black sage is hosted by carson storch in Bend Oregon
  • + 2
 Hell yeah! I'm going to Black sage on Saturday.
  • + 5
 “Good month for 29 DH bikes” uhhh how about when they win. More like good month for 27.5...
  • + 3
 I guess a woman's win doesn't count in your opinion?
  • + 1
 @cdmbmw: what
  • + 0
 @cdmbmw: he basically hates women. Weeesnawww
  • + 5
 Stop watching the news and ride your dann bike. Sheesh, so negative
  • + 6
 Bad month for Spot Bikes
  • + 2
 haha true that!!!
  • + 2
 @angelofverdun Why? I'm actually curious
  • + 2
 @ajdriscoll: The Single Track Sampler totally snapped one of their carbon frames, for seemingly no major reason...
  • + 0
 @MoonboyMTB: seemingly as determined by the internet...
  • + 3
 Gongrats on standing the test of time better than barends, elastomeric suspension, inner tubes and Isostar.
Happy 20th @pinkbike
  • + 1
 I don’t think Tracey had a bad month .... a couple bad crashes for sure, but she will bounce right back.
She is such a great rider and ambassador to the sport and such an amazing inspiration for so many riders.
In my opinion they can’t build a podium high enough for Tracey Hannah!!!
  • + 2
 But if she (anyone) keeps taking knocks on the head they're going to need to retire sooner rather than later. It's not easy physically or mentally to bounce back, though I hope she does too. Respect for Manon. Go live your life before you're knocked senseless.
  • + 1
 Why nor build bikes in asia? Business is good and all parties make a profit. If the companies keep their margins low the end user will also profit. (Commencal, Canyon, Radon, Rose etc. ) then you have companies who make great bikes but with crazy pricing and have the biggest profit margins like Santa cruz which i think a big part of the payment is for the name.
  • + 1
 Where is the Claudio vid? I dont see the reason why it is a big secret. In my group of friends posting crash pics are compulsory.
  • + 2
 Let's not gloss over the fact that Claudio's Course Previews are coming back. That's the best news I've heard all week!
  • + 1
 Specialized is over priced to start with. That's not new plus not a big fan of Specialized. European bikes are trending. That's something to look fwd to.
  • - 1
 Is this what winning looks like? Sure looks like playing games with the economy to me.

"Mr. Trump explained why he is going after China on tariffs. On Thursday night, Mr. Trump announced he has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider an additional $100 billion in new tariffs on China, in response to China's decision to slap $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports. China's $50 billion was a response to the White House's announcement of $50 billion in tariffs on China. But Mr. Trump insisted that the U.S. isn't in a trade war — in the past he has called trade wars "good, and easy to win" — because the U.S. already "lost" a trade war.

"Well, fellas, we've already lost the trade war," the president said. "We don't have a trade war. We've lost the trade war because for many years, whether it's Clinton or the Bushes, Obama, all of our presidents before, for some reason it just got worse and worse. And now it's $500 billion in deficits and a theft of $300 billion in intellectual property. So you can't have this."
  • + 16
 At least none of the intellectual property was his.
  • + 4
 You did read that it is related to currency valuation /adjustments and not tariffs correct? And no, I didn't vote for Trump
  • - 1
 @bman33: Currency strengthening or weakening is a direct correlation to the policies and trade activities of the countries involved - if the US dollar weakens to the Taiwanese Plonk (sorry don't know what it is and cant be bothered to look) its because currency investors like what one country is doing and dont like what another is doing. So US tarrifs against certain imports potentially impact currency exchanges.
  • + 2
 @paulskibum: 100% agree that currency manipulation is related to politics. China has been manipulating their currency in negative ways for over a decade. They have a rising middle class and are looking to transform a good bit of their economy into a consumer economy vs. a pure manufacturing one. With that, their money needs more buying power. My point is the tariffs are not 100% to blame. In addition, China puts up tremendous barriers to foreign investment and attempts to steal any Industrial processes they can. That has also been happening for long time. Tariffs may no be the correct answer for all of it, but someone needs to call China's BS and have them play a bit more fairly.
  • + 1
 @bman33: I should have pursued an economics degree ( actually anything not liberal arts) instead of philosophy.
  • + 3
 @metaam: True, from what we can tell, Trump has no holdings in intellectual real estate. A void in his mental portfolio.
  • + 2
 Pinkbike has been here for 20 years but still no phone app
  • + 1
 Sam Gaze should be in both. Won a gold medal. Came across as an a-hole doing it!
  • + 2
 Good/bad month for PB vanishing comments again
  • + 4
 Are you aware that there is a button at the bottom of every page that says "below threshold threads are hidden" and if you click on it, you will find all the comments that have been down voted past a certain point.

You will find your down voted comment down there, with lots of trolls coming to play.
  • + 0
 @HpSauce: awesome! now I can see the debate that people are still having off my original comment despite PB hiding it due to a few butt hurt drumpf fans
  • + 0
 @HpSauce: or maybe its the russians???
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: how can you have not known that was down there?! I'm fairly sure a significant number of people scroll straight there and miss out all the other comments.
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: Definitely the Russians, running around down voting people on Pinkbike!
  • + 2
 @el-nombre: Haha, I'm definitely guilty of bottom feeding from time to time, sometimes you can find pure gold down there.
  • + 2
 @HpSauce: Ooohh those Russians
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: Especially the poison drinking love machine types
  • + 1
 This should be a Pro that now an Unno frame will be more affordable due to Asian-made products are going to cost more
  • + 1
 Pay even more and make em domestic....I'm down
  • + 1
 It was a hella good month for me!
  • + 1
 Congrats on 20 years pinkbike
  • + 0
 So specialized, one of the most overpriced brands is raising their prices? Wow
  • + 1
 Show the crash. We must know.
  • - 2
 Good month: Finally started to get some KOMs on my favorite trails

Bad Month: Kuat NV bike rack was stolen
Below threshold threads are hidden

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