Pinkbike Poll: Which Major Component is the Least Evolved Part of a Mountain Bike?

Jan 19, 2017 at 13:12
by Richard Cunningham  
Pinion gear transmission

Shimano Di2 2015

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SRAM Eagle

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Deity Components TMAC pedal review

Absolute Black oval chainrings 2014


We often hear from high-ranking riders and media outlets that the basic mountain bike has evolved to near perfection, and that we should not expect much in the way of meaningful or ground-breaking technological improvements in the future. That may be true. Since tire and rim makers have dialed in tubeless, most riders can count their flat tires on the fingers of one hand. I went through the entire 2016 season without one. We have come to expect that suspension components will continue to go up and down for at least three years before needing a serious look at their internals. Wheels don't exactly stay true, but disc brakes (another famously reliable part) ensure that wheels can be functional as long as the tires can clear the frame and fork and the spokes are in tension. The derailleur drivetrain has been tamed. Headsets and bottom brackets go around and around without adjustments, and frames rarely break. So, is this it? Should we call the mountain bike good, or does it have one or three components that are crying out for either a redesign or an alternative?



Which Major Components are the Least Evolved Parts of a Mountain Bike?








493 Comments

  • + 337
 Why does transmission have the most votes? Put a 10-15 year old drive train next to the latest 12 speed Sram and that is the epitome of evolution.
  • + 39
 I can see your point, but it's still a chain and sprockets, and some sprung mechanism and cables. Expect electric shifting to become the norm for mid to high level spec. It will get cheaper, more reliable, with longer lasting batteries and more intelligent brain.

And then open the mind to current technological limitations. Imagine a completely sealed gear box/sprocket/chain/shifter system that weigh's no more than the current setup, but is small enough to fit unobtrusively into the frame and creates the same or less drag on the chain/belt. Mix that with Di2 and that is likely what the future will look like in another 20 years time (it'll take that long because just look how similar drivetrains have been over the past 20 years...).

And with the proliferation of electronic shifting and improvements in sensor monitoring, there's a chance of automatic shifting/ damper control.

And then when I come back to earth - I ask why bother making those improvements? Haha! But if it's technically feasible and improves the times of elite racers (both road and off road), why not? Let's face it most companies only make improvements to help them win competitions - and then sell the technology to us mere mortals who don't benefit from the tech anyway!
  • + 89
 It's because Mtb riders are being conditioned. Increasing numbers of gearbox articles, promoted by more and more new product, driven by the manufacturers, to promote a "service requirement" not unlike the car industry. It's the same with e bikes.

The global corporations that run the industry want bikes that you can't work on yourself. Fit a gearbox, behind a guard with proprietary cover and bolt, and force people to service there bikes at an interval determined by the manufacturer and pay for the privilege.

The increasing desire for new and "better" is leading the industry towards a more controlled future. Direct to market brands are squeezing all independent brands that seek to support LBS. The big three get bigger. And it's dressed up as progress and followed by naive individuals who think they are either clever or ahead of the curve. It's a shame their "foresight" precludes them from seeing that they are being manipulated and are being lead to a future that doesn't represent the things this side of cycling always stood for. Not strava KOMSs or "who has the most expensive bike". It appears that in order to create the future that suits them, the trade is going to turn most of you into wannabes, like they have done with roadies.

Enjoy your latest tech, brag to your mates, ride your polished turd as much as you can. But when you can't change a chainring on your own bike don't blame anyone but those so keen to embrace a future not pushed by the sports own front runners, but by the gloabal corporations sponsoring them.
  • + 25
 Doesn't mean that it's still one of the most fragile parts on your bike, as well as the one that needs most maintenance and most cleaning.
  • + 38
 @Bustacrimes: I would rather have a bike that you put away after every ride and service once a year. More time riding, Less time cleaning.
  • + 12
 @discotone: "and then sell the technology to us mere mortals who don't benefit from the tech anyway!"

You get it. Just ride your bike. When "insert pro rider name" tells me I need a gearbox on my bike I will kick him in his sponsored sprockets.
  • + 3
 @fartymarty: I can't find any reality where not cleaning your bike will be beneficial. Good luck bruh
  • + 10
 @Bustacrimes: Also name one of the big three that has a gearbox bike... that's right they don't and wont for a long time.

While you are at it name a gearbox produced by SRAM or Shimano... (IGHs don't count)... that's right neither have one available for purchase and probably wont for a long time.

It's the little guys pushing it because their hands are not tied and they understand good engineering / design.
  • - 1
 @fartymarty: Glad you see it differently. Enjoy your gearbox bike.
  • + 13
 @Bustacrimes: One day I will and I will be able to take it to my LBS for it's yearly service (suspension, dropper and gearbox). This is what will keep LHS's in business in the future, not selling bikes.
  • - 18
flag brodoyouevenbike (Jan 20, 2017 at 2:10) (Below Threshold)
 1 by X kinda sucks, 2 by X is probably the most efficient, but then we have the issues of having 2 in the front, gearboxes might fix this, but any 1 by X configuration will make you run of gears on one end of the spectrum.
  • - 4
flag Bustacrimes (Jan 20, 2017 at 2:11) (Below Threshold)
 @fartymarty: Great that you have such a positive view on this matter. I am sure the LBS will wait for your once a year service with great anticipation. And then when they realise it's a "insert brand name here" proprietary one and you'd be invalidating your warranty letting an LBS service it they'll have to inform you. And you'll go where "insert brand name" tells you to. Maybe their local tech centre. as I say, good luck with the gearbox bike.
  • + 7
 @Bustacrimes: If you add up the costs of a service - £100 shock, £75 forks, £75 seatpost, say £100 gearbox... that's £350 a year more than I am spending there at the moment.
  • + 15
 Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... everyone's knickers are in a wad.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Is a warranty really worth it if they tell you where it can and can't be serviced? Do you decide who services your forks / shock (sorry don't know if you even have a bike because there are no piccys on your profile) based on warranty? I certainly don't. I base it on the person / company who I feel is best placed to service the said item.

Maybe lets talk in 5-10 years - we will probably all be riding E-29ers with E suspension.
  • + 2
 Because, simply they didn't got the question.
  • + 4
 @Bustacrimes: Exactly what I was thinking, even before I took the poll (which I voted brakes) I knew deivetrain would be the most voted. They want people to vote that way it prooves to them that their brainwash is working.
  • + 9
 I'm not sure what you guys are on about about the gearbox brainwash. Pinkbike has historically been pro derailleur and no drivetrain maker seem to show much enthusiasm about gearboxes. It's either pure clickbait or there's actually a gearbox being released soon and they're setting the table but since the industry already knows what is going on 2-3 years in advance, the latter is improbable. Also, not sure I get the point about being unable to service your bike, one of the key selling points of gearbox is the lack of a need to service it and it is basically gears, grease and a seal so i dont see how that would make things tamper proof.
  • + 6
 @PLC07: QUESTION - which bike has just been released that everyone on PB is dead keen on and hasn't been reviewed... and also it's got a gearbox.... I smell a Zerode Taniwha review coming.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: That would be a lot of hype for a tiny brand... Or a big nail in the gearbox coffin.

I guess we'll know soon enough.
  • + 4
 @PLC07: It would be a huge amount of hype for a tiny brand and a huge kick in the nuts to pretty much every other company that considers themselves forward thinking.

At least if it is a nail in the gearbox coffin we can stop obsessing about it and get on and clean our SLX mechs Razz

Although everyone I have "talked" to with Pinions would never go back to a mech so I still hold out hope.
  • + 4
 They didn't break out "Drivetrain" into it's parts, nor "wheels" into it's parts.
Silly.
I'd have said spokes...
  • + 17
 @gatag Pure comedy gold again, so because I like to have a weatherproof, less vulnerable drivetrain system I've been brainwashed by "The Industry"? I think I'm starting to understand what happened in your country a couple of months ago..
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: ... a once a year service will keep shops in business? not too sure about that
  • + 6
 @ninesix: it will help those that can. There are always going to be shops closing due to internet shops being cheaper for parts but if LBS focus on service rather than bike / parts sales IMO theyre more likely to survive.
  • + 29
 @Bustacrimes: No gear boxes = industry overlords keeping it from us. Gear boxes = industry overlords making money off of unserviceable products.
Can we lose the tin foil and recognize how absurd this has become?
  • + 4
 @fartymarty: there was a review of the Zerode Taniwah in the latest issue of What Mountain Bike. My takeaway summary from the review was the gearbox is rubbish, with drag, lag, and severe grind while pedalling hard, and the bike would have been better off with a conventional derailleur. I don't think the gearbox has a long term future with human powered cycling due to drag issues, but with pedal assist e-bikes it's likely inevitable.
  • - 1
 Yea, that's a joke. The transmission is one of the most evolved aspects of a bicycle, esp a mountain bike today. Hello 1x11, Horizon derailleurs, electronic shifting? Remember when 2x10 was a big deal not that long ago? The chain is the least evolved portion of a bike save for becoming lighter and skinnier but functionally remaining the same as it was 20+ years ago. Can't say that about drivetrains.
  • + 9
 Coming from a small college town shop originally, I can honestly say that what keeps the Main Street bike shop afloat isn't how much they make selling or fixing high-end bikes. Their margins are actually worse on more expensive bikes and parts, and they don't sell enough of them to be able to service enough of them to pay the bills.

What supports shops are the things like the times when a shop charges $15 to change a flat tire. It's a 5-minute fix and a new tube costs less than a dollar in bulk. Even for a head mechanic who might be paid closer to $20 an hour, the fix costs the shop around $2.50. That's a huge markup and more people do it than most cyclists realize.

Even if every $10,000 bike became suddenly impervious to everything and never needed to be fixed, bike shops would survive on service alone because people either don't have the money or don't see the value in buying a product that will last longer. The gearbox won't change that.

P.S. @bustacrimes every bike shop who has access to QBP has the ability to send parts into them for service. Very few, if any, bike shops exist that can't get parts serviced- whether it's by themselves or by sending them in. There are also very few manufacturers who make parts that aren't user-serviceable. Fox is the only one I can currently think of (and that's only their shocks, which have a nitrogen charge in the damper).
  • + 14
 @recardeeps: Good comment.

And if you want a gearbox - buy one,

If you don't want one - don't buy one.

I love it how simple life is.
  • + 7
 Can't wait to see parts being made out of graphene, That will be a game changer!
  • + 9
 @PLC07: Exactly. How often do you service a gearbox on a dirtbike? You just change the fluid.
  • + 1
 @mikecawsey: Interesting. I will try and get a copy. EAPC is inevitable.
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: You are right "brainwashed" is a strong word. Maybe influenced would be better. Don`t get me wrong I would love a gearboxed bike, what I am trying to say is; If articles hadn`t come out stating that gearbox is a REAL option now (Pinion, etc) people would never voted Drivetrain as the one less evolved, specially now that the 1x12 is out. The drivetrain has come a very long way in the past few years, it has evolved quite a bit along with suspension, that`s why I said what I said.

Replies like yours makes me remember why I quit giving my opinions online like and why I only save my opinions to friends and such, I was giving my input in a relaxed manner and someone which I don`t know across the world starts talking politics in a mountainbike site, stating that he/she is beginning to understand a multifactor very complex subject because of a comment, I guess CNN will contact you shortly.
  • + 4
 @discotone: electronic shifting internal gear boxes....then I won't be able to fix my bike, or my car, or my computer
  • + 13
 @warehouse: just turn it off and turn it on again. works every time.
  • + 4
 I think the answer to your question is: Because Pinkbike has a larger percentage of vocal gearbox supporters than the global mountain bike community does.

@PLC07: Reduced service intervals is typically a double-edged sword. You get a more complicated service in exchange for having to do it less often.

Gearboxes are a great example, because changing a gear will be significantly more complicated than changing a cassette.

I, personally, tend to choose easier service over longer intervals, one exception being closed bath dampers. They're not so much harder to service that they aren't worth the reduced oil volume.

@mikecawsey: I wonder if gear box designers have gone with a constant mesh set up? If so, why? That would mean every time you turn a pedal, you are turning every gear in the gear box. I wonder if some of the drag could be reduced if we either went away from constant mesh or just chose a gearbox system with less inherent drag (they do exist).
  • + 0
 Di2... Obviously everyone who's voted for drive trains has never used/seen one.
  • + 4
 @mikecawsey: Thinking about it mtb gearbox as still in their infancy. I don't see one bad review killing the idea. The interesting part will be how the suspension is affected by the lack of weight. Gearbox efficiency and weight are things that will probably get better with time.

For me a gearbox is the right solution for a mountain bike. Where as a mech and cassette are the right solution for a road bike.
  • + 1
 I've felt like the big companies, sram and shimano, have pushed the industry to keep derailleurs around instead of pushing for the evolution of internal gearing. Likely because they have so much invested in tooling and development costs for derailleurs, and because they break so often forcing people to re-purchase.
  • + 2
 @radrider: I don't think S+S have pushed deraillers rather than not releasing the gearboxes they have probably already developed.

As you say they have invested heavily in deraillers and its easy to add another cog to the cassette and work with what they have. Gearboxes throw all that out the window and it's not worth it for such a small market (high end mtb).
  • + 16
 @bonkywonky: I heard some noise in my garage last night, when I went to investigate I saw that my bike had been moved. I think it might have been someone from '' The Industry''.
  • + 0
 @Bustacrimes: Well said!
  • + 2
 They havn't devolped much of a gear box, yet a small company like pinion has developed something that could work. If its not worth it to develop something like a gearbox, why has pinion done it successfully with much less money than shimano? The reliability, toughness, and lack of maintenance hugely outclasses derailleurs. The weight is still a big difference, but could change a lot with further development, especially if shimano tuned in seriously.
If I was a big company looking to keep my profits up, derailleurs would be the last thing I would improve. They are so expensive yet break so easily, need a lot of maintenance, and even well maintained will wear out fast. Its a market guaranteed to make lots of money.. what manufactures for bicycle components can compete with sram/shimano? and if sram/shimano stopped making derailleurs, where would their companies be?
  • + 5
 Some excellent trolling going on here folks.........you got me though, here goes: 1X isn;'t new, it's just removing the damn front mech....not so much evolution as backpedalling (boom, still got it)...

Gearboxes make sense to me, less chain wear, less exposed kit, less unsprung weight, less rear wheel dish...the latter will be important on 29inch DH bikes!

I also think we'll see them sooner than 20 years because the technology is portable to e-bikes...not eMTB neccessarily, we're a small bit of the global bike market, i'm thinking more the 1bn potential e-cyclists in China!
  • + 3
 Agreed. Tires, in my opinion, are now the weakest link on a modern mountain bike.
  • + 0
 Sorry but most kids (riders) can't afford 12 speed and have no idea what you're talking about
  • + 4
 @radrider: I think S and S have developed them already but haven't released them. Shimano has the Alfine. Stick it in a box and its a gearbox. SRAM had the Sachs IGH so similar to Shimano. The reason they don't release them is they are still making plenty of coin of mechs, cassettes and chains. Typically I replace my cassette, chainring and chain every season. Plus mechs break. This all adds up to a healthy amount of coin for little input.

Gearboxes on the other hand last for a very long time and need very little maintenance.

I am sure once S+S are on board we will have some great efficient light gearboxes.
  • + 4
 It's unlikely gearboxes will ever be efficient, or as light, relative to derailleur systems, based on the nature in which each works. Even if there's advances in materials which allow gearboxes to become lighter- those same advances will likely apply to the "old standard" as well.

So as long as keeping the weight down on bikes, and making them mechanically efficient are more important than reducing maintenance in MTB- gearboxes aren't going to catch on.

Unless, of course, there's a radical change in how gearboxes work.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: Last I checked most gearbox bikes are coming from small innovative companies thinking outside the box, going against the grain of the big corporations. Since the beginning of the mountain bike, the drivetrain has been pretty much the same. I don't see the relation to new is "better" on this subject. Gearboxes have been around for over a decade, they are now at the point where they truly compete with the conventional drivetrain. Good conspiracy theory though.
  • + 5
 @Bustacrimes: Its the global corporations maaan...The zionist secret govt and the GMO conspiracy is conditioning you for total control of your mind,maan. Flouride in the water,man. Free your mind!
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Yes, I agree. The current drive train is a marvel of practicality and efficiency, but there is nothing left for the industry to make fantasy stories.
  • + 3
 @Bustacrimes: Dude, I go through derrailleurs like freakin air that I breathe, got a new derr the other day, put a freakin stick through it and bent the hanger and cage. I ride my bike like a monster truck, if I could do away with the derr I would, and then I'd learn to maintenance it on my own, because I'm thrifty like that. A gearbox would be rad, perfect gear range, all packaged up in a tidy box, keeps the mud out, no derrs to bend/break off, no chain slap, I don't even care about the weight, if I could slap one on my bike right now i'd do it!
  • + 5
 @richierocket: Is this your first trip to pinkbike mate!!? Everyone's knickers are always in a wad!!! Ha ha
  • - 1
 agree
  • + 7
 @codeman189: there are more bitches on pinkbike than there are at your local animal shelter.
  • + 2
 because there's nothing special about the transmissions....basic cluster with a shifter which is a VERY old design.
  • + 3
 I agree, I would say the drivetrain is the most evolved, just because a gearbox isn't standard does not mean the drivetrain has not evolved immensely, and for the better.
  • + 1
 @bikegreece: Agreed. I think that @Bustacrimes has a point here, but I think this is mostly an artifact of poor reading comprehension.
  • + 2
 I dont necessarily need a gear box, i just dont want my derailleur to get ripped off and i want it to work with minimal maintenance. My suspension for and breaks just work. I feel like my shifting is never crisp and i need a new derailleur from a stick flying up in my drivetrain about 2x a year.....
  • + 1
 Because of poor reading comprehension
  • + 3
 Word. I'm still waiting for bottom brackets to catch up. How about reach/chainstay adjust bottom brackets? Or at least just kill the PF.
Frames that are offered as 650b+ verses the same as a 29er often have 1cm difference in bb height, but are otherwise identical. You could do away with the need for multiple frames with an adjustable BB.
  • + 7
 How come seat post collar isn't on that list?? or headset spacers?? or what about spoke nipples?? What the hell!! I'm always waiting for the next big thing regarding spoke nipples and nothing so far. Why?? Is the bike industry so set in its ways that the next evolution in spoke nipples isn't even worth considering?
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: "I think I'm starting to understand what happened in your country a couple of months ago.."

There are LITERALLY not enough upvotes in the world for that comment!
  • + 1
 @ninesix: Compared to nothing at all? It'll sure help, not hurt...
  • + 4
 @fartymarty: "if LBS focus on service rather than bike / parts sales IMO theyre more likely to survive"

No "IMO" needed - this is precisely what is happening.
  • + 2
 @mikecawsey: Then again:

factoryjackson.com/2016/12/28/zerode-taniwha-pinion-gearbox-bike-first-ride

"The Pinion 12 speed whirrs away beneath you as you effortlessly spin pedals along the fire road. There’s very little resistance and feedback – far less than expected."
  • + 2
 I haven't read all the comments, so maybe it's been said - look at other vehicles/technology. Brakes, wheels, suspension, frame materials, chains, etc are all part of motorcycles, formula one cars and so forth. The one thing that is definitely unlike all the rest is the transmission. It's exposed to the elements, unlike any other transmission on anything else. I could go on but I am sure others have
  • + 5
 @fartymarty: Gearbox is right solution for a bike with auxiliary power source. The more efficient chain and sprocket is the right solution for a human-powered bike with it's necessarily limited power. A gearbox simply has too much drag for performance oriented riding on a strictly human-powered bike. They'll appeal to folks who want to be different and who say they aren't interested in performance and they'll become ubiquitous on e-bikes. You won't ever see gearboxes on WC XC or EWS Enduro bikes though. The drag is simply too great. Even the average trail rider would like to go farther with less power, not more. Perhaps there are some niches of the world where people ride in mud all the time where they might appreciate it, but even with a gearbox, there's still a chain or belt to get dirty and need to be cleaned.
  • + 1
 @bikermaniac101: Then get a singlespeed, or if one gear isn't enough, set up a singlespeed with a hammerschmidt, or just like stay on the trail...
  • + 10
 @Bustacrimes: Explain how we are being conditioned to want gearboxes?

Name the last time one of the big drivetrain manufacturers told me gearboxes are the future.
Name the last time one of the big frame manufacturers told me gearboxes are the future.
Name the last time Pinkbike or another bike publication told me gearboxes are the future.
Name one top 5 or top 10 factory racer using a gearbox.

Sorry, but the big drivetrain manufacturers have majorly resisted gearboxes and consistently reaffirm their stance that derailleurs are the way to go. Not a single one of the big frame manufacturers makes a gearbox mtb (not e-bike). And all the articles about gearboxes have either been just "here's some pictures of the latest gearbox we say at Interbike" or articles blatantly expressing reasons why gearboxes won't be the future. All the top factory riders are running derailleurs, unlike what you seem to think.

The reality is YOU are brainwashed. All the major corporations are pushing the narrative you are repeating. It is RIDERS that want gearboxes and tiny startup brands building gearboxes and gearbox frames.

Yes, there are current downsides like weight and drag, but many upsides. The amount of money thrown into their development is tiny. There was a time people like you resisted disk brakes because they were more complex and heavier.

Going from u-brakes to v-brakes was evolution. Going from rim brakes to disk was a revolution.
Going from 3x10 to 1x11 was an evolution. Going from derailleur to gearbox will be a revolution.

Current drawbacks will be sorted when you quit resisting and we finally have development money funneled to advancing the technology.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: I think you nailed it ",,,riders are being conditioned...". e-bikes will benefit from gearboxes, so, like it or not, here they come. This poll, like every single poll PB has ever done, is market research. It's not "if", that these polls are trying to answer, it's the 'when".
  • + 3
 @deadtime: how can E-bike benefit from a gearbox when the best place to mount the motor is the best place to mount the gearbox?
  • + 3
 my KING headset is still the business 10 years later!
  • - 4
flag RedRedRe (Jan 20, 2017 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 Bikes evolution is always been based on weight and have less friction on the drivetrain.

1x11 is the symbol of DEVOLUTION of bikes and riders.

DISAVANTAGES:
- Drivetrain parts need replacement 5 times as often. Including rear derailer. BINGO for the bike industry.
- Extreme chain angles are energy consuming.
- Large cassette range but also large gaps between gears. If you want to keep cadence, large gaps are not good.
- NW tooth profile takes energy away from the pedal stroke. It is minimal, but it is there.
- Same weight as a double, besides what they want you to believe.
- Unresonable cost (especially SRAM $500 cassette LOL)
- Chain drops

ADVANTAGES:
- It is easier for beginners to learn how to shift.
- Don't need to learn how to set up and maintain the front derailer.

1x12 it is not only the drivetrain involution, it is also the rider involution.
  • + 5
 @Bustacrimes: Easy Drama. We're talking about non-essential luxury consumer goods used as toys to play outside. Also, keep in mind that the T25 was a proprietary bit designed to keep people out. Now, every pocket tool comes with one.
  • + 3
 @kc358: I wonder how many people commenting here have actually ridden a Pinion of Effigear?

You also forgot the rigid to full suspension revolution. Gearboxes will happen, maybe not for XC race bikes but for everyone else.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: we see this hobby differently. Good luck getting value from the big companies. I honestly mean it.
  • + 1
 @skiwenric: Though graphene was used as a coating, but definitely see the benefits to mtb
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: didn't you know all the Tesla cars have amazing 13 speed gearboxes /s
  • + 4
 @Rocky-Urban: free the nipple
  • + 5
 @Bustacrimes: The notion that there is some sort of global bicycle conspiracy is a bit tinfoil hat. The industry is far too fragmented and barriers to entry too low for that kind of collusion. You may not like much of the development, but there are more reasonable explanations. In any case disruptive developments almost always come from outside the big boys. Look to the startups to develop breakthroughs ideas (like Uber vs. Cabs). If the small nimble players can't develop alternatives that people really want the tech may not be there yet.
  • + 5
 @humanpowered: small companies innovate more than big ones. They have to be innovative and edgy because they cannot beat big fish by playing their game. Big fish cannot be as innovative because running a big company is like having a family. A lot of people rely on your decisions. If you are a father of 5, you cannot drop your job and start a crazy startup. You just can't put your family on the line unless you are quite sure you can win.

As to conspiracy, I agree, it's bollocks. However 650B has shown that companies can cooperate on a higher level. It required synchronisation of frame, fork, rim and tyre makers.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: If they manage to integrate motor and gearbox. I believe that eventually they'll require less powerful motors as these require smaller batteries. Right now they're demonstrating how incredibly steep you can climb with what they have now. But most riders don't need that level of support but would appreciate a smaller and lighter battery and motor. So that instead of climbing a moderate incline with a fluctuating speed between 15 and 20km/h (unsupported) they can climb at a steady pace of 25km/h. Should probably reduce trail erosion as well, compared to what a very light gearing would do. And if a frame manufacturer is going to bother with mounting anything in that highly stressed bb area, they could just as well cram a gearbox in there as well.
  • + 0
 @Bustacrimes: what you said.
  • + 4
 @sonyboy: I love his reasoning. Well thought out argument. A rarity on the internet. Even if I don't agree with it. Just because I could service my marzocchi in 15 minutes and I cannot comfortably do a full overhaul of my Lyrik, doesn't mean that I would prefer to ride a fkng Marzocchi that dives under braking like a Highlander for a penny. Yes I cannot comfortably overhaul many dropper but I still prefer a fkng dropper than a regular seat post. Just because a BMW from 1980s that I could service by the side of the road and was fun to drive doesn't mean I don't prefer a modern car for almost all reasons possible.
  • + 3
 @Bustacrimes: So far it aren't quite the big drivetrain companies who brought gearboxes to mountainbiking, is it? So I don't think it is them who want to bring you something you can't work on. At least not in the drivetrain department. If it is, it is in the suspension dept. Modern suspension is more complex than open bath stuff of the past. Yes performance is better. That doesn't mean stuff of back then was unrideable. And we could work on it. Yes most modern front suspension is still doable. See, I don't think gearboxes aren't impossible to work on either. Different yes, but not impossible. I have no trouble servicing a geared 7 or 8sp rear hub. Never done a Rohloff. Then again I never run into someone who had to. And we've built bikes for people crossing the Himalaya on these. And that's when these are being used as a hub. Inside the frame they're much safer and better supported. People in the bikeshop here (internal gear hubs are quite common on commuter bikes here) told me that if people actually destroy their geared hub (which only comes from neglect, riding it with excess play for years, never a sudden failure out of the blue) they can just replace internals as a cartridge.

So I don't think it is a matter of trying to be ahead of the curve. Some people want something that works reliably and doesn't destroy instantly because of a rock or stick. Yes of course you can break a gearbox as well, but it takes some neglect and then you know already you have yourself to blame.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no way could you service an 80s beemer yourself,it was 4yr apprenticeship.
  • + 0
 @Earthmotherfu: I was born in 1981. But my dad did service our Fiat 126p himself and made it run again by the side of the road... I am glad I drive my kids around in a Volvo not that Fiat...
  • + 2
 we are riding $3,000+ frames on $600 forks, $400 shocks and still won´t be able to ride if your $50 Tire and/or $10 Tube gets pinched.....
  • + 6
 @discotone: PEOPLE EVOLVED THE LEAST
  • + 2
 @humanpowered: FWIW, it's hard to imagine that "the technology isn't there." It seems more likely that manufacturing or engineering costs are too high to make the money these companies would want.

We're not talking about the world's largest particle accelerator or a quantum computer here. It's just a gear box.
  • + 1
 @discotone: I disagree. As medical science and neuroscience has shown, it is possible to carry out physical tasks with just the mind and electrodes connected to the head. I think the future of drivetrains will consist of a bundle of electrodes on our heads and changing gears will just be a matter of thinking about the gear you want to be in.
  • - 1
 @fartymarty: hey can you and bustacrimes take that shit outside, please?
  • + 2
 @bikermaniac101: Why don't we just agree that you hard asses ride with a gearbox and us pussies will keep our derailleurs. But on a serious note, for aggresive riders like you the extra weight and friction that everyone is so hung up on would largely go unnoticed.
  • + 1
 what did you vote for?
  • + 1
 @Ryanrobinson1984: It's called single speed. Constant cadence is over rated "grinding and spinning" is where it's at Smile
  • + 4
 Because at the core all issues are still the same. Clearly less frequent and less dramatic but fundamentally all problems we had 15 years ago still remain. Mud still impacts shifting. Dirty chains reduce efficiency and we still drop chains. and now we have a new one. Backpedal in a high gear.
  • + 1
 @bikermaniac101: @bikermaniac101: shimono and rohloff have you covered. Service intervals on rohloff has not been found yet. Some are going on twenty years and 100, 000 + kms. Just stick it in your wheel where the hub used to be. Saves the weight of one hub on a gear box bike. Get a heavy fork and front wheel to balance it out.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: the best place for a motor is currently occupied by the bottom bracket. There is an ebike with an integrated bottom bracket and motor. Look up optibike. One day there will be an integrated bottom bracket gearbox. One day there will be an integrated bottom bracket gear box and motor. I want an integrated bottum bracket gear box motor where the motor can be removed.
  • + 1
 Because the drivetrain is. Get off your knees for sram and shimano; get on your bike instead
  • + 1
 No body remembers the 5 speed friction shifters? How have shifters and derailleurs not evolved more than the chain or sprocket?
  • + 1
 @Rocky-Urban: my industry nine wheels are so evolved they are nipple less.
  • + 2
 Nah, it's still more or less the same thing however tbe derailleur drivetrain has undergone just about the full course of its potential evolution. It's still a derailleur & it's still a fvcking piece of garbage & always will be. Since gearboxes were lumped in with derailleurs (maybe you missed that part?) it is arguably the best choice. The derailleur has run its shitty course, but the gearbox has sooo much room left. So to answer the question about redesign or ALTERNATIVE, the answer has to be the drivetrain.

Funny how the Mike Levys of the world (or whoever it was) like to cite the lil' PB polls where X # of peeps didn't have a derailleur prob in over a year blah blah w/e. Cherry picking info like some kind of fundamentalist religious twit. Well here you go Levys. Have a look at these #s. Booya!
  • + 3
 There's been a big article on whether gearboxes are the future or not here on Pinkbike. If I recall correctly there were two main arguments against them.

1. Compatibility issues. Of course we've been enjoying these compatibility issues with other components as well. Brakes, headsets, bb interfaces, hubs, rear shocks, seatposts... Plenty of good components will not fit your new bike. The market has already accepted this more or less. Yes there is still some resistance but nowhere near to when Manitou came with the onepointfive standard for their incredibly long travel (150mm) single crown forks. So much so that Marzocchi jumped in to introduce their Z150 forks with standard steerer tubes. But standards will (have to) change if the compromise would otherwise be too severe. And I expect those gearbox manufacturers to see that compatibility is going to help them eventually. If they can be compatible, they will. But not at the expense of everything. Pinion has the quality to be quite compact. They won't commit to a standard only to suit the Suntour gearbox.

2. Efficiency. It is surprising to see how much of a deal this is. For racing yes it is. But if I have a time slot of 90 minutes on a cold muddy day to ride my bike, I could ride for 75 minutes and need 15 minutes in the cold to clean and lube the drivetrain before I can safely store it and go back inside. Or I can ride for 85 minutes, do a quick 5 minute clean and lube and I'm done. That's worth it. I might be slightly slower in pedally sections but for coasting and pumping it doesn't matter one bit (provided the hub has a freewheel). I actually got a mountain unicycle for these conditions. You can ride it, store it dirty and it will be ready the next time you take it out. It would be lovely if I could do the same thing with the bike. See, we're not all racing XC (or racing at all). It is worth a minor sacrifice in the pedaling department only to get more time riding in.

I think as long as companies base their decisions on labtests and input from racers (riding clean and intensively maintained gear) gearboxes don't stand a chance. Maybe with sponsored non-racing groups like 50/01 that will change. We'll see.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: My reference to tech. was global, meaning technology required to manufacture at a reasonable cost etc. That's all technology, but admittedly perhaps not the common usage.
  • + 1
 A gearbox doesn't make sense because it has more friction losses than our current drivetrain. And gearboxes can hardly get any more compact. I think something along the lines of Pinion is more or less ideal, geartrain wise.

There can be some weight optimizations, but it features a 2-stage gearbox with the minimum places for friction losses (seals, bearings and cog pairs) and is in the ideal position. Compared to Eagle, it has a similar range, the same number of gears (12spd Pinion is the flagship enduro-class box now) and is heavier and has more internal losses.

As for electronic shifting, the idea is nice, but why? Why is the problem with a cable and housing? Does it not work? I have no idea when i broke a cable the last time.

A gearbox is a nice concept and it would open up some freedom in frame design, but with Sram's 1x11 and now Eagle i thinkt he last nail in gearbox's coffin has been shut.

Yes, we don't all race, but would you rather climb to the top of the descent and be ready to go down or be knackered? The chain and sprocket drivetrain has a few percent of losses regardless of the gear you are in. The gearbox in itsellf will have a 90 % efficiency if not even less, BEFORE you get to the chain and sprocket drivetrain.
  • + 0
 @Primoz: Friction losses are irrelevant on a DH bike, and can be easily ignored on an amateur Enduro bike.
  • + 2
 @bustacrimes if mere mortals can figure out how to service a transmission on a dirt bike then we can figure out a mountain bike transmission. People who do their own maintainable will continue to do so. Those who pay others to work on their bikes will continue that trend. It takes anyone a while to learn how to work on something and replace parts. We will learn and adapt.

This is my opinion of why I like the idea of a gearbox:

-Centralized mass
-practically silent!
-belt driven to the wheel (potentially)
-stronger rear wheel (no cassette, more spoke space)
-less likely to be damaged in a crash
-stays cleaner

I hope this doesn't upset anyone. Change is good!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: squeeze the rear brake on the uphill and then tell me how losses can be ignored.
  • + 0
 @Primoz: I won't argue any deeper for Enduro because I haven't tried a bike with a gearbox. If you have and you experienced noticeable decrease in efficiency then I have to give it to you. However on DH bikes a gearbox seems like a very good drive train system to have
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sadly i haven't, but everybody that has has said that the drag is very noticeable. While i am not the biggest supporter of gearboxes (i am merely pointing out the biggest flaw, which i think will be the reason for gearboxes not becoming widespread, they do in fact have MANY advantages), i would really love to try a bike with one, with a pinion of course (but i'd like a trigger shifter for it).

As for the efficiency, i was taught in my engineering classes that a bearing has a ~99 % efficiency, just like a gear pair and i think we said it's about 98 % for a contact seal. These numbers hold true for very ideal conditions, smooth surface, tight tolerances, good lubrication, etc.
With Pinion's design, the main loop has, i suspect, 6 bearings and 2 gear pairs to get the energy from the cranks to the chain with some additional (smaller) losses in other bearings and gear pairs, that are not powered (it's a constant mesh gearbox). Ignoring the seals, this is a 0,99^8 efficiency, which is just 92 %. Without the whole gearbox taken into account, without the seals! (which are the biggest drag in the system) and assuming IDEAL conditions. You can easily see, how the efficiency numbers can be 90 or. even closer to 80 %. For illustration, a 2-stage plastic drivetrain can have efficiencies of only about 50 % or sometimes even less, so 80 % is not that bad actually.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: To compare, do you have (approximate) numbers of the efficiency of a regular 1x9 drivetrain one hour into a dirty ride? And that compared to a Pinion under the same conditions? I expect a regular drivetrain efficiency to drop quicker under these conditions than a gearbox drivetrain, where the exposed bit a bit simpler. We might need something like MBUK or a German magazine (which is similar, they're both obsessed with testing) to filter the guesswork out. We're all expecting, estimating and guessing here.

My mountainbikes have regular 1x9 drivetrains, the BMX 1x1 obviously and I've got two "regular" bikes to get the kids to school, go to the shops, to get to work etc. The cargo bike (Batavus Blockbuster) has a Nexus 7sp geared hub. With two kids on it and some groceries, the speed tests on the side of the road indicate something between 22 and 27km/h. The bike I ride to work (Koga Citylite) with a Shimano Nexus 8sp geared hub usually goes somewhere around 30km/h. These are not race bikes and I'm not riding these in race mode, both have a hub dynamo which should sap some energy too. More importantly, on the streets they don't feel much less efficient than the mountainbike. It doesn't spoil the fun for me at all. Koga does make a similar model with a derailleur drivetrain. I haven't ridden that, let alone back to back. I'm not the labtest kinda guy, see. But my point is, no one is going to ride nearly similar bikes back to back unless you're doing that professionally (pro riders, journos, product managers etc). A gearbox is not going to kill the fun for you by sapping some of your energy. What I expect it to give you is more riding, less cleaning. Which, to me, is well worth it. I'm not calling for a complete replacement of derailleur drivetrains by gearboxes. Just like on these street bikes, they can coexist. But I think it would be nice to have an affordable option. A Nexus 7sp hub mounted in a large tube inside the front triangle shouldn't add more than 300 euros to the price of a similar bike with a regular drivetrain. That's worth it. But currently the price for these gearboxes is what's holding it back. That said, Pinion is introducing some cheaper options so that might stir things up.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: GT made an internal transmission bike. The aptly named iT1.
  • + 180
 the rider
  • + 54
 ain't that the truth.if chris akrigg can ride a mongoose like he does,its got to be the rider!
  • + 6
 pinkbike please add this to the list!!!
  • + 7
 Genuinely thought this would get DV into oblivion but pleased to see humour lives on today! It was a joke but actually... perhaps it's genius after all..
  • + 12
 The spoke nipple.
  • + 0
 @nug12182: Please explain to me what makes that Mongoose worse than other trail bikes in the same price bracket?
  • + 4
 wow this is a long thread, i wanted to comment my own BS, but i dont think anyone will read it
  • + 2
 @Narro2: The gearbox has now surpassed boost and wheelsize as the most contentious issue in the history of mountain biking.
  • + 5
 @DJ-24: Too young to remember when suspension came around?
  • + 0
 "Which Major Component is the Least Evolved Part of a **Mountain Bike**?"
  • + 2
 @Rhymer: Ha! I was thinking the same thing. When I started you did NOT buy a full suspension bicycle unless you were riding downhill because the notion was you couldn't pedal them around without squishing and bobbing everywhere. It was just as simple as that for a few years. In fact my furnace tech (he's a few years older than me) spied my giant anthem in my garage last year and asked where locally did I ride downhill? I told him that it pedals really great and he wasn't buyin what I was telling him. Funny but less than 20 yrs ago I felt the same way.
  • + 1
 @chrisingrassia: it could be argued the rider is a part of the bike...perhaps the most important part. Without a human, it's just an ornament. It was a joke btw, I was aware PB was talking purely about technological innovation and maturity of the component parts of the bicycle as we know it today.
  • + 1
 @Rhymer: I didn't ride at that time, but that would have been a big one.
  • + 1
 @DJ-24: I9 go nippless
  • + 0
 My balls!
  • + 83
 1. Bell 2. Wheel reflectors
  • + 23
 Spokey Dokes? Tassles? Not mention the improvement in basket design - In the city I see loads of commuter bikes with baskets, but I for one don't see many baskets attached to mountain bikes. As soon as they make them from carbon and call it the "Enduro Basket" everyone will want one.
  • + 4
 @discotone: We used to have kiddies squeeky toys on our handlebars. I think I need to get another one.
  • + 6
 3. Kickstand...and make them in carbon.
  • + 47
 I feel like dropper posts have a lot of room for improvement, I mean mine works pretty good and I'm not complaining but I hope in the future there will be posts that have zero play and have a super light action. That'd be so sweet.
  • + 32
 And that tilts the damn saddle as they drop. Come on people it's 2017 ffs
  • + 5
 Yes to all this. Dropper post reliability. Ok I service my drive train more than my dropper, but that's rotating *all* the time I pedal, shifting regularly, hitting rocks, full of mud, nearer to puddles, so that's understandable.

My dropper on the other hand (more precisely, under the other thumb) has to go up and down maybe 10 times per ride. Why should it ever break?!
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: I was actually in the process of trying to design one of those usingdtock standard internals but with an added pivot and air chamber
  • + 3
 @Jack-T-Media: same, I have many 'designs'. I made a QR operated one out of a RaceFace Evolve post (they had the saddle angle clamp on a slider on the post itself, on which I just replaced the bolt with a QR www.google.co.uk/search?q=raceface+seat+post&client=safari&hl=en-gb&prmd=sivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiy2ez26NDRAhWnLsAKHXG3ByEQ_AUICCgC&biw=375&bih=559#imgrc=Z7SjaXpZJE-byM%3A). I realised that the ability to remotely adjust saddle height trumps the angle thing for most of my riding. But to have both would make a huge difference to my riding. Droppers have been a revelation but they're only doing half a job imo.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: swivel droppers will be coming for sure, but they will be very expensive and heavy, compared to the norm.
  • + 2
 @radrider: droppers were very expensive and heavy compared to the norm
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: do you want to pay $600 for a 4lbs seatpost ? not many do, thats why they aren't being made. The added benfits of a swivel just arn't worth the extra price and difficulty of manufacturing, but once drop posts evolve a bit more, i think we will see additions like unweighted dropping function and swivel.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: Can you explain how you want the saddle to tilt? I don't think I have enough experience to understand how that would help.
  • + 1
 @Gassymagee: look at the angle of every xc bike seat, then look at the angle of freeride seats. they are always angled backwards so you can more easily slide off the seat, when it angles flat your thighs catch on the seat sliding off.
  • + 3
 @radrider: I'm not sure what $600 or 4lbs is I just want it to tilt damnit. Just make it tilt.

@Gassymagee: as a saddle drops from ideal pedalling height (as a general rule) it should tilt backwards to match the angle of the riders pelvis as the rider drops. There are many benefits to this which have been discussed at length in the past here on PB. But I'm not opening that can again, I just want it to tilt.
  • + 0
 Put like 200km on my $300 dropper and it broke and had to be returned.
  • + 1
 @radrider: "they are always angled backwards so you can more easily slide off the seat, when it angles flat your thighs catch on the seat sliding off."

You're using it wrong. Compress it first, then there's nothing TO slide off.
  • + 3
 @KeithReeder: I guess I'm a more aggressive rider then you. There is a reason dhers and freeriders angle their seats down even though it would seem that the seat is already out of the way, it isnt. Hopping big stuff, doing air tricks etc, you want the seat angled backwards.
  • + 1
 Agree. Even good dropper posts sometimes feel a bit like the turn signal control arm on an 84 Chevy (before they learned from the Japanese how to make them perform smoothly without play and a sort of "jiggle jiggle click" feeling). I want a dropper that feels like a Honda turn signal if that makes sense.
  • - 3
 @radrider: So you can get the pointy bit up your arse? Free riders tilt it backwards for seat grabs and leg pinches on no hand tricks. The frame already should be angled back on a DH bike the seat is just level with the bike not angled backwards. I angle my seat forwards to keep it away from my nuts uphill or downhill or jumping. Seats with rounded or angled rear edges allow sliding off at any angle.
  • + 3
 @choppertank3e: You don't know what your talking about...i'll see myself out.
  • + 44
 How can people say transmission?
The only part of my bike that regularly fails are my tires. Even with tubeless, chunky tires and wide rims I regularly pinchflat.
My transmission nearly never fails, I killed a few derailleurs years back and every now and then somebody breaks a chain, but as long as you carry a spare chainlock you're safe.

Schwalbe Procore didn't catch on at all, the Huck Norris thing looks promising but still a little underdeveloped, etc.

With all the awesome products right now (look at how good suspension got the last few years), I can't believe tires still fail that often.
  • + 8
 I freaking love the procore on my downhill bike!
  • - 2
 It's still a sprocket and chain - chain driven bikes have been around for over a century! You might say what's the point? I agree probably none (if you think purely of the cost and simplicity of design) but the fact is chains still snap, indexing still f*cks up, derailleurs are prone to rock strikes, everything still wears out quickly, electronic shifting is too expensive for most people.

Think about how much more gearboxes can be improved. Add to that the improvement and trickle down of electronic shifting ( I got carried away on another post about eventual automatic shifting - but then I thought about the EI shocks that Lapierre introduced a few years back - didnt really catch on - but if someone improves it and nails it, it could be a thing!).

Tyres are top three for improvement - slash proof materials have just been invented that are millimetres thin but can with stand a sharp blade - this needs to be used in tyres once it is light enough.
  • + 19
 I'm all fairness, many people who complain about getting too many flat tyres either run too little air pressure or have too lightweight tyres for their riding application / riding style.
  • + 2
 Really? I haven't had a flat in 10 months since going tubeless. My gears seem to need a fair bit of tuning to stay shifting smoothly, and I break chains from pedalling hard, but tyres are never the thing to go.
  • + 1
 I'm running the deaneasy tubeless version, its been faultless running exo tyres at 20psi as over a year on my trail/jump bike. I think the procore concept is a good idea but the procore product isn't right yet. An all in one tubular inner that can expand in width for wider rims would be a winner. The deaneasy is a lot lighter and a better solution, but next rims I making it twin valves rather than the large dual valve. Just wish they would make it for a 30mm internal rim.
  • + 4
 @Mattin: I think that's their point. We're still forced to compromise one attribute for the other, as always. Bikes have gotten to the point where the compromises are few, but tires remain a balance of weight, durability, rolling resistance, and traction.

Dropper posts get my vote, why nobody makes a post that lowers and raises on it's own by now is beyond me. (Shimano, I'm looking at you).
  • + 4
 @UtahBrent: +1 for the dropper post that goes down with the push of a button. Especially racers lose valuable time where they can't pedal because they have to push their saddle down with their weight.
  • + 7
 Agreed. Tires are a bitch. Heavy, expensive, can be a major pain in the ass to get on..
  • + 1
 @Mattin: the mechanics of a dropper post is simple, but if you add a pushing mechanism as well you are complicated the design by many magnitudes. it bet it wont happen for 5-10 years.
  • + 2
 @Mattin: Well I could use DH tires on my Enduro bike, but that's the thing, I want reasonably light tires that withstand some abuse.
I weigh 65kg and run 2bar of tire pressure. On my tight, rooty, technical hometrails I don't get too many flats, but on high-speed rocky alpine trail it happens more than I care for.

My Sram X1 drivetrain hasn't had a problem all season, I rarely have to adjust the tension, that's it. And even if your chain breaks, you can just piece it together. I had to throw away 2 tires that had 2-3 runs on them because they had a huge cut, this year alone.
I now switched to Specialized Butcher GRID tires, because they are way cheaper and a bit heavier, so maybe that'll help.
  • + 8
 +1

Any time I see a sketchy situation coming up, I worry for my tires and rims. I don't ever think about whether my fork, frame, or drivetrain (FFS??!!!) will get through it. Everything else on the bike can keep up with the rider taking risks.
  • + 1
 @UtahBrent:

Good place to look. They have a patent on it.
  • + 2
 @shimstack: That's actually a pretty good observation. I'd not really given it much thought until you mentioned it, but when I huck something a little too deep, my first concern is for my wheels
  • + 1
 You're pinch flatting tubeless tires?
  • + 1
 yes you can nip the tyre easy enough even dual plys. I cut the side of mine one day at Antur Stiniog.
  • + 19
 When you think about each of those things individually and then the manufacturers that make them you realise that they are all constantly evolving. Initially I thought "saddles" because it was the only thing I could think of that is consistent for the past 20 years. But to say that it hasn't evolved does a dis service to the designers and engineers that probably work hard to make sure that things are a little lighter and a little more comfortable every year.

Yes to our eyes things might not seem to be moving forward but I am pretty sure there are some revolutionary changes to your bike that you haven't even noticed but some engineer, somewhere, will see a bike with the tiny tweak he worked hard to develop and a tear will well up in his eye
  • - 16
flag jaycubzz (Jan 20, 2017 at 1:07) (Below Threshold)
 really, this is a dumb question. the answer is pedals. exactly the same from day one.
  • - 1
 @jaycubzz: Ergon is a great example for saddles, they've put loads of R&D into their new saddles!
  • + 5
 @tufty: Absolutely on point! Every manufacturer is constantly trying to improve his stuff . Of course evolution on a sadle or a tire is not as blattant as on brakes or frames, but there is also less room for improvement. One last thing to consider is that, it's not because a component is not evolving much that it is not evolved. When something is new ( droppers atm) brands try all sorts of design to try things out ( just have a look at all the crazy shit that was created for cinematics) and determine which one works best. Once this is done, everybody settle for one or XXX solution that fit the bill. No more giant leap, but the component is evolved.

Btw, @jaycubzz , look at all the designs for clipless pedals, or how refined flat have become (bearings, concave body etc...). The concept is the same since day one , so is a frame or a fork.
  • + 1
 They might all be evolving, but not as fast as they could... derrailures should have been left in the dust 10 years ago, but shimano and sram keep pumping them out because they know they can charge a ton for them, and they will break often, forcing quick re-purchases. Shimano has the industry by the neck, it'll take another company like pinion to make a gearbox good enough to shut down the need for derailleurs, and then shimano will quickly follow suit.
  • + 2
 I thought the same (saddles), but changed my answer to Chain.
  • + 20
 If the minion DHf is still the go to DH tire of countless bikers then I'd say a 15 year old tread design shows tread profiles could use some help... maybe I'm wrong though... I still love a minion DHf...
  • + 5
 I'm with ya. I say tires. Sure, they've improved. But, they're still pretty heavy and I find build quality is inconsistent.
  • + 5
 @ivebeenfelt: i am ok with treads not changing much. what bugs me with tires is how we havent managed to create a lightweight tire that doesn't puncture. I run dh tires on my all mountain now because of how many casings i was tearing.
  • + 4
 FWIW, I'm starting to think I like the E*thirteen tread pattern better. They just need to produce it in more casings/compounds. They make DH wheelsets, here's hoping they release a 2-ply TRS tire this year. & maybe Maxxis can take some of the things I like about the TRS tires & incorporate them into a "DHF 2." they're the ones manufacturing those tires, so maybe the agreement allows for some trading in the design depts.
  • + 2
 While the DHF is an iconic tyre and still very highly regarded, the Magic Mary is by any measure, a better performing tyre (for gravity oriented riding anyway).

Granted... it took 15 years for something to beat the good ol' Minion and it was a nervous first outing on my DH bike when I put the Mary's on it.

Love them both though, Minion kills it for a grippy but hard wearing rear tyre too.
  • + 1
 Yes! I was waiting for someone to say this.
  • + 16
 I think we are being primed for a gearbox by a major player. First the article with SRAM and now this with the desired choice in first and also the gearbox image in first. So everyone clicks and somehow says oh yes the transmission is clearly the least evolved component. I like evolution but i don't like to be taken for a ride and i want to be able to choose when i adopt new technology.
  • + 1
 +1. SRAM and all the top players will be working on anything that makes them more money in the long run. Period.
  • + 4
 In the last gearbox article both sram and shimano weren't very enthusiastic about gearboxes even though sram (iirc) said they may or may not have one in the works. Unless it was a PR move, it is most likely good clickbait for pinkbike.
  • + 1
 that is so true. either gearbox or 13 speeds in 2 years, lol. but yes, they're all pushing for gearbox to get more popularity right now, and sram, pinkbike and others know it needs to be popular for it to be a thing.

in a way its a win-win: they need new stuff to make money (and if its not gear box it will be something else anyway), and a lot of people want this concept to be really tried out
  • + 14
 If the whole graphene thing ever works out, a lot of things will probably change.

For one however, I'd like fadeless-air-shocks, better tires for the weight, better all around reliability/wear (not having to service the shock every month, change the chain every 2 month, etc.)
  • + 2
 Vittoria already used it in its tyres and their Speed Corsa, which has graphene in it, is the fastest rolling road tyre on the market.
  • + 5
 @Mattin: Yeah but it is still used only as additive to improve some properties. When graphene was hot topic in science predictions were that in some years we will be able to build extremely large things with it, like complete bike frame would be one gigantic molecule with extremely strength etc. 10 years latter pretty much none of the applications seem even remotely possible...
  • + 2
 @winko: true, just meant to say that the first production part which has graphene infused is already pushing the product to the next level. Here's an interesting article about graphene, by a cycling company that works with it: www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/product-news/dassi-graphene-frame-260002

Will it be a game changer once they know how to properly build things with it? For pro bikes and bikes without budget restrictions, yes. But for the average Joe; as long as the price tag of $50 per gram doesn't change it won't.
  • + 1
 Googled on graphene and just found this news article from one week ago where they managed to make a 3D object from graphene: cyclingindustry.news/mit-graphene-breakthrough-signals-new-potential-for-bicycle-manufacture

It will take a while but one day it will come for sure.
  • + 14
 The least evolved part of the mountain bike today is the place where you ride it.
  • + 8
 As a matter of fact, that's pretty much certainly the most evolved part.
  • + 16
 The price-tag
  • + 3
 Agreed, you would think that "trickle-down technology" would allow bike mfgrs to sell a $2,500 AM bike that weighs 32 lbs and doesn't need to be fully serviced every 6 weeks.
  • + 4
 @Pedalen: "The price-tag" - comes from a Swede...
  • + 1
 I still dont get why there's no one making a rigid hardtail with a 1x10 Deore (or NX) drive train, Shimano BR-M disc brakes, tubeless ready rims + tyres (2,35"), etc. Kind of like the new Cannondale Trail 4, but with a rigid fork.

The Trail 4 is already a great value for only €750,-, but dropping the front derailleur and suspension fork would probably drop the price back to €600 for a very proper bike.
  • + 2
 @Mattin: Marin pine mountain 1?
  • + 2
 @tdel010: kind of, but without the plus tyres
  • + 12
 No one has been able to manufacture brakes with consistently reliable master cylinders in the 20 years that hydraulic disc brakes have existed for bicycles.
  • + 7
 hope have, where have you been.. Even the first ones in the late 90's worked. The first closed ones I remember winding them off with thumbs as going down Morzine then forgetting to wind back on and hitting first corner and lever going to bar. Wouldn't buy anything else when you see other failing and having to be bled every evening in the alps.
  • + 8
 Bikes in general. Maintinance and reliability are something they need to work on, I don´t beleive many mayor changes,geometries are quite dialled... but there is room for a lot of improvement. Frames brake quite frequently and try to find someone who hasn´t had an issue with suspension, a dropper post, brakes... there is still A LOT the industry can improve. I think it would also be great to see more polyvalent bikes, example old scott voltage... which could be changed in travel and geometry wihtout chaging frame and not compromising the ride. And above all, BRING DOWN THE COSTS!!!
Also the poll should include a all of them box, or reliability, or who cares I ride my 20 year old kona full rigid box
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 20, 2017 at 1:00) (Below Threshold)
 @bat-fastard: you are joking right? I haven't yet met an owner of hopes who had them for more than 2 years and hasn't said "I need to service them, they lost like half of power despite changing pads/rotors and bleeding". Oh yes you can make them feel right again if you dona full overhaul. But so can you with most other brakes these days. At least Srams and Shimanos. The quickly developing play on pre 2010 Hope levers was preposterous. Each single used Hope brake I was about to buy had something fkd with them just like every other brake on the market. Hopes may be like Kalashnikov, doesn't mean someone won't prefer HK. The only brakeI had that lasted 5 years with absolutely no issues was the first 4-pot Saint. And I am all too aware that I lucked out. I am running disc brakes since 12 years and they get better and better with power to modulation ratio but they all fall under same pattern: buy fresh ones, sell after 2 years before they get fkd.
  • + 7
 I have never seen or heard of anybody's master cylinder failing in my 11 years of riding. That's not to say it doesn't happen. But I don't think it's a big issue at all.
  • + 2
 @haroman666: get more friends with Formulas. Or XT 8000 Big Grin
  • + 4
 Seriously, I will sound like a fanboy, but Magura Gustav have. You put them on and bleed them once in 5 years or so. They always feel the same, no matter what. On the other hand, they have a few issues on their own and you must be willing to carry a few grams more on your bike (oh, no...).
  • + 1
 I go through about 2 pairs of brakes per year.
I always buy new (then "eBay service" them).
I circulate pretty much all brands and have little preference, but none of them survive long-term (like stay good for more than 6 months).
Maybe its the wet, sandy conditions here in the Peak District?
Some are generally a bit better (probably Shimano are about the toughest) but they all let go relatively quickly.
I'd say Hope and Sram are among the worst in my experience.
My next brake on planned circulation are Magura, but I'm not very optimistic
  • + 1
 @IllestT: I've had 2 sets of Avid Juicy 7's and the first set lasted 6 or 7 years without being bled once. All I did was change pads. They went to Les Gets, Winterberg and Leogang during that time as well.
I bought the second set off ebay a couple of years ago because the first set developed sticky pistons in the calipers that I couldn't seem to resolve.

And in April last year I bought a bike with some Zee's which needed bleeding (previous guy clearly never turned the bike upside down, as all pressure was gone after when you brought it the right way up again) and the resin pads being burnt and thrown into the sea for being so shit. Otherwise, so far so good, pretty much service free.

Might add that I've been living and riding in the Peak district since May also.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: Good for you,but my Tech X2's were worn inside the master cylinder after 2 years of light use.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 20, 2017 at 1:53) (Below Threshold)
 Whenever my brake starts misbehaving despite bleeding I get such reply from my friend who is a mechanic: do overhaul of master cylinder or clean and change seals on pistons. I have no time and patience to do it myself I tried once - fk that dirty job. I'd rather do full overhaul of a fork or service frame bearings& axles. Just getting those caliper bolts loose puts me into anger management clinic. At the workshop it costs anywhere between 30-100€ That's more or less what I pay by selling brakes (openly saying they need overhaul) and buying new ones... less hassle and peace of mind for next 2 years.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: exactly, this.

Is there a brake that has serviceable master cylinders? I'm unaware of one. Changing piston seals or constant bleeds is lip service and not actually curing any problems.
And as you say, as soon as it costs more than about £30-50/half an hour, it's cheaper/easier to just replace the whole brake. And I really don't like this kind of wasteful thinking
  • + 1
 @IllestT: try the Gwin TRP brakes. Mustard.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 20, 2017 at 2:24) (Below Threshold)
 @IllestT: person buying the brake is being made aware of the issue, pays less then for a fully functioning item and definitely looks for a cheap option, so he/she may have time and patience to solve the problem on their own. It's the same thing with bushing play/ misalignment in the fork. It is A freaking job to realign them with no guarantee it will work. Hence workshops advise buying the whole lower leg assembly where client also gets wiper seal combo to wipe some tears. Oooor they sell the whole fork and get a new/another one. I rarely buy new stuff. I rely on secnd hand market. There's enough people selling barely used sht. You just need to check classifieds often and have the cash ready to grab the deal.
  • + 3
 I still have 90's hopes that come into the shop working fine... I even still have a pair of 4 pot XT's that work as good as the day they were purchased and I've bleed them maybe 3 times since...
  • + 1
 @IllestT: MT 5 fives are the best bang for the buck... make sure you have them properly bled and you will have a super reliable brake, tons of power, lighter than xt.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: nope not joking, have 4 set of hopes in the house between me n kids all over 8 years old and all work as good as new. I only change fluid in them once a year and pads when needed,never had to blead or fit new parts. Hope just work as most of our group that goes to alps every year will tell you as have change to hopes as others failed.
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Every 6 months? Something's wrong there... or you have absolute crap luck. And aren't warranties 1 year long?
  • - 1
 @bat-fastard: I say what I see among people and what my mechanic says he sees coming to the shop. And it ain't prettier with Hopes than with other brakes.
  • + 3
 @wavetrance: those 4-piston XT's were the most reliable brakes ever. A set came on a used bike I bought 5 years ago, rode them for 4 years, and then sold that bike. Never touched them other than changing pads. I still wish I'd kept those brakes when selling that bike.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: So mostly hearsay then.
I've had the same set of Hope Tech 3 E4 for the last 3 nearly 4 years years on multiple bikes and they've been spot on, like any DOT brake system I flush the fluid one a year. Other than that regular clean and setting them up properly keeps them tip top and powerful.
Certainly better than the Plasticy Magura MT7/5s my son is so fond of, The hopes will be replacing the Zees on my Sender once his new Maguras arrive.
  • + 3
 Another here with hopes run on several bikes with solid reliability. Sometimes years between bleeding with only changing pads. By far closest thing in mtb to reliability of moto brakes. Top that with great support. Absolutely won't run anything else now.
  • - 1
 Good to hear that not all people have issues with their brakes. What I can tell you though is if this thread would be about Sram or Shimano brakes, there would be plenty of people saying they have never had issues with their (insert brand name) brakes. The funniest bit is always the Formula folk. All bigger workshops in town have a fkd master cylinder lying somewhere on the bench. Both master cylinders on my R1s were 1 month old when I bought the pair, they started leaking 2 and 3 months after (I have marks on bars), yet folks on internet will still come and say that their brakes have been faultless for years and they have excellent modulation.
  • + 5
 The comments here are pretty much in line with all opinions of brakes I've ever heard - brakes are a lottery.
Sometimes you do get a set that have amazing reliability, but there doesn't seem to be a singular brand that everyone is unanimously hailing as ultra-reliable. And as I say, I'm struggling to find one that even seems to be slightly better than the rest, although Shimano's do seem to be among the cheapest generally so I tend to favour them over all.

@bishopsmike mentioned warranty'ing brakes. Hmmm well yeah I have tried before, with some success, but it's difficult. Shops will usually tie the lever down with an elastic band, leave overnight and if the lever isn't touching the bar they will deem it as "working". It doesn't solve the "brake comes on at a different point in the lever travel every time it's applied" problem - which is a faulty master cylinder that I'm talking about (ie the reason for most failures).
If they do try to fix it, they usually just bleed and slightly over fill the system with fluid, which kind of cures the problem for about 1 ride or so. So in summary, it's usually more fuss than it's worth
  • - 1
 @IllestT: hear hear. The good part about Shimanos is, spare parts are relatively cheap (but those fkng hoses with banjos for 40quid a piece ). Even levers for XTs, XTRs and Saints aren't thaaat expensive. I did have issues with sticky and leaking pistons and unfortunately you go through some pairs of pads, maybe even a rotor, before you realize it's the damn leaking brake fluid that contaminates them since it is impossible to contaminate 2 pairs of pads within 3-4 months. Then you get a new pair of brakes, pads get contaminated and you get paranoid and take apart the whole caliper just in case.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: "I haven't yet met an owner of hopes who had them for more than 2 years and hasn't said "I need to service them, they lost like half of power despite changing pads/rotors and bleeding"."

So that's - what? - Three people, then?
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: Excellent! Nr of brakes sold... forget it - nevermind Big Grin
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you need to change your mechanic, hes making loads of money selling you crap. If anything goes wrong with hope their warranty is second to none.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: he doesn't service my brakes. As I said above, I see no point in paying for reparation when new sht costs as much Big Grin And you can bet he is one of the best. And he is not the only experienced mechanic in town that says ALL brakes are a lottery.
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: was rocking a NOS pair of those until last year. Alas i got tired of screwing with the IS mount and went to Hope 4 piston, which have a very similar feel but do need a bleed a bit more often
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Hopes are fully serviceable, you can order every part for the whole system!! around £40 for a full rebuild by them, including new pads, if you don't want to do it yourself.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: The 2015ish SLX or Deore brakes don't seem to ever die. They just work and work and keep on working... I crashed and planted my deore master cylinder right into concrete so hard that I tore off the bleed cap. Got a new cap and they still work good as new in PNW weather.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: To be fair I've got a few sets of Shimano on my Trail bike and winter hardtails other than the odd bleed have never missed a beat. Even have a spare set of Formula R1 as an emergency set (can't sell them) that are reliable and have lent out as an emergency fix.
Nobody likes them but they work.
Only brakes I've had real issues with were Magura MT7s which were a pain to bleed. I ended up strapping the brake lever back halfway to pressurise the system, forces the air to compress and make its way to the highest point and then just top up the fluid, It was the only way to get a decent lever.
  • + 1
 @DaMilkyBarKid: fair enough, but £40 is the price of a whole new Shimano brake
  • + 0
 @IllestT: and a good one. I have Deores on my hardtail and I'm considering replacing my Guide RS that sits on fully with it. Fricking awesome. I also have xt 8000 waiting to be tested.
  • + 12
 It has to be wheels/tubeless design for me.

We can get a rocketship to space, but we can't keep air in a tire. Take a second to think about that.
  • + 7
 USTs worked well, TRs just require a bucket of sealant. I buy Stan's by the quart, I'd hate to be one of those people who buy the tiny wee bottles that are supposed to do one tyre.
  • + 3
 Have you ever used Orange Seal?
  • + 1
 Yes,
Also cars don't need babysitting, they don't need any goo bulls~ mess, just pump them up when swapping and check for pressure every couple of months or even just twice a year.
  • + 7
 @Thema:
Cars also run 4+ ply tires on rims that weight more than your entire XC bike.

Ever pedalled a DH tire for 30 km? Now make that 3 times heavier. On the plus side, you'll never have to worry about flats!
  • + 1
 @tsheep: You are completely right. It is the least evolved part indeed.
  • + 3
 The rocket and spaceships actually have air leaks all the damn time Smile
  • + 9
 The fact that we're still using a 1/2" pitch chain. Smaller pitch = smaller diameter for the highest gear while retaining 10 or 11 teeth for proper chain engagement, meaning your lowest gear would have way more teeth than eagles 50t, resulting in 600% +/- range with the same size dinner plate of a cog as eagle. Lookin at you Shimano, you already tried it once in the 80s
  • + 3
 I've also wondered why that hasn't happened, as the current 9t cog could remain with the same pitch diameter, but actually have 12t or so with a shorter chain pitch. And, gear ratio choices could be more precise, as the jumps from cog to cog can be a bit inconsistent, especially on the smaller cogs.
  • + 2
 The chains would become much heavier, more expensive, shifting might go less smooth, and riding on a same ratio with smaller cogs creates much more tension on thr chain, causing failures to happen faster, as well as adds a lot of friction (there has been a test on road bikes; riding a certain gear ratio in your 34T adds about 3 Watts of friction compared to riding the exact same gear ratio in your 50T front ring).

Not saying it would actually be worse, but these are some arguments against it.

Personally on my road bike I would prefer it if more companies would make like 16-36 cogs instead of 11-23 cogs, combined with a bigger ring in the front. It's been tested to make you faster even though the extra weight and aerodynamic drag.


Also there's the possibility that the teeth on the chain rings would become to small to handle the forces it's being put through.
  • + 12
 Well it's certainly not the price tag
  • + 7
 Headsets, like the Great White Shark they haven't evolved (sizes aside) because they haven't needed to since we went threadless in 203BC - they're so good these days they're almost completely forgotten about.
  • + 5
 I mean, threadless came around in 1993, but yeah, shit, thats the industry sticking to a standard for 24 goddam years, which is amazing.
  • + 5
 My answer should be "Riders"
Why?
Well, bicycle market is one of the most fast changing and every component and technology is always improved (maybe headsets and similar are always the same but they work very well!).
But the end user, in my opinion, is the one wich is not developing fast as the bikes do, in terms of mentality, adaptation and training!
  • + 2
 I dare to disagree. For example look at where dirt jump, slopestyle and BMX riders were 10 years ago. The riding level of the best rider back then would probably not even get you a 30%-discount-on-parts-sponsorship nowadays.
  • + 7
 whatever new standard(s) trek and specialized comes up....
  • + 7
 Wheels, I mean they've been round forever!
  • + 3
 By their nature, bikes in general just don't have a lot of potential to be innovated. They are meant to be simple. That's why I ride a bike at least. The ability to propel myself down the road or a mountain using my own two legs. On the one hand if you inovate too much then you take away from that simplicity. On the other hand, I would much rather ride the bikes of today than yesterday. It's extremly difficult to invent something that both promotes the simplicity of a bike and makes it more enjoyable. I imagine that's why we havent seen as much innovation as you might like to see. The ideals that we hold as a standard for biking have become part of the design requirement.
  • + 3
 For the derailleur question, they might be one of the most evolved parts on a bike having almost reached the climax of performance. There were so many iterations that you can hardly say they are not highly evolved.

Don’t get me wrong they are in need of a REVOLUTION. Don’t just optimize an inherently flawed concept. Go back to the very start see the task of shifting and engineer the optimal solution, which i think would be some sort of gearbox transmission. But for now i am pretty happy with the performance weight and price of the new SLX 11 speed group.
  • + 5
 A form of CVT on a bike would be cool, no clunky gear changes - pedal and go.
  • + 3
 The drivetrain's the problem simply because all the big manufacturer's have ever done is to compromise one aspect of it just to add to another. 1x drivetrains are not making things better. Lighter but not better. The chain line is suffering. More cogs in the cassette is improving the steps in shifting but sacrifice the wheel's dish and requiring a thinner chain. The more cogs you add just makes things worse for those existing problems. The reason why gearboxes are better than existing derailleurs is because gearboxes have room to improve while derailleurs are a dead end. It's like trying to improve the combustion engine when we should be putting more resources in electric cars. Gearboxes are worth the sacrifice of pushing yet another standard to customers. Essentially, gearboxes are not component upgrades. They're just a possible future bicycle for people in the future. I don't get the hate on this. The gearbox being a thing won't make your existing bicycles melt or disappear.
  • + 2
 issue is you can't easily service your own gearbox. i love the simplicity of the derailleur transmission, especially now dropping chains and bad shifting are a thing of the past
  • + 1
 @jesse-woodward: today with wide 1x 10t/11t/12t cassettes and derailleurs you can built drivetrains matching any price weigh ratio requirements and do not bother yourself for at least year or two;
  • + 2
 I hate gearboxes not because of what they are or can do, but because everyone talks about them like the Jesus of drivetrains. "Oh, gearbox please come save us from the devil regular drivetrain!... It's so old, so caveman, we are slaves of Sram and Shimano and there's nothing we can do about it!"
  • + 2
 @jesse-woodward: Why couldn't you service your gear box?

Next question, what makes you think that you would need to?

Car and motor bike gear boxes can both be serviced if they ever fail, but they rarely do need servicing.
  • + 3
 This is stupid. I figure the least evolved part is probably the headset, but it is also the one part that we have next to no problems with. I feel like this is a trick question designed to get people on board with planned obsolescence.
  • + 2
 This, or possibly the chain are the only two answers that are even in consideration. The idea that drivetrains haven't evolved just because we don't have gearbox bikes (oh wait, we do! No one buys them, but man do we like bitching about it) is idiotic.
  • + 3
 These turd macro companies had the technology probably 10+ years ago and when they finally see the growing demand they SLOWLY release these mickey mouse components one by one as the hype increases...and so do the prices. Buncha c*nts!
  • + 3
 So the thing is the industry is deliberatly holding back the gearbox, Im sure Sram, Shimano (suspect Sram is testing a gearbox) right now! but they want you to recycle dollars to replace cassettes, chains and broken Ds thats there bread and butter and they will continue to hold the bike undustry to ransom for as long as possible, therefore holding back consumer on more reliable and better performing Mountain bikes, the gearbox even as it is now is an oil change every when ever, wear is minimum on chain and rings, where as and a simple test for this is measure the friction you get once your drivetrain is muddy or dirte esp with 11spds that is far in excess of of drag vs a gearbox like the Taniwhas has.

Even when they do come to market you can be sure the industry will not unlike the motocycle industry agree (for theyre own agendas) on a frame std to fit all brands when they offer it!

One other point, while the cluch mech is in theory a good idea it is also a crutch for the excessive chain movement caused by the negative points suspension terrain and the derailuer system causes, (also note damage to your frame ) more crutches / frame rubber protection or a condom for your bike to protect it from your weak transmission, with Shimano switch your clutch off notice the difference in drag, so exccessive drag robs you of horspower via the cluch design, increases stress to the derailuer for less life and ultimatley reliability, so yes improvments have been made, but all these arguments which are not new have been around in mountain biking since the beginning are still there, so for the progress we have also regressed! but its good for the industry giants because you are spending more for expensinve drivetrain systems for less benefit, the sheep continue to chew the grass which is not grass because they buy into the BS fed to them.

We who arent sheep just need to keep voicing our disgust and some of the sheep will become wolves and the pack will grow pressuring the industry to change, Zerode imo has made a great start in changing this, just for reference theyre first too batchs were all PRE SOLD before leaving the factory, who else now or ever has achieved that!!!!!

GEARBOX sheep heads!!!
  • + 3
 being an engineer and and a mountain biker since late 80's
its mostly all good now,.no screw up headsets with quill stems , no cup and cone bottom brackets, cantilever brakes gone. v brakes gone .cage and straps (on pedals ) gone and steel frames ( mostly ) even cheep suspension forks are good compared to the old elastomer forks .soft in summer stiff in winter
mtb's also dragged road bikes out of the gutter, oh wait a minute
  • + 2
 tires obviously, theyre the component that fails the most often. a flat can ruin a run for an elite rider on the wc, or just be annoying for the average joe on the weekend ride. every other component helds pretty well compared to tires.
  • + 2
 I'm ready for tubeless valves to update past presta style valves. With rims being wide enough, even on road bikes, there's little reason to continue with tiny cores that limit air flow and gum up too soon with sealant. We ought to have an inflation process that doesn't require removing cores and unthreading with the tip or dust caps
  • + 2
 I thought about this. In my opinion it is cable routing. Even before internal routing most bike builders couldn't get it right. I'm speaking of the frame attachments. No option for continuous cables only for interrupted Housing with exposed cables. I'm lucky if I get three months. Uninterrupted housings can go for years. and how many bikes do you see with the cables coming off the right shifter or brake lever to the right side of the frame.
  • + 2
 What is least evolved is everything around the bike: sales, standardization and manufacturing, customer support. This is mostly because the industry is small disconnected and scattered but we do need every person out of their car and on a bike so things must get be improved for the beginner biker and parent.
  • + 2
 I think people are confusing "least evolved" with "needs improvement".

The drivetrain has gone through numerous refinements over the years, it is very "evolved". Tires on the other hand, are not. They have remained being a ring of rubber inflated by air for decades.
  • + 2
 I'm going to say paint and drivetrain are the least advanced with where technology is going.

With the addition of battery powered gadgets (communication devices, action cameras, wearable gps to drivetrains) I want to know when each one of my pedal strokes can go towards creating energy to repower those gadgets, or when my bikes paint can capture the sun's energy to do the same. I don't want to pack extra batteries or solar panels to repower what I bring for the rides I don't want to make it back where I can 'plug in'. I want to stay connected, but not dependent on conventional power sources to recharge what I bring when I'm making power alllllll day. That's what I want to advance. (And I'm serious.)
  • + 2
 I chose wheels for the simple fact we are still getting flats......we can put a man in space but can't keep air in a tube (i know wheels aren't tubes but there was no option)....million dollar idea right there to who ever can solve it Wink
  • + 2
 Who really cares, Pollbike? The bike industry has VERY effectively shown their current business model will 'innovate' the components which will give us no choice but to buy more components. Yes, innovation has improved current products to amazing levels but the rate of change (planned obsolescence) in recent years is without excuse. Personally I can't wait for the next 1.17mm axle width change. Or maybe a BB threaded on the drive side and pressfit on the other...
  • + 2
 The stem! I have a RF Diabolus stem that would likely still be useful, but there are few bars to choose from. Next, I think chains have devolved over the past 10 years. Never had chains break during the 7-9 speed era, but have had a few 10's break.
  • + 2
 Remember the quill stem. With one bolt that wedged it to the inside of the steertube?
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: Yep. When Specialized switched to aheadsets in 91' or 92' I thought,"Oh great..." but then I had to work on one. So much easier. Headsets stayed tight, finally. That was a huge step. Don't miss quill stems at all.
  • + 2
 The freehub could use some work. The pawls wear and so do the rachet rings at least I have tons of trouble. I'm liking the direction some are taking like those on the noble and precision hubs, not new but new to bikes. It's not always just the ride quality but often how robust or maintenance free we can make it.
  • + 2
 Gear box + Downhill Mountain Bike + Me = ten years from now it seems.
Idk why it hasnt took off yet??
The nicer DH Gearbox"s looks like a bitchn dirt bike without a motor! I love it hands down the best idea ever in bike history!!!
DREAM BIKE... Canyon sender with a gearbox!.. Hey Canyon, you can go use my Billion dollar idea now... Please
  • + 2
 I would love a light and lag free internal 3 speed hub that wasn't made for Mary Poppin's bike. I am probably a Luddite compared to most but I just want something fast, simple, clean and efficient to play on. Right now I have the most fun on a SS DJ bike or even a racing cruiser. I can stay SS forever on the trails I enjoy, but my knees would appreciate a killer little 3-speed hub some days.
  • + 2
 It would be sweet to have three speeds the equivalent of 32x36, 32x20, & 32x16. Uphill, flat, downhill. Boom.
  • + 2
 I did not trust in tubeless and bought 6 spare tubes. This was 2 years ago. I have still 4 tubes left. Flat tires a not a problem if you use a good tube and if you do not fall in love with this nearly airless, 1 psi tubeless style.
  • + 2
 I voted transmissions! I am a fan of the gearbox and the Zerode Taniwha is one of the best designed and executed bikes out theyre but theyre are some issues for mass market apeal, people are sheep easily lead by the industry!

Weight is an issue for these sheep, regardless of the facts they wont get it, wont accept it, Weigth and lerception 2 key issues for them! but its where the weight is postioned in the frame, that is important not acutal weight, have both though and you can have your cake and eat it.

Zerode have done this well on all theyre bike designs re weight distribution, so yes while the gearbox itself is heavier the ride is awesome, weight is taken off the rear off the wheel, stronger wheels, no affect to suspension performance ( prob the most single important fact of what you want from an FS bike design) no chain line issues, yet the limited crank options for the Pinion, weight and perceived drag which is less than the poor chain line you get from a derailuer frame design! Is what the industry and sheep hold cling too..

The recent industry post re gearboxs vs derailiuers just made me laugh and enforce my distrust of industry and rep insiders, while as a derailuer fan of the one ring and great to see it evolve, its limiting vs a gearbox for the most obvious yet misunderstood reason of all, the industry insiders whould have you believe drag in a gearbox is robbing you of horsepower, yet we were all taught that big ring to small ring cross over was not only bad, it causes excessive wear to chain cassette and front ring, higher chance of a broken chain and more importantly increased drag robbing you legs of horsepower and draining you energy on longer rides, esp extended climbing in the big rear rin, look at your chain lines for anyone esp using 1x driver trains but this is and always has been an issue even with 2/3 drive bys, less but then the FD changing and wear and chance of dropped or jamming removes any advantage a better chain line is offered! pto
  • + 2
 I get the gearbox : chain/derailleur argument but I'm still sticking with the rim option.... There is no reason we should still be relying on tape to make to make rims tubeless compatible especially with the influx of carbon hoops. (I'm aware that there are manufacturers who have seamless rims with no spoke nipple holes that don't need tape but they are far too uncommon in my opinion.)
  • + 2
 One other thing comes to mind, I am not a Zerode fan boi either, though I have huge respect for what they have achieved and theyre vision and courage, following theyre dream, I do think the Taniwha is probably the best 27.5" bike availab,e money no object right now, but they are a 2 man operation, it is not theyre job or responsibility to make an affordable gearbox option for the market of MTB, they are a scalpel and very high end and precision tool, TREK, Specialised, Giant, etc Shimano Sram are the broadswords, if people want a lower cost option for gearbox its these companies that are responsible for making it happen! So dont whine on about the smaller companies cost of a frame or build who make less frames per year than you have coffees in a couple of weeks!!
  • + 2
 Certainly not the transmission - derailleurs have evolved massively since I've been riding - my first off-road bike was single speed cos 5 speed Huret didn't cut it off-road. Still even back then you could have a gearbox bike - Sturmey Archer started making hubgears in 1902.
  • + 3
 Seatposts in general. Why do we still make cylindrical seatposts? Every time a mishap happens, you have to readjust it so it's straight again. Why don't we make them so they're like an oval?
  • + 1
 Also, it may help with dropper seatposts as you could remove the side to side wiggle caused by any worn keys...
  • + 1
 imagine the cost on trying to make an oval tubed dropper post.
  • + 1
 @atrokz Maybe I'm being stupid but I cant see a massive difference in difficulty?
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim: its considerably more expensive to make an oval tube with the same tolerance. Profile of a surface factors greater as well thus causing tighter tolerances. For a tube, you can form it in a lathe very simply. You cant do this with an oval. For droppers its obvious why a circle is better than an oval as well. This is why just about every cyl/piston is round. Litterally all of them that matter. Landing gear. Car and truck struts and shocks. Engine pistons and cyls. Etc. Always round. Much better than oval.
  • + 2
 You need things to give. If your seatpost was oval you'd just break frames more often because the post wouldn't spin a bit in a crash. And they couldn't be able to make all the related parts straight enough and you'd end up with a crooked seat that you can't get straight. And then your dick would fall off.
  • + 1
 @jflb: @atrokz: Both really good answers and I now consider myself appropriately schooled! I'll stick with my cylindrical dropper Smile
  • + 2
 Lots of people won't like this but I'd go with a different option - electronics.

It has potential in various applications across the bike from suspension to dropper posts, transmission to your lights, particularly when you think about synchronisation between components - press one button to drop your seat and run your suspension full open for example. As soon as a great application drops in at a lower weight whilst making life easier for the rider then people will start signing up. At the moment it's all too expensive and untested, but despite everyone's protestations I've no doubt it will catch on in the future (even if it is not this generation but all the kids out there).

I'll throw my hat in the ring and say I wouldn't buy anything electronic now (bar my lights and GPS) but 10 years from now I think a good deal of high end kit will have some form of electronics in it...
  • + 2
 For example my riding buddy has a helmet mounted light with a little wireless Bluetooth switch that mounts on the handlebars. He can adjust his light without taking his hands off the bars, with the controller in his peripheral vision. It is brilliantly functional, weighs next to nothing and I'd seriously consider his brand of light for my next purchase as the whole system isn't completely crazy in price compared to similar systems.
  • + 2
 I'm glad that it's finally OK to admit in public that tubeless tyres are a pain in the arse. They do significantly reduce pinch flats, but at the cost of a lot of messing about. Mountain bikes are evolving in a lot of ways, and I wouldn't go back to the bike I had ten years ago, but in some ways they have regressed. My current bike does seem much less reliable than those 10 years ago. I don't know if that's true but it's harder to fix, or at least harder to bodge fixes for it. I have a 1x11 drive chain, which is an interesting example because there are less parts that can break than in a 3x9, but there is also redundancy. With a 3x9 you could still find a few working gears with a bent derailleur hanger or a sticky cable Anyway, I voted for a component which I believe to have significantly regressed in recent years, the bottom bracket. My personal worst from a SRAM bb30 is 4 rides, and that's a familiar tale to anyone who rides anywhere wet. Rather than technical solutions to problems I'd like to see the industry take a different attitude towards durability and resilience. Companies like Hope set a good example IMO
  • + 3
 +1. Conditioning means that it's now not cool to be on older kit....irrespective of if it works or not. Progress is good....But cheaping out on a BB because it's easier and faster to fit a molded sleeve (that's not usually to tolerance) is wrong.

I voted BB too. It's the area that they can solve easily if they're prepared to lose 0.025% of their margins.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes:

You remember roller bearing bb's that used a cotter pin to hold the crank arm to the spindle?

Bb's have changed a lot in 100 years.
  • + 2
 You could say the dropper is the least evolved because it's the, relatively, newest part. But... You could also say that it's evolved dramatically given the short time it's been around compared to, say, the pedal which has been around forever but hasn't radically changed. Interesting poll.
  • + 5
 You could also say that the flat pedal design has pretty much been perfected, which is why we're only seeing minor variations of the same basic design. Flat pedals work extremely well. Hell, you could even say the same about clipless. You can buy a pair of Shimano M520 for twenty bucks and they work perfectly.
  • + 2
 Where does refined end and evolved start. I'd say for example the the drive train has been refined but there have been no step changes (evolved) since index shifting came around. Sure the number of cogs and chain rings have changed but mostly it's been fine tuning the same thing. Suspension forks were a step change as was rear suspension and disk brakes. Longer travel and more pistons are just refinements. Dropper posts were a big change. Changing tire widths, not so much.
  • + 6
 The Wheel. They are still round. About time they changed it...
  • + 4
 don't give Sram any ideas.

"our new enneadecagon wheels will smooth out trails and offer a 99% increase in bro, and a 11% increased roll-over angle of attack traction synergy effect. now on Treks $16,000 hardtail. pedals not included. "
  • + 2
 Saddles, since it's all about only the looks and numbers. Except for SQ Lab and ISM no one really seems to look at blood flow and how it matches best to the body.

Also it seems like not a single bike manufacturer is smart enough to put wider saddles onto bigger frame sizes bikes. Someone who has an XL frame size will most probably not fit a narrow 135mm saddle...

So many people ride with saddles that are too narrow for them and don't know why they are either having numbness or why the saddle is so extremely uncomfortable. They try softer saddles and better bibs but it doesn't fix the problem if the saddle still falls between the sitting bones instead of underneath them.

Also when you need a 150mm wide saddle for road and 160mm for mtb as in my case (got this measured professionally), the amount of decent saddles I can choose from is very limited. For example Selle Italia doesn't even have a road or mtb saddle in my size... Looking forward trying the SQ Lab 612 soon. Sadly the widest version of that one js also only 150mm, so only good for my road bike.
  • + 1
 +1 The patent on the ISM nose design is watertight. Bontrager had to amend an existing design so it didn't infringe the copyright. They're the only ones with flexible nose "prongs" and it does help for long days in the saddle.
  • + 2
 I thought saddles too, not that it's hasn't evolved, but I'd say the technology is not used as it could be.
In this day and age when you're spending 2000+ bucks on a bike, you'd expect an anatomic study to be part of the buying process (just to be sure to get the right size) with a few choices of saddles to try, but no, you have to buy a few, some cheap, some very expensive, until you find the right one.
  • + 2
 I ride an XXL frame and had no problems ever with any saddle I rode. Flite, Nisene, Tundra - never a problem, riding for hours. Broken or worn out saddles suck, though..
  • + 2
 @cxfahrer: it's not with everyone, but I guess roughly half the people with an XL frame size need a wider saddle than 135mm. Thereby it would have been a smarter choice to equip XL bikes with 145mm saddles instead.
  • + 1
 My arse still hurts like a bugger after rides just as it did 20+ years ago... saddle is a good choice here!
  • + 1
 Just a small update, I found that Ergon and Pro also have some better anatomically designed saddles. SQ Lab still looks like the best to me based on the dozens of different saddles I've tested and which aspects I did and did not like.
  • + 1
 I don't know why there aren't more servo actuated functions for suspension control the way we see with Shimano Di2 - Put a freaking servo cap on your manual shock switch and a remote (read: non-wired) button on the bar. Use sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads to charge the dumb thing or maybe a some PV tape on the bars or frame somewhere to keep the battery up.

Couple this with frame storage - Specialized finally is meaningfully addressing this, but why can't we integrate tools and supplies that riders commonly need an use into the frame somehow? I hate frame bags but I think I hate backpacks even more, yet I've lived with both for most of my adult riding life.

Last, the drivetrains of today are great for the design they are built around, but internal drivetrains seem like the most logical choice or step ahead - especially with the emergence of e-bikes, I could see this kind of technology surfacing in the next 10 to 20 years
  • + 1
 I forgot to mention that while Compaq was a computer company, you could find a bevy of tools they would include in each of their servers and desktop computers. Came with spare screws too. There are spaces on most every bike frame that seems like a logical location for integrating a tool storage compartment or whatever. But that would add weight! said somebody somewhere, but what's the difference if you can remove the tools to gain these precious grams back or ? I really have no idea why this is isn't old tech by now.
  • + 1
 I almost knew it would be transmission...even though it has evolved quite a bit in the last 15 yrs. Still to this day though...I can't buy a headset that doesn't creak after a month of riding! Granted I have never been flush enough to run a King headset but still...I want an affordable headset that is creak free for at least a season. I hate having to service these things every month or so. Also...the press fit? There has to be something better.
  • + 1
 I clicked 'OTHER', due to the most caveman-like procedure one can do on a bike: aligning the stem with the fork.

Imagine performing a four-wheel alignment on a 2017 BMW M4 using your eyes (hold your two hands out in front of you, both in the shape of an L, one 90-degrees from the other, close one eye, look through the "picture frame" made by your hands while looking at the front wheels, and say, "Yea, that looks about right.").

It's the same procedure, whether it's a $100 Wal-Mart bike or the $10,000 one you just bought at Bling Bike Shop.
  • + 1
 the riders. mountain bikers are so much more fit and skilled now. even the kids are riding a way higher level than the adults of the past. Guys go bigger faster and longer than ever before. Freeride enduro dh no matter what kind of riding it has progressed so much
  • + 1
 Electronic shifting is stupid. I'm sorry, but what's inefficient about a steel cable? I'm also not on the gearbox train - though some people have a love affair with complex engineering (after all, we are all riding mountain bikes, the epitome of over-engineering), the elegant simplicity of the modern drivetrain really is something to behold.

To me, dropper posts are still a joke. How can making something go up and down be so unreliable? Fox appears to have made strides in the reliability department, as has 9point8, but weight and complexity remain an issue. I think there's opportunity for some cool innovation there.
  • + 1
 Elliptical chain rings seem like the future to me, I don't see why they're not super common. I would even incorporate that idea into a gearbox if I designed one. Why people are willing to have >10 gears to maximize their power output, but elliptical chain rings are uncommon I'll never know, they make perfect sense.
  • + 1
 This is great; Completely overlook and forget the cumulative amount of time and energy spent (That none of us actually know what comes too) to develop all these individual parts of the bikes we ride, and ask the Pinkbike audience, "But what do you think?"
  • + 1
 The fact that this question got us scratching our heads is actually showing how good is the mtb industry is in evolving and not being bogged down by institutional regulations like what's happening to road bikes and F1 cars. Roadies are in the mist of arguing the danger of adopting disc brakes while F1 drivers despite all the gizmos still doesn't have a for windscreen protection.
  • + 1
 Bikes right now are seriously amazing. They're tunable, light and awesome. But they're also super high performance, increasingly so every year. Now I find that I wear stuff out too often. I'd take an additional 50-100g per tire or cassette if it meant I didn't have to replace them so often. It feels wasteful. The only nuisance thing that continues to be an issue is tubeless. As long as I manage it every day it works great. It's the only thing on my bike that needs daily maintenance, which really isn't so bad. It's finicky at best. Procore seems like a bit of a step backwards. We have armour made out of gels that turn solid on impact. It's surprising that we don't have a better tire solution.
  • + 1
 Gearboxes are a major area. One piece carbon wheels, not spokes, made to be lighter, stiffer and not ever go out of true. Suspension damping. Shims are on their way out replaced by newer, patented cone valve technology that outperforms them and outperforms electronic suspension. Rear suspension. Light weight carbon springs will allow rate curves to not be compromised by crappy air spring ramp effect with minimal weight gain, if any. Combined with the cone valves, platform style damping will be more seemless and not need VPP style curve manipulation that negatively impacts bump absorption. Lastly, more rearword wheel travel, as is becoming the trend, to improve square edge bump absorption while also helping eliminate pedal bob. Better suspension performance, feel and no need for climb modes. Set it and forget it, yet perform better in all aspects. Dropper post reliability and both direction actuation.
  • + 1
 It's funny to me that people think once Shimano and/or SRAM get involved that the weight of a gearbox will miraculously go down significantly. As the owner of a Shimano Alfine gearbox, I can unequivocally state that this would not be the case. IGBs are heavy for a reason, and until a material is discovered that can replicate the strength of steel, but which is also very light, there is not much weight to be saved. I know, I know, graphene is the future, but until I see a functioning graphene sprocket on an F1 car, that will remain a sci-fi fantasy. Live long and prosper.
  • + 1
 There are methods to doing this without steel, but would involve several coating systems on the appropriate subtrate that are high in cost. For longevity, steel is ideal. I'd be fine with an extra lb over a disposable gearbox.
  • + 3
 Pricing I can get a BMW S1000R for 13,5000.00 compared to some 10,000.00 bikes At least 5 times the value for not that much more .
  • + 2
 ^ This
  • + 1
 The least evolved is the rider, we still think there is a magic solution out there to make us better and will spend all of our money buying the next big thing to shave off 2s in our 45minute climb or 0.1s from our 5 minute descent.
  • + 1
 Of course it's droppers. They have been around so little time compared to the other components that they have not had time to evolve. Put the first ever mass production dropper post next to the latest and the difference is not big... If the option was just seat post it would be a different case.
  • + 1
 I went chains because other than being thinner, to match thinner cog teeth and spacing between cogs, there hasn't been anything truly evolved about them in twenty plus years. They are still made of steel and using bushingless construction with pins between plates. We had companies doing side plate shape manipulations to claim to do X better than the other makers in 1993.
  • + 1
 psssst... wait until the next time Trek sits down with SRAM - new chain link pin spacing
  • + 1
 Next big thing will be IoT and ANT+ integration. Integration of speed, cadence, power, distance, heart rate, navigation to the actual bike rather than through 3rd party gadgets. The way sensors and wireless tech are going you will soon have a bike that comes standard with its own computer. It will be able to smart control the drivetrain to optimize based on the users inputs.
  • + 1
 This is a poll to generate traffic/readership... Isn't the answer a "fact", not an opinion? (The really solid PB article re: fork suspension platforms takes on this issue admirably, pointing out how it has evolved in some ways, and not in others. An in-depth article overviewing/comparing/contrasting such advancements of all components would be interesting. Would it be too long for PB readers?)
  • + 1
 I am going to go with seat/post. While I love my dropper post, it would be even better if on going all the way up the seat angled slightly down on the front. It would allow for more adjustment between climbing and descending positions.
  • + 1
 I kinda love the current bicycle drivetrain, its the only industry where such a archaic device thrives and finds true application. its light, its serviceable, its relatively cheap (if your not easily influenced by marketing.. ya wiener!). As much as I want to see a gearbox on a bike, I also know just how much more complex such a device is. It lacks user serviceability and you can further forget about standardization. Gearboxes wont be cross compatible like chains and cassettes.

Keep the chain, cassette and derailleur, find a way to make it less exposed in some way shape or form, keep it cross compatible and user friendly and I don't see what else you could ever want.

As it is now, I have xt m8000, and I don't see, from a functionality standpoint, how much more it could be improved with an enclosed gearbox. I don't think i would give up user serviceability for marginal improvements in shift quality. If your drive train is holding you back then your not going fast enough!
  • + 1
 The least evolved component is me. I like how there is always a next thing. I'm waiting on Shimano building that silent drive rear hub. Maybe a little electrical button for the mech and the post and I want it powered by a dynamo that doubles as a chain keeper.
  • + 1
 I'm torn between tires and dropper posts. I would really love a lightweight, durable, stiff sidewall tire. It seems like no one experiments with new materials.

Dropper posts. My suspension fork and shock are rock solid and survive thousands of cycles every ride. Why does the dropper post, with very similar internals not have nearly the same reliability?
  • + 1
 Vittoria seems to be the main brand (successfully) experimenting with material. For example their new road tyre Speed Corsa is made with cotton and has graphene infused, which makes it the fastest rolling tyre available on the market. Many of their my tyres are now also infused with graphene. I also noticed how much more supply for example a Vittoria Peyote is compared to it's equivalents from Maxxis (Ikon) and Schwalbe (Racing Ralph) (by touching/bending all 3 of them with my fingers off the shelve at a bike shop)
  • + 1
 electro magnetic wheels (no more hubs or broken spokes, integrated braking), no friction from bearings etc, very fast rolling and all on a nice set of airless tyres, boom!!
also, adaptive electro magnetic suspension like originally on just F1 cars but you can now get on an Astra opc..
  • + 1
 Saddles --- by now there should be a system that allows you to change the dimensions of the saddle/padding/nose length/width etc with an app or some sort of pneumatic system or something, then you get your ideal, send the data to china and they print one off and its back in 30 days..perfect saddle..
  • + 1
 Dont understand why everyone thinks drivetrain is not evolved and sooo fragile, don't you people remember drivetrains 10 years ago?? The springs were so loose your chain could fall off at any second or bump in the trail and if you even knicked a rock with them it was over. Now they hold your freaking chain on your bike with no chainguide and need almost no service, and are tougher and lighter.

Every time i see one of those stupid internal geared bikes i think hmmm interesting how much does this 10,000 dollar hardtail internally geared bike weigh?? 32 pounds! it's completely pointless until they can make an internally geared sub 28 pound bike
  • + 4
 Which Major Component is the Least Evolved Part of a Mountain Bike?

From what I read ...the Riders' Brains.
  • + 1
 I'd say for sure the warranty process where companies don't back up the products they've irresponsibly designed, produced, and rushed to market that end up costing people money and time off their bike due to the unfortunate lack of support despite the insane prices charged.
  • + 1
 When watching World Cup Down Hill or Cross Country the main mechanical failure that you see is flat tyres, so I think there is still some room for improvement there. As "crude" as derailler based drive trains may be, they are pretty reliable, and apart from the odd snapped chain out of the gate (both if which worked out OK for the riders involved) I can't remember any drive line failures on the big stage.
  • + 1
 quite a few if you've been watching for a while. Mostly back from the early chain retention device days, but drl failures and jammed guides still happened last WC season. in 2015 multiple people had drivetrain failures on live webcast, coasting to the finish. Its obvious that flats are still the #1 enemy of a DHer though. That said, it's 'least evolved' and tires have actually come a long, long way. Traction is leagues ahead of where we were before, there's tubeless, multi compounds, great tread patterns, etc.
  • + 3
 The price. If the bikes are so great then focus on making them cheaper instead of better.
  • + 5
 KASHIMA EVERYTHING.
  • + 2
 kashima bars
  • + 2
 kashima frames
  • + 2
 kashima tires
  • + 3
 @dglass: sadly then all the kashima pockets will be gone
  • + 3
 Kashima grips.
  • + 5
 kashima brake discs
  • + 4
 Aaron Gwin's vote = chain
  • + 1
 Not brakes? Or Danny Hart?
  • + 1
 In the context of 29ers wheels have come a long way - wide rims, boost hubs etc. But come on, couldn't someone design a basic hub better? To get a stiffer wheel? Without just making a wider hub with the same thinking?
  • + 2
 I vote wheel shape- we have been rolling on round ones since the dawn of time. When will trusty triangle get its time to shine!?
  • + 1
 Rhombus shaped wheels are the future. been running the 29er rhombus for a year and you can't beat it.
  • + 3
 "Hey, pinkbike hivemind, you want to have a place to bitch about drivetrains?"
  • + 3
 The clear answer is wheels. They've been the same shape for thousands of years now.
  • + 4
 Why can't I select every option...
  • + 1
 All that's happened is that we pay more and more for our bikes and the marketing vampire geniuses are sucking the dollars out of our wallets...year after year. When's the new tracer or nomad coming out? ????
  • + 1
 bike warranties , they are pretty shit atm. you spend the same amount as an average family car on a new steed and lucky if you get 2 years. i know some have a limited life time frame jobie. But its bs?
  • + 2
 everyone saying drivetrain seems to have forgotten about narrow/wide, 1x10, 1x11, 1x12, clutch mech, accurate clicky indexed shifting...
  • + 2
 i want xc tire weight with dh strength nothing would improve a bike faster lighter unsprung components and rotaional mass means speed lots of lovely speed.
  • + 3
 THE FACT THAT A POPPED TIRE CAN STILL RENDER A $6,000 MACHINE USELESS IS BEYOND ME.
  • + 2
 Please note that "evolution" means "change" not "perfected. The transmission is highly evolved but it obviously has some bugs.
  • + 4
 Technically, the wheel has been around for a long time...
  • + 4
 You mean the wheel had been round for a long time...
  • + 1
 ... Dammit, take your updoot and get out.
  • + 0
 There's no need to reinvent the wheel mate
  • + 0
 That's kind of the joke.
  • + 2
 "frames rarely break" Hahahahahaha! Are you kidding me? They are more fragile then ever! Work in a bike shop and you'll be amazed at what fails so regularly.
  • + 2
 Wheels an tyres I think we could do with another couple wheel sizes , a few new hub widths an a about 5 or 6 new tyre standards
  • + 3
 Definitely wheel sizes, we need 26.5, 28.5, 29.5 and plus size to all that...
  • + 2
 I think when everyone saw the first poll option Eagle came to mind. And we just picked that to fuck with Sram. Because fuck them
  • + 2
 That ElevenSix gets me everytime...its even nicer when you see it live! What a masterpiece!
  • + 2
 The process of changing industry standards is the least evolved. The bikes are fine.
  • + 1
 Not a specific component but durability of many if not most components sucks. But since that wouldn't be good for sales I don't have high hopes...
  • + 1
 So the specialized turbo levo is the first full page spread in Feb 2017 mountain bike action. It's being endorsed by Matt hunter as "really fun to ride" all I can say is WTF.
  • + 3
 What about bearings (headset bearings, pivot bearings etc) ?
  • + 5
 Bearings were pretty much invented as evolved as they could be 2000 years ago. Non-contact bearings would be cool, stuff suspended by magnets with no real friction.
  • + 4
 @KiwiXC: I can't imagine a permanent magnet being powerful enough and small enough to do the job.

To give some idea, a 180 pound person weighs 800 or so Newtons. A magnetic field of 1 Tesla is a powerful field - MRI machines might generate up to 3 or 4 T strength fields. Passing a 1 amp current through a 1 meter straight wire resting in a 1 T field generates a single newton of force, in optimal conditions.

And you'd need 800 times that much just to support your weight.
  • + 3
 I would love another axle standard.
  • + 1
 pbike s really trying to push them gearboxes... photo on the top and first on the list. makes me want to keep my 10spd derailleur forever
  • + 1
 Wheels, they may evolve but in effect no change apart from tubeless not saying square is the new round but all the tech and still the same.
  • + 1
 I say spokes! Back in the late 80's early 90's double and triple butted spokes were the rage in the quest to lighten up early mountain bikes!
  • + 2
 talk about social engineering a poll - PB is the F*&!Book of the mtn bike community
  • + 2
 I would answer "ALL" ............ I ride a 2010 demo 7 and a 2009 Ragley Bluepig .
  • + 2
 Just like the derailer changed biking forever....some type of gear box solution will do the same.
  • + 4
 Price!
  • - 1
 they missed one, which kind of gets generalised into the assembly of the wheel....The humble Hub. This part is the epicentre of the wheel. they still run on simple bearings which has been the case for a hundred years. It would be nice to have some improvement such as air bearings that prevent any failure at all and create no drag. Same as headsets and bottom brackets. Yes they are sealed, but still sometimes they do after time fail (albeit down to lack of maintenance). If maintenance could be removed it would be perfect!
  • + 2
 ...air bearings? Never heard of that one - will research.

Preliminary findings: To quote Wikipedia:

"Fundamentally air bearings require some form of power consumption during operation to supply the high pressure air, unlike mechanical systems which may operate without any power input (except mechanical forces)"

It sounds like you need a constant supply of pressurized air for these to work. In other words it's not just a sealed volume full of air (that'd be an air spring). Don't know about you but I don't want to carry around a pressurized air tank for my hubs.
  • + 2
 Not to take too big a dump here, but given the tiny surface area of a bearing you'd likely need extremely high pressure for a sealed pressurized bearing to work. My rear shock sits at about 160 psi and with its surface area compresses significantly under load. So what would a sealed bearing need? 500 psi? 1000 psi? How do you seal that? How do you guarantee it won't fail explosively and kill someone?
  • + 2
 ANY THING OTHER THAN A SOLUTION TO FLATS ON THE TRAIL IS A DISCRACE
  • - 2
 QUESTION: What part do you spend the most time cleaning / tuning / fettling?

ANSWER: Drivetrain.

SOLUTION: Gearbox with a hemetically sealed chain a la Millyard Bike www.pinkbike.com/news/allen-millyard-part-1-2008.html
  • + 2
 Answer:
Tubeless Tyres
Pressfit BB

Derailleur gear systems are a fairly easy system to keep running. It's not just the time you spend on these tasks but their complexity
  • + 2
 @elbandido77: Agreed. Hardly touch my drivetrain.

Most of my time is dealing with either suspension setup, flat tires (or pressure adjustments), or disc brake alignments. I'm sure some people will say they never touch their brakes, but I'm pretty picky about how perfectly my discs run. I can't stand any drag or noise.

Thankfully I don't have a press-fit to deal with. Threaded for the win!
  • + 1
 @elbandido77: I barely have any issues with ghetto tubeless. Just pump up a bit and go. Never had a pressfit and probably wont.

It's the 5-10 minutes wiping off the drivetrain and re-lubing after each ride that gets me.
  • + 1
 for me

Answer: Suspension

Solution: Don't buy shocks with 6 different adjustables which i have no idea what they do and will i ever notice when im riding across a flat bridleway?
  • + 3
 @jamesdippy: LOL. Too true though. I would rather no knobs and it working for 95% of the ridiing I do.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: for me its all about fit and forget and waste too many rides "testing" new setups and trying new pressures!

Feel you on the drive train. I got a bad habit on that.

err.. i dont clean mine! Just thrash it and replace with SLX stuff every 6 months!
  • + 2
 Totally agree, uk weather means our exposed fancy drivetrain takes an absolute hammering in the mud and slop. Last ride out with the wife and kids, I was left with FOUR mud covered drivetrains to clean. Who wouldn't want a sealed system? Only those who are lucky enough to ride in dry sunny climes I'm guessing. The day the gearbox is light enough and efficient enough, I'll be all over it, and we are getting closer.
  • + 2
 @rokboy: and we all know UK mud is muddier than anyone elses mud ;p

I run a no frills 1x10 because its cheap to replace every year. Running a £12 NW ebay chainring.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: word ????
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: those question marks were a poo emoji....
  • + 1
 Has anyone ever come across a CVT (continuously variable transmission) for a bicycle? That would be cool...
  • + 1
 Yeah there are CVT hubs. Supposed to be heavy tho.
  • + 1
 If anything needs to evolve I'd say it's the bb. Let's build one that lasts without making noise or blown up bearings
  • + 3
 the rider....
  • + 1
 Spokes, have they really changed much in the entirety of the bicycle at all?
  • + 3
 Well they are no longer wooden. So that's a significant improvement. Also mavic has straight pull, hollow, zircal spokes. There are many evolutions of spokes.
  • + 2
 For me it's got to linkage design, not performance but more serviceability
  • + 0
 How about some active suspension with magnets instead of fluids? They are being produced for cars but bikes have way more demanding suspension needs.
  • + 2
 Magnets instead of fluids...? How does one create damping forces with just a magnet? It would have to be an electromagnet to vary force, and then you need a battery for your fork to work. This is not to mention some electronics to work the magnet and a sensor for shaft speed.

Why?

Research results: To quote Wikipedia:

"The dampers are filled with magnetorheological fluid, a mixture of easily magnetized iron particles in a synthetic hydrocarbon oil."

(So they do have fluids)

"[3] This system consists of four monotube dampers, one on each corner of the vehicle, a sensor set, and an ECU (electronic control unit) to maintain the system."

(So you need electronics, as supposed).
  • + 1
 Yes you need batteries.
  • + 1
 I can't believe we haven't actually managed to solve the puncture yet... since the dawn of the bicycle
  • + 1
 Wheels - I bet they gonna stay round for next few years... to say the least.
  • + 1
 Suspension wheels?
  • + 1
 MTB better than a Road Bike with any copy(ing) change from MTB like discbrake on there wheel Big Grin
  • + 1
 I would've liked to see some variation of fly paper pedal design make it to mainstream bikes.
  • + 1
 Spokes on the wheels will always be.. they cant be replaced to date.. we rely so much on them
  • + 1
 Look at loop wheels.
  • + 2
 I wish that the price of a bike went through LESS of an evolution.
  • + 1
 Which major component is the least evolved? Could it be the rider? Just ride what you've got as fast as it'll go
  • + 1
 Front suspension is so crude it feels like it's still 1985. Telescopic on a part that moves laterally? No no no.
  • + 1
 Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.
  • + 2
 TUBES THAT DONT GET PUNCTURES PLZ
  • + 1
 Why are flat tires still a thing? Can't they use dragon skin or something? But seriously.
  • + 1
 I would have to say the one part that is least evolved and recieves very little attention is the headset spacer.
  • + 2
 Saddles/droppers...droppers need sdg i beam!
  • + 2
 My jaw Droppered when seatpost wasn't the winner.
  • + 1
 It says select one or more options but it only allows to select one...this may screw up the results a bit...
  • + 1
 Interesting that chain and transmission get by far the most votes. Solution: ride a mountain unicycle Wink
  • + 0
 Fork bushings. They respond poorly to load, create inconsistent feel through the life of the fork and are a pain to service (replace).
  • + 1
 Has there been any major advancements in chains that I don't know about?? Its got to be the chain!!
  • + 1
 Trick question, has to be hubs. That's why we get a new standard each year!
  • + 2
 Yeah boost is not evolved yet, I need boost 2 0 to justify the new rig to Mrs Funkybunch
  • + 2
 @Funkybunch: Nah, you've just to tell her that as shocks are now measured in metric you need to upgrade.
  • + 2
 Trouser press
  • + 1
 What's the bike on the article thumbnail?
  • + 2
 Definitely drivetrain
  • + 2
 Riders
  • + 1
 We're very evolved, actually.
  • + 1
 Foam airless tires please. And custom handlebar diameters.
  • + 2
 The rider
  • + 1
 Wheels must be the least evolved. They've always been round.
  • + 2
 Why isnt helmet on this?
  • + 1
 Hub width standards!!!!!!
  • + 1
 more like the bb...evolve so much that, it gone back to threaded....
  • + 1
 BSA to PF does not count as evolution...
  • + 1
 Anyone who didn't vote headsets is incorrect
  • + 2
 Well they are no longer threaded. They went from loose ball, to caged ball, to sealed bearing.
  • + 1
 The least evolved part is the rider! just read the blubber above! haha
  • + 1
 so little for suspension I guess not many rode in the early 90,s
  • + 2
 Valve stem caps for sure
  • + 1
 See Peaty's Push-Ons
  • + 0
 Carbon fibre. Hence why I voted frame material. Ali too haters! Its all hand me downs from aerospace and military!
  • + 1
 TIRES, i still get flats way too often!
  • + 1
 Grips. You can't improve on a piece of molded rubber.
  • + 2
 Poor dead horse.
  • + 2
 Well and truly flogged!!!!
  • + 1
 I voted the first option because of front mechs, not rear mech.
  • + 1
 all i want to know is what bike is in the picture?
  • + 2
 Seat post clamp
  • + 1
 Grips
  • + 1
 Rider.
  • + 0
 Grips, they are only molded differently.
  • + 0
 Gearbox. We are using 1940's refined technology...
  • + 1
 fu
  • + 1
 Spoke nipple.
  • + 0
 A lot of single speed dirt jumpers did this pole I'm guessing.
  • + 1
 Spoke nipples.
  • - 1
 Boobies??? Where?
  • + 2
 don't use aluminum. problem solved. (though I've never had a problem with DT Swiss aluminums)
  • + 1
 Learned my lesson w/Al nips..go brass.
  • + 1
 Grips...
  • + 1
 Bar Ends!
  • + 1
 Seat...
  • + 1
 Dentists
  • + 1
 Gta go to mex or costa rica..surf trip/dental work.
Bring cash
  • + 1
 The rider,cause; trump
  • + 1
 Spokes?
  • + 0
 flats, someone should fix the flat tire issue. maybe the huck norris?
  • + 1
 Chainguide
  • + 1
 T'is the Cranks
  • + 1
 The air in the tires.
  • + 2
 True. We need CO2 that doesn't freeze sealant into coral
  • + 1
 The rider!
  • - 1
 I am shocked there are not more votes for shocks
  • - 1
 Batteries for my E-Bike !
  • + 1
 Ya batteries in gen(cars, bikes..) still have a ways to go-mainly w/weight and environmental.
Can lithium batteries be recycled?
  • + 0
 Inner tubes....
  • + 4
 Dont use rubbers down there, its way more fun!
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: best way you can really feel the knobs working
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