The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?

Nov 24, 2020 at 15:30
by Brian Park  
Art by Taj Mihelich


Being a mountain biker in 2020 is pretty sweet. But like most good recipes, mountain biking requires a little bit of salt too. So this week, with a hat tip to Ryan Palmer, we went directly to the salt mine.

Kaz, Sarah, James, & I discussed a few of the things we'd like to see changed in the mountain bike world. It's true that we have it so good these days, and a lot of our frustrations are the epitome of first world problems, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement! As always, we also chatted about the latest mountain bike news, and answered a few listener questions.



THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 32 - WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE IN THE BIKE INDUSTRY?
Oct 5th, 2020

Mountain biking is pretty great right now, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.


Presented by the Pinkbike Shop
Yes, we're sponsoring ourselves. Right now the entire shop is on sale up to 50% off for Black Friday, and for podcast listeners there’s an additional 20% off if you use the code PINKBIKEPODCAST at check out. The sale ends November 30th, so head over to shop.pinkbike.com to check it out.


Hosted by Mike Levy (usually, except when he's at curling camp) and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike Podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.





Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks


323 Comments

  • 101 1
 More bike companies need to offer alloy bikes with top spec components. Just because I don’t want a carbon frame that doesn’t mean I don’t want nice suspension.
  • 5 24
flag Velowebby (Nov 25, 2020 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 hmmm. i thought the industry standard was... you pick an aluminum frame if you want better component spec.
  • 10 0
 And decent hubs!!! It's criminal what they charge for aluminum bikes with dt370 hubs.
  • 3 1
 Absolutely. I bought a specialized Enduro pro carbon. Everything is carbon. wheels, cranks, bars. My first carbon bike. After a season I realized it's not for me. I want to go back to aluminum. I prefer the more forgiving feel of an alum frame and wheels (although I do like my carbon cranks). Going with commencal as they are one of the few companies offering high end alum bikes.
  • 87 0
 Stop naming new bikes the same as old models that have absolutely nothing in common. It's complete Bullit
  • 83 0
 Tyre name and branding, I’m going to start offering a 3 day online course for people to learn how to understand which tyre they want
  • 14 0
 Oooooh this is a good one.
  • 23 1
 Agree. Every time I want to buy a new DHF or DHR I have to re-educate myself on the 50 different options of compounds, widths, casings, and WT bs... They need to consolidate or stop using very similar naming. Exo/Exo+... MaxxGrip,MaxxTerra (WTF) What cases are WT a good idea and which ones are not...

I am annoyed.
  • 3 3
 @nskerb: i just bought a wide trail by accident, too many codes to keep up with.
  • 8 1
 @nskerb: The casing should be named for the intended use
  • 3 0
 I've been wanting to try some of the new Kendas (weird statement, I know, but they look nice!) and it took me like an hour to confirm I was ordering the right tire. I still have a sneaking suspicion I got it wrong.
  • 3 0
 @steezysam: Do it! I did it and was NOT disappointed.... first time I mounted a Kenda in over a decade.
  • 13 3
 This ^^^.

I saw a comment on an article once about SRAM brakes that suggested there new naming system should be the type of brake and a string of dollar signs afterward to denote the level. They more dollar signs, the more features and cost. While that doesn't strictly apply to tires, something similar is needed.

Why aren't tire name/models like this: Maxxis Trail Deep Knob - Dry/Moist Soil, Medium Casing or Maxxis XC Shallow Knob - Dry Soil, Light Casing. It tells you exactly what the tire would be good for, soil it likes and its relative weight. Sort of like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", I know where its at, what happens and how that happens just in the title. Sorry, Maxxis Recon EXO+ Snakeskin Ultra Balls Deep Edition tells me nothing about the tire.
  • 24 0
 Simplify the range. GrippyBoi ™️ SpeedyBoi™️ . Take your pick.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: cool! I ordered a Hellkat 2.4 and am excited to see how it compares to the DHR II
  • 1 2
 @kiksy: i feel like the tires could be named for the areras they excel in. Squamisb/whistler. Moab. Etc. Different tires work better in different areas. The onlyn ones sold around here are DHF/DHR anyway. Maybe a couple assagai and dissectors.
  • 3 1
 They've gotten bike categories down, just do tires the same - XC, Trail, Enduro, DH. I dont care what exo vs exo+ vs dd vs wtf-ever - tell me what you intended me to ride it for.
  • 6 0
 Try WTB - they do what they say on the tin - Tough / Light, High Grip / Fast Rolling. Plus they make some pretty damn good tyres - i'm currently on Verdict and Judge and they're way better than DHF / DHR2.
  • 1 0
 @Jvisscher: Problem with that is it assumes prior knowledge of what the area is like to ride.
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: I enjoy finding things like that out! But cars have the Tahoe snd Telluride and the Yukon - people still buy them to drive around the city. It would be no different with tires - except the tire companies would need to know a little about their sport. Im sure their pro sponsorees can help them.
  • 4 0
 @Jvisscher: you've then replaced having to research tyre names and compounds into having to research riding locations. True about the cars though, I drive a Ford Galaxy and it's never even been off road let alone taken part in interstellar travel.
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: Very true. It's also a completely different system for each company.

Something I've enjoyed about my Michelin Wild Enduros is that they basically only come in 1 configuration and it's a really good one - you tell them 2.4 width and GUM-X compound and there's nothing left to mess up. I feel easy about recommending them to friends because of that.
  • 61 2
 Standardization.
  • 9 0
 Upvote to infinity and beyond
  • 14 0
 Companies need to get together and decide on standard dimensions for hubs, bb, headsets, etc. Then set a timeline for how many years they agree wo stick to those standards. This way bike shops can afford to invest in stocking spares knowing they won't be dead stock in a year. Crazy I know.
  • 16 0
 The bike industry has read your comment and are proud to announce 6 all new rear dropout standards, 2 all new front dropout standards and 14 new bottom bracket standards. The bike industry is also excited to announce that a new set of standards will now be established every 6 months starting in January 2021. Thank you for the great idea @NivlacEloop !!!
  • 1 0
 Thank you. So much "Yes" to this.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: your welcome.
  • 4 0
 @unrooted: I think we need more seat tube sizes too. There just arent enough!
  • 5 0
 @NivlacEloop: Don't say that! In the 90's we had every possible option. I have frames with 26.6 26.8 27.0 27.2 seat tubes! Not to mention the stupid 31.4 Mongoose used, they must have got a good deal on those.
  • 45 2
 There are small gripes here and there, but I have no issues with the bike industry. You can get awesome bikes for 1500$, or you can ball out and spend 10k$ on a boutique build. You can buy from companies that build trails or give back to causes, or just go with the most cost effective option.

Bikes have never been better or safer, there are options for anything you could possibly desire, and the community has never been filled with cooler people.

The future of MTB is bright, people need to chill with their their doom and gloom.
  • 4 0
 Agreed.
  • 3 0
 I agree with all those sentiments except none of them apply to my local community and trail-advocacy. Trail stewards have relationships with land managers since the late 90's don't want to see progression or change to local trail systems. They don't understand how the industry has changed, how branding a system of trails, creating maps, building progressive trails, builds a healthier outdoor community (not just mtb community) and can create an economic impact to the local area. Lots of battles in my neck of the woods...
  • 5 2
 Ever heard of "single-issue politics"? Those small gripes are a big deal to some people, to the point that they yell at other individuals and perhaps form angry mobs. They believe their voice matters to shape the world to how they like and go to extremes to ensure it's heard.

Brand makes ebikes? Cancel sub, unfollow, strike off want list...

No water bottle mount inside front triangle? Cancel...

Tubing too swoopy? Cancel...

Color not masculine/feminine or low-key/expressive enough? Cancel...

Pressfit? Cancel...

Single pivot? Cancel...

Geo doesn't 100% match your wishes, but gets close? Share encouraging comments with a but in there that *schools* the brand on CS length or whatever...

Everything comes as close as you want, with tubes lining up with each other in pleasing parallel lines, and all of the other above things not betrayed, but the price tag is $5000+ and/or isn't available to buy in your region? Complain about how the world is unfair...
  • 2 0
 Part of the problem we have with the bicycle industry is ourselves. Back when bikes were further from perfection (scary geometry, parts breaking from JRA etc) people would actually accept that as part of the deal and were happy to just be out there. I feel that now, even though people can actually buy their perfect bike, they are moaning because the unsuitable option is available too. Pedal assist or not, wheelsize, type of gearing, geometries (or a company offering custom geometry), any compromise between weight, strength and price... it is all available. Just build what suits you and ride the hell out of it.
  • 48 6
 Prices need to go down, a carbon wheelset should not cost as much as a fridge.
  • 107 5
 Woah, you have a carbon fridge? So fancy.
  • 19 0
 I think specialty/boutique items should cost as much as people are willing to pay for them and for the company to sell in volumes that make it profitable. From what I see, if a company offers an expensive high end bike for the wealthy that is mass produced by a large company, they tend to offer better value bikes to the regular user. I think the price of carbon wheels is crazy, but I don't think companies should price them lower than people are willing to pay. I do wish an average hub was less. I've seen a few people ditch an otherwise decent bike because a rear hub failure would have cost them $600 with wheel rebuild. Necessary parts that have already paid back the R&D and are mass produced should be accessible to all.
  • 15 0
 @mikekazimer: I mean, if you don't have the latest Sub-Zero carbon fiber boosted, limited edition, oil slick accent superfridge you might as well throw all your food away
  • 7 1
 @Maestroman87: I'm with you pretty much all the way until your last sentence: "Necessary parts that have already paid back the R&D and are mass produced should be accessible to all." It's a nice thought, but it ignores one of the first laws of economics -- scarcity. Resources are finite. There's not enough of any product to provide that product to everyone who wants it. Therefore there's always a cost, which leads to supply and demand, etc.

Anyone who thinks "Prices need to go down," might want to think about going into business and selling for less. If you were able to make a quality product and sell it for less than the other guys, think of the killing you would make.
  • 7 0
 @TheR: Anyone who thinks "Prices need to go down," might want to think about going into business and selling for less. If you were able to make a quality product and sell it for less than the other guys, think of the killing you would make."

Somewhere along the lines being successfully turned into a negative trait.....your premise is why Walmart exists. And, why the small payers are going extinct. This is the same site that will blaspheme brands owned by Walmart and then suggest other companies should market and sell like Walmart? There is no such thing as being overpriced as long as you have customers - period. Your views on what is too costly simply do not matter to the rest of society.
  • 5 0
 @Maestroman87: It's frustrating because I think a lot of people 'pay up' simply to avoid the aggravation and because they can. Still, that's the free market - all good. But, do you know who's creeping at the door of annoyance? Vitus bikes. YT. Commencal and so on. Have you guys seen that latest vitus carbon bike? Looks amazing; looks 'boutique' actually. The truth is, the industry (models) are becoming ubiquitous. Carbon frame, pretty decent geo and some Fox or Rock Shox bling. Depending how much the brand wants to pull your nose hairs is the price. I suspect more and more money will flow to brands that offer real value and flash together. When Vitus was featured in PB last month, I went to their website (chain reac or wiggle) and they were all sold out - that tells you the market. Some brands (S-Works) will continue to pump out $13,000 bikes and probably get paid. Their bikes are beautiful and well designed, and guys worth a billion dollars, or even $20 million simply don't care, and drop the Visa. In the end though, FREE MARKET. Always gotta let people choose, and be free. Prices are gonna come down though (or even, relative to inflation).
  • 3 3
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: You have misunderstood me. People like to spout off and say, "Prices need to go down," as if it's just that simple. It's not. Prices are what they are because that's what manufacturers are able to price them at and still remain competitive in terms of price and quality. If someone can come in and produce the same quality product at a lower price, by then all means do so and corner the market. But the fact is, this can't really be done without tradeoffs. By and large, I don't have a problem with prices. For the most part, bikes and components are competitively priced. I believe that these companies are selling them at the least expensive price they can and still make a profit. No, they are not cheap, but the prices are competitive, or these companies would be out of business.
  • 3 0
 @ryan189: we've got two vitus bikes in my family and absolutely love them, killer bikes for the price. I remember back in 2017 when diamondback was where vitus is now. They were considered kinda the ultimate value bike at the time (if you had the Corp discount, which literally everyone did haha). But then they kept raising prices and kinda faded away. I suspect the same thing will happen with vitus in the coming years and a new brand will take control. Between 2020 and 2021 models, you can already see where they're saving costs. Which pretty much all brands do with inflation and all that. But I'd love to see vitus stick with the more affordable option and really cement themselves in as the ultimate value bike in the mtb world.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: hmmm, but how do you stick the fridge magnets? steel is real, bruh
  • 3 0
 Learn to lace them yourself and/or ride aluminum rims ?
  • 3 0
 Yeah, honestly, you can source carbon wheels from china for a very reasonable price, or buy from WAO for more, but support a more ethical business practice. That you're not seeing WAO available OEM tells you how narrow the margins are, and frankly, Im happy to see awesome product coming out of ethical businesses that are creating domestic skilled manufacturing capacity. At the end of the day, if the sticker attached to carbon is too much, there are always stans+Hope+a few hours in front of a youtube wheel building tutorial (provided youre not a complete muppet). Bikes are awesome, and they keep getting awesomer. My only major gripe is that we dont have consistent axle spacing, and there are still folks not making BSA frames. Also, it would be nice if frames were lighter, or at least the size small and womens versions were. 30Lb for a trail bike is pretty rough when its 1/4 of your body weight.
  • 2 0
 @ryan189: I just picked up the new Vitus Sommet. I love it. Rides mint, specced great for the money and looks so nice. I had a 2017 aluminum Sommet, got new bike-itis this spring, bought a big(ger) brand bike and 6 months later I’m on the new Sommet and the bike I bought in the spring is up for sale. Everything about the Vitus is better (for me) IMO.
  • 4 1
 The bike industry is still pretending carbon is a new tech product that is exclusive and super rare. Meanwhile the golf and tennis industries have been pumping out carbon shafts and racquets since the 1970's as a standard well priced alternative. Either the bike industry is way behind on carbon tech or it is a marketing con.
  • 4 1
 prices have always been the same. At good hardtail bike was 3000$ easy in 1997, that's 4500$ in today's dollars. Stop whining, I bought a 5000$ double suspension bike with the best suspension models of rock shox last year
  • 1 0
 People talking about prices of bikes are missing the point of the carbon wheels being more expensive than a fridge. He wasn't talking about aluminium bikes. He was saying carbon wheels are way overpriced. The bikes you talk of don't have carbon wheels because they would have made your cheap bike a rip off.
  • 1 0
 @gonesurfin: I definetly see what you are going with there and I have to agree that they seem really expensive for a piece of molded plastic. But I am a machining student and after seeing what goes into making something start to finish and how expensive those machines can get... I am glad to be able to but the thoings we can at thre prices we have.

They have to make a new mold for every one of those new models of bike, and I have no idea how many molds they make for each iteration of every bike model. I kinda think they should stick to the same format...
  • 32 0
 $8500 builds that spec 370 hubs and AR rims... seriously?
  • 4 0
 You are correct. This is gonna change though. Too many cheaper (but boutique) brands coming up quick. Look at Vitus, Commencal, YT etc. Money will flow where it makes sense. I think some firms (charging too much) will be eliminated, and those that offer value, excellent geo, spec, branding (culture - think Josh B, Minaar etc who can drive 'cool' and sentiment etc). People want the carbon, the fox factory and components that aren't garbage - all for a fair price. I said fair. Then, if there's a slight discount to that, they pick up some XT or SLX, and then maybe deore. But, overall, the package has got to be tight. This is what vitus recently did and they killed it in my mind. The game isn't unique anymore. Frame, geo, specs (hopefully they don't paint the bike some godawful color) and it sells.
  • 1 2
 @ryan189: $5500 from Commencal you get a really dialed bike.
  • 23 1
 Make a flat pedal shoe for winter riding.
  • 2 0
 Yes!!!!
  • 1 0
 Five ten has one with EPS and it's warmer than the normal shoes. Good for a few hours down to 10f. Below that and you'll want to figure something else out.
  • 2 0
 @ryan77777: I don't mind adjusting warmth with socks, just make them wider and waterproof.
  • 2 0
 5.10 ELC was as close as it got. No idea why they dropped them
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: I have them and water still gets in the top and it takes ages for them to dry out due to the squishy lining / tounge.
  • 19 0
 Not justifying it, but 203mm = 8 in. That is probably why some anal engineer wanted to go 203mm and another anal engineer wanted 200 for round numbers. Source: Am anal engineer.
  • 6 0
 Exactly. I should have mentioned that - back in the day you used to ask for either a 6" or an 8" rotors, and then things switched to metric.
  • 10 0
 Why does engineering and anal always seem to go together so well?
  • 5 0
 This has crossed my mind, but then how did we get to 160mm & 180mm rotors for 6" & 7" instead of 152mm & 178mm?
  • 6 0
 @unrooted: because it's nice when your shit works.
  • 4 0
 @sspiff: does anal help with shitting? Makes sense.
  • 22 5
 Stop talking about sustainability and being green, recycling or Saving the earth.

Between changing stuff so often, coming up with unique hardware, using carbon and just general collapse of resale value, nothing the industry does really is good. The people that are commuting and offsetting environmental issues aren’t buying into this stuff in a large scale way except for maybe ebikes and that comes with taking a car off of the road in some cases. Not the “n+1” attitude of most.
  • 6 2
 I think your overall point is exactly why small steps can start to add up and move us in a positive direction that will eventually make a big difference. Don't let good be the enemy of great.
  • 7 0
 Lol but if they weren't speaking about it they might have to actually change their actions. Way easier to speak on a subject, then pat yourself on the back, rather than actually make a real change.
  • 3 0
 @steezysam: I think my point is that small steps have gotten us into this predicament. Half a degree of head tube angle here, a new layup there. People are constantly looking for the next thing to buy and new bike for the next season. Mysteriously chasing a weight or speed goal.

A bike a year old is worth at a minimum of 30% less due to manufacturers blowing inventory out to Pro’s closet or Jenson. Two years old and enough things have changed to make bikes near unsellable. Heaven forbid your bike is older than that because good luck contacting a company to get small parts, they’ve moved on.

I don’t see any companies who are taking small steps to go in a positive direction. Everyone of them predicts a gang buster year, orders too much, blows out remainder to Jenson or a big retailer and starts the process over.

* I will give props to Commencal for making a bold statement to only work in aluminum and avoid carbon for eco logical reasons. I’m sure there are others like that and will auto lump them in there. Haven’t seen anything else as bold or sustainable from anyone else
  • 6 0
 Cycling industry has been Green Washed.
  • 2 1
 @DylanH93: we’ve had four years of patting ourselves on the back vs making actual real change. Glad to see the only person ever successful at Dutch ruddering himself is leaving end of jan.
  • 2 0
 @usedbikestuff: your point is well taken, and I like that Commencal made that stand. It certainly will make me consider them more than I would have for my next bike purchase.

But I think talking about it some and taking small steps are a marked improvement over the complete lack of conversation around sustainability that has been the norm in the industry since I've been paying attention (~18 years). I totally agree that the industry needs to do better, but I'm noticing an improvement.

I think there's room for a company to take small steps (like Commencal's—let's be honest it's not hard for them to decide to stick to their tried and true processes rather than branching into a whole new material) and still make a positive impact, without radically stepping out of the "newer, lighter, longer, slacker" mold that seems to lead to profitability for all the mainstream brands. That said, I would applaud some out of the box thinking about how to make a bike company wildly more sustainable.
  • 3 0
 @steezysam: commencal just needs to thread their bb and id buy them all day long.
  • 3 0
 Maybe not the greenest industry, but bike stuff does tend to have a pretty good lifespan if you look at the bigger picture. Sure, a broken carbon rim is probably headed for landfill but that 5 year old Hardrock frame in your garage has decades left in it. Much better than consumer electronics or cars or ...
  • 5 0
 @husstler: speaking of consumer electronics can we discuss the environmental impact of e-bikes yet?
  • 8 3
 @Status1: if you buy one every two years to keep up with the Joneses? Terrible. If you use it to replace driving to the trails, shuttle laps, chairlifts, and small grocery trips? Not so bad.
  • 9 0
 @brianpark: Unfortunately from where I’m sitting it’s very much the former and on a massive scale. 2020 Hecklers getting swapped out for 2021 Hecklers for the new motor or the new Bullit to ride fairly tame single track. (highest peak here is 965ft]

Where are all these bikes going to be in 3 years when they need a service and a new motor/battery?
  • 2 0
 @Status1: I'd buy a cheap 3 year old Heckler that needs a new battery and a tune up. Would be lots better than shuttling and I'd commute on it too.
  • 1 0
 @Status1: I’ve had this same thought. Kept me from buying an cargo ebike. Death to proprietary
  • 2 1
 @husstler: there are a lot of great used cars out there. Really isn’t a need to buy new if you car to pick up a owners manual and some wrenches. I’d kill for an older 5 series manual AWD wagon. Bulletproof over Bluetooth any day
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: I had a 6 speed 540i sedan, and currently drive a 13 y.o. Pathfinder, I'm good with used stuff. Don't know what used cars have to do with a used ebike though.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: in the US what’s the likelihood of either of those scenarios. Bike commuting in the city or even a few miles doesn’t require a battery usually and I commute for the exercise also as do many I know. Offsetting a lithium batterie’s impact is the issue, not offsetting a car. Most people who buy these for commuting are already commuting on a bike I would guess. It’s also an expensive theft target depending on where you live.

Now, I do see a lot of these at a few locations with gnarly DH stuff an no lifts. Which is what the bikes seem to advertised for by most companies.

What you’re saying is nice, but right now seems unrealistic unless the general attitude of mountain biking as a net negative (which it is) environmental impact is accepted and the community does make an effort to change that impact.
  • 1 0
 @thisspock: I don't know, I am skeptical that "most people who buy these for commuting are already commuting by bike." I think it's pretty clear now that ebikes are bringing a ton of new people to cycling.

In terms of mountain biking, my anecdotal impression is a lot of folks here in Vancouver are riding from their doorstep more with their eMTBs. Might be different in other places. As for replacing around town car trips with bike trips, Trek sent one of their "suv" style emtbs over on loan, and tbh I ride it way more than I thought I would. It's replaced a lot of car trips for me, and I've even taken it for a few laps on the Shore. It's not the perfect eMTB or the perfect commuter, but it's dope to have something that does both. /industry shilling over

Absolutely doesn't mean that bike brands or ebike brands should be off the hook on environmental stuff. Making and selling things has an impact, period, and we should be doing whatever we can to reduce it.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Where I ride they are almost exclusively driven to the trailhead. Despite the low elevation, over the last couple of years e-bikes have become the norm rather than the exception. Kenevo, full face & body armour seems to be considered to the be optimum setup when riding tame single track it seems.....

Pretty sad if you ask me
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: I wish companies had over-ordered bikes for this year... *cries in supply chain*
  • 18 1
 I love me a good shredit as much as the next person– but the industry needs to start telling stories beyond the typical gnar, shred, slappin berm, exotic locale type stuff. So much room for growth on the creative side of things. Oh, and yeah please stop with the million different frickin hub and bb standards too.
  • 8 0
 @sarahmoore at least one person agrees with you. Smile
  • 7 2
 Nah, I don't need a plot in my shredits or porno.... the BB's I'm with ya!
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Ha– finally got some time to listen. Glad the shredits were discussed! I actually am a proponent of not messing with the current format of shredits. Good shredits are sick, no changes needed! What I meant is the industry has gotta get beyond JUST doing shredits all the time. Tell good stories, get to know riders on a more personal level, feature a broader range of types of riding, all that kinda stuff. A few brands seem to be slowly moving in that direction but they're few and far between. One of the most interesting videos I saw this year was the one interviewing pro riders about their experiences with falling and it wasn't even published by a bike company. Kinda telling...
  • 6 0
 Nah, disagree. What ends up happening is mediocre riding on mediocre trails, with a postcard backdrop and some story about having lunch in a village. There are plenty of examples out there of sponsors paying riders to ride a purpose built line, or a volcano some exotic locale - and the riding always sucks.
  • 4 0
 @ianterry: Specialized Stumpy Evo commercial. That thing was the best video of 2020 by far. Killer riding, great score and a hillarious story. Sooo good!
  • 1 0
 @SimbaandHiggins: I agree! Great example...
  • 1 0
 @Linc: Exactly! Lets take that travel budget and those travel days, and put it into making something better—even if that means the light isn't perfect and there's no aspirational village.
  • 2 0
 I am with you on this one. Look at the main page right now. It is about eleventy billion "edits" (also, why call them "edits"? Aren't they videos? I do not get it) of which, I have watched exactly zero. Why? They are ALL THE SAME! 'Hey, its ____________ jumping over ____________ while rolling around a berm! Oh, and here is a side shot of the bike' Come on, this is massively boring.

I know that travel is difficult right now but there are plenty of trails that these professional riders can drive to in the areas that they live. Create a travel log and document the trail AND the travel. Hell, even what they are talking about while eating dinner that night after a trail ride would be interesting. I get that that is more labor intensive and requires more planning. YouTube, for example, not only rewards clicks but viewing time. I think that there is a desire for people to watch longer format videos. I watched every single episode of Warners Red Bull travel log. Twice. I added some of those locations to my wish list.

It does not have to be something that exotic. I have never ridden in the PacNW. I have never ridden in Utah or Arizona or Colorado. I would wager many others are the same way. Get a Colorado based rider, head out to Crested Butte, Monarch Pass, etc... and record some riding the trails around there. Watching people jump over stuff does not make me want to go ride. Singletrack that goes UP and as well as down, has rocks as well as drops, etc... does.
  • 16 0
 The industry should focus on longevity, I swear the little bearing inside the RSC Contact adjust wheel was made to last half a season w/o rattling like crazy. Also 50 hour suggested service fork intervals? cmon
  • 12 1
 You can buy a $15k japanese econobox and drive it for 200k miles (literally decades of ownership) with regular oil changes.

You can buy a $5k bike and the suspension pivot bearings shit the bed after half a year of riding it for 2 hours every weekend.

Something's not right with engineering in the bike industry. Most people just want to ride, performance should come after reliability.
  • 3 0
 @thelibrarybiker: My guess is that it's inexperience, and the cost to getting it wrong is minimal. If an auto MFG delivered a car that requires new struts every 2yrs, there would be a huge uproar and the problem would be fixed.

Poor engineering on bikes? Not so much of a problem ... folks continue to shell out large $$$ so it's all good.
  • 1 0
 @thelibrarybiker: I see what you men but when you think about it all the little wear parts in cars aren't as tiny in auto's and most folks don't drive there cars through rock gardens, off of huge jumps and off smallish clifs.
  • 2 0
 @rosemarywheel: They do that if they're driving a 4x4. Smile

But closer to what MTB's would experience are off-road motorcycles. Some of the parts would need to be very strong, cost effective and light. But motorcycles benefit from greater economies of scale.
  • 1 1
 @thelibrarybiker: You can buy a $35 steel single speed bike in China and literally ride it for a lifetime with just a bit of chain lube and air in the tires every now and then.

The general population can't buy an F1 car even if they wanted to, and a single crash (on a perfect open track lined with protective rubber tires) usually means the entire car is blown to bits and completely totaled.

Yet you complain about a brake lever bending or a pivot creaking after you've jammed the bike into countless trees, bashed the chainring/cranks/pedals on jagged rocks, and tumbled down 5 foot, 10 foot, 20+ foot drops.

There's nothing "wrong" with the engineering in the bike industry (though there certainly are areas for improvement). Performance and reliability are not mutually exclusive, but a perfectly reliable mountain bike (subjected to extreme terrains, conditions, environments and user error/abuse) would most likely be too heavy to perform.
  • 3 1
 @Gaix2: I think comparing a mountain bike to a f1 car isn't apples to apples. Maybe compare to a motocross bike or a trophy truck?

I guess my point was under regular use mountain bike components wear out or break far too easily. Bearings in your car last 200k miles, why do we need to replace bottom brackets twice a year?

I'm fine with needing to replace parts when I crash. Car crashes are the same. But I don't crash that much anymore and I still find myself fixing stuff. I would always rather be riding than wrenching on my bike!!
  • 1 0
 @thelibrarybiker: I would love to have a more reliable bike as well, but that's not how consumers spend money. Consumers consistently signal with their purchasing decision that they prefer performance over reliability. Here are a few examples:

- Steel spring is more reliable than an air spring
- Suspension with tighter seals are more reliable than "oh so plush" seals
- Suspension without external adjustments are more reliable than those with
- Single pivot designs are more reliable than linkage designs
- Fixed seat post is more reliable than a dropper post.
- Thick tire casing is more reliable than thin tire casing.
- 36 spokes is more reliable than 32 which is more reliable than 28
- Think rim walls are more reliable than thin.
- Slower ratchet engagement is more reliable than faster ratchets
- PD-M520 is more reliable than XTR/candy/HT
- Smaller range cassette allows for a shorter derailleur cage which is more reliable than a bigger range with a longer cage
- Brakes without external adjustments are more reliable than brakes with adjustments
- Steel is generally more reliable than aluminum which is generally more reliable than carbon

You can't fault the companies for going after what the market wants.

An F1 comparison may not be quite appropriate, but neither is a car bearing lasting 200k miles. Like I said, you can buy a steel single speed and commute on it until you die.

If you bottom out the suspension in a car (eg high speed in to a pot hole), the bushings will crack. How often do you experience pedal strikes? Is it reasonable to expect 1/8" bearing balls to withstand being smashed into a rock with your full force behind it? Bearings in your car are shielded and sealed from the elements. Your BB is exposed to mud/rain/salt/rivers/pressure washers/dirt/dust/road grime/etc.
  • 33 19
 Stop trying to confound e-MTB with MTB. They are very similar, but the addition of a motor assist completely changes the sport. I may be interested in an e-MTB in the future, but there should be a completely different website/marketing for those.
  • 13 1
 e-MTB squad out in full force today. Just like on my State Park trails where they are illegal. LOL
  • 7 10
 How similar would you say XC racing on a hardtail with a 68.5D head angle is to shuttle/chairlift riding on a V10? Same sport? Addition of 100mm of travel and power assisted gravity gains completely changes it, or no? One is closer to moto riding than the other?
  • 30 3
 @kram:

1. XC hardtail and DH bike is still the same fundamental act of human powered transportation. Obviously, they are each better than the other at different human powered aspects of the same human powered sport.
2. e-MTB is closer to moto riding than other. Not sure what your argument is here.
3. The old Shuttle/Chairlift argument - let me know when the shuttle/chairlift is climbing the same singletrack trails as the e-MTBs. All the shuttles I have been on have been driving up roads for cars and the chairlifts I have been on are above the trails, not on them like an e-MTB is.

No one will ever see this response, but I just wanted to respond because I always see these same flawed arguments. I am not against e-MTB at all. I am only against confounding it with regular human powered MTB. They are not the same thing.
  • 3 0
 @retswen: I saw it and I like it Smile
  • 8 18
flag downhillin4life (Nov 25, 2020 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @retswen: they are not the same.
E bikes are far superior
  • 3 0
 @downhillin4life: off course they are, please take them away.
  • 9 2
 @mikelevy can we get a separate pink-e-bike.com???
  • 4 10
flag mikelevy Mod Plus (Nov 25, 2020 at 14:32) (Below Threshold)
 @unrooted: Probably not!
  • 6 2
 @retswen: I ride moto and have been on a ebike. Definitely not the same.
  • 3 0
 @oregontradesman: Whaaaat! How dare you insinuate that a pedal assist isn't destroying trails and Strava times like a wide open throttled two stroke!
  • 2 0
 @retswen: I agree with whay you say but, climbing on top of a hill with an XC bike and then going down vs chairlifting to the top of the same hill and going down with DH can't be under the same category of "human powered" The scale is completely different. The potential energy you put on you and your bike when you gain altitude obviously comes from the lift.
  • 15 1
 The industry should move away from model years.

It screws retailers large and small, and then makes an owners property drop in price when most models see nothing but the paint change over the course of their multi year run.

A number of companies seem to be moving this way going with Gen 1,2,3 etc to denote actual differences in frame and performance design. But there's a lot of big players who stick to the automotive business model. It does seem like a lot of the mail order companies who also stand as the end retailers are the ones leading this (commencal, propain) as they don't have a middle man to screw over.

I think it would strengthen the sport as a whole if we stop devaluing our own crazy expensive equipment based on an arbitrary date rather than the actual use it has endured.
  • 2 0
 This is the one I was looking for
  • 12 0
 I want mountain bike shoes that actually fit wider feet. Most shoes are for people who smash there toes into pointy little boxes and it's us folks who run around barefoot each summer (and sometimes fall, winter, spring...) who suffer because everyone else is willing to put up with those torture devices. I would wear 5.10's but they don't goddamn@#^&*! fit.

Also, this is a very, very nice article/podcast to have. Good on PinkBike to ask such questions.
  • 1 0
 Columbia's peakfreak shoes are pretty good for wide feets in my experience (i wear 46 on adidas to fit my wide feet and 44.5 on columbia). Grips the pedals enough that it doesn't slip on rain or snow and there are full waterproof options. Pretty happy with it over 2 years
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: I will look them up immediately! thank you for a new suggestion. I haven't heard of these before.
  • 1 0
 Looking for wide shoe suggestions here too. I do fit into Five Tens (barely), but would love a wider option. For clipless shoes I like the "Mega" versions that Sidi does, but even those aren't super wide.
  • 3 1
 And I have the exact opposite problem, I have a very narrow foot and have to cinch laces down so that the eyelets almost touch. We are on opposite ends on the bell curve, most people fall in the meaty middle. Lasts aren't chosen randomly, shoe makers will size them to appeal to the widest (no pun intended) audience possible.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: for SPD wide shoes, LAKE.
  • 1 0
 I find Shimano has a pretty wide foot bed.
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: Thanks! I looked up the peakfreak (I also look for the pictures of the underside profile) and they actually look okay. I will have to go find a shoe store... currently I am wearing these steel- toed birkenstock clog thingy's that aren't to bad... and they grip wonderfully onto my Chromag Dagga's!

And I know, clogs+ mountain biking aren't a good mix but so far I have not had any problems with slipping or my shoes coming off Beer

www.amazon.com/Birkenstock-Professional-640-Steel-Toe/dp/B00GAXZNOE
  • 2 0
 Actually, most mountain bike shoes are made to fit most feet. You and your fat feet are the exception.
  • 2 0
 @jwdenver: my feet aren't fat, I just run around quite often and they spread back out so I can actually tell I was born with five toes. No longer is my little toe smashed into the second little toe.
  • 2 0
 I would like a time machine to go back about 5 years and buy 20 pairs of five tens from when they still had the wide toe box.
  • 17 5
 More women in this sport. Probably the biggest failure of the entire industry. There's an entire market out there they haven't figured out how to tap into. And renaming x-small bikes and decorating them with teal and pink components is an embarrassment.
  • 3 0
 But i thought girls liked pink?

but seriously i agree 100% the sport needs more women.
  • 3 0
 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19883140

Majority of men are interested in “things”, and the majority of women are more interested in people/relationships...Making Mtn biking more accessible to people that would enjoy Mtn biking should be the goal, some people just aren’t interested in riding bikes fast through nature.
  • 1 2
 @unrooted: Riding fast through nature is a requirement of mtb?
  • 1 0
 If they all drove Subaru Foresters, would you still be interested?
  • 1 0
 @NivlacEloop: I like Pink. They should cater to ME.
  • 17 3
 Cooler bike names. Fuel EX or 5010 or sb150 are not cool names. We need more horsethiefs and grim donuts in the game.
  • 18 0
 When I worked at a bike brand, naming was one of the hardest things ever to do. So many stakeholders, so many opinions, so many trademark searches... I totally understand why brands just give up and throw the travel number on a couple of letters.
  • 3 0
 Don't Google the paint names of evil bikes, such as angry dolphin
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Sounds like a total PITA.
  • 2 0
 @richard01: those are kickass names. Rusty trombone. My boy Blue. Freddy Mercury. Drunkin Olive. Muddy Waters.
  • 14 3
 All carbon framed bike should come with a lifetime crash replacement warrenty.
  • 4 4
 Why is that.
  • 10 1
 Offer more test ride options.
Charging thousands of $€ or whatever currency for a bike that cannot be tested in proper known terrain is ridiculous.

Not testing 27.5 but 29ers when both are available sucks, too.
  • 9 2
 The industry needs to settle on one hub and BB standard (headset would also be nice).

The industry also needs to settle on a few shock standards.

The industry also needs to move once and for all to inverted forks since they're objectively better.

Dual crown forks should also be standard for bikes over 160mm travel, since they're also objectively better.

Anyone who decided to make a bike with internal cables which are not tube in tube should be condemned to forever change brakes and shifter cables on such bikes(without the appropriate tools of course).

Also the dude who decided to make the cable holders on the Cube Stereo 170 in such a way that the fall inside the frame and rattle off to eternity if the exterior part is removed should also be condemned to ride a bike with a down tube filled with pennys.
  • 3 0
 BB standards yes. maybe two would be good.

Shock standards yes.

Inverted forks... why? I was just talking to a guy about them and said they "are super noodley laterally on side loading (each leg can move independently and cause the wheel to cock on the axle)"
  • 2 0
 @rosemarywheel: dvo emerald.. not noodly at all, and feels better than any air fork on the market.. due to all the oil and lubricating properties.
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: Inverted forks can be engineered to be both simultaneously stiffer and lighter than conventional forks.

If your friend says wtv fork is "noodley" it's just one more example of bad engineering, you know, just like nearly every single wrong side up mtb fork on the market.

The difference is one is bad because of poor design, the other is bad because the fundamental concept is flawed.

Bad design can be fixed. Fundamental concept flaws can't.
  • 1 0
 @c-radicallis: Okay, thanks for the info guys. I may just have to try one now...
  • 2 1
 why inverted forks? seems like a recipe for shredded stanchions. I have scratched my lowers before in a simple crash but never my stanchions on a standard fork.
  • 1 0
 @NivlacEloop: Many others haven't been so lucky, and have damaged their stanchions. An issue that could have easily been avoided if we were using inverted forks already.

You see, unlike on standard forks, on inverted forks you can actually cover the stanchions with a rigid structure, protecting them from scratches, and also preventing dust from getting on seals.

By switching to inverted forks you won't have to worry about scracthing your 300€ magnesium lowers anymore.

And in case you crash and scratch your fork covers, you'll just be able to switch them out for 15€.
And in case you crash and scratch your uppers, it's fine since it isn't a part where a seal will be sliding on.
  • 9 1
 It would also be nice if all aluminum bikes were offered as a raw version at the customers request so that we could get a custom paint job if we didn't like the options we had.
  • 6 0
 also cuz raw looks sick
  • 1 1
 @DanielP07: And theoretically makes it a wee bit cheaper for us consumers. I hope.
  • 3 0
 @rosemarywheel: im sorry to inform you but there will be a non painting fee. our painters get really bored and we had to buy them a ping pong table.
  • 1 0
 @NivlacEloop: Oh, dear, Ping Pong? a lift ticket would be better.
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: well they have to stay in the factory to paint some things.
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: back in the day when Cannondale alu bikes were made in Pennsylvania they would sort through welded but unpainted frames and only use the best looking for raw bikes. This extra labor might drive costs up!
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: Ahhhh........ picky. Makes sense, though.
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel Check out Squid bikes.
  • 12 5
 DOT brake fluid needs to go away on bicycles. Rockshox needs to give up on DOT fluid droppers, while they're at it. Having one fluid type for the brakes and dropper is a nice idea, not so much when it destroys paint and carbon laminates on contact, is toxic, and absorbs water in the container if there is unused fluid. Mineral oil makes so much more sense.
  • 12 0
 RockShox Reverb dropper posts use mineral oil - hopefully you haven't been putting DOT fluid in yours.
  • 1 0
 I have DOT in one set of brakes (DOT5). Absolute zero issues. Bionol in the other set.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Rockshox Reverb dropper posts use 2.5wt Maxima suspension oil - hopefully you haven't been putting mineral oil in yours.
  • 5 0
 @spaceofades, that’s still technically a mineral oil, but I suppose I should clarify - for best results, stick with Shimano mineral oil in your brakes, and Reverb hydraulic oil in your dropper post.

And no DOT fluid in any dropper currently in existence, at least as far as I’m aware.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Dude, baby oil is the cheapest mineral oil and it smells nice.
  • 7 0
 I may be the only person who loves harder compound tires. Maxxis 60a compound has plenty of traction for Colorado trails and last twice as long. Edge knobs rip off way to fast on the softer compound versions. Dry rocks don't require maxterra compound for traction.
  • 6 0
 Stop speaking sense around here, please. We all need the softest, stickiest, slowest rebounding rubber or we can't ride down the things!
  • 1 0
 Definitely for the rear.
  • 1 1
 @R-M-R: Worse ways to come out I guess...
  • 11 2
 Bike shops have stuff in stock. Need better online retail options in Canada.
  • 7 0
 true, if someone in canada were to do what lost co does in belilngham, or worldwide cyclery...great product, good online video and entertainment, really. Great websites, and awesome customer service. You hit people with that in canada, and you get paid,son!
  • 6 0
 Agree with needing online options in Can. How did shimano and sram manage to stop Canadians from ordering their stuff from CRC and other out of country online retailers?????
  • 6 0
 @ryan189: I just find it crazy there is really nothing in Canada. I go to USA and UK sites find some stuff than go to checkout and am hit with the shipping and duty costs and just hit cancel. Its deflating, especially when the LBS don't have the parts, accessories or apparel in stock or even carry it.
  • 2 0
 Effectively the MTB industry needs the equivalent of Ryan at FortNine.
Kudos to TBS (The Bike Store) for having decent prices and free shipping for some Shimano stuff.
  • 6 0
 STOP FITTING WATER BOTTLES ...


... that make such inefficient use of their length. Switch to the existing ⌀3.5" standard and get 50% volume for a given length. Skip the nipple on the top and get double the volume for a given length.
  • 9 1
 Yes! Better aluminium complete bikes, why do I need to get a carbon frame for the good spec?
  • 6 2
 TV/media access. Even though it's gaining in popularity, especially this year, it's still never shown on TV. I don't think it's even in the top 10 sports (in the US). Growing can only help bring down prices and improve trail access.
  • 7 0
 There just isn't a demand for it. The only people who watch mountain biking are mountain bikers. Other major sports aren't like that. Large majority of the audiences for those sports have never played the sport at any competitive level. I played basketball and baseball growing up and still love watching them. But I also like watching football and hockey although I have never played either sport at any level.
  • 2 0
 That certainly helped with road bike and clothing pricing
  • 2 0
 Increased demand results in lower prices???
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: In some cases like mountain biking, yes. If you remain a fringe sport, the quantity price breaks are poor. E.g. plastic injection molds for small pieces are $2k-5k to make a $1-5 part. Die casting molds are $50k+ to make a $30 part. If you don't have the demand to justify the initial investment, you're forced to do expensive casting or machining operations.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Good point. I think that has a lot to do with how relatable the sport is to people. You said you didn't play football but you still like watching it. I bet that's in part because you at least have an idea of how it feels to hold and throw a football. Most people have never done anything remotely close to bombing down singletrack on a mountain bike so it's hard for them to relate. And because of that, it's hard to engage a broader audience. One outlier is cyclocross in Belgium and the Netherlands. The TV viewership and in-person attendance at races is massive despite not that many people actually racing themselves. But I think the difference is a hell of a lot Belgian and Dutch people can relate to riding a bike around in shitty weather.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I’m a mountain biker, and I don’t even enjoy watching it that much. I’m just not a spectator.
  • 1 0
 @ianterry: I think that is part of it. I just think other sports, even if you have never played them at all just offer more for a spectator. Biking to me is like golf. In that like you pointed out, unless you know what it’s like to do the sport, it’s going to be incredibly boring to watch. The entertainment comes from knowing and appreciation for how hard it is.

Other major sports just offer a more visually pleasing product. Even if you have no idea what it’s like to play basketball or football you can appreciate the shear athleticism, the strategy, the motion and choreography of the plays, etc.
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: that’s completely fair. Not all mountain bikers watch it, but I’d say most people who are watching are likely bikers themselves.
  • 1 0
 @iliveonnitro: Sure, manufacturers would then be able to lower production costs (significantly). If prices were based on the 'costs + mark-up' principle, prices would go down considerably.
However, prices in the MTB market, as well as most markets these days, seem to be based on supply and demand. If demand increases, prices will only go down if supply increases even more.
What lowered production costs would enable, is allow more aggressive pricing strategies for newcomers, since offering much lower prices than the established players would lead to lower losses than is currently the case.
Newcomers would then need a large enough expected customer base to be able to lower their prices. However, demand has to increase faster than the number of suppliers (manufacturers), otherwise production numbers won't go up.
  • 6 0
 If the UCI can justify awarding the track world champs to Turkmenistan I'm sure they can find a couple of world cup venues outside of the european alps
  • 6 0
 More frame only options. I don't want to pay for a bike where I strip off most of the OEM components.
  • 1 0
 I'll second that. More Colors including the same ones available on the full builds and a full range of carbon and alloy options.
  • 3 0
 material recovery e.g. i smash a derailleur and it goes in the bin. if i could post this back to the company (Sram) and they reuse the metals and carbon in some other product. I would buy parts from that company just for that feature. Patagonia for example.
  • 2 0
 Only last week I had a 7-hour drive to make and binge listened to half the back catalogue. What I learned was geometry is free, head angles are a constant arguing point, Levy drinks too much Monster, gravel bikes are fun and no one should ever be called Pinkers. I learned a lot!
  • 2 0
 i want more spec options. the top builds should have all the colour options that lower spec builds have. For example i think the norco optic fs3 looks way better (colour wise) than the optic 1. When you're paying $8000 for a bike you want all the best the company offers aesthetic wise. Also, top spec builds with an alloy frame need to be more common, or high end suspension with deore or slx level drivetrains.
  • 2 0
 A huge improvement in Canada at least would be some kind of available guide to where you can actually get the stuff that is reviewed on Pinkbike. So many times I see a bike review, or apparel review or some tools featured or part etc. Get really jazzed to the point I want to go buy and after about the 3rd shop I visit in my area, am completely out of jazz and will to buy the product that does not seem to exist in my bikings eco system.
  • 3 0
 Never go full Jazz.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: words to live by.
  • 2 0
 Brands should offer replacement parts for legacy products. I dont expect everything to be available 25 yrs later, but it would be nice if seal kits for suspension didnt disappear 3yrs after the product is launched. If a product is discontinued, proprietary info should be released to 3d party mfg's for aftermarket interchange. Things change so rapidly its astonishing how few years some items are available for.
  • 3 0
 I googled, and there is no such thing as curling camp. They're straight up lying. Did Mike crash and now they are covering it up? I'm genuinely concerned.

Or maybe he's visiting his parents on Uranus.
  • 2 0
 It's a very exclusive curling camp.
  • 4 0
 Same front triangle across multiple bikes gripe... was that meant to drop as the same day as the Salsa review?
  • 5 0
 Ooof no, haha. But in this instance we reviewed the one that gets the better end of the deal on the compromise.
  • 3 0
 I’d love to see more companies do something like Norco with their Ride-Align, which although isn’t perfect, it gives a solid starting point when it comes to bike set up.
  • 4 3
 The bike industry had standards until SRAM showed up. Between the two US companies (SRAM and Trek) trying to make inroads with the MTB, they've decided to re-invent their own standards to force crap on the consumers. Right now, the bike industry, mainly the MTB but also affecting the road bikes as well, is like the downhill ski industry where the sport is now tailored to the rich and not really accessible to all. It's like the wild-wild-west where new standards where new companies come out of nowhere, new standards come out every year, and everyone comes out with their own stuff with ridiculous prices. Look at E-bikes, no one manufacturer for the motors have come out with a standard mount on the bike frames. It basically become a fashion shit-show in this industry!
  • 5 2
 I hate it when my BMW engine won't bolt directly into my Mercedes without adapting anything. I also hate when the Ford engine won't bolt up into a Toyota transmission either. So frustrating.... Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @bman33: It's more frustrating when you look for rims between a Honda and Toyota - their BCD's are different Wink
  • 3 1
 @bman33: Don't compare cars to bikes. Totally different levels of complexity.
  • 1 1
 @c-radicallis: yet 100% comparable to point out the hyperbole of folks wanting everything to be interchangeable yet want the latest, greatest and best of everything at the same time. It's an analogy
  • 1 0
 @CSharp I reached out to Will Smith to find out how it is like the Wild-Wild West and am waiting to hear back.
  • 1 0
 Be nice if Kona could paint their bikes in color ways so that I actually wanted to buy them, instead of having to be able to live with my Process 153 named Barney. Nice colours don't have to cost more, and white is always an option!
  • 1 0
 I agree, I don't know what the deal is with bike manufacturers making the most godawful paint jobs. Real simple, always do a frame at least in matte black. Navy blue tends to work, as does white. At bare minimum. But, hot dog orange, and mustard browns, and weird greens. Who comes up with this stuff?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer How would having bigger pistons in the calipers work with existing rotors? That would require making the width of the surface grasped on the rotor larger as well, which means more unsprung rotating mass which both makes the bike heavier and harder to stop. I think it is better to have more small pistons and a larger rotor with a thin contact area (this larger rotor has more brake stopping power ability than a smaller thicker band rotor). I think this is the main reason why you see two piston, four piston, or in a few boutique cases 6 piston calipers on bicycles. The automotive world has taken a somewhat similar approach, adding more and more pistons rather than just making the pistons larger. Factory vehicles are equipped with 2 and 4 piston calipers frequently with some high performance cars being equipped with 6 piston calipers in the front. Aftermarket and ultra high end present the option for 6, 8, 10, and even 12 piston calipers. Variation in rotor size is also prevalent, but I suppose it could also be argued that the width of contact area is also enlarged in some cases. The better comparison is likely motorcycles and they seem to use the increase rotor diameter/ add more pistons approach as well; contact patch band width does not appear to enlarge for increase stopping power. This all comes down to torque. A bigger lever arm yields greater force hence a force distributed over a thin band at a distance is more effective than transmitting that same force across a bigger band (wider range of radius) due to the influence of the lever arm on the torque applied.
  • 4 0
 Ah, I wasn't advocating for bigger pistons, I was referring to bikes that come with two piston brakes that deserve four piston brakes. I do think there are merits to thicker rotors, though; I've had good luck with TRP's 2.3mm thick rotors.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: We're talking about two different contexts of rotor thickness. I'm talking about the width of the ring that the pads clamp onto. Increasing the thickness of the metal that makes the rotor is a whole other thing. I agree though, some bikes come with two piston brakes that should have four piston brakes.
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer I think the mountain bike world has reached a point of diminishing returns with brake systems. Making them more and more powerful will not permit us to slow or stop better, they will simply make it more and more easy to skid, which is not the goal. The tires are a major limiting factor in this. A 2.1-2.6in tire is only capable of withstanding so much friction before it skids and our current technologies make it all too easy, already, to exceed that limit. I think we need to advance bicycle brake technologies to include ABS systems, if better stopping/slowing is the goal. Once we have that figured out then we can return to making brakes more powerful, maybe, if the tires have more to offer.
  • 4 0
 After a season on Trickstuff Maximas, I'm down with all the power. Just less hand fatigue for my weak-ass typing fingers.
  • 6 0
 @brianpark @SuperHighBeam I'd just like brakes that are consistent for once! All the brakes out there have been shaved down to be as light as possible, many have four pistons for plenty of power, and there are many options with all the adjustments...

But use ten different brakes that are the same model, all bled properly, and you'll end up with at least a few that don't feel the same and aren't consistent. The power has been achieved, people, now just make them better and with fewer tiny parts.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Truckstuff...we know you guys have used them. F1 level $$, but the performance and consistency. Mmm
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Way too much initial bite for me. I used a set in the WBP and they felt like way too much for me, but I'm also not a heavy guy and not going World Cup speeds. Because I ride so many different test bikes, I wouldn't want Trickstuff brakes on my personal bike as I'd have trouble going back and forth, especially when it's slippery.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: True enough. I recently moved Bentonville from Colorado after being there for 10+ years and many Whistler trips. Old semi-pro DH/BMX, but nowhere near WC speeds. That said, after an initial 'getting used to' period, I adjusted my lever pull and all good for the DH bike. Great for Rocky Mountain level runs and no arm pump. However, I could def see the major adjustment period on a trail bike. I run Hopes now on the trail bike, but would probable have to downsize rotors with them if I ran them on a trail bike, or even drop to their two-piston models. That said, they are consistent almost in every situation.
  • 4 0
 @bman33: it’s worth noting that I’m not a tech ed so I mostly ride the same bike. My fingers are fine at modulating trickstuffs. So consistent, so good. So god damn expensive.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: yes, everything you said is 100% on point
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: that kind of power shouldn't be the sole purvey of exotica though, right? it's just piston area / stroke & leverage ratios; there's no inherent cost adder. we *should* be able to buy trickstuff power for SLX pricing. why the industry struggles so much with brakes after ALL THESE YEARS never ceases to boggle.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: If you can modulate well enough to prevent lock-up, sure, more power the merrier.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: good point Mike!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I would also add that more force applied to a smaller rotor (via more pistons and a bigger pad) creates more potential for fade since a smaller rotor with not be able radiate heat as well as a large rotor. On the flip side though, assuming the same amount of force applied over a larger or smaller pad, the larger pad will be less likely to fade since it will not heat up as quickly. Below is pro/con table assessing power and fade. Generally speaking, Bigger pad= good, Bigger Rotor = good. Bigger Pad requires either more pistons or bigger pistons or both. Assuming comparison of say 160mm and 203mm rotors and 2 versus 4 piston brakes I believe the following holds true.

Small Pad, Small Rotor = Power level 1
Big Pad, Small Rotor = Power level 2
Small Pad, Big Rotor= Power level 3 (this is the counter-intuitive one, but stopping force is all about torque not just about the force applied at the rotor, the rotor diameter increase multiplication factor compensates for the smaller pad surface area)
Big Pad, Big Rotor= Power level 4

Small Pad, Small Rotor= Fade Resistance Level 1
Big Pad, Small Rotor = Fade Resistance Level 2 (rotor cannot effectively radiate heat created by the bigger pad hence the pad will heat up more and be likely to fade)
Small Pad, Big Rotor= Fade Resistance Level 3 (large rotor will more effectively radiate heat preventing pad from heating up and fading)
Big Pad, Big Rotor= Fade Resistance Level 4
  • 1 0
 Dirt mag needs to come back.
But on a serious note I really miss the days of print and DVD's. I used to read Dirt cover to cover then back again. I find myself skipping through digital content and then feeling guilty about not reading someone's hard written article from end to end.
It also feels weird as it's free but we no nothing is free in this world.
I still have The Collective and Roam and all the Sprung series on DVD. It used to be an amazing occasion watching a rad new video for the first time with mates. Both my son's grew up watching these same videos and loved them as much as I did 20 years before.
All I watch now is racing as 90% of video footage now just doesn't make me feel the same way about riding...
  • 2 0
 What has to change in the bicycle industry? The ratio of selling prices to offered technology and quality of production. Compared to other technical industrial goods bicycles are to expensive.
  • 2 1
 Give us alloy frames with good build kits. None of this "oooh you have now got to the level where you are getting slx/nx/gx, so you now must get the carbon frame version to get decent brakes, wheels and suspension you really want"
  • 1 0
 The whole MTB industry needs a massive kick up the arse. Covid bubble isn't helping. One can take a moto to any moto mechanic and they'll have it striped serviced and ready to race in a week. A MTB mechanic will take a month "fixing a brake" and still f*ck it and it needs replacing.
  • 1 0
 The bike industry should choose metric or imperial measurements and not use both. Also being accurate would be nice. There are no 29in wheels nor 27.5in. Those wheels measure 622mm which comes to 24.5in and 584mm which is 23in. A Maxxis Assegai tire 29x2.5 should say 24.5x2.5 or 622x65mm.

There shouldn't be seat tubes longer than 450mm but rather 250-300mm dropper posts.

Bike brands should actually test the limits of geometry rather than coming out with bikes 5-20mm longer and 0.5º slacker each year. Also since geometry is free there is no execuse for bad geometry on entry level bikes.

Like someone said before me single crown forks should be limited to short travel forks only. Anything above 150mm should be dual crown.

If the bike industry wasn't obsessed with weight we'd have more reliable components with longer servicing intervals. We need bikes that don't fall apart or need frequent servicing when riding off road!

How is it that racers are still losing races or overalls because of flat tires!!! Someone add cushcore to the tire sidewall or invent something else. Seeing Loris Vergier lose this season's overall because of a flat was brutal!

Standards need to be standards if not then stop calling them standards!
  • 1 0
 Don't think this was mentioned - but why can't we just have one direct mount chainring pattern?
Like we used to just have 104BCD.
I find this even more annoying than the various BB types, seatpost diameters etc.
And only fannies use i-spec or matchmaker stuff, real riders just have proper bar clamps on everything, in case they need to swap bits between bikes any time.
  • 1 0
 I am loving the pod casts, I always listen to them on the way home from work in the car. Some days its "just the right amount of stupid" that I need to unwind after a stressful day on the job. I learn a bit, I laugh a bit, all good.

An idea for an upcoming podcast would be: Everyone research + pick a couple bikes at challenging price points and explain why they chose what they did. Make it tough and realistic for many by have some budget options like, under $1000, under $2500 , under $4000, over $6000 (all in USD). I think it would spark some lively debate over specs and geometry choices of the product designers/managers.

Anyway, keep em coming I really enjoy all +30 episodes so far. Its been a small bright spot in an otherwise dark year.
  • 1 0
 Forgot to tag @mikelevy & @brianpark in my above post
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer , here is santa barbara the CSU creak is real. Our trails are so chunky that both Fox and Rock Shox forks start creaking at the crown stanchion interface. It usually starts between year one and two of use. My friend's Pike CSU creaked after only 4 months of use but his replaced CSU has made it almost 2 years. My 2018 36 started to creak at 15 months, then after ignoring the creak for 3 months, I noticed the Grip 2 dampener actually cracked. Fox was nice enough to replace the dampener, even after the warranty ended, but because I didn't replace the CSU, 2 months later I cracked another Grip 2. After all of that, I upgraded to a 38 and with all of the extra material in the crown, I think it's going to last a lot longer. I'm also hoping limiting travel to 160 will decrease the torque on the crown. I can send a video of one of our chunky trails in slomo to show what happens to the forks here along with what a cracked dampener looks like.
  • 1 0
 Forget creaky CSUs. Brand new forks with tight bushings and misaligned stanchions are a curse. The manufacturers and their agents lack the skills and willpower to diagnose these problems. Some manufacturers (yes you SRAM) don't even keep spare bushings in their catalogues to fix these accursed forks. The nett result are harsh, sticky forks that are no better than rigid forks
  • 1 0
 Unpopular comment, but the industry including @pinkbike needs to be more responsible in posting and promoting videos, or photos that are taken in illegal riding places or suspect ownership. Too often I see shots or builds in places that are closed to riding, but some wannabe builder /Instagram star needs to show his line and blow the spot. I can’t count how many mountain bike ads have been shot in illegal spots
  • 7 7
 The bike industry needs more inclusion. Squirrels on the trail feel so left out. All that skipping around, and stashing nuts, and no biking. What about cats? All day long I see dogs riding with their owners. What about attracting some more cats to the trail? I mean, outside of their free will, I should go looking for cats.
  • 2 1
 half the world is normal. The other half is in a safe space.
  • 2 0
 The bike industry needs more people who can actually ride a bike. Geometry still, the amount of companies that still can't get it right, especially for taller riders.
  • 2 0
 That's because Trek wants you to buy bikes with their bigger wheels! Wink
  • 2 0
 Poorly specced tires on bikes with 160mm and up is annoying.. if a bike is meant for "Enduro" then it shouldn't come with EXO casings. At least EXO+ or DD
  • 2 0
 DUB cranks!! Agree! I think it has to do with the material of the bolt. Cause I ve tried to install it with very low torque, and it gets as tight after riding it anyway ....
  • 1 0
 Overpricing and rubbish components on lower end models needs to stop. Its quite possible to have a cheap albeit heavy hub that doesn't suck. Same goes for rims. Specialized, I'm talking to you.
  • 1 0
 Suspension service needs to be DIY simplified and be affordable.
Fox @ $390 CAD for fork and shock. Plus shipping cost to get it there.
Basically it's an oil change and some o-rings etc.
  • 1 0
 Hey @sarahmoore - its called Mesophonia (your hatred of certain sounds, like people chewing). Join the club - its not really a fun one to be in, but the whole sound issue thing, is a thing.
  • 2 0
 Tires are good but we should be at a point where flats no longer happen. But my biggest gripe is how a new rotor out of a box is not true.
  • 1 0
 Is @mikelevy responsible for the Monolith in the Utah Desert, @mikekazimer and @brianpark ? I mean, who actually goes to "curling camp"..... Seems fishy and he loves a good conspiracy.
  • 2 0
 Do you see the black suburban parked outside your house? Shh.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Thought that was just the new, wacky, probably methed up neighbors. It matches the house they also painted black.... hmmm....
  • 1 0
 Tools on bikes or with bikes is a great idea and they are more important on the low end bikes as those are the people that will most likely need them the most as they are just starting out or on a limited budget.
  • 2 0
 Levy is not at curling camp. Just a cover for being busy working on the Field Test.
  • 1 0
 I think he was trying to break the world record for offroad bike climbing, and maybe earned a few days off?
  • 4 0
 @TimnberG, no, he heard there was a potential shortage of Monster energy drinks on the horizon so he's been driving his Mini to every 7-11 possible to stock up.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: I like that one. Another theory I had was that bad ad reads weren’t enough punishment for unmentionable references to Pinkbike users so Levy got temporarily banned from the podcast sent to Kurling camp as further punishment.
  • 9 10
 Clothing...plastic jerseys suck and merino is expensive. Local boutiques are awesome but pricey.

Flat shoes suck in anything but perfect weather (dust/rain/snow) and why cant we get a couple cleats up front for grip on hike-a-bike sections.

Suspension set-up sucks, shit that doesn't work and the warranty process sucks (dropper posts/brakes/suspension) replacement takes forever during riding season.

Standards suck, new standards suck and compatibility sucks.

Hype and trends suck (I really want to love mullets but i'd rather do it through Cascade components)

Small industry (such as Cascade Components) fixing big industry suspension problems sucks

Derailleurs and pedal strikes suck

Most of the affordable full face helmets suck

The cost of this sport sucks!!!
  • 16 3
 Honestly sounds like you may have chosen the wrong sport. Not trying to be a dick.
  • 8 1
 @CircusMaximus: Worse yet, the sport picked me. I found my first bike in a field when I was 5, that was the last time biking was free.
  • 6 2
 Rains a lot in your world?
  • 1 1
 Flat pedals work great in all weathers for me, just gotta find the right pedal/shoe combo (fivetens and DMR vaults work great for me). Without new standard we would still be riding 26" bikes with qr axles and narrow bars. Although it does suck that a small company can make better linkage designs.
  • 2 0
 Would have loved to hear the King of Peeves on this one. Bring on the Palm.
  • 1 2
 It would be nice if peeps like SRAM would stop giving so many options for drivetrains. I personally want someone to make one or two models of drivetrain, with as many Aluminum pieces in there as possible, less plastic. I want replacement parts for them (like the little springs in the shifter for when they wear out) to be available forever. I don't care if it weighs more, I would rather have reliability over looks and lightness (no XX1 or X01 or whatever it is for me)
  • 2 0
 I feel the same way about Skittles....why can I not get a package with just the red ones?
  • 3 0
 How do non of you know that Shimano makes 8in rotors (203mm)?
  • 3 0
 lol there's a reason I'm not a tech editor, I'm blaming @mikekazimer on this one!
  • 2 0
 8" is bigger than what SRAM makes for their 7.9-whatever inches - before they went METRIC! Wink
  • 3 2
 As a tech editor @mikekazimer should be ashamed. Shimano, a Japanese company, has gone out of their way to make a 203mm rotor to satisfy their American customers because back in the day, they wanted 8 inch rotors. Shimano has faithfully stuck to that standard for twenty years so that it continues to be compatible across the product range and across the years. For modern mtbs Shimano provides basically three adapters 160 to 180, 160 to 203, and 180 to 203 - none of which require silly shims/spacers to make them work. The only reason you are using spacers is because you are testing so many bikes and swapping parts from bike to bike. You are either using a competitors 20mm adapter for a 203 rotor or just the wrong Shimano adapter (160 to 180) and shimming it to make it work. Shimano doesn't deserve any complaints regarding this subject.

As for SRAM, they have indeed used multiple rotor sizes over the years - from 185 to 180 and from 203 to 200. This is an effort to convert to metric and to simplify things (140, 160, 180, 200, 220). I think this is commendable. The trade off, which I find acceptable, is that old adapters no longer work with new brakes during this transition. Again, not really deserving your scorn.

In general, people already have the proper adapters that came with the bike. And if they choose to swap to a different brand/system, picking up the correct adapter when they buy their new brakes is not a big deal. This really is only an issue for people that have a pile of left over parts from different manufacturers and are trying to clobber together another bike.
  • 3 1
 @Gaix2, ashamed at being annoyed that some bikes come with 203mm and others with 200mm rotors? I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of - if there were more compatibility between brands it would be better for consumers.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Yes, because you are a professional advocating industry wide change for a personal pet peeve that doesn't affect the vast majority of consumers. I think you are generally the most level headed and rational editor at PB, but you didn't think this one through before venting it out to a very wide audience.

Instead of being annoyed, consider yourself lucky that a few shims allows you to use the wrong adapter and go riding the very same day instead of waiting for the correct adapter to show up in the mail. Or just spend $50 of your bosses money and buy yourself a handful of adapters so that you can do your job.
  • 2 0
 If Shimano introduced an 11-46t cassette with a 40t cog instead of a 37, that's be nice.
  • 3 0
 Stop making 28 spoke enduro wheels!!!
  • 3 0
 I don’t know about you guys but I want a fat bike field test
  • 2 1
 Nope
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: depends how many times you say Pinkers.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer @brianpark: Hey you something to do in the winter right? Go test some fat bikes in the snow. Maybe test some bike oriented winter gear while you're at it. You could even evaluate some full squish fat bikes if you really want something to talk about.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam, all of us are lucky enough to live where the trails are rideable pretty much year round, no fat bikes required. And if the snow gets really deep, that means it's time to go skiing.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: @mikekazimer: That may be true, but Pinkbike exists to satisfy it's fan base, right? I'm not saying skiing isn't fun (I do it too, but not exclusively in exchange for biking), but I'm sure there are plenty of folks on here that transition to fat bikes in the winter that don't ski or don't regularly ski. That crowd would greatly appreciate and enjoy fat bike reviews in the winter. You guys live in Canada, it's not like you're afraid of the cold. Watch, @Brianpark is going to as you and @Mikelevy to test full squish fat bikes this winter. Wink
  • 2 0
 No tariffs on bike imports under $3000.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer - Try TRP brakes. Trails, DH-R, etc. They just work.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark What are your initial thoughts on the EXT Era fork?
  • 4 0
 Very natural feeling, adjustment range is good, setup was super quick. Not sure if it’s worth the hellish premium but it’s very impressive so far. I’ll have a better sense of it after I swap back to my 38 I think.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Got a rough ETA on the EXT ERA review?
  • 2 0
 Hating on pirate metal 3 minutes in? Lost some respect for you James
  • 1 0
 James takes his corpsepaint very seriously.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark:
Tell James this. I am a metal head. I can hold conversations about the nuances between all the different micro genres, and 2nd wave black metal will always hold a special place in my heart. However, the most influential album on my life has been Alestorm's "Curse of the Crystal Coconut". Within a week of it's release this year, I realized life doesn't need to be so serious. I quit my desk job and moved to a bike park in the BC interior. Best experience of my life. In short, don't forget to have some fun between debating Blackened Death and DSBM
  • 2 0
 For someone that doesn't like complaining Sarah got this one perfect
  • 1 0
 all aluminium everything more protection for frames more bottle mounts same seatpost standard
  • 1 1
 I'm sure I'll get smoked for this, but while we're on the topic of complaining, can you please ask Sarah to clear her throat before recording a podcast?
  • 1 1
 Totally agree about the alloy frame options! Hence the reason I bought a new Specialized Status 160. #metalmulisha
  • 1 2
 Bring back bar ends! Maybe some sort of two speed or ever a three speed! Transmission up front. Then we can run small lightweight cassettes with small jumps between cogs.
  • 1 0
 No need for barends with wide handlebars!
  • 1 0
 Bar ends and wait-a-minute vines half killed me, but I do agree with doubles and triples with appropriate cassettes, but unfortunately you'll have to hoard your own!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: my sarcasm needs work obviously.
  • 2 0
 "Standards"
  • 1 0
 3 inches of blood's Fire up the blade is an all time classic for me !
  • 1 0
 Stupid low stack height on larger frames. Stop the insanity.
  • 1 0
 This is a good one too.
  • 1 0
 *know
  • 1 1
 Enduro Clones can fuck off
  • 1 0
 Wheel size.
  • 6 6
 Pinkbikes sellout attitude to e bikes would be a good start.
  • 5 0
 Isn't there a shuttle truck waiting for you somewhere?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: All legs here sweety, legs and beer as I walk to the top with my dropper post down.
  • 1 2
 Another one: Maxxis should stop using yellow letters for aftermarket tires. White looks way better but is used for OEMs.
  • 1 0
 Cost!!!!!!!!!
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