Opinion: Are New Bike Component Standards Really That Bad?

Jul 20, 2021 at 10:14
by Henry Quinney  
Are standards about incremental change and optimisation? Or just a can of worms?

Content Warning - Incoming Waffle

There are some things that are totally nonsensical in mountain biking today: seat-tube slackening flip chips, the idea that conservative isn’t just a synonym for bad, the notion that every-bloody-thing needs to be made of carbon and maybe the thought that you can rescue a 29er's conservative geometry by putting a smaller wheel in the back and calling it a day, although that last one seems to have been just a phase.

Mixed wheeled bikes aren’t bad of course. Only the idea that they could be some golden ticket for a bike company to Marty-McFly any ol’ piece of crap into the modern-day without severely compromising other parts of the bike. Mulleting a bike can be a great idea, and a very easy way to drastically change your bike's geometry. There’s also no reason why a bike should not be built around the concept. However, there’s a big difference between that and slinging smaller wheels into production frames in a bid to get another year out of a product cycle.

It’s like a shot of botox in the face of an old Hollywood star as they try and eke out another action film. All the CGI and whitened teeth aren't going to hide the truth, and I don’t care how much zeal he has… somebody put Tom Cruise out of his misery. I mean, does the poor fella look like a young man or just an old one with a slightly strange and uncomfortable face? It’s kind of the same for the first wave of mixed wheel bikes, but I digress.

There’s nothing wrong with getting old, and I say that as somebody that has somehow missed my mid 20s sweet spot altogether and that’s gone straight from baby faced to falling apart, achy knees and looking, in a word, haggard. Is your whole body meant to hurt all the time? Oh it is? Great. That’ll do me nicely for the next 50 years.

Much like there is nothing wrong with growing old there is nothing wrong with making a bike that may well have been about right on its release but hasn’t aged well. The world moves on, new ideas come about and that’s just how it is. The issue is, in this case, trying to resist the clutches of time and not just cut your losses. The first wave of production mixed wheeled bikes were the toupée-wearing middle aged men of the mountain bike world. Some people go bald and that’s fine - it is what it is.

bigquotesStandards, I believe, suffer from their own name. I think the word “standard” is a bit too self imposing.

There are other things in the mountain biking industry that are so sensible but receive so much flack, and I don’t believe it’s deserved. For instance - the idea that maybe the first wheel size to be manufactured en masse might not be the best for all applications. Crazy, I know. Or what about the ultimate bogeyman of mountain biking - standards? But are they really that bad?

If we'd jumped design light-years, from 2011 to 2021, introducing a raft of changes at once, this wouldn't make cross-compatibility any easier.

Does the Word "Standard" Fit the Bill?

Standards, I believe, suffer from their own name. I think the word “standard” is a bit too self imposing. Whether it’s standard or not really depends on the uptake. It’s a bit like when people say that New Year's Eve is going to be the best night ever!! The weight of expectation alone isn’t conducive to having the time of your life and no amount of fireworks seen through a drunken mist while wearing a hastily assembled Princess Diana fancy dress outfit is going to change that. Regrettably, I know this from personal experience.

The problem with New Years is that we’ve probably all had an absolutely amazing one and this both sadly, and in this instance ironically, sets the standard for the years to come. As soon as you become self aware of how great NYE can be it will never be the same again.

bigquotesLet me be absolutely, unequivocally clear - I don’t think it would be great for each brand to have a different spoke type

And it’s the same with standards. The first time somebody used the word it was probably an eye opening, promotion inducing moment. On the other end of the spectrum there is the word proprietary. This suffers from a similar if not slightly different problem. Where “standard” causes frustration by being overtly imposing, “proprietary” intimidates. The potential benefits of a proprietary system are merely a slice of Red Leicester on a mouse trap to some. Delicious? Yes yes yes. Worth breaking your neck for? Debatable, my furry friend.

Ned Overend s 1992 Specialized M2 race bike.
The idea of improving something can be subjective. However, parts changing dimension and their subsequent compatibility isn't.

Do You Care? Does Anyone?

I understand why people complain about new standards. I mean, I think it’s often a bit shallow and short sighted, but I do understand. Some standards are good though and they do serve a purpose.

But what I can’t understand is people venting their frustration about something while also acknowledging that they have no interest in purchasing it. If you don’t like a brand’s take on the spoke or somebody’s new BB design then that’s fine - but just don’t buy it. It’s not like there is a gun to your head. The victimhood can be flat out bizarre.

Do you know what I don’t like? Seafood. Do I go and stand on the coast shouting at the sea just to let all those disgusting critters know what I really think? Apart from that ill-fated holiday in Devon, no.

It’s almost a social phenomenon. It’s like arguing with somebody in the comments section of a celebrity's social media post as you try to assert what Kanye West really meant when he said something moronic.


If you and I were riding along I could not give one iota of fecal matter if our spokes are interchangeable, or any other part of our bikes for that matter. My bike, my problem.

bigquotesThe idea, however, that the bike industry is forcing things on the customer that they have to buy against their will is cringeworthy.

The truth is, I honestly have no allegiance to any one design type of anything and I really don’t mind if you do. I think it’s really important to buy something you want with the characteristics you desire. That to me seems so thoroughly sensible.

Is It All a Way to Drive Bike Sales?

The idea, however, that the bike industry is forcing things on the customer that they have to buy against their will is cringeworthy. Owning a mountain biking isn’t a god-given right and neither is your custom. Bike companies are there to make money and that shouldn’t be something we’re uncomfortable with. They should just make the best they can offer. That's not to say they shouldn't be held to account for their actions like anyone, but make them accountable for their outlook and conduct, not getting our unmentionables in a twist if they increase the width of a hub by 6mm.

If you owned a bike company, with staff to pay and bills to cover, would you honestly stick with an inferior design or try and appeal to a niche who are very vocal in their desire to recuse themselves from a new purchase? Of course not. And I'm not saying that people only make bikes to make money, to do so would be wholly untrue and the bike industry is full of people with passion - but everyone who runs a business needs to keep themselves out of the red.

I suppose my overarching ethos is rather simple - sometimes new standards are annoying and proprietary components can be infuriating, however if we didn’t have people that would think out of the box and gladly drag bike design forwards, often kicking and screaming, then the bikes you and I ride would be worse for it. Some changes are less consequential to the whole of our bikes but others can potentially be a can of worms.

The modern trail bike is a wonderful thing. I suppose I double take when somebody lauds the capabilities of their 29” 140mm travel bike with progressive geometry and all the trimmings in one breath and then says “Eugh, Boost though” in the next. I’m not saying it’s a direct consequence, or that bikes would be all that much worse without Boost spacing, but things such as axle spacing standards have played their part in making the mountain bike what it is.

Pivot
There have been hits and misses, but isn't that the price of experimentation?

I know some of you don’t want anything to do with a wheelset that uses a certain kind of spoke or maybe a hub that means you’re going to have to change your chainring, but the list of things that we, as a community, have resisted and mocked is as long as it is illustrious.

Are new standards a con conjured up by the bike industry? I don’t believe so. A lot of it comes down to what you want: the best performance full stop, or the best performance derived by shared technologies. We don’t look at suspension units and get frustrated that Fox and RockShox seals aren’t interchangeable. Sometimes you need design freedom to chase a particular concept.

The Casualties Along the Way

One section of riders I really do have sympathy with is people who buy a full build, perhaps not knowing what they’re getting themselves in for and 18 months down the line they realise that they ride what is essentially a who’s who of obscure bike brands. But, in general, I don’t think we’ve ever had it so good and although there seems to be an upheaval every few years, something like Boost being a notable example, I think the modern mountain bike is a truly amazing thing and that companies do remarkably well to all be on most of the same pages.

For me, the main stumbling block is that I find it hard to understand why we willfully homogenize design. Yes, J bend spokes, for example, may well be the best option - I am open to that - but I see it far more fruitful if you encourage bike companies to make whatever whacky thing they want and then we just vote with our feet. It’s the vocal dissent that confuses me.

We wouldn't have bikes like this finger-on-the-pulse-of-design Norco without incremental change.

And let me be absolutely, unequivocally clear - I don’t think it would be great for each brand to have a different spoke type - but at the same time, it really wouldn’t be the end of the world, provided spares were manufactured and available. It would be a few years of weird kooky designs then followed by many years enjoying the fruits that the exploration yielded. Which doesn’t seem so bad to me.

I want the best bike full stop. No ifs, no buts. Whatever design ideology a company chooses to follow I think they should be encouraged to do so. I want an ambitious and bold design that doesn’t want to just keep up with the Jones’ and fall in line. It wants to separate itself from the bunch because it may well just be on to something. Sometimes it will be crap but, then again, that’s always the risk of innovation.


503 Comments

  • 140 10
 To the standards that make alot of sense, yes they are great.

But stupid ones, when there is already something out there not so much. *cough 15×110 TA when 20mm was already out there.*

Also let's not forget the 20,000 different bb standards and how many different rear spacing standards there are. Are all of them really necessary.
  • 60 21
 15 x 110 has a wider hub shell than the old 20x110 dh hub standard, there is now a wider dh hub standard based off the boost hub shell that helps make 29er dh wheels stiffer than they would have been with the old narrow hub shell. There are a few bb standards, but far fewer than there where when I first got into bikes in the early 90's. There are only 3 hub shell widths for rear wheels, 2 of which have been with us for decades.
  • 35 2
 @insertfunusername: You're forgetting it started as 15x100 (pre-boost).
  • 12 7
 @insertfunusername: does that grant any measurable (even measurable in the lab) performance benefits over 20mm
  • 14 13
 @hamncheez: the narrow hub shell 20x110 wheel would be measurably less stiff compared to a 15x110 wheel. It sounds like you want a comparison between the 2 whole systems which I have not seen a study of. The new DH hub standard undoubtedly builds a more stiff wheel than the old standard. I haven't heard if any riders complaining about how stiff their 29er DH bikes front wheels are.
  • 4 3
 @hamncheez: yes, stiffer wheels like he said
  • 12 4
 @the-one1: no I didn't forget that. My understanding is that when the XC crowd finally realized that they should move away from QR, that it would have been pretty hard to sell them on 20 mm axles, as that was free ride bike stuff.

The 15x100 standard worked fine for 26" wheels and 29er XC bikes, I thought it was pretty okay for 27.5 bikes ridden hard too, but was pretty leaking for 29ers ridden hard, especially for heavier riders.
  • 24 4
 @insertfunusername:
Yeah it's really not as complex as people think it is, and actually road bikes are way worse.
We pretty much have three BB standards - threaded, PF92 and BB30, the latter of which nobody really uses now.
As for hubs like you say, it's basically non-boost, boost or superboost (same as 150).
With a few proprietary/weird exceptions (t47 for example), most bikes and frames are pretty interchangeable these days. You can put an eagle drivetrain on a 10 year old 26" bike if you really wanted to. I just don't understand what people are upset about.
  • 7 6
 "We wouldn't have bikes like this finger-on-the-pulse-of-design Norco without incremental change."

Finger on whose pulse? The Range is one of the very few new MTBs with a PF92 BB these days. (Pivot does this too.)
  • 23 3
 @Drew-O:
Ah yes, clearly a pf92 bb is the determining factor in the radicalness of a new bike design
  • 19 0
 People forget that 15x100 was pushed by Shimano and Fox. Shimano came up with their new centerlock, which was incompatible with 20mm axles. They then got Fox to buy in on making forks with it claiming a lighter weight. Later, Shimano came up with a second, larger, centerlock size with special saint hubs and rotors for downhill bikes.

www.bikeradar.com/news/shimano-and-fox-introduce-15mm-through-axle-hubs-and-wheels
  • 23 4
 You can thank Tracy Mosley for riding 29ers for Enduro. She told Trek they were too flexy to race on, so Trek invented Boost to make her wheels stiffer, and then offered it up to everyone with no licensing agreements. In the end, this is why everyone is riding long travel 29ers now.
  • 22 1
 love or hate shimano they have had the same BB design for years and it is so reliable.
  • 13 19
flag BenSandle (Aug 23, 2021 at 16:34) (Below Threshold)
 @carym: and centre lock is better than 6 bolt in basically every way, fast to change rotors and never comes loose, only downside is needs BB tool.
  • 2 0
 @BenSandle: Shimano might be, but Trek jumped on the BB92 bandwagon as soon as they were able to, as they did with the darned 15x100 front axle. And many other brands followed suit.
  • 5 0
 Fox and Shimano had to come up with 15 mm axles because no XC guy would ever buy a 20 mm axle hub and fork. kinda our fault
  • 3 1
 @notthatfast: you'd have to put an XD driver on the 26'' wheel...or microspline if you wanted to put Shimano on there, which is kind of the point.
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: it would be no problem to do that, I can think of at least 5 nice hubs that you can get in non boost that you can put at least an xd driver on and a couple that you can do microspline driver. There are several options for midrange as well.
  • 6 0
 @BenSandle: it also moves the bearing inboard by a considerable margin, meaning a narrower support on the axle and a less stiff system. Yes 6 bolts take longer than 1 but who cares, use fresh loctite every time and maybe you’ll have less rotors falling off?
  • 3 0
 @insertfunusername: yeah I know, my point was we have XD and Microspline to do the same thing.
  • 1 0
 @carym: Didn't saint hubs come out in about 2004 using the oversize centerlock?
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge:
Yeah, that’s not difficult to do, depending on the hub. And any mechanic worth their salt can build a 26” wheel with a modern free hub. Again, not hard.
  • 2 0
 @GrandMasterOrge:
Woah, three readily available freehub standards across the whole of mountain biking. Wild.
  • 8 0
 @carym: The first Shimano Saint groupset (2004) had oversized centerlock. So it was pretty much the XT groupset (also 2004) but with a bigger centerlock standard. And for that, you needed the Saint oversized centerlock hubs. And the Saint rear hub was designed to work with the Saint (axle mounted rear mech). Which implied you needed to get used to low normal (or rapid rise). Only the 2007 Saint went back to regular top normal and in 2008 they introduced a new Saint groupset with the regular centerlock standard and a mech hanger mounted rear mech (so no longer axle mounted). I think the 15x100 standard came much, much later. Did they go for a larger Saint centerlock standard later on? I must have missed that.

Maybe we can split the market in two halves. There is the audience (1) that wants lighter, more efficient, stiffer etc. Most new standards are introduced to achieve those goals. And then you have audience (2) that just wants to ride and replaces parts because they break or wear. And they want to be able to fix stuff with the generic bike tools they already have and do most foreseeable stuff out on the trail with their generic biketool. I think for audience (1) it is safe to introduce new standards at will. These people are willing to try it and also willing to take their loss if it is being surpassed by the next big thing. These early adopters are what drives development. They'd be willing to buy a new Hope bike with a new axle standard, radial brake mount and whatnot as they see value in it. And then for audience (2) commit to a few different popular, affordable and open standards and stick with it. Tapered 1 1/8" to 1.5" steerers, 104mm BCD chainrings, half inch pitch chains, J-bend spokes, six bolt rotors as you can remove the rotor when you bend one and still ride back home. Kind of how long term support (LTS) software releases work. It might also help smaller bikeshops decide what to keep in stock and what are the more risky investments. Of course the can of worms is open already so you can't really eliminate most current standards anymore. But if they'd commit to supporting what is out now (and wear parts in particular), they can go wild on stuff that might provide a minor improvement as long as it is clear that it is the "latest and greatest". 30.5" wheels for amazing rollover (until 32" comes along, that is), 3/8" pitch chains for smaller rear sprockets (like they already used in track cycling), cranks with built-in pedal bearings for thinner pedals, 39.99mm diameter seattube for stronger, longer and more durable dropper posts (with a new convenient and adjustable clamping mechanism to the saddle). People know up front what they're investing in so they won't be upset if it will be short lived and poorly supported, because the alternative (long term support and availability) was right there too.

TL;DR: The first Saint brake-hub interface (2004) was oversized centerlock. As for new standards, allow bike brands to go wild with whatever new standard they need for minor "improvements". They just need to provide long term support for the current standards.
  • 10 1
 @BenSandle: I've never had 6 bolt rotors actually come loose. The odd bolt from time to time, but they still have 5 friends holding the rotor on. And I can tighten them in a field with the wheels on with the same multi tool I'm using for a bolt check on the rest of the bike before going out for a race run. My road bike has centre lock, and frankly, it's a ballache
  • 6 4
 @hamncheez: axle size has nothing to do with wheel stiffness. hell, a 5mm QR wheel is just as stiff as a 20mm TA. the axle stiffeness the fork/bike, not the wheel. the only thing that stiffens the wheel is a wider flange spacing and moving the bearings out as far as possible.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: I've no idea where the limiting factor is in terms of stiffness - is it the rim, spokes, axle or frame interface (probably not the hub body itself)? It's clear that the larger axles (15 or 20) provide a stiffer *system* stiffness than old fashioned 9mm QR by tying the two sides of the fork/frame together. Which is what the rider feels
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: has you could tell the difference between them............
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: sure, but people have some weird ideas about what causes what, and I think it's somewhat important that people understand what TAs did and what Boost did, so that we don't have to listen to people complain about "(super)boost is stupid! 142 was perfectly fine!!!!".

because, no.....not it wasn't. lol
  • 1 0
 @carym: Thanks, I didn't know this piece of the puzzle.
  • 1 0
 @BenSandle: especially when you use a Chris King threadfit bb
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O: Norco does some weird stuff with their BB and rear hub sizing in relation to other manufacturers. The Aurum HSP 29 uses a PF107 BB and 148 Boost rear end. the 27.5 uses a 142 rear and the same PF107 BB. I will say I almost never hit my heels on the rear triangle on my HSP9 vs the V10 I was on previously, I was constantly smashing the ball of my ankle with a 83mm BB and 157 Boost rear. However even with the "odd" standards the HSP is the most comfortable and best riding DH bike I've ever ridden. I think the point made in the article is pretty on point. Norco steps out of the box of the "norm" and makes some killer bikes in the process.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike makes it seem that high pivot designs have been away for a long while but it isn't quite the case. The Trek Session 10, the K9 bike and even something from Orange (though maybe it was experimental) have been there in the mean time. On the enduro front, it may have been less common but the Craftworks ENR has been around fro a good while too.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: They were away for a long time. Orange never released a high pivot bike. The Session 10 was gonners in 2008. The only brands that had a high pivot until Commencal resurrected the idea in pop culture were Redalp, Canefield Bros (Jedi), and a few Corsiar models. Hardly mainstream enough to claim that HP designs persisted in the mainstream.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Ah, seems like I lost track of time a little. Then again, what is so special about seeing the mainstream brands pickup a concept that the less mainstream have been doing for years? Plus of course, it isn't so much the brand as it is the designer. If you hire Luis Arriaz, you'll get a high pivot suspension design as he has always been a big proponent of the concept. Back when he was at K9 he was niche, now he works for GT and we're seeing it on these big brands.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: yeah, it's not hard to build a wheel or replace a freehub mate, my point is what do XD or Microspline achieve that the other does not? It exists just to trap you into the manufacturers ecosystem.
  • 2 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: XD and Microspline allow for a smaller top cog, from 11 to 10 or even 9. Also, HG drivers (what they replaced) are soft and develop pretty bad gouges in them over time. I personally think microspline is the superior design, since XD requires a more complex and expensive cassette.
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: the newer freehubs allow you to use down to 9 tooth cassettes instead of 11 tooth. If Shimano was still only using the hg free hub you would need a 11-56 cassette, that would look pretty silly in my opinion. Of course you can argue that people do not need that range, but other people could also argue that they want even more range.

There is no problem running a SRAM cassette with a Shimano drivetrain or the other way around, so they are not locking you into their ecosystem at all.
  • 2 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: oh maybe I misunderstood. What is the advantage of microspline over xd? Shimano would never use someone else's development, that is mostly why microspline exists. Micro spline does allow the cassette to be made in clusters too, which is shimano's preferred solution for cassette construction, where as a xd cassette must be all one piece once installed.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: *Picard facepalm gif*.

I know what XD and Microspline achieve over the old HG standard, my point is everyone used to use HG, any cassette worked on any freehub, it was standard.

Now there are 2 different options that achieve the same thing, I don't care which one we use, I've had both and they both work fine, but now I'm stuck buying Shimano cassettes whilst I have a Microspline freehub or I have to spend another £60 if I wanted to run a SRAM cassette, or a similar amount if I wanted to use a SunRace 12sp.

It doesn't matter that it's trivial to swap one out, it's cost/expense to use a different component with no discernable advantage for each system, just one system will do - like when we all used HG.
  • 3 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: use whatever cassette you want with whatever drivetrain you want, you do not have to switch. I use a SRAM 11 speed shifter to move a Shimano 12 speed derailleur on a SunRace 10-46 Cassette on a XD driver with a YBN 11 speed chain. Works fine.
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: the only change I would want on my setup is that I wish Shimano or SRAM would make a 10-50 or 10-52 11 speed cassette. I do think the only weak link is the cassette.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: "11-56 cassette, that would look pretty silly" be careful what you wish for, 10-56 is coming
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I would much rather have a 9-52 than anything bigger than a 52. I would legit like that gearing on my gravel bike, on my MTB the 10- 46 is plenty, but I understand that a 10-52 might make sense for some people in some areas.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: a QR is actually 5mm, DTSwiss had a 9mm thru-axle for front hub that was and still is the bomb.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Were HG drivers soft? My experience was that aluminium HG drivers were soft, but those from Shimano are out of steel and remained smooth. Some other brands (DT, Hope) have steel freehub bodies too and some others again (Syntace, Nukeproof) have options with some steel ridges that protect against gouges. I thought all microspline freehub bodies are aluminium (even those from Shimano eventually as steel turned out to be too expensive to produce) so that in combination with the larger sprockets they're supposed to run got me worried that microspline would develop even worse gouges.

Either way, both microspline and XD don't necessarily allow you to run a bigger gear range but they do allow you to run a smaller sprocket (smaller than 11t). And the smaller it is, the more load is spread over fewer teeth and the quicker it will wear. My 11t sprocket (running a 34t oval front ring, 165mm cranks and 26" wheels) needs to be replaced every time I replace my chain. And yes I do replace my chain at 0.5% strain. These are about 3 euro for XT (steel) and 6 euro for XTR (titanium) so not that much of a deal. Most people seem to run larger cranks and a smaller chain ring so they already have more force going through the chain for the same amount of force on the pedals. If you'd then use a 10t or 9t sprocket, it takes even more of a beating and will wear even faster. And if you can't buy individual sprockets and need to buy a larger cluster (or a full cassette) instead it soon gets unacceptable. At least for me.

So yeah, microspline and XD may add value to some, but definitely not to all. Apparently HG is cheaper to produce (considering Shimano can make those out of steel but steel microspline would be too expensive) so it will definitely stick around.
  • 1 0
 @wizardb: I was thinking of the axle itself, which I thought was 9mm, but maybe 10? Either way, skinny compared to current standards
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney

nsmb.com/articles/have-new-standards-made-bikes-better

Mr Tolnai gets Round 1 with his example of a modern 2011 bike.

I look forward to the next round of the inter-website debate.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: this is turning into a less guns version of rapper beef!
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Would be beautiful indeed if Henry would step up and try and defend his statements. I don't give him much chance but at least it would make this website so much more entertaining if we get to see him drown a bit more slowly. Imagine: more clicks! That's well worth it.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I'm all up for a good debate. If you put out an opinion piece as above then you need to be able to robustly defend it.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I think he should.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Oh yeah, @henryquinney surely must have read the article/response by now and as a worthy PB editor will be intend on countering the statements made at NSMB. Potential advertisers obviously only want to publish on the most sensible website and therefore @brianpark will be watching this space too. Popcorn ready!
  • 3 2
 @GrandMasterOrge: ugh I know what you mean, just the other day I needed to replace the brake rotors on my dodge, I figure I’ll just use the rotors off my vw since I never drive that car, and guess what, they don’t fit! I hate all these standards, why can’t everything fit everything so I only have to buy one thing?

Bikes are toys. We are adults playing with toys. Let’s not complain too much.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Boost front axle standard makes sense to get the extra width but I don't see any reason we had to bounce around with different rear wheel standards. They could have just used 150mm and widened the hub shell and put the caliper mounts where they needed to be on frames. Kind of seems like we went in a big circle to get to 148mm. Back to the front, sure boost makes sense but why do we need 15mm, is it really lighter than 20mm? Sure would be nice if you could switch wheels between enduro and DH bikes.
  • 2 0
 @shami: I doubt there is a soul on the planet who could pass a double blind test of boost vs normal 142mmm rear, or the previous 100x15 vs 110x15
  • 1 0
 @shami: There seems to be a lot of confusion about rear hub sizes.
135 is the same as 142, the only difference being that the 142 has a longer axle that fits in slots in the frame, so lining everything up is easier.

150 is the same as 157, the only difference being that the 157 has a longer axle that fits in slots in the frame so lining everything up is easier.

148 is closer in shell size to a 135/142 hub than it is to 150/157 hub. There was/is even a 141 QR boost hub that further reinforces this point. Looking at the only consistent measurement of hub shell width there was the old school standard started in the 80's of a 135/142 hub and then +6 mm to get to boost. If you want to go from that 135/142 hub to DH/super boost you are adding 15 mm to the hub.

15 mm front axles are a standard because there was no way you could have convinced an XC guy 10 or 15 years ago that they should make the switch from the QR front axles that they were still using, straight to an axle standard that was for DH/Freeride bikes. Many in the XC crowd are still convinced that they need road bike head angles or they won't be able to go up a hill or get around a sharp corner. They really do not like change.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: You can build a good 142 29er wheel if you use high-end components and pull all the tricks with lacing patterns and asymmetric rims. But it is really hard to build a 29er wheel that doesn't feel super noodly for a heavier riders with even midrange parts when you are using a 135/142 hub. Since bracing angle is the most important part of the lateral stiffness of a wheel, given the same components, it is no small thing to have the right side flange around 15% further from the center of the hub.

I don't push on the front wheel hard enough to have ever noticed the difference in the front stiffness, due to bad riding habits developed from starting riding 30 years ago, when you mostly needed to get way back or go OTB all the time.

I was never comfortable on 29er rear wheels untill boost came out, could feel the flex bad on anything but the highest end wheels. Never would have bought a 29er without either boost or a DH/Superboost hub. I have never rode a Superboost equiped bike, but have always wondered how my duckfooted stance would get along with wider rear end spacing.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: data? With cheap, Aliexpress carbon rims and Bitex hubs, I couldn't tell the difference when I went from 142 to boost. I doubt there is a person alive who can feel the difference. Control for everything- same rim, same spokes, same hub. Most "boost" hubs have the same bracing angle for their spokes, and just widened the flanges and brake mount to make them fit boost frames/forks.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: So your basically saying we didn't get any measurable gains in hub shell width until we got to 157? That still doesn't explain why we couldn't have just gone straight past 142 and 148 to a 150 with slots in the frame, would have basically been the same as 148 but with some backwards compatibility. At least then we would only have 2 sizes, 150 and 157. Also, is there really a need to go all the way to 157? A lot of reputable companies obviously don't think so yet, there are still an awful lot of big travel 29rs running 148 and Commencal actually is 150 on the Supreme DH.
I'm definitely not an authority in this matter but from looking at 2 bikes I have, one with the old 150mm and a newer bike with 148 it certainly seems like we could have easily made it work with less growing pains.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I personally can't really weigh in on the real world stiffness gains of boost since I'm not a real big guy and I haven't spent a lot of time on 29rs but the concept that as wheel size increases so should bracing angles does make sense. I'm more annoyed about how we got here, I think we could have used the DH standards from a decade ago and arrived where we are much more easily.
  • 2 0
 @shami: I am 200 pounds and have owned one 29er or another since 2009. I can't tell the difference.
  • 1 1
 @insertfunusername: Also the 15mm justification to appease XC riders makes no sense, we continued to use 20mm for DH but adapted the XC standard for our enduro and freeride bikes? I fail to see the logic there. I'm also not convinced that 20mm couldn't have been sold to the XC crowd, we made the tubing in our aluminum frames bigger diameter for a better weight to strength ratio why not apply the same principal to axles?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: widening the flanges increases the bracing angle. If you are trying to say that cheap hubs just extended the disc mount area and lengthened the non drive side axle length to make a hub boost, it would still have the effect of increasing the bracing angle of the drive side spokes, which was always the problem. All decent hubs though definitely use a totally different hub shell with wider flanges and larger bearing spread than the non boost hubs.

I rode some mid level 142 hub 29er wheels around 2015/16 on a Stache and a Following, and they felt just sketchy. I was checking for super loose spokes during the ride, making sure the hub bearings and axle wasn't loose, that the pivot was good and tight on the Following. When I made it back to the shop, went through the wheel and checked the spokes with a tensiometer and they were both fine. I was maybe 235 at the time and so that is likely why it was so noticable. I now run a 465 gram alloy Kinlin rim on my current boost equiped bike and do not notice any significant wheel flex.

Most mid level bikes don't come with cheap AliExpress carbon rims and Bitex hubs though, so I don't see your point. By mid-level wheels I was talking about stuff like a RF Aeffect wheel set, a Stan's S2 wheelset, any wheel set that a $2500 to $5500 bike would come equiped with or something similar that.

Your proposed carbon wheelset would not do exactly what you think though to combat lateral wheel flex. Stiff carbon rims tend to deflect laterally differently, rather than a lot less, they would be less likely to fail due to lateral flex though. The way a stiff rim like that deflects is the whole rim moves not just the section closest to the lateral load. In road bikes this manifests itself as rim brake rub when standing up out of the saddle. It was never a real problem before super stiff deep section carbon rims, and is why pro road riders often have custom versions of wheelset with higher spoke count to combat this new type of wheel flex.
  • 1 0
 @shami: if you put slots in the frame and then tried to install a 150 hub the cassette would be smashed solid into the frame and disk would be also smashed into the frame. A 150 hub shell is 9 mm wider than a boost hub and you are not able to fit it into a frame with slots at all, not even close. Since you have both types of wheels you can go try it yourself and see why it wouldn't work at all.

Unless you are saying that instead of boost being a 141/148 hub that it should have been a 143/150 hub. That would have been nice too, I think it would have been even nicer than what we got since it would be another 1mm of flange spread on both sides, but it would have confused people since their 150 dh hubs wouldn't have fit at all.

A 157 hub is the exact same as a 150 hub but with longer end caps. The only difference is that the 157 hubs longer end caps go into the 3.5 mm slots on the frame to make installing the rear wheel more easy.
  • 2 0
 @shami: well hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and I agree that there likely is no real advantage for an XC bike to have a 15mm axle instead of a 20mm axle. Maybe a tiny, tiny amount more drag since you need a bigger hub bearing that will require a bit more seal area, I don't know. You also need the special center lock situation for a 20mm hub. The issue was likely one of marketing though, as stuff with 20mm axles were sold using ladies in leather bikinis at the time, which wasn't commonly what the XC crowd identified themselves as being into. And the engineers likely realized that with a 15 mm axle they had plenty of stiffness, especially when compared to a QR axle setup.

The 20 mm axles kept going though untill the end of 100 mm forks, you could still get a fox 36 with 20 mm axles into the mid teens. They were kinda sketchy though as you had to be super careful with your torque on the pinch bolts as they really liked stripping out. I think in general the castings on the 20 mm forks were likely more finicky to make, so maybe that was another reason the switch was finalized once we went to boost forks.

If suddenly all bikes with 36/ Pikes and burlier switched back to 20 mm there would be the exact same, or possibly much more, amount of uproar about old wheels not being compatible with the new bike they just bought.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: "doubt" ??? Doubt what?
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: I know a non boost hub won't go into a boost frame, I'm not foolish enough to try it. I was thinking more like if you put 3.5mm spacer either side of your old 150mm hub you could put it in a super boost frame and then it's only a matter of the correct caliper adapter. Why wasn't something like that done originally? I could be wrong about the viability of that though.
As far as switching back to 20mm front it might raise some hackles but I think it's the right thing to do and perhaps company's could do something like Marzocchi did with their DJ fork and make it a 20mm but with 15mm adapters available.
  • 1 0
 @shami: Many 150 hubs just have different end caps that convert them to 157, since they are the same hub shell. The caliper will line up perfectly in a Superboost frame, because a 150 is the same hub shell as a 157. You can definitely run a dh hub, that is 157 or can be converted to 157, in a super boost frame, it is the same spacing on everything that matters to it working.

The 150/157 hub is 15 mm wider than a 135/142 hub however, and boost sits in the middle at 6 mm wider than the 135/142 hub that had been around since at least the 80's.

I for one would not want the hassle of and potential failure point of adapters on my front axle. I also wouldn't be to upset if we went to 20 mm x 110 boost front hubs as the standard for all bikes. I, however have no say in the matter.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Good points. That's interesting, I actually don't remember seeing 142mm back in the day. Seems like every bike I had until the last decade or so was either 135 or 150. Thanks for all the information. Good talk.
  • 1 0
 @shami: 142 was around at least at the beginning of the 201X's in the MTB world and lasted untill the last models went boost around 2017 for most.

142x12 has been the common rear axle standard on gravel bikes and road bikes for a while now as well.
  • 2 0
 whatever "should have happened", boost 110x15 and 148x12 works amazing for everything from gravel, XC (even road), all the way up to DH. In my opinion, there are only 3 legit reasons to deviate from this:

1. You have lazy engineers who want to use 157 so they don't have to worry about driveside chainstay clearance (Specialized made their Enduro 29er in 2013 with 430mm chainstays with a 142 rear axle, just sayin)
2. You have a Gearbox and so why not have a narrow rear hub
3. You have an inverted fork so you need a proprietary front hub/axle system

Please, engineers, product managers, company owners. Leave it at Boost. Don't iterate on it. There are no measureable performance benefits unless bike geometry and materials dramatically change. Don't do this to us.
  • 1 0
 It has been pointed out a few times in this discussion yet I see the confusion return a few times again too. The regular 20x110 forks had slots where the last part of the hub (or endcaps) would rest. So you could put the wheel in place and everything was aligned. Then you could easily slide the axle in, easy. Well, actually this is just like it still is with the new standards too. But it wasn't the case with 135x12 and 150x12 rear axles. You had to keep the wheel in place and then slide the axle in. A bit finicky. So that's why they (I think Syntace) added 3.5mm to both ends of the hub/endcap and the frames would get these supports just like we already knew them on forks. Nothing changed in terms of flanges, brake rotor or anything. Just that, something to make it easier to install the wheel.

As for the whole discussion about wheel stiffness, I won't say I can notice the difference simply as I haven't tried. I ride 26" wheels (currently with a 142x12 rear axle) and it works well for me. Strong enough is important obviously. But as for stiffness, not everyone agrees do we? I thought a bit of lateral flex is good for tracking. After all as we ride a flat or off-camber turn, the irregularities are (partly) lateral which your rear suspension (if you have that) won't deal with. Lateral wheel flex (and maybe frame flex) is what helps there. And your tires of course but luckily these will be there regardless of your hub standard. So yeah sure if your wheel feels too noodly then apparently it is a bit much. But if it just makes you insecure (in that your wheel might be broken or improperly tensioned) you may need to get over that if the ride is otherwise good. Just like some people may need to get used to their suspension initially. Then of course if you're going to accept noticeable lateral flex it would be nice if it is equal both sides and I am not sure whether you can have that if you have inequal spoke tension between both sides (because of wheel dish). My current rear wheel probably has that (Syntace MX35 with asymmetric rim and different spoke gauges left and right) but my other (self laced) wheel probably doesn't (DT 350 hybrid, DT Alpine III and Spank Spike) though I can't tell whether it tracks better in left or in right hand corners. And whether it is the wheel or just me...
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I don't think you are going to find a lot of DH people that think that they should have wheels that are less strong than they currently are. I guess you could offset a boost hub wheel to the drive side by 4mm, but that still makes them not fit a trail bike that doesn't have an offset wheel.

Why is it so weird to have 2 standards for 2 different disciplines. It seems like being mad that a fat bike has a wider BB, or that there are derailleurs with different length cages.
  • 1 1
 @tfriesenftr: by that logic you'll be looking forward to the day Sram change the brake mount on a boxxer to a proprietary mount that only works with their brakes.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: how would going to boost (from 20mmx100, or whatever that new 20mm boost standard is) make the front wheel less strong? There are already plenty of DH bikes with 148mm rear hubs, and the last gen Demo had 135mm I think
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: Wasn't there a specific Boxxer mount pre-2010?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: there was, yes. It was an IS mount that was spaced further across so needed a wider brake mount or a specific caliper.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: the current standard for DH front hubs is 20x110 boost. It is the dumbest naming since it is actually a wider hub shell than the original 20x110. I wasn't talking about front wheels though just rear wheels.

Demos had offset rear wheels though didn't they, so although it had a more narrow hub it had better bracing angle on the drive side. I didn't actually know that there were many dh bikes with 148 rear wheels, especially with 29" wheels. It is strange that they decide to run those when there has been a standard around for over a decade for dh bikes, perhaps they just prefer it. Just looked up the Norco HSP Aurum and they run a 142 on the 27.5 bikes and a 148 on the 29ers. That is pretty interesting, would be cool to talk through their thoughts on that and why not 148 and 157, or even just 157 all around. Maybe boost is enough for everything, but then it also does seem like 157 works great too, so why not let the engineers and customers choose?

I know a few companies have done special 7speed DH hubs, where they move the flange over quite a ways and then you put the first 7 gears of a 10 speed cassette on. I think E13 and hope at least did some like that.
  • 2 0
 The only standards I’d like to see are more handlebar bends. Not everyone like the classic 9 and 5 bed haha! I really think a 7 degree upsweep would with me well
  • 1 0
 @anothermtnbiker: add a few more 12 degree backsweep bars and I'll be a happy man. Contact points are one are we can never have too many options.
  • 2 0
 @anothermtnbiker: that's not a standard though, it still interfaces with the current clamp diameter (please not 35mm, my hands can't take it) and grip and lever diameter. There are plenty of crazy bars out there from the likes of Jones, without needing new standards
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: SQ Lab probably already has the bars you're looking for.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: they do (and I have some 16s) I would just like other options - especially with more rise.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: glad I never jumped on the 35 band wagon then
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: this entire thread is hilarious. People trying to establish expertise talking about slightly different sizes of bike parts and the slight difference they may or may not make. Marketing works.
I grew up drinking beer from stubbies. That was s standard.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: demoed a couple of bikes with them. Felt harsh. However, if you're a big strong rider (or the bike comes with lighter bars), you may be ok
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I'm big enough but never felt the need for stiffer bars. Nor did Renthal - they only made them because everyone else did.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: im surviving on idk-40 with a 32t on a heavyish mtb
  • 85 13
 "I want the best bike full stop. No ifs, no buts."
No you dont. You dont want to spend months testing hundreds of configurations and set ups following rigorous scientific protocols, to then spend tens of thousands of dollars on custom carbon frames built just for you that you can throw away after a season because by then something marginally better exists. And then repeat the whole process from the start. Because thats what you would have to do to get "the best bike full stop".
You just want a bike that you think is not limiting your enjoyment or speed, no matter how far from the theoretical optimum it is.
  • 28 0
 What he wants is the component manufacturers to not be so hindered by "standards" that might impede their goal of making the "best bike" components. At least without the vicious lash back that the bike community hurls towards those manufacturers.
  • 6 0
 I mean, if I was a billionaire and needed something to fill my time with, I could think of worse obsessions.
  • 1 1
 Nail on head mate
  • 4 0
 Easy response to that BS: "Define 'best bike.'" Does it weigh 20 pounds, but break after five rides? Or does it weigh 35 pounds, and is indestructible? And that's just the weight/durability spectrum...

Why do I still come here..?
  • 74 3
 we just want our 20mm front axles back, we'll give up on the rest of it
  • 7 0
 I have to agree on this.
  • 17 7
 15mm axle caused boost to need to happen to solve the stiffness piece we lost. Boost width meant more flex load on fork bushings thus requiring wider diameter fork tube / bushings. Bigger tubes means more weight, which hey we can take out of the load areas like crowns.

20mm could have prevented all the front end of bike woes.
  • 10 4
 @cougar797: 20 mm axles would not have solved the issue of wheel stiffness once the diameter of wheels increased to 29" on all the rowdy bikes. I'm not anti 20 mm axles, it was cool on the one bike I owned with one, but it couldn't have changed the wheels stiffness.
  • 15 6
 @insertfunusername: Boost did not fix 29" wheel stiffness on its own by any means. Real heavy duty type 29" rims hitting the market fixed 29" wheels.
  • 16 4
 @cougar797: triangulation of the spokes is the best way to increase wheel lateral stiffness, without boost hubs I would not be able to run the fairly lightweight alloy rims that I currently use, I should probably be on super boost though. I'm well over 200lbs running 470 gram alloy 29" rims with no problems. When I first rode 29ers the rear wheel flex on anything but high-end wheels was extremely noticable. I build my wheels with mixed lacing patterns to help stiffen the drive side in the back and disc side in the front as well, which helps some too, since shortening the spoke is the 2nd best way to increase wheel lateral stiffness.

Regardless this has nothing to do with 20 mm axles, which cannot change wheel stiffness.
  • 1 2
 The 20x110 boost standard is fairly new actually. It indeed isn't the original 20x110 standard. That said, you can still get hubs in the old standard without issues. I actually feel for those with old Curnutt forks (30mm axle) and the Specialized E150 fork (25mm axle).
  • 5 2
 Could the lack of 20mm be to do with companies saving €£¥$ on having different dies for lower castings....?

Personally I'm sick of bent 15mm axles an twisted lowers
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: I can't really see that being an issue, as the die for each lower cast is specific to the model. Let's say Rockshox has the Zeb and Fox has the 38, just do a boost 110×20 on all models. I personally don't see a benefit to the 15mm axle at all. Crank spindles have only gotten larger in diameter and lighter in the process without sacrificing strength.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: soz I should've said that I work in a foundry a lot of our customers will CNC the same casting for different parts or models of the same part. Can't do that with 15 an 20mm axles... but if all axles are 15... boom same lower casting for all models of the same stanchion diameter...
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Agreed, but to my point; I don't see any benefit to a 15mm axle in most cases. That being said, the Sid has a 35mm stanchion but I don't believe it shares the same lowers as the pike. Fox included. A 36 is a 36, however the 34 has a standard and a step cast. I personally don't see a requirement for a 20mm axle on a 34, but the 36 and up would make sense.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: don’t forget maverick, 23mm I think
  • 2 0
 @cyclesoul: Maverick was weirder than that. A long 25mm axle in the hub, the fork lowers clamped directly to the outside ends of the hub, so technically the Maverick forks had no thru-axle at all.
  • 4 0
 @cyclesoul: Maverick we’re 24mm
  • 9 1
 Pretty sure that if the industry moved from the current “standard” of 15mm to 20mm, about 80% of the people incessantly complaining about 15mm winning out over 20mm would quickly pivot to complaining about the industry imposing the new standard of 20mm on everyone.
  • 4 2
 @muscogeemasher: luckily the industry isn't driven by the complaints of people who are choked their current bike is obsolete.
  • 2 0
 @muscogeemasher: Maybe. Someone could make a killing selling 20 to 15mm adapter kits to thread into forks? Should get to work on that....
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: But, then take the Pike an Pike DJ, I don't know any DJ'ers that actually want a 15mm. Same for the Circus.
  • 1 1
 @insertfunusername: nope! shorter spokes DO NOT=stronger wheel. if that were the case, we would all be lacing out shit radially. lmao. More crosses=more spokes taking load from a given force input=less flex=stronger wheel.
  • 2 1
 @conoat: shorter spokes make a laterally stiffer wheel, definitely, lab tested. The spokes are just springs, so if they are shorter, they are stiffer.

A radial wheel is the stiffest laterally as well as vertically. With a disc brake bike it also wouldn't work at all because it would just wind itself up.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: Yep triangulation of spokes increases stiffness in a wheel, but increasing the length of something generally adds flex. I'd love to be proven wrong but I've never seen a single test that took an identical (bar the spacing) fork and wheel that proved that Boost has less flex than 100mm. I'm not convinced that the (on most wheelsets) extra 5mm between hub flanges off-sets the increase in flex in the fork brace, crown, hub shell and axle.
Boost front ends can run wider tyres. When Boost came out the 'bike industry' decided that we all wanted to run 2.6 - 3" tyres and therefore Boost became the standard. As I've already said I'd love to be proven wrong but I'm pretty confident that anyone running 2.5" or smaller tyres on a Boost front end will have a bike that is both heavier and with more flex than if it was the old 100mm standard.
  • 2 0
 @jim-the-saint: I have also not seen any direct comparisons between a boost and non boost fork as far as stiffness. I would assume that they are better at some loads and worse at others, but having actual testing would be interesting. Forks mostly got heavier when they went boost and I always assumed that was to compensate for some of that.
  • 1 0
 The only thing I've heard about stronger wheels is if you have equal spoke tension. Already in the days of 135mm rear hub spacing, brands like Specialized had an off center rear to build a dishless rear wheel. Even my singlespeed Specialized P1 has that so that indeed defied the point if you wanted to use a dedicated single speed hub. But I digress. When the boost rear hubs came about (12x14Cool shifted that one sideways too. Syntace had the EVO6, Cannondale has something else but it all is basically the same. Other solutions we see are different flange diameters, offset rim drillings, different spoke thicknesses (left to right). Whatever is the best solution, it seems like the industry has agreed that equal spoke tension is good for a strong wheel. So one thing that could be tried is to have a bike with a symmetric 148mm hub spacing. Build a rear wheel with a 148mm hub and another one with a 142mm hub and boost adapter (which also shifts the brake rotor to fit the caliper). DT Swiss has them for their hubs, so that may be one to try. Then see which wheel is stronger. The one with wider flange spacing (boost) or the one with zero (or at least less) dish (no boost). I'm not discussing stiffness here as that is just a matter of preference anyway. We'd need to see a super slow mo series of huck to sideways landing series to get an idea of how much of the flex happens at the wheel, at the axle interface, in the fork and maybe even near the headset. But yeah, what matters is strength. Are you better off with zero dish (and slightly shorter spokes indeed) or with a wider flange spacing?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: don't have to do all those steps. The only difference between a DH150/157 hub and a super boost hub is that one has offset flanges and the other is zero dish. I can guarantee that I can build a stronger wheel with the super boost hub though if I can use asymmetric rims and mixed lacing.

Especially on 29ers though the lateral stiffness plays a big role. It is pretty easy to feel the difference in the lateral stiffness when turning left vs right of a wheel that has 3x both sides and a symmetric rim, even with a stiff rim this flex is still there. It was much more noticable with non high end 29er wheels with 135/142 hubs.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Yeah, asymmetric rims and different spoke thicknesses are another way to create equal spoke tension indeed as I mentioned already. My current rims (Syntace, maybe rebranded Ryde Trace 29 as that's what they look like) actually are asymmetric and are laced with 1.7mm spokes on one side and 1.8mm spokes on the other. They're keeping up fine so far. But I've read some rim manufacturers don't like these asymmetric profiles as apparently they introduce weird stresses. Either way, from my experience wheels either break from broken spokes (near the hub) or it is the rim that breaks. So when I build wheels, I use symmetric rims and just use DT Alpine III spokes (2.3-1.8-2.0). These spokes may add 9g of weight to a complete wheel (close to the hub) but I've never had one of these break. But I may just have it easy as I run 26" wheels so apparently loads on the wheels are much smaller than for those running 29" wheels.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I just use regular butted spokes(2.0/1.8/2.0) and then lace them 3x/2x with the 2x on the drive side in the back and disc side in the front. Almost perfect tension, but if you use a rim with the spokes offset around 2mm the tension ends up perfectly even.

I currently use that set up with a 460 gram alloy 29er rim and have no problems on my trail bike, even though I'm quite heavy lately, at quite a bit over 200 lbs.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: I couldn't agree more. The pike has 3 separate casts. The pike DJ uses 26" specific lowers. I don't see benefit to using a 15mm axle on any pike. The fox 831 and Marz DJ can be used with both 15 and 20.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: I admit I've never built anything other than 3x both sides. I'm just a casual home mechanic. I don't mind spending three hours on a complete wheel. Cuppa tea, good tune. It won't be anything special and it won't be quick enough to hire me as a workshop mechanic. But my wheels are strong. The first wheel I ever built took me two half days. But I took it to the Megavalanche and it survived, so good enough Wink .
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: brooooooo. with all due respect, you're just so flatly wrong, I am not sure where to start.


radial wheels wind up with rim brakes too, lol. it's why it's only used on super light duty road race applications where single grams matter. if a radial wheel is the best both laterally as well as vertically, then why don't you see it on MTBs? the answer is they aren't strong enough....they would explode on the first 2' drop. they don't have enough spokes taking the impact.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: they are not used in the rear on a road rim brake bike because of wind up from pedaling forces. There is no force on the front hub of a rim brake bike to wind the hub up in the wheel. I have also never said that a radial wheel is stronger in any direction, it is just stiffer in a few directions and way worse at resisting wind up.

They are not used in more rim brake applications because they ride harsh(because they are so stiff) and it is a lot harder on all the components since you are trying to pull the spoke out of the hub flange in the direction it is weakest and there is a lot less flex in the system to spread the loads around a bit better. You tend to see more broken spokes, cracking around the spoke holes in the rim and more hub flange failures on radial wheels, especially when there are fewer spokes used. I used to see people run radial spokes on MTB'S a lot back in the early and mid 90's, but it was stupid because of all those reasons.

Anyway, clearly I have not been saying that people should be running radial on disc brake MTB's it would break right away.

2x/3x though is a great way to build a wheel that is more equal in lateral stiffness and also evens up the spoke tensions. I have personally witnessed many wheelsets being built up that way and have exclusively built my own personal wheels that way for about a decade. It works great and is noticably more equal in lateral stiffness when cornering.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: The load is distributed across the top half of the spokes. In case of 3x, the load is still distributed across the spokes that move upwards from the hub. I don't think it is any different. I do agree that a radially laced rear wheel would wind up too even when used with rim brakes (or no brake). Most modern mountainbikes have disc brakes front and rear so you can't lace these wheels radially. Plus for most hubs it is not allowed as the spoke hole is drilled too close to the edge of the flange.

That said, wheel stiffness is different in the different directions. I'd say for lateral/axial stiffness it doesn't quite matter whether the wheel is laced radially or not as the spoke angle in the radial projection is the same either way. A smaller diameter wheel or higher rim (basically a smaller ERD), wider flange spacing, higher flanges, all would make for a stiffer wheel axially. This is what for instance Rohloff pride themselves on. As their hubs are inherently big, the positive effect is that their wheels are stiff laterally.
  • 1 0
 Industry: We'll meet you half way on the new standard: 17.5mm.
  • 1 0
 @frenchyroast: ohhh that's cheeky. It will probably me 19.8mm
  • 1 2
 @vinay: rim brakes apply the exact same forces to a radial wheel as a disc would. I mean, why does a wheel wind up to begins with? the answer is that there are competing forces at play. momentum and braking. the momentum is the same, but where the braking force is applied matters not. you are still have opposing force vectors, and that force goes into the wheel. in the case of a radial laced wheel, that equals some amount of wind up. the reason you can get away with it on a road bike is the diminished total forces applied. lower weight(lowering total kinetic energy) as well as much smaller contact patch of the tire(less maximum braking force over a 2.5" MTB tire).

road radial wheels 100% wind up with rim brakes.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: In case of drum brakes, disc brakes, roller brakes, coaster brakes etc, the load is transfered from tire to rim through the spokes to the hub where you have the reaction moment and a force to balance it out. So near the hub, the spokes need to transfer a reaction moment which is why they need to be offset from the axle. They can only transfer normal forces (little to no bending) so they need an arm which is more or less half the pitch circle diameter of the hub flange (in case of 3x lacing). In case of rim brakes, the load goes from tire to rim and that's where the pads pick it up. You'll still have a load at the hub (otherwise the wheel would fly out of the fork) but there is no moment applied there so the spokes don't have to transfer a moment hence the spokes don't necessarily have to be offset with respect to the axle. That is, their line can intersect with the wheel axle which you have in case of a radial lacing.

@insertfunusername: Ok, 2x/3x sounds interesting if it gives you a more even spoke tension. As said, I don't think I've ever build anything other than 3x/3x and thinking of it, I don't know really how to build 2x/3x. My source for my first wheel was Sheldon Brown, later I bought a book (digitally) by Roger Muson called the Professional Guide to Wheelbuilding. He often refers to Jobst Brandt, but I never looked into Jobst's own work. Do you have any instructions (a public source) on building 2x/3x? I might try it someday though at this point I don't really need to build a new wheel.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: Exactly the same? Not quite. The spokes & hub of a disc wheel need to take out the resulting moment that is a result of the rotor and road (opposing forces) being in different locations radially. On a rim brake bike this is effectivley cancelled out as the braking surface and road contact point are effectively int the same location (You still have the forward momentum of the bike in both cases). This is why you can lace a front wheel radially as on rim brake road bikes, but need to go to a cross pattern for a disc brake wheel. Similarly rear wheels have always had an aspect of cross due to the moment resulting from the cassette/chain and road contact.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: never seen a formal guide to building that way. The simple way to think of it is that if you did the 3x side first the matching spoke on the 2x side is placed in the hub on the wrong side of it's mate... So the matching pair of spokes cross each other.... Trying to do this in just words is not the right way.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Yeah agreed for the kind of stuff we're discussing in the PB comment section, just being able to use words only doesn't cut it. Felt the same in the discussion about radial lacing with rim brakes... Either way I'll delve into this 3x/2x pattern by the time I'm going to build a rear wheel again. My most recent rear wheel is mighty strong (Spank Spike 26" rim, DT Alpine III spokes and a DT 350 hybrid rim just because I wanted a steel freehub body) so I doubt it is going to break anytime soon. But sometimes it is just fun making something for makings' sake so I'm definitely going to try it. Cheers!
  • 64 3
 28.99 - explains all you need to know about "standards" and the bike industry
  • 8 0
 Was searching for this to be mentioned. Thank You
  • 7 0
 That's just Sram working around patents held by Campy and Shimano. 24mm steel axles are superior as they allow a standard bearing in a BSA or PF92 bottom bracket.
GXP where all load were concentrated on one bearing or 30mm axles in BSA/PF92 is arguably worse than DUB.
  • 10 0
 I don’t get it, was there a 29.00mm spindle standard before that? If not, who cares, it’s a new standard, no different than raceface or anyone else, who cares if there’s a decimal in the number if there was never a chance of it being compatible with any other spindle anyways?
  • 5 0
 I don’t see the problem. A 28.99mm spindle slides into a 29.00mm BB.
  • 2 3
 @MaplePanda: sure. with extra play. lol. a 24mm spindle would slide right into a BB30!!!!
  • 5 0
 @martinaasa: turns out the SRAM DUB bbs are 30 mm ID bearings with a 1 mm plastic sleeve. So you still get the same thin bearings as 30 mm spindle cranks.
  • 9 0
 being sram there's probably a big enough manufacturing variance that the 0.01 is superfluous Wink
  • 4 0
 But Sram ̶m̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶e̶e̶r̶s̶ scientist have ackschually scientifically proven that decreasing the size of parts by a hundredth of a millimeter gives massive performance gains, and thus this standard you completely justified and superior to all others, and there is no way you can argue against that.
  • 1 0
 @DMal: Nothing to see there. Just innovation happening. Just keep moving along and buying new shit.
  • 1 0
 @Civicowner: That's very likely true ahahah
  • 3 0
 @Civicowner: I don't even think SRAM can adhere to a +/- 1mm tolerance on a good day let alone a +/- 0.01mm one.
  • 93 38
 What a load of BS.

It's a typical article "this is the consensus so I will go against it and people will think I'm smart". There are so many standard changes that offered no benefits. Or standards that were later trumped by other standards. Not to mention useless standards that just make stuff worse like BB30 (seriously lets go back to threaded). Why did we for example go from 135/150 to 148/158? If we went with 1.5 why did we have to go back to taper?

Also "however, that the bike industry is forcing things on the customer that they have to buy against their will is cringeworthy." - This is the most stupid sentence of the whole article. If I want to buy a new frame I often can't transfer some of my old components. So how is this not being forced to buy new stuff?
  • 31 20
 "If I WANT to buy a new frame"...that answers your question. Bikes are not required and you have literally hundreds of options if you WANT to buy a new frame. Of those, many will fit with your old components, so your CHOICE to change is a choice. Trek and Specialized aren't forcing you to buy anything new...
  • 5 10
flag JonnyTheWeasel (Aug 23, 2021 at 14:44) (Below Threshold)
 You've just explained the entire article by agreeing with the points that the author makes.
  • 7 16
flag Mike-Jay (Aug 23, 2021 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 "If I want to buy a new frame I often can't transfer some of my old components." You simply sell the incompatible parts with your old frame. You get compatible parts with your new frame, so does the buyer. To think you can keep all the components from one frame to the next is just ignorant.
  • 1 5
flag bykeco (Aug 23, 2021 at 15:59) (Below Threshold)
 “ There are so many standard changes that offered no benefits. Or standards that were later trumped by other standards.”

Ummmm…
  • 10 2
 I've got to agree. Normally a big fan of Henry's articles but this was over the top. No one's holding back manufacturers from introducing whatever standards they want. Who cares that some will complain, like he mentioned, they won't be customers anyway. People just want a good bike that will still have relevant parts for more than two years. Shits already expensive enough lol.
  • 5 0
 @DylanH93: yeah I agree, the idea that no one is “forced” to buy new parts depends on the situation. My personal experience with this goes as follows...
About 8 years ago I bought a new bike that was maybe a tiny bit behind the curve even for 8 years ago. But that didn’t matter when I went to buy the next new bike other than I couldn’t get much resale value. No one forced me to go through with buying a new bike, but a bike from 4 years ago absolutely rode better than my bike from 8 years ago. None of the parts would transfer, but who cares I was buying a whole new bike. If I hadn’t felt a new bike was necessary as far as obvious ride improvement, I’d have just stuck with what I had even if finding parts was beginning to get trickier- but not impossible by any means. So fine, no forcing involved.
However, fast forward to about a year ago. My now 3ish year old bike had a warranty failure and I had to get a new frame. I wasn’t going to get a whole new bike with new parts, just a frame to cover the defective frame. Cool, that’s fine and fair, I thought. But unfortunately, even within that time the manufacturer had made some “minor” changes- which makes sense since all bike companies seem to work off a 3 year development period and release an updated version of bike X. Most parts transferred just fine, but a handful didn’t. And that really sucked because I did sort of feel forced by them to then buy new parts I really didn’t need just to be able to work with the new standards they had chosen to use all just so my warranty replacement could even be used. That was a bummer man.
Like I get it, if I went to buy a new bike it’d be that way, like it was the time before. But the way that new standards affect warranty replacements is, to me, the real downside to ever changing standards cuz through no fault of my own I had to plunk down more money unexpectedly. I think the other small kick in the pants was that it wasn’t like the geo was super different, it was dumb crap like BB standards. My 8 year old bike rode like crap, the 4 year old bike rode amazing. This new one doesn’t ride any differently, but has different standards. Sometimes stuff like everyone moving over to a new more modern geo does make stuff ride better but requires new tech- like boost wheels. Sometimes switching from one BB standard to another, makes zero difference, other than maybe fewer creaks when climbing.
I get why people are pissed at changing “standards” but I also see the importance of change. Sometimes you get swept up in it. Sometimes you ride the wave all the way back to the beach.
  • 5 1
 @Mike-Jay: I'd argue that true ignorance is buying into the marketing bullshit and beliving you can't keep all the components from one frame to the next.

The only reason you can't keep those components is that standards changed, and the fact is that many of those standard changes didn't improve anything.

Soo if the standard change didn't improve anything why did it happen? It happened because if you keep using your perfectly functional old components, and the industry can't make anything that offers advantages signifcant enough for you to buy their new parts, then the industry doesn't sell. But the industry wants to keep selling, and the way the push you into buying new stuff is by deliberatly making your old parts obsolete.

It's planned obsolescence. Go look it up. It's fun stuff.
  • 1 3
 Normal people when confronted with such situations just decide go live good ol' hunter-gatherer naked rock stick bashing starving diseased life, and thus are actually not forced to buy anything. Sorry to inform but this is a very big brain argument and you cannot refute it.
  • 1 5
flag c-radicallis (Aug 24, 2021 at 7:13) (Below Threshold)
 And, yes, this is perhaps the dumbest article ever posted on pinkbike, and also, yes, it is absolutely justified to insult Henry.
  • 1 8
flag c-radicallis (Aug 24, 2021 at 7:13) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck you Henry
  • 46 4
 “ The idea, however, that the bike industry is forcing things on the customer that they have to buy against their will is cringeworthy.”

Lol…
  • 27 8
 The idea that SRAM and Shimano are completely free from price-fixing and collusion in cringeworthy. There was a lightbulb cartel -- do people really think DUB is for the betterment of bikers, or just another corporate machination designed to treat frame makers like component integrators?
  • 12 6
 Henry can't possibly be this naive. This is perhaps the worst article ever posted on pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: Dont forget the latest Knolly review…
  • 1 1
 @fjopsys: You know I've recently found that GE Reveal LED bulbs gradually dim themselves to uselessness over time to force you to buy new ones. I've watched two of them side by side dim at the exact same rate over time, and more than one set.
  • 2 0
 How hilariously appropriate. lol
  • 3 0
 there's always a relevant xkcd always
  • 1 0
 As an engineer, this is what happens when you let engineers design your product. Product designers should design products. We can't be trusted. Product designers would have said no to Supa Boost.
  • 1 0
 @piratetrails: my wife, the VP of Product for a very large tech company would like this. in fact, I think I will send her this comment to boost her ego. lol
  • 26 0
 there are no new standards in the last 10+ years that make that norco possible.

10 years ago we had 1.5 headtubes, 20mm front axels, 150mm rear spacing, 83mm bb, 29er wheels, wide seattubes and 10x on normal freehubs. Possibly, just possibly stealth routing for the dropper is new, but thats not even a standard Big Grin
  • 11 1
 what we have had in that time is tapered headtubes, 15mm axels, 148mm rear spacing, boost spacing, 27.5, plus wheels and a bunch of freehub and bb standards. None of them helped.
  • 9 0
 @hughlunnon: and 35mm handlebars
  • 1 0
 Internal dropper routing is absolutely a standard. You try putting one on a frame that wasn't designed for it... without drilling any holes.
  • 4 1
 @barp: Goes in the front derailleur cable routing hole, simples.
  • 1 2
 Thank you
  • 3 2
 @cyclesoul: Even better than that is the fact that some pros are still running 31.8 and thus effectively proving the 35mm standard as total bullshit.
  • 2 0
 @barp: AXS


there. solved it!
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: So now I'm confused. A front der cable hole--all the ones I've seen--allow a cable to go into the downtube just behind the headtube, and come back out again out of the downtube, just ahead of the seat tube. That won't help you get the dropper cable into the seat tube where you need it. Or did I miss the joke?

@conoat: Okay, so... AXS droppers are not a new standard, in terms of frame design; but internally routed droppers still are.
  • 1 1
 @barp: You missed the joke, but you also missed the serious part. Leaving aside the common scenario where the FD cable exit hole is on the back of the seat tube, the dropper cable only needs to go _into_ the frame, it doesn't need to come back out again.
As long as the frame doesn't have a solid BB shell (and even most metal frames don't), you can route the housing through the BB area and up the seat tube. Just make sure you haven't tossed out the plastic spacer between the bb cups or your dropper housing will wear through the crank axle.
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: Your FD cable goes into your seat tube?
  • 1 1
 @MaplePanda:
* My own current bikes with a front derailleur all have full external routing.
* Some bikes that have internal routing have the exit point for the RD cable on the seat tube
* My last MTB that had a front derailleur had internal routing for a dropper
* Almost all bikes that have internal cable routing (excluding those that use an uninterrupted internal tube for the cable) also have an opening from the down tube to the BB and from the BB to the seat tube that would allow you to pass cable housing for a dropper, even if they weren't designed with that intent.
  • 24 2
 Well it used to be that if you taco’d a wheel, and had a ride the next day, you ask a buddy for a loaner. One diameter, one hub dim, one cassette interface.

Now, we have at least 3 active O.L.D. widths, 3 cassette mounts, two different rotor mounts, and two active wheel diameters. So the chance of your buddy having a loaner is 1 to 50-billion.
  • 19 3
 On the plus side, the wheel you borrow isn't going to be a 26" rim brake wheel with a 26x1.95" tire.
  • 6 1
 You say that, but I can actually directly swap my wheel with almost every single one of my riding buddies. Mostly all on 29ers with 1x12 drivetrains and 148 hubs. I ride with 1 person that rides a 27.5 bike, and since it's a 1x12 and 148 hub I can technically swap that in and just "mullet" the bike with a super low BB.
  • 3 0
 @Mike-Jay:

Hahaha yes but there’s a cost to progress too!
  • 7 0
 @jaredmh:

Get off my lawn!! ::shakes fist::
  • 1 0
 All three of those cassette mounts support 12 speed cassettes, at least
  • 1 2
 @Mike-Jay: Unless we're talking Walmart bikes, 26" rim brakes haven't been a thing since MAYBE the early 2000s, but mostly the late 90s.
  • 2 0
 Assuming all the hub widths, all the freehub types, both rotor types, and both wheel diameters are evenly distributed, that would actually give you a 1:36 chance of any wheel being a match for any other wheel (3 x 3 x 2 x 2). But in reality some options are more popular than others, so if you pick the popular options for your bike you have much better odds.
  • 4 0
 @nickfranko: disc brakes only became more or less standard on high-end bikes in the early 2000s, mid range stuff was still rim brake for longer, or came with awful cable discs.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: It was the last time we had an absolute standard wheel and hub, probably 1996. Ever since then there were multiple wheel sizes and brake interfaces.
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: Hey! My Avid mechanical disc breaks were absolutely awesome, for the time!
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: Still are awesome compared to the MT200 trash I'm stuck with on my bike.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: you never got fine grit in the actuating mechanism or between the cable and housing? My brother in law had some on his 2003 Jekyll, and the very first ride was on sandy tracks in a torrential thunderstorm. Part-way into the ride his pads would no longer fully retract and just kept dragging, despite backing off the pad adjustment as far as possible. In that single ride he wore the pads down to the metal backing. He then changed to full-length housing, but a couple of months later on another wet ride the same thing happened. After that ride the Avids went in the rubbish bin, and he got some hydraulics instead.
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: I can see that how that could happen with fine sand and tons of rain. I had them on a 2000 Heckler with full-length Jagwire wires and never had a problem other than the pads loosing their magnetic grip and starting to make a rattling sound. All of the riding was in Colorado and Norway, so not a huge amount of sand. I did ride in a couple races in Norway where rain + mud + gravel absolutely locked up the v-brakes on my cross-country bike, but never had the same problem with the Avids.


At the time, when v-brakes still had the lion's share of the brake market and hydraulic brakes cost mucho dinero, the Avid mechanicals were a real eyeopener and they were budget friendly.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: fair point, even cable discs were better than v-brakes in most casesSmile My sister is a nervous brake-dragger whenever the track or road points downhill, and used to wear through rims on her bike!
  • 21 0
 Not really a standard but one silly change that was completely unnecessary is why Fox went with a 203mm post mount on the 2021 40’s. It should’ve been 200 because you can always shim up, but you can’t “shim” down. So if you run sram brakes with 200mm rotors you lose pad contact and if you want to run a 220mm you need a 17mm adapter that only one company currently makes (northshore billet).
  • 5 6
 file off 3mm?
  • 19 0
 @SprSonik: you mean 1.5mm
  • 14 0
 @cyclesoul: you mean .059" Smile
  • 6 0
 Sram make a 203 Centerline rotor
  • 2 1
 Good reason to not buy a Fox right?

I think Henry is on point with his opinion. Without brand "trying" different standards, we would be rocking wooden balance bikes. Might have been kinda cool when I think about it... Anyway. It's innovation, and without it bikes would be boring. Changing standard are not uniqe for the bike biz. It's hapening all over. To move forward. Companies take advante of course, but that's how you make money.
  • 6 0
 they did it because the majority of brake manufactures have picked 203, not 200.

Shimano, Magura, TRP, Hope, etc.....203

200?......Sram.


so the actual bitch here should be, "why in the f*ck is Sram stuck on 200mm when the industry consensus is clearly 203?"
  • 3 0
 @conoat: Obviously because 200 is better than 203
  • 3 0
 @conoat: And the only thing better than 200 is 28.99
  • 23 5
 While indeed some MTB new standards are of questionable advantage, I think we are still in a pretty nice sport when it comes to cross compatibility. I think mountain bikers should take a peak at enduro and Mx motorcycles to appreciate what we have
  • 12 3
 Good point made there, literally nothing from a Honda fits a Suzuki sports bike for example, even if the brembo callipers are the same model there will be some small change.

About all they have that’s cross compatible is tyres and grips.
  • 20 7
 Not a good example since 90% of parts on an MX bike is made specifically for that bike by the manufacturer and/or vendors. Compared to a mountain bike where it's opposite. 50% to 100% of parts of a mountain bike is interchangeable with another frame.

No one in the moto world is complaining about why they can't fit a Yamaha YZ450F exhaust on their new KTM 300 XC-W.
  • 3 1
 @Almazing: that's exactly the example. I've owned multiple motorcycles, and the only thing that is compatible between them are grips and tires, and maybe chains. Wheels or forks cannot be swapped like mountain bikes, Sprockets don't use universal mount standards, if you get a saddle that fits great, it doesn't fit on another bike, brake mounts are all different, rotor mounts are different, etc, etc.
  • 2 1
 @Almazing: literally nothing from one manufacturers bike fits another, nothing.

As I say, even the same model of brembo calliper have minor differences.
  • 10 0
 You are correct sir. Except at least if the part for my MX/Enduro bike breaks most manufacturers have parts that fit going back a decade or more (heck I was able to rebuild a 20 year old MX bike buying parts from a dealer) I own a bike shop and getting parts from specific companies for bikes 2 or 3 model years old is a lesson in futility.
  • 1 3
 @Almazing: my point was exactly that, motorcycle cross compatibility is close to none, hence my comment.
  • 1 4
 @waxman: yes true, but that's more of a supply chain issue than a design one. Considering how relatively small mtb is that situation is somewhat expectable
  • 8 0
 @Arierep: but… that’s why mountain bikers are so worked up over new “standards” - we know our niche sport has a “supply chain” issue on anything but the most popular components. Bike manufacturers know the environment they’re operating in and are making a conscious choice to sell something that will be on life support in 3 years.
  • 5 0
 Sure, let's just settle for less compatibility between parts/bikes since other industries do it!
  • 4 1
 @justanotherusername: That's not at all true, brakes, forks, and wheels can fit with some spacer changes or even as they are. Are you insinuating that MTBs do this? Because my Specialized isn't fitting the rear triangle from a Yeti. Hell, show me how I can easily buy a replacement rear triangle for my bike. It's not easy, or it's impossible, they tell you to buy an entire bike frame when you're done with the warranty.

Meanwhile, in MX land the manufacturers actually support the bikes for quite awhile after they are sold. In MTB land, finding a non-taper 160mm fork and some quality 26" rims for an all-mountain bike was impossible only a few years after they went to 100 (and then 110).
  • 1 1
 @Blackhat: don't have enough info to confirm this, but could it be that keeping inventory and or production of what we could call obsolete parts in a relatively small niche sport is not financially viable for manufacturers? We all lie to complain about about brands and manufacturers and whatnot, but in the end the vast majority of consumers will indeed buy the greatest new part and standard.
More often than not, the consumer has way more power than he realises
  • 2 0
 @Arierep: sigh. The point - it is missed. Neither I nor anyone else is asking for an explanation of the phenomenon. We’re not stupid, and it’s blindingly obvious how difficult it is to maintain production and inventory for a hundred versions of the same thing in a niche sport. Those same difficulties are also blindingly obvious to manufacturers when they create or use a new standard, and it’s fair for consumers to be frustrated by the inevitable results.

Indeed, the vast majority of bike consumers don’t even know to ask what standards the bike they’re considering uses, or what impact to economic maintenance it may have in the future. That doesn’t mean educated consumers who understand the consequences have to silently accept the results, or that we should stop trying to publicize the drawbacks.
  • 1 4
 The problem with comments like yours is that appreciating what we have doesn't help improve anything, and may actually make people more accepting of the awful business practices in our sport. For that you receive a downvote.
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: it kind of depends on your point of view. Appreciation can also be an incentive to conservation
  • 2 2
 @Arierep: In this case we are talking about an incentive to maintain planned obsolescence and keep fooling consumers. That's the kind of thing that I only want to disincentive.
  • 17 1
 Standards are making perfectly good components obsolete. At least make things backwards compatible or easily adapted (here's looking at you Chris King).
  • 2 8
flag justanotherusername (Aug 23, 2021 at 11:27) (Below Threshold)
 How many times are old products made obsolete new standards? Do you have some decent examples?
  • 13 1
 @justanotherusername: My chris king hubs which had years of use ahead of them couldn't not be converted to boost, so unless my frame lasted forever, they won't be transferable, which is lame cause you buy those to last. The 35mm handle bar situation - think 31.8 will be around in a few years? 11spd HG cassettes won't be like 26ers in a few years, shimano will force everyone into micrsopline. Stupid BB sizes. Different direct drive cranks fitment. Why we can't just agree on a hub width, headtube, bb, freehub driver etc is just annoying. Bikes in the 90s sucked, but man it was nice to know all your parts could work with all your bikes.
  • 6 0
 @justanotherusername: rear hub spacing, front hub spacing, tapered head tubes, XD vs HG vs Microspline, rotor sizes, brake caliper mounts, handlebar diameters, bottom brackets, chainring mounts....

Many of these did have tangible benefits (like tapered steerer tubes), but hardly all of them.
  • 5 5
 @hamncheez: I don’t understand how changing any of those made the older version obsolete?

You can still get all of the above in all previous sizes from a range of suppliers - none of them are obselete in any way other than the mind.

I can still get 9spd chains, hg wheels, small rotors and all sorts of headsets and bb’s - no issue at all.
  • 3 4
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Buy some boost spacers , won’t be integrated but work fine.

Of course 31.8mm bars will still exist, that’s a choice not a standard and we can still get almost all old drivetrain parts right back to 9spd easily.

Is this issue in reality or just perceived?
  • 12 3
 @jesse-effing-edwards: 90's were crazy with changes in bikes. Quill stems, then aheadsets stems, a zillion different BB axle lengths and the same 2 shell widths that we still have tidayy, different pull brake levers, different diameter seattubes so you needed different front derailleurs to fit. There were at least 4 different steerer tube sizes, 2 different freehub standards, 7 spd, 8 spd and 9spd stuff wasn't compatible with one another, unlike today where you can shift a 12 speed SRAM derailleur with a 10 speed Shimano shifter on a standard 10 speed cassette.

We got it good now, even if it is annoying that you may buy a frame where your old wheels will need a new rear hub.
  • 6 0
 @justanotherusername: 26" wheels, and 9mm size rear hubs are getting pretty close to obsolete. Tried looking up 26" rims on the Jenson USA site and only 4 types of sets come up. Getting pretty thin.
  • 7 0
 I really like Banshee bikes due to this - modular dropouts on their FS bikes mean you can do a 142 or 148 rear end. If you have an older frame but good parts on it, you could swap them to a new Banshee frame until they break or you're ready to upgrade. Super cool!
  • 8 0
 @hamncheez: Chainring bolt patters, gaaah! why so many different patterns these days! Shimano etc. clearly do that for reasons of incompatibility. There are naff all benefits of these non-90degree 4 bolt patterns. I don't think I've ever even read of it as an advertised beneficial feature, it is just an incompatibility for the sake of it.
  • 3 1
 I challenge anyone to find a 1 1/8 straight steerer tube old 36 or Lyrik. They are going for over $700, the price of a slightly used 2020 Lyrik or 36.
  • 2 0
 @pipm1: That has always been annoying, so many chainring bolt patterns since the begining of my knowledge base.
  • 1 3
 @comt0006: oh come on! Who the hell wants to run 9mm hubs and 26inch wheels will still be available forever, not like anyone uses them anymore.

Probably the worst examples.
  • 1 4
 @hamncheez: Unless you have a frame with 34mm headtube you don’t need a 1 1/8” steerer, and if you do it’s likely to be so old with geometry so poor why would you want to put a brand new 36 on it?

For all other headtubes, just buy the correct headset from the huge number of brands that sell them.
  • 1 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: if everyone stops buy 31.8 because they prefer 35, that is not the manufacturers' fault.
  • 8 0
 @justanotherusername: you can’t use “well it’s old so it must be trash and therefore nobody needs to support anything over 3 years old” as your argument for new standards. I’ve been looking for a fork for my 2008 bike forever, 67° head angle 440mm reach low BB (for 26”), and yeah I have 3 other bikes from 2019+ and they’re great too, but you can piss right off if you think that Enduro SL is too old to enjoy
Remember what it’s like riding on top of your bike rather than inside of it? Sliding around corners with 2.2” tires at 30psi? Jumping with 26” wheels that don’t weigh 2lbs each? It’s a blast
  • 4 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: ya you tell him!

There is a resurgence of retro bikes right now, and people especially love those tiny, think head tubes on steel frames. They look so cool with straight 1 1/8 steerers.
  • 2 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: since it was originally built for a dual crown why wouldn't you just get an old 26" wheel boxxer or 40 and shorten the travel? Boom, problem solved.

I do remember those days of being perched on top of a bike. It was still fun, but man did it get better when this 6'4" guy had bikes that actually sorta fit me. I've always thought that for shorter people, older bikes always felt like they do for me now as far as fit. It will take another decade I think before people realize that gravel bikes shouldn't be wildly short when they are supposed to fit someone my height.
  • 2 3
 @fewnofrwgijn: I don’t think ‘it’s too old to enjoy’ and I also said 26” parts will be available forever… if you care to read?

But yea, 2008 is an old bike, like it or not and you have to expect things to move on a little, or are you still using a phone from 2008 too whining that the new iPhone charger doesn’t fit?

At some point though manufacturers have to stop making parts for museum pieces as only people with a fetish for retro gear will want to keep them going.
  • 3 0
 @insertfunusername: because people still use old boxxers and they sell quickly and stay somewhat expensive, plus it feels weird to ride a fork 50mm lower than intended, I guess I’m just hoping for a $250 talas or something
Honestly right now I’m more looking at new seals for the E150 fork, I took it apart recently and the damper/spring cartridges still function like they’re supposed to, it just pours oil out of the fork every ride and I’ve really been losing hope on finding a used 26” 1 1/8” fork that doesn’t cost the same as a brand new freaking Pike
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername:
Well if standards don’t actually change and availability is forever, then you really have no argument against old bikes right? This changing standards problem isn’t even a problem then if everything is fully available forever
Also I’m kinda just sick of everybody on Reddit saying any bike that’s more than 3 years old, or any 2 year old bike that’s even described as old, is immediately swarmed with “no bro that bike is garbage, new geometry bro” regardless of whether the bike is even old geometry. Bikes have had 63° head angles for over 15 years, long bike riding position has disadvantages too, and you sure look like an idiot when you dismiss a bike for “bad old geometry” when it’s at most 1 degree or centimeter more conservative than bikes being sold in 2020, when some high level bikes are still being sold with the exact same geometry. If you’re gonna argue a point, you gotta look it up first or you just look like a jackass
  • 1 0
 @fewnofrwgijn:
With a Google search it looks like the seals are available in at least the US, Europe and New Zealand. I didn't click on it but it appeared that you could still get entire rebuild kits for the air spring and damper as well.

Old stuff is generally well supported, you can't just walk into a mom and pop bike shop in North Dakota and find the super specific part from a bike made a dozen years ago with proprietary parts, but you can usually still find the parts with a little work.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez:
Do people seriously want old straight steerer Lyriks?
I totally have one of those hanging in my garage cuz it felt weird to throw it away. You find me an interested party at $700 I will totally give you a finders fee.
  • 1 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: I am literally making the point that changing standards haven’t lead to people with obsolete bikes you moron! - that was my whole point

You argued otherwise because you are upset that it’s hard to keep your relic working, that’s not because of changing standards, that’s pure development - things come on a long way in 13 years and we don’t all want to ride old scrap with leaking forks.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername:
Those New Zealand seals are custom made, not supported by specialized
I mean yeah I know people in small parts manufacturing that can make things, I even had to get a tool made by my friend to properly rebuild the E150, 35mm rockshox foam rings fit in it, I found similar bath oil to use sure, but making your own parts and rigging up an almost-ideal replacement is not the same as manufacturer support. Who’s to say that New Zealand site doesn’t cut out that kit tomorrow?
And I wasn’t complaining about not finding seals I was just saying that seems more realistic than finding a suitable fork (that will never see another bike) at a price I’m willing to pay
  • 1 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: The fact you want specialized to directly supply you with fork seals from a 13 year old bike tells me you have no idea of the concept of changing ‘standards’.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: I just don’t think a single, independent fabrication shop in New Zealand counts as “support”, just like me designing and milling my own parts in a storage shed doesn’t count as “support”
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: the link I provided was RWC located in Arizona, they have been around forever and are distributors for many suspension parts for bikes.

They are selling an Enduro brand, set of seals for your fork. Enduro seals were all the rage for quite a long time, as they were thought of as an upgrade compared to the stock seals equiped on Fox and Rockshox products. I personally thought that they did seal a little better, but caused a slight amount more striction, but they are great seals.

Enduro is the brand that makes pretty much every bearing in every suspension bike. These are not weird aftermarket, might fit sorta parts.

You were complaining about not being able to use your fork and here is a seal that will get it running and likely work as well as, or perhaps even better than the original parts. If you are only willing to use the exact oem part, on an unsupported 13 year old proprietary fork.... Than yeah you are out of luck.
  • 1 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: Like I say, expecting OEM fork seals for a 13 year old product says it all about your concept of changing standards - a standard is a bar diameter, cassette count, not the seal design in a specialized specific fork.

And how are Enduro products a fab shop in NZ exactly?

I suppose you only run genuine OEM brake pads too? Genuine specialized parts all round on that retro bike of yours?
  • 3 0
 @insertfunusername: that’s funny I thought a fork from 2008 was an ancient relic that nobody should ever want to keep using and deserves the death it’s getting
Again, I was never complaining that I couldnt get seals, I’m complaining that used straight steerer big-travel forks for sale are so incredibly rare that you can get away with charging as much as a brand new 2020 fork. Why are they so rare? Standards changed. Does a 3/8” thinner lower headset cup make a bike garbage? Not in my experience, that 26” bike kicks ass, I even set a top 10 strava at a bike park after using it twice that day (after like 7 years of never using that bike), the 29” hardtail and 27.5” 180mm enduro bike couldn’t match it that day. More exciting riding too with all the slipperiness, and of course jumping with 26” is god damn incredible
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername:
Homie I don’t care about the seals I said this 3 times
  • 1 3
 @fewnofrwgijn: just a quick browse on the PB buy/sell shows that you can definitely get 26" boxxers for under $300. I was also able to find a 2008 talas 36 for $280.

I don't understand the complaints about not being able to find stuff to keep older bikes running. I can still rebuild my 1st gen Answer Manitou fork, but I do understand that I can't walk into my LBS and buy the parts off the shelf for that one part of my 28 year old bike. I probably could buy every other part though except for the super weird seatpost diameter that it came with.
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername:
I love that you keep calling it retro
What was your first high-level mountain bike? I went from Walmart shit to 2005 Fuji hardtail (from mom) to 2008 specialized rockhopper (from dad), to 2008 enduro SL frameset + 2011 parts (paid/built by me) and then settled on that bike for the next 8 years before going 2019, 2020 and 2022 bikes. That enduro SL still gets ridden, and it still has clear advantages over my ‘19-‘22 bikes in some situations. At what point does the bike you are riding stop being the latest and greatest and start becoming retro vintage trash? Shirley you have a threshold year and you’re not just throwing baseless opinions around right?
  • 3 6
 @fewnofrwgijn: stop moaning and scrap the bike then homie, ride it with oil pissing from the forks, or spend what the whole things worth on some new forks for it because ‘changing standards’

Odd guy, enjoy riding that old turd of yours.
  • 1 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: you did talk about wanting a different fork but then also said "Honestly right now I’m more looking at new seals for the E150 fork". Well you can get either.

The seals are from a reputable manufacturer and a great distributor that many bike shops use a source for parts, so you could probably order them from your LBS. They are less than $40 so not a big commitment.

You can buy many forks new that will also fit your old headset, but not top of the line stuff. If you put in the effort you could probably find a Fox 36 or RS Lyric from the early teens that will work. I have also easily been able to find either dual crown that will need to be shortened (which is not weird and will only make it feel better and be stronger), or single crown options for under $300 on the PB buy/sell. There is nothing keeping you from getting that bike running great again.
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: ironically the galfer brake pads I use have incredible standard support and have models of pad that even avid/sram doesn’t support anymore. I’m sure they don’t sell a lot of old model pads, but they have them
It’s that easy, all rockshox or fox needed to do was make a couple sets of straight steerer crowns, they wouldn’t sell a lot, but they’d have them. MRP actually does this, I reached out to them once I heard, but they don’t offer it in the 150mm travel area
  • 1 4
 @fewnofrwgijn: enjoy the retro project homie, sounds like a cool hobby.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername:
I asked what year was your first high level bike from
  • 1 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: I will answer that question of my first high end mtb was 1991. I actually still have the frame fork and many of the parts. I also have a friends high end build from 1993 and still use it though it does have drivetrain parts from the late 90's on it and wheels from a different bike.
  • 2 3
 @insertfunusername: and what will you do when your forks dropouts break? You gonna buy a new fork? Just a good old rigid 1 1/8 you can find anywhere for $50? Must be nice to have so much availability for your vintage hipster garbage. Come on man, it’s from the 90’s, that was 30 years ago, it’s time to move on and sell that bike for $120 that you can then spend on half a brake for your new bike
  • 3 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: Dude, I don't have a problem maintaining my old bikes(BTW, both the bikes I described were bought new by me and my friend). If the dropouts failed on the old Manitou I would put my OG Judy on it or the stock color matched rigid fork, or I could upgrade to a more current fork. It is a bike that works fine and reminds me of long adventure style rides as well as all the races I completed on it. So why would I sell it, when parts are easy to find and I really love those old steel bikes?

You are the one that is saying that you can't find a fork to fit your bike that is a reasonable price, or even a rebuild kit for your fork. Well I was able find many forks in 2 minutes of looking, for under $300, and an upgrade seal kit for your proprietary fork in 1 minute. I never said that you shouldn't fix a bike you like, I just pointed out that there are a ton of great ways to get the bike working again. You seem to just want to dismiss all options and then what.... complain about how you can't get your bike to work again, because there are more modern options available?
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: Ok, it was annoying then too, my bad. I just liked how there was one hub width and all my brakes could go on all my bikes. My biggest beef is with with hub changes.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: can't get rear CK spacers, only front. Some hubs are a lot easier to manage, but for me I've never noticed any benefit on my boost bikes over my 142, but literally the year I bought my CK hubs the industry pretty much stopped offering frames with 142 spacing. I for sure didn't invest in high-end hubs to run spacers etc. just another thing to have an issue with. And I really doubt manufatuctures will keep offering 31.8 as it's way less efficient to offer both and again, for most people I don't think they are sitting around debating the virtues of one or the other. Some hubs are ONLY coming centre lock now, and I also never wated that either, haha, but I ended up getting some cause the writing was on the wall. Pressfit BBs - don't know why those even exist - my older frame with less clearance had them and my newer frame with more clearance and travel has old tyme threaded - just another thing making a frame swap difficult. My stuff is not garbage due to new standards, but it all just adds uneccessray complication and for me, virtually no benefit.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: the hub changes seem to have gotten people riled up. I remember in the 90's when there was a lot of talk about 135(142, same shell you know) being to narrow for MTB applications, especially once we got to 8 speed. I think Cunningham even had custom 140 or bigger rear hubs made, and offset hubs I believe. It was a change that was long overdue when it finally happened.

The freehub changes were needed to fit smaller than 11 tooth cassettes, which are pretty essential with wide range 1x systems, and obviously Shimano would never use a SRAM design, so we stupidly have 2 designs for that, but luckily you can use either brand of cassette on a given drivetrain, so not too big of a deal.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Those CK hubs can likely live forever though, even if not in their intended place. Built up as a gravel wheel and it will be current and working great for another 20 years. I built my gravel wheels using 142 MTB hubs because they are so easy to find on discount, got myself a brand new $160 hub for $45 a few years ago.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: You realize that those Talas 36 used to be around $100, right? MAYBE $180 for a clean one. In fact, I can buy a used tapered fork of superior quality for nearly the same price as a nearly 14 year old component. $280 is INSANE for that ancient product.
  • 1 1
 @nickfranko: I agree, it was literally the first straight steerer long travel fork I found, I'm sure you could get a similar fork that needs new seals or something for next to free.

Was not the point of the conversation.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: I have a perfectly good commuter that's a 26er with QR dropouts, and have had several new wheelsets on it in the time I have had it. The rear spacing is even 130mm OLD, that's how old it is. When my front wheel started breaking spokes every few weeks last year I couldn't find a decent new rim or wheel anywhere, and took weeks to find a decent second-hand option.
Not saying there's a big market for higher end stuff, but there's a hell of a lot of old bikes still getting ridden, and until very recently indeed through axles were non-existent on mid range hardtails and below.
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: maybe things are different where you are, but here in the US if I look for 26" rims I can find a ton. From old style Rhino Lites to Spank Spikes, several DT Swiss Options. For complete wheels it looks pretty hard to find a high-end qr wheel of any sort, but you can find some decent midrange options, like a SRAM 406 and several other options.

Like I said, maybe things are different where you are, but here there seems to be a large variety of new wheels and rims like you are looking for.
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: I know a guy that collects old Porsche race cars and drives the hell out of them. It’s kind of like a lot of people do with old 26” bikes.

What does he do when it breaks? He has to machine his own stuff or buy 2nd hand because it’s unreasonable to expect Porsche to stock, much less, spec the same parts used in a 197x Carrera on their cars forever.
  • 11 0
 There’s only one point to make here and you didn’t even touch on it - upgrading and maintenance
Like of course nobody cares what parts are on their bike if their plan is to buy a complete bike and ride it until it breaks or they sell it.
The question of standards simply isn’t for people who don’t work on their bike, standards make upgrading easier and more likely
  • 11 1
 it's not new standards, it's having a million different concurrent ones and the constant changes year to year. small example: derailleurs. the cable pinch bolt changes season to season to season on the same brand and model derailleur. One year it's T25, the next it's 4mm allen, the next it's 5 mm allen, then back to T25, etc. It's completely unnecessary, serves no purpose, utterly confuses people, makes it difficult to find replacements, etc. If companies actually just developed new standards and everyone switched to it, that would be fine, and obviously we all like progress. Bikes are better than they were 10 years ago. but not everyone changes, or other new companies develop concurrent "standards", which means there is no standard. example: there are like 3 companies that use superboost hub spacing and refuse to give it up, while the rest adamantly refuse to adopt it. You can't exactly call that progress. options? yes. but is having so many options really necessary? It just causes a lot of waste and confusion and unnecessary re-buying of things you already have.
  • 2 0
 The screw thing might just be factories screwing around Big Grin

For example, “boss, look, these torx head M5x15 bolts are 5% off, let’s use these instead of the hex head ones. Order ten thousand!”
  • 12 0
 I still struggle to understand the value of flat mount calipers, Overdrive II, and 35mm diameter handlebars.The marketing propaganda is not convincing.
  • 5 2
 I will counter that my oneup oval bars, which are 35mm, feel great. IDK how possible oval bars are in 31.8
  • 13 2
 @hamncheez: The 35mm oval bars might be that shape to achieve some of the compliance 35mm bars lacked, that 31.8 had in the first place.
  • 4 2
 @chrod: idk, they feel great. Better than the 31.8 Renthals they replaced (which also felt great)
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Good to know! I'll be looking for some compliant 35mm bars when forced to the larger size at some point. (really like the 31.8 SIXC bars at the moment)
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: What is interesting is the oval bars were designed by OneUp is to combat the stiffness that 35mm bars had - to mimic the less harsh feeling/stiffness of a 31.8 bar that people are used to. Great gear OneUp creates but what is the need.
  • 4 1
 @DesertVeloNV: Like I said before, they feel BETTER than any 31.8 bars I've ridden. The ovalization is pretty dramatic- the top-bottom diameter is thinner than any 31.8 bars I'm aware of. At the same time, they feel really precise and not like spaghetti- a weird sensation I've felt on XC carbon bars.
  • 3 1
 I can only speak for flat mount's utility. It allows for greater manipulation of tube shapes in the rear end, which is likely why it's predominately a road thing. 35mm stuff could be appealing IF companies are willing to get more wild with tube shaping for bars. Otherwise they wind up crazy stuff and wreck the already bad wrists half of us have from many years of MTB.
  • 3 2
 The only reason you struggle to understand the value of flat mount calipers, Overdrive II, and 35mm diameter handlebars is because they have no value. I'd argue that, instead of no value, they actually have negative value as in the sense that they only bring problems and simultaneously no solutions or improvements.
  • 1 0
 31.8 bars are so much more comfortable. I guess 35mm has it’s place for people running 800+ bars, but I wish they’d spec 31.8 on most builds below XL.
  • 14 1
 Henry is pretty good at getting those hate clicks. Kinda gross tbh.
  • 17 5
 I am pleased with the fact that my new bike did not come with cantilever studs and a front derailleur.
  • 5 0
 I call it a rerailleur, it's like a chain guide but it's actuated to put it back on.
  • 3 3
 nowt wrong with a front derailleur. i prefer 2x10 to 1x12 any day. cheaper, less momentum of cassette that the derailleur has to control, chain tension less critical to setup, works very well.
  • 6 1
 @pipm1: But so many dropped chains.
  • 2 0
 @ptrcarson: I see it like this with FD’s. Generally, trail, enduro and DH where it’s an expectation that they’ll be beasted over rough ground and at least some level of ‘taking the bike to the riding’ is involved, then 1x is awesome as designed. If on the other hand a rider wants a bike to ride long distances unsupported to get to the ‘riding’ or carry larger loads for multiple days then possibly a multi-ring setup is genuinely a better compromise. There’s swings and roundabouts both ways. A modern 1x setup is genuinely less likely to drop chains but gives up a number of strengths over 2x and even 3x in certain circumstances. Multi-ring can be hardened to hold onto its chain but with a number of additional compromises- mostly extra weight and wear/friction components.
  • 1 0
 @ptrcarson: I haven't dropped one yet, but then I'm XC mostly.
  • 1 0
 @tref-h: Absolutely, I haver front rings on my road bike, no issues there. I would say technical XC trails are another place where the narrow wide front ring is a huge step up too. I used to loose my chain on a particular XC trail more commonly than anywhere else. I guess it is less about the label and more about how rough the track is.
  • 1 1
 From what I understand, the side swing front mechs are pretty good. Not sure how you'd be more likely to drop a chain with a front mech than with a 1x system as the front mech seems like an adjustable top guide. Only thing you don't have of course is that you can't run narrow-wide chainrings, so that might affect chain retention somewhat. But I personally never had issues with running a 2x9 drivetrain as long as a I used a grip shift for the front mech (and trigger for the rear). Grip shift gets you the possibilty to get the mech in exactly the right position, trigger shift (for the front mech) relies on a perfect setup that's near impossible to achieve. Maybe most complaints were about that, from people who insist on running trigger shifters. I only moved to 1x9 (now on 1x10) because I wanted an oval chainring and I'm fine walking up if I can't clear the climb (with my 11-36t cassette). Should I ever want more range I'd consider a 2x drivetrain again. I rather have that than the huge derailleur cage you get with those 12sp drivetrains. Some claim 2x drivetrains require long cage mechs too but as long as you make the chain long enough that it doesn't break when you shift big-big and accept that the chain goes slack when you shift small-small, you'll be fine.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: The thing is when the chain is at small small, often when going downhill fast, there is not enough tension to keep it on. Doesn't really matter where the front mech is, the loose chain slapped around a lot more on my old 2x drivetrain. That is likely due to lower tech derailleur that the old 2x systems had, as in no clutch. Maybe a clutch changes that on the 2x system but I think the narrow wide adds a lot to keeping that chain on. Whatever it is there is no question that the chain retention is way better now with the 1x than the old 2x I had.
  • 1 0
 @ptrcarson: Yeah, but of course small-small is to be avoided anyway. If you're going downhill, you want to shift big (front) small (rear) to have something to push against when you need a bit more speed to clear something. The only reason I went with this solution was to not be able to break it through shifting and still stick with a short cage rear mech. I felt because long cage rear mechs have more inertia, they swing around more. I currently run a Zee rear mech as it has a relatively short cage. For what I ride (and considering I stand up most of the time) I can climb up most stuff I want. If I can't ride it, I'll walk. I don't have big climbs so it will only be a short walk anyway so I prefer the short cage and the small gearing range over the long cage that offers me a bigger gearing range.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: that is why the 2x sucks on rough xc trails. With lots of up and down and steep up followed by steep down going back and forth on the front mech and rear is such a pain and I found I would just stay in the small front ring. Way better with just the giant rear cassettes just cannot use cheaper hubs anymore.
  • 2 0
 @ptrcarson: Agreed, no doubt I'm compromising something either way. But I'd say better to pick something, accept it as it is and just ride the hell out of it rather than always wonder whether something else could be even more optimal. The costs and the costs of wear parts will always be a big consideration for me. And 12sp chains just seem more expensive than 10sp ones. Plus I usually don't wear the complete cassette out. Every time I put on a new chain, I pedal the bike around going through all the gears with the rear brake applied (so that I can put a lot of force on the drivetrain). If a sprocket skips, I just replace that sprocket. I don't think you can do that with with those big 12sp cassettes. Should I ever need a bigger range drivetrain, I might consider Microshift or Box. But as it is now, I can live perfectly fine with what I have. The good thing of not having a heavier (faster) gear available though is that it forced me to rely more on pumping and finding flow rather than just spinning cranks Smile .
  • 1 0
 @vinay: absolutely
  • 9 0
 Welcome Standard Changes:

- 30.9 and 31.6 seat tubes being more standard, meaning more bikes can run droppers. In the mid/early 2000s a lot of bikes still had wacky seat tube IDs.

- Bearings and pivots - it's surprisingly easy to find replacement bearings and pivots for full suspension bikes, even from sources outside of the manufacturers.

- 2.4 tires across the board, with 2.6 being fairly common too. It seemed like for awhile there you either rode lightweight skinny tires for XC or big fat heavy ones for AM, and the only way to get the durable tires lighter was to run a narrower size. Now you can get World Cup-level XC tires in 2.4 widths, and fairly lightweight 2.6 options, as well as burlier tires in 2.3-2.6 sizes.

- Tire clearances - Say what you will about the "Plus" movement of 2015, but it does have lingering benefits in that most bikes, and most forks can fit 2.6 tires, and in some cases up to 3".

Unwelcome changes:

- There are still entirely too many bottom bracket standards, and it sucks to buy a new frame only to find out that you'll need some weird bottom bracket size and compatible crankset to go with it. Road bikes are burdened with this even more than MTB.

- 157 threatens to give us a new hub standard that isn't as easy to adapt as 142-148 was with Boost adapters. Unlikely gravel and road will move to 157.

- Trunnion Mount is cool, but there are still a lot of manufactures who aren't utilizing it.
  • 2 0
 Gravel and road won't make the hub wider if it means wider cranks.
  • 1 0
 Doesn’t trunnion have problems with side loading or something?
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: good point. Think it can if the frame design or manufacturing tolerances (I.e., frame alignment) aren’t really good. However, it does allow a longer e2e and stroke for a given travel which means lower pressures and I think also means lower leverage ratios, both of which are nice for heavier riders.
  • 1 0
 As for the tires, to me it felt like when they introduced the bigger wheels, tires actually got narrower initially. It is only fairly recent that the larger diameter wheels also get wider tires (indeed bumped by the "plus" thing). But wider tires were common before all that. Not saying everyone was rolling on 24x3" and 26x3" Gazzaloddi mullet combos, but more than a few brands were getting close. And 2.4" wide was perfectly common. I still have some Schwalbe Racing Ralph 26x2.4" XC tires I put on my daughters bike. I've got some 2007 Magura forks which all accept 2.6" tires and 210mm brake rotors (and their Wotan fork which accepts 2.8" tires). When companies started to spec big wheels, these bikes came with narrower tires (typically 2.2" or less) and steeper head angles. It is only the past couple of years that I see 2.4" (larger diameter) tires be as common as they were fifteen years ago on 26" wheels.

I do agree with you on some other variations being narrowed down. Seatpost diameters indeed. Brake mounts now primarily PM (flat mount should die real soon). Back in the days you had the Boxxer mount, IS front, IS rear and also PM (and of course a couple of ways to mount your rim brakes).
  • 1 0
 The thing people actually liked about 27.5+ tires was the diameter, not the width, and then people figured out a 29er with a narrower tire gave the same advantage without all the disadvantages of a wide tire.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: With that thinking, now that 29x2.6 etc is getting more popular, the time may be ripe for someone to introduce 30.5x2.2" or so. Not sure how increases in width and diameter are related, but I noticed my 26x2.4" front tire (Conti TrailKing) is about as big as someone elses 27.5x2.2" Schwalbe (not sure what model). So it seems diameter grows faster than width. Back in the days I ran 26x2.3 Conti Vertical tires. Diameter was about a tire height larger than an XC racers 26" (maybe 2.0" wide or so).
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone tries a wheel bigger than 29”, but it may run into the same issue as 27.5+: tires are either very heavy or fragile. 29er 2.3-2.6 hits the sweet spot where tires can be relatively durable without weighing a ton. 32” tires would likely be 1kg for xc and 1.6kg+ for gravity tires.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: other disadvantages of a big wheel are constraints around suspension travel and big wheels are more difficult to ship and transport to the trailhead. That’d be a big ass bike. 29” may be the practical limit for a bike to fit on a hitch/roof rack. But maybe something like the 30.5” you suggested would be doable.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: Yeah, changing the dimensions of one component has implications for other components and hardware (like bikebags, carriers etc) but I don't know what the upper limit would be. And how much of a deal that is of course. Remember the V10 always had 10" of rear wheel travel. They reduced that a little to fit bigger wheels but the bike still gets them podium finishes. And of course, the context of my response was that the larger rim diameter would be paired with a narrower tire, just like the step from 27.5+ to 29" you mentioned. So the total diameter would remain more or less the same.
  • 9 1
 Think people get fed up with new standards because it’s forced upon them and many are happy with what they have. Most people aren’t riding to the levels the bikes are designed to.

My irk is bottom brackets. First think I look for in a frame is has it got a threaded BB that I can just screw in a set of external cups and go riding.

I’ve got all the tools, drivers and bearing pullers for doing just about any internal / press fit BB and can do them with my eyes shut. But I prefer external BB.

Saying that only 3 of my 6 bikes have external BB the others, I had no choice about as other advantages out weighed my BB preference.
  • 7 1
 The bike industry has followed the lead of Sony to make people think that high priced bikes and components is the way to fulfil your lifestyle and that the price dictates quality. Pretty much, I know people that I've ridden with getting a brand new bike every year or every two years. Each of those bike have different wheel sizes, axle lengths, fork stanchion diameter sizes, different bearing sizes, etc...I think most manufacturers have caught on to Sony's marking of planned obsolescence that if you can get the consumer thinking that the higher the price of a product, the higher the quality that's put into it. However, people who have bought Sony products know that initially, the product looks to be high quality but then the product starts to fail after 2 years. So, they buy another Sony product to replace the one that's broken down. Then, two years later, that product fails. If the customer sees this in all their Sony products they've bought over the years and keep replacing them every 2 years, it gets kind of expensive! The dumb ones keep buying into shits like this. The bike industry is the same way now. People will replace their bikes rather than maintain it as components get upgraded with different standards and no one can get proper parts to replace them. This is so true for SRAM parts. Pretty much, there's a whole slew of different sizes for each new iteration and nothing is backwards compatible. Parts are getting scarce and parts interchangeability is harder and harder to find and when you do find them, they're just not worth the price. So, it's basically bike and components manufacturers like Trek and SRAM have done in a short period of time to actually f*ck the markets and setting their standards for others who have followed the standards for the longest time to change. Yes, some innovations that set new standards to replace the old ones that didn't work so great are good. But to set new standards just to say it's new innovation or revolutionary is just bullshit. Standards are there for a reason. Right now, the biking industry is like a free-for-all, especially for e-Mtb that come into the market in the last few years. Until there is a set standard, I'm not getting one. Imagine wearing out a motor and the battery within a couple of years or even just over a year. If you want to replace the motor and/or battery with another manufacturer, you're pretty much SOL because you're stuck with the need to go with the same brand and model because the mounts are proprietary and not interchangeable and not backwards or forwards compatible!
  • 1 0
 Not entirely true (though it mostly is). I spent £100 on a debonair spring and charger 2 damper upgrade that made my non boost pike feel like a new fork. That's incredible value given how much new forks cost.
  • 1 0
 @WR404: I have to agree with you that the Rockshox is probably the best purchase that SRAM has done right (even though they screwed up big time with the hydraulic dropper post). The internals of their shocks are easily interchangeable and parts are actually still in circulation. Other than that, still sucks that they don't make any more non-tapered steerer forks for older bikes that have head tubes supporting the 1-1/8" headsets in the long travel range.
  • 9 0
 "Derailleur Hanger" has entered the chat............
  • 5 0
 "provided spares were manufactured and available" - For proprietary parts, this is where the letdown occurs, especially for things where the non-standard approach offers zero benefits. Case in point: I'm a longtime bike mechanic. A friend brings me a 2007 bike with a Marzocchi 66 Light fork. The damn thing has a non-standard air valve which requires an adapter that Marz hasn't made for 12 years and cannot be found. If Marz just used a Standard Schrader valve, my friend could have air in his fork. But somebody decided to make a completely proprietary part with no practical real-world value and now it's a dead end. My friend can't afford a new bike (or fork) and he just wants to bomb around on the old Turner. But he can't, for lack of a damn $3 proprietary part. Boost I understand, this is just stupid.
  • 6 2
 And since the edit isn't working - No you don't want the best setup. Some standards offer no benefits or even have downside. Seriously I've never seen someone who drank so much coolaid even industry marketing guys would privately tell you to stop.
  • 4 0
 there are so many different dimensions to the same part we put on out bikes (or are forced to put).

Definition of standard:
_a level of quality or attainment.
_something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations.

I think we should call them what they are: dimensions. just dimensions. period
  • 8 4
 Henry needs a raise ASAP ... he has the best and most entertaining writing style of the pinkbike journalists by a longshot! I do not always agree with his opinion (*cough* cabel routing *cough*) but I sure as hell enjoy reading it.

Regarding standards I do work in a bike shop and I can see every day that most customers either have no concept of industry standards at all (and subsequently buy the wrong stuff online and come to us for advice) or they have entrenched themselves on online forums and preach the gospel of the real "sensible" standard of their choice... I probably too belong to the later half
  • 1 1
 Agreed! Great writing @henryquinney
  • 7 0
 The only thing that doesn't have any standards is the PB comment section...
  • 9 1
 Sram UDH all the way!
  • 3 0
 SRAM get a lot of hate round here, but credit where it's due, this is the most worthwhile standard in YEARS!. Most brands have tens of different hangers - the chances of your LBS having your exact hanger when you need it are practically zero. And with 12spd being so finicky , a small impact can ruin your shifting
  • 1 0
 *repeat
  • 1 1
 Honestly, I'd rather have adjustable chainstay length than a universal derailleur hanger. It's not hard to buy a spare derailleur hanger and zip tie it under your saddle. They're so beefy now they never break anyway. I own a bike with a UDH and still just have a spare under the saddle. If we start seeing UDH bikes with adjustable chainstay length then I'm all in.
  • 7 0
 "The victimhood can be flat out bizarre."
...You new here? Smile
  • 4 1
 Maybe there is a misunderstanding about what constitutes a standard for manufacturing, and that adopting that “standard is completely voluntary on the part of the manufactures.
Hopes pedal for instance, I applaud that they have gone their own route, not using what would be considered the industry “standard” Shimano cleat. They believed their design was better, allowed for more flexibility in application, and worked within their company philosophy.
The comments berating Hope for going their own route was surprising to me, and the idea that they were “forcing” someone to now adopt a different design into their lives. Hope cant possibly be sitting in their dark lair, fingers crossed thinking”I’ve got those suckers now”. They are making a decision to go against popular opinion, in an attempt to improve something they believe can be improved upon, likely sacrificing sales of Shimano loyalists along the way.

Pivot, Knolly would be the same with their adoption of the 157 rear hub spacing, they are actively sacrificing sales to provide something they believe is better, they believe it is BETTER.

We are so lucky to be riding around on expensive toys in the woods like a bunch of kids, maybe we can learn from those kids out there blissfully riding around.
  • 8 1
 This article feels forced.
  • 3 0
 A new standard that improves design, sure. But make it universal. And look ahead far enough to minimize how often it happens.

For example, why did boost spacing ever become a thing?! The “new” super-boost is a preexisting spacing. Should have just skipped the intermediate step.

Or……now that even XC bikes rock droppers, get a standard along the lines of the ninepins system across the board.

The biggie as I see it is gearboxes. The current options have some good features, and 12 speed (either brand) is pretty fussy. If the efficiency gap can close AND shifting can be more intuitive/ergonomic, it’s the future. But let’s have a universal mounting setup for all the brands to use for their gearboxes.
  • 4 1
 It's how every industry operates today : build the "best" product without caring about the previous product's cross-compatibility, long-term durability or serviceability. Whether it sounds good or bad, it's all planned obsolescence in a way and it just gets annoying in a large scale.

When every product you own needs something specific that is hard to find, and you have to find the best brand/model for this particular thing for every damn thing in your life, it gets complicated. And most of them time, you have to bring said product to the dealership/store to get it fixed, or just throw it away. It costs more money in the long run (which goes to manufacturers), and it's bad for the environment. This can't fo on forever.

I don't want bikes to become like Apple products and other things that you can't fix after a few years even if they'd still be perfectly fine. From what I can tell, that's something Henry Quinley doesn't seem to mind at all or even wishes for. In fact, reading this article, it sounds like anyone who doesn't think like that is just a complainer and that everyone should just accept status quo and buy anything that companies sell because they know what's good. What people on the forums/comments are doing when they're complaining about new standards is keeping our bike industry as far as possible against planned obsolescence.
  • 3 0
 I don't like the throwaway culture behind new standards, the seeming disposableness of equipment. I think inadvertently here's pushing the new bike every couple years economic coming through this article. Additionally the 'best' bike for a budget rider includes serviceability and lifespan. Most of us non-reviewer, influencer and what have you bike folk can't afford and don't want to be prodded and forced back to a 'new-bike-feeding-trough' and would rather go ride. I guess if standard or proprietary means 5+ years down the line I may no longer be able to keep the wheels rolling and the bars turning than it's not for me. Bike companies know this though, I guess the pursuit of the least common denominator and the bottom line have to meet somewhere for companies to keep producing. They can mark up tiny (carbon) parts massively on a blank run of the mill frame so those small buzzwords of tech cost them relatively little to pass off as superior, proprietary, standard now.
  • 3 0
 Try to travel to a remote area or try to live in a small place with a small shop. If you dont ride standard you are f¤#¤ in the fisrt scenario and buying oline in the second, just say good buy to your local shop.
I like also propietary stuff but they go out of stock quiet fast.
quiet complex situation.
  • 3 0
 Can someone explain to me the hatred around straight pull spokes? I'll agree that round ones are a pain as they can spin. But bladed are probably better, as you sometimes can't tell if a spoke is tightening or just winding up, and the flat bit is easy to hold. Straight pull are much easier to replace - don't even need to take the wheel out, let alone remove cassette or discs (who carries a cassette tool and torque wrench everywhere?), they also don't get trashed if your chain drops behind the cassette.
  • 1 0
 Ultimately i think it comes down to cost and therefore consumer uptake, it's less work to make a simple flange with holes for J bend so you only really get straight pull on more expensive wheelsets, add to that the pain of building and trueing with round striaght pull spokes so you really need bladed spokes which are much more expensive again, this prices alot of people out of straight pull or makes them try and build them with round spokes and then they get angry when building / trueing.
Having built and rode wheels with straight pull bladed spokes i did love them just for the looks alone but when i broke a spoke on holiday i really struggled to find a local bike shop with a spare that fit, they also cost me alot more to build due to the bladed spokes, my latest wheels are J bend and round spokes for simplicity but i do miss the look of the straight pull.
  • 3 0
 People...vote with your wallets. If you don't buy a bike/part/brand because you don't like their new proprietary standard, they will change...

Look at all the frames that now come with at least 1 bottle mount inside the front triangle. The PB community spoke loud enough, and clearly consumers spoke with their wallets...forcing brands to revamp designs to allow 1 bottle to be mounted inside the frame for their future designs.
  • 1 0
 Yes & no. On a few fronts consumer voice has been heard - your example of bidons and also the move away from PF that is gaining momentum. On the other hand, you hear a lot of "I won't buy that because it's going away" which ends up being self fulfilling as well as consumers just not being savvy enough to wade through the mktg BS (28.99... really?).
  • 6 1
 I would not care if I could still easily get quality stuff adhering to my old standards. Like 1"1/8 forks and 135 mm hubs.
  • 2 1
 Have you not been able to find good 135 hubs? Those are just 142 hubs with different endcaps from most manufacturers and would suspect that you could get those from Chris King, DT Swiss, Hope and any number of other brands, I'm running a Sun SRX that I bought recently that just came with the end caps to change it over to 135 QR in the box.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: well I guess hope would be an option, but that is the very high end to me.

Where do I get fat bike tires?
  • 1 0
 @hubertje-ryu: You can get any number of hubs in that configuration. In 1 minute I was able to find a low cost Shimano hub that would allow you to convert your QR 135 bike to 12 speed with a microspline hub. There are hundreds of options at all price points to do anything you could possibly want to with older bikes.

www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/shimano-fh-mt401-center-lock-rear-hub-135mm-959770
  • 6 0
 The best thing about standards is there are so many to choose from!
  • 3 0
 Can some one please explain how we got to the point where a front maxle used a 6mm Allen key but the rear a 5mm? Why? I don’t care whether it’s 5 or 6mm along as they are both the same size.
  • 5 2
 So, you say people should just shut up and not give opinions on things they won't buy, but here you are giving your opinion on what you don't like? You don't like people's opinions. Wtf dude.
  • 2 0
 The thing about constant new standards that annoy me is that I like to keep riding my bikes... yes I have a new bike with all the latest gear and currently the cutting edge geo (63 deg ha, 79 deg sa) but I also ride 3 older bikes fairly regularly (1 a decade old and the other two are 2 decades old).. the constant new standards means that replacing wearing parts becomes more an more difficult. Its at a point where replacing wheels is incredibly difficult, hub sizes are getting harder to find, etc.

I truly enjoy playing with geometry (yes, seat angles can become slacker but not everything is about the climb), changing things like; changing to a smaller rear wheel size, adding a bigger wheel size to the front, longer forks, shock offset bushings, angle headsets to, shorter stems, wider bars. I enjoy cheating the system to gain the handling characteristics that the older frame did not have.

Im all for actual improvements but half the time I think things are updated purely for the marketing hype.. not for the actual gained benefits (despie what the article says).

Constantly trying to force redundancy with new standards does not help our environment... where we shouldnt always be tring to buy the next new thing... we should be trying to fully utilise what we have until it is truly not serviceable anymore as the frame has truly reached its fatigue life-span.
  • 2 0
 "If you and I were riding along I could not give one iota of fecal matter if our spokes are interchangeable, or any other part of our bikes for that matter. My bike, my problem."

Says the guy who never did multi-day alpine trips in the middle of nowhere, along with other 10 folks. When you're on your own standards are important. So you don't have to haul a monowheel trailer for all the different spare parts. Just a couple spokes of different lengths, a couple tires, derailleur cables, a couple of brake pad sets, a chain and *maybe* a rear brake.

Also, what a great way to cast your sympathy to people on lower income countries who might not be able to find spares for stupid/exotic components.
  • 2 0
 It's all great news for people like me who stay behind the curve. When everyone else is selling their old stuff cheap because it's no longer 'the latest' or incompatible with new components I am happy to sweep in and gather it up Smile
  • 2 0
 Hey Henry, great article and I am fully on your side. The objection to change kept us way too long on bikes with road bike geometry (120 mm stems - cough) and inappropriate road bike parts.
Now we love the modern MTB which only happened due to giving up these "standards" and experimenting.
  • 2 0
 Wait, so this means bikes in, say, 2040, are going to unrecognisably better than bikes today, right? Automatic tyre changes to match the terrain; gearboxes the weight of a single speed set up; tyres that instantly sprout knobs when they see mud coming; who knows? Bikes could be like 50% better over all or something.

And damn, that means that however good bikes are today, we all must be having 50% less fun than riders of the 2040's will be. So I guess most of us are barely having a good time, and anyone that thinks they are should take a good look at themselves and work out how they arrived at such an absurd conclusion.

Or, perhaps, humans are just adaptable? And riders now have about as much fun as riders in the 1990's did?

And perhaps if we weren't so frantically busy with what are largely marginal improvements just to keep the economy alive, and if all other sectors of production had the same ethos, we could all have a 3 or 4 day weekend and ride twice as much? Bet that would make a difference.
  • 2 0
 @overconfident: Be careful. No one recommends thinking big-picture. You'll never sell anything with that kind of thinking. You might just end up living a happy life with what you have...
  • 2 0
 Is not being able to find 27.5 wheeled bikes really that bad? Not if you like sluggishness and huge wheels.. Is short product life cycle and lack of quality oem components really that bad? Not if you like paying more$ while buying your parts from walmart or amazon and still not having them in stock. I mean amazon really isn’t that bad, not if you’re the type of dolt that doesn’t recognize the importance the LBS’s role is in fostering cycling culture.
  • 3 1
 "Bike companies are there to make money..."

Yes they are. Ever occur to you that making money means driving up bike sales, which is the literal way bike companies make money?
  • 2 2
 Driving up bike sales? Yes that is exactly what they do. Can you point to a single sentence in this article that implies henry isn't aware of this?
  • 1 0
 To agree to an extent; however, if there is an established standard that already exists that is nearly identical it seems hubristic to insist that your new design is justified. What if someone crunched the numbers and said that 33.6mm bars were marginally better than both 31.8 and 35mm? I doubt many of us would line up for that. And the couple folks that jump in board will likely be frustrated when they want to change bar rise or stem length in a couple years.

So, yes, innovation is good but don't lose the forest for the trees.
  • 1 0
 I think what is lost here is the ability of a rider to have an opinion. I don't care if there is something better than J-bend spokes, I'm happy with mine and if someone wants to call me antiquated I'm fine with that. I'm certainly not going to be out there getting agro with everyone who doesn't run J-bend spokes calling them fad-chasers or something. If you want to run Boxxer lowers on your Lyrik so you have a 20mm axle go for it same goes the other way.
  • 4 1
 does anybody have 90% of a bike sitting in their garage, that you can't find a part for and can't bring yourself to send to the glue factory?
  • 6 0
 No, I have a 28 year old mountain bike that I can find every part for however. Still use as a putt around bike for commuting and towing my kid in a trailer though.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Exactly. As long as parts are available, who cares.
  • 2 0
 @Mike-Jay: Correct, I mean I can still get parts to rebuild the BB on mid 80's campy parts and I bet if I wounded the Simplex derailleur on my 70's vintage Peugeot I could still either replace it or find a doo dad to bolt a regular derailleur on it.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Speaking as a mechanic, yes you can. Your Simplex front derailleur probably has an integrated cable housing stop, and Problem Solvers's Backstop clamp-on cable housing stop (28.6 mm version) will clamp onto your seat tube and allow you to use any old front derailleur.
  • 1 0
 @barp: rear derailleur, with the different style derailleur hanger, was what I was talking about.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Claw-style derailleur? Shimano still makes those at the Tourney level.
  • 1 0
 @barp: nope. Like this www.flickr.com/photos/stronglight/3865022597/in/photostream

9mm hole with no threads, bolts on from the back.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Ooh, I forgot about that type. I suppose you could use a thin M10 x 1.0 nut to grab the threads of a standard rear derailleur mounting bolt? I'm not sure what the inner diameter of that old hanger is. Maybe you can just tap it for M10, or if it's too big for that, tap it for a larger size and helicoil it back down to M10?
  • 5 0
 an opinion piece titled with a question mark. this must just be click bait
  • 3 2
 It’s a free world! I 100% agree. If someone wants to stick with their own standard, just don’t buy a new bike, fork, whatever each year. Rather buy the new standard years after. But let everyone make their own choice, what the best standard is. And buy what everyone wants.

When booking a holiday, everyone has their own standard as well and some accommodations survive, some not. Some get rich, some die.
  • 2 1
 Broke my cranks last week on the enduro bike. Have 3 other mountain bikes (dh, hardtail, fatbike), but none of those cranks will transfer so I'm left with no enduro bike, and roadtrips planned this month! Big bummer...can't huck the hardtail or fatty much more than a few feet w/o destroying them.
  • 4 0
 Wouldn't you just need to swap the bb with the cranks from the hardtail, or pop down to your local shop and grab the right bb to fit the cranks on your hardtail?

There is no standard that I am aware of in the cranks on a hardtail that would make it incompatible with your Enduro bike unless it has square taper cranks or a BMX setup.
  • 7 2
 First World problem...my BMW 7 series mags won't work on my Audi SUV...
  • 2 0
 @pink505: Complete first world problem... @insertfunusername good call I would need to get a threaded bb that is compatible (other frames are press fit) I didn't think of that.
  • 2 0
 Frustrating for sure. I generally build up frames and I’ll often resist an itch to try something different on a new build so as many components as possible can be moved across bikes for this very reason. Not as fun, but can pay big dividend. Something to keep in mind. Realize not always possible.
  • 2 1
 I read some comments above and its clear folks are basing statements off what they owned, not what they're aware of. Bottom brackets for example... just in mountain bikes we have three principal methods they go into frames... threaded cups holding bearings, press fit cups holding bearings, or straight cartridge bearings right into the shell (which may or may not be pressed in themselves). BUT... there's 5 different shell widths used for english threaded... and more than a dozen ways to do the other two. And people not aware of things are making arguments as if their limited knowledge trumps everyone else's knowledge. Remember straight 1.5 steerer tubes ? Pushed by Manitou and adopted by a few brands for under the pretense that long travel single-crown forks were more prone to alloy steerer tube failures ? Problem with the standard was ONLY Manitou forks had had the steerer tube failure problem... and it largely came down to their switching to a supplier for alloy steerer tubes that weren't as good (or strong) as the easton steerer tubes they previously used. 1.5 evolved into tapered 1.5 to 1.125. But then Giant wasn't happy with that so they've tried to push their Overdrive 2 steerer tubes, which are tapered 1.5 to 1.25.The best / worst example of a mountain bike brand coming up with a new standard remains for me GT Bicycles... introducing the 700D rim and tire size back in 1991. The bead seat diameter was 587mm (and yes 650B is 584mm and had already existed for decades prior) and the claim was it allowed greater air volume and width of tires than 700C in the same overall diameter, and used it on three models only of drop-bar road and flat bar hybrid bikes. Araya was the only company to produce rims for it and Panaracer made the only tires for it and it was abandoned by GT by 1993.

And on the road side, not content to simply adopt existing MTB standards from XC bikes... they've had 1.25 to 1.125 tapered steerer tubes and instead of the readily available 15x100 thru-axle fork standard... oh no... gotta go with 12x100...a size that ONLY one Mountain bike brand had ever used (Manitou, way back in 1995 and only on the EFC-DH forks). And yet they were perfectly happy to adopt the 12x142 rear thru-axle spacing standard.
  • 1 0
 Everyone of those threaded bb's can be exactly the same though(for a given crank axle size), width for most brands doesn't matter except for the plastic sleeve that goes between the cups. I feel like the only weirdo in the bb world for quite a while have been FSA products as it seems like they come up with a new bb for nearly every crank design. Maybe they finally settled down on that, but it was a nightmare 5- 10 years ago.
  • 1 0
 Example of proprietary that almost was awesome: I had a set of Mavic Crossmax SX wheels. They worked awesome. Fast, sturdy, tubeless, looked good too. What's not to like. Well, as a one bike rider, when I needed parts replaced on this wheelset, I had to order the parts. Then no riding for two weeks while waiting for the parts and getting them installed. Why would I do this when I could have a regular wheelset, and have the parts same day and sometimes even repaired same day. I loved the wheels, but sold them because the proprietary parts meant me not riding whenever a repair was needed and that seemed senseless. Now, if I had multiple bikes, I would've kept those sweet wheels.
  • 1 0
 Those kind of wheels are pretty annoying. You pretty much need to have a few of all the different spokes and other hardware on hand or face problems like that. If you have all the parts though, they are as easy or easier to work on than regular wheels, so that isn't too bad.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Tubeless w/squorx were a 'complete rebuild' of $300 + shipping, even for ONE MEASLY SHEARED SQUORX!!!
  • 1 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: that sounds outrageous. Any shop I ever worked at would have figured out how to remove sheared squorx, then ordered new entire spoke assembly and had you out the door for maybe 80 bucks tops. If the employee selling you the service was on it, they also would ask you if you might want all the other length spokes at the same time.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername:

I would agree, but this was a direct call to Mavic. I called to see if it was a replaceable part, and that's what they offered. This was nigh on to 20 year ago, folks were still pissy about "EW! Proprietary!"
  • 3 2
 Situation: There are 14 competing standards for a specific bike product.

Brilliant Company Designer:" 14?!? Ridiculous! We need to develop a new standard to covers everyone's use cases! Yeah!"

New Situation: There 15 competing standards for a specific bike product.
  • 7 0
 Credit: XKCD
  • 1 0
 Wheel changes bug me the most. Used to be that I could swap wheels between my wife's MTB and my own, or between my MTB and my commuter, or between my commuter and my wife's commuter if any one of those wheels had a rim out of true, or a flat tire, or I just wanted to have knobblies on the hardtail for a quick after-work ride etc. I used to keep a couple of tubes, one spare 9sp chain and some quick links, a spare 160mm disc, one spare 9sp XT cassette, bought whenever they went on sale at CRC to keep them all serviced, and only needed three spoke lengths and two different brake pads. When I bent a crank or a BB wore out, I didn't have to worry whether the BB would fit the frame, or the driveline spacing was "boost" or not, or which brand of cassette I chose. Now we have a mix of HG, microspline and xD, QR, boost and non-boost through axles, 10, 11 and 12 speed cassettes and chains, 29, 27.5 and 26 wheels and four different disc brake pads...

As soon as the consumer needs or wants a new bike, they really don't have much choice around adopting new standards or maintaining compatibility. When I bough my previous MTB, if you wanted a high end bike it was 12/142 rear and 15/100 front. I had a nice set of wheels for that bike that were light and plenty stiff enough, but even if I had stayed with 27.5 it's impossible to get a good non-boost frame now. When I bought my most recent FS 29er, I didn't choose to adopt xD over Microspline - short of spending a couple of thousand dollars more for the model with XTR, or buying a completely different bike. Let alone choosing which BB 'standard' it used. When my wife upgrades her MTB (as soon as we can actually get a bike in her size) at least she'll be on 12 sp boost as well, and hopefully 29er.
  • 1 0
 So assuming the seafood is the only thing that is eatable... Are you going to starve to death or eat what you do not like?
Technically that is still a choice.

This is what has happend with the wheels standards. I like my DH and FR bikes with 26" wheels. I am not against bigger wheels (I do own single speed 29er), but I like my bikes. I do not need new bikes, I do not need bigger wheels. The only thing that will force me to buy a new bike (and waste recources, since I normalny wound not buy it) is that there are no DH/FR rims, and tyres are dissapearing quickly. The industry decided to flip the bird on everyone who do not want a new bike. Do I have a choice? Yes, I can drop cycling or I can adjust to modern standards. Do I like it? No.
  • 2 0
 There are still many tire and rims available in 26", I do not see that changing anytime soon. It is unlikely that new tread pattern super high end XC tires and rims will be available in 26" but I'd predict that a dh casing DHR or a dt swiss 471ex will be in regular distribution for at least another decade, along with many other options at a few price points.
  • 2 0
 I didn’t read all of the comments, but the author CLEARLY is not great friends with many professional bike mechanics. They are the ones dealing with incompatibility All. Day. Long.
  • 2 0
 Henry is in fact a former pro race mechanic. So I'd guess he's friends with plenty of other wrenches.
  • 1 0
 Generally agree, and I couldn't give two squirts after a night of margaritas and carne adovada if I can murder my riding buddy and steal his back wheel if I breakdown on a ride, BUT... when I get home I want to be able to find the parts I need to fix my ride sharpish! In the current logistical hellscape it really sucks to break something critical and find out that the only parts that are near-term available are a competing standard (and those typically aren't available in complete groups so you can't even change over). Proprietary solutions and superfluous standards drive down volume and drive down availability while typically driving up price.

A lot of my riding buddies and I did actually standardize our drive-trains to Shimano 12spd this last year, and between us we have enough parts to replace a couple of entire drives plus enough consumables to keep us going for at least a year or two more. And that, right now, was pretty smart.
  • 1 0
 Its just bussnies now Frown E-bike cost like bike without engine,why??? I did like the old times when was just 26" bikers where friendly and in the shop they help you just for beers.Now its just $€£ and break it and buy new,its too old.Its 3 years old Big Grin Future for bike looks agly and expensive Frown
  • 1 0
 Well... starting on seatpost diameter, BB, I have some difficulty understanding the rear spacing 135/142/148/157, wgen Hope's 130 proved that more is not better.

Also headsets should all be 1.5, that way you can install any fork, angleset you like. People will always use spacers anyway........

Brake caliper standards.... what was really the problem with IS???? Someone couldn't endo???? Now with flat mount it's like....f....... one more stupid standard to save 50grm/each end?

And let's not end with the 31.8mm/35mm handlebar issue, as if it is a dramatic change for the worse.

24/26/27.5/plus/29 I don't see as evolutions, just different wheel sizes, with it's plus and minus issues.
  • 1 0
 "let the people vote with thier feet" is NOT the way to end up with the best design possible, peoples buying habits have soo many contributing factors and unfortunately the best product doesnt always win (think Batamax vs VHS) as things like price, availability, marketing, fashion and much more all come into play.
  • 2 1
 gotta love all the armchair engineers commenting with their opinions on boost, axle size, spacing, crown weight, hub design, unknown various tolerances, wheel size, you name-it, ect, with absolutely no scientific data to back up anything they are stating.
  • 2 0
 Please keep pushing the limits. This is the one interest I have where I can come along and enjoy the ride with you. (Performance cars, mechanical luxury watches, etc… I can only be an observer from a distance)
  • 3 0
 The main concern is a company that makes something so unique that they can't support it 90 days later.

*cough* Anything with Brain written on it *cough*
  • 1 0
 Product lifecycle. We all want our investment to last, and fast changing standards create the impression that our investment is no longer valuable. It's a hard pill to swallow when a new bike can easily cost more than $4k. So perhaps we just need to realign our expectations. Either be willing to shell out money for new bikes every 2 years, or just accept that your bike simply wont remain "current" for very long, and just ride it anyway.

I sold my Santa Cruz VP Free, with its dated geometry and 26" wheels, and bought a YT Tues. I kinda miss the VP Free. Im probably faster on the Tues, but the VP free was more fun.

The new standards being pushed at the time told me that I would be better off on a newer bike with its slacker headtube, longer reach, and bigger wheels. I've found that not to be true.
And now even my Tues is dated, with its short reach, small 27.5 wheels, and lack of high-pivot suspension. But will I really be happier with a Supreme DH? Dunno...
  • 1 0
 The notion that bike companies wouldn't "make up" a new standard which doesn't create any actual performance benefit (or very, very little) in the name of selling more bikes is a bit naive. As though 1-1/4" x 1-1/8" steerer tubes was something the industry was crying out for. Or, all the bullocks BB standards that- turns out, suck- all to fix a problem we didn't really have. The biggest bike companies (and OEM parts MFGs) would, and do, absolutely do this.

Sure, the bike industry gives us the parts we need to enjoy our hobby, which we're all very passionate about. At the end of the day though, they're still corporations, and their bottom line still matters (some are owned by publicly traded companies, in which case it's even moreso). They don't want you keeping your King hubs + i9 hoops for 10 years. They don't want you swapping over your venerable old Fox 36 forever, or your favorite dropper, etc, they don't want to sell you frames only.

Yes, some of the new standards really do push forward bike technology, and people complain about even those... it definitely gets into overkill territory when it comes to whining- but there's a lot out there which isn't actually progressive, and I think people are right to question them. The bike industry has earned a little bit of doubt when it comes to "look at this feature which you can't use any of your old parts on or with ever again, which boosts stiffness by 3.67%!".

This stuff doesn't have to be "against our will" to be stupid. Maybe you're sick of the hyperbole in PB comments which say as much, but to meet that with your own rant in the article- that ain't it. There is a measure of new "standard" creation which is, without any doubt, predominately a driver for sales.
  • 1 0
 Don't be mad at the builders be mad at the buyers. Just like not blaming the CEOs for wanting to make shareholders happy. Be mad at the shareholders. I'm not mad at Kona for making their chainstays longer I'm mad at people who like racing over jibbing. Nobody else wants a seven inch travel BMX.
  • 1 0
 I do wish manufacturers would stop shoving the known defective SRAM SX Eagle down everyone's throat. That RD is a known pile of crap and speccing it on anything above the Shimano alivio level is a slap in the face of the consumer. Put AdventX on for the love of God, less gears, less cost, but at least it reliably shifts, and most importantly stays in gear.
  • 1 0
 Standards will be required as long as oems don’t commit to future parts availability. I’d be fine with more proprietary parts if their availability at a reasonable price was guaranteed, but that’s not going to happen in the bike industry.

We had a huge amount of standards flux during the past ten years, but things seem to have settled down now.
  • 1 0
 "Standards, I believe, suffer from their own name. I think the word “standard” is a bit too self imposing."

Nailed something there. Most of what we call "standards" are really "specifications". Until they are codified, ratified, and recorded by a standards body, they're nothing more than the specs that must be met in order to guarantee interoperability. Many of these "specs" have become "de facto standards", but that's still not the same as a true registered "standard".
  • 1 0
 "If you owned a bike company, with staff to pay and bills to cover, would you honestly stick with an inferior design or try and appeal to a niche who are very vocal in their desire to recuse themselves from a new purchase? Of course not."

But all of them have, multiple times, stuck with inferior things.

Just a couple examples. Why did it take so long for 29ers to take off if 26 turned out to be so inferior that it disappeared overnight? Why do we still have skinny little stem/steerer interfaces, instead of the superior 1.5 straight or Overdrive (are those the same?)? How the hell did QR15 become the norm over 20mm axles, even on 190mm enduro forks that are way closer to 200mm DH forks than the 100mm XC forks that they share an axle with?
  • 1 0
 You got that completely wrong @henryqinney
I am not blaming bike companies every trend and standard however useless it is.
I am blaming you. Yes you heard that right!
It media hype that make some people at some companies do stupid things.

New thing gets announced.
Someone spreads the word (looking at you Wink )
Some gets nervous about not being able to sell stuff anymore.
Companies change stuff to also get the media push.
Result: A few month after buying bought a super expensive frame
The pace of this is getting faster and faster because you need something to write so your website gets clicks an money.
It’s getting so fast that by the time you roll a new bike into your garage it’s already outdated. And yes that matters.
How about replacing something if it breaks?

I had it happen twice in recent years that i broke a crank.
Both occasions i got a new replacement crank from the company selling the crank for free. Both occasions i had to spend a couple of hundred of dollars on bottom brackets chain rings and so on just to get riding again with no difference in performance…

Yes i get grumpy when i read about bb137, wouldn’t you too?
  • 1 0
 I am a bike mechanic and have to deal with the plethora of so called standards every day. Simply put almost nothing is cross compatible which makes fixing anything a parts supply nightmare. For example there are over 2500 hangers with manufacturers changing the design on the same model in the same year. That's the way the industry is and it is not unique.

What really annoys me though is the claims by the marketing folks that X or Y is better because it is stiffer when in reality the engineering and physics don't stack up. Try a DUB pressfit bracket, particularly in a carbon frame, and you will very quckly discover that the hype doesn't stack up in the real world. I'm not picking on SRAM here, albeit that DUB is particularly bad, as every component manufacturer is equally guilty.

If you look after your own bike you will know how hard it is to source replacement parts over 2 years old. Try doing it as a proffesional when the conversation often goes "your chainring(s), freehub, rims, brake seals, etc. are worn out but we will have to replace the crankset, hub, wheel, entire brake etc. as you can't get that asymetric bolt pattern or whatever anymore".

As most people can't afford to replace their bike every 2 years. The lack of standards and rapid parts obselescence is simply a way to drive increased maintenance costs to everyone.
  • 1 1
 That would be interesting to do a pinkbike Poll, just to feed the bicycle industry with big data saying: "We don't need new standards" enabling manufacturers to create planned obsolescence. We have geometries evolutions for that Big Grin
  • 5 1
 If theyre always changing, then they arent really standards
  • 4 0
 It seems like Henry is trying to out-Levy Levy...
  • 4 1
 157mm rear hub spacing is dumb. Lets reduce heel clearance for a 0.5% decrease in spoke tension. Yay
  • 1 0
 Not only that, they claim it allows for more clearance near the bb. That’s humbug.
  • 1 0
 Here to say standards are great.I love them and wish we had more that lasted longer! I still have a 2015 Marzocchi fork with a snapped axle laying around in the shed destined to rot forever unused.
  • 2 0
 I, for one, will throw my money at any new standard that unverifiably solves any nondefined problem with unquantifiable solutions. Because that's progress!
  • 4 0
 you guys all got baited hard
  • 5 2
 To bacon or not to bacon?
  • 3 1
 No bacon, unless you are talkin' about Kevin.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: With airflow like that, I bet his cardio is fantastic!
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: "Quicksilver" reference?
  • 1 0
 Always bacon
  • 3 0
 @insertfunusername: No, I was referring to the ram air intake that is Kevin Bacon's nose. But the quicksilver reference is pretty funny!
  • 2 3
 It is not a standard, as there is nothing stardard about it. Mind you, you can always take a boost frame and shave off 1mm and make it accept a 150mm rear hub, a real one, not a Hope one, the chainline and dish will be fine. 15mm axles also just came to fruition because "reasons".
I would find it acceptable if standards had evolved as improvements but it does not really seem that way somehow, they are more like fads than anything else. Pros running 12 gears but 3 rotor bolts and moto foam instead of a top cap, incredible! Mullet bikes are a stupid idea, one year later every brand is selling one.
You can hardly find a 8 and 9 speed chain in local bike shops, the same goes for cassettes. Tough 26" rims are not that easy to come by in a desired variety, the same goes for tires. Nothing is really pushed on us, we are getting pushed out of the "hobby".
  • 5 0
 Try that hub swap and report findings.
  • 4 0
 So the 15mm one is kinda a messy history. Back when you choice was 'HARDCORE MARZOCCHI HAS NAKED GIRLS FREERIDE FREERIDE DH OR DIE" 20mm thruaxles or 9mm QR, Shimano wanted to improve XC and trail forks, but their marketing said no one would want to put a 20mm thruaxle hub/fork on their XC bike, because of the perception. Thus 100x15 was born. Who knows maybe it was lighter back then too. I tend to think that Shimano was right at the time.
  • 10 8
 Why not implement standards that everyone wants? LIke torx bolts everywhere?
  • 6 4
 I was a hard convert to torx bolts, but I am forced to agree they simply are better.
  • 7 0
 @hamncheez: the only good thing about torx bolts is that torx bits are good for removing rounded Allen bolts Smile
  • 1 0
 Different torx head sizes too! Do you want all multitools to be obsolete or something?
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: How are they better?
  • 3 0
 @c-radicallis: More precise, don't get rounded, no more mixing up my standard with metric
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: And they can't be tightened with a ball end (another thing that kills the interface)
  • 2 0
 @drunknride: arguably a plus- can't round off as easily
  • 1 0
 I'm appalled some of you think Torx are a bad idea.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: That's what I meant. I've been a jackass in the past, using the ball end to run a fastener in and then just cranking it till the ah-shit moment. In much too big a hurry to turn the tool around.
  • 3 0
 Outstanding cartoon for this one, bravo.
  • 1 0
 I don't expect evolving standards to end anytime soon. However, I do somewhat miss the days when i could buy a new frame and swap over nearly every part from my old one.
  • 2 0
 New standards are perfectly fine as long components remain available in older standards too.
  • 2 1
 New standard is a fine example of hypocritical statement. A standard implies the opposite of change as in a standard part. New standard is 90 percent marketing bull shit.
  • 2 0
 I know change is the only constant, but I hope Henry stays the same as I do enjoy his rants
  • 1 0
 How many standards were introduced to slove a problem that was a symptom of a new standard that was introduced to solve a symptom on a new standard etc etc.....
  • 1 1
 I blame road bikes, when I started mountain biking, everything had been the same standards for 25 years, it was specifically one of the reasons I was comfortable doing bike mechanical work as a 14 year old
  • 1 0
 It is utterly hilarious that we had a standard for the freaking chain guide (optional) before derailleur hangers (not optional).
  • 2 0
 BB shells are all round[-ish] tubes. The seat stay/chain stay junction has much more variety in shape between bikes.
  • 2 0
 I’m all for new standards that lower the consumer price point! Challenge thrown bike industry.
  • 3 0
 Trunnion shocks. What a load of cobblers. That's my 2p
  • 2 1
 If Trunnion mounts are so much better. Why didn’t they go double trunnion at both ends? Industrial equipment has, a long time ago.
  • 2 0
 Really nice to see a thought provoking article that doesn’t involve new product! More please!
  • 2 0
 Came to literally read just the comments knowing they would be entertaining Smile
  • 3 0
 Two words. Planned obsolescence.
  • 2 0
 This article reminded me of this video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj0uBQ7j5c4
  • 1 1
 ahaha yes
  • 3 1
 I suppose the objective, non-biased, critical article is hidden somewhere behind a paywall?
  • 1 0
 Real article title "As someone who gets free new bikes on the reg, I'm not worried about long term maintenance or backwards compatibility."
  • 1 0
 I understand the need for innovation, but aren't there some things that are better just being a standard?
  • 2 3
 what we have had in that time istapered headtubes, 15mm axels, 148mm rear spacing, boost spacing, 27.5, plus wheels and a bunch of freehub and bb standards. None of them helped.
  • 2 0
 I don't get the bb thing. We have threaded or press in, the threaded one is the same threaded standard that has been around for 30 years in 68 or 73, unless you are talking dh bike width. Your bb does have to match up with you cranks, but that has always been the case, way better than when you had to have a dedicated bb for every shell and axle width and then you got to throw in some Campagnolo taper and Italian threading for good measure, that was messed up. We had large racks of bb's at all the shops I worked at in the 90's with at least 2 dozen different bb sizes in them.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: It sucks when you've got a kick ass Chris King threaded BB and the bike you want after exhaustive research has a press in BB. There's sentimental attachment to that little piece of rebuildable forever bike bling. Losing that isn't the end of the world, sure, but it's beat- especially when you can have a kick ass bike with a good ol' threaded bb anyway.

BBs are the perfect case study for this discussion:

I do agree with you that the old days of different spindle length suuuuucked- but the external bearing 73 mm threaded BB fixed that very unpractical problem. You had compatibility with 73mm & 68mm shells, and many crank OEMs matched up with Shimano's bb standard- so several old standards killed with a single new one. This is the type of advancement we needed. Press fit BBs... just served to re-introduce new standards to something that had practically been solved, the type of "advancement" we don't need.
  • 2 0
 @phobospwns: When talking with reps about the press fit BB shell thing they would usually talk about the reason was the ease of manufacture and ease of assembly when assembling bikes as completes. If I remember correctly it saved them a fair number of frames that would fail QC due to bb issues, especially on Carbon frames, and sped up assembly time as well. There were some bad ones out there in the early days of that standard, but seemed like it got a lot better within the first year or 2. That being said, I also prefer a threaded BB.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Those are valid reasons to try something new. The problems lies in that they didn't come together as an industry and clearly define a single standard for press fit BBs which would work for a majority of manufactures and users. Several OEMs partnered with several bike companies to do their own thing, and we went right back to a litany of parts for 1 function. Industries can do this, it's a matter of it they want to, and even if an individual company wants to comply.

In my job I deal with API (American Petroleum Institute) specs very often- it gives a clear outline and design guide regarding lots of sub-systems I work on. Major players in industry have input to this spec (both on the equipment manufacturers and the equipment users), and it's frequently revised to keep current best practices updated. This could certainly be a thing in the bike industry.

It's not easy, but ultimately it would be better for the customers, rather than doing things willy nilly. I appreciate your discussion, have an upvote, bub.
  • 1 1
 @phobospwns: something like API guidelines would make sense, I'm only slightly familiar with them however. But even with these guidelines you end up with 5 different motor oils standards for gas engines currently being used, and several more sub classifications when you consider all cars. For instance a BMW 335i is supposed to have a 0-30 or 0-40 synthetic oil that falls under the API CF/SN designation, and the ACEA A3/B4 designation, while also meeting the BMW-LL01 specification. There are probably many dozen types of motor oil just for gas powered cars, and than as many options for diesel motors. Not saying that running the wrong one will destroy anything fast, unless you use diesel oil in a gas car, or the other way round. But it isn't really super simple, and it is very different than when you are manufacturing parts. Bike products do have to meet standards in a way that is similar to the API standards however. They are called ISO standards. I also think there are some more standards for bicycle design in the EU as well.
  • 1 1
 @phobospwns: Your statement of "Several OEMs partnered with several bike companies to do their own thing, and we went right back to a litany of parts for 1 function." Is exactly what every manufacturer in every industry does. Can I just bolt a Tremec T5 transmission that came on a Mustang to a Camaro that also used a Tremec T5? Nope, they have a different bolt pattern and shifter setup at least, probably different gearing ratios as well and maybe a different output shaft. In all other industries making a mechanical assembly there seems to be nearly zero concern if even one tiny part is transferable from one model to the next. There are even running changes with all the parts of an existing model, if you want new brake calipers for you 2001 jeep you need to know more than the year, model, and drivetrain configuration, you just straight up need to know what caliper you have, because there are at least 2 different front calipers used and they are not cross compatible.

It is pretty awesome how cross compatible parts are in the bike industry, and I am really glad it works that way.
  • 2 0
 Pick a standard and be a dick about it!
  • 1 0
 NEW standards are 90% sell boost 10%true innovation...we are being maxed out as a consumer
  • 1 3
 new "standards" obviously driven by profit -- SRAM Dub BBs, Boost, Super Boost, 12mm wheel axles, etc. I mean, whats the performance difference again between a 29mm crank spindle and a 30mm one? What exactly was wrong or needed improvement on a 15mm front hub axle? it was just too big? 142, Boost and superboost - can you really feel the stiffness change?
All driven by corporate sales targets, not improvement of the product.
  • 2 1
 "I want the best bike full stop. No ifs, no buts."
Then buy a Banshee and get on with life!
  • 2 0
 You know what’s worse than ‘standard’? P-r-o-p-r-i-e-t-a-r-y……
  • 2 0
 Pornhubs: the last wheel standard we will ever need.
  • 1 0
 They are good. But every year new standarts is just money making by the industrie. #stopthemcdonalizationofmtb
  • 1 0
 THE RED BIKE HAS A SUNTOUR XC-PRO MICRODRIVE ON IT !!!

(Best groupset ever. By a lot)
  • 1 0
 stop complianing if it works, it works. go ride your damn bike and calm down
  • 3 2
 Is that photo a shot at my beloved 27.5+ tires?
  • 2 2
 I love my 27.5+ too!
  • 1 0
 @RonniePivot: I knew I wasnt the only one. For where I live and ride, they are the perfect size.
  • 2 0
 can of worms, open..
  • 4 2
 blah blah blah
  • 2 0
 buy a v10 and go vroom
  • 4 3
 Love the writing. And thought provocation.
  • 2 1
 Bring back the threaded headset!
  • 4 4
 The standard everyone should be mad about is 148. 150/157 was around long before 148. All they had to do was use 150.
  • 4 0
 Yes they could have gone straight from 142 to 157, but a bunch of people would have complained about heel clearance and it would have likely been pretty hard to get the XC crowd onboard with running a 157 hub. Using a dh hub with 150 end caps would have just been annoying since there is no notch in the frame for the axle to sit and I don't think it would change heel clearance in any noticable way from the 157 end caps.
  • 1 0
 Yes, yes those new standards are really that bad.
  • 1 0
 I run a standard Whaaaamulator and turn it on 11
  • 1 0
 22mm Hayes rear caliper,, yes standards are great
  • 1 0
 Buy a new bike every two years. Problem solved
  • 1 0
 148mm rear axle, why not 150mm that was already created??? BS
  • 1 0
 Because 150 is the same shell as 157, so that is 9mm wider than a 148.
3 sizes of MTB hubs, but each has a few flavors.
135/142
141/148
150/157
  • 1 0
 A piggyback full of worms.
  • 2 1
 I would not buy a non-boost bike, period.
  • 1 0
 why?
  • 1 2
 Possibly the dumbest article ever posted on pinkbike. Dumb to the point that i feel like insulting @henryquinney is now acceptable.

f*ck you Henry
  • 1 0
 27.5 was a waste of everyones time and money, that is all
  • 2 3
 This the truth, the whole truth, so help you whatever deity you believe in.
  • 1 2
 Hey, don't bring my boy Tom Cruise into this.
  • 2 5
 Possibly the dumbest article ever posted on pinkbike. Dumb to the point that i feel like insulting @henryquinney is now acceptable.

f*ck you Henry
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