Video: Decoding the Cool Factor - What Sets Certain MTB Brands Apart from the Rest? | Pinkbike Magazine Show Ep. 10

Jun 28, 2023 at 21:47
by Henry Quinney  

Max, Christina, and I talk about gearboxes, the racing that we love, and the most desirable brands. Plus, they try and fail to convince me that slopestyle isn't tedious.

Author Info:
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Member since Jun 3, 2014
323 articles

151 Comments
  • 40 3
 mountain biking is not cool. mountain bikers are not cool. this is one of the best things about mountain biking. embrace it!
  • 16 0
 Mountain biking is fucking rad!
  • 11 0
 I think it's pretty cool, don't care what anyone else thinks though.
  • 5 1
 Lmao what? MTB is main stream as hell.
  • 4 0
 @PHX77: these are two very different things.
  • 2 1
 Chromag is cool.
  • 5 1
 Mike Levy was cool. Is he officially gone? If so, what's he up to?
  • 28 0
 I get the sense that, when pressed, people don't entirely understand why they like what they like. Unless they've experienced a catastrophic failure of one brand and /don't/ like them, a person's preferences seem arbitrary -i.e. who marketed to them first in a manner that appealed to their emotions at that given time? Commencal's video edits strike a chord with Max. Environmental considerations strike a chord with Christina. Something being edgy or under-doggish strikes a chord with Henry. Everyone in Phoenix, Arizona has been bullied into thinking Pivots are cool because it's the hometown brand. Brands spend millions trying to get in the heads of consumers, both consciously and unconsciously. Ultimately if we could tease out what makes brands "cool," we could more effectively ignore it and focus on the numbers (geo, weight) and reliability which are arguably the most important.
  • 6 8
 I think you’d be surprised at how many people have valid reasons for liking what they like. I buy F-150’s because they have a huge, totally flat back floor, the ecoboost, and keypad entry. Every time I’m shopping for a new truck I look at them all and like things about each, but those 3 core things keep me coming back. I currently ride Specialized bikes because they had the swat box first, and my Stevo had all the adjustments so I could play with geometry, I’m currently looking for a new bike but now down tube storage has become almost must have. Really want a cainfield and would sacrifice the storage but am unwilling to give up a water bottle in the frame instead of below it. Of course sometimes it’s just because it looks sexy!
  • 2 0
 I think "Unless they've experienced a catastrophic failure of one brand and /don't/ like them" plays pretty strongly in the MTB world, at least in terms of hardware. Think squishy Reverbs and doddgy Float X2s. I've experienced the former but never the latter. If I can avoid it, I stay away from anything Rockshox. They can keep their torque caps as well. Then again, I would be curious to see data on how many of their sales are to avid MTBers (who care) and how many to just the average occasional cyclist. If anything, such occurrences leave space for brands such as EXT and Push to try and get a foothold.
  • 6 0
 I published a paper about this earlier this year, coincidentally with a sample of 25,000 outdoor participants. The aim was to understand how innovation and technological improvements in outdoor equipment (i.e. suspension design or geo in MTB) are metabolized by consumers. The results were unsurprising -- the search and comparison process is seen as quite complex (and the more advanced your participation level, the more you recognize the complexity). What's the marginal benefit (good luck even defining that: speed? fun? comfort?) of a .5* slacker HTA? Now what is the effect size when that single variable is interacted with a different damper, different air pressure, more /less HSC, longer reach, shorter offset, different width/rise/sweep bar, stanchion coating, tire pressure, tread compound, etc. etc. Good luck to consumers evaluating what is 'objectively' better about even a single part in a system as complex as an MTB when so many of the parts are functionally identical. So we examined how they make the decision. In order, the results were 1) visual appearance, 2) name of brand, 3) name of technology brand. We rely on some pretty crude heuristics to make complex decisions, even as much as we like to think we're objective about it. It's magnitudes easier to anthropomorphize brands and feel a degree of association, overlap with the self, or shared values and make a decision that way rather than go down the rabbit hole of partial differential equations.
  • 4 0
 @Hayek: can you link to this study? As a marketing professional in the outdoors / bike space, I'd love to see it.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: it’s under NDA currently but message me and I’ll tell you the highlights
  • 24 0
 Yeti is the cooler.
  • 8 0
 Damn,I was really proud of this joke and nobody got it.
  • 3 0
 @nozes: haha good one! Wink
  • 18 1
 Companies who’s senior bods actually listen to the younger generations, you know, the ones that actually ride the bikes more than once a week.
  • 5 0
 Dude coming after us "once per week" riders.
  • 1 0
 @dsciulli19: that would include me..
  • 2 0
 Problem is the older generations have all the money.
  • 1 0
 @vitaflo: I listened to a radio discussion the other day which said the Boomer generation hold approx 75% of all disposable income in the US and UK. Worldwide figures are also similar. No wonder e-bikes are so popular.
  • 18 0
 Small brands making high quality products is where it's at. Privateer, Canfield, Raaw, to name a few.
  • 4 0
 True. But what happens when those brands become big? - based on the success of selling high-quality bikes.
  • 12 0
 @jscaramella: That's the funniest part about these arguments. As soon as the hometown hero makes it big, people hate him.
  • 5 0
 Only works until your chainstay cracks in a huck to flat test on a popular cycling website.
  • 6 0
 Add Knolly to that list. I love how well their bikes perform.
  • 1 0
 @rbruhns: true when the hometown hero alienates their original audience. See Yeti and the folks in Colorado. They left the majority of customers for targeting the biggest spenders, trying to become a Veblen product. Now that demand is low and supply is high. We'll see if they ever recover their image.
  • 8 0
 None of those make anything, they’re just marketing companies
  • 1 1
 @adminofthegapers: True, although they do have a big hand in the design of said products. But still, I'm with you in a general sense - which is one of the reasons why I ride a Guerrilla Gravity.
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: I'm going to go out on a limb and take their word that they designed the bikes.
  • 1 0
 @jackalope: there's something to be said for contract manufacturing to higher standards than what a small company can achieve doing it themselves. Look at the fit and finish of a Giant sometime versus your bike and then think about the 50%+ of the market that Giant manufactures. Iphone is another great example of extremely high quality contract manufacturing.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: think apple can be lumped into being a marketing company more than a technology company. Not saying contract mfg is bad but it starts getting hard to call yourself a bike company when you just have everything made overseas
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: 99% of the bike industry is made overseas, doesn't make being a bike brand any different, especially when the quality is as good as you want to pay for. Handmade bikes are cool, whether they're handmade in Taiwan or Colorado.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: think if you run your own factory, anywhere in the world, then you can say you you’re a mfg. quality isn’t tied to where it’s made but I definitely like my Kavenz more knowing it’s made by the people that designed it
  • 1 0
 I would vote for Canfield for sure - focussed on suspension characteristics above anything else, practical bikes that are easy to work on, stick to their guns (eg relatively short chainstays), and in one case, way ahead of the pack (shorter cranks). Well thought out specs too, and their branded parts are generally also very good.
  • 1 0
 @DaveRobinson81: saw a snapped balance at the bike park once, don’t trust their quality
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: Name one bike brand that has never had a failure...
  • 2 0
 @adminofthegapers: I have a snapped TR11, a snapped GT Fury, and two snapped Guerrilla Gravity's hanging in my in my garage right now. Those are just frames that I've personally broken. The number of frames I've personally seen broken is endless.
  • 2 0
 Anything can break. Personally I'd rather see a something break as a result of a crash rather than the cause. Obviously there is this slippery slope where a frame fracture can turn a potential save into a certain crash but I think for all mountainbike sports it is somewhat foreseeable that crashes and near crashes are part of the deal. Bikes should be designed to reward the effort. But I suppose people should also be aware of what they're buying. I haven't bought many bikes (mostly replaced parts including the frame) but I once bought a Cannondale Prophet which came with a manual. They clearly state that if you buy one of their super light products, it will break even under very foreseeable use. If you don't want that, get the stronger one. Not sure whether they still have those variations in DH bikes too. Intense used to have the FRO (for racing only) which their racers needed at least two for for a single racing season.

Another thing these days though is those super short head tubes. Possibly because people demand a lot of front wheel travel but also a pretty big front wheel. The shorter the head tubes and the longer the axle to crown length, the more leverage hence the larger the loads on the top and downtubes that hold the headtube. My hardtail has a fairly tall (150mm, ZS44/EC44) headtube yet with a 120mm travel fork and 26" wheel. I trust it will take a beating. The previous generation of the Santa Cruz 5010 also had a 150mm (yet with an internal headset iirc) headtube with a 130mm fork and 27.5" front wheel. The current one has a bigger front wheel and got a shorter heattube in return. I'm not saying it is bound to break, but the frame will definitely have a harder time under similar loads. And I suppose something similar is going on with other frames too. What I do understand is that people actually call for higher stack. So instead of using more spacers for everyone, it would make more sense to utilize that estate with a taller headtube to spread the headset bearings a little more. I understand it may not be that easy to implement as if you for instance want to keep reach and HA constant, a larger stack will increase front center. But yeah, if headtubes are shearing off now then there should be ways to get a better ratio of axle to crown vs headtube length. If that can't be done, maybe it is better to not opt for the 29" front wheel.
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: Forgot to add another thing they were ahead on - steeper STA - just wish I could edit/reply to my own comment
  • 10 0
 Positional goods are goods and services that people value because of their limited supply, and because they convey a high relative standing within society. They often exhibit superior quality and features, however, they derive most of their value by distinguishing their owners as members of a favoured group.
  • 2 0
 This guy fu....rides!
  • 9 1
 I've been working with brands long enough to know that "cool" is probably the most elusive factor and very, very difficult to manage, control or retain. However, there are certain brands (not only bike related) that seem to have nailed down the formula.

Think Supreme (ownable, irreverent style and how they manage collabs), Nike (long term coolness… with up and downs, but always up there: technical leadership, best athletes in their rooster and huge mkt spending with some of the coolest and most memorable campaigns ever) or Apple (desirability - from Apple Watch ultra to Vision's Pro -, full digital and physical product and services ecosystem, superior quality… overpriced, but that adds to the allure).

When talking about bikes, some brands seem that have lost it (thinking on GT… i'm old enough to remember the thermoplastic LTS - and that was THE bike at that time) or as Christina have said the Cannondale-Volvo times (although still strong in XC, i would love a come back of that team) or the amazing Kleins (so sad Trek killed it), but i think technical/performance/innovation leadership is probably one of the pillars (that's why Specs are still up there both in road and in MTB), sustainability should be a no brainer (Patagonia as a brand has been leading the way for ages, and as an industry, i think we all could do better) and well managed credentials/legacy is also a strong ingredient (thinking on what Syndicate did for the V10 model, establishing the VPP as susp system pinnacle and SC as a brand… also the times of Sam Hill in Ironhorse, - another example of a brand that lost it - or Yeti, that - for me - has definitely that cool factor). Exclusivity (by price - looking at you Yeti - or simply availability - think in brands like Actofive or Intend here in Europe or Push in US) and playing a bit the outlier role (Commencal or Pole) are also characteristics that help if you have the former settled.

The hard part is to have clear what's your position, your role as a brand and your story and don't try to stretch it too much or follow trends that take you out of the road. I've been through some cool brands these years and as you said in the video, there are always options in everyone's minds… but i would say that the bike/brand we all dream of is not the best price-value ratio or even the one that best fits us, but the one we dream to have.

Great show - as always - team. Missing a bit the Kazimer/Levy duo and hope to see more of Alicia again soon. Best
  • 5 0
 If anything, this goes to show how different "cool" is to different people. I think Nike and Apple might appeal to an audience that likes refined and fancy and won't be considered cool by those who like it a bit more grungy. I admit I've got an iPhone (SE, first generation) too now. But that's simply because my telecom provider quit supporting 2G so my button Nokia stopped working and these iPhones appear to be the most reliable refurbished phones you can get (which can be repaired and for which you can get covers and screen protectors for another good while). So yeah, it is practical to get one of these but it is just a tool. As much as I'm getting Bosch power tools (new and used) as it is easiest to get spares and service over here.

Thinking of it, maybe for me a product rarely looks cool when new but only when it has aged nicely. When there has clearly been some life in it. And I think metal bikes do that better than carbon which for me implies that the current Santa Cruz bikes probably won't attain that. My daughter is currently riding my old DMR frame. There is some rust visible here and there and I think it is cool. It won't break because of some shallow rust. Old jeans, leather jacket, old boots... I understand shiny Nikes and Apple gear may be cool to some but it isn't for me.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Vintage cool is probably the coolest one… totally agree with you that latest and fanciest is not everyone's cup of tea (and thanks god it isn't), but for example, Nike is doing lots of cash selling millions of Air Force 1's again… to my kids! (they don't even look at new models). So i guess we're both right… Giant's revision of that old paint job for their latest DH bike is already addressing that nostalgia (and brand legacy). And yes, old jeans are the best jeans. For me i'd take a Klein Adroit or Attitude just if i could (while keeping my 2022 double suspension all mountain rig… that i love riding)
  • 9 0
 I believe gearboxes and ebikes are a marriage built in heaven. Or an unholy alliance, depending on your point of view. Regardless, they belong together. Seriously, who cares if their ebike weighs an extra lb or so.
  • 9 1
 Bike stuff is too expensive to make my purchase be guided by what's cool and not. I tend to gravitate towards the brands who like to communicate and discuss their design choices and vision. Cotic, Starling, BTR and Kali come to mind. I admit it could very well be me being old but brands exclaiming what kinds of amazing feats some amazing athletes performed on their gear doesn't excite me. The athletes do, but not the products. The mellow vibe of a brand like Cotic showing how fun can be had on their gear is enough for me. Cool, I think that's how you convince kids to drink your sugary energy-drink over the variation of your competitor.
  • 7 1
 Its a combination of being in the game for a long time so you're respected but not so long that you appear totally corporate and a big multi-national. Sponsoring certain riders helps and the marketing from the country you are from helps.
(A stem made from Dutch firm won't have the cred of a Vancouver outfit).
Some brands also try too hard to be cool - these are the ones the media doesnt realise arent that cool but bull them up like they are cool.

Its all BS though as making an informed choice about the product works best for you is the coolest thing to do. Really these brands are just 'media cool' not 'rider cool'

PBs interest is to promote 'cool brands' which just translates as marketing.
  • 3 0
 Something wrong with our stems?
Admittedly I never heard anything about a Dutch stem firm, but I bet it's amazing quality.
And really cool too.
  • 8 0
 I envision a grid with a vertical axis of Cool------->Not Cool and a horizonal axis of Would Buy--------->Would Not Buy.
Ellsworth is in the lower right corner.
  • 10 0
 Basically the "Hot/Crazy" scale....but for bikes?
  • 1 0
 @j-p-i: Yep! Haha.
  • 2 0
 @j-p-i: So...who is the Vicky Mendoza of the bike industry?
  • 1 0
 @handmedowncountry: Lol, I don't think I have the pedigree to answer that one
  • 3 0
 Poor Ellsworth, as an old f*ck I remember clearly when they were cool AF (e.g early 2000's, pre Santa Cruz sorting their VPP).
Look at Ellsworth's original pivot placement on the stays, most FSR pivot placement now follows Ellsworth's lead.
  • 2 0
 @danncam: Indeed! For a hot minute back then I had a freakish Ellsworth loaned to me to race while my personal bike was out of commission. The loaner Dare had a Cannondale headtube on it! Never did figure out exactly why, and I didn't happen to need that size, but it was a good bike.
  • 5 0
 The gearbox on an E-bike just makes sense from weight to balance perspective. If you add a bunch of weight add it right in that lower center and reducing that unsprung mass in the back should actually make that bike feel super balanced for what it is. I can totally see sticking with gearboxes for e-bikes and derailers for analog bikes as a clear delineation of riding style and preference.
  • 4 0
 If you're tall or short then the brands that make a bike that fits are the ones that are cool. I'm 6'4" and there were no bikes that fit until recently. The sizing charts would say things like the XL fit to 6'6", what a miserable joke. Now, these are good times. SC, Transition, Spech, bikes that actually fit!!!!
  • 4 1
 Cool factor... here's the simplest way to look at it...

Authentic.

Most bikes are sold to people that don't care. They are buying based on price and what seems like the best bang for their buck for what they need.

Anyone that's buying for status is looking at those smaller brands.

Those buying based on "cool" brand are looking at brands that are authentic to who they are.

Santa Cruz is a massive brand but they've managed to say mostly authentic. They're on the edge of crossing into Specialized category though. But they hold enough brand heritage and authenticity that you can still go... yeah that's cool still. Like Vans or Converse.

Brands like RAAW, Transition, YT, Commencal, etc... they have a very authentic brand voice. You know who they are. You know what they're selling. If you identify with that... buy it.


SOOOOO many companies are making quality products now. It's really just find your vibe.

It's a lot like buying a skate deck these days. Yeah you can nerd out on width and concave numbers. Etc... but mostly... you're buying the brand you vibe with. You don't want to admit the big guys are making cool stuff but they are....
  • 3 1
 Interesting talk about racing at the front end. We all have our favorite, but it was funny how no one mentioned XC. Like most of us here I watch DH and Enduro, mostly skimming the XC coverage. That puts us in a minority within MTB. XC has the most fans.
  • 2 10
flag mtb-jon (Jun 29, 2023 at 11:32) (Below Threshold)
 Enduro is probably the majority tbh. Xc is just road biking
  • 11 1
 @mtb-jon: Hmm, absolutely - road biking except with rocks, roots, mud and no teams or drafting. Otherwise identical to road biking.
  • 7 1
 @mtb-jon: XC BY FAR has the most fans. You are correct that enduro probably has a lot of people that ride that type of terrain and favor descending but purely from a viewer perspective, XC takes the cake.
  • 4 2
 Making great bikes helps but Santa Cruz remains "cool" in part because they keep the brand exclusive to higher-end MTBs. Pon lets Giant make lower-end bikes, Cervolo does the road bikes etc. Opposite strategy from Trek that has one brand for all bike types.
Branding experts continually reference this strategy in consumer markets as method to drive unique brands (i.e, being "cool", or "reliability", etc...)
  • 15 0
 I wouldn’t necessarily call 6k bikes with NX and compression adjustment on the shock high end, just overpriced.
  • 7 0
 Giant makes higher and lower end bikes as much as Trek and Specialized do.
  • 1 0
 @Upduro: Agreed
  • 5 0
 A lot of the cool factor from Santa Cruz comes from their skateboarding heritage. People who were skateboarders in the 80's and 90's can identify with a brand the considered cool back then. Speaking for myself, I was riding their boards back in the day, so riding a SC right now feels like coming full circle. But like my dad once said; "Nostalgia is expensive."
  • 1 0
 *Meant to say GT rather than Giant.
There is always overlap when a lot of brands are under the same roof. GT has bike models in the same categories Santa Cruz but overall you'd say SC, GT, Schwinn, Mongoose are aiming at slightly different customers as their "core" target.

@exbow SC hasn't diluted their brand from their "cool" skating heritage by staying high-end (and high priced).
  • 2 4
 @Exbow: Santa Cruz skateboards and Santa Cruz MTB are two different companies.
  • 6 0
 @barp: But directly related/linked becuase of Rob and in the beginning of SC bikes, they both were the same brand company. 2015 the bikes were sold to PON
  • 1 2
 @Exbow: Yup! Rode SC decks back in the day, always liked the brand itself and currently have a 5010 and Heckler MX. Now, if only they would/could change the headtube badge to the Screaming Hand logo. :chef's kiss:
  • 8 4
 Did I miss the memo - but WTH happened to Levy? Is he not a part of Pinkbike anymore? It's like they locked him into a dark room & hid him away?
  • 16 0
 Levy commented a few days ago and said that since he's been working at PB for a decade and a half, he has a shit ton of PTO saved up and is finally using it right now on an extended vacation.
  • 1 1
 @dantecusolito: Rad, Maybe @mikelevy will return with some rad stories about this extended vacation!
  • 2 0
 Here in NZ Devinci bikes aren't cool(if judging by resale value) but people will pay a premium for Santa Cruz/Pivot etc..All I know is I like my Spartan very much though I suspect that any decent high end bike that fits and is set up to a riders preferences would fit the bill
  • 7 3
 Anything ridden primarily by middle aged high income types is not cool. So, to name a few:

Santa Cruz
Yeti
All e-bikes
Etc, etc

JP
  • 1 1
 Your comment reads better like this - " . . anything owned but not ridden by middle-aged high income types is not cool."

For example, Hans Rey is middle aged, probably has a couple of Euros and his rides are definitely cool. And it's quite possible he is cooler than you and I put together.
  • 2 0
 Damn JP...you ride a lot of bikes.
  • 1 0
 @handmedowncountry:

Yep. I definitely fall into one half of that category.

JP
  • 5 4
 haha.. Trying too hard to look like you're not trying too hard.. How about buy from a reputable manufacturer, with a proven suspension design, a geo that suits your local trails/riding style, not a current trend and that offers good customer service? If I went by these guys logic, whatever brand the dude with the horrible earring was riding, I'd avoid it!
  • 10 0
 Max doesn't have an earring - wait
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: haha!! I like it!
  • 3 1
 Build a quality bike at a reasonable price. Build a quality bike at a reasonable price. Build even more quality bikes at reasonable prices. Back it up with amazing customer service. Paint the bikes cool ass colors.
  • 2 0
 This. Smaller DTC companies like Propain or Fezzari do just that which is why I have moved towards them for my last couple of bikes. Most companies these days make VERY good bikes and us schlobs can't tell significant differences....but I sure as hell can tell the difference when I can get a top spec propain for under $6k vs $9k at Yeti.
  • 3 0
 If Levy were here, he’d have a pithy comment about people waiting for the second coming of Jesus in the form of a gear box. But alas…
  • 2 0
 The most important thing for me is reliability and how easy it is to wrench on the bike yourself. I don't need 30 bearings to replace every year. TRANSITION covers it all for me.
  • 1 0
 Pinion got it to the highest level on solving drivetrain issues that been addressed wrongly by using chan, sprocket and cassette browed from less powerful use on man powered bikes.

pinion by using similar approach to motorbikes and choosing belt for longer durability and lower service / maintenance for my feeling choose better direction definitely for the enduser.

but with the limitation of Ebikes - i don't see this solution to attractive on man powered bikes.
  • 1 0
 Over my 25 years of riding mountain bikes my idea of what is cool has changed. When i first started as a young grom in my teens I was oblivious to cool. I would ride in t-shirts and a skate helmet with sneakers on my feet. Then I really got into it throughout my 20's and started trying to look cool with fresh kit and fancy glasses. Each new bike release would immediately deem my current bike obsolete.

In my 30's things started to change. I released that where I like to ride there is usually no one around anyways to care about what I look like. Bikes also started to all look the same; two wheels, a seat, and some pedals.

Now in my 40's with kids what I find is cool is not what you have but rather what you do. Riping hour long hot laps with oversized mirrored glasses and knee pads on over-built mini-dh bikes just screams juvenile to me now. I now think the guys and gals doing epic high mileage days deep in bush on decade old hardtails with zero padding are what is cool.

But maybe that is confirmation bias talking. Deep down, we all want to stay in our twenties.
  • 1 0
 Being the same age,what really is cool is having time to ride,whatever bike it may be.
  • 1 0
 Cool bikes- when I was coming up it was the GT Zaskar - I don't know if this is true but it feels like that was because Hans Rey was such a character. Now there is a lot of video marketing for brands and you don't have as many stand outs- but I'd say the Syndicate is probably the best at getting their products out there in a crowded space. That could be why Santa Cruz gets so many call outs. For me, I'd rather not have a flashy bike writing checks my mediocre skills cant cash so I stay away from boutique.
  • 5 0
 Pre-RF ROACH was cool.
  • 3 0
 Pre-Trek Bontrager/Fisher/Klein were cool. (Though probably unsustainable)
  • 3 0
 @sngltrkmnd: Back in the olden days, just after our horse and carriage was put to rest, my girlfriend bought me a 1990 (??? I'm old-ish) Klein Attitude in Sunburst, yellow to red color with the square fork. She bought herself the 1991 Klein Attitude in... Pink to blue with the round fork. Both before Trek bought them. AMAZING bikes. 22lbs. But they would beat you up offroad sometimes. Been a long time since I rode a bike that immediately grabs your attention like those bikes. Solid, stiff and just went as fast as you could pedal.
  • 1 0
 @oldschool43: Yeah, my impression/experience was that they were kinda road bikes for the dirt. No doubt seared in so many young minds for the wild paint jobs and innovative features. When I worked at a Klein dealer ages ago we were lucky enough to tour the little manufacturing site in Chehalis WA before everything moved to Wisconsin. Witnessed firsthand how a hydroformed tube was made. Still blows my mind.
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: That would have been awesome to see in person. It's a shame what Trek did to Klein. Kinda like Harley and Buehl. I used to see a guy riding all over the northern suburbs of Chicago on a green, white and red (pink) Attitude in the 90's and early 2000's. My wife and I took our bikes to Chicago pre-pandemic, I live in Wisconsin now. I saw a guy, on that bike. I asked him about it, it was actually him! He has "over 90,000" miles on it. 3 BB bearing replacements, one headset bearing replacement, one bar/stem replacement (in black). Original frame and fork and it showed. But it was impressive compared to now, how bikes seem to have expiration dates these days.
  • 2 0
 @oldschool43: Wow that IS cool! What a great experience!
  • 4 0
 I’d love to listen to this as a podcast
  • 2 0
 Saving up for that LAL Nicolai thing! It is a BEA-utiful bike. With that being said I can't remember the last time I broke a derailleur.
  • 2 0
 I honestly would love to buy one but I don’t think I can justify the cost.

But then again I’ve got a big box of dead shimano 12s derailleurs from the last couple years alone :/
  • 4 0
 This needs to be a podcast/part of the the PB podcast
  • 5 1
 Tell you what isn't frickin cool. Autoplay videos.
  • 1 0
 Hi, I work at AdBlock. Please buy their product.
  • 1 0
 Make a bike that consistently functions, at a high-level, for a long time, without looking like a middle-school science experiment (sorry middle schoolers).

...it would be a lot cooler if you did.
  • 1 1
 I am not an anti ebike now (I've kind of been one at the beginning, for normal people in good shape) but never thought of having one before at least 15 years. Only broke 1 derailleur in 15 years and I was very, very unlucky! I'm anti sram though and shimano 12s derailleur are not as good as they used to be. With all those stupid internal cable routing nowadays, I was also waiting for a bluetooth shimano drivetrain but still not coming so... I am really curious about those gearbox ebike!

Never rode a singlespeed bike or chainless bike but always reading good things about less unsprung weight makes me wonder how much better would be a gearbox bike! I dont like to clean and lube my chain nonstop so low maintenance would be cool. Heavier but the worst part is the almost stop pedaling to shift properly...so now if it's an ebike, you don't care about the weight, the added drag and with the new electronic shifter, you can pedal and shift like any other drivetrain! If only the prices could go down a bit but anyway, maybe my next bike will be a gearbox high pivot ebike!!! 40-43lbs and I could buy it really really soon!! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I like transition bikes because they donated the funds for some of my favorite trails.
  • 1 1
 Cool is what my excellent LBS carries. I randomly ended up on Specialized bikes aeons ago. Totally by chance. I had seen the brand, but wasn't really deep into such things. I trusted this LBS. Still do, 20+ bikes later. If they change for something else, 99.9% sure I'd jump with them. Even if I'm really happy with my Specialized bikes.

I know this is not the Pinkbike way, but I couldn't give a toss about riding something unique just because.
  • 1 1
 My next e-bike will have a Pinion gearbox. Just seems like it's perfect for eebs. I only really use the same 3-5 gears on my e-bike so having a 12spd cassette doesn't make a whole lot of sense there. Especially when it's a XX1/X01 cassette and costs $$$ to replace.
  • 1 0
 Huge advantage of the gearbox is taking over a pound of unsprung weight off of the rear axle. Immediate suspension performance boost.
  • 3 1
 Highest quality bullshit... That's the differentiating factor.
  • 3 2
 The company with the most engineering graduates in the marketing department. And vice-versa.
  • 7 1
 marketing graduates in the engineering department?
  • 1 0
 More like industrial designers overruling engineering. Headset cable routing, 35mm bars, shock yolks, PF bottom brackets, etc, etc, etc….
  • 3 0
 @alis66: Keep your yolk out of my shock; the viscosity of eggs is just too high for the damping circuits.
  • 1 1
 Huh? Marketing graduates in engineering and engineers in marketing departments? That makes no sense.

You want the experts in their fields focusing on what they are experts at.

The key is that these people are COMMUNICATING with each other.
  • 3 0
 @gossman: I think you just described Specialized
  • 1 0
 @alis66: At least with 35mm bars I can change them to something else easily. Can't do much with cable tourism, yolks, press fit or super boost.
  • 1 2
 @gossman: jfc, you completely missed the point. read others' comments to learn.
  • 1 3
 @onemanarmy: omg, how dense can one be. /smh
  • 1 2
 @bforwil: this person gets it.
  • 2 0
 @barp: Nice. Now if we can fix all those shock dampening seals it would be glorious.
  • 1 1
 @singletrackslayer: hmmm I watched the segment... but I do forget sometimes that you all come here to argue with each other regardless of what actual content is above the volcano of comments
  • 5 5
 To me, Evil epitomizes cool. The most iconic name in suspension creates a special design for his own personal brand. THAT'S cool.
  • 3 0
 Their marketing and branding has always been top notch. But you'd expect that when the owner came from a creative agency before he started Evil.
  • 8 0
 Didn’t Evil totally drop the ball on warranties and paying their athletes?
Feel like they are trying to be cool which is never cool. Lol
  • 1 0
 @Superburner: Oh yeah, Evil had HUGE issues when they started. It wasn't about paying the athletes, it was about warranty issues. They couldn't get enough good bikes to replace the bad ones.
I watched an interview with the owner who was really upfront about how their first group of bikes were crap. Good designs but terrible manufacturing. They finally shut down production until they could work out all the manufacturing problems.That's one big reason they went to carbon so they would have more control over the production.
I don't really see them as trying to be cool. I just see a great innovative design and a f*ck-it attitude.
To me, Guerilla Gravity is kind of a "trying to be cool" company because they don't really offer anything new or different than what's already out there. They seem to be all about image.
  • 1 0
 @roxtar: I guess they deserve credit for being transparent about their issues.
Points for that
  • 5 3
 No one has ever been able to explain to me why they wear a cap indoors.
  • 3 0
 Keeps my hair out of my face when I'm wrenching. Also keeps sweat from dripping down my face when it gets hot.
  • 1 0
 i like it
  • 1 0
 Simply to push that PB merch.
  • 2 0
 Can we get this in the podcast feed?
  • 1 0
 Did Henry just diss Ratboy?
  • 1 0
 The ones that fit correctly and last.
  • 1 0
 Just remember- buying cool probably is a couple of grand.
  • 1 0
 Trinitron!
  • 1 0
 Dentists and dentistry.
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