Matt Beer's 2024 Predictions

Dec 6, 2023 at 17:11
by Matt Beer  
Intend Samurai

Single Crown USD Fork Popularity Increases

There’s no right or wrong way up here, just the fact that producing a USD fork, whether that’s of the single or dual-crown variety, is simpler to manufacture. An upside-down design eliminates the need for the expensive investment of magnesium-cast lower legs. For more niche brands, that can mean lower costs, faster turnaround time, and if nothing else, they stand out from the crowd.

Intend believes in the inherent properties of USD forks and has taken full advantage of the benefits of this layout. They’re played around with wild theories such as modifying the angle of the stanchions in order to change the axle path relative to the head angle. Recently, sliding bushings were introduced to their limited edition Moto fork to further decrease friction.

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By slackening the angle of the stanchions relative to the steer tube, Intend aimed to increase the trail as the travel and head angle reduce, creating more consistent values.
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The Push Industries inverted single crown fork made an appearance at Sea Otter this spring.

Further examples to back the ease of manufacturing are the Bright F29 and Push Industries' Nine One single crown fork. Both brands build their respective forks on home turf with a focus on aftermarket sales.

Lastly, EXT Suspension, could also be the next to step into the USD ring with a downhill fork. Currently, their right-side up single crown Era maxes out at 190mm of travel, but their Ferro USD36 (built for E-MX) would make for a suitable pairing with their downhill rear shocks, if it shed some weight.




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Dropper Posts Drop on Demand

We’ve come as far as 240mm dropper posts, wireless electronically controlled ones, and integrated them into frames, but so far, only BMCs Autodrop dropper post drops without having to sit on the seat.

Packaging, weight, and cost are all factors here too. The Autodrop’s oval-shaped post is proprietary to BMC’s frames and limited in travel for XC racing. Another caveat is that the pressurized system needs to be recharged after a handful of laps around an XC course.

Why are auto-dropping posts even a consideration? Possessing the ability to lower the post on command without having to sit on the saddle reduces the chance of getting caught out in certain situations when you didn’t expect to need that clearance and sitting down to lower the saddle might cause a seat-bounce OTB scenario.

Sure, it’s not a necessity, but neither was the one-way dropper when it came around. Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to show up to a popular trailhead and find a solid seat post.

If I were to put money on it, RockShox could be the first to showcase this to the mass markets. SRAM is all about motorized actuators and this could be the perfect place to utilize such components. They’ve also yet to evolve the AXS Reverb to 200mm of travel in its five-year product life and could be holding out for something bigger and better.




Photos by Tom Richards
Norco's prototype high-pivot 6-link prototype bike. Something tells me Greg Minnaar's bike will be different from this frame.

Downhill Bikes Become Extremely Specific and Not Always For Sale

Often referred to as the Formula 1 of mountain biking, downhill racing requires highly specific bikes, particularly when it comes to pleasing the world’s fastest racers. In terms of downhill bike sales, their numbers hardly stack up against trail and enduro bikes, but the presence of a race team can be fundamental in marketing their image. We’ve seen large players such as Commencal, Norco, Intense, Santa Cruz and Specialized work extensively on prototypes while building stories in a two-for-one marketing/R&D combo.

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I doubt Ohlins will be adding electronic lockouts to their catalogue.
photo
Fox/Race Face's decoupling hub and derailleur clutch patent drawing.

Building a super technical race bike with parameters that can be selected by a team of professionals, while drawing on data analytics, does bring the Formula 1 comparison closer. Those bikes, not set for production, could feature items like more complex suspension linkages that are less user-friendly. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something as radical as Fox's RAD LiveValve shock and decoupling hub, or a DH-version of Specialized's air shock make an appearance this season.




photo
Giant's Trance X E+ weighs 19kg with a 400Wh main battery and uses Yamaha's Sync Drive Pro motor that can be tuned all the way up to a full-powered 85Nm.

More Modular E-bikes

Building a motor to produce 50 or 85Nm doesn’t come with a large weight penalty - most of the mass lies in the battery. Take for example, the highly modular, Giant Trance X E+; a 19kg (40lb) eMTB that features a Yamaha motor that can be tuned anywhere in the range of 20-85Nm while drawing from a 400Wh battery. An additional 200Wh range extender can be mounted to increase your ride time.

Compared to a Specialized Levo, which weighs 22.4 kg (or 49.4lb) and must carry a heavy 700Wh battery, the options are limited. Yes, their Levo SL is comparable to the Trance X E+ in weight, but not torque or peak power.

Giant has essentially created two bikes in one by offering the choice of how much power you want to call on and the size of the stackable batteries you want to carry.

Simply put, you’re minimizing the amount of weight (in battery cells) that you’ll need to support your ride. There’s no need to carry around extra weight on rides that don’t deplete a full 600Wh battery. To do that, you'd need to climb roughly 1000m on a full power zipping around in boost mode (metrics can vary), but not all rides last that long.

There’s no debate that riders' demands vary when it comes to where and how they pedal. One thing’s for sure though, an 18 kg (40 lb) bike rides drastically differently than a 25 kg (55 lb) version. Modular eMTBs offer a wider variety of ride experiences with less compromises against the handling of traditional, unassisted bikes.




2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1
A snippet from the glorious trails in the 2021 Trans Cascadia "backcountry race" - not quite enduro but more than downcountry.

Adventure Trail / Enduro Racing Grows

People want to race anything with wheels, especially when we’re talking about off-road bikes, but riders also want to get out there to see cool sights, check out new zones, and explore. Events like the Trans BC, Stoneking Rally, and Trans Sierra Norte come to mind while The Back Forty and the Downieville Classic are fitting adventurous single-day events.

“Little” bikes, such as the Scor 2023 and Atherton 130X have become all the rage again too. They’re insanely rewarding on moderately rough trails with capable geometry and lightweight, yet dependable suspension. For these types of races where you’re running on empty day after day, aggressive trail bikes can be fitting.

Enduro racing isn’t going away. It’s still a novel take on racing bikes but it may have lost some appeal as the venues, both regionally and internationally, are being repeated - sometimes even the stages per event are repeated. At first, the lure of enduro was the unknown; choosing the right equipment, how to train, what to eat, where to attack, when to back off - at times, stages were ridden blindly, even on a world stage.

That’s where this endurance-level of stage racing holds appeal. You could be ripping down a single track tunnel all day long and never know exactly what views lie around the corner. It’s in the name, “mountain biking,” and there’s no better way to experience it all than at an all-inclusive, multi-day race in a remote destination.




Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
362 articles

140 Comments
  • 35 4
 The other big thing I think about an autodrop dropper is that they could really save a lot of energy especially with longer droppers. Think about it, one is essentially doing a half squat each time one drops the dropper. I could really see them taking off in XC racing and pedal intensive enduro courses.
  • 11 2
 Agree - especially in more pedally areas (like where I ride) where I'm CONSTANTLY using my dropper.
  • 7 1
 Agree'd, I use my dropper more then my shifter in the midwest, I'd love it to be able to go up and down. That might convince me to go back to electronic (I just sold my 170 axs reverb for a 210 oneup v2)
  • 22 0
 @heatproofgenie: match it with the saddlespur, fulfil all your customers desires.
  • 5 1
 Being able to do these half squats just makes your legs that much more jacked than people getting on the new tech bandwagon of auto drop dropper posts. Same with auto shifting and thumb muscles, and those with wireless and non wireless shifters.
  • 2 0
 @devinkalt: Sure for normal riding and training I'm with you. For racing it could make the difference on the right course as all that energy use adds up.
  • 2 1
 I've been hoping for one of these designs to finally come out (without the need for regular recharges) since droppers were first launched. The current design is fine if you live where you can climb for awhile and then bomb some vertical own for awhile, but in our area the ups and downs are no more than 100ft of elevation, if that, so having to sit before he descent just ruins the flow of the ride.
  • 15 0
 Coffee is my autodrop dropper.
  • 1 0
 @heatproofgenie: okay yeah for racing it makes sense but makes me wonder if during a race what that would be like if you couldn't get your auto dropper to go down and its stuck in the up position. could it also allow the rider to manually lower it?
  • 3 0
 Isn't that essentially equivalent to just a single pedal stroke? 170mm cranks, you're going 170mm from top to bottom, vs a 170mm dropper, dropping your body weight 170mm... I can't see that adding up to any meaningful difference.
  • 11 2
 >> one is essentially doing a half squat each time one drops the dropper.

not really a "squat"; you're just sitting down and letting your fat ass do the work, then the seat bottoms out to stop you after like 200mm max. Not exactly CrossFit.
  • 4 0
 for enduro race, it also puts you in a much more 'vulnerable' position and upsets your movement / weight. an auto drop post might feel more confident or safe to drop and rise through a race.
  • 4 1
 @plyawn: well you are using energy to stand back up even if it is a perceived 200mm. 100 times over a ride adds up. That takes a little out of your core, back, and leg muscles every time you drop your post. Not CrossFit but not negligible either.
  • 6 0
 I've seen in multiple articles and interviews with professional XC racers that this is why they run 75 or 100mm droppers even if their frame can fit a longer dropper. The length that they would have to squat to push down a longer post doesn't seem like much, but when you do it 200+ times during a WC XC race when you are already running at 100% could actually make a difference.
  • 2 0
 @matmattmatthew: I always wondered about those xc bikes with short droppers. figured it was weight savings.
  • 25 1
 I bet OneUp releases a new dropper with autodrop sooner than SRAM does.
  • 22 1
 I bet OneUp releases a new dropper with autodrop sooner than SRAM releases an AXS Reverb with more than 170mm.
  • 100 1
 I thought most non-AXS Reverbs already had an auto drop feature...at least an inch or so and no buttons required?
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk: mine does that!
  • 17 15
 Don't hold your breath. OneUp's entire business strategy is to defend the ~$200 dropper pricepoint at all costs. The V2 has been out for 4yrs now, & OneUp has steadfastly refused to correct its biggest, well-known design flaw: shoddy upper seals that eject grease, trap dirt, & squeal, requiring weekly re-lubrication. I have had three V2 droppers, and warrantied the first that seized after just two months in early 2020. OneUp's warranty department said they were aware that their seals were not up to the standards of competitors like BikeYoke & RockShox (!), and sent me a new post saying I'd just have to get used to weekly instead of annual maintenance or the replacement would just gunk up and seize like the first one. The only way this refusal to spec better seals (w/ no need to further revise post design) makes sense, is to assume OneUp believes consumers will abandon them if costs increase even slightly. Loading a dropper with hundreds of dollars of additional electronics is antithetical to OneUp's modus operandi.
  • 2 0
 Drop it like it’s hot!
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: true story. "This one goes to 11" if you pull it by hand
  • 4 1
 @powturn: Have you tried a lighter grease? Been using a v2 180mm since early 21 and only re-grease every few months. I tend to ride daily during the spring, summer and fall work/ weather permitting. Winter less due to weather. The grease still splooges out the top of the seal but definitely not regreasing more than every few months. Using Rock 'n Roll Super Slick.
  • 4 2
 @powturn: I'm not sure your experience is that common. I rebuild mine roughly once a year in the winter (~2k miles on 2 bikes/posts). I'm on prob my 4th one and haven't had a single issue yet.

Also, if you got your first one in 2020, you've been riding those 3 for 3 years now? Seems like decent reliability to me if you've had one warrantied failure on a $200 post in that entire timeframe. Agreed they are not the most durable or perfect, but when they cost half or less of what many competing posts cost, I'll just buy a new one every few years, which I tend to do anyway as I switch bikes/frames.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: I see what you did there. I had a reverb auto-drop more than 5 years ago
  • 6 0
 @powturn: yes. why do people rave about this dropper?
  • 5 0
 @FaahkEet: Have tried every viscosity of grease, lighter grease is the worst: gone after one or two rides. Stickier ones stay in more than one week, but lock up the post in the winter. And yes I have done routine full services & replaced seals on both. @tgent Every one of the dozens of riders I know on OneUp droppers have the same issues but deal with it because a) there is no other design that crams in the same travel when space is limited or b) they are cheapskates. It's not about catastrophic failure or even full-service intervals, it's that OneUps simply don't work without weekly lubrication in a hot climate when you ride on a daily basis. My previous Reverbs or KS Levs weren't perfect either, but as long as I wiped them down after every ride, they only needed to be re-lubed once a year when I did full service. What boggles the mind is that there is a simple fix for this and OneUp refuses to make a running change to improve seals on their existing design. I got 10k miles out of my previous Reverb w/ minimal maintenance. When either of these OneUps die, it will be replaced w/ a BikeYoke or PNW Loam: I'd rather pay twice as much up front for way less than half the maintenance headache.
  • 3 0
 @powturn: Slickoleum / SRAM Butter or similar has worked for me, riding 50-70 miles a week and re-lubing every month. Agreed though, the seals are the weak link in what otherwise is a really decent, good value dropper.
  • 3 0
 @powturn: weird. I haven't done any maintenance other than randomly adding grease over two years. Summer is hot and incredibly humid here. Not trying to discount your experience, just strange such a range of experiences.
  • 2 0
 @powturn: "wipe them down after every ride...."
that right there is your weak point. Every time you remove that film of grease it has to be replaced by the small quantity of grease that is held under the seal cap.
This is a common user error for droppers and forks. I don't know who or how it started as part of "the great myths about bike maintenance" - maybe in the early days of suspension forks when it was a bonus if the oil stayed in the fork for more than a few rides.
Stanchions/ shock tubes should have a slight (clean) film of oil on them and the only wiping should be the gentle removal of any build up of crud on/ at the wiper seal.
I am riding a OneUp 210 mm, on my e-Sight, in a dry dusty environment (one that eats oil any where on the bike) and it is managing about 1000 km between re-lubes.
  • 3 0
 @andrewbikeguide: SRAM fork user manuals may have something to do with it. They call for wiping stanchions after every ride.
  • 4 0
 @andrewbikeguide: First off, I spend the first few days after re-lubing both of my OneUps wiping the thick collar of filthy grease off the wiper & top of post because it burps that much every ride. Secondly, google "Flume dust." I live in a high desert climate where it doesn't rain 8mos of the year. I'll use a paint brush or compressed air (pointed away from the seals) to knock off dust & *then* remove visibly dirty grease so I don't have tar my wipers in less than a month. On the rare occasion there is neither dust nor mud coating my stanchion, I'll leave it alone. While we're busting myths/misnomers: ever consider that OneUp's design & tolerances are so bad that maybe you got the one in ten-thousand where the seals are actually tight enough to keep the grease in? The three posts I've had, three sets of seals for each, & the *dozens* of local OneUp owners I've interviewed all speak contrary to your sample of one: OneUp's droppers are indeed a throwback to the "early days" of terrible suspension seal design.
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: Perhaps I've drawn the shortest straws OneUp ever made, and you've drawn the longest in terms of stanchion tolerances? I've been doing full services and repurchasing new seals & bushings every year in hope that maybe I'll have better luck & get a better fit, but so far no dice. I'm pretty stubborn about taking care of stuff & making it last, but unless OneUp is listening and willing to send me two "long straw" warranty replacements that will hold grease like yours, my next dropper purchase will be something else.
  • 16 2
 with the auto dropper....why not use the movement of the rear triangle/suspension as a "pump" of sorts to re-pressurize the internal air canister used for the dropper. Can have a pressure release valve for when its full. If no one has though of that, disregard this comment, you saw nothing.


Also..."little bikes are all the rage again too." ....they always have been, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 120-140 is a sweet spot for most riding needs.
  • 6 0
 yup, I take my norco optic on the gnarliest trails the UP of Michigan has to offer without issues. Unless I'm bombing bike parks, I'm taking my optic.
  • 1 2
 @bmied31: mine was stolen after only 1 ride. I didn't had time to set it up anything properly
  • 2 0
 You would be adding a variable damper essentially into your suspension equation which would mess with the suspension kinematics, and would change based on whether or not the dropper reservoir was full or not. Could be weird, but you could also theoretically tune for it, I'm sure it can be done, whether or not people would sign up to deal with that and the added complexity is another question.
  • 9 1
 If you ask me what my one prediction moving forward would be- single crown USD forks.
After that, I’d say DH race bikes are going USD.
The PB downhill race team has been running them for a while, and if I look outside, the end of the world seems no closer for it.
  • 12 0
 Have 2 sets of new doardos, put them on dh bike and was soo impressed i put them on ebike also and cut travel to 180mm. Might be best forks I've ever had..
  • 4 0
 @bat-fastard: best fork ever for me. minimum sticktion. hands are so much better on on bike trips.
  • 5 0
 I feel like it would have already taken off if it was going to. I remember spy shots of Fox and Rockshox USD DH forks like 10+ years ago. The Dorado has been around forever. The DVO Emerald was a great fork that never caught on.

I think it was due to the fact that they weren't stiff enough for the top pros so they didn't use them. Unfortunately, that made it almost impossible for the big companies to market the forks. Because even though these forks probably would have been great options for the average consumer, the masses think they need what the pros ride.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I had 8" usd in the late 90's when most had 3"judys lol shivers where next best forks but squirmy on heavier hits. These new 37mm dorados are loads stiffer even over the 36mm, and quiet a few non sponsored riders on them too so maybe be an uptake..
  • 3 0
 @sino428: I remember Jordi from fox talking in a dialed video about USD forks being a big step forward for top level suspension performance but there being a big blocker that i cant remember.
  • 1 0
 @Sn0rk:
Very interesting..
I’m betting weight or axle diameter.
  • 2 1
 Good thing I recently bought a 2005 Shiver as my daily. I'll be ahead of the curve when everybody and their dog will ride an USD fork. Don't want to get left behind in this MTB world.
  • 1 0
 @adam102:
I’m going to the same thing Bro!
I’ve been collecting wrapping paper tubes so I can make my own USD fork.
Paint everything black. The upper legs are carbon fiber, the lower legs are titanium nitride coated.
  • 3 0
 @bat-fastard: I loved the feel of my Stratos S8; they felt like they had so much more travel than other 200mm forks. Unfortunately they preferred to store their oil on the outside of the legs, which regularly lubricated my brake pads :/
  • 3 0
 @sino428: That whole not stiff enough thing is crazy to me. Its a different feel that's all. MX world uses different triple clamps etc to tune stiffness, same can be done for any dh fork. USD forks are the future and I hope more of them come soon. Yes I shamefully whore how much I love my dorado too. I want a single crown USD for the trail bike too. Just cant justify the $$$ yet.
  • 2 0
 @cougar797: yea I ran a DVO emerald on my previous DH bike for years. I never had any issues with the stiffness of it.
  • 1 0
 @lacuna:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Mo-to..!
I once bought a street motorcycle that had two bad fork seals, and drenched
both disc brakes!
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: I've had upside-down forks forks too (MRP and DVO). Great at speed but I did find the flex a problem at low speeds or loaded up un berms. My theory vs moto is that optimal fore aft stiffness depends on the total weight of the system, which is a lot more for moto that mtb. Optimal torsional stiffness depends on the strength of the rider to hold the bars straight, which is the same for both disciplines. USD forks get the ratio for fore-aft to torsional stiffness right for a heavy moto, right side up forks get the ratio right for a light MTB
  • 7 0
 The "Modular" e-bike thing is interesting. I am sure there are a bunch of folks in the same boat as I am, where we are looking at both mid and high-power options, but to have access to both in one, would be great.
  • 3 0
 It'ts nothing new, though.
Focus was the first brand to do it, in late 2017 with the Jam Square (bulit until 21), an 140/150mm AM rig.
Shimano e800 motor, in tube battery with 380wh, and an optional external range extender with 380wh on top.

I am still riding the heavier alu version that had 21.5kg stock,
now sits around the 20kg mark, having replaced almost every component (light cockpit, intend fork, PINND cranks, light saddle, cassette, pedals, ... lighter syntace wheelset)

Fun fact: back then nobody wanted to buy the bikes, saying not enough battery capacity (it was RRP 6k € for the alu version with electronic shifting).
Because the bikes didn't sell through at all, Focus added the range extender in each offering (additional costs, before), to get these going, in late 2018.

It needed all the Spesh hype about the first SL to get awareness for that category.

Anyway, still riding this bike, will get a new in tube battery soon,
tec pack / range extender is fine, because only used for very few, very long days in the alps.
Probably will hand it over to my wife, when I buy the new Nicolai Swift (equal concept, but Bosch SX).

And yes, not ebikes only, my other ride is a Starling Murmur: www.pinkbike.com/news/day-3-randoms-bespoked-show-2023.html
  • 7 0
 Matt must be right about the cheaper manufacturing for USD forks, Just spotted this beauty on Temu for just $222!

www.temu.com/mountain-bike-front-fork-inverted-fork-cycling-accessories-g-601099513120860.html
  • 5 0
 Amazing! Can we get a pinkbike review on this one?
  • 5 1
 Wish my suspension fork had a 'gas nozzle'. I am going to go cry myself to sleep now.
  • 9 0
 I predict Matt Beer will be late for something
  • 2 0
 I predict Matt Beer will be left holding something
  • 4 0
 Regarding the Downcountry thing, what about a new format of competition like the Grinduro for gravel bike?
There would be a mix of uphill and downhill specials on the same bike, could be fun.
In France there is the All Mountain Challenge, on Saturday you ride some enduro specials and on Sunday it's a XC race. The start position of the XC race is given by the result of the Enduro results. All on the same bike of course.
  • 2 0
 The format is known there for a long time, races like the transvesubienne or similar, are a great adventure to even finish for most. Smile (been around since the cantilever breaks era and are classified as mountainbike race, or xc as to distinguish them from downhill)
  • 4 0
 I see the draw to USD forks but I have a couple concerns. Isn't having the stanchions nearer to the ground more likely to result in stanchion damage? And if the fork seals leak could they foul the brakes?
  • 5 0
 Believe me, if you blow the seals in right-way-up forks they still piss oil all over your front brake
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: But not nearly as effectively as those old Maverick forks. Yikes, what an unholy mess!
  • 5 0
 But it will be easier to replace one stantion rather having to send your csu off to get the stantiong changed.
  • 5 0
 Yes, but the dirtbike industry has already introduced bikes with USD forks in the past 15 years (there may be some cheap bikes out there not doing it.) Lightweight fork guards could be integrated quite effectively. It's a good system.
  • 5 0
 Not at all. moto world has ran usd through mud and flinging rocks for years and this isn't an issue. The lower guards are all you need. If you do manage to mangle one. Its also easy to replace. Only one leg, not bonded to another through a crown.
  • 4 0
 id rock USD forks... motorcycle and moto have for years now... the issue with mtn bike was getting the stifness in the axle to prevent wheel wobble without adding too much weight. it has a few other benefits als0.
  • 3 0
 Adventure racing feels like it could be amazing, bring back the all mountain category, the entire even timed, true mountain bike competition where everything is timed as one. More hardcore than xc long crazy days in the saddle big climb with a big enduroish descent, mass start big party's
  • 5 1
 Wow never thought aboot USD forks in context of casting costs (I work in an Alu foundry) wing better for small manufacturers..
Cheers for the learn!
  • 1 0
 ∆being∆ stoopid phone
  • 2 0
 @naptime: know the feeling, i'm lazy so i use gonna rather than going to and with a new phone it autocorrected to gonorrhea
  • 2 0
 "Why are auto-dropping posts even a consideration?" Besides the reasons mentioned, some of us have moto-hammered knees that prefer not having to do the deep squat over and over. But I'm not sure sure about the air tank in a frame approach.....
  • 2 1
 Paraphrasing: Intend believes in the inherent properties of the USD forks created by Bright Racing Shocks and has taken full advantage in the layout of their design. Also taken from the same design by Bright Racing Shocks is the use of sliding bushings, an innovative technology in MTB created by the mind of Pablo Fiorilli as early as 12 years ago
  • 4 0
 +1 for Adventure Racing. I'm looking to do a Trans style race as my next bucket list, just for the sights and adventure.
  • 5 4
 Or you could just pedal all day and not worry about motors and how much capacity your battery needs are .. seriously..the soul of the sport is getting sucked dry by kooks on there mopeds buzzing around with there Strava blasting..such a shame.. boycott
  • 3 0
 Right my biggest qualm is I like blasting around on strava on my normal bike and those guys make it harder to stay up there? Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Luddite.
  • 1 2
 Or you could just pedal all day and not care what other people are doing if it doesn't affect you.
  • 1 0
 The DH bike thing is interesting. Where I live, over the past year or two there seems to have been a notable increase in DH bikes at our local lift access hill. Also the number of DH bikes that are available through the brands we deal with at the shop I work at has increased quite a bit. A few years ago the only DH option we could source was the Aurum HSP, which was being phased out. Since then Giant and Forbidden have both come out with new DH bikes, and the shop picked up Santa Cruz as a brand. So now there are 3 excellent options for DH bikes available to customers through just that shop. This isn't to say that these bikes will sell in large quanities, but brands are definitely still releasing these bikes for us all to buy and ride.
  • 1 0
 Until RockShox and Fox go all-in on USD forks, there is no market for them unless you are a niche company. USD forks have been around for 20+years and always seem to come and go. As much as I loved the Emerald with mag dropouts and CTA(first of their kind), the mainstream is sticking to conventional forks for the foreseeable future, it will always be a niche and expensive product. Fox and Rockshox could never make it happen.
  • 3 0
 I no longer accept any reviews from Levy as I belive he moved back to the planet he came from and can no longer be trusted.
  • 2 1
 Is there an inverted fork that is not flexy death? I'd never consider one after my maverick and rock shox experiences. I mean there has to be a reason that Fox and RockShox don't offer it.
  • 3 0
 Jump on a dorado sometime. I hear the intend forks are amazing and I bet the new push one will be awesome too.
  • 2 1
 Strapping on a range extender battery and detuning a motor is not "modular". You mention the Levo SL has to carry around a 700Wh battery, but the Giant has to carry around an 85Nm motor even if it's de-tuned to max at 20Nm.
  • 1 0
 The drawback that I still struggle with for USD forks is the mud guard being way bigger for the same mud blocking effectiveness, because it's fixed to the upper crown, farther from the tire.
  • 2 1
 However, I would like to understand why you try in every possible way and avenue to take other people's ideas to your advantage by telling them that it is your innovation
  • 4 2
 Pretty sure $2000 for a USD fork and $1000 for a auto-dropper is going to limit their popularity.
  • 2 0
 You'd think. Especially in this current industry economy. But it's one of those things that's like... build it and they will come. As long as they don't expect that product to be their bread and butter and it's just a look what we can do product, maybe.
  • 2 0
 Mountain biking seems to be increasingly a way for rich people to show off so they will be super popular I am sure.
  • 3 1
 I think these thoughtful and interesting predictions that I wasn't aware of.
  • 1 0
 People saying that bicycle tech has plateaued are absolutely tripping. Personally I'm holding out for a possible Pinion MGU bike in a few years.
  • 3 0
 you can put 500Wh batt on Levo, it's about 700-800g lighter.
  • 1 0
 Correct. It’s a 530wh battery and can be swapped in seconds.
  • 1 1
 "aimed to increase the trail as the travel and head angle reduce, creating more consistent values"

More consistent value of what? You just mentioned three values that change, so what is more consistent?
  • 1 0
 I loved it when a grain of sand in the oil seal caused my Dorados to spew out its oily content all over my new pink V4 calipers. Good times.
  • 1 0
 19kg is ~42lbs. I’ll take the 7lbs penalty for extended range or more powerful assist.
  • 9 8
 not quite enduro but more than downcountry. - I think this is pretty much exactly my style of riding.
  • 66 0
 I like to call it mountain biking.
  • 13 1
 @flattoflat: some might even say "all mountain"
  • 3 0
 DAE remember when 120-130 of travel was a trailbike?
  • 8 0
 @totaltoads: I remember when 130mm and a 69 degree head angle was a big bike.
  • 1 0
 @Genewich: my 140 clad Chromag hardtail with a 69deg headangle felt a bit overbuilt for my trails.
  • 2 1
 @napguy: I don't think I ride all the mountain if I avoid the scary stuff.
  • 3 1
 @napguy: I was always under the assumption that bikes were categorized -

-XC (100-120mm)
-Trail (120-140mm)
-All Mountain (140-160mm)
-Enduro (160-180mm)
-DH (200mm)

Did something change? am I wrong?
  • 3 0
 @Spencermon: Yeah, "all-mountain" has been stealthily abolished by the industry and absorbed into "trail". There's a growing movement to bring AM back though.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I'm all for that! I like there being a distinction between trail and all mountain. I feel its important because I like trail bikes more than all mountain. I feel like all-mountain bikes are all built using enduro components and I don't want those same components on my trail bike.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon and @chakaping yeah and 120-140mm these days is capable of what 140-160mm (AM) used to be
  • 2 0
 I can just hear it.... "Oi mate, your forks are in backwards"
  • 3 0
 Something everyone who rides Manitou forks have been hearing forever.
  • 2 0
 @vitaflo: Yah I have to say my goofy looking mezzer pro is the best right side up fork I've ever ridden. Not as good as my usd dorado, but for something you can catch on sale cheap, cream of the crop.
  • 3 1
 Wish my last name was 'Beer'.
  • 2 0
 That’s a statement regarding minnaar on norco
  • 2 0
 Love my DVO emeralds..... Stock some fresh stanchions please DVO...
  • 1 2
 I had said how helpful it would be to have an on-demand dropper years ago and I got downvoted to no end. Now everyone wants one. That's mtb culture I guess. It's only cool when PB says it's cool. Oh well.
  • 2 0
 Trans BC enduro is a must for anyone that truly love riding bikes.
  • 6 7
 Actually, sliding bushings were invented by Rockshox for the 2020 SID. My bushings were so loose that every compression felt like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.
  • 3 0
 actually hainebrink had them in the 90's in their 8" usd..
  • 1 0
 Are downhill bikes not currently extremely specific? And always have been?
  • 1 0
 so, I still have to press the lever for the dropper?
  • 4 5
 Multi stage dh racing please
  • 3 0
 but why??
  • 3 0
 @kage17: because it's really fun. We have a local summer series at Shepherd Mtn. where you practice all morning (all shuttled) and do 3 different DH runs in the afternoon (shuttled) and call it a day, in one day. Low commitment and high on fun
  • 3 3
 Wild idea: Multi stage e-DH racing. Climbs aren’t timed. Bikes have all the travel. No long lines uplift cluster fcks. Racers ride bikes people will actually buy.

Current DH racing is only relevant to folks who live by a ski resort.

Current Enduro racing is like a weird biathalon mashup of fitness and bike skills. Like shooting and XC skiing.

Everyone’s gonna hate this idea but it’s definitely what we’ll all be watching in 10 years and I’m not sad about it.
  • 2 0
 @Blownoutrides: not all of us. Some of us curmudgeons that still grumble about pedaling our own bikes definitely won’t be watching other people ride motor-assisted ones.
  • 1 0
 @Blownoutrides:

"Current Enduro racing is like a weird biathalon mashup of fitness and bike skills. Like shooting and XC skiing."

which is exactly whats supposed to be.
when we're at it, why dont we just put motors on roadbikes and turn tour de france into an E-version?
because sport is called sport for sports sake, not for fat lazy f*cks Smile
  • 3 5
 Vali has announced she’s leaving Trek
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